Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 1.djvu/47

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page needs to be proofread.
24
MEMOIRS OF VIDOCQ.

CHAPTER II.


Joseph Lebon—- The orchestra of the goiUotiDe, and the reading . of the bnlletin— The aristocrat parrot — Citizeness Leboii-^Ad* dress to the Sans Culottes^The apple^woman— ^Me«r amouis — I am imprisoned — ^Tbe jailor Beaupr6— The yerification of the broth— M. de Bethnne — I get my liberty — ^Tbe sister of tny liberator — I am made an officer— The qvarters of St Syhrester Capelle — The revolutionary army — The retaking of a vessel-^ My betrothed — A disguise — The pretended pregnancy — I marry — I am content without being beaten — Anouier stay at the Baudets — My emancipation.


On entering the city, I was struck with the air of consternation which every countenance wore; some persons whom I questioned looked at me wiUi con- tempt, and left me without making any reply. What extraordinary business was being transacted ? Pene- trating the crowd, which was thronging in the d^k and winding streets, I soon reached the fish-maiket. Then the first object which struck my sight was the guillotine, raising its blood-red boards above the silent mtiltitude. An old man, whom they had just tied t^ the fatal plank, was the victim ; suddenly I heard the sound of trumpets. On a high place which overlooked the orchestra, was seated a man, still young, clad ii^ Carmagnole ofblack and blue stripes. This person, whcA appearance announced monastic rather than military habits, was leaning carelessly on a cavaliy sabre, the large hilt of which represented the Cap of Liberty; a row of pistols ornamented his girdle, and his hat, turned up in the Spanish fashion, was surmounted by a large tri-coloured cockade: I recognised Joseph Lebon. At this moment his mean countenance was animated with a horrid smile ; he paused from' beating time with his left foot; the trumpets stoppeid; he made a signal, aiid the old man was placed under the blade. A sort of clerk, half drunk, then appeared at the side of the ** avenger of the people," and read with a hoarse J