Sunday, December 2, 2007

A Diplomatic? Note

Early Morning (i.e., actually before noon!): At the offices of the Minister, Prince de Charade:

Servant: M’seur Bernard, there’s some sort of formal delegation from one of those German princelings here.
Bernard: Without an appointment? What the **** do they want?
Servant: They say that they have to present a Note to the Prince. (He hands Bernard a slaver with cartes de visite on them).
Bernard: Merde! The Migraine! and she’s coming officially?
Servant: With escort, translators, and attaches, M’seur.
Bernard: I’ll get the Prince prepared. (Sighs) Where are they?
Servant: Since they were on official business, M’seur, I have brought them past the foyer into the hall d’Assemblies.
Bernard: Move them on into the wardrobe, I guess. Serve them coffee and warn them that there may be a delay of (he checks the weather outside) about an hour to an hour and a half ... unless I get lucky.

Both men leave.
Bernard hurries down a back hallway into the groom’s waiting room. Seeing the Prince’s coachman sitting down with a pastry and latte, Bernard hurries over to him.
Bernard: Is he really here already?
Coachman: Oui, M’seur. He’s changing from his travel cloak in the wardrobe now.
Bernard: Now?!
Coachman: Oui?
Bernard hurries rapidly from room in considerable trepidation.

In the Wardrobe (actually, a suite of rooms), the Frankszonian party and the Prince du Charade enter simultaneously. The Prince is still attired in his burgundy and fur trimmed travel cloak and florid hat.
Margravaine Rhabbidiers (nasally): Merci! Your Highness! We did not mean to cause you to rush so suddenly, but we must discuss the note together ... and perhaps it is best that we do so before you have to actually read it.
Charade (somewhat startled and taken aback to find the party there):: It is nothing, my Lady. In Gallia, we do not wish to keep beautiful women waiting too long. I’ve found that they can be quite creative in overcoming such boredom.
A small gasp introduce Bernard, whose pace changes abruptly from a hurried rush to a sedate walk.
Bernard: Your Highness, the envoy of Frankszonia, to deliver a Note of State.
Charade: A Note of State? (he looks back at the Frankszonian contingent, noting the formal uniforms and the presence of an interpreter) If you would pardon me but a moment, my lords and ladies; I must change and ensure that the proper aides are present. In my office in half an hour?
Rhabbidiers: (curtseying) That would be most gracious, My Lord.
Charade: Bernard? (both men exit as other servants enter with trays and a steaming samovar).