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Vol. XY. —No. 14
Leaves From the Memoirs of An * * 4 * > V YOU must do your best, I 1 Lecompte,” said the em- V J peror, as he handed me the bundle of papers, “I need every one now, and this journey of yours will bring in a large number of recruits.” “I will do my best, Sire,” said 1 as I left the house. Outside the night was black and line drizzling rain was falling; the air was keen and chilly, for it was yet spring. As I passed out a couple of brother officers passed me and one of them looked at me keenly by the light of the night lamp flickering above the door. ‘“Where to now?” he said shortly. ‘•I am out to rouse the country,” I replied. •“Bad night,” said he, looking at the sky, “you will have a deuced cold ride, my lad.” “Well, orders are orders,” I replied carelessly as I passed on. It was three days after the emperor’s return from Elba. His landing at Cannes had shaken Europe from her peaceful dream and she realized that once more she would have to conquer the “unconquerable Corsican.” Tho the recruits were coming in, they were not coming fast enough to suit the emperor, so he decided to send out couriers to rouse all the veterans who had fought in his former wars. East, west, north and south, that same hour fifty couriers by fifty different routes were tearing through the night, calling the people to arms, for their beloved emperor had once more set foot on French soil. I wls selected to ride southwest through the marshy country of Landres and arouse the shepherds and peasants and also two outlying garrisons, supposed to be loyal to Louis, but in reality only awaiting the return of Napoleon. They were both commanded by old veterans of the Italian campaign and were staunch Bonapartists at heart. On the crest, of the hill I turned to take a last look at the twinkling lights of the village which sheltered the greatest man in all the world; after an instant’s pause I turned and spurred my horse swiftly downward into the darkness. The road was a mere splotch of yellow winding away into the night, frequently intersected by crossroads and iootpaths, and 1 had considerable difficulty at times to find my way. In places it was slippery and covered with a thick coating of mud. My hoise slipped and struggled along as best he could, and we both presented a wet and bedraggled appearance. After riding about an hour J came to a level plateau that was somewhat dryer than the valley, and also very much colder. I had urged the horse to a faster gait and in consequence one of the saddle girths became loose. I stopped and dismounted to tighten it and while I was fumbling with the strap I heard the distant tramp of horses’ feet in the darkness. My experienced ear told me that whoever they were, they were riding fast and recklessly, and also they were behind me. I was taking no chances that night; my mission was important, and 1 knew the country was swarming with royalist patrols, so I loosened the pistols in my belt, re mounted and rode on faster than ever. My fine gentry, whoever they were, kept gaining on me. After a bit of this sort of thing, the moon, which had Aide to Napoleon. THE TERRORIST. remained obscured by the driving clouds up to the present, came forth and bathed the landscape in a silvery tide, and as it did so I looked back and to my horror saw I was being followed by five horsemen wearing the uniform of King Louis. And they were gain ing on me—gaining rapidly. With an oath I spurred my horse into a run, and as I did so they set up a shrill cry and came on faster than ever. I made desperate efforts to out-distance them, but I soon saw' that they were better mounted than I and were steadily gaining. When things came to this pass I began to cast about for some means of escape from the road. It was no easy matter tho, for on both sides as faras the eye could reach stretched the marsh lands and bogs, absolutely impassible for either man or horse, and not a wood or a clump of trees in sight. It was a dreary prospect. Then sud denly as I rode I des cried a light glimmer ing and blinking in the darkness. Un doubtedly it came from some homestead and it was my only hope of salvation. There, perchance, I might find a guide to steer me out of this devilish territory—if I could reach it before I was overtaken. In stead of striking di rect for it I swerved to the right and made a detour; why I did so I cannot tell, even to this day, only that some instinct bade me follow’this course. It was well that I did. for as I rode on I saw that a morass lay be tween the road and the farmhouse, cov ered with a sheet of water, gleaming cold and forbidding in the moonlight. The roy alists left the road at right angles to inter cept me and of course floundered right into the morass, whereby I gained a few moments start of them, for they had to go back and follow the way I had taken. J could hear them cursing volubly as they retraced their steps. By sheer good look I reached the house without accident. It was a plain, low', one storied structure, such as were to be found anywhere in Landres in those days. I lost no time in knocking. After a short pause a light glimmered through the chinks; then the door opened, disclosing a peasant of huge stature clad in the rough garb of the district. “Well citizen?” he asked, as he held the light up to get a better view of me; then catching sight of my uniform he exclaimed: “ W hat N apoleon’s uniform ? “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND.” STILLWATER MINNESOTA, THURSDAY, OCTOBER 24, 1901 Why man ’tis a capital offense!” “Not so,” said I, “the emperor landed from Elba three days ago and is now going north at the head of an army. I am out to rouse the pedple.” “Why do you come here?” he asked. “I am a Jacobin. I was on the com mittee in ’93. I fight for no emperor, par dieu.” “I am followed by royalist soldiers,” said I. “Even now they are close behind me, and will be here in five minutes; I must escape and I do not know the country.” He looked at me for a moment with knotted brows, and then he said: “If I must choose between a Bourbon and Bonaparte I will at least help Napoleon, for he is a man of the people.” Then with a wave of his hand he bade me follow him. He blew out the light and placing the candle inside strode round the corner of the house while I followed leading my horse. When we had proceeded about a hundred yards we came to a thick The auld wife sat at her ivied door. (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) A thing she had frequently done before. And her spectacles lay on her apron’d knees The piper he piped on the hilltop high. (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) Till the cow said “I die.”and the goose asked “why?” And the dog said nothing, but searched for fleas. The farmer he strode through the square farmyard (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) His last brew of ale was a trifle hard— The connexion of which with the plot one sees. The farmer's daughter hath frank blue eyes; (Butter aud eggs and a pound of cheese) She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies. As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas The farmer's daughter hath ripe red lips; (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) If you try to approach her, away she skips Over tables aud chairs witii apparent ease, The farmer's daughter hath soft brown hair (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) Aud I met with a ballad, I can’t say where. Which wholly consisted of lines like these: She sat with her hands 'neath her dimpled cheeks (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) Aud spake not a word. While a lady speaks There is hope, but she didn't even sneeze. She sat with her hands 'neath her crimson cheeks, (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) She gave up mending her father’s breeks. Aud let the cat roll in her new chemise. She sat with her hands 'ueatii her burning cheeks (Butter aud eggs and a pound of cheese) And gazed at the piper for thirteen weeks. Then she followed him out o'er the misty leas. Her sheep followed her. as their tails did them (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese) And this song is considered a perfect gem. And as to the meaning, it’s what you please. clump of bushes. “Wait here,” said he, “until I get my horse,” and he dis appeared in the darkness. In a few moments he was back leading his hoise through the bushes. As w T e mounted we heard the royalists behind of us ride up to the house, and immediately afterward they commenced searching and beating the bushes. Finding nothing they remounted, and I was surprised to see them ride straight in our direction as tho they divined our hiding place. “Come on,” said the Terrorist, as we mounted and dashed out into the open again. The king’s troopers floundered through the bushes and, coming into the open, saw us ahead of them. They gave a yell and dashed after us. Ahead Jt lallad. BY C. S. CALVERLEY- 15®# of us as far as I could see was nothing but a vast swamp covered with water, with here and there a tutt of grass protruding from it. “We are lost!” I exclaimed. “I have lived here twenty years,” said the Terrorist. “Believe me, I know the way. We shall escape.” A swift dash forward brought us to the edge of the swamp. “What now, Jacobin?” said I, “Come on,” he yelled. “What, in the water?” “Aye, where else?” he asked, staring at me in surprise, “follow directly behind me,” and he plunged his horse into the water. I glanced back at the royalists who were coming on a dead run, screaming frantically. They thought they had us trapped. Their astonish ment was ludicrous when they saw us riding straight into the swamp. Then it dawned on them that there was a hidden way which my guide knew, and by which we would escape them, for of course they could not follow. One of me see that wound and I will tix it. lam an old soldier you know.” “It struck me in the back,” he said huskily, “and to tell the truth, citizen, I think I’m done for.” He started to dismount and then he toppled and would have fallen if I had not caught him. “Dame!” he exclaimed, “I am as weak as a child.” I tore open his shirt and was horrilied to see the blood pouring from a great wound in his abdomen. I shuddered involuntarily. He saw* the shudder and exclaimed: “A! I see it is all over, eh?” “I’m afraid it is comrade,” said I, “1 am very sorry I got you into this.” He sank down on a bank by the roadside them ripped out an oath and drawing his pistols fired twice. I heard a bullet sing past my ears, then I saw the Terrorist reel in his saddle. “Mon Dieu,” I said, “you are hit!” “It is nothing,” he replied, “come on.” It seemed many hours that we plodded on ward and onward through the desolate waste of water, with nothing to disturb the silence save the oc casional cry of a night bird or the plash plash of our horses’ hoofs. The Terrorist followed the hidden pathway swiftly and unerringly as a sleuth hound. He must have known every inch of the morass. At last we reached the other bank and scrambled up on the dry land once more. “The highway is only a little further on,” said my com panion. “I will guide you to it. Five miles south you will reach the village of St. Meliers.” Fifteen minutes later we were on the public road. “Follow this road,” said the Ter rorist, and he pointed outtheway. I noticed that he was tremb ling violently in his saddle. “This is all very well,” said I, “and I thank you, but you seem to be in a bad fix. Come now let Terms- -I tt-Wper year. In advance i tmviß.-j Slx Months 50 cents and, looking up at me, waved his hand deprecatingly. “Bah,” said he, “am I afraid to die ? I, who have sent hundreds to the guillotine in ’93! I, who voted for the death of Louis Capet? Come now, citizen, be frank, how long will I live ?” “I will be frank with you,” said I, “you will be dead inside of thirty minutes.” “By God, it is a short shift, certainly,” he said with a harsh laugh, “and to think I am dying for a man I never saw and who represents principles that I have always hated.” For a moment he seemed to fall into a torpor. “Brother,” said I, “had I not better say a word to le bon Lieu for the wel fare of your soul ?” This aroused him from his stupor. “What is that?” he said, “what is that? Le bon Dieu, why man lam an atheist, all the Jacobins were; we would not let citizen le bon Dieu pass into the republic,” he added with a sneering laugh. Then his face assumed a solemn expression that filled me with awe. “My life is going fast,” he gasped, “but believe me, I foresee it, this empire will not stand. I tell you,” he con tinued, his voice growing louder, “that the principles we fought for in ’93 are the only ones that will make France great. Napoleon will pass like a dream and the empire with him. You are fighting for a lost cause.” He suddenly ceased speaking and sank into a stupor. Then he began muttering incoherent phrases, and I saw that the delirium of death was upon him. Then suddenly like a flash, he sprang to his feet and rushing into the middle of the road with uplifted arms he screamed in a loud voice, “Robespierre—death to Robespierre!” For a moment he wavered and then fell face downward and lay quite still. I stood rooted to the spot, for I had never seen a bullet wound act this way before. How long I stood there I do not know, but at last I was aroused by perceiving a faint streak in the east, the forerunner of dawn. After placing his body to one side of the road and covering it with my cloak, I remounted and rode swiftly onward to St. Meliers. Twenty-five minutes later I was conversing with the com mandant of the local garrison and showing him the emperor’s letters. By eight o’clock the garrison of three hundred men accompanied by two hundred peasants were marching rapid ly northward, rousing the country as they went. As they reached the crest of a distant hill I saw their muskets gleam for an instant in the morning sun, and 1 heard them singing as they went, singing that terrible song that once set all France ablaze: “Allons mes enfants tie la patrie, l.a jour tie gloire est arrive.” When our pride, our avarice, our in terest, our desire to domineer, are worked upon, are we not forever pestering heaven to decide in their favor?—The Virginians. It is one of the attributes of the poetic mind to feel a universal sympathy with Nature, both in the material world and in the soul of man.—Drift- Wood. They are a rich that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing: It is no small happiness, therefore, to be seated in the mean.—Merchant of Venice. In the press of our life it is difficult to be calm. In this stress of wind and tide, all professions seem to drag their anchors, and are swept out into the main.—Hyperion. Leo.