Undeterred by my failure to attend, Msrs. Menars and Poisson received permission to approach and speak with my mistress in her salon, and their conversation, held with her in low voices and glances in my direction, soon gave me to know that something was amiss. My mistress, appearing very sly and merry, gave a nod of assent and the two gentlemen left the room.
They were reintroduced but a few moments later and with them was announced a Marquis de Mercoeur, the title of which gave me some confusion. Mercoeur is a title long associated with certain lands in Auvergne, but which was rendered quite extinct until several years ago. Revived for the King's brother, Artois, as a duchy it was then exchanged for the richer Duchy of Poiteau. As various sovereigns and persons of consequence have assumed new identities when visiting Versailles, to escape the confines of ettiquette, I thought it might be something of a similar nature. This did not explain the curious connection with myself, however.
Immediately when the Marquis appeared all was explained and I could not do aught but stare frozen, though what I very much wished to do was to fly to him, for it was my own, dear, Thierry! The formal introductions were made, and somehow my mistress seemed to understand much because not only did she say to him "I think you know our Comtesse d'Auvergne," but she then suggested a turn in the gardens and left Thierry to accompany me.
The story he told me then will have to wait until another day, as I am summoned to dress Mme Elizabeth and cannot delay.