A young man walked along the dark wet streets of Paris as big rain drops pelted down on him. He was walking with quick strides and seemed to be in a hurry. On reaching the brass door on the end of the street he quickly scooped down and retrieved a key from under the door frame let himself in. “Jacque, is that you?” a feeble voice called out. An old lady sat in the corner of a darkened room. The room had an air of untidiness, which the dim light of the lamp only enhanced. The young man went to the hearth and started stirring the fire without saying anything. At the slightest noise he kept looking expectantly back at the door.
It was as though he was waiting for someone or something to happen. “What is happening outside? I heard an uproar for some time and then everything went quiet” “don’t fret yourself, it was probably nothing.” “Then why aren’t you at the mansion at this time, tell me Jacque, answer me” “don’t bother me! There is enough to worry me already, the republic has been announced and an army of revolutionist has attacked the mansion and they must be raiding it as we speak.” Jacque burst out with frustration.
Suddenly there was a knock at the door. Jacque leapt to get it. A bald man dripping wet entered the room. He wore a ragged coat and had a gun hanging over his shoulder. “Philippe! Philippe! Thank god you are here; I have been waiting for you” Jacque cried out on seeing him. “Good, good, you didn’t go out? Good. I came as soon as I could. They still think you are one of the Marquis’s men. I had to hold to them off. You did manage to get hold of the family’s gold, didn’t you? Good, good. Excellent.” The man named Philippe was a short stout middle aged man with an air of urgency in his actions. He kept shaking off water from his clothes and his eyes darted from left to right. Jacque quickly led him towards the fire and looked up at him expectantly. “Yes, yes rest assured, there will be no trouble” “But I heard that they are not leaving anyone who didn’t help in bringing the monarchy down” “Nonsense I gave you my word, just hand over the gold you snitched from the Marquis. That will hold them off and spare your life. Give it to me I’ll hand it over to them” “wait here I brought it along in the afternoon break.” Jacque hurried towards the back of the room and pulled out a red purse from under the stone floor. He brought the purse to Philippe. He snatched the purse from him and weighted with relish. “Think yourself as one of us” He got up and started for the door. Suddenly there was a racket of noise. It seemed a frenzied mob was right outside on the street. Philippe turned and grinned at Jacque and headed for the door again. As soon as he opened the door a mob spilled into the room. “Get him. Kill him. He is a bloody traitor trying to make me lie for him” Philippe said savagely. Jacque stood wide eyed and speechless, “Philippe, Philippe.. what are you doing ..you said..” take him away what are you waiting for get him out of here and kill his mother too she is of no use.” The men in ragged uniforms dragged Jacque out on the streets amid the cries of "Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic! Long live the Republic!"