"You do know, my friend, that the Pimpernel is planning to rescue the St. Augustines, you know, the six children, mother, and old nurse?"
I nodded my head in acknowledgement.
      "Well," my lady continued, "I have just recieved word from Paris that Chauvelin is up to his tricks again."
I stiffened, then hung my head in shame. My lady looked at me sympathetically.
      "It must be hard for you, my friend, having to work against your uncle."
      "He has changed so much since I saw him in Ireland," I murmured, almost afraid to speak. My uncle is still a painful subject. My lady smiled.
      "Someday I would like to hear stories about the way your uncle used to be," she said, "but duty takes priority. Chauvelin has hidden the St. Augustines, and replaced them with patriots, who, when the Pimpernel rescues them, will capture him, and hold him hostage until Robespierre, Chauvelin, and the other terrorists arrive. He will have an immediate trial, condemnation, and be guillotined at the nearest guillotine. They are taking no chances. I have spoken to my husband," she said, reading my mind, "And the Pimpernel does not know of their scheme. To tell him would give us away. What I want you to do, Katherine, is to find the St. Augustines, and get them out of the country. I will somehow contrive to warn the Pimpernel, but time grows short. Will you accept the task?"
She looked at me pleadingly.
      "'Tis a hard task," I began slowly, "But one I think I can handle. I will, however, need a lot of money for bribery, a ship to get us away, and, to be honest, my lady, A LOT of luck."
She smiled.
      "Then it is done. Money you shall have in abundance, and I already have a ship anchored and ready to sail at the next tide. As for luck," she shrugged. "Well, may Chance have a hair to spare, because you and the Pimpernel are going to need it. Good luck, my friend."
She gave me a quick, warm hug, and some hurried instructions.
"I have a carriage outside. Give this note to them, and a few gold coins. The money is being held a the Fishman's Rest. Once you get the gold, go find the Adventurer, and board. When you get to France, change into the costume that is in your cabin, hunt up a horse, and ride to Paris as swiftly as possible. After that, you are on your own. Now go! Good luck, and Godspeed!"
I quickly left the orchestra box, and forced my unwilling feet to go slowly. No one must suspect anything.
      I did as my lady ordered, and was at the Fisherman's Rest by nightfall.
I decided to spend the night, so as not to arouse good Jellyband's suspicions. I left early the next morning, to catch the tides. I quickly found the Adventurer, a beauty indeed, barely scathed from the adventures she seemed prepared for. I quickly boarded, and was off to France at noon.
      While exploring my cabin, I came upon the costume my lady had prepared, and some paint. As the shores of France drew closer, I prepared myself for the role I was about to play, that of a young, sturdy lad looking for work in Paris.
      It took me awhile to find a good horse. All the nags I found were half-starved and lame, but finally, I found a good, sturdy stallion at one of the farms. It cost, but I had plenty of money to spare on a good horse. I called him Captain Stalwart, saddled up, and was off in the blink of an eye.
      I rode hard all the way to Paris, but Captain remained good, and was full of such zest that I had the temptation to gallop around the city a couple times just for the fun of it. I didn't though, Captain needed food, and so did I. I dug my passport out of the pocket of my breeches, and boldly rode up to the gates.
"These pawpers awr signed by Citizen Robespierre," the guard said with a thick accent.
      "The man 'imself," I said, trying to copy his accent.
      "Are they all in orda?" he asked.
      "Well I dunno! Ain't it yer job to be checkin' that?" I shot back. He smiled a wide, toothless grin, and handed me back my passports.  
    "Open the gates!" he yelled, and I rode through the slowly opening gates of Paris. Needless to say, I was relieved. Part one was done.
Well, I thought to myself, onto part two!!
      I decided to check the deserted houses around the neighborhood, where, even if I didn't find the St. Augustines, I might find some clues. By questioning a few of the locals, I managed to find the names of some old houses that uncle might use to hide the St. Augustines. I rushed out to search.
      By the last house I was in despair. This was my last hope. I looked around cautiously. I spotted at large window, and a tree that reached across the fence and towards the window.
They are either dumb, lazy, or it's a trap,I thought.
A trap, most likely, but as long as my eyes were open I was willing to take a risk.
I cautiously stole up to the tree, and nimbly made my way up, and across to the window. Barred!! I looked up, and saw a terrace, which I thought might prove useful. I slowly scaled the walls, which had planks sticking out from the raid. I finally reached the terrece, and carefully entered. The guards were fast asleep.
To be safe, I pried open their mouths and gave them some sleeping powder which I took the precaution of bringing. I then entered the hallway, went down the staircase, and found the room with the barred windows.
Guards surrounded the door. I had found the right place. Quickly and quietly I took an empty wine bottle from my sack, and gently rolled it so that it fell down the stairs to the entry hall. Half of the guards went off to investigate the sound from the bottom floor.
Good, I thought, only six men left.
With the remaining amount of my sleeping powder I quickly put the six guards to sleep, took the keys and a sword and pistol, and entered the room. There were no more guards. Instead, I found the St. Augustines, and my uncle.
      "Well, Katherine," he said, smiling a smile I didn't recognize, "It is good to see you."
      "Back off, uncle," I said, trying to keep my emotions under control, "The St. Augustines are coming with me."
      "Leaving so soon? Why don't you stay awhile?"
I had a sudden idea.
      "No, I've got plans. But you're more than welcome to join us, uncle. Nay, you're going to join us."
I grabbed a dagger.
      "Take the keys and open the window," I told the nurse. She opened the window.
      "I want everybody to climb out. Nurse, go to the carrige house and find a workable carriage. Mlle. St. Augustine, take the dagger and hold it to his throat. I'm going to fetch Captain."
I shimmied down the tree, and grabbed Captain. I somehow managed to get him into the grounds, and hooked up to the carriage the old nurse found. Everybody piled in, with Mlle. St. Augustine still holding the knife to uncle's throat. I took the reins, and we made our way to the gates.
      "'Ew goes there?" the guard asked. Uncle gave his name.      
"Open the gates!"
We were safely out.
      From then on the journey was easy. We dumped uncle, trussed up, in the middle of the road near Paris, and headed for England.
            A few days later Lady Hastings and I exchanged stories.
Hers? Well, that's another story!

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