Page:A French Volunteer of the War of Independence.djvu/252

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and attributed the mistake partly to absense of mind, partly to good fellowship. Conversation became general, everyone had something to say;—there were so many posts along the immense frontier, and such transfers and removals almost every day,—and the new post was always so far from the old one,—and a man never knew what it was to have a home,—and, we all agreed, the Revenue Department was very badly managed.

"And now, citizens," I said at last, in the bravest possible manner, "duty must be done, and it is not a customs officer who will refuse to obey the laws of the Republic. Lieutenant, will you please search my trunk? Here is the key." The "lieutenant" smiled, the others all cried in chorus, "What! search a comrade's box!" I took my leave of them all, put the key back in my pocket, and got into the carriage again. All wished me a good journey and a short stay in my new quarters, for I fancy, that in order to make them pity me the more, I had mentioned Soubise or Marennes as my destination.