Page:Marquis de Sade - Adelaide of Brunswick.djvu/108

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"Why not," said the jailer, "from the moment that we robbed you, you became necessarily our victims. We must get rid of you because if we let you go, would you remain silent on what had happened to you?"

"This reasoning is infamous," answered Adelaide. "Is there any reason to commit a great crime just because one has committed a smaller one?"

"Oh, we don't reason; we act. Come, don't worry. It will not be long, I tell you. I will certainly not bring you more than three dinners."

The rogue went out leaving the soul of the unfortunate princess filled with terror.

Adelaide did not delay in telling her friend and companion what she had just learned. Having questioned her jailer, Bathilda had received just about the same answers.

"Well," said Adelaide, "do you believe now that we should use our last resources?"

"The danger is the same, Milady, but we have now another reason to put our money into action. I promise to attempt that tomorrow."

Bathilda kept her word. The jailer accepted the money, but following the custom of most of these rogues, the first thing he did was to take the money to his master, telling him what Bathilda had asked him to do.

Bathilda was brought before the chief immediately. She was asked to explain the reason for her conduct. It was easy for her to answer.

"But do the two people who were with you have any money?"

"I don't know."

"Listen," said Krimpser to her, "your life depends on the confessions which you are going to make to me. Don't hide anything, I advise you. Think that death is close at hand for you. Who are the people who are with you?"

Bathilda, frightened, told naively the story of Baden and the details of their escape with the help of Baron Dourlach.

"But that woman whom this young man has taken away from the margrave, who is she?"

Here, Bathilda had the idea that the truth might be useful