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The razor he declared he had found in the same
cupboard as the shoes, and, feeling sure that it
must belong to the priest, had, after murdering
the girl with it, purposely left it in a conspicuous
place, so as to cause people to believe that the
foul deed had been committed by the priest.
All he had cared for at the time, he said, was to
divert the scent of justice from himself. He
was a native of the place where the murder
took place, and had, a few hours after
committing the crime, formed one of the crowd
that went to the priest's house, where he was
one of the loudest to declare that it must have
been the priest, and no other, who murdered the
unhappy woman. He had shortly after left his
native place, taken service as a substitute in
the army, and, after some twenty-four years'
service, did, on his death-bed, make the confession
which exonerated Monsieur Flammand.

As a matter of course, the poor priest was in
due time released from the Bagne, and restored
to all his civil rights. His bishop offered several
times to reinstate him in a parish, but he
invariably, respectfully and firmly, declined. The
reason he gave was, that the twenty-four years
spent amongst the for├žats at Brest had rendered
him unfit and unworthy ever to officiate again at
the altar. He continued a most devoutly
religious man, but said that if God spared his life
to the utmost age given unto man, it would
barely suffice to purify his soul from the
moral contagion of that hell upon earth, the
Bagne. He retired to a part of France where
he was not known, and, although he dressed as
the French clergy do when not officiating in the
church, he never entered a church save as the
humblest layman might have done. He never
told his story but to one or two intimate friends.
When I knew him he had been set at liberty
some eight or nine years, and not long ago I
heard that he was dead.


George has told you about his account at
the Post-office Savings-bank, and would have
you believe that he was a model of prudence,
and all that sort of thing.* But I could tell
you a different story. Not that I mind what
he says about me being aggravating, and sitting
and saying nothing, and that being worse than
nagging, for I despise such insinuations; but
George, though he is my husband, and as kind
and good a man as ever breathed, is a fool with
his money, and that's the truth. His putting
money in the Post-office Savings-bank is just
a fad, and I feel certain that if I don't look after
him, he will make ducks and drakes of it after
all. He told you that he is an Odd Fellow.
Well do I know it. The state that he comes
home in after the lodge meetings, which are
held at that horrid Yorkshire Grey, is dreadful.
To hear him coming up to bed at two o'clock
in the morning, you would think they was
shooting coals up the stairs. And then when
he comes into the bedroom, trying to walk
straight and holding on by the chest of drawers,
and I give him a look, he says, "Don't look
like that, Susan; you know I have been at the
lodge providing for a rainy day, and doing my
duty to my family." I must say this of George,
that always when he's been providing for a
rainy day and doing his duty to his family, he
comes home smelling of rum with lemon.

* See page 79 of the present volume: MY

When George first joined the Odd Fellows I
thought it was a very good thing, for he told
me, that by paying in a small sum every month,
he would get ten shillings a week if he ever
happened to be laid up, and ten pounds for
burial expenses if he died, which of course
would be a nice thing to have, and one-and-
ninepence a month not too much to pay for it.
But after a bit there were so many lodge
meetings, and George so often coming home tight,
that I began to think one-and-ninepence couldn't
do it, so I was determined to get to the bottom
of it, and one day I catechised him.

"Whatever do you do at that lodge, George?"
I says. "Do," he says, "why, transact,
business, of course." "But it surely doesn't take
you till two o'clock in the morning," I says.
"Oh yes it does," he says; "the business is
sometimes very heavy, and there's a great
many accounts to go through, and the affairs of
the order to discuss, and lots of thingslor'
bless you, you have no idea what a great society
ours is; it's bigger than the Freemasons': we
have hundreds of thousands of members all over
the country, and more than a million of money,
and an Act of Parliament all to our ownselves."
Well, of course, when he told me that they had
so much money, and an Act of Parliament all
to themselves, I thought it must be all right.
But, by-and-by, there was a deal too much of
the lodge to please me. Whenever I wanted
him to come home early, or to take me to the
theatre, it was always "I can't to-night, Susan,
for I've to go to the lodge." "But it ain't
the lodge night, George," I used to say. "No,"
he would answer, "but there's a special meeting
to-night, and I must not miss it, as I
expect soon to be G. M."  "Why, what's that?"
I says. "Oh," he says, "Grand Master, Susan,
which is the highest office there is in our society,
and an honour to them as is elected to it."
"Well," I says, "George, it may be a very fine
thing for you to be G. M., but it ain't pleasant
for me sitting here moping at home night
after night till one, two, three, and four in the
morning, and you always coming home smelling
as you do of rum, which doesn't look to me
like business."

I was determined to know what they did at
the lodge; and so one night, when I thought
George and the members would be in the midst
of their business, I put on my bonnet and shawl
and a thick dotted veil, walked down to the
Yorkshire Grey, and slipped into the parlour,
which I knew was next to the large room
where the Odd Fellows held their meetings. I