Page:Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc.djvu/367

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France; there were French strongholds to be watched and preserved; he would need her. Really, you see, Tremouille wanted to keep her where he could balk and hinder her.

Now came her Voices again. They said, "Remain at St. Denis." There was no explanation. They did not say why. That was the voice of God; it took precedence of the command of the King; Joan resolved to stay. But that filled La Tremouille with dread. She was too tremendous a force to be left to herself; she would surely defeat all his plans. He beguiled the King to use compulsion. Joan had to submit—because she was wounded and helpless. In the Great Trial she said she was carried away against her will; and that if she had not been wounded it could not have been accomplished. Ah, she had a spirit, that slender girl! a spirit to brave all earthly powers and defy them. We shall never know why the Voices ordered her to stay. We only know this; that if she could have obeyed, the history of France would not be as it now stands written in the books. Yes, well we know that.

On the 13th of September the army, sad and spiritless, turned its face toward the Loire, and marched—without music! Yes, one noted that detail. It was a funeral march; that is what it was. A long, dreary funeral march, with never a shout or a cheer; friends looking on in tears, all the way, enemies laughing. We reached Gien at last—that place whence we had set out on our splendid march toward Rheims less than three months before, with flags flying, bands playing, the victory-flush of Patay glowing in our faces, and the massed multitudes shouting and praising and giving us godspeed. There was a dull rain falling now, the day was dark, the heavens mourned, the spectators were few, we had no welcome but the welcome of silence, and pity, and tears.

Then the King disbanded that noble army of heroes; it furled its flags, it stored its arms: the disgrace of France was complete. La Tremouille wore the victor's crown; Joan of Arc, the unconquerable, was conquered.