The Impresario (part sixteen)
“The gatekeeper, then, must be sweetened with a bribe
For such a one may at any time be called aside
He cannot leave a fire rage or fainting lady lie
So, make fair claim to’ve been about his duties…
That, Pierre, is what you mean to say.”
But Tortu’s exclamation surprises Pierre no less
Than such a worldly observation
From the lips of Regalus
“No, money is a handy thing,
And at those times it’s needed
I know of nothing better to the purpose.
We will keep ours.”
“Then,” she throws herself in eagerly again,
“Tell me what you’d have me do. For it is done.”
“Patience, love…yes, I beg you let me think aloud.
I do not tell you that I have no plan…”
“He doesn’t,” says the Dauphin, standing. “Regalus, Tortu…”
“The plan…” says Pierre, following; he then trots to the lead
Leaps the gate of a private yard, unlatches this;
Ushers the others before him, and brings his fist
Springing from a crouch to strike the jaw
Of the petty spy who’d trailed them from the alehouse.
“…is real enough.” He strolls to join his fellows.
“In those parts where it exists. I must now
Speak to you of Boniface. You have guessed, he is a
tolerable performer, but no troubadour.
No, my friends, he is an erstwhile Lollard, cast from his county
Thus baited in the proper vein”—Pierre makes a hook of his finger
In the shape of a letter J—“To rise as he aspires
And play sweet justice’s champion
Our ex-knight will appear.”
(2017, Stephanie Foster)