Chapter 3 - Bonjour Paris!
‘There is only one happiness in life, to love and be loved.’
- Amantine L. A. Dupin
This chapter is one of two parts, with lifetimes passing between them. A Lady walked along a crowded and bustling Rue de l’Opera in Paris, accompanied by her maid. Where others rushed about, eyes downward, she made a point of taking in the world. She despised being rushed and always left plenty of time ahead of attending an evening performance. That night was of The Prophet at The Palais Garnier.
Unexpectedly, the heavens opened, and she sidestepped into the nearest premises. Greeted by the Shop Clerk, she found herself surrounded by the most beautiful umbrellas and parasols. Naturally, she decided to peruse as the Clerk, when prompted, spoke of how each piece was from the world-renowned maker, Brigg & Sons, cane and umbrella manufacturers to the Kings and Queen of Europe. Suddenly, the bell sounded, and in entered, a Gentleman dashed with rain. He was tall and had a countenance that she couldn’t help but notice. When he spoke, his English accent was easily discernible beneath his French, which entertained her, and as the tale goes, was the reason why she overheard his story.
He had come to collect his recovered umbrella, once owned by his Father, who had gifted it to him upon embarking on a new life in Paris. Perhaps family lore, but there are various versions of his playful storytelling of this much-loved umbrella, but what is unanimous is that he used to use his Father’s Brigg as a sword as a child. Laughing off the irony of inclement weather, he brushed off his hat and greeted his old friend, and after the shaking of hands, he turned and fleetingly met the eyes of the Lady. Years later, never forgetting that rainy afternoon at Brigg & Sons, the Gentleman and Lady returned, arm in arm, and purchased a beautiful guillochéd parasol handle, complete with solid gold nibs and presentation box that remains in the family to this day.