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before their father's eyes, in order that he, Raoul, might be Count of Cartillon. And this same Raoul, some years later, did have the locket made and forced his own son to swear that he would restore the real sons of d'Artin, the true children of the Black Wolf's Breed, to their own again. All of these accounts are of surpassing interest, old and quaint, to a perusal of which I recommend my children.[1]

For the first time, in reading these manuscripts, did I begin clearly to associate the name d'Ortez with the name used by the madman in his story at the old Norman ruin. With this new light, link by link did the whole knotted chain untangle. Curiously enough, the tale I had heard at the ruined castle tallied in the main with the monkish documents here preserved. Indeed it supplied me with knowledge of much which otherwise I would not have comprehended so completely. The horrible reality of that weird recital was still fresh and distinct before me, undimmed by time and unforgotten through all my troubles.

I had sought refuge many times from brooding over my own affairs by turning to this for interest and occupation. Every further detail was supplied by a number of quaint documents, which Colonel d'Ortez had digested into this:

  1. These documents have been included in an appendix to this volume.