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They laid him on the plank. That lovely proud head was placed in the infamous collar. The executioner laid back his hair gently, he pressed the spring, the triangle became detached and slipped down slowly at first, then quickly; a hideous sound was heard—

At the same instant another sound was heard. A pistol shot responded to the blow of the axe. Cimourdain had just seized one of the pistols which he had in his belt, and, as Gauvain's head rolled into the basket, Cimourdain sent a bullet through his heart. The blood poured from his mouth; he fell down dead.

And these two souls, tragic sisters, departed together, the darkness of one mingling with the light of the other.