Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Title Page
 The Flight from Marseilles
 The Hiding - Place
 Nicolette's New Device
 The Escape and the Journey
 New Troubles
 The Happy Meeting
 Back Cover

Title: Faithful Nicolette, or, The French nurse
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00026304/00001
 Material Information
Title: Faithful Nicolette, or, The French nurse
Alternate Title: French nurse
Physical Description: 64 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 16 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Myers, Sarah A ( Sarah Ann ), 1800-1876
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson & Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date: 1872
Subject: Nurses -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Faith -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Jacobins -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Death -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
Christian life -- Juvenile fiction   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- France -- Revolution, 1789-1799   ( lcsh )
History -- Juvenile fiction -- France -- Reign of Terror, 1793-1794   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1872
Genre: novel   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00026304
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002226024
notis - ALG6306
oclc - 46762648

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Page 1
        Page 2
    Front Matter
        Page 3
        Page 4
    Half Title
        Page 5
        Page 6
    Title Page
        Page 7
        Page 8
    The Flight from Marseilles
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
    The Hiding - Place
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
    Nicolette's New Device
        Page 30
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
    The Escape and the Journey
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    New Troubles
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    The Happy Meeting
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
    Back Cover
        Page 69
        Page 70
Full Text
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FAITHFUL NICOLETTECHAPTER ITIE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLESN the latter part of the reign of LouisXVI which was the period of theS breaking out of the Revolution andwhich was followed by the Reign ofTerror there lived in Marseilles a richmerchant whose name was Martiniere Occupiedby his own extensive concerns he kept himselfas far removed as possible from the scenes oftumult and bloodshed which were everywherebeing enacted Although he deplored the stateof his beloved France he knew that no effort ormeans of his own could stay the storm of popularfury which every day raged more violentlyGreatly blessed in his own domestic circle which

6 THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLESconsisted of his wife and two children the eldesta boy of twelve years old and his little sisterAdele four years younger he had never beentempted to roam beyond its limits or appear asa partisan in the strifes which so painfully markedthat turbulent timeThe quiet retirement in which the Martinierefamily lived furnished no certain safeguardagainst the suspicion of upstart rulers and theunbridled fury of the mob which intoxicatedwith the possession of a power it knew not howto use had sacrificed the family of the amiablebut weak Louis XVI and conducted his unhappy queen and himself to the guillotine Menwho had taken the largest part in the crueltiespractised on that fearful September day in 1791and murdered the prisoners confined in theAbbey St Germain La Force and others nowstood as judges at the head of the popular tribunals and neither mercy nor justice was to beexpected from those blood thirsty tyrants bysuch as were marked for sacrificeMost of the royalist party who could do sowere leaving this land of misrule and MrMartiniere held it no longer safe to remainPrudently and cautiously therefore he madepreparations for his departure Resolving tomake Germany his place of refuge he had pro

THE FLIGHT FROM 51AtSEILL s 7vidced himself with passports and clothing suitable for disguise having converted his propertyas far as possible into money To accomplishthis the greatest circumspection had to beobserved lest it should excite suspicion Thecare and anxiety of the intended fugitivesincreased each moment for they feared lest theobserving enemies of public peace had alreadycast a longing eye on the wealth which they wereknown to possessThe evening at length arrived on which theyhad decided to leave their native city MrMartiniere and his wife dressed in the garb ofthe peasants who supplied the market withvegetables prepared to forsake for ever the homeendeared to them by many tender recollectionsbut regret was for the present lost in theurgency for flight and the dread of mishap Thelarge baskets which as part of their disguisethey carried on their shoulders held somenecessary clothing and a few eatables Theirvaluable papers were concealed between thedouble soles of their hob nailed shoesUnder various pretexts they had parted fromtime to time with all their servants except onewho for thirty years had so faithfully dischargedher household duties in their service that shewas looked on more in the light of a relative

8 THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLESthan a domestic She had declared that shewould not forsake them in the hour of dangerbut was resolved to follow them into exilewherever they might lead This woman whosename was Nicolette greatly loved MadameMartiniere whom she had nursed with all amother s tenderness She had also been nurseto the children who were not less the objects ofher affection than if they had been parts of herown being and they taught from their earliestinfancy to love and respect her so every wayworthy were not less attached to this faithfulservant than to their own mother They regarded one as mamma and the other asmotherAll was ready and Nicolette had gone toawake the sleeping children who knew nothingof the intended flight and to whom the refreshment of a few hours of slumber was necessary tofit them for the rough journey which lay beforethemThe clock chimed the hour of one from thegray tower and the parents having taken everyprecaution against surprise waited but for thepresence of Nicolette and the children to set outwhen suddenly the sounds of wild tumult wereheard issuing from the street below Its importcould not be mistaken a party of riotous Jaco

THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLES 9bins were storming the house It was plain thattheir plan of flight had been discoveredMadame Martiniere sank fainting on the floorfor she believed escape now to be impossibleThe children could not be aroused in a momentand to attempt to carry them away in their armswould effectually hinder the flight In the surprise occasioned by the sudden alarm and riotbelow the children called loudly on father andmother for help and rendered concealment entirely impossibleMr Martiniere stood for a moment irresoluteand pale as death His eyes wandered alternately from the weeping children to his stillinsensible wife and he seemed to be strugglingwith some severe emotionNicolette threw herself on her knees beforehim exclaimingSave yourself and my dear lady for yourlife s sake fly In another minute it will be toolateShe pointed as she spoke to a back stairwhich was plainly visible through the open doorof the apartment where they were assembled andled to a passage on the lower floor by whichthey might escape through the gardenFurious blows were now struck on the outerportal threatening soon to destroy it and the

10 THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLEScry Down with the base cowards to theguillotine with the heretics was heard frightfully distinct in the stillness of nightBut my children exclaimed Mr Martinieredespairingly as he stretched out his hands toward themI will save them God being my helpercried Nicolette in a tone of earnestness butwe shall certainly all be lost if you linger but amoment longerThe portal now began to give way under theheavy strokes directed against it Anothermoment and they would be in the power of thefurious mob and then the way to the guillotinewas short Mr Martiniere raised his wife fromthe floor where she had sunk half fainting andcarrying her in his arms down the narrow stairreached a door in the garden wall which gavethem egress to an obscure and lonely streetFavoured by the darkness they escaped pursuitat least for the presentNicolette had no time to follow with the children for ere the parents reached the lowerstair the door was broken down and the enemywith shouts and imprecations were ascending thesteps leading from the front Hastily therefore laying the little Adele back in her crib shecried to the boy John here quick Bind my

THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLES 11arms behind me with this cord so right tightmy boy and now go lie down quite still besideyour little sister but pray my dear child andbe not afraid for God will surely help usThe boy accustomed to obey promptly did asNicolette directed in silence and concluded histask almost before her words had ceased tosoundNicolette had thrown herself on the floor herheart more pained to practise deception thanimpressed with fear of those who she knew wouldnot hesitate one moment to take the lives ofthose innocent children dearer to her than herownForgive me heavenly Father if I amwrong she prayedAs the rude men crowded into the chambershe struggled as if anxious to free herself fromher bonds and exclaimedLet me loose unbind my hands I begyouWhere are they where are the cowardsHave they bound and left you here lest youshould betray them cried one of the mobAll gone and I cannot tell where Looseme I entreat this cord is so tight urged thepoor NicoletteWhat exclaimed the most savage looking

12 THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLESof the troop who seemed to be the leaderhave they escaped Then of this house shallnot one stone be left upon another But let usbe off comrades We will follow for they cannot be far off Let us divide our band intosmall parties and we shall be sure to overtakethemWait citizen wait one moment criedNicolette anxious to gain time I will showyou the way they took You can easily findthem for it is not two hours since they leftBut first unbind my arms The cords pressdeeply into my flesh and I suffer great painYou must loose me first if you wish to overtakethemBe quick about it then we are in greathaste growled the leader of the troop as hedrew his dagger and severed the cord with whichthe arms of Nicolette were tied But he did itin such a hurried an incautious manner that adeep wound was inflicted on her wrist and theblood flowed down in a stream over her clothingto the floor Nicolette cared not for the painShe foreboded no danger to herself She trustedshe might be able to baffle the pursuit until theyshould have at least the advantage of an hour sstart But at length she was obliged to answer thequestions which poured upon her from all sides

THE FLIGHT FRO1M MARSEILLES 13It is in the harbour you are to seek themsaid she all the fugitives try to get to England You had better go and see if there areEnglish ships going to sailSay you so Let us be off then if we wishto overtake them there is no time to be lostwas the reply from many rough voices and oncemore the wild herd stormed toward the doorNicolette began to breathe more freely Shecould now fly with the children they at leastwere saved for their little bed had not been examined their presence not suspected But unxappily just at this moment one of the menstumbled over a small trunk lying on the floorTo save himself from falling he caught hold ofthe nearest piece of furniture which was unhappily the crib in which the children lay closelycovered Overpowered by the sudden fright andbelieving the man had put forth his hand toseize them the little girl screamed loudly Theintruders struck by the cry of anguish stood fora moment and then one and all poured backagain into the roomNicolette whose exulting hope of a momentbefore was now turned into despair was pale asdeath and could scarcely keep from faintingbut love for those dear and helpless beings intrusted to her care obtained the victory over fear

14 THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLESand pain and she was fixed in her determinationto defend their lives even at the expense of herownJust see there said one of the men as hedrew John out of the crib and as the littleAdele clung closely to the neck of her brotherboth children were disclosed and fairly at themercy of those rude guests to dispose of as theypleased See them they are the children ofthat traitor Martiniere We will take them withus as hostages and hang them on the first lamppost we come to if we do not overtake the fugitivesNicolette help us do not forsake us dearNicolette cried John in a voice of entreatyand Adele in the grasp of one of the ruffiansstretched out her little hands toward her belovednurseThe cry and the movement added new agonyto that faithful heart At once she sprung forward to snatch her nurslings from the murderouscrew ready to shield them or perish But justat that moment the rough voice of their leader washeard in an impatient tone saying Leave themfor the present and let us to the haven Shallsuch a fine booty escape us No doubt thefugitives have shipped great wealth What canwe do at present with a pair of crying children

THE FLIGHT FROM MARSEILLES 15Let them stay here until we come back theywould only now be in the wayAt these words the noisy crew left the houseattracted by the glittering bait of Martiniere sgreat treasure on board the English shipsNicolette fell on her knees and with tears ofgratitude streaming from her eyes thanked Godwho had thus safely brought her through thisfirst great danger She commended the lives ofher darling children to his holy keeping beggedagain and again for forgiveness and imploredhis protection for the futureBut it was necessary for her to make the bestuse of her time during the absence of the Jacobins because after a vain search at the pier forMartiniere and his treasure they would certainlyreturn to the house and wreak their disappointment and vengeance on herself and the helplesschildren Hastily therefore dressing the littleAdele she took her in her arms and leadingJohn by the hand without tarrying to secure asingle article for their future comfort she leftthe house to traverse the dangerous streets in thedark hours of solemn midnight

16 THE HIDING PLACECHAPTER IITIIE IIIDING PLACEAT last Nicolette reached a distant and darkstreet After carefully looking round to see thatshe was not pursued she knocked at the door ofa small house It was either deserted or its inmates wrapped in the deepest slumber for shewaited a long time before any sign from withinassured her that the dwelling was inhabited Aslight movement at length was heard a lightsound as of a cautiously placed footstep for inthis reign of terror suspicion extended everywhere and even in this poor hovel there wassomething to lose Nicolette placing her lipsto the key hole whispered her name more thanonce before the bolts within were drawn backand the door cautiously opened to admit thosemidnight wanderers An old woman the ownerof the cottage who gained a livelihood by sellingfruit in the market place appeared at the opening with a lamp in her hand and inquired ofNicolette in an anxious voice what she wishedof herYou must save us you must help us dearMother Iaynal answered Nicolette as shegrasped the hand of the old woman and pressed

THE HIDING PLACE 17it affectionately These are the children ofour family the parents were obliged to fly andI hope have escaped I have promised to followwith the children and will risk my own life tosave theirs Can you not hide us for one dayMother Raynal Just now we dare not ventureabroad we should be certain to fall into thehands of our pursuersYou demand great things of me Nicolettesaid the old woman after a short pause in whichshe appeared lost in thought for if the Jacobins discover your retreat I as well as yourselves am lost But it matters little it is notlong at the furthest that I have to live andyou were so kind and good to me in those dayslong ago when I was in want and forsaken Ihave never forgotten what I owe you and I willrepay it now to yourself and the children Comein then but keep very still for although I livealone I have neighbours on both sides and oldas I am I would not willingly die under theguillotineMay God reward you good mother for yourcompassion in this our hour of need said Nicolette with a lightened heart he knows myheart and will not suffer my purpose towardsthese innocent children to failQuietly and bidding the children make no2

18 THE HIDING PLACEnoise she entered the lowly dwelling MotherRaynal prepared as good a bed for her unexpected guests as her slender means would allowShe also sought among the store of fruit in herbasket for some wherewith to refresh the wearyand frightened children Worn out with fatigueand all they had suffered in the few last dreadfulhours their little heads scarce pressed the pillows far less luxurious than those to which theywere accustomed than they sunk into a slumberas soft and sweet as though they slept beneatha father s roof and a mother s careful eye watchedover themWhile they enjoyed the repose which is peculiar to unconscious childhood Nicolette fromwhose eyes slumber was far distant arranged aplan for concealment which she disclosed to hersensible old friend She would remain closelyhidden for a few days until as she hoped therevolutionists would give up the pursuit and atlast forget them Mr Martiniere had gone toHamburg and thither Nicolette resolved to follow with the childrenThis was easy to determine but two important matters were wanting in order to carry itinto execution In the first place she had nopassport and so could not hope to pass thebarrier without suspicion In the second place

THE HIDING PLACE 19she was entirely without money to procure subsistence for herself and children by the way Forthe supply of the first want Mother Raynal wasentirely at a loss what to advise for the lastshe counselled nobly although it was at a sacrifice to herself She proposed to sell her cottageto furnish Nicolette with the necessary means totravel but this could not be done in a hurrylest it should create suspicionIf they forget you said the kind heartedold creature as I trust they will soon domoney will obtain a passport but we must waita while Surely God will give us help in acase like thisNicolette raised her heart to Heaven for thehelp and comfort afforded through this poor oldwoman Hope once more cheered her with thewhispered promise that she could now speedilyfulfil her first intention of taking the childrento Hamburg and restoring them to their parentsOn the next morning as Mother Raynal lefther cottage to pursue her occupation of sellingfruit she locked the door carefully after her andrecommended the greatest caution to those sheleft behind and Nicolette found herself alonewith John and Adele They were provided withsome bread and fruit spread out by their oldfriend but were obliged to remain nearly in

20 THE HIDING PLACEdarkness for they dared not unclose the shutterslest some prying eye should discover their presence The day therefore passed sadly andslowly by Nicolette thought over her plans forflight the children freed from their first fearshad time to think of the parents from whomthey had never before been separated and wellas they loved the kind Nicolette they wept withanxious longing to rejoin themAt length the evening came The last ray ofsunlight ceased to peer through the crevice ofthe closed window shutter They sat in darkness when the key was heard to turn in the lockand the step and voice of Mother Raynal wereheard Little Adele sprang forward to meet herand casting a roguish glance at the basket shecarried on her arm saw a nice piece of cake lyingin it beside the fruitBut the countenance of the old woman wore asad and troubled expression A faint and transient smile passed over it as she gave the sweetgift to the delighted child but the cloud soonreturned Drawing Nicolette aside while thelittle ones were devouring the cake she told thefaithful nurse the cause of her present sadnessI have bad bad news for you my poor Nicolette said she I think it best you shouldknow it but do not lose your courage perhaps

THE HIDING PLACE 21we may be able to devise something As I satin my old place in the market offering my fruitto the passers by I noticed two or three menlying on the pavement a few steps distant fromwhere I was They were sleeping off the fumesof a drunken frolic Wild and savage theylooked and I saw at once they belonged to theJacobin party for they wore the well known redcaps I determined to take heed and watchthem closely They awoke at last and beganto talk to each other in an under tone I coulddistinguish every word for I placed myself sothat I could hear though I sat with my headbowed over my knitting as if I had fallenasleepThe old woman is asleep we can say whatwe please said one of the men to his comradeMaybe not said the other laughing let ssee if she is I will help myself to a handful ofthose nice olives in her basket and if she doesnot raise an outcry over the theft I will believeshe is really asleepHe did so I quietly suffered him to takewhat he wanted and so thinking I did nothear they talked to each other quite freely abouttheir fruitless pursuit of the Martinieres whothey said must certainly have escaped Theyalso spoke of the suspicion they had of you my

22 THE HIDING PLACEfaithful Nicolette they thought you had playedthem false in order to gain time and follow yourmaster with the children Gone she cannot besaid one she must certainly yet fall into ourhands and well shall she be punished for havingfooled us in sending us after booty where nonewas to be foundShe shall repent of it I tell you criedanother with many curses we will catch heryet and hang her up between the children Ihave just thought of a good plan to find her hecontinued springing up from the pavement wherehe was sitting I gave the treacherous hag acut with my dagger as I loosened the cord thatbound her arms It was a deep flesh wound andmust have bled a great deal I daresay she didnot take time to bind it up Let us go back tothe house and see if the blood that droppedfrom her arm will not guide us to her hidingplace for hidden in the neighbourhood shemust beWhat a cunning fellow you are Pierresaid his companion what a pity it was notthought of sooner It is so near night that itwould be useless to search after her now but wewill make it our first business in the morningThey then began to talk of matters in whichI had no interest but I had heard enough to

THE HIDING PLACE 23make my heart sad It beat as if it would breakI could scarcely await the hour for coming homeI dared not leave a moment sooner than usualI longed to know if you were safe and to warnand advise with you my poor Nicolette Atlast I left As I walked along the street evento the door of my own house I stooped down asif looking for something I had lost but it wasreally to see if you could be traced by the bloodfrom your wound They said it was too dark tosee but anxiety for you and the children gavesharpness to my old eyes It went through melike the point of a dagger as I saw large darkspots like blood all along and even on the stepof my door The blood must have dropped fromyour arm as you stood knocking for admissionThe neighbours cannot have failed to see itthroughout the day although I did not notice itin the morning and there is now no doubt inmy mind that your pursuers will discover yourhiding place without much troubleNicolette listened to this recital in silenceand with a face pale as marble When MotherRaynal had concluded poor Nicolette pressed herhands on her brow and begged direction fromabove in this her increasing trouble No wordwas heard to issue from the lips of any onewithin the lowly cottage for a space Mother

24 THE HIDING PLACERaynal s heart was sorely pressed with apprehension of coming evil Nicolette felt that bythe aid of Heaven alone she could hope to avertthe death threatened to herself and her helplesscharge The children seeing by the expressionof her face that something unusual was thematter pressed closely to her side and looked onaffrighted not even daring to weep She noticedthem not but at length falling upon her kneesshe poured out an earnest prayer that the resolution she had formed might be attended withthe best resultsWhen she had ended she thus addressedMother Raynal who stood sad and altogetherdiscouraged beside herMy good mother I see but one way ofescape a desperate one it is true but as it isthe only one I must try it although it cost memy life I will go to the rulers of the revolutionists I will place myself before the tribunalas if for justice and to their rude will and unbridled power I will oppose courage and craftby which I hope to conquerAlas cried Mother Raynal raising herhands in terror at the very thought that wouldbe to rush straightway into the lion s mouthNo dear Nicolette this thou shalt never do Icannot permit it

THE HIDING PLACE 25It will have to be so my good Raynal itis only in this manner that I can hope to savethese children replied the faithful nurseWouldst thou that I should break my wordto those sorrowing parents and prove faithlessto my benefactors to whom I owe all of happiness I ever knew only out of cowardice and thedread of those men who are only able to kill thebody Oh think not so badly of meThe old woman dried her streaming eyes withthe corner of her linen apron and said in accentsbroken by emotion God helps those who arefirm in a good cause Go then go confidentlyon your way I will oppose no hindrance norcause you to err in what you believe to be yourdutyThe good dame although sad and worn outwith the fatigues of the day now laid herselfdown on her straw pallet not to sleep but tolisten anxiously for every footfall or sound oftumult in the street With an attention not lessstrained the faithful Nicolette watched over hersleeping charge throughout the long hours ofthat dreary night picturing to herself the sceneto be enacted on the following morning andthinking over the words with which she shouldaddress those who in the fearful massacre of theprevious September had shown that they pos

26 NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICEsessed hearts deaf to all appeals of mercy andjusticeCHAPTER IIINICOLETTE S NEW DEVICEAs soon as it was light and while the childrenyet slept Nicolette left the cottage scarce daringto think whether she would be permitted to return With a look of unutterable love she bentover the unconscious little slumberers and imprinted what might be a last kiss upon their rosylips Her heart swelled forbidding the use oflanguage in which to thank the good MotherRaynal Pressing her withered hand in silenceshe departed sadly on the way which for all sheknew might lead her to the guillotineAfter a short walk she stood before that dreadtribunal Citizens said she recovering froma momentary weakness and feeling the need ofall the courage she could call up at this tryingmoment in which she addressed those whosevoices notwithstanding the early hour of theday had already pronounced the death doom onmany citizens I have come to lay my complaint before you and ask redress The familyin which I served all my lifetime have fled from

NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICE 27France and I am left behind without supportAnd that is not all They have left two childrenbehind They were so young that they wouldhave hindered their flight but the burden oftheir maintenance falls on me who am too helpless almost to support myself Besides as children of a royalist they have fallen under the lawof proscription and must suffer death But I amold and weak my carefully saved wages are inmy master s possession How can I expect toearn enough to support me without aid fromsome one What I came to ask from you isthis that you will suffer me to keep those children so that I can hire them out or make themwork for me to replace the money which I havelost by my master s flightPray where have you been hidden all daywith these children inquired the citizen judgesuspiciously it seems rather that you wereanxious to avoid the proscriptionIf so rejoined the faithful nurse wouldI now come voluntarily before you WhenI left the house where the soldiers found mebound I took the children to the abode of an oldfriend of my own where I purposed to leave themuntil I should be able to look round and discoverwhere my master and my means were hiddenDo you doubt what I am telling you I willAL

28 NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICEgo back to bring those children to your presenceso that you may do with them as you pleasebut you will have to send some one with me tohelp for they will not come willinglyThe quiet and indifferent manner in whichNicolette spoke completely deceived those whomshe was trembling with anxiety to blindYou are right my good dame said one ofthe judges laughing keep the children andrevenge yourself to your heart s content on theirvillainous parents Make their lives as miserableas you can Wring your lost treasure from themWhat a pity Ciouare that thou art not a manThou wert in that case worth thy weight in goldto our party Here he continued taking up apen and writing a few words hastily there is acertificate for thee and the children But takecare what thou art about There will be a sharpeye kept on thee and all thy movementsThe heart of Nicolette throbbed so violentlywith joy as he handed her the paper which insured the safety of herself and those she lovedthat she feared its loud beating would betrayher With a great effort however she maintained her outward calmness and thrust the paperinto her pocket with an air of great indifferenceLet me alone for that said she I willbe sure not to spoil the children and forcing

NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICE 29a laugh at variance with every emotion of herhonest heart she walked with slow and measuredstep from the judgment hallHaving gained the street tears relieved her ofthe burden she had imposed on herself but nosooner did she find herself in the little room ofMother Raynal than she fell on her knees andthanked Him whose power had thus far saved thelives of the innocent children She also prayedfor strength and courage to meet the trials whichshe felt in store for herWith all a mother s tenderness and joy shethen pressed her darling nurslings again andagain to her heart scarcely able to believe thatthey indeed were saved while they unconsciousof what she had done or suffered for their sakesreturned her caresses with that warmth of affection which is the peculiar property of childhoodMother Raynal sat in her high backed chairand surveyed the group before her with a countenance expressive of the delight she felt in thesuccess of Nicolette s bold project Her agedeyes sparkled once more with the brilliancy ofyouth the glow belonging to years long sincepassed mantled on her faded cheek the fire ofbenevolence kindled in her heart and forced herto renew the offer she had made to Nicolette inthe hour of her deepest darkness It was to sell

30 NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICEher cottage and give the proceeds to the faithfulnurse so as to enable her to travel with Johnand Adele to Hamburg which city her sanguineheart would not suffer her to doubt Monsieurand Madame Martiniere had safely reached andfrom whom she was certain to sustain no lossShe even proposed to set about the matter atonce but Nicolette forbade such a sacrifice Shetold her on what terms only she was allowed tokeep the children She declared that for thepresent all thoughts of removal were impossibleas she knew she would be closely watched andthat it was necessary she should engage in somekind of business because no other plan wouldenable her to baffle the vigilance of her suspiciousjudgesTo carry the first part of her plan into execution namely that of procuring support sheborrowed some money from Mother Raynal withwhich she set up a small trade in fruit and inwhich John and his sister were able to assistThe boy carried the basket to and from themarket place and offered its contents for sale tothe passers by The little Adele had her portionof the work to perform mostly at home It washer task to pare the fruit to cut it in pieces andprepare it to be dried in the sun Nicoletteclothed them in garments of rough dark linenAWLI

NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICE 31such as were worn by the lower classes at theirwork At first they put these garments on veryunwillingly though they uttered neither remonstrance nor complaint But when the true andhitherto indulgent nurse whom they had lovedeven as they did their own mother began tospeak to them with sharpness and treat themwith severity which she sometimes did whenpeople were passing by they looked so sorrowfuland downcast that public suspicion was soonchanged to sympathy for the oppressedI do wonder why Nicolette is always so displeased with us and never gives us a kind wordsaid Adele to her brother one evening on theirway home She is a great deal worse at themarket and I hate to be so scolded before folksTo day she slapped my hand because I wouldnot give it to an ugly dirty looking man whomshe called Citizen who was buying fruit fromus and asked who I was Ah I do wish I knewhow I could make her as good as she used to beIndeed I do not know any more than yourself Adele why Nicolette is so changed saidher brother as he caressed the weeping childbut she has always loved us so truly and beenso kind that I am sure she means well Let uswait patiently then until better days come asshe so often tells me they will Dear Adele

32 NICOLETTE S NEW DEVICENicolette knows why she treats us as she doesin the market place and I am sure she intendsit in some way for our own good How oftenhas she read to us from Mother Raynal s BibleSThose whom God loves he chastensWell then I will not be sad nor complainany more said the little girl quite comfortedand with the happy versatility of childhood herthoughts soon settled on other subjects and shereached her home in cheerful moodWearied by the heat and labours of the daythe brother and sister stretched upon a bed ofstraw were sleeping as soundly as though beneaththe silken canopy which hung over their couchin their late luxurious homeNicolette pursued the plan she had adoptedfor the salvation of them all so skilfully that thesuspicions of the revolutionist leaders were completely lulled The eye of observation was thenwithdrawn and she began once more to projectarrangements for flight into GermanyMother Raynal disposed of her cottage andgave the greater part of the price to help thetravellers on their way never doubting that shewould be repaid by Monsieur Martiniere whomshe supposed to be living safely in Hamburg

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 33CHAPTER IVTHE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYTIE day fixed for their departure at length arrived Accompanied with the good wishes andthe blessing of her aged friend Nicolette andthe children passed the first barrier and set outwith her fate toward the German borderMother Raynal had done her utmost in makingevery suitable arrangement which she well understood how to do in the most economical mannerNicolette had denied herself almost every comfort yet she was unable to hire a conveyance ofany kind and so she set out with the two children to wander on foot far from their fatherlandIn this manner they proceeded slowly makinga very few miles in the course of the day forthe children soon became weary and their feetbruised and blistered They suffered both fromhunger and thirst for our poor travellers fearedto keep the high road They avoided even theappearance of a path not knowing where itmight lead them They often lost their wayand wandered for hours through the lonelywoods and fieldsThe children however increased not the difficulty through discontent or peevishness They3

34 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYuttered no complaint although their bleedingfeet might well have excused it Their dearNicolette was once more the Nicolette of otherdays in love and goodness and shunned nosacrifice herself which could soften the hardshipsher darlings must endure For their sakes thefaithful nurse pined over the slowness the painfulness of their journey A week passed andthey were but a few leagues distant from Marseilles Yet in this instance was the Providencewhich watches over the good once more mademanifest This very tediousness was the meansof their escapeIn two or three days after they had left Marseilles the absence of Nicolette and the childrenfrom the market place was observed The rudeJacobins who had so long watched their everymovement set out in eager pursuit of thefugitives greedy for revenge Never dreamingthat she would travel on foot with children ofsuch a tender age they sought her at a greaterdistance than she really was and while she yetwandered in the fields scarce three leagues distant from the guillotine her baffled pursuers hadreturned from a chase they now gave up ashopelessIgnorant of all this the devoted Nicolettewith her little companions pursued her painful

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 35journey The difficulties of the way increasedand new misfortunes arose at every step Thelittle Adele too delicate to bear the exertion demanded of her fell sick and becoming entirelyunable to walk she had to be carried by thefaithful nurse and her brother the whole dayThis occasioned delay they must rest sooften and then the dread of being overtakenIt was a touching picture to behold the boyas he carried his sick and helpless sister herlittle arm flung round his neck and her pale faceresting on his shoulders How carefully he pickedhis way How he avoided everything thatmight cause him to make a wavering step lestit should increase the suffering of the childWhen Adele fell asleep he would lay her gentlyon the soft grass or among the ripening grainfor it was in early harvest but only until hehad sought out some thicket or tree from whencehe could carry branches to form a canopy ofgreen leaves to shield her from the hot sunUntil this time Nicolette had taken advantageof the warm and beautiful nights when themoon poured down her benevolent light on thefields to sleep among the new hay that waseverywhere spread out She feared to asklodging in a village or an ale house lest it mightfurnish a clue to those who might be in pursuit

36 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYof her but now she feared the effect of thenight air on the sick child She thereforesought to find shelter beneath a roof and wasat last quite glad to find admittance into a rudecabaret which though looking like the abode ofvice and misery yet stood alone and desolate onthe border of a woodCarefully bolting the door of the wretchedlittle chamber into which she was shownNicolette gave herself up to quiet slumber forthe first time since her flight from Marseilles forlittle Adele was sleeping sweetly and seemedmuch amended The great efforts she hadmade the severe emotions she had felt withinthe last few days had completely exhausted herstrength and sleep sat now so heavily upon herthat in spite of her intention to rest but for afew hours and continue her journey in the earlylight she did not awake until the sun had risenhigh in the heavens and darted his fiery beamsfull in the faces of the sleepersFrightened at what she deemed her own slothfulness she sprang hastily from her hard bedbut one glance at the children by her side whowere still enjoying the slumber so necessary totheir health forbade all self reproachShe now thought of some changes of linen forthem which she had carried in a small bundle

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 37and turned toward the table on which she hadlaid it the evening before But who can describeher consternation The bundle was gone Theopen window in which a pane was broken fullyconfirmed the suspicion that at once seized her ofits having been stolen All their spare clothingwas in it and worse than that it held her littlestore of moneyPoor Nicolette The stout heart which had sonobly borne up under so many difficulties was nowfairly sunken She wrung her hands in despairWhat could she do How was she to providefor those children on the long and painful journeyyet before them Could she now hope ever torestore them to their parents as she had promisedWould they not die of hardship by the wayWeeping bitterly she called in her host explained her misfortune and besought his assistance in recovering her loss But poor consolation came from himMake a fool of me if you can said hemaliciously You want to impose upon mewith a tale of your money having been stolen inmy house only to cheat me out of a night slodging But you cannot come over me in thismanner I am up to such tricks and you shallnot step over my threshold until you have paidme to the last farthing

38 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYOh do not do so be not so unjust andcruel prayed the anguish stricken NicoletteThese poor children must die of hunger if yourefuse to help me to find what I am sure is stolenLet your own people be searched for no prowlingthief could have known that on this night astranger was sleeping in this room Besides Ibolted the window and no one but the girl whobrought me a pitcher of water could have seenmy bundle or where I placed itDo not provoke me too far cried the hostin a rage and take care how you accuse orelse you shall go before the magistrate of thevillage close by where you will have to proveyour complaint or pay for the suspicion youhave thrown upon my house Your assurancecauses me to suspect you are some escapedprisoner or else you have been driven off forsome misdemeanour so show me your papersor I shall give you up to the mobNicolette hearing this threat turned palerthan at the moment when she discovered herloss The passport signed by the Jacobin leaderin the judgment hall was carefully treasuredbut packed in the little bundle It was with itlostNow what s the matter Can t you findany said the host smiling maliciously Sup

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 39pose you go with me to the justice You haveyour choice either to do this or leave my housethis moment Take the children and be off atonce lest I repent my indulgenceNicolette who was now fully assured that thelandlord knew of the theft and perhaps hadcommitted it himself felt keenly the loss of herpassport on which her own safety and that ofher young companions depended She awokeJohn bade him rise hastily and taking littleAdele in her arms was about to leave the cabaretwithout making any further attempt to move thehost in behalf of her distressed circumstancesbut she fotund this not so easily accomplished asshe had at first supposedHollo cried the landlord as she wasabout to step over the threshold do you thinkI am such a fool and so very good natured as to letyou go without asking you to pay for your lodging No no you shall not stir until it is paidOh have pity do have pity entreatedNicolette I have nothing more and mustbeg a piece of bread somewhere for these poorchildren s breakfastYou say you have nothing returned thehost I should call that a nice woollen shawlin which the child is wrapped What do youwant with it I ll be bound you have stolen it

40 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYIt is warm weather now no danger that thelittle one will freeze I will take it for thereckoning Be glad that I let you off so easilyand be off at onceThe shawl to which he alluded was one whichshe had wrapped round the child on the nightthey fled from Monsieur Martiniere s house and itcontrasted somewhat strangely with the rest ofthe garb in which they were clothed Althoughshocked beyond expression to know that suchinjustice and unworthiness could dwell in thehuman heart even in this hard stroke her piousspirit recognized the interposition of a kind Providence The shawl since she had lost her passport might awaken suspicion elsewhere and inplaces more dangerous than this obscure alehouse Only anxious now to get out of thereach of the unprincipled landlord without amurmur Nicolette suffered him to take away theonly spare garment now remaining God whoclothes the lilies and gives food to the ravensthough they neither toil nor spin thought shewill care for these helpless little ones and betheir guard and guide With this comfortingassurance her heart was somewhat lighteralthough stripped of all earthly means and shestepped briskly through the dark green forestquieting the anxious inquiry of John after some

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 41breakfast with the promise that as soon as theyreached the next farm or village she would begsome for them bothThey had not travelled very far on their forestpath shaded from the sun s melting rays by theold solemn looking oaks when the rattling ofwheels was heard behind them A carriagecame up and a lady lay sleeping on the softcushions with a handsome English dog near herNicolette cast a longing look toward it Shefelt like begging that she might get up behindand with the children be carried a little waybut the fear that her circumstances might beinquired into and the dread of awakening suspicion by her answers withheld her The carriage passed slowly Nicolette observed that atrunk on the board behind had burst open andsome pieces of clothing were about to drop outNeedy as she was she thought not for a momentof appropriating to her own use that which inanother instant would be lying in the road Shecalled to the coachman who stopped at oncewhile she told him of the accident which hadhappened to the trunkThe lady awoke and looking with astonishment at the little company began to talk toNicolette while the coachman was repairing thebroken trunk

42 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYWhere are you going said she Youseem to have a very sick child there who Ithink would be much better at home and inbedThe heart of poor Nicolette bounded withjoy as soon as the lady spoke The languageshe used which was German which our faithfulheroine well understood sounded like music inher ears She therefore lost all fear and detailed as briefly as possible that she was on herflight to Hamburg where she hoped to meet theparents of these children who were among theproscribed She also related the great misfortunewhich had befallen her on the night before inthe loss of her bundleIn this unexpected meeting the hand of Godwas again visible for the lady bade her take thevacant seat in the carriage and provided for themall for four days at the end of which they wereobliged to separate as the roads leading to theirdestinations lay in different directionsThe pleasant ride and good food had entirelyrestored the health of the little Adele Nicoletteas she watched the rosy tint that once more began to steal over the cheeks of the child forgotall her discouragements and gave herself up inthankful acknowledgment of God s great mercyNevertheless they felt the trouble and incon

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 43venience of their present poverty even more thanat the beginning of their journey The intervalof rest the comforts they had enjoyed for thosefive days and the delicacies which the rich ladyprocured for the sick child were such as theyhad been accustomed to in their father s houseand served by the contrast to make their lotseem harder than before Instead of the softbeds where they were permitted to rest the children now slept sometimes on the dry leaves ofthe forest hastily thrown together so as to repelthe damp arising from the earth sometimes onrushes sometimes on the straw in the barn ofsome good natured peasant who permitted themto lodge there but neither white bread norfruit did they taste milk but seldom Theyquenched their thirst with water from the brookA piece of black bread or a few potatoes wasall they could obtain to quiet the cravings ofhunger To gain even this stinted fare Nicolettewas often obliged to bear the rude jests and unfeeling sneers of the rough boors in some neighbouring peasant s house whither she went withlingering step to beg from their compassion alittle food for herself and childrenAs time wore on and each day increased thedistance between them and Marseilles Nicolette sfears of pursuit gradually lessened It was there

44 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYfore with a feeling of gladness she saw a nobleman s castle in the distance There is plentythere they will not refuse the little I wantsaid she to herself as having left the children toawait at the road side her return she turned hersteps toward itBut it was not long before she returned paleand trembling The servants as she approachedwere about to feed the pack of dogs and to havesome sport as they said they set them on thebeggar woman Enraged at being disappointedof their food the hungry animals rushed uponthe terrified Nicolette The foremost seizingher by her naked foot bit it so that the bloodcame Breathless and with empty hands shereturned to the waiting children Concealingher pain and binding up the wound as well asshe could they resumed their toilsome marchSeveral hours passed ere they reached any villageor place that promised to furnish the only boonthey asked food It was long past mid day andthey had eaten nothing Little Adele cried because she was hungry and John was sad andsilent though not on his own account He washungry too but he cared not for that It wasthat his beloved nurse had so much to endure fortheir sakesNot a word was spoken They had not the

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 45spirits to converse as usual and were more discouraged than ever At length they crossed ameadow where a boy younger than John washerding a number of fine cows As the animalsgrazed quietly around the boy seated under theshadow of a branching oak busied or amusedhimself with making a bird cage which he wasendeavouring to ornament to the utmost of hissimple skill Our weary wanderers sat downnear him and attracted by the open and goodhumoured expression in the young peasant s faceJohn felt that he might venture to speak to himDoes it give you much trouble to keep yourcows from straying asked he I see you areat work on a pretty cageYes indeed I do work answered the littlecow herd and well I may I earn half a francevery day by my cages The cows do not roamfar for you see the pasture is very good and Ican sleep or be as lazy as I please but I hadrather work for I know idleness to be a sin Ihave one of the best masters in the world and Ican lay up two whole francs every week I havenow enough saved to begin to go to school tomorrow and this is the last day I shall be withthe cows in the meadowTwo francs a week repeated John thoughtfully Do you think I could earn as much

46 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYif I were to have a place like yours for a fewmonthsI do not know answered the boy butI think you might Our master is the richestman in the neighbourhood and so good thatnone of his tenants are poor But there he isriding over the fields you can ask him yourselfBefore Nicolette fairly understood the meaningof John s inquiries or had time to make any objection the rider had come up close beside themAs he reined up his horse he said in a gentletoneSo Pierre you have company it seemsYes dear sir answered the little cow herdwithout the least embarrassment this strangerboy was just asking me if I thought he could earnsomething to be paid beforehand by herdingcows for a few months I have a notion hewould like the place I am giving upThe gentleman cast a searching look on Johnwhose coarse garb afforded no cause to doubt thetruth of Pierre s sup sition Do you reallywish to enter into my service said he kindlybut why so particular to inquire about thepayment in advanceSo that our dear Nicolette may no longerhave to beg nor my little sister to cry forhunger answered John as he rose from his seat

THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEY 47on the ground and bowed with a grace strangelyat variance with his coarse garmentsWhat did you say inquired the horsemanas he dismounted and came nearer The mannersthe language of the boy were those of one belonging to the upper ranks and yet he was clothedlike the rudest peasant and the gentleman wasgreatly surprised Tell me he continuedwho is this woman and who are you my boyNicolette had started up in affright from thegrass where she had until this moment sat andwas about to answer the question addressed toJohn but the boy taking her hand and kissingit entreated that she would let him speakDear Nicolette he said I will stay here ifthe gentleman will keep me The work I haveundertaken will not be hard and if my employer will give me from ten to fifteen francsbeforehand you can journey on to Hamburg withAdele and have no need to beg by the wayand when you have found our parents you cansend back the money and I can meet you andwe will all be happy together once moreNicolette could not restrain her emotion although in the presence of a stranger She pressedthe noble boy to her heart kissed his fair browtagain and again and then as well as her excitedfeelings permitted she related a part of the cir

48 THE ESCAPE AND THE JOURNEYcumstances which had driven them from theirhome and countryMy brave boy said the gentleman addressing John when Nicolette had ended hernarrative I will not hire you as a cow herd nortake you into my service but I will lend you themoney to carry out your plan I want no othersecurity than your own noble face and addedhe smiling that my money may come backquicker I will send you all some miles on yourway As he concluded he drew his purse fromhis pocket and handed the promised sum toJohn who stood trembling with joy before himNicolette was eloquent in her expressions ofgratitude but the benevolent nobleman withdrew himself as quick as possibleDid I not tell you that we had the bestmaster in the world cried the little cow herdNicolette and the children thanked God for thiswonderful help which seemed to her little lessthan miraculousAccompanied by Pierre they again set forthfor the high road where they were soon overtaken by the promised vehicle A comfortablecarriage drawn by two swift horses which thecoachman told them was to be at their servicefor two days had been sent by the kind nobleman Having taken leave of the little herds

NEW TROUBLES 49man they took their places within it where totheir no small joy they found a basket filled witheatables In their present half starved conditionnothing could be more acceptableWith renewed cheerfulness and fresh couragethey left the carriage on the third day to prosecute their journey once more on foot and itappeared as if all the difficulties attending thispainful journey were overcome As they approached the borders of Germany they wereeverywhere hospitably received Often somegood natured countryman would let them ride afew miles in his waggon thus speeding theirway and sparing them fatigue At last withgreat joy they hailed the towers of Hamburgwhich they reached before the money giventhem by the benevolent nobleman was halfexpendedCHAPTER VNEW TROUBLESNICOLETTE S first care was to hire a small dwelling where she could safely lodge the childrenHaving readily found one suitable she made aslittle delay as possible in endeavouring to findout her beloved master and mistress4

0 NEW TROUBLESAllowing herself no time to rest she betookherself to the police office to inquire after Monsieur Martiniere whom she believed to haveemigrated to Hamburg six months before butno person knew the name Among the manyfugitives who had left France and were nowdwelling in this maritime city there was notone who could give the least tidings of his fateOnce more discouraged and fearing the worsthad befallen her beloved friends Nicolette advertised in all the newspapers which she thoughtthe parents would be likely to see that theMartiniere children had arrived and where theywere to be found She then awaited with greatanxiety the result of this measureWeek after week passed and no tidings cameEvery knock at the door of their little dwellingcaused them to fly to open it with eager curiosity but no well remembered features presented themselves to their eyes Each nightand morning the prayer of the children onbended knees was poured out at the feet of Himwho is the hearer of the suppliant that theymight be able to find their beloved parents butthe hope of what the day might bring forthwhich cheered them in the morning faded intodisappointment as the hours dragged slowly byNicolette although she endeavoured to conceal

NEW TROUBLES 51all she felt from John and his sister was fairlydiscouraged She feared that their escape hadnot proved as successful as her own but thatthey had perished by the hands of the revolutionists This fear at length amounted to certainty and she gave up all hope of seeing themagainTo add to the weight which lay upon herheart the little store of money which she hadbrought with her to Hamburg by the expensesof advertising and searching public documents inorder to ascertain the arrival of foreigners wasnearly exhausted At the same time she became sick and unable to do anything by which afew francs might be earned The bitter pangsof hope deferred the uncertainty of the fate ofher beloved master and mistress anxiety to knowhow she should support the children in additionto the want of sufficient and nourishing foodpreyed upon a frame already exhausted by thegreat exertions she had made and she wasstretched upon a bed of sicknessThere lay this faithful servant poor helplessand ill in a strange land with none to extendthe hand of friendship with no one to sympathizewith or minister to her wants in her hours ofpain Although to herself death would havebeen a relief she dared not think of it when she

52 NEW TROUBLESgazed on the desolate orphans who stood besideher The little Adele nursed her as well ascould be expected from her childish ability butit was not much she could do To bring a glassof fresh water from the neighbouring fountainto smooth her dear Mother Nicolette s pillowto open the window to give her air when herfever was highest or to sweep out their littleroom were the limits of her services but theywere rendered willingly and these labours oflove though so small were of great value in theeyes of one who felt all a mother s affection forthe childPoor John he was not idle in the meantimeHe earned a few groschens from time to timebut what was that among three persons and rentto pay He racked his brain to think of somesteady employment on which they could dependfor support He would object to no occupationhowever humble even to sweeping chimneys ashe had seen the little Savoyards do in FranceBut the tide of immigration had been so greatso many of the oppressed had sought a refuge inthis favoured city that every place seemed to befilledAfter much deliberation Nicolette hit uponan expedient to supply the place of the moneyso fast diminishing Obliged to keep her bed

NEW TROUBLES 53not only from sickness but by the pain of herfoot which had been bitten by the dog andwhich she could not attend to at the proper timeshe had little need of clothes for the present soshe resolved to pawn them in order to procurebread for herself and the children An honestbroker in the neighbourhood advanced a smallsum upon them It was not long until she founda method of investing these little funds in amanner most advantageous in their present condition With a view to economy she had chosena little dwelling in the suburbs of Hamburg andnot far from it were large gardens where fruitand vegetables were raised for market Giving apart of what she received to John she bade himseek the owner of one of these gardens and purchase a basket of fresh plums and pears which hecould sell in the city at a small profit as MotherRaynal and themselves had done in MarseillesThe boy delighted to turn fruit merchant oncemore declared his readiness Without a moment s delay he went to a gardener showedhim with true childlike simplicity his littletreasure for which he begged he would give himgood fruit in exchangeAh do give me the best said he entreatingly for I must now try to support threepersons until I can find out our parents our

54 1SEW TROUBLESdear good Nicolette who is too sick to work mylittle sister and myself but I do not wantmuchThe same kind Providence who had broughtthem so far safely on their dangerous way wascaring for them still and had directed the boyto an old and benevolent man who pleased withthe open simplicity of the boy not only gavehim fruit for the full value of his money but alittle flask of cordial for the sick Nicolette Ohhow happy was our poor John How cheerfullyhe carried his heavy basket back to the cityHe offered his fruit to the passers by with sopleasant a face that they could not refuse to buyIn a short time his basket was quite emptyUnfatigued he ran back to the gardener hadhis basket refilled and was in his sales as successful as he had been in the morning Who candescribe the joy with which he handed the twofrancs he had earned to Nicolette or his feelingof proud satisfaction when he saw her and hissister eating the bread purchased by the fruit ofhis labourFrom this time he arose with the dawnhurried off to the garden and was back in thecity by sunrise and had sold half the contents ofhis basket before the other little fruit merchantshad made their appearance in the market place

THE HAPPY MEETING 55CHAPTER VITIHE HAPPY MEETINGONE day as he was carrying his basket of fruitas usual through the street he noticed a childhanging out of an open window in the secondstory of a large hotel From its movements heguessed it must be alone for no one wouldcertainly suffer it to lean over in such a manneras to threaten danger each momentStruck with the peril of the little one withoutstopping one moment to consider he steppedquickly into the open door of the vestibule sethis basket on the floor and with the speed of anarrow flew up stairs It was as he supposedThe open door showed him the child alone andin the greatest danger The unconscious littlecreature had clambered up into the window andeach moment she leaned further out Theslightest start or movement and a fall was inevitable Breathless with anxiety but still retaining the necessary presence of mind he creptcautiously and unobserved behind the littlemaiden Grasping her by her clothes he drewher back from her dangerous position and placedher on a sofa Not understanding what wasmeant and frightened to find herself in the grasp

56 THE HAPPY MEETINGof a stranger boy the child screamed with all hermightThe noise soon brought her nurse maid whoforgetful of her duty to her charge had takenadvantage of the absence of her mistress and leftlittle Mary to amuse herself as she pleased whileshe enjoyed a short chat with the servants belowShe had scarcely taken the little one whom shewas trying to quiet upon her lap when themother returning from her walk entered theroom and asked What is the matterA thief a thief she cried pointing maliciously to John who was still holding thechild s sash which had become unloosed in hishand While I went to bring Miss Mary herdoll out of the next room this fellow slipped into steal something I am sure for he had hold ofMiss Mary s frock when I came inIt is not true said John blushing andaffrighted I saw the little girl hanging outof the window in danger of being dashed topieces on the pavement Supposing that shewas alone as indeed I found her I came upstairs to prevent her from falling outGo out of my presence Leonore said thelady angrily to the conscience stricken nurserymaid Woe to you if my child had beendashed to the pavement below

THE HAPPY MEETING 57Oh what a young villain exclaimed Leonore who had recovered from her fright to lieso right in my lady s face and bring an honestservant maid to disgrace Wait boy you shallnot be let off so easily she continued seizingpoor John by the arm as without waiting forthe mother s thanks he was marching off insearch of the basket he had left below Doyou think my lady he would be going off inthis manner if he did not know that he waslying and he did come to steal It is too hardthat a faithful servant must be belied and suspected on the evidence of such a vagabond as heThe lady cast a searching glance at Johnwho still in the grasp of the angry damsel stoodpale and silent from anger and alarm His coarseclothing his naked feet for the tenderly raisedson of wealthy parents had long been withoutthe luxury of shoes caused the opinion of thelady to waver She now believed the assertionof Leonore and supposed that John was reallyguilty With no time to expostulate or to excuse himself he was sent down stairsSorrowfully he looked round for his basketfor he wished to leave the house as quickly aspossible But it was nowhere to be seen Heinquired of the servants but they either wouldnot listen to him or cut him off shortly by

58 THE HAPPY MEETINGsaying Get out of the way you vagabondWhy do you bother me about your basketAt last a butler calling out to him Takeyourself off you had better seized him by thearm and fairly thrust him into the streetJohn stood irresolute on the pavement fairlybewildered with pain and mortification Howcould he go back with empty hands to Nicoletteand add new sorrow to her faithful heart by thetale he had to tell of his misfortune With hisbasket he had lost the hard earnings of manyweeks and was now once more as poor as whenhe first thought of commencing his present occupation As he stood meditating on his sadcondition and covering his tear filled eyes withhis hands one of the house servants who withsome others of his companions had eaten thefruit left in the basket below came forward andpitying the distress of the boy said in order tocompensate in some measure for the wrong hehad done him Now my little man do not beso cast down for the sake of a handful of fruitSee there is your basket and truly it is emptyBut I will give you something to do which willhelp to fill it again There take up that leathertrunk it is not very heavy If you carry it tothe haven where the family to whom it belongsare about to go on ship board they will pay you

THE HAPPY MEETING 59for your labour and so you need not cry anylongerJohn took up the trunk mechanically andturned his eyes still streaming with tears towardits owners whose footsteps distinctly heardproclaimed them close beside him With oneloud cry he threw his burden to the groundFather mother he exclaimed and rushedinto the extended arms of Monsieur MartiniereWhat can it be possible in the providence ofGod John my son cried father and motherboth at once A touching scene now ensuedin consequence of this unexpected meeting anda crowd beginning to assemble Monsieur Martiniere with his wife and son retreated into thehotel to avoid the demonstrations of curiosityexhibited by those who were present at the recognitionThe words of feeling are but few and but fewwere spoken After a few inquiries after Adeleand Nicolette they were on their way to thelittle cottage in the suburbs which they soonreached and the long separated were again reunited It was some time before they recoveredsufficiently from their emotion to be able to telleach other the severe adventures through whichthey had passed On the night of his precipitateflight from his own house Monsieur Martiniere

60 THE HAPPY MEETINGwas so happy as to escape pursuit having takena direction entirely opposite to that pointed outby Nicolette to the Jacobins and having reacheda distance of twelve miles from Marseilles onthe road leading to the German frontier hewaited there expecting every day to be met byNicolette with the childrenThe anxiety attendant on his disappointmentdrove him back to Marseilles He was arrestedby the republican party by the way and throwninto prison where together with his wife helanguished for more than half a year At lengthby bribing the jailer with a great part of thewealth he yet possessed he succeeded in escapingonce more Although the effort was attendedwith great danger he sought as diligently aspossible throughout Marseilles for his childrenand their nurse but found them notHe had by some inquiries at the market placemet with our old acquaintance Mother Raynaland through her learned that Nicolette with herlittle charge had left the city a short time previously and was on her way to Hamburg whereshe expected to find him and her beloved mistress They embarked at once in one of theships just ready to sail for that port but hadbeen out but one day when a contrary windcoming up suddenly drove them far out to sea

THE HAPPY MEETING 61where they were taken by a privateering vesseland carried prisoners to EnglandMost happily Monsieur Martiniere found agentleman there whose acquaintance he had madein travelling some years before He was a merchant and rich and without hesitation advancedthe money necessary for his ransom and prosecution of his voyage to Germany So at lengththe troubled parents reached Hamburg but awhole year had elapsed since Nicolette had puther advertisement in the newspapers and by thistime the name and circumstances were forgottenAnd now indeed it was the description of twochildren a brother and sister who were said tobe seeking their parents and had been takeninto Switzerland by a noble lady that inducedhim to set out for that country fully believingthat he should find John and Adele It wasjust at the moment of their leaving Hamburgfor this purpose that they so wonderfully soprovidentially met with John and thus thebroken hearted family were once more restoredto each otherThe name of Monsieur Martiniere being wellknown in Hamburg to the mercantile world hesoon obtained help and assistance to commencebusiness in that city Setting out anew withcircumspection and industry he soon succeeded

62 THE HAPPY MEETINGif not in attaining the great wealth he once possessed at least in gaining a sufficient competencewhich from the contrast afforded to the privations they had undergone was enjoyed in abetter spirit than the affluence of earlier daysJohn too had the satisfaction of seeing adashing equipage drive up to the door of hisfather s house In it he recognized the ladyat the hotel and the little girl whom he haddrawn from her perilous position at the windowThe mother inquired at once for him and whileshe thanked him again and again for the disinterested and important service he had renderedher entreated him to forgive the wrong that hadbeen done him through Leonore s misrepresentation My little Mary said she has beenwitness in your favour for as soon as she recovered sufficiently from her fright I could easilylearn from her answers your innocence and herguiltBut although the lady was now so kind andJohn forgave the wrong she had done him hecould not at once forget that she had turned adeaf ear to his prayer for an impartial hearingHe steadily refused to accept the beautiful presents she had brought believing and declaringthat he had done nothing but his duty whichif occasion offered he was again ready to do

THE HAPPY MEETING 63In the quiet happiness enjoyed by the severelytried Martiniere family Nicolette experiencedthe sweet repose which was the well earnedreward of her self sacrificing love Although ofobscure and humble parentage she had ennobledherself With the most devoted kindness MadameMartiniere rendered to her the nurse of her ownchildhood the affection of a daughter and herhusband never thought of her as aught but thesaviour of his childrenNor was the reverence and honour in whichshe was held confined to her own family circlealone There were few in Hamburg who had notheard of her deed of noble daring for a numberof public spirited citizens who had formedthemselves into a society after the example ofthe Romans in order to encourage all philanthropic actions by the bestowment of civic rewards much to her own surprise conferred agold medal publicly on her She lived manyyears beloved by her own family and respectedby all who knew her and the same quiet submissive spirit that characterized her in her deepadversity accompanied her throughout a hardertrial the deceitful glare of prosperityShe has long since passed away from amongthe living but she is not forgotten A simplemonument of white marble at this day marks

64 THE HAPPY MEETINGher last resting place which bears the inscriptionof her name which needed no further epitaphthan this Here rests in God the faithful Nicolette with the following admonition from1 Peter ii 18 20 Servants be subject toyour masters with all fear not only to the goodand gentle but also to the froward For whatglory is it if when ye be buffeted for yourfaults ye shall take it patiently but if whenye do well and suffer for it ye take it patientlythis is acceptable with GodW A 5 Q tt

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