Chapter 4

Written by: Iliena Bosu

“Dame Annise Yves d’Aquitaine, are you alright?” The Général shook Josephine, who wilted in his arms, with a mild rush, trying to revive her from her unconscious state. He feared that putting too much pressure on her delicate frame may shatter it, as if she was a porcelain doll. The Général urgently called for water and immediately spattered it on Josephine’s face. “Mademoiselle, can you hear me?” Josephine wished to open her eyes and say that she would happily listen to his voice until eternity. Nevertheless, she resisted.

“Sir, the château of Marquis Guy Leroy Hamelin is not a long way from here. We must make haste.” Gerard’s suggestion made Josephine nervous. She remembered the contemptuous look he gave her earlier. Did he know something? Her thoughts drifted to the brooch which had mysteriously gone missing during the mishap. Josephine was puzzled. However, Gerard was the least of her concerns at this moment. She had to stop Général Alexandre from riding to the Marquis’ abode.

“Indeed, we must. She needs the royal physician,” said the Général noticing a languid stir in Josephine. Without further ado, he held her tighter and rode in the direction of her ruination, at least that’s what she thought, fuming at her fruitless plan.

*******

The château of Marquis Guy Leroy Hamelin was situated in the heart of a 75 acre estate. As Josephine, escorted by Général Alexandre and his troop, entered through the impressive iron gates, once again uneasiness crept in. She felt as light as a feather, floating along the tree-lined entrance which lead to the courtyard of the château.

“You’re awfully quiet, Mademoiselle,” said the Général glancing at Josephine’s ashen face. “I see you’re still feeling under the weather.”

“I’m fine.” Josephine smiled. “I hope my unexpected arrival at this hour does not cause any inconvenience to the Marquis.” She allowed the Général to help her dismount from the horse.

“Oh, do not concern yourself with such a thought,” he said as they walked past the guards in the entrance hall, arriving at the main reception room. “The Marquis is in Paris at this moment on the King’s orders. He shall return in four days. The news of our arrival has already been sent to him. He is always pleased to welcome his guests.”

For a short moment, elation ran through Josephine’s veins, giving her goosebumps; a soft blush returned to her cheeks. She felt hearty again after a long time. 

“Sir, the royal physician has arrived.”

“Well then, send him in, Gerard.” The Général turned to Josephine. “Leave your misgivings behind, Mademoiselle. You are in safe hands.” With his gentle voice and assuring smile, Josephine believed him.

*******

That night, while Josephine was fast asleep in the guest chambers, Général Alexandre sat by the crackling fire inspecting her lost filigree brooch, trying to force it to open and reveal the secret not known to many.

Comments

What a fabulous chapter. I love the mystery ending and hint of romance. Not heavy handed and well developed. With your crafting you took me to the chateau and the era. Very well done, Iliena.