Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/22

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21
THE SIEGE OF BERLIN.

"'What soldiers are those?' he asked, and we heard him grumbling beneath his teeth:

"'Badly drilled, badly drilled.'

"Nothing came of this, but we understood that henceforth greater precautions were necessary. Unfortunately, we were not careful enough.

"One evening I was met by the child in much trouble.

"'It is to-morrow they make their entry,' she said.

"Could the grandfather's door have been open? In thinking of it since, I remember that all that evening his face wore an extraordinary expression. Probably he had overheard us; only we spoke of the Prussians and he thought of the French, of the triumphal entry he had so long expected, MacMahon descending the Avenue amidst flowers and flourish of trumpets, his own son riding beside the marshal, and he himself on his balcony, in full uniform as at Lützen, saluting the ragged colors and the eagles blackened by powder.

"Poor Colonel Jouve! He no doubt imagined that we wished to prevent his assisting at the defile of our troops, lest the emotion should prove too much for him, and therefore took care to say nothing to us; but the next day, just at the time the Prussian battalions cautiously entered the long road leading from the Porte Maillot to the Tuileries, the window up there