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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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France and governors of provinces.  But Roland was much mistaken: M.
de Villars had made great concessions to the popularity of Cavalier,
but they were the last he intended to make.  So, instead of being in
his turn summoned to Nimes, or Uzes, to confer with M. de Villars,
Roland merely received an intimation from Cavalier that he desired to
speak with him on important business.

They met near Anduze, and Cavalier, faithful to the promise given to
M. de Villars, neglected no argument that he could think of to induce
Roland to follow his example; but Roland would listen to nothing.
Then, when Cavalier saw that arguments and promises were of no avail,
he raised his voice in anger; but Roland, laying his hand on his
shoulder, told him that his head was turned, that he should remember
that he, Roland, was his senior in command, and therefore bound by
nothing that had been promised in his name by his junior, and that he
had registered a vow in Heaven that nothing would persuade him to
make peace unless complete liberty of conscience were granted to all.
The young Cevenol, who was unaccustomed to such language, laid his
hand on the hilt of his sword, Roland, stepping back, drew his, and
the consultation would have ended in a duel if the prophets had not
thrown themselves between them, and succeeded in getting Roland to
consent to one of their number, a man much esteemed among the
Huguenots, named Salomon, going back to Nimes with Cavalier to learn
from M. de Villars' own mouth what the exact terms were which
Cavalier had accepted and now offered to Roland.

In a couple of hours Cavalier and Salomon set out together, and
arrived at Nimes on the 27th May, escorted by twenty-five men; they
halted at the tower of Magne, and the Protestants of the city came
out to meet them, bringing refreshments; then, after prayers and a
hasty meal, they advanced to the barracks and crossed the courtyards.
The concourse of people and the enthusiasm was no whit less than on
Cavalier's first entry, more than three hundred persons kissing his
hands and knees.  Cavalier was dressed on this occasion in a doublet
of grey cloth, and a beaver hat, laced with gold, and adorned with a
white feather.

Cavalier and his travelling-companion went direct to the garden of
the Recollets, and hardly had they got there than MM. de Villars and
de Baville, accompanied by Lalande and Sandricourt, came out to meet
them: the conference lasted three hours, but all that could be
learned of the result was that Salomon had declared that his brethren
would never lay down their arms till full liberty of conscience had
been secured to them. In consequence of this declaration, it was
decided that Cavalier and his regiment should be despatched to Spain
without delay, in order to weaken the Calvinist forces to that
extent; meantime Salomon was sent back to Roland with a positive
promise that if he would surrender, as Cavalier had done, he would be
granted the same conditions--that is to say, receive a commission as
colonel, have the right to name the officers of his regiment, and
receive a pension of 1200 livres.  On quitting the garden of the
Recollets, Cavalier found as great a crowd as ever waiting for him,
and so closely did they press on him that two of his men were obliged
to ride before him with drawn sabres to clear a way for him till the
Montpellier road was reached.  He lay that night at Langlade, in
order to rejoin his troops early next morning.

But during his absence things had happened among these men, who had
hitherto obeyed him blindly, which he little expected.  He had left,
as usual, Ravanel in command; but hardly had he ridden away when
Ravanel began to take all kinds of precautions, ordering the men not
to lay aside their arms.  The negotiations with M. de Villars had
made him most anxious; he looked upon all the promises given as
snares, and he regarded the compromise favoured by his chief as a
defection on Cavalier's part.  He therefore called all the officers
and men together, told them of his fears, and ended by imbuing them
with his suspicions.  This was all the more easily done, as it was
very well known that Cavalier had joined the Huguenots less from
devotion to the cause than to avenge a private wrong, and on many
occasions had given rise to the remark that he had more genius than
religion.

So, on getting back to Calvisson, the young chief found his principal
officers, Ravanel at their head, drawn up in the market-place,
waiting for him.  As soon as he drew near they told him that they
were determined to know at once what were the conditions of the
treaty he had signed with the marechal; they had made up their minds
to have a plain answer without delay.  Such a way of speaking to him
was so strange and unexpected, that Cavalier shrugged his shoulders
and replied that such matters were no business of theirs, being too
high for their intelligence; that it was his business to decide what
course to take and theirs to take it; it had always been so in the
past, and with the help of God and his own, Cavalier's, goodwill, it
should still be so in future; and having so spoken, he told them to
disperse.  Ravanel upon this came forward, and in the name of all the
others said they would not go away until they knew what orders
Cavalier was about to give the troops, that they might consult among
themselves whether they should obey them or not.  This
insubordination was too much for Cavalier's patience.

"The orders are," he said, "to put on the uniforms that are being
made for you, and to follow me to Portugal."

The effect of such words on men who were expecting nothing less than
the re-enactment of the Edict of Nantes, can be easily imagined; the
words "coward" and "traitor" could be distinguished above the
murmurs, as Cavalier noticed with increasing astonishment.  Raising
himself in his stirrups, and glancing round with that look before
which they had been used to tremble, he asked in a voice as calm as
if all the demons of anger were not raging in his heart, "Who called
Jean Cavalier traitor and coward?"

"I," said Ravanel, crossing his arms on his breast.

Cavalier drew a pistol from his holsters, and striking those near him
with the butt end, opened a way towards his lieutenant, who drew his
sword; but at this moment the commissary-general, Vincel, and Captain
Cappon threw themselves between the two and asked the cause of the
quarrel.

"The cause," said Ravanel, "is that the Cadets of the Cross, led by
the 'Hermit,' have just knocked out the brains of two of our
brethren, who were coming to join us, and are hindering others front
attending our meetings to worship God: the conditions of the truce
having been thus broken, is it likely they will keep those of the
treaty?  We refuse to accept the treaty."

"Sir," said Vincel, "if the 'Hermit' has done what you say, it is
against the orders of the marachal, and the misdoer will be punished;
besides, the large number of strangers at present in Calvisson ought
to be sufficient proof that no attempt has been made to prevent the
new converts from coming to the town, and it seems to me that you
have been too easily led to believe everything that malicious people
have told you."

"I believe what I choose to believe," said Ravanel impatiently; "but
what I know and say is, that I shall never lay down arms till the
king grants us full liberty of conscience, permission to rebuild our
places of worship, and sends us back all prisoners and exiles."

"But, judging by your tone," said Cavalier, who had till now remained
silent while toying with his pistol, "you seem to be in command here;
have we changed, parts without my being aware?"

"It is possible," said Ravanel.

Cavalier burst out laughing.

"It seems to astonish you," said Ravanel, "but it is true.  Make
peace for yourself, lay down what conditions suit you, sell yourself
for whatever you will bring; my only reply is, You are a coward and a
traitor. But as to the troops, they will not lay down arms except on
the conditions formulated by me."

Cavalier tried to get at Ravanel, but seeing from his paleness and
his smile that terrible things would happen if he reached his
lieutenant, Vincel and Cappon, backed by some Camisards, threw
themselves before his horse. Just then the whole band shouted with
one voice, "No peace! no peace! no reconciliation till our temples
are restored!"  Cavalier then saw for the first time that things were
more serious than he had believed, but Vincel, Cappon, Berlie, and
about twenty Camisards surrounded the young chief and forced him to
enter a house; it was the house of Vincel.

They had hardly got indoors when the 'generale' was sounded:
resisting all entreaties, Cavalier sprang to the door, but was
detained by Berlie, who said that the first thing he ought to do was
to write M. de Villars an account of what had happened, who would
then take measures to put things straight.

"You are right," said Cavalier; "as I have so many enemies, the
general might be told if I were killed that I had broken my word.
Give me pen and ink."

Writing materials were brought, and he wrote to M. de Villars.

"Here," he said, giving the letter unsealed to Vincel, "set out for
Nimes and give this to the marechal, and tell him, if I am killed in
the attempt I am about to make, I died his humble servant."

With these words, he darted out of the house and mounted his horse,
being met at the door by twelve to fifteen men who had remained
faithful to him.  He asked them where Ravanel and his troops were,
not seeing a single Camisard in the streets; one of the soldiers
answered that they were probably still in town, but that they were
moving towards Les Garrigues de Calvisson.  Cavalier set off at a
gallop to overtake them.

In crossing the market-place he met Catinat, walking between two
prophets, one called Moses and the other Daniel Guy; Catinat was just
back from a visit to the mountains, so that he had taken no part in
the scene of insubordination that had so lately been enacted.

Cavalier felt a ray of hope; he was sure he could depend on Catinat

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