THE ADVENTURES OF
MONSIEUR DE LA DONAREE
A Swashbuckling, Romantic Adventure
by: Ted Anthony Roberts
The Life of a Musketeer
After having had such a harsh ordeal with such an aggressive duel, the victor, afterwards, heads straight toward his apartment. The confrontation had gone by so quickly, that it sort of leaves his head spinning; leaving him also wondering what had caused such a painstaking battle, and for what reason the two men tried to kill one another. Being somewhat confused, ascertaining the scenario of the earlier bout, he can not easily or readily guess the answer; so, all the way to his apartment, he constantly tries to unravel the small puzzle in his mind.
By the time he reaches his destination, a near by clock strikes the morning hour of 6:30 am. He walks into his apartment, shuts the door behind him and heads straight towards a chair - the which he practically falls into. Immediately, upon this descent, his mind, as it did on the way there, becomes clouded with extreme thoughts. Why has this man, who seems to him to be a noble, challenged him to combat? He does not even know the man. But he does know, or at least he thinks he knows, that he did not wrong him in any way to cause him to jump to such anger.
As his thoughts progress, he begins to see, and to remember, what had led up to the situation. Just by merely walking the streets the evening before, his rival bumped into him, which seemed intentionally. And not apologizing for this apparent blunder, he instead started cursing him whom he bumped.
"Excuse me!" roars the challenged. "But you, sir, bumped into me."
"Are you calling me a liar?" bellows back the other, with bitter disdain and sarcasm. "I say you ran into me, and without saying you were sorry. Instead, you call me a liar!"
"I resent that." says the challenged, with ever increasing anger.
Without another word, the challenger immediately tore off his left glove and struck it across the face of his opponent. On pure instinct, the other began to draw his sword.
"No, not here, if you please. I will not run the risk of being arrested for merely having the pleasure of killing you."
"Pleasure, is it? Where and when!"
"The ....Luxembourg.... gardens, at dawn."
"You can count on your life that I will be there!"
"Why, you have laughable bravery. You are too young for such quarrelsome boasts. Already, in my forty three years, I have killed twenty men in duels."
"Remembering the good old days, are you? Well, cherish them, my friend: for they say that the memory, in such a ripe old age as yours, is the first thing that will go."
The "elder" knits his brows to this menacing gesture.
"I am not as young as you may think, my ripe old friend," the young man continues, "let not this youthful appearing exterior fool your aging eyes. My years upon this earth may appear brief to one as ancient as yourself, but I am not the timid adolescent you think me to be. Twenty two years am I."
"Cub!" the challenger screeches. "Your youthful vain tongue will be the first member to leave your baby body."
"Until tomorrow then, my ancient friend," says the 'cub,' bowing, "I pray your heart will not fail you before then. The night is closing in, and your rest is needed so you will be able to walk onto the battlefield."
The challenger quickly tears himself away from the young man, in fear that his anger may overtake him - causing him not to wait for morning to destroy this unbearable youth.
But what had followed the next day, seemed to the young man to be incredible: the apparently brave individual of whom had challenged him the evening before, had turned the very next morning, it would seem, into a shaken and nervous person. This condition of the other is what confused the mind of the young man the most. It was, and still is, completely beyond his understanding. But one thing is for certain, that even though he appeared beside himself with grief, he fully intended to go on through with the duel; but he, as we have learned in Chapter 1, had lost the combat, and this apparent disaster slightly touched the younger man. Not only did the young man's strong anger, with had flourished since the night before, totally cease, but he began even to pity the older gentleman. By throwing the coins at his feet, however, he felt a bit reconciled with the wound which he had delivered him.
But what was the reason the duel happened in the first place? The bump, without doubt, was intentional from the older man. The reasoning of this challenge, however, is a total mystery.
"Maybe time will reveal the answer." the young man says to himself. "But it is now apparent that he wanted me dead for some reason; the which I cannot figure why. I know not too many people in ....Paris...., for it has not been long since my arrival here - less than three years."
After about an hour of these observations, the young man, a bit tired from the strain of the morning bout, falls asleep; and, unlike his nature, sleeps the entire day without stirring.
Now, while this young man sleeps, I (the story-teller) would like for you (the reader), who at this time is standing in the young man's apartment with me, to start walking around and to observe the contents of his living quarters, so we can see exactly who this young man is, who has struck an apparent cord in our lives. It is most curious to learn deeply who he is, for he will, for the remainder of this extraordinary tale, fulfill our lives with ever increasing excitement, until the dramatic and anticipated climatic ending is reached, which we shall boldly witness together. So therefore, dear reader, for the moment, take my hand into your own, and let us walk, side by side, to see what we can learn . . . .
His apartment, which is located on the rue des Fossoyeurs, only two blocks from St. Sulpice, consists of a salon, a huge bedroom and even a small anteroom. This apartment is extremely beautiful, nice and spacious, with even the front door being trimmed in golden fleur-de-lis. You will think you are in royal quarters while just stepping into the antechamber. Placed in the center of the salon is a beautiful royal-blue centerpiece rug, with two large matching chairs sitting on top; one of which the young man is asleep in. The chairs face a rock-based fireplace that has an oak mantle surrounding it. In the east-side of the room is a small Swiss desk with a little chair sitting in front of it. This desk is holding a feather pen, which sits in an ink-well, and blank writing paper is set beside it. The bedroom holds a large-sized bed, that also is set on top another rug - this one being embroidered in golden thread. A huge chest, a sitting chair and a small window decorates the north-side bedroom wall; and, also, there is a closet full of clothes that are very expensive in their appearance. The anteroom contains benches for waiting, and two small oil paintings of a war-like nature are hung on its walls. The entire living quarters, in a collective sum, possesses a flare of the utmost in luxury.
And who is this young man who lives in this fine apartment? Who is this young man of which we are visiting in this tale? This, dear friends, as you already know, is Monsieur de La Donaree. And how does the hero of this tale appear? His eyes are dark, yet mild. His face is handsome, with a serene and honest look. His skin complexion is mild, slightly tanned. Above his medium sized lips he wears a small, thin, narrow and neatly trimmed dark moustache. Below his lips resides a narrow beard that ends just below the chin. His thick, wavy black hair falls casually to his shoulders, and has been cared for with proper attention; a care in which his whole person, in every detail, receives full advantage. This man is quiet large in size: his arms produce well shaped muscles, his chest is well developed and his shoulders are broad and straight - quiet a strong man! His birth gave him a serious nature, but he often laughs at life's pleasures.
Monsieur Donaree, who became a Musketeer only two months ago, and being no ordinary man or soldier, as we will later observe, was born, as fortune has so kindly smiled upon his person, with great finances adhered to his name. His family, apprehending great wealth, had bought nobility to the name of Donaree in the early half of the sixteenth century. But money, even if it were in considerably small amounts, did always seem to flow from the purses of this affluent family. Donaree was born on the twenty-fifth of November, 1645, at ..Normandy.., ..France.., in a town called ..Rouen.., which is approximately seventy miles north-west of ....Paris..... Normandy (being the birth place of the Normans who conquered and besieged the Saxons of Old England), is extreme in its natural beauty, and is an excellent place to visit during Spring while the true green colours pour from its grasses, and eludes in abundance from its varied trees. Donaree's childhood, which he considers a satisfactory one, can be thought somewhat, if not tremendously, different compared to a normal child of the realm. His upbringing was very rich, as only a handful of children can experience. As most children were responsible for feeding the few farm animals their families could afford, and helping around their homes with daily chores, Donaree's father had his son constantly train for battle; he would teach him how to act properly in the king's court and in the king's presence, and he filled his head with a vast amount of schooling. In ....France.... at this time, many citizens of the country are very poor in finances and are not able to send their children to the few schools that poorly support the local towns and villages. If one of these said town or villages are lucky enough, a school tutor will start a local school for those who are able to afford to send their children. But, the times being as they are, many families cannot afford such high living (high living - as it appears to the poor), and work around the farm, anyway, will go un-attended; therefore, many children grow without the knowledge of reading or writing. This, however, was not the case for Donaree. Instead of sending him to a local school, however, Donaree's father sent for a tutor to come all the way from ....Paris.... to teach his only child in poetry, geometry, mathematics, Latin, the sciences, astronomy and history. Imagine the effect this had on a young man: it left him quiet and thoughtful. This is the reason why he rarely speaks unless spoken to, and his thinking is of the utmost importance. His intelligence extends further than that of a regular soldier, and all together his education reaches to that of a Prince of the royal blood.
Not only did Donaree's father send for a school tutor, but he also sent for a fencing instructor. This instructor, being the best to be had in ....Paris...., was known even to give a few lessons to king Louis XIII. himself at times. As he was taught from childhood, Donaree has learned some moves (inventing some himself) that can out-wit some of the greatest fencers in the known world. To this day, there is yet to be anyone to match his blade; perhaps he is the best swordsman in ....France.... - perhaps he is the best in the world. But one thing can be truthfully said about Donaree's upbringing and character, and blessed he is because of the result, that even though he has received things no ordinary person could within their lifetime, he has resulted into a generous and God-fearing man; and he feels that he is not above others.
His first name is hardly known to anyone in ....Paris..... When he signed on as a cadet, he signed his name Donaree. Therefore, everyone called him Monsieur Donaree, until it was learned that he is of a noble birth: now he is known as Monsieur de La Donaree. But Paul is his first name. So, since an only child, and able to collect the Chateau Donaree after his father's death, his full name is Monsieur Paul, vicomte de La Donaree. But this "vicomte" (that is: viscount), is practically unknown to anyone. On the day of his father's death, Donaree will automatically collect the family inheritance, the Chateau and the title of count.
The only thing that separates Donaree from other men is the fact that he was born rich and is well educated. Donaree is not at all talkative, and most of the time he keeps to himself - but not too much so, for he does have a lady friend, a very beautiful lady friend: a woman of such extreme beauty, that even Louis XIV. himself has taken notice of her! But Donaree, lucky as he is, was the one man who has stolen her heart, and many, many men envy him for it. The one thing she loves most about Donaree is the fact that he is not a cruel man in any form or fashion, and that he always keeps his anger in check - most of the time, that is.
The man, unbelievably, is not at all lazy, and has no servant to tend to him; he merely considered that a servant would only be in his way, so he gave the idea no more thought. He also has a hobby which he does in his spare time: he collects old weaponry of any sort and displays them all over the whole of his apartment.
Donaree has very high morals in life, which shows from his person and living quarters - he loves nothing but the very best. Thus, Monsieur Paul, viscount de La Donaree is a generous man, who enjoys the riches and opportunities of an adventurous and happy life.