“We will, we will,” shouted they; “we will forgive—no, we won’t forgive him, but we’ll let him go; only, Mademoiselle, let him go from this—let him not show himself here any more. There, lads, there’s an end of it. Give Momont back the rope. We will do nothing to displease M. Henri and Mademoiselle Agatha,” and then they gave three cheers for the inhabitants of Durbelliere; and Agatha, after thanking them for their kindness and their courtesy, returned into the house.
For some days after the attack and rescue, there was great confusion in the chateau of Durbelliere. The peasants by degrees returned to their own homes, or went to Chatillon, at which place it was now intended to muster the whole armed royalist force which could be collected in La Vendee. Chatillon was in the very centre of the revolted district, and not above three leagues from Durbelliere; and at this place the Vendean leaders had now determined to assemble, that they might come to some fixed plan, and organize their resistance to the Convention.
De Lescure and Henri together agreed to give Santerre his unconditional liberty. In the first place, they conceived it to be good policy to abandon the custody of a man whom, if kept a prisoner, they were sure the Republic would make a great effort to liberate; and who, if he ever again served against them at all, would, as they thought, be less inclined to exercise barbarity than any other man whom the Convention would be likely to send on the duty. Besides, Agatha and the Marquis really felt grateful to Santerre, for having shown a want of that demoniac cruelty with which they supposed him to have been imbued; and it was, therefore, resolved to escort him personally to the northern frontier of La Vendee, and there set him at liberty, but to detain his soldiers prisoners at Chatillon; and this was accordingly done.
They had much more difficulty in disposing of Denot. Had he been turned loose from the chateau, to go where he pleased, and do what he pleased, he would to a certainty have been killed by the peasantry. De Lescure asked Santerre to take charge of him, but this he refused to do, saying that he considered the young man was a disgrace to any party, or any person, who had aught to do with him, and that he would not undertake to be responsible for his safety.