Friday, September 7, 2012

7th Sea: Dangerous Liaisons

Dear Isabel,

I'm sorry to say that Don Gabriel is very much alive at the moment. And depending on who you ask, he is a Castille spy, an arsonist and murderer or someone with a taste for children.

click for letter

The latter rumour has come up with the help of de Chevalier and believe me, I am not happy about this. There are things I'm not willing to have people say about me or rather Don Gabriel and this is certainly one of them. De Chevalier did not even do me the honour of telling me the truth when I asked who had spread that particular rumour, he lied about it. I'm not sure why this surprises me so much, I've known for a long time that de Chevalier is not someone to tell the truth when he can get away with a good lie. But I think I would have deserved the truth.

In any case, this has made my situation a good measure more dangerous, with children now involved, who knows how people will react. But what's done is done and I am going to see this affair to its end. I just wish de Chevalier had for once thought before acting.

We all were invited to a party the dean of the local university was giving this evening. I had been their guest before and their oldest daughter, Josephine, has taken an interest in me. This is not a chance Don Gabriel would pass up, so I spent the evening making her parents worry by being there ever time they turned around, watching. Her mother at least had read the papers and was making some connections. I toed the line of proper behaviour and I have no intention of taking this any further, but I would have been very worried indeed if anyone had behaved like this around Alba or Marisol.

The Dean's wife had managed to secure the services of an Eisen composer for the evening, one Matthaeus Strom, and while I find the music of Eisen usually not very easy to listen to, he was exceptional. The concert would have been more of a success if it hadn't been for an uninvited guest: Charles René Flaubert du Doré, who arrived with two tavern slatterns. He made no effort to hide his boredom and continued his provocative behaviour until a Montaigne major finally took offence. Which was exactly what du Doré had wanted all along, a duel. It was over quickly, the major had no chance against du Doré who killed him with one single, well-placed strike. I would not relish the prospect of coming up against him in a fight, especially since he so clearly enjoys killing.

I will continue this letter at a later time. Right now there's a black kitten spread out across half the paper and it doesn't seem to like the idea of me turning over the page. I'm going to find out who let it in here.

The kitten is Lucia's. More or less. She found it in her bedroom, carrying a collar with the ring Lucia wanted to get her hands on when we fought El Gato and a letter: "Since you seemed so interested in this..." Uh oh.

Marcello channelled the spirit of the Vicomte de Valmont that evening. He never crossed the line where Josephine's parents would have had reason or better the chance to confront him, but I bet they are plenty worried now.

He beats around the bush in his letter a bit (a lot...), naturally, so for once here's what happened from my perspective:

Things started when the family of the dean greeted their guests. Marcello spent just a little too long with Josephine, including dropped handkerchiefs and touching fingertips. It went on to meaningful glances during the concert. He didn't speak to her after that, but whenever she turned around, he was there, watching her from across the room. This of course didn't escape her parents and her mother in particular was getting worried, she had obviously read the papers. That man was stalking her daughter, not to put too fine a point on it.

While everyone was concerned with the duel preparations, Marcello took his chance for another talk with Josephine and her mother didn't notice for a good ten minutes. When she did notice, she hurried towards the group, only to see Marcello leave with a impudent smile for her. She got another one of those smiles, even more brazen, when the guests left, telling her just how sure Marcello/Don Gabriel is of his conquest and how little she can do about it.

By the way, if you have never seen Dangerous Liaisons, you really should. The costumes are gorgeous, I don't know any other period movie that has done its research so well. Glenn Close and John Malkovich have fun being despicable and perfidious. It's simply brilliant.

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