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Sir Percy Leads the Band. A Scarlet Pimpernel Novel.
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Customers who bought this item also bought. Stock Image. Men with stentorian voices and wearing tricolour scarves round their waists toured the country in luxurious chaises and harangued the populace of towns and villages from improvised rostrums set up outside estaminets or public buildings. With impassioned words and gestures they pilloried those who had dared to own land which rightfully belonged to tillers of the soil or houses which were obviously the property of those who had built them with their own hands.
Who was the Scarlet Pimpernel?
Everything then was made ready for the start on the morrow. The ci-devant marquise was hustled in the small hours of the morning into the diligence which stood outside the back door of the Commissariat of Police. She was not allowed to bid goodbye to her children who had been incarcerated in a separate cell from hers. The poor woman had been gagged and trussed with cords and been rendered half unconscious by blows before the men detailed for this abominable work succeeded in getting her locked up in the diligence.
Only an hour later was the gag removed from her mouth, and her arms and legs freed from the cords. When she opened her eyes, she found herself propped up in a corner of the vehicle and all around her there were a number of men who stood or sat there in stony silence, filling all the available space inside the coach. It remained at a standstill, and the only light by which Eve was able to take stock of her surroundings came from a small lantern outside.
After a time, she tried to speak, asked a timid question or two but she received no answer. It would be impossible even to attempt to describe what that poor woman suffered in mind and body during the whole of that awful night. To call her experience a nightmare would be to understate what she went through. For it was no dream. Rather was it hell upon earth.
The parting from her children had been the worst of the many ordeals she had had to undergo in these past four years of anxiety and sorrow; and now, when she sat huddled in a corner of the diligence not knowing what had become of them and with those grim and silent men keeping guard over her, she thought that she had at last reached the abysmal depths of misery.
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In vain did she try and infuse hope into her stricken soul. Surely when those brave Englishmen planed her rescue they had not anticipated this.
The dawn broke, grey and dim, and very cold. It had snowed all night.
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The diligence was driven round to the open Market Square in front of the main door of the commissariat, where a score of troopers from the 61st Regiment of Cavalry were already lined up.