Madame Marchand is, everyone agrees, a timeless, ageless beauty. There are many rumors, but no one really knows how she does it. I’ve been picked to find out. The party is in full swing downstairs. I’ve sneaked up the back staircase and am about to enter her room. My hand lightly touching the doorknob. I pause and listen intensely for sounds of anyone within. Nothing. Then I turn my head and try to hear whether someone is coming up either set of stairs. No one. All is quiet; I am alone. I open the door, slip inside and close it stealthily behind me.