There was a rumour all throughout the palace that the Chevalier D’Argent was secretly a woman.
It was impressive that the Chevalier had so quickly become the target of rumour. The first son of a little-known family, Phillipe Gustave Adrien de Bellevoir had risen to prominence in the army, fighting in the siege of Fort Saint Phillip in the Mediterranean. He had only been at court for a month, and already his name was familiar enough to Gabrielle that the discussion around her now came as no surprise.
"They say her father was desperate for a son," exclaimed a young Princess of the Blood enthusiastically. "She was raised as a boy from infancy, and the doctor and the whole household sworn to secrecy."
The First Lady of the Bedchamber sighed and shook her head. “That sounds like a fairy story. I find it hard to believe anyone would think of such a scheme, let alone carry it out.”
"Besides, why would such a woman join the army?" asked a particularly pretty Duchesse. "Her secret would be discovered the moment she was injured."
"And if she were never injured?" replied the lady next to her, smoothly.
The pretty Duchesse made a face. “Surely you don’t believe this nonsense?”
"I think it is a charming story, whether true or false."