Cannonball Read IV

A bunch of Pajibans reading and reviewing and honoring AlabamaPink.

Captain Tuttle’s #CBR4 Review #5 – I Will Repay – Baroness Emmuska Orczy

I decided to work my way through the Scarlet Pimpernel series – this is book two. The prologue starts before the French Revolution. The young Vicomte de Marny has called out the rich (but bourgeois) Paul Deroulede, who has spoken disrespectfully (yet truthfully) about the Vicomte’s inamorata, Adele de Montcheri. The men duel, and Deroulede disarms the Vicomte. Normally that would be the end of it, but the Vicomte won’t let it go. He wants full satisfaction, and goads Deroulede into rejoining the duel. Deroulede tries to take it easier on the youth, but the fool pretty much dives onto the sword, and dies.

The Duc de Marny forces his daughter Juliette to vow to avenge the family on Deroulede. Ten years later, Citizen Deroulede is beloved by the rabble, and declared to be “not dangerous” by Marat, so he has risen high in the Revolutionary government. One day, Juliette de Marny finds herself in his neighborhood, and she incites the crowd so that she has to be saved by Deroulede. He and his family take her in, and protect her. However, she is still bound by her vow, and looks for a way to ruin Deroulede.

Deroulede is friends with Sir Percy Blakeney, who is more of a bit player in this book. Sir Percy tries to talk Deroulede out of a very dangerous undertaking, but Juliette overhears, and uses what she hears to inform on Deroulede. The Terrorists come and search the house. However, while they’re there, Juliette realizes she loves Deroulede, and tries to save him. However, they both end up on trial and condemned. Will they survive? Well, duh. The Scarlet Pimpernel comes to the rescue, in a very clever way, and all is well in the end.

Orczy telegraphs quite a bit of the story, but one doesn’t read these books for the twists. It gets a bit obvious when a very large stranger appears, and begins driving events, but that’s coming from a modern, cynical reader. The books are adventures, and the good guys always win. They’re fun, easy reads, and they are also kind of informative. There are nuggets of information about the atrocities committed by the Terrorists – it wasn’t just beheading the gentry. There was a lot more going on, and the bits of information make me want to do some research and learn more. But not until after I’ve read all the rest of the books.

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