"There's this, too."

I was tucking the tiny files mechanically into a hidden recess in my coat, somewhere where they would not be see if I were searched by an overzealous guard. There was little chance...what could a file do if we succeeded in reaching him? He could not fight -- again, unbidden, that terrible image of what Blakeney must be, after a week on little food, no sleep, and heaven knew what else....

I wondered if he could even walk.

IT was hope, as ingle, desperate, futile hope. We had to act, somehow, we had to offer this man for whom we would all give our lives something besides our prayers.

I raised my eyes to Wallescourt half-consciously, buttoning my coat, but he cast his gaze into another part of the room, scrupulously avoiding my glance. Several seconds past ere I noticed what he held out to me, cupped in his attenuated fingers -- - a tiny sheathed dagger.

The entire object could not have been above eight inches, and much of that was the polished handle...only an infinitesimal sharpened blade, sliding from the sheath, was visible. There was queer, oily sheen dimming the steel..


Jeremiah's eyes were cast down, his hand trembling very sligtly. My own fingers were far from steady as I seized hte deadly, detestable thing and thrust it deep inty my coat. I was less than careful of either the blade or the toxin, but only wanted the hateful glittering prize out of my sight as quickly as possible. It would be no great harm, perhaps, if I killed myself through an imprudent nick ere I could give it to Blakeney...

I shrank from the very thought, my mind screamed out in horror at it, my soul rebelled against this flagrant flouting of every law of the universe. The Scarlet Pimpernel...suicide..

But heaven only knew what trials he was facing, what he had to endure in the name of honor and right, while death came nearer and nearer on agonizing steps but never near enough for release...

God, my God, my God, help him..

I had to leave the choice for him to make...I owed him that much trust. But tears froze on my cheeks as I strode, leaning fiercely into the wind, from Wallescourt's lodgings to where Marguerite waited and prayed, and I felt there might be some things I could not forgive even Percy, and could surely not forgive myself...

I simply had to do something, to aid him in some way. There are times when the need to act is so strong we have no power of mind or will left to examine the right or wrong of our actions.