Join Archer, Adélaïde and Oliver on their quest in this cool sneak peek...
th Paris Ballet Theater
Mrs. Lambert was Adélaïde’s tutor. Adélaïde was tutored at home, and the reason for this was ballet. Like most girls her age, Adélaïde wanted to be a ballerina. Unlike most girls her age, Adélaïde was a true prodigy of dance. At the age of six, she was admitted and enrolled into the Paris Ballet Theater, and because her time was spent in countless lessons, rehearsals, and performances, she couldn’t attend normal school. Instead, she was tutored until one o’clock, after which she set off for the theater. It was a short walk, but Adélaïde enjoyed it. She packed her bag, slipped down the narrow alleyway next to the yellow postbox, continued past the wooden windmill, tapped the head of the man who could walk through walls, and followed the street to the theater. It was an old, round building. She entered through a small door at the back and tried her best to slip past the front desk without Mr. Stanislas’s notice and nearly succeeded but for a sudden and unexpected hiccup.
“Ah, Fräulein Adié.” Mr. Stanislas was the theater attendant and a most unpleasant man. His rusty words always left Adélaïde with a terrible aftertaste.
“Good afternoon,” she replied, trying her best to smile. Mr. Stanislas was not paid to exchange pleasantries so he rarely did. Instead, he clapped a messy stack of paper against his desk till the pages were uniformly aligned all the while staring down his gravity-defiant nose at her. “Have you been up on the roof feeding those filthy birds again?” he asked. Adélaïde shrugged. “Maybe,” she replied. In fact, Adélaïde spent most of her breaks on the theater rooftop because Adélaïde was not terribly popular with the other young ballerinas. Mr. Stanislas stood up and leaned against the front of his desk with folded arms. Adélaïde stayed where she was. “And how exactly does one maybe feed birds?” he asked. “I’ve seen people feed birds and I’ve seen people not feed birds, but I’m sorry to say I’ve never once seen someone maybe feed birds.”
“They have to eat, too!” Adélaïde insisted.
“This is true, but not on my roof!” he barked. “And if you feed those creatures one more time, I’ll send you up with the mop. I’ll lose my job if the director sees that mess. Do we understand each other?”
They didn’t, but Adélaïde nodded and continued down the hall, rubbing her tongue against the roof of her mouth to rid herself of that terrible taste. The theater halls were littered with young ballerinas, stretching and warming up. They whispered and giggled as Adélaïde passed. Her room was number seventeen. She stepped inside to change.
Ballet of Adélaïde L. Belmont
It was not long before Adélaïde rose above the other petite rats (as the young ballerinas are called at the Paris Ballet Theater) to the top of her class. Her exceptional talent was well noted by the