But nobody found fault with it. There was nobody there who would not punish a sinner ninety-six years if he could, nor anybody there who would ever dream of such a thing as the Lord's being any shade less stringent than men.

"Have you ever embraced St. Marguerite and St. Catherine?"

"Yes, both of them."

The evil face of Cauchon betrayed satisfaction when she said that.

"When you hung garlands upon L'Arbre Fe de Bourlemont, did you do it in honor of your apparitions?"

"No."

Satisfaction again. No doubt Cauchon would take it for granted that she hung them there out of sinful love for the fairies.

"When the saints appeared to you did you bow, did you make reverence, did you kneel?"

"Yes; I did them the most honor and reverence that I could."

A good point for Cauchon if he could eventually make it appear that these were no saints to whom she had done reverence, but devils in disguise.

Now there was the matter of Joan's keeping her supernatural commerce a secret from her parents. Much might be made of that. In fact, particular emphasis had been given to it in a private remark written in the margin of the procs: "She concealed her visions from her parents and from every one." Possibly this disloyalty to her parents might itself be the sign of the satanic source of her mission.

"Do you think it was right to go away to the wars without getting your parents' leave? It is written one must honor his father and his mother."

"I have obeyed them in all things but that. And for that I have begged their forgiveness in a letter and gotten it."

"Ah, you asked their pardon? So you knew you were guilty of sin in going without their leave!"

Joan was stirred. Her eyes flashed, and she exclaimed:

"I was commanded of God, and it was right to go! If I had had a hundred fathers and mothers and been a king's daughter to boot I would have gone."

"Did you never ask your Voices if you might tell your parents?"

"They were willing that I should tell them, but I would not for anything have given my parents that pain."

Tgo the minds of the questioners this headstrong conduct savored of pride. That sort of pride would move one to see sacrilegious adorations.

"Did not your Voices call you Daughter of God?"

Joan answered with simplicity, and unsuspiciously:

"Yes; before the siege of Orleans and since, they have several times called me Daughter of God."

Further indications of pride and vanity were sought.

"What horse were you riding when you were captured? Who gave it you?"

"The King."

"You had other things--riches--of the King?"

"For myself I had horses and arms, and money to pay the service in my household."

"Had you not a treasury?"

"Yes. Ten or twelve thousand crowns." Then she said with navet, "It was not a great sum to carry on a war with."

"You have it yet?"

"No. It is the King's money. My brothers hold it for him."

"What were the arms which you left as an offering in the church of St. Denis?"

"My suit of silver mail and a sword."

"Did you put them there in order that they might be adored?"

"No. It was but an act of devotion. And it is the custom of men of war who have been wounded to make such offering there. I had been wounded before Paris."

Nothing appealed to these stony hearts, those dull imaginations--not even this pretty picture, so simply drawn, of the wounded girl-soldier hanging her toy harness there in curious companionship with the grim and dusty iron mail of the historic defenders of France. No, there was nothing in it for them; nothing, unless evil and injury for that innocent creature could be gotten out of it somehow.

"Which aided most--you the Standard, or the Standard you?"

"Whether it was the Standard or whether it was I, is nothing--the victories came from God."

"But did you base your hopes of victory in yourself or in your Standard?"

"In neither. In God, and not otherwise."

"Was not your Standard waved around the King's head at the Coronation?"

"No. It was not."

"Why was it that your Standard had place at the crowning of the King in the Cathedral of Rheims, rather than those of the other captains?"

Then, soft and low, came that touching speech which will live as long as language lives, and pass into all tongues, and move all gentle hearts wheresoever it shall come, down to the latest day:

"It had borne the burden, it had earned the honor." [1] How simple it is, and how beautiful.

Mark Twain
Classic Literature Library

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