Le Comte de Monte Dumas
Posted 27 April 2007 - 09:00 PM
"I say! Steady on there driver!" said Windows tapping on the window.
"We've arrived Sir," said Glass, looking out of the window.
"Ah, excellent!" said Windows with a flourish of facial fuzz for good measure. He alighted and looked up at the building. "This is the bank is it Glass?"
"And what exactly..."
"Holds other peoples money, Sir,"
At this Windows started. "Really Glass? That sounds like a crime to me!"
"Oh," Windows deflated - arresting a building the size of this bank would have made his career. "Right, what is going on here?" he asked to someone who had their face pressed up against the window trying to have a look inside.
"Seems like the French are trying to rob the Bank of England," said the man.
"Right, well I'll see about that!" said Windows walking over to the door. He tried to open it. It wouldn't. "I say! This is locked? We here after closing?"
"No Sir. I think the robbers have barricaded themselves in,"
"Oh is that their game is it? Well I'll show them! We'll burn them out!"
Glass looked at him with an expression of disbelief.
"You're going to set fire to the Bank of England?"
"Never met a Frenchman who could survive being burnt alive. We'll need some fire wood though." Windows looked around and settled on the barricaded front door. "Men! Chop down the door for firewood,"
"There aren't any men - there's just you and me," said Glass.
"You're a man aren't you Glass?"
"Then get chopping! Come on! Chop, chop!" said Windows, chuckling to himself at his own little witticism.
Posted 21 May 2007 - 09:01 AM
Inspector Window pondered, stroking his moustache and wondering what Horatio Nelson would have done. On the one hand, setting fire to the houses of the local citizenry did not seem, to him, to be compatible with the standards and values of modern policing. On the other, there were very few problems - in his experience - that could not be solved with the judicious application of the red stuff. Anybody who objected to the use of fire as an acceptable policing method was, in his professional opinion, hopelessly stuck in the dark ages. But nevertheless... he shook his head.
"Good thinking, Glass," he said, "But mere bank robbery is not a sufficiently severe crime to justify requisitioning peoples' houses. I..."
"Sir!" cried a third policeman, running up behind him through the busy crowd; "Sir! The French... the port authorities have sent me a message! The French did not display their passports! They are illegal immigrants!"
Window narrowed his eyes; to think that he had lived to see the day. "Illegals, eh?" he rumbled. "Okay, Glass; you know what to do." Officer Glass nodded happily, and took out the magnifying glass and pouch of sawdust that he always carried around with him.
The pie-fight in the vault was well underway when Afredo looked around. Sniffing, he asked d'Anger, "Do you smell smoke?"
Just then, an Egalite burst into the vault. An Englishman promptly place a pie in her face.
"Bleh!" she said, wiping cream out of her eyebrows. "Afredo, my beloved; d'Anger; we must flee! The perfidious English have set fire to the bank, and barricaded the exits! I fear that we must quit London with all haste!"
d'Anger sighed. "What is it with these British?" he cried. "Why is it always fire? God, I hate this country." With that, he and Afredo grabbed the two ingots nearest to them and ran for the door.
The two English guards were alone, each with a pie still in hand. One of them shrugged. "What was all that about?" he asked, while the other shook his head.
Posted 08 August 2007 - 12:47 PM
The British police was surprised, to quite an exaggerated extent, when they were confronted with high-speed Frenchment covered in pie and waving gold ingots. So much so that they simply watched in astonishment, Inspector Window even lit his pipe again.
"You've got to admire them Glass, don't you think?" Inspector Window asked.
"Why would we admire the French sir?" Glass said.
"Well... you don't expect them to have guts. Or pies. Then they go and surprise you like this."
"They've also appropriated valuable Bank of England funds, sir," Glass commented.
"Right. To the chase men!"
Carriages, to the coast.
Roqueforte was having trouble with the horses.
"Zut alors! These bloody equines will not listen to priestly command!" he shouted as he tried to whip them into something faster than a half-hearted canter.
"You 'ave to treat zem like a woman, you should know 'ow that is bishop," one of the Egalites commented, to which Roqueforte scowled, then changed his pose and manner. The carriage accelerated immediately.
"Tres bon!" d'Anger shouted from within the carriage. They were going to make it to the coast, to di Giovanni's ship in time, it was all coming together and from disaster, like a mythical phoenix, some triumph should be reborn. Edmond even paused to write that down. He looked across at Helene Egalite, the woman he had rescued from the dungeons and knew to be a good and kind soul and, despite the best efforts of English weather, incredibly beautiful. No other care in the world he began to compose the greatest poem the world would ever know.
A bullet erupted through the carriage sending splinters everywhere. Afredo sword. "The damn English are shooting at us with their muskets!" He then nodded to don Giovanni and both of them swung out the windows sporting a pistol to take a shot at the pursuing Englishmen.
Afredo sent a bullet flying into the fuzz and had one of the pursuers detach himself from the carriage in a spray of blood. "Ah, they could at least try to be challenging targets."
Posted 02 October 2007 - 02:26 AM
Montemart sat looking into the mirror, getting ready for his big day, which was mere hours away. His hair was in ringlets, his moustache in curlers and his trousers in the bin as he figured he wouldn't be needing them where he was going. This was a curious misconception of his that had resulted in him being thrown out of many a church. His man, Pierre, entered the room carrying a bed warmer.
"I won't be needing that much more, eh Pierre!" he said happily.
"Yup, summer is just around the corner," Montemart said gleefully powdering his nose.
"Plus your wife will be warming it up for you. Hur hur hur!" said Pierre, raising his eyebrows suggestively as is customary of his countrymen.
"Oh, will she be putting the bed warmer into the covers?"
"No but monsieur will be putting his bed warmer into her covers! Hur hur hur!"
It was hard to say how Pierre had managed to keep his job so long, given that he was, quite clearly, a pervert.
"What the devil do you mean Pierre?! How will that warm up my bed? Anyway, we shan't need it tomorrow. Not on our wedding night,"
"Hur hur hur!"
"Yes, as an extra special treat I'll light the fire in here,"
"Will monsieur be lighting a fire in his pantaloons that only his good wife can put out? Hur hur hur!"
"I rather think not Pierre - afterall, I not aware that she has any particular skill at fighting fires. Plus I'll singe my jammies,"
Pierre thought about saying something but before he could Montemart spoke again.
"Don't bother coming in the morning after Pierre. No doubt I'll be up early dipping my quill in ink!"
"Hur hur hur!"
"That will be all Pierre," said Montemart. Pierre left making lewd sounds to himself. "Yes, I'll certainly have a lot of thank you letters to write," Montemart said to himself.
Posted 28 October 2007 - 01:56 PM
"Ahh, mother France!" exclaimed Roquefort expansively, inhaling the air of Southend (a dangerous preoccupation at the best of times), to where the Donatella Careni had been brought by the valet service. The captain of the valet crew tossed the steering wheel to di Giovanni, who caught bit expertly as he strode onto his gangplank. The others followed in single file; their adventures in England had been too brief, but yet felt far, far too long. But now, as Roquefort had said, they were returning to their homeland - a home ruined by a foul despot, perhaps, but still the land of their births, in whose name they would die with honour.
"Let us pray for a fair wind," said di Giovanni solemnly, closing his eyes.
"Aha, I am making ze English joke, eh!" Giovanni cried, boisterously. "Haha! Well, weigh anchors! We set sail, for Calais!"
Some six hours of of port, the skies turned grey. Up a head, thunder crashed, and the rain started to fall in lashes.
"Oh, d'Anger," cooed an Egalite, leaning in close, "Do you think that this weather may be... foreboding?"
"Yes, my Egalite," murmured Edward in her ear, "It for a foreboding that the time is soon to come... for bedding, if you know what I mean."
Egalite swooned a little, then said, "Edward... when will we be alone... We have lusted after each other since the moment I freed you from that tower, but still you have not put your peepee in my naughty hole. What kind of Frenchman are you?"
d'Anger disentangled himself from his ladyfriend and crossed the cabin in which they were reclining. Peering out of the porthole, he spoke. "My dear Egalite," he said, "I must be honest... I have deceived you. In some ways, I feel that I am no kind of a Frenchman at all. The truth is this, dear, sweet Egalite... I have..."
He paused as a flash of light caught his eye. It took a second for him to work out what he saw; then then, he yelled:
Egalite frowned. "Well, yes," she said, pouting her lovely lips, "That was what I was hoping for, but..."
Then, with an almighty crash and an explosion of wood-chips, the cannonball ripped into the side of the ship.
Posted 02 November 2007 - 02:10 PM
D’Anger stood, ashen and bloody, on a wooden plank which arced out over the water. His arms and feet were tied. Historical buffs might note that it was actually pretty unusual for prisoners to be made to walk the plank, but the Careni’s attackers had read about it in a book and thought it sounded like a good idea.
And now Inspector Window stepped forward.
‘Thought you could get away with it, eh?’ he asked. He tutted to himself and prodded d’Anger in the back with the point of his rapier.
‘Crime never pays,’ he said.
‘Apart from organized crime, sir,’ chirruped Glass, helpfully. ‘Some of the bigger gangs even have pension schemes and widows’ funds, and-’
‘Thank you, Glass,’ snapped window. He prodded d’Anger again, who winced in pain. ‘You really thought you could knock off the Bank of England, sonny boy?’
‘Monsieur,’ said d’Anger, ‘it came on to me.’
‘I assume that was some kind of clever French riposte,’ said Window, ‘Well, you’re not impressing anyone.’
‘Actually, I only speak French when I’m making love,’ said d’Anger, ‘we have more active verbs.’
‘Well, you don't sound so clever now, matey!’ cried window.
‘Of course I don’t,’ said d’Anger, ‘I’m speaking English, which is only French spoken badly.’
‘Laugh all you want, count!’ cried Window, ‘but look down into the water and you’ll see a swarm of ravenous sharks! They’re waiting for you! And believe me, Dumas, they love the taste of anything French!’
D’Anger risked a glance down. There was indeed a swarm of ravenous great white sharks, electric eels, a couple of kraken, a Portuguese Man ’o War and two ducks. They eyed him hungrily.
‘I’ve been throwing them croissants and pain-au-chocolat,’ explained Glass, helpfully.
‘So you see, Dumas, you are defeated. You will never see France again. Your ship is listing. Your crew are tied to the masts. Our Metropolitan Police ship-’
-Parked about twenty feet away with flashing blue sirens on-
‘-will destroy what’s left of this vessel before we leave. But before that, I will personally throw you to Davey Jones’ locker!’
Window poked d’Anger again, forcing him to the brink of the plank. He swayed unsteadily. The ducks quacked expectantly.
‘So much for le Comte de Monte Dumas!’ cried Window, triumphantly, ‘If that is indeed your real name. Do you have any last words?’
‘Yes,’ said Dumas. He turned on heel and looked at window. ‘My name is Edmond d’Anger.’
He backflipped off the plank and disappeared into the water, which immediately boiled over with thrashing and ravenous quacking.
‘Edmond!’ cried the Egalites.
‘Window!’ cried Alfredo, ‘I swear on my father’s soul that this outrage will not go unavenged! Untie me and let us duel mano-a-mano!’
‘Hah!’ cried Window, ‘Not before I blow your ship out of the water!’ he turned to face the assembled police officers. ‘Prepare to evacuate the ship!’ he cried, using the third exclamation mark in as many sentences.
‘Sir, don’t you think leaving helpless prisoners on board while you blow up a ship violates the Geneva Convention?’ asked Glass.
‘Of course not,’ said Window, ‘it hasn’t been written yet.’
A great white shark leapt over the ship, arcing in the air. Its eyes were shrunk into terrified blots, as if it was desperately trying to escape from something. It was followed by two kraken, which leapt over his head and then vanished over the other side of the ship.
A Portuguese Man ’o War, followed by a couple of electric eels, were thrown over the side of the ship. They landed with a decisive thud on the police, and then started trying to crawl away across the decking.
‘Um-’ said window.
The sound of frantic quacking alerted him to the flight of a couple of ducks, which were now frantically taking to the air, their feathers flying everywhere.
‘Ah-’ said window.
Then a great white shark landed on top of him.
D’Anger climbed off the fish’s back. Glass and the remaining police had all been chased off the ship by the eels, ducks and the Portuguese Man ’o War. Their ship was already just a sail on the horizon.
D’Anger stood before his crew, who were still suspended, open mouthed, in the masts of the ship.
‘So,’ he said, ‘to France?’
Posted 03 November 2007 - 11:10 AM
The Archbishop stood, sniffing, before the thousand-strong congregation. He always cried at weddings.
‘Dearly beloved-’ he said, and then stopped, waiting expectantly.
Captain de Mortemart frowned.
‘Monsieur le Archbishop? Why did you stop?’
‘Ah monsieur,’ said the (le?) Archbishop, ‘I forget, you have never been married before. As the villain of the story, this is the part where you tell me to skip the long, rambling bits of the ceremony and just skip to the part about declaring you and your fiancé Man and Wife.’
‘Really?’ de Montemart’s brows knotted in confusion. ‘Why?’
‘Well,’ said the Archbishop, hopping from one foot to the other impatiently, ‘usually at that point of the ceremony the bride’s true love is besieging the castle door, forcing us to cut short the long rigours of the marriage vow.’
Egalite looked around hopefully. The walls of Notre Dame looked remarkably unbesiged.
‘So, shall I just skip to the end?’ asked the Archbishop. He was on shaky ground, here. He was so used to the wedding ceremony being interrupted half-way through the proceedings by a valiant hero that he hadn’t actually married anyone in close to twenty years. He wasn’t even sure if he remembered what he was supposed to say.
Meanwhile, Captain de Mortemart, a devout Catholic, was shocked.
‘Well, of course not you ridiculous little man,’ he said. ‘What would my mother say?’
The Archbishop looked taken aback, and then began to stumble through the ceremony, stopping pointedly at various parts where he clearly believed that a man on a white charger would break down the great doors to the Cathedral (which were now rigged for easy re-assembly). Finally, and with great incredulity, he reached:
‘…unless there are no objections…?’
He looked around the silent congregation. Most of them seemed to have nodded off, and a few were, in fact, snoring loudly. The Archbishop pulled himself together, gulped, and began to say, though disbelieving every word:
‘In that case, I now pronounce you man and w-’
‘Actually,’ said Egalite, ‘I have an objection.’ She tugged herself free of de Mortemart’s iron grip and pulled herself to her full height. ‘I don’t want to marry de Mortemart!’
The Archbishop looked at her, open-mouthed.
‘Well, you don’t count,’ he said, ‘you’re a girl.’
As Egalite swooned back into de Mortemart’s clutches, the priest took a deep breath and said:
‘I now pronounce you man and wif-’
The great circular stained glass window of Note Dame imploded and a dashing figure on a white steed leapt through it, landing perfectly in the aisle. It began charging towards the altar.
The Archbishop sagged with relief.
‘It’s ok!’ he cried, ‘I didn’t get to the ‘e’!’
‘Monte Dumas!’ cried de Mortemart, drawing his sword. ‘Impossible!’
‘Sorry I’m late, Mademoiselle!’ cried d’Anger, leaping from his steed and drawing his sword. ‘I was in England and forgot to put my watch forward!’
De Mortemart lunged at d’Anger. Then the doors of the Cathedral exploded and d’Anger’s compatriots, friends, hired soldiers, groupies and general hangers-on rushed towards the aisle. De Mortemart’s soldiers engaged them in fisticuffs.
The congregation erupted. Some rushed for the door. Some rushed for the bathroom. Some, reasoning that there was nothing better to do, stayed where they were. One wedding tourist sat with his arms folded and a bitter expression on his face and was heard to darkly mumble ‘Worst. Wedding. Ever.’ under his breath.
In the midst of the congregation, though, one figure stood tall.
‘It is the famous traitor Le Comte de Monte Dumas!’ he cried, ‘It is the very wretch who stole the money from the coffers of the Revolution!’
At this voice, d’Anger turned to see:
‘Robespierre!’ he cried.
‘The same!’ cried the other man. ‘You have mocked me for the last time, Dumas!'
'You smell like a pig!' cried d'Anger.
'OK, now you have mocked me for the last time!' cried Robespierre. He drew his sword and lunged at d'Anger. 'On Guard!'
Posted 03 November 2007 - 06:22 PM
"Not so fast Montemarte" cried a Spanish accent. As Montemart turned he saw that it was attached to a Spaniard.
"My name is Afredo the Spaniard. You killed my father: prepare to die," he finally concluded and lunged.
"What?! I never knew your father, Spaniard," de Montemart replied while desperately parrying the Spaniard's blows.
"Ah. Surely there must be a reason that we duel to the death, amigo," Afredo said.
"Perhaps because I treated your beloved Egalite so cruelly!"
"Then we must fight like the honourable man I am and the frog-loving Frenchman that you are!" Afredo cried and lunged again, this time removing an eppaulette from de Montemart's beautiful military coat made specially for him by a tailor in London. It did itch though.
"You can never defeat me Spaniard, I came top of my class in the dancing academy!" de Montemart said giving a beautiful and unexpected twirl landing him behind Afredo, his rapier had drawn across Afredo's side, now bleeding.
"Damn!" Afredo exclaimed and stumbled backwards into the back of the retreatin d'Anger...
"Ah, Bishop Roqueforte! How-" the Archbishop began but stopped on account of Roquefort's menacing manner. "Is something the matter?"
"Your Grace, am I not supposed to denounce you as a filthy heretic and ungodly man for offering to marry these people against the lady's will?" Roqueforte said advancing, only momentarily distracted by a fleeing member of the congregation in a billowing skirt.
"But you returned in time to prevent it, interrupting the wedding at the right moment. Is not all well."
"Hmm, perhaps. No reason why I can't sit this one out." Roquefort said sitting down by the dais and producing a large bottle of dark liquid.
"Is it not sin to indulge alcohol in the Lord's presence, brother?" the Archbishop asked. Roquefort had already taken a full swig.
"Ah, it is simply tea, fresh from England, your Grace."
It was at this moment that a musket-ball crashed through the bottle, glanced off the toe of the Virgin Mary and propelled itself into the bell-tower where, after a remarkable series of ricochet's it struck a bell...
Posted 06 May 2008 - 08:44 AM
"Actually," said Robespierre, momentarily halting his attack and tapping his chin, "For whom does the bell toll? It looks like De Montemart's wedding is off..."
"Perhaps it is on clockwork?" suggested le Compte. "They can do wonderful things with machinery these days. In England, I swear they had a cog that was as big as a horse! Who would have thought it - England, home of the largest cog. I hear they're doing wonderful things with steam as well..."
"Ah, but alas, we are too busy with our fromage and our fornication to be thinking about these cogs and suchlike. This is the reason for our revolution! I dream of a future in which WE will have gigantic cogs, not les stinking rossbeefs!"
"But do you not see, Max!" cried Edmond, raising his arms and accidentally stabbing the buttock of the groom, who was hiding in a chandelier, no doubt thanks to high jinx. "If that is the intellectual justification for revolution, then it is flawed, as by reverting to a system of barbaric upheaval and bloody execution, you are tapping into the same primal instincts that fuel our national love for cheese and porking! We will only refine our society by civilising it!"
Robespierre thought for a second. "Aren't you the one who beat me up a few months back?"
The Compte chuckled quietly to himself. "Yes, yes. Incidentally, Monseigneur Robespierre, how is the leg? I recall giving that one almighty beating..."
"Enough!" cried Robespierre, raising his weapon again. "So much for civilising! You..."
The door exploded. ("Didn't we explode that door already?" muttered Roquefort to the Archbishop. "Yes," the cleric muttered back, "But it rebuilds itself. Marvellous things, cogs.") Through the dust of the settling masonry strode...
"Marc de Bar!" cried Roquefort. "Who would 'ave thought that a minor character from the first act would return dramatically and unexpectedly in the last to disrupt proceedings! This is unprecedented!" The Archbishop took the opportunity to fish some chocolate covered raisins from behind the statue of Our Mary; he was no stranger to collapsed marriages but this one was getting zesty.
"Roquefort!" cried Marc de Bar, brandishing his sword. "My brothers are dead and my sisters are pregnant, and I believe you to be culpable in both of these facts!"
"I was in England!" cried Roquefort before scuttling towards the nave. De Bar gave chase, but was impeded by no less than fifteen Egalites, each of whom looked exactly the same as all of the others, despite being wildly different in terms of attractiveness, age, and in some cases, gender. "Curse you!" he cried at the Father's retreating back!
Posted 19 May 2008 - 01:07 PM
‘Sacrebleu!’ cried D’Anger, ‘whatever can this madman mean? There was cake? Why were we not told?!’
At this, De Montemart dropped his sword and turned to Robespierre, his face ashen. Meanwhile, Afredo dived towards Marc de Bar, trying to save Roquefort, who was desperately fending off the blows of de Bar.
‘But… but…’ moaned De Montemart, ‘this was supposed to be my wedding day!’
‘Haha!’ cried Robespierre, as the great bell of Notre Dame boomed above, ‘A ruse, dear De Montemart, a dastardly ruse! All to get the great Comte de Monte Dumas and his band of vagabond counter-revolutionary scum in one place!’
‘Not so fast, Robespierre! We still have the upper hand!’ cried d’Anger. ‘You cannot stop us! Our hearts are pure! Our moustaches are twirly! Our strength is rooted in the very soul of this land!’
‘And it is precisely that which shall be your undoing!’ cried Robespierre. He turned to the rafters and yelled, ‘Trumpeters! NOW!’
At this the great hall of the cathedral was filled with the clarion music of a hundred trumpets. D’Anger turned crimson, dropped his sword, and stood rigidly to attention.
‘It is La Marseillaise!’ he cried, ‘I am undone!’
‘D’Anger!’ cried Afredo, parrying a blow from Marc de Bar, ‘What is this music?! Why are you standing still?!’
‘It is the French national anthem!’ cried D’Anger, ‘I am helpless to act until it is over! All true Frenchmen are!’
Indeed, all of D’Anger’s French cohorts had now dropped their weapons and come to a patriotic standstill. Chins raised proudly in the air, they looked at each other helplessly.
‘You are in my power now, Monte Dumas!’ cried Robespierre, ‘you shall not escape me this time and return for an inevitable sequel!’
‘Robespierre!’ cried De Montemart, ‘you have betrayed me and mocked our national anthem! I renounce my allegiance to you and in a shocking turn of events side with le Comte de Monte Dumas!’
‘Haha!’ cackled Robespierre, ‘even you, De Montemart, can do nothing until the anthem finishes! Keep playing, men!’
‘By my beret, we are finished!’ cried D’Anger. ‘There is now no hope!’
‘There is I!’ cried a voice from behind Robespierre. Robespierre turned to see an Egalite – the one whom De Montemart had failed to marry only minutes earlier - standing with a sword drawn.
‘You would stand against the leader of the revolution?!’ he cried.
‘De Montemart!’ cried the Egalite, ‘you words have moved me to tears! I shall marry you! I renounce my love for le Comte! This national anthem will be our song! And with that music in my ears will I strike down this villain Robespierre!’
‘My love!’ cried De Montemart, ‘you have the greatest heart in France!’
‘And I am the greatest sword in Paris!’ cried Egalite, lunging at Robespierre.
Posted 19 May 2008 - 03:07 PM
"Say... padre..." he muttered through his moustache, "Have you ever seen d'Anger and Egalite in the same room?"
Roquefort blinked for a second. "Why... yes," he said. "The whole time on the boat, and in that inn in England, and..."
"It's just, he always said that he was the greatest sword in Paris... and if you squint, they look kind of similar, don't you think? And let's face it, the only person that d'Anger could ever truly love is himself..."
"She was with me while you and Monte Dumas were raiding the vault..." whispered Roquefort.
"That proves nothing." said Afredo stubbornly, jutting out his chin. "Apparently they met because they were in the same cell. Isn't that convenient!"
"Listen you mad Spaniard, they are standing next to each other right now!" cried Roquefort, loud enough to be audible over the music.
Everybody turned and stared, appalled at the disrespect being shown to the national anthem. Even Robespierre and Egalite put up their weapons in disgust. "Really, gentlemen, please control yourselves," said Robespierre, gesturing towards the tower and its parping musicians.
"We are sorry, Citizen Robespierre," said Roquefort, but Afredo brushed him aside.
"No!" he cried, "If I live in a society that must forever paint me as a Spaniard then I will be damned if I will stand attent to La Marseillaise! Madame Egalite... I charge that you and Edmond d'Anger are... one and the same!"
The assembled wedding party gasped!
!He's standing right there, you fool," replied Egalite, gesturing. d'Anger waved a little.
"That changes nothing," said Afredo stubbornly.
"Oh come on now, this is too ridiculous!" cried Robespierre in frustration. "Are we having a duel here or what? La Marseillaise is only so long and I have to butcher d'Anger and make good my escape yet!"
"Hold, Robespierre," said Egalite. "The fool is not as foolish as he looks. In fact, he is quite astute. I have a confession, friends! The time has come for me to reveal my true identity - no, not d'Anger, although he has known from the start that I was not who I claimed to be. Indeed, I am not an Egalite, nor indeed am I a woman at all. I am in fact the only person who has the right to stand during La Marseillaise..."
"Get on with it!" shouted d'Anger."
"I am, in fact, the greatest swordman in Paris! A superhuman lover! I am..." she pulled off her mask -
"Louis XIV!" gasped Roquefort!
"The Sun King," murmured the other Egalites (all of whom were actually Egalites), in awe!
"Merde," swore Robespierre.
"Robespierre!" cried Louis XIV. "You have stolen my monarchy. Prepare to die!"
Posted 07 July 2008 - 09:08 AM
The flowers of spring bloomed on the banks of the Seine as Afredo the Spaniard walked hand in hand with his lady-love, Madame Egalite. As a reward for his services, he had been made a Duke and was thus walking on his own land, so when he saw a beggar he planted a swift kick up its posterior, to the nodding approval of the Duchess by his side.
It just so happened that on this April morning, he was on his way to meet the Archbishop of Paris. This was also a new appointment; the last one had been found guilty of blasphemy after chocolate stains on the back of the Virgin Mary had come to light. The new one was an old friend of Duke Afredo.
"Ah, good day, your Dukiness," said the Archbishop genially as the Lord and Lady took their seats in a nearby cafe.
"Your grace," said Afredo to Roquefort, a broad grin on his face. A buxom wench bought them coffee and patisserie. Somewhere in the distance, a bell tolled.
They sat in companionable silence and watched the world go by.
Somewhere in the English Channel, the Donatella Careni ploughed through the waves in pursuit of an English frigate. On the English ship were two navel men by the names of Glass and window. Their brush with the sea had scarred them for life, but had also made sailing men of them, and now they furrowed the ocean blue in the name of George III.
They had proved their valour many times over - who wouldn't, after their first experience of seafaring had required them to punch a Portuguese Man O' War in the face then swim halfway across the channel back to Portsmouth? But as Glass handed the spyglass to Window, they both felt the chill of dread in their hearts. Glass turned to the rest of the crew and cried out, "It's him! It's him!"; immediately, the crew redoubled it's efforts. The frigate picked up speed but still, onward the pursuing ship came.
Glass looked through the spyglass again. On the prow of his antagonist he could see the figure of Don Giovanni di Giovanni, Admiral of the French navy, laughing maniacally as he readied his cannons. Taking his eye from the glass, he looked over the side of the ship. The sea was full of jellyfish, sharks, kraken and Portuguese Man O' Wars. They were fleeing too.
"Louis XIV is gone, now, as are Maximilien Robespierre and Edmond d'Anger; one is dead, and rightly so. I know that Louis XIV is a master of disguises, so no doubt he be hiding in plain sight, waiting to pop up again; he was talking about shifting a few numbers down and trying to get reinstated. What are we up to, now - XVIII? I forget.
This is quite the strangest story I ever thought I could have told. It started out as a last will and testament and ended as, well, this, whatever this is. My strange band of adventurers grave me liberté, fraternité, and certainly more égalité than I could ever know what to do with. When the Sun King killed Robespierre and instructed us to make France anew, it was a fresh start for us all. A chance to put our sordid lives of crime behind us. So of course, Roquefort has more wenches than a Bishop ever had, Afredo uses his estate for smuggling and di Giovanni keeps a pirate flag in his chest... just in case. This is the new France that we are making. I think that Louis would approve.
And as for me... the name d'Anger is too d'angerous in Paris these days. So I go by a different name, and I think that this name shall have big dreams. I have changed myself physically; I style myself as a general, wear a tricorne hat and claim to come from Corsica. As far as the world knows, I have spent the last five years in Egypt. The disguise is perfect. In future, perhaps I shall attempt to keep a low profile. Yes, I think that I will be good at that.
My real name is Edmond d'Anger, I am a superhuman lover, and I will not die tomorrow. There are worse principles to live your life upon.
Signed on this, the 14th day of April. Viva la France!