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France And Versailles : A Comparison Of Versailles In Versailles

Decent Essays
November 1812

Finally.
It has come.
The snow has reached our knees, as we set up camp along the bank of the Berezina. We have been tracking the build-up since Polotsk; god only knows how the Cossacks and the Russian guns continue to pursue us in this. Our rifle chambers are frozen solid and our sabers will not clear their scabbards. Half the guard left them miles ago. Pierre bet me his last good boot that he’d be back in Paris in time for Noël. He wails from across the clearing as the surgeon removes his legs, the price of his patriotism staining the pure white snow, beneath the blue uncaring sky. Never have I wanted to see our colours in such a way.

We watch the crews begin to set the pontoons for our escape, as we finish off the last of Pierre’s rations. Our bodies are frozen, our stomachs empty, and our minds devoted solely to survival. Yet still, the banner of L'Empereur lies at the top of the hill, setting our hearts aflame as we ready to march once again. We must cross the river. Beyond it lies the empire, home. My father’s winery in Marne, the warm streets of Paris. Maybe I can finally convince Amélie to marry. We’ll have a summer wedding in Versailles. Mama and Papa will be there. Louis will be there, Francois and Claudia and all their little children. Pierre will be there, to fly our colours. Surely, after this, Napoleon himself will show.

The Russians are here, waiting for us across the river. Their guns batter our center and their horses wait patiently across
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