"Etienne Phillipe Duquesne, a rather vivid, but elegant name sir," she said supressing a smile. Does it have a meaning?
"I understand it means Crown - Lover of Horses - and the last is a name dating from either the Fronde and or a French Naval Officer, so I suppose it means a lover of crowned French Navy horses. She laughed, thinking 'at least he doesn't take himself too seriously.'
"Do they call you anything, simply," she asked.
He said, "You could call me 'Tienne.'" She laughed again, this time at the pun. "I hardly know you, sir. How do you say, "call me yours? How could I call you mine, we are strangers. I think Etienne is fine."
"And yours," he inquired?
"Marie Devereux," she replied with just a hink of coy in her voice, "just say Marie."
"And you will, when I just say...?"
"No silly, my name, call me 'Marie'"
"La lumière des étoiles est belle ce soir," he said. "Oui," she agreed.
"Maybe I will call you Starlight?" he said looking at her gently. She said, "um yes, why not? Marie Starlight Devereux." No princess, he said, "just 'Starlight'." "Oh, just say Starlight and what sir?" she teased.
"Then it is settled, Etienne and Starlight for a walk tonight, eh?" he said.
No she winked, "Starlight and Etienne. What are you Etienne?"
He smiled, "a troubador and poet and your servant, Mademoiselle."
They sauntered comfortably along the Avenue des Champs-Élysées...
He sang softly a poem to her as they walked,
"Starlight above, sweet and soft,
Light the path of Starlight here below,
Grant her heaven's blessings, and sing my heart
Of soft presence of her sweetness,
And radiance of joy and kind spirit...
Walk with me Starlight and tell me tales,
And I to you will sing songs of affection's gentle nuance."
[to be continued]