Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French II).djvu/134

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129
THE VIRGIN'S GOD-CHILD.

in which I had come. It was made by the rolling and rattling of a vehicle of some kind; and soon we could see in the lane behind us a cart, surrounded by armed custom-house officers, as well as by some fishers and peasants. The procession drew to one side to let them pass.

As the cart approached, we observed that three men were sitting upon the same seat, and that the one in the middle was chained, the other two evidently guarding him. Soon the name "Bauzec the Black," which, spoken low, went from one to the other throughout the procession, left no doubt upon my mind that it was the murderer on his way to prison. Indeed he himself took good care to give me every opportunity of recognizing him; for scarcely had the cart come up with the procession, than he raised himself from the stooping attitude he had before maintained, looked around him with the greatest audacity, and called out, to such as he was acquainted with, words of jesting or abuse, so that the good people seemed at first quite petrified by his profligacy. However, when the universal horror and displeasure had found a vent in ejaculations and execrations, he seemed to take even increased delight in his own lawless conduct, and was not to be controlled by his companions.

But in the midst of his most daring defiance, he suddenly uttered a cry of mingled rage and anguish; and after one violent effort to break his