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One Last Time

So tired.
I just need to close my eyes a little while . . .
But they won't even give me that.
"Where is he?" they ask.
"Tell us and you can sleep."
But they are very wrong.
Do they realize it,
That if I surrendered my honor to them
I would torture myself, unable to rest,
Yes, even to the end of my days?
I think he does.

My darling, I am sorry . . .
But I had to come back.
How could I leave Armand,
The brother you love so dearly,
How could I leave him to die
And come back to you joyfully?
It would have been beyond my power.
I would have seen hatred in your sweet eyes forevermore,
That I did not love you enough
To save the one who had watched over you so long,
Until we found each other and nearly drifted apart.
We nearly lost each other then, under less dire circumstances,
And could I risk such a loss a second time?

But here, in this dank and dreary cell,
With little food and even less sleep,
I wonder how long it will last.
I will not tell them what they want to know;
I will not leave the boy in their hands again.
How long will it take them to realize this?
Chauvelin knows better than to tarry too long . . .
How long before they give up the questions
And start the execution?
How do I know . . . that they have not begun it already?

A week . . . I have been here a week.
Ten more days and the child is safe.
Will they persist that long?
I fear they grow impatient . . .
Yet I am stronger than they.
I can hold out ten days, even if they cannot . . .
But I must see you again, Marguerite.
Will you come to me?
There are things I must give to you . . .
Things I must say . . .
One last time . . .

Do I hear them lift the bar from the doorway?

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