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31. The Monk. (continued)
"Open the door!" cried the host; "open it instantly, sir monk!"
"Unfasten it, or I will break it in!" said Grimaud.
The same silence, and then, ere the host could oppose his design, Grimaud seized a pair of pincers he perceived in a corner and forced the bolt. The room was inundated with blood, dripping from the mattresses upon which lay the wounded man, speechless; the monk had disappeared.
"The monk!" cried the host; "where is the monk?"
Grimaud sprang toward an open window which looked into the courtyard.
"He has escaped by this means," exclaimed he.
"Do you think so?" said the host, bewildered; "boy, see if the mule belonging to the monk is still in the stable."
"There is no mule," cried he to whom this question was addressed.
The host clasped his hands and looked around him suspiciously, whilst Grimaud knit his brows and approached the wounded man, whose worn, hard features awoke in his mind such awful recollections of the past.
"There can be no longer any doubt but that it is himself," said he.
"Does he still live?" inquired the innkeeper.
Making no reply, Grimaud opened the poor man's jacket to feel if the heart beat, whilst the host approached in his turn; but in a moment they both fell back, the host uttering a cry of horror and Grimaud becoming pallid. The blade of a dagger was buried up to the hilt in the left side of the executioner.
"Run! run for help!" cried Grimaud, "and I will remain beside him here."
The host quitted the room in agitation, and as for his wife, she had fled at the sound of her husband's cries.
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