Blood in the Water
Jean-Marie Rois et Reines du Rogné
Jean-Marie cuts a dashing figure with his precisely trimmed moustache and beard. His hair is dark, and his eyes are gray. His clothing is always neat and clean, and he never dresses out of uniform.
Years ago, Jean-Marie was just a young nobleman trying to make his way up through the ranks of the musketeers when he was assigned to escort Princess Anne du Montaigne on a long journey. She was a talkative companion, and began to chat with him. For the first three days, he hardly said a word, just listening to her endless tirades about people at court. Finally, out of self-preservation more than anything, he asked, “Don’t you do anything but complain?”
Anne’s mouth snapped shut, and she spun around icily to confront the musketeer who had dared to insult her. Encouraged by her extended silence, he continued, “Here we are, surrounded by beautiful scenery on a leisurely ride through the countryside, and all you can do is whine about how your latest ploy to move the next ball from Crieux to Paix was blocked by a clever counterscheme of some lady or another. Why don’t you just enjoy the moment for a change? Ride in silence for an hour or so, and look at the lovely flowers. Stare at the stars and the moon tonight instead of worrying about which gown will be in fashion when you get back to court. What is the point of leaving Charouse if you take it with you?”
Anne turned away from him, and they rode on in silence. She did not speak a single word to the musketeer for the
rest of the journey. As they neared the palace once again he feared that he’d angered her so much that she was going to have him put to death. He was, after all, just a musketeer and he’d spoken very rudely to a member of the royal family. But when the days passed and no one came to drag him away to the executioner, he relaxed and forgot about the incident.
Three months later, he was assigned to escort her on another journey, at her request. As they prepared to depart,
he began a stumbling apology for his snippish behavior on the last journey, but she simply shushed him. They spent
that trip in absolute silence, and the one after that, and the one after that.
A year later, the two were married with the Empereur’s blessing. The Captain of the Musketeers was retiring, and
Anne had whispered in Léon’s ear that it would be a good idea to place a relative in that position. Jean-Marie received
the post as a dowry thanks to Anne’s clever politicking. Since then, Jean-Marie’s life has only been truly fulfilling
when he is home with his wife. They spend their evenings together quietly, often holding hands. Sometimes they look at the stars; sometimes they read together. Seldom do they speak. Both of them must talk all day long, and it is a relief to come home to some peace and quiet.
At work, Jean-Marie must often do things he doesn’t want to do. He has had to divert food from starving villages to fatten cattle in the countryside, shoot protesting citizens, and turn peasants over to be executed for stealing a crust of bread. He has tried to make up for these deeds in small ways, spending his personal fortune on food and alms for the poor, and he is loved by the peasants for his kindness, but he wonders if he could do more.
After the Count pressed Jean-Marie into making Noella a musketeer to it seems that Jean-Marie was finally fed up with watching the innocent suffer. When Remy rose up to challenge Noella to a duel, Jean-Marie laid claim as captain of the musketeers to fight in her stead. Remy was always the better swordsman and he hoped for luck to be by his side.
Luck wasn’t but his men and the peasantry were. After being severely wounded his men opened fire on Remy just before he could land a killing blow. The peasants seeing the musketeers shoot dead the leader of the lightning guard they rushed the guillotine.