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Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)

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  • batyah_9
    Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I ve been working on a run up to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with you all.
    Message 1 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
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      Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I've been working on a 'run up' to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with you all. My apologies for any errors I didn't catch - Barbara
      ~~~~~~~~~~~

      Jacques turned from the fire, the crowd and the cathedral after collecting some of Philippe's ashes and started the walk home. A couple blocks from the cathedral he wiped the tears from his eyes, refusing to look back. Once home he closed the front door quietly and slipped into his room, locking the door. He put the gold snuff box in a chest by the wall and locked the chest.

      He lived in a small home with his mother (and his now-dead brother) in an elegant part of Paris. Jacques' large room was on the second floor with large windows facing into Paris. He frequently had the house to himself as his mother often stayed at the Palace. Philippe had a small country lodge owned by the family he preferred to this maison. As a boy he often slipped out of the window and slid down the roof of the room below to the street – and to his waiting friends. Now the windows looked out at a rising plume of smoke in the distance.

      "Master!" Raxl, the head of housekeeping entered the room. She went to the window and closed them, snapping the drapes shut. "That is not a good scene for you to be gazing on today. Would like me to bring you something to eat?"

      "No", said Jacques removing his doublet and boots. "Bring me a goblet and the largest bottle of brandy in the house. And if you check on me and see the bottle is empty, replace it with another until I tell you to stop."

      "M'sieur, that is unhealthy! You need to eat and to rest. You will…"

      "Raxl!" Jacques cut her off. "I am not in need of mothering. You may have been my governess when you were 18 and I was barely two. But now I am a grown man, fully capable of knowing my mind. Mind your place and bring the brandy to me."

      Jacques lay down on his large, carved wood bed. He had only his stockings, breeches and shirt on. He collapsed back against the large pillows – tempted to open the drapes but knowing Raxl was right. He heard faint voices and knew that his mother was in her room on the first floor. She'd taken to bed wearing her finest nightgown and robe. He could see her friends coming to see her and offer sympathy and condolences while his mother ate a few sweets and dabbed her eyes. Jacques rolled his eyes imagining the scene.

      Raxl brought the brandy and the goblet and set it on a tray on Jacques side table. "Remember, Raxl – when it's empty bring more. No lectures! And I want no visitors!"

      "Oui, Master" Raxl bowed quickly and exited the room.

      Jacques quickly emptied the bottle and lay on his bed staring at the paintings on his walls. Rembrandt and his current favorite, Rubens. He needed to erase Philippe smiling while the flames engulfed him from his mind forever. He realized the brandy was numbed him. He felt nothing. No more guilt. No more sorrow. Just nothing.

      Another bottle and Philippe would be gone too. He pretended to be asleep when Raxl brought in another full bottle. As soon as she was gone he opened it.

      This was how it went for 5 days. Jacques would fall asleep for hours but awoke to find a full bottle which he started on immediately. He tried to read a couple books but remembered nothing of what he read.

      On the third day of his self-confinement, Raxl slipped a tray of bread and cheese in with his brandy. She was relieved to see he had eaten most of it. Each day she left some food for him while he slept – most of which he ate, without comment. Jacques started a small fire in his room for warmth and slept whole days away.

      On day 6 after Philippe's death, Jacques' best friend Gaston knocked on the Des Mondes' door. Gaston had met Jacques at the Université de Paris when they were both around 14. Both were sent by their families and both studied Science and Law. Jacques' older brother was already there studying Theology. Gaston and Jacques frequently got into trouble but became adept at blaming others and appearing completely innocent. About the age of 19 both of them occassionally signed on to shipping expéditions where they learned to fight and loot ; coming home with cases of gold coins, jewelry and fine wines. They would both tell their families it was simply payment for their hard work and each backed up the other's story. They didn't want their families to realize they had taken up with pirates, but they enjoyed the loot they brought back too much.

      Raxl answered the front door. As soon as the door was slightly ajar, Gaston pushed it open and stepped in. "I hear he refuses to see anyone. How many days has it been, Mistress ?" Raxl knew better than to argue with Gaston, "Six days, M'sieur."

      "Too long, don't you think Mistress LeNoire ?" Gaston breezed past her to the stairs, not waiting for an answer. He was the same height as Jacques with a more muscular build. He took the stairs, two at a time, reached Jacques door and knocked once. Badly imitating a woman, he squeaked "I hear the legendary lover, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes lives here !"

      "Go away Gaston." Jacques yelled. Too late for Gaston had already forced open the door.

      "Mon Dieu! Jacques! It smells like a distillery and a horse's stable in here !" Gaston marched to the window, whipped open the drapes and unhinged the windows pushing them open. A gust of cool air entered the room.

      "Gaston." Jacques was up and out of bed – "Are you hard of hearing, man ?! I said leave !"

      "No." Gaston said turning and facing Jacques. Jacques slumped back on the bed, too drunk to stand and fight his friend. "Jacques what are you doing ? Have you looked in a mirror ? You look like hell."

      Jacques chuckled, "Hell and I bare no resemblance. I am much better looking."

      Raxl came into the room and Gaston said "Mistress LeNoire, our Jacques has had enough wallowing. Pour him a warm soapy bath and bring fresh clothes. And a large carafe of coffee." Raxl left without a word to get a bath ready.

      "What are you doing, Gaston? I'm not leaving this room!" Jacques exclaimed.

      "Yes, you are" Gaston said. "I will let it be a surprise as to where."

      Jacques was too drunk and weak to argue. Gaston grabbed him under the arms and marched him down to the bidet off the great kitchen. Gaston had been coming and going from Chez Des Mondes since he was a teenager, as if he was family. Once at the tub room he helped pull the rest of Jacques' clothing off next to the large metal baignoire of hot, soapy water. He picked Jacques up and dumped him into the tub. Jacques' head burst above the soap – spitting out water.

      "Are you trying to drown me, you fool ?! Bathing is unhealthy!" Jacques exclaimed.

      Gaston chuckled "So is drinking yourself to death," and handed him the coffee. Jacques drank. "Mon frere. I'm trying to make sure one of the King `s chevaliers doesn't stink up the streets of Paris." Gaston sat wordlessly down in a chair near the tub while Jacques scrubbed himself. After a few minutes he begrudgingly finished, got out, dried himself and put on his robe. Jacques trudged back to his room followed by Gaston.

      "So what is the surprise ?" Jacques looked at Gaston with a cocked eyebrow. "A new tavern ? New women in Paris ? A party ? Do tell, Gaston!"

      "Keep getting dressed or we may be late. You'll find out soon enough." Gaston sighed, "You know I love you like a brother, mon ami. By lying a'bed for near a week is enough. And please, allow the brandy distillery to recover from your onslaught !"

      "Gaston I accomplished what I wanted !"

      "What is that, praytell?"

      "I killed any conscience I had left after taking the oath of our coven. I wrestled it to the ground with my hands around its neck and then drowned it in good brandy !"

      "Quiet, Jacques! No one is to know of our involvements."

      "Oh don't worry. Raxl knows, my Mere is awash in the sympathies and ministrations of others and the rest of the household stays away from my part of the house."

      Finally, Jacques combed his hair and adjusted his doublet. He looked like his handsome self again, he thought as he looked into his long mirror. His drunk was almost gone but he felt good.

      He and Gaston marched down and out of the house. "Raxl, I promise to bring him home in one piece" bellowed Gaston as he shut the door. Jacques was shocked to see one of the King's carriages waiting for them. He turned, puzzled, to Gaston. "Just get in, mon frere, we'll talk as we go."

      Jacques and Gaston got in the carriage. Jacques was visibly uncomfortable. "Tell me now where we are going or I shall jump out. And you know I can outrun you!"

      "To the palace, the King specifically asked to see you." Gaston said flatly.

      Jacques eyes grew large, "Zounds man! Is he putting me to the stake as well? Is he withdrawing my commission? Has someone told him something?"

      "Calm yourself, Jacques. I have said nothing and I know no one else has. The King seemed very sincere in his desire to see you." Gaston told him, "I suspect some friend of Madame Des Mondes told him you took to your room and locked yourself in, because I was told not to return without you."

      "Ma Mere's tiresome friends always had loose tongues," Jacques said as he rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."

      Gaston clapped Jacques on the back. "Now that's the Jacques Eloi Des Mondes I know! Besides I want to check on the expansion of Versailles that Louis is so keen on doing with our money!" Both men laughed.

      "The money he knows about!" said Jacques, smiling conspiratorially.

      Eventually the carriage made it to Versailles and both men stepped out. Waiting on the steps was Louis XIV's secretary. All men made the obligatory bows and the secretary ushered Jacques and Gaston into the palace. They made their way down a long gilded hallway lined with portraits and paints as well as other fine objects beautifully displayed.

      They stopped at a door guarded by two of the King's Gardes. The secretary opened the door and bowed as he announced, "Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des Mondes and Monsieur Gaston D'Argent, your Majesty."

      "Come in gentlemen," the King said walking toward him. As they bowed, both men glaced at the King's high heeled shoes and then quickly at each other with a knowing smile.

      "Monsieur D'Argent, my secretary will take you to le cuisine to get you some lunch. I need to speak alone with Monsieur Des Mondes. You will be called when we are done."

      "As you wish, mon Roi." Gaston bowed again and was led out by the secretary. The door closed behind them.

      "Please, Jacques, no formalities. Come and have some lunch with me and let us talk." The King led Jacques to a small, beautifully set table for two near a long leaded window that looked out on to the construction of gardens.

      Jacques waited until the servants seated the King and then sat himself. He decided to take an offensive stance. "Your majesty, is there something I can do for you?"

      "Perhaps there is something we can do for each other, Jacques." The King spread his napkin on his lap while the lunch was being served. Jacques did the same. Roast quail with potatoes. Poached quail eggs on the side over a thin slice of bread with cheese while roasted vegetables covered with béchamel sauce finished the plate. And of course a large goblet of good wine.

      "First", the King began, "I needed to see you got a meal into you. I hear you took to your bed with only the bottle for company since your brother's… uh… passing."

      "People who don't see for themselves often exaggerate, your Highness." Jacques said while making quick work of the quail. "I am fine, as you can see. But I am not such fool to turn down a fine meal from His Majesty's chefs."

      "I know it took great courage for you to inform the High Court of your brother's witchery. It pained me too. I had great plans for him" said Louis. "But it had to be done. I let the Church decide the punishment, I could not do it myself." Louis had finished most of the lunch in no time and dabbed at his mouth with his linen napkin.

      'How biblical' thought Jacques, while continuing his fine meal.

      "But," the King continued, "things have not ended there. While there was talk before of Philiippe trying to be heir to my throne through witchcraft, now people are saying you also may be trying to take my throne."

      Jacques choked down his food and his head snapped up at the King. "No! I would not…"

      "Calm yourself, I know you wouldn't. But you know how the gossip at Court can be." The King finished his wine and signaled for more. "Already people thought I was going to show Phillippe mercy despite his actions, because he was my son. And I know they make accusations about all my… umm… offspring."

      "Your majesty, what are you getting at?" said Jacques as politely as he could muster.

      "Jacques, you know I do love your mother. I have always considered you mon fils. After your father died fighting in Holland for me I felt so much guilt. You were but a boy and so was Phillippe. I had introduced your mother and father. He loved her despite her having my child already. And you seemed to want to be just like him." The King looked wistful.

      "That was in the past, my King. I am a grown man and doing well." Jacques stated. He put up his napkin signaling he was done and servants took his plate away. Jacques then drained the goblet. "My mother also seems to have adjusted to her life. She is very proud and protective of the Des Mondes name."

      "Yes" said the King, "Your family has been more than honest and loyal to me. Which is why I must ask you to do something you may not like."

      "Ask, your Majesty. You won't know until you ask."

      "Jacques, I need you to leave Paris. And France."

      Stunned Jacques stared at the King for a few moments. He took a breath hoping he had misheard.

      "Leave Paris? My home?" said Jacques. "And go where?"

      "Jacques there are those here in Paris who are determined to make your life very difficult. And I do not want that. I have properties in the New World. Islands in the South. I need strong Frenchmen there to protect my interests from the Spanish."

      "The tropical islands?" said Jacques "But that is wilderness!"

      "There is a small, established town on the mainland where I will have you stay until you are settled. I need you to sell off Phillippe's properties. The profits are yours to keep. I am deeding you a large island just off the coast in the New World. My scouts tell me you can see the mainland from one side and the open sea on the other. The climate is warm. Your housekeeper is from the area. I expect her to go with you." The King said, looking at Jacques.

      "What about my Mother?" Jacques felt he had to ask.

      "I have a small apartment underway in the expansion here at Versailles now that is close to being done. It is on the other side of the Palace from my family and I. Away from Marie-Therese and her spies. I want her to come here to live so my guards can make sure she is safe. I will make her comfortable and part of my court, I promise." Said the King. "And Jacques, don't tell her." The king handed Jacques a packet wrapped in gold silk. "Give her this and let me talk to her."

      "Oh, and I will pay for the construction and shipping to any home you need in the New World." The King added.

      Jacques was, for once, speechless. "Your Highness, I just want to say I would prefer to stay here, in Paris." Jacques tucked the packet safely into his doublet.

      "I don't expect you to leave immediately. In 6 weeks, shall we say? Oh, and I am having a party for some visitors next week. An Incan King and one of his daughters is coming to see our beautiful France. The King told my ambassador he wants his daughter to learn European ways. I will have an invitation sent for you and your Mother, of course. Your Mother will make a wonderful teacher for this Princess while she is here."

      The King stood and motioned for Jacques to stand. He hugged Jacques warmly and kissed him on the cheek. "Mon fils, please let this new life for you be a friendly request, not a Royal order." At that, he turned to leave. Jacques bowed as the King left followed by the servants He heard the door he had come in by open. The secretary motioned for him and Jacques swept out the room. He was shown to the great front door and out to the carriage. Gaston was waiting.

      "Well?" said Gaston.

      "Give me a few moments to think, mon frère," Jacques said still feeling stunned. "The lunch was delicious though!" Jacques chuckled, wanting to change the subject. At that the carriage clattered off through the streets of Paris to return the two men to Chez Des Mondes.
    • sprules_1999
      Excellent!
      Message 2 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
      • 0 Attachment
        Excellent!

        --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, batyah_9 <no_reply@...> wrote:
        >
        > Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I've been working on a 'run up' to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with you all. My apologies for any errors I didn't catch - Barbara
        > ~~~~~~~~~~~
        >
        > Jacques turned from the fire, the crowd and the cathedral after collecting some of Philippe's ashes and started the walk home. A couple blocks from the cathedral he wiped the tears from his eyes, refusing to look back. Once home he closed the front door quietly and slipped into his room, locking the door. He put the gold snuff box in a chest by the wall and locked the chest.
        >
        > He lived in a small home with his mother (and his now-dead brother) in an elegant part of Paris. Jacques' large room was on the second floor with large windows facing into Paris. He frequently had the house to himself as his mother often stayed at the Palace. Philippe had a small country lodge owned by the family he preferred to this maison. As a boy he often slipped out of the window and slid down the roof of the room below to the street – and to his waiting friends. Now the windows looked out at a rising plume of smoke in the distance.
        >
        > "Master!" Raxl, the head of housekeeping entered the room. She went to the window and closed them, snapping the drapes shut. "That is not a good scene for you to be gazing on today. Would like me to bring you something to eat?"
        >
        > "No", said Jacques removing his doublet and boots. "Bring me a goblet and the largest bottle of brandy in the house. And if you check on me and see the bottle is empty, replace it with another until I tell you to stop."
        >
        > "M'sieur, that is unhealthy! You need to eat and to rest. You will…"
        >
        > "Raxl!" Jacques cut her off. "I am not in need of mothering. You may have been my governess when you were 18 and I was barely two. But now I am a grown man, fully capable of knowing my mind. Mind your place and bring the brandy to me."
        >
        > Jacques lay down on his large, carved wood bed. He had only his stockings, breeches and shirt on. He collapsed back against the large pillows – tempted to open the drapes but knowing Raxl was right. He heard faint voices and knew that his mother was in her room on the first floor. She'd taken to bed wearing her finest nightgown and robe. He could see her friends coming to see her and offer sympathy and condolences while his mother ate a few sweets and dabbed her eyes. Jacques rolled his eyes imagining the scene.
        >
        > Raxl brought the brandy and the goblet and set it on a tray on Jacques side table. "Remember, Raxl – when it's empty bring more. No lectures! And I want no visitors!"
        >
        > "Oui, Master" Raxl bowed quickly and exited the room.
        >
        > Jacques quickly emptied the bottle and lay on his bed staring at the paintings on his walls. Rembrandt and his current favorite, Rubens. He needed to erase Philippe smiling while the flames engulfed him from his mind forever. He realized the brandy was numbed him. He felt nothing. No more guilt. No more sorrow. Just nothing.
        >
        > Another bottle and Philippe would be gone too. He pretended to be asleep when Raxl brought in another full bottle. As soon as she was gone he opened it.
        >
        > This was how it went for 5 days. Jacques would fall asleep for hours but awoke to find a full bottle which he started on immediately. He tried to read a couple books but remembered nothing of what he read.
        >
        > On the third day of his self-confinement, Raxl slipped a tray of bread and cheese in with his brandy. She was relieved to see he had eaten most of it. Each day she left some food for him while he slept – most of which he ate, without comment. Jacques started a small fire in his room for warmth and slept whole days away.
        >
        > On day 6 after Philippe's death, Jacques' best friend Gaston knocked on the Des Mondes' door. Gaston had met Jacques at the Université de Paris when they were both around 14. Both were sent by their families and both studied Science and Law. Jacques' older brother was already there studying Theology. Gaston and Jacques frequently got into trouble but became adept at blaming others and appearing completely innocent. About the age of 19 both of them occassionally signed on to shipping expéditions where they learned to fight and loot ; coming home with cases of gold coins, jewelry and fine wines. They would both tell their families it was simply payment for their hard work and each backed up the other's story. They didn't want their families to realize they had taken up with pirates, but they enjoyed the loot they brought back too much.
        >
        > Raxl answered the front door. As soon as the door was slightly ajar, Gaston pushed it open and stepped in. "I hear he refuses to see anyone. How many days has it been, Mistress ?" Raxl knew better than to argue with Gaston, "Six days, M'sieur."
        >
        > "Too long, don't you think Mistress LeNoire ?" Gaston breezed past her to the stairs, not waiting for an answer. He was the same height as Jacques with a more muscular build. He took the stairs, two at a time, reached Jacques door and knocked once. Badly imitating a woman, he squeaked "I hear the legendary lover, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes lives here !"
        >
        > "Go away Gaston." Jacques yelled. Too late for Gaston had already forced open the door.
        >
        > "Mon Dieu! Jacques! It smells like a distillery and a horse's stable in here !" Gaston marched to the window, whipped open the drapes and unhinged the windows pushing them open. A gust of cool air entered the room.
        >
        > "Gaston." Jacques was up and out of bed – "Are you hard of hearing, man ?! I said leave !"
        >
        > "No." Gaston said turning and facing Jacques. Jacques slumped back on the bed, too drunk to stand and fight his friend. "Jacques what are you doing ? Have you looked in a mirror ? You look like hell."
        >
        > Jacques chuckled, "Hell and I bare no resemblance. I am much better looking."
        >
        > Raxl came into the room and Gaston said "Mistress LeNoire, our Jacques has had enough wallowing. Pour him a warm soapy bath and bring fresh clothes. And a large carafe of coffee." Raxl left without a word to get a bath ready.
        >
        > "What are you doing, Gaston? I'm not leaving this room!" Jacques exclaimed.
        >
        > "Yes, you are" Gaston said. "I will let it be a surprise as to where."
        >
        > Jacques was too drunk and weak to argue. Gaston grabbed him under the arms and marched him down to the bidet off the great kitchen. Gaston had been coming and going from Chez Des Mondes since he was a teenager, as if he was family. Once at the tub room he helped pull the rest of Jacques' clothing off next to the large metal baignoire of hot, soapy water. He picked Jacques up and dumped him into the tub. Jacques' head burst above the soap – spitting out water.
        >
        > "Are you trying to drown me, you fool ?! Bathing is unhealthy!" Jacques exclaimed.
        >
        > Gaston chuckled "So is drinking yourself to death," and handed him the coffee. Jacques drank. "Mon frere. I'm trying to make sure one of the King `s chevaliers doesn't stink up the streets of Paris." Gaston sat wordlessly down in a chair near the tub while Jacques scrubbed himself. After a few minutes he begrudgingly finished, got out, dried himself and put on his robe. Jacques trudged back to his room followed by Gaston.
        >
        > "So what is the surprise ?" Jacques looked at Gaston with a cocked eyebrow. "A new tavern ? New women in Paris ? A party ? Do tell, Gaston!"
        >
        > "Keep getting dressed or we may be late. You'll find out soon enough." Gaston sighed, "You know I love you like a brother, mon ami. By lying a'bed for near a week is enough. And please, allow the brandy distillery to recover from your onslaught !"
        >
        > "Gaston I accomplished what I wanted !"
        >
        > "What is that, praytell?"
        >
        > "I killed any conscience I had left after taking the oath of our coven. I wrestled it to the ground with my hands around its neck and then drowned it in good brandy !"
        >
        > "Quiet, Jacques! No one is to know of our involvements."
        >
        > "Oh don't worry. Raxl knows, my Mere is awash in the sympathies and ministrations of others and the rest of the household stays away from my part of the house."
        >
        > Finally, Jacques combed his hair and adjusted his doublet. He looked like his handsome self again, he thought as he looked into his long mirror. His drunk was almost gone but he felt good.
        >
        > He and Gaston marched down and out of the house. "Raxl, I promise to bring him home in one piece" bellowed Gaston as he shut the door. Jacques was shocked to see one of the King's carriages waiting for them. He turned, puzzled, to Gaston. "Just get in, mon frere, we'll talk as we go."
        >
        > Jacques and Gaston got in the carriage. Jacques was visibly uncomfortable. "Tell me now where we are going or I shall jump out. And you know I can outrun you!"
        >
        > "To the palace, the King specifically asked to see you." Gaston said flatly.
        >
        > Jacques eyes grew large, "Zounds man! Is he putting me to the stake as well? Is he withdrawing my commission? Has someone told him something?"
        >
        > "Calm yourself, Jacques. I have said nothing and I know no one else has. The King seemed very sincere in his desire to see you." Gaston told him, "I suspect some friend of Madame Des Mondes told him you took to your room and locked yourself in, because I was told not to return without you."
        >
        > "Ma Mere's tiresome friends always had loose tongues," Jacques said as he rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
        >
        > Gaston clapped Jacques on the back. "Now that's the Jacques Eloi Des Mondes I know! Besides I want to check on the expansion of Versailles that Louis is so keen on doing with our money!" Both men laughed.
        >
        > "The money he knows about!" said Jacques, smiling conspiratorially.
        >
        > Eventually the carriage made it to Versailles and both men stepped out. Waiting on the steps was Louis XIV's secretary. All men made the obligatory bows and the secretary ushered Jacques and Gaston into the palace. They made their way down a long gilded hallway lined with portraits and paints as well as other fine objects beautifully displayed.
        >
        > They stopped at a door guarded by two of the King's Gardes. The secretary opened the door and bowed as he announced, "Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des Mondes and Monsieur Gaston D'Argent, your Majesty."
        >
        > "Come in gentlemen," the King said walking toward him. As they bowed, both men glaced at the King's high heeled shoes and then quickly at each other with a knowing smile.
        >
        > "Monsieur D'Argent, my secretary will take you to le cuisine to get you some lunch. I need to speak alone with Monsieur Des Mondes. You will be called when we are done."
        >
        > "As you wish, mon Roi." Gaston bowed again and was led out by the secretary. The door closed behind them.
        >
        > "Please, Jacques, no formalities. Come and have some lunch with me and let us talk." The King led Jacques to a small, beautifully set table for two near a long leaded window that looked out on to the construction of gardens.
        >
        > Jacques waited until the servants seated the King and then sat himself. He decided to take an offensive stance. "Your majesty, is there something I can do for you?"
        >
        > "Perhaps there is something we can do for each other, Jacques." The King spread his napkin on his lap while the lunch was being served. Jacques did the same. Roast quail with potatoes. Poached quail eggs on the side over a thin slice of bread with cheese while roasted vegetables covered with béchamel sauce finished the plate. And of course a large goblet of good wine.
        >
        > "First", the King began, "I needed to see you got a meal into you. I hear you took to your bed with only the bottle for company since your brother's… uh… passing."
        >
        > "People who don't see for themselves often exaggerate, your Highness." Jacques said while making quick work of the quail. "I am fine, as you can see. But I am not such fool to turn down a fine meal from His Majesty's chefs."
        >
        > "I know it took great courage for you to inform the High Court of your brother's witchery. It pained me too. I had great plans for him" said Louis. "But it had to be done. I let the Church decide the punishment, I could not do it myself." Louis had finished most of the lunch in no time and dabbed at his mouth with his linen napkin.
        >
        > 'How biblical' thought Jacques, while continuing his fine meal.
        >
        > "But," the King continued, "things have not ended there. While there was talk before of Philiippe trying to be heir to my throne through witchcraft, now people are saying you also may be trying to take my throne."
        >
        > Jacques choked down his food and his head snapped up at the King. "No! I would not…"
        >
        > "Calm yourself, I know you wouldn't. But you know how the gossip at Court can be." The King finished his wine and signaled for more. "Already people thought I was going to show Phillippe mercy despite his actions, because he was my son. And I know they make accusations about all my… umm… offspring."
        >
        > "Your majesty, what are you getting at?" said Jacques as politely as he could muster.
        >
        > "Jacques, you know I do love your mother. I have always considered you mon fils. After your father died fighting in Holland for me I felt so much guilt. You were but a boy and so was Phillippe. I had introduced your mother and father. He loved her despite her having my child already. And you seemed to want to be just like him." The King looked wistful.
        >
        > "That was in the past, my King. I am a grown man and doing well." Jacques stated. He put up his napkin signaling he was done and servants took his plate away. Jacques then drained the goblet. "My mother also seems to have adjusted to her life. She is very proud and protective of the Des Mondes name."
        >
        > "Yes" said the King, "Your family has been more than honest and loyal to me. Which is why I must ask you to do something you may not like."
        >
        > "Ask, your Majesty. You won't know until you ask."
        >
        > "Jacques, I need you to leave Paris. And France."
        >
        > Stunned Jacques stared at the King for a few moments. He took a breath hoping he had misheard.
        >
        > "Leave Paris? My home?" said Jacques. "And go where?"
        >
        > "Jacques there are those here in Paris who are determined to make your life very difficult. And I do not want that. I have properties in the New World. Islands in the South. I need strong Frenchmen there to protect my interests from the Spanish."
        >
        > "The tropical islands?" said Jacques "But that is wilderness!"
        >
        > "There is a small, established town on the mainland where I will have you stay until you are settled. I need you to sell off Phillippe's properties. The profits are yours to keep. I am deeding you a large island just off the coast in the New World. My scouts tell me you can see the mainland from one side and the open sea on the other. The climate is warm. Your housekeeper is from the area. I expect her to go with you." The King said, looking at Jacques.
        >
        > "What about my Mother?" Jacques felt he had to ask.
        >
        > "I have a small apartment underway in the expansion here at Versailles now that is close to being done. It is on the other side of the Palace from my family and I. Away from Marie-Therese and her spies. I want her to come here to live so my guards can make sure she is safe. I will make her comfortable and part of my court, I promise." Said the King. "And Jacques, don't tell her." The king handed Jacques a packet wrapped in gold silk. "Give her this and let me talk to her."
        >
        > "Oh, and I will pay for the construction and shipping to any home you need in the New World." The King added.
        >
        > Jacques was, for once, speechless. "Your Highness, I just want to say I would prefer to stay here, in Paris." Jacques tucked the packet safely into his doublet.
        >
        > "I don't expect you to leave immediately. In 6 weeks, shall we say? Oh, and I am having a party for some visitors next week. An Incan King and one of his daughters is coming to see our beautiful France. The King told my ambassador he wants his daughter to learn European ways. I will have an invitation sent for you and your Mother, of course. Your Mother will make a wonderful teacher for this Princess while she is here."
        >
        > The King stood and motioned for Jacques to stand. He hugged Jacques warmly and kissed him on the cheek. "Mon fils, please let this new life for you be a friendly request, not a Royal order." At that, he turned to leave. Jacques bowed as the King left followed by the servants He heard the door he had come in by open. The secretary motioned for him and Jacques swept out the room. He was shown to the great front door and out to the carriage. Gaston was waiting.
        >
        > "Well?" said Gaston.
        >
        > "Give me a few moments to think, mon frère," Jacques said still feeling stunned. "The lunch was delicious though!" Jacques chuckled, wanting to change the subject. At that the carriage clattered off through the streets of Paris to return the two men to Chez Des Mondes.
        >
      • batyah_9
        WOW! thank you. I love historical fiction so I researched some minor details. It was a challenge trying to tie together all the disparate parts of the story
        Message 3 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
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          WOW! thank you.

          I love historical fiction so I researched some minor details. It was a challenge trying to tie together all the disparate parts of the story arcs used on the show. I plan to do some more... like the conception & construction of Maljardin

          Barbara


          --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, sprules_1999 <no_reply@...> wrote:
          >
          > Excellent!
        • Curt
          Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I m thrilled to see more fans putting their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good work. -Curt
          Message 4 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
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            Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good work.
            -Curt

            --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, batyah_9 <no_reply@...> wrote:
            >
            > Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I've been working on a 'run up' to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with you all. My apologies for any errors I didn't catch - Barbara
            > ~~~~~~~~~~~
            >
            > Jacques turned from the fire, the crowd and the cathedral after collecting some of Philippe's ashes and started the walk home. A couple blocks from the cathedral he wiped the tears from his eyes, refusing to look back. Once home he closed the front door quietly and slipped into his room, locking the door. He put the gold snuff box in a chest by the wall and locked the chest.
            >
            > He lived in a small home with his mother (and his now-dead brother) in an elegant part of Paris. Jacques' large room was on the second floor with large windows facing into Paris. He frequently had the house to himself as his mother often stayed at the Palace. Philippe had a small country lodge owned by the family he preferred to this maison. As a boy he often slipped out of the window and slid down the roof of the room below to the street – and to his waiting friends. Now the windows looked out at a rising plume of smoke in the distance.
            >
            > "Master!" Raxl, the head of housekeeping entered the room. She went to the window and closed them, snapping the drapes shut. "That is not a good scene for you to be gazing on today. Would like me to bring you something to eat?"
            >
            > "No", said Jacques removing his doublet and boots. "Bring me a goblet and the largest bottle of brandy in the house. And if you check on me and see the bottle is empty, replace it with another until I tell you to stop."
            >
            > "M'sieur, that is unhealthy! You need to eat and to rest. You will…"
            >
            > "Raxl!" Jacques cut her off. "I am not in need of mothering. You may have been my governess when you were 18 and I was barely two. But now I am a grown man, fully capable of knowing my mind. Mind your place and bring the brandy to me."
            >
            > Jacques lay down on his large, carved wood bed. He had only his stockings, breeches and shirt on. He collapsed back against the large pillows – tempted to open the drapes but knowing Raxl was right. He heard faint voices and knew that his mother was in her room on the first floor. She'd taken to bed wearing her finest nightgown and robe. He could see her friends coming to see her and offer sympathy and condolences while his mother ate a few sweets and dabbed her eyes. Jacques rolled his eyes imagining the scene.
            >
            > Raxl brought the brandy and the goblet and set it on a tray on Jacques side table. "Remember, Raxl – when it's empty bring more. No lectures! And I want no visitors!"
            >
            > "Oui, Master" Raxl bowed quickly and exited the room.
            >
            > Jacques quickly emptied the bottle and lay on his bed staring at the paintings on his walls. Rembrandt and his current favorite, Rubens. He needed to erase Philippe smiling while the flames engulfed him from his mind forever. He realized the brandy was numbed him. He felt nothing. No more guilt. No more sorrow. Just nothing.
            >
            > Another bottle and Philippe would be gone too. He pretended to be asleep when Raxl brought in another full bottle. As soon as she was gone he opened it.
            >
            > This was how it went for 5 days. Jacques would fall asleep for hours but awoke to find a full bottle which he started on immediately. He tried to read a couple books but remembered nothing of what he read.
            >
            > On the third day of his self-confinement, Raxl slipped a tray of bread and cheese in with his brandy. She was relieved to see he had eaten most of it. Each day she left some food for him while he slept – most of which he ate, without comment. Jacques started a small fire in his room for warmth and slept whole days away.
            >
            > On day 6 after Philippe's death, Jacques' best friend Gaston knocked on the Des Mondes' door. Gaston had met Jacques at the Université de Paris when they were both around 14. Both were sent by their families and both studied Science and Law. Jacques' older brother was already there studying Theology. Gaston and Jacques frequently got into trouble but became adept at blaming others and appearing completely innocent. About the age of 19 both of them occassionally signed on to shipping expéditions where they learned to fight and loot ; coming home with cases of gold coins, jewelry and fine wines. They would both tell their families it was simply payment for their hard work and each backed up the other's story. They didn't want their families to realize they had taken up with pirates, but they enjoyed the loot they brought back too much.
            >
            > Raxl answered the front door. As soon as the door was slightly ajar, Gaston pushed it open and stepped in. "I hear he refuses to see anyone. How many days has it been, Mistress ?" Raxl knew better than to argue with Gaston, "Six days, M'sieur."
            >
            > "Too long, don't you think Mistress LeNoire ?" Gaston breezed past her to the stairs, not waiting for an answer. He was the same height as Jacques with a more muscular build. He took the stairs, two at a time, reached Jacques door and knocked once. Badly imitating a woman, he squeaked "I hear the legendary lover, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes lives here !"
            >
            > "Go away Gaston." Jacques yelled. Too late for Gaston had already forced open the door.
            >
            > "Mon Dieu! Jacques! It smells like a distillery and a horse's stable in here !" Gaston marched to the window, whipped open the drapes and unhinged the windows pushing them open. A gust of cool air entered the room.
            >
            > "Gaston." Jacques was up and out of bed – "Are you hard of hearing, man ?! I said leave !"
            >
            > "No." Gaston said turning and facing Jacques. Jacques slumped back on the bed, too drunk to stand and fight his friend. "Jacques what are you doing ? Have you looked in a mirror ? You look like hell."
            >
            > Jacques chuckled, "Hell and I bare no resemblance. I am much better looking."
            >
            > Raxl came into the room and Gaston said "Mistress LeNoire, our Jacques has had enough wallowing. Pour him a warm soapy bath and bring fresh clothes. And a large carafe of coffee." Raxl left without a word to get a bath ready.
            >
            > "What are you doing, Gaston? I'm not leaving this room!" Jacques exclaimed.
            >
            > "Yes, you are" Gaston said. "I will let it be a surprise as to where."
            >
            > Jacques was too drunk and weak to argue. Gaston grabbed him under the arms and marched him down to the bidet off the great kitchen. Gaston had been coming and going from Chez Des Mondes since he was a teenager, as if he was family. Once at the tub room he helped pull the rest of Jacques' clothing off next to the large metal baignoire of hot, soapy water. He picked Jacques up and dumped him into the tub. Jacques' head burst above the soap – spitting out water.
            >
            > "Are you trying to drown me, you fool ?! Bathing is unhealthy!" Jacques exclaimed.
            >
            > Gaston chuckled "So is drinking yourself to death," and handed him the coffee. Jacques drank. "Mon frere. I'm trying to make sure one of the King `s chevaliers doesn't stink up the streets of Paris." Gaston sat wordlessly down in a chair near the tub while Jacques scrubbed himself. After a few minutes he begrudgingly finished, got out, dried himself and put on his robe. Jacques trudged back to his room followed by Gaston.
            >
            > "So what is the surprise ?" Jacques looked at Gaston with a cocked eyebrow. "A new tavern ? New women in Paris ? A party ? Do tell, Gaston!"
            >
            > "Keep getting dressed or we may be late. You'll find out soon enough." Gaston sighed, "You know I love you like a brother, mon ami. By lying a'bed for near a week is enough. And please, allow the brandy distillery to recover from your onslaught !"
            >
            > "Gaston I accomplished what I wanted !"
            >
            > "What is that, praytell?"
            >
            > "I killed any conscience I had left after taking the oath of our coven. I wrestled it to the ground with my hands around its neck and then drowned it in good brandy !"
            >
            > "Quiet, Jacques! No one is to know of our involvements."
            >
            > "Oh don't worry. Raxl knows, my Mere is awash in the sympathies and ministrations of others and the rest of the household stays away from my part of the house."
            >
            > Finally, Jacques combed his hair and adjusted his doublet. He looked like his handsome self again, he thought as he looked into his long mirror. His drunk was almost gone but he felt good.
            >
            > He and Gaston marched down and out of the house. "Raxl, I promise to bring him home in one piece" bellowed Gaston as he shut the door. Jacques was shocked to see one of the King's carriages waiting for them. He turned, puzzled, to Gaston. "Just get in, mon frere, we'll talk as we go."
            >
            > Jacques and Gaston got in the carriage. Jacques was visibly uncomfortable. "Tell me now where we are going or I shall jump out. And you know I can outrun you!"
            >
            > "To the palace, the King specifically asked to see you." Gaston said flatly.
            >
            > Jacques eyes grew large, "Zounds man! Is he putting me to the stake as well? Is he withdrawing my commission? Has someone told him something?"
            >
            > "Calm yourself, Jacques. I have said nothing and I know no one else has. The King seemed very sincere in his desire to see you." Gaston told him, "I suspect some friend of Madame Des Mondes told him you took to your room and locked yourself in, because I was told not to return without you."
            >
            > "Ma Mere's tiresome friends always had loose tongues," Jacques said as he rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
            >
            > Gaston clapped Jacques on the back. "Now that's the Jacques Eloi Des Mondes I know! Besides I want to check on the expansion of Versailles that Louis is so keen on doing with our money!" Both men laughed.
            >
            > "The money he knows about!" said Jacques, smiling conspiratorially.
            >
            > Eventually the carriage made it to Versailles and both men stepped out. Waiting on the steps was Louis XIV's secretary. All men made the obligatory bows and the secretary ushered Jacques and Gaston into the palace. They made their way down a long gilded hallway lined with portraits and paints as well as other fine objects beautifully displayed.
            >
            > They stopped at a door guarded by two of the King's Gardes. The secretary opened the door and bowed as he announced, "Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des Mondes and Monsieur Gaston D'Argent, your Majesty."
            >
            > "Come in gentlemen," the King said walking toward him. As they bowed, both men glaced at the King's high heeled shoes and then quickly at each other with a knowing smile.
            >
            > "Monsieur D'Argent, my secretary will take you to le cuisine to get you some lunch. I need to speak alone with Monsieur Des Mondes. You will be called when we are done."
            >
            > "As you wish, mon Roi." Gaston bowed again and was led out by the secretary. The door closed behind them.
            >
            > "Please, Jacques, no formalities. Come and have some lunch with me and let us talk." The King led Jacques to a small, beautifully set table for two near a long leaded window that looked out on to the construction of gardens.
            >
            > Jacques waited until the servants seated the King and then sat himself. He decided to take an offensive stance. "Your majesty, is there something I can do for you?"
            >
            > "Perhaps there is something we can do for each other, Jacques." The King spread his napkin on his lap while the lunch was being served. Jacques did the same. Roast quail with potatoes. Poached quail eggs on the side over a thin slice of bread with cheese while roasted vegetables covered with béchamel sauce finished the plate. And of course a large goblet of good wine.
            >
            > "First", the King began, "I needed to see you got a meal into you. I hear you took to your bed with only the bottle for company since your brother's… uh… passing."
            >
            > "People who don't see for themselves often exaggerate, your Highness." Jacques said while making quick work of the quail. "I am fine, as you can see. But I am not such fool to turn down a fine meal from His Majesty's chefs."
            >
            > "I know it took great courage for you to inform the High Court of your brother's witchery. It pained me too. I had great plans for him" said Louis. "But it had to be done. I let the Church decide the punishment, I could not do it myself." Louis had finished most of the lunch in no time and dabbed at his mouth with his linen napkin.
            >
            > 'How biblical' thought Jacques, while continuing his fine meal.
            >
            > "But," the King continued, "things have not ended there. While there was talk before of Philiippe trying to be heir to my throne through witchcraft, now people are saying you also may be trying to take my throne."
            >
            > Jacques choked down his food and his head snapped up at the King. "No! I would not…"
            >
            > "Calm yourself, I know you wouldn't. But you know how the gossip at Court can be." The King finished his wine and signaled for more. "Already people thought I was going to show Phillippe mercy despite his actions, because he was my son. And I know they make accusations about all my… umm… offspring."
            >
            > "Your majesty, what are you getting at?" said Jacques as politely as he could muster.
            >
            > "Jacques, you know I do love your mother. I have always considered you mon fils. After your father died fighting in Holland for me I felt so much guilt. You were but a boy and so was Phillippe. I had introduced your mother and father. He loved her despite her having my child already. And you seemed to want to be just like him." The King looked wistful.
            >
            > "That was in the past, my King. I am a grown man and doing well." Jacques stated. He put up his napkin signaling he was done and servants took his plate away. Jacques then drained the goblet. "My mother also seems to have adjusted to her life. She is very proud and protective of the Des Mondes name."
            >
            > "Yes" said the King, "Your family has been more than honest and loyal to me. Which is why I must ask you to do something you may not like."
            >
            > "Ask, your Majesty. You won't know until you ask."
            >
            > "Jacques, I need you to leave Paris. And France."
            >
            > Stunned Jacques stared at the King for a few moments. He took a breath hoping he had misheard.
            >
            > "Leave Paris? My home?" said Jacques. "And go where?"
            >
            > "Jacques there are those here in Paris who are determined to make your life very difficult. And I do not want that. I have properties in the New World. Islands in the South. I need strong Frenchmen there to protect my interests from the Spanish."
            >
            > "The tropical islands?" said Jacques "But that is wilderness!"
            >
            > "There is a small, established town on the mainland where I will have you stay until you are settled. I need you to sell off Phillippe's properties. The profits are yours to keep. I am deeding you a large island just off the coast in the New World. My scouts tell me you can see the mainland from one side and the open sea on the other. The climate is warm. Your housekeeper is from the area. I expect her to go with you." The King said, looking at Jacques.
            >
            > "What about my Mother?" Jacques felt he had to ask.
            >
            > "I have a small apartment underway in the expansion here at Versailles now that is close to being done. It is on the other side of the Palace from my family and I. Away from Marie-Therese and her spies. I want her to come here to live so my guards can make sure she is safe. I will make her comfortable and part of my court, I promise." Said the King. "And Jacques, don't tell her." The king handed Jacques a packet wrapped in gold silk. "Give her this and let me talk to her."
            >
            > "Oh, and I will pay for the construction and shipping to any home you need in the New World." The King added.
            >
            > Jacques was, for once, speechless. "Your Highness, I just want to say I would prefer to stay here, in Paris." Jacques tucked the packet safely into his doublet.
            >
            > "I don't expect you to leave immediately. In 6 weeks, shall we say? Oh, and I am having a party for some visitors next week. An Incan King and one of his daughters is coming to see our beautiful France. The King told my ambassador he wants his daughter to learn European ways. I will have an invitation sent for you and your Mother, of course. Your Mother will make a wonderful teacher for this Princess while she is here."
            >
            > The King stood and motioned for Jacques to stand. He hugged Jacques warmly and kissed him on the cheek. "Mon fils, please let this new life for you be a friendly request, not a Royal order." At that, he turned to leave. Jacques bowed as the King left followed by the servants He heard the door he had come in by open. The secretary motioned for him and Jacques swept out the room. He was shown to the great front door and out to the carriage. Gaston was waiting.
            >
            > "Well?" said Gaston.
            >
            > "Give me a few moments to think, mon frère," Jacques said still feeling stunned. "The lunch was delicious though!" Jacques chuckled, wanting to change the subject. At that the carriage clattered off through the streets of Paris to return the two men to Chez Des Mondes.
            >
          • batyah_9
            ... Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I m ok with that. And thanks. I m already making notes for more.
            Message 5 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
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              --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, "Curt" <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
              >
              > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good work.
              > -Curt
              >

              Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And thanks. I'm already making notes for more.
            • gothick42
              Intriguing! Thanks for sharing it with us. Best, Steve
              Message 6 of 15 , Nov 25, 2012
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                Intriguing! Thanks for sharing it with us.

                Best,

                Steve
              • Curt Ladnier
                Thanks, Barbara.  I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my website. 
                Message 7 of 15 , Nov 26, 2012
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                  Thanks, Barbara.  I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my website.  Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably be awhile before I can get it posted.  But I'd definitely like to include it.  What byline would you like it to appear under?  Just let me know, and I'll credit you accordingly.  Thanks again.
                  -Curt 

                  ________________________________
                  From: batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                  To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                  Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:55 PM
                  Subject: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)


                   



                  --- In mailto:strangeparadise2%40yahoogroups.com, "Curt" <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good work.
                  > -Curt
                  >

                  Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And thanks. I'm already making notes for more.




                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • batyah_9
                  Curt - pop me an email at batyah_9@yahoo.com and I will let you know. Thank you! Barbara
                  Message 8 of 15 , Nov 27, 2012
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                    Curt -
                    pop me an email at batyah_9@...
                    and I will let you know.

                    Thank you!
                    Barbara



                    --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, Curt Ladnier <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Thanks, Barbara.  I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my website.  Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably be awhile before I can get it posted.  But I'd definitely like to include it.  What byline would you like it to appear under?  Just let me know, and I'll credit you accordingly.  Thanks again.
                    > -Curt 
                    >
                  • Debby Graham
                    I really enjoyed your story.and hope you continue with more. .Debby ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    Message 9 of 15 , Nov 27, 2012
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                      I really enjoyed your story.and hope you continue with more.

                      .Debby

                      On Sun, Nov 25, 2012 at 3:15 AM, batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                      > **
                      >
                      >
                      > Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I've been working on a
                      > 'run up' to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with
                      > you all. My apologies for any errors I didn't catch - Barbara
                      > ~~~~~~~~~~~
                      >
                      > Jacques turned from the fire, the crowd and the cathedral after collecting
                      > some of Philippe's ashes and started the walk home. A couple blocks from
                      > the cathedral he wiped the tears from his eyes, refusing to look back. Once
                      > home he closed the front door quietly and slipped into his room, locking
                      > the door. He put the gold snuff box in a chest by the wall and locked the
                      > chest.
                      >
                      > He lived in a small home with his mother (and his now-dead brother) in an
                      > elegant part of Paris. Jacques' large room was on the second floor with
                      > large windows facing into Paris. He frequently had the house to himself as
                      > his mother often stayed at the Palace. Philippe had a small country lodge
                      > owned by the family he preferred to this maison. As a boy he often slipped
                      > out of the window and slid down the roof of the room below to the street �
                      > and to his waiting friends. Now the windows looked out at a rising plume of
                      > smoke in the distance.
                      >
                      > "Master!" Raxl, the head of housekeeping entered the room. She went to the
                      > window and closed them, snapping the drapes shut. "That is not a good scene
                      > for you to be gazing on today. Would like me to bring you something to eat?"
                      >
                      > "No", said Jacques removing his doublet and boots. "Bring me a goblet and
                      > the largest bottle of brandy in the house. And if you check on me and see
                      > the bottle is empty, replace it with another until I tell you to stop."
                      >
                      > "M'sieur, that is unhealthy! You need to eat and to rest. You will�"
                      >
                      > "Raxl!" Jacques cut her off. "I am not in need of mothering. You may have
                      > been my governess when you were 18 and I was barely two. But now I am a
                      > grown man, fully capable of knowing my mind. Mind your place and bring the
                      > brandy to me."
                      >
                      > Jacques lay down on his large, carved wood bed. He had only his stockings,
                      > breeches and shirt on. He collapsed back against the large pillows �
                      > tempted to open the drapes but knowing Raxl was right. He heard faint
                      > voices and knew that his mother was in her room on the first floor. She'd
                      > taken to bed wearing her finest nightgown and robe. He could see her
                      > friends coming to see her and offer sympathy and condolences while his
                      > mother ate a few sweets and dabbed her eyes. Jacques rolled his eyes
                      > imagining the scene.
                      >
                      > Raxl brought the brandy and the goblet and set it on a tray on Jacques
                      > side table. "Remember, Raxl � when it's empty bring more. No lectures! And
                      > I want no visitors!"
                      >
                      > "Oui, Master" Raxl bowed quickly and exited the room.
                      >
                      > Jacques quickly emptied the bottle and lay on his bed staring at the
                      > paintings on his walls. Rembrandt and his current favorite, Rubens. He
                      > needed to erase Philippe smiling while the flames engulfed him from his
                      > mind forever. He realized the brandy was numbed him. He felt nothing. No
                      > more guilt. No more sorrow. Just nothing.
                      >
                      > Another bottle and Philippe would be gone too. He pretended to be asleep
                      > when Raxl brought in another full bottle. As soon as she was gone he opened
                      > it.
                      >
                      > This was how it went for 5 days. Jacques would fall asleep for hours but
                      > awoke to find a full bottle which he started on immediately. He tried to
                      > read a couple books but remembered nothing of what he read.
                      >
                      > On the third day of his self-confinement, Raxl slipped a tray of bread and
                      > cheese in with his brandy. She was relieved to see he had eaten most of it.
                      > Each day she left some food for him while he slept � most of which he ate,
                      > without comment. Jacques started a small fire in his room for warmth and
                      > slept whole days away.
                      >
                      > On day 6 after Philippe's death, Jacques' best friend Gaston knocked on
                      > the Des Mondes' door. Gaston had met Jacques at the Universit� de Paris
                      > when they were both around 14. Both were sent by their families and both
                      > studied Science and Law. Jacques' older brother was already there studying
                      > Theology. Gaston and Jacques frequently got into trouble but became adept
                      > at blaming others and appearing completely innocent. About the age of 19
                      > both of them occassionally signed on to shipping exp�ditions where they
                      > learned to fight and loot ; coming home with cases of gold coins, jewelry
                      > and fine wines. They would both tell their families it was simply payment
                      > for their hard work and each backed up the other's story. They didn't want
                      > their families to realize they had taken up with pirates, but they enjoyed
                      > the loot they brought back too much.
                      >
                      > Raxl answered the front door. As soon as the door was slightly ajar,
                      > Gaston pushed it open and stepped in. "I hear he refuses to see anyone. How
                      > many days has it been, Mistress ?" Raxl knew better than to argue with
                      > Gaston, "Six days, M'sieur."
                      >
                      > "Too long, don't you think Mistress LeNoire ?" Gaston breezed past her to
                      > the stairs, not waiting for an answer. He was the same height as Jacques
                      > with a more muscular build. He took the stairs, two at a time, reached
                      > Jacques door and knocked once. Badly imitating a woman, he squeaked "I hear
                      > the legendary lover, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes lives here !"
                      >
                      > "Go away Gaston." Jacques yelled. Too late for Gaston had already forced
                      > open the door.
                      >
                      > "Mon Dieu! Jacques! It smells like a distillery and a horse's stable in
                      > here !" Gaston marched to the window, whipped open the drapes and unhinged
                      > the windows pushing them open. A gust of cool air entered the room.
                      >
                      > "Gaston." Jacques was up and out of bed � "Are you hard of hearing, man ?!
                      > I said leave !"
                      >
                      > "No." Gaston said turning and facing Jacques. Jacques slumped back on the
                      > bed, too drunk to stand and fight his friend. "Jacques what are you doing ?
                      > Have you looked in a mirror ? You look like hell."
                      >
                      > Jacques chuckled, "Hell and I bare no resemblance. I am much better
                      > looking."
                      >
                      > Raxl came into the room and Gaston said "Mistress LeNoire, our Jacques has
                      > had enough wallowing. Pour him a warm soapy bath and bring fresh clothes.
                      > And a large carafe of coffee." Raxl left without a word to get a bath ready.
                      >
                      > "What are you doing, Gaston? I'm not leaving this room!" Jacques exclaimed.
                      >
                      > "Yes, you are" Gaston said. "I will let it be a surprise as to where."
                      >
                      > Jacques was too drunk and weak to argue. Gaston grabbed him under the arms
                      > and marched him down to the bidet off the great kitchen. Gaston had been
                      > coming and going from Chez Des Mondes since he was a teenager, as if he was
                      > family. Once at the tub room he helped pull the rest of Jacques' clothing
                      > off next to the large metal baignoire of hot, soapy water. He picked
                      > Jacques up and dumped him into the tub. Jacques' head burst above the soap
                      > � spitting out water.
                      >
                      > "Are you trying to drown me, you fool ?! Bathing is unhealthy!" Jacques
                      > exclaimed.
                      >
                      > Gaston chuckled "So is drinking yourself to death," and handed him the
                      > coffee. Jacques drank. "Mon frere. I'm trying to make sure one of the King
                      > `s chevaliers doesn't stink up the streets of Paris." Gaston sat wordlessly
                      > down in a chair near the tub while Jacques scrubbed himself. After a few
                      > minutes he begrudgingly finished, got out, dried himself and put on his
                      > robe. Jacques trudged back to his room followed by Gaston.
                      >
                      > "So what is the surprise ?" Jacques looked at Gaston with a cocked
                      > eyebrow. "A new tavern ? New women in Paris ? A party ? Do tell, Gaston!"
                      >
                      > "Keep getting dressed or we may be late. You'll find out soon enough."
                      > Gaston sighed, "You know I love you like a brother, mon ami. By lying a'bed
                      > for near a week is enough. And please, allow the brandy distillery to
                      > recover from your onslaught !"
                      >
                      > "Gaston I accomplished what I wanted !"
                      >
                      > "What is that, praytell?"
                      >
                      > "I killed any conscience I had left after taking the oath of our coven. I
                      > wrestled it to the ground with my hands around its neck and then drowned it
                      > in good brandy !"
                      >
                      > "Quiet, Jacques! No one is to know of our involvements."
                      >
                      > "Oh don't worry. Raxl knows, my Mere is awash in the sympathies and
                      > ministrations of others and the rest of the household stays away from my
                      > part of the house."
                      >
                      > Finally, Jacques combed his hair and adjusted his doublet. He looked like
                      > his handsome self again, he thought as he looked into his long mirror. His
                      > drunk was almost gone but he felt good.
                      >
                      > He and Gaston marched down and out of the house. "Raxl, I promise to bring
                      > him home in one piece" bellowed Gaston as he shut the door. Jacques was
                      > shocked to see one of the King's carriages waiting for them. He turned,
                      > puzzled, to Gaston. "Just get in, mon frere, we'll talk as we go."
                      >
                      > Jacques and Gaston got in the carriage. Jacques was visibly uncomfortable.
                      > "Tell me now where we are going or I shall jump out. And you know I can
                      > outrun you!"
                      >
                      > "To the palace, the King specifically asked to see you." Gaston said
                      > flatly.
                      >
                      > Jacques eyes grew large, "Zounds man! Is he putting me to the stake as
                      > well? Is he withdrawing my commission? Has someone told him something?"
                      >
                      > "Calm yourself, Jacques. I have said nothing and I know no one else has.
                      > The King seemed very sincere in his desire to see you." Gaston told him, "I
                      > suspect some friend of Madame Des Mondes told him you took to your room and
                      > locked yourself in, because I was told not to return without you."
                      >
                      > "Ma Mere's tiresome friends always had loose tongues," Jacques said as he
                      > rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
                      >
                      > Gaston clapped Jacques on the back. "Now that's the Jacques Eloi Des
                      > Mondes I know! Besides I want to check on the expansion of Versailles that
                      > Louis is so keen on doing with our money!" Both men laughed.
                      >
                      > "The money he knows about!" said Jacques, smiling conspiratorially.
                      >
                      > Eventually the carriage made it to Versailles and both men stepped out.
                      > Waiting on the steps was Louis XIV's secretary. All men made the obligatory
                      > bows and the secretary ushered Jacques and Gaston into the palace. They
                      > made their way down a long gilded hallway lined with portraits and paints
                      > as well as other fine objects beautifully displayed.
                      >
                      > They stopped at a door guarded by two of the King's Gardes. The secretary
                      > opened the door and bowed as he announced, "Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des
                      > Mondes and Monsieur Gaston D'Argent, your Majesty."
                      >
                      > "Come in gentlemen," the King said walking toward him. As they bowed, both
                      > men glaced at the King's high heeled shoes and then quickly at each other
                      > with a knowing smile.
                      >
                      > "Monsieur D'Argent, my secretary will take you to le cuisine to get you
                      > some lunch. I need to speak alone with Monsieur Des Mondes. You will be
                      > called when we are done."
                      >
                      > "As you wish, mon Roi." Gaston bowed again and was led out by the
                      > secretary. The door closed behind them.
                      >
                      > "Please, Jacques, no formalities. Come and have some lunch with me and let
                      > us talk." The King led Jacques to a small, beautifully set table for two
                      > near a long leaded window that looked out on to the construction of
                      > gardens.
                      >
                      > Jacques waited until the servants seated the King and then sat himself. He
                      > decided to take an offensive stance. "Your majesty, is there something I
                      > can do for you?"
                      >
                      > "Perhaps there is something we can do for each other, Jacques." The King
                      > spread his napkin on his lap while the lunch was being served. Jacques did
                      > the same. Roast quail with potatoes. Poached quail eggs on the side over a
                      > thin slice of bread with cheese while roasted vegetables covered with
                      > b�chamel sauce finished the plate. And of course a large goblet of good
                      > wine.
                      >
                      > "First", the King began, "I needed to see you got a meal into you. I hear
                      > you took to your bed with only the bottle for company since your brother's�
                      > uh� passing."
                      >
                      > "People who don't see for themselves often exaggerate, your Highness."
                      > Jacques said while making quick work of the quail. "I am fine, as you can
                      > see. But I am not such fool to turn down a fine meal from His Majesty's
                      > chefs."
                      >
                      > "I know it took great courage for you to inform the High Court of your
                      > brother's witchery. It pained me too. I had great plans for him" said
                      > Louis. "But it had to be done. I let the Church decide the punishment, I
                      > could not do it myself." Louis had finished most of the lunch in no time
                      > and dabbed at his mouth with his linen napkin.
                      >
                      > 'How biblical' thought Jacques, while continuing his fine meal.
                      >
                      > "But," the King continued, "things have not ended there. While there was
                      > talk before of Philiippe trying to be heir to my throne through witchcraft,
                      > now people are saying you also may be trying to take my throne."
                      >
                      > Jacques choked down his food and his head snapped up at the King. "No! I
                      > would not�"
                      >
                      > "Calm yourself, I know you wouldn't. But you know how the gossip at Court
                      > can be." The King finished his wine and signaled for more. "Already people
                      > thought I was going to show Phillippe mercy despite his actions, because he
                      > was my son. And I know they make accusations about all my� umm� offspring."
                      >
                      > "Your majesty, what are you getting at?" said Jacques as politely as he
                      > could muster.
                      >
                      > "Jacques, you know I do love your mother. I have always considered you mon
                      > fils. After your father died fighting in Holland for me I felt so much
                      > guilt. You were but a boy and so was Phillippe. I had introduced your
                      > mother and father. He loved her despite her having my child already. And
                      > you seemed to want to be just like him." The King looked wistful.
                      >
                      > "That was in the past, my King. I am a grown man and doing well." Jacques
                      > stated. He put up his napkin signaling he was done and servants took his
                      > plate away. Jacques then drained the goblet. "My mother also seems to have
                      > adjusted to her life. She is very proud and protective of the Des Mondes
                      > name."
                      >
                      > "Yes" said the King, "Your family has been more than honest and loyal to
                      > me. Which is why I must ask you to do something you may not like."
                      >
                      > "Ask, your Majesty. You won't know until you ask."
                      >
                      > "Jacques, I need you to leave Paris. And France."
                      >
                      > Stunned Jacques stared at the King for a few moments. He took a breath
                      > hoping he had misheard.
                      >
                      > "Leave Paris? My home?" said Jacques. "And go where?"
                      >
                      > "Jacques there are those here in Paris who are determined to make your
                      > life very difficult. And I do not want that. I have properties in the New
                      > World. Islands in the South. I need strong Frenchmen there to protect my
                      > interests from the Spanish."
                      >
                      > "The tropical islands?" said Jacques "But that is wilderness!"
                      >
                      > "There is a small, established town on the mainland where I will have you
                      > stay until you are settled. I need you to sell off Phillippe's properties.
                      > The profits are yours to keep. I am deeding you a large island just off the
                      > coast in the New World. My scouts tell me you can see the mainland from one
                      > side and the open sea on the other. The climate is warm. Your housekeeper
                      > is from the area. I expect her to go with you." The King said, looking at
                      > Jacques.
                      >
                      > "What about my Mother?" Jacques felt he had to ask.
                      >
                      > "I have a small apartment underway in the expansion here at Versailles now
                      > that is close to being done. It is on the other side of the Palace from my
                      > family and I. Away from Marie-Therese and her spies. I want her to come
                      > here to live so my guards can make sure she is safe. I will make her
                      > comfortable and part of my court, I promise." Said the King. "And Jacques,
                      > don't tell her." The king handed Jacques a packet wrapped in gold silk.
                      > "Give her this and let me talk to her."
                      >
                      > "Oh, and I will pay for the construction and shipping to any home you need
                      > in the New World." The King added.
                      >
                      > Jacques was, for once, speechless. "Your Highness, I just want to say I
                      > would prefer to stay here, in Paris." Jacques tucked the packet safely into
                      > his doublet.
                      >
                      > "I don't expect you to leave immediately. In 6 weeks, shall we say? Oh,
                      > and I am having a party for some visitors next week. An Incan King and one
                      > of his daughters is coming to see our beautiful France. The King told my
                      > ambassador he wants his daughter to learn European ways. I will have an
                      > invitation sent for you and your Mother, of course. Your Mother will make a
                      > wonderful teacher for this Princess while she is here."
                      >
                      > The King stood and motioned for Jacques to stand. He hugged Jacques warmly
                      > and kissed him on the cheek. "Mon fils, please let this new life for you be
                      > a friendly request, not a Royal order." At that, he turned to leave.
                      > Jacques bowed as the King left followed by the servants He heard the door
                      > he had come in by open. The secretary motioned for him and Jacques swept
                      > out the room. He was shown to the great front door and out to the carriage.
                      > Gaston was waiting.
                      >
                      > "Well?" said Gaston.
                      >
                      > "Give me a few moments to think, mon fr�re," Jacques said still feeling
                      > stunned. "The lunch was delicious though!" Jacques chuckled, wanting to
                      > change the subject. At that the carriage clattered off through the streets
                      > of Paris to return the two men to Chez Des Mondes.
                      >
                      >
                      >


                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • chrisleopard@aol.com
                      I have enjoyed your story, please keep writing. Chris Sent from my iPhone
                      Message 10 of 15 , Nov 27, 2012
                      • 0 Attachment
                        I have enjoyed your story, please keep writing.
                        Chris

                        Sent from my iPhone

                        On Nov 25, 2012, at 1:15 AM, batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

                        > Since finally finishing the watch-thru on YouTube, I've been working on a 'run up' to Maljardin. Finally got to proof it this week and to share with you all. My apologies for any errors I didn't catch - Barbara
                        > ~~~~~~~~~~~
                        >
                        > Jacques turned from the fire, the crowd and the cathedral after collecting some of Philippe's ashes and started the walk home. A couple blocks from the cathedral he wiped the tears from his eyes, refusing to look back. Once home he closed the front door quietly and slipped into his room, locking the door. He put the gold snuff box in a chest by the wall and locked the chest.
                        >
                        > He lived in a small home with his mother (and his now-dead brother) in an elegant part of Paris. Jacques' large room was on the second floor with large windows facing into Paris. He frequently had the house to himself as his mother often stayed at the Palace. Philippe had a small country lodge owned by the family he preferred to this maison. As a boy he often slipped out of the window and slid down the roof of the room below to the street – and to his waiting friends. Now the windows looked out at a rising plume of smoke in the distance.
                        >
                        > "Master!" Raxl, the head of housekeeping entered the room. She went to the window and closed them, snapping the drapes shut. "That is not a good scene for you to be gazing on today. Would like me to bring you something to eat?"
                        >
                        > "No", said Jacques removing his doublet and boots. "Bring me a goblet and the largest bottle of brandy in the house. And if you check on me and see the bottle is empty, replace it with another until I tell you to stop."
                        >
                        > "M'sieur, that is unhealthy! You need to eat and to rest. You will…"
                        >
                        > "Raxl!" Jacques cut her off. "I am not in need of mothering. You may have been my governess when you were 18 and I was barely two. But now I am a grown man, fully capable of knowing my mind. Mind your place and bring the brandy to me."
                        >
                        > Jacques lay down on his large, carved wood bed. He had only his stockings, breeches and shirt on. He collapsed back against the large pillows – tempted to open the drapes but knowing Raxl was right. He heard faint voices and knew that his mother was in her room on the first floor. She'd taken to bed wearing her finest nightgown and robe. He could see her friends coming to see her and offer sympathy and condolences while his mother ate a few sweets and dabbed her eyes. Jacques rolled his eyes imagining the scene.
                        >
                        > Raxl brought the brandy and the goblet and set it on a tray on Jacques side table. "Remember, Raxl – when it's empty bring more. No lectures! And I want no visitors!"
                        >
                        > "Oui, Master" Raxl bowed quickly and exited the room.
                        >
                        > Jacques quickly emptied the bottle and lay on his bed staring at the paintings on his walls. Rembrandt and his current favorite, Rubens. He needed to erase Philippe smiling while the flames engulfed him from his mind forever. He realized the brandy was numbed him. He felt nothing. No more guilt. No more sorrow. Just nothing.
                        >
                        > Another bottle and Philippe would be gone too. He pretended to be asleep when Raxl brought in another full bottle. As soon as she was gone he opened it.
                        >
                        > This was how it went for 5 days. Jacques would fall asleep for hours but awoke to find a full bottle which he started on immediately. He tried to read a couple books but remembered nothing of what he read.
                        >
                        > On the third day of his self-confinement, Raxl slipped a tray of bread and cheese in with his brandy. She was relieved to see he had eaten most of it. Each day she left some food for him while he slept – most of which he ate, without comment. Jacques started a small fire in his room for warmth and slept whole days away.
                        >
                        > On day 6 after Philippe's death, Jacques' best friend Gaston knocked on the Des Mondes' door. Gaston had met Jacques at the Université de Paris when they were both around 14. Both were sent by their families and both studied Science and Law. Jacques' older brother was already there studying Theology. Gaston and Jacques frequently got into trouble but became adept at blaming others and appearing completely innocent. About the age of 19 both of them occassionally signed on to shipping expéditions where they learned to fight and loot ; coming home with cases of gold coins, jewelry and fine wines. They would both tell their families it was simply payment for their hard work and each backed up the other's story. They didn't want their families to realize they had taken up with pirates, but they enjoyed the loot they brought back too much.
                        >
                        > Raxl answered the front door. As soon as the door was slightly ajar, Gaston pushed it open and stepped in. "I hear he refuses to see anyone. How many days has it been, Mistress ?" Raxl knew better than to argue with Gaston, "Six days, M'sieur."
                        >
                        > "Too long, don't you think Mistress LeNoire ?" Gaston breezed past her to the stairs, not waiting for an answer. He was the same height as Jacques with a more muscular build. He took the stairs, two at a time, reached Jacques door and knocked once. Badly imitating a woman, he squeaked "I hear the legendary lover, Jacques Eloi Des Mondes lives here !"
                        >
                        > "Go away Gaston." Jacques yelled. Too late for Gaston had already forced open the door.
                        >
                        > "Mon Dieu! Jacques! It smells like a distillery and a horse's stable in here !" Gaston marched to the window, whipped open the drapes and unhinged the windows pushing them open. A gust of cool air entered the room.
                        >
                        > "Gaston." Jacques was up and out of bed – "Are you hard of hearing, man ?! I said leave !"
                        >
                        > "No." Gaston said turning and facing Jacques. Jacques slumped back on the bed, too drunk to stand and fight his friend. "Jacques what are you doing ? Have you looked in a mirror ? You look like hell."
                        >
                        > Jacques chuckled, "Hell and I bare no resemblance. I am much better looking."
                        >
                        > Raxl came into the room and Gaston said "Mistress LeNoire, our Jacques has had enough wallowing. Pour him a warm soapy bath and bring fresh clothes. And a large carafe of coffee." Raxl left without a word to get a bath ready.
                        >
                        > "What are you doing, Gaston? I'm not leaving this room!" Jacques exclaimed.
                        >
                        > "Yes, you are" Gaston said. "I will let it be a surprise as to where."
                        >
                        > Jacques was too drunk and weak to argue. Gaston grabbed him under the arms and marched him down to the bidet off the great kitchen. Gaston had been coming and going from Chez Des Mondes since he was a teenager, as if he was family. Once at the tub room he helped pull the rest of Jacques' clothing off next to the large metal baignoire of hot, soapy water. He picked Jacques up and dumped him into the tub. Jacques' head burst above the soap – spitting out water.
                        >
                        > "Are you trying to drown me, you fool ?! Bathing is unhealthy!" Jacques exclaimed.
                        >
                        > Gaston chuckled "So is drinking yourself to death," and handed him the coffee. Jacques drank. "Mon frere. I'm trying to make sure one of the King `s chevaliers doesn't stink up the streets of Paris." Gaston sat wordlessly down in a chair near the tub while Jacques scrubbed himself. After a few minutes he begrudgingly finished, got out, dried himself and put on his robe. Jacques trudged back to his room followed by Gaston.
                        >
                        > "So what is the surprise ?" Jacques looked at Gaston with a cocked eyebrow. "A new tavern ? New women in Paris ? A party ? Do tell, Gaston!"
                        >
                        > "Keep getting dressed or we may be late. You'll find out soon enough." Gaston sighed, "You know I love you like a brother, mon ami. By lying a'bed for near a week is enough. And please, allow the brandy distillery to recover from your onslaught !"
                        >
                        > "Gaston I accomplished what I wanted !"
                        >
                        > "What is that, praytell?"
                        >
                        > "I killed any conscience I had left after taking the oath of our coven. I wrestled it to the ground with my hands around its neck and then drowned it in good brandy !"
                        >
                        > "Quiet, Jacques! No one is to know of our involvements."
                        >
                        > "Oh don't worry. Raxl knows, my Mere is awash in the sympathies and ministrations of others and the rest of the household stays away from my part of the house."
                        >
                        > Finally, Jacques combed his hair and adjusted his doublet. He looked like his handsome self again, he thought as he looked into his long mirror. His drunk was almost gone but he felt good.
                        >
                        > He and Gaston marched down and out of the house. "Raxl, I promise to bring him home in one piece" bellowed Gaston as he shut the door. Jacques was shocked to see one of the King's carriages waiting for them. He turned, puzzled, to Gaston. "Just get in, mon frere, we'll talk as we go."
                        >
                        > Jacques and Gaston got in the carriage. Jacques was visibly uncomfortable. "Tell me now where we are going or I shall jump out. And you know I can outrun you!"
                        >
                        > "To the palace, the King specifically asked to see you." Gaston said flatly.
                        >
                        > Jacques eyes grew large, "Zounds man! Is he putting me to the stake as well? Is he withdrawing my commission? Has someone told him something?"
                        >
                        > "Calm yourself, Jacques. I have said nothing and I know no one else has. The King seemed very sincere in his desire to see you." Gaston told him, "I suspect some friend of Madame Des Mondes told him you took to your room and locked yourself in, because I was told not to return without you."
                        >
                        > "Ma Mere's tiresome friends always had loose tongues," Jacques said as he rolled his eyes. "I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
                        >
                        > Gaston clapped Jacques on the back. "Now that's the Jacques Eloi Des Mondes I know! Besides I want to check on the expansion of Versailles that Louis is so keen on doing with our money!" Both men laughed.
                        >
                        > "The money he knows about!" said Jacques, smiling conspiratorially.
                        >
                        > Eventually the carriage made it to Versailles and both men stepped out. Waiting on the steps was Louis XIV's secretary. All men made the obligatory bows and the secretary ushered Jacques and Gaston into the palace. They made their way down a long gilded hallway lined with portraits and paints as well as other fine objects beautifully displayed.
                        >
                        > They stopped at a door guarded by two of the King's Gardes. The secretary opened the door and bowed as he announced, "Monsieur Jacques Eloi Des Mondes and Monsieur Gaston D'Argent, your Majesty."
                        >
                        > "Come in gentlemen," the King said walking toward him. As they bowed, both men glaced at the King's high heeled shoes and then quickly at each other with a knowing smile.
                        >
                        > "Monsieur D'Argent, my secretary will take you to le cuisine to get you some lunch. I need to speak alone with Monsieur Des Mondes. You will be called when we are done."
                        >
                        > "As you wish, mon Roi." Gaston bowed again and was led out by the secretary. The door closed behind them.
                        >
                        > "Please, Jacques, no formalities. Come and have some lunch with me and let us talk." The King led Jacques to a small, beautifully set table for two near a long leaded window that looked out on to the construction of gardens.
                        >
                        > Jacques waited until the servants seated the King and then sat himself. He decided to take an offensive stance. "Your majesty, is there something I can do for you?"
                        >
                        > "Perhaps there is something we can do for each other, Jacques." The King spread his napkin on his lap while the lunch was being served. Jacques did the same. Roast quail with potatoes. Poached quail eggs on the side over a thin slice of bread with cheese while roasted vegetables covered with béchamel sauce finished the plate. And of course a large goblet of good wine.
                        >
                        > "First", the King began, "I needed to see you got a meal into you. I hear you took to your bed with only the bottle for company since your brother's… uh… passing."
                        >
                        > "People who don't see for themselves often exaggerate, your Highness." Jacques said while making quick work of the quail. "I am fine, as you can see. But I am not such fool to turn down a fine meal from His Majesty's chefs."
                        >
                        > "I know it took great courage for you to inform the High Court of your brother's witchery. It pained me too. I had great plans for him" said Louis. "But it had to be done. I let the Church decide the punishment, I could not do it myself." Louis had finished most of the lunch in no time and dabbed at his mouth with his linen napkin.
                        >
                        > 'How biblical' thought Jacques, while continuing his fine meal.
                        >
                        > "But," the King continued, "things have not ended there. While there was talk before of Philiippe trying to be heir to my throne through witchcraft, now people are saying you also may be trying to take my throne."
                        >
                        > Jacques choked down his food and his head snapped up at the King. "No! I would not…"
                        >
                        > "Calm yourself, I know you wouldn't. But you know how the gossip at Court can be." The King finished his wine and signaled for more. "Already people thought I was going to show Phillippe mercy despite his actions, because he was my son. And I know they make accusations about all my… umm… offspring."
                        >
                        > "Your majesty, what are you getting at?" said Jacques as politely as he could muster.
                        >
                        > "Jacques, you know I do love your mother. I have always considered you mon fils. After your father died fighting in Holland for me I felt so much guilt. You were but a boy and so was Phillippe. I had introduced your mother and father. He loved her despite her having my child already. And you seemed to want to be just like him." The King looked wistful.
                        >
                        > "That was in the past, my King. I am a grown man and doing well." Jacques stated. He put up his napkin signaling he was done and servants took his plate away. Jacques then drained the goblet. "My mother also seems to have adjusted to her life. She is very proud and protective of the Des Mondes name."
                        >
                        > "Yes" said the King, "Your family has been more than honest and loyal to me. Which is why I must ask you to do something you may not like."
                        >
                        > "Ask, your Majesty. You won't know until you ask."
                        >
                        > "Jacques, I need you to leave Paris. And France."
                        >
                        > Stunned Jacques stared at the King for a few moments. He took a breath hoping he had misheard.
                        >
                        > "Leave Paris? My home?" said Jacques. "And go where?"
                        >
                        > "Jacques there are those here in Paris who are determined to make your life very difficult. And I do not want that. I have properties in the New World. Islands in the South. I need strong Frenchmen there to protect my interests from the Spanish."
                        >
                        > "The tropical islands?" said Jacques "But that is wilderness!"
                        >
                        > "There is a small, established town on the mainland where I will have you stay until you are settled. I need you to sell off Phillippe's properties. The profits are yours to keep. I am deeding you a large island just off the coast in the New World. My scouts tell me you can see the mainland from one side and the open sea on the other. The climate is warm. Your housekeeper is from the area. I expect her to go with you." The King said, looking at Jacques.
                        >
                        > "What about my Mother?" Jacques felt he had to ask.
                        >
                        > "I have a small apartment underway in the expansion here at Versailles now that is close to being done. It is on the other side of the Palace from my family and I. Away from Marie-Therese and her spies. I want her to come here to live so my guards can make sure she is safe. I will make her comfortable and part of my court, I promise." Said the King. "And Jacques, don't tell her." The king handed Jacques a packet wrapped in gold silk. "Give her this and let me talk to her."
                        >
                        > "Oh, and I will pay for the construction and shipping to any home you need in the New World." The King added.
                        >
                        > Jacques was, for once, speechless. "Your Highness, I just want to say I would prefer to stay here, in Paris." Jacques tucked the packet safely into his doublet.
                        >
                        > "I don't expect you to leave immediately. In 6 weeks, shall we say? Oh, and I am having a party for some visitors next week. An Incan King and one of his daughters is coming to see our beautiful France. The King told my ambassador he wants his daughter to learn European ways. I will have an invitation sent for you and your Mother, of course. Your Mother will make a wonderful teacher for this Princess while she is here."
                        >
                        > The King stood and motioned for Jacques to stand. He hugged Jacques warmly and kissed him on the cheek. "Mon fils, please let this new life for you be a friendly request, not a Royal order." At that, he turned to leave. Jacques bowed as the King left followed by the servants He heard the door he had come in by open. The secretary motioned for him and Jacques swept out the room. He was shown to the great front door and out to the carriage. Gaston was waiting.
                        >
                        > "Well?" said Gaston.
                        >
                        > "Give me a few moments to think, mon frère," Jacques said still feeling stunned. "The lunch was delicious though!" Jacques chuckled, wanting to change the subject. At that the carriage clattered off through the streets of Paris to return the two men to Chez Des Mondes.
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > ------------------------------------
                        >
                        > Yahoo! Groups Links
                        >
                        >
                        >
                      • Scott
                        You can listen to it here! http://www.facebook.com/l/pAQEwXupTAQHILlBPPiiZdCsYT0yxUzeD7CUTPUG2qBq5Kg/thedramapod.com/drupal/node/502
                        Message 11 of 15 , Nov 27, 2012
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                          You can listen to it here!

                          http://www.facebook.com/l/pAQEwXupTAQHILlBPPiiZdCsYT0yxUzeD7CUTPUG2qBq5Kg/thedramapod.com/drupal/node/502




                          ________________________________
                          From: Curt Ladnier <strangeparadiselibrary@...>
                          To: "strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com" <strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 8:06 PM
                          Subject: Re: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)


                           
                          Thanks, Barbara.  I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my website.  Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably be awhile before I can get it posted.  But I'd definitely like to include it.  What byline would you like it to appear under?  Just let me know, and I'll credit you accordingly.  Thanks again.
                          -Curt 

                          ________________________________
                          From: batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                          To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:55 PM
                          Subject: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)


                           


                          --- In mailto:strangeparadise2%40yahoogroups.com, "Curt" <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good work.
                          > -Curt
                          >

                          Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And thanks. I'm already making notes for more.

                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]




                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • batyah_9
                          ... I plan on it - already working on Part II trying to balance the Maljardin Raxl with Desmond Hall Raxl is a bit of an issue... ;) I always thought this was
                          Message 12 of 15 , Nov 28, 2012
                          • 0 Attachment
                            --- In strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com, Debby Graham <dnt61350@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I really enjoyed your story.and hope you continue with more.
                            >
                            > .Debby


                            I plan on it - already working on Part II
                            trying to balance the Maljardin Raxl with Desmond Hall Raxl is a bit of an issue... ;)

                            I always thought this was where Dark Shadows played it right. By having costumed flashbacks that went on for months to flesh out the characters and the back story kept people very invested in the characters and the story. It helped define motivation for future actions as well.

                            SP was so confusing about that it got very tiring to try to 'figure it out' when I was doing the watch-thru. Maybe its a good thing I missed most of the Desmond Hall Arc when I was 15!

                            Barbara
                          • Debby Graham
                            I didn t have to go to Facebook I went to the site that Rachael had given us on Drama Pod and clicked home where the listing for Strange Paradise took me
                            Message 13 of 15 , Nov 29, 2012
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                              I didn't have to go to Facebook I went to the site that Rachael had given
                              us on Drama Pod and clicked home where the listing for Strange Paradise
                              took me right in.

                              Debby

                              On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:14 PM, Scott <crmfghtr@...> wrote:

                              > **
                              >
                              >
                              > You can listen to it here!
                              >
                              >
                              > http://www.facebook.com/l/pAQEwXupTAQHILlBPPiiZdCsYT0yxUzeD7CUTPUG2qBq5Kg/thedramapod.com/drupal/node/502
                              >
                              > ________________________________
                              > From: Curt Ladnier <strangeparadiselibrary@...>
                              > To: "strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com" <strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com>
                              > Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 8:06 PM
                              > Subject: Re: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to add
                              > your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my
                              > website. Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably
                              > be awhile before I can get it posted. But I'd definitely like to include
                              > it. What byline would you like it to appear under? Just let me know, and
                              > I'll credit you accordingly. Thanks again.
                              > -Curt
                              >
                              > ________________________________
                              > From: batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                              > To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:55 PM
                              > Subject: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > --- In mailto:strangeparadise2%40yahoogroups.com, "Curt"
                              > <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                              > >
                              > > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting
                              > their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good
                              > work.
                              > > -Curt
                              > >
                              >
                              > Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And
                              > thanks. I'm already making notes for more.
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                              >
                              >


                              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                            • Debby Graham
                              Scott thanks for the announcement. Debby ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              Message 14 of 15 , Nov 29, 2012
                              • 0 Attachment
                                Scott thanks for the announcement.

                                Debby

                                On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Debby Graham <dnt61350@...> wrote:

                                > I didn't have to go to Facebook I went to the site that Rachael had given
                                > us on Drama Pod and clicked home where the listing for Strange Paradise
                                > took me right in.
                                >
                                > Debby
                                >
                                >
                                > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:14 PM, Scott <crmfghtr@...> wrote:
                                >
                                >> **
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> You can listen to it here!
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> http://www.facebook.com/l/pAQEwXupTAQHILlBPPiiZdCsYT0yxUzeD7CUTPUG2qBq5Kg/thedramapod.com/drupal/node/502
                                >>
                                >> ________________________________
                                >> From: Curt Ladnier <strangeparadiselibrary@...>
                                >> To: "strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com" <strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com>
                                >>
                                >> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 8:06 PM
                                >> Subject: Re: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> Thanks, Barbara. I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to
                                >> add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my
                                >> website. Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably
                                >> be awhile before I can get it posted. But I'd definitely like to include
                                >> it. What byline would you like it to appear under? Just let me know, and
                                >> I'll credit you accordingly. Thanks again.
                                >> -Curt
                                >>
                                >> ________________________________
                                >> From: batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                >> To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                                >> Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:55 PM
                                >> Subject: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >> --- In mailto:strangeparadise2%40yahoogroups.com, "Curt"
                                >> <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                                >> >
                                >> > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting
                                >> their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good
                                >> work.
                                >> > -Curt
                                >> >
                                >>
                                >> Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And
                                >> thanks. I'm already making notes for more.
                                >>
                                >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >>
                                >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                >>
                                >>
                                >>
                                >
                                >


                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Scott
                                Of course, I thought they did a great job ________________________________ From: Debby Graham To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com Sent:
                                Message 15 of 15 , Nov 29, 2012
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  Of course, I thought they did a great job


                                  ________________________________
                                  From: Debby Graham <dnt61350@...>
                                  To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Thursday, November 29, 2012 3:49 PM
                                  Subject: Re: [Strange Paradise] New SP audio episode

                                  Scott thanks for the announcement.

                                  Debby

                                  On Thu, Nov 29, 2012 at 11:30 AM, Debby Graham <dnt61350@...> wrote:

                                  > I didn't have to go to Facebook  I went to the site that Rachael had given
                                  > us on Drama Pod and clicked home where the listing for Strange Paradise
                                  > took me right in.
                                  >
                                  > Debby
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > On Tue, Nov 27, 2012 at 9:14 PM, Scott <crmfghtr@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  >> **
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> You can listen to it here!
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> http://www.facebook.com/l/pAQEwXupTAQHILlBPPiiZdCsYT0yxUzeD7CUTPUG2qBq5Kg/thedramapod.com/drupal/node/502
                                  >>
                                  >> ________________________________
                                  >> From: Curt Ladnier <strangeparadiselibrary@...>
                                  >> To: "strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com" <strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com>
                                  >>
                                  >> Sent: Monday, November 26, 2012 8:06 PM
                                  >> Subject: Re: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> Thanks, Barbara.  I appreciate your offer, and would certainly love to
                                  >> add your story to the other STRANGE PARADISE fan fiction archived on my
                                  >> website.  Unfortunately, with the hectic holiday schedule, it will probably
                                  >> be awhile before I can get it posted.  But I'd definitely like to include
                                  >> it.  What byline would you like it to appear under?  Just let me know, and
                                  >> I'll credit you accordingly.  Thanks again.
                                  >> -Curt
                                  >>
                                  >> ________________________________
                                  >> From: batyah_9 <no_reply@yahoogroups.com>
                                  >> To: strangeparadise2@yahoogroups.com
                                  >> Sent: Sunday, November 25, 2012 10:55 PM
                                  >> Subject: [Strange Paradise] Re: Avant Maljardin (Before Maljardin)
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >>
                                  >> --- In mailto:strangeparadise2%40yahoogroups.com, "Curt"
                                  >> <strangeparadiselibrary@...> wrote:
                                  >> >
                                  >> > Kudos on the new story, Barbara! I'm thrilled to see more fans putting
                                  >> their personal stamp on the STRANGE PARADISE universe. Keep up the good
                                  >> work.
                                  >> > -Curt
                                  >> >
                                  >>
                                  >> Thanks. If you want to put it on your website, I'm ok with that. And
                                  >> thanks. I'm already making notes for more.
                                  >>
                                  >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >>
                                  >> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >>
                                  >> 
                                  >>
                                  >
                                  >


                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]



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