Chapter 3: Faith

Relieved to finally be home, Alexander mounted the stairs wearily. At the top of the stairs he turned to the right, went down three doors, then stopped and knocked at the fourth quietly "Faith, are you awake?" he whispered "Yes. Come in Alexander." He opened the door and stepped in. In the center of the room against the wall was a canopy bed. In the bed lay his sister. She was like her twin brother in her slender height and gentle voice, but unlike him in that, instead his blond hair, she had a beautiful cascade of shiny black hair that reached below her waist. Perhaps the thing in which they were most alike was their unusual green eyes. Faith was one of the few people in the household who actually could have her own way, even if Lady Edith didn't agree. Lord Henry had a special affection for her and for that reason he had gone against his wife's rule and said that what Faith wanted she would have. One of the things Faith could not stand was to not only be an invalid, but to have to sit in a dreary room with all the curtains drawn like most invalids did. Her window shades were never drawn to keep out the sun. On the contrary, they were almost always open and the windows thrown wide to let the sound of the birds in. Her room was decorated in bright colors of blue, green, and yellow. Faith was nearly the only person Alexander had to talk to about the Scarlet Pimpernel. They would talk for hours about this their mysterious hero. Ever since they had heard about the Scarlet Pimpernel they had dreamed of belonging to his league. Faith knew it wouldn't be realistic for her, a girl (and an invalid at that), to ever expect to become a part of it, but she hoped that Alexander might someday join.

"I thought you would probably be asleep by now," said Alexander as he walked over to the side of the bed.

"How could I be? I could hardly wait until your return. You're the only one in this house besides Father that talks about anything interesting. What was the ball like? Were any of your friends there?" asked Faith.

"Dewhurst was there. I told him about Huan being injured, and how sorry I was about not being able to hunt with him. Turns out he can't go anyway, a good friend of his needs his help."

"With what?"

"I don't know, Mother dragged me away before I could question him closer."

"Hmm, too bad. I hope it wasn't anything serious. Ah, but what about our favorite subject, the Scarlet Pimpernel? Tell me, did you hear anything about him?"

"No, not much. Sir Percival Blakeney is still quoting himself:

"They seek him here, they seek him there.
Those Frenchies seek him everywhere.
Is he in heaven or is he in hell?
That demmed elusive Pimpernel!"

When their laughter had somewhat subsided Faith said:

"You are so good at imitating voices! Maybe you should be an actor."

"Mother would love that idea," he said sarcastically

"I wonder who he is, I mean the Scarlet Pimpernel, he could be almost anyone."

"It could be Sir Ainsworth."

"No, that's all wrong. Couldn't be him."

"Lord Dunlevey?"

"Not a chance. He's too boring. Why not Dewhurst or Walascourt?"

"Not Dewhurst, he doesn't seem to have, well..."

"The brains?"

He grinned at her. "Oh, I wouldn't say that. He is really a wonderful fellow, but he just doesn't seem to have the qualities of a great leader."

"I guess you're right. What about Ffoulkes?"

"I really don't know... I better go now Faith, I'll see you in the morning."

"Good night Alexander."

"Good night."

~*~

Just after tea the next morning, while Alexander was in the Library, a maid appeared in the doorway.

"My Lord, there are two young gentlemen to see you."

Puzzled, Alexander made his way to the door.

"Lord Dewhurst and Sir Andrew Ffoulkes? I hadn't expected to see you so soon. But you are most welcome, come in."

"We have some urgent business to discuss with you, but not here. Shall we go for a ride?" asked Dewhurst

"Certainly, I'll just be a minute to grab my coat. I'll meet you at the stables."

Ten minutes later the three men were all mounted and riding at a trot out into the field. After they had gone some ways the they slowed down to a more leisurely pace so they could talk.

"I don't really know how to begin," started Ffoulkes.

"Then let me," said Tony. "It's just this Lord Alexander, Ffoulkes and I are part of the league of the--"

"Scarlet Pimpernel!" interrupted Alexander excitedly

"Yes, and the league is short a member. The Chief needs as many men as he can get for this next assignment so Tony suggested that you were the person we should ask. Will you join?" asked Andrew.

"Will I join?! I have longed for this opportunity ever since I heard about your brave and daring leader! I never expected I would get the chance! But tell me, who is the Scarlet Pimpernel? I have wanted to know his name for ever so long."

"That you will have to wait until this evening to find out. There is a meeting tonight at Blakeney Manor. The Chief will tell you all you need to know," replied Ffoulkes.

After this they turned there horses around and urged them into a gallop. As Dewhurst and Ffoulkes were preparing to leave Tony asked:

"Then you'll be there, Nine o'clock, Blakeney Manor?"

"I wouldn't miss it for anything!" answered Alexander

©Blakeney Manor, 2005