The Eagle and the Fox

Disclaimer: I, sadly, do not own any of the characters, as much as I may wish to. They are all of Baroness Orczy's imagination.

The two swords came together with a ringing clash that reverberated through the two men's hands. Chauvelin grimaced from the force of the shockwave, but Percy's face did not register any pain. Instead, it became more relaxed and a humorous glint brightened his eyes.

Oh no, Chauvelin though. I know that look. He's about to make a complete fool out of me. He's bigger and stronger and he knows-AAAAHHH!

Suddenly, Percy's sword came out of nowhere and Chauvelin had to move fast to get away.

He's also a better swordsman, Chauvelin added. Now pay attention!

Chauvelin attacked Percy with all the force he had. The two men thrust and parried, dancing nimbly across the floor as Marguerite and The League looked on. Their swords flashed as they caught the light. There was grace and fluidity in their movement, although Chauvelin was noticeably choppier in his movement. And while the golden-haired Englishman moved with an almost ethereal grace, every move looking natural and effortless, it was clear that the smaller Frenchman was trying very hard and was desperate. His face was soon covered in a fine sheen of sweat and his breathing became labored. Suddenly, Percy's sword darted in-

And cut off one of the Frenchman's buttons!

Chauvelin looked at Percy in shock. Why had he done that?

Name of a dog! Chauvelin cursed to himself. What kind of gods-cursed game is he playing?

He looked down at the vacant spot and back at Percy. There was laughter in the man's eyes and around his mouth.

"Damn you, Percy!" Chauvelin screamed defiantly as he attacked, his anger giving him strength. Percy was surprised by the ferocity of the smaller man's attack and was hard-pressed to regain his advantage.

Back and forth they went, Chauvelin attacking even more ferociously and Percy watching him more carefully. Suddenly, the rest of Chauvelin's buttons went clattering to the floor.

Percy smiled. "M'dear Mon-sewer, those buttons were simply not the correct style for that waistcoat and they were abominably sewed on. I was just doing you a favor, Shovelin'.

The said man simply gritted his teeth and thrust his sword forward again. He was angered beyond words, as well as the fact that he was slightly distracted by an unusual

itching coming from his... ahem... derriƩre.

Percy noticed the strange look on his opponent's face, for The Scarlet Pimpernel notices everything. But he wasn't sure what to make of it and decided to continue to continue to watch, feeling certain that the problem would reveal itself in time.

So they fought, each man blocking and parrying swiftly. But Chauvelin continued to become more and more distracted as not only the itching increased (and he couldn't very well scratch his butt in the middle of a swordfight, not to mention right in from of Marguerite) but his breeched started to feel rather... tight and... constraining...

Swiftly, the older man peeked down his front, hoping to determine the cause of this new discomfiture. Nothing there, thank-wait, there is not God in this day and age of Liberty, Fraternity, and Equality, he reminded himself. So what the devil could be the cau-


The two duelists stopped short and looked around. Percy looked slightly bemused, yet curious.

At first, Chauvelin's face registered only confusion as well. But then he noticed that the tightness of his breeches had disappeared. The rip had come from him!

He turned frantically around to see if he could discover what had happened. Nothing was there. But behind him he could hear...laughter. And above it all was the inane laugh of the man that Chauvelin had hunted. So the Frenchman peered slowly over his shoulder...

And saw a big, bushy, red, white-tipped, TAIL!

Mortified, Chauvelin spun around to face his laughing audience. Sir Andrew was turning a most unbecoming shade of red. My Lord Hastings was doubled over clutching a stitch that he had developed from laughing to hard. Lord Tony was kneeling on the floor. The rest of The League was in various other stages of hysterical laughter. Marguerite and Armand were clutching each other in an attempt to stay upright. And Sir Percy was leaning on his sword laughing merrily.

"My dear sir, it appears you have developed a fox's tail! Zounds! Now he is indeed 'bright-eyed and bushy tailed!' "

Indeed, Chauvelin's pale, fox-like eyes were bright. But with fury, not joy. Suddenly, he too doubled over, mimicking The League's positions. However, he was not in that position from laughing. Instead he was clutching his head and moaning in agony.

"AAAAAAAHHHHH! OOOOOOHH! My head! It-It's splitting open! OOOOOOWWW!"

The laughter died as the Frenchman's cries increased in intensity. Sir Percy stepped forward, concern etched on his noble brow. He didn't like to see anyone in pain, even an enemy such as Chauvelin. But as he moved forward, the doubled-over pain gave one last cry and fell to the ground...