|The Lady and the Tiger|
By the end of the 18th century, the wanderlust had abated enough for Duncan MacLeod to set up house with Amanda in Bavaria. However, on his return from a business trip to Munich, he found that his light-fingered lover had been up to her old tricks in his absence. Distracted by her not inconsiderable assets, he didn’t have time to find out what exactly she had been doing until he woke to find Amanda gone and a group of soldiers breaking into his bedchamber. Not for the first or last time, Duncan found that he had been left to take the rap for Amanda, who had robbed the local Baron the previous evening. After a short fight, Duncan fled, taking the Captain’s horse, as Amanda had stolen his.
When he caught up with her, she apologised and swore that she had not meant for him to get into trouble. Which is exactly what Duncan gets into when he tells that part of the story to Tessa and Richie. Invited to go the visiting circus, it hadn’t taken Duncan long to realises that the person who had sent the tickets was Amanda and he took delight in her consternation as she sensed his presence..... when she was walking on the high wire. After the performance, Duncan and the others stop to talk with Amanda, who is a little unsettled to find that Tessa and Richie know about her immortality. The sparks fly immediately between Amanda and Tessa, who is less than pleased to find one of Duncan’s old flames around. Sensing the ice beneath his feet thinning, Duncan makes his goodbyes and leaves, ready to make his peace with Tessa.
If that had been it, things might not have been so bad, but Amanda shows up the following day at the barge, where she and Tessa would have picked up where they left off, if Tessa hadn’t been going out. Duncan had been out and returned to find Amanda waiting for him. She tells him that there is another Immortal hanging around the circus, one who doesn’t have her health in mind. She has to work hard to get him to agree to go with her, as he knows her of old and is reluctant to get drawn into her schemes again. They go to the circus, but they sense no one else there. Duncan is convinced there never was any mysterious Immortal and that this is a ploy by Amanda. She is offended and, as Duncan leaves, he is challenged by an Immortal who doesn’t give his name, but clearly wants Duncan’s head. The fight is interrupted by the circus hands and, now that the man’s face is known, Duncan tells Amanda that she’ll have no problem, as the carnies can keep an eye out for him.
Back at the barge, Duncan tries to find out more about his attacker and, remembering something on the news, finds that the man is Zachary Blaine (Jason Isaacs), recently escaped from a maximum security prison. Interestingly, he had previously tried to escape twice by walking out on the prison’s telephone wires. Tessa goes to see an old circus agent, who doesn’t know Amanda Darieux, but does remember an Amanda from before the war. Amanda LeFauvre and her partner Zachary were stars of the high wire. Rooting in his office, he finds a poster of them, with pictures of a very familiar Amanda and Zachary. Tessa tells Duncan this and is convinced that they are setting him up, but Duncan isn’t so sure. Against Duncan’s better judgement, Richie follows Amanda and sees her meet up with Zachary, although she doesn’t look happy about it. They go to a museum and Richie is sure that Amanda sees him, even though she says nothing.
Duncan decides to confront Amanda with what they have learnt, but has to deal with Tessa before he can leave the barge when she tells him how insecure Amanda makes her feel. Reassuring her that the thief is no competition, he goes to the circus, where Amanda gives in and tells him the truth. She and Zachary have been partners in crime for centuries, almost as long as he’s detested Duncan MacLeod - mostly because Amanda has always told him that he’s second best to the Highlander. Zachary got greedy, so Amanda arranged her own death and had Zachary convicted for her murder. When he came for her after breaking out of prison, the only thing that stopped him taking her head there and then was the offer of $10 million for the book at the museum, together with the head of Duncan MacLeod. Amanda asks Duncan to go with her, but he’ll have none of it. To prevent him interfering, Amanda has Duncan overpowered by the carnies, who are to hold him until the morning. MacLeod has other plans and persuades them to let him prove his circus heritage. In the middle of his equestrian act, Duncan throws a knife into the junction box supplying the power to the big top. As the lights go out, Duncan makes his getaway.
He follows them to the museum and, knowing their background, it doesn’t take him long to find the wire they’ve used to walk in. He follows, in time to see Amanda suspended above the book in its cabinet, about to disarm the alarm. He turns on the lights and, under the pretext of tossing a coin to see if he’ll let them get away with it, drops the coin on the floor, triggering the alarm. Their plan in tatters, Amanda and Zachary grab the book and flee, followed by Duncan. He catches up with them in a closed brasserie, where Zachary is about to shoot Amanda until Duncan disarms him. But Zachary would rather have Duncan’s head anyway and they start to fight, crashing out of the door into the street. Zachary fights a good fight, but Duncan manages to separate him from his sword. Turning, Zachary all but walks into the swing of Amanda’s sword, as she takes his head and his Quickening. After the fury subsides, Amanda makes one last attempt to get Duncan to leave with her but he is committed to Tessa. Amanda makes to leave, but is heartened when Duncan calls her back. But it's only to leave the book that she stole.