Well, as I have said, the second trial was over, without definite result. But Cauchon did not give up. He could trump up another. And still another and another, if necessary. He had the half-promise of an enormous prize—the Archbishopric of Rouen—if he should succeed in burning the body and damning to hell the soul of this young girl who had never done him any harm; and such a prize as that, to a man like the Bishop of Beauvais, was worth the burning and damning of fifty harmless girls, let alone one.
So he set to work again straight off next day; and with high confidence, too, intimating with brutal cheerfulness that he should succeed this time. It took him and the other scavengers nine days to dig matter enough out of Joan's testimony and their own inventions to build up the new mass of charges. And it was a formidable mass indeed, for it numbered sixty-six articles!
This huge document was carried to the castle the next day, March 27th; and there, before a dozen carefully selected judges, the new trial was begun.
Opinions were taken, and the tribunal decided that Joan should hear the articles read this time.
Maybe that was on account of Lohier's remark upon that head; or maybe it was hoped that the reading would kill the prisoner with fatigue—for, as it turned out, this reading occupied several days. It was also decided that Joan should be required to answer squarely to every article, and that if she refused she should be considered convicted. You see, Cauchon was managing to narrow her chances more and more all the time; he was drawing the toils closer and closer.
Joan was brought in, and the Bishop of Beauvais opened with a speech to her which ought to have made even himself blush, so laden it was with hypocrisy and lies. He said that this court was composed of holy and pious churchmen whose hearts were full of benevolence and compassion toward her, and that they had no wish to hurt her body, but only a desire to instruct her and lead her into the way of truth and salvation.