Page:Stories by Foreign Authors (French I).djvu/14

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by alphonse daudet

WE were going up the Champs Elysées with Doctor V——, gathering from the walls pierced by shell, the pavement ploughed by grapeshot, the history of the besieged Paris, when just before reaching the Place de l'Etoile, the doctor stopped and pointed out to me one of those large corner houses, so pompously grouped around the Arc de Triomphe.

"Do you see," said he, "those four closed windows on the balcony up there? In the beginning of August, that terrible month of August of '70, so laden with storm and disaster, I was summoned there to attend a case of apoplexy. The sufferer was Colonel Jouve, an old Cuirassier of the First Empire, full of enthusiasm for glory and patriotism, who, at the commencement of the war, had taken an apartment with a balcony in the Champs Elysées—for what do you think? To assist at the triumphal entry of our troops! Poor old man! The news of Wissembourg arrived as he was rising from table. On reading