“Mon Dieu, child, what is possible to you to do has no limit. Also, I say to you, watch and be on your guard for aught that may harm France. In America are spies. I have been warned. Also there are those who practice deceptions in contracts. It is for the purpose to so guard that I come to America.”
“I also will so guard,” I made answer to my Capitaine, the Count de Lasselles, as we again came in our walk to the side of wee Pierre and old Nannette.
VIVE LA FRANCE
And after that first day there were many hours that the Capitaine, the Count de Lasselles, spent with little Pierre and the good Nannette, as she sat knitting always with the sun on the water reddening her round cheeks, while I had much pleasure with many friends who came to me upon the ship.
A very fine young man who was named William Raines, from the State of Saint Louis, instructed me in several beautiful dances, but I do not think he was held in the esteem which he deserved by another of his American brothers by the name of Peter Scudder, whose home was in the town of Philadelphia.
“Dancing with Scudder must be like going to your grandmother’s funeral over the old State Road in a rockaway,” was the comment that Mr. William Raines made upon his friend Mr.
Peter Scudder, and what Mr. Scudder said of him was of the same unkindness.
“Raines’ dancing is extremely like Saint Louis: delightfully rapid but crude,” was his comment.
I should have been regretful of the unkindness between those two very nice Americans but for a beautiful good to France that was brought about by the desire of each to please me more than the other.
The many ladies upon the ship had been of exceeding kindness to me because of the loveliness of small Pierre’s dark face and the pity of his crooked back. Old Nannette was of a very great popularity with all of those ladies and she spent many hours in recounting the glories of the old Chateau de Grez and Bye and the family which had inhabited it since the fourteenth century. So it came about that many friends were made for France among them.
Now that Mr. William Raines had a very nice idea to invite in my honor all of the ladies who were friends to me, and many distinguished gentlemen of politics and of universities and other large affairs, who were returning from business in Europe to more business in America, to be present while a young boy of France, who was among those in the steerage going to the freedom of America with his mother who had been widowed at Ypres, sang in a very lovely voice many French folk songs and songs of war to all present. And at that singing many tears flowed and so much money was put into the hands of the boy that a future for the very sad little French family was assured in America. And I also wept. I was taken into the embrace