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Page:Harris Dickson--The black wolf's breed.djvu/46

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AT the break of day, rumbling out of the little fishing village, I was surprised to see both Broussard and Levert astir as early as myself, each in a separate coach, traveling the same direction. I thought it strange that they chose to go separately, and that neither had told me of his expected journey. However that might be, as it suited my purpose well to be alone, I disturbed not myself with pondering over it. Yet I wondered somewhat.

The King and Court were at Versailles; so judging to find Serigny there I turned aside from my first intention and proceeded thither. I was shocked by the universal desolation of the country through which I passed. Was this the reverse side to all the Grand Monarque's glory? I had pictured la belle France as a country of wine, of roses and of happy people. These ravaged fields, these squalid dens of misery, the sullen, despairing faces of the peasantry, all bore silent protest to the extravagances of Versailles. For the wars, the ambition and the mistresses of Louis had made of this fair land a desert. Through the devastated country roamed thousands of starving people, gaunt and hungry as the wild