Wednesday, March 5, 2008


May I hope? No, I beg your forbearance regarding my unforgivable taciturnity these past four weeks. I shudder hoping for mercy. Yet, I now brazenly continue onward hoping to believe gentlemen with the greatest interest, if not acute reason to follow my last commentaries, may slightly recall seeds planted weeks ago in a quest for chivalry, glory and honor.
“That Woman”
Lady Cherish Masquerade
Minister de Guerre l’ Duc de Formidable
Cardinal Richelieu
Lt. Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier
Admiral Suthren

February 5, 1758:
Cardinal Richelieu in conference with the Gallian King Louis XV promised to visit the King’s nephew recently returned from The Carnatic. On the Cardinal’s mind is old business of the Tradgardland Diplomat von Bergmann. The latter inquired a year ago about possible suitors for a certain Tradgardland beauty. The King wondered if his brother’s son might be interested and if his former enchantment for Lady Cherish Masquerade still fills his heart. The Cardinal will inquire of the young officer as part of a visit to Notre Dame Cathedral in Chartres. Not far away at the estate of Galantier, the young officer is already packing for new service with the Army in Germania.

February 8, 1758:
On a snowy evening Lady Cherish Masquerade was summoned by the one-eyed, poorly dressed and mysterious peasant woman who said, “Gallantry is needed in the watery north on an isle full of disfavor to rescue one not known to thee. Your Gallantry is needed lest she crosses from one to the other.” Then in a moment when heads were foolishly turned, “That Woman” vanished leaving no footprints in the newly fallen snow.

February 9, 1758:
Next day, Lady Cherish Masquerade rushed to inquire of her confessor, none other than Cardinal Richelieu about the enigmatic “That Woman” and what her warning might portend. After describing several encounters with “That Woman” within an absorbing continuity of unusual and helpful remarks of warning followed by inevitable, immediate and inexplicable disappearances, the Cardinal remarked…. But, the seal of the confessional prevents me knowing. Thus, you and I must labor on with our speculations.

February 12, 1758
The King’s nephew arrives in Versailles on his way to Germania. He is confirmed with the rank of Lieutenant General. His new orders surely composed by fate place him at the port of Le Havre the next day without a moment to lose. His orders read….

For Your Excellency Lieutenant Général Pierre l’Duc de Galantier,
You are required and directed by His Most Christian Majesty to proceed without delay to the Port of Le Havre and there board the frigate l’Vengeance (40) placing yourself under the orders of Admiral Suthren. When at sea and at a moment convenient for the Admiral you will be given sealed orders regarding your mission. There is not a moment to lose.”
Votre Serviteur,
Minister de Guerre l’ Duc de Formidable

Narrator: On Sainte Valentines Day, February 14, 1758, Admiral Suthren’s two squadrons in company with supply ships set sail from the Port of Le Havre. The two squadrons sailed parallel to each other, each ship at a cables distance from its next in line. Eight 74s, our fast frigate l’Vengeance (40) and way out in front on the horizon the familiar dispatch vessel Alerte acting as the eyes of the fleet searching for the foe. Where are they going dear reader? But, I should ask instead where have they gone? Why? Simply because I am writing tonight of things from the past. Consider this! As you read these Preludes, Galantier has been contemplating his extraordinary orders for more than a fortnight and Suthren has already arrived at his destination in the pre-dawn hours of March 3rd. What they planned to do has already happened. Success? Failure? This knowledge must be delayed for another time. Pause now, if you please, as I beg your continued patience to wait upon me to learn what was dealt by the hand of fate, for tis already done.

Next? "Interludes At Sea"


Bluebear Jeff said...

Well? What next? Surely you will not leave us too long in anticipation . . .

-- Jeff

Gallia said...

No time to write with a BAR game on Saturday with Der Alte and about eight others. Soon though....
Votre Serviteur,