Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t like this whole arrangement,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Francis said, pacing as usual. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I will not allow my daughter to be put in such peril.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Uncle,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Adrienne asked, Ã¢â‚¬Å“What if I go in my sisterÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s place?Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Francis looked up at her. He began to protest until Danielle looked over at her. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think that will work, Adrienne. We donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t quite look the same and Rene could tell us apart.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Gustave had been looking back and forth at the two of them. Ã¢â‚¬Å“The two of you look enough alike. If I can disguise the Baron de Ghent, I can disguise anyone. Adrienne, it just take a few brushstrokes and itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s done.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“She has to be well protected though,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Alain chimed in. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have to be very careful how we respond to his demands. le Fleur knows half the Royal Guardsmen by now and will recognize any of us in a minute. We need to surprise him. We need to send someone in that he doesnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know, someone that he wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t recognize.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Danielle looked from one to the other. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I can do it. I can disguise myself as a Guardsman and no one would recognize me.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
There was a long silence until the QueenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s voice answered her.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take that chance, Danielle,Ã¢â‚¬Â? she said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You knew him for such a long time.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Which is all the more reason we should,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Gustave said, standing up. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you realize how well Danielle can handle a sword? I think that sheÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s just as good as any man.Ã¢â‚¬Â? He looked at Danielle closely now. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Yes, I am sure I will be able to alter her appearance just a bit. No one will know recognize her when I have finished with her. And we will have to crop off some of that hair to make it all that more convincing.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Do you really think that this will work?Ã¢â‚¬Â? Francois said, looking at his wife.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“If Gustave thinks he can do it, then I all for it,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Adrienne said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t think that Rene would even guess who I am.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Then it is all settled,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Francis said. He turned to both Danielle and Adrienne who were standing next to each other.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Just be careful the both of you,Ã¢â‚¬Â? he said.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Look at you, Danielle,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Gustave said, Ã¢â‚¬Å“If I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t know that it was youÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Danielle stood looking at herself in the mirror. Gustave had done a fine job, she wouldnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t have recognized even herself. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You are a wonderful painter, Gustave,Ã¢â‚¬Â? she said, turning toward him. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Now we need someone to test this on.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
At that moment, the door opened. Adrienne entered with Francois by her side.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Well, this is it, Gustave,Ã¢â‚¬Â? she said, showing off in one of DanielleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s gowns. Ã¢â‚¬Å“How do I look?Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“A lot like me, dear sister. Gustave did a fine job on both of us.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Adrienne looked up and turned to the man standing by the mirror. Ã¢â‚¬Å“Danielle?Ã¢â‚¬Â? she gasped.
Danielle bowed. Ã¢â‚¬Å“At your service, Adrienne.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Adrienne smiled. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t even recognize you. Look at you, just like a Guardsman.Ã¢â‚¬Â? She turned to Gustave. Ã¢â‚¬Å“You have done a fine job, cousin. All we have to do now,Ã¢â‚¬Â? she said, looking back at her sister, Ã¢â‚¬Å“is to convince Rene le Fleur and his henchmen.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I think that we will be able to,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Danielle said. Ã¢â‚¬Å“But we need others, Adrienne. We need someone to distract his men, keep him occupied, so to speak.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hello,Ã¢â‚¬Â? a voice came from the doorway, Ã¢â‚¬Å“is anyone here? The door was open and I just thought thatÃ¢â‚¬Â¦Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“Marguerite,Ã¢â‚¬Â? Danielle said, smiling, walking over to meet her. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have not seen each other in a long time. How have you been faring?Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Marguerite looked at this man. Ã¢â‚¬Å“A little confused, milord. I am wondering how you know my name, for I know not yours.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Danielle smiled. Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am Guardsman Emil du Pres, at your service. I knew someone who had admired you. His name is Marc le Fleur and I wondered what has happened to him.Ã¢â‚¬Â?
Ã¢â‚¬Å“I am right here, du Pres,Ã¢â‚¬Â? another voice boomed from the door, Ã¢â‚¬Å“but you have greatly changed since I saw you last.Ã¢â‚¬Â?