Reward of Heroism
M. Labat, a merchant of Bayonne, ill in health, had
retired in the beginning of the winter, 1803, to a country house on the
banks of the Adour. One morning, when promenading in his robe-de-chambre,
on a terrace elevated a little above the river, he saw a traveller thrown
by a furious horse, from the opposite bank, into the midst of the torrent.
M. Labat was a good swimmer: he did not stop a moment to reflect on the
danger of the attempt, but, ill as he was, threw off his robe-de-chambre,
leaped into the flood, and caught the drowning stranger at the moment when,
having lost all sensation, he must have otherwise inevitably perished. "Oh,
God!" exclaimed M. Labat, clasping him in his arms, and recognizing with a
transport of joy the individual he had rescued, "I have saved my son!"