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We had hardly travelled two leagues when he addressed me in the following terms: “Going to Paris, my dear friend, “ is not all we have to do.-- we must find “out and employ ourselves to obtain the “ means of living without any
assistance “from our parents. How much do you reckon
you got for your supply ?” Fifty louis,” I replied---" And I,” continued he,“ have one hundred. But that
cannot last us long after our arrival " there; we must therefore consider se“riously of undertaking some business--
we must, else, be undone."
Linval had scarcely finished his sentence when a distant noise compelled us to look behind, and we perceived two troopers galloping after us. On seeing them, Linval at once conjectured that our flight had been discovered by our parents, and that we were the objects of these men's pursuit, and bid me to fear nothing and follow him into a village which was just at hand, about twenty paces from the
road, on the right hand. Here we sud- . denly found ourselves out of sight, at the very moment that the troopers, who, in effect, were running after us, pushed on their horses faster, and began to cry aloud “ Stop !... Stop !--- Stop!”... I thought I should have sunk into the earth with an involuntary trembling which came over me as I heard these words ; but Linval, grasping me fast by the arm, dragged me after him into a little narrow lane, through which it was impossible that horsemen should pass. The fatal cry of “ Stop!"
. loud as it was, did not intimidate Linval; on the contrary, it seemed to redouble his courage.
In the twinkling of an eye, we found ourselves at the back of the village. There several shady roads, fenced with hedges and vines, presented themselves to our sight---we followed the first that offered. The terrible cry of “ Stop !" still echoing repeatedly from afar, we pushed on faster than ever.
The village which had so fortunately concealed us from the horsemen, was already a league
and a quarter behind us, and we felt disposed to slacken our pace. When at the extremity of the road which we were pursuing, we perceived a house of rather a shabby appearance. Before the door there was a man employed in cutting up an enormous hog, which he had killed : seeing uscome running towards him, and apprised by the echo of the fatal Stop, that we were pursued, he advanced fiercely towards us, with his hatchet raised in his hand, and seizing me by the collar, threatened to cut off my head if I
I offered to stir a foot farther. Linval, who was but a little distance from me at the time, without being in the least alarmed at the danger I was in, ran up with the quickness of lightning, snatched one of the legs of pork from the table, and struck it with such force and good will against the nape of my adversary's neck, that he was stunned; and so heavy was the blow, that it tumbled both him and me against the hedge which bounded the
side of the road. Compelled by the shock to provide for his own safety, the fellow let me loose---so, finding myself disengaged, I sprung nimbly up, and once more took to my heels, under the protection of the terrible leg of pork, which Linval still brandished in his hand, and which, from its effects on the unhappy killer of swine, reminded me of the celebrated club of Hercules.
In less than ten minutes we were out of reach of the hog man, and found ourselves at the foot of a little hill covered with vines: we crossed it nimbly, purposing to take at the other side a little rest, of which we were really in great want.
On the other side of the hill we disco. vered a great road bordered with trees, and ditches filled with water---but that which most delighted us was the sight of a beautiful farm which appeared on the road side, at a distance of about two hundred paces from it. Linval, who never
took a minute to deliberate upon any resolution whatsoever, desired me to follow him.
He entered first, and with an assured air asked if we could be supplied with some refreshment on our paying for it. He at the same time made a compliment of his leg of pork to the mistress of the farm, a young country-woman of cheerful deportment, who accepted it without much entreaty, and furnished us with abundance of refreshments to recruit our exhausted strength. For nearly two hours did we drink and eat with greediness, and of course, with great taciturnity. Having done, Linval broke silence and asked our hostess what road that was which passed at the foot of the farm. She replied it was the road from Paris to Montpellier ; and that though it was shorter and more beautiful than that which passed by the village we had come through, (where the horsemen appeared to us,) it was nevertheless not so much frequented. This last observation determined Linyal to take