I have been out a little while, a ball whistled over my shoulder, and flattened itself against an iron bar on a shop front. I heard a mass of glass shiver into fragments on the pavement. I determined to return home.
On my way back, I had to pass in front of a liqueur shop, the door of which was open, and several men were talking there. I stopped to learn the news. Montmartre is taken; the Federals had not opposed much resistance; but a great deal of firing had gone on in the side streets and lanes. Seven insurgents were surrounded. “Give yourselves up, and your lives will be saved,” cried out the soldiers. They replied, “We are prisoners;” but one of them drew his revolver and shot an officer in the leg. Then the soldiers took the seven men, threw them into a large hole, and shot them from above like so many rabbits. Another man told me that he had seen a child lying dead at the corner of the Rue de Rome. “A pretty little fellow,” he said, “his brains were strewed on the pavement beside him.” A third, that when all the fighting was over at the Place Saint-Pierre a rifle shot was heard, and a captain of Chasseurs fell dead. The major who was there, looked up and saw a man trying to hide himself behind a chimney pot; the soldiers got into the house, seized him on the roof, and brought him down into the Place. What did the insurgent do, but walked up to the major, smiling, and hit him a blow on the cheek. The major set him up against a wall, and blew his brains out with a revolver. Another insurgent who was arrested, made an insulting grimace at the soldiers; they shot him. On the southern sides of Paris, the operations of the army have not been so fortunate as on this. In the Faubourg St. Germain it advances very slowly, if it advance at all. The Federals fight with heroic courage at the Mont-Parnasse Station, the Rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, and the Croix-Rouge; from the corners of the streets, from the windows, from the balconies proceed shots rarely ineffective. This sort of warfare fatigues the soldiers, particularly as the discipline prevents them from using the same measures. At Saint-Quen, likewise, the march of the troops is stayed; the barricade of the Rue de Clichy holds out, and will hold out some time. In other quarters the advantages gained by the Versaillais are evident. Here and there some small show of resistance is offered, but the insurgents are flying. I cannot tell whether all these floating rumours are true. As I return home, I look round; in the Rue Geoffrey-Marie, near the Faubourg Montmartre, I see a National Guard alone in the middle of the street, nothing to screen him whatsoever; he loads his rifle and fires, loads and fires again; again and again! Thirty-three times! Then the rifle slips to the ground, and the man staggers and falls.