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4382Re: [Strange Paradise] Avant Maljardin - Part 2

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  • Debby Graham
    Dec 3, 2012
      Hi Barbara, thank you for continuing the story. .You mentioned some of the
      episodes should have been done to a conclusion instead of leaving the
      audience guessing. I know this makes it difficult to work on a story. I
      usually have to review some of the scenes for my stories but a lot of times
      I can't find what I want. I guess that's where our imagination comes in.


      On Sun, Dec 2, 2012 at 1:16 AM, batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

      > **
      > "Coachman, leave M'sieur D'Argent at his home. It's in a few blocks,"
      > Jacques told the carriage driver after being completely silent and lost in
      > thought since the Palace.
      > "So, you are going to keep what the King wanted a secret?" Gaston asked.
      > "Just for a while, mon fr�re. I have some thinking to do." Jacques said
      > flatly. "You will know soon enough."
      > "Don't forget, there is a meeting late tomorrow," Gaston said as the
      > carriage pulled up in front of his home, just a couple blocks from Chez Des
      > Mondes. He had learned from past experience not to push Jacques for
      > information. He would know soon enough.
      > "I won't." Jacques signaled the driver to continue on to his home and
      > horses clattered forward.
      > Once at his door, Jacques got out thanking the driver and telling him to
      > convey his thanks to the King's secretary for the ride. The carriage
      > clattered away and Jacques turned to his door only to see Suzanne O'Claire
      > sitting on the steps. She had on a pretty but simple gown; almost
      > underdressed for this part of Paris, if Jacques hadn't known her better.
      > Jacques let out a huge, audible sigh. "What do you want little one? Why
      > are you here?"
      > "You have something that is mine, Jacques" Suzanne said standing up on
      > confronting Jacques.
      > "I have nothing of yours, Suzanne."
      > "I saw you take ashes from the fire. Ashes belonging to my fianc�. They
      > are mine and I want them" Suzanne demanded.
      > "Your eyes must have deceived you, Suzanne. I have nothing like that. Now
      > run along like a good petite fille and find a new playmate," Jacques said
      > flippantly, waving a lace handkerchief at her and continuing up the stairs.
      > "You are a liar! You lie, Jacques! You lied about Philippe and you are
      > lying now. You have those ashes, I saw you." Suzanne became belligerent.
      > "Your anger is very alluring, Suzanne but I do not have them. And this is
      > the last time I am telling you. So unless you want to come in and warm my
      > bed I suggest you leave, lest I have you thrown out." Jacques continued up
      > the stairs, into the house and slammed the door behind him.
      > Suzanne pounded on the door. Raxl came up the hall to answer it and
      > Jacques told her "it's that bothersome O'Claire girl. Get rid of her, Raxl
      > and make sure she stays away."
      > "A curse on your head! A curse on you forever, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes!"
      > Suzanne's threats came through the door. "This will be on your head for
      > eternity! You are a liar and a murderer!"
      > Jacques looked at Raxl, handed her his cape and went into the sitting room
      > to right of the door. He heard Raxl open the door and have words with
      > Suzanne but he did not care. Moments later he caught Suzanne through the
      > window, tromping down the street like a petulant child.
      > He reached for the wine decanter and a small glass. Pouring himself a
      > drink he sat down. He was still stunned from his meeting with the King and
      > growing angry. Raxl glanced into the room and reading his mood, decided to
      > continue away down the hall.
      > `Is the King exiling me? Is that what this is?' he thought. `Is he is
      > being true about the gossip at court and people trying to make my life
      > difficult? Does he know about the spell the coven and I put on the court to
      > conceal our membership? Or perhaps it's the King who can't handle the
      > contretemps!'
      > Jacques got up and got more wine, `The root of it is I have no choice,' he
      > thought. `I have to leave and I won't know what to do until I get there.
      > But I have some time and have to see a way to use this to my best
      > advantage. I have to position things so that I have the upper hand here. I
      > don't want Louis to turn my home in the New World into an Inn for his
      > friends wishing a bit of adventure and free lodgings. Maybe there are
      > riches to be plucked in the New World. There is a great deal of shipping to
      > that area. And if Louis wants an outpost there, I might request militia at
      > my disposal. One that I choose!"
      > Jacques walked to the window and looked out on the street. "Paris, you are
      > my home. But I will have the merry life I deserve either way. I don't like
      > anyone telling me what to do, even if it is the King. This may be a chance
      > to plow fresh, fertile fields. I have time� I have time�" he said aloud.
      > Jacques finished the wine and went up to see his Mother. Tapping on her
      > door, he called "Mere bien-aimee, it is your son."
      > "Jacques!" his mother called. Jacques opened the door to see his mother on
      > her couch, flanked by her two best friends in matching chairs. They looked
      > like two crows to him.
      > "Mesdames�" Jacques bowed.
      > "Wait downstairs, my darlings, while I speak with my son." Madame Des
      > Mondes said. At that her friends excused themselves from the room, nodding
      > to Jacques. He looked to make sure they had made their way downstairs until
      > he closed the door. He turned. His mother was in subdued attire of dark
      > gray satin with only silver chain in her hair, which was more simply fixed
      > than usual. She had champagne opened on the side table and there were three
      > used flutes next to the bottle.
      > "Mother," said Jacques coming to her side and kissing her hand.
      > "Oh Jacques, we have been through a terrible time have we not? Yet we
      > still have each other," said his Mother. "I hear you were at the palace
      > today. Is everything all right? Was that Suzanne I heard cursing you?"
      > "Word seems to travel quicker than I" said Jacques. "Yes, Maman,
      > everything is fine. Suzanne and I never saw eye to eye. The poor, deluded
      > child still blames me for the demise of her beloved. Now, to answer your
      > first question, the King was checking on my well-being apparently. He sends
      > his love and this," Jacques reached into his doublet and pulled out the
      > packet wrapped in gold silk.
      > His Mother took it and turned it over. "Louis and I are past the times of
      > sending each other tokens of love." She unfastened it and opened it on her
      > lap. There was a beautiful silver pendant inlay with a sparkling blue
      > topaz. Philippe's birthstone. On the back was the King's insignia. There
      > was a small note which she opened that asked her to come for lunch to
      > Versailles the following day.
      > "It seems Louis wishes to see me too, Jacques. Anything I should know
      > before I go?"
      > Jacques smiled, "No, Maman � the King merely wishes to see you. Check that
      > you are all right. You do still love him, don't you?"
      > "Always," said Jacques mother. "But make no mistake; I love your father
      > still, as well. I don't know what that makes me. A fool probably."
      > "No, Maman. Just a beautiful woman," said Jacques, rising and kissing her
      > hand. He knew flattering his mother would satisfy her enough to stop asking
      > questions temporarily. "I am going to lie down, ma Mere. I feel very
      > drained."
      > "Jacques, you poor thing! This has all been so horrible for us. But I know
      > the Des Mondes name is safe with you. You sleep, my child," said his
      > mother. "I will have Raxl send my reply to the Palace."
      > Jacques kissed her cheek, bowed and left the room. Upon taking the stairs
      > he called down in an impertinent voice, "Ladies, ma Mere and her perch are
      > free for your winged return!" and quickly got to his room, closing the door
      > behind him. He knew it was crude but his mother's friends were more like
      > leeches to him; chasing gossip and wine.
      > Jacques removed his doublet and sash and laid it on a chair. He restarted
      > the fire in the small fireplace at the end of his room and jumped on his
      > bed, bouncing on his back. He laughed to himself. `So much to think about,
      > so many plans to make' he thought. `And no more Suzanne LaClaire pounding
      > on my door, no more of my mother's vultures sniffing around, no more Court
      > spies watching my every move,' he thought.
      > He rolled to one side and opened one of the drawers in his nightstand
      > removing a small locked box. Jacques pushed aside part of the carving on
      > his headboard to reveal a small hiding place with a key. He opened the box.
      > In it was an amulet with an upside down pentagram on one side and the Mark
      > of Death on the other. "You will be there with me" he said to it, "A whole
      > new place for you and me to control, corrupt and have some fun." At that he
      > locked the amulet back in the box, returned the key to its hiding place and
      > the box to his night side table. Rolling back, he looked out the window. It
      > was night already. Within a few moments, sleep overtook him.
      > Jacques awoke to see the sun seeping around the heavy drapes on his
      > window. He went to the washbasin off the door to his room. Splashed his
      > face and dried it with a towel. He pulled the bellcord and within minutes,
      > Raxl appeared at his door.
      > "Yes, Master?" she said.
      > "What is for breakfast, Raxl?" asked Jacques as he put on his doublet.
      > "Breakfast? Master, it is lunchtime!" said Raxl with a stern look.
      > "Ah! Then my Mother has left for the palace?" said Jacques, looking
      > himself over in the mirror.
      > "Oui, Master."
      > "Then get me some breakfast. I don't care that it's afternoon. Some warm
      > porridge, kippers and warm bread?" said Jacques in an overly sweet tone.
      > "Oui, Master," Raxl turned to leave and stopped herself, turning back.
      > "Master, may I ask something?"
      > "Go ahead, Raxl" said Jacques looking at her, hands on his hips ready for
      > a verbal sparring match.
      > "I received today a letter from the Palace. Is there something going on I
      > should know about?" asked Raxl.
      > "Do you want me to read it to you, Raxl? I know your reading and writing
      > are still limited" said Jacques condescendingly.
      > "No, Master. One of the other servants will read it to me. I just
      > wondered�" Raxl started. Jacques cut her off.
      > "Don't trust me, Raxl?" said Jacques, with a smirk.
      > Raxl avoided his question, "I am just concerned there is something I
      > should know about. I am loyal to the Des Mondes and protect this family
      > always."
      > "No, Raxl. Nothing horrible is in the letter. We can speak after you� uh,
      > read it" Jacques smiled. "Now go get my breakfast together, I'm famished!"
      > "Yes, Master" Raxl left quickly.
      > Jacques opened his drapes and windows and leaned out taking a giant breath
      > of air. "Paris, I need to savor you while I still can. But I am busy today!
      > I want to get things in motion for my upcoming departure and have some rest
      > before tonight's gathering."
      > Jacques withdrew the amulet from its box and put the key and box away.
      > Tucking the amulet safely into his doublet he proceeded down to the dining
      > room which was below his own room.
      > Sunlight streamed in the long windows making the silverware glisten on the
      > table. Jacques poured himself some juice, looked around to make sure Raxl
      > wasn't watching, and grabbed a nearby bottle of liquor, adding a good
      > amount to his juice. He took a sip and smiled.
      > Raxl entered with a large tray. She set a bowl of porridge, a small plate
      > of hot kippers and 3 large slices of warm, buttery bread with a carafe of
      > coffee, some milk and sugar and a mug down. Jacques sat down and with a
      > wave dismissed her and dug into the breakfast. "No more lying in bed," he
      > said to himself. "I must busy myself with arrangements and investigate the
      > possibilities for myself in the New World."
      > As soon as he finished he pulled the bell cord to signal he was done,
      > quickly left the dining room and breezed out the side door. Walking back to
      > the small stable the groom saw him coming and immediately started to saddle
      > his horse. "You should have told me you were going out today, Master Des
      > Mondes" said Henri. Henri had been taking care of the horses and small
      > carriage the Des Mondes used.
      > "Master Des Mondes?" asked Henri.
      > "Yes?," said Jacques helping strap the saddle on.
      > "What should be done with Master Philippe's horse and saddle?" asked Henri.
      > "Put out the word that his horse is for sale. And pack the saddle and his
      > tack, Henri. I will need them�. Later" said Jacques getting on the horse
      > and heading away. Henri was stunned. But he knew better than to pry with
      > Master Jacques. In fact, Henri felt it was better to not know where Jacques
      > was concerned.
      > Raxl listened carefully as Charlotte read her the note. Charlotte was the
      > washing maid, in charge of daily wash as well as shipping off seasonal
      > clothing to the Caribbean for it to be cleaned and shipped back. Raxl, as a
      > girl, had worked at one of the cleaning stations and was fascinated by the
      > ornate garments she saw come from Paris to be cleaned. Charlotte made notes
      > as to what was shipped and made sure everything came back in good order.
      > "Mistress Le'Twaire" the note started. "His Majesty, Louis XIV has offered
      > to your Master, Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des Mondes, property in the Caribbean
      > for his personal use. Monsieur Des Mondes will be taking up residence there
      > and the Crown requests you accompany him as his housekeeper and to inform
      > him about the region, as you are a native."
      > Raxl smiled. "Merci, Charlotte." Raxl took the note and slipped it into
      > her pocket.
      > "You are leaving us, Mistress?" Charlotte asked
      > "Yes, my child. You will be fine. I am very happy to be going home to see
      > my family and my fianc�, Quito. I can be with my people and serve Monsieur
      > Des Mondes as well." Raxl said. "And,' thought Raxl quietly, `I can use my
      > powers there to keep Monsieur in check. I have things I can conjure him to
      > do for me. No one will question a French gentleman. And he will have no
      > choice but to do as I will.'
      > Raxl smiled as she walked back to her quarters. She would have to ask
      > Jacques when they were leaving. This was an answer to her supplications to
      > the Serpent God. She missed home and being here after testifying for the
      > Des Mondes family at the High Court made her uneasy. Viscount LeComte, her
      > Master's grandfather, had already come and asked if she knew any more about
      > the coven. She knew both the Viscount and Jacques were members but she had
      > lied to keep their secret and hers. Raxl thought of the looks she got when
      > she made her weekly visits to order bread at the baker or meats from the
      > butcher. She had already changed her manner of dress since she first
      > arrived in France, but that did not seem to help. She was tired of being an
      > outsider. Neither did she not want to reveal what she knew, or the document
      > she hid and this would allow her a comfortable exit from the curious and
      > suspicious in Paris.
      > to be continued....

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