the chest, and this hand had plunged a sword into l'Imânus's belly.
The wound was frightful. His bowels were cut from one side to the other.
L'Imânus did not fall. He ground his teeth and said,—
"That is good!"
Then tottering and dragging himself along, he went back to the torch burning beside the iron door; he laid down his pistol and took the torch, and holding with his left hand his bowels, which were gushing out, he lowered the torch with his right, and lighted the sulphur match.
The fire caught, the match blazed. L'Imânus left the torch still burning on the floor, took his pistol again, and having fallen on the flags, but lifting himself up again, blew the match with the little breath he had left.
The flame ran along, passed under the iron door, and reached the castle bridge.
Then seeing his accursed success, more satisfied, perhaps, with his crime than with his valor, this man who had just been a hero and was now nothing but an assassin, and was about to die, smiled.
"They will remember me," he murmured; "in these little ones, I avenge our little one, the king in the Temple.
L'IMANUS ALSO ESCAPES.
At this very instant a great noise was heard, the chest violently pushed, gave way, letting a man pass who rushed into the hall, sword in hand.
"It is I, Radoub, if you want to know it. I am tired of waiting; I am running a risk. No matter, I have just ripped open one. Now I will attack you all. How many are there of you?"
It was Radoub, indeed, and he was alone. After the slaughter just made by l'Imânus in the stairway, Gauvain, fearing a masked fougade, had recalled his men and consulted Cimourdain.