The Second Chance

Chapter 2: Pierre, a small boy from Paris

Oscar and André were sitting in the carriage talking about Oscar´s promotion. She had become the High Commander in the Royal Guards. Although, she had hesitated whether to take the position or not, she had finally agreed to it. It was André, who had convinced her…After all, in that position, maybe she could convince the queen to consider more of her actions and the welfare of her people.

Everyone knew that Her Majesty was spending more money than she should, giving her favorites gifts, money…Well, everything they wished for. Her Majesty had even offered Oscar more salary and pension, but Oscar had turned them down. But the queen didn´t stop there: after that Her Majesty wanted to drown Oscar with gifts. Oscar had refused them all. She knew that all those gifts were bought with people´s money. The people paid high taxes, so that the queen could buy presents for her favorites…

Oscar had even tried to reason with her not to spend so much money, but that was in vain. The queen hadn´t understood…at all…All she cared about was to have fun…and then, there was someone, who had captured her heart completely: Hans Axel von Fersen. Lady Antoinette had spent too much time with him…much too much. Oscar had taken things in her own hands; she had gone to see him and make him leave France, which he did...

André:“The queen spends too much money…” he said to Oscar.

Oscar:“You are quite right and it can´t continue much longer…” then she paused thinking whether to continue her sentence, which she did:“In a way, I do understand her…She´s lonely now…”

André:“You are talking about Fersen?” Something about her last sentence made him a bit jealous…“Oscar, are you talking about the queen or about yourself? He is not your type!” he thought, but couldn’t say that. He had never spoken about his feelings...How could he have? He was a commoner and she was a noble. No way would that work. It was a hopeless love…He knew he could never speak about his feelings…never confess his love for her in public…

Oscar looked outside: “André! We´re nearly there! Be prepared…and careful.”

André nodded. His mind was now focused on the job ahead of them. They were on a mission to save a small child from an evil Duke.

The carriage stopped and Oscar looked at André. This was it…

People were gathered around to watch a scene…a boy was weeping in front of a Duke. The boy had stolen some money from him. The Duke was very angry and was ready to punish the child, when all of a sudden a young man came running towards them, grabbed the boy in his arms and got on running away…It all had happened very fast and the Duke was stunned for a moment. He couldn´t react.

Duke:“What the hell is going on?!” he swore. Then he took a pistol to his hand and raised his arm in order to shoot…He was aiming at the man, who was running away with the child in his arms…

The Duke was ready to pull the trigger, when someone from behind hit his hand and the pistol fell to the ground. He turned to look …he was surprised to see the son…no, the daughter of general de Jarjayes; Oscar François de Jarjayes.

Meanwhile André had taken the boy to safety and was now warning him about the Duke…They were in one of the alleys…

André:” That Duke is an evil man. He could do anything, so just stay away from him. Okay?”

The boy:“Okay…“he hadn´t really get, why did the man took him away…

André knew he had to convince the boy…” I mean it! If you ever see him again, run away and hide. Tell that to your friends too! He could do something nasty to you, so that your mother would get sad. Now, you wouldn´t want your mother to get sad, would you?”

The boy:“No, sir!...What´s your name, mister?”

André:“Call me André.” he smiled to the boy trying to assure that everything was fine.

Then André remembered Oscar´s nightmare…It seemed true, but he still had some difficulties to believe…he had to ask the boy`s name…

André:“What´s your name?”

The boy:“It´s Pierre, mister.”

It was exactly what Oscar had told him…“It is true, then.” André thought. “Nice to meet you, Pierre. I got to go now.” he smiled and gave the boy some money…” Go home and give this money to your mother, so that she can buy you food. A growing boy like you need lots of food.” Then André left running back to Oscar.

Pierre:“Thank you, mister!” Pierre yelled to André, but André was too far away to hear.

Although Oscar had told André to stay hidden, he couldn´t leave Oscar alone. He had to get back and see how she was handling the Duke. When André got back, he saw Oscar arguing with the Duke…

Oscar:“…you would have shot a child, who is still too young to know right from wrong in the back with the pistol!”

Duke:“That child stole money from me! What´s wrong with punishing a thief?! The poor are always looking for a chance to steal from us! It would have been right thing to do!”

Oscar:“If a young child steals for hunger, what right to we have to judge?! Or, are you saying that you are God yourself, Duke?!”

Duke:“W-What an insult! I´m Duke Henri Salvador de Guéménée! What a conceited squirt!”

Oscar:” You are the conceited one! Are you allowed to do anything you like, even if you are a Duke? Are you really a noble?!”

Then the Duke slapped Oscar with his glove…André couldn´t believe his eyes…the Duke was challenging Oscar to a duel. André ran to Oscar without thinking that the Duke would see him…The Duke looked at André and got even angrier…

Duke:“Wait! This man…HE interfered with my punishment! Do you know him?!”

Oscar:“Yes. He took the boy away, because I ordered him to do it. I´m his master and he does what I tell him to do. So; his doings are my doings.”


Oscar:“You should consider your own wellbeing, because if you touch my servant in any way…”

Duke:“Are you threatening me?!”

Oscar:“No, it wasn’t a threat, it was a promise.” then she bent and lifted his glove up. “I, Oscar François, accept your challenge…on a condition that you leave my servant alone.”

André:“Oscar” he whispered.

Duke:” Very well. He did only what YOU told him to. I don´t blame him. My assistant will let you know the time and the place. Your choice of weapon?”

Oscar:“Your favorite pistols are fine with me.”

Duke:“Don´t back out at the last moment, promise!”

Oscar:“Since I was born, I have never broken a promise!”

Duke:“How impudent! I shall make a hole in your beautiful face!”

After saying those words the Duke got into his carriage…Oscar and André watched, while the carriage drove off…

Oscar:“A duel, huh?”

What would happen this time? Would Oscar still win the duel? Or did the Duke had something on his sleeve…for her?

To be continued…

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