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Richelieu: A Tale of France - Volume 1

G. P. R. James

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .police of the country; and indeed it was whispered, that Richelieu not only neglected, but knowingly tolerated many of the excesses of the times; the perpetrators of which were often called upon to do some of those good services which statesmen occasionally require of their less circumspect servants. It was said too, that scarce a forest in France but sheltered a band of these free rovers, who held themselves in readiness to merit pardon for their other offences, by offending in the State’s behalf whenever it should be demanded, and in the mean time took very sufficient care to do those things on their own account for which they might be pardoned hereafter.

We may suppose then, it rarely happened that travellers chose that hour for passing through the wood of Mantes, and that those who did so were seldom of the best description. But on the night I speak of, two horsemen wound slowly along the road towards the cottage of the Woodman, with a sort of saunterin. . . Read More