To warn the lovers was her first good impulse

O fondest memories! come and go,
Shine on sad times which are no more,
As sunbeams gladden waters of snow,
As wavelets kiss a barren shore:
And light with love and tenderness
The happy days which still are ours;
Whose influence, rich in April showers,
Casts round us love and tenderness.

The clatter of spurs and scabbards, and the firmer tread of feet than
one usually hears among the slipshod or slippered Moslems, next
forenoon, announced the arrival of my friends, and most welcome to me
was the appearance of Colonel Beverley, Studhome, Wilford, and Jocelyn
of ours, all fearless of cholera, as they came through the verandah of
the kiosk where I lay; and there, too, lingering without, I saw my
faithful follower, Pitblado.

They were all in full uniform and accoutred, for it was the day of a
great review; and all bowed with politeness to the sister of charity,
who immediately withdrew to the shadow of the verandah.

“I rejoice to see you, my dear boy,” said the colonel; “we had all given
you up as lost to us and to the regiment.”

“Lost, colonel?” I repeated.

“Faith, did we, Newton,” said Studhome. “We concluded that you had been
waylaid—cut off in the flower of your youth and day-dawn of ambition, as
the novels have it—by some Bulgarian footpads or rascally Bashi Bazooks,
for I presume you know that no one can go beyond the advanced posts with
safety without a revolver.”

“A rumour reached us of a British cavalry officer being conveyed
seriously ill to the house of an Armenian gentleman,” resumed Beverley.
“We strongly suspected that you were the person, and the presumption
became a certainty when yesterday this young lady brought your card to
my tent at the cavalry camp.”

“She is a good little saint,” said I, with enthusiasm.

“And so, Norcliff, you have actually had cholera—that foul pest which is
destroying our noble army piece-meal?”

“I am recovering, as you see; but pray don’t linger here, colonel.
There is danger by my side.”

“Norcliff, the air we breathe is full of cholera,” said Beverley,
impatiently twisting his grizzled moustache; “our poor fellows are dying
of it like sheep with the rot!”

“If the Emperor of Russia had planned the whole affair himself, he could
not have taken better measures to weaken and decimate us than this
useless camp at Varna.”

“You are right, Studhome—to decimate us before the war begins,” added
Jocelyn.

“When do we take the field, colonel?”

“No one knows.”

“Then how long are we to remain here?”

“No one can tell. Satisfactory, isn’t it? In fact, no one knows
anything.”

“Except,” said Studhome, “that we are giving the Russians plenty of time
to prepare a hot reception for us, if we venture to seek ’the bubble
reputation’ in the Crimea—or military fame, which, as some one says,
consists of ’a few orders on a tight uniform.’”

“How far am I from the camp, colonel?”

“About five miles.”

“Five miles!” I exclaimed, “Then you, my poor friend, Sister Archange,
actually walked for me ten miles under a broiling sun yesterday?”

“Yes, _monsieur le capitaine_,” she replied; “and happy would I have
been could I have returned with what you wished for.”

“How sorry I am! How can I ever repay, ever apologize, for the amount
of trouble I have given you?”

“Apologies are not to be thought of,” said she, quietly; “and as for
repayment, we do not look for that—here, at least.”

She smiled, and looked very beautiful. Twirling his
carefully-bandolined moustache, Jocelyn, who had been observing her
admiringly, was about to address her in, perhaps, rather a heedless way,
when Beverley said to him pointedly—

“Those French sisters of charity are the admiration of all the troops.
Even the stupid Turks adore them, and are bewildered by a devotion and
purity of purpose which their sensual souls cannot understand.
Mademoiselle, we have no language to describe what we owe to your
order.”

The sister of charity gave the colonel a pleasant smile, and a bow full
of grace and good humour.

“Our visit,” said he, “is necessarily a hurried one. We are all in full
puff, as you may see, Norcliff, for this afternoon the cavalry division
is to be reviewed before Omar Pasha and Marshal St. Arnaud.”

“Hence my Lord Lucan is most anxious that each and all should appear in
his best bib and tucker,” added Studhome.

After they were gone, I turned again to thank the gentle sister of
charity for the journey she had made, on a hot and breathless day,
through a camp of more than eighty thousand foreign troops, to serve me.

She only gave me one of her pleasant smiles, and; taking the miniature
of Louisa from the tripod table, said in a low voice, “Is this the lady
from whom you expect letters?”

“Yes.”

She shook her head sadly, as if her survey of the tiny portrait had not
proved satisfactory.

“Why do you look thus, _ma soeur_? What do you see?”

“Much of dangerous beauty; but more of pride, of caution, tact, and cold
decision. The eyebrows nearly meet—I don’t like that. The eyes are
lovely; but—but——”

“What?” I asked, almost imperiously.

“I dare not say it. I may be guilty of the sin of detraction.”

“Nay, speak, I beg of you. The eyes are lovely, you say, but——”

“Have an untruthful expression.”

“Ah, good heavens, don’t say so!”

My heart sank as she spoke, and I sighed deeply.

“I have seen such eyes and brows once before, and I remember the sorrow
they wrought.”

The paragraph which I had read in the London morning paper, on board the
_Ganges_, in the harbour of Valetta—that fulsome paragraph, at which
Berkeley had smiled so complacently and covertly—came to my memory word
for word now. Was it possible that the journal was true, and Louisa
false? After an uncomfortable pause, I related to the sister the
strange episode which occurred at the house of the hakim Abd-el-Rasig.

“_Magique!_” she exclaimed, while her large eyes became larger still,
and she crossed herself three several times with great earnestness. “_O
Sainte Dame!_ you tried the art of the great fiend, did you?”

“Who—I? Not at all! How could I? Don’t imagine anything so absurd.
The man is only a trickster, like Houdin or Herr Frickel.”

But she seemed so horrified at me, and “the art that none may name,”
that I was fain to explain that the whole affair originated in the
suggestion of Studhome, and some of the officers of the 2nd Zouaves, in
a moment of idleness.

“I can tell you many a tale of the wickedness of having recourse to
magic, and the retribution which falls on those who do so,” said she.
“Have you ever read the writings of the fathers?”

“No, I regret exceedingly,” I was beginning, when I could not help
laughing at her conceiving such a course of reading palatable to a young
cavalry officer. Even the pundits who “go in” for cramming, that they
may have the magical letters “P.S.C.”[*] after their names in the “Army
List,” do not go that length.

[*] Passed (final examination) at the Staff College,

“Have you ever heard of St. Jerome?” she asked, gravely.

“I think so, _ma soeur_.”

“Well, I shall tell you a tale he records concerning magic, and one who
resorted thereto. Once upon a time in France, your odious Abd-el-Rasig
would have been burned alive, for there can be no doubt that, like those
of the Egyptian magicians of old, his operations are conducted with
infernal agency. Can the accounts we hear of those magicians from Moses
admit of any other construction?”

“Of course not, though I can’t for the life of me see what you are
driving at.”

“If ever you see him again, _mon frère_, make the sign of the cross, and
then you will see how he will shrink and whine, like Mephistopheles in
the opera, for it is a sign that always sends the thoughts heavenward.
We are told that, if St. Ephrem saw a little bird fly, he always
remembered that, with pinions outspread, it made the sign of the cross
as it soared towards heaven; but that when it folded those wings the
holy sign was marred, and the poor bird fell at once, grovelling and
fluttering, on the earth.”

“Well, _ma soeur_; but the story and St. Jerome?”

“Pardon me, I had forgotten. He tells, in his life of St. Hilarion the
Hermit—ah, you never heard of him either—that a gay young man of the
town of Gaza, in Syria, fell deeply in love with a young lady, whom he
used to see occasionally in those beautiful gardens of tamarisks, figs,
and olives for which the place is still so famous; but she was pious,
devoted to Heaven and to religion, and, consequently, shunned him—a
course which only added the stings of jealousy and attraction to the
passion which she had inspired.

“His glances, his tender whispers, his presents, and professions she
treated with coldness; his attempted caresses she repulsed with anger
and disdain, till, finding all his attempts baffled and ineffectual, in
a fit of rage and despair he went to Memphis, which was then the
residence of many eminent magicians, all reputed to possess wonderful
power.

“There he remained a whole year, studying the dark mysteries under the
tutelage of the most learned, until he deemed himself sufficiently
instructed; and, exulting in his unholy knowledge, acquired chiefly
among the graves which still lie to the south and westward of Memphis,
and where one may walk for miles and miles amid bones and fragments of
crumbling mummies, he returned to Gaza, confident that now he could bend
the inflexible beauty to his will.

“Beneath the marble peristyle of her father’s house he contrived to
lodge at midnight a plate of brass, whereon he had engraved a potent
spell. Hence, the first time she passed over it a wondrous illness
seized her! She became furious, says St. Jerome; she tore her glorious
hair, she gnashed her teeth, and raved over the name and image of the
very youth whom she had so repeatedly driven from her presence in
despair by her coldness and hauteur.

“In sorrow and terror her parents conducted her to the hermitage of St.
Hilarion; and then, when the holy hands of the old man crossed her, the
devil that was within her began to howl, and to confess the truth.

“’I have suffered violence!’ he exclaimed, speaking with _her_ tongue,
to the fear of all.

“St. Hilarion took a branch of blessed palm, and, having dipped it in
holy water as an esperges, threw the sparkling drops profusely over her,
on which the devil exclaimed again—

“’I have been forced here against my inclination! Alas! these drops are
as freezing ice! Oh, how happy I was at Memphis among the tombs of the
dead! Oh! the pains, the tortures I suffer!’

“Then the hermit commanded him to come forth; but the devil told him
that he was detained by a brazen spell beneath the peristyle of the
maiden’s house.





“So cautious was the saint, however, that he would not permit the magic
figures to be searched for till he had released the virgin, for fear he
should seem to have intercourse with incantations for the performance of
a cure, or to have believed that a devil could ever speak truth. He
observed that demons are always liars, and cunning only to deceive.”

“So the damsel was released?” said I, who had listened with some
amusement to the story, which was told me with implicit faith in its
veracity.

“Yes; but the devil, ere he went back to Memphis, paid a terrible visit
to his first summoner; for the young man was found in the garden of
olives, strangled, with the marks of talons in his throat. So, _mon
ami_, never again have recourse to such persons as Abd-el-Rasig.
Promise this to your little sister, Archange!”

“I may well promise you that, or anything else you ask,” said I, charmed
by her winning manner. “How sweetly your name sounds when pronounced by
yourself.”

“Do you really think so?” she asked, while her dark eyebrows arched up.
“My godfather named me Archange, that I might be under the protection of
the archangels. You comprehend me, monsieur? When I joined the order
of the _soeurs de la charité_ for my noviciate in the Rue du Vieux
Colombier, to share with the Sisters of St. Martha the care of the sick
in the hospitals of Paris, they saw no reason to change it; and hence I
am still, as I was before—before I thought of being a sister of
charity—Archange.”

To a sick man’s ear, there was a soothing charm in the girl’s voice and
its intonation. Then her broken English, her earnestness, truthfulness,
and intense faith in all the little religious legends and anecdotes with
which she amused us, were all fascinating, and there came a time when I
missed her, and then sorely. Add to all these that, in the girl’s
beautiful but colourless face, there was an expression singularly pure,
noble, and frank, lofty, and at times sublime. I was very curious to
know her surname, and the reason why she had adopted a life of such
privation and peril as that of a Sister of Charity—an order so severe,
and whose duties were a ceaseless round of privation and peril. Without
being uncourteously curious, I knew not how to approach the subject; but
next day, after Jack Studhome and Fred Wilford (who rode over from the
camp) had retired, she imparted the little story of her past life of her
own accord, and the circumstance came about very simply, through a mere
remark of mine. The mail steamer had come in from Constantinople, but
Studhome had no letter for me.

“Ah, _ma soeur_ Archange, I begin to be torn by jealousy,” said I.

“Why?” she asked, gently.

“I cannot say why, as the only man in England I have reason to fear is a
creature so contemptible.”

“Then wherefore give way to a weakness so odious and so tempting?”

“Tempting?” I repeated.

“Yes; I mean tempting to crime.”

“How strangely you speak!”

“But truly,” she replied, sadly.

“I do not understand——”

“I can tell you a horrible episode,” she began, impetuously; “but no,
’tis better forgotten—forgotten, if possible, than to recollect it now,
in all its sad details,” she added, after a pause.

“Why?”

“You have unbosomed yourself to me, and have told to me your only
sorrow; why should I conceal mine? or why be less communicative to you?
Well, I shall tell you why I—for the sake of others, rather than even
for my own soul’s welfare—dedicated myself to God and the order of
charity. By jealousy, and the revenge it inspired, I lost a brother
whom I idolized, and two friends whom I loved dearly; and, monsieur, it
all happened thus.”

After a short pause, with her long dark lashes cast down, and her little
white hands folded on her knees, she told me the following story:—”My
father, M. Marie Anatole Chaverondier, resided in a little antique
château among the mountains of Beaujolais, where we had a property
which, though small, is fertile, and in some places is covered with fine
old wood. Our château is very ancient, for it had anciently been a
hunting-seat of the illustrious family of Beaujeu, who gave their name
to all that district; and thus we have rooms that many a time were
honoured by the presence of the Great Constable and the Dukes of
Bourbon.

“I can, in fancy, see that dear old château now, with its round turrets,
its gilded vanes, and white façade, rising above the green woodlands,
with the blue Saône flowing in front under an ancient bridge, the
central arch of which had been blown up in the wars of the old
revolution, but was now partly repaired by logs of oak, that were
half-hidden by luxuriant ivy, and beautiful red and white roses. Ah!”
she exclaimed, while her splendid eyes became suffused with tears,
“shall I ever again see the old Château de Chaverondier?

“My mother was dead. My father—a gentleman of the _ancien régime_, a
strict legitimist, or adherent of the old monarchy, and a worshipper in
secret of Henri V.—resided there in seclusion with his family, which
consisted of myself, my brother Claude, and three or four servants; and,
save our tutor, who was the old curé of the neighbouring village, or
monsieur le maire of Beaujeu, we had few or no visitors; and our time
glided away amid quiet pleasures, but with no sorrow, till Claude, a
tall and handsome youth, left us for the military school of St. Cyr.

“There he soon received the commission of sous-lieutenant in the 3rd
Light Infantry of the line, then commanded by Colonel François-Certain
de Canrobert, now marshal of our army in the East.

“I sorrowed for my brother, my lost companion, long and earnestly. We
had no more rambles now by the Sacine, in search of flowers and ferns,
or in the deep dark woodland dells around the old château. There was a
sad emptiness and loneliness in and around it, too. I no longer heard
my brother’s clear voice singing merrily as he prepared his flies and
fishing-rod, or the report of his gun waking the echoes of the forest;
and I went to mass, to confession, and to communion alone, for my father
had become too feeble now to leave his apartment, and my chief solace
was in attending him; so, monsieur, you see that I served an early
apprenticeship in the sick chamber.

“But there were others who sorrowed for the absent Claude—the two
daughters of Montallé, the maire of Beaujeu, a wealthy proprietor of
several forges and furnaces, whose alliance my father would have opposed
with disdain and wrath; but that did not prevent us from being great
friends with Lucrece and Cecile, whom we had been in the habit of
meeting so regularly at mass, and with whom we worked in common to
decorate the altar of monsieur le curé on holidays.

“Both were remarkably handsome and sprightly girls. Cecile was fair and
gentle, and Claude, I knew, loved her, and sighed for her, even as a
boy; but Lucrece, the elder, I also knew, loved him in her secret heart,
for she had frequently told me so after his departure for St. Cyr, and
more than once I had seen a dangerous expression in her pale face and
dark eyes when Cecile spoke of him with regret or affection. Dark as
night were the eyes of Lucrece. Her nose was aquiline, and over it her
eyebrows nearly met; and she had a general expression not unlike that
which I saw in your miniature. Letters came at times to our old château
among the mountains of Beaujolais from the absent Claude; but it was
soon too evident that Cecile Montallé was in correspondence with him as
well as I; for she knew quite as soon as we did of Claude’s movements,
and those of the 3rd Light Infantry, with which he was serving in
Africa; and she knew before we did of how he had distinguished himself
in Canrobert’s famous expedition against Ahmed-Sghir, when that chief
rallied the tribes of the Bouaoun in revolt against France.

“In 1850, Claude wrote us that he had been wounded in Canrobert’s
expedition against Narah, that Colonel Canrobert had granted him leave
of absence, and that he was coming home. No hearts were so happy as
ours at the old château, on learning that Claude was returning, and
covered with honour, too—save, perhaps, the fair-haired Cecile Montallé.
There was a radiance in her pink cheek, a sparkle in her beautiful blue
eyes, when we met at church in Beaujeu, which showed that she, too, was
mistress of the same joyous tidings; and, in the fulness of her heart,
she confessed to me that she and Claude had corresponded long, had
exchanged rings, and were mutually attached and engaged. I loved my
brother. Could I wonder that Cecile Montallé did so too? Lucrece, who
stood by us, heard all this with a lowering brow, and there was the old
and strange expression in her face which had terrified me before as I
kissed her, and got into our old-fashioned carriage to return to the
château, which stands some five leagues or so from Beaujeu.

“For days I busied myself, preparing for the reception of Claude. His
old room was put in order by my own hands. Alas! I could little foresee
that he was never to tread its floor again! In fact, the unhappy
Lucrece was the victim of an absorbing and corroding jealousy; and in
her heart she was beginning to hate and to loathe her guileless and
unsuspecting sister. To add to this evil feature in our mutual
relations, when I ventured timidly to speak of Claude’s engagement to my
father, he became inflamed with sudden fury. All the buried pride of the
old days of the monarchy—the days of periwigs and pasteboard skirts, of
shoe-buckles and rapiers—with the memory of past greatness, and the time
when the Constable and Dukes of Bourbon had joined our forefathers in
the chase, and shared their hospitality in Chaverondier—all this I saw
blazed up within him! His eyes flashed with fire, and his thin bent
form became erect. He had been proud of his son’s brilliant career
under Canrobert; he had pictured for him a brilliant future; he already
saw him ranked among the marshals of France, reviving the past glories
of ancestors who had left their bones at Pavia, Rocroi and Ramilies.

“But now he thought all those ancient triumphs and those revived hopes
would be blighted and blotted by a disgraceful marriage with a mere
_bourgeoise_—a vulgar smelter of iron—a man who had begun life with a
hammer and bellows; a grimy manufacturer of spades, ploughs, and
pickaxes for the markets of Beaujeu, Belleville, and Chalieu!

“My father thought of his sixteen heraldic quarters, among which were
the arms of Cressi, Sante-Croix, and Segonzoe, the three noblest
families in Beaujolais, and swore by the souls of his fathers that such
a marriage could never be. He did more. He wrote a severe and sarcastic
letter to the maire of Beaujeu, warning him of his most severe
displeasure, if the correspondence between his daughter and ’Monsieur my
son, the Captain Chaverondier,’ was not at once and for ever ended. To
have read that letter might have made one think that the Grand Monarque
was still flirting at the Trianon, and that the fleur-de-lis still waved
above the Bastille of St. Antoine. On the other hand the maire Montallé
was a sturdy and purse-proud republican; one who in his youth had fought
at the barricades, had sacked the Tuileries, and had actually beaten on
his drum, by order of Santerre, to drown the dying words of the son of
St. Louis! So he retorted in a manner which I do not choose to repeat;
but therewith ended all the hopes of the sweet and gentle Cecile, and of
my brave brother, who was travelling, as fast as the railway trains
could fly, through the provinces from Marseilles, to see us all, and his
own happy home again.

“At those malignant letters, the dark Lucrece laughed bitterly. At
Beaujeu poor Claude learned the state of affairs between the families,
and, weak as he had become by hard service in Africa, and the wound he
had received at Narah, he could barely withstand the shock. It filled
him with despair; but he loved Cecile too well to relinquish her. They
had many interviews, contrived I know not how, and a secret marriage was
arranged and concluded before even the watchful and jealous Lucrece
could discover them, or interrupt it; so nothing remained now but for
Claude to carry off his bride, to reach the old château among the
mountains of Beaujolais, and trust to his father’s old parental love and
pride in his recent bravery for forgiveness.

“A powerful Arab horse, with which Canrobert had presented him (and
which had borne a warrior of the Kabyles in many a bloody conflict) was
accoutred with a market saddle and pillion to bear the lovers, who were
to be disguised as a farmer and his wife, lest _monsieur le maire_ and
his workmen might assume arms and fire on them; for the Revolution of
two years before had left much bad feeling between the aristocrats and
the _canaille_ (as the former most unwisely termed the latter), and thus
in the provinces many a lawless act was done that never reached Paris,
or figured in the pages of the _Moniteur_.

“So Claude wore a blue blouse over his uniform, a straw hat, in lieu of
the smart scarlet kepi; and Cecile was disguised as a _paysanne_ of
Beaujolais. All this was achieved with the assistance of Lucrece. Dull
despair had settled on her heart now, and, finding that Cecile was
irrevocably the wife of Claude Chaverondier, she could only endeavour to
be resigned, and to complete the happiness she had failed to mar or
interrupt, and could never hope to enjoy.

“The night on which they were to set forth was dark and tempestuous.
Near Beaujeu there rolls a mountain torrent, a tributary of the Saône.
It was crossed by a narrow wooden bridge, at a place where, between two
high and impending banks, on this night, it was foaming white and
furiously, as snows were melting in the mountains, and every tiny
rivulet was full to overflowing.

“Lucrece had secured the key of the private gate which closed the end of
this bridge, and she was to lock it after the lovers had passed through,
and thus bar pursuit in that direction. With a sad heart she issued
forth to undo the barrier. So wild was the tempestuous wind that she
could barely keep afoot, and she felt her aching heart tremble when she
saw the blackness of the fast-flying clouds, between which the pale
stars shone coldly forth at intervals; and now she came to where the
black and hideous chasm yawned in the rocks, and she could see, far down
below, the snow-white flood boiling hoarsely over its stony bed, deep,
fierce, and swollen, as it rushed to join the Saône, hurling rocks and
trees together to the sea.

“The wild winter flood and the stormy night were both in accordance with
the tempestuous spirit that writhed in her bosom. She heard the hoofs
of Claude’s Arab horse, as their clatter was swept past on the wind,
that blew her black, dishevelled hair in disorder about her pallid face;
and as she unlocked the gate, a sob of astonishment and terror escaped
her.

“The wooden bridge had fallen, or been torn by the tempest from its
posts, and the gulf was impassable.

“To warn the lovers was her first good impulse; to be silent was the
second.

“As they rode up to thank and bid her adieu, she saw their mutual
endearments; she saw the strong arm of Claude caressingly round the
waist of Cecile, and her head reposing trustfully on his shoulder, as
she sat on the saddle before him. Then a madness seemed to sting the
heart of Lucrece! She felt herself to the fullest extent the neglected,
the discarded, the unloved one, and revenge and hatred filled her soul
with a dreadful fury.

“’Adieu, dear, dear Lucrece!’ cried Cecile; ’adieu! and pray for us.’

“’Ride on; the way is clear,’ she replied, in a breathless voice.

“And Claude gave the spur to his Arab. Like an arrow it shot past her.
In another instant a scream rang upward on the stormy wind, as the horse
and its double burden went headlong into the wild abyss of rushing water
far below, and disappeared for ever!

“So perished my dear brother Claude, and with him my friend Cecile.

“Lucrece stood there for a time like one bewildered and aghast, for the
whole episode resembled a sudden and ghastly dream, from which she might
yet awaken. She saw only the river foaming past like a white flood amid
the blackening gloom, and its roar seemed deafening and stunning, and
she placed her hands on her ears to shut out the sound, as she went
slowly home, and for days and nights the roar of the river seemed never
to leave her. From that hour she was quite insane, and, if still alive,
is an inmate of the lunatic asylum at Beaujeu.

“This double catastrophe had such an effect upon my spirits that, after
the death of my father, by the advice of _monsieur le curé_, I quitted
the Château de Chaverondier, joined the order to which I now belong, and
was soon after sent hither with the army of the East.”

Such, as nearly as I can remember, was the sad story of her early life
told me by Mademoiselle Chaverondier.

It was not until I began to recover that I became fully aware of the
vast debt of gratitude I owed to this good sister of charity, and that I
completely knew how much I owed to her sisterly and motherly care of me
during that perilous and loathsome disease.

But there were no means of repaying her. Gratitude of the heart was all
she would accept, and that I gave her to the full, but now daily, as I
became convalescent, and as my brother officers cantered over from the
vale of Aladyn to visit me, she left me more and more alone, and there
were three whole days during which she never came at all.

I rather think she was scared by Studhome, who had ridden over with a
couple of champagne bottles in his holsters, and whom she found smoking
in my _kiosk_, with his shell-jacket open, and his stock off, and
singing a song, the first verse of which was something in this style—

My father cared little for shot or shell,
He laughed at death and dangers;
He’d have stormed the very gates of hell,
At the head of the Connaught Rangers.

How much I missed her!

When she did return it was to bid me adieu, and to say that she had been
ordered to attach herself to the 45th regiment of the French line, where
severe duties awaited her, and that in all human probability I should
never see her more.

Those farewell words sounded sadly. We shook hands kindly,
affectionately, and parted with tears in our eyes. In my heart I felt
the love of a brother for that self-devoted French girl, and at that
time she could but little foresee the sad offices I was to render her in
the hour of suffering that was to come.