Armand’s First Letter. Amelia’s First Letter.

3 Madrigal Court, Yorke, Cumbria
24 March 1016

My dearest cousin Armand,

I am sorry, I cannot wait for your fast packet to be built and tested. A young man from the Foreign Office is here; I am informed that the proper government of Provençe has been restored in Toulouse, and it is safe for me to return. And more: the Foreign Office is prepared to transport me there this very day aboard the diplomatic packet.

It is nearly too much, Armand! The message from Lord Grosbeak says that our embassy has found no trace of Maximilian. There is no word, no sign, as to whether he is still in hiding, or—

Or not.

I must go, Armand. I cannot sit here, idle, while Maximilian’s fate is unknown. Where His Majesty’s servants cannot help me, perhaps one of the masters at L’École can.

I shall send word of what I learn. But now I must go or the packet will leave without me.

In haste,


1 Rue St. Albert, Toulouse, Provençe
26 March 1016

My dearest cousin Armand,

Maximilian is alive! Colonel Marchant’s words were a wicked lie, for the Maréchalists never had him. He came here to L’École to see me, in the early morning the day after I was taken by Marchant’s men.

It must have been about the time they put me in the war-wagon.

But he did not stay, and he is not here. He left to look for me, according to Dr. Laguerre, and Mr. Gainsborough, his chief at the Embassy, believes that he must be working his way south into the Navarrines in pursuit of the Maréchalist forces, still in the guise of a Provençese laborer.

He does not know, Armand! He does not know that I am alive, that I am free. My poor man! What horrors he must be imagining!

I shall remain here at L’École, Armand. I can do nothing now but wait, and I have friends here. The Embassy knows where I am; and when—if—Maximilian returns to Toulouse then here he will find me.

Your cousin,


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Photo by Sunil Ray on Unsplash

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