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The Companions of Jehu

7. The Chartreuse Of Seillon
Beyond doubt, like the first affiliated member met on the road to Sue by the man
who styled himself prophet, the monk who opened the gate was of secondary
rank in the fraternity; for, grasping the horse's bridle, he held it while the rider
dismounted, rendering the young man the service of a groom.
Morgan got off, unfastened the valise, pulled the pistols from the holsters, and
placed them in his belt, next to those already there. Addressing the monk in a
tone of command, he said: "I thought I should find the brothers assembled in
council."
"They are assembled," replied the monk.
"Where?"
"At La Correrie. Suspicious persons have been seen prowling around the
Chartreuse these last few days, and orders have been issued to take the
greatest precautions."
The young man shrugged his shoulders as if he considered such precautions
useless, and, always in the same tone of command, said: "Have some one take
my horse to the stable and conduct me to the council."
The monk summoned another brother, to whom he flung the bridle. He lighted a
torch at a lamp, in the little chapel which can still be seen to the right of the great
portal, and walked before the new-comer. Crossing the cloister, he took a few
steps in the garden, opened a door leading into a sort of cistern, invited Morgan
to enter, closed it as carefully as he had the outer door, touched with his foot a
stone which seemed to be accidentally lying there, disclosed a ring and raised a
slab, which concealed a flight of steps leading down to a subterraneous passage.
This passage had a rounded roof and was wide enough to admit two men
walking abreast.
The two men proceeded thus for five or six minutes, when they reached a grated
door. The monk, drawing a key from his frock, opened it. Then, when both had
passed through and the door was locked again, he asked: "By what name shall I
announce you?"
"As Brother Morgan."
"Wait here; I will return in five minutes."
The young man made a sign with his head which showed that he was familiar
with these precautions and this distrust. Then he sat down upon a tomb--they
were in the mortuary vaults of the convent--and waited. Five minutes had
scarcely elapsed before the monk reappeared.
"Follow me," said he; "the brothers are glad you have come. They feared you had
met with some mishap."
A few seconds later Morgan was admitted into the council chamber.
Twelve monks awaited him, their hoods drawn low over their eyes. But, once the
door had closed and the serving brother had disappeared, while Morgan was
removing his mask, the hoods were thrown back and each monk exposed his
face.
 
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