Never in a million years would I have asked a woman to be a spy. That was not the way of things. I had been taught that all of my life. Women’s place was at home, safe from the real dangers of the world.
However, Alexandra turned out to be a very persuasive woman. She had already made her mind up; she was going to be a spy. There was nothing I or her brother could do to stop her.
Plus, there was the letter. Sebastian had been so forthright with her, describing things that I thought were unmentionable. Officially, Sebastian was an ambassador, not a spy. Spies were never official, ever. They were the perfect deniability.
I rubbed my eyes in frustration. Alexandra was droning on, not having taken a breath for an hour it seemed, though in reality it was probably only half a minute.
“Ok, ok, ok,” I said, my voice much louder than I expected. “If we do this …” She stopped talking, her expression one of shock.
“If we do this, it must be kept a secret.”
“Of course,” she replied, waving her hands back and forth. “The safety of our people depends on the utmost secrecy.”
“No,” I said, “that’s not what I meant. It must be kept secret from the army, especially your brother.”
“You read the letter. He’s practically asking me to join.”
“I know it may seem that way, but we can’t take any chances.”
“Ok, fine,” she said, her tone exasperated. “So, how are we supposed to do this and not tell anyone? Is it just going to be me and you?”
I let out a long breath, sighing heavily. What had this woman gotten me into?
“No,” I said finally. “There are others.”
As I gazed at Katrina and Nellie, I thought back on the conversation with Alexandra. Eliza had just verbally signed up for our little masquerade. She seemed to be just as determined as Alexandra had been. Where were all these strong willed women coming from?
“What about you two?” I asked, completely resolved to not look back. I had a feeling what their answer would be, and I feared it would be the death of me. I just hoped it wasn’t going to be the death of any of them.