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List Of Contents | Contents of Massacres of the South, by Dumas, Pere
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Sandricourt at once ordered the garrison officers, as well as those
of the municipal and Courten regiments, to put all their soldiers
under arms and to station them quietly throughout the town so as to
surround that district.  At ten o'clock, the Marquis of Sandricourt,
having made certain that his instructions had been carefully carried
out, gave orders to MM. de L'Estrade, Barnier, Joseph Martin, Eusebe,
the major of the Swiss regiment, and several other officers, along
with ten picked men, to repair to the house of one Alison, a silk
merchant, this house having been specially pointed out by the
prisoner.  This they did, but seeing the door open, they had little
hope of finding the chiefs of a conspiracy in a place so badly
guarded; nevertheless, determined to obey their instructions, they
glided softly into the hall.  In a few moments, during which silence
and darkness reigned, they heard people speaking rather loudly in an
adjoining room, and by listening intently they caught the following
words: "It is quite sure that in less than three weeks the king will
be no longer master of Dauphine, Vivarais, and Languedoc.  I am being
sought for everywhere, and here I am in Nimes, with nothing to fear."

It was now quite clear to the listeners that close at hand were some
at least of those for whom they were looking.  They ran to the door,
which was ajar, and entered the room, sword in hand.  They found
Ravanel, Jonquet, and Villas talking together, one sitting on a
table, another standing on the hearth, and the third lolling on a

Jonquet was a young man from Sainte-Chatte, highly thought of among
the Camisards.  He had been, it may be remembered, one of Cavalier's
principal officers.  Villas was the son of a doctor in Saint-
Hippolyte; he was still young, though he had seen ten years' service,
having been cornet in England in the Galloway regiment.  As to
Ravanel, he is sufficiently known to our readers to make any words of
introduction unnecessary.

De l'Estrade threw himself on the nearest of the three, and, without
using his sword, struck him with his fist.  Ravanel (for it was he)
being half stunned, fell back a step and asked the reason of this
violent assault; while Barnier exclaimed, "Hold him fast, M. de
l'Estrade; it is Ravanel!"  "Well, yes, I am Ravanel," said the
Camisard," but that is no reason for making so much noise."  As he
said these words he made an attempt to reach his weapons, but de
l'Estrade and Barnier prevented him by throwing themselves on him,
and succeeded in knocking him down after a fierce struggle.  While,
this was going on, his two companions were secured, and the three
were removed to the fort, where their guard never left them night or

The Marquis of Sandricourt immediately sent off a courier to the Duke
of Berwick and M. de Baville to inform them of the important capture
he had made.  They were so delighted at the news that they came next
day to Nimes.

They found the town intensely excited, soldiers with fixed bayonets
at every street corner, all the houses shut up, and the gates of the
town closed, and no one allowed to leave without written permission
from Sandricourt.  On the 20th, and during the following night, more
than fifty persons were arrested, amongst whom were Alison, the
merchant in whose house Ravanel, Villas, and Jonquet were found;
Delacroix, Alison's brother-in-law, who, on hearing the noise of the
struggle, had hidden on the roof and was not discovered till next
day; Jean Lauze, who was accused of having prepared Ravanel's supper;
Lauze's mother, a widow; Tourelle, the maid-servant; the host of the
Coupe d'Or, and a preacher named La Jeunesse.

Great, however, as was the joy felt by the duke, the marquis, and de
Baville, it fell short of full perfection, for the most dangerous man
among the rebels was still at large; in spite of every effort,
Catinat's hiding-place had not till now been discovered.

Accordingly, the duke issued a proclamation offering a reward of one
hundred Louis-d'or to whoever would take Catinat, or cause him to be
taken prisoner, and granting a free pardon to anyone who had
sheltered him, provided that he was denounced before the
house-to-house visitation which was about to be made took place.
After the search began, the master of the house in which he might be
found would be hung at his own door, his family thrown into prison,
his goods confiscated, his house razed to the ground, without any
form of trial whatever.

This proclamation had the effect expected by the duke: whether the
man in whose house Catinat was concealed grew frightened and asked
him to leave, or whether Catinat thought his best course would be to
try and get away from the town, instead of remaining shut up in it,
he dressed himself one morning in suitable clothes, and went to a
barber's, who shaved him, cut his hair, and made up his face so as to
give him as much the appearance of a nobleman as possible; and then
with wonderful assurance he went out into the streets, and pulling
his hat over his eyes and holding a paper in his hand as if reading
it, he crossed the town to the gate of St. Antoine.  He was almost
through when Charreau, the captain of the guard, having his attention
directed to Catinat by a comrade to whom he was talking, stopped him,
suspecting he was trying to escape.  Catinat asked what he wanted
with him, and Charreau replied that if he would enter the guard-house
he would learn; as under such circumstances any examination was to be
avoided, Catinat tried to force his way out; whereupon he was seized
by Charreau and his brother-officer, and Catinat seeing that
resistance would be not only useless but harmful, allowed himself to
be taken to the guard-room.

He had been there about an hour without being recognised by any of
those who, drawn by curiosity, came to look at him, when one of the
visitors in going out said he bore a strong resemblance to Catinat;
some children hearing these words, began to shout, "Catinat is taken!
Catinat is taken!  "This cry drew a large crowd to the guard-house,
among others a man whose name was Anglejas, who, looking closely at
the prisoner, recognised him and called him by name.

Instantly the guard was doubled, and Catinat searched: a psalm-book
with a silver clasp and a letter addressed to "M. Maurel, called
Catinat," were found on him, leaving no doubt as to his identity;
while he himself, growing impatient, and desiring to end all these
investigations, acknowledged that he was Catinat and no other.

He was at once taken to the palace, where the Presidial Court was
sitting, M. de Baville and the president being occupied in trying
Ravanel, Villas, and Jonquet.  On hearing the news of this important
capture, the intendant, hardly daring to believe his ears, rose and
went out to meet the prisoner, in order to convince himself that it
was really Catinat.

>From the Presidial Court he was brought before the Duke of Berwick,
who addressed several questions to him, which Catinat answered; he
then told the duke he had something of importance to impart to him
and to him alone.  The duke was not very anxious for a tete-a-tete
with Catinat; however, having ordered his hands to be securely bound,
and telling Sandricourt not to go away, he consented to hear what the
prisoner had to say.

Catinat then, in the presence of the duke and Sandricourt, proposed
that an exchange of prisoners should be made, the Marechal de
Tallard, who was a prisoner of war in England, being accepted in his
place.  Catinat added that if this offer was not accepted, the
marechal would meet the same treatment from the English as might be
meted out to him, Catinat, in France.  The duke, full of the
aristocratic ideas to which he was born, found the proposal insolent,
and said, "If that is all you have to propose, I can assure you that
your hours are numbered."

Thereupon Catinat was promptly sent back to the palace, where truly
his trial did not occupy much time.  That of the three others was
already finished, and soon his was also at an end, and it only
remained to pronounce sentence on all four.  Catinat and Ravanel, as
the most guilty, were condemned to be burnt at the stake.  Some of
the councillors thought Catinat should have been torn apart by four
horses, but the majority were for the stake, the agony lasting
longer, being more violent and more exquisite than in the of other

Villars and Jonquet were sentenced to be broken  on the wheel alive
--the only difference between them being that Jonquet was to be to
taken while still living and thrown into the fire lit round Catinat
and Ravael.  It was also ordered that the four condemned men before
their execution should be put to the torture ordinary and
extraordinary.  Catinat, whose temper was fierce, suffered with
courage, but cursed his torturers.  Ravanel bore all the torments
that could be inflicted on him with a fortitude that was more than
human, so that the torturers were exhausted before he was.  Jonquet
spoke little, and the revelations he made were of slight importance.
Villas confessed that the conspirators had the intention of carrying
off the duke and M. de Baville when they were out walking or driving,
and he added that this plot had been hatched at the house of a
certain Boeton de Saint-Laurent-d'Aigozre, at Milhaud, in Rouergue.

Meanwhile all this torturing and questioning had taken so much time
that when the stake and the scaffold were ready it was almost dark,
so that the duke put off the executions until the next day, instead
of carrying them out by torchlight.  Brueys says that this was done
in order that the most disaffected amongst the fanatics should not be
able to say that it was not really Catinat, Ravanel, Villas, and
Jonquet who had been executed but some other unknown men; but it is
more probable that the duke and Baville were afraid of riots, as was
proved by their ordering the scaffold and the stake to be erected at
the end of the Cours and opposite the glacis of the fortress, so that
the garrison might be at hand in case of any disturbance.

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