What happened when the clock struck twelve?

Dear Student,
Please find below the solution to the asked query:

When the church clock struck twelve, the trumpets of the Prussians returning from their drill sounded at which M. Hamel stood up, very pale, in his chair. He tried to give his farewell words but choked. He could not go on. Then he turned to the blackboard and wrote as large as he could -"Vive La France!" Then he stopped and leaned his head against the wall and without a word gestured that the students were dismissed.

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