[Illustration: DUPONT, DELEGATE OF TRADE AND COMMERCE.]
[Footnote 77: The affair of the 30th of April signally disappointed the chiefs of the insurrection, who decreed the formation of a Committee of Public Safety, and caused Cluseret to disappear. “The incapacity and negligence of the Delegate of War having,” they said, “almost lost them the possession of Fort Issy, the Executive Commission considered it their duty to propose the arrest of Citizen Cluseret, which was forthwith decreed by the Commune.”]
The Parisian Official Journal says: “The members of the Commune are not amenable to any other tribunal than their own” (that of the Commune). Ah! truly, men of the Hotel de Ville, you imagine that, do you? Have you forgotten that there are such tribunals as court-martials and assizes?
M. Rossel is really very unfortunate! What is M. Rossel? Why, the provisional successor of Citizen Cluseret. It was not a bad idea to put in the word provisional. The Commune had confided to him the care of military matters, which he had accepted, but with an air of condescension. This “Communeux” looks to me like an aristocrat. At any rate he has not been fortunate. Scarcely had he taken upon himself the safety of Paris, when the redoubt of Moulin-Saquet was surprised by the Versaillais. This accident was not calculated to enhance the courage of the Federals. The whole affair has been kept as dark as possible, but the porter of the house where I live, who was there, has told me strange things.
“Will you believe, Monsieur, that I had just finished a game of cards with the captain, and was preparing to have a bit of sleep, for it was near upon eleven o’clock, when I thought I heard something like the noise of troops marching. I looked round to see if any one heard it besides myself, but the men were already asleep, and a circular line of boots was sticking out all round the tents. The captain said: ’I daresay it is the patrol from the Rue de Villejuif.’—’Oh, yes,’ said I, ’from the barricade,’ and I fell to sleep without a thought of danger. In fact, there seemed nothing to fear, as the Moulin-Saquet overlooks the whole of the plain which stretches from Vitry to Choisy-le-Roi, and from Villejuif to the Seine. It was impossible for a man to approach the redoubt without being seen by the sentinel. I had, therefore, been asleep a few minutes when I was awoke by the following dialogue:—’Stop! who goes there?’—’The patrol.’—’Corporal, forward!’—Oh! said I to myself, it is our comrades come to see us; there will be some healths drunk before morning, and I got up to go and give them a welcome. The captain was also astir. ‘The password!’ he cried. The chief of the patrol came forward and answered—’Vengeance!’