A rumor of the expedition to Seillon had got about, and it was whispered that Roland had led it. Apparently, he had returned for another similar expedition. When Roland had finished his supper he looked up and saw Michel. "Ah! so there you are?" he exclaimed. "I am waiting for Monsieur's orders." "Here they are; listen carefully." "I'm all ears."
How could he know that a simple cross was drawn above his name, and that this symbol of redemption guaranteed his safety from one end of France to the other? For the rest, the first thing to be done was to surround the Chartreuse of Seillon, and to search thoroughly into its most secret places a thing Roland believed himself perfectly competent to do.
The men were on the watch; they turned, saw the rider, who was evidently making for them, flung the animal into the ditch, and made for the shelter of the forest of Seillon. "Hey, Michel!" cried Roland, more and more convinced that he had to do with his own gardener. Michel stopped short; the other man kept on his way across the fields. "Hey, Jacques!" shouted Roland. The other man stopped.
Without even waiting to thrust his other foot into the stirrup, Morgan spurred his horse, which tore the bit from the groom's hand and started off at a gallop. On the right of the road stretched the forest of Seillon, like a shadowy sea, its sombre billows undulating and moaning in the night wind.
The captain of the gendarmerie, who knew the localities better than the colonel of dragoons, took upon himself to guard the window of La Correrie, giving upon the forest of Seillon, with his eight men. The colonel of dragoons was commissioned by Roland to watch the main entrance of the Chartreuse; with him were five gendarmes and five dragoons.
Besides he was not without a certain admiration for these exceptional characters; nor did he measure without a certain amazement these revolted Titans, challenging his god; he felt they were in no sense common men neither those who had stabbed Sir John in the Chartreuse of Seillon, nor those who had shot the bishop of Vannes at the village of the Trinite. And now, what was he to see?
You know the Chartreuse of Seillon?" demanded Roland. "Doesn't the general know everything?" cried Bourrienne. "Well, about the Chartreuse; are there any monks there now?" "No; only ghosts " "Are you, perchance, going to tell me a ghost-story?" "And a famous one at that!" "The devil! Bourrienne knows I love them. Go on." "Well, we were told at home that the Chartreuse was haunted by ghosts.
It was a building of massive architecture, shaded by five or six venerable trees. The horseman paused before the portal, over which were placed three statues in a triangle of the Virgin, our Lord, and St. John the Baptist. The statue of the Virgin was at the apex of the triangle. The mysterious traveller had reached his goal, for this was the Chartreuse of Seillon.
Michel was not to leave with the horses and dogs until eleven. The Chateau des Noires-Fontaines was just at the edge of the forest of Seillon, so the hunt could begin at its very gates. As the battue promised chiefly deer and hares, the guns were loaded with balls. Roland gave Edouard a simple little gun which he himself had used as a child.
"Where is your master?" "You will find him at the Chartreuse of Seillon." "Do you know how many Companions are there this evening?" "Twelve." "Very good; if you meet any others send them there." He who had called himself a disciple bowed in sign of obedience, assisted Morgan to fasten the valise to the croup of the saddle, and respectfully held the bit while the young man mounted.