And always, beyond the last disclosure, after the most complete revelation, I hinted at something yet to come, some higher, unveiled mystery, to which all this grand series was but the prelude.
I was served in turn, and we began to talk about horses and racing, as there had been races in Arklow a day or two before. I alluded to some races I had seen in France, and immediately the publican's wife, a young woman who had just come in, spoke of a visit she had made to the Grand Prix a few years before. 'Then you have been in France? I asked her. 'For eleven years, she replied.
I thought I was making a grand marriage when I got your father; but he seemed to sort of flatten out and lose all his ambition after we was married. He didn't seem to care about anything, though I used to give him my opinion pretty plain. And it's mighty little he left me when he was took," she added vindictively. Her daughter eyed her speculatively.
But the thief-takers have Claude Duval by the throat at last; and there is a scene in court, where the young lady perjures herself unhesitatingly, and faints once more in the prisoner's arms. In vain. Claude Duval is sworn to, found guilty, condemned; and the stage is darkened for a grand finale.
As in ancient Greece, generations before the rise of the great dramas of Athens, itinerant companies wandered from village to village, carrying their stage furniture in their little carts, and acted in their booths and tents the grand stories of the mythology; so in England the mystery players haunted the wakes and fairs, and in barns or taverns, taprooms, or in the farmhouse kitchen, played at saints and angels, and transacted on their petty stage the drama of the Christian faith.
The old Gothic chapel has, in the singularly elaborate and minutely sculptured sarcophagus standing before the altar, a grand example of delicate and artistic workmanship in alabaster.
"Our last night on this earth must be a grand one. I am ready to go on." "I don't think you are fit to go on. It will be better to go down the pass a little, and find shelter." She half smiled. "We won't study our poor bodies tonight. I mean you to go to Adage, Maskull." "Then at all events let us rest first, for it must be a long, terrible climb, and who knows what hardships we shall meet?"
Some time after I know not exactly when, but before we returned to take our permanent abode at Devereux Court a share in the grand political intrigue which was then in so many branches carried on throughout England, and even Europe, was confided to Montreuil.
It was sublimely grand; it was hideously hateful this wild-beast struggle, this heaving tumult of striving lives, that ever and anon stirred the vast war-cloud of smoke and broke from it as the lightning from the night.
The Caribbean turned his head slowly toward the chevalier, looked fixedly at him, still resting his chin on his palms, and then resumed his former attitude, without replying. The adventurer colored angrily, and said, "Zounds! when I speak, I wish to be answered." The Caribbean maintained silence. "These grand airs do not impress me," cried Croustillac. "I am not one of those to be eaten alive!"