The Second Chance

Chapter 26: Our beloved François

Grandma cried:“I´m sorry!I tried to protect him, but…” she said to Oscar.

Oscar:“It´s not your fault.” she said and then ran out of the room…

Oscar ran to look for André as she had always done, whenever she was in trouble. He had always come to help her…

Oscar:“André! André!” she yelled with her desperate voice.

And soon André came to her…“Oscar!”

Oscar:“André!” she buried her head into his chest…“My father have taken François!”

André was surprised…“What?!”

Oscar cried:“He wants to raise our son to be a general!”

André:“What?!”

Oscar wept:“It´s all my fault! He´s angry with me and now he wants our son…I should have protected François!...” she looked into André´s eyes…“Can you ever forgive your wife?”

André answered in a gentle voice:“There´s nothing to forgive, Oscar. You did nothing wrong.”

Oscar though that she was lucky to have a husband like André…He was always so gentle and loving…Unlike her own father…When she thought of what he had done, she got angry…

Oscar:“I will not allow my father to raise our son!” she was going to rush into her father´s study…“My father used to beat me and treat me badly! He always wanted me to do the way he wanted!” she pressed her fist…“He will NOT beat our son!”

Oscar was about to storm into general´s study, when André grabbed her, took her into his arm and kissed her passionately. He kissed her so long, that she calmed down. He always knew, how to calm her down…Right now, it was utmost important to get her to calm down…Knowing that both Oscar and the general were short-tempered, he thought that the situation could go badly, if Oscar had a tantrum…

André looked deep into Oscar´s eyes…Then she knew that she had to be calm.

André:“Keep calm, Oscar. Don´t worry, we´ll get him back…Just leave this to me, okay?”

“Okay” she said and nodded. Then she took his hand…They walked to the general´s room and then André knocked on the door…

André:“Sir, we are coming in now.” he said and opened the door…

They saw François in general´s arms…Thank God, he was all right. They were both relieved…

André:“Why don´t we all sit down, please.”

After they were seated, the General started to talk…

General:“Oscar! Take off your insignia of rank and the medal the king gave you! Then, leave this place at once!”

Oscar didn´t say anything, because she didn´t want to provoke him…She trusted André to take care of this…

André:“All right, Sir. And then what?”

General:“I´m going to raise François…” he looked at his grandson, who had been cheerful all this time…He reminded more of his father; he never raged… He even looked more like his father; he had his father´s dark brown hair…But his sapphire eyes were clearly from Oscar…“He will be a fine general! The finest in all of France!”

André:“There´s no doubt about that.”

General:“Being loyal to the king no matter what happens is the tradition of de Jarjayes family!”

André nodded:“Yes…You had had generations of the finest generals, who had always protected the king and the Royal Family no matter what.“…André looked a bit sad…“It´s just too bad…”

General:“What is?!”

André:” That our king doesn´t love his people…”

General:“What?!” he was starting to get angry again…How could André talk that way about the king?

André:“As much as I´d like my son to protect His Majesty, I´m afraid He wouldn´t allow it…At least, if the world continues to be the same…”

General:“What do you mean?!”

André:“Do you think that the king would allow a son of a stableman to protect His Royal Family?”

General was shocked…He never even thought about that…Ever since François was born, he was happy to have a grandson like him; the General really loved him…But it was true; André had been a stableman…

André:“Right now we are living in the world of social classes, where is no chance for a stableman´s son to succeed in the military career…He would never be allowed to become a general…In fact, he wouldn´t stand a chance in many places at all…”

General was upset…For the first time he realized, how unjust this world was…He hadn´t really noticed it before, because it never really concerned him…But now, it played a major part in his grandson´s life…

General:“I just want him to be happy…” his eyes became wet from tears…

André:“The New Age will come, where all the people will be equal. There, he´ll have a chance to do anything, there he´ll be the finest general in France.”

General:“Are you saying that we should fight against His Majesty?”

André:“I´m afraid, it´s the only way…He won´t allow any changes to happen…In this world a commoner will remain a commoner…and the poor people will only suffer…”

General looked at his grandson again and kissed his hair…“Go to your father.” he said in a gentle voice and handed François over to André.

Oscar was so happy; that she rushed to André and kissed him and then she kissed François, who smiled radiantly and laughed…This all had just being fun for him…He was still so young that he didn´t understand, what had just happened…

Just then, grandma came in with a messenger…

Messenger:“By the words of Her Majesty. There will be no punishment for Brigadier Oscar François Grandier nor de Jarjayes family. She expects your continued loyalty to the Royal Family.”

Few days later Oscar and André had taken François to see Rosalie and Bernard…They were sitting around the table talking…

Oscar:“We´d like to ask you a favor, Bernard.”

Bernard:“Okay, anything that I can…”

They talked about their plan of how to rescue those twelve men, who were to be executed…

Bernard:“What? Surround Abbey Prison? Did I hear your mother right, François?” he looked at the little boy.

Oscar:“Yes, you did.”

Rosalie looked at François, who was in Oscar´s lap…“He has grown a lot!”

Oscar laughed:“Yes, he has! He has his father´s appetite!”

Bernard:“André, are you sure this will work?”

André:“Yes. You should be able to rally citizens. We´ll need a three-thousand.”

Bernard:“I can probably do that. But will it help to save your men?”

Oscar:“I am the Commander in charge of the French Guards, who are responsible for the security of Paris. If I judge the security of Paris is in danger, I can request the release of the twelve men to the king.” she said and petted her son´s hair.

Bernard:“I see, that´s a good idea. We need someone clever like you on our commoner´s side.”

Oscar:“Will you do it?”

Bernard:“There´s one problem. What if it turns into a riot?”

Oscar:“We promise that no one from your group or any citizen will get hurt or die. If I break my promise, I will quit the French Guards and run errands or do whatever for you.”

Bernard:“Okay. I´ll do it.”

At the Palais Royale Plaza, the French Guards were guarding the rally…Lots of people had come to listen to what Bernard Châtelet had to say…

Bernard:“Ladies and gentlemen, you all know that our sons, yes, the sons of us commoners are in the hateful military. And twelve of our sons are about to be executed, without properly tried in a military court!”

Among the crowd, there was a man, who had evil plans…, Saint-Just, the leader of the terrorist group, was targeting Oscar…He was staring at her…

Saint-Just was speaking to his men:“That´s the Security Commander. Let´s kill that one. With the Commander dead, they´ll forbid the citizens from rallying…The citizens will riot with rage…All we need to do is to direct the riot toward Versailles.”

Bernard:“Comrades! Let us head to Abbey Prison now and demand the release of those twelve men!” he inspired the crowd.

Just at the same time, Saint-Just was ready to attack Oscar…He took his dagger out from his pocket…

To be continued…

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