We continue along the cobblestones of Paris, many of them cracked and
sunken from wear and age. Then, Lady Eliza stops abruptly and turns
"Elsa, you had better go back to the inn with the Marquis and his
sons- no sense in all three of us getting caught, and somebody should
stay with them."
The Guilder, somewhat dissapointed, pauses and nods obediently before
turning and heading in the direction of the inn. We watch her go, and
then return to our ducking in and out of every alley for cover. It's
tiresome, but far better than being cought in the open. We finally
reach the prison gate. Oddly enough, there is no one guarding the gate.
I glance at my companion in hope, and she nods as we slip into the
dark. The passages look familiar, but all is hazy and distorted, like a
bizarre dream. Lady Eliza steadies me as I pitch and stumble.
clears as we hear voices coming from the end of the hall.
Angry shouting proceeds from around the corner, and we listen, my
palms growing clammy.
"You really thought that you could defeat the republic of France? Our
country has one of the most powerful heritages of all time! You truly
are crazy, men! Now that you are mine, it only takes one swipe..."
Lady Eliza peeped around the corner at the activity. When she withdrew
and turned to face me, her face grew white with fear.
"Chauvelin," is what she mouthed to me with so much terror in her
eyes that I too began to tremble and pale. The horrible speech droned
"Yes, and now that I have you, I only have to figure out which one of
you is the Pimpernel. But, I suppose, other than for my own personal
humor, that much doesn't really matter, since all of you will die,
This time, I glanced around the corner. Sure enough,
there was the accredited agent himself, looking more than pleased with
himself, but the men he hovered over were in disguise! All wore the
typical dress of French paupers and wearing cowl-like hoods to cover
their heads and faces. At least the problem of their identity becoming
general knowledge wasn't a problem... for now.
We both stood there for a short time, fretting over the entire
situation while Chauvelin contined to pace around his victims, growing
more and more eager to learn their identities as he toyed with them as a
cat does a mouse. Then, an idea struck me. I whispered a few words to
my lady, who was presently standing next to me, and she nodded briefly
and I gathered up my wits along with a mask and hat.
As I stepped into view, I secured a black mask around my face, and a
black hat to cover my head. I thanked my lucky stars that I wasn't in
my dress. As I saw the Frenchman glare at me in astonishment, I
couldn't help but grin profoundly and announce to him,
"You look for the
Scarlet Pimpernel, yes! But I am your fellow, my good man!"
I had deepened my voice and the thick accent of southern Europe flowed
with my speech. Once more, Chauvelin looked at me increduously, and I
couldn't help but giggle inside- here was one of the most respected men
in Paris staring at me like an idiot! It didn't take him long to
regain his dignity, though. He cocked his head and watched me in
intrest and curiosity. He drew closer, and I drew my sword. He backed
off and began,
"So you're the Scarlet Pimpernel, eh?"
"That's correct, m'sieur."
"Then you are an expert swordsman?"
"That I am."
"Then I suppose you wouldn't mind a duel?"
He asked this, and rather
confidently drew his sword, a sly grin playing his lips.
His extreme confidence made me falter slightly, but this was what i
had been trained for, wasn't it?
"But of course I wouldn't mind it,
At that, he drew his sword, and a duel commenced. At first,
I was terrified, but then I got into the spirit of the game. Yes, my
adversary was an experienced swordsman, but so was I. It was all parry,
thrust, swing and slash combined with acrobatics.
As our blades crossed, I saw utter fury on the man's face. I had
never seen anyone so obsessed with his work. I grinned good-naturedly
at the sport, and as he saw my face, and atonishment crossed his. Then,
a thing I would never have expected came from him! He grinned right
back! The same grin of triumph and battle that I wore he wore too, and
an understanding passed between us.
Then, I saw Lady Eliza ushering the Bounders and Pimpernel away from
the scene, and she too wore a disguise. I suprised my opponent by
knocking his sword out of his hand, and it landed several feet away from
him. Chauvelin looked at me in astonishment and horror.
"A worthy duel and a worthy opponent." He expected me too kill him!
Then, the thought hit me- wasn't I supposed to? I directed my sword to
his throat, when I heard heavy footfalls proceeding from the next hall.
There was no time! Without thinking, I hit the Frenchman over the head
with the handle of my sword, and continued down the corridor that Lady
Eliza had taken. I could barely hear the scuffle of feet in front of
me, and I followed the sound, out of the prison through an old wooden
door. As I scrambled up the bank of soft loam, heading towards freedom,
adrenaline coarsed triumphantly through my veins. I couldn't wait to
catch up with Eliza and the Bounders.
They were visible in the distance, and they slowed enough for me to
catch up with them. When I did, we continued quickly to the cover of
the inn where Percy and his men stayed. Many thanks awaited us there.
When we were safe in the inn, Percy and his men removed their cowls and
turned to us.
"I don't know how I can thank you two enough... could you be so good
as to remove your masks and give me your names?"
I turned to Lady
Eliza. She shook her head; as much as we would have liked to tell them,
we could not let them know! She spoke for us, her voice accented and
lowered as well.
"No, good sir, I'm afraid we cannot reveal that."
Percy was shocked.
"But... you saved my life. Why would you do such
a thing, and then not even care to tell me your names?"
I broke in.
"We only wanted to protect the protector of the innocent.
Just like yourself, we cannot reveal our identity. But you have our
With that, the lady and I walked out of the inn, twelve pairs
of eyes focused intently upon us.
The way to our lodgings wasn't long, but we marched triumphantly the
whole way, and laughed back and forth, the same way we laughed whenever
we heard of the notorious Spanish swordsman dressed in black, who was
presumably the Scarlet Pimpernel.
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