“Unfortunately,” Fernando said, “the message that was just dropped off for me says that Gaston himself is no longer in our hands. In retrospect, I should have put him in stronger constraints than a very loose and polite house arrest. However, what’s done is done and he has slipped through my noose, along with Clicquot and Marchéville, and is, apparently, now out of the Low Countries.”

“Treachery?” Maria Anna asked.

“Undoubtedly. With all three of them gone, it can . . .

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- The Grantville Gazette Staff