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287 T hat night, at nine o’clock, the Terror of France, catching the flow of the tide, with one sail set and a gentle wind, left the fleet and came slowly up the river, under the batteries of the town. In the gloom we passed lazily on with the flow of the tide, unquestioned, soon leaving the citadel behind, and ere long arrived safely at that point called Anse du Foulon, above which Sillery stood. The shore could not be seen distinctly, but I knew by a perfect instinct the cleft in the hillside where was the path leading up the mountain. I bade Clark come up the river again two nights hence to watch for my signal, which was there agreed upon. If I did not come, then, with General Wolfe’s consent, he must show the General this path up the mountain. He swore that all should be as I wished; and indeed you would have thought that he and his Terror of France were to level Quebec to the water’s edge. I stole softly to the shore in a boat, which I drew up among the bushes, hiding it as well as I could in the dark, and then, feeling for my pistols and my knife, I crept upward, coming presently to the passage in the mountain. I toiled on to the summit without a sound of alarm from above. Pushing forward, a light flashed from the windmill, and a man, and then two men, appeared in the open door. One of them was Captain Lancy, whom I had very good reason to remember. The last Chapter XXIV The Sacred Countersign 288 time I saw him was that famous morning when he would have had me shot five minutes before the appointed hour, rather than endure the cold and be kept from his breakfast. I itched to call him to account then and there, but that would have been foolish play. I was outside the belt of light falling from the door, and stealing round I came near to the windmill on the town side. I was not surprised to see such poor watch kept. Above the town, up to this time, the guard was of a perfunctory sort, for the great cliffs were thought impregnable; and even if surmounted, there was still the walled town to take, surrounded by the St. Lawrence, the St. Charles, and these massive bulwarks. Presently Lancy stepped out into the light, and said, with a hoarse laugh, “Blood of Peter, it was a sight to-day! She has a constant fancy for the English filibuster. ‘Robert! my husband!’ she bleated like a pretty lamb, and Doltaire grinned at her.” “But Doltaire will have her yet.” “He has her pinched like a mouse in a weasel’s teeth.” “My faith, mademoiselle has no sweet road to travel since her mother died,” was the careless reply. I almost cried out. Here was a blow which staggered me. Her mother dead! Presently the scoffer continued: “The Duvarneys would remain in the city, and on that very night, as they sit at dinner, a shell disturbs them, a splinter strikes madame, and two days later she is carried to her grave.” They linked arms and walked on. It was a dangerous business I was set on, for I was sure that I would be hung without shrift if captured. As I discovered afterwards, I had been proclaimed, and it was enjoined on all Frenchmen and true Catholics to kill me if the chance showed. Only two things could I depend on: Voban, and my disguise, which was very good. From the Terror of France I had got a peasant’s 289 dress, and by rubbing my hands and face with the stain of butternut, cutting again my new-grown beard, and wearing a wig, I was well guarded against discovery. How to get into the city was the question. By the St. Charles River and the Palace Gate, and by the St. Louis Gate, not far from the citadel , were the only ways, and both were difficult. I had, however, two or three plans, and these I chewed as I travelled across Maître Abraham’s fields, and came to the main road from Sillery to the town. Soon I heard the noise of clattering hoofs, and jointly with this I saw a figure rise up not far ahead of me, as if waiting for the coming horseman. I drew back. The horseman...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781771120456
Related ISBN
9781771120449
MARC Record
OCLC
966771243
Pages
408
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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