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Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc — Volume 2, e-text   By: (1835-1911)

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VOLUME 2 (of 2)

by Mark Twain


by The Sieur Louis De Conte

(her page and secretary)

In Two Volumes Freely translated out of the ancient French into modern English from the original unpublished manuscript in the National Archives of France




28 Joan Foretells Her Doom

29 Fierce Talbot Reconsiders

30 The Red Field of Patay

31 France Begins to Live Again

32 The Joyous News Flies Fast

33 Joan's Five Great Deeds

34 The Jests of the Burgundians

35 The Heir of France is Crowned

36 Joan Hears News from Home

37 Again to Arms

38 The King Cries "Forward!"

39 We Win, But the King Balks

40 Treachery Conquers Joan

41 The Maid Will March No More


1 The Maid in Chains

2 Joan Sold to the English

3 Weaving the Net About Her

4 All Ready to Condemn

5 Fifty Experts Against a Novice

6 The Maid Baffles Her Persecutors

7 Craft That Was in Vain

8 Joan Tells of Her Visions

9 Her Sure Deliverance Foretold

10 The Inquisitors at Their Wits' End

11 The Court Reorganized for Assassination

12 Joan's Master Stroke Diverted

13 The Third Trial Fails

14 Joan Struggles with Her Twelve Lies

15 Undaunted by Threat of Burning

16 Joan Stands Defiant Before the Rack

17 Supreme in Direst Peril

18 Condemned Yet Unafraid

19 Our Last Hopes of Rescue Fail

20 The Betrayal

21 Respited Only for Torture

22 Joan Gives the Fatal Answer

23 The Time Is at Hand

24 Joan the Martyr



28 Joan Foretells Her Doom

THE TROOPS must have a rest. Two days would be allowed for this. The morning of the 14th I was writing from Joan's dictation in a small room which she sometimes used as a private office when she wanted to get away from officials and their interruptions. Catherine Boucher came in and sat down and said:

"Joan, dear, I want you to talk to me."

"Indeed, I am not sorry for that, but glad. What is in your mind?"

"This. I scarcely slept last night, for thinking of the dangers you are running. The Paladin told me how you made the duke stand out of the way when the cannon balls were flying all about, and so saved his life."

"Well, that was right, wasn't it?"

"Right? Yes; but you stayed there yourself. Why will you do like that? It seems such a wanton risk."

"Oh, no, it was not so. I was not in any danger."

"How can you say that, Joan, with those deadly things flying all about you?"

Joan laughed, and tried to turn the subject, but Catherine persisted. She said:

"It was horribly dangerous, and it could not be necessary to stay in such a place. And you led an assault again. Joan, it is tempting Providence. I want you to make me a promise. I want you to promise me that you will let others lead the assaults, if there must be assaults, and that you will take better care of yourself in those dreadful battles. Will you?"

But Joan fought away from the promise and did not give it. Catherine sat troubled and discontented awhile, then she said:

"Joan, are you going to be a soldier always? These wars are so long so long. They last forever and ever and ever."

There was a glad flash in Joan's eye as she cried:

"This campaign will do all the really hard work that is in front of it in the next four days. The rest of it will be gentler oh, far less bloody. Yes, in four days France will gather another trophy like the redemption of Orleans and make her second long step toward freedom!"

Catherine started (and so did I); then she gazed long at Joan like one in a trance, murmuring "four days four days," as if to herself and unconsciously. Finally she asked, in a low voice that had something of awe in it:

"Joan, tell me how is it that you know that? For you do know it, I think."

"Yes," said Joan, dreamily, "I know I know. I shall strike and strike again. And before the fourth day is finished I shall strike yet again... Continue reading book >>

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