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John Leighton Stuart
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 389 pages of information about Paris under the Commune.
I remember wondering at the moment why he spoke so loud in giving the pass-word, when suddenly I saw three men rush forward, seize our captain, and throw him down.  At the same time two or three hundred men, dressed as National Guards, threw themselves into the camp, rushed upon the sleeping artillery-men with their bayonets, and then fired several volleys into the tents where our poor comrades were asleep.  What I had taken at first for National Guards were only those devils of sergents-de-ville dressed up!  So, you see, as it was each man for himself, and the high road for everybody, I just threw myself down on my face, and let myself drop into the trenches.  There was no fear of the noise of my fall being heard in the riot.  I managed to hide myself pretty well in a hole I found there, and which had doubtless been made by a shell.  I could not see anything, but I heard all that was going on.  Clic! clac! clic! went the rifles, almost like the cracking of a whip, answered by the most dismal cries from the wounded.  I could hear also the grinding of wheels, and made sure they were taking away our guns, the robbers!  When all was silent except the groans of the dying men, I crept out of my hiding place.  Would you believe it, Monsieur, I was the only one able to stand up; the Versaillais had taken all those who had not run away or were not wounded; I saw them, the pilfering thieves, making off towards Vitry, as fast as their legs could carry them!”

“You have no idea, lieutenant,” I said to the porter, “how the Versaillais got to know the pass-word?”—­“No, only the captain, who is an honest fellow enough, but rather too fond of the bottle, went in the evening to the route d’Orleans where there are lots of wine-shops ...”—­“And you think he got tipsy, and let the pass-word out to some spy or other?”—­“I would not swear he did not; but what I am more sure of, is that we are betrayed!”

Alas! yes, unfortunates, you are betrayed, but not in the way you think.  You are being cheated by these madmen and criminals who are busy publishing decrees at the Hotel de Ville, while you are dying by scores at Issy, Vanves, Montrouge, Neuilly, and the Moulin-Saquet; they betray you when they talk of Royalists and Imperialists; they deceive you when they tell you, that victory is certain, and that even defeat would be glorious.  I tell you, that victory is impossible, and that your defeat will be without honour; for when you fell, crying, “Vive la Commune!” “Vive la Republique!” the Commune is Felix Pyat, and the Republic, Vermorel.

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