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61. THE CARMELITE CONVENT AT BETHUNE
Great criminals bear about them a kind of predestination which makes them surmount all obstacles, which makes them escape all dangers, up to the moment which a wearied Providence has marked as the rock of their impious fortunes.
It was thus with Milady. She escaped the cruisers of both nations, and arrived at Boulogne without accident.
When landing at Portsmouth, Milady was an Englishwoman whom the persecutions of the French drove from La Rochelle; when landing at Boulogne, after a two days' passage, she passed for a Frenchwoman whom the English persecuted at Portsmouth out of their hatred for France.
Milady had, likewise, the best of passports-her beauty, her noble appearance, and the liberality with which she distribute her pistoles. Freed from the usual formalities by the affable smile and gallant manners of an old governor of the port, who kissed her hand, she only remained long enough at Boulogne to put into the post a letter, conceived in the following terms:
"To his Eminence Monseigneur the Cardinal Richelieu, in his camp before La Rochelle.
Monseigneur, Let your Eminence be reassured. His Grace the Duke of
Buckingham WILL NOT SET OUT for France.
"BOULOGNE, evening of the twenty-fifth.
"P.S.-According to the desire of your Eminence, I report to the convent of the Carmelites at Bethune, where I will await your orders."
Accordingly, that same evening Milady commenced her journey. Night overtook her; she stopped, and slept at an inn. At five o'clock the next morning she again proceeded, and in three hours after entered Bethune. She inquired for the convent of the Carmelites, and went thither immediately.
The superior met her; Milady showed her the cardinal's order. The abbess assigned her a chamber, and had breakfast served.
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