Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/515
to her by Erard, on that very platform, when he was urging her to abjure, was a straight, unqualified promised—that if she would do it she should go free from captivity.
She stood stunned and speechless a moment; then she remembered, with such solacement as the thought could furnish, that by another clear promise made by Cauchon himself—she would at least be the Church's captive, and have women about her in place of a brutal foreign soldiery. So she turned to the body of priests and said, with a sad resignation—
"Now, you men of the Church, take me to your prison, and leave me no longer in the hands of the English"; and she gathered up her chains and prepared to move.
But alas! now came these shameful words from Cauchon—and with them a mocking laugh:
"Take her to the prison whence she came!"
Poor abused girl! She stood dumb, smitten, paralyzed. It was pitiful to see. She had been beguiled, lied to, betrayed; she saw it all now.
The rumbling of a drum broke upon the stillness, and for just one moment she thought of the glorious deliverance promised by her Voices—I read it in the rapture that lit her face; then she saw what it was—her prison escort—and that light faded, never to revive again. And now her head began a piteous rocking motion, swaying slowly, this way and that, as is the way when one is suffering unwordable pain, or when one's heart is broken; then drearily she went from us, with her face in her hands, and sobbing bitterly.