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The False Chevalier or, The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette   By: (1857-1954)

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First Page:

THE

FALSE CHEVALIER

OR

The Lifeguard of Marie Antoinette

BY

W. D. LIGHTHALL

F. E. GRAFTON & SONS

MONTREAL

1898

This Edition is intended for circulation only in the Dominion of Canada.

[Illustration: THE PALACE OF VERSAILLES After the contemporary acquarelle by Portail. ]

( All rights reserved )

To

CYBEL, MY WIFE,

THE SWEET COMPANION AND CRITIC OF MY LABOURS ON THIS BOOK

CONTENTS

CHAP.

I. THE FUR TRADER'S SON

II. GERMAIN IN FRANCE

III. THE INNKEEPER'S LESSON

IV. THE CASTLE OF QUIET WATERS

V. MONSIEUR DE RÉPENTIGNY

VI. EPERGNES AND WAX LIGHTS

VII. "THE LEAP IS TAKEN"

VIII. THE ABBÉ'S DISASTER

IX. A PHILOSOPHER BEHIND HORSE PISTOLS

X. THE GALLEY ON LAND

XI. THE COURT

XII. GERMAIN GOES TO PARIS

XIII. A JAR IN ST. ELPHÈGE

XIV. THE OLD IRON SHOP

XV. THE BEGGARS' BALL

XVI. BROKEN ON THE WHEEL

XVII. THE SAVING OF LA TOUR

XVIII. MADAME L'ETIQUETTE

XIX. THE COMMISSION

XX. DESCAMPATIVOS

XXI. THE SHADOW OF THE GOLDEN DOG

XXII. THE SECRET OUT

XXIII. THE EXECUTIONER OF DESTINY

XXIV. A CURIOUS PROFESSION

XXV. FACING THE MUSIC

XXVI. A DUEL

XXVII. JUDE AND THE GALLEY

XXVIII. ANOTHER DUEL

XXIX. THE LETTRE DE CACHET

XXX. THE HEAVENS FALL

XXXI. ONE DEFENDER

XXXII. A STRONG PROOF

XXXIII. THE REGISTER OF ST. GERMAIN DES PRÉS

XXXIV. AT QUEBEC

XXXV. AT ST. ELPHÈGE

XXXVI. AT MONTREAL

XXXVII. ONCE MORE THE SWORD

XXXVIII. THE RECORD

XXXIX. THE MARQUIS'S VISITOR

XL. AN UNEXPECTED ALLIANCE

XLI. A POOR ADVOCATE

XLII. A HARD SEASON

XLIII. BACK AT EAUX TRANQUILLES

XLIV. SELF DEFENCE

XLV. THE NECESSITIES OF CONDITION

XLVI. THE PATRIOTS

XLVII. THE DEFENCE OF THE BODYGUARD

XLVIII. SISTERS DEATH AND TRUTH

XLIX. CIVIC VIRTUE

L. JUDGMENT DAY

LI. LOVE ENDURETH ALL THINGS

LII. THE SUPREME EXACTITUDE

LIII. RETRIBUTION ACCOMPLISHED

PREFATORY NOTE

This story is founded on a packet of worm eaten letters and documents found in an old French Canadian house on the banks of the St. Lawrence. The romance they rudely outline, its intrigues, its brilliancy of surroundings, its intensity of feelings, when given the necessary touches of history and imagination, so fascinated the writer that the result was the present book. A packet of documents of course is not a novel, and the reader may be able to guess what is mine and what is likely to have been the scanty limit of the original hint.

The student of history will recognise my debt to many authorities; among whom the chief are Paul Lacroix and Taine. I wish it distinctly understood that the person attacked in the documents in question is not the hero of this narrative.

W. D. L.

THE FALSE CHEVALIER

CHAPTER I

THE FUR TRADER'S SON

The son of the merchant Lecour was a handsome youth, and there was great joy in the family at his coming home to St. Elphège. For he was going to France on the morrow; it was with that object that his father had sent to town for him the little walled town of Montreal.

It was evening, early in May, of the year 1786. According to an old custom of the French Canadians, the merchant, surrounded by his family, was bestowing upon his son the paternal blessing. It was a touching sight the patriarchal ceremony of benediction.

The father was a fine type of the peasant. His features might, in the strong chiaroscuro of the candle light, have stood as model for some church fresco of a St. Peter. His dress was of grey country homespun, cut in a long coat, and girded by a many coloured arrow pattern sash, and on his feet he wore a pair of well worn beef skin mocassins.

The son was some twenty years of age, and his mien and dress told of the better social advantages of the town. Indeed, his costume, though somewhat worn, had marks of good fashion.

His younger sister (for he had two, of whom one was absent), and his mother, a lively, black eyed woman, who dressed and bore herself ambitiously for her station, gazed on him in fond pride as he knelt.

"My son," the merchant said reverently, his hands outstretched over his boy, "the Almighty keep and guard thee; may the blessing of thy father and thy mother follow thee wherever thou goest... Continue reading book >>




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