1618: ix

“Your Excellency,” Gilles said as he kneeled in front of the Bishop’s desk.

“I hope you have good news if you’re disturbing me at this hour,” the Bishop said as he continued writing.

“The Greek has completed the craft,” Gilles reported. “It flies.”

The Bishop’s pencil paused.

“That is good news and the others?”

Gilles shifted uncomfortably.

“Mixed results.”

“Hmm…” the Bishop sighed, “What does that mean exactly?”

“The Artificers are down one.”

“I see,” the Bishop folded his hands in thought, “Hopefully he was not the key to the solution.”

“No, your Excellency. I believed he was more of a hindrance to the Artificers’s morale. He did not believe they could succeed.”

The Bishop nodded his acceptance of the negative Artificer’s death. He took a letter from his drawer and passed it across the desk to Gilles.

“I’m sending you to Epernon,” he said. The Bishop’s focus went back to his writing. “Tell him you have a plan for our friend at Blois.”

“How much should I tell him?” asked Gilles.

“Only what he needs to know at first. Don’t mention the craft. Only that you will be able to extract the Queen Mother and deposit her where ever Epernon deems prudent.”

Gilles stood up and retrieved the Bishop’s letter to Epernon from the desktop.

“And what about our other endeavor?” the Bishop asked.

“I’m afraid I have still to look into it. The convent is on the way to where Epernon is stationed.” Gilles was apologetic, but it was the Bishop that kept him so busy traveling across France and unreachable by post.

“See that you do,” the Bishop replied, “You may go.”

Gilles turned on his heel and strode out of the room. He was anxious to reach the Convent. A conversation with Aimée was about the only amusement he had to himself. The rest of his time was devoted to the Bishop’s orders.


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