The Romance of the Forest

By Ann Radcliffe; Chloe Chard | Go to book overview

CHAPTER XXII

'Drag forth the legal monster into light,
Wrench from his hand Oppression's iron rod,
And bid the cruel feel the pains they give.'*

LEAVE was at length granted for the appearance of Du Bosse, with a promise that his words should not criminate him, and he accompanied La Motte into court.

The confusion of the Marquis de Montalt on perceiving this man was observed by many persons present, and particularly by La Motte, who drew from this circumstance a favourable presage for himself.

When Du Bosse was called upon, he informed the court, that on the night of the twenty-first of April, in the preceding year, one Jean d'Aunoy, a man he had known many years, came to his lodging. After they had discoursed for some time on their circumstances, d'Aunoy said he knew a way by which du Bosse might change all his poverty to riches, but that he would not say more till he was certain he would be willing to follow it. The distressed state in which du Bosse then was made him anxious to learn the means which would bring him relief; he eagerly inquired what his friend meant, and after some time d'Aunoy explained himself. He said he was employed by a nobleman, (whom he afterwards told du Bosse was the Marquis de Montalt) to carry off a young girl from a convent, and that she was to be taken to a house at a few leagues distant from Paris. 'I knew the house he described well,' said du Bosse, 'for I had been there many times with d'Aunoy, who lived there to avoid his creditors, though he often passed his nights at Paris.' He would not tell me more of the scheme, but said he should want assistants, and if I and my brother, who is since dead, would join him, his employer would grudge no money, and we should be well rewarded. I desired him again to tell me more of the plan, but he was obstinate, and after I had told him I would consider of what he said, and speak to my brother, he went away.

-332-

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