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surface upon the platform, or drops lamely into
the nearest waste-trough waiting to receive

With this mild, playful, infantine, toy-
like process the terrible business of shot-
making ends. That which began in the
tempest of the roaring shot-tower, is finished
calmly in the quiet of the granary of death.
We walk out into the street once more, and
into the middle of the nineteenth century
I and my shadowy, peace-loving friend; and
though those who pass us by can hear no
voice, there are certain questions that he
pours into my ear which I cannot answer,
though I have the will.


ABOUT the middle of the month of September,
eighteen hundred and forty-six, the diligence
running from Valance to Grenoble,
took up at  Saint Marcellin, among the
mountains of Dauphiny, a lady of mature age,
whose only luggage consisted of a bandbox.
All the places inside being already filled, the
lady was obliged to share with the conductor
the modest cabriolet which surmounted the
vehicle. Soon entering into conversation,
she informed the conductor that a glorious
event had just happened in her family; one
of her nearest relatives had covered
himself with glory in Africa, had been mentioned
in the order of the day to the army, and had
won a higher grade. The lady added,
however, that she thought military renown was
as fleeting as the smoke of gunpowder; and
aspiring herself to a more durable lustre, she
was combining an act which would become
immortal, and was then on her way to the
Alps, feeling sure of founding there the
immortality at which she aimed. The
conductor, while admiring her courage and
resolution, could not understand what she meant,
and when on arriving at Grenoble he handed
the lady her bandbox, and she repeated that
she was going to the mountains, where a
great event would soon take place, he wished
her a good journey and good luck, and
thought no more of the incident.

A few days afterwards, two shepherds,
named Maximin Giraud, aged eleven years
and a half, and Melanie Mathieu, aged
fourteen years, on descending from the mountain
of La Salette, where they had been tending
their cattle, informed their master that, at about
three o'clock in the afternoon, a beautiful
lady had appeared to them, telling them
some great news, and confiding to each of
them a great secret. When questioned, they
gave a detailed account of the apparition, of
which the following is the substance:

In the afternoon, after taking the cows to
drink, the children had gone to sleep beside
the stream, near a little dried-up fountain.
On awaking they went in search of the cows,
and on their return saw what they called a
great light, near the fountain. When the
shepherds approached this light, it seemed to
open, and in its midst they perceived a lady
sitting upon a stone, weeping, with her
elbows resting upon her knees, and her face
in her hands. At seeing her the little girl
became frightened, and let fall her stick;
but the boy courageously told her to keep
her stick, as he did his, because if he (the
light) did them any harm, he would give him
a good thump. But the lady dispelled all
fear by getting up, and begging the children
to advance towards her and listen to what she
had to tell them. The lady then said:

"If my people will not humble themselves,
I shall be obliged to let my son's arm fall
down upon them; it is so heavy and so
weighty, that I can hold it up no longer.
How long I have suffered for you all because
I do not wish my son to abandon you, and all
the while you do not care.

"I have given six days for labour, and
reserved to myself the seventh; but you will
not give it to me! That weighs down my
son's arm.

"And also the carters cannot swear without
using my son's name. These are the
things which weigh down my son's arm.

"If the harvest rots, it is all the same to
you. I warned you last year by the potato
harvest, but you did not care; on the contrary,
when you found rotten ones, you swore
and used my son's name: therefore they will
continue to rot, and by Christmas there will
be none left."

Here Melanie did not understand what
had been said, and inquired of her
companion, upon which the lady answered:

"Ah! my children, you do not understand
French; wait then, I will tell it to you

She then repeated in patois the sentence
about the harvest, and continued:

"He who has corn must not sow it, because
the animals will eat it; if a few plants were
to grow, in thrashing them they would fall
into dust.

"A great famine is coming; before it
comes, the little children under seven years of
age will be seized with trembling, and will
die in the arms of the persons holding them;
and the grown-up people will make penance
by hunger. The grapes will rot, and the
walnuts will become bad."

At this point the lady gave each of the
children a secret, speaking in French, but
adding, "You must not tell this, nor this,
nor this * * * "  As she spoke to each in
turn, the other could not hear what she said,
only seeing the movement of her lips. The
lady then added:

"But if they become converted, the stones
and the rocks will transform themselves into
corn, and the potatoes will be found planted
in the earth."

The mysterious stranger then explained to
the children, at some length, the nature of
bad corn; after which she concluded by saying

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