I Will Repay HTML version
Chapter XXII. The close of day
Déroulède had spent the whole of this same night in a wild, impassioned search
Earlier in the day, soon after Anne Mie's revelations, he had sought out his
English friend, Sir Percy Blakeney, and talked over with him the final
arrangements for the removal of Madame Déroulède and Anne Mie from Paris.
Though he was a born idealist and a Utopian, Paul Déroulède had never for a
moment had any illusions with regard to his own popularity. He knew that at any
time, and for any trivial cause, the love which the mob bore him would readily
turn to hate. He had seen Mirabeau's popularity wane, La Fayette's, Desmoulin's-
-was it likely that he alone would survive the inevitable death of so ephemeral a
Therefore, whilst he was in power, whilst he was loved and trusted, he had,
figuratively and actually, put his house in order. He had made full preparations for
his own inevitable downfall, for that probable flight from Paris of those who were
dependent upon him.
He had, as far back as a year ago, provided himself with the necessary
passports, and bespoken with his English friend certain measures for the safety
of his mother and his crippled little relative. Now it was merely a question of
putting these measures into execution.
Within two hours of Juliette Marny's arrest, Madame Déroulède and Anne Mie
had quitted the house in the Rue Ecole de Médecine. They had but little luggage
with them, and were ostensibly going into the country to visit a sick cousin.
The mother of the popular Citizen-Deputy was free to travel unmolested. The
necessary passports which the safety of the Republic demanded were all in
perfect order, and Madame Déroulède and Anne Mie passed through the north
gate of Paris an hour before sunset, on that 24th day of Fructidor.
Their large travelling chaise took them some distance on the North Road, where
they were to meet Lord Hastings and Lord Anthony Dewhurst, two of The Scarlet
Pimpernel's most trusted lieutenants, who were to escort them as far as the
coast, and thence see them safely aboard the English yacht.
On that score, therefore, Déroulède had no anxiety. His chief duty was to his
mother and to Anne Mie, and that was now fully discharged.
Then there was old Pétronelle.
Ever since the arrest of her young mistress the poor old soul had been in a state
of mind bordering on frenzy, and no amount of eloquence on Déroulède's part
would persuade her to quit Paris without Juliette.
"If my pet lamb is to die," she said amidst heart-broken sobs, "then I have no
cause to live. Let those devils take me along too, if they want a useless, old
woman like me. But if my darling is allowed to go free, then what would become
of her in this awful city without me? She and I have never been separated; she
wouldn't know where to turn for a home. And who would cook for her and iron out
her kerchiefs, I'd like to know?"