Lambert was just taking a bite of his pork pie when the knock at the door came. It was so loud it sounded as if it was about to break the door in, to Citizeness Lambert hurried to open it before any real damage could be done (although there was a circular mark like a scar from the butt of the gendarme’s rifle for years to come).
‘Citizen, Citizeness,’ said the gendarme when the door was opened. ‘We believe there to be three fugitives from the law on your land, possibly including a highly dangerous counter-revolutionary nobleman.’
And that was when their lives changed.
‘Oh, of course, Citizen,’ Lambert stuttered, fear gripping his patriotic little heart at the idea of highly dangerous counter-revolutionaries. ‘Although I can assure you I have neither seen or heard anyone enter my yard all evening.’
The gendarme nodded tersely, and the other gendarmes immediately scattered. One turned over the kitchen, another stomped onto the first floor, while the other two searched outside.
‘They’re coming to the stable,’ whispered Henri to Alix, glancing around for a possible escape route. ‘We might have to make a run for it.’
‘No! Wait… You still got that pistol on you, Henri?’
He shook his head slowly. ‘Oh, no, Alix, we’re not fighting our way out of here. That’s suicide for sure.’
‘You don’t know that,’ Alix replied, thinking fast. There were five gendarmes in total, but only two outside. A gunshot would immediately alert the other three inside, but maybe if they used their sabres… It wasn’t much of a chance, and she knew it. If only there was a back route… Or a diversion…
And then she had it. It wasn't much of a plan, but it was something... She turned to Henri, and whispered her plan to him.
‘You’re mad,’ he whispered. ‘This is never going to work.’
‘Shut up and do it,’ she whispered back. ‘It’ll work and you know it.’