battery on Mont-Dol, on this principle, that a thousand shots from ten cannons would accomplish more than fifteen hundred shots with five cannons.
Success seemed certain. He had six thousand men. He had nothing to fear in the direction of Avranches but Gauvain and his fifteen hundred men, and in the direction of Dinan, only Léchelle. Léchelle, it is true, had twenty-five thousand men, but he was twenty leagues away. Lantenac was confident of success with regard to Léchelle, on account of the great distance against the great number; and, with regard to Gauvain, on account of the small number against the short distance. We may add that Léchelle was an idiot, and later on he allowed his twenty-five thousand men to be destroyed on the moors of la Croix-Bataille; a defeat which he paid for with suicide.
So Lantenac felt perfectly secure. His entrance into Dol was sudden and severe. The Marquis de Lantenac had a hard reputation; he was known to be merciless. No resistance was attempted. The terrified inhabitants shut themselves up in their houses. The six thousand Vendéans took up their quarters in the town with boorish confusion; it was almost a fair ground, without quartermasters, without definite camp, bivouacking at haphazard, cooking in the open air, scattering about in the churches, leaving their guns for their rosaries. Lantenac hastened with some artillery officers to reconnoitre Mont-Dol, leaving the lieutenancy to Gouge-le-Bruant, whom he had appointed field-sergeant.
This Gouge-le-Bruant has left a faint trace in history. He had two nicknames "Brise-bleu," on account of his slaughtering of patriots, and "l'Imânus," because he had in him something strangely, unutterably horrible. "Imânus," derived from immanis, is an old word of Low Norman origin, expressing the superhuman and quasidivine ugliness, in the frightful, in devils, satyrs, and ogres. An ancient manuscript said: "d'mes daeux iers j' vis l'imanus." The old men of the Bocage, to-day have no knowledge of Gouge-le-Bruant, nor of the meaning of Brise-bleu; but they have a confused idea of l'Imânus. L'Imânus is connected with local superstition. They still speak of l'Imânus at Trémorel and Plumaugat, two villages where Gouge-le-Bruant left the print of his ominous foot. In la Vendée, others were savage. Gouge-le-Bruant was