a top about to fall. This is the Copernican system, and，
"I fancy," I replied, "that Edmee has something better to do than to listen to the declamations of your monk, who perhaps, after all, is only a knave, like so many others to whom you have given money blindly. You will forgive me, I know, abbe; but you are not a good physiognomist, and you are rather apt to form a good or bad opinion of people for no reason except that your own romantic nature happens to feel kindly or timidly disposed towards them."
The abbe smiled and pretended that I said this because I bore him a grudge; he again asserted his belief in the Trappist's piety, and then went back to botany. We passed some time at Patience's, examining the collection of plants; and as my one desire was to escape from my own thoughts, I left the hut with the abbe and accompanied him as far as the wood where he was to meet the monk. In proportion as we drew near to the place the abbe seemed to lose more and more of his eagerness of the previous evening, and even expressed a fear that he had gone too far. This hesitation, following so quickly upon enthusiasm, was very characteristic of the abbe's mobile, loving, timid nature, with its strange union of the most contrary impulses, and I again began to rally him with all the freedom of friendship.
"Come, then," he said, "I should like to be satisfied about this; you must see him. You can study his face for a few minutes, and then leave us together, since I have promised to listen to his secrets."
As I had nothing better to do I followed the abbe; but as soon as we reached a spot overlooking the shady rocks whence the water issues, I stopped and examined the monk through the branches of a clump of ash- trees. Seated immediately beneath us by the side of the spring, he had his eyes turned inquiringly on the angle of the path by which he expected the abbe to arrive; but he did not think of looking at the place where we were, and we could examine him at our ease without being seen by him.
No sooner had I caught sight of him than, with a bitter laugh, I took the abbe by the arm, drew him back a short distance, and, not without considerable agitation, said to him:
"My dear abbe, in bygone years did you never catch sight of the face of my uncle, John de Mauprat?"
"Never, as far as I know," replied the abbe, quite amazed. "But what are you driving at?"
"Only this, my friend; you have made a pretty find here; this good and venerable Trappist, in whom you see so much grace and candour, and contrition, and intelligence, is none other than John de Mauprat, the Hamstringer."
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