Adele: Strange Faces

I managed to make up an excuse that got me out of the house that evening.  I told my mother I was going to visit a friend on the other side of Paris and I might be late back.  She wasn't happy about it and I could understand.  The streets weren't safe during the day, let alone at night.  I would just have to be extra careful.

I found the address that had been written in the letter.  The secret knock was described below.  I methodically tapped the door until it opened, revealing the stern face of an armed man.

'I'm here for the meeting.'  I whispered nervously.  'My name is Adele Durand.'  The man's face lit up a little when he heard my name.

'Monsieur Eric's daughter?'  I nodded and was shocked to be embraced and almost crushed before being pulled inside.  'I knew your father well mademoiselle, he was a good man and a great asset to our cause.  He always so spoke so fondly of you, it almost feels like I know you just from his talk of you.  I miss him very much.'  I blushed slightly and thanked him for his kind words.  'My name is Gerald.'

'It's lovely to meet you Gerald.  I hope this is not our last meeting.'  I smiled before asking where I should go.  Gerald led me along a number of corridors before stopping in front of a door and opening it.  He motioned for me to go in first and I took a deep breath to calm the butterflies in my stomach.  If my father was as great an asset as everyone was telling me then I had a lot to live up to.

A room full of unfamilar faces sat round a table greeted me as I walked in.  There was a soft lull of hushed conversation which didn't stop as I entered.  Everyone glanced at me but only one man stood up and walked towards me.

I think he was fairly young, but the lines around his eyes and slow walk suggested age.  He was dressed in a fashionable style and his hair was still thick and as black as coal.  He smiled warmly at me as he offered his hand.

'Glad to see you're here Adele.  I'm sorry about the nature of our meeting earlier but there is a lot at stake.'  So this must be the mysterious Nathaniel I had encountered earlier.  He wasn't quite what I had expected.

'For a while I didn't think I was going to make it out of the house.'  I laughed, trying to make myself feel less nervous.  'It's nice to meet you properly Nathaniel, now I can put a face to the name.'  He smiled at me, brushing a strand of hair off his face and directed me to an empty chair at the table.

There were three other women at the table besides myself, one didn't look a day older than 14, and four men including Gerald and Nathaniel, who had taken the seat next to mine.  Out of these people there was only one face I recognised from before this meeting.  Guillame gave me a small smile before beginning the meeting.

'Well then. Nous sommes tous ici. We're all here.  Let's begin.'

The End

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