for advertisements shall be able to evoke the pure and
update time:2023-12-06

for advertisements shall be able to evoke the pure and

作者:half text half white netupdate time:2023-12-06 分类:health

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Although rather seriously wounded in the unfortunate affair of Savannah, I was actively engaged in Virginia, under General Greene, in collecting the remains of the army commanded by Gates, whom I considered a much greater hero than his more fortunate rival, Washington. We had just learnt of the landing of M. de Ternay's squadron, and the depression which had fallen on us at this period of reverses and distress was beginning to vanish before the prospect of re-enforcements. These, as a fact, were less considerable than we had expected. I was strolling through the woods with Arthur, a short distance from the camp, and we were taking advantage of this short respite to have a talk about other matters than Cornwallis and the infamous Arnold. Long saddened by the sight of the woes of the American nation, by the fear of seeing injustice and cupidity triumphing over the cause of the people, we were seeking relief in a measure of gaiety. When I had an hour's leisure I used to escape from my stern toils to the oasis of my own thoughts in the family at Sainte-Severe. At such a time I was wont to tell my kind friend Arthur some of the comic incidents of my entry into life after leaving Roche- Mauprat. At one time I would give him a description of the costume in which I first appeared; at another I would describe Mademoiselle Leblanc's contempt and loathing for my person, and her recommendation to her friend Saint-Jean never to approach within arms' length of me. As I thought of these amusing individuals, the face of the solemn hidalgo, Marcasse, somehow arose in my memory, and I began to give a faithful and detailed picture of the dress, and bearing, and conversation of this enigmatic personage. Not that Marcasse was actually as comic as he appeared to be in my imagination; but at twenty a man is only a boy, especially when he is a soldier and has just escaped great dangers, and so is filled with careless pride at the conquest of his own life. Arthur would laugh right heartily as he listened to me, declaring that he would give his whole collection of specimens for such a curious animal as I had just described. The pleasure he derived from my childish chatter increased my vivacity, and I do not know whether I should have been able to resist the temptation to exaggerate my uncle's peculiarities, when suddenly at a turn in our path we found ourselves in the presence of a tall man, poorly dressed, and terribly haggard, who was walking towards us with a serious pensive expression, and carrying in his hand a long naked sword, the point of which was peacefully lowered to the ground. This individual bore such a strong resemblance to the one I had just described to Arthur, struck by the parallel, burst into uncontrollable laughter, and moving aside to make way for Marcasse's double, threw himself upon the grass in a convulsive fit of coughing.

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For myself, I was far from laughing; for nothing that has a supernatural air about it fails to produce a vivid impression even on the man most accustomed to dangers. With staring eyes and outstretched arms we drew near to each other, myself and he, not the shade of Marcasse, but the venerable person himself, in flesh and blood, of the hidalgo mole-catcher.

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Petrified with astonishment when I saw what I had taken for his ghost slowly carry his hand to the corner of his hat and raise it without bending the fraction of an inch, I started back a yard or two; and this movement, which Arthur thought was a joke on my part, only increased his merriment. The weasel-hunter was by no means disconcerted; perhaps in his judicial gravity he was thinking that this was the usual way to greet people on the other side of the ocean.

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But Arthur's laughter almost proved infectious when Marcasse said to me with incomparable gravity:

"Monsieur Bernard, I have had the honour of searching for you for a long time."

"For a long time, in truth, my good Marcasse," I replied, as I shook my old friend's hand with delight. "But, tell me by what strange power I have been lucky enough to draw you hither. In the old days you passed for a sorcerer; is it possible that I have become one too without knowing it?"

"I will explain all that, my dear general," answered Marcasse, who was apparently dazzled by my captain's uniform. "If you will allow me to accompany you I will tell you many things--many things!"

On hearing Marcasse repeat his words in a low voice, as if furnishing an echo for himself, a habit which only a minute before I was in the act of imitating, Arthur burst out laughing again. Marcasse turned toward him and after surveying him intently bowed with imperturbable gravity. Arthur, suddenly recovering his serious mood, rose and, with comic dignity, bowed in return almost to the ground.

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