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room, and raising his gold-laced fatigue old Norman church when the head of the cap in recognition of the salute, and with infantry column, a battalion of chasseursa hearty “Bonjour, messieurs,” led the à-pied, the picked light-infantry of the way through the door to the yard, where French army, crossed the market-place, the horses were now in readiness, the their bugles sounding a march. They cavalry escort drawn up behind, the men, moved with astonishing rapidity with the shakos strapped under their chins, great- quick, short step peculiar to these troops, coats on, carbines slung over their shoul- and were followed close on their heels by ders, sitting motionless on their horses. column after column of troops of the line The staff mounted, and, the general at the in heavy marching order, and in their unhead, moved out through the archway and graceful fatigue uniform. The long skirts rode up the village street, which was al- of their great-coats were folded back from ready filled with troops from end to end. their legs, clad in the regulation scarlet

Six o'clock struck from the tower of the trousers and leather gaiters. Their knapsacks, some with short-handled pick and ed, pipes lighted, and breaking into a song, shovel, others with cooking utensils black- the troops tramped gayly forward through ened by recent contact with fire, others the mud and mire, to the admiration and again with huge loaves of bread fastened astonishment of the inmates of the occato them, were strapped tightly on their sional farm-houses we passed. At one backs, their canvas haversacks, filled with farm a number of youngsters had rushed the day's rations, swung at their sides, and out of the houses and stood by the roadtheir rifles hung loosely over their shoul- side, gazing with wide-opened eyes at the ders. It was heavy marching order in- unusual sight. All had a slice of bread deed, the baggage of the French infantry- and bowl of soup in either hand, which man weighing twenty-eight kilograms they steadily continued to dispose of, stop

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(about sixty-eight pounds English), exclu- ping now and then only long enough to sive of their ammunition, of which each grin at the chaff of the soldiers. The man carries ninety cartridges.

women looked on admiringly, and one viThe rain was falling in torrents as we vacious lady wondered loudly why there passed out of the town and struck the was no music, while one of the farm * Route de Paris,” the broad national hands, in his quality of old soldier, exhighway running from the coast towns plained that, “en campagne,” troops disto the capital, and the order to march at pense with much of the fuss and feathers ease was passed down the column. The of the “piping times of peace.” ranks opened out a little, rifles were shift- I had some acquaintances among the


officers, and as we marched, they described | ing no large body of the enemy in sight, the plan of the manœuvres to me. The and, as the hour of noon had approached, enemy, represented by a body of troops orders were given to halt where we were. about equal in number to our own, were The skirmishers rejoined their regisupposed to have landed on the coast, and ments, arms were stacked, ranks were broto be threatening two important commer- ken, and preparations were made for the cial and manufacturing towns of France. noonday meal. Wherever the least shelOur objective point was Yvetot, on the ter from the rain could be found the men line of the railway between Havre and began to build their fires to make their Rouen, and we expected to meet them coffee and heat their soups-hard work at near there, their head-quarters being that first, for the ground was damp and the day probably at a place called Bolbec, rain falling heavily; but as one succeeded, situated a few ki

others borrowed the embers, and soon a lometers from the

hundred little fires were burning all over town we were then

the fields, the smoke curling through the marching on.

wet grass, and half hiding the groups of We had been on

busy soldiers. The regimental canteens, the road four or

huge, solidly built wagons, drawn by two five hours when

and sometimes four horses, and presided suddenly we heard

over by the cantinière, or female sutler, a shot, followed im

of the regiment, came up from the rear, mediately by sev

and were soon surrounded by chaffing, eral others, direct

pushing throngs of soldiers. ly in our front, and

Alas for the picturesque vivandière of the column came to

by-gone times, the traditional a halt. We saw

"daughter of the regiment"! some movement up

Where is she now? Can this the road, where it

fat old woman, her white cap disappeared

fastened on her head by an the top of a bill,

old red shawl passing under commands

her chin, and a much-worn heard, and the

private's overcoat troops began to

thrown over her move off to the

shoulders, striving right and left, and

with scolding voice form in column of

and authoritative battalions in the

gestures to maintain fields. The fore

a little order among most regiments

her thirsty customthrew out squads

ers, as she stands beof skirmishers, the

hind the tail-board men moving at a

of her wagonrun up the rising

can she be the ground in ourfront.

descendant of A red and white

the lace-coated, guidon, fluttering

scarlet-trou. among a group of horsemen on the highest

sered Hebes point of the ascent, indicated the position

have of the staff, and toward it I hurried to

read of in ascertain what was going on, arriving in

novels and time to see a reconnoitring party of the en

applauded at emy's cavalry disappearing in a line of

the opera ? woods in the valley below, pursued by a

Be that as it troop of our own. They wore white linen

may, I doubt covers to their shakos to distinguish them

whether the from our men, and as their line vanished prettiest vivandière that ever existed—if into the shadow of the trees, I could see she ever did exist, and is not wholly a creathem turning to give a parting shot or ture of romance-could have been more two. Our troopers soon returned, report- | popular, or have administered more fully







to the comfort of her comrades, than did this obese old creature. Many of her calling have done noble deeds, and more than one has been decorated with the Legion of Honor. I know of one, poor thing! who proudly wears the cross, and ekes out a living by selling catalogues at a panorama in the Rue St. Honoré at Paris.

Having succeeded, thanks to the attention of the cantinière, in procuring my luncheon, I proceeded to discuss it under the hospitable shelter of a thick hedge, where my friend, the surgeon of one of the infantry regiments, joined me. The rain presently ceased falling, and an occasional ray of sun


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shine broke through the clouds. The road, followed by the whole shouting, men, most of them having finished their falling, kicking crowd. The poor creameal, were scattered about the field, some ture ran close by us, and neither the docof them drying their wet clothing at the tor nor I had the heart to attempt to stop fires, or lounging wherever they could it; but its pursuers were too many for it, find a comparatively dry spot to rest in; and finally it fell a victim to the sword of the officers were smoking and chatting a burly sergeant. A garde champêtre together, and the musicians were assem- (gamekeeper), who had vainly endeavored bling preparatory to giving us some mu- to stop this unceremonious poaching on sic. An occasional aide-de-camp or or his master's preserves, loudly protested, derly rode by, and now and then we heard but to no apparent purpose, as the sera bugle signal as some non-commissioned geant sheathed his sabre, not made more officer was summoned or a detail of service glorious by the butcher's use it had been was to be attended to.

put to, and calmly walked off with his All at once there was a great commo- prize. One mess of “non-coms” had the tion among the soldiers over in the fields addition of a succulent dish of roast hare on the other side of the road-men were to their supper that night, and that was running together from all points, shout all there was about it. ing and laughing. We saw them kicking Meanwhile the band had assembled, at something on the ground, and from and the gay strains of a quadrille from our side a shout of “Un lièvre! un lièvre!" one of Offenbach's operas filled the air. went up, as a poor hunted hare broke out Sets were quickly formed, and, in spite of from among them and rushed across the the fatiguing march of the morning and

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