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with the horses and postilions from Clermont, than to
change horses near a place which can easily be guarded, or
rather obstructed, by three or four men, in case the king
should be recognised and an alarm given."

"That is true, though you will be there in ease of any
trouble."

"That will be both my duty and my pleasure, if the
king deems me worthy of such an honour."

Louis XVI. again offered his hand to Charny.

" Has Bouille selected the troops to be posted along the
route ? " he asked.

Charny drew a folded paper from his breast and respect-
fully presented it to the king, who, after having read the
memorandum, remarked, —

"I think his selection very judicious; but as the detach-
ments must be stationed in these cities and towns several
days beforehand, what excuse can be given for their
presence ? "

"We have invented a very specious pretext, I think,
sire. They will be ordered to serve as escorts for mes-
sengers who are taking a large sum of money from the
minister of war to the Army of the North."

"Very good, very good!" responded the king. "By
the way, speaking of money, did Bouille receive the
million I sent him ? "

" Yes, sire. Your Majesty, however, is aware that the
million was in assignats, which are now twenty per cent,
below par. A faithful subject of your Majesty was never-
theless glad to take one hundred thousand crowns of the
amount for his own use at their par value."

"And the rest, count ? " asked the king, looking search-
ingly at Charny.

VOL. II. — 14



210 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

" The rest of the amount was discounted for Louis de
Bouille by his father's banker, who gave him a letter of
credit on the Bethmanns of Frankfort. The money will
be forthcoming when wanted."

"And now, count, tell me the name of this loyal adher-
ent who furnished Bouille with this hundred thousand
crowns at such a great personal sacrifice."

"This loyal adherent is rich, sire, and consequently
deserves no credit for what he has done."

"Nevertheless, the king wishes to know his name."

" Sire, the sole condition he exacted upon rendering this
service was that he might remain unknown."

" You know him, then ? "

"Yes, sire."

"Monsieur de Charny," said the king, with unwonted
dignity, "here is a ring which is very precious to me."
He drew a plain gold ring from his finger as he spoke.
" I took it from the hand of my dying father as I kissed
that hand, already cold in death. Therein lies its only
value; but to an understanding heart this ring will be
more precious than the richest gem. Say as much to this
faithful friend, and give him this ring in my name."

Charny 's eyes filled with tears, and he dropped upon one
knee to receive the ring from the king's hand.

Just at that moment the door opened without the slight-
est warning. The king turned hastily; for this was a
flagrant violation of royal etiquette, and even considered
an insult, unless excused by strong necessity.

It was the queen. She was as pale as death, and held a
paper in her hand; but on seeing the kneeling count kiss-
ing the king's ring and placing it on his own finger, she
uttered a cry of astonishment and dropped the paper.

Charny sprang to his feet and respectfully saluted the
queen, who faltered, "Monsieur de Charny! "Monsieur de
Charny here with the king, at the Tuileries ! — and I not
know it ! " she added, under her breath.

There was such sorrow in the poor woman's eyes that



THE MESSENGER. 211

Charny, who had not heard the concluding words, but who
had divined their meaning, took two steps towards her.

"I have but just arrived," he remarked, "and 1 was
about to ask permission to pay my respects to your
Majesty."

A faint blush suffused the queen's cheeks. It was a
long time since she had heard Charny's voice, and longer
still since she had heard the tender intonation which he
gave to these few words.

Involuntarily she extended both her hands ; but recover-
ing herself almost instantly, she paused, and pressed one
on her wildly throbbing heart.

Meanwhile the king had walked toward the other end
of the room, where a current of air from the open door
and window had blown the scrap of paper which the queen
had dropped upon her entrance.

"What do these three words, 'Flee! flee! flee!' and
this fragment of a signature mean ?" he inquired, picking
it up and examining it.

"They mean that Mirabeau died ten minutes ago, and
left us this farewell message," answered the queen.

"His counsel shall be obeyed, for it is wise," responded
the king; "and the time has now come to carry it into
execution." Then, turning to Charny, he added, "Follow
the queen to her apartments, and tell her all."

The queen glanced first at Charny, and then at the king.

"Come with me," she said, at last, after a moment's
hesitation. And she quitted the room precipitately, realis-
ing that it would be impossible for her to conceal her
conflicting emotions if she tarried longer.

Charny bowed low to the king, and followed Marie
Antoinette.



212 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.



CHAPTER XXXIII.



THE PROMISE.



When the queen regained her own apartments she threw
herself on a sofa and motioned Charny to close the door
behind him.

She had hardly seated herself, however, before her over-
burdened heart found vent in a fit of passionate sobbing.

Her grief was so intense and so genuine that it touched
Charny deeply, and fanned the dying embers of his former
passion into new life; for such a passion as we have seen
quicken and glow and blaze in the heart of this man is
never wholly extinguished unless it is subjected to one of
those terrible shocks which transform love into hatred.

He had learned to love Andrée with all the fire of his
heart; but he loved the queen with all the tender com-
passion of his soul.

Without speaking, but unquestionably with more love
than respect, Charny approached the queen, drew from
her face one of the hands that covered it, and pressed it to
his lips.

"Madame, I am proud to tell you that there has not
been an hour or a day since I left you in which I have not
been busy in your behalf," he said earnestly.

"Ah, Charny, there was a time when you would have
laboured much less diligently in my behalf, perhaps,
but when you would have thought of me much more
frequently."

"I was burdened with a grave responsibility, madame.
My mission necessitated the utmost secrecy up to the time
of its entire completion. This was not accomplished until



THE PROMISE. 213

to-day. Now, I can see you again and talk with you-

whereas, before, I could not even write.» '

;' You have given abundant proof of your loyalty, Olivier »

said the queen, sadly. "I regret only one thing, _ th^t

fTntiZt." '" '° ''" °"^^ '' '''' -«^ °f -°ther

"Madame, as I have the king's permission, will you

allow me to tell you what has been done to insure your

to^y^o'^mr?»' ^'^'"^' ''''^"" "°*'^"^ ^°^^ i-P^^t - *
She pressed the count's hand tenderly, and gave him a

deltht'bur?'' °''' \''\^'''' '^^ ^^'^^ -tirraptuii:
th.ft '. ^ . "" ^' '^' *^^' S^^^'^ ^* ^i'^ «l^e noticed
that his toilet was so perfect in all its details that, though

stn^ettltS ''-'' '- ^^ '-''' ^'^ -— ^St
^'^' When did you return ?» she asked.
^ I have but just arrived from ]\rontmédy "

" Then how is it - pardon the question - that you are as

ITtraiXtf "^ 7 r °' ^^'^^^^^^'« aides'whrh
comes straight from headquarters ? Was tl.P npwc ,.^

brought of so little importance ?" '""' ^°^

"Quite the contrary, madame; but I thou -ht I shnnlrl

court aftP.' r^ """'^r™' ^'^' ^^ °ffi^^^ returning to
court after an absence of a week or two.»

inpdty'"''* '°^ ''^ "°"^^* ^^^^ y- ^ - a -sidence
''And where, may I ask ^»

"I think I had the honour to inform you, before my



214 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

departure, that Madame de Charny's residence is not mine.
I went to my brother's rooms and made my toilet there."

The queen uttered a faint exclamation of joy, and seiz-
ing Charny's hand, pressed it to her lips. " I thank you,
Olivier," she murmured, in a voice so broken with emotion
that Charny felt the tears spring to his own eyes.

" You thank me ! My God, and for what ? "

" For the first happy moment I have known since your
departure. I know this is the wildest folly, this jealousy
of mine; but one must pity it, nevertheless. Oh, these
men! they are fortunate indeed; for when they are
jealous they can fight with their rivals, and kill or be
killed. But women can do nothing but weep, though they
know that their tears repel rather than attract."

Feeling himself in a dangerous position, Charny en-
deavoured to beat a sudden retreat, as skaters do, even at
the risk of breaking the ice over which they glide.

" May I not tell your Majesty what I have been able to
do for you in my absence ? "

" You are right, Charny ; the woman must not forget too
long that she is a queen as well. Go on. Monsieur Am-
bassador. The icoman has already heard all she had any
right to expect; the queen is listening now."

So Charny told her all, and Marie Antoinette listened
with breathless attention, as well as a profound apprecia-
tion of his efforts; for it seemed impossible to her that
mere devotion to a sovereign should go so far as this.
Love, impassioned and intense love could alone anticipate
all these obstacles, and invent such clever methods of
surmounting them.

When he had finished his recital, she said, regarding
him the while with an expression of ineffable tenderness,
"Will it really give you such great happiness to save
me?"

" What ? How can you ask me such a question ? Why,
it is the highest dream of my ambition. If I succeed, it
will be the crowning glory of my life."



THE PROMISE. 215

"1 would much rather you regarded it as simply the
reward of your love," answered the queen, sadly. "But
no matter. You earnestly desire that this great work of
rescuing the king, the queen, and the dauphin of France
should be accomplished by you, do you not ? "

" I only await your consent to devote my best efforts,
and my very life itself, to that object."

"Yes; and I realise, my friend, that this devotion on
your part should be entirely free from all outside influences
and entanglements. It is impossible that my husband and
children should be saved by a hand that would not dare to
extend itself to sustain them, in case they should slip, or
be in danger of falling on the dangerous road we are about
to travel together. To you I intrust their lives and mine ;
and you, in turn, will have compassion on me, will you
not?"

"Have compassion on you, madame ?" repeated Charny,
wonderingly.

"Yes; at a time when I need all my strength, all my
courage, and all my presence of mind, you surely would
not — It is a foolish fancy, perhaps, but how can I help
it ? Are there not persons who are afraid to venture out
at night for fear of ghosts, which in the daylight they
know perfectly well have no existence? You would not
allow me to be lost, perhaps, for want of a simple
promise, — for want of one little word ? Surely you
would not — "

Charny interrupted the queen.

"Madame, I desire your Majesty's safety above all
things; I also have the happiness and prosperity of France
deeply at heart. I want, too, the honour of completing
the work I have undertaken, and I assure you I despise
myself for being able to make no greater sacrifice. I swear
to see Madame de Charny again only with your Majesty's
permission."

And, bowing respectfully but coldly, he withdrew,
though the queen, frightened by the tone in which



216 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKNY.

these last words were uttered, endeavoured to detain
him.

In fact, Charny had hardly closed the door behind him
when the queen stretched out her arms and exclaimed
piteously, "Oh, would it were I he had vowed not to
see, if he but loved me as he loves her!"



SECOND SIGHT. 217



CHAPTER XXXIV.



SECOND SIGHT.



About eight o'clock on the morning of the nineteenth of
June, Gilbert was striding up and down the floor of his
lodgings in the Eue Saint-Honoré, going to the window
every now and then, and leaning out like a man who is
waiting impatiently for some one who does not come.

In his hand he held a folded paper, and a very impor-
tant document it must have been; for two or three times
the doctor had unfolded it and read it, then re-folded it,
only to re-peruse it a few moments afterwards.

At last the sound of carriage-wheels was heard, and
Gilbert again hurried to the window. But he was too late ;
the person who had come in the carriage had already
entered the house.

The doctor seemed to have no doubt as to the identity of
this visitor, however; for, stepping to the door of the ante-
chamber, he called out, "Bastien, open the door for the
Comte de Charny ! "

Once more he had unfolded the paper to which he had so
often referred, when Bastien announced, not the Comte de
Charny, but Baron Zannone.

The name was so far distant from Gilbert's thoughts
that he started violently, as if the vivid flash of light-
ning which precedes a terrific thunder-clap had suddenly
blinded him; but, quickly recovering himself, he re-folded
the paper and concealed it in his breast-pocket.

" Count Cagliostro ! " he repeated, astonished at the
announcement.



218 LA COMTESSE DE CHAKNY.

*' The same, my dear Gilbert ! " exclaimed the new-comer,
blithely; "though I know very well it was not I whom you
expected to see, but Charny. Charny is busy just now,
however, — I will tell you all about the reasons for his
delay presently, — and won't get here for half an hour.
Knowing this fact, I said to myself, 'As I 'm here in the
neighbourhood, I '11 run in and see Gilbert for a minute.'
Though I was not expected, I hope I am none the less
welcome on that account."

"You know that at any hour of the day or night, two
doors are always open to you here, — the door of the
house, and the door of its master's heart."

"Thank you, Gilbert. Some day I, too, may be able to
prove to you how much I love you. If that day ever
comes, the proof will not be lacking. Now let us have
a little talk."

"About what?" asked Gilbert, smiling; for Cagliostro's
appearance upon the scene was always the prelude to some
startling piece of intelligence.

" What about ? Why, about the chief topic of the day,
— the king's speedy departure."

Gilbert felt himself shiver from head to foot, though,
thanks to his wonderful will power, the smile did not
desert his lips for a moment, or his colour change.

"And as we have considerable time at our disposal, I
think I'll take a seat," added Cagliostro, suiting the
action to the word.

His first feeling of terror having somewhat abated,
Gilbert said to himself that though it was probably chance
that had brought Cagliostro there, his coming might, after
all, prove almost providential; for, as the count had no
secrets from him, he would probably tell him all he had
learned concerning the king's intended flight.

"Well, the long-talked-of event is to take place to-
morrow, is it not?" asked Cagliostro, seeing that Gilbert
showed no disposition to reply.

"You know I always let you talk on to the end; for



SECOND SIGHT. 219

even if you make a mistake occasionally, there is always
something to be learned, not only from your entire dis-
course, but from your slightest word."

"And in what have I made any mistake thus far ? Was
it in predicting the death of Favras ? though I did every-
thing in my power to prevent it, up to the very last minute.
Was I wrong in declaring that the king was deceiving
Mirabeau, and that the latter would never be made a
cabinet minister ? Am I mistaken, do you think, in
prophesying that Robespierre will some day rebuild the
scaffold of Charles I., and that Bonaparte will reconstruct
the throne of Charlemagne ? True, that prediction has
not come to pass yet, but it will in time. And now, —
to-day, — my dear Gilbert, when I tell you that the king
intends to flee to-morrow, you know I speak the truth, —
you, of all others, — inasmuch as you have assisted most
zealously in all the arrangements for his flight."

"Even if that be true, you will hardly expect me to
admit it, I suppose."

"No. Still, I don't mind making a few more revela-
tions, in order to convince you beyond any possibility of
doubt. The queen, who is wedded to all the luxuries of
life, and who naturally desires to make herself as com-
fortable as possible on this journey, which, according to
Charny's calculations, is to last about thirty-five or thirty-
six hours, has ordered a handsome new dressing-case of
Desbrosses on the Rue Notre Dame des Victoires. This
dressing-case, which was ostensibly ordered for the queen's
sister, the Archduchess Christine, was only completed
yesterday morning, and taken to the Tuileries in the after-
noon. Next, the journey is to be made in a large and
comfortable travelling-coach built by Louis the fashion-
able carriage-maker on the Champs Elysees, and Charny,
at this very moment, is paying him one hundred and
twenty-five louis, — that is to say, one half of the price
agreed iipon. Lastly, Montmorin, without knowing what
he has been doing, has signed a passport for a certain



220 LA COMTESSE DE CHARNY.

Baroness de Korff, her two children, two maids, steward,
y/ and three lackeys. Madame de Korff is Madame de Tour-
zel, governess of the royal children of France, — Madame
Eoyale and the dauphin; her two maids are the queen and
Madame Elizabeth; her steward is the king himself, and
her three lackeys are Isidore de Charny, Monsieur de
Maiden, and Monsieur de Valory. The paper you were
holding in your hand when I came in just now, but which
you concealed in your pocket, was the aforesaid passport,
which reads as follows," — and Cagliostro repeated the
contents of the document, word for word, exactly as if he
had been reading it aloud : —

"In the King's Name:

" You are hereby ordered to pass the Baroness de Koi-ff, together
with her two children, one woman servant, a valet, and three lackeys.

"MONTMORIN,

'' Minister of Foreign Affairs.''''

"You said just now that Madame Elizabeth and the
queen were to personate Madame de Korff's two maids,
but the passport mentions only one servant woman."

"I will explain the reason of that. On reaching Bondy,
Madame de Tourzel — though she expects to go through to
Montmedy — will be requested to leave the carriage, and
Charny will take her place, in order to be close at hand in
case of any trouble. The queen will then become Madame
de Korff; and as there will be only one other woman,
Madame Elizabeth, in the coach, it was not necessary to
have two maids mentioned in the passport. Now do you
desire any further particulars ? If so, here they are. The
king's departure was to have taken place on the first of
June. Monsieur de Bouille quite counted upon it, and
even wrote his Majesty a curious sort of letter, in which
he invited, even urged, him to come at once, as the soldiers
were being corrupted every day; and if they were allowed
to take the oath to support the Constitution , he would not



SECOND SIGHT. 221

answer for them. By being corrupted, he meant, of
course, that the soldiers are beginning to understand the
difference between a monarchy which has made the people
the slaves of the nobility for three centuries, and a consti-
tution which declares all men equal in the sight of the
law, and makes promotion the reward of courage and
merit. Strange, passing strange, is it not, that the un-
grateful army should begin to feel a sneaking fondness for
the Constitution ? But, alas! the big travelling-coach and
the dressing-case were neither of them quite done, so it was
impossible to start on the first of the month, which was
very unfortunate, to say the least, as the army has become
more and more demoralised, and most of the regulars have
sworn to support the Constitution since that time. The
eighth was the next date appointed; but it was so late
when Bouille was notified that he was obliged to send
word that he was not ready. Then they concluded to
start on the twelfth. They would have preferred the
eleventh, but they distrusted Madame de Kochereul, the
sweetheart of one of Lafayette's aides, who was in attend-
ance upon the dauphin just at that time, and feared she
should discover that something unusual was going on, and
report the fact; so, as I remarked before, they determined
to postpone their departure until the twelfth, when her
term of service would be over. But in the mean time the
king bethought him that he would receive his quarterly
allowance of six million francs six days afterwards, and,
as you can very readily understand, this was well worth
waiting for; besides, Leopold, the great temporiser, the
Fabius of monarchs, had promised to have fifteen thousand
Austrians occupying the approaches to Arlon by the
fifteenth. These foreign kings are not lacking in good-
will, you see; the only trouble is they have so many little
affairs of their own to attend to. Austria has just devoured
both Liège and Brabant, and must now have a little time
to digest them; and Austria has to sleep while it digests,
like a boa-constrictor. Meanwhile, Catherine of Kussia is



222 LA COMTESSE DE CHAENY.

whetting her teeth on Turkey, and gnawing the bones
of Poland; for she is very fond of lion's marrow, this
worthy empress! In short, it was decided that the
departure should take place at midnight on Sunday, the
nineteenth; then another despatch was sent, postponing
it until the twentieth, at the same hour, — that is to say,
to-morrow night, — a postponement which may lead to
serious complications, as Bouille had already given the
necessary orders to his troops, and had no chance to coun-
termand them. So be on your guard, my dear Gilbert, be
on your guard ! "

"Count, I shall make no attempt to dissemble with
you," Gilbert replied. "All you have said is perfectly
true. And I am the less inclined to dissimulate because,
though I was strongly opposed to the king's departure
from Paris, or his leaving France, at one time, I feel now
that, on account of the danger that threatens the queen and
their children, as a husband and father he should flee, even
though he perhaps ought to remain as a king."

"My dear Gilbert, it is not as a father, as a husband, or
even as a man that Louis XVI. is compelled to flee from
France. Nor is it on account of the famous fifth and sixth
of October. No; he is a Bourbon on his father's side,
and the Bourbons know how to face danger. He leaves
France on account of a constitution which, being modelled
by the Assembly after that of the United States, does not
allow a king sufficient air to breathe, though it is well
adapted to a republic. He leaves France because of that
famous St. -Cloud affair, when he tried to prove that he
was a free man, but the people showed him that he was
a prisoner. Gilbert, you are a firm believer in a constitu-
tional monarchy, — a monarchy tempered with liberty, —
a delightful Utopia, in short; but you must know that
kings really have but one religion, — the religion of royalty.
They not only consider their persons, anointed by holy
oil at Rheims, sacred, but they consider their dwellings
and servants sacred as well. One must not lay hands upon



SECOND SIGHT. 223

a king, under penalty of death. Kow, on the day the people
prevented King Louis from going to St. -Cloud, somebody
laid hands upon his royal person. When the Knights of
the Poniard were forcibly ejected from the Tuileries, the
king's servants were outraged. The king cannot tolerate
this. It is his idea of the abomination of desolation.
That is the reason Avhy he so hastily summoned Charny.
That is the reason why the king, who so persistently re-
fused to be carried off by Favras, or to make his escape
in company with his aunts, has consented to flee to-morrow
in the attire of a servant and under the name of Durand;
though as kings will be kings to the very last, he told his
valets to be sure to pack in one of the trunks the crimson
robe embroidered in gold which he wore at Cherbourg."

Gilbert scrutinised the face of Cagliostro closely while
the latter talked, in the hope of reading his inmost thoughts;
but no human eye could pierce the mask of raillery with
which the great necromancer screened his face, and Gilbert
decided to question him openly.

" All you have said is true, count, I repeat it. Still,
why do you come and tell me all this? In what character
do you come, — as an enemy, to warn me of your opposition,
or as a friend, to proffer me your aid?"


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