'Ladies of France!' Rachelle began, and the room hushed instantly. 'We are all here because we share a belief in a fairer France! A France for everyone - the rich, the poor, the men, the women. Why should poor men be beneath the feet of rich men? Why should all women be beneath the feet of all men, rich or poor? Are they so much better than us? No!
'And now, while our brothers are killing our husbands in their Revolution, they leave us here, to scavenge for what little bread they have left. And four days ago, the King's very bodyguards trampled on the national cockade! Why should we follow such a King? Why should we not fight for our beliefs?
'So I ask you, the Ladies of France, will we stand for this? Will we sit by, with our knitting and cooking, and watch while our own country - the country we share with our brothers and fathers - watch our own country rip itself to shreds? And I tell you - no we will not!'
Everyone burst into applause, and I felt myself bouyed up by Rachelle's speech. I would follow her - yes! - I would follow her to the ends of the earth and beyond! Together, we could achieve greatness, we could put an end to the suffering, we could do anything! Together, we were invincible!
Rachelle quickly motioned for silence - we would all die if we were found to be having this meeting.
'Tomorrow.' Rachelle spoke again. 'Tomorrow you will all meet in the town square, and we will show the world that we are not just quiet women! We will march to the Hôtel de Ville and we will demand that our needs be met! And if they aren't, then we will demonstrate our power! We will show the men that we are not weaklings, to be ordered about at their whims!'
Applause broke out again. I felt like my heart was throwing itself repeatedly against my ribcage in a desperate attempt to get out. The blood was pounding in my ears.
Tomorrow... Tomorrow we would rule! We were the Ladies of France, and no one could stand in our way!
Tomorrow would go down in history.
5 October 1789.
The day the women marched on Versailles.