John Bessac walked speedily along the highways all that evening. He made considerable distance. However, as daylight appeared he knew that his father, his uncle and the Holy Roman Catholic Church would be searching for him. Agen was his immediate destination.
He kept up his pace so that he could put more distance between himself and Montvalant. To be safe he departed the highway and walked the fields and solitary footpaths. He wished to see the city of Agen soon; and then Beaumont and Toulouse.
John’s forty mile trip from Montvalent to Agen was without incident. On the second morning he decided to rest after being two days without sleep. He found a comfortable place near a stack of hay and drifted off for a well-deserved rest.
Something brought him out of his deep sleep. Even with his eyes closed he felt a presence of some sort. Slowly opening his eyes he found himself looking at the well-shined boots of a state gendarme. A conversation about John ensued.
After some convincing, the policeman was satisfied that John was on a trip to visit friends. He pointed out to John that a storm was in the air and that he should find a more secure place to rest. John, in his deep sleep, had not noticed the change in the temperature, wind and clouds. He remained a little foggy from his recent awakening and attempted to determine what day it was.
“November 13th or 14th; a few days after St. Martin’s Day” he said out loud.
“Pardon me?” responded the policeman.
“Nothing, nothing at all” lied John. “Just forgot the actual date.”
The policeman looked askance at John, excused himself, and departed.
John felt rested up enough to continue his journey towards Toulouse. He was somewhat conflicted as to whether to find shelter or move on. He decided to put more distance between himself and the dreaded plans that the church had for him.
The next sixty miles to Toulouse were windy and cold. John was thankful that it did not rain. He had not thought about a canvas wrap to keep the wetness from soaking him. There was a heavy fall mist coming from the Atlantic side of France but it was not enough to dampen him through.
It took three more days of walking for John to reach Toulouse. He found a reasonable priced boarding room and started making plans. His first task was to write his good friend Barte. Barte’s return letter contained advice and a gift. The advice was for John to head for Cadiz where John had established friends. Barte suggested that John may be able to find a job in the hospital where he had once worked. John did not wish to relive the memories of his brother dying in Cadiz.
The gift was a note that John could cash. It was a second party check drawn on a merchant from Bordeaux. The only person that John could find to cash it was a shylock who extracted an ungodly sum “due to the risk.”
Being desperate, John took the partial amount.
A month had passed while he stayed in Toulouse.
John then departed for Madrid.