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Quatrain

―No!‖ Colin pushed passed the hefty midwife, and rushed into the birthing chamber,
where his wife lay on the cot, in a clump of sweaty and bloody sheets.
―No!‖ Colin lifted up his wife‘s head, and looked for any signs of life. He could see
she was gone. He didn‘t cry. He was just numb. ―My God! Cate, I love you so! Do not
leave me!‖
Ann watched from the hallway as Jean Colin cradled his wife‘s body, willing her to
return to him. Ann brought over his baby daughter in a blanket, hoping that the sight of
the newborn would comfort him.
―Monsieur, you have a baby girl. She is just as beautiful as her mother.‖
Colin took the infant in his arms gingerly, worried he would break the small thing.
She was so tiny. Colin was happy to see his new child, but the loss of his wife was
devastating. And he had to admit he was disappointed that the child was not a boy. All
of his plans were dashed. He looked down at his daughter. A baby girl-- what could he
do with a baby girl? He was certainly not going to raise a baby girl by himself. That was
for sure. He resigned himself to thinking it might all work itself out somehow.
For the next several months, as was the custom, the child was raised and breastfed by
the midwife. Colin went about his tax collecting business for the most part, and visited
his daughter once or twice a week. He seemed to take some comfort in the fact that the
child had her mother‘s beautiful blue eyes and his sister-in-law‘s red hair. He loved his
daughter, but he realized that he would soon either have to re-marry or do something with
the child. By early July, Colin had heard news of the battles at Fort St. Loup, Fort St.
Jean le Blanc, and Les Tourelles. Fearing that the English might kill him or his child if
they learned that his sister-in-law had a surviving heir, Colin arranged for a traveling
group of Visitation nuns to secret the child to Bordeaux in the south of France. Before he
surrendered his daughter, Colin gazed at the wicker basket and gave his daughter one last
tender look. She should have something to remember him by. That was only proper. He
took out a small cloth. On it was stitched the Colin family crest—a shield of blue
stripes, a knight‘s helmet, and swirls of blue and silver. He tucked the cloth around the
child like a blanket and kissed her goodbye. The nuns, believing they were doing God‘s
work, agreed to the mission, and by October 1429, young Jeanette Colin, niece of Joan of
Arc, was safe in the convent in Bordeaux.
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