Mascarin adjusted his spectacles, as he always did in important moments.
"You give in, do you? Not a bit. Even now you are endeavoring to find a means of parrying my home thrusts."
"Do not be alarmed; dig as deeply as he might, your gardener would discover nothing."
The lawyer uttered a stifled exclamation of rage as he perceived the pit into which he had fallen.
"He would find nothing," resumed Mascarin, "and yet the story is all true. Last January, on a bitterly cold night, you dug a hole, and in it deposited the body of a new-born infant wrapped in a shawl. And what shawl? Why the very one that you purchased at the /Bon Marche/, when you were making yourself agreeable to Clarisse. The shopman who sold it to you has identified it, and is ready to give evidence when called upon. You may look for that shawl, Catenac, but you will not find it."
"Have you got that shawl?" asked Catenac hoarsely.
"Am I a fool?" asked Mascarin contemptuously. "Tantaine has it; but /I/ know where the body is, and will keep the information to myself. Do not be alarmed; act fairly, and you are safe; but make one treacherous move, and you will read in the next day's papers a paragraph something to this effect: 'Yesterday some workmen, engaged in excavations near so-and-so, discovered the body of a new-born infant. Every effort is being made to discover the author of the crime.' You know me, and that I work promptly. To the shawl I have added a handkerchief and a few other articles belonging to Clarisse, which will render it an easy matter to fix the guilt on you."
Catenac was absolutely stunned, and had lost all power of defending himself. The few incoherent words that he uttered showed his state of utter despair.
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