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This book is a work of fiction and any resemblances to persons, living or dead, places, events, or locales is purely coincidental. They are productions of the author’s imagination and used fictitiously.

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C’est une bonne idée (March 1861)

Jean! Jean-Paul!” Jacque’s urgent cry came from behind me for what seemed like the hundredth time. As I had done some 99 times already, I continued to press my way forward through the deep snow, not looking back.

At first Jacque’s whining voice had been simply another minor annoyance, like the snow itself that fell a dead weight on my arms and shoulders and crept over the tops of my boots to melt within. Our horse-drawn tram had been obliged by the unexpected and unwanted snowfall to stop halfway up University Hill forcing the rest of the passengers and I to step down and make the rest of the way to our various destinations on foot.

For a block or so, I’d enjoyed the exercise, but gradually as the falling snow forced its way into my boots, welding my socks to my feet in a sodden mass, I could only grimace and make the best of it. Glancing at my pocket watch didn’t help. Indeed, it served only to make me more irritable and more determined to press on.

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