Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/68

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A FRENCH VOLUNTEER


into trouble, and he did not wish to be exposed to the unpleasantness of seeing the gendarmes visit the chateau to search for me.

It was decided that I should start for North America; that my father should make me an allowance of 100 louis a year; and that 2000 crowns should be counted down to me at the port where I embarked. I left at once for La Rochelle, with a letter of recommendation to M. Seigneur, commissaire of artillery.

It might have been expected that I should obtain a passage without any difficulty, but I was obliged to go to Nantes. Only two days after my arrival at La Rochelle, orders were received by the military commander, Baron de M——, to arrest me. What a debt of gratitude do I owe him! He was kind enough to cause a hint to be conveyed to M. Seigneur to get me out of the way.

I left therefore for Nantes with a letter of recommendation from M. Seigneur to M. de Ville-Hélis, the government outfitter. I shall always remember the hearty