Manuscripts Division
William L. Clements Library
University of Michigan

Finding aid for
Marguerite Cret Manuscript, Les Aventures d'Agnes d'Avrancourt Voyages dans le Guatemala , 1888

Finding aid created by
Rob S. Cox, 1990

Summary Information
Title: Marguerite Cret manuscript, Les Aventures d'Agnes d'Avrancourt Voyages dans le Guatemala
Creator: Cret, Marguerite
Inclusive dates: 1888
Extent: 342 pages
The Marguerite Cret manuscript is a romance-adventure novella, written in French, containing watercolors and pencil illustrations.
Language: The material is in French
Repository: William L. Clements Library, University of Michigan
909 S. University Ave.
The University of Michigan
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1190
Phone: 734-764-2347
Web Site:

Access and Use
Acquisition Information:

1988. M-2429.

Access Restrictions:

The collection is open for research.


Copyright status is unknown.

Preferred Citation:

Marguerite Cret Manuscript, Les Aventures d'Agnes d'Avrancourt Voyages dans le Guatemala , William L. Clements Library, The University of Michigan


Adventure stories have long appealed to the tastes of Americans and Europeans, particularly when set in an exotic locale. While nothing is known about Marguerite Cret, the presumed author of Les Aventures d'Agnes d'Avrancourt: Voyages dans le Guatemala, it seems that she was intimately familiar with the romance-adventure genre as written for a younger readership, and appears that she, herself, was an adolescent. Her story is an elaborate one, involving the pleasures and perils encountered by a young French girl, Agnes d'Avrancourt, while traveling through the jungles of Guatemala, including encounters with Toltecs and their arch-enemies, the Aztecs, a brush with Amazonian women, and especially with the handsome Don Pablo d'Albares, whom Agnes eventually marries.

Although at one level the novella is a formulaic exercise in the genre, it is written in a particularly appealing style and the water color and pencil illustrations that Cret includes truly complete the picture. On another level, Cret's novella creates a fascinating running commentary on gender roles in a context in which an imperial European presence interacts with an indigenous, non-white population, all as seen by a (presumably) adolescent woman author.

Collection Scope and Content Note

Marguerite Cret's novella has an engaging, rapidly moving plot line, filled with adventure and a minor dose of romance. The story is enhanced by the inclusion of a series of pencil and watercolor sketches, some of which were never quite completed. Each chapter includes at least one major, full page water color. Its authorship is established tentatively on the basis of an inscription on page 2, "affectueusement á Noël Cortês, Marguerite Cret, 1888."

Subject Terms

    • Adventure stories.
    • Romance fiction.
    Genre Terms:
    • Novellas.
    • Sketches.
    • Watercolors (paintings)
    Contents List
    Container / Location Title
    Volume   1  
    Marguerite Cret manuscript, Les Aventures d'Agnes d'AvrancourtVoyages dans le Guatemala ,  1888 [series]    [Note: The following chapter headings have been translated from the original French.]
    Page   1  
    1. Guatemala--new characters--Mr. d'Avrancourt--Don Camil--Agnes--François--Broken-Arrowhead.
    Page   11  
    2. Mr. d'Avrancourt--calamities--exile--happy days--return--Don Camil d'Albares--voyage to Mexico--departure for Guatemala
    Page   22  
    3. Alert--inexplicable danger--freneac--imminent danger--a terrible struggle--sudden departure--the Eagle's Nest--François is wounded
    Page   33  
    4. Le marail--the Mexican camp--mysteries--Agnes and François--François worries for nothing--Yellow-Bear--affaire pour quelque marails
    Page   43  
    5. The anger of Yellow-Bear--a dangerous night for the Eagle's Nest--the story of Yellow-Bear--the search for the Aztecs--adventure of the Aztecs--Rapid-Arrow is sent on a mission--François' fears
    Page   53  
    6. Rapid-Arrow arrives at the camp of the eastern Aztecs--the second messenger--suspicion--plan of defense--provisions--a savage appears--no more!
    Page   69  
    7. War dance of the savages--the return of Rapid-Arrow--François' astonishment--two unknown cavaliers--Spanish and Mexican--Pablo d'Albares--Jose-Maria--the joy of two brothers
    Page   81  
    8. The signal of Pablo d'Albares--prattling--friendly disputes--at last, Pablo rests--looking for Agnes--the little savage and his favorite--the rascal--no sign of Indians
    Page   91  
    9. Rumors--lucky chance--a terrible battle--just how it is good to disobey--Agnes' imprudence--a day at the Eagle's Nest--a second battle--François conjures up danger
    Page   103  
    10. Agnes is impatient--at Yellow-Bear's camp--dispute between Rapid-Arrow and Neac--a strange law--Neac triumphant--the death of one of the braves--Neac's fears--Onward!
    Page   113  
    11. The Eagle's Nest was lived in--Flight--Neac caught in a trap--the touching cares of Agnes--How will Neac avenge himself?--François' defiance--the arrow note--Rapid-Arrow's joy
    Page   125  
    12. François wishes to baffle Neac's projects--the Toltecs--an idea--Don Pablo will go to look for the Toltecs--Don Pablo disappears--Neac wants to take the night watches--four days have passed!--No Don Pablo!
    Page   133  
    13. Sinister presentiments--François believes nothing--Poor Agnes!--Miserable Neac!--What is reconnaissance?--Terribly bad luck--Different characters--Jose--Maria understands nothing--It's all the same to me
    Page   143  
    14. A painful March--Sapotas--Neac will be killed by an arrow's strike--a sad good-bye--François is consternated--Poor Agnes!--Voyage with Neac--the ynambu--she is rescued--a kinkajou arrives appropriately
    Page   153  
    15. The tattoo--return to the Eagle's Nest--momentary sadness--a month alone--privations--Broken-Arrowhead--a big surprise--Cha-Cha-O-Poge-O--Feather-Man--a gay conversation--the Toltecs appreciate Agnes
    Page   161  
    16. And Neac?--disappointment--furor--he fools himself--prisoner--the death of Neac--consolation--a battle between the Aztecs and Toltecs--Don Camil is wounded--Mr. d'Avrancourt and Don Camil are at least rescued
    Page   173  
    17. The search for Jose-Maria and François--only Neac dies--a horrible surprise--Jose-Maria is not dead--François the buffoon--Poor Jose-Maria!
    Page   181  
    18. Departure--very fortunate events--the milk tree--the Glactodendron--the caravan is finally complete--communications with Mme d'Avrancourt--a Kouri
    Page   189  
    19. It's finished!--Feather-Man appreciates the pretty European--sad and soft--abrupt reality--to arms!--the so-called waltz--admiration of the Toltecs--No one!
    Page   198  
    20. Separation--the battalion of women--three old women--an exemplary punishment--March through the forest--a March at night--disquieting mirages--halt!--en route!--Agnes' gloomy thoughts--hope!
    Page   205  
    21. The company of men--the enemy!--the flying man--the search for Feather-Man--check--Agnes--Manina--Feather-Man's reception of the travelers
    Page   213  
    22. A speech to the people--Don Pablo's excellent plan--foiled--Rapid-Arrow does something foolish--a big battle!--Manina, the barbarian
    Page   221  
    23. The fight between Don Pablo and Yellow-Bear--danger--Agnes' devotion--cruel Yellow-Bear--Agnes certainly knows how to roll on the moss!--the pursuit of Yellow-Bear
    Page   229  
    24. Agnes' feelings toward Yellow-Bear--Yellow-Bear's feelings toward Agnes--Don Pablo and Agnes--final preparations--a striking contrast
    Page   237  
    25. Preparations for carnage--the Toltec's toilet--great chiefs should have feathers--expeditious means--François wants to go to war, him!--a terrible encounter
    Page   245  
    26. Poor Don Pablo!--a cry of terror!--Agnes devotes herself to Don Pablo--prisoners!--gloomy thoughts
    Page   251  
    27. A horrible spectacle--an atrocious error--the terrible ferocity of Yellow-Bear--Don Pablo wants to save Agnes--the two prisoners--a sad search
    Page   261  
    28. The terrible intentions of Yellow-Bear--an hour of freedom--a singular proposition--bad traits [more text missing?]
    Page   269  
    29. Search in vain--Red-Shirt--a fair trial--a precarious situation--caught--fooled--Yellow-Bear's fury--forced to flee!--emotion
    Page   277  
    30. Triumph!--despair!--intolerable suffering--a night of sadness--delivered!--voyage for two--hope!
    Page   285  
    31. Yellow-Bear's silence--an agreeable encounter--return to Mexico--to Mexico--delivering joy!
    Page   295  
    32. Don Camil's teasing--joyous parties--an improvised Amazon--Don Pablo is weary--hunting party
    Page   301  
    33. Two years later--a gentle evening--Mr. d'Avrancourt discovers something--Don Camil's collection pavilion
    Page   307  
    34. A terrible hurricane--a good lesson in being prepared--Mr. d'Avrancourt sticks to his ideas--what Don Pablo thinks of Agnes--we ask Agnes what she thinks
    Page   315  
    35. Don Pablo, great lover of the hunt--Mama's visit--Agnes blushes--engaged!--François' kiss
    Page   321  
    36. Agnes marries Pablo--François' tremendous pride--O stupefaction!
    Page   327  
    37. And Yellow-Bear?--a lost penknife--honorable recompense--a lovely reception--a serpent--the Eagle's Nest civilized
    Additional Descriptive Data

    List of illustrations ("translated title," description, page number)

    • Agnes and party in the jungle with dog. Pen and ink, 11 x 4.5 cm. p. 1
    • Bird served up for supper. Pencil, 7.5. x 3 cm. p. 9
    • "Agnes and Broken-Arrowhead" Agnes seated on chair in a manicured garden, her dog at her feet, with a croquet set up around. Pencil and water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 10
    • European battle scene. Pen and Ink and pencil, 11 x 4.5 cm. p. 11
    • A mother with a baby in a cradle. Pencil, 9 x 8 cm. p. 19
    • "They leave in silence" Party of four boating in a tropical scene. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 20
    • Battle with Indians. Party including Agnes firing guns, surrounded by Indians. Pen and ink, 11 x 5 cm. p. 21
    • Tropical scene. Pencil, 11 x 6 cm. p. 31
    • "The savanna is disturbed only by some tapirs" Beautiful tropical, swampy scene with four tapirs. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 32
    • Indian with gun in the jungle. Pen and ink, 9.5 x 5 cm. p. 33
    • Dead birds. Pencil, 10 x 8 cm. p. 41
    • "When a boulder bounced on the [illeg.] ..." Man with gun on top of cliff, boulder falling. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 42
    • Indian war party at the base of the cliff. Pen and ink, 11 x 5 cm. p. 43
    • [Uncertain]. Pencil, 4.5 x 3 cm. p. 51
    • "There are at least two thousand, counting women and children" Tipi and Indians beneath a palm tree. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 52
    • Joyous Indians with weapons. Pen and ink, 11 x 5 cm. p. 53
    • Winged Mercury with caduceus. Pencil, 4.5 x 4 cm. p. 67
    • "The savages dancing the war dance." Indians in buckskins dancing around a campfire with spears. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 68
    • Two horsemen riding through a jungle clearing. Pen and ink, pencil, 11.5 x 5.5 cm. p. 69
    • Small rodent. Pencil, 9 x 2 cm. p. 89
    • "They make an angry reply." Men on cliff dropping boulders from the Eagle's Nest onto arrow-shooting Indians below. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 90
    • Indians firing arrows up the face of a cliff. Pen and ink, 12 x 5 cm. p. 91
    • Arrow and pistol. Pencil, 6 x 4 cm. p. 101
    • Indians in the Eagle's Nest. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 102
    • Indians preparing for war ?. Pen and ink, pencil, 10 x 5 cm. p. 103
    • Arrow and overturned tin of food. Pencil, 7 x 3 cm. p. 111
    • Shooting at Indians in a cave. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 112
    • The party at rest in camp. Pen and ink, 11 x 5 cm. p. 113
    • Dead Indians. Pencil, 7 x 3 cm. p. 123
    • "Neac not awakened, one is again left free for dinner." The party enjoying dinner at an open campfire on top of a rock. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 124
    • Agnes in a cave with an Indian outside. Pen and ink, 11 x 4.5 cm. p. 125
    • Indian looking at Don Pablo asleep behind rocks ?. Pencil, 10 x 9 cm. p. 131
    • "The savages fall onto the little troop." Indians with tomahawks attacking the party. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 132
    • The party is bound, taken captive by Indians. Pen and ink, 14 5.5 cm. p. 133
    • Agnes bound like a mummy and gagged. Pencil, 9 x 6 cm. p. 141
    • "He rowed that way for more than half an hour." Brawny Indian rowing, staring at a faint Agnes. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 142
    • "They surround Neac." Neac, fallen and bleeding, amid his compatriots. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 142
    • An armed band of Indians in the jungle. Pen and ink, 12.5 x 6 cm. p. 143
    • Indians in the jungle. Pen and ink, 11 x 5.5 cm. p. 143
    • Agnes and Don Pablo ? holding hands in the Indian camp. Pen and ink, 13.5 x 6 cm. p. 153
    • "Twelve Toltecs let their arrows fly." Toltecs in brightly colored clothing shooting at a man tied to a post. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 160
    • Pablo and Agnes running with guns to save fallen comrade. Pen and ink, 13 x 6 cm. p. 161
    • "François accompanied by an armed Toltec." Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 180
    • Agnes and Pablo watching Indians smoke in the forest. Pen and ink, 11 x 5 cm. p. 181
    • "Agnes asks Don Pablo to dance with her." Agnes and Don Pablo waltzing in a jungle clearing, amid Indians. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 188
    • The party asleep in camp. Pen and ink, pencil, 13.5 x 6.5 cm. p. 189
    • "Two women [attack] the stranger" Two Amazonian women attack an Indian. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 198
    • "A young Toltec girl appears in her turn." Agnes and a young Toltec girl picking flowers from the same bush. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 204
    • "Let's go, my little one, he cried." Combat between Don Pablo and Indians. Pencil, 22 x 17 cm. p. 220
    • Hand to hand fighting. Pen and ink, 13.5 x 6 cm. p. 221
    • "Feather-Man earns his name, this time..." Befeathered Feather-Man amid Indians. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 236
    • Legs and hat falling. Pencil, 9 x 9 cm. p. 243
    • Yellow-Bear attacks Pablo with knife. Pencil, 22 x 17 cm. p. 244
    • "At the end of the lance was stuck an horribly mutilated head." Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 250
    • "They just noticed Yellow-Bear." Don Pablo and Agnes, hand in hand, spy Yellow-Bear through a clearing. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 268
    • Moonlight scene in jungle. Pencil, 13.5 x 6 cm. p. 277
    • "Over there, she said, over there." Agnes pointing at some Indians in the distance. Pencil, 22 x 17 cm. p. 284
    • A carriage racing through the city. Pen and ink, 13 x 6 cm. p. 285
    • Lancers in battle ?. Pencil, 22 x 17 cm. p. 292
    • Horseman partial sketch. 8.5 x 10.5 cm. p. 293
    • Agnes on a donkey in the city. Pencil, 22 x 17 cm. p. 294
    • "She dreams." Agnes in a dreamy mood among trees. Water color, 22 x 17 cm. p. 300