Faith was sitting in a chair by her window when Alexander came
in. When she saw the look of excitement on her brothers face she
smiled warmly and said:
"What on earth is it? You look ready to burst!"
"You won't believe it! I can hardly believe it myself..." said Alexander, who indeed did look like he was about to burst. "But wait, not here. Come take a walk with me outdoors, the fresh air will do you good."
"I would like nothing better."
"Then here, take my arm."
They made their way slowly out the door and down to the landing,
Faith leaning heavily upon her brother. As they were about to
exit the house they ran into their Father.
"Don't you tire her out too much, Alexander," he said. "The Doctor says that we shouldn't push too much exercise upon her right away."
Relieved that it wasn't Lady Edith, they nodded and Alexander said:
"Not to worry, Father, I'll only take her for a short walk out into the field."
It was a beautiful day, The kind of day that we often used
to share together, thought Alexander. He was so glad that
she was regaining her strength once again.
"Now, what is it?" she asked playfully.
"The best of news, I am in the league!"
"You mean the league, the league of the Scarlet Pimpernel?"
"The very same."
"Oh, Alexander! You had better not be teasing me, don't tell me it's just a joke."
"No joke. And guess who he is."
"Stop it. You now we have been guessing for ever so long. Who is it?"
"Sir Percival Blakeney."
"Sir Percival Blakeney!? But how is it that you are telling me all this, when surely there must be strict rules about keeping this all a secret?"
"Most of the men have at least one person they can confide in--usually their wife. Since I'm not married yet-----" he added mischievously, "he gave me permission to tell you."
"Sir Percy" she said musingly "I thought you
said he was incredibly stupid, clueless.... We both agreed that
he was one of the most unlikely people."
"Well, it was all a charade, an act he puts on, in reality he is so admirable! If you could only meet him! The whole league has to put on the same charade so that nobody suspects them."
"They certainly had us fooled."
"Yes, and I shall have to do the same."
"You, become a gentleman?" She said beginning to chuckle. "Mother will be delighted! You'll be dancing with all the ladies and wearing perfectly tailored clothes in no time with this sort of motivation!" Now she was laughing so hard that she had to stop walking to catch her breath.
"Very funny," he said, chagrin written all over his face. "I need your help, Faith, I don't quite know what excuses I am going to be able to come up with. Father will let me go easily enough but it will be especially difficult coming up with ones Mother will believe. She knows that I am not one for always being out and about with this friend and that, so anything I come up with will naturally seem lame."
"Oh, do quit worrying about it. This is the chance we've been waiting for, both of us. You just go and serve the league any way you can, leave the rest to me."
Their conversation was interrupted by the dinner bell, so they turned around and headed for the house. Lady Edith couldn't help but notice that all during supper Alexander and Faith (who was considered finally strong enough to join the family at supper, though she still occasionally felt too weak.) kept exchanging glances, as if they were in on some secret that nobody else knew about.