4382Re: [Strange Paradise] Avant Maljardin - Part 2
- Dec 3, 2012Hi 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 <email@example.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
> 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
> "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
> "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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