1636: The Cardinal Virtues
circumstance but by inclination.
    God damn it.
    One of de la Mothe’s troopers called out to her, walking slowly along the river bank, not seeming to want to get too close. Sherrilyn smiled to herself; the guy must be attached to his limbs.
    “I’ll be right there,” she answered, stepping back into view with her pack slung over her shoulder. The USE goes with me , she thought.

Part Two

    The Virtue Of Fortitude
    A noble and steady purpose of mind

Chapter 9

    March, 1636
    Lyon, France

    It had taken all winter to sort them out.
    When Sherrilyn Maddox first arrived at Marshal Turenne’s headquarters, she expected to find an army camp—men in tents or barracks, with the marshal himself living rough with his troops. She had heard of his common touch . . . all the way from Marseilles, in fact: the men in her escort had made a great display of it.
    But Turenne himself, and his staff, had engaged a very handsome villa outside of town where they were accommodated in quite comfortable style. It was fully staffed, and Sherrilyn was given her own room. It was a simple solution to a problem she had been concerned about: how to doss down with a few thousand men.
    “You are comfortable?” he asked the day she arrived. She was walking around her room, pacing it out, looking at the furnishings and wondering what might break if she sat or leaned on them. Turenne had just come in from a ride: he had mud on his boots and hadn’t taken the spurs off. He took his leather riding gloves off and tucked them in to his belt.
    “More than comfortable, my lord,” she said.
    “Marshal is fine. Sherrilyn Maddox, isn’t it?” He gave the name a surprisingly American pronunciation. “Colonel Maddox from now, I think.”
    “That’s quite a promotion.”
    “It is what I had in mind.” He looked down at his boots, as if noticing them for the first time. “I am very pleased to have you here at last. I know that de la Mothe explained my interest in having you come here.”
    “I admit to skepticism.”
    He stepped into the room, avoiding the delicate carpet and settling himself onto an armchair. Sherrilyn came and sat nearby.
    “That is quite understandable,” Turenne said. “I know de la Mothe told you that I needed someone to help train my troops—to teach them to fight like a modern army. But I realize, and I am sure you realize, that if each has a Cardinal rifle in his hands and knows how to shoot it, that is more than sufficient.”
    “I’ve done the math. Three shots a minute—three thousand men or so, that’s nine thousand rounds a minute at a range of two to three hundred yards. Even if your men were lousy shots—”
    “They’re not.”
    “Even if they were, your average tercio would never reach the front ranks of your force. And a cavalry charge wouldn’t get there either. If they really can shoot, then you have everything you need. The Spanish have no idea what you can do, do they?”
    “The Spanish do not think too deeply about anything,” Turenne answered. “I suspect that they would not expect much from a few thousand French troops against the mighty Tercio Español . With the proper cavalry support they would expect themselves to be unbeatable. If they come up against us—”
    “Is that what’s going to happen, Marshal? The Spanish are going to invade France?”
    “I don’t know. The cardinal clearly has some inkling that it might happen—otherwise why would we be deployed here? It’s a long way from Paris—or the Dutch frontier—or anywhere else but Spain or Savoy.” He made a gesture with his hand. “Really . . . it’s a long way from just about everywhere.”
    “Keeps the boys out of trouble.”
    “Oh, believe me, mademoiselle, they make their own trouble. But it is a much smaller amount of trouble than they might make in sight of Notre-Dame de Paris.
    “But to the point. The men can shoot; the rifles are accurate and deadly. My subcommanders have trained them well. I don’t need you to help

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