Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/62

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Bontems, a merchant, of the Rue Merciere, Lyon. I have since been happy to acknowledge and repay the service he rendered me.

He did not see me till I was within eight or ten yards of him. He was a good-looking man, with a florid complexion, but at the sight of me he became deadly pale, and trembled. He kept his eyes fixed on the butt of the pistol, which was sticking out of my pocket, and stood motionless without the power to say a word.

"Pray be easy, my good sir," I said, "and listen to what I have to say. Never mind the horrible condition in which I am. I am the happiest man in the world, for I have just acquired my liberty; the alarm bell which is ringing up there, and which you can hear distinctly, is sounding on my account. I have got out of Pierre-en-Cize, and my body must be as black as a negro's from the blows I received in my fight with the castle guard. This house belongs to you, I suppose. Give me shelter till nightfall, for I am worn out with fatigue and hunger. I would hand over