“Tis the most beautiful part of France,” he said to the young man, “and I have a fancy to show you the country for the first time and to say farewell to our friends, Madame d’Azay and Madame de St. Andre.”
To this proposition the young man assented, suddenly determining that he would see Adrienne and put his fortune to the touch. ’Twas intolerable to remain longer in such a state of uncertainty and feverish unhappiness, he decided. Any fate—the cruellest—would be preferable to the doubt which he suffered. And surely he was right, and uncertainty the greatest suffering the heart can know.
“At the worst she can hurt me no more cruelly than she has already,” he said to himself. “She shall know that I love her, even though that means I shall never see her again.”
His determination once taken, he was as eager as possible to be off, and, by the 16th, all was in readiness for their departure. Passports were obtained from Lafayette and places reserved in the public diligence. They took only one servant with them—the man Bertrand, whom Galvert had been at pains to ferret out and take into his employ, thinking to prevent him from mingling again with the ruffians and cutthroats of the Palais Royal and faubourgs. Such was the fellow’s devotion to Calvert that he abandoned his revolutionary and bloody comrades and took service joyfully with the young man, delighted to be near and of use to him.
The journey into Touraine was a very short and a very pleasant one to Mr. Jefferson and Calvert. The diligence left Paris by the Ivry gate, stopping for the night at Orleans. The next morning at dawn they were again upon their way and bowling swiftly along the great highway that led down into the valley of the Loire, past Amboise and Blois and Vouvray to the old town of Tours, lying snugly between the Loire and the Cher. They came into the rue Royale just as the sun was flinging a splendor over everything—on the gray cathedral spires and the square tower of Charlemagne and the gloomy Tour de Guise, and as they crossed the great stone bridge to the old quarter of St. Symphorien, the Loire flowed away beneath them like some fabled stream of molten gold.