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El Dorado

25.
Paris Once More
Sir Andrew had just come in. He was trying to get a little warmth into his half-
frozen limbs, for the cold had set in again, and this time with renewed vigour, and
Marguerite was pouring out a cup of hot coffee which she had been brewing for
him. She had not asked for news. She knew that he had none to give her, else
he had not worn that wearied, despondent look in his kind face.
"I'll just try one more place this evening," he said as soon as he had swallowed
some of the hot coffee--"a restaurant in the Rue de la Harpe; the members of the
Cordeliers' Club often go there for supper, and they are usually well informed. I
might glean something definite there."
"It seems very strange that they are so slow in bringing him to trial," said
Marguerite in that dull, toneless voice which had become habitual to her. "When
you first brought me the awful news that ... I made sure that they would bring him
to trial at once, and was in terror lest we arrived here too late to--to see him."
She checked herself quickly, bravely trying to still the quiver of her voice.
"And of Armand?" she asked.
He shook his head sadly.
"With regard to him I am at a still greater loss," he said: "I cannot find his name
on any of the prison registers, and I know that he is not in the Conciergerie. They
have cleared out all the prisoners from there; there is only Percy--"
"Poor Armand I" she sighed; "it must be almost worse for him than for any of us;
it was his first act of thoughtless disobedience that brought all this misery upon
our heads."
She spoke sadly but quietly. Sir Andrew noted that there was no bitterness in her
tone. But her very quietude was heart-breaking; there was such an infinity of
despair in the calm of her eyes.
"Well! though we cannot understand it all, Lady Blakeney," he said with forced
cheerfulness, "we must remember one thing--that whilst there is life there is
hope."
"Hope!" she exclaimed with a world of pathos in her sigh, her large eyes dry and
circled, fixed with indescribable sorrow on her friend's face.
Ffoulkes turned his head away, pretending to busy himself with the coffee-
making utensils. He could not bear to see that look of hopelessness in her face,
for in his heart he could not find the wherewithal to cheer her. Despair was
beginning to seize on him too, and this he would not let her see.
They had been in Paris three days now, and it was six days since Blakeney had
been arrested. Sir Andrew and Marguerite had found temporary lodgings inside
Paris, Tony and Hastings were just outside the gates, and all along the route
between Paris and Calais, at St. Germain, at Mantes, in the villages between
Beauvais and Amiens, wherever money could obtain friendly help, members of
the devoted League of the Scarlet Pimpernel lay in hiding, waiting to aid their
chief.
Ffoulkes had ascertained that Percy was kept a close prisoner in the
Conciergerie, in the very rooms occupied by Marie Antoinette during the last
 
 
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