A thread of blood carae out from under the bandage and ran down his neck, from the place where his ear had been.
Cimourdain turned towards Radoub,—
"Do you vote that the accused be absolved?"
"I vote," said Radoub, "to have him made generaL"
"I ask if you vote to have him acquitted."
"I vote to have him made the first in the Republic."
"Sergeant Radoub, do you vote to have the Commandant Gauvain acquitted,—yes or no?"
"I vote to have my head cut off instead of his."
"Acquittal," said Cimourdain. "Write, clerk."
The clerk wrote, "Sergeant Radoub: acquittal."
Then the clerk said,—
"One voice for death. One voice for acquittal."
It was Cimourdain's turn to vote.
He rose. He took off his hat and laid it on the table.
He was no longer pale nor livid. His face was the color of earth.
If all present had been lying in their shrouds, the silence would not have been more profound.
Cimourdain said in a solemn voice, slowly, and with decision,—
"Accused Gauvain, the cause has been heard. In the name of the Republic, the court-martial, by the majority of two to one—"
He stopped, there was a moment of suspense; did he hesitate before death? did he hesitate before life? All held their breath. Cimourdain continued,—
"Condemn you to death."
His face expressed the torture of an awful triumph.
When Jacob compelled the angel whom he had overthrown in the darkness to bless him, he must have worn that terrible smile.
It was only a glimmer, and it passed away. Cimourdain became again like marble, sat down, put his hat on his head, and added,—
"Gauvain, you will be executed to-morrow, at sunrise."
Gauvain rose, saluted him, and said,—
"I thank the court."
"Lead away the condemned," said Cimourdain.
Cimourdain made a sign, the door of the dungeon was opened, Gauvain went in, the dungeon was closed. The