Page:Memoirs of a Huguenot Family.djvu/66

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out a list of sixty persons, and amongst the names were some who had, and others who had not, been there, and at the head he placed Mr. Mouillère and myself. He could form a very good idea from the general character of his neighbors, of those who would be likely to attend such a meeting, and that was about as much as he really did know. On the deposition of this single witness—a man of indifferent character at best—before the Seneschal of Saintes, warrants were issued against us.

Two or three days before my return home, the Grand Provost and his Archers were sent in search of us. The country people had had timely notice of their approach, and had concealed themselves so effectually in the woods that after scouring the country in all directions, the Archers returned with but one prisoner. They found the mason who had officiated and no one else. They seized him, fastened him securely to the tail of a horse, and thus dragged him all the way to Saintes, a distance of fifteen miles. They took great delight in frightening him by the way, telling him all that would be done to him for his crime. The least he could expect would be to be hanged as soon as they reached the town.

It was late when they arrived, and they said that nothing but the lateness of the hour saved him from execution that night, which fortunately left him a solitary chance for life. "If," said one of the Archers, "you recant without delay, you may yet escape, but once get within the prison wall, and a hundred religions will not save you from death. All that is asked of you is to renounce the errors of Calvin, and do not you see how easily you can do that, without wounding your conscience, be it ever so tender? You only swear to renounce errors: if Calvin had none, you renounce nothing, it is a