Page:Memoirs of Vidocq, Volume 1.djvu/57

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been validated.

shower of balls at the boat, which we were compelled to quit. My comrades and I cast ourselves on a sort of raft which we had, and the woman did the same; but the pilot, forgotten in the confusion, or stopping with a hope of escape, was taken by the Austrians, who were not sparing of their blows and kicks. This experiment had besides lost us three men, and I had two fingers broken by a musket ball. Delphine loaded me with caresses. Her mother having set out for Ghent, where she knew her husband had been sent as prisoner of war, we betook ourselves to Lille. I there passed my time of convalescence. As Delphine had a portion of the money found in the grain, we led a very pleasant life. We talked of marriage, and the affair was so far arranged that I started one morning for Arras, whence I was to return with the licence and my parents' consent. Delphine had already procured that of her parents, who were still at Ghent. A league from Lille, I remembered that I had forgotten my hospital billet, which it was indispensably necessary to produce before the municipality of Arras, and I returned for it. Arrived at the hotel, I went to the room we occupied and knocked; no one answered. It was impossible that Delphine could be out so early, it being scarcely six o'clock. I knocked again, and Delphine opened the door, stretching her arms and rubbing her eyes like some one who has been suddenly awakened. To prove her, I proposed that she should go with me to Arras, that I might present her to my parents, and she very tranquilly agreed. My suspicions were disappearing, and yet something whispered to me that she was deceiving me. I at length perceived that she frequently glanced towards the wardrobe. I pretended a desire to open it, which my chaste betrothed opposed, and gave me one of those excuses which a woman always has ready. But I was determined; and at length opened the closet, where I found concealed, beneath a neap of dirty linen, the doctor who had attended me during my convalescence.