give you the cross of Saint Louis, if there were still crosses, and if there were still saints, and if there were still Louis!"
"Ah! are you going to be idiots now? If it was for such things as this that we won the battle of Jemmapes, the battle of Valmy, the battle of Fleurus, and the battle of Wattignies, then it must be admitted. What! Here Commander Gauvain, for four months, has been leading these jackasses of royalists to the beat of the drum, and saving the Republic by his sword, and did a thing at Dol which required a pretty amount of cleverness, and when you have this man here, you try to have him no longer! And instead of making him your general, you want to chop off his head! I say that it is enough to make one throw himself head first over the parapet of the Pont-Neuf, and that if you yourself, Citizen Gauvain, my commander, were my corporal instead of my general, I would tell you that what you said just now was infernal nonsense. The old man did well in saving the children, you did well to save the old man; and if people are to be guillotined for good deeds, then get you gone to all the devils, for I don't know at all what it is about. There is no reason at all for stopping anywhere. All this is not true, is it? I pinch myself to know whether I am awake. I do not understand. So the old man ought to have let the babies burn alive, my commander ought to let the old man's head be cut off. Yes, and then guillotine me. I like the one idea as much as the other. I suppose if the little ones had died, the battalion of Bonnet-Rouge would have been dishonored. Is that what was wanted? Then let us eat each other. I know my politics as well as you. I belonged to the club in the section of the Piques. Sapristi! We are growing brutal at last! I sum it all up according to my way of looking at it. I do not like things which have the inconvenience of making us unable to tell at all where we are. Why the devil do we have each other killed? Why kill our chief? Not that, Lisette. I want my chief! I must have my chief. I love him better to-day than I did yesterday. But to send him to the guillotine, why, you make me laugh! We want none of this: I have listened. You may say whatever you like, but it is not possible."
And Radoub sat down. His wound had opened again.