The Unsuspecting Tour GuideFinal Installment
As promised, Sebastien Vuillermoz arrived on my parent’s doorstep a few days later to see how Lizzie and I were doing. It was a lovely May day, the clouds having finally receded to allow the sun some space in the pockets of blue sky above. A light, sweet breeze wafted through the trees lining the Rue de Monceau, rustling their verdant leaves gently.
Lizzie Drewry and I were in the parlor when the butler showed in our caller. We had found common ground over the last few days, following our adventure. At present, she was attempting to teach me how to play bridge, which was an adventure in and of itself.
“M. Vuillermoz to see you, mademoiselle,” the butler announced, and we both looked up to see Vuillermoz framed in the doorway. He had on a cleanly pressed suit and hazel cravat that matched his eyes, a hat in his hands.
“Bonjour, mesdemoiselles,” he greeted us with a slight smile.
“Bonjour, Monsieur Vuillermoz,” I replied, echoed by Lizzie. “Will you join us?”
He sat down, and the two of us ladies set aside our cards. Lizzie smoothed the skirt of her new dress; using my rather surprising powers of influence, I had arranged a fitting for her at Chanel’s, and one of the gowns from her new wardrobe had been rush-delivered this morning. Gone was the naive tourist, except for those mischievously big eyes. In her place was a young lady with very sophisticated Parisian taste.
“You seem to have recovered from the mishaps of the other night?” he remarked, part question, part observation. I smiled.
“Indeed. I would almost say we were the better for it, although I could have done without some of the anxiety.”
Vuillermoz chuckled. “Well,” he said. “That is good, then. ”
He lingered long enough to share coffee with us, and Praeker’s fabulous Spekulatius, then he rose to depart again.
“Will you leave so soon?” I said, not realizing that an hour had sped by our small company.
“I have a deadline, I’m afraid, mademoiselle,” he apologized. “The Times does not wait.”
Sighing, I pushed myself to my feet so that I might see him to the door. Lizzie stayed behind to tidy up.
“You and Mlle Drewry seem to be on better terms with one another,” Vuillermoz observed as he replaced his hat in the foyer.
“We are,”I agreed. “I never gave her a chance before, because I was peeved at having to squire around our American tourist. She’s quite sweet, though, and plays a mean hand at cards. I think the rest of the summer will be quite agreeable.”
“I am glad to hear it.”
“Will you call again?” I asked as he stepped over the threshold, into the sunlight. Looking back at me, he replied,
“If I may.”
He smiled, tipping his hat. As he descended the stairs, he called back casually, “Then you may as well call me Sebastien.”
“And you may call me Camille,”I returned, somehow inordinately pleased with myself. “Au revoir, Sebastien!”
Au revoir, indeed.