Arrival In Versailles

Elise Boissonneau • Chapter 25

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After a pleasant trip up the Seine, we arrived at Versailles. Maria acted as tour guide for Elise as we strolled through the quaint village. She pointed out shops and told some of the local family histories. 

“Why don’t we go to the market square and get food for a picnic,” Andelbert suggested. 

“That is a great idea,” I said. “I’m starving.”

“There are some marvelous pastry shops near the square,” Maria added.

“It sounds wonderful. I am hungry also. Lead the way.” Elise said. 

. . .

We made our way to the village square, where there were stalls and carts with many kinds of food lining the square. Some vendors sold cheeses. Some sold meat. Some sold bread. Andelbert took the opportunity to stop and buy flowers and gave them to Maria. 

“How sweet. Thank you, my love,” Maria said when Andelbert presented the flowers to her. I wished I could do the same for Elise, but it was too soon.

We browsed several of the vendors and purchased enough food for a picnic. Maria led us to a small park where we could sit on the grass and eat. 

“This is the park where Andelbert and I fell in love,” Maria said. 

“I am quite sure I loved you the moment I first met you.”

“You are silly. I only led you to your rooms.”

“That was enough,” Andelbert said and then laughed. 

Elise smiled, and I couldn’t look away. She seemed more beautiful than ever. I knew I must do everything I could to win her heart.

We had a delightful lunch chatting about the King and Queen and Versailles. And before long, we had finished eating.  

“Will we meet the King and Queen today?” Elise asked. 

“It is not likely. Their days are tightly scheduled, as you might imagine. It may be a day or more before we can get a brief audience with them. But in the meantime, we will get to enjoy the beauty of the Palace and grounds,” I said. 

“If they let us in,” Andelbert teased. 

Elise looked a little concerned. 

“Stop teasing,” Maria said. “Of course, they will let us in. You both are in the King and Queen’s good graces, and Britpop is an associate of Emperor Joseph.”

“We shall know soon enough. Let’s go,” I said and stood up. 

. . .

We walked back through the village and to the Palace, where we stood at the gate. The guard said, “State your business.”

“I am Baron Britpop Blastfurnace of Kapri. Friend of the King and Queen. We are here on a social visit.”

“What a coincidence. I plan to drop in on the King of Spain next week and see if he wants to go fishing.”

This must be the same guard from last year, I thought. I was just about to put him in his place when Maria spoke up.

“Don’t you recognize me, Jean?”

“Maria? Well, bless my soul. Where you been?”

“I got married and moved to Kapri. This is my husband, Andelbert.”

“They don’t tell me anything out here. You’re a lucky man, Andelbert. Maria is a real sweetheart.”

“I couldn’t agree more,” Andelbert replied. 

“Stay here. I will get someone to escort you in.”

While Jean went to get an escort, Andelbert looked at Maria and said, “Is there something I should know about Jean?”

“He is married with seven children if that eases your mind.”

“I’m sorry. I don’t know what came over me.”

“Foolishness, no doubt.”

“Yes. That was it, exactly.”

Jean returned with a maid.

“I am Alice. Please follow me.”

Alice escorted us into the Palace and to two rooms. 

“I am afraid there has been a misunderstanding. Miss Boissonneau and I are not a couple. We will need separate rooms.”

“I am afraid these are the only rooms available at the moment,” Alice replied. 

“It is no problem. Elise and I shall share a room, and you and Britpop can share the other,” Maria said. 

“Yes, Madame. Dinner is at 7:00. Please dress appropriately.”

“Thank you, Alice,” Maria said.

We watched as the maid walked away. 

“I wonder if she is the maid who took your place?” Andelbert said. 

“It is entirely possible.”

“Let’s dress for dinner, then we can stroll around the palace a bit,” I said. 

“Yes, please,” Elise replied.

To Chapter 26

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