Jeanty Sarre squeezed himself against the wall behind one of those projecting columns which decorate the Passage; but the column was very thin, and only half covered him. The soldiers fired, and smoke filled the Passage. When it cleared away, Jeanty Sarre saw Charpentier stretched on the stones, with his face to the ground. He had been shot through the heart.
The four companies, in close order, and as though mingled and hardly visible, seemed like a wave precipitating itself with a great noise from the height of the barricade. At the barricade of the Petit Carreau they noted the manoeuvre, and had paused in their fire. "Present," cried Jeanty Sarre, "but do not fire; wait for the order."
"Charpentier," said Jeanty Sarre, "you have good eyes. Are they midway?" "Yes," said Charpentier. "Fire," said Jeanty Sarre. The barricade fired. The whole street was filled with smoke. Several soldiers fell. They could hear the cries of the wounded. The battalion, riddled with balls, halted and replied by platoon firing.
Jeanty Sarre was the first to climb it; having reached the summit, one of the spikes pierced his trousers, hooked them, and Jeanty Sarre fell headforemost upon the pavement. He got up again, he was only stunned. The other two followed him, and gliding along the bars, all three found themselves in the Passage. It was dimly lighted by a lamp which shone at one end.
There was only one man on it, who was drunk, and who put the barrel of his gun against his breast, saying, 'No thoroughfare. Jeanty Sarre disarmed him. There at the corner of the Place des Victoires there is a well-constructed barricade. In the adjoining barricade in the Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau, the troops this morning made no prisoners. The soldiers had killed every one.
They were all worn out with fatigue, having been on their feet since the preceding day, carrying paving-stones or fighting, the greater part had neither eaten nor slept. Charpentier said to Jeanty Sarre, "We shall all be killed." "Shall we really!" said Jeanty Sarre.
Towards half-past four, in the twilight the twilight begins early in December Jeanty Sarre took four men with him and went out to reconnoitre. He thought also of raising an advanced barricade in one of the little neighboring streets. On the way they found one which had been abandoned, and which had been built with barrels.
The second barricade was stronger than the first. These men nearly all wore coats. Some of them rolled the paving-stones with gloves on. Few workmen were amongst them, but those who were there were intelligent and energetic. These workmen were what might be termed the "pick of the crowd." Jeanty Sarre had rejoined them; he at once became their leader.
Jeanty Sarre told Denis of the fighting in the Rue Saint Denis. During all this time the generals were preparing a final assault, what the Marquis of Clermont-Tonnerre, in 1822, called the "Coup de Collier," and what, in 1789, the Prince of Lambese had called the "Coup de Bas." Throughout all Paris there was now only this point which offered any resistance.
While going down the stairs, Jeanty Sarre cried out to his friend, "Thanks!" Such is the kind of hospitality which we have since received in Belgium, in Switzerland, and even in England. The next day, when they took up the bodies they found on Charpentier a note-book and a pencil, and upon Denis Dussoubs a letter. A letter to a woman. Even these stoic souls love.