Lady Hastings, Louis and I stood staring at each other in the light of therising sun.
"We can't be too late. Chauvelin hasn't caught the Pimpernel yet." Louissaid hopefully. Nothing could shake his faith and confidence in the mysterious English milor who had risked his life to save him and all those dear to him from the Guillotine.
"What do we do?" I asked. "We don't have any idea where the Pimpernel and his league are and Chauvelin is waiting at the prison right now to capture them."
"Hopefully, the Bounders will see that the Marquis and his family haveescaped, but Chauvelin knows that they are in Paris and will not let them escape," said Eliza thoughtfully. "The best thing we can do now would be to split up and look for them. You, Louis, can look for them by the city gates. You, Lucie, can go back to the prison. The Bounders may not know the Marquis is safe and may be waiting there. I'll stay here in case any of them come
back. If nothing happens within the next hour or so, we'll meet back at the hotel and discuss our next move."
We all went our separate ways. I hurried as fast as I could back to the prison, just hoping that I hadn't missed anything. Everyone knew that the Scarlet Pimpernel was a man of unusual stature, but that was all I knew about
the man. I had wanted the identity of the Pimpernel to remain a mystery to
me, but now I wished I had some idea of who he was. I was hoping I could find
Sir Andrew Ffoulkes. Everyone in court knew that Sir Andrew was in League
with the Scarlet Pimpernel. If I could find him, I knew that they would get
word to his leader.
I wasn't watching where I was going and as I was running down Rue Christine,
I bumped into a man who seemed to be going in the same direction.
"Pardonnez-moi," I said.
"Excuse me," he said. I recognized that voice and he seemed to know mine.
"What are you doing here?"
"I was just about to ask you that. Paris isn't safe anymore. Especially for
a girl your age."
I was hoping he wouldn't ask me. I didn't want anyone back home to know I
was involved with the Violet Guild. I wanted, like the Scarlet Pimpernel, to
keep my involvement a secret, but then I remembered. Percy was a good friend
of Sir Andrew. I could give him a message and he could help me find Sir
Andrew and maybe his leader. I had to think fast for an excuse.
"Lud, Percy, I'm here to visit a friend of mine, Estelle. Her father was a
bookseller, until the revolution. She has been saving me some books from the
bonfires. Have you heard they are burning all books that mention anything
about the nobility and the old régime? We are trying to save some of them
before these revolutionaries destroy them all."
He seemed to except my excuse and my thoughts went back to the Pimpernel and
Sir Andrew. Could Percy help me find Sir Andrew before it was too late?
Percy was chivalrous, compassionate, gentleman, but it was well known that
brains wasn't one of his strong points. Could I trust him? I doubt that
Percy would betray his own friend, such a thought would never occur to him,
despite his jealousy of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
"What's the matter, m'dear girl?"
The expression on my face must have betrayed me. I couldn't hold in my
anxiety or nervousness anymore. I had to speak to someone and Percy was the
perfect listener. He probably wouldn't understand all that I had to say, but
at least he would listen.
"You and I know that your friend, Sir Andrew, is in the League of the Scarlet
Pimpernel, but I have heard that his life is in danger tonight."
The dim light from the street lamps and the rising sun must have played
tricks on my eyes. For a moment, I thought I saw Percy's lazy eyes sparkle
and his face grow serious. It happened so fast that I assumed it was my
imagination, so I continued.
"I was walking by la Place de la Grève, and I heard Citizen Chauvelin, I
believe you know him, planning to capture the Scarlet Pimpernel tonight. He
had heard the Pimpernel was planning to free the Marquis de Chabrier and his
sons. I want to tell Sir Andrew to tell his leader that the Chabriers managed
to escape, but Chauvelin has spies everywhere, so he must be on his guard
tonight. The Scarlet Pimpernel saved Louis and I from the guillotine. If
anything should happen to him-"
I almost started to cry. I felt very ridiculous. I wished that I hadn't
told Percy all I did.
"I'll find Ffoulkes for you," he said with one of his melodious laughs. "The
boy is always getting into some sort of mischief. He was supposed to come
with me to the cloth merchant today. He can't do that if he's locked in
prison. Don't worry about that demmed, elusive fellow. He has escaped M.
Chambertin's talons on more than one occasion. Pardon me, I must go. I have
an important appointment that I must keep."
"With whom, your boot maker?"
"No, m'dear Lucie, it's my lace merchant today, but I give you my word that
if I should see Ffoulkes I shall take time to give him your message."
And with that he walked down the street whistling as he walked. Something in
his voice had given me confidence that everything was going to be all right.
I headed for the prison again. When I got there I hid in the shadows and
waited for something to happen, but nothing did.
I ran back to the hotel, hoping that maybe Eliza or Louis would have some
news for me of the Pimpernel and his men.
When I reached the hotel Louis was there, but Eliza hadn't come back yet. It
seemed like an eternity before she came back, but it was worth the wait. I ran
out to meet her in the street. She had a big smile on her face and walked
with me back into the hotel.
Once we were safe in our rooms, she gave us the good news.
"I've just seen my husband. He told me that the Pimpernel and his men were
warned in time and the Marquis and his sons are safely out of Paris and on
their way to Calais."
As she was saying this all I could think was, "Percy found Sir Andrew. He
unknowingly saved the Scarlet Pimpernel and his men."
I was so relieved.
"God bless you, Percy," I thought, "and thank you."
- Return to the main Archives page
- The author has left the Guild. Please email me with any comments anent the story and I will be sure to pass them on to her!