†† 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
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
†† 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
*~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~ *~
††† 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
††† "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
††† "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
††† 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:
†††† I fear that you have misplaced some things. Let me have the
††† 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
returning them to you. Meet me at the Alley Cat as soon as you get
†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Miss O'Brian.
†††† 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
†††† 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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