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appeared behind Mount Nader. The last image, the last souvenir of France, seemed to remove away into the distance with them. Heaven grant us some adventures ! for otherwise there will be little to occupy or divert us. Even this morning we have been able to judge of the extent of our territory. Colonel Cavaignac, having ordered one of the pieces of artillery to be charged—“fire,” said he to Captain Liedot, "at full range;" and as the ball fell to the ground whilst we were looking on. “Behold the limit of our possessions," he added, turning towards us, and pointing to the dust which the fall of the ball had raised.
Our barrack is really in a frightful condition; or rather there is no barrack; hardly can the men find a shelter in it; and as for the hospital, it is in a state to shudder at; but there is no use in repining or complaining; we must make the best of our position, such as it is. Happily we have provisions of good quality, and thanks to the care taken of the troops, we hope that a supply of meat will not fail us.
Fifty hammocks have been distributed to each company; every man has received a sack and half a camp bed furniture. The transports of the army have not yet brought up the full complement of these articles ; ten blankets to each com
pany are wanting; but the industry of the Zouaves supplies all deficiencies; the old sacks sewed together have been filled with dry herbs, and transformed into light coverings; old woollen cloths found in the town form the lining of the sacks, and this new invented bed clothing is a good substitute for the deficient blankets.
At dawn of day, our labours and the organization of our little colony commenced. Operatives picked out from each company, are at their work; and our gardeners, under the superintendence of Captain Peyraguay, have already traced out the circumference of the garden. Even the bullocks' hides are turned to use. After carefully undergoing the necessary preparation they are delivered over to soldiers transformed into shoemakers, to keep the shoes of the troops in repair. Upon the whole, the Zouaves are gay and full of alacrity. The service is not particularly fatigueing, and by the help of a good “esprit de corps " we may perhaps pass the time of our exile, if not very agreeably, at least without much ennui.
We discovered to-day, whilst taking a walk under the walls of the city, a little ravine full of woodcocks and partridges. This happy discovery gave us as much joy as the dove which brought the olive branch into the ark could have done to. Noah. But this was altogether a lucky day for us, for by the telegraph from Ain Telazit we got the following dispatch.
"The Army has entered Blidah without resistance.”
“The majority of the Chamber has supported the new Ministry.”
“The Duchess of Orleans has been delivered of a son, the Duc de Chartres.”
Had we been in France, or even at Algiers, we should have received these bits of news with a good deal of indifference. But our isolation had now lasted six days, and we looked forward to passing long months without receiving any other souvenir from home; so anything coming from France gave an electric emotion to our hearts, corresponding to what was felt, we supposed, by others at so great a distance. This evening, the welcome telegraphic intelligence which we received as a friend from a far country, put us upon anecdotes about telegraphic dispatches; and the mistakes that sometimes occur in seeing, or not seeing and interpreting them. Here is one of the anecdotes I allude to.
Everyone has his hobby. General Duvivier had one for blockades; this was first shown at Blidah, and afterwards at Medeah. When ap
pointed commandant he declared that he would not see the telegraph of Ain Telazit, and that he should certainly have to sustain a regular siege in due form. The great arms of the telegraph swayed about in vain; the city was blind and dumb. At last Marshal Valée getting impatient telegraphed the following dispatch. “By an ordinance of the 16th, you are appointed—” (interrupted by the fog). Now just at this time General Duvivier was expecting his promotion to the rank of Lieut. General. Immediately Medeah the blind saw, Medeah the dumb spoke, and the General demanded explanations. The telegraph quietly replied, “you are appointed grand officer of the legion of honour," and then followed a series of orders.
The weather, as I finish my installation in my new quarters, is most wretchedly bad. The ornaments of my room are a broken glass, and four lithographic prints from Charivari ; my table is made of a biscuit case; the wind enters not very immoderately through the window, and the chimney is good. I am thus comfortably lodged. Whist, and three other games, which must constitute all our entertainment whilst in Medeah, will no doubt often be played here.
A highway robber, who has come here to sell a
stolen mule, informs us that the Bey of Milianah Sid-Embarek, is at the bridge of Cheliff, and ElBerkani, Khalifat of the East for Abd-el-Kader, is only at three leagues distance from us on the south. This man is a robber as any of us would be a magistrate. Robbery is a profession he follows with honour, making a merit of his audacity and courage.
Whilst it held up for a little while, I made the tour of the ramparts, and in one of the angles of a battlement under a magnificent cypress, I discovered the tomb which General Duvivier had raised over the body of Colonel Charpenay, who was killed before the city. On the tomb is the following inscription.
Near this tomb, and surrounding it as their occupants did their colonel, on the day of battle, are the tombs of four officers, of the same regiment, who fell in the same affair.