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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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regiments.  It is true that he arrived by the light of thirty burning
village churches.

M. de Broglie, M. de Baville, M. de Julien, and Captain Poul met
together to consult as to the best means of putting an end to these
disorders.  It was agreed that the royal troops should be divided
into two bodies, one under the command of M. de Julien to advance on
Alais, where it was reported large meetings of the rebels were taking
place, and the other under M. de Brogue, to march about in the
neighbourhood of Nimes.

Consequently, the two chiefs separated.  M. le Comte de Broglie at
the head of sixty-two dragoons and some companies of foot, and having
under him Captain Poul and M. de Dourville, set out from Cavayrac on
the 12th of January at 2 a. m., and having searched without finding
anything the vineyards of Nimes and La Garrigue de Milhau, took the
road to the bridge of Lunel.  There he was informed that those he was
in search of had been seen at the chateau of Caudiac the day before;
he therefore at once set out for the forest which lies around it, not
doubting to find the fanatics entrenched there; but, contrary to his
expectations, it was vacant.  He then pushed on to Vauvert, from
Vauvert to Beauvoisin, from Beauvoisin to Generac, where he learned
that a troop of rebels had passed the night there, and in the morning
had left for Aubore.  Resolved to give them no rest, M, de Broglie
set out at once for this village.

When half-way there, a member of his staff thought he could
distinguish a crowd of men near a house about half a league distant;
M. de Broglie instantly ordered Sieur de Gibertin, Captain Paul's
lieutenant, who was riding close by, at the head of his company, to
take eight dragoons and make a reconnaissance, in order to ascertain
who these men were, while the rest of the troops would make a halt.

This little band, led by its officer, crossed a clearing in the wood,
and advanced towards the farmhouse, which was called the Mas de
Gafarel, and which now seemed deserted.  But when they were within
half a gun-shot of the wall the charge was sounded behind it, and a
band of rebels rushed towards them, while from a neighbouring house a
second troop emerged, and looking round, he perceived a third lying
on their faces in a small wood.  These latter suddenly stood up and
approached him, singing psalms.  As it was impossible for M. de
Gibertin to hold his ground against so large a force, he ordered two
shots to be fired as a warning to de Brogue to advance to meet him,
and fell back on his comrades.  Indeed, the rebels had only pursued
him till they had reached a favourable position, on which they took
their stand.

M. de Brogue having surveyed the whole position with the aid of a
telescope, held a council of war, and it was decided that an attack
should be made forthwith.  They therefore advanced on the rebels in
line: Captain Poul on the right, M. de Dourville on the left, and
Count Broglie in the centre.

As they got near they could see that the rebels had chosen their
ground with an amount of strategical sagacity they had never till
then displayed.  This skill in making their dispositions was
evidently due to their having found a new leader whom no one knew,
not even Captain Poul, although they could see him at the head of his
men, carbine in hand.

However, these scientific preparations did not stop M. de Brogue: he
gave the order to charge, and adding example to precept, urged his
horse to a gallop.  The rebels in the first rank knelt on one knee,
so that the rank behind could take aim, and the distance between the
two bodies of troops disappeared rapidly, thanks to the impetuosity
of the dragoons; but suddenly, when within thirty paces of the enemy,
the royals found themselves on the edge of a deep ravine which
separated them from the enemy like a moat.  Some were able to check
their horses in time, but others, despite desperate efforts, pressed
upon by those behind, were pushed into the ravine, and rolled
helplessly to the bottom. At the same moment the order to fire was
given in a sonorous voice, there was a rattle of musketry, and
several dragoons near M. de Broglie fell.

"Forward!" cried Captain Poul, "forward!" and putting his horse at a
part of the ravine where the sides were less steep, he was soon
struggling up the opposite side, followed by a few dragoons.

"Death to the son of Belial!" cried the same voice which had given
the order to fire.  At that moment a single shot rang out, Captain
Poul threw up his hands, letting his sabre go, and fell from his
horse, which instead of running away, touched his master with its
smoking nostrils, then lifting its head, neighed long and low.  The
dragoons retreated.

"So perish all the persecutors of Israel!" cried the leader,
brandishing his carbine.  He then dashed down into the ravine, picked
up Captain Poul's sabre and jumped upon his horse.  The animal,
faithful to its old master, showed some signs of resistance, but soon
felt by the pressure of its rider's knees that it had to do with one
whom it could not readily unseat.  Nevertheless, it reared and
bounded, but the horseman kept his seat, and as if recognising that
it had met its match, the noble animal tossed its head, neighed once
more, and gave in.  While this was going on, a party of Camisards
[Name given to the insurgent Calvinists after the Revocation of the
Edict of Nantes.--Translator's Note.] and one of the dragoons had got
down into the ravine, which had in consequence been turned into a
battlefield; while those who remained above on either side took
advantage of their position to fire down at their enemies.  M. de
Dourville, in command of the dragoons, fought among the others like a
simple soldier, and received a serious wound in the head; his men
beginning to lose ground, M. de Brogue tried to rally them, but
without avail, and while he was thus occupied his own troop ran away;
so seeing there was no prospect of winning the battle, he and a few
valiant men who had remained near him dashed forward to extricate M.
Dourville, who, taking advantage of the opening thus made, retreated,
his wound bleeding profusely.  On the other hand, the Camisards
perceiving at some distance bodies of infantry coming up to reinforce
the royals, instead of pursuing their foes, contented themselves with
keeping up a thick and well-directed musketry-fire from the position
in which they had won such a quick and easy victory.

As soon as the royal forces were out of reach of their weapons, the
rebel chief knelt down and chanted the song the Israelites sang when,
having crossed the Red Sea in safety, they saw the army of Pharaoh
swallowed up in the waters, so that although no longer within reach
of bullets the defeated troops were still pursued by songs of
victory.  Their thanksgivings ended, the Calvinists withdrew into the
forest, led by their new chief, who had at his first assay shown the
great extent of his knowledge, coolness, and courage.

This new chief, whose superiors were soon to become his lieutenants,
was the famous Jean Cavalier.

Jean Cavalier was then a young man of twenty-three, of less than
medium height, but of great strength.  His face was oval, with
regular features, his eyes sparkling and beautiful; he had long
chestnut hair falling on his shoulders, and an expression of
remarkable sweetness.  He was born in 1680 at Ribaute, a village in
the diocese of Alais, where his father had rented a small farm, which
he gave up when his son was about fifteen, coming to live at the farm
of St. Andeol, near Mende.

Young Cavalier, who was only a peasant and the son of a peasant,
began life as a shepherd at the Sieur de Lacombe's, a citizen of
Vezenobre, but as the lonely life dissatisfied a young man who was
eager for pleasure, Jean gave it up, and apprenticed himself to a
baker of Anduze.

There he developed a great love for everything connected with the
military; he spent all his free time watching the soldiers at their
drill, and soon became intimate with some of them, amongst others
with a fencing-master who gave him lessons, and a dragoon who taught
him to ride.

On a certain Sunday, as he was taking a walk with his sweetheart on
his arm, the young girl was insulted by a dragoon of the Marquis de
Florae's regiment.  Jean boxed the dragoon's ears, who drew his
sword.  Cavalier seized a sword from one of the bystanders, but the
combatants were prevented from fighting by Jean's friends.  Hearing
of the quarrel, an officer hurried up: it was the Marquis de Florae
himself, captain of the regiment which bore his name; but when he
arrived on the scene he found, not the arrogant peasant who had dared
to attack a soldier of the king, but only the young girl, who had
fainted, the townspeople having persuaded her lover to decamp.

The young girl was so beautiful that she was commonly called la belle
Isabeau, and the Marquis de Florac, instead of pursuing Jean
Cavalier, occupied himself in reviving Isabeau.

As it was, however, a serious affair, and as the entire regiment had
sworn Cavalier's death, his friends advised him to leave the country
for a time.  La belle Isabeau, trembling for the safety of her lover,
joined her entreaties to those of his friends, and Jean Cavalier
yielded.  The young girl promised him inviolable fidelity, and he,
relying on this promise, went to Geneva.

There he made the acquaintance of a Protestant gentleman called Du
Serre, who having glass-works at the Mas Arritas, quite near the farm
of St. Andeol, had undertaken several times, at the request of Jean's
father, Jerome, to convey money to Jean; for Du Serre went very often
to Geneva, professedly on business affairs, but really in the
interests of the Reformed faith.  Between the outlaw and the apostle
union was natural.  Du Serre found in Cavalier a young man of robust
nature, active imagination, and irreproachable courage; he confided
to him his hopes of converting all Languedoc and Vivarais.  Cavalier
felt himself drawn back there by many ties, especially by patriotism
and love.  He crossed the frontier once more, disguised as a servant,

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