From Nancy: Patsy continues with her review of The Scarlet Pimpernel, written by Baroness Emmuska Orczy and first published in 1905.

As the story progresses, we meet Chauvelin, the villian of the novel, whom Marguerite knew in Paris, “when she reigned–a queen–over the intellectual coterie of the Rue de Richelieu.” Chauvelin is described by the author as being “…nearer forty than thirty–a clever, shrewd-looking personality, with a curious foxlike expression in the deep, sunken eyes.”

Chauvelin finds Marguerite alone at a party and threatens the life of Armand, her brother, if she does not do his bidding. She is to procure a note given to Sir Andrew Ffoulkes by the Scarlet Pimpernel, in which Chauvelin expects to find upcoming plans for a rescue. If Marguerite does not, he threatens her brother with death. She is distraught over exposing the heroic Scarlet Pimpernel whom she greatly admires. In the end Chauvelin frightens her so much she finds the note and delivers it to him.

On the way home from the party, she is in emotional turmoil. She reveals her distress to her husband, pleading with him to forgive her for this along with all past errors and to restore their marriage. She still does not suspect he is indeed the Pimpernel. He responds cordially, but not warmly. He plans to depart early the next morning. Marguerite, having suffered a sleepless night, finds a note he has left at her door. She goes to Sir Percy, catching him before he leaves, and pleads with him to trust her once again and to help her brother. He agrees to help her brother, but posing to be on some other errand.  He intends to twist his plans in order to foil Chauvelin and his evil plot.

It is only about three hours after he leaves that the notion comes into Marguerite’s head that her husband is the Scarlet Pimpernel. She realizes the absolute ingenuity of acting the way he has as the perfect cover up. She feels compelled to follow him to Paris with the aid of Sir Andrew Ffoulkes, who can help her warn him of Chauvelin’s evil scheme.

A storm is brewing in the English Channel and the pair cannot leave till the following day. They leave and pursue Sir Percy. Marguerite is mentally and emotionally distressed and looses much sleep. Over the course of several days, Sir Percy eludes Chauvelin’s every attempt to kill him and Armand. In the end, he rescues Marguerite, who has come under the command of Chauvelin, who leaves her, helpless, outside a cottage near the coast. Percy finds her, Armand and others and sails back to England. Percy is filled with love and forgiveness for his brave and faithful wife. Chauvelin is foiled again, never to be seen or heard of by the gallant Percy. All is well and love and peace have reigned.

The Scarlet Pimpernel contains a wonderful theme of forgiveness and sacrifice. Sir Percy would gladly give his life for those he served. Lady Marguerite learns to forgive and sacrifice her life for that of her husband’s. They both forgive Chauvelin.  Many lives are saved as a result of their sacrifice.

Patsy Ledbetter says she has many titles, but her favorite is being mom to her five children. Her two daughters, two sons and one son-in-law are her joy. A teacher with forty years experience Patsy has taught children of all ages and also special needs children and adults. She writes occasionally for a local newspaper and performs in church theater productions on a regular basis. Her husband is the church choir and orchestra director. They have been married for 32 years. She says, “It is my desire to bring honor and glory to my Lord Jesus in every area where He has allowed me to minister.”