Girald stared at the man singing, sitting on the bridge over the Seine, one arm draped about a stone outcropping for anchor, and the other hand neatly in his lap. His voice was clear, and strange, somehow, and the words wove in a strange way, braiding themselves together with hints of silk. His voice was clear, but not commanding, like falling pear blossoms caught by the wind. Girald left Jehan and Phillipe and moved to his side, letting that wind throw back his golden hair.

The man turned to look at him. "Bonjour."

"Who are you?" He won himself a stare, but the man answered.

"I'm Feuilly, as we see last names are the only thing of any importance in the world. First names are identity to tie us to the families that gave them. I wonder why this should be. Our last names are the ones that truly belong to our fathers. Shall I be Durand, and take on my mother's surname? Je suis Durand? Or am I Feuilly? Or maybe just Damien. The first name is anonymous. Damien-- Nothing. Two proper names that make unknown. So who am I to you, m'sieur?"

"Not m'sieur. If you know so much about equality, you should know that m'sieur, being a title, is no good. You're Feuilly, Feuilly. What do you do?"

Feuilly laughed. "I make fans. I string wood together with silk. A worthy occupation. And you?"

"I --" Girald paused. "I am an actor..."

"I thought you were studying law?" said Phillipe from behind him, frowning a little. Jehan did not speak, watching.

"Oh, Combeferre!"

Girald laughed, a laugh that earned him more stares, the laugh of a man who is not sane. Jehan stepped forward to steady him, a hand at his waist, and one on his shoulder, as he continued to laugh, choking a little on it. It was Feuilly's turn to watch, leaning a little against the outcropping, forehead creasing in thought. He pushed back a thin sheet of black hair that fell past his ears and brushed his cheekbones, and rested long, worn fingers on the stone, drew them in to his palms, and dropped his knuckles to it. His eyes darted to Phillipe.

"What is his name?"


"And what is his medical condition?"

Phillipe gave him a look. "He has none. This man... he is going to change the world. He has dreamed of freeing France since he was very young. Under him, we are going to create la Republique."

Feuilly smiled. "Of course you are."

Phillipe stood straighter, drawing himself up. "We are. Will you join us?"

Feuilly looked at him quizzically, tilting his head so that his hair fell past his face again, shielding his dark eyes. He ignored the presence of Girald, who had ceased to laugh, and Jehan, who was speaking softly to him with comforting voice, and simply kept his gaze on Phillipe, meeting his eyes, seeming to consider.

"I... I think I will..." He spoke slowly, though not apprehensively. Then he cracked a cynical grin at Phillipe. "But may I sing inspirational themes of the year to begin meetings?"

"Certainly not." Girald answered the mocking question.

"I thought not. Count me a part, anyway."

"We will." Girald could picture Feuilly with three gunshots in his chest, bleeding heavily, the air thick with the scent of corrosion, and he was pleased to welcome his newest Ami.

Chapter Two.
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