The Imperial Ambassador, Monsieur de la Laideur saw his chance to speak semi-privately with Princess Pirouette, he seized the opportunity. While the orchestra played a subtle minuet, he bowed low before Her Royal Highness and took her gloved hand in his, leading her onto the dance floor. After six years at court, Pirouette could dance a minuet with her eyes closed, so rather than look the ambassador in those watery orbs that he called his eyes, she closed hers while they moved across the floor. “I trust Your Royal Highness is well?” was his unimaginative opening remark.
“As well as can be expected…” replied Pirouette ominously.
“Expected?” Repeated Monsieur de la Laideur. “Expected? Is there something amiss with Her Royal Highness’ health?”
Shrugging off the ambassador’s question, Princess Pirouette said, “I understand that you visited the King in his clock-making workshop. Did you find the experience edifying?”
The music stopped abruptly as the old King hobbled back to his throne. His official mistress, la duchess du Linge helped steady him as he mounted the steps of the dais. Monsieur de la Laideur pursed his lips as he watched the poor old King plop himself into his throne. His Majesty waved a hand to indicate that the music should continue, but by that time, Pirouette had extricated herself from the ambassadors clutches and moved quickly toward the dais, where she too had a little throne at the King’s right hand. “Forgive me,” was all she said to the hapless representative of the Emperor.