Massacres of the South HTML version

Chapter 4
On the 15th May Cavalier set out from Tarnac at the head of one hundred and
sixty foot-soldiers and fifty horse; he was accompanied by his young brother and
by d'Aygaliers and Lacombe. They all passed the night at Langlade.
The next day they set out for Nimes, and, as had been agreed upon, were met by
Lalande between Saint-Cesaire and Carayrac. Lalande advanced to greet
Cavalier and present the hostages to him. These hostages were M. de La
Duretiere, captain of the Fimarcon regiment, a captain of infantry, several other
officers, and ten dragoons. Cavalier passed them over to his lieutenant, Ravanel,
who was in command of the infantry, and left them in his charge at Saint-Cesaire.
The cavalry accompanied him to within a musket-shot of Nimes, and encamped
upon the heights. Besides this, Cavalier posted sentinels and mounted orderlies
at all the approaches to the camp, and even as far off as the fountain of Diana
and the tennis- court. These precautions taken, he entered the city, accompanied
by his brother, d'Aygaliers, Lacombe, and a body-guard of eighteen cavalry,
commanded by Catinat. Lalande rode on before to announce their arrival to the
marechal, whom he found waiting with MM. de Baville and Sandricourt, in the
garden of the Recollets, dreading every moment to receive word that Cavalier
had refused to come; for he expected great results from this interview. Lalande,
however, reassured him by telling him the young Huguenot was behind.
In a few minutes a great tumult was heard: it was the people hastening to
welcome their hero. Not a Protestant, except paralytic old people and infants in
the cradle, remained indoors; for the Huguenots, who had long looked on
Cavalier as their champion, now considered him their saviour, so that men and
women threw themselves under the feet of his horse in their efforts to kiss the
skirts of his coat. It was more like a victor making his entry into a conquered town
than a rebel chief coming to beg for an amnesty for himself and his adherents. M.
de Villars heard the outcry from the garden of Recollets, and when he learned its
cause his esteem for Cavalier rose higher, for every day since his arrival as
governor had showed him more and more clearly how great was the young
chief's influence. The tumult increased as Cavalier came nearer, and it flashed
through the marechal's mind that instead of giving hostages he should have
claimed them. At this moment Cavalier appeared at the gate, and seeing the
marechal's guard drawn up in line, he caused his own to form a line opposite
them. The memoirs of the time tell us that he was dressed in a coffee-coloured
coat, with a very full white muslin cravat; he wore a cross-belt from which
depended his sword, and on his head a gold-laced hat of black felt. He was
mounted on a magnificent bay horse, the same which he had taken from M. de
La Jonquiere on the bloody day of Vergenne.
The lieutenant of the guard met him at the gate. Cavalier quickly dismounted,
and throwing the bridle of his horse to one of his men, he entered the garden,
and advanced towards the expectant group, which was composed, as we have
said, of Villars, Baville, and Sandricourt. As he drew near, M. de Villars regarded
him with growing astonishment; for he could not believe that in the young man, or