It all happened very quickly in the next few days. By now, all the noblemen in the country were either cowering in their houses or dead. I had no taste for spilling the blood of the pompous aristocrats who had so delighted in ignoring the plight of their people. I didn't understand the barbarous actions of my fellow citizens. It sickened me.
The mobs were growing more and more bold, not to mention violent. Two days ago, one of our neighbours, and a strong supporter of the Revolution, had been ripped apart by an angry mob. Pourqoi? Because he had forgotten to wear his tricolour.
The royal family was frantic, but that was nothing compared to Capuchine. Guillame had kept his word, and we had heard nothing more of him, but that just made my sister and me worried about his safety. She was desperate for news of him, but when one night I risked the long journey across Orléans to his house, I found it empty. We had no way of knowing where he was, or even if he was still alive.
My thoughts kept returning to what he had said about François. His death had been a random act of violence, just like our neighbour's. Could Blanche stop these deaths? What if I had helped them before the death of François? Would it have made a difference?
And then, finally, impossibly, Guillame sent us another letter. Actually, just to me, de façon precise. It read simply:
'Rendezvous à ma maison le nuit du quatorze juillet. B'
A meeting? I checked the letter again. On the 14 July. Tomorrow night.
And so, the next night, I left my house and made my way across Orléans to Guillame.
'Ah! Bonne nuit, madamoiselle,' he greeted me. I followed him into his house and down a flight of stairs into a candlelit cellar. I could make out the faces of many people seated around a table. Some of them I recognised. Most of them I didn't. They all looked tense.
'Well then,' Guillame said, motioning for me to sit and pulling up a chair for himself. 'Nous sommes tous ici. We are all here.'
Guillame's eyes scanned down the table of faces. He knew some of them so well, and others were the most recent recruits. He felt a surge of loyalty to them. These were his friends: Marie, uncomfortable but unable to hide the light of curiosity in her eyes; Nathaniel, who he knew so well, every line of his face like an old friend; Annette, invaluable in providing intelligence from Paris, her sharp blue eyes darting from face to face; Emmanuel, a relatively new recruit but already proving his worth as a military man; Adele, also new, but her father and brother before her had been among Guillame's most trusted allies; Gerald, tall and blonde, an Englishman but worth his weight in gold over the years; and finally Clara, the newest member of Blanche, small and feisty.
Six in total. Guillame would do anything for them. What he didn't know, was that he would have to.