Sara found she was wearing a tulle blouse, the fresh, damp breeze of twilight that was wrapping up everything and a veil of inexplicable melancholy - or perhaps nostalgia - which crossed her chest. She moved quickly and lightly, as the steps of a creature of the night, among the contorted shadows of the trees which were prepared to become ghosts and fill with fear walkers. She knew she was a princess. An Indian princess. But she was in a foreign country: colonial England. She stopped behind a willow trunk to listen a whispered conversation between two noblemen. One of them, Sir Lawrence, was the young officer who had stolen her heart. Only now, gathering those words heard in the darkness, she realized that it had never been her love to attract him, but the secret that Sara carried with her from her land. Sir Lawrence had seduced her to take away from her the dagger, sacred to Kali the Black. One foot after another, Sara started running without even seeing where that path lost in the grove would take her. Her eyes were covered by the glittering patina of tears that were as painful as poison.
Under a blue satin sky, like the shirt she wore, Amalia hurried to reach the villa’s library, holding a lantern. Her energetic and laborious mind was about to dive again among the pages of those voluminous books, in search of answers. But this time it was different: now she knew where to look. She had to figure out where the dagger was, and hoped that her new discoveries could open some glimmers. Since her grandfather, Sir Lawrence, had told her about the Black Thorn, he had never stopped repeating her that she should fear that object because it had a damned fate, and he had paid for it. But now, she was sure, the blame was not the old blade, or of some obscure curse of goddess Kali. Amalia had discovered in books that the knife was not death or destruction: it was a symbol of discernment that dispels the illusions of the world. If the Black Thorn had led Sir Lawrence to madness, it was not because of some anathema or sorcery, but was due to the sense of guilt that his grandfather had felt from the day Sara had gone forever from his life. Amalia pulled out from underneath the blouse, a bloated page of Lawrence's diary; she was now ready to spit the tear and to find out the truth.
A bullet hole in the black blouse was not enough to stop Petra's bellicose power, as strong as a rock in spite of her bleeding arm! With a cry that seemed to rise up to the sky, she took the lead and jumped from the ship’s railing, clinging to a rope. She landed on the deck of the Spanish galleon just in time to see the English sailing ship sink. She pointed the saber at the captain's throat: "Are you the man named El Herrero, the Blacksmith? Tell me Captain, is it true that you've stolen Sir Lawrence a precious Indian dagger? " The Spaniard did not deny it, but revealed to the corsair: "The dagger does not exist anymore. I had to make it disappear or I would have been killed. But I knew it was a magic object, so I melted its metal and used it for ... ". El Herrero was still speaking when a bullet silenced him forever. It had been a man of his crew shooting, probably to prevent the secret being revealed to a member of the British Crown. Once again, Petra had to prepare to fight.
Even Clotilde considered herself a glorious warrior, although she was an acclaimed actress and her battles were carried out on a different type of fronts. She was a girl aware of her own enchanting beauty, of her sensual appeal, which was emphasized on that day by the almost transparent tulle blouse, on which there were embroidered flowers as if on a Venus's body. She had enough glances and smiles to get her foe capitulate, and a dance to the gala to win that siege, ended up between the sheets. By giving him her caresses and seductive words, Clotilde had finally extorted the secret from the Spanish ambassador. The only one among the noblemen at the French court, to have known personally the infamous Captain Herrero and to have sailed with him the dangerous seas of the Caribbean. And now, the great navigator had been bewitched by a mermaid ... "Do you want to know what has happened to that metal? The legendary black spike blade iron? Well, my dear, you will not believe it! Needles have been made. Embroidery Needles. ", he revealed amused. "Needles? And who owns them now? "She inquired. "Oh no, no, I can not tell you!"
A furtive presence slipped over the embassy cornice. An organza's white blouse, a black mask on the eyes which prevented the recognition of the features of the beautiful face. Inna was an expert and clever thief. She had always escaped the musketeers and royal guards. From Paris to Versailles she had become almost a legend. She came up from the window without being seen. She inspected the vast and luxuriant locals with feline agility and eye-catching attention to every detail, every nuance. When she arrived at the cherry-wood desk she opened the drawers as if no one had ever locked them. After long searches, she finally found an envelope addressed to the chief of the conspirators. France was preparing for great political upheavals, but it was not the plans of the forthcoming Revolution to affect Inna. She was looking for the answer: what happened to the forged needles with the iron of the ancient dagger? And the answer troubled her, coming to her unexpectedly by those few inches of ink: "The secret of the Black Thorn has ended up in the etching.". Nitric acid? Was the Secret Lost Forever?
Hers was a fragile, delicate, sensitive soul. The slender figure, underlined by the shirt in gabardine, had a poetic tale, such as the light touch that the fine brush between the thin fingers pointed to the canvas. When she was reached by Inna, in the silence of Mme's atelier. Vigée, Olivia ended her sketching a drapery in Artemis's dress and laid a palette and a brush. "Well? Did you manage to get that letter? From the expression on your face I would think not. In that case, I have to say that your fame far outstrips your real abilities.", she complained. Inna shook her head, "No, that is not the reason, I was able to find the envelope, but I'm afraid you will not like the news, Mademoiselle. Read yourself: the secret is over in the etching.". Olivia remained silent and thoughtful for some long moments, then dismissed her accomplice as quickly as possible. She knew what those words meant, she could not be wrong. Mme. Vigée was then involved? Did she know the destiny of the Black Thorn, but kept quiet? However, she could only take a look around: the answer had to be there somewhere in the atelier. In an etching painting.
Her face pearly white powered, a blouse with a fresh floral motif, Duchess Margot turned away with discretion from the company of the other ladies who chattered lovingly in the gardens overgrown by the incoming spring. She, who for hours had laid in Mme's Vigée’s atelier, was probably the only one to have understood the secret of that watermark filed between the many croquis and the fine oil canvas. It was a test for the portrait that would be exposed at the Salon. Why did the queen wear such an unusual and scandalous clothing? A simple nightgown ... Of course, that was the clue! The magic needles, the Black Thorn fragments, had ended up in the hands of the dressmaker who had sewed that muslin dress. Otherwise Her Majesty would never have been portrayed in that way. Instead, the queen's blouse was supposed to have something special. So Margot walked with ease the hall corridors to the place of the appointment. "Are you the dressmaker?" She asked the woman, who was expecting her slightly hidden behind a large golden candleholder. The interlocutor nodded. "Listen," the Duchess began. "What I have to say to you is very important: someone wants to hurt the queen. I absolutely have to know where those needles are hidden. I am willing to reward you very generously for this information."