The journal lay open on the bed where Henry threw it. He hadn’t noticed that until he walked back to his room. He went over to close it and place it back in its hiding place when he noticed something. He picked it up to look at it closely.
I don’t know why I decided to include these passages in here, Auguste, because I expect you will be reading this, but Colette is not to be trusted. She is a liar and a thief, which I think you have suspected already. She is in debt and is one step away from debtor’s prison at the moment. She has to marry someone with money, Auguste, which is why she went after you. Now she will be after your brother and Antoine will gladly accept her. He is smitten with her already and I wouldn’t doubt that he is still seeing her while he is with his fiancÃƒÂ©e. She will bleed him dry, Auguste, just as she would have you.
Please hide those coins that she gave us for our wedding present. I know that you have added to the amount, but do not let her know. I want to preserve these things for our baby. Take my things and remove them at once from the house so that she will not get her hands on any of them. She wants them destroyed. She is jealous of our love for one another and she will rid this house of everything that belonged to me. Please, Auguste promise me you will.
“Henry,” his mother called up the stairs. “Please come down our guests are here.”
“Will be down in a minute, Mother.”
Henry closed the journal. He couldn’t believe what he had just read. Had Nicole known she would die in childbirth?
He had to find out. He shoved the book under his pillow and went down to meet his guests.
The meal was delicious. The only problem was Henry and Danielle kept falling asleep sitting at the table. Marie put the children to bed and went back downstairs. As was customary, the women went into the sitting room and the men went into the study.
“Why did you marry her?” Auguste asked, watching his brother. “Everyone warned you.”
“I love her, Auguste,” Antoine answered, looking at him. “She make me feel alive.”
“She will rob you blind, Antoine, “ the King said. “She puts francs down on anything.
Auguste nodded. “And I humbly agree, but it is your life.”
“I think that she has changed, Auguste,” Antoine answered. “She is not like she used to be.”
“What are you talking about?” Auguste said, his eyes narrowing into slits. “She just bet on that tennis game between the Marquis de Limoges and the Count le Fleur the other day.”
Francis nodded. “From what Auguste told me, she lost you a lot of francs.”
Antoine smiled. “I will be fine, you will see. Once we get that house built.”
Francis shook his head. “House, what house?”
“That land,” the King said, his eyes narrowing again, “is ours.”
Antoine looked from Auguste to the King. “When was this? And why was I not told?”