Page:Crainquebille, Putois, Riquet and other profitable tales, 1915.djvu/130

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116
THE MONTIL MANŒUVRES

"We have swallowed dust enough during the manœuvres."

"They drank a liqueur and pressed on to Villeneuve, which was occupied by the infantry.

"But where is my brigade?" cried the General, who was growing anxious.

They questioned eagerly all the officers they met. But no one could give them news of the Decuir brigade.

"What! no news? Then it is not at Villeneuve? Incredible!"

"Gentlemen," they heard in a woman's voice, shrill and bell-like. They looked up and beheld a head studded with curl-papers; it belonged to the postmistress.

"Gentlemen, there are two Villeneuves. This is Villeneuve-sur-Claine. Perhaps it is Villeneuve-la-Bataille that you want.

"Perhaps," said the Baron.

"That is a long way off," said the postmistress. You must go first to Montil. . . . Do you know Montil?"

"Yes," replied the Baron, "we know Montil."

"Then you go on to Saint-Michel-du-Mont; you take the main road and . . . ."

From the window of a neighbouring house with