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La Chasse au chastre

The Bird of Fate

conte/short story, pub:1841

A fourth cellist leaves Paris to chase a chastre (a type of pigeon). He is captured by bandits and doesn't return for twenty years.

Included in the Nouvelles impressions de voyage: Midi de la France. Made into the play La chasse au chastre.

    "Thrush Hunting", and abridged translation of La Chasse au Chastre

Oeuvres/Related Works
    Dumas père, Alexandre: A Masked Ball and Other Stories - Available from amazon.com
    Dumas père, Alexandre: A Masked Ball and Other Stories - Available from amazon.com

From A Bibliography of Alexandre Dumas père by Frank Wild Reed:
     A light-hearted and amusing little tale Its plot was related to Dumas, in part, by his friend, Joseph Méry, who bade him make what he wished of it. As so frequently, the master left it to mature in his mind ; then, suddenly, one day it sprang to light and appeared as a kind of pendant to his latest "Impressions de Voyage : Midi de la France." Meanwhile Méry, snowbound in an inn, also bethought him of it. Years had passed, Dumas had done nothing with it, had in fact probably forgotten it, so Méry decided to use it himself. It resulted that both versions appeared in print almost simultaneously, and, though Méry at once wrote to the journals explaining the matter, to this day the accusation of wilful theft is occasionally launched at Dumas. It is, in part at least, a brigand story, and the scene is laid in Italy during 1810-11.
     When printed to fill the last of the three volumes of "Midi de la France," the type used was smaller than that of the main portion of the book, as though its inclusion was an afterthought.
     In this same year 1841, an edition appeared as a separate work at Brussels; Hauman, 12mo. It is the only appearance of the tale as a distinct publication, apparently.
     Later, in 1846, Dumas again used it to fill the sixth and final volume of "Le Chevalier de Maison-Rouge."
     In both the standard Calmann-Lévy edition and in Le Vasseur's "Alexandre Dumas Illustré" it forms the final chapter in the "Nouvelles Impressions de Voyage : Midi de la France." This appears in Vol. XXI. of the latter.

         References :—
     Méry: "La Chasse au Chastre," in any edition which includes its author's preface.
     Parran: "Bibliographie d'Alex. Dumas," page 46. Quérard: "Supercheries Littéraires Dévoilées," Vol. I., Column 1101.
     Glinel : "Alexandre Dumas et Son Œuvre," pp. 374-75.

         English Translations :—
     "The Bird of Fate" ; London, Methuen, 1906, sewed.
     Reprinted, same firm, 18mo., 1922. (Both these editions also contain several short stories.)
     "Thrush Hunting," an abridged translation, appeared in "Blackwood's Magazine" for February, 1844.

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