L'Abbaye Ste Lavine
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The Further Fencing Fables of Alice D'Artagnan
Part 2 - 'The rescue of Constance'
See also Bayko Baron 8,10,11 and 12
'La Maison Saisir','La Rochelle', 'L'Hotel De Treville' and 'St Cecilia's Sisters of the Sacred Sibilance','Paschin sur Seine'
Nestling on the edge of the Foret D'Saisir the Benedictine abbey of Ste Lavine is now being used by Rochefort, Richlieu's living blade, to hold Constance Bonacieux, dressmaker to Queen Anne, who has also been serving as go-between for the Queen and Duke of Buckingham,
Constance is also the mistress of Monsieur D'Artagnan - Alice to his friends !!
Alice and his companions come to the rescue - the doorman points the way to the tradesman's entrance
Chanel (Aramis got rebranded) checks with the sextant to make sure they are not already too late - the brothers assure him no woman has passed through their hands - they'd remember something like that !!
The infirmary, isolated from the rest of the monastery and the perfect hiding place - but Constance is not there!
Pathos, Bathos and Chanel interrogate Brother Cedric, guardian of the abbey's cellars. They resolve that their search must be thorough - Constance might be hidden in a barrel!
Disaster - unbeknownst to our heroes, today is also the occassion of Bishop ' Big Boy' Grasp's annual visitation
Anxious that his misuse of clerical property might be exposed, Cardinal Richelieu has decided to keep Bishop 'Big Boy' company - bringing his usual henchmen with him.
Leaving the others to investigate the benedictine barrels, D'Artagnan encounters Brother Bernadette (strange lad - but popular with the other monks) behind the Chapter House. Brother Bernadette has indeed seen a young woman, in the scriptorum - the room with the big windows above the cellars where the scribes create their illuminated manuscripts
Constance, it seems, has been helping the brothers with their 'illustrated' manuscripts - particularly the pages about nakedness and wanton depravity - disgusting! But it may explain how Brother Bernadette got in! Anyway, Alice rescues the lass, throws a handkerchief round her embarrassment and heads out via the cloisters.
Outside he finds that his companions have checked the cellars - they've been thorough, very thorough and are now certain that 'wossername' isn't down there. Unfortunately they have also been spotted by none other than Milady Lateautumn, who, debarred from entering the abbey proper, has wandered off from the Cardinal's party.
D'Artagnan is brought to bay by a brace of the Cardinal's lackeys. Having seen the way these things go Brother Bernadette immediately instructs Brother Dominic to open a book - with Alice as favourite.
True to form Alice makes for the postern gate leaving a trail of 'pinked' people and profits in his wake as Brother Bernadette keeps the bidding brisk. But the odds are lengthening.
D'Artagnan reaches the side gate and hands Constance into the care of his manservant Planchet - poor girl - then turns to buy them time and meet his fate as Milady orders ever more Cardinalist Guards into the fray.
Yet miraculous rescue is at hand, as the diminutive Bishop Grasp is drawn to investigate the sounds of blasphemy and swordplay.
Aware that a rash word may cost him his life, D'Artagnan explains his presence in the Abbey grounds - Overcome by a life of sin he came to the abbey seeking retreat, only to run full tilt into his old adversaries, the Cardinal's Guards, the rest was just... habit.
Appalled but impressed by the Gascon's pluck the Bishop sends him on his way with an admonition (one of those new improved one's that comes with its own stand!)
From behind the Bishop the Cardinal nods a silent approval - in return he will let D'Artagnan and his dressmaker live.
But what, I hear you yawn, became of our comrades Bathos, Pathos and Chanel?
They were discovered two days later, tired and emotional - and still in the cellars. Abbot Chinless handed them over to the Provost Marshall, who promptly sent them to the 'behavioural adjustment facility' behind the almonry with a guard of their own fellow musketeers while Ezekiel 'Fear the Lord and Avoid Deuteronomy' Clapnose lectured them on the error of their ways. Naturally Dribble the Doberman turned up to help cool the heat of their embarrassment.
you can see what happens to Alice next at Bayko Baron 9 - 'L'Hotel D'Treville'
you can see an alternative photo-set at:
2484.members.page4.me - password 'waterloo'