The Honor of the Name HTML version

Chapter 36
Essentially a woman in grace and beauty, as well as in devotion and tenderness, Marie-
Anne was capable of a virile bravery. Her energy and her coolness during those trying
days had been the admiration and the astonishment of all around her.
But human endurance has its limits. Always after excessive efforts comes a moment
when the shrinking flesh fails the firmest will.
When Marie-Anne tried to begin her journey anew, she found that her strength was
exhausted; her swollen feet would no longer sustain her, her limbs sank under her, her
head whirled, and an intense freezing coldness crept over her heart.
Maurice and the old soldier were obliged to support her, almost carry her. Fortunately
they were not far from the village, whose church- tower they had discerned through the
gray mists of morning.
Soon the fugitives could distinguish the houses on the outskirts of the town. The corporal
suddenly stopped short with an oath.
"Mille tonnerres!" he exclaimed; "and my uniform! To enter the village in this rig would
excite suspicion at once; before we had a chance to sit down, the Piedmontese gendarmes
would arrest us."
He reflected for a moment, twirling his mustache furiously; then, in a tone that would
have made a passerby tremble, he said:
"All things are fair in love and war. The next peasant who passes--"
"But I have money," interrupted Maurice, unbuckling a belt filled with gold, which he
had put on under his clothing on the night of the revolt.
"Eh! we are fortunate!" cried Bavois. "Give me some, and I will soon find some shop in
the suburbs where I can purchase a change of clothing." He departed; but it was not long
before he reappeared, transformed by a peasant's costume, which fitted him perfectly. His
small, thin face was almost hidden beneath an immense broad-brimmed hat.
"Now, steady, forward, march!" he said to Maurice and Marie-Anne, who scarcely
recognized him in this disguise.
The town, which they soon reached, was called Saliente. They read the name upon a