Das Mitternachtssoiret – Leseprobe
Chapter 1

Madame Elsa

back

Madame Elsa laughed. It sounded like the rustling of a mighty tree. During this rustling, Perrot, smiling, handed her the box, which was adorned with a scarlet ribbon. He bowed. “Madame, inside this box is a display of my deepest admiration.”

The murmur stopped. Hoarfrost seemed to cloud the glint in Madame Elsa’s eyes. Small, sparkling crystals, frostily interlocked, slid down to her mouth and gave her voice an icy tone. “Monsieur Perrot...” Her tone slid down into even icier terrain and the scarlet bow floated to the floor. “An orchid in the colour of death? As a token of your admiration?”

Perrot deliberately cast his eyes downward in a well-timed gaze, barely perceptibly glancing at Madame Elsa’s tightened cheek muscles in the shadow of his eyelashes as he gallantly picked up the ribbon from the floor.

“Indeed, Madame. A black orchid. A Prosthechea Cochleata. I consider it the queen of the orchids. By no means is it the flower of death. Rather, it is claimed to hold the key to eternal life. And who, Madame, deserves this magic spell of eternal life more than you?”

Madame Elsa laughed. It sounded like the rustling of a mighty tree. During this rustling, Perrot, smiling, handed her the box, which was adorned with a scarlet ribbon. He bowed. “Madame, inside this box is a display of my deepest admiration.”

The murmur stopped. Hoarfrost seemed to cloud the glint in Madame Elsa’s eyes. Small, sparkling crystals, frostily interlocked, slid down to her mouth and gave her voice an icy tone. “Monsieur Perrot...” Her tone slid down into even icier terrain and the scarlet bow floated to the floor. “An orchid in the colour of death? As a token of your admiration?”

Perrot deliberately cast his eyes downward in a well-timed gaze, barely perceptibly glancing at Madame Elsa’s tightened cheek muscles in the shadow of his eyelashes as he gallantly picked up the ribbon from the floor.

“Indeed, Madame. A black orchid. A Prosthechea Cochleata. I consider it the queen of the orchids. By no means is it the flower of death. Rather, it is claimed to hold the key to eternal life. And who, Madame, deserves this magic spell of eternal life more than you?”