fights his dressings, but we must be patient with him for he has been

very sick and that drawn look about the nose and a certain, startled

expression of the eyes, worry me. But the little _Soeur Victoire_ says

comfortingly that he will soon be well, though he does not wish to eat

and his jaws are a little stiff. O, _chere Soeur_, in your sweet faith,

are stiffened jaws such a trivial circumstance?

Next Augustin is Sylvestre, _le beau_. He was the splendid _pointeur_ of

Fort Chaudefontaine and was the least burned of the men; that is why I

know he is beautiful; also I catch many glimpses of him in the little

mirror in which he is constantly regarding himself, but he is _bon

garcon_, nevertheless--his honest blue eyes attest it.

At the end of the row is the big Flamand, who was always two feet too

long for his bed. He is sitting up now and that great, black head, with

features swollen three times their normal size, is a sight to frighten

the boldest. If he should roar at me I would drop everything and flee.

But he doesn't; nobody roars; for they are all the finest gentlemen in

the world, even in their trying moments.

At ten o'clock this evening, right out of the silence, issued sounds of

heavy, rolling carts, and horses' hoofs. Madame de H. and I stole out

into the court to see what it might be and, almost as if by magic, whole

regiments came pouring along in the greatest haste and disorder. A wing

of the servants' quarters hid the approach of the soldiers from us and

the strange, non-resonant quality of the atmosphere tonight deceived us

as to their nearness. In a moment they were upon us--not three feet

away, for some of the troops had taken, not the usual highroad two

hundred feet distant, but a short cut by the narrow path which directly

passes the court yard. Happily we had hidden ourselves behind the

grille, in the foliage, or we might have been shot without ceremony, as

by order of the military governor of the city "every civilian shall be

indoors and lights out at eight P. M."

We enjoyed the danger a little at first because we did not realize it;

all the same we obliterated ourselves as much as possible, though hardly

daring to move or breathe. Not an arm's length away, their nearness

oppressed us and the waves of heat which reeked from their toiling

bodies sickened us. But there we crouched in our light dresses, easily

seen if one had chanced to look, and separated only by an iron fence

with sparse, fluttering vines from a mass of tired, quarrelsome,

desperate men. Why! any of them might have run us through in a flash as

one would lunge at a white rag for the amusement of his companions.

Indoors the family were frantic, not daring to open a crack of the door

for fear of violent consequences to us.

The night was full of dull noises; even the clanking chains of the gun

carriages seemed muffled and the thud of horses' hoofs in the mud added

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