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captain of police.

We have seen by the words exchanged between Am^lie
and Morgan the condition of the companions of Jehu at
this time. The news which had come at the same time
from Mittau and from Brittany had set their minds at
rest. Each one felt himself free; and knowing that they
had been carrying on a hopeless war, they were rejoiced
at their liberty. There was, therefore, a kind of reunion
in the cave of Ceyzeriat, ^- almost a ffite. At midnight
they were to separate, and each one, according to the


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facilities he possessed for crossing the frontier, was to leave
France. We have seen how their chief was occupying
his last moments. But those who had not the same
bonds to hold them were together in the brilliantly lighted
open place in the cave, eating a farewell supper ; for once
out of France, la Vendue and Brittany at peace, and
Condi's army destroyed, where they would meet again in
a strange land God alone knew.

Suddenly they heard the report of a gun. As if by a
shock of electricity, every one sprang up. A second shot
was heard. Then, from the depths of the quarry, these
two words came out, sliudderingly, like the wings of a
funeral bird : " To arms ! " For the companions of Jehu, ac-
customed to the vicissitudes of a bandit's life, a moment's
rest was never peace. Poniards, pistols, and muskets were
always within reach of their hands. At the cry, uttered
in all probability by the sentinel, each one leaped to his
weapons and stood motionless, with his head bent for-
ward, his chest heaving, and his ear on the alert.

In the midst of the silence they heard a sound of steps
as rapid as the obscurity through which they advanced
would permit. Then, in the ray of light thrown by the
torches and candles, a man appeared. " To arms ! " he
cried a second time, " we are attacked ! " The two shots
they had heard had been a double report from the senti-
nel's hunting-rifle. He it was who was running, with his
still smoking gun in his hand.

" Where is Morgan 1 " cried twenty voices.

"Absent," replied Montbar. "Consequently the com-
mand falls upon me. Put out all the liglits and retreat. A
fight is useless now, and blood shed would be blood lost."

They obeyed with a promptness which showed that
each one appreciated the danger. Then they dashed on
together in the darkness. Montbar^ to whom the wind-

VOL. II. — 17


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ings of the subterranean passage were as well known
as to Morgan, took the direction of the company, and
hastened, followed by his companions, into the depths of
the quarry. Suddenly he thought he heard, fifty feet be-
fore him, a command pronounced in a low voice, and then
the clicking of a number of guns as they were being
cocked. He extended both arms, murmuring in his turn
the word, "Halt!"

At the same moment they distinctly heard the com-
mand, " Fire ! " This command had no sooner been
pronounced than the passage lighted up with a terrible
report. Ten rifles had been discharged at once.

By the glare of this light Montbar and his companions
could see and recognize the uniform of the mounted
police. " Fire ! '* cried Montbar, in his turn. Seven or
eight shots rang forth at this command. The dark passage
was lighted up once more. Two companions of Jehu were
lying upon the ground, — one shot dead, the other mor-
tally wounded.

" The retreat is cut off," said Montbar. " About face,
my friends ! If we have any chance at all, it is in the

The movement was made with the regularity of a
military manoeuvre. Montbar placed himself at the head
of his companions and retraced his steps. Just then the
police fired a second time. No one returned the fire.
Those who had discharged their weapons loaded them
again ; those who had not yet fired held themselves in
readiness for the real struggle which must take place at
the entrance to the cave. One or two sighs alone indi-
cated that this volley from the police had not been with-
out result.

At the end of five minutes Montbar stopped. They
had nearly reached the open square. " Are all the guna
and pistols loaded 1 '' he asked.


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" AH," replied a dozen voices.

"You will remember the oixJers for those of us who
fall into the hands of justice. "We belong to the bands of
M. de Teyssonnet. We came to recruit men for the
Eoyalist cause. We do not understand what is meant
when they talk to us about mail-coaches and diligences
that have been stopped."

" It is agreed."

" And in case it is death, — as you well know it is,
the death of a soldier instead of the death of bandits, —
the rifle in place of the guillotine ! Forward, my friends ! "
added Montbar, " and let us sell our lives as dearly as

" Forward ! " replied the Companions. And as rapidly
as was possible in the shadows the whole troop began to
march, still led by Montbar.

As they advanced, Montbar breathed in an odor of
smoke which made him uneasy. At the same time he
saw a reflection of flickering lights upon the sides of the
walls and the angles of the pillars, which indicated that
something unusual was taking place at the entrance of
the cave.

"I believe those rascals are smoking us out," said

" I am afraid of it," replied Adler.

" They think we are foxes."

" Oh," replied some one, " tliey will soon see by our
claws that we are lions."

The smoke became thicker and thicker, and the light
more and more brilliant. They came to the last turning.
A heap of dry wood had been lighted in the midst of the
quarry, about fifty paces from its opening, not for the sake
of the smoke, but for the light. In the glare of the
burning fire they saw at the entrance of the grotto the


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shining weapons of the dragoons. Ten paces in front of
the others an officer was waiting, leaning upon his rifle,
not only exposed to every shot but seeming to provoke

It was Roland. It was easy to recognize him. He had
thrown down his hat, his head was bared, and tlie flicker-
ing of the flames played upon his face. But this which
would ordinarily have been his death saved him.

Montbar recognized him and took a step back. " Eo-
land de Montrevel," he said. " Remember Morgan's

" Very well," replied the Companions, heavily.

" And now," cried Montbar, " we will die, but we will

As he spoke, Montbar started first into the space lighted
up by the flame of the fire, discharging one of tlie barrels
of his gun at the dragoons, who replied by a general
volley. It would be impossible to relate what took place
then. The cave was filled with smoke, upon the bosom
of which each discharge of musketry shone out like a
lightning flash. The two troops came together and
fought breast to breast. Pistols and daggers had their
turn. At the noise of the struggle the police ran in ; but
it was impossible for them to fire, since friends and ene-
mies were all together. It seemed like a war of demons.
Confused groups could be seen struggling in the midst of
this red and smoking atmosphere, sinking down, rising
again, and falling once more ; howls of rage and cries of
agony could be heard. They were the last utterances of
some dying man. The survivors sought new adversaries,
and began a new struggle.

This slaughter lasted from fifteen to twenty minutes.
At the end of the twenty minutes there were twentj'-two
corpses lying in the cave of Ceyzeriat ; thirteen belonged


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to the dragoons and police, and nine to the companions of
Jehu. Five of the latter survived ; overwhelmed by
numbers and riddled with wounds, they had been taken
alive. The police and dragoons, to the number of twenty-
live, surrounded them. The captain of police had had
his left arm broken, and the chief of brigade of dragoons
had received a bullet in his thigh. Eoland alone, covered
with blood, but with blood which was not his own, had
not received a scratch. Two of the prisoners were so
grievously wounded that they could not walk. They had
to be carried upon litters.

Torches were lighted, and they took the road to the
town. Just as they passed from the forest to the high-
road they heard the galloping of a horse. It approached

" Go," said Roland ; " I will stay behind to see what
this is."

It was a horseman, who, as we have said, was riding at
full speed.

" Who goes there 1 " cried Roland, when the horseman
was not more than twenty paces from him t and be took
aim with his rifle.

" One prisoner the more," replied the horseman. " I
could not be present at the combat, but I wish at least
to be found at the scaffold. Where are my friends 1 "

** There, sir," replied Roland, who had recognized, not
the face, but the voice of the young man, — a voice which
he heard now for the third time ; and he pointed to the
group in the centre of the little company which was on
the road from Ceyzeriat to Bourg.

" I am glad to see that nothing happened to you. Monsieur
de Montrevel," said the young man, with perfect courtesy ;
"it really gives me great joy, I assure you." Then
putting spurs to his horse, in a few seconds he had


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readied the dragoons and the police. "Your pardon,
gentlemen," he said, dismounting, '* but I claim a place
with ray three friends, — the Viscomte de Jahiat, the
Comte de ValensoUe, and the Marquis de Ribier,"

The three prisoners uttered a cry of admiration, and
held out their hands to their friend. The two wounded
ones rose upon their litters, murmuring: "Well done,
Sainte-Hermine 1 well done ! "

" I think, God forgive me ! '^ cried Roland, " that the
credit of this affair will remain with these bandits, after


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On the day, or rather the night, after tlie events which
we have juat related, two men were walking side by side
in the grand salon of the Tuileries, looking out upon the
garden. They were speaking eagerly ; the words of both
were accompanied by rapid and animated gestures. These
two men were Bonaparte and Georges Cadoudal.

Georges Cadoudal, touched by the misfortunes which a
longer resistance would entail upon Brittany, had just
signed articles of peace with Brune. It was after this sig-
nature that he had released the companions of Jehu from
their oath. Unfortunately their release, as we have seen,
liad arrived twenty-four hours too late. In negotiating
with Brune, Cadoudal had stipulated for nothing on his
o\Yn account, except permission to depart immediately for
England. But Brune had been so urgent, that the Ven-
d6ean chief had consented to an interview with the First
Consul. He had therefore* started for Paris. The very
TQorning of his arrival he had presented himself at the
Tuileries, given his name, and been admitted. In Ro-
land's absence, Rapp had introduced him.

When he left the room, the aide-de-camp left the two
doors open, so that Bourrienne could see everything from
his room, and come to the First Consul's help, if neces-
sary. But Bonaparte, divining Rapp's intention, shut the
door. Then returning quickly to Cadoudal, he said, —


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** Ah, here you are at last ! I am very glad to see yoa.
One of your enemies, Roland de Montrevel, has told me
great things about you."

" I am not surprised at that/* replied Cadoudal ; " dur-
ing the short time that I knew M. de Montrevel, I re-
cognized in him the most chivalric sentiments."

" Yes," replied the First Consul ; " and ilid this touch
you 1 " Then, fixing upon the royalist chief his falcon
eye, he continued : " Listen, CadoudaL I need energetic
men to accomplish the work I have undertaken. Will
you come with me ? I have offered you the grade of
colonel. You are worth more than that ; I offer you the
rank of general of division."

" I thank you from my heart, citizen Consul," replied
Cadoudal; "but you would despise me if I should

" Why ? " asked Bonaparte, quickly.

" Because I have sworn to be faithful to the House of
Bourbon ; and I shall keep my oath, whatever happens."

" Let us see," said the First Consul ; " is there no other
means of attaching you to myself] "

"General," replied the royalist officer, "is it permis-
sible to repeat to you what has been said to me 1 "

" Why not 1"

" Because it refers to the deepest arcanum of politics."

" Oh, some stupidity," said the First Consul, smiling

Cadoudal stopped and looked fixedly at the other.
" They say that an agreement was entered into at Alex-
andria between you and Commodore Sidney Smith ; that
the object of this agreement was to allow you to return to
France, upon the condition, which you accepted, that you
would restore the throne of our ancient kings."

Bonaparte burst out laughing. " How remarkable you


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are, you plebeians," he said, " with your love for your
former kings ! Suppose I should restore this throne, — a
thing which I have no intention of doing, — what reward
would you get for having shed your blood for the re-estab-
lishment of this throne ] Not even the confirmation of the
rank of colonel, which you have earned I And did you ever
see in a royalist army a colonel who was not a nobleman I
Did you ever hear those people say that a man in their
army had risen by his own merits] While with me,
Cadoudal, you might aspire to anything ; for the higher I
rise, the higher I raise those about me. As for seeing me
play Monk's rdky do not expect it. Monk lived in a cen-
tury when the prejudices which we fought and overturned
in 1789 were in full vigor. Even had Monk wished to
become a king, he could not have done it ; neither could
he have been a dictator. It took a Cromwell for that.
Now, if I had wished to make myself king, nothing would
have prevented me; and if I ever do wish it, nothing
shall hinder me. Well, you have something to say ;
say it."

" You say, citizen Consul, that the situation is not the
same in France in 1800 that it was in England in 1660.
I myself do not see much difference. Charles I. was be-
headed in 1649, and Louis XVI. in 1793; eleven years
elapsed in England between the death of the father and
the restoration of the son ; seven years have already passed
since the death of Louis XVI. Perhaps you will say
that the English revolution was a religious one, while the
French revolution was pohtical ; very well, I reply that a
charter is as easily made as an abjuration."

Bonaparte smiled. ** No," he replied, " I should not
say that ; I should simply say that Cromwell was fifty
years old when Charles I. was executed ; I was twenty-
four at the time of the death of Louis XVI. Cromwell


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died in 1658, at the age of fifty-nine; during his ten
years of power he had had time to undertake much, but to
accomplish little ; and besides, he was attempting a com-
plete reform, — a political reform, by the substitution of a
republican for a monarchical government. Very well ; sup-
pose I have as long a life as Cromwell had, fifby-nine
years, and that is not much ; that would give me twenty
years more to live, — just twice as much as Cromwell had.
And you will remark that I change nothing ; I only con-
tinue on a path that is already laid out ; I do not over-
turn, — I lift up. Suppose that at the age of thirty years,
Caesar, instead of being merely the first debauchee in
Home, had been its first citizen ; suppose his campaign
against the Gauls had been made, his Egyptian campaign
finished, and his Spanish campaign brought to a successful
termination ; suppose that at that time he had been thirty
years old instead of fifty, — would he not have become
Csesar and Augustus in one 1 "

" Yes, if he had not found Brutus, Cassius, and Casca
in his path."

" So," said Bonaparte, sadly, ** my enemies are counting
upon my assassination ! In that case, it will be an easy
matter for them, and for you first of all, who are my
enemy ; for what is to prevent you now, if you share the
opinions of Brutus, from striking me, as he struck Csesarl
I am alone with you; the doors are shut; you would
have plenty of time to do it before any one could prevent

Cadoudal took a step back. " No," he said, " we do
not reckon on assassination ; and it would have to be a very
grave extremity which would determine one of us to be-
come an assassin. But there are the chances of war. A
single reverse would make you lose prestige ; a defeat
would bring the enemy into the heart of France ; from


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the frontiers of Provence can be seen the bivouac fires of
the Austrians. A bullet may carry off your head, like
that of the Marshal de Berwick ; and then what would
become of France] You have no children, and your
brothers — '*

" Oh, from that point of view, you are right ; but if
you do not believe in Providence, I do. I believe that
nothing is done by chance ; I believe that when on the
15th of August, 1769, — a year to the very day from the
time when Louis XV. sent forth the edict which reunited
Corsica to France, — a child was born at Ajaccio who was
to cause the 13th Vond^miaire and the 18th Brumaire,
Providence had great things, supreme projects, in store
for that child. That child was myself. If I have a mis-
sion, I fear nothing ; for my mission will serve as my
shield. If I have none, if I am mistaken, if, instead of
living the twenty-five or thirty years which are neces-
sary to finish my work, I am stabbed like Caesar or shot
like Berwick, — it is because Providence has its reasons
for acting thus, and upon it will fall the responsibility of
finding some one for France. We spoke of Csesar just
now. When Eome followed in the funeral train of
the dictator, and burned the houses of his assassins ;
when from the four cardinal points of the world the
eternal city looked for the one who was to put an end
to its civil wars ; when it trembled at sight of the
drunken Antony or the hypocritical Lepidus, — it was far
from thinking of the scholar of Apollonia, the nephew of
Csesar, the young Octavius. Who thought of this son of
the banker of Velletri, all whitened by the flour of his
ancestors] Who guessed it, seeing liim come limping and
winking to pass in review the ancient armies of Caesar 1
Not even the all-seeing Cicero : * Ornandum et tollenduni,*
he said. Well, the boy tricked all the graybeards of the


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senate, and reigned almost as long as Louis XIV. Cadon-
dal, do not fight against the Providence which sustains
me ; for Providence will be too strong for you.**

" I shall have been overcome while following in the
way and the religion of my fathers," replied Cadoudal,
bowing ; " and I hope God will pardon my error, which
will be that of a fervent Christian and a pious son."

Bonaparte put one liand on the young chief's shoulder.
" So be it," he said ; " but at least remain neutral. Leave
events to work themselves out ; watch thrones totter, and
look at crowns as they fall. Usually it is the spectators
who pay ; but this time I will pay you to look on."

" And how much will you give me to do that ] '' asked
Cadoudal, laughing.

" A hundred thousand francs a year," replied Bonaparte.

**If you would give a hundred thousand francs a year
to a mere rebel chief," said Cadoudal, " how much would
you offer the prince for whom he has fought ] "

" Nothing, Monsieur ; what I pay for in you is your
courage, and not the principle which has made you act.
I prove to you that for me, a self-made man, a man exists
only by reason of what he has done. Accept my offer, I
beg of you."

"And if I refuse 1"

" You will be making a mistake."

" Should I be at liberty to draw back from the arrange-
ment at any time that I saw fit 1 "

Bonaparte went to the door and opened it. " The
aide-de'Camp in service ! " he said. He expected to see
Rapp ; Roland appeared instead. " Ah," he said, " is it
youl" Then turning towards Cadoudal, he added : " I do
not need to present to you my aide-de-camp, Roland de
Montrevel ; he is already known to you. Roland, tell the
colonel that he is as free in Paris as yon were in his camp


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at Muzillac; and that if he desires a passport for any
place, no matter where, Fouch6 has the order to give it
to him."

'* Your word is enough, citizen Consul," said Cadoudal,
bowing ; " I will start to-nig])t.'*

" And may I ask where you are going 1 "

<* To London.*'

*• So much the better."

"Why sol"

" Because there you will be brought into close contact
with the men for whom you have fought."

** Well 1 "

" And then, when you have seen them — "

" What then 1 *'

** You will compare them with those against whom you
have fought. But once out of France, Colonel — " Bona-
parte stopped.

" I am listening," said Cadoudal.

" Well, do not return without notifying me first. Other-
wise you may be treated as an enemy."

** That will be an honor for me, General ; since you
prove, in treating me thus, that I am a man to be feared."
And Cadoudal bowed to the First Consul and retired.

" Well, General," asked Roland, when the door had
closed behind Cadoudal, *' is he not the kind of man I
have said?"

" Yes," replied Bonaparte, thoughtfully ; " but he sees
the state of affairs incorrectly. The exaggeration of his
principles, however, takes its rise in noble sentiments,
which must give him a great influence among his own
men." Then in a low voice he added : *'' Nevertheless,
we must put an end to it." Then addressing Roland, he
asked : ** And you ] "

" I ?" replied Roland. " I have finished with it."


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" Ah ! But the companions of Jehu — "

" Have ceased to exist, General ; three quarters of them
are dead, and the rest are piisoners."

" And you are safe and sound ] "

" Do not speak of it, General. I am beginning to be-
lieve that, without suspecting it, I have made a compact
with the Devil."

That same evening, as he had told the First Consul,
Cadoudal started for England.

When he heard that the Breton chief had safely arrived
in London, Louis XVIIL wrote to him : —

I have learned with the greatest satisfaction, General, that
you have finally escaped from the hands of the tyiant who
despised you sufficiently to try to induce you to enter his
service. I have regretted the unhappy circumstances which
have forced you to treat \sith him ; but I have never felt the
least uneasiness ; the hearts of my faithful Bretons, and yours
in particular, are too well known to me. To-day you are free,
and near my brother ; my hopes spring up again. I do not
need to say more to a Frenchman like yourself.


Accompany inf]j this letter was the commission of a
lieutenant-general, and the ribbon of Saint Louis.


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manded the Gallo-Batavian army, numbering twenty-five
thousand ; and, finally, Massena was in command of
the army in Italy, and was being besieged with great loss
at Genoa, blockaded by land by the Austrian general, Ott,
and by sea by Admiral Keith. While this was taking
place in Italy, Moreau had taken the offensive on the
Rhine, and beaten the enemy at Stockach and Moeskirch.
A single victory was to be the signal for the reserve army
to begin operations, and two victories left no doubt as to
their opportunitity. But how was this army to get to

Bonaparte's first idea had been to go up the Valais, and de-
scend by way of the Simplon. They would thus go around
Piedmont, and enter Milan ; but the operation would be
a long one, and would have to be done openly. Bon-
aparte gave it up; instead, he conceived the plan of
surprising the Austrians, and of being on the plain of
Piedmont with his whole army before they should suspect
that he had passed the Alps. He decided to cross the
great St.-Bernard. He therefore sent the fifty thousand
francs to the fathers of the monastery which crowns this
mountain, only to have them taken by the companions of
Jehu. Fifty thousand others had been immediately sent
off, which had fortunately reached their destination.

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