Status: Currently working on - hope to finish by the end of the summer.


Chapitre Douze

“Marie!” The familiar voice called. “There you are!”
Marie turned and saw Edgard galloping her way. She lowered her arms and turned away slightly, trying to hide the bacon. “Oh! Hi Edgard!” She greeted nervously.
He dismounted his horse and hugged her. “I went to Jean’s house and his mother said you would be here. Marie, you really need to tell me before you go about changing plans –”
“It worries me, Marie. There are some shady characters in this town.” He peaked over her shoulder. “Why do you have bacon?”
Marie saw Jean walking towards them. His arms were full of vegetables. “Jean!” Marie shouted. She looked at Edgard and told him, “I was holding this bacon for Jean.”
“Hi Edgard.” Jean said. He saw the bacon Marie was holding and opened his mouth to say something more, but Marie interrupted.
“Here’s that bacon Jean!” She rushed the words out and nearly threw it at him.
Jean gave her a confused look. “Thanks…”
“Well I guess Edgard is going to take me back home! Can you carry all of that by yourself?”
Jean nodded. Edgard climbed back on his horse and waited.
“Goodbye then, Jean. I will see you soon.”
Jean walked directly into Marie. “Goodbye,” he said, then he lowered his voice, “thank you.”
Marie clumsily put her arm around him. His cheek was touching hers. “Okay Jean,” she mumbled, because she did not know what else to say. He pulled away and smiled at her before starting up the hill towards the Triste District.
Edgard helped her onto the horse. “I see you and Jean have made up.”
Marie put her hands on his shoulders. “Yes we have.”
“I think that is great,” Edgard commended, “it is good to know that there are people like you, who are not so quick to judge the less fortunate.”
Marie was silent.
“But a word of caution,” he mentioned, “people will gossip if they see the two of you together frequently.”
“Yes, well I have many servants who come from similar roots. What should make this so different?”
“I am not trying to argue, mademoiselle, but I must point out that Antoine and me, Arielle, Guiles – pretty much everyone who is employed by your family – we may have not been from the second estate, but the third estate, it is a complex thing.”
“How so?”
“There are two types of people in the third estate,” he explained calmly, “those like myself, and those like Jean.”
“What do you –?”
“Some of us had some money, others of us had none. Some of us were raised with manners, others without…”
Marie tightened her grip on Edgard’s shoulders.
“Some of us lived in normal neighborhoods and made honest livings; others lived in dirty, disease-ridden places and do whatever they must to keep food on the table…”
“Enough.” Marie ordered. “Jean is not like those people.”
Edgard laughed. “Care to make a bet?”
“Fine! What’s the bet?”
“You know your family in Paris is coming to visit in a couple of days; invite Jean to one of the dinners. If he can keep from making a fool of himself, I give you whatever you want.”
“And if he somehow makes a fool of himself?”
“You give me whatever I want.” He said smoothly.
Marie became anxious. “For a day only?”
“Fine then! I will show you.” Marie crossed her arms and looked out at the open fields, “Jean will fit right in. You’ll see!”
“I will send the invitation.” Edgard said with a confident smile.