It was evening of the next day. Adelaide was restless. She could not forget the visible strength of the man who had saved her. It frightened her. Never had she seen a soldier of such built and such serious demeanor. Revocatus, assuredly, possessed grave features, but his presence bore warmth. And Lawrence was gentler and his gravity came from something deeper within him. She dreaded the meeting that was to occur that night.
Adelaide was, however despite her fears, assured of Delano’s recovery, for such was the little boy’s name, and she had put her mind at ease knowing that he would be taken care of the nuns in the monastery. She discovered that his family was residing in England, and that he was, indeed, English. He was a protégé for a renowned goldsmith that lived in the city. During the attack, the goldsmith’s shop was ravaged. Delano had tried to stay the hands of the revolutionaries but one of them gave him a blow on the arm with his bayonet and then cast him to the floor cursing the English and telling him of the terrible things that they would do to the English if they interfered with their revolution.
Yes, the revolutionaries were ruthless for all who stood in their way. Indeed, she, along with Delano, was one of those who stood in their way. Yet, she must reveal her face that night to the man who had saved her life the night before; the man whom she was not sure could be trusted with her idendity.
It was announced that a military man had arrived and wished to have an interview with Adelaide. Adelaide immediately dressed herself in a deep brown dress with wrists laced up, with a simple neckline and a crème coloured shawl. She then tied her hair up neatly in braids surrounding her head and framing her face: sapphire eyes, highly arched eyebrows, unblushing cheeks, and un-quivering lips. She could present herself as boldly as a knight could tilt his lance and would put all things in God’s hands.
When she entered the room in which the captain waited, he immediately stood and bowed. Adelaide curtseyed slowly.
“Miss Marie, for so I have been told is your name, will you now converse with me? I have things to ask of you.”
“May I first, sir, have the pleasure of knowing your name?” responded Adelaide coolly.
“Deandré de Nantes, Chef de Brigade.”
“Then Sir Deandré I will speak with you,” Adelaide said and took her place in a chair across from him sitting upright and holding her hands placidly on her lap.
“Firstly, Miss Marie, I wish to put your mind at ease by informing you that I am not in league with the revolutionaries nor do share any of their views. I am a staunch defender of those that they murder: priests, nuns, catholic laymen, English, royalty…” he paused and looked at Adelaide in the eyes. Adelaide was not sure if she liked that look.
“In other words, I am a loyalist, and I will never betray their hiding places nor their identities but would, rather, help them in their concealment. Do my words set your mind at ease?”
“Sir, I am grateful for your assurances, but do not be too eager to pry my secrets, that you presumably believe I possess, out and before your gaze,” said Adelaide, her tone unchanging even though her fist, concealed beneath the ripples of her dress, was clenching nervously.
“Then, Lady, I will speak bluntly with you. I am a commander of the, as you might say, “royal brigade that was”. My brigade had not wished to join the revolutionaries indeed, we tried desperately to prevent other contingents and brigades from deserting the king and queen but we were soon left with only a few contingents numbering to a few thousand. One of these contingents I took under my command and we scattered our forces ‘cross the country to defend those whom are under duress. My contingent had seen this city under siege and we took it upon us to rescue those inside from their plight. Now, upon entering the city, I saw a young commander who seemed bear himself not like others that I have seen. I saw him sundry times as we swept through the city bearing down upon those who ravished it, and never have I seen a rifle so well wielded and voice so steady in command in someone no more than years of twenty. As the battle’s rage lessened and our forces took the victorious side, I saw this young commander on his horse at the city gates, I being on the wall above giving orders to those captains about me, when of a sudden, a mob of revolutionaries came retreating on their horses from within the city. As I stood on the wall, a gun shot, and I beheld this young commander collapse forward on his horse dropping his rifle. I started for the stairs of the battlement, but the revolutionaries gathered speed and swept by him, grabbing the reigns of his horse. I immediately ordered my cavalry to follow them. Ten of my men leapt on their horses and rode after the mob. I have not heard from them nor do I know if I will. Desperately do I hope that that young commander lives and will be secured in the care of my men.”
Captain Deandré paused. He eyed Adelaide. Her cheeks were wan, and her chest barely moved with the motion of her breath. Her eyes were glazed and she moved not. He noted how distant her gaze was. Captain Deandré slowly continued.
“As I knew little about this commander, I went to one of the civilians that had been fighting frequently by his side. He informed me that he had ridden into this city with his sister and had hid her in a house where those who were wounded refuged to. I immediately swung into my saddle and headed for the house spoken of. I came up to you as you were in peril and as I looked at your face, which you so tried to shield, I recognized the commander’s features in yours. Do you deny it?”