Robespierre looked out the window to the street three floors below.
Citizens from all over Paris were even at that relatively early hour
walking towards the Place de la Revolution in anticipation of the mid-day
executions. Robespierre's headache returned like a bolt of lightening
to a rod. He rubbed his temples and the bridge of his nose.
He went over to his armoire and pulled the two heavy doors open. He
crouched down and opened a drawer at the bottom, lifted a clean shirt
and from under it took his doll. Over at his small bed he put the doll
on his knees and held it gingerly. The doll was eight inches high,
female, dressed in fine cloth. The costume she wore was of the old sort,
like the traitorous queen used to wear, a white long dress with lace at
the bodice and the hem. The doll's blonde hair was in the old-fashioned
style also, pulled high up and pinned in back. Her body was of the
finest porcelain, and her eyes and lips and fingernails were delicately
painted. Robespierre ran the tip of his finger along the edge of the
bodice, gently bounced the doll up and down on his knees and, as he
always did when he played with his doll, began to laugh. After a while,
his headache disappeared.
A sudden knock on the door made him leap off the bed. "Just a second!"
he cried, in a voice that was about an octave too high for him. He ran
to the armoire and returned the doll to its hiding place.
"Pardon me, citizen" the young man at the door said when he opened it.
"But the Committee needs you immediately. They are arguing again. It
seems that no one can remember which death warrants should be signed."
"Let me get my things" Robespierre answered. He put on his coat and hat
and grabbed his satchel. "Fine, let us go then" he said. He took one last
brief glance back at the armoire, then pulled the door closed behind him.