Wednesday, March 14, 2012
And This Is Why We Love Sir Percy
This is the part that started my waterworks going (emphasis is all mine). Because it never hurts to be reminded of someone's amazing-ness.
Armand, I know. I knew even before Chauvelin came to me, and stood there hoping to gloat over the soul-agony a man who finds that he has been betrayed by his dearest friend. But that demmed reprobate did not get that satisfaction, for I was prepared. Not only do I know, Armand, but I understand. I, who "do not know what love is," have realized how small a thing is honour, loyalty, or friendship when weighed in the balance of a loved one's need.
To save Jeanne you sold me to Heron and his crowd. We are men, Armand, and the word forgiveness has only been spoken once these past two thousand years, and then it was spoken by Divine lips. But Marguerite loves you, and mayhap soon you will be all that is left her to love on this earth. Because of this she must never know .... As for you, Armand--well, God help you! But meseems that the hell which you are enduring now is ten thousand times worse than mine. I have heard your furtive footsteps in the corridor outside the grated window of this cell, and would not then have exchanged my hell for yours. Therefore, Armand, and because Marguerite loves you, I would wish to turn to you in the hour that I need help. I am in a tight corner, but the hour may come when a comrade's hand might mean life to me. I have thought of you, Armand partly because having taken more than my life, your own belongs to me, and partly because the plan which I have in my mind will carry with it grave risks for the man who stands by me.
I swore once that never would I risk a comrade's life to save mine own; but matters are so different now ... we are both in hell, Armand, and I in striving to get out of mine will be showing you a way out of yours.
Will you retake possession of your lodgings in the Rue de la Croix Blanche? I should always know then where to find you on an emergency. But if at any time you receive another letter from me, be its contents what they may, act in accordance with the letter, and send a copy of it at once to Ffoulkes or to Marguerite. Keep in close touch with them both. Tell her I so far forgave your disobedience (there was nothing more) that I may yet trust my life and mine honour in your hands.
I shall have no means of ascertaining definitely whether you will do all that I ask; but somehow, Armand, I know that you will.
~El Dorado, chapter 34, "The Letter"
Now, if you read through all of that without at least welling up a little, then you are either a) more than human and therefore worthy of awe, or b) completely heartless and therefore worthy of pity. Or else you just haven't quite grasped just how wonderful the Scarlet Pimpernel is. In that case, please do go read the book posthaste.