“It was from my good friend, the baron de Batz. He has been planning to rescue the dauphin. He has the help of the Chevalier de Jarjayes and Lady Atkins—two of my other good friends—but also needs my assistance.” Samuel says.
“Well, that changes our plans,” Emmanuel says.
“No it doesn’t. I’ve been planning to do the same for weeks. I’ve been meaning to write the baron de Batz for a while, but he beat me to it.”
“Alright,” Emmanuel says. He leans forward in his seat. “Why didn’t you mention this to me? I’ve been here for over a week and you have told me nothing about this.”
The look on Samuel’s face hardens. “That is because I had not yet written the baron de Batz. I had every intention of telling you Emmanuel, but my plan has not been written in stone.”
Emmanuel’s eyes narrow. “Samuel, every time this subject comes into the conversation you refer to it as your plan. Yes, you have made the decision to stay here in France, but what you fail to realize is that we—speaking of my family, the Dupre’s, my best friends—Elle and Emile—and myself—have all willingly risked our lives to support you when we could have left France before the king’s execution.” He cringes when he sees the furious expression on Samuel’s face.
I loathe how Emmanuel always forgets who I was before this god damned revolution. But, he sighs. At the same time I should learn how to trust them. His expression softens. He surprisingly finds it hard to stay angry at Emmanuel.
“Emmanuel, you are all wonderful friends and I am more than pleased to know that you are supporting me. But, it is my duty to protect you,” he says.
Emmanuel breathes out a short sigh. He is quite happy that Samuel did not lose his temper, but at the same time displeased by his response. “I understand, Samuel. But miscommunication is not going to do us any good.” He hastily wipes his mouth with his kerchief. “I am quite tired. It has been a long day and I need a good night’s sleep.”
Samuel clears the residue of dinner off his lips. “Well, I must write the baron and Monsieur La Metz. Tomorrow, I will be sending the letters with you back to Lyon.”
Emmanuel’s attention is perked. He gives Samuel a confused look. “I thought that you wanted me here until the weekend. Today is only Wednesday.”
“Yes, that was the original plan,” Samuel says with a sigh. “But, Emmanuel, the Jacobins have gained a stronghold in Lyon and it won’t be long until they take Marseilles. So, if we are to be successful in our plans to overthrow the Robespierre government, we must act now.”
“I completely agree,” Emmanuel says with a nod of his head. “Why don’t you let me deliver your letter to Monsieur La Metz. He does not live far outside of the city, so it will not take me long to return home.”
“No. I have instructed my hired coachman to deliver the message to Monsieur La Metz, and from there he is to travel to Beauvais to deliver the other letter to the baron.”
“So, in that case, is he going to take me back to my manor?” Emmanuel says.
The kitchen door bursts open and in walks Edouin. “I’ve come to clean the table Monsieur,” he says as he gathers the dinner trays in his arms.
“Merci, Edouin. It was a delicious dinner,” Samuel says, patting his full belly.
Emanuel smiles at Samuel. To see a content look on his face is quite refreshing. “I’m off to bed now,” he says. He carefully pushes the cushioned seat of his chair underneath the large table.
“Goodnight, Emmanuel. I shall see you tomorrow at the crack of dawn,” Samuel says. He accompanies his young friend out of the dining room.
Emmanuel slowly makes his way up the stairs and to the guest sleeping chamber in the east wing, across from Samuel’s study room. He unbuttons his new, navy blue satin coat and waistcoat and drapes them over the chair beside the mahogany nightstand. He then unties the cotton collar around his neck and unbuttons his white silk blouse. As he reaches into the nightstand for his night clothes, Emile and Elle, cross his mind. I wonder what they are doing right now.
*Dauphin is the French word for Prince.