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Wed 15th Dec 2021 08:08


by Bertrand Castillon

March 1615
Paris! I haven't been here since I was a little boy, perhaps 8 or 9. I can't say I have much recollection but it certainly feels bigger than any memory I do have. It is here that I will build myself a life using the only talents and abilities I possess.
My first stop was to meet with a man by the name of Treville. Father knew him according to his journals and those writings led me to King's Musketeers barracks to make introduction. We spoke for a short while and he quizzed me of military matters then tested my skills with a blade. I've always known my skills with a rapier were exceptional, but Treville is a true master! We sparred for no less than half an hour and I never once came close to striking him. I thought for sure he would dismiss me as unfit for the blue tabard so was quite surprised when he offered me membership in their company, and with advanced rank no less! If only Father could see me now, I know he would be proud.
Next I set out to meet with a friend of Marie's, Mlle Roxanne Cavineau. They had met at a party a few years back and taken quickly to friendship. Marie thought she could help me get settled and perhaps assist with employment were I not to find myself with the Musketeers. When we met I stood before her as a dimwitted buffoon, her beauty instantly enchanting me. Marie had never mentioned what grand presence she held and I was scantly prepared when we spoke. What a delightful hostess she was and with each passing moment I could feel my own heart swell with love.
I returned to her a few days later with tokens of my affection. When leaving home for the last time I was able to accumulate only a small amount of coin but did have a beautiful locket once owned by my mother. I presented it to Roxxane as a gift and was surprised to find it not wooing her as I had hoped.
The following week I came back with other gifts, this time of wild flowers I found in the hills of Montrouge and a small poem I had written. I should have known that shiny baubles would not impress her as her own wealth offered all the comforts she could desire, but when I returned with offerings inspired by my own heart, I knew I had captured hers.
Finally, I finished out the final days of the month cheerfully performing my new duties with the Musketeers. I am thankful for the opportunity to serve with such a decorated unit, but also for the substantial pay it provides.
My clothes have become worn from my travels and I fear I bear the appearance of a common laborer and believe the familiar social circles back home would see (and perhaps smell) me unfit for company.

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