Hello my little friends!
I gave myself a little vacation in Switzerland ‘cause I want to take you to a very interesting place: we are in Prangins and right from here, on the night between 16th and 17th August 1689, after a three-years exile, Waldenses left to turn back to their Valleys… here is where the feat known as “The Glorious Return” started!
You have to know that actually that was the third attempt of Waldenses to organize the expedition… The other attempts had failed, but this time Henri Arnaud, who had a 100 gold guns reward on his head, at first moved to the Netherlands to obtain William of Orange’s support, then received 92,000 ecus from a banker to plan the venture and, counting on the “Instructions” that Gianavello had just finished writing, could finally proceed in planning the return to Waldensian Valleys.
On the beach of Promenthoux that night there were four boats, there was a light wind and it was drizzling.
In the woods just before the beach less than a thousand men, shoddily armed, were preparing to board… From the woods there came a man, Monsieur de la Tour (which was actually Arnaud!), they all knelt and prayed.
They were no more than 800-900, and there was no more time to wait, ‘cause some meddlers were starting to get close to the beach.
Finally, between 9pm and 10pm in the evening, Arnaud left with 14 men on the first boat, followed by the other three…
They managed to leave without too many problems because that was a day of celebration and there was hardly anyone around; however, among those who listened to Arnaud’s sermon there was a traitor who ran to Geneva to warn the French ambassador who immediately sent a messenger to Lyon…
The Waldensian therefore stole 12 crafts belonging to some of those meddlers (who had come to that area attracted by those strange movements) in order to escape more quickly.
As the wind rose the boats were initially separated… And when they all docked on the French side it was realized that a boat from Geneva had joined the others!
When the boats came back to rescue those who had remained on the other side, only 3 of them arrived: some ferrymen, even though they had already been paid, fled for fear… About 200 Waldensians were left back, since the others could not wait any longer.
From Lausanne many others arrived late… They had moved on August 15th but were stopped for checks, and never managed to board.
…there was also this guy whose name was Signat, a ferryman who had not asked for money to transport Waldenses on the French side, which was abandoned by his companions on the run. As he could not return back home, for fear that the French (Vittorio Amedeo’s allies) could kill him, he joined Waldenses who promised him a house in the Valleys in exchange for his boat… isn’t it a great story?!