Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/27

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OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


this interchange of protection on one side, and love on the other? Were they not like children honouring their father and mother?

The huge, old castle overlooked the town, and the fertile valley watered by the Sioule, which stretches far away to the peaks of the Monts d'Or, but like all the valleys in Auvergne, though the view looked so pleasant and peaceful when the elements were at rest, it would sometimes assume in one night a quite different aspect; like the gaves of the Pyrenees, our brooks swell into torrents after a single storm, and the floods render the country not only dreary but dangerous.

Custom makes as many victims as imprudence, and the natives of the country really run more risk than travellers, because they are less cautious and more daring. One of our neighbours, a friend of my parents, Comte de Mont——, returning home one night on horseback, missed the ford, which he thought he knew well, and was drowned in the Sioule, which was then in flood. The news of this accident