Almost finished, Laurel Dewhurst thought to herself as she made her way to the Rue de Chatalie. One last message she had forgotten to deliver at this address. She didn't know who was lodging here, she had left the message under the door as instructed and left. Secrecy was so important on this mission.
She reached the house and let herself in, wondering that she did not have to wake the concierge to let her in. She tiptoed up the stairs and headed to the door she had gone to before. In the silence the sounds of voices reached her. A man's and a woman's voices were coming from the apartment.
As Laurel stood there on the landing, debating on her next move, she heard the latch on a door. Suppressing a cry of alarm she ducked into a dark corner in the wall. She practically held her breath as a shape she couldn't but recognize emerged from a room at the end of the hall. It was none other than the figure of Armand Chauvelin himself.
She shrank further back into the niche she had hidden herself in. Her clothes were dark, dark breeches, and a deep brown shirt. She shut her eyes and prayed like she had never prayed before. The footsteps moved away from her and down the stairs, pausing at the bottom. Laurel heard a door shut in the distance and she breathed again.
Slowly she left her niche in the wall and slipped down the hall to pause before the door Chauvelin had just left. Chauvelin? Why would anyone from the Guild be seeing Chauvelin? Unless..unless, there was a traitor in their midst. Who was it?
Laurel ducked into the doorway next to her, racking her brain for an idea, then it hit her. She retreated back to her corner at the head of the stairs and pulled from her pocket a scrap of paper. She scribbled a hasty note on the back with a pencil she had in her other pocket.
Thank you, Percy, she said to herself, for it was his example she followed when she absently stuffed the pencil and papers in her pockets before leaving England.

 Meet me in alley between the La Vialge and 12 Rue de Claire, 

Laurel scribbled her best imitation of Chauvelin's signature, which she had seen only once. She was betting that whoever this was didn't know the signature any better than she did. It was a weak plan,Laurel knew, but pressed as she was it was the only one she had.
Once again she made her way down the hall. A floorboard squeaked and Laurel winced, halting in her tracks, just waiting for someone to discover her. When nothing happened she took a breath and continued on. She reached that blasted door and slipped the note beneath it. She hurried with all due speed back down that dark damp corridor and to her corner that had served her so well.
Her patience was rewarded when moments later someone emerged, cloak drawn over their head tightly as if already feeling the bitter winds that whipped the city outside. In the gloom Laurel was unable to catch the face. She shut her eyes again. Would to God she had been invisible at that moment. To Laurel Dewhurst's tortured imagination, the woman seemed to look directly at her hiding place. But it was just imagination, for this mysterious person walked on.
Laurel heard the tread down the step and then the quiet, almost imperceptible shutting of that outside door, as well as the grumbled complaints of the concierge, interrupted from his sleep by the movement.
Laurel waited another five minutes; she had sent the woman half way across the city in the dark.  That gave her an hour, maybe more, to do what she had to. Fighting back self-disgust at her overt actions, Laurel once again made her way down the hall, stepping directly on that blasted squeaky board again. A curse that would have shocked Tony and Percy, any well-bred Englishman, or woman, for that matter, slipped through her lips.
She wasted no more time. With the utmost care she continued down the hall and tried the door that she had just so recently seen vacated. Locked. She bit back another curse.
Of course it's locked, you half-wit, she thought furiously to herself. She had to get into that room. Bribe the Concierge? No that would in all eventuality just end with Laurel exposed and the rest of the Guild in danger. Pick the lock? Now there was an idea. Her hair was piled on top of her head and held in place by the cap that sat there. That cap was held with nothing other than a hatpin.
Taking the hatpin out she knelt in front of the door and summoned up all that old useful knowledge from when she was in school and several of the older girls had snuck out. She pushed the pin into the lock and jiggled it about, finding the catch. She heard the lock spring and was sure the whole house could hear it. Try the latch. Her heart was racing when the door swung open. Laurel stepped inside. She shut the door softly behind her and looked about the room.
It was dingy, but clean as far as Laurel could tell in the darkness. A window looked out over the dark street. The room was in blackness, with only the moon and the dying embers of a fire to light anything.
Laurel managed to find a candle and light it by the embers in the fireplace. She looked about the small room. A bed, a desk in the corner, a small table in the middle of the room. She moved to the desk. There were papers spread on it and a pen lay discarded atop them. She set the candle down and began to shuffle through the papers, mostly in English, mostly just incomprehensible notes, an address or two, the forged letter from Laurel, a note from Eliza. Laurel sighed in frustration and a spark of hope. Perhaps she was imagining things. There could be hundreds of explanations.  As she searched through the papers on the desk she found a key, carelessly abandoned in the corner of the desk. Taking the candle she scanned the drawers of the desk until she found what she was looking for. A locked drawer.
It took Laurel but a moment to open the drawer and realize what she was looking for lay inside. A single paper, written completely in French. Her breathing quickened as she picked up the paper and sat in the chair. She held it closer to the candle. Her heart and hopes sunk.

	Lady Kulmsted,

, the letter began. Laurel caught her breath. Kulmstead, the only traitor to the league, of course.

	The information you sent me regarding the recent activities of the 
English spy known as the Scarlet Pimpernel is of great interest to me. I 
shall come to you at you lodgings at midnight. Be there waiting for me and 
inform your concierge that I shall be along.
					Citizen Armand Chauvelin

Well that would explain why her entrance did not wake the concierge and why the front door had remained unlocked. People had been expected. So it was the wife of Percy's only traitor. That would make sense and Laurel admonished herself for not having realized it sooner. Laurel herself knew the woman and would have sworn herself to the other's sincerity.
With a start Laurel realized she had stayed too long. She quickly folded the paper and slipped it into her pocket. Then she locked the drawer and replaced the candle, blowing it out as she did so. There was nothing she could do about this right now, short of lying in wait for the woman and taking her down herself. Laurel had the feeling that would get no one anywhere. If Eliza knew about this in time though the plans could be changed. Lives would be saved, her brother's, Percy's, Andrew's, men who had protected her and been her close friends all these years. She was not about to let this woman destroy them.
There was no way of knowing what Kulmsted had told Chauvelin or others but there was no mistaking that Chauvelin knew of the plan. As she hurried from the room she caught sight of a figure hurrying through the rain that had begun while Laurel was inside. Lady Kulmstead, returning and no doubt in a fury. Laurel dashed across the room and pulled the door shut behind her. She had left the room exactly as she had found it. Hopefully, Lady Kulmsted would disregard the unlocked door.
Heedless of what noise she may make Laurel scurried to her corner. There was no way she could get out without passing Kulmstead on the way, so she would wait.
She heard the door open below, the concierge's grumpy voice as he let someone in, a tread on the stairs, then a figure came into view in the gloom and breezed by Laurel's hiding spot. The lady paused on her threshold as she realized her door was open, but seemed to disregard it and stepped through the door, closing it behind her.
Laurel wasted no more time. She dashed down the stairs as quietly as she could, let herself out of the house and dashed through the streets of Paris in the pelting rain. She made her way through the growing storm at a full run, to where she knew Eliza Hastings was lodging with another Guilder.
She arrived there, out of breath, cold, and soaked to the skin, but the letter was safe, wrapped in her cap inside her shirt.
She pounded on the door.
A cautious voice called out in French, "Who is it?"
"Eliza, for heaven's sake let me in!" Laurel's own voice sounded strained and harsh to her ears, and she had a feeling she would have a cold for her pains this evening. The door was pulled open and Laurel staggered in, heedless of what she must look like, drenched with rain, her hair straggling down her back; exhausted and horribly upset, it was all she could do to stumble to the cot with Eliza's assistance. There was someone else in the room who dashed off at a gesture from Eliza.
In panting, broken sentences Laurel appraised her leader of what had occurred and what she had discovered.

Eliza jumped to her feet, staring at her like she had become something to be feared. " must be mistaken."
"M'lady, there can be no mistake...I know what I know," Laurel said sadly, tiredly.
Lady Hastings twisted her hands in her skirt, her thoughts evidently racing.
"My friend, if..if what you say is true.." Eliza shook her head in frantic denial. "You speak of.." "Of treason," Laurel interrupted. She felt her fear and despair overtake her again and her shoulder's drooped. "Believe me, I know...but there can be no other explanation. One of the Guild has changed sides."
A glass shattered on the floor, but Laurel paid it no attention. "It's the Lady Kulmstead."
She pulled out her hat and then the letter and handed it to Eliza.
"There is your proof," she said. "There can be no doubt the revolutionary government of France now knows of our plans and of any plans of the League known to us. They must be changed, Percy must be warned and Lady Kulmstead punished accordingly," Laurel had said what needed to be said. She managed to add on, "I couldn't do anything there. As the leader, you are the only one that can oust her," before she passed out from sheer exhaustion on the narrow cot.

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