Page:Colas breugnon.djvu/166

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VII

THE PLAGUE

We have recently had reason to feel the full truth of the old saying: "Evil comes on a swift horse, but is slow of foot to leave us." This time we had hardly any warning, for on Monday of last week we heard of the first case of the plague at St. Fargeau, and the evil seed sprang up so rapidly that by the end of the week there were ten more cases and yesterday it broke out here in our neighborhood at Coulanges-la-Vineuse. You can imagine what a clatter there was in our duck-pond, and how the boldest took to their heels! Most of the women and children were packed off to Montenoison to be out of danger; leaving an unwonted calm behind them, at least in my household; it's an ill wind that blows no one good!

Florimond went in charge of the female detachment, on the pretext that he could not leave Martine, as she was near her confinement, but he was kept in countenance by many another gentleman, who, when his carriage was at the door, thought it was a good time to go and see how the crops were

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