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Chapter 27: The Story.
"First, sir," said Caderousse, "you must make me a promise."
"What is that?" inquired the abbe.
"Why, if you ever make use of the details I am about to give you, that you will never let any one know that it was I who supplied them; for the persons of whom I am about to talk are rich and powerful, and if they only laid the tips of their fingers on me, I should break to pieces like glass."
"Make yourself easy, my friend," replied the abbe. "I am a priest, and confessions die in my breast. Recollect, our only desire is to carry out, in a fitting manner, the last wishes of our friend. Speak, then, without reserve, as without hatred; tell the truth, the whole truth; I do not know, never may know, the persons of whom you are about to speak; besides, I am an Italian, and not a Frenchman, and belong to God, and not to man, and I shall shortly retire to my convent, which I have only quitted to fulfil the last wishes of a dying man." This positive assurance seemed to give Caderousse a little courage.
"Well, then, under these circumstances," said Caderousse, "I will, I even believe I ought to undeceive you as to the friendship which poor Edmond thought so sincere and unquestionable."
"Begin with his father, if you please." said the abbe; "Edmond talked to me a great deal about the old man for whom he had the deepest love."
"The history is a sad one, sir," said Caderousse, shaking his head; "perhaps you know all the earlier part of it?"
"Yes." answered the abbe; "Edmond related to me everything until the moment when he was arrested in a small cabaret close to Marseilles."
"At La Reserve! Oh, yes; I can see it all before me this moment."
"Was it not his betrothal feast?"
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