They would have given their right hands to know the source of it.
At last the questions began again.
"How do you know that those things are going to happen?"
"I know it by revelation. And I know it as surely as I know that you sit here before me."
This sort of answer was not going to allay the spreading uneasiness. Therefore, after some further dallying the judge got the subject out of the way and took up one which he could enjoy more.
"What languages do your Voices speak?"
"St. Marguerite, too?"
"Verily; why not? She is on our side, not on the English!"
Saints and angels who did not condescend to speak English is a grave affront. They could not be brought into court and punished for contempt, but the tribunal could take silent note of Joan's remark and remember it against her; which they did. It might be useful by and by.
"Do your saints and angels wear jewelry?--crowns, rings, earrings?"
To Joan, questions like these were profane frivolities and not worthy of serious notice; she answered indifferently. But the question brought to her mind another matter, and she turned upon Cauchon and said:
"I had two rings. They have been taken away from me during my captivity. You have one of them. It is the gift of my brother. Give it back to me. If not to me, then I pray that it be given to the Church."
The judges conceived the idea that maybe these rings were for the working of enchantments.
Perhaps they could be made to do Joan a damage.
"Where is the other ring?"
"The Burgundians have it."
"Where did you get it?"
"My father and mother gave it to me."
"It is plain and simple and has 'Jesus and Mary' engraved upon it."
Everybody could see that that was not a valuable equipment to do devil's rok with. So that trail was not worth following. Still, to make sure, one of the judges asked Joan if she had ever cured sick people by touching them with the ring. She said no.
"Now as concerning the fairies, that were used to abide near by Domremy whereof there are many reports and traditions. It is said that your godmother surprised these creatures on a summer's night dancing under the tree called l"Arbre F‚e de Bourlemont. Is it not possible that your pretended saints and angles are but those fairies?"
"Is that in your procŠs?"
She made no other answer.
"Have you not conversed with St. Marguerite and St. Catherine under that tree?"
"I do not know."
"Or by the fountain near the tree?"
"What promises did they make you?"
"None but such as they had God's warrant for."
"But what promises did they make?"
"That is not in your procŠs; yet I will say this much: they told me that the King would become master of his kingdom in spite of his enemies."
"And what else?"
There was a pause; then she said humbly:
"They promised to lead me to Paradise."
If faces do really betray what is passing in men's minds, a fear came upon many in that house, at this time, that maybe, after all, a chosen servant and herald of God was here being hunted to her death. The interest deepened. Movements and whisperings ceased: the stillness became almost painful.
Have you noticed that almost from the beginning the nature of the questions asked Joan showed that in some way or other the questioner very often already knew his fact before he asked his question? Have you noticed that somehow or other the questioners usually knew just how and were to search for Joan's secrets; that they really knew the bulk of her privacies--a fact not suspected by her--and that they had no task before them but to trick her into exposing those secrets?
Do you rememberLoyseleur, the hypocrite, the treacherous priest, tool of Cauchon? Do you remember that under the sacred seal of the confessional joan freely and trustingly revealed ot him everything concerning her history save only a few things regarding her supernatural revelations which her Voices had forbidden her to tell to any one--and that the unjust judge, Cauchon, was a hidden listener all the time?
Now you understand how the inquisitors were able to devise that long array of minutely prying questions; questions whose subtlety and ingenuity and penetration are astonishing until we come to remember Loyseleur's performance and recognize their source.