Sweet Valley High #134: Happily Ever After
The Moral of the Story: If you have a sad enough story, you’re allowed to be a criminal and escape punishment.
The Big Deal: We’re still in France.
The royal children come down to the dungeon, tie up the guard and unlock the door so the twins can escape. Jessica thinks they should stick around because running away will make them look guilty, but Liz says that without Jacques, they have no proof of their innocence. They take off for town in search of Jacques, but they turn around when Liz realizes she just has to see Laurent one more time. The children meet them outside the castle and one of them goes to get Laurent. He and Liz have a passionate embrace or two and then the horrible countess comes outside and starts yelling at the twins. Jessica tears Liz out of Laurent’s arms and they go running into the woods. After a while, Liz twists her ankle. Jessica builds a shelter out of tree branches and the twins go to sleep.
Later that night, Jacques gets the feeling that Jessica is in trouble. He really loves her, so he steals a horse and goes riding around trying to find her. He runs into Laurent, who is also out searching for the twins. Jacques offers to help, but he doesn’t want Laurent around if he finds the twins, so he sends him back to the castle, saying he’ll contact him in three hours. Laurent talks to his parents, who tell him they can get the countess not to prosecute the twins if Laurent promises to marry Antonia. Laurent agrees. Jacques finds the twins looking for him in town. They yell and scream at him at first, but then he tells him his whole sad story about how his mother died. Jessica cries and gives him a big hug and even Liz feels bad for him. They ask if he has the diamond necklace and he says he has to go get it from his father and he’ll be right back. He comes back with a note from his father that says he took the necklace. Jacques decides to sacrifice himself for Jessica, so he goes back to the castle with them. They get there just as Laurent is announcing his betrothal to Antonia. Jacques goes to the podium and tells everyone he’s the one who really stole the countess’s jewels. The guards take him away and throw him in the dungeon. Jessica tries to break him out, but fails epically.
Laurent decides he absolutely will not marry Antonia. The countess is pissed. She goes to Liz and tells her there will be an “international incident” if Laurent and Antonia don’t hook up, and that will only happen if Liz gets out of Dodge. Liz freaks out, and without even sparing a thought for Jessica, she packs her bags and takes off for the train station. One of the kids, Pierre, overhears all of this and he goes to tell Laurent. Laurent gets on his trusty steed and gallops away. He gets to the train just as it starts moving, so he’s able to be all dashing and jump onto the train and order the driver to stop. He sweeps Liz off her feet and asks her to marry him. She’s a little overwhelmed at this point and can only stutter, so he tells her to give him an answer later. For now, he’ll just go ahead and take her back to the castle.
That night, Laurent wakes up to find a stranger in his room. The man introduces himself as Jacques’ father. He tells Laurent the same sad story Jacques told the twins: his seamstress wife died because her rich customers wouldn’t help pay for her medicines, so he’s been stealing from rich people ever since. Laurent is just as touched by this story as the twins were, and he gives Louis some money and tells him how to break Jacques out of the dungeon. Seriously? I mean, yeah, that’s a sad story, but dude. The guy’s an international jewel thief.
So, in the end, Jacques and his father go free, Liz tells Laurent she can’t marry him, and then she goes home and makes out with Todd. Dammit, I hoped they were really broken up this time.
“Come on,” Elizabeth grumbled. “Let’s find Jacques and get this thing straightened out so I can take a bath and change clothes. I feel totally grungy.”
You’ve escaped from a dungeon and you’re now hiding in the woods. Is your hygiene really the most important issue here?
“You must swear on your sister’s life, Jessica,” he insisted.
He’s so sexy when he’s intense like this, Jessica thought, her heart thumping.
Yeah, my sister’s mortality always whips me into a frenzy.
The Cover: Whenever I look at this cover, all I can think of is These Happy Golden Years by Laura Ingalls Wilder.