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But one day she received a letter from her aunt, Mme. de Tess, inviting her to come and live with her at Lowernberg in the canton of Fribourg. In a very short time, however, she was summoned out of the prison and conducted by the gaolers into the presence of Tallien.

For nothing was safe from her pencil: her books, her copy-books, even those of her schoolfellows, the walls of the dormitory, every available space was covered with heads, figures, and landscapes in crayon or charcoal, and when out in the playground she drew with a stick upon the sand.

I bowed with a half-smile that seemed to amuse the King. But resuming his usually grave and majestic air, he added

[333]

Tallien heard it too, and it was like a blow to him. Do and say what he might, he could never shake off the stain of the September massacres, and time only increased the horror with which they were regarded. They were staying with an uncle of hers at Bordeaux when she heard one day that an English ship with three hundred passengers, chiefly royalists of Bordeaux, but all of them persons flying from France, was on the point of sailing, but was detained because the captain, whose conduct in this matter one cannot help saying few Englishmen indeed would not have despised, refused to sail until he had received three thousand francs wanting to the sum owing by the emigrants. Mme. Le Brun returned home, but dared not stay there, so she accepted the invitation of her brothers father-in-law, M. de Rivire, in whose house she thought she would be safe, as he was a foreign minister. She stayed there a fortnight, treated as if she were a daughter of the house, but she had resolved to get out of France before it was too late.