We returned to France, our trip uneventful this time. No storms, no slips of any kind. Life in France was better in some ways than in England… here it was not frowned upon, but a good thing to a mistress to a member of the Royal family! Francois was at first as infatuated with Marie as Henry had been. He was married to a Spanish Royal by the name of Isabel. Her brother was Juan Carlos of Spain, the current King. Theirs’ had been an arranged marriage, a contract between countries and neither Francois or Isabel were very invested in the marriage, at least it seemed that way at the time? Isabel was a serious, well educated, proper wife who accepted the affair for what it was. She made her feelings well known, that at least if he was with Marie, he was not bothering or interfering with her life. Not that she liked Marie… No, far from that! She called Marie out often for what she was, a Royal bed warmer and nothing else!
When Marie got herself with child again, she once again had high expectations and hopes! Francois had no heirs… it was rumored that one would actually have sleep with one’s spouse in order for that to happen? In France, it was far easier and more acceptable to gain legitimacy for one’s illegitimate offspring so Marie was resting assured that her child would provide for her future wealth either way. And, true enough, when the child was a girl, Marguirite DeFrance, Francois took steps to legitimize her and make her his heiress should he not produce a son with Isabel.
It was around this time that Francois’ and Isabel’s families began their campaign to force the couple into setting aside any differences and producing said heir! This would naturally pose a difficulty for Marie? Marie decided then to start stacking the cards in her favor. She was of the opinion that she should have both children in her care just to be on the safe side.
Marie suddenly became for all appearances, a devoted Mother only interested and concerned for the well being and futures of her daughters. I always felt that Marie was one of the most talented performers of the time! She begged leave of Francois, telling him that now she had this second daughter, she was heart broken at the leaving of Jane in England. I am not so sure if he truly believed her, or he found it agreeable to send her and the babe away for a while? I know he had some doubts, as he bade me to watch over his child and see no harm come to her in any way. So, just as once before with Jane, I was now responsible for a child’s well being… I who did not even particularly care so much for children! I will also admit that at that time, had it come down to my life or theirs, I can not honestly say whose I would save? The only life I could say honestly I would not have saved would have been Marie’s!
Back in England, Marie again played the heart broken devoted Mother in order to gain safe keeping of young Jane. Henry now had his heir, and the two older daughters were causing him difficulties. Perhaps he, as with Francois, was looking for an agreeable way to not have to deal with another daughter for a while? Marie was allowed to take Jane to France with strict stipulations on the girl’s upbringing, education and Henry would still retain control over the girl’s future, as in when and who she would marry!
Now, we were in France again… there was peace in the household for a time. Marie was now a very wealthy woman with some considerable status as Mother to two Royal blooded daughters! She was happy, and when she was happy, so could be those around her.
Not long later though, troubles started again for us. I am not quite certain what happened… I believe it had to do with Marie over stepping her boundaries, pushing her luck and not being satisfied with all she had? She knew that once Jane reached the reasonable marriage age, Henry would resume control of her and she would be required to return to England. There was also some discussion on Marguirite’s future? No heir seemed to be forthcoming to Francois and Isabel, and it was put forth that perhaps Marguirite should be raised in the Royal household, adopted as legitimate. Now, if Marie had been of a more rational mind, she might have agreed to both of these things and accepted the compensation being offered to her, which would still have left her a very wealthy woman!
Unfortunately for all of us, Marie was not a rational woman. What she chose to do instead spoke disaster for all of us. She turned to someone I trusted as little as her! Marie had a brother who had made that Witch’s Storm crossing with us. Shortly after our arrival, he and some of the others quickly made their way out of England and disappeared. I always assumed that when we all parted ways, it was because we could not in good faith or conscience remain in a group and keep silent? I thought everyone parted and went their separate ways to keep the secret to their souls… something I realize that I most assuredly should have done myself! I never questioned or thought that Marie had kept in touch with any of them, even her brother Gerard. To my dismay, he arrived in France to meet with Marie. He stayed only long enough for a private meeting with her then was on his way and I never saw him again?
What happened later, I hold him as much or more responsible for than Marie! By this time Marie seemed to be suffering from the feeling that the life she had built up was unraveling around her? She was not rational, or for that matter even lucid at times! She had developed agonizing headaches, of which I too have experienced often. I often wonder it they are side affects of the slips? Marie began to have periods of delusions and would occasionally insist that people were trying to kill us? I think Gerard saw some of this and used to what he thought was his advantage.
Shortly after his visit, Marie insisted that the children were in danger and must sent away to be kept safe? No amount of my trying to reassure her changed her mind. Most likely because at the same time, Gerard was sending her messages telling her just the opposite! When I refused to go along with her plans, she turned calm and deadly to me? She swore that she along with Gerard and others from the ship would come forward and speak of my delusions about traveling in time? She would tell others of my treasonous past and how I covered up my real name and my lineage in order to side with the French over the English, that I was nothing more than some sort of a spy seeking information from both countries? She calmly told me that when she and the others were finished, I would have no home or country to call my own? I was young and terrified! She might have been delusional but some of what she said was truth and if others backed her up in her accusations, what little of life I had would not be worth living!
I knew not what else to do, I went along with her plan, not even knowing the half of it? I did what I was told to do for fear of my life, and yes, in fear for the life of the children as well. I did not, do not care much for children in general, but these girls, I had become fond of! I was responsible for them and I could not rightly leave any child to the care of Marie! That went against any decency and moral thoughts I had left!
So, I took the girls off to the hidden and isolated place of Marie’s direction. A place that Gerard had bade her send us to, we would be safe there. We traveled to a remote village named Dragon Valley and an ancient castle there.