Story of Camille Desmoulins during the French Revolution.
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Novels by Katherine Pym
The French Revolution is raging. Camille Desmoulins, a pamphleteer and journalist, and a man devoted to his wife, Lucile, harbors a malevolent secret. His quill carries poisoned ink. He writes with misdirected passion that leads to the destruction of lives who come in contact with his writings.
Impetuous, and filled with satirical wit, Camille runs in the same circles as Robespierre and Danton, but it is not until 1793 that he finally tires of the Terror and pleads for clemency.
But will clemency save him and his loved ones from a terrible fate?
The café was crowded. Camille watched Robespierre drink water while everyone else drank wine. He was about to reflect on the unique qualities of his friend when a young man burst into the café and skidded to a halt in the middle of the room.
“Necker!” he cried. “Has been dismissed and expelled from France. The king told him to leave last night. Our savior is gone!” and he burst into tears.
In the hue and cry that followed, meals were forgotten. Tankards of wine slammed onto tables.
Necker was the only one who could bring the dwindling treasury funds to heel. The only one who could save France from financial bankruptcy, and the king had dismissed him under a cloak of secrecy.
The enormity of the deed struck Camille like a cannonball. How vile. Was the king truly mad? Only a tenuous veil held the country together. Tear it, and there would be revolt.
Camille grabbed hold of Robespierre’s coat lapels. “I’m off to Paris and the Palais-Royal. The general citizenry must know. Will you come?”
Robespierre slapped away Camille’s hands. “No, I will go home. I see violence afoot and want no part of it.”
“As you wish.” Camille stood in a rush.
His foot hit the table leg. Wine sloshed over the rim of the tankard, and Camille watched the red fluid spread across the tabletop. It slipped over the edge to form a red stain on his friend’s waistcoat and breeches.
Robespierre jumped to his feet, his lips trembling in anger. He gazed balefully at Camille.
The sheer intensity of his friend’s regard stabbed sudden alarm through Camille, but he shook it off. He was mistaken. Robespierre’s eyes did not flash hate. The table was not stained with blood. No blood soaked Robespierre’s clothes.
Nothing could destroy their friendship. Robespierre would always love him.
The red stain was only wine.
Yes, only wine.