"Is everyone here then?" asked Sir Andrew Ffoulkes,
the Scarlet Pimpernel's lieutenant and best friend. Answers rang
out from one end of the room to the other
"Here," and so on.
"Were is Hastings?" asked Armand St. Just.
"Here," replied Hastings as he entered the room. "Sorry I am late."
"Have a seat; we must get down to business." It was Sir Percy who had spoken, and all eyes were immediately riveted upon him, their leader and hero. "We have a very important rescue to carry out as you all well know. You also know that we are short a member."
"Yes, Percy, but are there still enough to undertake this mission, even as important as it is?" said Armand "There's myself, Ffoulkes, Dewhurst, Hastings, Everingham, Mackenzie, Froggy, Glynde, and you. And can't we get more of the members here quickly?"
"Not soon enough. We need to be there in just a few days," said Percy
"I have a friend who would be more than willing to join the League. He would come this very night if I asked him," responded Dewhurst
"Yes, I do not doubt there are many who would be willing to join. What I want to know is if they will be loyal to our cause come what may. This is going to be an extremely complicated task to complete. We must get to the Marquis and his family as quickly as we can. Now is not the time to deal with a traitor, or a fool, in our midst. All the same, every journey we make to France is fraught with danger, and what time is there ever to deal with a traitors or fools? Who do you have in mind Dewhurst?" asked Percy
"I was thinking of Lord Alexander Wyndham. He can never seem to hear enough of the Scarlet Pimpernel. He has told me on more that one occasion how much he would give if could only join the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel. I think he already guesses that Ffoulkes and I are members, maybe he guesses more. I can't tell for sure, but I can't believe he would play us false."
"I have watched him Dewhurst, and talked to him some. From all that I hear he seems to be quite a man of integrity. Very dependable, and intelligent as well. A little more serious, maybe than is usual for a young man of his standing, but that is all the better for our mission."
"There is only one objection I can think of to his joining us," Tony added after a moment's pause.
"What's that?" Armand asked.
"We'll have quite the job turning him into a 'proper gentleman' like the rest of us! He seems to hate parties and avoid them whenever possible. What was it? Three, or four balls he 'regretted to inform you he could not attend because' before he was finally forced to attend Blakeney's latest one? From what I gathered, he only went to that one because his mother insisted."
"Well, I for one can certaintely sympathize with him there. I get pretty uncomfortable myself at some of those parties," Hastings put in.
"Well, do we all agree then that we won't hold his dislike for fancy occasions against him? As long as he's willing to act the part from now on, and attend balls more than once or twice a year." The others gave their laughing assent, so he continued, "Very well then. Ffoulkes, will you and Tony have a talk with him tomorrow?
"Of course, Percy," they both agreed immediately.
"Now that we have got that settled," Percy continued "We leave day after tomorrow, you all know the meeting place." The eight men rose. All left save Sir Andrew.
"Yes, Ffoulkes?" said Percy, who throughout this serious discussion had always managed to maintain an easy manner, even light hearted.
"Do you think it wise? It has only been a matter of weeks since Kulmstead tried to betray us all."
"Yes, I know," answered Percy as, pacing the floor, he paused to look up at his friend.
"But my dear Ffoulkes, we really have no choice, we need all the men we can get for this rescue. And besides I would like to have all nineteen league members once again."
"Well, I do hope Lord Alexander proves faithful," said Andrew worriedly
"Oh, I believe he will Ffoulkes, I believe he will," responded Percy contemplatively.