“He has surprisingly good manners, for an innkeeper,” said Corona at last. “No one will ever suspect his former life. But I do not like him.”
“Nor I,” said the prince.
“He wants something,” said Sant’ Ilario. “And he will probably get it,” he added, after a short pause. “He has a determined face.”
Anastase Gouache recovered rapidly from his injuries, but not so quickly as he wished. There was trouble in the air, and many of his comrades were already gone to the frontier where the skirmishing with the irregular volunteers of Garibaldi’s guerilla force had now begun in earnest. To be confined to the city at such a time was inexpressibly irksome to the gallant young Frenchman, who had a genuine love of fighting in him, and longed for the first sensation of danger and the first shower of whistling bullets. But his inactivity was inevitable, and he was obliged to submit with the best grace he could, hoping only that all might not be over before he was well enough to tramp out and see some service with his companions-in-arms.
The situation was indeed urgent. The first article of the famous convention between France and Italy, ratified in September, 1864, read as follows:—
“Italy engages not to attack the actual territory of the Holy Father, and to prevent, even by force, all attack coming from outside against such territory.”
Relying upon the observance of this chief clause, France had conscientiously executed the condition imposed by the second article, which provided that all French troops should be withdrawn from the States of the Church. The promise of Italy to prevent invasion by force applied to Garibaldi and his volunteers. Accordingly, on the 24th of September, 1867, the Italian Government issued a proclamation against the band and its proceedings, and arrested Garibaldi at Sinalunga, in the neighbourhood of Arezzo. This was the only force employed, and it may be believed that the Italian Government firmly expected that the volunteers would disperse as soon as they found themselves without a leader; and had proper measures been taken for keeping the general in custody this would in all probability have followed very shortly, as his sons, who were left at large, did not possess any of their father’s qualifications for leadership. Garibaldi, however, escaped eighteen days later, and again joined his band, which had meanwhile been defeated by the Pope’s troops in a few small engagements, and had gained one or two equally insignificant advantages over the latter. As soon as it was known that Garibaldi was again at large, a simultaneous movement began, the numerous Garibaldian emissaries who had arrived in Rome stirring up an attempt at insurrection within the city, while Garibaldi himself made a bold dash and seized Monte Rotondo, another force at the same time striking at Sutbiaco, which, by a strange ignorance