Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/239

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


raised his hopes of ultimate escape. Bollman gravely informed the governor that the prisoner would inevitably die in a brief space of time if he were not allowed to breathe the fresh air of the country. Owing to the feeble condition of the invalid no fear of his escape need be entertained, and the doctor concluded by saying that he would take the prisoner for occasional drives in his own carriage, which should only proceed at a walking pace, and could be escorted by any soldiers the governor thought necessary. That functionary,—never suspecting a doctor who had such good wine,—gave his consent.

"M. de la Fayette, for his part, pretended to be extremely weak, and even unable to walk, so he was carried to the carriage, which never took him more than a league from Olmutz, and always brought him to the appointed spot when the drive was finished. This went on for some time, and the governor, feeling more secure, gradually diminished the escort, and finally reduced it to a single soldier.

"Meanwhile the cunning physician