Page:Englishmen in the French Revolution.djvu/345
they were dismissed, and the whole tribe of rough fellows, about thirty in number, came up with them to the apartment where we all were; one of them was a fallen priest. He could speak a little English, and was a busy man on the present occasion, and chief orator. He addressed us in a manner which seemed most proper to terrify, enumerating the punishments which would certainly be inflicted if we concealed either writing or anything of value from them.
The procuratrix produced the little paper money she had; the community in general assured them that all their writings, &c., had been taken from them at Cambray.
After asking many questions, and talking in a low voice to each other, they withdrew, leaving on the table the little paper money which we had produced, yet we durst not offer to take it. They then proceeded to search all the prisoners' beds, shaking the straw and moving everything about the room, and seized the most trifling things they met with, even to a silver thimble. During this examination they tore the females' caps off their heads (some of whom were ladies of quality), unpinned their gowns, and searched them in the most cruel manner. If they found a crucifix or reliquary of gold or silver, they took it; if of an inferior metal, they broke it and sometimes returned the bits to its owner.
From the Kev. James Higginson and Hon. Thomas Roper (the latter of whom was a very serviceable companion in prison), they took two metal watches, from the former two gold repeating watches which had belonged to the Rev. Messrs. Walker and Walsh. This last mentioned gentlemen had ended his life with us during the early part of the Revolution.
Having now stripped the other prisoners of everything, of even the smallest value, they were returning to our apartment, when one of the prisoners addressed the mayor