every house, every stone, every old woman ●who pausing from beating her li■nen on the side of the Dronne waved him a welcom●e. And
men stopped him and slapped his should●er and shook him by the hand. “You recognise t■he good heart of Périgord,” said Bigour■
din. Martin replied, with excu■sable Gallic hyperbole: “C’est mon pa■ys. I find it again, after having wandered o●ver the earth.
” They turned into the narrow,■ cool Rue de Périgueux. On the opposite si■de of the street, they saw Monsieur Four●e, adjoint du
maire, walking furious●ly, mopping a red forehead, soft● straw hat in hand. He sped acr■oss to them, too excited to reali■se that Martin had gone and ■returned. “Have you heard the news? Th●e Mayor has received a telegram from Pari■s. The order of mobilisation goes out to-day.” ■ “Bon,” said Bigourdin. The■ terrace of the
Café de l’Univers was ■crowded with the notables of the t●own, who, in their sober way, only frequen■ted the café after dinner. ●The special c?terie had their section apart,■ as at night. They were all assembled—Fénill■e of the Compagnie du Gaz; Beuzot, Profe●ssor of the Ecole Normale; the Viriots, fath●er and son; Thiébauld, managing director of the● quarries; Béno?t of the railway; Ru■tillard, the greatee at the Café de l’
chandler of corn ■and hay; and they did not need the adjoint ■du Maire to tell them the new■s. The fresh arrivals, provided sp●eedily with chairs by the waiters●, were swallowed up in the g■roup. And Martin was assailed. “Et ma●intenant, l’Angleterre. Qu’est-c■e qu’ell
e va faire?” It was the q●uestion on all French lips that day ●until England declared war. And Mar■tin proclaimed, as though inspir■ed from Whitehall, that England wo■uld fight. For the moment his declaration sat●isfied them. The talk swayed from him excitedly■. France at war, at last, after f●orty years, held their souls. They talked i●n the air, as men will, of numbers,● of prepar