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Nicole Cavalier
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Shop helper, former pickpocket
Civilian Admin
[align=center]PROTECTION[/align]
[align=right]19-th of October 1719[/align]

Madameís lover is back for a few days. This is good for the whole household, as we have done what we could, getting the roof patched, the window recovered and everything cleaned up, but the chimney is still broken and we are out of supplies. Not to mention out of money, which might be more tragical in the current situation of the market. We lost enough drying plants due to the broken window which left all the rain and wetness into the storeroom where the freshly bought plants were drying. We also had to pay our neighbours, for their help, in kind, as no money were left after the huge foodstuff price increases now.

His arrival was God sent. He gave the money needed for the remaining repairs and for resupply. He also ordered lots of camphor balls, to be sent to all the Navy ships in the port, to keep the sailors healthy. He was wearing one too. I told him that the order might need a few days to be honoured, and that Iíll try my best to manage with it. In the worst case, I would recommend him other suppliers for the quantity I canít meet.

I am starting to understand how useful is for some women having an upperclass protector. If I think well, in some cases it might be even better than having a husband, because having a husband allows a woman even less freedom. Dowry, property, everything belongs to him and she canít take a decision without her husband. And having a husband who leaves a woman for another and doesnít give her money to raise her children anymore is nothing better than having a protector who leaves her for a younger woman. The results are the same.

For Madameís sake, who is so young and inexperienced, and madly in love with him, I hope she will succeed to keep his interest for a long time. And that he wonít be recalled too soon back to France, how it happened with the Governor.

Not that it truly might have happened to me, but even if it had, I donít think I would have liked having a protector. I think I would still have felt like a bird in a cage, even if he was the one I am thinking about - the kind Navy officer who hadnít wanted to tell me his name. I have learnt it, anyway, about a month after our encounter, during the festival celebrating the change of power between the former and the present governor. The handsome officer was actually the Governorís son.

I sort of liked him, and it was the only encounter with a man that hadnít left me a bitter taste. It might have been enough to have followed his call if he wanted me another time, right then, when I had an important reason to need money: my fatherís medicine and the household upkeep in general.

Yes, he was arrogant, like all noblemen - but he ultimately didnít use his power. He had been considerate and kind. He had given me a choice, and I could have left, when he had told me that I might, without consequences and after having eaten a good meal like it hadnít happened for a long time. But then it was Ö maybe curiosity, maybe still the feeling that I was indebted to him for not having turned me to the soldiersÖ and for everything else.

I donít regret that night in early August, but I am not Cinderella from the stories. I wouldnít like being his toy, in a cage, always at his will, then being kicked when another girl strikes his fancy.

It is good that Madame Lucia has a protector, and that he is the only one who could save us and the shop from collapse now; but I wouldnít want one. Maybe the years in the streets made me cherish my freedom more.
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A Dream Worth Keeping · Message in a bottle