"Then they separated. The real Trappist went away looking very anxious; the other fell asleep, with his elbows on the table. I left my hiding-place to take steps for his arrest. It was just then that the police, who had been on my track for some time to force me to come and give evidence, collared me. In vain did I point to the monk as Edmee's murderer; they would not believe me, and said they had no warrant against him. I wanted to arouse the village, but they prevented me from speaking. They brought me here, from station to station, as if I had been a deserter, and for the last week I have been in the cells and no one has deigned to heed my protests. They would not even let me see M. Bernard's lawyer, or inform him that I was in prison; it was only just now that the jailer came, and told me that I must put on my coat and appear in court. I do not know whether all this is according to the law; but one thing is certain, namely, that the murderer might have been arrested and has not been; nor will he be, unless you secure the person of John Mauprat to prevent him from warning, I do not say his accomplice, but his /protege/. I state on oath that, from all I have heard, John Mauprat is above any suspicion of complicity. As to the act of allowing an innocent man to be handed over to the rigour of the law, and of endeavouring to save a guilty man by going so far as to give false evidence, and produce false documents to prove his death . . ."
Patience, noticing that the president was again about to interrupt him, hastened to end his testimony by saying:
"As to that, gentlemen, it is for you, not for me, to judge him."
After this important evidence the trial was suspended for a few minutes. When the judges returned Edmee was brought back into the court. Pale and weak, scarcely able to drag herself to the arm-chair which was reserved for her, she nevertheless displayed considerable mental vigour and presence of mind.
"Do you think you can answer the questions which will be put to you without unduly exciting yourself?" asked the president.
"I hope so, sir," she replied. "It is true that I have recently been seriously ill, and that it is only within the last few days that I have recovered my memory; but I believe I have completely recovered it, and my mind feels quite clear."
"Solange-Edmonde de Mauprat; /Edmea sylvestris/," she added in an undertone.
I shuddered. As she said these unseasonable words her eyes had assumed a strange expression. I feared that her mind was going to wander still further. My counsel was also alarmed and looked at me inquiringly. No one but myself had understood these two words which Edmee had been in the habit of frequently repeating during the first and last days of her illness. Happily this was the last sign of any disturbance in her faculties. She shook her beautiful head, as if to drive out any troublesome ideas; and, the president having asked her for an explanation of these unintelligible words, she replied with sweetness and dignity: