with the genius of the people, but an heirloom of past，
Thereupon Edmee had looked at the monk's face and had recognised . . .
"A man you would never dream of," she said; "the frightful John Mauprat. I had only seen him a single hour in my life, but that repulsive face has never left my memory, and I have never had the slightest attack of fever without seeing it again. I could not repress a cry.
" 'Do not be afraid,' he said, with a hideous smile. 'I come here not as an enemy, but as a supplicant.'
"And he went down on his knees so near my father, that, not knowing what he might do, I rushed between them, and hastily pushed back the arm-chair to the wall. Then the monk, speaking in a mournful tone, which was rendered still more terrifying by the approach of night, began to pour out some lamentable rigmarole of a confession, and ended by asking pardon for his crimes, and declaring that he was already covered by the black veil which parricides wear when they go to the scaffold.
" 'This wretched creature has gone mad,' said my father, pulling the bell-rope.
"But Saint-Jean is deaf, and he did not come. So we had to sit in unspeakable agony and listen to the strange talk of the man who calls himself a Trappist and declares that he had come to give himself up to justice in expiation of his transgressions. Before doing so, he wished to implore my father's forgiveness and his last blessing. While saying this he was moving forward on his knees, and speaking with an intense passion. In the sound of this voice, uttering words of extravagant humility, there seemed to be insult and a menace. As he continued moving nearer to my father, and as the idea of the foul caresses which he apparently wished to lavish on him filled me with disgust, I ordered him in a somewhat imperious tone to rise and speak becomingly. My father angrily ordered him to say no more and depart; and as at this moment he cried, 'No, you must let me clasp your knees!' I pushed him back to prevent him from touching my father. I shudder to think that my glove has touched that unclean gown. He turned towards me, and, though he still feigned penitence and humility, I could see rage gleaming in his eyes. My father made a violent effort to get up, and in fact he got up, as if by a miracle; but the next instant he fell back fainting in his chair. Then steps were heard in the billiard- room, and the monk rushed out by the glass door with the speed of lightning. It was then that you found me half-dead and frozen with terror at the feet of my prostate father."
"The abominable coward has lost no time, you see, abbe," I cried. "His aim was to frighten the chevalier and Edmee, and he has succeeded; but he reckoned without me, and I swear that--though he should have to be treated in the Roche-Mauprat fashion--if he ever dares to come here again----"
"That is enough, Bernard," said Edmee. "You make me shudder. Speak seriously, and tell me what all this means."
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