Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/126

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121
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

death-struggle, and the terrors of conscience, the same opinion evidently often obtained respecting the personality of his murderer, which the people are wont to offer in connection with the most varied circumstances, namely, that the Evil One had surprised him counting his ill-won wealth, and asserted his own claim to it.

But every now and then the recollection of the true state of the case would pierce through, as he repeated:

"The vermin! the black! the vermin!" over and over again, with such rage and abhorrence, that his energies seemed more and more exhausted by each repetition of the words, and at last he died in pronouncing them.

It was to me a very significant fact that Judock should, in his wanderings, use many common English phrases, which rendered it beyond a doubt that he had carried on treasonable communications with the enemy during the war, and it was with these that the criminal prosecutions already referred to were connected.

The priest and Salaun shared my conviction. But when I exclaimed with horror:

"The son the murderer of the father!" the fisherman rejoined:

"It is bad enough as it is, but Bauzec the Black is not the son of Judock Shipwreck. I myself saw him draw the fellow with his hook out of the hen-coop of a ship that had gone to pieces.