Please enjoy the following chapters as part of the FanstRAvaganza event. At the end of each chapter will be a list of blogs that you can visit for the occasion.
For the rest of the Gisborne story from the very beginning, go to the Page listed as Gisborne at the top of the blog and click and off you go!!!
And still we traveled. Monty’s coat was slick with sweat despite our midday rest. He had astonishing stamina and as I looked between his ears, I marveled at the war-horses in front of me. I could only imagine the courage and steadfastness that rushed through their veins.
To arrive in Le Mans on that day was remarkable. We had heard rumours on the road of the Plantagenet family wars and it was no surprise to hear that King Henry had fallen sick whilst at Le Mans where he had been born. He and Richard were in the middle of a horrendous brawl over succession, with Phillip of France siding with Richard. Phillip and Richard attacked the town, and feckless, disloyal Henry ordered parts of his birth place to be burned to stall their invasion. But even a king could not control the wind which changed and caused a massive conflagration, threatening to burn his birthplace utterly. Henry fled. Leaving the town to put out its fires and lick its wounds. We had heard that Henry had retired to Chinon but his health failed by the day and he died two days before we arrived at Le Mans. I was surprised the town thought to ring bells to mourn him. Guy said such was the power of a king.
He remembers. He knows and remembers everything. I hurried against the tide of food servitors through the kitchens and outside. I could not stay. My freedom was at stake and I had fought for it savagely and would not give in. I found the door I knew gave onto the tower that housed the stairwell and opened it to slip through, hurrying up to the little chamber. In minutes I had packed my small possessions, my mother’s comb, a bracelet . . . a piece of jewelry that reminded me of the best days of my life, and a tiny book of hours, almost miniature, that had been my mother’s. I wrapped them in the old kirtle and chemise together with the cloths and spare chemise. Guy’s coin I secreted down my front, tied on my waist under my clothes and I flung a cloak over the lot.
Percy’s shout cut through the mood of the tango, creating a tension that vibrated like a viola string. The music faded and people turned. Percy stood at the far end of the ballroom, his evening dress immaculate, dark and elegant and complete with a white jabot that frothed and creamed at his throat. His hands were behind his back and he was statue-like, one foot forward, the buckles on his shoes shining. I could see Marguarite with Bacigalupo, virtually in the position they had been as the tango bent her back and Bacigalupo lay over her, vulpine, almost salivating. She pushed at him, her eyes on Percy.
The tapping on her window was so faint that if she hadn’t been listening for it Sarina would not have heard it. Although the term ‘listening for it’ in no way captured the anxiety and anticipation with which she had awaited Hugh’s visit. Yet, when he finally did arrive, it was unexpected. The hour had grown so late that she had given him up, retiring for the evening to read a little in an attempt to distract herself. Fortunately, she had just received from Parthenope an exquisite little book about a Masked Ball, which she was enjoying.