Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 1.djvu/44

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Schroeder, I begged to accompany him as his servant; to which he agreed, under the idea that I should make a St George of him; but he was mistaken, for as we approached Quesnoi I took French leave, and directed my journey towards Landrecies, where I passed for a Belgian who had left the Austrian banner. They wished me to enter a cavalry regiment, but the fear of being recognised and shot, if ever I should be brigaded with my old regiment, made me give the preference to the 14th light regiment (the old chasseurs of the barriers.) The army of the Sambre and Meuse was then marching towards Aix-la-Chapelle; the company to which I belonged received orders to follow it. We set out, and on entering Rocroi I saw the chasseurs of the 11th. I gave myself up for lost, when my old captain, with whom I could not avoid an interview, gave me courage. This worthy man, who had taken an interest in me ever since he had seen me, cut away amongst the hussars of Saxe-Teschen, told me that as an amnesty would henceforward place me out of the reach of all pursuit, he should have much pleasure in again having me under his order. I told him how glad it would make me; and he, undertaking to arrange the affair, I was once more reinstated in the 11th. My old comrades received me with pleasure, and I was not less pleased to find myself once again amongst them; and nothing was wanting to complete my happiness, when love, who is always busy, determined on playing me one of his tricks. It will not be thought surprising that at seventeen I captivated the housekeeper of an old gentleman. Manon, for that was her name, was near twice my age, but then she loved me very tenderly, and proved it by making every sacrifice to me unhesitatingly. I was to her taste the handsomest of chasseurs, because I was hers, and she wished that I should also be the most dashing. She had already given me a watch, and I was proudly adorned with various jewels, proofs of the love with