All the cures who had been successively stationed at Sairmeuse had endeavored to put an end to this scandalous habit, as they termed it; but all their efforts had made no impression upon country obstinacy.
They had succeeded in gaining only one concession. At the moment of the elevation of the Host, voices were hushed, heads uncovered, and a few even bowed the knee and made the sign of the cross.
But this was the affair of an instant only, and conversation was immediately resumed with increased vivacity.
But to-day the usual animation was wanting.
No sounds came from the little knots of men gathered here and there, not an oath, not a laugh. Between buyers and sellers, one did not overhear a single one of those interminable discussions, punctuated with the popular oaths, such as: "By my faith in God!" or "May the devil burn me!"
They were not talking, they were whispering together. A gloomy sadness was visible upon each face; lips were placed cautiously at the listener
This is the sequel to "Monsieur Lecoq", that reveals the "why" and "who" of what happened in Monsieur Lecoq. Although this is more a historical adventure than a detective novel, I found it a good read. I found it a bit longer than necessary.
In the last few pages the secrets of the plot in "Monsieur Lecoq" are revealed. The rest is history, but necessary to understand things.