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- The Seats Of The Mighty, Volume 1. - 15/15 -


has given them a cue to dispose of me without openly breaking the accepted law of nations. They could not decently hang a hostage, for whom they had signed articles; but they have got their chance, as they think, to try me for a spy.

"Here is the case. When I found that they were determined and had ever determined to violate their articles, that they never intended to set me free, I felt absolved from my duty as an officer on parole, and I therefore secretly sent to Mr. Washington in Virginia a plan of Fort Du Quesne and one of Quebec. I knew that I was risking my life by so doing, but that did not deter me. By my promise to Doltaire, I could not tell of the matter between us, and whatever he has done in other ways, he has preserved my life; for it would have been easy to have me dropped off by a stray bullet, or to have accidentally drowned me in the St. Lawrence. I believe this matter of the letters to be between myself and him and Bigot--and perhaps not even Bigot, though he must know that La Pompadour has some peculiar reason for interesting herself in a poor captain of provincials. You now can see another motive for the duel which was brought about between your brother and myself.

"My plans and letters were given by Mr. Washington to General Braddock, and the sequel you know: they have fallen into the hands of my enemies, copies have gone to France, and I am to be tried for my life. Preserving faith with my enemy Doltaire, I can not plead the real cause of my long detention; I can only urge that they had not kept to their articles, and that I, therefore, was free from the obligations of parole. I am sure they have no intention of giving me the benefit of any doubt. My real hope lies in escape and the intervention of England, though my country, alas! has not concerned herself about me, as if indeed she resented the non-delivery of those letters to Doltaire, since they were addressed to one she looked on as a traitor, and held by one whom she had unjustly put under suspicion.

"So, dear Alixe, from that little fort on the banks of the river Kelvin have come these strange twistings of my life, and I can date this dismal fortune of a dungeon from that day The Man made his prophecy from the wall of my mud fort.

"Whatever comes now, if you have this record, you will know the private history of my life.... I have told all, with unpractised tongue, but with a wish to be understood, and to set forth a story of which the letter should be as true as the spirit. Friend beyond all price to me, some day this tale will reach your hands, and I ask you to house it in your heart, and, whatever comes, let it be for my remembrance. God be with you, and farewell!"


The Seats Of The Mighty, Volume 1. - 15/15

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