I received a letter from Madame Truc today. She wrote me the most dreadful news from Mont-Havre, and enclosed a letter from M. Suprenant.
It seems that the new Maréchal of Provençe has gone beyond posturing and has invaded Andaluse; it is said that his sky-ships bombarded the capital of Malague for days before descending so that waves of Provençese troops could spread out and take over the rubble. If he has not yet formally declared war on Cumbria, it is understood to be only a matter of time and tactics.
Worse, he has called upon all Provençese colonies to send arms and men to Provençe to support his war machine. All Mont-Havre in an uproar, and there have been loud words spoken in the Petit Parlement. Some few, a very few, I gather, are in favor of the Maréchal's war aims, usually with some notion of restoring past glories; some others support him in fear of reprisals. But the colonists from Cumbria are uniformly opposed to supporting him, and many of the Provençese speakers agree.
M. Suprenant tells me that M. le Gouverneur has no further interest in me at this time, now that rumors of war are no longer rumors—the man has trouble enough of his own, being seen as a lackey to Toulouse, and will be lucky to keep his position. Good riddance, said everyone in the hot springs this afternoon. A man I later discovered was M. Tremblay said that Armorica should be done with governors, and that it was high time for the Petit Parlement, which was instituted as a way to manage local affairs during the Provençese troubles, to become the Grand Parlement. There was general agreement; Bois-de-Bas, at least, has no use for the Maréchal or his wars, and no great love of the homeland.
As I have discovered in my own case, the hot springs are where matters like this are always hammered out in Bois-de-Bas; and though I was asked above Cumbria's likely response, I was pleased that I was not otherwise singled out, but treated like any other man present. I found the springs doubly warming today.
M. Suprenant said that it would be safe enough for me to return to Mont-Havre at any time; but that he considers it the wiser course for me to remain here in the country, at least for the most part. He has no work for me at present, though he would be glad of my services should commerce regain its past height; and though Armand Tuppenny is of no great interest to the powers that be, recent immigrants from Cumbria might be should Provençese troops come to our shores. Madame Truc said the same: that I might come for a visit, if I were quick, but that I should be much safer where I was. I think he is right; and I think there is a way in which we might all be safer yet.
And now I must close; I must write letters to Madame Truc and M. Suprenant tonight, for I shall not have time tomorrow. Spending my days with Amelie is beyond comparison more delightful than spending them with the goats; but my days are no less long.
Tomorrow I shall visit the church, and light a candle that the Maréchal's war will be put down swiftly. I do not think it will be the only one.