It was apparent to all, except perhaps to Pirouette herself, that the Princess was weakening against GarGar’s winning ways. Renowned for his kindness, humility and jocularity, even the most hardened cynic would eventually give way to le comte des Deux Chats. As Princess Pirouette was neither hard nor cynical, it was inevitable that the iciness in her heart would begin to melt. When he wasn’t staging impromptu concerts beneath her bedroom window, he was sending her little gifts and love notes, scented with jasmine, her favorite scent. He even went so far as to induce Abigail Hoffenhoff to purloin one of her shoes, which he then returned filled with candy and a diamond bracelet.
The final love blow came during a masquerade ball at the palace. One of Pirouette’s many admirers had the effrontery to pull her mask from her face and attempt to kiss her. GarGar, le comte des Deux Chats, saw this and was outraged. He immediately pulled a glove from his hand and slapped the offender in the face with it. “Sir!” He said loudly enough to silence the orchestra. “I challenge you to a duel! My aide-de-camp, François will act as my second. Pick your second and we shall meet at dawn in the place of your choosing, with the weapons of your choice!” The poor offender fled the ball, which recommenced as if nothing had occurred. The next day, the entire court was shocked to learn that GarGar’s intended opponent had fled the Capital and gone into hiding.