It had been prepared beforehand; the duchess placed the manuscript before the council, as pledging herself unreservedly to all it contained, and Master Serisy, Abbot of St. Fiacre, a monk of the order of St. Benedict, read the document out publicly.
In this way he reached the forest of Serisy, a part of which had formerly belonged to the Montfiquets; it was here that the abandoned mines were situated that had been mentioned to Licquet as Allain's place of refuge. Though obliged to abandon the Château de Mandeville, where, as well as at Rubercy, the gendarmes had made a search, d'Aché did not lack shelter around Bayeux.
"Between Bayeux and Saint-Lô is the coal mine of Litré, and the vast forest of Serisy is almost contiguous to it. This mine employed five or six hundred workmen, and as Richard was employed there one was inclined to think that the subterranean passages might serve as a refuge to Allain and d'Aché, whether they were there in the capacity of miners, or were hidden in some hut or disused ditch."
The latter, one of them being the Marquis de Ronquerolles, brother-in-law of the Comte de Serisy, and the other a governor of the Bank of France, gave little or no alarm to the cabinet, and the elections in this department were rated excellent at the ministry of the interior.
"Well, adieu, Monsieur Pierrotin," said the valet. A glance rapidly cast on the life of the Comte de Serizy, and on that of his steward, is here necessary in order to fully understand the little drama now about to take place in Pierrotin's vehicle. Monsieur Huguet de Serisy descends in a direct line from the famous president Huguet, ennobled under Francois I.