Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/128

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123
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

events, he was obliged to tolerate what he could not avoid. For, you see, he was grown old and feeble, and had, besides, a horror of the lad, whom he never called by any other name than the 'vermin'; or else what could have prevented him from tying a stone about his neck and throwing him into the sea? Certainly it was not conscience or tender-heartedness, for—"

Here Salaun interrupted himself.

"The Kakous is now dead, and has to give an account of himself elsewhere, and so I will say no more about him. We poor folk about here have never doubted that Bauzec was given to Judock Shipwreck as a plague and a punishment—whether man or devil, it's all one."

Meanwhile the corpse had been carried into the burnt-out hut, and a watch over it appointed for the night. We at length contrived, by the light of the tapers brought, to discover a narrow opening at the end of the fissure, which wound up to the top of the cliff, and opened out amidst the brushwood there. This might possibly have afforded an inlet to a slender and active youth. But how it happened that the builder and owner of the hut should not have been aware of this way of entrance, or how, on the other hand, he should not have stopped it up, fearing that his good-for-nothing comrade might learn to make use of it without his leave, and probably to his hurt, this certainly did remain a mystery to us.