To Chrysler’s utter surprise, the orator, pausing a moment, singled him out; pointed his finger towards him, and, turning to the people, cried: “Have I not said Mr. Haviland was a friend of your conquerors? Let me show you his adviser at this crisis of his plans!”
Grandmoulin knew he was in a community saturated with the Rouge tradition. He knew that even with all the weak and corruptible elements of the “back parishes” his chances were inferior on their face to Chamilly’s, and he felt that he must at least retain his adherents here or lose the county. It was only after a final, truly magnificent effort of eloquence that he withdrew, and cheers upon cheers followed him, especially from a party among whom Cuiller, in a state of intoxication, was prominent. It was the first time that Grandmoulin had appeared in the neighborhood, and he had evidently created a great impression.
pas, je vous prie,
Encore de plus puissants liens?
A tout preferons la patrie:
Avant tout soyons Canadiens.”
Chamilly rose upon the rostrum when Grandmoulin went down. He opened quietly, after the exciting peroration of his opponent, and in a manner which lulled and calmed the assembly.
“People of Dormilliere, I have had a cause for wonder during Mr. Grandmoulin’s discourse. I have been wondering at the perfect courage with which he invents a fact, a reason, a principle, an emotion, in cases where almost the whole world knows that none of these exist.”
“I am accounted a person informed in the events of ’37. I have studied all the accounts and documents that are accessible, and have made a point of conversing with the survivors of that time. I state with the fullest knowledge, and you have long known the value of my word, that it is a falsehood that Mr. Grandmoulin’s grandfather died a martyr as he has alleged, nor is he known to have been concerned in the rebellion in any way.”
This statement created a visible sensation over the audience.
“Zotique called out: ‘The National Liar!’”
Grandmoulin remained immovable.
“His assertion that I am an Englishman,” went on Chamilly, “is as absurd as it is futile here. Friends of mine through my youth, and children of the friends of my forefathers, whose lives arose and declined in this place like ours, am I not bound to you by ties which forbid that I should be named a stranger!”