his sufferings as short as possible. As soon as his head was
covered, the executioner gave the signal. One would have thought a
very few blows would have finished so frail a being, but he seemed as
hard to kill as the venomous reptiles which must be crushed and cut
to pieces before life is extinct, and the coup de grace was found
necessary. The executioner uncovered his head and showed the
confessor that the eyes were closed and that the heart had ceased to
beat. The body was then removed from the cross, the hands and feet
fastened together, and it was thrown on the funeral pile.
While the execution was proceeding the people applauded. On the
morrow they bought up the fragments of bone, and hastened to buy
lottery tickets, in the firm conviction that these precious relics
would bring luck to the fortunate possessors!
"In 1777, Madame Derues was sentenced to perpetual imprisonment, and
confined at the Salpetriere. She was one of the first victims who
perished in the prison massacres.
End of The Project Gutenberg Etext Derues, by Alexandres Dumas, Pere