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Madeleine De Vercheres: The Heroine Of Castle Dangerous
by [?]

“Who goes there?” he called out bravely, but with a shivering fear that it might be additional forces of the enemy. At the sound of his cry Madeleine, dozing by the table, roused and ran to his side with a question on her lips which did not need to be framed.

“A voice from the river,” he whispered, but as he spoke came the louder sound of near-by footsteps and voices, and fleet-footed Madeleine ran to the bastion to see whether it was friend or foe arriving.

“Who are you?” the clear voice of the intrepid young commander rang out, and instantly came the answer:

“We are Frenchmen. It is La Monnerie, who comes to bring you help, and with him are forty men.”

Relief was at hand! Turning, Madeleine gave a command to a soldier to stand on guard, then, “Quick, open the gate,” she said, and her command was obeyed. The gate, closely guarded, was opened, and out went Madeleine to meet those who had come to the rescue.

As Monsieur Monnerie caught sight of the slight girlish figure his eyes were full of wonder. Then she stood before him, drew herself up to her full height, and solemnly saluted, saying, “Monsieur, I surrender my arms to you.”

The gallant Frenchman retorted chivalrously, “Mademoiselle, they are in good hands,” and then the pride of the brave girl broke bounds, and with shining eyes she exclaimed, “Better than you know. Come and see for yourself!” and fairly pulled him into the fort, where he made a thorough inspection, and his admiration increased momentarily as he saw what this slip of a girl had been able to accomplish. Everything was in order, a sentinel was on each bastion, the enemy had been held at bay–what man could have done better work? Nay, who could have more nobly defended the garrison?

With the light of intense admiration in his eyes La Monnerie paid tribute to Madeleine’s good judgment, bold tactics and ready wit which had saved the situation, and for very embarrassment at his praise, a deep flush crimsoned the girl’s cheeks, as with a shy glance of appreciation, she thanked him, adding quietly, “It is time to relieve the guard, Monsieur. We have not been off our bastions for a week!”

Among all the incidents handed down concerning that troublous time in the Canadian provinces, none is so worthy of lingering over as this noble defence of Castle Dangerous, by the daughter of its commander, and sweet and strong, the influence of Madeleine de Vercheres comes down to inspire and thrill the hearts of girls of all countries and ages by the deed she did in the name of her country and her King.