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it, and when at length he was convinced that it was gone, he began accusing his wife of having concealed it to annoy him.
Some time was lost (or rather gained, to Josephine) by their mutual recriminations. At last, madame screamed out—“ Where is Adelaide ?”
She was nowhere to be found. The rage of this vulgar woman was inconceivable.
Fortunately for Josephine, monsieur was suspected by his wife of having either concealed or sent her off, and it was not till my father's absence was discovered, and also the dangling cord from the wall, that she could be convinced that her husband was not at the bottom of the mystery.
All now was confusion.—Madame insisted upon the gens d'armes being dispatched in every direction to bring back the fugitives. In the mean time Josephine produced a rough draft of the route to Paris, which she pretended to have found in the work-box of her young mistress. This was thought conclusive as to the road they had
taken, and completely threw the pursuers off the scent.
While madame was gone to urge and hasten the men who were to be sent in pursuit, Josephine contrived to give the governor a letter, which she told him she had found in the room of his niece.
He desired her to read it to him, for like many in bis situation at that time, he could neither read nor write himself. Indeed, it is well known that Buonaparte himself, so far from writing correctly, as his flatterers have asserted, could spell but imperfectly.
My mother's letter to the governor was so pathetic, thanking him with so much sweetness for his past favours, and imploring him so earnestly, for the sake of the love he once bore her beloved aunt, not to pursue and deliver her up to his cruel wife, that the iron heart of the stem republican was melted; the more so as he had just before been stung and irritated by the brutal attacks of his overbearing helpmate. • He vowed that the poor girl should take her chance, as also the young Englishman whom she had chosen as her companion, for he was such a beggar (he said) that he should gain nothing but trouble by his capture.
This satisfactory account of affairs at the fortress made the poor prisoners so happy, that they quite forgot the dangers which lay between them and the coast.
They found the kind old count of incalculable service, as he knew every foot of the road, and gave them most useful directions for their joumey. He also furnished my father with a brace of pistols, having plenty of firearms concealed in his chateau.
After the residence of a happy week, the weather being beautiful, and every thing arranged, my parents resolved upon bidding adieu to the hospitable count and his faithful followers, and setting off the following morning.
It was settled that Pierre was to convey them in his boat a few miles up the river, and after landing them they were to follow a path pointed out by him which would bring
them, at the end of five miles, to a cottage inhabited by his brother, who would willingly shelter them for the night. After which they would necessarily be left to their own guidance and discretion.
It may easily be imagined how grieved they were at parting from such kind protectors. They never met again.
At separating finally from Pierre, he put into my mother's hand a packet, saying the count had desired him to give it to her the last thing. Upon opening it at night she saw that it contained twenty pieces of gold, with a short note, intimating that he trusted she and her husband would find it of service, and directing her to conceal it about her person.
This unexpected supply was most welcome, as they had not between them above twenty francs.
Nothing worth mentioning occurred for two days. The weather was fine, and the country inclosed, so they contrived to get on pretty well, though much inconvenienced by the
weight of their double clothing, and the basket and knapsacks carried by each.
The third evening they entered a rambling village, and passed quite through it before they saw any appearance of an inn. The last house, however, though miserable in appearance, displayed a sign, and they ventured to ask if they could have shelter for the night.
An old woman of so forbidding an appearance answered in the affirmative, that they both felt inclined to retreat, but fearful of exciting her suspicions, they remained.
They started early the following morning, and after rambling about for some time found themselves in a very large open arable field, through which the high road ran, with no shelter on either side ; but as not a creature was in sight, they pushed on as rapidly as possible, in hopes of passing it before any one appeared.
They were nearly half across it, when to their terror they beheld a cart coming along the road at a quick pace behind them. It