When our walk concluded, my wife and I eventually returned to our rooms to clean up and ready ourselves for supper. Another meal might offer me the opportunity to complete my secret mission for King and Country.
That night there was a supper laid out in the upper rooms of the town hall. The court and guests were all in attendance followed by Josephine. While there were fewer guards, there was a table of well-dressed French commanders and generals just behind me who were relaxing, drinking and telling stories in an animated fashion. This particular meal was more in the style of a buffet, making it an ideal opportunity to administer my dose covertly, but as it turned out, Bonaparte did not see fit to attend. I was crestfallen.
After the dishes were removed, I passed the time by playing cards with Mr. Evans and Mr. Flory. I taught them how to play One & Thirty and won every hand against Mr. Evans, relieving him of his pocket full of Italian bills. At one point my wife nudged me to quietly alert me to the fact that Josephine had taken notice of our game and seemed to have cast a disapproving glance upon the venture. Mr. Evans seemed agreeable to continue our game, asking if I would accept his note of hand. I was about to let him know that I would when the exit doors were filled with armed French soldiers.
They were here to escort us down into the square where we were met by Bonaparte. An impromptu parade formed that lead back to the park behind Château de Bois-Préau. The party was lead under arms as the public crushed in around us. They followed us back to the private area where Bonaparte's tent stood and we were treated to a magnificent display of fireworks.
The display seemed to originate from the back of Château de Bois-Préau and was as lovely a presentation as I have ever seen.
…to be concluded
Have you spotted the little green bottle yet? Keep looking!
Special thanks to the photographers who have allowed me to make use of their amazing pictures:
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