They were still unwilling to believe that Olivia, a woman who acted the very part of the noble, could be a spy. Women could be spies, yes, but why would a noble woman, whose only thoughts should be on finding a husband, want to be? Yet I knew something wasn't right with Olivia.
I wasn't granted with men to follow her actions and so, despite the fact that it was demeaning to do so, I dressed myself as a simple pheasant woman and, with a manservant in tow, followed her myself, an ever present shadow to her journey. And it wasn't hard to follow her when she spent most of the time in her house. It was easy enough for me to find a vantage point where I could see the door, and catch little snippets of what passed on its steps.
I wasn't surprised to see James appear at her door during my watch, though the fact hurt. I was well aware that the evil woman had drawn him into her web of lies and deceit and I would get him out. I also wasn't surprised to hear the desperation in his voice as he spoke his need to see her, though the name he used was unknown to me. But his next works floored me. "The Iberan army is about to experience the worst danger it has ever had to face." It seemed my suspicions were right, Olivia was a spy and she was using James, my poor sweet innocent James, in her little game.
Yet I knew that overheard words were not enough proof to convince those who had their doubts. And if I was to act now and catch them in the act of not just sharing traitorous information, but conspiring against crown and country, then the trap I would be springing would not only catch Olivia but also my James. I would not be allowed to marry a traitor, and so I waited, biding my time.
It wasn't long before James left, his face still urgent. I moved across the street once he was out of sight, to peer in a conveniently placed window. I was afforded with a view of a desk, and Olivia, face lowered in concentration, scribbling words upon parchment. It seemed she was penning the news she had just received. I knew the letter could be my proof, but I had to wait just a little more until it was finished.
The wait was not long and soon she was up from the desk. I carefully moved away from my window in case she should glimpse me now that the letter was not the sole focus of her concentration. Hurrying I moved around to the door and, with my manservant behind me, knocked.
The door was flung open by Olivia herself, a look of relief on her face that soon faded.
"Rebecca I do not have time for social visits," she said hastily, moving to close the door behind her. Yet my servant was soon there, holding it open with one hand, a dagger displayed in the other.
"This is a not a social call Olivia," I said, "Or should that be Eliza."
Her face blanched, and her grip on the letter she held tightened. "What do you want with me?" she whispered hoarsely.
"That letter," I replied, a grin on my face. "I'm sure it'll be proof enough of your activities."
"You can't have it," Olivia, or Eliza, protested, holding it tighter. If it did not contain such important information that she needed to get out, I'm sure she would have destroyed it already.
"Well one way or another I will have it," I said. A cry suddenly sounded in the house and the patter of feet towards the door. All I wanted was my letter, but it seemed I had little time to pry it away from her without damaging it. I nodded to the manservant who swung his fist. Olivia, or Eliza was soon sprawled on her doorstep, unconscious but with the letter still tight within her grip. The sounds of feet from the house were getting closer to the door.
"Pick her up," I snapped at the manservant, knowing I would not have time to take the letter before I was discovered. I knew the consequences should be actions be discovered, despite the position I had been granted.
The manservant nodded, picking up the girl as if she weighed little, and we hurried away to a carriage I had but a few streets away, carefully placed out of sight, ignoring the shouts from the house as the door opened just as we turned a corner, or the unexpected shout from the street. It wasn't until we were safely within the carriage that I realized I had just kidnapped a woman, and a woman of the noble class. She might be a spy, and surely the letter and what I had overheard would convince them, would convince him of that. It just had to. They might not approve of what I had done, but surely they would understand, wouldn't they? Surely when I explained the situation they would see how it had occurred.
It was the manservant, my trusted ally, who asked the question that had been plaguing my mind. "What do we do with her now?"