Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/50

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26
A FRENCH VOLUNTEER


ply with the name of Epicharis;[1] and as regards men my worthy laundress was more discreet than Turenne.

I had now nothing to do but set to work. The angle made by the wall and the tower was concealed by my bed. I commenced to tunnel at this spot, taking care not to surpass the limit of the blue paint. My paper, which was of the same colour, covered and concealed my sapping. I worked four hours every night. I was careful to sweep away all signs of work, and to neatly replace the blue paper before my " gate of safety." As to the rubbish I took out, I carefully carried it in

handkerchiefs, and easily disposed of it by throwing it down the latrine used by the prisoners. This was at the foot of the staircase inside the tower. My cell was No. I, and being so close to the stairs, I


  1. Epicharis, a freed woman of bad repute, who conspired against Nero. When the plot was discovered she was horribly tortured but would not reveal the names of her accomplices. She strangled herself with her girdle to escape further torture. The "Mother of Praetextatus" is, I suppose, the person mentioned in Livy VI., 32—38, but if so the comparison is not well chosen. ED.