*Abigail got to her knees and cleaned up her clumsy mistake. A traitor who knew all the secrets. This could mean the death of...no!*
The rain was falling in sheets, drenching Abigail, Eliza, and the unexpected messenger of the malignant news as they ran down the street to the place where Sir Andrew Ffoulkes was currently placed. The reached the door out of breath and sodden from the storm. The rain thoroughly disguised their tears of fright and animosity, and the only visible sign of the unhappiness was a small sniffle on Eliza’s part every now and then. The traitor, Alexandria d'Allaire, was (or had been) one of Lady Hasting’s dearest friends and a faithful guilder. The logic to why Alexandria d'Allaire had decided to  go against them, straight to Chauvelin, and most likely bring the lives of the Scarlet Pimpernel and the entire Violet Guild along side her, evaded Abigail.
Lord Poole,(the messenger) knocked on a short wooden door, only loud enough for the person inside to hear. The couldn’t risk any suspicion, any more than they already attracted. Ffoulkes, curious, opened the door for the soaked, teary trio and invited them to sit. Lord Poole explained the ominous situation they and many others were thrust into while Lady Hastings and Abigail prepared hot drinks for themselves and their companion.
When they returned to the room, Andrew was pacing wildly whilst an infuriated expression redeemed his customarily merry facial features. He, as Lord Poole had been was enraged, but soon was overwhelmed with the feeling of dread as he realized their condition.
The question of what to do came up many times. Alas, not one person in that dark chamber could conceive even an outline of an idea. There was absolutely no one who could escape without going into hiding, and the Scarlet Pimpernel! What a brave and courageous man he was! How was that traitor’s conscience strong enough to survive bearing information that could terminate such a heroic man, as well as at least fifty, seventy others? It baffled Abigail as she watched Sir Andrew pace the room with his strong hand trembling around the porcelain teacup. On the cup was the symbol that if acknowledged (and who, with even the tiniest inkling of pride could deny connection to?) could very well mean the death of them all. A crimson star-shaped blossom.
A restless night followed as the three returned to England as soon as possible. From there they would finish their final (could it be?) mission for the Scarlet Pimpernel. Lady Hastings then sent a note to all members of the Guild still remaining in France, instructing them to leave immediately. No one was in the least safe there anymore.
Abigail was sitting in her home, the suspense weighing down her heart. A servant appeared in the doorframe of Lady Chauncey’s sitting room, announcing the arrival of Lady Hastings. Within a second Eliza had walked into the room and sat next to her. A look of determination concealed her usual carefree smile. The ever surprising leader of the Violet Guild had another plan being born in her mind at this very moment.
Abigail eyed her visitor with concern and suspicion. What could she be thinking of that would involve me?
Finally Eliza spoke.
“I have a plan,” she said with enthusiasm. Abigail replied with equally as much sarcasm, “I figured as much.”
A twinge of guilt came over her as she saw Eliza’s reaction to the latter remark.
“Abigail, we are all under extreme amounts of stress because of this dilemma, but I honestly believe this idea will work as long as we work together. You will cooperate, won’t you?”
Abigail looked at her friend with playful sarcasm and answered, “Oh, of course not. Why would I cooperate? I’ve done countless assignments such as dressing up as a man, and spying on Citizen Robspierre in the middle of the night,because of the guild. Why could I cooperate now?”
Lady Hastings sighed impatiently before she revealed her plan.
“And this is yet another one of those kind of missions, Abigail. Are you up to it?”
Abigail nodded.
“Wonderful. I chose you for this duty because, being an actress, it would be easiest for you than anyone else in the guild. I need you to...”
The conversation continued throughout the afternoon and evening. Eliza left the mansion with a look of confidence and relief on her face.

Abigail arrived in Dover promptly at first tide the next morning. She was alone, except for her lackey, who would see her depart. The harbor was bustling as Abigail looked for *The White Rose*, her husband’s schooner. He too, understood the peril of the situation and gladly gave up his beloved yacht for her mission.
The boat arrived in Paris that evening, and Abigail hurried to the usual meeting place for visiting Guilders. Naturally no one else was there, and she had the entire place to herself. Which was even better. She quickly freshened up and went out to the government buildings. On her way, she collided with someone. As she looked up at him, blushing, she recognized him instantly. His stern gaze, and the passion and fire behind his gray eyes. The adamant frown on his thin lips that completely complemented his character. She hadn’t realized her role would come into action so quickly. It caught her off guard and she took almost suspiciously long to regain her composure. Luckily Chauvelin, as planned, was struck with her beauty and did not notice her infirm response to the encounter.
He controlled the visible temptation, apologized and began to walk away. Although he willingly acceded when Abigail, exercising her skilled accent called him back. He led her to his home, not wholly understanding why. There was something about her. Something that reminded him of someone of the past; someone who should have been his but chose differently.
When the two arrived Chauvelin suddenly pulled the half-suspecting Abigail close to him and kissed her ardently. Abigail cringed in her mind and returned the kiss. Everything so far was going as planned.
Abigail waited for the right moment to bring up the recent rumors. She finally got her chance while Chauvelin took a breath.
“Paul, I have heard so much news about, you and revealing the Scarlet Pimpernel, I do not know what is true or not. It is so confusing!
He, in his lust revealed just the right amount of information to Abigail. The next day she would go to the place where he had Mlle d'Allaire imprisoned, and talk to her.
It was dark and silent when Abigail was returning back to her temporary home, exhausted. She had had a busy, stress-filled day, and tomorrow would be even more eventful. Tomorrow would be the day when she would actually be able to, solely deliver the Scarlet Pimpernel and his league, as well as the Violet Guild from Evil’s strong clutches. One chance, was all she would have to secure the lives of all those courageous beings. She drifted into a restless, uneasy sleep, as she thought of her procedures of the next day.
The song of the bird outside her window in the morning was intended to be refreshing, but to Abigail, the tune was nothing but an nuisance. She had limited time to accomplish what she set out to do. Chauvelin had carelessly told her where Alexandria d'Allaire was being held.  She had to go there quickly before he realized what he had done. She left her hide-out very early, and set out for a small home near the edge of Paris.
The wooden door opened with a squeak and the tear-stained face of Alexandria d'Allaire appeared. She profusely welcomed Abigail, who was someone she could trust.
Abigail only uttered one word.
Alexandria d'Allaire burst into tears.
“Abigail, I...I don’t know what h-had come over me! I am so very sorry.  I haven’t told them anything yet.”
She buried her face in her hands and muffled her last sentence. Abigail listened to her babble, puzzled.
She hasn’t told anyone anything yet? This could be easier than I thought!
“You haven’t told Chauvelin the identity of The Scarlet Pimpernel yet?” she queried. Alexandria shook her head.
“Nor any names of members in the Guild, except myself. If you didn’t know, I am of French origin. My father and mother are cousins of the King himself. Last week they were found and taken from hiding. Their trial is to be tomorrow, and I felt I had to do something. So I told Chauvelin I was working with the Scarlet Pimpernel and could tell him his identity, as well as the members of the League if he would spare my parents. He hasn’t let my parents free yet, so I haven’t told him anything concerning The Pimpernel. Alas, when I was talking to Chauvelin last week, I believe I saw a familiar face. A Guilder. I’m sure he went straight to Eliza.”
Abigail had been listening to this confession with growing confidence. They still had a competent chance of escape with herself, Alexandria d'Allaire, her parents, and The Scarlet Pimpernel. She revealed her new-born plan excitedly.
“Oh this is marvelous! It will be much simpler than I thought! When you and I go back to the place I’m staying, I’ll send word for The Pimpernel to save your parents, and return to England. We can leave to-night on my schooner! ‘Tis so simple!”
No sooner did she take a breath, she felt an icy hand on her shoulder.  She turned around slowly, cursing herself for being so careless. She looked up into Chauvelin’s derisive eyes.
“Did you forget, my dear, that the very walls in this city have ears? You can both come with me.”

Abigail did her best to escape. She wrenched herself away from Chauvelin and ran to the door, only to find it surrounded with soldiers. Chauvelin had caught up with her and took hold of her arm again. With his free hand he slapped her face, unyieldingly took her to the soldiers, who then led the two now condemned women to a prison. There, they were thrown into an open cell. Left alone, Alexandria d'Allaire sat in a corner, quietly sobbing, whilst Abigail stood, back against the wall, wondering what had happened, and what was in store for the two of  them. She and her companion would both be tortured until they would reveal their priceless information. Abigail knew she would never tell, for anything. But she wasn’t so sure about Alexandria. Would she sacrifice the life of the Scarlet Pimpernel and a hundred others to save her own? Abigail hoped she could be strong.
The two spent the rest of that day and night in that horrid penitentiary.  The rising sun awoke the two women from a uncomfortable, dreamless sleep. Breakfast was nothing but a meager portion of bread. Nothing eventful happened until about two o’  clock.  Two soldiers came for the women. Abigail and Alexandria were very resistant and rebelling. One soldier pushed Abigail down harshly. He said to his compatriot, “They’re too unruly for the two of us, we’ll come back for the other later."
As they led Alexandria away. Abigail yelled one final plead, “Die before you tell anything!”
Abigail sat in the cell alone. Waiting for the signal of her death when a tall soldier came to her. He faced her through the hole in the door with an amused look on his face. The soldier opened the door and stepped in. He laughed out loud seeing the condition Abigail was in. Her face and hands were dirty, her unpowdered hair was covered with straw, and her dress had a rip in it. He finally spoke.
“Lud! Never before have I seen Lady Abigail Chauncey in such an embarrassing state. Begad my dear, if you only had a looking glass! ha ha!”
Abigail had a fleet of emotions in the few seconds while the tall soldier was laughing. Anger, and when she realized that it wasn’t a soldier at all, only The Scarlet Pimpernel himself, happiness with a twinge of embarrassment because of her horrid physical appearance in front of her leader.
The ‘soldier’ took her hand and casually led her out of the cell. Although instead of taking her to Chauvelin, he led her to a small house in an alley. There he gave her explicit instructions.
“I have no idea why you are here my dear, but leave immediately. I have the Count and Countess d’Allaire safe in Calais hiding. I’m going there now. You get your things and meet me here. I’ll be waiting. I need myself and the Count and Countess to go on your schooner, I told my skipper to return to England. Someone here who shouldn’t knows my yacht too well. Is this ok?
Abigail had barely got everything. She nodded. Percy grabbed her shoulders.
“Go quickly, Abigail Chauncey.”
With that she ran to the guild ‘fort’ and gathered what little she brought with her and returned breathlessly to Sir Percy. Disguised as two lovers, with Abigail’s papers, the two escaped Paris successfully. The trip to Calais was mostly silent, until Abigail broke the quietude.
“What happened to Alexandria d'Allaire?”
At this comment, Percy’s frame fell. A look of sorrow crossed his face.
“The guillotine, m’Lady. She wouldn’t tell Chauvelin anything,” he sighed.
What a heroic man. Alas, he cannot save everyone, however much he wishes he could.
Eliza Hastings and Lord Chauncey were waiting for Abigail when she returned. They were confused but overjoyed when the Count and Countess and the Scarlet Pimpernel followed her off the boat. Abigail embraced her husband and chatted gaily with Eliza on the way to her carriage. She turned around, remembering the Count and his wife.
Abigail approached the couple, and curtsied. In their eyes she observed gratitude, yet much grief. The woman, in broken English, spoke first.
“Our daughter was brave. I miss her. Why did she die?”
Abigail felt empathy for this woman, whose daughter just gave her life for the Scarlet Pimpernel, yet not being able to explain to her dear parents. She was suddenly inclined to say something to them.
“Madame, your daughter was extremely courageous. It must have been very hard for her to keep her mouth closed when she knew she would die for it. Your daughter knew important information that she was to keep a secret for no one but herself and when it came down to even her last moments, concerning life or death she did. In doing so she saved no less than a hundred people and many more to come. You should be proud of her.”
         With that she gave the two a warm smile and headed for  Percy. When she was close to him she could feel his valiantness and audacity.
Marguerite Blakeney has to be the luckiest woman in the world, she thought. She smiled gratefully to the man before her and gave him her eternal gratitude.
The light was fading quickly and the harbor was unoccupied by everyone except for Eliza Hastings and Lord and Lady Chauncey. Eliza embraced Abigail and looked at her with admiration and respect. Although Eliza was in debt to Abigail for more than her respect. The little fling between Abigail and Chauvelin, real or not, had been the most revolting event Abigail had ever experienced. She hoped to God that would never have to happen to her or anyone ever again!
The End

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