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“Now the important part here is to stay still, my friends. The business of making up one’s eyes is a very dangerous one, and I need you to be able to do this yourselves, as I will be quite too busy to help you when the time comes.”

Sir Percival Blakeney was seated at a mirror in his bedroom. Seated across smaller mirrors, and looking unhappy and worried in equal measures were a certain lord Andrew Ffoulkes, and one sir Anthony Dewhurst.

“Percy, it cannot possibly be required for us to learn this. Look at us! We could no more imitate a lady than we could imitate a bookshelf,” Anthony cried out.

“Nonsense, Dewhurst, I’ve done it.”

“Which one, the bookshelf or the lady?”

Percy’s eyes sparked at them from the mirror. “Why, both of them, my good Dewhurst. Although I will admit the disguise of lady was a much more successful one.”

“Zounds, Percy, how did that come about?” Inquired Andrew.

“Never mind how it happened, Ffoulkes,” interrupted Anthony, rising from his seat. “My point is that even if Percy has by some god given miracle managed to pass inspection as a woman, that does not mean that we can!”

“I see no reason why not, my friend. A man and a woman are not so different as you seem to think. So for us to be one, but appear the other the biggest change must be in your behaviour. And this I know you can do, as I have seen you play a frenchman quite convincingly not two months ago.

“Now please, sit down, as this eye make up business is really quite tricky.”

Anthony did indeed sit down, but continued his protest, as yet unconvinced.

“If behaviour is truly as important as you say, then why is this make up even needed?”

“Why, if one way should fail, one could always fall back on the other. You see-“ and now Percy turned to them, the right side of his face made up in a most becoming and lady-like manner. “It is much easier to pass inspection, if one does not give reason to invite such inspection in the first place.” His make up was indeed quite convincing.

“We are to be ladies visiting a convent, where the mesdames de Pouilly are currently being kept under guard, awaiting their transport to Paris, and Madame la Guillotine.

“As a minor noble lady and her two friends we are expected to look a certain way, and behave the same. While I expect the behaviour to be easy enough, as we know many noble ladies ourselves, we cannot waltz in with unmade faces and unpowdered coiffes. It simply wouldn’t do- why they would laugh us out the door, or even chase us away at gunpoint.”

After this he raised his one perfectly plucked eyebrow, and quirked his tinted lips.

“Oh very well, Percy, as you say,” Anthony acquiesced. “But do we really need all these products??”