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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 286 pages of information about Calvert of Strathore.

CHAPTER XXI

MR. CALVERT QUITS THE ARMY AND ENGAGES IN A HAZARDOUS ENTERPRISE

The letter which Calvert had received from Mr. Morris was short but very urgent.  It begged him to resign his commission at once, which affair, the letter hinted, would be immediately arranged by Lafayette, and come to Paris, as Mr. Morris had business of the first importance on hand in which he wished Calvert’s assistance.  It went on to add that the exact nature of that business had best not be divulged until the young man should find himself at the American Legation, and ended by urging Mr. Calvert not to delay his departure from Maubeuge by a day, if possible.

Conformably with these requests Calvert set out for Paris on the very next day, after the briefest of preparations, and, arriving in the city on the evening of the 7th, made his way straight to the rue de la Planche, where he found Mr. Morris anxiously awaiting him.  With a brief greeting, and scarcely allowing the young man time to divest himself of his travelling things, he drew him into his private study, and there, with locked doors, began eagerly to speak about the business upon which he had called Calvert so hastily to Paris.

“I knew I could trust you,” said Mr. Morris to Calvert.  “Lafayette has given you my letter and you have lost no time in coming to me, as I felt assured you would do, my boy.  ’Tis the most satisfactory sensation in the world to feel an absolute trust in one as I do in you,” he went on, with a kindly look at the young man.  “Living in the midst of this people who think less than nothing of breaking every agreement, violating every oath, that feeling of confidence becomes doubly precious.  But to the business in hand.”  He hesitated slightly and then went on, “You must know that in the month of November last (and before my appointment by Congress to this post of American Minister to France), inspired by the unhappy consequences to the Royal Family of the flight to Varennes, I, together with several of the stanchest friends of the harassed monarch, engaged in an enterprise to assist the King and Queen to escape, from France.  This plan, in which Favernay, Monciel, Beaufort, Bremond, and some others whom you know, were leagued together, never ripened, because, by the appointment of Narbonne and the preparations for war which immediately commenced, we hoped that Louis might regain his lost power.  It was at this juncture and while I thought that this enterprise was at an end and that there would be no further occasion for me to intermeddle in the politics of this unhappy country, that I received and accepted my appointment as Minister to this court.  Most unfortunately, the great opportunity which the King had to retrieve his fortunes he flung away by his subsequent vacillation and his secret negotiations with the allies; and this, together with the reverses of the French array, the growing violence of the opposing

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