†† Clarity wanted to scream. She avoided Paris as much as she possibly could. But here she was, less than a block away from Guillotine Square, and the small alley she was in seemed to be falling on her. One of the reasons she had joined the Violet Guild was echoing down the streets. Clarity gulped and turned her attention to the brick wall in front of her. Lady Hastings gave her a sympathetic look and Brian put a comforting hand on her shoulder.
†††† Clarity gulped again and shrugged off her unease. She turned her attention to Lady Hastings.
"Chauvelin's decided to try beating the Pimpernel at his own game,"-the Lady's voice had dropped to a point where even the two Guilders had to listen carefully to hear.-"Heís tripled security, but only one-fourth of it is out in the open. The rest are disguised as prisoners and jailers."
Clarity pitied whoever had been assigned to infiltrate the prison.
†††† Lady Hastings looked at her two Guilders to make sure they got what she was saying. Both Brian and Clarity nodded.
"You two need to get the League out of Temple Prison. I have papers for you from 'Chauvelin,'saying that you two are to move the League to an island fortress. Sir Percy and Sir Andrew are crossing the channel in the Day Dream early tomorrow morning. You need to get the League out of the Temple tonight."
†† Clarity nodded and held out her hand for the papers.
††† Lady Hastings handed her the papers and the three headed for the market street. Clarity jumped as she clearly heard someone pleading for their life and then being cut off...literally... by Madame la Guillotine. Clarity gritted her teeth, determined not to lose her self-control again. She began fidgeting with her clover pendant, the way she did when she was nervous.
††† The small group emerged from the alley into the market place. Clarity bought a small loaf of bread for a snack. As Clarity turned from the cart, she saw a small child looking hungrily at the various food carts. Clarity sighed, deeply depressed that people would let small children on the street without any means to survive. She walked up to the child and crouched down so she wouldn't be so imposing. The child cringed away from her. She slowly handed the loaf of bread to the child.
††† The childís caution was overcome by the need for food. He quickly snatched the loaf away from Clarity, then broke it in half and gave one half to his little sister, who seemingly appeared from nowhere. Clarity smiled at her and the little girl giggled.
††† Clarity stood up and joined Brian and Lady Hastings who had been watching the whole session.
"It's not right fer such wee children to be on the streets," Clarity said quietly. Her two companions nodded and they headed to the hotel to discuss details for that night's mission.
*~
†† Brian kept watch on Clarity through the corner of his eye. They were walking up to the entrance of the Temple Prison. Lady Hastings had helped Clarity put on stage makeup so sheíd look male. Her hair was pinned up in the cap she was wearing. They approached the front guard. †
†† "Halt! What's your business here?Ē the guard barked.†
††† "We have direct orders from Chauvelin to take the members of the League of the Scarlet Pimpernel to an... isolated location," Clarity barked back in French. Brian recognized the way she disguised her voice. She used the "effect" as she called it, when speaking the gruff part of the giant in the tale of Tir on Nog.†
††† "Where is this "isolated" location"?"
††† "I have been ordered to tell no one that."
††† The guard eyed them suspiciously. Clarity stood with confidence and returned the stare. Brian smiled mentally, remembering how just that afternoon she had been so jumpy near Guillotine Square.
"Papers," the guard said holding out his hand.
††† Brian handed him the papers and stood at attention beside Clarity. The guard glanced at the papers and grunted, handing them back. Brian glanced over his shoulder to the small caravan of coaches and Guilders in Revolutionary Guard costumes. The sentry waved them in and turned back to his duty. Brian, Clarity, and about two dozen disguised Guilders walked into the prison.
†† There was a questioning guard who stood up to stop them, but Brian held up the papers and the guard backed down.
"The keys," Clarity ordered holding out her hand to the guard, who hesitated a moment, looking at the papers in Brian's hands. He shrugged off whatever thought had plagued him and he handed Clarity the keys. She then led the way to the group of cells that held the League. Clarity took a deep breath and prepared for whatever the Bounders might try.
*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~
††† Clarity listened carefully for noise inside the cell she opening. She made a show of choosing the right key and making a lot of noise about it. She could hear the Bounders shuffling about, getting ready to carry out whatever escape plan they had come up with. Clarity turned the key in its lock slowly..
††† Brian caught her hand suddenly and stepped in front of her. She gave him a good glare before stepping back. Brian opened the door carefully; he was almost ready to catch the fist that came up to connect solidly with his jaw. He stepped back and grabbed the Bounderís wrist.
"Well, donít just stand there! Get over here and help me!" Brian barked out at his fellow Guilders.
††† Half of them rushed to help him. Everyone was playing their part, and so far, no one suspected anything.
††† Eventually they had the two Bounders under control, everyone turning their respect level up a notch, (especially those who had had a chat with one of the Boundersí fists.)
†† "Come on, weíre only taking two at a time. No sense risking them escaping because we donít have enough men to cover each one," Clarity yelled out, bringing order to the hectic hallway. It would have been amusing, had the situation been different-- someone of such small stature throwing out orders to a group whose majority stood about a foot taller then she did.
†††† She led the way to the coaches. Brian kept a firm hold on the Bounder who had turned out to be Lord Dewhurst. The Guilders led the pair outside. When they got to the coach Clarity ordered the Bounders inside, and followed them to make sure things were "secure". She dropped the act when she got inside.
††† "Now listen, weíve very little time and Iím going to need the acting skills yea's are so famous fer. Wait a moment let me explain. We are here to get you out of here,"- Clarity jerked her thumb at the prison and went on before either of the men could get a word in edgewise-"I's be needing yea to pretend yea've been knocked out, so we can play the guards fer the fools they can be."
††† "You're the storyteller," Dewhurst and the Bounder she didnít recognize declared at the same time.
†††† She looked at them blankly for a moment. She hadn't been aware she had a reputation in the League.
"Yes, now would yea be so kind as to take a short nap?" Clarity asked. She didn't wait for an answer, but hit the side of the carriage. The Bounders looked at her as she hit it again. †† "Now yea's are spoose to be 'sleep," Clarity put her finger to her lips to reinforce her whispered words.
††† Clarity got out of the coach and two other Guilders got in and closed the door. That process was repeated eight times, with various escape plans from the different groups of Bounders. Clarity had had to backhand one young man.
Clarity climbed up into the driverís seat of the first coach next to Brian and signaled to the coaches behind them that they were leaving.
††† Brian got the horses going and they were soon at the outer gates.
"Papers," the sentry demanded. Brian handed the guard the papers. The guard went wide-eyed on discovering the charges they had. He handed the papers back to Brian and waved them through, careful to take a few almost superstitious steps back. The caravan left Paris and headed through the quiet countryside to the sea.
*~ *~ *~
† Sir Percy Blakeney stepped off the Day Dream and anyone who spared a casual glance at him would not have seen the frayed nerves that hid beneath the surface. Andrew Ffoulkes had about the same status. Here he stood beside Sir Percy. Percy saw a young boy running up to them.
††† "Sir Percy?" the boy asked hesitantly in rough English. Percy nodded and the boy sighed in relief. He handed Percy a message, and Percy gave him a tip. The boy gave a wholehearted thanks and ran off.
†††† Percy showed the message to Andrew. The sealing wax was green and the emblem of a Leprechaun sitting on a book was stamped in it. Percy broke the seal and read the message:

 Sir Percy,
†††† I fear that you have misplaced some things. Let me have the 
honor of returning them to you. Meet me at the Alley Cat as soon as you get
this.
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Miss O'Brian.

††† Percy and Andrew looked at each other, remembering the adventure the Irish storyteller had mixed herself up in about two years ago. They shrugged.. Clarity had proved herself to be a trustworthy person, so they headed to the Alley Cat.
†††† When they got there, Clarity was sitting on the floor playing with some children. She saw them and quickly excused herself.
"Sir Percy, 'tis good to see yea again," she offered her hand for a handshake, which he took but quickly turned and kissed her fingers, always the gentleman.
†††† Clarity blushed slightly.
†"Now, I believe that yae've misplaced something," she led them to a large back room in which the members of the League were scattered about.
"Here they are, all in one piece and I've some rather large favors to repay to some... rogues." Clarity stated matter-of-factly.
†††† Brian laughed and came over and wrapped his arm around her waist. "You can say that again," he said rubbing his jaw. Clarity grinned.
††† "Well, Miss O'Brian, youíve saved me a lot of trouble, and it does seem that I owe you a favor," Percy thanked the young woman. She smiled in return and quietly returned to the children who were getting antsy. Clarity relaxed a bit more now that another mission was behind her.
*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~
†††

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