Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/77

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53
OF THE WAR OF INDEPENDENCE.


What freaks fortune had played with me. At nineteen years of age I had escaped from Pierre-en-Cize,—two months later had been shipwrecked a thousand leagues from home,—had been robbed of all I possessed, on a friendly shore, by the very persons I had come to help to regain their liberty,—and now I was trudging on foot to the head-quarters of the army, the bearer of a licence to beg on the road. Fortunately the little money I had sufficed, and I was not obliged to take advantage of the charitable verb "to assist," slipped in for my special benefit at the foot of the passport.

From Williamsburg to the camp at Valley Forges, near Philadelphia, is not less than 200 miles, and it must not be supposed that it required any superhuman effort to accomplish that. There was plenty of mud to be found—but that I expected; the weather was not always fine, for it rained often—in the months of November and December it rains even in France. In the midst of all these discomforts, which I foresaw would have an end,