Page:Ninety-three.djvu/276

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272
NINETY-THREE.

"Are you sure of this?"

"Surely; that is what they say."

"Will it pass by here?"

"They say it's in these parts."

"It must not leave."

"We must burn it."

"Here are three villages met for that,"

"Yes, but the escort?"

"The escort must be killed."

"But is it coming this way?"

"That's what they say."

"It'll come from Vitré, then?"

"Why not?"

"Why, they said it was coming from Fougéres."

"Whether from Fougéres or Yitré, it comes from the devil."

"That's so."

"And must go back to him."

"Yes."

"Was it going to Parigné?"

"So it seems."

"It won't get there."

"No."

"No, no, no."

"Attention."

Indeed, prudence was now becoming imperative, for day was breaking.

Suddenly, the men in ambush held their breath. A noise of wheels and horses was heard. They peered through the branches and could indistinctly see a long wagon, an escort on horseback, something on the wagon; it was coming toward them.

"There it is!" said the one who appeared to be the chief.

"Yes," said one of the men on the watch, "with the escort."

"How many men in the escort?"

"Twelve."

"They said there were twenty."

"Twelve or twenty, let us kill them all."

"Wait till they are in full range."

Soon after, at a turn in the road, the wagon and escort appeared.

"Long live the king!" cried the chief peasant.