Jacques poured over the map with Moisson-Desrouches. The Ultras hold so much more than us. Why do they not strike and end this? What are they waiting for?
"Perhaps if we strike for the Place de Bastille, seize the bridges and cut the east from the centre?" Jacques hands traced the line.
"And stick your head out so you can place it in the lion's jaws?", the young engineer queried.
Jacques looked again at the map. So much territory. So many white squares.
Then it struck him. Of course! So much land! Too much! They are spread too thin! The soldiers are like capital. It must be spent in large sums to make a difference, not spread thinly, frittered away to no effect. How many soldiers can there be? Certainly not enough to strike us and hold the key buildings at the same time, or St Fulgent would have done it already.
Time. We need time. For Morand and the miners to arrive. For the Deputies to extract their digits from their derrieres. For the King's soldiers' resolve to melt.
We have time. As long as we exist, the army has failed. And if they fail, the Government will lose confidence and negotiate. Or even better, surrender. We don't have to win a battle, we just have to not lose one.
Jacques called his confederes together around the map.
"The Raguser has the soldiers but we have the will. As Bonaparte said, the moral is to the physical as three to one. Tomorrow, we shall all be three men at once. We will not hold barricades and give our enemies a convenient target to crush. We shall be the spirit of Paris itself. Every house shall be our bastion. We shall demonstrate and then melt into the shadowswhen the army appears. This is our city, we know its laneways and alleys better than them. We must be chasseurs, never standing still, tormenting the lion, never letting it close its mouth around our heads. Always turning up where the soldiers are not. Until they are exhausted from marching around the city in the summer sun. Until the lions run out of energy and collapse from fatigue and despair."
"Send out the word that all households are to hang tricolours from the window tomorrow. Let the soldiers see the heart of Paris is red, white and blue. Let them feel surrounded by the spirit of Liberte, Fraternite et Egalite. Let our banners show where Paris' allegiance lies. and let the troops know that Paris is enemy territory to them. And let Marmont know that he has to hold every house, every apartment, every tavern and sinkhole, every hovel and tenement or he will conquer none of it."
"And tonight, tonight our women shall prepare tomorrow's fight for us, by thinning the enemy's ranks and sapping their morale. In the true Parisian way. With love. Instruct the women to befriend the sentries, to entice them with food, with comfort, with affection. Reassure the enlisted men that we want to fight with them, not against them, that they will honoured if they spurn the haughty officers and leave the ranks, that they will be worshipped if they come join our fight. And if the ladies find any Swiss, have the women whisper in their ear, "Remember what happened to the Garde in '92"."