Candle in the Window

~ Raven Silvers

Marguerite sat in the coach as she was driven back home from a shopping trip. They were nearly back; she could see the grounds of Sir Percy's coming into view from the window. She had been thinking ever since they had set off, becoming wrapped up in her thoughts as the progressed.

Her husband would still be up, Marguerite knew, if he had returned from France already. He was not there with her, because he and Andrew - and perhaps others of the League of The Scarlet Pimpernel - had been over to France again to save a family of French aristocrats from a ghastly fate at the business end of the guillotine. As the coach entered the gates, heading down the short stretch of road to the front of the house, Lady Blakeney looked up. There it was, the candle burning in the window of her husband's room. No, it was their room now; after that adventure involving Chauvelin - lud, she never wanted to repeat that again - Marguerite and Percy slept in the same room, as married couples should.

Hurry through the night
Past the shuttered houses
Towards a solitary light
Burning in the window
Near a figure in a chair
Always sitting there
Quiet as a prayer

Percy would be sitting by the window, chin resting on his hand, staring out at nothing. One who did not know of his true identity and intelligence might think that the biggest nincompoop of England was lost in some kind of blank stupor. Those who knew him for what he really was, though, knew that it was another case altogether. Marguerite sighed. He was so wise, her husband, but he could share all that he knew with very few people.

Does he close his eyes?
Weary with the weight of being
Suddenly so wise
Tired of the demons
He must sit up there and fight
Deep into the night
Praying that he's right?

Marguerite felt the coach come to a stop, and the footman opened the door for her. Telling him to get the servants to leave the packages she brought back where she usually left her shopping, she decided to take a walk before going up, if only to let Percy have some privacy.

Her memories of her adventure in her motherland were still fresh in Marguerite's mind, and she made her way across the grounds of the Blakeney property, occasionally glancing up at the window. True to form, Percy's light was still bright, part of it blocked out by his massive shadow. She found some odd comfort in that.

Every evening I can see
His shadow on the shade
And I don't feel so alone
So afraid

Oh, how she had loved him when they had first met in Paris. Marguerite, with all her intelligence and wit, had not believed in love at first sight - but this large, handsome man had proved her wrong. She found six feet worth of love in Percy Blakeney, and she felt sorry for the time lost when all she felt for him had been contempt. Why had she not been able to see under the surface, to see the masked hero there?

She loved Percy with everything she had, and was insanely concerned every time he had his French escapades. She had faith in her husband's ability to elude the authorities, but if he was caught...she doubted if even the Prince of Wales would be fast enough to stop his execution.

There's a candle in the window every night
Reflecting all our hopes and dreams
Or so it seems to me as I look up to see
That candle in the window every night
Burning like the yearning to be free
Far away and dim
Kept alive by him

Armand always told her not to worry, but Marguerite couldn't help it. Mentally, she knew that she shouldn't, that the Pimpernel was like a shadow, and that the brave, daring men who acted in accordance with his instructions were more than capable of taking care of themselves and each other.

So, every night, while Percy was making his toilet, Marguerite would go down on her knees and pray that her husband would be kept safe, even though she was not a religious person by nature.

Seven blocks away
Before I go to bed I fall down
On my knees and pray
That he will keep his candle burning
Just a moment more
'til he finds a way
This is what I pray

Marguerite liked walking around the grounds of the palatial house. It gave her time to think, and also, when she looked up at that window, and saw that light, some of her worry was eased from her heart. Dear little Suzanne did not know of her husband's place by the side of the Pimpernel, and Marguerite envied the young French noble; she need not worry as much as Lady Blakeney did. Ignorance was bliss, Marguerite thought, and even though Andrew had considered telling Suzanne about it, both Marguerite and Percy had dissuaded him. No need to make her worry needlessly, they had said.

And I wonder does he see me passing by each night
As I look up to find his patch of light?
There's a candle in the window every night
Reflecting all our hopes and dreams
Or so it seems to me as I look up to see
That candle burning in the window shining bright
Burning like the yearning to be free
Far away and dim
Kept alive by him

Marguerite was coming towards the front of the house already. She looked up again. The candle still burned. Percy was still thinking about his demons. Her husband, her beloved husband - oh, how Marguerite wished that he would stop going over to save the nobility! But she knew he would not, could not; it was in his nature to help people, despite the façade he hid behind. She sighed lightly, stopping at the foot of the steps to the door.

Her husband, the Scarlet Pimpernel, would not stop until he could save most, if not all, of the aristocrats in France.

Marguerite paused, looked up once more; the candle still burned, and she was filled with a kind of amazement and admiration for her husband, and also, at the same time, resolution. Her husband would fight his demons, and Marguerite St. Just would be right there beside him.

Hurry through the night
Towards a solitary light