"This letter here confirms how serious a prolem we have on our hands. Two
days ago my husband had heard a rumor that the French Government would be
sending an assassin here to England to murder the Pimpernel and his most
active assistants, Sir Andrew Ffoulkes and my Lord Antony Dewhurst."
Lucie gasped. She wasn't the only one to gasp in horror, but she didn't
notice. Her mind was occupied with thoughts of that brave Englishman who had
risked his life to save her and her guardians from the guillotine. To think
that his life was in danger, but there was also Andrew and Tony. She had got
to know them very well. They were the ones who accompanied her on the boat
after her rescue. They were the ones who helped her find her brother in
"Our mission will be to shadow them and defend them if neccessary. The
killer will probably strike tonight during Lord Chelsea's ball. My husband
overheard some men in Dover today discussing it. I will assign a pair of you
to watch each of the men. The rest of you will remain near by in case you are
needed. This killer is a very dangerous one. He knows the members of the
League of the Scarlet Pimpernel, but he doesn't know of the Violet Guild.
This will be our most important mission yet. It may mean the life of the
Scarlet Pimpernel and his men."
"Not Andrew and Tony," Lucie whispered to herself.
"Yes, and Percy too," whispered her friend Louis de Montreux.
"What to do you mean and Percy?" she whispered back to him.
"Didn't you know that Percy is the Scarlet Pimpernel?"
Lucie hadn't known. To her the Scarlet Pimpernel was a mysterious hero and
she wanted him to remain that way, so she had asked not to be told who he was.
This new revelation was a great shock for her.
"What nonsense," she thought. "Louie is just playing a joke on me. Of all
the people who could be the Pimpernel, Percy?!"
"Louis and Lucie." Lady Hastings' call brought Lucie's thoughts back to the
meeting. "You will have the hardest task. It will be your job to watch the
Scarlet Pimpernel himself, Sir Percy. Are you alright, my dear?"
Lady Hastings had noticed that Lucie had gotten extremely pale. Lucie was
not one given to fainting, but she was on the verge of losing consciousness.
Percy...her brother...he who only worried if his cravat was tied properly and
the Scarlet Pimpernel, that herioc man who had planned so many escapes and
saved hundreds from Mme. la Guillotine were one and the same.
Lady Hastings assigned other Guilders to guard Andrew Ffoulkes and Antony
Dewhurst, but Lucie wasn't paying any attention. Her thoughts were elsewhere.
All those long trips Percy had claimed to take to the northern shires were
really trips to France where he risked his life to save‹ Mon Dieu! His life.
His life might be lost tonight if she and Louis don't guard him with our life.
Yes, she would be willing to give her life for him. She would die to save
"We will save him," she thought. "We will!"
Those few hours before the ball seemed like an eternity to Lucie.
She and Louis had some final preparations and then they were to drive with
Percy to the ball. They knew they were playing a dangerous game. If they
showed the slightest sign of worry or suspicion when they were with Percy, the
assassin might suspect that his secret is known and attack unexpectedly. Then
Percy wouldn't be safe anywhere. They knew one thing, they wouldn't let him
out of their sight.
The ball was a magnificent one. It was compared with the ball given by Lord
Grenville the year before. As the little group entered, they were confronted
by many smilling faces, new faces Lucie and Louis hadn't met before. Percy,
of course, took no time in introducing them. The most illustrious of the
guests was the Prince of Wales himself.
"I didn't know you had a sister, Blakeney," he said pleasantly.
"She's been in France for some time." Percy replied.
"Yes, your Highness," Lucie said. "I almost wasn't able to leave. My friends
and I were nearly sent to the guillotine, but we were rescued at the last
moment by the Scarlet Pimpernel."
"Sink me," exclaimed Sir Percy with a laugh. "Can I go anywhere without
hearing about that demmed elusive fellow? But your Highness, will you join me
and Louis in a game of hazard?"
"Certainly, my dear fellow."
And the three of them headed to the card-room, while Lucie went to find Lady
Lord Kulmsted had once been a member of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel,
but out of jealousy and spite for his leader he betrayed the man to whom he
had sworn obedience. Fortunately, the Pimpernel escaped, leaving Kulmsted in
the hands of the French.
Chauvelin, member of the Committee of Public Safety had heard of Kulmsted.
He knew that, as a British lord, Kulmsted would not be suspected and would be
able to go anywhere and hear everything. He plotted with the English lord to
murder the Scarlet Pimpernel. It was those two gentlemen that Lord Hastings
had heard in Dover.
Kulmsted was there at the ball and was about to follow Sir Percy and his
friends into the gaming room when someone brushed against him and placed a
piece of paper in his hand. He did not see who gave it to him for there were
so many people in the room. It was a note. It was unsealed, but addressed
I have been instructed by Citizen Chauvelin to assist you in anyway I can. Meet me in the library at eleven o'clock. I think I may be of some assistance to you.
Citizeness Yvonne Merri
Merri. Kulmsted had heard that name before. Citizen Merri was a well known
patriot in Paris, but Kulmsted didn't know that he had any relations. It was
quarter to eleven already, so he headed for the library.
The old grandfather clock chimed the hour as he entered the room. The room
was very dark and seemed empty, but then Kulmsted noticed the figure of a
young woman moving towards him.
"Milor," she whispered. "I have a plot to help you kill that sacré aristo,
the Scarlet Pimpernel."
"What is it, Citizeness?"
"I will persuade the aristo to meet me here at midnight tonight. I will
leave this window open. You can wait a few minutes to make sure everything is
safe and then you can sneek in the window, shoot him in the back, and make
your disappearence the way you came. I'll give an alarm, you can come in with
the rest of the crowd. No one will suspect and we both will have done a
small service for France."
Kulmsted agreed though he would have prefered a more adventurous way. As
long as he could get the Scarlet Pimpernel alone was all that mattered. Now
all he had to do was wait.
It was now ten minutes till twelve and Lucie and Louis couldn't find Percy.
He had disappeared. Lucie then remembered the note that Percy had received.
She was very nervous. She and Louis excused themselves and started to look
Lord Kulmsted hid himself in the shadows outside the library window. He
could hear Yvonne's voice discribing the state of "her poor family in France."
Sir Percy must have gotten there before twelve, for there he was sitting in an
open-backed chair with his back to the window listening to every word that the
"poor girl" was saying.
Kulmsted knew how sensitive his former leader's senses were and tried to be
as quiet as possible when he entered the room. Surprisingly, even though he
made a faint noise as his feet touched the carpeting of the room, Sir Percy
did not turn around, but remained attentive to the girl's story.
Kulmsted raised his pistol and fired, but just as he did he was suddenly
attacked from behind. Two men had been hiding in the darkest corner of the
room and now were on top of him.
"Make sure to tie him good and tight, Louis," said "Yvonne" cheerfully.
"Lord Hastings has got him." As she said this the girl stepped into the light.
Kulmsted finally got a good look at his little "assistant." Her lazy, blue
eyes were strangely familliar.
"You little...," he growled at Lucie. "You thought you beat me, but I shot
Sir Percy. I killed the Scarlet Pimpernel."
"Or thought you killed him, Lord Kulmsted. It's very dark in here. Did you
get a good look at "Sir Percy"?"
Kulmsted paled as he examined the figure in the chair more closely.
"C'est vrai, monsieur," she said with a merry laugh. Once again the Scarlet
Pimpernel has evaded your grasp and Lord Hastings witnessed the whole thing
and will be willing to escort you to prison until you can answer to charges of
attempted murder in court."
The next day, the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel met to discuss their next
adventures. The first ones to arrive were Ffoulkes and Hastings.
Sir Percy handed them a piece of paper.
"Look at this," he said. "That
little piece of paper probably has saved my life last night."
Andrew and Hastings looked at the paper. It was a note that read:
If you value your life and those of your men, come to the library at quarter to twelve tonight. Hide in the adjoining boudoir and don't make a sound whatever happens.
The note was not signed, but at the bottom was the picture of a small flower.
This time it was not a scarlet pimpernel, but a violet.
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