Friday, October 21, 2016

Friday Fiction: IV: The Case of the Curia Crimes Ch1 + Ch2

IV: The Case of the Curia Crimes

Chapter 1: The Case Opens

One fall day in November, Father Marcel Delage stays late to meet Father Signoret after morning mass. Father Delage asks the Jesuit to help him bring a criminal to justice. Father Delage is the Vicar General  of the Curia of the Archbishop of Paris. From him, Signoret learns that a large sum, at least 4000L, is missing from the Curia Treasury and that Archbishop Jean-François de Gondi has closed the case and forbidden him from investigating further. No culprit has been found or punished, though the Archbishop has recently removed Father Antoine de Vassé from his position as Chancellor of the Curia. The Chancellor has access to the funds and acts as the treasurer for the diocese. Father de Vassé happens to be a member of the Gondi family; his mother is the sister of the Archbishop. However, Father de Vassé is still a member of his uncle’s Curia. Father Delage hopes that if Signoret can provide evidence of the crime, then Delage can bring the evidence to the Archbishop and persuade him to reopen the case. That way the thief may be caught and punished.

In addition to Fathers Delage and de Vassé, the other members of the Archbishop’s Curia are Father Herbert Labarre (SR 9) the Official of the Diocesan Tribunals, Father Charles de Landry (SR 8) an Ordinary Curia Member, and Father Basil Chastel (SR 8) another Ordinary Curia Member (SR 8).

For assistance, Signoret asks his cousin Guy to help him solve the case and Guy uses his Spy Network to keep an eye on Father de Vassé and to investigate the other Curia members. They learn that, despite his powerful family connections, Father de Vassé’s application to the Bishop’s Club has not been approved.

Exploring the club connection, they discover that the club was originally founded by an ancestor of the Archbishop and that Father Delage is a member, Father Labarre is one of two Club Secretaries, and the Archbishop is, by club tradition, one of the Chef du Clubs. Several other friends and acquaintances are also members (see the membership list below) and using those connections Guy and Signoret apply for membership.  Guy is successful which allows the two to visit as member and guest without the need to rely on other friends for invitations.

They obtain a list of the membership. Club officers include:

  • The Premier Chef: (who though not mentioned by name is not a viable suspect).
  • Chef du Club: Ernaldus Galhardi Vicomte de Hulhac and Colonel of the Regimente de Navarre (SR 11; PC20130719A 418),
  • Club Treasurer: Brian Chastel Banker and brother of Father Basil Chastel (SR 8, PC20130719A 410).
  • Club Treasurer: Louis Lefèvre Seigneur de Caumartin (SR 9, PC20130719A 412).
  • Club Secretary: Phélix de Prevost Vicomte le Limoncourte member of the Noblesse des Robe and Duelist of the Fratellenza di Giganti (SR 11, PC20130705A 386).
  • Manager du Club: Guy's friend, Vicomte "Chancie” de Chambre avant-garde fashonisté, member of Bassompierre's Party (SR 11).
  • Manager du Club: Marcel Chrétien du Frugereix member Gendarmes of France, company du Condé (SR 8, PC20130719A-414).
  • Manager du Club: Alexandre Hardy, dramatist (SR 6, PC20130719A 419).

Ordinary club members include:

  • Quennel Baron St. Giron (SR 12).
  • Gilles de Cessey Vicomte de Bouvard is an officer of the Club Saint Louis in Toulouse, from which he enjoys reciprocal privileges at the Bishop’s Club in Paris (SR 11).
  • Grymonde de Trebouchard a student at the Benedictine school in Paris (SR 8).
  • Father Alphonse Rossi a Curate of a Paris church (SR 6; PC20130719A 416).
  • Gabriel Naudé, Librarian to Henri de Mesme (SR 6, PC20130719A 417).

From several club members they hear a rumor that the Bishop’s Club is short of funds. Guy questions his friend Chancie, who is a Manager at the club, and Chancie confirms the rumor and he tells them that neither membership nor revenue generating events have declined so revenues cannot have decreased. Nor is Chancie aware of any additional or unusual expenses that would result in a funding shortfall for the club. Guy and Signoret find the fact that funds are missing from both the Curia and the Club at the same time to be suspicious. They wonder if the two events could be linked.


Gaston takes up his duties as an officer in the Picardy Regiment and spends his free time as a Fencing Instructor and practicing with Master Sainte-Pierre, where he frequently sees Guy who is training privately with Master Saint-Pierre, learning the tricks and ploys of the French-style from the Master.


Meanwhile, Norbert continues his apprenticeship with Binet’s Grand Troupe of Players. After learning from the Impresario  that the missing couch was used by the troupe’s chief writer, Salvatore Machiavelli, as a place of repose to refresh his creative energies and that without out it, the writer is unable to create. Norbert agrees to provide the Impresario with an additional 50 L to purchase a replacement for the repossessed sofa. In return for this additional largesse, Norbert is given the guarantee of a part on stage in the upcoming play. He learns a bit about the play which is a comedic parody in the style of the commedia della arte. The writer, Salvatore Machiavelli is upset at all the changes that one of the backers, a Baron, is insisting on. The changes seem focused on the part that Acton the Magnificent is playing, which is that of the Soldier who is, by tradition, a Spaniard. The backer insisted that the Soldier be a Frenchman named Gaston with a very large, much worn floppy hat and that he speak in rhymes. After Machiavelli had created rhyming dialog the backer insisted on ruining the rhyme and breaking the meter. “An atrocity!” says Machiavelli. These and other changes seem arbitrary and several of them seem likely to decrease the show’s popularity. Yet, despite the Impresario’s warning, the backer insists on keeping all the changes.

Norbert’s part will be a true challenge to his acting skills. He is to play the statue of Poseidon in the fountain. He will wear white makeup and costume to look like marble and he will operate a foot pump that causes water to flow out of a tube on his head so that it looks to the audience like water is spraying from the statue’s mouth. The main target for the water is to be Gaston the Soldier.

Chapter 2: Positions of Eminence

Two weeks or so after the Royal Masquerade, Cardinal Richelieu arranges for interviews with those responsible for saving him from the Spanish Assassin known as the Left Hand of God. First, he summons Father Signoret who, after a short wait, is shown into a relatively spartan chamber with a blazing fire in the fireplace, a table with a series of maps, and a large desk at which the Cardinal sits reading some correspondence.

While waiting for the Cardinal to finish his correspondence, Father Signoret is inspected by a black Persian, one of several cats who lounge about the room. Noticing this, the Cardinal says, “Ah Father, I see you have already met Lucifer. Either he likes you or he is just expressing his gratitude to you for helping to save his master.” Richelieu mentions that the Jesuit’s name “has been brought to my attention.”

“I hope your Eminence has heard only good things” says Signoret. Richelieu continues watching Signoret without responding.

Eventually he says, “So I wished to meet you in person. To thank you for your assistance and to learn more about you.” Signoret volunteers that he is fluent in Latin and Spanish, is a master swordsman, and a scholar of history. Richelieu speaks to him in fluent Spanish and Latin, asking him various questions to test his knowledge of history. Signoret finds Richelieu is quite well read and the Jesuit is happy that his answers seem to satisfy the knowledgeable Cardinal. Richelieu says that he could use the services  of someone like Signoret.

“I would be interested to learn in what way I might serve your Eminence,” Signoret says.

“As my confidential secretary I believe I could put your talents with language and your knowledge to great use. We might be able to engage all your talents. That is, if you are willing.”

“I am, your Eminence.”

Richelieu picks up a small bell on the corner of his desk. Immediately after ringing it, a door opens and a man wearing the robes of a Capuchin friar enters. “Joseph, I have given Father Signoret a position as one of my secretaries.”

“Indeed, your Eminence?” The voice is cold, but a familiar one. It is the voice of the Cardinal’s ally, Peré Joseph, the grey eminence.

“Yes, Joseph. I want you to find a place for Father Signoret. See that he settles in and has everything he needs to make him comfortable.”

“I shall see to him…personally, your Eminence.”

“Very good, Joseph.”

Peré Joseph leads Father Signoret to an office with a desk, lit by a small window, a single bookcase, and a small sofa that could serve as a day bed. “I trust this room will suit you. And that you will serve his Eminence efficiently…and loyally.” The words, though neutrally said, seem to be both a promise and a threat.


Next Cardinal Richelieu summons Gaston, who ends up in the same chamber and in similar circumstances, although no cats decide to inspect the soldier or his uniform. Richelieu thanks Gaston for saving his life and asks how his recovery is progressing. “No lingering effects, I trust?”

“None your Eminence. I was most fortunate that Fabré, the apothecary who treated me, had already encountered that poison and had an antidote ready to hand.”

“Then your health would not prevent you from accepting a position that may, at times, require some strenuous exercise?”

“I assure you I am quite healthy your Eminence.”

“Good. This recent incident shows that the enemies of France will stop at nothing to eliminate me. And to prevent this, His Majesty has graciously consented and requested that I create a new company of Guards to see to my own safety. These Guards will be part of the Maison du Roi, but under my comman. And I would like, you Monsieur to recruit this company and to be its first Captain. 

Gaston was stunned. “Me? Your Eminence?”

“You will need to select capable men and the troop will of course need distinctive uniforms. You will speak to my private tailor about that.”

“Me? You Eminence?”

Richelieu turned, then walked over to where Gaston stood. He put one arm around Gaston and led him over to a table covered with maps. Gesturing at the maps, the Cardinal continued, “I have enemies. Enemies who threaten me and who threaten the sovereignty of France. I need someone to head this new group of Guards. To recruit them, train them, form them. To keep me safe…and to see that France is safe. Can I count on you Monsieur to help me? To help…France?

Gaston straightened, a soldier at attention. “I am your man, your Eminence.”

Richelieu smiled slightly. “Good. Can you find men, skilled men for my Guards?”

“Skilled blades are available, your Eminence. But they will not come cheaply.”

“Then funds shall be made available. Now about the uniforms, I have some sketches here…”

Friday, October 14, 2016

Fiction Friday: Paris Entertainment Ch 6 + Ch 7

Chapter 6: Masquerade Part 3 | To Kill a Cardinal

Gaston ambushes and knocks out the Red Bishop who is tailing Father Signoret. Gaston binds and gags the Bishop with the Wolf costume and appropriates the garb of a Red Bishop. Gaston smiles to himself, Now I will be a wolf in Bishop’s clothing.

Guy and Signoret keep watch over the king who they believe is the target of a Spanish assassination attempt. Since the Spanish are involved and since Guy has already recognized that the Raven is the Left Hand of God, an infamous Spanish assassin, Guy stays between the Raven, who stands next to the Ambassador, and King Louis. They also in the Ambassador’s vicinity yet another Red Bishop. Signoret is suspicious of the Red Bishop, so he goes up and speaks to him. But he is spotted by the Spanish Ambassador’s aide who asks him in Spanish, “Is it is done.”

Signoret plays along saying that “Yes it has been taken care of.” But this only distresses the Aide who questions him as to why there is no commotion. Signoret’s answers are evasive and apparently more suspicious. The Aide smells a rat and Signoret quickly moves away to lose him in the crowd, but spots still another Red Bishop chasing him. The Jesuit detours across the dance floor as a shortcut to the garden. Utilizing the dance steps of his boyhood, he manages to make his way across the floor without attracting unwanted attention. However the Bishop seems unconcerned about any attention and shoves dancers aside as he runs after the Signoret. Outside in the garden, the Bishop’s steely grip grabs his shoulder as a familiar voice says, “Father it is I, Gaston.”

Relieved, Signoret sends Gaston to find Guy while he searches the garden for anything suspicious. There he spots another Red Bishop, dagger in hand, sneaking up on a courtier dressed as a Stag. The Jesuit foils the Bishop’s attack, rescuing the Stag. Signoret turns the Red Bishop over to the Stag to hold him until he can be turned over the authorities.

Meanwhile, Guy realizes that the eyes of the Raven are wrong. This Raven isn’t the Left Hand of God. Which means the King isn’t the target! Guy quickly deduces that the Cardinal, who is waiting for the arrival of his coach so that he can leave the Masquerade, may be the target. Guy quickly informs the others, sending Signoret and Gaston to see to the Cardinal’s safety while he watches the King in case this is all some elaborate ruse.

In the courtyard Signoret, while checking the Cardinal’s coach, spots a motion at an upper story balcony window. He calls out “Beware assassins!” as he heads for one of the Cardinal’s bodyguards to procure a pistol. Then he cries, “The Window!” Gaston dives dives past the bodyguards to shove his Eminence to cover as the assassin fires. Gaston is hit by crossbow bolt coated with the agonizing and deadly poison known as the Burning. A bolt that was meant for Cardinal Richelieu! Father Signoret uses the bodyguard’s pistol to fire back at the assassin which prevents him from getting a second shot. Meanwhile the Cardinal’s bodyguards think Gaston is an attacker and one of them stabs him. Badly wounded,  Gaston cries out in pain from the poison, but manages to maintain his grip on the Cardinal, keeping him down in case of a second shot. Signoret climbs the façade of the Hôtel de Bellegarde to reach the balcony window, but the assassin has fled.

Upper Level

Signoret gives chase. The assassin leads him up a back staircase where Signoret is narrowly missed by another quarrel, then onto the roof where they race along the roof edge in full view of the revelers in the garden. Revelers cry out and shots spark off the roof tiles and stonework as the alarmed Musketeers on guard fire at the two madmen on the roof. The assassin nimbly avoids their fire and somersaults down onto the south balcony. Signoret remains in pursuit. He draws his dagger and jumps down, but the assassin tosses his crossbow at Signoret to distract him, then kicks him backwards to smash through the balcony doors. As the priest picks himself up out of the shattered glass and door frame, he sees the assassin gracefully dive off the balcony into the Seine.

Signoret loudly calls out that the assassin is in the river, then jumps in after him, but the priest’s dive is less fluid and by the time he can surface and get his bearings, the assassin is already pulling himself into a nearby boat held by a pair of accomplices. Signoret yells to attract the guards. The lone assassin rows away while his accomplices flee east pursued by several King’s Musketeers who were alerted by Signoret.

Meanwhile, Norbert (who has been haplessly circling in his stolen boat) spots another boat, at first he thinks it may contain someone to help him, but hearing Signoret’s call he realizes that the boat’s occupant is up to know good. As the boat approaches, the assassin warns Norbert to be off, but Norbert ignores the order, picks up an oar to use as a giant club, and waits for the assassin to draw in range. Before he reaches Norbert’s boat, the assassin pulls a blunderbuss from the bottom of his own boat, cocks it, and fires – blowing a huge whole in Norbert’s boat. Fortunately, at the first sign of the hideous weapon, Norbert leapt out of his boat in to the cold, but comparatively safe river. As his boat sinks behind them, Norbet and Signoret are both swept downstream to the Pont du Change where they catch hold of the buttresses and exhaustedly pull themselves on shore. They obtain some dry clothes from the Jesuit House and return to the Masquerade. Where, after a time, they are admitted.

Meanwhile, back at the Hôtel de Bellegarde, Guy summons Fabre to treat Gaston’s wounds. The apothecary identifies the assassin’s poison as The Burning – the poison used by the assassins on the Pont Neuf – fortunately, Fabre has developed an antidote. He assists the Provost in his examination and finds that the Baron de Gras claims to have killed the assassin, and indeed there is a dead body in an upper balcony room. De Gras claims that he heard something suspicious, broke down the locked door, saw the assassin about to fire and shot and killed him. Unfortunately his shot was a little too late and the assassin had already fired.

The “assassin” killed by de Gras does indeed have a crossbow and a quarrel coated with the Burning poison. Signoret recognizes the dead man as Estelle Lachance. Lachance is Jesuit educated. Father Signoret was in Jesuit school with Lachance who was a few years older than Signoret. He recalls that Lachance was very dedicated and religious. He was a younger son from a sword noble family who briefly considered joining a religious order, but decided that he wanted to join a good regiment and so restore his family name and fortune. They discover several interesting clues.

  • The angle of quarrel fired at the Cardinal does not match up with the balcony where Lachance was found.
  • A servant claims to have heard the sound of a shot before hearing the crash of the door.
  • The hinges of the door that de Gras broke down are corroded and appear deformed, almost melted. This reminds Guy of the previously encountered Masked Assassins.

Chapter 7: All the World’s a Stage

In November Norbert begins his quest to become a stage actor. He searches Paris to find a theater company that will take him on as an apprentice. At one company he tries on a costume, but as he bends over, he finds the costume is far too small as it rips open across the back. At another, he accidentally lumbers into the backdrop breaking it in two. While at the door to a third, his looming and unsettling presence causes them to slam and bar the door in his face. Finally, he speaks to the Impresario, the leader of Binet’s Grand Troupe of Players and, after assuring the Impresario that he is serious and dedicated and investing 200L in the show, Norbert is invited to join the company with the roles of stage hand and apprentice actor in training.

He meets his fellow players: the playwright Salvatore Machiavelli, the lead Acton the Magnificent, the ingénue Amelie, and the seamstress Gerta.

Their meeting is interrupted by cries of distress from outside where Norbert sees two burly men carrying away an upholstered sofa while a huge, one-eyed enforcer named Le Gros Boeuf stands over a fallen extra of the troupe. Norbert asks the fallen man if he is alright and tells the interlopers to stop. Le Gros Boeuf signals his men to leave as he unlimbers his club and steps towards Norbert who barely blocks the club, but fails to yank it away from his foe. Meanwhile, Gerta tries to tug the sofa away from the burly men, but they knock her down and continue on their way.

Norbert scrambles onto a stage and dodges behind a railing as the club smashes the railing to splinters. Norbert tries to shove Le Gros Boeuf, but his huge foe shoves Norbert back into the broken railing. Chuckling to himself, Le Gros Boeuf leaves in triumph as Norbert growls in frustration.

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Friday, October 7, 2016

Friday Fiction: Paris Entertainment Ch 4 + Ch 5

Chapter 4: Masquerade Part 1 | All Hallows Eve

For various reasons of their own, the companions decide to attend the Royal Masquerade which is being held at the Hôtel of the Duke de Bellegarde – a location with which they are already familiar from a previous tale

Courtyard Level

Guy and Norbert arrive together, Guy dressed as Death with a Scythe and Norbert attired as an veil wearing Princess. During their introductions to the Duke and Duchess, Norbert says in a falsetto voice that “Monsieur de Bourges is my escort. Tee, hee, hee!” Guy looks pained. Meawhile Gaston and Father Signoret arrive dressed as a Wolf and a Bear. Once they have arrived, the companions separate to mingle with the crowd and to try recognize their friends and foes.

Garden and Ballroom Level

Despite his disguise, Guy is quickly recognized and berated by Seigneur Bertrand Renault who blames Guy for the death of his daughter, the poisoner. Guy’s admirer, Mme. Deladier leads him away from the angry crowd. But her attempt to spend time with Guy is cut short as a tray of fish in sauce is accidently dumped onto her costume by a clumsy servant. Guy calls Collette over to assist her, but the young Mademoiselle is humiliated in front of her perceived rival and she runs off in tears. Guy ponders how Renault was able to spot him and Collette tells him that Renault has been very vocal in blaming Guy and his friend the Provost of Paris. “I see,” says Guy. Renault must have bribed someone at my costumer.

Father Signoret glimpses a sinister iron masked figure, but chooses to talk to a pair of Red Bishops instead. He fools the Bishops into thinking he is part of their group by faking a mumbled response to their challenge: “If I said, St. Bartholomew’s Day, what would you say?” While he succeeds in making him think he is part of their conspiracy, he does not know that the proper response is. However he does uncover the fact that the Red Bishops are plotting something for tonight.

Norbert tests his natural talent for acting by continuing to pretend to be a Princess and to speak in a falsetto voice. At the buffet, despite his pretense at Princess-hood, he yields the last sausage to a burly, but noble Bear. Norbert than dances with the Bear who he later learns is actually the Baron de Gras.

Meanwhile a drunken guest spills his wine all over Gaston’s Wolf costume. Annoyed at the court fop who cannot hold his drink, Gaston angrily drags the fop outside to the garden. When they are momentarily alone, Gaston punches the courtier unconscious and tosses him in the bushes.

Chapter 5: Masquerade Part 2 | One Death Two Many

Guy who has spotted someone dressed as a Rabbit speaking in close conversation to Cardinal Richelieu, whose costume Guy had discovered prior to the Masquerade, sends Gaston to find out the Rabbit’s identity. Gaston, who is dressed as a Wolf, grabs the Rabbit by the back of the neck saying, as he gives the Rabbit’s neck a shake, “Have you ever seen how a wolf kills a rabbit?...Snaps their neck.” Thoroughly intimidated, the reveler reveals he is Baron Charnace and that he was reporting to his Eminence on the diplomatic mission to the Netherlands. He reveals that he warned the Cardinal that Guy and Signoret “have no vision and that they cannot see the wider picture or the best interests of France.”

Norbert notices a minor noble dressed as a Trojan Warrior crudely flirting with a lady-in-waiting. Norbert intervenes, but his intervention results in a duel of courtly insults, which he loses to the much more courtly nobleman. Norbert retreats in defeat to the buffet to restore his composure with some more wine and delicacies and perhaps another few sausages.

Meanwhile, Guy, still dressed as Death, impersonates the aide of the Spanish Ambassador, who is also dressed as Death. Guy learns the Baron St. Giron is somehow involved with the Spanish. This is surprising since St. Giron is a client of the Prince of Condé, who leads the Huguenots. Guy, guided by the Ambassador’s Raven guard, goes to meet St. Giron, but just in time, he spots another Death, no doubt the real Ambassador’s aide, who is already with the Baron. He also notices that his escort the Raven has the familiar, burning fanatical gaze of the Left Hand of God. I thought I killed him at the Pont Neuf. Shocked, Guy escapes into the crowd and quickly changes his costume for a simple Skull mask.

Signoret, who is dressed as a Bear, learns that the Red Bishops are working someone dressed as a “pudgy Bear.” Possibly this is Baron de Gras? Deciding to impersonate the pudgy Bear, Signoret stuffs cushions underneath his costume to make himself more rotund.

Gaston, having released the Rabbit is looking for Guy, when he overhears, two nobles, one dressed as a Barbarian King and the other as a White Chess Knight plotting.

White Knight: So your plan miscarried? Well we tried your way, now we try mine. Shall we place a wager on my plan’s success?

Barbarian King: I can’t afford to wager with you. I’ve had to sell or pawn everything I could lay my hands on to raise my share of the money for your idea.

White Knight: You insisted we try your plan first and, despite my reservations, I willingly provided the funds you needed. But your plan failed. So now we try a more subtle approach. And for my plan to succeed this play must not only be seen, but you must be seen to be the patron responsible for this poetic master stroke.

Barbarian King: Yes, yes, I know. You’ve said all this before. I’d rather carve him into little bits myself…

White Knight: You can’t treat a peasant the same way you would a noble…[Their voices fade as they move away.]

The Barbarian King’s voice seems familiar and Gaston realizes the he is the Baron Villemorin. Gaston accosts the Baron and they trade insults. As that occurs, behind Gaston, but in plain view of the Baron, Guy appears in yet another costume with the graying face of Villemorin’s dead brother, Paulin. The sight of his dead brother appearing behind Gaston upsets and unsettles the Baron, but Guy disappears back into the crowd before Villemorin can take any action.

Still at the buffet, Norbert inadvertently bumps into a Trojan noble who is with a similarly armored friend. He realizes this is the same Trojan he met earlier. The pair object to a clodhopper like Norbert (a) bumping into one of the them, (b) having the temerity to attend a noble function at all, and (c) breathing the same air as do they. One of the nobles insists on satisfaction. When Norbert refuses, the nobles threaten to gather his peers to physically eject Norbert from the Masquerade.

Seeking to avoid a quarrel near the Royal presence, Norbert grabs a tray of canapés and exits out the French doors into the garden, but he slips and despite his juggling expertise he ends up tossing the canapés onto a lady. He moves forward to brush the sticky mess off her dress, but she is unsettled by the mountainous Princess who seems to be reaching out to grab and crush her and she screams in fright. In response, the Trojan nobles and several bystanders attack Norbert. He shoves several of them into a fountain, but as more spectators look like they are about to enter the fray, he decides the discretion is the better part of valor. Gaston tosses a tray of slippery appetizers to try to delay pursuit, but it is only his cousin’s quick thinking to duck into a hedge maze that allows him to elude pursuit. The bystanders summon some of the King’s Musketeers on guard to their assistance, but Norbert uses his Herculean Might to crash through the hedge. He then leaps the wall, steals a boat, and escapes down the Seine with the shouts of his pursuers echoing behind him.

Father Signoret, now attired as a Pudgy Bear talks to a Red Bishop and learns that something, which seems like an assassination, is going to occur tonight. He also realizes that the Red Bishops are working with the Spanish Ambassador. He makes contact with Guy and Gaston, but realizes that one of the Red Bishops is now following him. He and Guy head towards the courtyard while Gaston lingers to deal with the Bishop.

In the courtyard the cousins separate and Guy notices a Pudgy Bear heading upstairs as well as a furtive and late arriving guest. He follows the late arrival and discovers that he is a secret messenger who passes in to see someone in the Queen’s faction then he witnesses Cardinal Richelieu’s humiliation as he dances the saraband before the Queen in costume “a complete suit, such as was worn by the Pantaloon of the theatre, a red and green suit made in an absurd fashion, one leg red and the other green, and trimmed with silver bells – besides which his Eminence wore a cap trimmed with bells. The Cardinal danced the saraband in with castanets in his hands, and when, having finished his saraband, the Cardinal fell at the Queen’s feet and declared his passion, Anne, though almost convulsed with laughter, recovered herself sufficiently to repulse the minister with scorn and indignation. Tricked and laughed at! Someone has played Armand de Richelieu for a fool and surely someone will pay!

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