Nothing more was seen of Adolphe Denot that night. Henri asked his sister whether she had seen him, and she told him that he had made a declaration of love to her, and had expressed himself ill-satisfied with the only answer she had been able to give him. She did not tell her brother how like a demoniac his friend had behaved. To Marie she was more explicit; to her she repeated as nearly as possible the whole scene as it had occurred; and although Agatha was almost weeping with sorrow, there was so much that was ludicrous in the affair, that Marie could not keep herself from laughing.
“He will trouble you no more,” said she. “You will find that he will not return to Durbelliere to carry you off through the armed hosts. He will go to England or emigrate; and in a few years’ time, when you meet him again, you will find him settled down, and as quiet as his neighbours. He is like new-made wine, my dear—he only wants age.”
On the following morning, by break of day, the party left Durbelliere, and Adolphe Denot joined his friend on the gravelled ring before the house; and Agatha, who had been with her brother in his room, looking from the widow saw her unmanageable lover mount his horse in a quiet, decent way, like the rest of the party.
Le mouchoir rouge.
Nothing interfered to oppose the advance of the royalist troops towards Saumur. At Coron, as had been proposed, Larochejaquelin and Denot joined Father Jerome; and Cathelineau also, and M. d’Elbee joined them there. Every house in the town was open to them, and the provisions, which by the care of M. de Larochejaquelin had been sent there, were almost unneeded. If there was any remnant of republican feeling in Coron, at any rate it did not dare to shew itself. The road which the royalists intended to take ran from Cholet, through Coron, Vihiers, and Doue, to Saumur. The republicans, who were now in great force at Saumur, under Generals Coustard and Quetineau, had sent small parties of soldiers into the town of Vihiers and Doue, the inhabitants of which were mostly republican. Before the arrival of M. de Larochejaquelin, the blues, as the republican troops were called by the Vendeans, had been driven out of Vihiers by a party of royalists under the direction of Stofflet, who had raised himself to distinction soon after the commencement of the revolt. This man was a gamekeeper in the employment of an emigrant nobleman, and though he was a rough, harsh, uneducated, quarrelsome man, nevertheless, by his zeal and courage, he had acquired great influence among the people, and was now at the head of a numerous, and, for La Vendee, well-armed body of men.