Foreign News: A Fistful of Louis

Some claim that the captain had sworn not to tell what he was carrying; some, that he never knew. One thing was certain: if the cargo lashed down in the hold of the brig Télémaque that January night in 1790 was really nails and tar, as the manifest stated, it was wrapped in astonishing secrecy. As the little vessel passed the Seineside village of Villequier on her way to Le Havre and the open sea, a cutter of the revolutionary government decided to investigate, and ordered the Télémaque to heave to. Instead, she made a break for it, and raced...

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