A shout of rapturous delight greeted this uncanny apparition.
Juliette, like the true woman she was, had found all her energy and spirits now that she felt that she had an important part to play. She woke from her dream to realise that noble friends had risked their lives for the man she loved and for her.
Of herself she did not think; she only remembered that her presence of mind, her physical and mental strength, would be needed to carry the rescue to a successful end.
Therefore with the rags of a Paris tricotteuse she had also donned her personality. She played her part valiantly, and one look at the perfection of her disguise was sufficient to assure the leader of this band of heroes that his instructions would be carried through to the letter.
Deroulede too now looked the ragged sansculotte to the life, with bare and muddy feet, frayed breeches, and shabby, black-shag spencer. The four men stood waiting together with Juliette, whilst Sir Percy gave them his final instructions.
“We’ll mix with the crowd,” he said, “and do all that the crowd does. It is for us to see that that unruly crowd does what we want. Mademoiselle de Marny, a thousand congratulations. I entreat you to take hold of my friend Deroulede’s hand, and not to let go of it, on any pretext whatever. La! not a difficult task, I ween,” he added, with his genial smile; “and yours, Deroulede, is equally easy. I enjoin you to take charge of Mademoiselle Juliette, and on no account to leave her side until we are out of Paris.”
“Out of Paris!” echoed Deroulede, with a troubled sigh.
“Aye!” rejoined Sir Percy boldly; “out of Paris! with a howling mob at our heels causing the authorities to take double precautions. And above all remember, friends, that our rallying cry is the shrill call of the sea-mew thrice repeated. Follow it until you are outside the gates of Paris. Once there, listen for it again; it will lead you to freedom and safety at last. Aye! Outside Paris, by the grace of God.”
The hearts of his hearers thrilled as they heard him. Who could help but follow this brave and gallant adventurer, with the magic voice and the noble bearing?
“And now en route!” said Blakeney finally, “that ass Santerre will have dispersed the pack of yelling hyenas with his cavalry by now. They’ll to the Temple prison to find their prey; we’ll in their wake. A moi, friends! and remember the sea-gull’s cry.”
Deroulede drew Juliette’s hand in his.
“We are ready,” he said; “and God bless the Scarlet Pimpernel.”
Then the five men, with Juliette in their midst, went out into the street once more.
It was not difficult to guess which way the crowd had gone; yells, hoots, and hoarse cries could be heard from the farther side of the river.