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known in their neighbourhoodfor, at that time,
as at this, the rarest of all priestly offences was
a violation of the sacred trust confided to the
confessor by the Roman Church. Conscious
that they had forced the priest into the commission
of a clerical offence, the brothers sincerely
believed that the loss of his curacy would be
the heaviest penalty which the law could exact
from him. They entered Toulouse that night,
discussing the atonement which they might offer
to Monsieur Chaubard, and the means which
they might best employ to make his future life
easy to him.

The first disclosure of the consequences which
would certainly follow the outrage they had
committed, was revealed to them when they
made their deposition before the officer of
justice. The magistrate listened to their narrative
with horror vividly expressed in his face and

"Better you had never been born," he said,
"than have avenged your father's death, as you
three have avenged it. Your own act has
doomed the guilty and the innocent to suffer

Those words proved prophetic of the truth.
The end came quickly, as the priest had
foreseen it, when he spoke his parting words.

The arrest of Cantegrel was accomplished
without difficulty, the next morning. In the
absence of any other evidence on which to justify
this proceeding, the private disclosure to the
authorities of the secret which the priest had
violated, became inevitable. The Parliament of
Languedoc was, under these circumstances, the
tribunal appealed to; and the decision of that
assembly immediately ordered the priest and
the three brothers to be placed in confinement,
as well as the murderer Cantegrel. Evidence
was then immediately sought for, which might
convict this last criminal, without any reference
to the revelation that had been forced from the
priestand evidence enough was found to
satisfy judges whose minds already possessed
the foregone certainty of the prisoner's guilt.
He was put on his trial, was convicted of the
murder, and was condemned to be broken on
the wheel. The sentence was rigidly executed,
with as little delay as the law would permit.

The cases of Monsieur Chaubard, and of the
three sons of Siadoux, next occupied the judges.
The three brothers were found guilty of having
forced the secret of a confession from a man in
holy orders, and were sentenced to death by
hanging. A far more terrible expiation of his
offence awaited the unfortunate priest. He was
condemned to have his limbs broken on the
wheel, and to be afterwards, while still living,
bound to the stake, and destroyed by fire.

Barbarous as the punishments of that period
were, accustomed as the population was to hear
of their infliction, and even to witness it, the
sentences pronounced in these two cases
dismayed the public mind; and the authorities
were surprised by receiving petitions for mercy
from Toulouse, and from all the surrounding
neighbourhood. But the priest's doom had
been sealed. All that could be obtained, by
the intercession of persons of the highest
distinction, was, that the executioner should grant
him the mercy of death, before his body was
committed to the flames. With this one
modification, the sentence was executed, as the
sentence had been pronounced, on the curate of

The punishment of the three sons of Siadoux
remained to be inflicted. But the people,
roused by the death of the ill-fated priest, rose
against this third execution, with a resolution
before which the local government gave way.
The cause of the young men was taken up by
the hot-blooded populace, as the cause of all
fathers and all sons; their filial piety was exalted
to the skies; their youth was pleaded in their
behalf; their ignorance of the terrible responsibility
which they had confronted in forcing the
secret from the priest, was loudly alleged in
their favour. More than this, the authorities
were actually warned that the appearance of the
prisoners on the scaffold would be the signal for
an organised revolt and rescue. Under this
serious pressure, the execution was deferred,
and the prisoners were kept in confinement until
the popular ferment had subsided.

The delay not only saved their lives, it gave
them back their liberty as well. The infection
of the popular sympathy had penetrated through
the prison doors. All three brothers were
handsome, well-grown young men. The
gentlest of the three in dispositionThomas
Siadouxaroused the interest and won the
affection of the head-gaoler's daughter. Her
father was prevailed on at her intercession to
relax a little in his customary vigilance; and
the rest was accomplished by the girl herself.
One morning, the population of Toulouse heard,
with every testimony of the most extravagant
rejoicing, that the three brothers had escaped,
accompanied by the gaoler's daughter. As a
necessary legal formality, they were pursued,
but no extraordinary efforts were used to overtake
them; and they succeeded, accordingly, in
crossing the nearest frontier.

Twenty days later, orders were received from
the capital, to execute their sentence in effigy.
They were then permitted to return to France,
on condition that they never again appeared in
their native place, or in any other part of the
province of Languedoc. With this reservation
they were left free to live where they pleased,
and to repent the fatal act which had avenged
them on the murderer of their father at the cost
of the priest's life.

Beyond this point the official documents do
not enable us to follow their career. All that
is now known has been now told of the village-
tragedy at Croix-Daurade.