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Twenty Years After

by Alexandre Dumas

The Shade of Cardinal Richelieu.

In a splendid chamber of the Palais Royalformerly styled
the Palais Cardinala man was sitting in deep reveriehis
head supported on his handsleaning over a gilt and inlaid
table which was covered with letters and papers. Behind this
figure glowed a vast fireplace alive with leaping flames;
great logs of oak blazed and crackled on the polished brass
andirons whose flicker shone upon the superb habiliments of
the lonely tenant of the roomwhich was illumined grandly
by twin candelabra rich with wax-lights.

Any one who happened at that moment to contemplate that red
simar -- the gorgeous robe of office -- and the rich lace
or who gazed on that pale browbent in anxious meditation
mightin the solitude of that apartmentcombined with the
silence of the ante-chambers and the measured paces of the
guards upon the landing-placehave fancied that the shade
of Cardinal Richelieu lingered still in his accustomed
haunt.

It wasalas! the ghost of former greatness. France
enfeebledthe authority of her sovereign contemnedher
nobles returning to their former turbulence and insolence
her enemies within her frontiers -- all proved the great
Richelieu no longer in existence.

In truththat the red simar which occupied the wonted place
was his no longerwas still more strikingly obvious from
the isolation which seemedas we have observedmore
appropriate to a phantom than a living creature -- from the
corridors deserted by courtiersand courts crowded with
guards -- from that spirit of bitter ridiculewhich
arising from the streets belowpenetrated through the very
casements of the roomwhich resounded with the murmurs of a
whole city leagued against the minister; as well as from the
distant and incessant sounds of guns firing -- let off
happilywithout other end or aimexcept to show to the
guardsthe Swiss troops and the military who surrounded the
Palais Royalthat the people were possessed of arms.

The shade of Richelieu was Mazarin. Now Mazarin was alone
and defencelessas he well knew.

Foreigner!he ejaculatedItalian! that is their mean yet
mighty byword of reproach -- the watchword with which they
assassinated, hanged, and made away with Concini; and if I
gave them their way they would assassinate, hang, and make
away with me in the same manner, although they have nothing


to complain of except a tax or two now and then. Idiots!
ignorant of their real enemies, they do not perceive that it
is not the Italian who speaks French badly, but those who
can say fine things to them in the purest Parisian accent,
who are their real foes.

Yesyes Mazarin continued, whilst his wonted smile, full
of subtlety, lent a strange expression to his pale lips;
yesthese noises prove to meindeedthat the destiny of
favorites is precarious; but ye shall know I am no ordinary
favorite. No! The Earl of Essex'tis truewore a splendid
ringset with diamondsgiven him by his royal mistress
whilst I -- I have nothing but a simple circlet of gold
with a cipher on it and a date; but that ring has been
blessed in the chapel of the Palais Royal* so they will
never ruin meas they long to doand whilst they shout
`Down with Mazarin!' Iunknownand unperceived by them
incite them to cry out`Long live the Duke de Beaufort' one
day; another`Long live the Prince de Conde;' and again
`Long live the parliament!'" And at this word the smile on
the cardinal's lips assumed an expression of hatredof
which his mild countenance seemed incapable. "The
parliament! We shall soon see how to dispose he continued,
of the parliament! Both Orleans and Montargis are ours. It
will be a work of timebut those who have begun by crying
out: Down with Mazarin! will finish by shouting outDown
with all the people I have mentionedeach in his turn.

* It is said that Mazarinwhothough a cardinalhad not
taken such vows as to prevent itwas secretly married to
Anne of Austria. -- La Porte's Memoirs.
Richelieu, whom they hated during his lifetime and whom
they now praise after his death, was even less popular than
I am. Often he was driven away, oftener still had he a dread
of being sent away. The queen will never banish me, and even
were I obliged to yield to the populace she would yield with
me; if I fly, she will fly; and then we shall see how the
rebels will get on without either king or queen.

Ohwere I not a foreigner! were I but a Frenchman! were I
but of gentle birth!"

The position of the cardinal was indeed criticaland recent
events had added to his difficulties. Discontent had long
pervaded the lower ranks of society in France. Crushed and
impoverished by taxation -- imposed by Mazarinwhose
avarice impelled him to grind them down to the very dust -the
peopleas the Advocate-General Talon described ithad
nothing left to them except their souls; and as those could
not be sold by auctionthey began to murmur. Patience had
in vain been recommended to them by reports of brilliant
victories gained by France; laurelshoweverwere not meat
and drinkand the people had for some time been in a state
of discontent.

Had this been allit might notperhapshave greatly
signified; for when the lower classes alone complainedthe
court of Franceseparated as it was from the poor by the
intervening classes of the gentry and the bourgeoisie


seldom listened to their voice; but unluckilyMazarin had
had the imprudence to attack the magistrates and had sold no
less than twelve appointments in the Court of Requestsat a
high price; and as the officers of that court paid very
dearly for their placesand as the addition of twelve new
colleagues would necessarily lower the value of each place
the old functionaries formed a union amongst themselves
andenragedswore on the Bible not to allow of this
addition to their numberbut to resist all the persecutions
which might ensue; and should any one of them chance to
forfeit his post by this resistanceto combine to indemnify
him for his loss.

Now the following occurrences had taken place between the
two contending parties

On the seventh of January between seven and eight hundred
tradesmen had assembled in Paris to discuss a new tax which
was to be levied on house property. They deputed ten of
their number to wait upon the Duke of Orleanswho
according to his customaffected popularity. The duke
received them and they informed him that they were resolved
not to pay this taxeven if they were obliged to defend
themselves against its collectors by force of arms. They
were listened to with great politeness by the dukewho held
out hopes of easier measurespromised to speak in their
behalf to the queenand dismissed them with the ordinary
expression of royaltyWe will see what we can do.

Two days afterward these same magistrates appeared before
the cardinal and their spokesman addressed Mazarin with so
much fearlessness and determination that the minister was
astounded and sent the deputation away with the same answer
as it had received from the Duke of Orleans -- that he would
see what could be done; and in accordance with that
intention a council of state was assembled and the
superintendent of finance was summoned.

This mannamed Emerywas the object of popular
detestationin the first place because he was
superintendent of financeand every superintendent of
finance deserved to be hated; in the second placebecause
he rather deserved the odium which he had incurred.

He was the son of a banker at Lyons named Particelliwho
after becoming a bankruptchose to change his name to
Emery; and Cardinal Richelieu having discovered in him great
financial aptitudehad introduced him with a strong
recommendation to Louis XIII. under his assumed namein
order that he might be appointed to the post he subsequently
held.

You surprise me!exclaimed the monarch. "I am rejoiced to
hear you speak of Monsieur d'Emery as calculated for a post
which requires a man of probity. I was really afraid that
you were going to force that villain Particelli upon me."

Sire,replied Richelieurest assured that Particelli,
the man to whom your majesty refers, has been hanged.

Ah; so much the better!exclaimed the king. "It is not for
nothing that I am styled Louis the Just." and he signed
Emery's appointment.


This was the same Emery who became eventually superintendent
of finance.

He was sent for by the ministers and he came before them
pale and tremblingdeclaring that his son had very nearly
been assassinated the day beforenear the palace. The mob
had insulted him on account of the ostentatious luxury of
his wifewhose house was hung with red velvet edged with
gold fringe. This lady was the daughter of Nicholas de
Camuswho arrived in Paris with twenty francs in his
pocketbecame secretary of stateand accumulated wealth
enough to divide nine millions of francs among his children
and to keep an income of forty thousand for himself.

The fact was that Emery's son had run a great chance of
being suffocatedone of the rioters having proposed to
squeeze him until he gave up all the gold he had swallowed.
Nothingthereforewas settled that dayas Emery's head
was not steady enough for business after such an occurrence.

On the next day Mathieu Molethe chief presidentwhose
courage at this crisissays the Cardinal de Retzwas equal
to that of the Duc de Beaufort and the Prince de Conde -- in
other wordsof the two men who were considered the bravest
in France -- had been attacked in his turn. The people
threatened to hold him responsible for the evils that hung
over them. But the chief president had replied with his
habitual coolnesswithout betraying either disturbance or
surprisethat should the agitators refuse obedience to the
king's wishes he would have gallows erected in the public
squares and proceed at once to hang the most active among
them. To which the others had responded that they would be
glad to see the gallows erected; they would serve for the
hanging of those detestable judges who purchased favor at
court at the price of the people's misery.

Nor was this all. On the eleventh the queen in going to mass
at Notre Dameas she always did on Saturdayswas followed
by more than two hundred women demanding justice. These poor
creatures had no bad intentions. They wished only to be
allowed to fall on their knees before their sovereignand
that they might move her to compassion; but they were
prevented by the royal guard and the queen proceeded on her
wayhaughtily disdainful of their entreaties.

At length parliament was convoked; the authority of the king
was to be maintained.

One day -- it was the morning of the day my story begins -the
kingLouis XIV.then ten years of agewent in state
under pretext of returning thanks for his recovery from the
small-poxto Notre Dame. He took the opportunity of calling
out his guardthe Swiss troops and the musketeersand he
had planted them round the Palais Royalon the quaysand
on the Pont Neuf. After mass the young monarch drove to the
Parliament Housewhereupon the thronehe hastily
confirmed not only such edicts as he had already passedbut
issued new oneseach oneaccording to Cardinal de Retz
more ruinous than the others -- a proceeding which drew
forth a strong remonstrance from the chief presidentMole
-- whilst President Blancmesnil and Councillor Broussel
raised their voices in indignation against fresh taxes.

The king returned amidst the silence of a vast multitude to


the Palais Royal. All minds were uneasymost were
forebodingmany of the people used threatening language.

At firstindeedthey were doubtful whether the king's
visit to the parliament had been in order to lighten or
increase their burdens; but scarcely was it known that the
taxes were to be still further increasedwhen cries of
Down with Mazarin!Long live Broussel!Long live
Blancmesnil!resounded through the city. For the people had
learned that Broussel and Blancmesnil had made speeches in
their behalfandalthough the eloquence of these deputies
had been without availit had none the less won for them
the people's good-will. All attempts to disperse the groups
collected in the streetsor silence their exclamations
were in vain. Orders had just been given to the royal guards
and the Swiss guardsnot only to stand firmbut to send
out patrols to the streets of Saint Denis and Saint Martin
where the people thronged and where they were the most
vociferouswhen the mayor of Paris was announced at the
Palais Royal.

He was shown in directly; he came to say that if these
offensive precautions were not discontinuedin two hours
Paris would be under arms.

Deliberations were being held when a lieutenant in the
guardsnamed Commingesmade his appearancewith his
clothes all tornhis face streaming with blood. The queen
on seeing him uttered a cry of surprise and asked him what
was going on.

As the mayor had foreseenthe sight of the guards had
exasperated the mob. The tocsin was sounded. Comminges had
arrested one of the ringleaders and had ordered him to be
hanged near the cross of Du Trahoir; but in attempting to
execute this command the soldiery were attacked in the
market-place with stones and halberds; the delinquent had
escaped to the Rue des Lombards and rushed into a house.
They broke open the doors and searched the dwellingbut in
vain. Commingeswounded by a stone which had struck him on
the foreheadhad left a picket in the street and returned
to the Palais Royalfollowed by a menacing crowdto tell
his story.

This account confirmed that of the mayor. The authorities
were not in a condition to cope with serious revolt. Mazarin
endeavored to circulate among the people a report that
troops had only been stationed on the quays and on the Pont
Neufon account of the ceremonial of the dayand that they
would soon withdraw. In factabout four o'clock they were
all concentrated about the Palais Royalthe courts and
ground floors of which were filled with musketeers and Swiss
guardsand there awaited the outcome of all this
disturbance.

Such was the state of affairs at the very moment we
introduced our readers to the study of Cardinal Mazarin -once
that of Cardinal Richelieu. We have seen in what state
of mind he listened to the murmurs from belowwhich even
reached him in his seclusionand to the gunsthe firing of
which resounded through that room. All at once he raised his
head; his brow slightly contracted like that of a man who
has formed a resolution; he fixed his eyes upon an enormous
clock that was about to strike tenand taking up a whistle


of silver gilt that stood upon the table near himhe
shrilled it twice.

A door hidden in the tapestry opened noiselessly and a man
in black silently advanced and stood behind the chair on
which Mazarin sat.

Bernouin,said the cardinalnot turning roundfor having
whistledhe knew that it was his valet-de-chambre who was
behind him; "what musketeers are now within the palace?"

The Black Musketeers, my lord.

What company?

Treville's company.

Is there any officer belonging to this company in the
ante-chamber?

Lieutenant d'Artagnan.

A man on whom we can depend, I hope.

Yes, my lord.

Give me a uniform of one of these musketeers and help me to
put it on.

The valet went out as silently as he had entered and
appeared in a few minutes bringing the dress demanded.

The cardinalin deep thought and in silencebegan to take
off the robes of state he had assumed in order to be present
at the sitting of parliamentand to attire himself in the
military coatwhich he wore with a certain degree of easy
graceowing to his former campaigns in Italy. When he was
completely dressed he said:

Send hither Monsieur d'Artagnan.

The valet went out of the roomthis time by the centre
doorbut still as silently as before; one might have
fancied him an apparition.

When he was left alone the cardinal looked at himself in the
glass with a feeling of self-satisfaction. Still young -for
he was scarcely forty-six years of age -- he possessed
great elegance of form and was above the middle height; his
complexion was brilliant and beautiful; his glance full of
expression; his nosethough largewas well proportioned;
his forehead broad and majestic; his hairof a chestnut
colorwas curled slightly; his beardwhich was darker than
his hairwas turned carefully with a curling irona
practice that greatly improved it. After a short time the
cardinal arranged his shoulder beltthen looked with great
complacency at his handswhich were most elegant and of
which he took the greatest care; and throwing on one side
the large kid gloves tried on at firstas belonging to the
uniformhe put on others of silk only. At this instant the
door opened.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,said the valet-de-chambre.


An officeras he spokeentered the apartment. He was a man
between thirty-nine and forty years of ageof medium height
but a very well proportioned figure; with an intellectual
and animated physiognomy; his beard blackand his hair
turning grayas often happens when people have found life
either too gay or too sadmore especially when they happen
to be of swart complexion.

D'Artagnan advanced a few steps into the apartment.

How perfectly he remembered his former entrance into that
very room! Seeinghoweverno one there except a musketeer
of his own troophe fixed his eyes upon the supposed
soldierin whose dressneverthelesshe recognized at the
first glance the cardinal.

The lieutenant remained standing in a dignified but
respectful posturesuch as became a man of good birthwho
had in the course of his life been frequently in the society
of the highest nobles.

The cardinal looked at him with a cunning rather than
serious glanceyet he examined his countenance with
attention and after a momentary silence said:

You are Monsieur d'Artagnan?

I am that individual,replied the officer.

Mazarin gazed once more at a countenance full of
intelligencethe play of which had beennevertheless
subdued by age and experience; and D'Artagnan received the
penetrating glance like one who had formerly sustained many
a searching lookvery differentindeedfrom those which
were inquiringly directed on him at that instant.

Sir,resumed the cardinalyou are to come with me, or
rather, I am to go with you.

I am at your command, my lord,returned D'Artagnan.

I wish to visit in person the outposts which surround the
Palais Royal; do you suppose that there is any danger in so
doing?

Danger, my lord!exclaimed D'Artagnan with a look of
astonishmentwhat danger?

I am told that there is a general insurrection.

The uniform of the king's musketeers carries a certain
respect with it, and even if that were not the case I would
engage with four of my men to put to flight a hundred of
these clowns.

Did you witness the injury sustained by Comminges?

Monsieur de Comminges is in the guards and not in the
musketeers ----

Which means, I suppose, that the musketeers are better
soldiers than the guards.The cardinal smiled as he spoke.

Every one likes his own uniform best, my lord.


Myself excepted,and again Mazarin smiled; "for you
perceive that I have left off mine and put on yours."

Lord bless us! this is modesty indeed!cried D'Artagnan.
Had I such a uniform as your eminence possesses, I protest
I should be mightily content, and I would take an oath never
to wear any other costume ----

Yes, but for to-night's adventure I don't suppose my dress
would have been a very safe one. Give me my felt hat,
Bernouin.

The valet instantly brought to his master a regimental hat
with a wide brim. The cardinal put it on in military style.

Your horses are ready saddled in their stables, are they
not?he saidturning to D'Artagnan.

Yes, my lord.

Well, let us set out.

How many men does your eminence wish to escort you?

You say that with four men you will undertake to disperse a
hundred low fellows; as it may happen that we shall have to
encounter two hundred, take eight ----

As many as my lord wishes.

I will follow you. This way -- light us downstairs Bernouin.

The valet held a wax-light; the cardinal took a key from his
bureau and opening the door of a secret stair descended into
the court of the Palais Royal.

A Nightly Patrol.

In ten minutes Mazarin and his party were traversing the
street Les Bons Enfants" behind the theatre built by
Richelieu expressly for the play of "Mirame and in which
Mazarin, who was an amateur of music, but not of literature,
had introduced into France the first opera that was ever
acted in that country.

The appearance of the town denoted the greatest agitation.
Numberless groups paraded the streets and, whatever
D'Artagnan might think of it, it was obvious that the
citizens had for the night laid aside their usual
forbearance, in order to assume a warlike aspect. From time
to time noises came in the direction of the public markets.
The report of firearms was heard near the Rue Saint Denis
and occasionally church bells began to ring indiscriminately
and at the caprice of the populace. D'Artagnan, meantime,
pursued his way with the indifference of a man upon whom
such acts of folly made no impression. When he approached a
group in the middle of the street he urged his horse upon it


without a word of warning; and the members of the group,
whether rebels or not, as if they knew with what sort of a
man they had to deal, at once gave place to the patrol. The
cardinal envied that composure, which he attributed to the
habit of meeting danger; but none the less he conceived for
the officer under whose orders he had for the moment placed
himself, that consideration which even prudence pays to
careless courage. On approaching an outpost near the
Barriere des Sergens, the sentinel cried out, Who's there?"
and D'Artagnan answered -- having first asked the word of
the cardinal -- "Louis and Rocroy." After which he inquired
if Lieutenant Comminges were not the commanding officer at
the outpost. The soldier replied by pointing out to him an
officer who was conversingon foothis hand upon the neck
of a horse on which the individual to whom he was talking
sat. Here was the officer D'Artagnan was seeking.

Here is Monsieur Comminges,said D'Artagnanreturning to
the cardinal. He instantly retiredfrom a feeling of
respectful delicacy; it washoweverevident that the
cardinal was recognized by both Comminges and the other
officers on horseback.

Well done, Guitant,cried the cardinal to the equestrian;
I see plainly that, notwithstanding the sixty-four years
that have passed over your head, you are still the same man,
active and zealous. What were you saying to this youngster?

My lord,replied GuitantI was observing that we live in
troublous times and that to-day's events are very like those
in the days of the Ligue, of which I heard so much in my
youth. Are you aware that the mob have even suggested
throwing up barricades in the Rue Saint Denis and the Rue
Saint Antoine?

And what was Comminges saying to you in reply, my good
Guitant?

My lord,said CommingesI answered that to compose a
Ligue only one ingredient was wanting -- in my opinion an
essential one -- a Duc de Guise; moreover, no generation
ever does the same thing twice.

No, but they mean to make a Fronde, as they call it,said
Guitant.

And what is a Fronde?inquired Mazarin.

My lord, Fronde is the name the discontented give to their
party.

And what is the origin of this name?

It seems that some days since Councillor Bachaumont
remarked at the palace that rebels and agitators reminded
him of schoolboys slinging -- qui frondent -- stones from
the moats round Paris, young urchins who run off the moment
the constable appears, only to return to their diversion the
instant his back is turned. So they have picked up the word
and the insurrectionists are called `Frondeurs,' and
yesterday every article sold was `a la Fronde;' bread `a la
Fronde,' hats `a la Fronde,' to say nothing of gloves,
pocket-handkerchiefs, and fans; but listen ----


At that moment a window opened and a man began to sing:

A tempest from the Fronde

Did blow to-day:

I think 'twill blow

Sieur Mazarin away.

Insolent wretch!cried Guitant.

My lord,said Commingeswhoirritated by his wounds
wished for revenge and longed to give back blow for blow
shall I fire off a ball to punish that jester, and to warn
him not to sing so much out of tune in the future?

And as he spoke he put his hand on the holster of his
uncle's saddle-bow.

Certainly not! certainly not,exclaimed Mazarin. "Diavolo!
my dear friendyou are going to spoil everything -everything
is going on famously. I know the French as well
as if I had made them myself. They sing -- let them pay the
piper. During the Ligueabout which Guitant was speaking
just nowthe people chanted nothing except the massso
everything went to destruction. ComeGuitantcome along
and let's see if they keep watch at the Quinze-Vingts as at
the Barriere des Sergens."

And waving his hand to Comminges he rejoined D'Artagnanwho
instantly put himself at the head of his troopfollowed by
the cardinalGuitant and the rest of the escort.

Just so,muttered Commingeslooking after Mazarin. "True
I forgot; provided he can get money out of the peoplethat
is all he wants."

The street of Saint Honorewhen the cardinal and his party
passed through itwas crowded by an assemblage who
standing in groupsdiscussed the edicts of that memorable
day. They pitied the young kingwho was unconsciously
ruining his countryand threw all the odium of his
proceedings on Mazarin. Addresses to the Duke of Orleans and
to Conde were suggested. Blancmesnil and Broussel seemed in
the highest favor.

D'Artagnan passed through the very midst of this
discontented mob just as if his horse and he had been made
of iron. Mazarin and Guitant conversed together in whispers.
The musketeerswho had already discovered who Mazarin was
followed in profound silence. In the street of Saint
Thomas-du-Louvre they stopped at the barrier distinguished
by the name of Quinze-Vingts. Here Guitant spoke to one of
the subalternsasking how matters were progressing.

Ah, captain!said the officereverything is quiet
hereabout -- if I did not know that something is going on in
yonder house!


And he pointed to a magnificent hotel situated on the very
spot whereon the Vaudeville now stands.

In that hotel? it is the Hotel Rambouillet,cried Guitant.

I really don't know what hotel it is; all I do know is that
I observed some suspicious looking people go in there ----

Nonsense!exclaimed Guitantwith a burst of laughter;
those men must be poets.

Come, Guitant, speak, if you please, respectfully of these
gentlemen,said Mazarin; "don't you know that I was in my
youth a poet? I wrote verses in the style of Benserade ---"


You, my lord?

Yes, I; shall I repeat to you some of my verses?

Just as you please, my lord. I do not understand Italian.

Yes, but you understand French,and Mazarin laid his hand
upon Guitant's shoulder. "My goodmy brave Guitant
whatsoever command I may give you in that language -- in
French -- whatever I may order you to dowill you not
perform it?"

Certainly. I have already answered that question in the
affirmative; but that command must come from the queen
herself.

Yes! ah yes!Mazarin bit his lips as he spoke; "I know
your devotion to her majesty."

I have been a captain in the queen's guards for twenty
years,was the reply.

En route, Monsieur d'Artagnan,said the cardinal; "all
goes well in this direction."

D'Artagnanin the meantimehad taken the head of his
detachment without a word and with that ready and profound
obedience which marks the character of an old soldier.

He led the way toward the hill of Saint Roche. The Rue
Richelieu and the Rue Villedot were thenowing to their
vicinity to the rampartsless frequented than any others in
that directionfor the town was thinly inhabited
thereabout.

Who is in command here?asked the cardinal.

Villequier,said Guitant.

Diavolo! Speak to him yourself, for ever since you were
deputed by me to arrest the Duc de Beaufort, this officer
and I have been on bad terms. He laid claim to that honor as
captain of the royal guards.

I am aware of that, and I have told him a hundred times
that he was wrong. The king could not give that order, since
at that time he was hardly four years old.


Yes, but I could give him the order -- I, Guitant -- and I
preferred to give it to you.

Guitantwithout replyrode forward and desired the
sentinel to call Monsieur de Villequier.

Ah! so you are here!cried the officerin the tone of
ill-humor habitual to him; "what the devil are you doing
here?"

I wish to know -- can you tell me, pray -- is anything
fresh occurring in this part of the town?

What do you mean? People cry out, `Long live the king! down
with Mazarin!' That's nothing new; no, we've been used to
those acclamations for some time.

And you sing chorus,replied Guitantlaughing.

Faith, I've half a mind to do it. In my opinion the people
are right; and cheerfully would I give up five years of my
pay -- which I am never paid, by the way -- to make the king
five years older.

Really! And pray what would come to pass, supposing the
king were five years older than he is?

As soon as ever the king comes of age he will issue his
commands himself, and 'tis far pleasanter to obey the
grandson of Henry IV. than the son of Peter Mazarin.
'Sdeath! I would die willingly for the king, but supposing I
happened to be killed on account of Mazarin, as your nephew
came near being to-day, there could be nothing in Paradise,
however well placed I might be there, that could console me
for it.

Well, well, Monsieur de Villequier,Mazarin interposedI
shall make it my care the king hears of your loyalty. Come,
gentlemen,addressing the trooplet us return.

Stop,exclaimed Villequierso Mazarin was here! so much
the better. I have been waiting for a long time to tell him
what I think of him. I am obliged to you Guitant, although
your intention was perhaps not very favorable to me, for
such an opportunity.

He turned away and went off to his postwhistling a tune
then popular among the party called the "Fronde whilst
Mazarin returned, in a pensive mood, toward the Palais
Royal. All that he had heard from these three different men,
Comminges, Guitant and Villequier, confirmed him in his
conviction that in case of serious tumults there would be no
one on his side except the queen; and then Anne of Austria
had so often deserted her friends that her support seemed
most precarious. During the whole of this nocturnal ride,
during the whole time that he was endeavoring to understand
the various characters of Comminges, Guitant and Villequier,
Mazarin was, in truth, studying more especially one man.
This man, who had remained immovable as bronze when menaced
by the mob -- not a muscle of whose face was stirred, either
at Mazarin's witticisms or by the jests of the multitude -seemed
to the cardinal a peculiar being, who, having
participated in past events similar to those now occurring,
was calculated to cope with those now on the eve of taking


place.

The name of D'Artagnan was not altogether new to Mazarin,
who, although he did not arrive in France before the year
1634 or 1635, that is to say, about eight or nine years
after the events which we have related in a preceding
narrative,* fancied he had heard it pronounced as that of
one who was said to be a model of courage, address and
loyalty.

* The Three Musketeers."
Possessed by this ideathe cardinal resolved to know all
about D'Artagnan immediately; of course he could not inquire
from D'Artagnan himself who he was and what had been his
career; he remarkedhoweverin the course of conversation
that the lieutenant of musketeers spoke with a Gascon
accent. Now the Italians and the Gascons are too much alike
and know each other too well ever to trust what any one of
them may say of himself; so in reaching the walls which
surrounded the Palais Royalthe cardinal knocked at a
little doorand after thanking D'Artagnan and requesting
him to wait in the court of the Palais Royalhe made a sign
to Guitant to follow him.

They both dismountedconsigned their horses to the lackey
who had opened the doorand disappeared in the garden.

My dear friend,said the cardinalleaningas they walked
through the gardenon his friend's armyou told me just
now that you had been twenty years in the queen's service.

Yes, it's true. I have,returned Guitant.

Now, my dear Guitant, I have often remarked that in
addition to your courage, which is indisputable, and your
fidelity, which is invincible, you possess an admirable
memory.

You have found that out, have you, my lord? Deuce take it
-- all the worse for me!

How?

There is no doubt but that one of the chief accomplishments
of a courtier is to know when to forget.

But you, Guitant, are not a courtier. You are a brave
soldier, one of the few remaining veterans of the days of
Henry IV. Alas! how few to-day exist!

Plague on't, my lord, have you brought me here to get my
horoscope out of me?

No; I only brought you here to ask you,returned Mazarin
smilingif you have taken any particular notice of our
lieutenant of musketeers?

Monsieur d'Artagnan? I have had no occasion to notice him
particularly; he's an old acquaintance. He's a Gascon. De


Treville knows him and esteems him very highly, and De
Treville, as you know, is one of the queen's greatest
friends. As a soldier the man ranks well; he did his whole
duty and even more, at the siege of Rochelle -- as at Suze
and Perpignan.

But you know, Guitant, we poor ministers often want men
with other qualities besides courage; we want men of talent.
Pray, was not Monsieur d'Artagnan, in the time of the
cardinal, mixed up in some intrigue from which he came out,
according to report, quite cleverly?

My lord, as to the report you allude to-- Guitant
perceived that the cardinal wished to make him speak out -"
I know nothing but what the public knows. I never meddle in
intriguesand if I occasionally become a confidant of the
intrigues of others I am sure your eminence will approve of
my keeping them secret."

Mazarin shook his head.

Ah!he said; "some ministers are fortunate and find out
all that they wish to know."

My lord,replied Guitantsuch ministers do not weigh men
in the same balance; they get their information on war from
warriors; on intrigues, from intriguers. Consult some
politician of the period of which you speak, and if you pay
well for it you will certainly get to know all you want.

Eh, pardieu!said Mazarinwith a grimace which he always
made when spoken to about money. "They will be paidif
there is no way of getting out of it."

Does my lord seriously wish me to name any one who was
mixed up in the cabals of that day?

By Bacchus!rejoined Mazarinimpatientlyit's about an
hour since I asked you for that very thing, wooden-head that
you are.

There is one man for whom I can answer, if he will speak
out.

That's my concern; I will make him speak.

Ah, my lord, 'tis not easy to make people say what they
don't wish to let out.

Pooh! with patience one must succeed. Well, this man. Who
is he?

The Comte de Rochefort.

The Comte de Rochefort!

Unfortunately he has disappeared these four or five years
and I don't know where he is.

I know, Guitant,said Mazarin.

Well, then, how is it that your eminence complained just
now of want of information?


You think,resumed Mazarinthat Rochefort ----

He was Cardinal Richelieu's creature, my lord. I warn you,
however, his services will cost you something. The cardinal
was lavish to his underlings.

Yes, yes, Guitant,said Mazarin; "Richelieu was a great
mana very great manbut he had that defect. Thanks
Guitant; I shall benefit by your advice this very evening."

Here they separated and bidding adieu to Guitant in the
court of the Palais RoyalMazarin approached an officer who
was walking up and down within that inclosure.

It was D'Artagnanwho was waiting for him.

Cane hither,said Mazarin in his softest voice; "I have an
order to give you."

D'Artagnan bent low and following the cardinal up the secret
staircasesoon found himself in the study whence they had
first set out.

The cardinal seated himself before his bureau and taking a
sheet of paper wrote some lines upon itwhilst D'Artagnan
stood imperturbablewithout showing either impatience or
curiosity. He was like a soldierly automatonor rather
like a magnificent marionette.

The cardinal folded and sealed his letter.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,he saidyou are to take this
dispatch to the Bastile and bring back here the person it
concerns. You must take a carriage and an escort, and guard
the prisoner with the greatest care.

D'Artagnan took the lettertouched his hat with his hand
turned round upon his heel like a drill-sergeantand a
moment afterward was heardin his dry and monotonous tone
commanding "Four men and an escorta carriage and a horse."
Five minutes afterward the wheels of the carriage and the
horses' shoes were heard resounding on the pavement of the
courtyard.

Dead Animosities.

D'Artagnan arrived at the Bastile just as it was striking
half-past eight. His visit was announced to the governor
whoon hearing that he came from the cardinalwent to meet
him and received him at the top of the great flight of steps
outside the door. The governor of the Bastile was Monsieur
du Tremblaythe brother of the famous CapuchinJoseph
that fearful favorite of Richelieu'swho went by the name
of the Gray Cardinal.

During the period that the Duc de Bassompierre passed in the
Bastile -- where he remained for twelve long years -- when
his companionsin their dreams of libertysaid to each


other: "As for meI shall go out of the prison at such a
time and another, at such and such a time, the duke used
to answer, As for megentlemenI shall leave only when
Monsieur du Tremblay leaves;" meaning that at the death of
the cardinal Du Tremblay would certainly lose his place at
the Bastile and De Bassompierre regain his at court.

His prediction was nearly fulfilledbut in a very different
way from that which De Bassompierre supposed; for after the
death of Richelieu everything went oncontrary to
expectationin the same way as before; and Bassompierre had
little chance of leaving his prison.

Monsieur du Tremblay received D'Artagnan with extreme
politeness and invited him to sit down with him to supper
of which he was himself about to partake.

I should be delighted to do so,was the reply; "but if I
am not mistakenthe words `In haste' are written on the
envelope of the letter which I brought."

You are right,said Du Tremblay. "Halloomajor! tell them
to order Number 25 to come downstairs."

The unhappy wretch who entered the Bastile ceasedas he
crossed the thresholdto be a man -- he became a number.

D'Artagnan shuddered at the noise of the keys; he remained
on horsebackfeeling no inclination to dismountand sat
looking at the barsat the buttressed windows and the
immense walls he had hitherto only seen from the other side
of the moatbut by which he had for twenty years been
awe-struck.

A bell resounded.

I must leave you,said Du Tremblay; "I am sent for to sign
the release of a prisoner. I shall be happy to meet you
againsir."

May the devil annihilate me if I return thy wish!murmured
D'Artagnansmiling as he pronounced the imprecation; "I
declare I feel quite ill after only being five minutes in
the courtyard. Go to! go to! I would rather die on straw
than hoard up a thousand a year by being governor of the
Bastile."

He had scarcely finished this soliloquy before the prisoner
arrived. On seeing him D'Artagnan could hardly suppress an
exclamation of surprise. The prisoner got into the carriage
without seeming to recognize the musketeer.

Gentlemen,thus D'Artagnan addressed the four musketeers
I am ordered to exercise the greatest possible care in
guarding the prisoner, and since there are no locks to the
carriage, I shall sit beside him. Monsieur de Lillebonne,
lead my horse by the bridle, if you please.As he spoke he
dismountedgave the bridle of his horse to the musketeer
and placing himself by the side of the prisoner saidin a
voice perfectly composedTo the Palais Royal, at full
trot.

The carriage drove on and D'Artagnanavailing himself of
the darkness in the archway under which they were passing


threw himself into the arms of the prisoner.

Rochefort!he exclaimed; "you! is it youindeed? I am not
mistaken?"

D'Artagnan!cried Rochefort.

Ah! my poor friend!resumed D'Artagnannot having seen
you for four or five years I concluded you were dead.

I'faith,said Rochefortthere's no great difference, I
think, between a dead man and one who has been buried alive;
now I have been buried alive, or very nearly so.

And for what crime are you imprisoned in the Bastile.

Do you wish me to speak the truth?

Yes.

Well, then, I don't know.

Have you any suspicion of me, Rochefort?

No! on the honor of a gentleman; but I cannot be imprisoned
for the reason alleged; it is impossible.

What reason?asked D'Artagnan.

For stealing.

For stealing! you, Rochefort! you are laughing at me.

I understand. You mean that this demands explanation, do
you not?

I admit it.

Well, this is what actually took place: One evening after
an orgy in Reinard's apartment at the Tuileries with the Duc
d'Harcourt, Fontrailles, De Rieux and others, the Duc
d'Harcourt proposed that we should go and pull cloaks on the
Pont Neuf; that is, you know, a diversion which the Duc
d'Orleans made quite the fashion.

Were you crazy, Rochefort? at your age!

No, I was drunk. And yet, since the amusement seemed to me
rather tame, I proposed to Chevalier de Rieux that we should
be spectators instead of actors, and, in order to see to
advantage, that we should mount the bronze horse. No sooner
said than done. Thanks to the spurs, which served as
stirrups, in a moment we were perched upon the croupe; we
were well placed and saw everything. Four or five cloaks had
already been lifted, with a dexterity without parallel, and
not one of the victims had dared to say a word, when some
fool of a fellow, less patient than the others, took it into
his head to cry out, `Guard!' and drew upon us a patrol of
archers. Duc d'Harcourt, Fontrailles, and the others
escaped; De Rieux was inclined to do likewise, but I told
him they wouldn't look for us where we were. He wouldn't
listen, put his foot on the spur to get down, the spur
broke, he fell with a broken leg, and, instead of keeping
quiet, took to crying out like a gallows-bird. I then was


ready to dismount, but it was too late; I descended into the
arms of the archers. They conducted me to the Chatelet,
where I slept soundly, being very sure that on the next day
I should go forth free. The next day came and passed, the
day after, a week; I then wrote to the cardinal. The same
day they came for me and took me to the Bastile. That was
five years ago. Do you believe it was because I committed
the sacrilege of mounting en croupe behind Henry IV.?

No; you are right, my dear Rochefort, it couldn't be for
that; but you will probably learn the reason soon.

Ah, indeed! I forgot to ask you -- where are you taking
me?

To the cardinal.

What does he want with me?

I do not know. I did not even know that you were the person
I was sent to fetch.

Impossible -- you -- a favorite of the minister!

A favorite! no, indeed!cried D'Artagnan. "Ahmy poor
friend! I am just as poor a Gascon as when I saw you at
Meungtwenty-two years agoyou know; alas!" and he
concluded his speech with a deep sigh.

Nevertheless, you come as one in authority.

Because I happened to be in the ante-chamber when the
cardinal called me, by the merest chance. I am still a
lieutenant in the musketeers and have been so these twenty
years.

Then no misfortune has happened to you?

And what misfortune could happen to me? To quote some Latin
verses I have forgotten, or rather, never knew well, `the
thunderbolt never falls on the valleys,' and I am a valley,
dear Rochefort, -- one of the lowliest of the low.

Then Mazarin is still Mazarin?

The same as ever, my friend; it is said that he is married
to the queen.

Married?

If not her husband, he is unquestionably her lover.

You surprise me. Rebuff Buckingham and consent to Mazarin!

Just like the women,replied D'Artagnancoolly.

Like women, not like queens.

Egad! queens are the weakest of their sex, when it comes to
such things as these.

And M. de Beaufort -- is he still in prison?

Yes. Why?


Oh, nothing, but that he might get me out of this, if he
were favorably inclined to me.

You are probably nearer freedom than he is, so it will be
your business to get him out.

And,said the prisonerwhat talk is there of war with
Spain?

With Spain, no,answered D'Artagnan; "but Paris."

What do you mean?cried Rochefort.

Do you hear the guns, pray? The citizens are amusing
themselves in the meantime.

And you -- do you really think that anything could be done
with these bourgeois?

Yes, they might do well if they had any leader to unite
them in one body.

How miserable not to be free!

Don't be downcast. Since Mazarin has sent for you, it is
because he wants you. I congratulate you! Many a long year
has passed since any one has wanted to employ me; so you see
in what a situation I am.

Make your complaints known; that's my advice.

Listen, Rochefort; let us make a compact. We are friends,
are we not?

Egad! I bear the traces of our friendship -- three slits or
slashes from your sword.

Well, if you should be restored to favor, don't forget me.

On the honor of a Rochefort; but you must do the like for
me.

There's my hand, -- I promise.

Therefore, whenever you find any opportunity of saying
something in my behalf ----

I shall say it, and you?

I shall do the same.

Apropos, are we to speak of your friends also, Athos,
Porthos, and Aramis? or have you forgotten them?

Almost.

What has become of them?

I don't know; we separated, as you know. They are alive,
that's all that I can say about them; from time to time I
hear of them indirectly, but in what part of the world they
are, devil take me if I know, No, on my honor, I have not a
friend in the world but you, Rochefort.


And the illustrious -- what's the name of the lad whom I
made a sergeant in Piedmont's regiment?

Planchet!

The illustrious Planchet. What has become of him?

I shouldn't wonder if he were at the head of the mob at
this very moment. He married a woman who keeps a
confectioner's shop in the Rue des Lombards, for he's a lad
who was always fond of sweetmeats; he's now a citizen of
Paris. You'll see that that queer fellow will be a sheriff
before I shall be a captain.

Come, dear D'Artagnan, look up a little! Courage! It is
when one is lowest on the wheel of fortune that the
merry-go-round wheels and rewards us. This evening your
destiny begins to change.

Amen!exclaimed D'Artagnanstopping the carriage.

What are you doing?asked Rochefort.

We are almost there and I want no one to see me getting out
of your carriage; we are supposed not to know each other.

You are right. Adieu.

Au revoir. Remember your promise.

In five minutes the party entered the courtyard and
D'Artagnan led the prisoner up the great staircase and
across the corridor and ante-chamber.

As they stopped at the door of the cardinal's study
D'Artagnan was about to be announced when Rochefort slapped
him on his shoulder.

D'Artagnan, let me confess to you what I've been thinking
about during the whole of my drive, as I looked out upon the
parties of citizens who perpetually crossed our path and
looked at you and your four men with fiery eyes.

Speak out,answered D'Artagnan.

I had only to cry out `Help!' for you and for your
companions to be cut to pieces, and then I should have been
free.

Why didn't you do it?asked the lieutenant.

Come, come!cried Rochefort. "Did we not swear friendship?
Ah! had any one but you been thereI don't say ---- "

D'Artagnan bowed. "Is it possible that Rochefort has become
a better man than I am?" he said to himself. And he caused
himself to be announced to the minister.

Let M. de Rochefort enter,said Mazarineagerlyon
hearing their names pronounced; "and beg M. d'Artagnan to
wait; I shall have further need of him."

These words gave great joy to D'Artagnan. As he had saidit


had been a long time since any one had needed him; and that
demand for his services on the part of Mazarin seemed to him
an auspicious sign.

Rochefortrendered suspicious and cautious by these words
entered the apartmentwhere he found Mazarin sitting at the
tabledressed in his ordinary garb and as one of the
prelates of the Churchhis costume being similar to that of
the abbes in that dayexcepting that his scarf and
stockings were violet.

As the door was closed Rochefort cast a glance toward
Mazarinwhich was answered by oneequally furtivefrom
the minister.

There was little change in the cardinal; still dressed with
sedulous carehis hair well arranged and curledhis person
perfumedhe lookedowing to his extreme taste in dress
only half his age. But Rochefortwho had passed five years
in prisonhad become old in the lapse of a few years; the
dark locks of this estimable friend of the defunct Cardinal
Richelieu were now white; the deep bronze of his complexion
had been succeeded by a mortal pallor which betokened
debility. As he gazed at him Mazarin shook his head
slightlyas much as to sayThis is a man who does not
appear to me fit for much.

After a pausewhich appeared an age to RochefortMazarin
took from a bundle of papers a letterand showing it to the
counthe said:

I find here a letter in which you sue for liberty, Monsieur
de Rochefort. You are in prison, then?

Rochefort trembled in every limb at this question. "But I
thought he said, that your eminence knew that
circumstance better than any one ---- "

I? Oh no! There is a congestion of prisoners in the
Bastile, who were cooped up in the time of Monsieur de
Richelieu; I don't even know their names.

Yes, but in regard to myself, my lord, it cannot be so, for
I was removed from the Chatelet to the Bastile owing to an
order from your eminence.

You think you were.

I am certain of it.

Ah, stay! I fancy I remember it. Did you not once refuse to
undertake a journey to Brussels for the queen?

Ah! ah!exclaimed Rochefort. "There is the true reason!
Idiot that I amthough I have been trying to find it out
for five yearsI never found it out."

But I do not say it was the cause of your imprisonment. I
merely ask you, did you not refuse to go to Brussels for the
queen, whilst you had consented to go there to do some
service for the late cardinal?

That is the very reason I refused to go back to Brussels. I
was there at a fearful moment. I was sent there to intercept


a correspondence between Chalais and the archduke, and even
then, when I was discovered I was nearly torn to pieces. How
could I, then, return to Brussels? I should injure the queen
instead of serving her.

Well, since the best motives are liable to misconstruction,
the queen saw in your refusal nothing but a refusal -- a
distinct refusal she had also much to complain of you during
the lifetime of the late cardinal; yes, her majesty the
queen ----

Rochefort smiled contemptuously.

Since I was a faithful servant, my lord, to Cardinal
Richelieu during his life, it stands to reason that now,
after his death, I should serve you well, in defiance of the
whole world.

With regard to myself, Monsieur de Rochefort,replied
MazarinI am not, like Monsieur de Richelieu,
all-powerful. I am but a minister, who wants no servants,
being myself nothing but a servant of the queen's. Now, the
queen is of a sensitive nature. Hearing of your refusal to
obey her she looked upon it as a declaration of war, and as
she considers you a man of superior talent, and consequently
dangerous, she desired me to make sure of you; that is the
reason of your being shut up in the Bastile. But your
release can be managed. You are one of those men who can
comprehend certain matters and having understood them, can
act with energy ----

Such was Cardinal Richelieu's opinion, my lord.

The cardinal,interrupted Mazarinwas a great politician
and therein shone his vast superiority over me. I am a
straightforward, simple man; that's my great disadvantage. I
am of a frankness of character quite French.

Rochefort bit his lips in order to prevent a smile.

Now to the point. I want friends; I want faithful servants.
When I say I want, I mean the queen wants them. I do nothing
without her commands -- pray understand that; not like
Monsieur de Richelieu, who went on just as he pleased. So I
shall never be a great man, as he was, but to compensate for
that, I shall be a good man, Monsieur de Rochefort, and I
hope to prove it to you.

Rochefort knew well the tones of that soft voicein which
sounded sometimes a sort of gentle lisplike the hissing of
young vipers.

I am disposed to believe your eminence,he replied;
though I have had but little evidence of that good-nature
of which your eminence speaks. Do not forget that I have
been five years in the Bastile and that no medium of viewing
things is so deceptive as the grating of a prison.

Ah, Monsieur de Rochefort! have I not told you already that
I had nothing to do with that? The queen -- cannot you make
allowances for the pettishness of a queen and a princess?
But that has passed away as suddenly as it came, and is
forgotten.


I can easily suppose, sir, that her majesty has forgotten
it amid the fetes and the courtiers of the Palais Royal, but
I who have passed those years in the Bastile ----

Ah! mon Dieu! my dear Monsieur de Rochefort! do you
absolutely think that the Palais Royal is the abode of
gayety? No. We have had great annoyances there. As for me, I
play my game squarely, fairly, and above board, as I always
do. Let us come to some conclusion. Are you one of us,
Monsieur de Rochefort?

I am very desirous of being so, my lord, but I am totally
in the dark about everything. In the Bastile one talks
politics only with soldiers and jailers, and you have not an
idea, my lord, how little is known of what is going on by
people of that sort; I am of Monsieur de Bassompierre's
party. Is he still one of the seventeen peers of France.

He is dead, sir; a great loss. His devotion to the queen
was boundless; men of loyalty are scarce.

I think so, forsooth,said Rochefortand when you find
any of them, you march them off to the Bastile. However,
there are plenty in the world, but you don't look in the
right direction for them, my lord.

Indeed! explain to me. Ah! my dear Monsieur de Rochefort,
how much you must have learned during your intimacy with the
late cardinal! Ah! he was a great man.

Will your eminence be angry if I read you a lesson?

I! never! you know you may say anything to me. I try to be
beloved, not feared.

Well, there is on the wall of my cell, scratched with a
nail, a proverb, which says, `Like master, like servant.'

Pray, what does that mean?

It means that Monsieur de Richelieu was able to find trusty
servants, dozens and dozens of them.

He! the point aimed at by every poniard! Richelieu, who
passed his life in warding off blows which were forever
aimed at him!

But he did ward them off,said De Rochefortand the
reason was, that though he had bitter enemies he possessed
also true friends. I have known persons,he continued -for
he thought he might avail himself of the opportunity of
speaking of D'Artagnan -- "who by their sagacity and address
have deceived the penetration of Cardinal Richelieu; who by
their valor have got the better of his guards and spies;
persons without moneywithout supportwithout credityet
who have preserved to the crowned head its crown and made
the cardinal crave pardon."

But those men you speak of,said Mazarinsmiling inwardly
on seeing Rochefort approach the point to which he was
leading himthose men were not devoted to the cardinal,
for they contended against him.

No; in that case they would have met with more fitting


reward. They had the misfortune to be devoted to that very
queen for whom just now you were seeking servants.

But how is it that you know so much of these matters?

I know them because the men of whom I speak were at that
time my enemies; because they fought against me; because I
did them all the harm I could and they returned it to the
best of their ability; because one of them, with whom I had
most to do, gave me a pretty sword-thrust, now about seven
years ago, the third that I received from the same hand; it
closed an old account.

Ah!said Mazarinwith admirable suavitycould I but
find such men!

My lord, there has stood for six years at your very door a
man such as I describe, and during those six years he has
been unappreciated and unemployed by you.

Who is it?

It is Monsieur d'Artagnan.

That Gascon!cried Mazarinwith well acted surprise.

`That Gascon' has saved a queen and made Monsieur de
Richelieu confess that in point of talent, address and
political skill, to him he was only a tyro.

Really?

It is as I have the honor of telling it to your
excellency.

Tell me a little about it, my dear Monsieur de Rochefort.

That is somewhat difficult, my lord,said Rochefortwith
a smile.

Then he will tell it me himself.

I doubt it, my lord.

Why do you doubt it?

Because the secret does not belong to him; because, as I
have told you, it has to do with a great queen.

And he was alone in achieving an enterprise like that?

No, my lord, he had three colleagues, three brave men, men
such as you were wishing for just now.

And were these four men attached to each other, true in
heart, really united?

As if they had been one man -- as if their four hearts had
pulsated in one breast.

You pique my curiosity, dear Rochefort; pray tell me the
whole story.

That is impossible; but I will tell you a true story, my


lord.

Pray do so, I delight in stories,cried the cardinal.

Listen, then,returned Rochefortas he spoke endeavoring
to read in that subtle countenance the cardinal's motive.
Once upon a time there lived a queen -- a powerful monarch
-- who reigned over one of the greatest kingdoms of the
universe; and a minister; and this minister wished much to
injure the queen, whom once he had loved too well. (Do not
try, my lord, you cannot guess who it is; all this happened
long before you came into the country where this queen
reigned.) There came to the court an ambassador so brave, so
magnificent, so elegant, that every woman lost her heart to
him; and the queen had even the indiscretion to give him
certain ornaments so rare that they could never be replaced
by any like them.

As these ornaments were given by the king the minister
persuaded his majesty to insist upon the queen's appearing
in them as part of her jewels at a ball which was soon to
take place. There is no occasion to tell youmy lordthat
the minister knew for a fact that these ornaments had sailed
away with the ambassadorwho was far awaybeyond seas.
This illustrious queen had fallen low as the least of her
subjects -- fallen from her high estate."

Indeed!

Well, my lord, four men resolved to save her. These four
men were not princes, neither were they dukes, neither were
they men in power; they were not even rich. They were four
honest soldiers, each with a good heart, a good arm and a
sword at the service of those who wanted it. They set out.
The minister knew of their departure and had planted people
on the road to prevent them ever reaching their destination.
Three of them were overwhelmed and disabled by numerous
assailants; one of them alone arrived at the port, having
either killed or wounded those who wished to stop him. He
crossed the sea and brought back the set of ornaments to the
great queen, who was able to wear them on her shoulder on
the appointed day; and this very nearly ruined the minister.
What do you think of that exploit, my lord?

It is magnificent!said Mazarinthoughtfully.

Well, I know of ten such men.

Mazarin made no reply; he reflected.

Five or six minutes elapsed.

You have nothing more to ask of me, my lord?said
Rochefort.

Yes. And you say that Monsieur d'Artagnan was one of those
four men?

He led the enterprise.

And who were the others?

I leave it to Monsieur d'Artagnan to name them, my lord.
They were his friends and not mine. He alone would have any


influence with them; I do not even know them under their
true names.

You suspect me, Monsieur de Rochefort; I want him and you
and all to aid me.

Begin with me, my lord; for after five or six years of
imprisonment it is natural to feel some curiosity as to
one's destination.

You, my dear Monsieur de Rochefort, shall have the post of
confidence; you shall go to Vincennes, where Monsieur de
Beaufort is confined; you will guard him well for me. Well,
what is the matter?

The matter is that you have proposed to me what is
impossible,said Rochefortshaking his head with an air of
disappointment.

What! impossible? And why is it impossible?

Because Monsieur de Beaufort is one of my friends, or
rather, I am one of his. Have you forgotten, my lord, that
it is he who answered for me to the queen?

Since then Monsieur de Beaufort has become an enemy of the
State.

That may be, my lord; but since I am neither king nor queen
nor minister, he is not my enemy and I cannot accept your
offer.

This, then, is what you call devotion! I congratulate you.
Your devotion does not commit you too far, Monsieur de
Rochefort.

And then, my lord,continued Rochefortyou understand
that to emerge from the Bastile in order to enter Vincennes
is only to change one's prison.

Say at once that you are on the side of Monsieur de
Beaufort; that will be the most sincere line of conduct,
said Mazarin.

My lord, I have been so long shut up, that I am only of one
party -- I am for fresh air. Employ me in any other way;
employ me even actively, but let it be on the high roads.

My dear Monsieur de Rochefort,Mazarin replied in a tone
of railleryyou think yourself still a young man; your
spirit is that of the phoenix, but your strength fails you.
Believe me, you ought now to take a rest. Here!

You decide, then, nothing about me, my lord?

On the contrary, I have come to a decision.

Bernouin came into the room.

Call an officer of justice,he said; "and stay close to
me he added, in a low tone.

The officer entered. Mazarin wrote a few words, which he
gave to this man; then he bowed.


AdieuMonsieur de Rochefort he said.

Rochefort bent low.

I seemy lordI am to be taken back to the Bastile."

You are sagacious.

I shall return thither, my lord, but it is a mistake on
your part not to employ me.

You? the friend of my greatest foes? Don't suppose that you
are the only person who can serve me, Monsieur de Rochefort.
I shall find many men as able as you are.

I wish you may, my lord,replied De Rochefort.

He was then reconducted by the little staircaseinstead of
passing through the ante-chamber where D'Artagnan was
waiting. In the courtyard the carriage and the four
musketeers were readybut he looked around in vain for his
friend.

Ah!he muttered to himselfthis changes the situation,
and if there is still a crowd of people in the streets we
will try to show Mazarin that we are still, thank God, good
for something else than keeping guard over a prisoner;and
he jumped into the carriage with the alacrity of a man of
five-and-twenty.

Anne of Austria at the Age of Forty-six.

When left alone with BernouinMazarin was for some minutes
lost in thought. He had gained much informationbut not
enough. Mazarin was a cheat at the card-table. This is a
detail preserved to us by Brienne. He called it using his
advantages. He now determined not to begin the game with
D'Artagnan till he knew completely all his adversary's
cards.

My lord, have you any commands?asked Bernouin.

Yes, yes,replied Mazarin. "Light me; I am going to the
queen."

Bernouin took up a candlestick and led the way.

There was a secret communication between the cardinal's
apartments and those of the queen; and through this
corridor* Mazarin passed whenever he wished to visit Anne of
Austria.

*This secret passage is still to be seen in the Palais
Royal.


In the bedroom in which this passage endedBernouin
encountered Madame de Beauvaislike himself intrusted with
the secret of these subterranean love affairs; and Madame de
Beauvais undertook to prepare Anne of Austriawho was in
her oratory with the young kingLouis XIV.to receive the
cardinal.

Annereclining in a large easy-chairher head supported by
her handher elbow resting on a tablewas looking at her
sonwho was turning over the leaves of a large book filled
with pictures. This celebrated woman fully understood the
art of being dull with dignity. It was her practice to pass
hours either in her oratory or in her roomwithout either
reading or praying.

When Madame de Beauvais appeared at the door and announced
the cardinalthe childwho had been absorbed in the pages
of Quintus Curtiusenlivened as they were by engravings of
Alexander's feats of armsfrowned and looked at his mother.

Why,he saiddoes he enter without first asking for an
audience?

Anne colored slightly.

The prime minister,she saidis obliged in these
unsettled days to inform the queen of all that is happening
from time to time, without exciting the curiosity or remarks
of the court.

But Richelieu never came in this manner,said the
pertinacious boy.

How can you remember what Monsieur de Richelieu did? You
were too young to know about such things.

I do not remember what he did, but I have inquired and I
have been told all about it.

And who told you about it?asked Anne of Austriawith a
movement of impatience.

I know that I ought never to name the persons who answer my
questions,answered the childfor if I do I shall learn
nothing further.

At this very moment Mazarin entered. The king rose
immediatelytook his bookclosed it and went to lay it
down on the tablenear which he continued standingin
order that Mazarin might be obliged to stand also.

Mazarin contemplated these proceedings with a thoughtful
glance. They explained what had occurred that evening.

He bowed respectfully to the kingwho gave him a somewhat
cavalier receptionbut a look from his mother reproved him
for the hatred whichfrom his infancyLouis XIV. had
entertained toward Mazarinand he endeavored to receive the
minister's homage with civility.

Anne of Austria sought to read in Mazarin's face the
occasion of this unexpected visitsince the cardinal


usually came to her apartment only after every one had
retired.

The minister made a slight sign with his headwhereupon the
queen said to Madame Beauvais:

It is time for the king to go to bed; call Laporte.

The queen had several times already told her son that he
ought to go to bedand several times Louis had coaxingly
insisted on staying where he was; but now he made no reply
but turned pale and bit his lips with anger.

In a few minutes Laporte came into the room. The child went
directly to him without kissing his mother.

Well, Louis,said Annewhy do you not kiss me?

I thought you were angry with me, madame; you sent me
away.

I do not send you away, but you have had the small-pox and
I am afraid that sitting up late may tire you.

You had no fears of my being tired when you ordered me to
go to the palace to-day to pass the odious decrees which
have raised the people to rebellion.

Sire!interposed Laportein order to turn the subject
to whom does your majesty wish me to give the candle?

To any one, Laporte,the child said; and then added in a
loud voiceto any one except Mancini.

Now Mancini was a nephew of Mazarin's and was as much hated
by Louis as the cardinal himselfalthough placed near his
person by the minister.

And the king went out of the room without either embracing
his mother or even bowing to the cardinal.

Good,said MazarinI am glad to see that his majesty has
been brought up with a hatred of dissimulation.

Why do you say that?asked the queenalmost timidly.

Why, it seems to me that the way in which he left us needs
no explanation. Besides, his majesty takes no pains to
conceal how little affection he has for me. That, however,
does not hinder me from being entirely devoted to his
service, as I am to that of your majesty.

I ask your pardon for him, cardinal,said the queen; "he
is a childnot yet able to understand his obligations to
you."

The cardinal smiled.

But,continued the queenyou have doubtless come for
some important purpose. What is it, then?

Mazarin sank into a chair with the deepest melancholy
painted on his countenance.


It is likely,he repliedthat we shall soon be obliged
to separate, unless you love me well enough to follow me to
Italy.

Why,cried the queen; "how is that?"

Because, as they say in the opera of `Thisbe,' `The whole
world conspires to break our bonds.'

You jest, sir!answered the queenendeavoring to assume
something of her former dignity.

Alas! I do not, madame,rejoined Mazarin. "Mark well what
I say. The whole world conspires to break our bonds. Now as
you are one of the whole worldI mean to say that you also
are deserting me."

Cardinal!

Heavens! did I not see you the other day smile on the Duke
of Orleans? or rather at what he said?

And what was he saying?

He said this, madame: `Mazarin is a stumbling-block. Send
him away and all will then be well.'

What do you wish me to do?

Oh, madame! you are the queen!

Queen, forsooth! when I am at the mercy of every scribbler
in the Palais Royal who covers waste paper with nonsense, or
of every country squire in the kingdom.

Nevertheless, you have still the power of banishing from
your presence those whom you do not like!

That is to say, whom you do not like,returned the queen.

I! persons whom I do not like!

Yes, indeed. Who sent away Madame de Chevreuse after she
had been persecuted twelve years under the last reign?

A woman of intrigue, who wanted to keep up against me the
spirit of cabal she had raised against M. de Richelieu.

Who dismissed Madame de Hautefort, that friend so loyal
that she refused the favor of the king that she might remain
in mine?

A prude, who told you every night, as she undressed you,
that it was a sin to love a priest, just as if one were a
priest because one happens to be a cardinal.

Who ordered Monsieur de Beaufort to be arrested?

An incendiary the burden of whose song was his intention to
assassinate me.

You see, cardinal,replied the queenthat your enemies
are mine.


That is not enough madame, it is necessary that your
friends should be also mine.

My friends, monsieur?The queen shook her head. "AlasI
have them no longer!"

How is it that you have no friends in your prosperity when
you had many in adversity?

It is because in my prosperity I forgot those old friends,
monsieur; because I have acted like Queen Marie de Medicis,
who, returning from her first exile, treated with contempt
all those who had suffered for her and, being proscribed a
second time, died at Cologne abandoned by every one, even by
her own son.

Well, let us see,said Mazarin; "isn't there still time to
repair the evil? Search among your friendsyour oldest
friends."

What do you mean, monsieur?

Nothing else than I say -- search.

Alas, I look around me in vain! I have no influence with
any one. Monsieur is, as usual, led by his favorite;
yesterday it was Choisy, to-day it is La Riviere, to-morrow
it will be some one else. Monsieur le Prince is led by the
coadjutor, who is led by Madame de Guemenee.

Therefore, madame, I ask you to look, not among your
friends of to-day, but among those of other times.

Among my friends of other times?said the queen.

Yes, among your friends of other times; among those who
aided you to contend against the Duc de Richelieu and even
to conquer him.

What is he aiming at?murmured the queenlooking uneasily
at the cardinal.

Yes,continued his eminence; "under certain circumstances
with that strong and shrewd mind your majesty possesses
aided by your friendsyou were able to repel the attacks of
that adversary."

I!said the queen. "I sufferedthat is all."

Yes.said Mazarinas women suffer in avenging
themselves. Come, let us come to the point. Do you know
Monsieur de Rochefort?

One of my bitterest enemies -- the faithful friend of
Cardinal Richelieu.

I know that, and we sent him to the Bastile,said Mazarin.

Is he at liberty?asked the queen.

No; still there, but I only speak of him in order that I
may introduce the name of another man. Do you know Monsieur
d'Artagnan?he addedlooking steadfastly at the queen.


Anne of Austria received the blow with a beating heart.

Has the Gascon been indiscreet?she murmured to herself
then said aloud:

D'Artagnan! stop an instant, the name seems certainly
familiar. D'Artagnan! there was a musketeer who was in love
with one of my women. Poor young creature! she was poisoned
on my account.

That's all you know of him?asked Mazarin.

The queen looked at himsurprised.

You seem, sir,she remarkedto be making me undergo a
course of cross-examination.

Which you answer according to your fancy,replied Mazarin.

Tell me your wishes and I will comply with them.

The queen spoke with some impatience.

Well, madame,said MazarinbowingI desire that you
give me a share in your friends, as I have shared with you
the little industry and talent that Heaven has given me. The
circumstances are grave and it will be necessary to act
promptly.

Still!said the queen. "I thought that we were finally
quit of Monsieur de Beaufort."

Yes, you saw only the torrent that threatened to overturn
everything and you gave no attention to the still water.
There is, however, a proverb current in France relating to
water which is quiet.

Continue,said the queen.

Well, then, madame, not a day passes in which I do not
suffer affronts from your princes and your lordly servants,
all of them automata who do not perceive that I wind up the
spring that makes them move, nor do they see that beneath my
quiet demeanor lies the still scorn of an injured, irritated
man, who has sworn to himself to master them one of these
days. We have arrested Monsieur de Beaufort, but he is the
least dangerous among them. There is the Prince de Conde
----

The hero of Rocroy. Do you think of him?

Yes, madame, often and often, but pazienza, as we say in
Italy; next, after Monsieur de Conde, comes the Duke of
Orleans.

What are you saying? The first prince of the blood, the
king's uncle!

No! not the first prince of the blood, not the king's
uncle, but the base conspirator, the soul of every cabal,
who pretends to lead the brave people who are weak enough to
believe in the honor of a prince of the blood -- not the
prince nearest to the throne, not the king's uncle, I
repeat, but the murderer of Chalais, of Montmorency and of


Cinq-Mars, who is playing now the same game he played long
ago and who thinks that he will win the game because he has
a new adversary -- instead of a man who threatened, a man
who smiles. But he is mistaken; I shall not leave so near
the queen that source of discord with which the deceased
cardinal so often caused the anger of the king to rage above
the boiling point.

Anne blushed and buried her face in her hands.

What am I to do?she saidbowed down beneath the voice of
her tyrant.

Endeavor to remember the names of those faithful servants
who crossed the Channel, in spite of Monsieur de Richelieu,
tracking the roads along which they passed by their blood,
to bring back to your majesty certain jewels given by you to
Buckingham.

Anne arosefull of majestyand as if touched by a spring
and looking at the cardinal with the haughty dignity which
in the days of her youth had made her so powerful: "You are
insulting me!" she said.

I wish,continued Mazarinfinishingas it werethe
speech this sudden movement of the queen had cut; "I wish
in factthat you should now do for your husband what you
formerly did for your lover."

Again that accusation!cried the queen. "I thought that
calumny was stifled or extinct; you have spared me till now
but since you speak of itonce for allI tell you ---- "

Madame, I do not ask you to tell me,said Mazarin
astounded by this returning courage.

I will tell you all,replied Anne. "Listen: there were in
truthat that epochfour devoted heartsfour loyal
spiritsfour faithful swordswho saved more than my life
-- my honor ---- "

Ah! you confess it!exclaimed Mazarin.

Is it only the guilty whose honor is at the sport of
others, sir? and cannot women be dishonored by appearances?
Yes, appearances were against me and I was about to suffer
dishonor. However, I swear I was not guilty, I swear it by
----

The queen looked around her for some sacred object by which
she could swearand taking out of a cupboard hidden in the
tapestrya small coffer of rosewood set in silverand
laying it on the altar:

I swear,she saidby these sacred relics that Buckingham
was not my lover.

What relics are those by which you swear?asked Mazarin
smiling. "I am incredulous."

The queen untied from around her throat a small golden key
which hung thereand presented it to the cardinal.

Open, sir,she saidand look for yourself.


Mazarin opened the coffer; a knifecovered with rustand
two lettersone of which was stained with bloodalone met
his gaze.

What are these things?he asked.

What are these things?replied Annewith queen-like
dignityextending toward the open coffer an armdespite
the lapse of yearsstill beautiful. "These two letters are
the only ones I ever wrote to him. This knife is the knife
with which Felton stabbed him. Read the letters and see if I
have lied or spoken the truth."

But Mazarinnotwithstanding this permissioninstead of
reading the letterstook the knife which the dying
Buckingham had snatched out of the wound and sent by Laporte
to the queen. The blade was redfor the blood had become
rust; after a momentary examination during which the queen
became as white as the cloth which covered the altar on
which she was leaninghe put it back into the coffer with
an involuntary shudder.

It is well, madame, I believe your oath.

No, no, read,exclaimed the queenindignantly; "readI
command youfor I am resolved that everything shall be
finished to-night and never will I recur to this subject
again. Do you think she said, with a ghastly smile, that
I shall be inclined to reopen this coffer to answer any
future accusations?"

Mazarinovercome by this determinationread the two
letters. In one the queen asked for the ornaments back
again. This letter had been conveyed by D'Artagnan and had
arrived in time. The other was that which Laporte had placed
in the hands of the Duke of Buckinghamwarning him that he
was about to be assassinated; that communication had arrived
too late.

It is well, madame,said Mazarin; "nothing can gainsay
such testimony."

Sir,replied the queenclosing the coffer and leaning her
hand upon itif there is anything to be said, it is that I
have always been ungrateful to the brave men who saved me -that
I have given nothing to that gallant officer,
D'Artagnan, you were speaking of just now, but my hand to
kiss and this diamond.

As she spoke she extended her beautiful hand to the cardinal
and showed him a superb diamond which sparkled on her
finger.

It appears,she resumedthat he sold it ---he sold it in
order to save me another time -- to be able to send a
messenger to the duke to warn him of his danger -- he sold
it to Monsieur des Essarts, on whose finger I remarked it. I
bought it from him, but it belongs to D'Artagnan. Give it
back to him, sir, and since you have such a man in your
service, make him useful.

Thank you, madame,said Mazarin. "I will profit by the
advice."


And now,added the queenher voice broken by her emotion
have you any other question to ask me?

Nothing,-- the cardinal spoke in his most conciliatory
manner -- "except to beg of you to forgive my unworthy
suspicions. I love you so tenderly that I cannot help being
jealouseven of the past."

A smilewhich was indefinablepassed over the lips of the
queen.

Since you have no further interrogations to make, leave me,
I beseech you,she said. "I wishafter such a sceneto be
alone."

Mazarin bent low before her.

I will retire, madame. Do you permit me to return?

Yes, to-morrow.

The cardinal took the queen's hand and pressed it with an
air of gallantry to his lips.

Scarcely had he left her when the queen went into her son's
roomand inquired from Laporte if the king was in bed.
Laporte pointed to the childwho was asleep.

Anne ascended the steps side of the bed and softly kissed
the placid forehead of her son; then she retired as silently
as she had comemerely saying to Laporte:

Try, my dear Laporte, to make the king more courteous to
Monsieur le Cardinal, to whom both he and I are under such
important obligations.

The Gascon and the Italian.

Meanwhile the cardinal returned to his own room; and after
asking Bernouinwho stood at the doorwhether anything had
occurred during his absenceand being answered in the
negativehe desired that he might be left alone.

When he was alone he opened the door of the corridor and
then that of the ante-chamber. There D'Artagnan was asleep
upon a bench.

The cardinal went up to him and touched his shoulder.
D'Artagnan startedawakened himselfand as he awokestood
up exactly like a soldier under arms.

Here I am,said he. "Who calls me?"

I,said Mazarinwith his most smiling expression.

I ask pardon of your eminence,said D'Artagnanbut I was
so fatigued ----


Don't ask my pardon, monsieur,said Mazarinfor you
fatigued yourself in my service.

D'Artagnan admired Mazarin's gracious manner. "Ah said he,
between his teeth, is there truth in the proverb that
fortune comes while one sleeps?"

Follow me, monsieur,said Mazarin.

Come, come,murmured D'ArtagnanRochefort has kept his
promise, but where in the devil is he?And he searched the
cabinet even to the smallest recessesbut there was no sign
of Rochefort.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,said the cardinalsitting down on a
fauteuilyou have always seemed to me to be a brave and
honorable man.

Possibly,thought D'Artagnanbut he has taken a long
time to let me know his thoughts;neverthelesshe bowed to
the very ground in gratitude for Mazarin's compliment.

Well,continued Mazarinthe time has come to put to use
your talents and your valor.

There was a sudden gleam of joy in the officer's eyeswhich
vanished immediatelyfor he knew nothing of Mazarin's
purpose.

Order, my lord,he said; "I am ready to obey your
eminence."

Monsieur d'Artagnan,continued the cardinalyou
performed sundry superb exploits in the last reign.

Your eminence is too good to remember such trifles in my
favor. It is true I fought with tolerable success.

I don't speak of your warlike exploits, monsieur,said
Mazarin; "although they gained you much reputationthey
were surpassed by others."

D'Artagnan pretended astonishment.

Well, you do not reply?resumed Mazarin.

I am waiting, my lord, till you tell me of what exploits
you speak.

I speak of the adventure -- Eh, you know well what I mean.

Alas, no, my lord!replied D'Artagnansurprised.

You are discreet -- so much the better. I speak of that
adventure in behalf of the queen, of the ornaments, of the
journey you made with three of your friends.

Aha!thought the Gascon; "is this a snare or not? Let me
be on my guard."

And he assumed a look of stupidity which Mendori or
Bellerosetwo of the first actors of the daymight have
envied.


Bravo!cried Mazarin; "they told me that you were the man
I wanted. Comelet us see what you will do for me."

Everything that your eminence may please to command me,
was the reply.

You will do for me what you have done for the queen?

Certainly,D'Artagnan said to himselfhe wishes to make
me speak out. He's not more cunning than De Richelieu was!
Devil take him!Then he said aloud:

The queen, my lord? I don't comprehend.

You don't comprehend that I want you and your three friends
to be of use to me?

Which of my friends, my lord?

Your three friends -- the friends of former days.

Of former days, my lord! In former days I had not only
three friends, I had thirty; at two-and-twenty one calls
every man one's friend.

Well, sir,returned Mazarinprudence is a fine thing,
but to-day you might regret having been too prudent.

My lord, Pythagoras made his disciples keep silence for
five years that they might learn to hold their tongues.

But you have been silent for twenty years, sir. Speak, now
the queen herself releases you from your promise.

The queen!said D'Artagnanwith an astonishment which
this time was not pretended.

Yes, the queen! And as a proof of what I say she commanded
me to show you this diamond, which she thinks you know.

And so sayingMazarin extended his hand to the officerwho
sighed as he recognized the ring so gracefully given to him
by the queen on the night of the ball at the Hotel de Ville
and which she had repurchased from Monsieur des Essarts.

'Tis true. I remember well that diamond, which belonged to
the queen.

You see, then, that I speak to you in the queen's name.
Answer me without acting as if you were on the stage; your
interests are concerned in your so doing.

Faith, my lord, it is very necessary for me to make my
fortune, your eminence has so long forgotten me.

We need only a week to amend all that. Come, you are
accounted for, you are here, but where are your friends?

I do not know, my lord. We have parted company this long
time; all three have left the service.

Where can you find them, then?


Wherever they are, that's my business.

Well, now, what are your conditions, if I employ you?

Money, my lord, as much money as what you wish me to
undertake will require. I remember too well how sometimes we
were stopped for want of money, and but for that diamond,
which I was obliged to sell, we should have remained on the
road.

The devil he does! Money! and a large sum!said Mazarin.
Pray, are you aware that the king has no money in his
treasury?

Do then as I did, my lord. Sell the crown diamonds. Trust
me, don't let us try to do things cheaply. Great
undertakings come poorly off with paltry means.

Well,returned Mazarinwe will satisfy you.

Richelieu,thought D'Artagnanwould have given me five
hundred pistoles in advance.

You will then be at my service?asked Mazarin.

Yes, if my friends agree.

But if they refuse can I count on you?

I have never accomplished anything alone,said D'Artagnan
shaking his head.

Go, then, and find them.

What shall I say to them by way of inducement to serve your
eminence?

You know them better than I. Adapt your promises to their
respective characters.

What shall I promise?

That if they serve me as well as they served the queen my
gratitude shall be magnificent.

But what are we to do?

Make your mind easy; when the time for action comes you
shall be put in full possession of what I require from you;
wait till that time arrives and find out your friends.

My lord, perhaps they are not in Paris. It is even probable
that I shall have to make a journey. I am only a lieutenant
of musketeers, very poor, and journeys cost money.

My intention said Mazarin, is not that you go with a
great following; my plans require secrecyand would be
jeopardized by a too extravagant equipment."

Still, my lord, I can't travel on my pay, for it is now
three months behind; and I can't travel on my savings, for
in my twenty-two years of service I have accumulated nothing
but debts.


Mazarin remained some moments in deep thoughtas if he were
fighting with himself; thengoing to a large cupboard
closed with a triple lockhe took from it a bag of silver
and weighing it twice in his hands before he gave it to
D'Artagnan:

Take this,he said with a sigh'tis merely for your
journey.

If these are Spanish doubloons, or even gold crowns,
thought D'Artagnanwe shall yet be able to do business
together.He saluted the cardinal and plunged the bag into
the depths of an immense pocket.

Well, then, all is settled; you are to set off,said the
cardinal.

Yes, my lord.

Apropos, what are the names of your friends?

The Count de la Fere, formerly styled Athos; Monsieur du
Vallon, whom we used to call Porthos; the Chevalier
d'Herblay, now the Abbe d'Herblay, whom we styled Aramis
----

The cardinal smiled.

Younger sons,he saidwho enlisted in the musketeers
under feigned names in order not to lower their family
names. Long swords but light purses. Was that it?

If, God willing, these swords should be devoted to the
service of your eminence,said D'ArtagnanI shall venture
to express a wish, which is, that in its turn the purse of
your eminence may become light and theirs heavy -- for with
these three men your eminence may rouse all Europe if you
like.

These Gascons,said the cardinallaughingalmost beat
the Italians in effrontery.

At all events,answered D'Artagnanwith a smile almost as
crafty as the cardinal'sthey beat them when they draw
their swords.

He then withdrewand as he passed into the courtyard he
stopped near a lamp and dived eagerly into the bag of money.

Crown pieces only -- silver pieces! I suspected it. Ah!
Mazarin! Mazarin! thou hast no confidence in me! so much the
worse for thee, for harm may come of it!

Meanwhile the cardinal was rubbing his hands in great
satisfaction.

A hundred pistoles! a hundred pistoles! for a hundred
pistoles I have discovered a secret for which Richelieu
would have paid twenty thousand crowns; without reckoning
the value of that diamond-- he cast a complacent look at
the ringwhich he had keptinstead of restoring to
D'Artagnan -- "which is worthat leastten thousand
francs."


He returned to his roomand after depositing the ring in a
casket filled with brilliants of every sortfor the
cardinal was a connoisseur in precious stoneshe called to
Bernouin to undress himregardless of the noises of
gun-fire thatthough it was now near midnightcontinued to
resound through Paris.

In the meantime D'Artagnan took his way toward the Rue
Tiquetonnewhere he lived at the Hotel de la Chevrette.

We will explain in a few words how D'Artagnan had been led
to choose that place of residence.

D'Artagnan in his Fortieth Year.

Years have elapsedmany events have happenedalas! since
in our romance of "The Three Musketeers we took leave of
D'Artagnan at No. 12 Rue des Fossoyeurs. D'Artagnan had not
failed in his career, but circumstances had been adverse to
him. So long as he was surrounded by his friends he retained
his youth and the poetry of his character. He was one of
those fine, ingenuous natures which assimilate themselves
easily to the dispositions of others. Athos imparted to him
his greatness of soul, Porthos his enthusiasm, Aramis his
elegance. Had D'Artagnan continued his intimacy with these
three men he would have become a superior character. Athos
was the first to leave him, in order that he might retire to
a little property he had inherited near Blois; Porthos, the
second, to marry an attorney's wife; and lastly, Aramis, the
third, to take orders and become an abbe. From that day
D'Artagnan felt lonely and powerless, without courage to
pursue a career in which he could only distinguish himself
on condition that each of his three companions should endow
him with one of the gifts each had received from Heaven.

Notwithstanding his commission in the musketeers, D'Artagnan
felt completely solitary. For a time the delightful
remembrance of Madame Bonancieux left on his character a
certain poetic tinge, perishable indeed; for like all other
recollections in this world, these impressions were, by
degrees, effaced. A garrison life is fatal even to the most
aristocratic organization; and imperceptibly, D'Artagnan,
always in the camp, always on horseback, always in garrison,
became (I know not how in the present age one would express
it) a typical trooper. His early refinement of character was
not only not lost, it grew even greater than ever; but it
was now applied to the little, instead of to the great
things of life -- to the martial condition of the soldier -comprised
under the head of a good lodging, a rich table, a
congenial hostess. These important advantages D'Artagnan
found to his own taste in the Rue Tiquetonne at the sign of
the Roe.

From the time D'Artagnan took quarters in that hotel, the
mistress of the house, a pretty and fresh looking Flemish
woman, twenty-five or twenty-six years old, had been
singularly interested in him; and after certain love
passages, much obstructed by an inconvenient husband to whom


a dozen times D'Artagnan had made a pretence of passing a
sword through his body, that husband had disappeared one
fine morning, after furtively selling certain choice lots of
wine, carrying away with him money and jewels. He was
thought to be dead; his wife, especially, who cherished the
pleasing idea that she was a widow, stoutly maintained that
death had taken him. Therefore, after the connection had
continued three years, carefully fostered by D'Artagnan, who
found his bed and his mistress more agreeable every year,
each doing credit to the other, the mistress conceived the
extraordinary desire of becoming a wife and proposed to
D'Artagnan that he should marry her.

Ahfie!" D'Artagnan replied. "Bigamymy dear! Come now
you don't really wish it?"

But he is dead; I am sure of it.

He was a very contrary fellow and might come back on
purpose to have us hanged.

All right; if he comes back you will kill him, you are so
skillful and so brave.

Peste! my darling! another way of getting hanged.

So you refuse my request?

To be sure I do -- furiously!

The pretty landlady was desolate. She would have taken
D'Artagnan not only as her husbandbut as her Godhe was
so handsome and had so fierce a mustache.

Then along toward the fourth year came the expedition of
Franche-Comte. D'Artagnan was assigned to it and made his
preparations to depart. There were then great griefstears
without end and solemn promises to remain faithful -- all of
course on the part of the hostess. D'Artagnan was too grand
to promise anything; he purposed only to do all that he
could to increase the glory of his name.

As to thatwe know D'Artagnan's courage; he exposed himself
freely to danger and while charging at the head of his
company he received a ball through the chest which laid him
prostrate on the field of battle. He had been seen falling
from his horse and had not been seen to rise; every one
thereforebelieved him to be deadespecially those to whom
his death would give promotion. One believes readily what he
wishes to believe. Now in the armyfrom the
division-generals who desire the: death of the
general-in-chiefto the soldiers who desire the death of
the corporalsall desire some one's death.

But D'Artagnan was not a man to let himself be killed like
that. After he had remained through the heat of the day
unconscious on the battle-fieldthe cool freshness of the
night brought him to himself. He gained a villageknocked
at the door of the finest house and was received as the
wounded are always and everywhere received in France. He was
pettedtendedcured; and one fine morningin better
health than ever beforehe set out for France. Once in
France he turned his course toward Parisand reaching Paris
went straight to Rue Tiquetonne.


But D'Artagnan found in his chamber the personal equipment
of a mancompleteexcept for the swordarranged along the
wall.

He has returned,said he. "So much the worseand so much
the better!"

It need not be said that D'Artagnan was still thinking of
the husband. He made inquiries and discovered that the
servants were new and that the mistress had gone for a walk.

Alone?asked D'Artagnan.

With monsieur.

Monsieur has returned, then?

Of course,naively replied the servant.

If I had any money,said D'Artagnan to himselfI would
go away; but I have none. I must stay and follow the advice
of my hostess, while thwarting the conjugal designs of this
inopportune apparition.

He had just completed this monologue -- which proves that in
momentous circumstances nothing is more natural than the
monologue -- when the servant-maidwatching at the door
suddenly cried out:

Ah! see! here is madame returning with monsieur.

D'Artagnan looked out and at the corner of Rue Montmartre
saw the hostess coming along hanging to the arm of an
enormous Swisswho tiptoed in his walk with a magnificent
air which pleasantly reminded him of his old friend Porthos.

Is that monsieur?said D'Artagnan to himself. "Oh! oh! he
has grown a good dealit seems to me." And he sat down in
the hallchoosing a conspicuous place.

The hostessas she enteredsaw D'Artagnan and uttered a
little crywhereupon D'Artagnanjudging that he had been
recognizedroseran to her and embraced her tenderly. The
Swisswith an air of stupefactionlooked at the hostess
who turned pale.

Ah, it is you, monsieur! What do you want of me?she
askedin great distress.

Is monsieur your cousin? Is monsieur your brother?said
D'Artagnannot in the slightest degree embarrassed in the
role he was playing. And without waiting for her reply he
threw himself into the arms of the Helvetianwho received
him with great coldness.

Who is that man?he asked.

The hostess replied only by gasps.

Who is that Swiss?asked D'Artagnan.

Monsieur is going to marry me,replied the hostess
between two gasps.


Your husband, then, is at last dead?

How does that concern you?replied the Swiss.

It concerns me much,said D'Artagnansince you cannot
marry madame without my consent and since ----

And since?asked the Swiss.

And since -- I do not give it,said the musketeer.

The Swiss became as purple as a peony. He wore his elegant
uniformD'Artagnan was wrapped in a sort of gray cloak; the
Swiss was six feet highD'Artagnan was hardly more than
five; the Swiss considered himself on his own ground and
regarded D'Artagnan as an intruder.

Will you go away from here?demanded the Swissstamping
violentlylike a man who begins to be seriously angry.

I? By no means!said D'Artagnan.

Some one must go for help,said a ladwho could not
comprehend that this little man should make a stand against
that other manwho was so large.

D'Artagnanwith a sudden accession of wrathseized the lad
by the ear and led him apartwith the injunction:

Stay you where you are and don't you stir, or I will pull
this ear off. As for you, illustrious descendant of William
Tell, you will straightway get together your clothes which
are in my room and which annoy me, and go out quickly to
another lodging.

The Swiss began to laugh boisterously. "I go out?" he said.
And why?

Ah, very well!said D'Artagnan; "I see that you understand
French. Come thenand take a turn with me and I will
explain."

The hostesswho knew D'Artagnan's skill with the sword
began to weep and tear her hair. D'Artagnan turned toward
hersayingThen send him away, madame.

Pooh!said the Swisswho had needed a little time to take
in D'Artagnan's proposalpooh! who are you, in the first
place, to ask me to take a turn with you?

I am lieutenant in his majesty's musketeers,said
D'Artagnanand consequently your superior in everything;
only, as the question now is not of rank, but of quarters -you
know the custom -- come and seek for yours; the first to
return will recover his chamber.

D'Artagnan led away the Swiss in spite of lamentations on
the part of the hostesswho in reality found her heart
inclining toward her former loverthough she would not have
been sorry to give a lesson to that haughty musketeer who
had affronted her by the refusal of her hand.

It was night when the two adversaries reached the field of


battle. D'Artagnan politely begged the Swiss to yield to him
the disputed chamber; the Swiss refused by shaking his head
and drew his sword.

Then you will lie here,said D'Artagnan. "It is a wretched
bedbut that is not my faultand it is you who have chosen
it." With these words he drew in his turn and crossed swords
with his adversary.

He had to contend against a strong wristbut his agility
was superior to all force. The Swiss received two wounds and
was not aware of itby reason of the cold; but suddenly
feeblenessoccasioned by loss of bloodobliged him to sit
down.

There!said: D'Artagnanwhat did I tell you?
Fortunately, you won't be laid up more than a fortnight.
Remain here and I will send you your clothes by the boy.
Good-by! Oh, by the way, you'd better take lodging in the
Rue Montorgueil at the Chat Qui Pelote. You will be well fed
there, if the hostess remains the same. Adieu.

Thereupon he returned in a lively mood to his room and sent
to the Swiss the things that belonged to him. The boy found
him sitting where D'Artagnan had left himstill overwhelmed
by the coolness of his adversary.

The boythe hostessand all the house had the same regard
for D'Artagnan that one would have for Hercules should he
return to earth to repeat his twelve labors.

But when he was alone with the hostess he said: "Nowpretty
Madeleineyou know the difference between a Swiss and a
gentleman. As for youyou have acted like a barmaid. So
much the worse for youfor by such conduct you have lost my
esteem and my patronage. I have driven away the Swiss to
humiliate youbut I shall lodge here no longer. I will not
sleep where I must scorn. Hothereboy! Have my valise
carried to the Muid d'AmourRue des Bourdonnais. Adieu
madame."

In saying these words D'Artagnan appeared at the same time
majestic and grieved. The hostess threw herself at his feet
asked his pardon and held him back with a sweet violence.
What more need be said? The spit turnedthe stove roared
the pretty Madeleine wept; D'Artagnan felt himself invaded
by hungercold and love. He pardonedand having pardoned
he remained.

And this explains how D'Artagnan had quarters in the Rue
Tiquetonneat the Hotel de la Chevrette.

D'Artagnanthen returned home in thoughtful moodfinding a
somewhat lively pleasure in carrying Mazarin's bag of money
and thinking of that fine diamond which he had once called
his own and which he had seen on the minister's finger that
night.

Should that diamond ever fall into my hands again,he
reflectedI would turn it at once into money; I would buy
with the proceeds certain lands around my father's chateau,
which is a pretty place, well enough, but with no land to it
at all, except a garden about the size of the Cemetery des
Innocents; and I should wait in all my glory till some rich


heiress, attracted by my good looks, rode along to marry me.
Then I should like to have three sons; I should make the
first a nobleman, like Athos; the second a good soldier,
like Porthos; the third an excellent abbe, like Aramis.
Faith! that would be a far better life than I lead now; but
Monsieur Mazarin is a mean wretch, who won't dispossess
himself of his diamond in my favor.

On entering the Rue Tiquetonne he heard a tremendous noise
and found a dense crowd near the house.

Oho!said heis the hotel on fire?On approaching the
hotel of the Roe he foundhoweverthat it was in front of
the next house the mob was collected. The people were
shouting and running about with torches. By the light of one
of these torches D'Artagnan perceived men in uniform.

He asked what was going on.

He was told that twenty citizensheaded by one manhad
attacked a carriage which was escorted by a troop of the
cardinal's bodyguard; but a reinforcement having come up
the assailants had been put to flight and the leader had
taken refuge in the hotel next to his lodgings; the house
was now being searched.

In his youth D'Artagnan had often headed the bourgeoisie
against the militarybut he was cured of all those
hot-headed propensities; besideshe had the cardinal's
hundred pistoles in his pocketso he went into the hotel
without a word. There he found Madeleine alarmed for his
safety and anxious to tell him all the events of the
eveningbut he cut her short by ordering her to put his
supper in his room and give him with it a bottle of good
Burgundy.

He took his key and candle and went upstairs to his bedroom.
He had been contentedfor the convenience of the houseto
lodge in the fourth story; and truth obliges us even to
confess that his chamber was just above the gutter and below
the roof. His first care on entering it was to lock up in an
old bureau with a new lock his bag of moneyand then as
soon as supper was ready he sent away the waiter who brought
it up and sat down to table.

Not to reflect on what had passedas one might fancy. No
D'Artagnan considered that things are never well done when
they are not reserved to their proper time. He was hungry;
he suppedhe went to bed. Neither was he one of those who
think that the necessary silence of the night brings counsel
with it. In the night he sleptbut in the morning
refreshed and calmhe was inspired with his clearest views
of everything. It was long since he had any reason for his
morning's inspirationbut he always slept all night long.
At daybreak he awoke and took a turn around his room.

In '43,he saidjust before the death of the late
cardinal, I received a letter from Athos. Where was I then?
Let me see. Oh! at the siege of Besancon I was in the
trenches. He told me -- let me think -- what was it? That he
was living on a small estate -- but where? I was just
reading the name of the place when the wind blew my letter
away, I suppose to the Spaniards; there's no use in thinking
any more about Athos. Let me see: with regard to Porthos, I


received a letter from him, too. He invited me to a hunting
party on his property in the month of September, 1646.
Unluckily, as I was then in Bearn, on account of my father's
death, the letter followed me there. I had left Bearn when
it arrived and I never received it until the month of April,
1647; and as the invitation was for September, 1646, I
couldn't accept it. Let me look for this letter; it must be
with my title deeds.

D'Artagnan opened an old casket which stood in a corner of
the roomand which was full of parchments referring to an
estate during a period of two hundred years lost to his
family. He uttered an exclamation of delightfor the large
handwriting of Porthos was discernibleand underneath some
lines traced by his worthy spouse.

D'Artagnan eagerly searched for the heading of this letter;
it was dated from the Chateau du Vallon.

Porthos had forgotten that any other address was necessary;
in his pride he fancied that every one must know the Chateau
du Vallon.

Devil take the vain fellow,said D'Artagnan. "HoweverI
had better find him out firstsince he can't want money.
Athos must have become an idiot by this time from drinking.
Aramis must have worn himself to a shadow of his former self
by constant genuflexion."

He cast his eyes again on the letter. There was a
postscript:

I write by the same courier to our worthy friend Aramis in
his convent.

In his convent! What convent? There are about two hundred
in Paris and three thousand in France; and then, perhaps, on
entering the convent he changed his name. Ah! if I were but
learned in theology I should recollect what it was he used
to dispute about with the curate of Montdidier and the
superior of the Jesuits, when we were at Crevecoeur; I
should know what doctrine he leans to and I should glean
from that what saint he has adopted as his patron.

Wellsuppose I go back to the cardinal and ask him for a
passport into all the convents one can findeven into the
nunneries? It would be a curious ideaand maybe I should
find my friend under the name of Achilles. Butno! I should
lose myself in the cardinal's opinion. Great people only
thank you for doing the impossible; what's possiblethey
saythey can effect themselvesand they are right. But let
us wait a little and reflect. I received a letter from him
the dear fellowin which he even asked me for some small
servicewhichin factI rendered him. Yesyes; but now
what did I do with that letter?"

D'Artagnan thought a moment and then went to the wardrobe in
which hung his old clothes. He looked for his doublet of the
year 1648 and as he had orderly habitshe found it hanging
on its nail. He felt in the pocket and drew from it a paper;
it was the letter of Aramis:


Monsieur D'Artagnan: You know that I have had a quarrel
with a certain gentleman, who has given me an appointment
for this evening in the Place Royale. As I am of the church,
and the affair might injure me if I should share it with any
other than a sure friend like you, I write to beg that you
will serve me as second.

You will enter by the Rue Neuve Sainte Catherine; under the
second lamp on the right you will find your adversary. I
shall be with mine under the third.

Wholly yours,

Aramis."

D'Artagnan tried to recall his remembrances. He had gone to
the rendezvoushad encountered there the adversary
indicatedwhose name he had never knownhad given him a
pretty sword-stroke on the armthen had gone toward Aramis
who at the same time came to meet himhaving already
finished his affair. "It is over Aramis had said. I think
I have killed the insolent fellow. Butdear friendif you
ever need me you know that I am entirely devoted to you."
Thereupon Aramis had given him a clasp of the hand and had
disappeared under the arcades.

Sothenhe no more knew where Aramis was than where Athos
and Porthos wereand the affair was becoming a matter of
great perplexitywhen he fancied he heard a pane of glass
break in his room window. He thought directly of his bag and
rushed from the inner room where he was sleeping. He was not
mistaken; as he entered his bedroom a man was getting in by
the window.

Ah! you scoundrel!cried D'Artagnantaking the man for a
thief and seizing his sword.

Sir!cried the manin the name of Heaven put your sword
back into the sheath and don't kill me unheard. I'm no
thief, but an honest citizen, well off in the world, with a
house of my own. My name is -- ah! but surely you are
Monsieur d'Artagnan?

And thou -- Planchet!cried the lieutenant.

At your service, sir,said Planchetoverwhelmed with joy;
if I were still capable of serving you.

Perhaps so,replied D'Artagnan. "But why the devil dost
thou run about the tops of houses at seven o'clock of the
morning in the month of January?"

Sir,said Planchetyou must know; but, perhaps you ought
not to know ----

Tell us what,returned D'Artagnanbut first put a napkin
against the window and draw the curtains.

Sir,said the prudent Planchetin the first place, are
you on good terms with Monsieur de Rochefort?

Perfectly; one of my dearest friends.


Ah! so much the better!

But what has De Rochefort to do with this manner you have
of invading my room?

Ah, sir! I must first tell you that Monsieur de Rochefort
is ----

Planchet hesitated.

Egad, I know where he is,said D'Artagnan. "He's in the
Bastile."

That is to say, he was there,replied Planchet. "But in
returning thither last nightwhen fortunately you did not
accompany himas his carriage was crossing the Rue de la
Ferronnerie his guards insulted the peoplewho began to
abuse them. The prisoner thought this a good opportunity for
escape; he called out his name and cried for help. I was
there. I heard the name of Rochefort. I remembered him well.
I said in a loud voice that he was a prisonera friend of
the Duc de Beaufortwho called for help. The people were
infuriated; they stopped the horses and cut the escort to
pieceswhilst I opened the doors of the carriage and
Monsieur de Rochefort jumped out and soon was lost amongst
the crowd. At this moment a patrol passed by. I was obliged
to sound a retreat toward the Rue Tiquetonne; I was pursued
and took refuge in the house next to thiswhere I have been
concealed between two mattresses. This morning I ventured to
run along the gutters and ---- "

Well,interrupted D'ArtagnanI am delight that De
Rochefort is free, but as for thee, if thou shouldst fall
into the hands of the king's servants they will hang thee
without mercy. Nevertheless, I promise thee thou shalt be
hidden here, though I risk by concealing thee neither more
nor less than my lieutenancy, if it was found out that I
gave one rebel an asylum.

Ah! sir, you know well I would risk my life for you.

Thou mayst add that thou hast risked it, Planchet. I have
not forgotten all I owe thee. Sit down there and eat in
security. I see thee cast expressive glances at the remains
of my supper.

Yes, sir; for all I've had since yesterday was a slice of
bread and butter, with preserves on it. Although I don't
despise sweet things in proper time and place, I found the
supper rather light.

Poor fellow!said D'Artagnan. "Wellcome; set to."

Ah, sir, you are going to save my life a second time!
cried Planchet.

And he seated himself at the table and ate as he did in the
merry days of the Rue des Fossoyeurswhilst D'Artagnan
walked to and fro and thought how he could make use of
Planchet under present circumstances. While he turned this
over in his mind Planchet did his best to make up for lost
time at table. At last he uttered a sigh of satisfaction and
pausedas if he had partially appeased his hunger.


Come,said D'Artagnanwho thought that it was now a
convenient time to begin his interrogationsdost thou know
where Athos is?

No, sir,replied Planchet.

The devil thou cost not! Dost know where Porthos is?:

No -- not at all.

And Aramis?

Not in the least.

The devil! the devil! the devil!

But, sir,said Planchetwith a look of shrewdnessI
know where Bazin is.

Where is he?

At Notre Dame.

What has he to do at Notre Dame?

He is beadle.

Bazin beadle at Notre Dame! He must know where his master
is!

Without a doubt he must.

D'Artagnan thought for a momentthen took his sword and put
on his cloak to go out.

Sir,said Planchetin a mournful tonedo you abandon me
thus to my fate? Think, if I am found out here, the people
of the house, who have not seen me enter it, will take me
for a thief.

True,said D'Artagnan. "Let's see. Canst thou speak any
patois?"

I can do something better than that, sir, I can speak
Flemish.

Where the devil didst thou learn it?

In Artois, where I fought for years. Listen, sir. Goeden
morgen, mynheer, eth teen begeeray le weeten the ge sond
heets omstand.

Which means?

Good-day, sir! I am anxious to know the state of your
health.

He calls that a language! But never mind, that will do
capitally.

D'Artagnan opened the door and called out to a waiter to
desire Madeleine to come upstairs.


When the landlady made her appearance she expressed much
astonishment at seeing Planchet.

My dear landlady,said D'ArtagnanI beg to introduce to
you your brother, who is arrived from Flanders and whom I am
going to take into my service.

My brother?

Wish your sister good-morning, Master Peter.

Wilkom, suster,said Planchet.

Goeden day, broder,replied the astonished landlady.

This is the case,said D'Artagnan; "this is your brother
Madeleine; you don't know him perhapsbut I know him; he
has arrived from Amsterdam. You must dress him up during my
absence. When I returnwhich will be in about an houryou
must offer him to me as a servantand upon your
recommendationthough he doesn't speak a word of FrenchI
take him into my service. You understand?"

That is to say, I guess your wishes, and that is all that's
necessary,said Madeleine.

You are a precious creature, my pretty hostess, and I am
much obliged to you.

The next moment D'Artagnan was on his way to Notre Dame.

Touches upon the Strange Effects a Half-pistole may have
upon a Beadle and a Chorister.

D'Artagnanas he crossed the Pont Neufcongratulated
himself on having found Planchet againfor at that time an
intelligent servant was essential to him; nor was he sorry
that through Planchet and the situation which he held in Rue
des Lombardsa connection with the bourgeoisie might be
commencedat that critical period when that class were
preparing to make war with the court party. It was like
having a spy in the enemy's camp. In this frame of mind
grateful for the accidental meeting with Planchetpleased
with himselfD'Artagnan reached Notre Dame. He ran up the
stepsentered the churchand addressing a verger who was
sweeping the chapelasked him if he knew Monsieur Bazin.

Monsieur Bazin, the beadle?said the verger. "Yes. There
he isattending massin the chapel of the Virgin."

D'Artagnan nearly jumped for joy; he had despaired of
finding Bazinbut nowhe thoughtsince he held one end of
the thread he would be pretty sure to reach the other end.

He knelt down just opposite the chapel in order not to lose
sight of his man; and as he had almost forgotten his prayers
and had omitted to take a book with himhe made use of his
time in gazing at Bazin.


Bazin wore his dressit may be observedwith equal dignity
and saintly propriety. It was not difficult to understand
that he had gained the crown of his ambition and that the
silver-mounted wand he brandished was in his eyes as
honorable a distinction as the marshal's baton which Conde
threwor did not throwinto the enemy's line of battle at
Fribourg. His person had undergone a changeanalogous to
the change in his dress; his figure had grown rotund andas
it werecanonical. The striking points of his face were
effaced; he had still a nosebut his cheeksfattened out
each took a portion of it unto themselves; his chin had
joined his throat; his eyes were swelled up with the
puffiness of his cheeks; his haircut straight in holy
guisecovered his forehead as far as his eyebrows.

The officiating priest was just finishing mass whilst
D'Artagnan was looking at Bazin; he pronounced the words of
the holy Sacrament and retiredgiving the benediction
which was received by the kneeling communicantsto the
astonishment of D'Artagnanwho recognized in the priest the
coadjutor* himselfthe famous Jean Francois Gondywho at
that timehaving a presentiment of the part he was to play
was beginning to court popularity by almsgiving. It was to
this end that he performed from time to time some of those
early masses which the common peoplegenerallyalone
attended.

*A sacerdotal officer.

D'Artagnan knelt as well as the restreceived his share of
the benediction and made the sign of the cross; but when
Bazin passed in his turnwith his eyes raised to Heaven and
walkingin all humilitythe very lastD'Artagnan pulled
him by the hem of his robe.

Bazin looked down and startedas if he had seen a serpent.

Monsieur d'Artagnan!he cried; "Vade retro Satanas!"

So, my dear Bazin!said the officerlaughingthis is
the way you receive an old friend.

Sir,replied Bazinthe true friends of a Christian are
those who aid him in working out his salvation, not those
who hinder him in doing so.

I don't understand you, Bazin; nor can I see how I can be a
stumbling-block in the way of your salvation,said
D'Artagnan.

You forget, sir, that you very nearly ruined forever that
of my master; and that it was owing to you that he was very
nearly being damned eternally for remaining a musketeer,
whilst all the time his true vocation was the church.

My dear Bazin, you ought to perceive,said D'Artagnan
from the place in which you find me, that I am greatly
changed in everything. Age produces good sense, and, as I
doubt not but that your master is on the road to salvation,


I want you to tell me where he is, that he may help me to
mine.

Rather say, to take him back with you into the world.
Fortunately, I don't know where he is.

How!cried D'Artagnan; "you don't know where Aramis is?"

Formerly,replied BazinAramis was his name of
perdition. By Aramis is meant Simara, which is the name of a
demon. Happily for him he has ceased to bear that name.

And therefore,said D'Artagnanresolved to be patient to
the endit is not Aramis I seek, but the Abbe d'Herblay.
Come, my dear Bazin, tell me where he is.

Didn't you hear me tell you, Monsieur d'Artagnan, that I
don't know where he is?

Yes, certainly; but to that I answer that it is
impossible.

It is, nevertheless, the truth, monsieur -- the pure truth,
the truth of the good God.

D'Artagnan saw clearly that he would get nothing out of this
manwho was evidently telling a falsehood in his pretended
ignorance of the abode of Aramisbut whose lies were bold
and decided.

Well, Bazin,said D'Artagnansince you do not know where
your master lives, let us speak of it no more; let us part
good friends. Accept this half-pistole to drink to my
health.

I do not drink-- Bazin pushed away with dignity the
officer's hand -- "'tis good only for the laity."

Incorruptible!murmured D'Artagnan; "I am unlucky;" and
whilst he was lost in thought Bazin retreated toward the
sacristyand even there he could not think himself safe
until he had shut and locked the door behind him.

D'Artagnan was still in deep thought when some one touched
him on the shoulder. He turned and was about to utter an
exclamation of surprise when the other made to him a sign of
silence.

You here, Rochefort?he saidin a low voice.

Hush!returned Rochefort. "Did you know that I am at
liberty?"

I knew it from the fountain-head -- from Planchet. And what
brought you here?

I came to thank God for my happy deliverance,said
Rochefort.

And nothing more? I suppose that is not all.

To take my orders from the coadjutor and to see if we
cannot wake up Mazarin a little.


A bad plan; you'll be shut up again in the Bastile.

Oh, as to that, I shall take care, I assure you. The air,
the fresh, free air is so good; besides,and Rochefort drew
a deep breath as he spokeI am going into the country to
make a tour.

Stop,cried D'Artagnan; "Itooam going."

And if I may without impertinence ask -- where are you
going?

To seek my friends.
What friends?


Those that you asked about yesterday.
Athos. Porthos and Aramis -- you are looking for them?


Yes.
On honor?


What, then, is there surprising in that?


Nothing. Queer, though. And in whose behalf are you looking
for them?

You are in no doubt on that score.
That is true.

Unfortunately, I have no idea where they are.

And you have no way to get news of them? Wait a week and I
myself will give you some.
A week is too long. I must find them within three days.


Three days are a short time and France is large.


No matter; you know the word must; with that word great
things are done.

And when do you set out?
I am now on my road.


Good luck to you.
And to you -- a good journey.


Perhaps we shall meet on our road.
That is not probable.


Who knows? Chance is so capricious. Adieu, till we meet
again! Apropos, should Mazarin speak to you about me, tell
him that I should have requested you to acquaint him that in
a short time he will see whether I am, as he says, too old
for action.

And Rochefort went away with one of those diabolical smiles


which used formerly to make D'Artagnan shudderbut
D'Artagnan could now see it without alarmand smiling in
his turnwith an expression of melancholy which the
recollections called up by that smile couldperhapsalone
give to his countenancehe said:

Go, demon, do what thou wilt! It matters little now to me.
There's no second Constance in the world.

On his return to the cathedralD'Artagnan saw Bazinwho
was conversing with the sacristan. Bazin was makingwith
his spare little short armsridiculous gestures. D'Artagnan
perceived that he was enforcing prudence with respect to
himself.

D'Artagnan slipped out of the cathedral and placed himself
in ambuscade at the corner of the Rue des Canettes; it was
impossible that Bazin should go out of the cathedral without
his seeing him.

In five minutes Bazin made his appearancelooking in every
direction to see if he were observedbut he saw no one.
Calmed by appearances he ventured to walk on through the Rue
Notre Dame. Then D'Artagnan rushed out of his hiding place
and arrived in time to see Bazin turn down the Rue de la
Juiverie and enterin the Rue de la Calandrea respectable
looking house; and this D'Artagnan felt no doubt was the
habitation of the worthy beadle. Afraid of making any
inquiries at this houseD'Artagnan entered a small tavern
at the corner of the street and asked for a cup of hypocras.
This beverage required a good half-hour to prepare. And
D'Artagnan had timethereforeto watch Bazin unsuspected.

He perceived in the tavern a pert boy between twelve and
fifteen years of age whom he fancied he had seen not twenty
minutes before under the guise of a chorister. He questioned
himand as the boy had no interest in deceivingD'Artagnan
learned that he exercisedfrom six o'clock in the morning
until ninethe office of choristerand from nine o'clock
till midnight that of a waiter in the tavern.

Whilst he was talking to this lad a horse was brought to the
door of Bazin's house. It was saddled and bridled. Almost
immediately Bazin came downstairs.

Look!said the boythere's our beadle, who is going a
journey.

And where is he going?asked D'Artagnan.

Forsooth, I don't know.

Half a pistole if you can find out,said D'Artagnan.

For me?cried the boyhis eyes sparkling with joyif I
can find out where Bazin is going? That is not difficult.
You are not joking, are you?

No, on the honor of an officer; there is the half-pistole;
and he showed him the seductive coinbut did not give it
him.

I shall ask him.


Just the very way not to know. Wait till he is set out and
then, marry, come up, ask, and find out. The half-pistole is
ready,and he put it back again into his pocket.

I understand,said the childwith that jeering smile
which marks especially the "gamin de Paris." "Wellwe must
wait."

They had not long to wait. Five minutes afterward Bazin set
off on a full troturging on his horse by the blows of a
parapluiewhich he was in the habit of using instead of a
riding whip.

Scarcely had he turned the corner of the Rue de la Juiverie
when the boy rushed after him like a bloodhound on full
scent.

Before ten minutes had elapsed the child returned.

Well!said D'Artagnan.

Well!answered the boythe thing is done.

Where is he gone?

The half-pistole is for me?

Doubtless, answer me.

I want to see it. Give it me, that I may see it is not
false.

There it is."

The child put the piece of money into his pocket.

And now, where is he gone?inquired D'Artagnan.

He is gone to Noisy.

How dost thou know?

Ah, faith! there was no great cunning necessary. I knew the
horse he rode; it belonged to the butcher, who lets it out
now and then to M. Bazin. Now I thought that the butcher
would not let his horse out like that without knowing where
it was going. And he answered `that Monsieur Bazin went to
Noisy.' 'Tis his custom. He goes two or three times a week.

Dost thou know Noisy well?

I think so, truly; my nurse lives there.

Is there a convent at Noisy?

Isn't there a great and grand one -- the convent of
Jesuits?

What is thy name?

Friquet.

D'Artagnan wrote the child's name in his tablets.


Please, sir,said the boydo you think I can gain any
more half-pistoles in any way?

Perhaps,replied D'Artagnan.

And having got out all he wantedhe paid for the hypocras
which he did not drinkand went quickly back to the Rue
Tiquetonne.

How D'Artagnanon going to a Distance to discover Aramis
discovers his old Friend on Horseback behind his own
Planchet.

On entering the hotel D'Artagnan saw a man sitting in a
corner by the fire. It was Planchetbut so completely
transformedthanks to the old clothes that the departing
husband had left behindthat D'Artagnan himself could
hardly recognize him. Madeleine introduced him in presence
of all the servants. Planchet addressed the officer with a
fine Flemish phrase; the officer replied in words that
belonged to no language at alland the bargain was
concluded; Madeleine's brother entered D'Artagnan's service.

The plan adopted by D'Artagnan was soon perfected. He
resolved not to reach Noisy in the dayfor fear of being
recognized; he had therefore plenty of time before himfor
Noisy is only three or four leagues from Parison the road
to Meaux.

He began his day by breakfasting substantially -- a bad
beginning when one wants to employ the headbut an
excellent precaution when one wants to work the body; and
about two o'clock he had his two horses saddledand
followed by Planchet he quitted Paris by the Barriere de la
Villete. A most active search was still prosecuted in the
house near the Hotel de la Chevrette for the discovery of
Planchet.

At about a league and a half from the cityD'Artagnan
finding that in his impatience he had set out too soon
stopped to give the horses breathing time. The inn was full
of disreputable looking peoplewho seemed as if they were
on the point of commencing some nightly expedition. A man
wrapped in a cloakappeared at the doorbut seeing a
stranger he beckoned to his companionsand two men who were
drinking in the inn went out to speak to him.

D'Artagnanon his sidewent up to the landladypraised
her wine -- which was a horrible production from the country
of Montreuil -- and heard from her that there were only two
houses of importance in the village; one of these belonged
to the Archbishop of Parisand was at that time the abode
of his niece the Duchess of Longueville; the other was a
convent of Jesuits and was the property -- a by no means
unusual circumstance -- of these worthy fathers.

At four o'clock D'Artagnan recommenced his journey. He
proceeded slowly and in deep reverie. Planchet also was lost


in thoughtbut the subject of their reflections was not the
same.

One word which their landlady had pronounced had given a
particular turn to D'Artagnan's deliberations; this was the
name of Madame de Longueville.

That name was indeed one to inspire imagination and produce
thought. Madame de Longueville was one of the highest ladies
in the realm; she was also one of the greatest beauties at
court. She had formerly been suspected of an intimacy of too
tender a nature with Colignywhofor her sakehad been
killed in a duelin the Place Royaleby the Duc de Guise.
She was now connected by bonds of a political nature with
the Prince de Marsillacthe eldest son of the old Duc de
Rochefoucauldwhom she was trying to inspire with an enmity
toward the Duc de Condeher brother-in-lawwhom she now
hated mortally.

D'Artagnan thought of all these matters. He remembered how
at the Louvre he had often seenas she passed by him in the
full radiance of her dazzling charmsthe beautiful Madame
de Longueville. He thought of Aramiswhowithout
possessing any greater advantages than himselfhad formerly
been the lover of Madame de Chevreusewho had been to a
former court what Madame de Longueville was in that day; and
he wondered how it was that there should be in the world
people who succeed in every wishsome in ambitionothers
in lovewhilst otherseither from chanceor from
ill-luckor from some natural defect or impedimentremain
half-way upon the road toward fulfilment of their hopes and
expectations.

He was confessing to himself that he belonged to the latter
unhappy classwhen Planchet approached and said:

I will lay a wager, your honor, that you and I are thinking
of the same thing.

I doubt it, Planchet,replied D'Artagnanbut what are
you thinking of?

I am thinking, sir, of those desperate looking men who were
drinking in the inn where we rested.

Always cautious, Planchet.

'Tis instinct, your honor.

Well, what does your instinct tell you now?

Sir, my instinct told me that those people were assembled
there for some bad purpose; and I was reflecting on what my
instinct had told me, in the darkest corner of the stable,
when a man wrapped in a cloak and followed by two other men,
came in.

Ah ah!said D'ArtagnanPlanchet's recital agreeing with
his own observations. "Well?"

One of these two men said, `He must certainly be at Noisy,
or be coming there this evening, for I have seen his
servant.'


`Art thou sure? ' said the man in the cloak.

`Yes, my prince.'

My prince!interrupted D'Artagnan.

Yes, `my prince;' but listen. `If he is here' -- this is
what the other man said -- `let's see decidedly what to do
with him.'

`What to do with him?' answered the prince.

`Yes, he's not a man to allow himself to be taken anyhow;
he'll defend himself.'

`Wellwe must try to take him alive. Have you cords to
bind him with and a gag to stop his mouth?'

`We have.'

`Remember that he will most likely be disguised as a
horseman.'

`Yes, yes, my lord; don't be uneasy.'

`BesidesI shall be there.'

`You will assure us that justice ---- '

`Yesyes! I answer for all that' the prince said.

`Well, then, we'll do our best.' Having said that, they
went out of the stable.

Well, what matters all that to us?said D'Artagnan. "This
is one of those attempts that happen every day."

Are you sure that we are not its objects?

We? Why?

Just remember what they said. `I have seen his servant,'
said one, and that applies very well to me.

Well?

`He must certainly be at Noisy, or be coming there this
evening,' said the other; and that applies very well to
you.

What else?

Then the prince said: `Take notice that in all probability
he will be disguised as a cavalier;' which seems to me to
leave no room for doubt, since you are dressed as a cavalier
and not as an officer of musketeers. Now then, what do you
say to that?

Alas! my dear Planchet,said D'Artagnansighingwe are
unfortunately no longer in those times in which princes
would care to assassinate me. Those were good old days;
never fear -- these people owe us no grudge.

Is your honor sure?


I can answer for it they do not.

Well, we won't speak of it any more, then;and Planchet
took his place in D'Artagnan's suite with that sublime
confidence he had always had in his masterwhich even
fifteen years of separation had not destroyed.

They had traveled onward about half a mile when Planchet
came close up to D'Artagnan.

Stop, sir, look yonder,he whispered; "don't you see in
the darkness something pass bylike shadows? I fancy I hear
horses' feet."

Impossible!returned D'Artagnan. "The ground is soaking
wet; yet I fancyas thou sayestthat I see something."

At this moment the neighing of a horse struck his ear
coming through darkness and space.

There are men somewhere about, but that's of no consequence
to us,said D'Artagnan; "let us ride onward."

At about half-past eight o'clock they reached the first
houses in Noisy; every one was in bed and not a light was to
be seen in the village. The obscurity was broken only now
and then by the still darker lines of the roofs of houses.
Here and there a dog barked behind a door or an affrighted
cat fled precipitately from the midst of the pavement to
take refuge behind a pile of faggotsfrom which retreat her
eyes would shine like peridores. These were the only living
creatures that seemed to inhabit the village.

Toward the middle of the towncommanding the principal open
spacerose a dark massseparated from the rest of the
world by two lanes and overshadowed in the front by enormous
lime-trees. D'Artagnan looked attentively at the building.

This,he said to Planchetmust be the archbishop's
chateau, the abode of the fair Madame de Longueville; but
the convent, where is that?

The convent, your honor, is at the other end of the
village; I know it well.

Well, then, Planchet, gallop up to it whilst I tighten my
horse's girth, and come back and tell me if there is a light
in any of the Jesuits' windows.

In about five minutes Planchet returned.

Sir,he saidthere is one window of the convent lighted
up.

Hem! If I were a `Frondeur,'said D'ArtagnanI should
knock here and should be sure of a good supper. If I were a
monk I should knock yonder and should have a good supper
there, too; whereas, 'tis very possible that between the
castle and the convent we shall sleep on hard beds, dying
with hunger and thirst.

Yes,added Planchetlike the famous ass of Buridan.
Shall I knock?


Hush!replied D'Artagnan; "the light no longer burns in
yonder window."

Do you hear nothing?whispered Planchet.

What is that noise?

There came a sound like a whirlwindat the same time two
troops of horsemeneach composed of ten mensallied forth
from each of the lanes which encompassed the house and
surrounded D'Artagnan and Planchet.

Heyday!cried D'Artagnandrawing his sword and taking
refuge behind his horse; "are you not mistaken? is it really
for us that you mean your attack?"

Here he is! we have him!cried the horsemenrushing on
D'Artagnan with naked swords.

Don't let him escape!said a loud voice.

No, my lord; be assured we shall not.

D'Artagnan thought it was now time for him to join in the
conversation.

Halloo, gentlemen!he called out in his Gascon accent
what do you want? what do you demand?

That thou shalt soon know,shouted a chorus of horsemen.

Stop, stop!cried he whom they had addressed as "my lord;"
'tis not his voice.

Ah! just so, gentlemen! pray, do people get into a passion
at random at Noisy? Take care, for I warn you that the first
man that comes within the length of my sword -- and my sword
is long -- I rip him up.

The chieftain of the party drew near.

What are you doing here?he asked in a lofty toneas that
of one accustomed to command.

And you -- what are you doing here?replied D'Artagnan.

Be civil, or I shall beat you; for although one may not
choose to proclaim oneself, one insists on respect suitable
to one's rank.

You don't choose to discover yourself, because you are the
leader of an ambuscade,returned D'Artagnan; "but with
regard to myselfwho am traveling quietly with my own
servantI have not the same reasons as you have to conceal
my name."

Enough! enough! what is your name?

I shall tell you my name in order that you may know where
to find me, my lord, or my prince, as it may suit you best
to be called,said our Gasconwho did not choose to seem
to yield to a threat. "Do you know Monsieur d'Artagnan?"


Lieutenant in the king's musketeers?said the voice; "you
are Monsieur d'Artagnan?"

I am.

Then you came here to defend him?

Him? whom?

The man we are seeking.

It seems,said D'Artagnanthat whilst I thought I was
coming to Noisy I have entered, without suspecting it, into
the kingdom of mysteries.

Come,replied the same lofty toneanswer! Are you
waiting for him underneath these windows? Did you come to
Noisy to defend him?

I am waiting for no one,replied D'Artagnanwho was
beginning to be angry. "I propose to defend no one but
myselfand I shall defend myself vigorouslyI give you
warning."

Very well,said the voice; "go away from here and leave
the place to us."

Go away from here!said D'Artagnanwhose purposes were in
conflict with that orderthat is not so easy, since I am
on the point of falling, and my horse, too, through fatigue;
unless, indeed, you are disposed to offer me a supper and a
bed in the neighborhood.

Rascal!

Eh! monsieur!said D'ArtagnanI beg you will have a care
what you say; for if you utter another word like that, be
you marquis, duke, prince or king, I will thrust it down
your throat! do you hear?

Well, well,rejoined the leaderthere's no doubt 'tis a
Gascon who is speaking, and therefore not the man we are
looking for. Our blow has failed for to-night; let us
withdraw. We shall meet again, Master d'Artagnan,continued
the leaderraising his voice.

Yes, but never with the same advantages,said D'Artagnan
in a tone of raillery; "for when you meet me again you will
perhaps be alone and there will be daylight."

Very good, very good,said the voice. "En route
gentlemen."

And the troopgrumbling angrilydisappeared in the
darkness and took the road to Paris. D'Artagnan and Planchet
remained for some moments still on the defensive; thenas
the noise of the horsemen became more and more distantthey
sheathed their swords.

Thou seest, simpleton,said D'Artagnan to his servant
that they wished no harm to us.

But to whom, then?


I'faith! I neither know nor care. What I do care for now,
is to make my way into the Jesuits' convent; so to horse and
let us knock at their door. Happen what will, the devil take
them, they can't eat us.

And he mounted his horse. Planchet had just done the same
when an unexpected weight fell upon the back of the horse
which sank down.

Hey! your honor!cried PlanchetI've a man behind me.

D'Artagnan turned around and plainly saw two human forms on
Planchet's horse.

'Tis then the devil that pursues!he cried; drawing his
sword and preparing to attack the new foe.

No, no, dear D'Artagnan,said the figure'tis not the
devil, 'tis Aramis; gallop fast, Planchet, and when you come
to the end of the village turn swiftly to the left.

And Planchetwith Aramis behind himset off at full
gallopfollowed by D'Artagnanwho began to think he was in
the merry maze of some fantastic dream.

The Abbe D'Herblay.

At the extremity of the village Planchet turned to the left
in obedience to the orders of Aramisand stopped underneath
the window which had light in it. Aramis alighted and
clapped his hands three times. Immediately the window was
opened and a ladder of rope was let down from it.

My friend,said Aramisif you like to ascend I shall be
delighted to receive you.

Ah,said D'Artagnanis that the way you return to your
apartment?

After nine at night, pardieu!said Aramisthe rule of
the convent is very severe.

Pardon me, my dear friend,said D'ArtagnanI think you
said `pardieu!'

Do you think so?said Aramissmiling; "it is possible.
You have no ideamy dear fellowhow one acquires bad
habits in these cursed conventsor what evil ways all these
men of the church havewith whom I am obliged to live. But
will you not go up?"

Pass on before me, I beg of you.

As the late cardinal used to say to the late king, `only to
show you the way, sire.'And Aramis ascended the ladder
quickly and reached the window in an instant.

D'Artagnan followedbut less nimblyshowing plainly that


this mode of ascent was not one to which he was accustomed.

I beg your pardon,said Aramisnoticing his awkwardness;
if I had known that I was to have the honor of your visit I
should have procured the gardener's ladder; but for me alone
this is good enough.

Sir,said Planchet when he saw D'Artagnan on the summit of
the ladderthis way is easy for Monsieur Aramis and even
for you; in case of necessity I might also climb up, but my
two horses cannot mount the ladder.

Take them to yonder shed, my friend,said Aramispointing
to a low building on the plain; "there you will find hay and
straw for them; then come back here and clap your hands
three timesand we will give you wine and food. Marry
forsoothpeople don't die of hunger here.'

And Aramisdrawing in the ladderclosed the window.
D'Artagnan then looked around attentively.

Never was there an apartment at the same time more warlike
and more elegant. At each corner were arranged trophies
presenting to view swords of all sortsand on the walls
hung four great pictures representing in their ordinary
military costume the Cardinal de Lorrainethe Cardinal de
Richelieuthe Cardinal de la Valetteand the Archbishop of
Bordeaux. Exteriorlynothing in the room showed that it was
the habitation of an abbe. The hangings were of damaskthe
carpets from Alenconand the bedespeciallyhad more the
look of a fine lady's couchwith its trimmings of fine lace
and its embroidered counterpanethan that of a man who had
made a vow that he would endeavor to gain Heaven by fasting
and mortification.

You are examining my den,said Aramis. "Ahmy dear
fellowexcuse me; I am lodged like a Chartreux. But what
are you looking for?"

I am looking for the person who let down the ladder. I see
no one and yet the ladder didn't come down of itself.

No, it is Bazin.

Ah! ah!said D'Artagnan.

But,continued AramisBazin is a well trained servant,
and seeing that I was not alone he discreetly retired. Sit
down, my dear friend, and let us talk.And Aramis pushed
forward a large easy-chairin which D'Artagnan stretched
himself out.

In the first place, you will sup with me, will you not?
asked Aramis.

Yes, if you really wish it,said D'Artagnanand even
with great pleasure, I confess; the journey has given me a
devil of an appetite.

Ah, my poor friend!said Aramisyou will find meagre
fare; you were not expected.

Am I then threatened with the omelet of Crevecoeur?


Oh, let us hope,said Aramisthat with the help of God
and of Bazin we shall find something better than that in the
larder of the worthy Jesuit fathers. Bazin, my friend, come
here.

The door opened and Bazin entered; on perceiving the
musketeer he uttered an exclamation that was almost a cry of
despair.

My dear Bazin,said D'ArtagnanI am delighted to see
with what wonderful composure you can tell a lie even in
church!

Sir,replied BazinI have been taught by the good Jesuit
fathers that it is permitted to tell a falsehood when it is
told in a good cause.

So far well,said Aramis; "we are dying of hunger. Serve
us up the best supper you canand especially give us some
good wine."

Bazin bowed lowsighedand left the room.

Now we are alone, dear Aramis,said D'Artagnantell me
how the devil you managed to alight upon the back of
Planchet's horse.

I'faith!answered Aramisas you see, from Heaven.

From Heaven,replied D'Artagnanshaking his head; "you
have no more the appearance of coming from thence than you
have of going there."

My friend,said Aramiswith a look of imbecility on his
face which D'Artagnan had never observed whilst he was in
the musketeersif I did not come from Heaven, at least I
was leaving Paradise, which is almost the same.

Here, then, is a puzzle for the learned,observed
D'Artagnanuntil now they have never been able to agree as
to the situation of Paradise; some place it on Mount Ararat,
others between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates; it seems
that they have been looking very far away for it, while it
was actually very near. Paradise is at Noisy le Sec, upon
the site of the archbishop's chateau. People do not go out
from it by the door, but by the window; one doesn't descend
here by the marble steps of a peristyle, but by the branches
of a lime-tree; and the angel with a flaming sword who
guards this elysium seems to have changed his celestial name
of Gabriel into that of the more terrestrial one of the
Prince de Marsillac.

Aramis burst into a fit of laughter.

You were always a merry companion, my dear D'Artagnan,he
saidand your witty Gascon fancy has not deserted you.
Yes, there is something in what you say; nevertheless, do
not believe that it is Madame de Longueville with whom I am
in love.

A plague on't! I shall not do so. After having been so long
in love with Madame de Chevreuse, you would hardly lay your
heart at the feet of her mortal enemy!


Yes,replied Aramiswith an absent air; "yesthat poor
duchess! I once loved her muchand to do her justiceshe
was very useful to us. Eventually she was obliged to leave
France. He was a relentless enemythat damned cardinal
continued Aramis, glancing at the portrait of the old
minister. He had even given orders to arrest her and would
have cut off her head had she not escaped with her
waiting-maid -- poor Kitty! I have heard that she met with a
strange adventure in I don't know what villagewith I don't
know what cureof whom she asked hospitality and who
having but one chamberand taking her for a cavalier
offered to share it with her. For she had a wonderful way of
dressing as a manthat dear Marie; I know only one other
woman who can do it as well. So they made this song about
her: `Laboissieredis moi.' You know itdon't you?"

No, sing it, please.

Aramis immediately compliedand sang the song in a very
lively manner.

Bravo!cried D'Artagnanyou sing charmingly, dear
Aramis. I do not perceive that singing masses has spoiled
your voice.

My dear D'Artagnan,replied Aramisyou understand, when
I was a musketeer I mounted guard as seldom as I could; now
when I am an abbe I say as few masses as I can. But to
return to our duchess.

Which -- the Duchess de Chevreuse or the Duchess de
Longueville?

Have I not already told you that there is nothing between
me and the Duchess de Longueville? Little flirtations,
perhaps, and that's all. No, I spoke of the Duchess de
Chevreuse; did you see her after her return from Brussels,
after the king's death?

Yes, she is still beautiful.

Yes,said AramisI saw her also at that time. I gave her
good advice, by which she did not profit. I ventured to tell
her that Mazarin was the lover of Anne of Austria. She
wouldn't believe me, saying that she knew Anne of Austria,
who was too proud to love such a worthless coxcomb. After
that she plunged into the cabal headed by the Duke of
Beaufort; and the `coxcomb' arrested De Beaufort and
banished Madame de Chevreuse.

You know,resumed D'Artagnanthat she has had leave to
return to France?

Yes she is come back and is going to commit some fresh
folly or another.

Oh, but this time perhaps she will follow your advice.

Oh, this time,returned AramisI haven't seen her; she
is much changed.

In that respect unlike you, my dear Aramis, for you are
still the same; you have still your beautiful dark hair,
still your elegant figure, still your feminine hands, which


are admirably suited to a prelate.

Yes,replied AramisI am extremely careful of my
appearance. Do you know that I am growing old? I am nearly
thirty-seven.

Mind, Aramis-- D'Artagnan smiled as he spoke -- "since we
are together againlet us agree on one point: what age
shall we be in future?"

How?

Formerly I was your junior by two or three years, and if I
am not mistaken I am turned forty years old.

Indeed! Then 'tis I who am mistaken, for you have always
been a good chronologist. By your reckoning I must be
forty-three at least. The devil I am! Don't let it out at
the Hotel Rambouillet; it would ruin me,replied the abbe.

Don't be afraid,said D'Artagnan. "I never go there."

Why, what in the world,cried Aramisis that animal
Bazin doing? Bazin! Hurry up there, you rascal; we are mad
with hunger and thirst!

Bazin entered at that moment carrying a bottle in each hand.

At last,said Aramiswe are ready, are we?

Yesmonsieurquite ready said Bazin; but it took me
some time to bring up all the ---- "

Because you always think you have on your shoulders your
beadle's robe, and spend all your time reading your
breviary. But I give you warning that if in polishing your
chapel utensils you forget how to brighten up my sword, I
will make a great fire of your blessed images and will see
that you are roasted on it.

Bazinscandalizedmade a sign of the cross with the bottle
in his hand. D'Artagnanmore surprised than ever at the
tone and manners of the Abbe d'Herblaywhich contrasted so
strongly with those of the Musketeer Aramisremained
staring with wide-open eyes at the face of his friend.

Bazin quickly covered the table with a damask cloth and
arranged upon it so many thingsgildedperfumed
appetizingthat D'Artagnan was quite overcome.

But you expected some one then?asked the officer.

Oh,said AramisI always try to be prepared; and then I
knew you were seeking me.

From whom?

From Master Bazin, to be sure; he took you for the devil,
my dear fellow, and hastened to warn me of the danger that
threatened my soul if I should meet again a companion so
wicked as an officer of musketeers.

Oh, monsieur!said Bazinclasping his hands
supplicatingly.


Come, no hypocrisy! you know that I don't like it. You will
do much better to open the window and let down some bread, a
chicken and a bottle of wine to your friend Planchet, who
has been this last hour killing himself clapping his hands.

Planchetin facthad bedded and fed his horsesand then
coming back under the window had repeated two or three times
the signal agreed upon.

Bazin obeyedfastened to the end of a cord the three
articles designated and let them down to Planchetwho then
went satisfied to his shed.

Now to supper,said Aramis.

The two friends sat down and Aramis began to cut up fowls
partridges and hams with admirable skill.

The deuce!cried D'Artagnan; "do you live in this way
always?"

Yes, pretty well. The coadjutor has given me dispensations
from fasting on the jours maigres, on account of my health;
then I have engaged as my cook the cook who lived with
Lafollone -- you know the man I mean? -- the friend of the
cardinal, and the famous epicure whose grace after dinner
used to be, `Good Lord, do me the favor to cause me to
digest what I have eaten.'

Nevertheless he died of indigestion, in spite of his
grace,said D'Artagnan.

What can you expect?replied Aramisin a tone of
resignation. "Every man that's born must fulfil his
destiny."

If it be not an indelicate question,resumed D'Artagnan
have you grown rich?

Oh, Heaven! no. I make about twelve thousand francs a year,
without counting a little benefice of a thousand crowns the
prince gave me.

And how do you make your twelve thousand francs? By your
poems?

No, I have given up poetry, except now and then to write a
drinking song, some gay sonnet or some innocent epigram; I
compose sermons, my friend.

What! sermons? Do you preach them?

No; I sell them to those of my cloth who wish to become
great orators.

Ah, indeed! and you have not been tempted by the hopes of
reputation yourself?

I should, my dear D'Artagnan, have been so, but nature said
`No.' When I am in the pulpit, if by chance a pretty woman
looks at me, I look at her again: if she smiles, I smile
too. Then I speak at random; instead of preaching about the
torments of hell I talk of the joys of Paradise. An event


took place in the Church of St. Louis au Marais. A gentleman
laughed in my face. I stopped short to tell him that he was
a fool; the congregation went out to get stones to stone me
with, but whilst they were away I found means to conciliate
the priests who were present, so that my foe was pelted
instead of me. 'Tis true that he came the next morning to my
house, thinking that he had to do with an abbe -- like all
other abbes.

And what was the end of the affair?

We met in the Place Royale -- Egad! you know about it.

Was I not your second?cried D'Artagnan.

You were; you know how I settled the matter.

Did he die?

I don't know. But, at all events, I gave him absolution in
articulo mortis. 'Tis enough to kill the body, without
killing the soul.

Bazin made a despairing sign which meant that while perhaps
he approved the moral he altogether disapproved the tone in
which it was uttered.

Bazin, my friend,said Aramisyou don't seem to be aware
that I can see you in that mirror, and you forget that once
for all I have forbidden all signs of approbation or
disapprobation. You will do me the favor to bring us some
Spanish wine and then to withdraw. Besides, my friend
D'Artagnan has something to say to me privately, have you
not, D'Artagnan?

D'Artagnan nodded his head and Bazin retiredafter placing
on the table the Spanish wine.

The two friendsleft aloneremained silentface to face.
Aramis seemed to await a comfortable digestion; D'Artagnan
to be preparing his exordium. Each of themwhen the other
was not lookinghazarded a sly glance. It was Aramis who
broke the silence.

What are you thinking of, D'Artagnan?he began.

I was thinking, my dear old friend, that when you were a
musketeer you turned your thoughts incessantly to the
church, and now that you are an abbe you are perpetually
longing to be once more a musketeer.

'Tis true; man, as you know,said Aramisis a strange
animal, made up of contradictions. Since I became an abbe I
dream of nothing but battles.

That is apparent in your surroundings; you have rapiers
here of every form and to suit the most exacting taste. Do
you still fence well?

I -- I fence as well as you did in the old time -- better
still, perhaps; I do nothing else all day.

And with whom?


With an excellent master-at-arms that we have here.

What! here?

Yesherein this conventmy dear fellow. There is
everything in a Jesuit convent."

Then you would have killed Monsieur de Marsillac if he had
come alone to attack you, instead of at the head of twenty
men?

Undoubtedly,said Aramisand even at the head of his
twenty men, if I could have drawn without being recognized.

God pardon me!said D'Artagnan to himselfI believe he
has become more Gascon than I am!Then aloud: "Wellmy
dear Aramisdo you ask me why I came to seek you?"

No, I have not asked you that,said Aramiswith his
subtle manner; "but I have expected you to tell me."

Well, I sought you for the single purpose of offering you a
chance to kill Monsieur de Marsillac whenever you please,
prince though he is.

Hold on! wait!said Aramis; "that is an idea!"

Of which I invite you to take advantage, my friend. Let us
see; with your thousand crowns from the abbey and the twelve
thousand francs you make by selling sermons, are you rich?
Answer frankly.

I? I am as poor as Job, and were you to search my pockets
and my boxes I don't believe you would find a hundred
pistoles.

Peste! a hundred pistoles!said D'Artagnan to himself; "he
calls that being as poor as Job! If I had them I should
think myself as rich as Croesus." Then aloud: "Are you
ambitious?"

As Enceladus.

Well, my friend, I bring you the means of becoming rich,
powerful, and free to do whatever you wish.

The shadow of a cloud passed over Aramis's face as quickly
as that which in August passes over the field of grain; but
quick as it wasit did not escape D'Artagnan's observation.

Speak on,said Aramis.

One question first. Do you take any interest in politics?

A gleam of light shone in Aramis's eyesas brief as the
shadow that had passed over his facebut not so brief but
that it was seen by D'Artagnan.

No,Aramis replied.

Then proposals from any quarter will be agreeable to you,
since for the moment you have no master but God?

It is possible.


Have you, my dear Aramis, thought sometimes of those happy,
happy, happy days of youth we passed laughing, drinking, and
fighting each other for play?

Certainly, and more than once regretted them; it was indeed
a glorious time.

Well, those splendidly wild days may chance to come again;
I am commissioned to find out my companions and I began by
you, who were the very soul of our society.

Aramis bowedrather with respect than pleasure at the
compliment.

To meddle in politics,he exclaimedin a languid voice
leaning back in his easy-chair. "Ah! dear D'Artagnan! see
how regularly I live and how easy I am here. We have
experienced the ingratitude of `the great' as you well
know."

'Tis true,replied D'Artagnan. "Yet the great sometimes
repent of their ingratitude."

In that case it would be quite another thing. Come! let's
be merciful to every sinner! Besides, you are right in
another respect, which is in thinking that if we were to
meddle in politics there could not be a better time than the
present.

How can you know that? You who never interest yourself in
politics?

Ah! without caring about them myself, I live among those
who are much occupied in them. Poet as I am, I am intimate
with Sarazin, who is devoted to the Prince de Conti, and
with Monsieur de Bois-Robert, who, since the death of
Cardinal Richelieu, is of all parties or any party; so that
political discussions have not altogether been uninteresting
to me.

I have no doubt of it,said D'Artagnan.

Now, my dear friend, look upon all I tell you as merely the
statement of a monk -- of a man who resembles an echo -repeating
simply what he hears. I understand that Mazarin is
at this very moment extremely uneasy as to the state of
affairs; that his orders are not respected like those of our
former bugbear, the deceased cardinal, whose portrait as you
see hangs yonder -- for whatever may be thought of him, it
must be allowed that Richelieu was great.

I will not contradict you there,said D'Artagnan.

My first impressions were favorable to the minister; I said
to myself that a minister is never loved, but that with the
genius this one was said to have he would eventually triumph
over his enemies and would make himself feared, which in my
opinion is much more to be desired than to be loved ----

D'Artagnan made a sign with his head which indicated that he
entirely approved that doubtful maxim.

This, then,continued Aramiswas my first opinion; but


as I am very ignorant in matters of this kind and as the
humility which I profess obliges me not to rest on my own
judgment, but to ask the opinion of others, I have inquired
-- Eh! -- my friend ----

Aramis paused.

Well? what?asked his friend.

Well, I must mortify myself. I must confess that I was
mistaken. Monsieur de Mazarin is not a man of genius, as I
thought, he is a man of no origin -- once a servant of
Cardinal Bentivoglio, and he got on by intrigue. He is an
upstart, a man of no name, who will only be the tool of a
party in France. He will amass wealth, he will injure the
king's revenue and pay to himself the pensions which
Richelieu paid to others. He is neither a gentleman in
manner nor in feeling, but a sort of buffoon, a punchinello,
a pantaloon. Do you know him? I do not.

Hem!said D'Artagnanthere is some truth in what you
say.

Ah! it fills me with pride to find that, thanks to a common
sort of penetration with which I am endowed, I am approved
by a man like you, fresh from the court.

But you speak of him, not of his party, his resources.

It is true -- the queen is for him.

Something in his favor.

But he will never have the king.

A mere child.

A child who will be of age in four years. Then he has
neither the parliament nor the people with him -- they
represent the wealth of the country; nor the nobles nor the
princes, who are the military power of France.

D'Artagnan scratched his ear. He was forced to confess to
himself that this reasoning was not only comprehensivebut
just.

You see, my poor friend, that I am sometimes bereft of my
ordinary thoughtfulness; perhaps I am wrong in speaking thus
to you, who have evidently a leaning to Mazarin.

I!cried D'Artagnannot in the least.

You spoke of a mission.

Did I? I was wrong then, no, I said what you say -- there
is a crisis at hand. Well! let's fly the feather before the
wind; let us join with that side to which the wind will
carry it and resume our adventurous life. We were once four
valiant knights -- four hearts fondly united; let us unite
again, not our hearts, which have never been severed, but
our courage and our fortunes. Here's a good opportunity for
getting something better than a diamond.

You are right, D'Artagnan; I held a similar project, but as


I had not nor ever shall have your fruitful, vigorous
imagination, the idea was suggested to me. Every one
nowadays wants auxiliaries; propositions have been made to
me and I confess to you frankly that the coadjutor has made
me speak out.

Monsieur de Gondy! the cardinal's enemy?

No; the king's friend,said Aramis; "the king's friend
you understand. Wellit is a question of serving the king
the gentleman's duty."

But the king is with Mazarin.

He is, but not willingly; in appearance, not heart; and
that is exactly the snare the king's enemies are preparing
for the poor child.

Ah! but this is, indeed, civil war which you propose to me,
dear Aramis.

War for the king.

Yet the king will be at the head of the army on Mazarin's
side.

But his heart will be in the army commanded by the Duc de
Beaufort.

Monsieur de Beaufort? He is at Vincennes.

Did I say Monsieur de Beaufort? Monsieur de Beaufort or
another. Monsieur de Beaufort or Monsieur le Prince.

But Monsieur le Prince is to set out for the army; he is
entirely devoted to the cardinal.

Oh oh!said Aramisthere are questions between them at
this very moment. And besides, if it is not the prince, then
Monsieur de Gondy ----

But Monsieur de Gondy is to be made a cardinal; they are
soliciting the hat for him.

And are there no cardinals that can fight? Come now, recall
the four cardinals that at the head of armies have equalled
Monsieur de Guebriant and Monsieur de Gassion.

But a humpbacked general!

Under the cuirass the hump will not be seen. Besides
remember that Alexander was lame and Hannibal had but one
eye."

Do you see any great advantage in adhering to this party?
asked D'Artagnan.

I foresee in it the aid of powerful princes.

With the enmity of the government.

Counteracted by parliament and insurrections.

That may be done if they can separate the king from his


mother.

That may be done,said Aramis.

Never!cried D'Artagnan. "YouAramisknow Anne of
Austria better than I do. Do you think she will ever forget
that her son is her safeguardher shieldthe pledge for
her dignityfor her fortune and her life? Should she
forsake Mazarin she must join her son and go over to the
princes' side; but you know better than I do that there are
certain reasons why she can never abandon Mazarin."

Perhaps you are right,said Aramisthoughtfully;
therefore I shall not pledge myself.

To them or to us, do you mean, Aramis?

To no one. I am a priest,resumed Aramis. "What have I to
do with politics? I am not obliged to read any breviary. I
have a jolly little circle of witty abbes and pretty women;
everything goes on smoothlyso certainlydear friendI
shall not meddle in politics."

Well, listen, my dear Aramis,said D'Artagnan; "your
philosophy convinces meon my honor. I don't know what
devil of an insect stung me and made me ambitious. I have a
post by which I live; at the death of Monsieur de Treville
who is oldI may be a captainwhich is a very snug berth
for a once penniless Gascon. Instead of running after
adventures I shall accept an invitation from Porthos; I
shall go and shoot on his estate. You know he has estates --
Porthos?"

I should think so, indeed. Ten leagues of wood, of marsh
land and valleys; he is lord of the hill and the plain and
is now carrying on a suit for his feudal rights against the
Bishop of Noyon!

Good,said D'Artagnan to himself. "That's what I wanted to
know. Porthos is in Picardy."

Then aloud:

And he has taken his ancient name of Vallon?

To which he adds that of Bracieux, an estate which has been
a barony, by my troth.

So that Porthos will be a baron.

I don't doubt it. The `Baroness Porthos' will sound
particularly charming.

And the two friends began to laugh.

So,D'Artagnan resumedyou will not become a partisan of
Mazarin's?

Nor you of the Prince de Conde?

No, let us belong to no party, but remain friends; let us
be neither Cardinalists nor Frondists.

Adieu, then.And D'Artagnan poured out a glass of wine.


To old times,he said.

Yes,returned Aramis. "Unhappilythose times are past."

Nonsense! They will return,said D'Artagnan. "At all
eventsif you want meremember the Rue TiquetonneHotel
de la Chevrette."

And I shall be at the convent of Jesuits; from six in the
morning to eight at night come by the door. From eight in
the evening until six in the morning come in by the window.

Adieu, dear friend.

Oh, I can't let you go so! I will go with you.And he took
his sword and cloak.

He wants to be sure that I go away,said D'Artagnan to
himself.

Aramis whistled for Bazinbut Bazin was asleep in the
ante-chamberand Aramis was obliged to shake him by the ear
to awake him.

Bazin stretched his armsrubbed his eyesand tried to go
to sleep again.

Come, come, sleepy head; quick, the ladder!

But,said Bazinyawning portentouslythe ladder is
still at the window.

The other one, the gardener's. Didn't you see that Monsieur
d'Artagnan mounted with difficulty? It will be even more
difficult to descend.

D'Artagnan was about to assure Aramis that he could descend
easilywhen an idea came into his head which silenced him.

Bazin uttered a profound sigh and went out to look for the
ladder. Presently a goodsolidwooden ladder was placed
against the window.

Now then,said D'Artagnanthis is something like; this
is a means of communication. A woman could go up a ladder
like that.

Aramis's searching look seemed to seek his friend's thought
even at the bottom of his heartbut D'Artagnan sustained
the inquisition with an air of admirable simplicity.
Besidesat that moment he put his foot on the first step of
the ladder and began his descent. In a moment he was on the
ground. Bazin remained at the window.

Stay there,said Aramis; "I shall return immediately."

The two friends went toward the shed. At their approach
Planchet came out leading the two horses.

That is good to see,said Aramis. "There is a servant
active and vigilantnot like that lazy fellow Bazinwho is
no longer good for anything since he became connected with
the church. Follow usPlanchet; we shall continue our


conversation to the end of the village."

They traversed the width of the villagetalking of
indifferent thingsthen as they reached the last houses:

Go, then, dear friend,said Aramisfollow your own
career. Fortune lavishes her smiles upon you; do not let her
flee from your embrace. As for me, I remain in my humility
and indolence. Adieu!

Thus 'tis quite decided,said D'Artagnanthat what I
have to offer to you does not tempt you?

On the contrary, it would tempt me were I any other man,
rejoined Aramis; "but I repeatI am made up of
contradictions. What I hate to-day I adore to-morrowand
vice versa. You see that I cannotlike youfor instance
settle on any fixed plan."

Thou liest, subtile one,said D'Artagnan to himself. "Thou
aloneon the contraryknowest how to choose thy object and
to gain it stealthily."

The friends embraced. They descended into the plain by the
ladder. Planchet met them hard by the shed. D'Artagnan
jumped into the saddlethen the old companions in arms
again shook hands. D'Artagnan and Planchet spurred their
steeds and took the road to Paris.

But after he had gone about two hundred steps D'Artagnan
stopped shortalightedthrew the bridle of his horse over
the arm of Planchet and took the pistols from his saddle-bow
to fasten them to his girdle.

What's the matter?asked Planchet.

This is the matter: be he ever so cunning he shall never
say I was his dupe. Stand here, don't stir, turn your back
to the road and wait for me.

Having thus spokenD'Artagnan cleared the ditch by the
roadside and crossed the plain so as to wind around the
village. He had observed between the house that Madame de
Longueville inhabited and the convent of the Jesuitsan
open space surrounded by a hedge.

The moon had now risen and he could see well enough to
retrace his road.

He reached the hedge and hid himself behind it; in passing
by the house where the scene which we have related took
placehe remarked that the window was again lighted up and
he was convinced that Aramis had not yet returned to his own
apartment and that when he did it would not be alone.

In truthin a few minutes he heard steps approaching and
low whispers.

Close to the hedge the steps stopped.

D'Artagnan knelt down near the thickest part of the hedge.

Two mento the astonishment of D'Artagnanappeared
shortly; soonhoweverhis surprise vanishedfor he heard


the murmurs of a softharmonious voice; one of these two
men was a woman disguised as a cavalier.

Calm yourself, dear Rene,said the soft voicethe same
thing will never happen again. I have discovered a sort of
subterranean passage which runs beneath the street and we
shall only have to raise one of the marble slabs before the
door to open you an entrance and an outlet.

Oh!answered another voicewhich D'Artagnan instantly
recognized as that of Aramis. "I swear to youprincess
that if your reputation did not depend on precautions and if
my life alone were jeopardized ---- "

Yes, yes! I know you are as brave and venturesome as any
man in the world, but you do not belong to me alone; you
belong to all our party. Be prudent! sensible!

I always obey, madame, when I am commanded by so gentle a
voice.

He kissed her hand tenderly.

Ah!exclaimed the cavalier with a soft voice.

What's the matter?asked Aramis.

Do you not see that the wind has blown off my hat?

Aramis rushed after the fugitive hat. D'Artagnan took
advantage of the circumstance to find a place in the hedge
not so thickwhere his glance could penetrate to the
supposed cavalier. At that instantthe mooninquisitive
perhapslike D'Artagnancame from behind a cloud and by
her light D'Artagnan recognized the large blue eyesthe
golden hair and the classic head of the Duchess de
Longueville.

Aramis returnedlaughingone hat on his head and the other
in his hand; and he and his companion resumed their walk
toward the convent.

Good!said D'Artagnanrising and brushing his knees; "now
I have thee -- thou art a Frondeur and the lover of Madame
de Longueville."

Monsieur Porthos du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds.

Thanks to what Aramis had told himD'Artagnanwho knew
already that Porthos called himself Du Vallonwas now aware
that he styled himselffrom his estateDe Bracieux; and
that he wason account of this estateengaged in a lawsuit
with the Bishop of Noyon. It wasthenin the neighborhood
of Noyon that he must seek that estate. His itinerary was
promptly determined: he would go to Dammartinfrom which
place two roads divergeone toward Soissonsthe other
toward Compiegne; there he would inquire concerning the
Bracieux estate and go to the right or to the left according


to the information obtained.

Planchetwho was still a little concerned for his safety
after his recent escapadedeclared that he would follow
D'Artagnan even to the end of the worldeither by the road
to the right or by that to the left; only he begged his
former master to set out in the eveningfor greater
security to himself. D'Artagnan suggested that he should
send word to his wifeso that she might not be anxious
about himbut Planchet replied with much sagacity that he
was very sure his wife would not die of anxiety through not
knowing where he waswhile hePlanchetremembering her
incontinence of tonguewould die of anxiety if she did
know.

This reasoning seemed to D'Artagnan so satisfactory that he
no further insisted; and about eight o'clock in the evening
the time when the vapors of night begin to thicken in the
streetshe left the Hotel de la Chevretteand followed by
Planchet set forth from the capital by way of the Saint
Denis gate.

At midnight the two travelers were at Dammartinbut it was
then too late to make inquiries -- the host of the Cygne de
la Croix had gone to bed.

The next morning D'Artagnan summoned the hostone of those
sly Normans who say neither yes nor no and fear to commit
themselves by giving a direct answer. D'Artagnanhowever
gathered from his equivocal replies that the road to the
right was the one he ought to takeand on that uncertain
information he resumed his journey. At nine in the morning
he reached Nanteuil and stopped for breakfast. His host here
was a good fellow from Picardywho gave him all the
information he needed. The Bracieux estate was a few leagues
from Villars-Cotterets.

D'Artagnan was acquainted with Villars-Cotterets having gone
thither with the court on several occasions; for at that
time Villars-Cotterets was a royal residence. He therefore
shaped his course toward that place and dismounted at the
Dauphin d'Or. There he ascertained that the Bracieux estate
was four leagues distantbut that Porthos was not at
Bracieux. Porthos hadin factbeen involved in a dispute
with the Bishop of Noyon in regard to the Pierrefonds
propertywhich adjoined his ownand weary at length of a
legal controversy which was beyond his comprehensionhe put
an end to it by purchasing Pierrefonds and added that name
to his others. He now called himself Du Vallon de Bracieux
de Pierrefondsand resided on his new estate.

The travelers were therefore obliged to stay at the hotel
until the next day; the horses had done ten leagues that day
and needed rest. It is true they might have taken others
but there was a great forest to pass through and Planchet
as we have seenhad no liking for forests after dark.

There was another thing that Planchet had no liking for and
that was starting on a journey with a hungry stomach.
AccordinglyD'Artagnanon awakingfound his breakfast
waiting for him. It need not be said that Planchet in
resuming his former functions resumed also his former
humility and was not ashamed to make his breakfast on what
was left by D'Artagnan.


It was nearly eight o'clock when they set out again. Their
course was clearly defined: they were to follow the road
toward Compiegne and on emerging from the forest turn to the
right.

The morning was beautifuland in this early springtime the
birds sang on the trees and the sunbeams shone through the
misty gladeslike curtains of golden gauze.

In other parts of the forest the light could scarcely
penetrate through the foliageand the stems of two old oak
treesthe refuge of the squirrelstartled by the
travelerswere in deep shadow.

There came up from all nature in the dawn of day a perfume
of herbsflowers and leaveswhich delighted the heart.
D'Artagnansick of the closeness of Paristhought that
when a man had three names of his different estates joined
one to anotherhe ought to be very happy in such a
paradise; then he shook his headsayingIf I were Porthos
and D'Artagnan came to make me such a proposition as I am
going to make to him, I know what I should say to it.

As to Planchethe thought of little or nothingbut was
happy as a hunting-hound in his old master's company.

At the extremity of the wood D'Artagnan perceived the road
that had been described to himand at the end of the road
he saw the towers of an immense feudal castle.

Oh! oh!he saidI fancied this castle belonged to the
ancient branch of Orleans. Can Porthos have negotiated for
it with the Duc de Longueville?

Faith!exclaimed Planchethere's land in good condition;
if it belongs to Monsieur Porthos I wish him joy.

Zounds!cried D'Artagnandon't call him Porthos, nor
even Vallon; call him De Bracieux or De Pierrefonds; thou
wilt knell out damnation to my mission otherwise.

As he approached the castle which had first attracted his
eyeD'Artagnan was convinced that it could not be there
that his friend dwelt; the towersthough solid and as if
built yesterdaywere open and broken. One might have
fancied that some giant had cleaved them with blows from a
hatchet.

On arriving at the extremity of the castle D'Artagnan found
himself overlooking a beautiful valleyin whichat the
foot of a charming little lakestood several scattered
houseswhichhumble in their aspectand coveredsome
with tilesothers with thatchseemed to acknowledge as
their sovereign lord a pretty chateaubuilt about the
beginning of the reign of Henry IV.and surmounted by four
statelygilded weather-cocks. D'Artagnan no longer doubted
that this was Porthos's pleasant dwelling place.

The road led straight up to the chateau whichcompared to
its ancestor on the hillwas exactly what a fop of the
coterie of the Duc d'Enghein would have been beside a knight
in steel armor in the time of Charles VII. D'Artagnan
spurred his horse on and pursued his roadfollowed by


Planchet at the same pace.

In ten minutes D'Artagnan reached the end of an alley
regularly planted with fine poplars and terminating in an
iron gatethe points and crossed bars of which were gilt.
In the midst of this avenue was a noblemandressed in green
and with as much gilding about him as the iron gateriding
on a tall horse. On his right hand and his left were two
footmenwith the seams of their dresses laced. A
considerable number of clowns were assembled and rendered
homage to their lord.

Ah!said D'Artagnan to himselfcan this be the Seigneur
du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds? Well-a-day! how he has
shrunk since he gave up the name of Porthos!

This cannot be Monsieur Porthos,observed Planchet
replyingas it wereto his master's thoughts. "Monsieur
Porthos was six feet high; this man is scarcely five."

Nevertheless,said D'Artagnanthe people are bowing very
low to this person.

As he spokehe rode toward the tall horse -- to the man of
importance and his valets. As he approached he seemed to
recognize the features of this individual.

Jesu!cried Planchetcan it be?

At this exclamation the man on horseback turned slowly and
with a lofty airand the two travelers could seedisplayed
in all their brilliancythe large eyesthe vermilion
visageand the eloquent smile of -- Musqueton.

It was indeed Musqueton -- Musquetonas fat as a pig
rolling about with rude healthpuffed out with good living
whorecognizing D'Artagnan and acting very differently from
the hypocrite Bazinslipped off his horse and approached
the officer with his hat offso that the homage of the
assembled crowd was turned toward this new sunwhich
eclipsed the former luminary.

Monsieur d'Artagnan! Monsieur d'Artagnan!cried Musqueton
his fat cheeks swelling out and his whole frame perspiring
with joy; "Monsieur d'Artagnan! oh! what joy for my lord and
masterDu Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds!"

Thou good Musqueton! where is thy master?

You stand upon his property!

But how handsome thou art -- how fat! thou hast prospered
and grown stout!and D'Artagnan could not restrain his
astonishment at the change good fortune had produced on the
once famished one.

Hey, yes, thank God, I am pretty well,said Musqueton.

But hast thou nothing to say to thy friend Planchet?

How, my friend Planchet? Planchet -- art thou there?cried
Musquetonwith open arms and eyes full of tears.

My very self,replied Planchet; "but I wanted first to see


if thou wert grown proud."

Proud toward an old friend? never, Planchet! thou wouldst
not have thought so hadst thou known Musqueton well.

So far so well,answered Planchetalightingand
extending his arms to Musquetonthe two servants embraced
with an emotion which touched those who were present and
made them suppose that Planchet was a great lord in
disguiseso highly did they estimate the position of
Musqueton.

And now, sir,resumed Musquetonwhen he had rid himself
of Planchetwho had in vain tried to clasp his hands behind
his friend's fat backnow, sir, allow me to leave you, for
I could not permit my master to hear of your arrival from
any but myself; he would never forgive me for not having
preceded you.

This dear friend,said D'Artagnancarefully avoiding to
utter either the former name borne by Porthos or his new
onethen he has not forgotten me?

Forgotten -- he!cried Musqueton; "there's not a daysir
that we don't expect to hear that you were made marshal
either instead of Monsieur de Gassionor of Monsieur de
Bassompierre."

On D'Artagnan's lips there played one of those rare and
melancholy smiles which seemed to emanate from the depth of
his soul -- the last trace of youth and happiness that had
survived life's disillusions.

And you -- fellows,resumed Musquetonstay near Monsieur
le Comte d'Artagnan and pay him every attention in your
power whilst I go to prepare my lord for his visit.

And mounting his horse Musqueton rode off down the avenue on
the grass at a hand gallop.

Ah, there! there's something promising,said D'Artagnan.
No mysteries, no cloak to hide one's self in, no cunning
policy here; people laugh outright, they weep for joy here.
I see nothing but faces a yard broad; in short, it seems to
me that nature herself wears a holiday garb, and that the
trees, instead of leaves and flowers, are covered with red
and green ribbons as on gala days.

As for me,said PlanchetI seem to smell, from this
place, even, a most delectable perfume of fine roast meat,
and to see the scullions in a row by the hedge, hailing our
approach. Ah! sir, what a cook must Monsieur Pierrefonds
have, when he was so fond of eating and drinking, even
whilst he was only called Monsieur Porthos!

Say no more!cried D'Artagnan. "If the reality corresponds
with appearances I am lost; for a man so well off will never
change his happy conditionand I shall fail with himas I
have already done with Aramis."


How D'Artagnanin discovering the Retreat of Porthos
perceives that Wealth does not necessarily produce
Happiness.

D'Artagnan passed through the iron gate and arrived in front
of the chateau. He alighted as he saw a species of giant on
the steps. Let us do justice to D'Artagnan. Independently of
every selfish wishhis heart palpitated with joy when he
saw that tall form and martial demeanorwhich recalled to
him a good and brave man.

He ran to Porthos and threw himself into his arms; the whole
body of servantsarranged in a semi-circle at a respectful
distancelooked on with humble curiosity. Musquetonat the
head of themwiped his eyes. Porthos linked his arm in that
of his friend.

Ah! how delightful to see you again, dear friend!he
criedin a voice which was now changed from a baritone into
a bassyou've not then forgotten me?

Forget you! oh! dear Du Vallon, does one forget the
happiest days of flowery youth, one's dearest friends, the
dangers we have dared together? On the contrary, there is
not an hour we have passed together that is not present to
my memory.

Yes, yes,said Porthostrying to give to his mustache a
curl which it had lost whilst he had been alone. "Yeswe
did some fine things in our time and we gave that poor
cardinal a few threads to unravel."

And he heaved a sigh.

Under any circumstances,he resumedyou are welcome, my
dear friend; you will help me to recover my spirits;
to-morrow we will hunt the hare on my plain, which is a
superb tract of land, or pursue the deer in my woods, which
are magnificent. I have four harriers which are considered
the swiftest in the county, and a pack of hounds which are
unequalled for twenty leagues around.

And Porthos heaved another sigh.

But, first,interposed D'Artagnanyou must present me to
Madame du Vallon.

A third sigh from Porthos.

I lost Madame du Vallon two years ago,he saidand you
find me still in affliction on that account. That was the
reason why I left my Chateau du Vallon near Corbeil, and
came to my estate, Bracieux. Poor Madame du Vallon! her
temper was uncertain, but she came at last to accustom
herself to my little ways and understand my little wishes.

So you are free now, and rich?

Alas!groaned PorthosI am a widower and have forty
thousand francs a year. Let us go to breakfast.

I shall be happy to do so; the morning air has made me


hungry.

Yes,said Porthos; "my air is excellent."

They went into the chateau; there was nothing but gilding
high and low; the cornices were giltthe mouldings were
giltthe legs and arms of the chairs were gilt. A table
ready set outawaited them.

You see,said Porthosthis is my usual style.

Devil take me!answered D'ArtagnanI wish you joy of it.
The king has nothing like it.

No,answered PorthosI hear it said that he is very
badly fed by the cardinal, Monsieur de Mazarin. Taste this
cutlet, my dear D'Artagnan; 'tis off one of my sheep.

You have very tender mutton and I wish you joy of it.said
D'Artagnan.

Yes, the sheep are fed in my meadows, which are excellent
pasture.

Give me another cutlet.

No, try this hare, which I had killed yesterday in one of
my warrens.

Zounds! what a flavor!cried D'Artagnan; "ah! they are fed
on thyme onlyyour hares."

And how do you like my wine?asked Porthos; "it is
pleasantisn't it?"

Capital!

It is nothing, however, but a wine of the country.

Really?

Yes, a small declivity to the south, yonder on my hill,
gives me twenty hogsheads.

Quite a vineyard, hey?

Porthos sighed for the fifth time -- D'Artagnan had counted
his sighs. He became curious to solve the problem.

Well now,he saidit seems, my dear friend, that
something vexes you; you are ill, perhaps? That health,
which ----

Excellent, my dear friend; better than ever. I could kill
an ox with a blow of my fist.

Well, then, family affairs, perhaps?

Family! I have, happily, only myself in the world to care
for.

But what makes you sigh?

My dear fellow,replied Porthosto be candid with you, I


am not happy.

You are not happy, Porthos? You who have chateau, meadows,
mountains, woods -- you who have forty thousand francs a
year -- you -- are -- not -- happy?

My dear friend, all those things I have, but I am a hermit
in the midst of superfluity.

Surrounded, I suppose, only by clodhoppers, with whom you
could not associate.

Porthos turned rather pale and drank off a large glass of
wine.

No; but just think, there are paltry country squires who
have all some title or another and pretend to go back as far
as Charlemagne, or at least to Hugh Capet. When I first came
here; being the last comer, it was for me to make the first
advances. I made them, but you know, my dear friend, Madame
du Vallon ----

Porthosin pronouncing these wordsseemed to gulp down
something.

Madame du Vallon was of doubtful gentility. She had, in her
first marriage -- I don't think, D'Artagnan, I am telling
you anything new -- married a lawyer; they thought that
`nauseous;' you can understand that's a word bad enough to
make one kill thirty thousand men. I have killed two, which
has made people hold their tongues, but has not made me
their friend. So that I have no society; I live alone; I am
sick of it -- my mind preys on itself.

D'Artagnan smiled. He now saw where the breastplate was
weakand prepared the blow.

But now,he saidthat you are a widower, your wife's
connection cannot injure you.

Yes, but understand me; not being of a race of historic
fame, like the De Courcys, who were content to be plain
sirs, or the Rohans, who didn't wish to be dukes, all these
people, who are all either vicomtes or comtes go before me
at church in all the ceremonies, and I can say nothing to
them. Ah! If I only were a ----

A baron, don't you mean?cried D'Artagnanfinishing his
friend's sentence.

Ah!cried Porthos; "would I were but a baron!"

Well, my friend, I am come to give you this very title
which you wish for so much.

Porthos gave a start that shook the room; two or three
bottles fell and were broken. Musqueton ran thitherhearing
the noise.

Porthos waved his hand to Musqueton to pick up the bottles.

I am glad to see,said D'Artagnanthat you have still
that honest lad with you.


He is my steward,replied Porthos; "he will never leave
me. Go away nowMouston."

So he's called Mouston,thought D'Artagnan; "'tis too long
a word to pronounce `Musqueton.'"

Well,he said aloudlet us resume our conversation
later, your people may suspect something; there may be spies
about. You can suppose, Porthos, that what I have to say
relates to most important matters.

Devil take them; let us walk in the park,answered
Porthosfor the sake of digestion.

Egad,said D'Artagnanthe park is like everything else
and there are as many fish in your pond as rabbits in your
warren; you are a happy man, my friend since you have not
only retained your love of the chase, but acquired that of
fishing.

My friend,replied PorthosI leave fishing to Musqueton,
-- it is a vulgar pleasure, -- but I shoot sometimes; that
is to say, when I am dull, and I sit on one of those marble
seats, have my gun brought to me, my favorite dog, and I
shoot rabbits.

Really, how very amusing!

Yes,replied Porthoswith a sigh; it is amusing."

D'Artagnan now no longer counted the sighs. They were
innumerable.

However, what had you to say to me?he resumed; "let us
return to that subject."

With pleasure,replied D'Artagnan; "I musthoweverfirst
frankly tell you that you must change your mode of life."

How?

Go into harness again, gird on your sword, run after
adventures, and leave as in old times a little of your fat
on the roadside.

Ah! hang it!said Porthos.

I see you are spoiled, dear friend; you are corpulent, your
arm has no longer that movement of which the late cardinal's
guards have so many proofs.

Ah! my fist is strong enough I swear,cried Porthos
extending a hand like a shoulder of mutton.

So much the better.

Are we then to go to war?

By my troth, yes.

Against whom?

Are you a politician, friend?


Not in the least.

Are you for Mazarin or for the princes?

I am for no one.

That is to say, you are for us. Well, I tell you that I
come to you from the cardinal.

This speech was heard by Porthos in the same sense as if it
had still been in the year 1640 and related to the true
cardinal.

Ho! ho! What are the wishes of his eminence?

He wishes to have you in his service.

And who spoke to him of me?

Rochefort -- you remember him?

Yes, pardieu! It was he who gave us so much trouble and
kept us on the road so much; you gave him three sword-wounds
in three separate engagements.

But you know he is now our friend?

No, I didn't know that. So he cherishes no resentment?

You are mistaken, Porthos,said D'Artagnan. "It is I who
cherish no resentment."

Porthos didn't understand any too clearly; but then we know
that understanding was not his strong point. "You say
then he continued, that the Count de Rochefort spoke of
me to the cardinal?"

Yes, and the queen, too.

The queen, do you say?

To inspire us with confidence she has even placed in
Mazarin's hands that famous diamond -- you remember all
about it -- that I once sold to Monsieur des Essarts and of
which, I don't know how, she has regained possession.

But it seems to me,said Porthosthat she would have
done much better if she had given it back to you.

So I think,replied D'Artagnan; "but kings and queens are
strange beings and have odd fancies; neverthelesssince
they are the ones who have riches and honorswe are devoted
to them."

Yes, we are devoted to them,repeated Porthos; "and you -to
whom are you devoted now?"

To the king, the queen, and to the cardinal; moreover, I
have answered for your devotion also.

And you say that you have made certain conditions on my
behalf?

Magnificent, my dear fellow, magnificent! In the first


place you have plenty of money, haven't you? forty thousand
francs income, I think you said.

Porthos began to be suspicious. "Eh! my friend said he,
one never has too much money. Madame du Vallon left things
in much disorder; I am not much of a hand at figuresso
that I live almost from hand to mouth."

He is afraid I have come to borrow money,thought
D'Artagnan. "Ahmy friend said he, it is all the better
if you are in difficulties."

How is it all the better?

Yes, for his eminence will give you all that you want -land,
money, and titles.

Ah! ah! ah!said Porthosopening his eyes at that last
word.

Under the other cardinal,continued D'Artagnanwe didn't
know enough to make our profits; this, however, doesn't
concern you, with your forty thousand francs income, the
happiest man in the world, it seems to me.

Porthos sighed.

At the same time,continued D'Artagnannotwithstanding
your forty thousand francs a year, and perhaps even for the
very reason that you have forty thousand francs a year, it
seems to me that a little coronet would do well on your
carriage, hey?

Yes indeed,said Porthos.

Well, my dear friend, win it -- it is at the point of your
sword. We shall not interfere with each other -- your object
is a title; mine, money. If I can get enough to rebuild
Artagnan, which my ancestors, impoverished by the Crusades,
allowed to fall into ruins, and to buy thirty acres of land
about it, that is all I wish. I shall retire and die
tranquilly -- at home.

For my part,said PorthosI desire to be made a baron.

You shall be one.

And have you not seen any of our other friends?

Yes, I have seen Aramis.

And what does he wish? To be a bishop?

Aramis,answered D'Artagnanwho did not wish to undeceive
PorthosAramis, fancy, has become a monk and a Jesuit, and
lives like a bear. My offers did not arouse him, -- did not
even tempt him.

So much the worse! He was a clever man. And Athos?

I have not yet seen him. Do you know where I shall find
him?

Near Blois. He is called Bragelonne. Only imagine, my dear


friend. Athos, who was of as high birth as the emperor and
who inherits one estate which gives him the title of comte,
what is he to do with all those dignities -- the Comte de la
Fere, Comte de Bragelonne?

And he has no children with all these titles?

Ah!said PorthosI have heard that he had adopted a
young man who resembles him greatly.

What, Athos? Our Athos, who was as virtuous as Scipio? Have
you seen him?

No."

Well, I shall see him to-morrow and tell him about you; but
I'm afraid, entre nous, that his liking for wine has aged
and degraded him.

Yes, he used to drink a great deal,replied Porthos.

And then he was older than any of us,added D'Artagnan.

Some years only. His gravity made him look older than he
was.

Well then, if we can get Athos, all will be well. If we
cannot, we will do without him. We two are worth a dozen.

Yes,said Porthossmiling at the remembrance of his
former exploits; "but we fouraltogetherwould be equal to
thirty-sixmore especially as you say the work will not be
child's play. Will it last long?"

By'r Lady! two or three years perhaps.

So much the better,cried Porthos. "You have no ideamy
friendhow my bones ache since I came here. Sometimes on a
SundayI take a ride in the fields and on the property of
my neighboursin order to pick up a nice little quarrel
which I am really in want ofbut nothing happens. Either
they respect or they fear mewhich is more likelybut they
let me trample down the clover with my dogsinsult and
obstruct every oneand I come back still more weary and
low-spiritedthat's all. At any ratetell me: there's more
chance of fighting in Parisis there not?"

In that respect, my dear friend, it's delightful. No more
edicts, no more of the cardinal's guards, no more De
Jussacs, nor other bloodhounds. I'Gad! underneath a lamp in
an inn, anywhere, they ask `Are you one of the Fronde?' They
unsheathe, and that's all that is said. The Duke de Guise
killed Monsieur de Coligny in the Place Royale and nothing
was said of it.

Ah, things go on gaily, then,said Porthos.

Besides which, in a short time,resumed D'ArtagnanWe
shall have set battles, cannonades, conflagrations and there
will be great variety.

Well, then, I decide.

I have your word, then?


Yes, 'tis given. I shall fight heart and soul for Mazarin;
but ----

But?

But he must make me a baron.

Zounds!said D'Artagnanthat's settled already; I will
be responsible for the barony.

On this promise being givenPorthoswho had never doubted
his friend's assuranceturned back with him toward the
castle.

In which it is shown that if Porthos was discontented with
his ConditionMusqueton was completely satisfied with his.

As they returned toward the castleD'Artagnan thought of
the miseries of poor human naturealways dissatisfied with
what it hasever desirous of what it has not.

In the position of PorthosD'Artagnan would have been
perfectly happy; and to make Porthos contented there was
wanting -- what? five letters to put before his three names
a tiny coronet to paint upon the panels of his carriage!

I shall pass all my life,thought D'Artagnanin seeking
for a man who is really contented with his lot.

Whilst making this reflectionchance seemedas it wereto
give him the lie direct. When Porthos had left him to give
some orders he saw Musqueton approaching. The face of the
stewarddespite one slight shade of carelight as a summer
cloudseemed a physiognomy of absolute felicity.

Here is what I am looking for,thought D'Artagnan; "but
alas! the poor fellow does not know the purpose for which I
am here."

He then made a sign for Musqueton to come to him.

Sir,said the servantI have a favour to ask you.

Speak out, my friend.

I am afraid to do so. Perhaps you will think, sir, that
prosperity has spoiled me?

Art thou happy, friend?asked D'Artagnan.

As happy as possible; and yet, sir, you may make me even
happier than I am.

Well, speak, if it depends on me.

Oh, sir! it depends on you only.


I listen -- I am waiting to hear.

Sir, the favor I have to ask of you is, not to call me
`Musqueton' but `Mouston.' Since I have had the honor of
being my lord's steward I have taken the last name as more
dignified and calculated to make my inferiors respect me.
You, sir, know how necessary subordination is in any large
establishment of servants.

D'Artagnan smiled; Porthos wanted to lengthen out his names
Musqueton to cut his short.

Well, my dear Mouston,he saidrest satisfied. I will
call thee Mouston; and if it makes thee happy I will not
`tutoyer' you any longer.

Oh!cried Musquetonreddening with joy; "if you do me
sirsuch honorI shall be grateful all my life; it is too
much to ask."

Alas!thought D'Artagnanit is very little to offset the
unexpected tribulations I am bringing to this poor devil who
has so warmly welcomed me.

Will monsieur remain long with us?asked Musquetonwith a
serene and glowing countenance.

I go to-morrow, my friend,replied D'Artagnan.

Ah, monsieur,said Musquetonthen you have come here
only to awaken our regrets.

I fear that is true,said D'Artagnanin a low tone.

D'Artagnan was secretly touched with remorsenot at
inducing Porthos to enter into schemes in which his life and
fortune would be in jeopardyfor Porthosin the title of
baronhad his object and reward; but poor Musquetonwhose
only wish was to be called Mouston -- was it not cruel to
snatch him from the delightful state of peace and plenty in
which he was?

He was thinking of these matters when Porthos summoned him
to dinner.

What! to dinner?said D'Artagnan. "What time is itthen?"

Eh! why, it is after one o'clock.

Your home is a paradise, Porthos; one takes no note of
time. I follow you, though I am not hungry.

Come, if one can't always eat, one can always drink -- a
maxim of poor Athos, the truth of which I have discovered
since I began to be lonely.

D'Artagnanwho as a Gasconwas inclined to sobriety
seemed not so sure as his friend of the truth of Athos's
maximbut he did his best to keep up with his host.
Meanwhile his misgivings in regard to Musqueton recurred to
his mind and with greater force because Musquetonthough he
did not himself wait on the tablewhich would have been
beneath him in his new positionappeared at the door from
time to time and evinced his gratitude to D'Artagnan by the


quality of the wine he directed to be served. Therefore
whenat dessertupon a sign from D'ArtagnanPorthos had
sent away his servants and the two friends were alone:

Porthos,said D'Artagnanwho will attend you in your
campaigns?

Why,replied PorthosMouston, of course.

This was a blow to D'Artagnan. He could already see the
intendant's beaming smile change to a contortion of grief.
But,he saidMouston is not so young as he was, my dear
fellow; besides, he has grown fat and perhaps has lost his
fitness for active service.

That may be true,replied Porthos; "but I am used to him
and besideshe wouldn't be willing to let me go without
himhe loves me so much."

Oh, blind self-love!thought D'Artagnan.

And you,asked Porthoshaven't you still in your service
your old lackey, that good, that brave, that intelligent
---what, then, is his name?

Planchet -- yes, I have found him again, but he is lackey
no longer.

What is he, then?

With his sixteen hundred francs -- you remember, the
sixteen hundred francs he earned at the siege of La Rochelle
by carrying a letter to Lord de Winter -- he has set up a
little shop in the Rue des Lombards and is now a
confectioner.

Ah, he is a confectioner in the Rue des Lombards! How does
it happen, then, that he is in your service?

He has been guilty of certain escapades and fears he may be
disturbed.And the musketeer narrated to his friend
Planchet's adventure.

Well,said Porthosif any one had told you in the old
times that the day would come when Planchet would rescue
Rochefort and that you would protect him in it ----

I should not have believed him; but men are changed by
events.

There is nothing truer than that,said Porthos; "but what
does not changeor changes for the betteris wine. Taste
of this; it is a Spanish wine which our friend Athos thought
much of."

At that moment the steward came in to consult his master
upon the proceedings of the next day and also with regard to
the shooting party which had been proposed.

Tell me, Mouston,said Porthosare my arms in good
condition?

Your arms, my lord -- what arms?


Zounds! my weapons.

What weapons?

My military weapons.

Yes, my lord; at any rate, I think so.

Make sure of it, and if they want it, have them burnished
up. Which is my best cavalry horse?

Vulcan.

And the best hack?

Bayard.

What horse dost thou choose for thyself?

I like Rustaud, my lord; a good animal, whose paces suit
me.

Strong, think'sthou?"

Half Norman, half Mecklenburger; will go night and day.

That will do for us. See to these horses. Polish up or make
some one else polish my arms. Then take pistols with thee
and a hunting-knife.

Are we then going to travel, my lord?asked Musqueton
rather uneasy.

Something better still, Mouston.

An expedition, sir?asked the stewardwhose roses began
to change into lilies.

We are going to return to the service, Mouston,replied
Porthosstill trying to restore his mustache to the
military curl it had long lost.

Into the service -- the king's service?Musqueton
trembled; even his fatsmooth cheeks shook as he spokeand
he looked at D'Artagnan with an air of reproach; he
staggeredand his voice was almost choked.

Yes and no. We shall serve in a campaign, seek out all
sorts of adventures -- return, in short, to our former
life.

These last words fell on Musqueton like a thunderbolt. It
was those very terrible old days that made the present so
excessively delightfuland the blow was so great he rushed
outovercomeand forgot to shut the door.

The two friends remained alone to speak of the future and to
build castles in the air. The good wine which Musqueton had
placed before them traced out in glowing drops to D'Artagnan
a fine perspectiveshining with quadruples and pistoles
and showed to Porthos a blue ribbon and a ducal mantle; they
werein factasleep on the table when the servants came to
light them to their bed.


Musqueton washoweversomewhat consoled by D'Artagnanwho
the next day told him that in all probability war would
always be carried on in the heart of Paris and within reach
of the Chateau du Vallonwhich was near Corbeilor
Bracieuxwhich was near Melunand of Pierrefondswhich
was between Compiegne and Villars-Cotterets.

But -- formerly -- it appears,began Musqueton timidly.

Oh!said D'Artagnanwe don't now make war as we did
formerly. To-day it's a sort of diplomatic arrangement; ask
Planchet.

Musqueton inquiredthereforethe state of the case of his
old friendwho confirmed the statement of D'Artagnan.
But,he addedin this war prisoners stand a chance of
being hung.

The deuce they do!said Musqueton; "I think I should like
the siege of Rochelle better than this warthen!"

Porthosmeantimeasked D'Artagnan to give him his
instructions how to proceed on his journey.

Four days,replied his friendare necessary to reach
Blois; one day to rest there; three or four days to return
to Paris. Set out, therefore, in a week, with your suite,
and go to the Hotel de la Chevrette, Rue Tiquetonne, and
there await me.

That's agreed,said Porthos.

As to myself, I shall go around to see Athos; for though I
don't think his aid worth much, one must with one's friends
observe all due politeness,said D'Artagnan.

The friends then took leave of each other on the very border
of the estate of Pierrefondsto which Porthos escorted his
friend.

At least,D'Artagnan said to himselfas he took the road
to Villars-Cotteretsat least I shall not be alone in my
undertaking. That devil, Porthos, is a man of prodigious
strength; still, if Athos joins us, well, we shall be three
of us to laugh at Aramis, that little coxcomb with his too
good luck.

At Villars-Cotterets he wrote to the cardinal:

My Lord, -- I have already one man to offer to your
eminence, and he is well worth twenty men. I am just setting
out for Blois. The Comte de la Fere inhabits the Castle of
Bragelonne, in the environs of that city.

Two Angelic Faces.


The road was longbut the horses upon which D'Artagnan and
Planchet rode had been refreshed in the well supplied
stables of the Lord of Bracieux; the master and servant rode
side by sideconversing as they wentfor D'Artagnan had by
degrees thrown off the master and Planchet had entirely
ceased to assume the manners of a servant. He had been
raised by circumstances to the rank of a confidant to his
master. It was many years since D'Artagnan had opened his
heart to any one; it happenedhoweverthat these two men
on meeting againassimilated perfectly. Planchet was in
truth no vulgar companion in these new adventures; he was a
man of uncommonly sound sense. Without courting danger he
never shrank from an encounter; in shorthe had been a
soldier and arms ennoble a man; it wasthereforeon the
footing of friends that D'Artagnan and Planchet arrived in
the neighborhood of Blois.

Going alongD'Artagnanshaking his headsaid:

I know that my going to Athos is useless and absurd; but
still I owe this courtesy to my old friend, a man who had in
him material for the most noble and generous of characters.

Oh, Monsieur Athos was a noble gentleman,said Planchet
was he not? Scattering money round about him as Heaven
sprinkles rain. Do you remember, sir, that duel with the
Englishman in the inclosure des Carmes? Ah! how lofty, how
magnificent Monsieur Athos was that day, when he said to his
adversary: `You have insisted on knowing my name, sir; so
much the worse for you, since I shall be obliged to kill
you.' I was near him, those were his exact words, when he
stabbed his foe as he said he would, and his adversary fell
without saying, `Oh!' 'Tis a noble gentleman -- Monsieur
Athos.

Yes, true as Gospel,said D'Artagnan; "but one single
fault has swallowed up all these fine qualities."

I remember well,said Planchethe was fond of drinking
-- in truth, he drank, but not as other men drink. One
seemed, as he raised the wine to his lips, to hear him say,
`Come, juice of the grape, and chase away my sorrows.' And
how he used to break the stem of a glass or the neck of a
bottle! There was no one like him for that.

And now,replied D'Artagnanbehold the sad spectacle
that awaits us. This noble gentleman with his lofty glance,
this handsome cavalier, so brilliant in feats of arms that
every one was surprised that he held in his hand a sword
only instead of a baton of command! Alas! we shall find him
changed into a broken down old man, with garnet nose and
eyes that slobber; we shall find him extended on some lawn,
whence he will look at us with a languid eye and
peradventure will not recognize us. God knows, Planchet,
that I should fly from a sight so sad if I did not wish to
show my respect for the illustrious shadow of what was once
the Comte de la Fere, whom we loved so much.

Planchet shook his head and said nothing. It was evident
that he shared his master's apprehensions.

And then,resumed D'Artagnanto this decrepitude is
probably added poverty, for he must have neglected the
little that he had, and the dirty scoundrel, Grimaud, more


taciturn than ever and still more drunken than his master -stay,
Planchet, it breaks my heart to merely think of it.

I fancy myself there and that I see him staggering and hear
him stammering,said Planchetin a piteous tonebut at
all events we shall soon know the real state of things, for
I imagine that those lofty walls, now turning ruby in the
setting sun, are the walls of Blois.

Probably; and those steeples, pointed and sculptured, that
we catch a glimpse of yonder, are similar to those that I
have heard described at Chambord.

At this moment one of those heavy wagonsdrawn by bullocks
which carry the wood cut in the fine forests of the country
to the ports of the Loirecame out of a byroad full of ruts
and turned on that which the two horsemen were following. A
man carrying a long switch with a nail at the end of it
with which he urged on his slow teamwas walking with the
cart.

Ho! friend,cried Planchet.

What's your pleasure, gentlemen?replied the peasantwith
a purity of accent peculiar to the people of that district
and which might have put to shame the cultured denizens of
the Sorbonne and the Rue de l'Universite.

We are looking for the house of Monsieur de la Fere,said
D'Artagnan.

The peasant took off his hat on hearing this revered name.

Gentlemen,he saidthe wood that I am carting is his; I
cut it in his copse and I am taking it to the chateau.

D'Artagnan determined not to question this man; he did not
wish to hear from another what he had himself said to
Planchet.

The chateau!he said to himselfwhat chateau? Ah, I
understand! Athos is not a man to be thwarted; he, like
Porthos, has obliged his peasantry to call him `my lord,'
and to dignify his pettifogging place by the name of
chateau. He had a heavy hand -- dear old Athos -- after
drinking.

D'Artagnanafter asking the man the right waycontinued
his routeagitated in spite of himself at the idea of
seeing once more that singular man whom he had so truly
loved and who had contributed so much by advice and example
to his education as a gentleman. He checked by degrees the
speed of his horse and went onhis head drooping as if in
deep thought.

Soonas the road turnedthe Chateau de la Valliere
appeared in view; thena quarter of a mile beyonda white
houseencircled in sycamoreswas visible at the farther
end of a group of treeswhich spring had powdered with a
snow of flowers.

On beholding this houseD'Artagnancalm as he was in
generalfelt an unusual disturbance within his heart -- so
powerful during the whole course of life are the


recollections of youth. He proceededneverthelessand came
opposite to an iron gateornamented in the taste of the
period.

Through the gate was seen kitchen-gardenscarefully
attended toa spacious courtyardin which neighed several
horses held by valets in various liveriesand a carriage
drawn by two horses of the country.

We are mistaken,said D'Artagnan. "This cannot be the
establishment of Athos. Good heavens! suppose he is dead and
that this property now belongs to some one who bears his
name. AlightPlanchetand inquirefor I confess that I
have scarcely courage so to do."

Planchet alighted.

Thou must add,said D'Artagnanthat a gentleman who is
passing by wishes to have the honor of paying his respects
to the Comte de la Fere, and if thou art satisfied with what
thou hearest, then mention my name!

Planchetleading his horse by the bridledrew near to the
gate and rang the belland immediately a servant-man with
white hair and of erect staturenotwithstanding his age
presented himself.

Does Monsieur le Comte de la Fere live here?asked
Planchet.

Yes, monsieur, it is here he lives,the servant replied to
Planchetwho was not in livery.

A nobleman retired from service, is he not?

Yes.

And who had a lackey named Grimaud?persisted Planchet
who had prudently considered that he couldn't have too much
information.

Monsieur Grimaud is absent from the chateau for the time
being,said the servitorwholittle used as he was to
such inquiriesbegan to examine Planchet from head to foot.

Then,cried Planchet joyouslyI see well that it is the
same Comte de la Fere whom we seek. Be good enough to open
to me, for I wish to announce to monsieur le comte that my
master, one of his friends, is here, and wishes to greet
him.

Why didn't you say so?said the servitoropening the
gate. "But where is your master?"

He is following me.

The servitor opened the gate and walked before Planchetwho
made a sign to D'Artagnan. The latterhis heart palpitating
more than everentered the courtyard without dismounting.

Whilst Planchet was standing on the steps before the house
he heard a voice say:

Well, where is this gentleman and why do they not bring him


here?

This voicethe sound of which reached D'Artagnan
reawakened in his heart a thousand sentimentsa thousand
recollections that he had forgotten. He vaulted hastily from
his horsewhilst Planchetwith a smile on his lips
advanced toward the master of the house.

But I know you, my lad,said Athosappearing on the
threshold.

Oh, yes, monsieur le comte, you know me and I know you. I
am Planchet -- Planchet, whom you know well.But the honest
servant could say no moreso much was he overcome by this
unexpected interview.

What, Planchet, is Monsieur d'Artagnan here?

Here I am, my friend, dear Athos!cried D'Artagnanin a
faltering voice and almost staggering from agitation.

At these words a visible emotion was expressed on the
beautiful countenance and calm features of Athos. He rushed
toward D'Artagnan with eyes fixed upon him and clasped him
in his arms. D'Artagnanequally movedpressed him also
closely to himwhilst tears stood in his eyes. Athos then
took him by the hand and led him into the drawing-room
where there were several people. Every one arose.

I present to you,he saidMonsieur le Chevalier
D'Artagnan, lieutenant of his majesty's musketeers, a
devoted friend and one of the most excellent, brave
gentlemen that I have ever known.

D'Artagnan received the compliments of those who were
present in his own wayand whilst the conversation became
general he looked earnestly at Athos.

Strange! Athos was scarcely aged at all! His fine eyesno
longer surrounded by that dark line which nights of
dissipation pencil too infalliblyseemed largermore
liquid than ever. His facea little elongatedhad gained
in calm dignity what it had lost in feverish excitement. His
handalways wonderfully beautiful and strongwas set off
by a ruffle of lacelike certain hands by Titian and
Vandyck. He was less stiff than formerly. His longdark
hairsoftly powdered here and there with silver tendrils
fell elegantly over his shoulders in wavy curls; his voice
was still youthfulas if belonging to a Hercules of
twenty-fiveand his magnificent teethwhich he had
preserved white and soundgave an indescribable charm to
his smile.

Meanwhile the guestsseeing that the two friends were
longing to be aloneprepared to departwhen a noise of
dogs barking resounded through the courtyard and many
persons said at the same moment:

Ah! 'tis Raoul, who is come home.

Athosas the name of Raoul was pronouncedlooked
inquisitively at D'Artagnanin order to see if any
curiosity was painted on his face. But D'Artagnan was still
in confusion and turned around almost mechanically when a


fine young man of fifteen years of agedressed simplybut
in perfect tasteentered the roomraisingas he camehis
hatadorned with a long plume of scarlet feathers.

NeverthelessD'Artagnan was struck by the appearance of
this new personage. It seemed to explain to him the change
in Athos; a resemblance between the boy and the man
explained the mystery of this regenerated existence. He
remained listening and gazing.

Here you are, home again, Raoul,said the comte.

Yes, sir,replied the youthwith deep respectand I
have performed the commission that you gave me.

But what's the matter, Raoul?said Athosvery anxiously.
You are pale and agitated.

Sir,replied the young manit is on account of an
accident which has happened to our little neighbor.

To Mademoiselle de la Valliere?asked Athosquickly.

What is it?cried many persons present.

She was walking with her nurse Marceline, in the place
where the woodmen cut the wood, when, passing on horseback,
I stopped. She saw me also and in trying to jump from the
end of a pile of wood on which she had mounted, the poor
child fell and was not able to rise again. I fear that she
has badly sprained her ankle.

Oh, heavens!cried Athos. "And her motherMadame de
Saint-Remyhave they yet told her of it?"

No, sir, Madame de Saint-Remy is at Blois with the Duchess
of Orleans. I am afraid that what was first done was
unskillful, if not worse than useless. I am come, sir, to
ask your advice.

Send directly to Blois, Raoul; or, rather, take horse and
ride immediately yourself.

Raoul bowed.

But where is Louise?asked the comte.

I have brought her here, sir, and I have deposited her in
charge of Charlotte, who, till better advice comes, has
bathed the foot in cold well-water.

The guests now all took leave of Athosexcepting the old
Duc de Barbewhoas an old friend of the family of La
Vallierewent to see little Louise and offered to take her
to Blois in his carriage.

You are right, sir,said Athos. "She will be the sooner
with her mother. As for youRaoulI am sure it is your
faultsome giddiness or folly."

No, sir, I assure you,muttered Raoulit is not.

Oh, no, no, I declare it is not!cried the young girl
while Raoul turned pale at the idea of his being perhaps the


cause of her disaster.

Nevertheless, Raoul, you must go to Blois and you must make
your excuses and mine to Madame de Saint-Remy.

The youth looked pleased. He again took in his strong arms
the little girlwhose pretty golden head and smiling face
rested on his shoulderand placed her gently in the
carriage; then jumping on his horse with the elegance of a
first-rate esquireafter bowing to Athos and D'Artagnanhe
went off close by the door of the carriageon somebody
inside of which his eyes were riveted.

The Castle of Bragelonne.

Whilst this scene was going onD'Artagnan remained with
open mouth and a confused gaze. Everything had turned out so
differently from what he expected that he was stupefied with
wonder.

Athoswho had been observing him and guessing his thoughts
took his arm and led him into the garden.

Whilst supper is being prepared,he saidsmilingyou
will not, my friend, be sorry to have the mystery which so
puzzles you cleared up.

True, monsieur le comte,replied D'Artagnanwho felt that
by degrees Athos was resuming that great influence which
aristocracy had over him.

Athos smiled.

First and foremost, dear D'Artagnan, we have no title such
as count here. When I call you `chevalier,' it is in
presenting you to my guests, that they may know who you are.
But to you, D'Artagnan, I am, I hope, still dear Athos, your
comrade, your friend. Do you intend to stand on ceremony
because you are less attached to me than you were?

Oh! God forbid!

Then let us be as we used to be; let us be open with each
other. You are surprised at what you see here?

Extremely.

But above all things, I am a marvel to you?

I confess it.

I am still young, am I not? Should you not have known me
again, in spite of my eight-and-forty years of age?

On the contrary, I do not find you the same person at all.

I understand,cried Athoswith a gentle blush.
Everything, D'Artagnan, even folly, has its limit.


Then your means, it appears, are improved; you have a
capital house -- your own, I presume? You have a park, and
horses, servants.

Athos smiled.

Yes, I inherited this little property when I quitted the
army, as I told you. The park is twenty acres -- twenty,
comprising kitchen-gardens and a common. I have two horses,
-- I do not count my servant's bobtailed nag. My sporting
dogs consist of two pointers, two harriers and two setters.
But then all this extravagance is not for myself,added
Athoslaughing.

Yes, I see, for the young man Raoul,said D'Artagnan.

You guess aright, my friend; this youth is an orphan,
deserted by his mother, who left him in the house of a poor
country priest. I have brought him up. It is Raoul who has
worked in me the change you see; I was dried up like a
miserable tree, isolated, attached to nothing on earth; it
was only a deep affection that could make me take root again
and drag me back to life. This child has caused me to
recover what I had lost. I had no longer any wish to live
for myself, I have lived for him. I have corrected the vices
that I had; I have assumed the virtues that I had not.
Precept something, but example more. I may be mistaken, but
I believe that Raoul will be as accomplished a gentleman as
our degenerate age could display.

The remembrance of Milady recurred to D'Artagnan.

And you are happy?he said to his friend.

As happy as it is allowed to one of God's creatures to be
on this earth; but say out all you think, D'Artagnan, for
you have not yet done so.

You are too bad, Athos; one can hide nothing from you,
answered D'Artagnan. "I wished to ask you if you ever feel
any emotions of terror resembling ---- "

Remorse! I finish your phrase. Yes and no. I do not feel
remorse, because that woman, I profoundly hold, deserved her
punishment. Had she one redeeming trait? I doubt it. I do
not feel remorse, because had we allowed her to live she
would have persisted in her work of destruction. But I do
not mean, my friend that we were right in what we did.
Perhaps all blood demands some expiation. Hers had been
accomplished; it remains, possibly, for us to accomplish
ours.

I have sometimes thought as you do, Athos.

She had a son, that unhappy woman?

Yes.

Have you ever heard of him?

Never.

He must be about twenty-three years of age,said Athosin


a low tone. "I often think of that young manD'Artagnan."

Strange! for I had forgotten him,said the lieutenant.

Athos smiled; the smile was melancholy.

And Lord de Winter -- do you know anything about him?

I know that he is in high favor with Charles I.

The fortunes of that monarch now are at low water. He shed
the blood of Strafford; that confirms what I said just now
-- blood will have blood. And the queen?

What queen?

Madame Henrietta of England, daughter of Henry IV.

She is at the Louvre, as you know.

Yes, and I hear in bitter poverty. Her daughter, during the
severest cold, was obliged for want of fire to remain in
bed. Do you grasp that?said Athosshrugging his
shoulders; "the daughter of Henry IV. shivering for want of
a fagot! Why did she not ask from any one of us a home
instead of from Mazarin? She should have wanted nothing."

Have you ever seen the queen of England?inquired
D'Artagnan.

No; but my mother, as a child, saw her. Did I ever tell you
that my mother was lady of honor to Marie de Medici

Never. You know, Athos, you never spoke much of such
matters.

Ah, mon Dieu, yes, you are right,Athos replied; "but then
there must be some occasion for speaking."

Porthos wouldn't have waited for it so patiently,said
D'Artagnanwith a smile.

Every one according to his nature, my dear D'Artagnan.
Porthos, in spite of a touch of vanity, has many excellent
qualities. Have you seen him?

I left him five days ago,said D'Artagnanand he
portrayed with Gascon wit and sprightliness the magnificence
of Porthos in his Chateau of Pierrefonds; nor did he neglect
to launch a few arrows of wit at the excellent Monsieur
Mouston.

I sometimes wonder,replied Athossmiling at that gayety
which recalled the good old daysthat we could form an
association of men who would be, after twenty years of
separation, still so closely bound together. Friendship
throws out deep roots in honest hearts, D'Artagnan. Believe
me, it is only the evil-minded who deny friendship; they
cannot understand it. And Aramis?

I have seen him also,said D'Artagnan; "but he seemed to
me cold."

Ah, you have seen Aramis?said Athosturning on


D'Artagnan a searching look. "Whyit is a veritable
pilgrimagemy dear friendthat you are making to the
Temple of Friendshipas the poets would say."

Why, yes,replied D'Artagnanwith embarrassment.

Aramis, you know,continued Athosis naturally cold, and
then he is always involved in intrigues with women.

I believe he is at this moment in a very complicated one,
said D'Artagnan.

Athos made no reply.

He is not curious,thought D'Artagnan.

Athos not only failed to replyhe even changed the subject
of conversation.

You see,said hecalling D'Artagnan's attention to the
fact that they had come back to the chateau after an hour's
walkwe have made a tour of my domains.

All is charming and everything savors of nobility,replied
D'Artagnan.

At this instant they heard the sound of horses' feet.

'Tis Raoul who has come back,said Athos; "and we can now
hear how the poor child is."

In factthe young man appeared at the gatecovered with
dustentered the courtyardleaped from his horsewhich he
consigned to the charge of a groomand then went to greet
the count and D'Artagnan.

Monsieur,said Athosplacing his hand on D'Artagnan's
shouldermonsieur is the Chevalier D'Artagnan of whom you
have often heard me speak, Raoul.

Monsieur,said the young mansaluting again and more
profoundlymonsieur le comte has pronounced your name
before me as an example whenever he wished to speak of an
intrepid and generous gentleman.

That little compliment could not fail to move D'Artagnan. He
extended a hand to Raoul and said:

My young friend, all the praises that are given me should
be passed on to the count here; for he has educated me in
everything and it is not his fault that his pupil profited
so little from his instructions. But he will make it up in
you I am sure. I like your manner, Raoul, and your
politeness has touched me.

Athos was more delighted than can be told. He looked at
D'Artagnan with an expression of gratitude and then bestowed
on Raoul one of those strange smilesof which children are
so proud when they receive them.

Now,said D'Artagnan to himselfnoticing that silent play
of countenanceI am sure of it.

I hope the accident has been of no consequence?


They don't yet know, sir, on account of the swelling; but
the doctor is afraid some tendon has been injured.

At this moment a little boyhalf peasanthalf foot-boy
came to announce supper.

Athos led his guest into a dining-room of moderate sizethe
windows of which opened on one side on a gardenon the
other on a hot-house full of magnificent flowers.

D'Artagnan glanced at the dinner service. The plate was
magnificentoldand appertaining to the family. D'Artagnan
stopped to look at a sideboard on which was a superb ewer of
silver.

That workmanship is divine!he exclaimed.

Yes, a chef d'oeuvre of the great Florentine sculptor,
Benvenuto Cellini,replied Athos.

What battle does it represent?

That of Marignan, just at the point where one of my
forefathers is offering his sword to Francis I., who has
broken his. It was on that occasion that my ancestor,
Enguerrand de la Fere, was made a knight of the Order of St.
Michael; besides which, the king, fifteen years afterward,
gave him also this ewer and a sword which you may have seen
formerly in my house, also a lovely specimen of workmanship.
Men were giants in those times,said Athos; "now we are
pigmies in comparison. Let us sit down to supper. Call
Charles he added, addressing the boy who waited.

My good CharlesI particularly recommend to your care
Planchetthe laquais of Monsieur D'Artagnan. He likes good
wine; now you have the key of the cellar. He has slept a
long time on a hard bedso he won't object to a soft one;
take every care of himI beg of you." Charles bowed and
retired.

You think of everything,said D'Artagnan; "and I thank you
for Planchetmy dear Athos."

Raoul stared on hearing this name and looked at the count to
be quite sure that it was he whom the lieutenant thus
addressed.

That name sounds strange to you,said Athossmiling; "it
was my nom de guerre when Monsieur D'Artagnantwo other
gallant friends and myself performed some feats of arms at
the siege of La Rochelleunder the deceased cardinal and
Monsieur de Bassompierre. My friend is still so kind as to
address me by that old and well beloved appellationwhich
makes my heart glad when I hear it."

'Tis an illustrious name,said the lieutenantand had
one day triumphal honors paid to it.

What do you mean, sir?inquired Raoul.

You have not forgotten St. Gervais, Athos, and the napkin
which was converted into a banner?and he then related to
Raoul the story of the bastionand Raoul fancied he was


listening to one of those deeds of arms belonging to days of
chivalryso gloriously recounted by Tasso and Ariosto.

D'Artagnan does not tell you, Raoul,said Athosin his
turnthat he was reckoned one of the finest swordsmen of
his time -- a knuckle of iron, a wrist of steel, a sure eye
and a glance of fire; that's what his adversary met with. He
was eighteen, only three years older than you are, Raoul,
when I saw him set to work, pitted against tried men.

And did Monsieur D'Artagnan come off the conqueror?asked
the young manwith glistening eye.

I killed one man, if I recollect rightly,replied
D'Artagnanwith a look of inquiry directed to Athos;
another I disarmed or wounded, I don't remember which.

Wounded!said Athos; "it was a phenomenon of skill."

The young man would willingly have prolonged this
conversation far into the nightbut Athos pointed out to
him that his guest must need repose. D'Artagnan would fain
have declared that he was not fatiguedbut Athos insisted
on his retiring to his chamberconducted thither by Raoul.

Athos as a Diplomatist.

D'Artagnan retired to bed -- not to sleepbut to think over
all he had heard that evening. Being naturally goodhearted
and having had once a liking for Athoswhich had grown into
a sincere friendshiphe was delighted at thus meeting a man
full of intelligence and moral strengthinstead of a
drunkard. He admitted without annoyance the continued
superiority of Athos over himselfdevoid as he was of that
jealousy which might have saddened a less generous
disposition; he was delighted also that the high qualities
of Athos appeared to promise favorably for his mission.
Neverthelessit seemed to him that Athos was not in all
respects sincere and frank. Who was the youth he had adopted
and who bore so striking a resemblance to him? What could
explain Athos's having re-entered the world and the extreme
sobriety he had observed at table? The absence of Grimaud
whose name had never once been uttered by Athosgave
D'Artagnan uneasiness. It was evident either that he no
longer possessed the confidence of his friendor that Athos
was bound by some invisible chainor that he had been
forewarned of the lieutenant's visit.

He could not help thinking of M. Rochefortwhom he had seen
in Notre Dame; could De Rochefort have forestalled him with
Athos? Againthe moderate fortune which Athos possessed
concealed as it wasso skillfullyseemed to show a regard
for appearances and to betray a latent ambition which might
be easily aroused. The clear and vigorous intellect of Athos
would render him more open to conviction than a less able
man would be. He would enter into the minister's schemes
with the more ardorbecause his natural activity would be
doubled by necessity.


Resolved to seek an explanation on all these points on the
following dayD'Artagnanin spite of his fatigueprepared
for an attack and determined that it should take place after
breakfast. He determined to cultivate the good-will of the
youth Raoul andeither whilst fencing with him or when out
shootingto extract from his simplicity some information
which would connect the Athos of old times with the Athos of
the present. But D'Artagnan at the same timebeing a man of
extreme cautionwas quite aware what injury he should do
himselfif by any indiscretion or awkwardness he should
betray has manoeuvering to the experienced eye of Athos.
Besidesto tell truthwhilst D'Artagnan was quite disposed
to adopt a subtle course against the cunning of Aramis or
the vanity of Porthoshe was ashamed to equivocate with
Athostrue-heartedopen Athos. It seemed to him that if
Porthos and Aramis deemed him superior to them in the arts
of diplomacythey would like him all the better for it; but
that Athoson the contrarywould despise him.

Ah! why is not Grimaud, the taciturn Grimaud, here?
thought D'Artagnanthere are so many things his silence
would have told me; with Grimaud silence was another form of
eloquence!

There reigned a perfect stillness in the house. D'Artagnan
had heard the door shut and the shutters barred; the dogs
became in their turn silent. At last a nightingalelost in
a thicket of shrubsin the midst of its most melodious
cadences had fluted low and lower into stillness and fallen
asleep. Not a sound was heard in the castleexcept of a
footstep up and downin the chamber above -- as he
supposedthe bedroom of Athos.

He is walking about and thinking,thought D'Artagnan; "but
of what? It is impossible to know; everything else might be
guessedbut not that."

At length Athos went to bedapparentlyfor the noise
ceased.

Silence and fatigue together overcame D'Artagnan and sleep
overtook him also. He was nothowevera good sleeper.
Scarcely had dawn gilded his window curtains when he sprang
out of bed and opened the windows. Somebodyhe perceived
was in the courtyardmoving stealthily. True to his custom
of never passing anything over that it was within his power
to knowD'Artagnan looked out of the window and perceived
the close red coat and brown hair of Raoul.

The young man was opening the door of the stable. He then
with noiseless hastetook out the horse that he had ridden
on the previous eveningsaddled and bridled it himself and
led the animal into the alley to the right of the
kitchen-gardenopened a side door which conducted him to a
bridle roadshut it after himand D'Artagnan saw him pass
by like a dartbendingas he wentbeneath the pendent
flowery branches of maple and acacia. The roadas
D'Artagnan had observedwas the way to Blois.

So!thought the Gascon "here's a young blade who has
already his love affairwho doesn't at all agree with Athos
in his hatred to the fair sex. He's not going to huntfor
he has neither dogs nor arms; he's not going on a message


for he goes secretly. Why does he go in secret? Is he afraid
of me or of his father? for I am sure the count is his
father. By Jove! I shall know about that soonfor I shall
soon speak out to Athos."

Day was now advanced; all the noises that had ceased the
night before reawakenedone after the other. The bird on
the branchthe dog in his kennelthe sheep in the field
the boats moored in the Loireevenbecame alive and vocal.
The latterleaving the shoreabandoned themselves gaily to
the current. The Gascon gave a last twirl to his mustachea
last turn to his hairbrushedfrom habitthe brim of his
hat with the sleeve of his doubletand went downstairs.
Scarcely had he descended the last step of the threshold
when he saw Athos bent down toward the groundas if he were
looking for a crown-piece in the dust.

Good-morning, my dear host,cried D'Artagnan.

Good-day to you; have you slept well?

Excellently, Athos, but what are you looking for? You are
perhaps a tulip fancier?

My dear friend, if I am, you must not laugh at me for being
so. In the country people alter; one gets to like, without
knowing it, all those beautiful objects that God causes to
spring from the earth, which are despised in cities. I was
looking anxiously for some iris roots I planted here, close
to this reservoir, and which some one has trampled upon this
morning. These gardeners are the most careless people in the
world; in bringing the horse out to the water they've
allowed him to walk over the border.

D'Artagnan began to smile.

Ah! you think so, do you?

And he took his friend along the alleywhere a number of
tracks like those which had trampled down the flowerbeds
were visible.

Here are the horse's hoofs again, it seems, Athos,he said
carelessly.

Yes, indeed, the marks are recent.

Quite so,replied the lieutenant.

Who went out this morning?Athos askeduneasily. "Has any
horse got loose?"

Not likely,answered the Gascon; "these marks are
regular."

Where is Raoul?asked Athos; "how is it that I have not
seen him?"

Hush!exclaimed D'Artagnanputting his finger on his
lips; and he related what he had seenwatching Athos all
the while.

Ah, he's gone to Blois; the poor boy ----


Wherefore?

Ah, to inquire after the little La Valliere; she has
sprained her foot, you know.

You think he has?

I am sure of it,said Athos; "don't you see that Raoul is
in love?"

Indeed! with whom -- with a child seven years old?

Dear friend, at Raoul's age the heart is so expansive that
it must encircle one object or another, fancied or real.
Well, his love is half real, half fanciful. She is the
prettiest little creature in the world, with flaxen hair,
blue eyes, -- at once saucy and languishing.

But what say you to Raoul's fancy?

Nothing -- I laugh at Raoul; but this first desire of the
heart is imperious. I remember, just at his age, how deep in
love I was with a Grecian statue which our good king, then
Henry IV., gave my father, insomuch that I was mad with
grief when they told me that the story of Pygmalion was
nothing but a fable.

It is mere want of occupation. You do not make Raoul work,
so he takes his own way of employing himself.

Exactly; therefore I think of sending him away from here.

You will be wise to do so.

No doubt of it; but it will break his heart. So long as
three or four years ago he used to adorn and adore his
little idol, whom he will some day fall in love with in
right earnest if he remains here. The parents of little La
Valliere have for a long time perceived and been amused at
it; now they begin to look concerned.

Nonsense! However, Raoul must be diverted from this fancy.
Send him away or you will never make a man of him.

I think I shall send him to Paris.

So!thought D'Artagnanand it seemed to him that the
moment for attack had arrived.

Suppose,he saidwe roughly chalk out a career for this
young man. I wish to consult you about some thing.

Do so.

Do you think it is time for us to enter the service?

But are you not still in the service -- you, D'Artagnan?

I mean active service. Our former life, has it still no
attractions for you? would you not be happy to begin anew in
my society and in that of Porthos, the exploits of our
youth?

Do you propose to me to do so, D'Artagnan?


Decidedly and honestly.

On whose side?asked Athosfixing his clearbenevolent
glance on the countenance of the Gascon.

Ah, devil take it, you speak in earnest ----

And must have a definite answer. Listen, D'Artagnan. There
is but one person, or rather, one cause, to whom a man like
me can be useful -- that of the king.

Exactly,answered the musketeer.

Yes, but let us understand each other,returned Athos
seriously. "If by the cause of the king you mean that of
Monsieur de Mazarinwe do not understand each other."

I don't say exactly,answered the Gasconconfused.

Come, D'Artagnan, don't let us play a sidelong game; your
hesitation, your evasion, tells me at once on whose side you
are; for that party no one dares openly to recruit, and when
people recruit for it, it is with averted eyes and humble
voice.

Ah! my dear Athos!

You know that I am not alluding to you; you are the pearl
of brave, bold men. I speak of that spiteful and intriguing
Italian -- of the pedant who has tried to put on his own
head a crown which he stole from under a pillow -- of the
scoundrel who calls his party the party of the king -- who
wants to send the princes of the blood to prison, not daring
to kill them, as our great cardinal -- our cardinal did -of
the miser, who weighs his gold pieces and keeps the
clipped ones for fear, though he is rich, of losing them at
play next morning -- of the impudent fellow who insults the
queen, as they say -- so much the worse for her -- and who
is going in three months to make war upon us, in order that
he may retain his pensions; is that the master whom you
propose to me? I thank you, D'Artagnan.

You are more impetuous than you were,returned D'Artagnan.
Age has warmed, not chilled your blood. Who informed you
this was the master I propose to you? Devil take it,he
muttered to himselfdon't let me betray my secrets to a
man not inclined to entertain them.

Well, then,said Athoswhat are your schemes? what do
you propose?

Zounds! nothing more than natural. You live on your estate,
happy in golden mediocrity. Porthos has, perhaps, sixty
thousand francs income. Aramis has always fifty duchesses
quarreling over the priest, as they quarreled formerly over
the musketeer; but I -- what have I in the world? I have
worn my cuirass these twenty years, kept down in this
inferior rank, without going forward or backward, hardly
half living. In fact, I am dead. Well! when there is some
idea of being resuscitated, you say he's a scoundrel, an
impudent fellow, a miser, a bad master! By Jove! I am of
your opinion, but find me a better one or give me the means
of living.


Athos was for a few moments thoughtful.

Good! D'Artagnan is for Mazarin,he said to himself.

From that moment he grew very guarded.

On his side D'Artagnan became more cautious also.

You spoke to me,Athos resumedof Porthos; have you
persuaded him to seek his fortune? But he has wealth, I
believe, already.

Doubtless he has. But such is man, we always want something
more than we already have.

What does Porthos wish for?

To be a baron.

Ah, true! I forgot,said Athoslaughing.

'Tis true!thought the Gasconwhere has he heard it?
Does he correspond with Aramis? Ah! if I knew that he did I
should know all.

The conversation was interrupted by the entrance of Raoul.

Is our little neighbor worse?asked D'Artagnanseeing a
look of vexation on the face of the youth.

Ah, sir!replied Raoulher fall is a very serious one,
and without any ostensible injury, the physician fears she
will be lame for life.

This is terrible,said Athos.

And what makes me all the more wretched, sir, is, that I
was the cause of this misfortune.

How so?asked Athos.

It was to run to meet me that she leaped from that pile of
wood.

There's only one remedy, dear Raoul -- that is, to marry
her as a compensation remarked D'Artagnan.

Ah, sir!answered Raoulyou joke about a real
misfortune; that is cruel, indeed.

The good understanding between the two friends was not in
the least altered by the morning's skirmish. They
breakfasted with a good appetitelooking now and then at
poor Raoulwho with moist eyes and a full heartscarcely
ate at all.

After breakfast two letters arrived for Athoswho read them
with profound attentionwhilst D'Artagnan could not
restrain himself from jumping up several times on seeing him
read these epistlesin one of whichthere being at the
time a very strong lighthe perceived the fine writing of
Aramis. The other was in a feminine handlongand crossed.


Come,said D'Artagnan to Raoulseeing that Athos wished
to be alonecome, let us take a turn in the fencing
gallery; that will amuse you.

And they both went into a low room where there were foils
glovesmasksbreastplatesand all the accessories for a
fencing match.

In a quarter of an hour Athos joined them and at the same
moment Charles brought in a letter for D'Artagnanwhich a
messenger had just desired might be instantly delivered.

It was now Athos's turn to take a sly look.

D'Artagnan read the letter with apparent calmness and said
shaking his head:

See, dear friend, what it is to belong to the army. Faith,
you are indeed right not to return to it. Monsieur de
Treville is ill, so my company can't do without me; there!
my leave is at an end!

Do you return to Paris?asked Athosquickly.

Egad! yes; but why don't you come there also?

Athos colored a little and answered:

Should I go, I shall be delighted to see you there.

Halloo, Planchet!cried the Gascon from the doorwe must
set out in ten minutes; give the horses some hay.

Then turning to Athos he added:

I seem to miss something here. I am really sorry to go away
without having seen Grimaud."

Grimaud!replied Athos. "I'm surprised you have never so
much as asked after him. I have lent him to a friend ---- "

Who will understand the signs he makes?returned
D'Artagnan.

I hope so.

The friends embraced cordially; D'Artagnan pressed Raoul's
hand.

Will you not come with me?he said; "I shall pass by
Blois."

Raoul turned toward Athoswho showed him by a secret sign
that he did not wish him to go.

No, monsieur,replied the young man; "I will remain with
monsieur le comte."

Adieu, then, to both, my good friends,said D'Artagnan;
may God preserve you! as we used to say when we said
good-bye to each other in the late cardinal's time.

Athos waved his handRaoul bowedand D'Artagnan and
Planchet set out.


The count followed them with his eyeshis hands resting on
the shoulders of the youthwhose height was almost equal to
his own; but as soon as they were out of sight he said:

Raoul, we set out to-night for Paris.

Eh?cried the young manturning pale.

You may go and offer your adieux and mine to Madame de
Saint-Remy. I shall wait for you here till seven.

The young man bent lowwith an expression of sorrow and
gratitude mingledand retired in order to saddle his horse.

As to D'Artagnanscarcelyon his sidewas he out of sight
when he drew from his pocket a letterwhich he read over
again:

Return immediately to Paris. -- J. M ---- .

The epistle is laconic,said D'Artagnan; "and if there had
not been a postscriptprobably I should not have understood
it; but happily there is a postscript."

And he read that welcome postscriptwhich made him forget
the abruptness of the letter.

P. S. -- Go to the king's treasurer, at Blois; tell him
your name and show him this letter; you will receive two
hundred pistoles.

Assuredly,said D'ArtagnanI admire this piece of prose.
The cardinal writes better than I thought. Come, Planchet,
let us pay a visit to the king's treasurer and then set
off.

Toward Paris, sir?

Toward Paris.

And they set out at as hard a canter as their horses could
maintain.

The Duc de Beaufort.

The circumstances that had hastened the return of D'Artagnan
to Paris were as follows:

One eveningwhen Mazarinaccording to customwent to


visit the queenin passing the guard-chamber he heard loud
voices; wishing to know on what topic the soldiers were
conversinghe approached with his wonted wolf-like step
pushed open the door and put his head close to the chink.

There was a dispute among the guards.

I tell you,one of them was sayingthat if Coysel
predicted that, 'tis as good as true; I know nothing about
it, but I have heard say that he's not only an astrologer,
but a magician.

Deuce take it, friend, if he's one of thy friends thou wilt
ruin him in saying so.

Why?

Because he may be tried for it.

Ah! absurd! they don't burn sorcerers nowadays.

No? 'Tis not a long time since the late cardinal burnt
Urban Grandier, though.

My friend, Urban Grandier wasn't a sorcerer, he was a
learned man. He didn't predict the future, he knew the past
-- often a more dangerous thing.

Mazarin nodded an assentbut wishing to know what this
prediction wasabout which they disputedhe remained in
the same place.

I don't say,resumed the guardthat Coysel is not a
sorcerer, but I say that if his prophecy gets wind, it's a
sure way to prevent it's coming true.

How so?

Why, in this way: if Coysel says loud enough for the
cardinal to hear him, on such or such a day such a prisoner
will escape, 'tis plain that the cardinal will take measures
of precaution and that the prisoner will not escape.

Good Lord!said another guardwho might have been thought
asleep on a benchbut who had lost not a syllable of the
conversationdo you suppose that men can escape their
destiny? If it is written yonder, in Heaven, that the Duc de
Beaufort is to escape, he will escape; and all the
precautions of the cardinal will not prevent it.

Mazarin started. He was an Italian and therefore
superstitious. He walked straight into the midst of the
guardswho on seeing him were silent.

What were you saying?he asked with his flattering manner;
that Monsieur de Beaufort had escaped, were you not?

Oh, no, my lord!said the incredulous soldier. "He's well
guarded now; we only said he would escape."

Who said so?

Repeat your story, Saint Laurent,replied the manturning
to the originator of the tale.


My lord,said the guardI have simply mentioned the
prophecy I heard from a man named Coysel, who believes that,
be he ever so closely watched and guarded, the Duke of
Beaufort will escape before Whitsuntide.

Coysel is a madman!returned the cardinal.

No,replied the soldiertenacious in his credulity; "he
has foretold many things which have come to pass; for
instancethat the queen would have a son; that Monsieur
Coligny would be killed in a duel with the Duc de Guise; and
finallythat the coadjutor would be made cardinal. Well!
the queen has not only one sonbut two; thenMonsieur de
Coligny was killedand ---- "

Yes,said Mazarinbut the coadjutor is not yet made
cardinal!

No, my lord, but he will be,answered the guard.

Mazarin made a grimaceas if he meant to sayBut he does
not wear the cardinal's cap;then he added:

So, my friend, it's your opinion that Monsieur de Beaufort
will escape?

That's my idea, my lord; and if your eminence were to offer
to make me at this moment governor of the castle of
Vincennes, I should refuse it. After Whitsuntide it would be
another thing.

There is nothing so convincing as a firm conviction. It has
its own effect upon the most incredulous; and far from being
incredulousMazarin was superstitious. He went away
thoughtful and anxious and returned to his own roomwhere
he summoned Bernouin and desired him to fetch thither in the
morning the special guard he had placed over Monsieur de
Beaufort and to awaken him whenever he should arrive.

The guard hadin facttouched the cardinal in the
tenderest point. During the whole five years in which the
Duc de Beaufort had been in prison not a day had passed in
which the cardinal had not felt a secret dread of his
escape. It was not possibleas he knew wellto confine for
the whole of his life the grandson of Henry IV.especially
when this young prince was scarcely thirty years of age. But
however and whensoever he did escapewhat hatred he must
cherish against him to whom he owed his long imprisonment;
who had taken himrichbravegloriousbeloved by women
feared by mento cut off his life's besthappiest years;
for it is not lifeit is merely existencein prison!
MeantimeMazarin redoubled his surveillance over the duke.
But like the miser in the fablehe could not sleep for
thinking of his treasure. Often he awoke in the night
suddenlydreaming that he had been robbed of Monsieur de
Beaufort. Then he inquired about him and had the vexation of
hearing that the prisoner playeddranksangbut that
whilst playingdrinkingsinginghe often stopped short to
vow that Mazarin should pay dear for all the amusements he
had forced him to enter into at Vincennes.

So much did this one idea haunt the cardinal even in his
sleepthat when at seven in the morning Bernouin came to


arouse himhis first words were: "Wellwhat's the matter?
Has Monsieur de Beaufort escaped from Vincennes?"

I do not think so, my lord,said Bernouin; "but you will
hear about himfor La Ramee is here and awaits the commands
of your eminence."

Tell him to come in,said Mazarinarranging his pillows
so that he might receive the visitor sitting up in bed.

The officer entereda large fat manwith an open
physiognomy. His air of perfect serenity made Mazarin
uneasy.

Approach, sir,said the cardinal.

The officer obeyed.

Do you know what they are saying here?

No, your eminence.

Well, they say that Monsieur de Beaufort is going to escape
from Vincennes, if he has not done so already.

The officer's face expressed complete stupefaction. He
opened at once his little eyes and his great mouthto
inhale better the joke his eminence deigned to address to
himand ended by a burst of laughterso violent that his
great limbs shook in hilarity as they would have done in an
ague.

Escape! my lord -- escape! Your eminence does not then know
where Monsieur de Beaufort is?

Yes, I do, sir; in the donjon of Vincennes.

Yes, sir; in a room, the walls of which are seven feet
thick, with grated windows, each bar as thick as my arm.

Sir,replied Mazarinwith perseverance one may penetrate
through a wall; with a watch-spring one may saw through an
iron bar.

Then my lord does not know that there are eight guards
about him, four in his chamber, four in the antechamber, and
that they never leave him.

But he leaves his room, he plays at tennis at the Mall?

Sir, those amusements are allowed; but if your eminence
wishes it, we will discontinue the permission.

No, no!cried Mazarinfearing that should his prisoner
ever leave his prison he would be the more exasperated
against him if he thus retrenched his amusement. He then
asked with whom he played.

My lord, either with the officers of the guard, with the
other prisoners, or with me.

But does he not approach the walls while playing?

Your eminence doesn't know those walls; they are sixty feet


high and I doubt if Monsieur de Beaufort is sufficiently
weary of life to risk his neck by jumping off.

Hum!said the cardinalbeginning to feel more
comfortable. "You mean to saythenmy dear Monsieur la
Ramee ---- "

That unless Monsieur de Beaufort can contrive to
metamorphose himself into a little bird, I will continue
answerable for him.

Take care! you assert a great deal,said Mazarin.
Monsieur de Beaufort told the guards who took him to
Vincennes that he had often thought what he should do in
case he were put into prison, and that he had found out
forty ways of escaping.

My lord, if among these forty there had been one good way
he would have been out long ago.

Come, come; not such a fool as I fancied!thought Mazarin.

Besides, my lord must remember that Monsieur de Chavigny is
governor of Vincennes,continued La Rameeand that
Monsieur de Chavigny is not friendly to Monsieur de
Beaufort.

Yes, but Monsieur de Chavigny is sometimes absent.

When he is absent I am there.

But when you leave him, for instance?

Oh! when I leave him, I place in my stead a bold fellow who
aspires to be his majesty's special guard. I promise you he
keeps a good watch over the prisoner. During the three weeks
that he has been with me, I have only had to reproach him
with one thing -- being too severe with the prisoners.

And who is this Cerberus?

A certain Monsieur Grimaud, my lord.

And what was he before he went to Vincennes?

He was in the country, as I was told by the person who
recommended him to me.

And who recommended this man to you?

The steward of the Duc de Grammont.

He is not a gossip, I hope?

Lord a mercy, my lord! I thought for a long time that he
was dumb; he answers only by signs. It seems his former
master accustomed him to that.

Well, dear Monsieur la Ramee,replied the cardinal "let
him prove a true and thankful keeper and we will shut our
eyes upon his rural misdeeds and put on his back a uniform
to make him respectableand in the pockets of that uniform
some pistoles to drink to the king's health."


Mazarin was large in promises-- quite unlike the virtuous
Monsieur Grimaud so bepraised by La Ramee; for he said
nothing and did much.

It was now nine o'clock. The cardinalthereforegot up
perfumed himselfdressedand went to the queen to tell her
what had detained him. The queenwho was scarcely less
afraid of Monsieur de Beaufort than the cardinal himself
and who was almost as superstitious as he wasmade him
repeat word for word all La Ramee's praises of his deputy.
Thenwhen the cardinal had ended:

Alas, sir! why have we not a Grimaud near every prince?

Patience!replied Mazarinwith his Italian smile; "that
may happen one day; but in the meantime ---- "

Well, in the meantime?

I shall still take precautions.

And he wrote to D'Artagnan to hasten his return.

Describes how the Duc de Beaufort amused his Leisure Hours
in the Donjon of Vincennes.

The captive who was the source of so much alarm to the
cardinal and whose means of escape disturbed the repose of
the whole courtwas wholly unconscious of the terror he
caused at the Palais Royal.

He had found himself so strictly guarded that he soon
perceived the fruitlessness of any attempt at escape. His
vengeancethereforeconsisted in coining curses on the
head of Mazarin; he even tried to make some verses on him
but soon gave up the attemptfor Monsieur de Beaufort had
not only not received from Heaven the gift of versifyinghe
had the greatest difficulty in expressing himself in prose.

The duke was the grandson of Henry VI. and Gabrielle
d'Estrees -- as good-naturedas braveas proudand above
allas Gascon as his ancestorbut less elaborately
educated. After having been for some time after the death of
Louis XIII. the favoritethe confidantthe first manin
shortat the courthe had been obliged to yield his place
to Mazarin and so became the second in influence and favor;
and eventuallyas he was stupid enough to be vexed at this
change of positionthe queen had had him arrested and sent
to Vincennes in charge of Guitantwho made his appearance
in these pages in the beginning of this history and whom we
shall see again. It is understoodof coursethat when we
say "the queen Mazarin is meant.

During the five years of this seclusion, which would have
improved and matured the intellect of any other man, M. de
Beaufort, had he not affected to brave the cardinal, despise
princes, and walk alone without adherents or disciples,
would either have regained his liberty or made partisans.


But these considerations never occurred to the duke and
every day the cardinal received fresh accounts of him which
were as unpleasant as possible to the minister.

After having failed in poetry, Monsieur de Beaufort tried
drawing. He drew portraits, with a piece of coal, of the
cardinal; and as his talents did not enable him to produce a
very good likeness, he wrote under the picture that there
might be little doubt regarding the original: Portrait of
the Illustrious CoxcombMazarin." Monsieur de Chavignythe
governor of Vincenneswaited upon the duke to request that
he would amuse himself in some other wayor that at all
eventsif he drew likenesseshe would not put mottoes
underneath them. The next day the prisoner's room was full
of pictures and mottoes. Monsieur de Beaufortin common
with many other prisonerswas bent upon doing things that
were prohibited; and the only resource the governor had was
one day when the duke was playing at tennisto efface all
these drawingsconsisting chiefly of profiles. M. de
Beaufort did not venture to draw the cardinal's fat face.

The duke thanked Monsieur de Chavigny for havingas he
saidcleaned his drawing-paper for him; he then divided the
walls of his room into compartments and dedicated each of
these compartments to some incident in Mazarin's life. In
one was depicted the "Illustrious Coxcomb" receiving a
shower of blows from Cardinal Bentivogliowhose servant he
had been; anotherthe "Illustrious Mazarin" acting the part
of Ignatius Loyola in a tragedy of that name; a thirdthe
Illustrious Mazarinstealing the portfolio of prime
minister from Monsieur de Chavignywho had expected to have
it; a fourththe "Illustrious Coxcomb Mazarin" refusing to
give Laportethe young king's valetclean sheetsand
saving that "it was quite enough for the king of France to
have clean sheets every three months."

The governorof coursethought proper to threaten his
prisoner that if he did not give up drawing such pictures he
should be obliged to deprive him of all the means of amusing
himself in that manner. To this Monsieur de Beaufort replied
that since every opportunity of distinguishing himself in
arms was taken from himhe wished to make himself
celebrated in the arts; since he could not be a Bayardhe
would become a Raphael or a Michael Angelo. Nevertheless
one day when Monsieur de Beaufort was walking in the meadow
his fire was put outhis charcoal all removedtaken away;
and thus his means of drawing utterly destroyed.

The poor duke sworefell into a rageyelledand declared
that they wished to starve him to death as they had starved
the Marechal Ornano and the Grand Prior of Vendome; but he
refused to promise that he would not make any more drawings
and remained without any fire in the room all the winter.

His next act was to purchase a dog from one of his keepers.
With this animalwhich he called Pistachehe was often
shut up for hours alonesuperintendingas every one
supposedits education. At lastwhen Pistache was
sufficiently well trainedMonsieur de Beaufort invited the
governor and officers of Vincennes to attend a
representation which he was going to have in his apartment

The party assembledthe room was lighted with waxlights
and the prisonerwith a bit of plaster he had taken out of


the wall of his roomhad traced a long white line
representing a cordon the floor. Pistacheon a signal
from his masterplaced himself on this lineraised himself
on his hind pawsand holding in his front paws a wand with
which clothes used to be beatenhe began to dance upon the
line with as many contortions as a rope-dancer. Having been
several times up and down ithe gave the wand back to his
master and began without hesitation to perform the same
evolutions over again.

The intelligent creature was received with loud applause.

The first part of the entertainment being concluded Pistache
was desired to say what o'clock it was; he was shown
Monsieur de Chavigny's watch; it was then half-past six; the
dog raised and dropped his paw six times; the seventh he let
it remain upraised. Nothing could be better done; a sun-dial
could not have shown the hour with greater precision.

Then the question was put to him who was the best jailer in
all the prisons in France.

The dog performed three evolutions around the circle and
laid himselfwith the deepest respectat the feet of
Monsieur de Chavignywho at first seemed inclined to like
the joke and laughed long and loudbut a frown succeeded
and he bit his lips with vexation.

Then the duke put to Pistache this difficult questionwho
was the greatest thief in the world?

Pistache went again around the circlebut stopped at no
oneand at last went to the door and began to scratch and
bark.

See, gentlemen,said M. de Beaufortthis wonderful
animal, not finding here what I ask for, seeks it out of
doors; you shall, however, have his answer. Pistache, my
friend, come here. Is not the greatest thief in the world,
Monsieur (the king's secretary) Le Camus, who came to Paris
with twenty francs in his pocket and who now possesses ten
millions?

The dog shook his head.

Then is it not,resumed the dukethe Superintendent
Emery, who gave his son, when he was married, three hundred
thousand francs and a house, compared to which the Tuileries
are a heap of ruins and the Louvre a paltry building?

The dog again shook his head as if to say "no."

Then,said the prisonerlet's think who it can be. Can
it be, can it possibly be, the `Illustrious Coxcomb, Mazarin
de Piscina,' hey?

Pistache made violent signs that it wasby raising and
lowering his head eight or ten times successively.

Gentlemen, you see,said the duke to those presentwho
dared not even smilethat it is the `Illustrious Coxcomb'
who is the greatest thief in the world; at least, according
to Pistache.


Let us go on to another of his exercises.

Gentlemen!-- there was a profound silence in the room
when the duke again addressed them -- "do you not remember
that the Duc de Guise taught all the dogs in Paris to jump
for Mademoiselle de Ponswhom he styled `the fairest of the
fair?' Pistache is going to show you how superior he is to
all other dogs. Monsieur de Chavignybe so good as to lend
me your cane."

Monsieur de Chavigny handed his cane to Monsieur de
Beaufort. Monsieur de Beaufort placed it horizontally at the
height of one foot.

Now, Pistache, my good dog, jump the height of this cane
for Madame de Montbazon.

But,interposed Monsieur de Chavignyit seems to me that
Pistache is only doing what other dogs have done when they
jumped for Mademoiselle de Pons.

Stop,said the dukePistache, jump for the queen.And
he raised his cane six inches higher.

The dog sprangand in spite of the height jumped lightly
over it.

And now,said the dukeraising it still six inches
higherjump for the king.

The dog obeyed and jumped quickly over the cane.

Now, then,said the dukeand as he spokelowered the
cane almost level with the ground; "Pistachemy friend
jump for the `Illustrious CoxcombMazarin de Piscina.'"

The dog turned his back to the cane.

What,asked the dukewhat do you mean?and he gave him
the cane againfirst making a semicircle from the head to
the tail of Pistache. "Jump thenMonsieur Pistache."

But Pistacheas at firstturned round on his legs and
stood with his back to the cane.

Monsieur de Beaufort made the experiment a third timebut
by this time Pistache's patience was exhausted; he threw
himself furiously upon the canewrested it from the hands
of the prince and broke it with his teeth.

Monsieur de Beaufort took the pieces out of his mouth and
presented them with great formality to Monsieur de Chavigny
saying that for that evening the entertainment was ended
but in three months it should be repeatedwhen Pistache
would have learned a few new tricks.

Three days afterward Pistache was found dead -- poisoned.

Then the duke said openly that his dog had been killed by a
drug with which they meant to poison him; and one day after
dinner he went to bedcalling out that he had pains in his
stomach and that Mazarin had poisoned him.

This fresh impertinence reached the ears of the cardinal and


alarmed him greatly. The donjon of Vincennes was considered
very unhealthy and Madame de Rambouillet had said that the
room in which the Marechal Ornano and the Grand Prior de
Vendome had died was worth its weight in arsenic -- a bon
mot which had great success. So it was ordered the prisoner
was henceforth to eat nothing that had not previously been
tastedand La Ramee was in consequence placed near him as
taster.

Every kind of revenge was practiced upon the duke by the
governor in return for the insults of the innocent Pistache.
De Chavignywhoaccording to reportwas a son of
Richelieu'sand had been a creature of the late cardinal's
understood tyranny. He took from the duke all the steel
knives and silver forks and replaced them with silver knives
and wooden forkspretending that as he had been informed
that the duke was to pass all his life at Vincenneshe was
afraid of his prisoner attempting suicide. A fortnight
afterward the dukegoing to the tennis courtfound two
rows of trees about the size of his little finger planted by
the roadside; he asked what they were for and was told that
they were to shade him from the sun on some future day. One
morning the gardener went to him and told himas if to
please himthat he was going to plant a bed of asparagus
for his especial use. Nowsinceas every one knows
asparagus takes four years in coming to perfectionthis
civility infuriated Monsieur de Beaufort.

At last his patience was exhausted. He assembled his
keepersand notwithstanding his well-known difficulty of
utteranceaddressed them as follows:

Gentlemen! will you permit a grandson of Henry IV. to be
overwhelmed with insults and ignominy?

Odds fish! as my grandfather used to sayI once reigned in
Paris! do you know that? I had the king and Monsieur the
whole of one day in my care. The queen at that time liked me
and called me the most honest man in the kingdom. Gentlemen
and citizensset me free; I shall go to the Louvre and
strangle Mazarin. You shall be my body-guard. I will make
you all captainswith good pensions! Odds fish! On! march
forward!"

But eloquent as he might bethe eloquence of the grandson
of Henry IV. did not touch those hearts of stone; not one
man stirredso Monsieur de Beaufort was obliged to be
satisfied with calling them all kinds of rascals underneath
the sun.

Sometimeswhen Monsieur de Chavigny paid him a visitthe
duke used to ask him what he should think if he saw an army
of Parisiansall fully armedappear at Vincennes to
deliver him from prison.

My lord,answered De Chavignywith a low bowI have on
the ramparts twenty pieces of artillery and in my casemates
thirty thousand guns. I should bombard the troops till not
one grain of gunpowder was unexploded.

Yes, but after you had fired off your thirty thousand guns
they would take the donjon; the donjon being taken, I should
be obliged to let them hang you -- at which I should be most
unhappy, certainly.


And in his turn the duke bowed low to Monsieur de Chavigny.

For myself, on the other hand, my lord,returned the
governorwhen the first rebel should pass the threshold of
my postern doors I should be obliged to kill you with my own
hand, since you were confided peculiarly to my care and as I
am obliged to give you up, dead or alive.

And once more he bowed low before his highness.

These bitter-sweet pleasantries lasted ten minutes
sometimes longerbut always finished thus:

Monsieur de Chavignyturning toward the doorused to call
out: "Halloo! La Ramee!"

La Ramee came into the room.

La Ramee, I recommend Monsieur le Duc to you, particularly;
treat him as a man of his rank and family ought to be
treated; that is, never leave him alone an instant.

La Ramee becamethereforethe duke's dinner guest by
compulsion -- an eternal keeperthe shadow of his person;
but La Ramee -- gayfrankconvivialfond of playa great
hand at tennishad one defect in the duke's eyes -- his
incorruptibility.

Nowalthough La Ramee appreciatedas of a certain value
the honor of being shut up with a prisoner of so great
importancestill the pleasure of living in intimacy with
the grandson of Henry IV. hardly compensated for the loss of
that which he had experienced in going from time to time to
visit his family.

One may be a jailer or a keeper and at the same time a good
father and husband. La Ramee adored his wife and children
whom now he could only catch a glimpse of from the top of
the wallwhen in order to please him they used to walk on
the opposite side of the moat. 'Twas too brief an enjoyment
and La Ramee felt that the gayety of heart he had regarded
as the cause of health (of which it was perhaps rather the
result) would not long survive such a mode of life.

He acceptedthereforewith delightan offer made to him
by his friend the steward of the Duc de Grammontto give
him a substitute; he also spoke of it to Monsieur de
Chavignywho promised that he would not oppose it in any
way -- that isif he approved of the person proposed.

We consider it useless to draw a physical or moral portrait
of Grimaud; ifas we hopeour readers have not wholly
forgotten the first part of this workthey must have
preserved a clear idea of that estimable individualwho is
wholly unchangedexcept that he is twenty years olderan
advance in life that has made him only more silent;
althoughsince the change that had been working in himself
Athos had given Grimaud permission to speak.

But Grimaud had for twelve or fifteen years preserved
habitual silenceand a habit of fifteen or twenty years'
duration becomes second nature.


Grimaud begins his Functions.

Grimaud thereupon presented himself with his smooth exterior
at the donjon of Vincennes. Now Monsieur de Chavigny piqued
himself on his infallible penetration; for that which almost
proved that he was the son of Richelieu was his everlasting
pretension; he examined attentively the countenance of the
applicant for place and fancied that the contracted
eyebrowsthin lipshooked noseand prominent cheek-bones
of Grimaud were favorable signs. He addressed about twelve
words to him; Grimaud answered in four.

Here's a promising fellow and it is I who have found out
his merits,said Monsieur de Chavigny. "Go he added, and
make yourself agreeable to Monsieur la Rameeand tell him
that you suit me in all respects."

Grimaud had every quality that could attract a man on duty
who wishes to have a deputy. Soafter a thousand questions
which met with only a word in replyLa Rameefascinated by
this sobriety in speechrubbed his hands and engaged
Grimaud.

My orders?asked Grimaud.

They are these; never to leave the prisoner alone; to keep
away from him every pointed or cutting instrument, and to
prevent his conversing any length of time with the keepers.

Those are all?asked Grimaud.

All now,replied La Ramee.

Good,answered Grimaud; and he went right to the prisoner.

The duke was in the act of combing his beardwhich he had
allowed to growas well as his hairin order to reproach
Mazarin with his wretched appearance and condition. But
having some days previously seen from the top of the donjon
Madame de Montbazon pass in her carriageand still
cherishing an affection for that beautiful womanhe did not
wish to be to her what he wished to be to Mazarinand in
the hope of seeing her againhad asked for a leaden comb
which was allowed him. The comb was to be a leaden one
because his beardlike that of most fair peoplewas rather
red; he therefore dyed it thus whilst combing it.

As Grimaud entered he saw this comb on the tea-table; he
took it upand as he took it he made a low bow.

The duke looked at this strange figure with surprise. The
figure put the comb in its pocket.

Ho! hey! what's that?cried the duke. "Who is this
creature?"

Grimaud did not answerbut bowed a second time.


Art thou dumb?cried the duke.

Grimaud made a sign that he was not.

What art thou, then? Answer! I command thee!said the
duke.

A keeper,replied Grimaud.

A keeper!reiterated the duke; "there was nothing wanting
in my collectionexcept this gallows-bird. Halloo! La
Ramee! some one!"

La Ramee ran in haste to obey the call.

Who is this wretch who takes my comb and puts it in his
pocket?asked the duke.

One of your guards, my prince; a man of talent and merit,
whom you will like, as I and Monsieur de Chavigny do, I am
sure.

Why does he take my comb?

Why do you take my lord's comb?asked La Ramee.

Grimaud drew the comb from his pocket and passing his
fingers over the largest teethpronounced this one word
Pointed.

True,said La Ramee.

What does the animal say?asked the duke.

That the king has forbidden your lordship to have any
pointed instrument.

Are you mad, La Ramee? You yourself gave me this comb.

I was very wrong, my lord, for in giving it to you I acted
in opposition to my orders.

The duke looked furiously at Grimaud.

I perceive that this creature will be my particular
aversion,he muttered.

Grimaudneverthelesswas resolved for certain reasons not
at once to come to a full rupture with the prisoner; he
wanted to inspirenot a sudden repugnancebut a good
soundsteady hatred; he retiredthereforeand gave place
to four guardswhohaving breakfastedcould attend on the
prisoner.

A fresh practical joke now occurred to the duke. He had
asked for crawfish for his breakfast on the following
morning; he intended to pass the day in making a small
gallows and hang one of the finest of these fish in the
middle of his room -- the red color evidently conveying an
allusion to the cardinal -- so that he might have the
pleasure of hanging Mazarin in effigy without being accused
of having hung anything more significant than a crawfish.

The day was employed in preparations for the execution.


Every one grows childish in prisonbut the character of
Monsieur de Beaufort was particularly disposed to become so.
In the course of his morning's walk he collected two or
three small branches from a tree and found a small piece of
broken glassa discovery that quite delighted him. When he
came home he formed his handkerchief into a loop.

Nothing of all this escaped Grimaudbut La Ramee looked on
with the curiosity of a father who thinks that he may
perhaps get a cheap idea concerning a new toy for his
children. The guards looked on it with indifference. When
everything was readythe gallows hung in the middle of the
roomthe loop madeand when the duke had cast a glance
upon the plate of crawfishin order to select the finest
specimen among themhe looked around for his piece of
glass; it had disappeared.

Who has taken my piece of glass?asked the dukefrowning.
Grimaud made a sign to denote that he had done so.

What! thou again! Why didst thou take it?

Yes -- why?asked La Ramee.

Grimaudwho held the piece of glass in his handsaid:
Sharp.

True, my lord!exclaimed La Ramee. "Ah! deuce take it! we
have a precious fellow here!"

Monsieur Grimaud!said the dukefor your sake I beg of
you, never come within the reach of my fist!

Hush! hush!cried La Rameegive me your gibbet, my lord.
I will shape it out for you with my knife.

And he took the gibbet and shaped it out as neatly as
possible.

That's it,said the dukenow make me a little hole in
the floor whilst I go and fetch the culprit.

La Ramee knelt down and made a hole in the floor; meanwhile
the duke hung the crawfish up by a thread. Then he placed
the gibbet in the middle of the roombursting with
laughter.

La Ramee laughed also and the guards laughed in chorus;
Grimaudhoweverdid not even smile. He approached La Ramee
and showing him the crawfish hung up by the thread:

Cardinal,he said.

Hung by order of his Highness the Duc de Beaufort!cried
the prisonerlaughing violentlyand by Master Jacques
Chrysostom La Ramee, the king's commissioner.

La Ramee uttered a cry of horror and rushed toward the
gibbetwhich he broke at once and threw the pieces out of
the window. He was going to throw the crawfish out also
when Grimaud snatched it from his hands.

Good to eat!he saidand put it in his pocket.


This scene so enchanted the duke that at the moment he
forgave Grimaud for his part in it; but on reflection he
hated him more and morebeing convinced he had some evil
motive for his conduct.

But the story of the crab made a great noise through the
interior of the donjon and even outside. Monsieur de
Chavignywho at heart detested the cardinaltook pains to
tell the story to two or three friendswho put it into
immediate circulation.

The prisoner happened to remark among the guards one man
with a very good countenance; and he favored this man the
more as Grimaud became the more and more odious to him. One
morning he took this man on one side and had succeeded in
speaking to himwhen Grimaud entered and seeing what was
going on approached the duke respectfullybut took the
guard by the arm.

Go away,he said.

The guard obeyed.

You are insupportable!cried the duke; "I shall beat you."

Grimaud bowed.

I will break every bone in your body!cried the duke.

Grimaud bowedbut stepped back.

Mr. Spy,cried the dukemore and more enragedI will
strangle you with my own hands.

And he extended his hands toward Grimaudwho merely thrust
the guard out and shut the door behind him. At the same time
he felt the duke's arms on his shoulders like two iron
claws; but instead either of calling out or defending
himselfhe placed his forefinger on his lips and said in a
low tone:

Hush!smiling as he uttered the word.

A gesturea smile and a word from Grimaudall at once
were so unusual that his highness stopped shortastounded.

Grimaud took advantage of that instant to draw from his vest
a charming little note with an aristocratic sealand
presented it to the duke without a word.

The dukemore and more bewilderedlet Grimaud loose and
took the note.

From Madame de Montbazon?he cried.

Grimaud nodded assent.

The duke tore open the notepassed his hands over his eyes
for he was dazzled and confusedand read:

My Dear Duke, -- You may entirely confide in the brave lad
who will give you this note; he has consented to enter the


service of your keeper and to shut himself up at Vincennes
with you, in order to prepare and assist your escape, which
we are contriving. The moment of your deliverance is at
hand; have patience and courage and remember that in spite
of time and absence all your friends continue to cherish for
you the sentiments they have so long professed and truly
entertained.

Yours wholly and most affectionately

Marie de Montbazon.

P.S. -- I sign my full namefor I should be vain if I
could suppose that after five years of absence you would
remember my initials."

The poor duke became perfectly giddy. What for five years he
had been wanting -- a faithful servanta frienda helping
hand -- seemed to have fallen from Heaven just when he
expected it the least.

Oh, dearest Marie! she thinks of me, then, after five years
of separation! Heavens! there is constancy!Then turning to
Grimaudhe said:

And thou, my brave fellow, thou consentest thus to aid me?

Grimaud signified his assent.

And you have come here with that purpose?

Grimaud repeated the sign.

And I was ready to strangle you!cried the duke.

Grimaud smiled.

Wait, then,said the dukefumbling in his pocket. "Wait
he continued, renewing his fruitless search; it shall not
be said that such devotion to a grandson of Henry IV. went
without recompense."

The duke's endeavors evinced the best intention in the
worldbut one of the precautions taken at Vincennes was
that of allowing prisoners to keep no money. Whereupon
Grimaudobserving the duke's disappointmentdrew from his
pocket a purse filled with gold and handed it to him.

Here is what you are looking for,he said.

The duke opened the purse and wanted to empty it into
Grimaud's handsbut Grimaud shook his head.

Thank you, monseigneur,he saiddrawing back; "I am
paid."

The duke went from one surprise to another. He held out his
hand. Grimaud drew near and kissed it respectfully. The
grand manner of Athos had left its mark on Grimaud.


What shall we do? and when? and how proceed?

It is now eleven,answered Grimaud. "Let my lord at two
o'clock ask leave to make up a game at tennis with La Ramee
and let him send two or three balls over the ramparts."

And then?

Your highness will approach the walls and call out to a man
who works in the moat to send them back again.

I understand,said the duke.

Grimaud made a sign that he was going away.

Ah!cried the dukewill you not accept any money from
me?

I wish my lord would make me one promise.

What! speak!

'Tis this: when we escape together, that I shall go
everywhere and be always first; for if my lord should be
overtaken and caught, there's every chance of his being
brought back to prison, whereas if I am caught the least
that can befall me is to be -- hung.

True, on my honor as a gentleman it shall be as thou dost
suggest.

Now,resumed GrimaudI've only one thing more to ask -that
your highness will continue to detest me.

I'll try,said the duke.

At this moment La Rameeafter the interview we have
described with the cardinalentered the room. The duke had
thrown himselfas he was wont to do in moments of dullness
and vexationon his bed. La Ramee cast an inquiring look
around him and observing the same signs of antipathy between
the prisoner and his guardian he smiled in token of his
inward satisfaction. Then turning to Grimaud:

Very good, my friend, very good. You have been spoken of in
a promising quarter and you will soon, I hope, have news
that will be agreeable to you.

Grimaud saluted in his politest manner and withdrewas was
his custom on the entrance of his superior.

Well, my lord,said La Rameewith his rude laughyou
still set yourself against this poor fellow?

So! 'tis you, La Ramee; in faith, 'tis time you came back
again. I threw myself on the bed and turned my nose to the
wall, that I mightn't break my promise and strangle
Grimaud.

I doubt, however,said La Rameein sprightly allusion to
the silence of his subordinateif he has said anything
disagreeable to your highness.

Pardieu! you are right -- a mute from the East! I swear it


was time for you to come back, La Ramee, and I was eager to
see you again.

Monseigneur is too good,said La Rameeflattered by the
compliment.

Yes,continued the dukereally, I feel bored today
beyond the power of description.

Then let us have a match in the tennis court,exclaimed La
Ramee.

If you wish it.

I am at your service, my lord.

I protest, my dear La Ramee,said the dukethat you are
a charming fellow and that I would stay forever at Vincennes
to have the pleasure of your society.

My lord,replied La RameeI think if it depended on the
cardinal your wishes would be fulfilled.

What do you mean? Have you seen him lately?

He sent for me to-day.

Really! to speak to you about me?

Of what else do you imagine he would speak to me? Really,
my lord, you are his nightmare.

The duke smiled with bitterness.

Ah, La Ramee! if you would but accept my offers! I would
make your fortune.

How? you would no sooner have left prison than your goods
would be confiscated.

I shall no sooner be out of prison than I shall be master
of Paris.

Pshaw! pshaw! I cannot hear such things said as that; this
is a fine conversation with an officer of the king! I see,
my lord, I shall be obliged to fetch a second Grimaud!

Very well, let us say no more about it. So you and the
cardinal have been talking about me? La Ramee, some day when
he sends for you, you must let me put on your clothes; I
will go in your stead; I will strangle him, and upon my
honor, if that is made a condition I will return to prison.

Monseigneur, I see well that I must call Grimaud.

Well, I am wrong. And what did the cuistre [pettifogger]
say about me?

I admit the word, monseigneur, because it rhymes with
ministre [minister]. What did he say to me? He told me to
watch you.

And why so? why watch me?asked the duke uneasily.


Because an astrologer had predicted that you would escape.

Ah! an astrologer predicted that?said the dukestarting
in spite of himself.

Oh, mon Dieu! yes! those imbeciles of magicians can only
imagine things to torment honest people.

And what did you reply to his most illustrious eminence?

That if the astrologer in question made almanacs I would
advise him not to buy one.

Why not?

Because before you could escape you would have to be turned
into a bird.

Unfortunately, that is true. Let us go and have a game at
tennis, La Ramee.

My lord -- I beg your highness's pardon -- but I must beg
for half an hour's leave of absence.

Why?

Because Monseigneur Mazarin is a prouder man than his
highness, though not of such high birth: he forgot to ask me
to breakfast.

Well, shall I send for some breakfast here?

No, my lord; I must tell you that the confectioner who
lived opposite the castle -- Daddy Marteau, as they called
him ----

Well?

Well, he sold his business a week ago to a confectioner
from Paris, an invalid, ordered country air for his health.

Well, what have I to do with that?

Why, good Lord! this man, your highness, when he saw me
stop before his shop, where he has a display of things which
would make your mouth water, my lord, asked me to get him
the custom of the prisoners in the donjon. `I bought,' said
he, `the business of my predecessor on the strength of his
assurance that he supplied the castle; whereas, on my honor,
Monsieur de Chavigny, though I've been here a week, has not
ordered so much as a tartlet.' `But,' I then replied,
`probably Monsieur de Chavigny is afraid your pastry is not
good.' `My pastry not good! Well, Monsieur La Ramee, you
shall judge of it yourself and at once.' `I cannot,' I
replied; `it is absolutely necessary for me to return to the
chateau.' `Very well,' said he, `go and attend to your
affairs, since you seem to be in a hurry, but come back in
half an hour.' `In half an hour?' `Yes, have you
breakfasted?' `Faith, no.' `Well, here is a pate that will
be ready for you, with a bottle of old Burgundy.' So, you
see, my lord, since I am hungry, I would, with your
highness's leave ---- And La Ramee bent low.

Go, then, animal,said the duke; "but rememberI only


allow you half an hour."

May I promise your custom to the successor of Father
Marteau, my lord?

Yes, if he does not put mushrooms in his pies; thou knowest
that mushrooms from the wood of Vincennes are fatal to my
family.

La Ramee went outbut in five minutes one of the officers
of the guard entered in compliance with the strict orders of
the cardinal that the prisoner should never be left alone a
moment.

But during these five minutes the duke had had time to read
again the note from Madame de Montbazonwhich proved to the
prisoner that his friends were concerting plans for his
deliverancebut in what way he knew not.

But his confidence in Grimaudwhose petty persecutions he
now perceived were only a blindincreasedand he conceived
the highest opinion of his intellect and resolved to trust
entirely to his guidance.

In which the Contents of the Pates made by the Successor of
Father Marteau are described.

In half an hour La Ramee returnedfull of gleelike most
men who have eatenand more especially drank to their
heart's content. The pates were excellentthe wine
delicious.

The weather was fine and the game at tennis took place in
the open air.

At two o'clock the tennis balls beganaccording to
Grimaud's directionsto take the direction of the moat
much to the joy of La Rameewho marked fifteen whenever the
duke sent a ball into the moat; and very soon balls were
wantingso many had gone over. La Ramee then proposed to
send some one to pick them upbut the duke remarked that it
would be losing time; and going near the rampart himself and
looking overhe saw a man working in one of the numerous
little gardens cleared out by the peasants on the opposite
side of the moat.

Hey, friend!cried the duke.

The man raised his head and the duke was about to utter a
cry of surprise. The peasantthe gardenerwas Rochefort
whom he believed to be in the Bastile.

Well? Who's up there?said the man.

Be so good as to collect and throw us back our balls,said
the duke.

The gardener nodded and began to fling up the ballswhich


were picked up by La Ramee and the guard. Onehoweverfell
at the duke's feetand seeing that it was intended for him
he put it into his pocket.

La Ramee was in ecstasies at having beaten a prince of the
blood.

The duke went indoors and retired to bedwhere he spent
indeedthe greater part of every dayas they had taken his
books away. La Ramee carried off all his clothesin order
to be certain that the duke would not stir. Howeverthe
duke contrived to hide the ball under his bolster and as
soon as the door was closed he tore off the cover of the
ball with his teeth and found underneath the following
letter:

My Lord-- Your friends are watching over you and the hour
of your deliverance is at hand. Ask day after to-morrow to
have a pie supplied you by the new confectioner opposite the
castleand who is no other than Noirmontyour former
maitre d'hotel. Do not open the pie till you are alone. I
hope you will be satisfied with its contents.

Your highness's most devoted servant,

In the Bastileas elsewhere

Comte de Rochefort.

The duke, who had latterly been allowed a fire, burned the
letter, but kept the ball, and went to bed, hiding the ball
under his bolster. La Ramee entered; he smiled kindly on the
prisoner, for he was an excellent man and had taken a great
liking for the captive prince. He endeavored to cheer him up
in his solitude.

Ahmy friend!" cried the dukeyou are so good; if I
could but do as you do, and eat pates and drink Burgundy at
the house of Father Marteau's successor.

'Tis true, my lord,answered La Rameethat his pates are
famous and his wine magnificent.

In any case,said the dukehis cellar and kitchen might
easily excel those of Monsieur de Chavigny.

Well, my lord,said La Rameefalling into the trapwhat
is there to prevent your trying them? Besides, I have
promised him your patronage.

You are right,said the duke. "If I am to remain here
permanentlyas Monsieur Mazarin has kindly given me to
understandI must provide myself with a diversion for my
old ageI must turn gourmand."

My lord,said La Rameeif you will take a bit of good
advice, don't put that off till you are old.

Good!said the Duc de Beaufort to himselfevery man in
order that he may lose his heart and soul, must receive from


celestial bounty one of the seven capital sins, perhaps two;
it seems that Master La Ramee's is gluttony. Let us then
take advantage of it.Thenaloud:

Well, my dear La Ramee! the day after to-morrow is a
holiday.

Yes, my lord -- Pentecost.

Will you give me a lesson the day after to-morrow?

In what?

In gastronomy?

Willingly, my lord.

But tete-a-tete. Send the guards to take their meal in the
canteen of Monsieur de Chavigny; we'll have a supper here
under your direction.

Hum!said La Ramee.

The proposal was seductivebut La Ramee was an old stager
acquainted with all the traps a prisoner was likely to set.
Monsieur de Beaufort had said that he had forty ways of
getting out of prison. Did this proposed breakfast cover
some stratagem? He reflectedbut he remembered that he
himself would have charge of the food and the wine and
therefore that no powder could be mixed with the foodno
drug with the wine. As to getting him drunkthe duke
couldn't hope to do thatand he laughed at the mere thought
of it. Then an idea came to him which harmonized everything.

The duke had followed with anxiety La Ramee's unspoken
soliloquyreading it from point to point upon his face. But
presently the exempt's face suddenly brightened.

Well,he askedthat will do, will it not?

Yes, my lord, on one condition.

What?

That Grimaud shall wait on us at table.

Nothing could be more agreeable to the dukehoweverhe had
presence of mind enough to exclaim:

To the devil with your Grimaud! He will spoil the feast.

I will direct him to stand behind your chair, and since he
doesn't speak, your highness will neither see nor hear him
and with a little effort can imagine him a hundred miles
away.

Do you know, my friend, I find one thing very evident in
all this, you distrust me.

My lord, the day after to-morrow is Pentecost.

Well, what is Pentecost to me? Are you afraid that the Holy
Spirit will come as a tongue of fire to open the doors of my
prison?


No, my lord; but I have already told you what that damned
magician predicted.

And what was it?

That the day of Pentecost would not pass without your
highness being out of Vincennes.

You believe in sorcerers, then, you fool?

I ---I mind them no more than that ---- and he snapped
his fingers; "but it is my Lord Giulio who cares about them;
as an Italian he is superstitious."

The duke shrugged his shoulders.

Well, then,with well acted good-humorI allow Grimaud,
but no one else; you must manage it all. Order whatever you
like for supper -- the only thing I specify is one of those
pies; and tell the confectioner that I will promise him my
custom if he excels this time in his pies -- not only now,
but when I leave my prison.

Then you think you will some day leave it?said La Ramee.

The devil!replied the prince; "surelyat the death of
Mazarin. I am fifteen years younger than he is. At
Vincennes'tis trueone lives faster ---- "

My lord,replied La Rameemy lord ----

Or dies sooner, for it comes to the same thing.

La Ramee was going out. He stoppedhoweverat the door for
an instant.

Whom does your highness wish me to send to you?

Any one, except Grimaud.

The officer of the guard, then, with his chessboard?

Yes.

Five minutes afterward the officer entered and the duke
seemed to be immersed in the sublime combinations of chess.

A strange thing is the mindand it is wonderful what
revolutions may be wrought in it by a signa worda hope.
The duke had been five years in prisonand now to him
looking back upon themthose five yearswhich had passed
so slowlyseemed not so long a time as were the two days
the forty-eight hourswhich still parted him from the time
fixed for his escape. Besidesthere was one thing that
engaged his most anxious thought -- in what way was the
escape to be effected? They had told him to hope for itbut
had not told him what was to be hidden in the mysterious
pate. And what friends awaited him without? He had friends
thenafter five years in prison? If that were so he was
indeed a highly favored prince. He forgot that besides his
friends of his own sexa womanstrange to sayhad
remembered him. It is true that she had notperhapsbeen
scupulously faithful to himbut she had remembered him;


that was something.

So the duke had more than enough to think about; accordingly
he fared at chess as he had fared at tennis; he made blunder
upon blunder and the officer with whom he played found him
easy game.

But his successive defeats did service to the duke in one
way -- they killed time for him till eight o'clock in the
evening; then would come nightand with nightsleep. So
at leastthe duke believed; but sleep is a capricious
fairyand it is precisely when one invokes her presence
that she is most likely to keep him waiting. The duke waited
until midnightturning on his mattress like St. Laurence on
his gridiron. Finally he slept.

But at daybreak he awoke. Wild dreams had disturbed his
repose. He dreamed that he was endowed with wings -- he
wished to fly away. For a time these wings supported him
but when he reached a certain height this new aid failed
him. His wings were broken and he seemed to sink into a
bottomless abysswhence he awokebathed in perspiration
and nearly as much overcome as if he had really fallen. He
fell asleep again and another vision appeared. He was in a
subterranean passage by which he was to leave Vincennes.
Grimaud was walking before him with a lantern. By degrees
the passage narrowedyet the duke continued his course. At
last it became so narrow that the fugitive tried in vain to
proceed. The sides of the walls seem to close ineven to
press against him. He made fruitless efforts to go on; it
was impossible. Neverthelesshe still saw Grimaud with his
lantern in frontadvancing. He wished to call out to him
but could not utter a word. Then at the other extremity he
heard the footsteps of those who were pursuing him. These
steps came oncame fast. He was discovered; all hope of
flight was gone. Still the walls seemed to be closing on
him; they appeared to be in concert with his enemies. At
last he heard the voice of La Ramee. La Ramee took his hand
and laughed aloud. He was captured againand conducted to
the low and vaulted chamberin which OrnanoPuylaurens
and his uncle had died. Their three graves were there
rising above the groundand a fourth was also there
yawning for its ghastly tenant.

The duke was obliged to make as many efforts to awake as he
had done to go to sleep; and La Ramee found him so pale and
fatigued that he inquired whether he was ill.

In fact,said one of the guards who had remained in the
chamber and had been kept awake by a toothachebrought on
by the dampness of the atmospheremy lord has had a very
restless night and two or three times, while dreaming, he
called for help.

What is the matter with your highness?asked La Ramee.

'Tis your fault, you simpleton,answered the duke. "With
your idle nonsense yesterday about escapingyou worried me
so that I dreamed that I was trying to escape and broke my
neck in doing so."

La Ramee laughed.

Come,he said'tis a warning from Heaven. Never commit


such an imprudence as to try to escape, except in your
dreams.

And you are right, my dear La Ramee,said the dukewiping
away the sweat that stood on his browwide awake though he
was; "after this I will think of nothing but eating and
drinking."

Hush!said La Ramee; and one by one he sent away the
guardson various pretexts.

Well?asked the duke when they were alone.

Well!replied La Rameeyour supper is ordered.

Ah! and what is it to be? Monsieur, my majordomo, will
there be a pie?

I should think so, indeed -- almost as high as a tower.

You told him it was for me?

Yes, and he said he would do his best to please your
highness.

Good!exclaimed the dukerubbing his hands.

Devil take it, my lord! what a gourmand you are growing; I
haven't seen you with so cheerful a face these five years.

The duke saw that he had not controlled himself as he ought
but at that momentas if he had listened at the door and
comprehended the urgent need of diverting La Ramee's ideas
Grimaud entered and made a sign to La Ramee that he had
something to say to him.

La Ramee drew near to Grimaudwho spoke to him in a low
voice.

The duke meanwhile recovered his self-control.

I have already forbidden that man,he saidto come in
here without my permission.

You must pardon him, my lord,said La Rameefor I
directed him to come.

And why did you so direct when you know that he displeases
me?

My lord will remember that it was agreed between us that he
should wait upon us at that famous supper. My lord has
forgotten the supper.

No, but I have forgotten Monsieur Grimaud.

My lord understands that there can be no supper unless he
is allowed to be present.

Go on, then; have it your own way.

Come here, my lad,said La Rameeand hear what I have to
say.


Grimaud approachedwith a very sullen expression on his
face.

La Ramee continued: "My lord has done me the honor to invite
me to a supper to-morrow en tete-a-tete."

Grimaud made a sign which meant that he didn't see what that
had to do with him.

Yes, yes,said La Rameethe matter concerns you, for you
will have the honor to serve us; and besides, however good
an appetite we may have and however great our thirst, there
will be something left on the plates and in the bottles, and
that something will be yours.

Grimaud bowed in thanks.

And now,said La RameeI must ask your highness's
pardon, but it seems that Monsieur de Chavigny is to be away
for a few days and he has sent me word that he has certain
directions to give me before his departure.

The duke tried to exchange a glance with Grimaudbut there
was no glance in Grimaud's eyes.

Go, then,said the dukeand return as soon as possible.

Does your highness wish to take revenge for the game of
tennis yesterday?

Grimaud intimated by a scarcely perceptible nod that he
should consent.

Yes,said the dukebut take care, my dear La Ramee, for
I propose to beat you badly.

La Ramee went out. Grimaud looked after himand when the
door was closed he drew out of his pocket a pencil and a
sheet of paper.

Write, my lord,he said.

And what?

Grimaud dictated.

All is ready for to-morrow evening. Keep watch from seven
to nine. Have two riding horses ready. We shall descend by
the first window in the gallery.

What next?

Sign your name, my lord.

The duke signed.

Now, my lord, give me, if you have not lost it, the ball -that
which contained the letter.

The duke took it from under his pillow and gave it to
Grimaud. Grimaud gave a grim smile.

Well?asked the duke.


Well, my lord, I sew up the paper in the ball and you, in
your game of tennis, will send the ball into the ditch.
But will it not be lost?
Oh no; there will be some one at hand to pick it up.
A gardener?
Grimaud nodded.
The same as yesterday?
Another nod on the part of Grimaud.
The Count de Rochefort?


Grimaud nodded the third time.
Come, now,said the dukegive some particulars of the
plan for our escape.


That is forbidden me,said Grimauduntil the last
moment.
Who will be waiting for me beyond the ditch?


I know nothing about it, my lord.
But at least, if you don't want to see me turn crazy, tell
what that famous pate will contain.


Two poniards, a knotted rope and a poire d'angoisse.*


*This poire d'angoisse was a famous gagin the form of a
pearwhichbeing thrust into the mouthby the aid of a
springdilatedso as to distend the jaws to their greatest
width.

Yes, I understand.
My lord observes that there will be enough to go around.
We shall take to ourselves the poniards and the rope,


replied the duke.
And make La Ramee eat the pear,answered Grimaud.
My dear Grimaud, thou speakest seldom, but when thou dost,


one must do thee justice -- thy words are words of gold.


One of Marie Michon's Adventures.


Whilst these projects were being formed by the Duc de



Beaufort and Grimaudthe Comte de la Fere and the Vicomte
de Bragelonne were entering Paris by the Rue du Faubourg
Saint Marcel.

They stopped at the sign of the Foxin the Rue du Vieux
Colombiera tavern known for many years by Athosand asked
for two bedrooms.

You must dress yourself, Raoul,said AthosI am going to
present you to some one.

To-day, monsieur?asked the young man.

In half an hour.

The young man bowed. Perhapsnot being endowed with the
endurance of Athoswho seemed to be made of ironhe would
have preferred a bath in the river Seine of which he had
heard so muchand afterward his bed; but the Comte de la
Fere had spoken and he had no thought but to obey.

By the way,said Athostake some pains with your toilet,
Raoul; I want you to be approved.

I hope, sir,replied the youthsmilingthat there's no
idea of a marriage for me; you know of my engagement to
Louise?

Athosin his turnsmiled also.

No, don't be alarmed, although it is to a lady that I am
going to present you, and I am anxious that you should love
her ----

The young man looked at the count with a certain uneasiness
but at a smile from Athos he was quickly reassured.

How old is she?inquired the Vicomte de Bragelonne.

My dear Raoul, learn, once for all, that that is a question
which is never asked. When you can find out a woman's age by
her face, it is useless to ask it; when you cannot do so, it
is indiscreet.

Is she beautiful?

Sixteen years ago she was deemed not only the prettiest,
but the most graceful woman in France.

This reply reassured the vicomte. A woman who had been a
reigning beauty a year before he was born could not be the
subject of any scheme for him. He retired to his toilet.
When he reappearedAthos received him with the same
paternal smile as that which he had often bestowed on
D'Artagnanbut a more profound tenderness for Raoul was now
visibly impressed upon his face.

Athos cast a glance at his feethands and hair -- those
three marks of race. The youth's dark hair was neatly parted
and hung in curlsforming a sort of dark frame around his
face; such was the fashion of the day. Gloves of gray kid
matching the hatwell displayed the form of a slender and
elegant hand; whilst his bootssimilar in color to the hat
and glovesconfined feet small as those of a boy twelve


years old.

Come,murmured Athosif she is not proud of him, she
must be hard to please.

It was three o'clock in the afternoon. The two travelers
proceeded to the Rue Saint Dominique and stopped at the door
of a magnificent hotelsurmounted with the arms of De
Luynes.

'Tis here,said Athos.

He entered the hotel and ascended the front stepsand
addressing a footman who waited there in a grand livery
asked if the Duchess de Chevreuse was visible and if she
could receive the Comte de la Fere?

The servant returned with a message to saythatthough the
duchess had not the honor of knowing Monsieur de la Fere
she would receive him.

Athos followed the footmanwho led him through a long
succession of apartments and paused at length before a
closed door. Athos made a sign to the Vicomte de Bragelonne
to remain where he was.

The footman opened the door and announced Monsieur le Comte
de la Fere.

Madame de Chevreusewhose name appears so often in our
story "The Three Musketeers without her actually having
appeared in any scene, was still a beautiful woman. Although
about forty-four or forty-five years old, she might have
passed for thirty-five. She still had her rich fair hair;
her large, animated, intelligent eyes, so often opened by
intrigue, so often closed by the blindness of love. She had
still her nymph-like form, so that when her back was turned
she still was not unlike the girl who had jumped, with Anne
of Austria, over the moat of the Tuileries in 1563. In all
other respects she was the same mad creature who threw over
her amours such an air of originality as to make them
proverbial for eccentricity in her family.

She was in a little boudoir, hung with blue damask, adorned
by red flowers, with a foliage of gold, looking upon a
garden; and reclined upon a sofa, her head supported on the
rich tapestry which covered it. She held a book in her hand
and her arm was supported by a cushion.

At the footman's announcement she raised herself a little
and peeped out, with some curiosity.

Athos appeared.

He was dressed in violet-tinted velvet, trimmed with silk of
the same color. His shoulder-knots were of burnished silver,
his mantle had no gold nor embroidery on it; a simple plume
of violet feathers adorned his hat; his boots were of black
leather, and at his girdle hung that sword with a
magnificent hilt that Porthos had so often admired in the
Rue Feron. Splendid lace adorned the falling collar of his
shirt, and lace fell also over the top of his boots.

In his whole person he bore such an impress of high degree,


that Madame de Chevreuse half rose from her seat when she
saw him and made him a sign to sit down near her.

Athos bowed and obeyed. The footman was withdrawing, but
Athos stopped him by a sign.

Madame he said to the duchess, I have had the boldness
to present myself at your hotel without being known to you;
it has succeededsince you deign to receive me. I have now
the boldness to ask you for an interview of half an hour."

I grant it, monsieur,replied Madame de Chevreuse with her
most gracious smile.

But that is not all, madame. Oh, I am very presuming, I am
aware. The interview for which I ask is of us two alone, and
I very earnestly wish that it may not be interrupted.

I am not at home to any one,said the Duchess de Chevreuse
to the footman. "You may go."

The footman went out

There ensued a brief silenceduring which these two
personswho at first sight recognized each other so clearly
as of noble raceexamined each other without embarrassment
on either side.

The duchess was the first to speak.

Well, sir, I am waiting with impatience to hear what you
wish to say to me.

And I, madame,replied Athosam looking with
admiration.

Sir,said Madame de Chevreuseyou must excuse me, but I
long to know to whom I am talking. You belong to the court,
doubtless, yet I have never seen you at court. Have you, by
any chance, been in the Bastile?

No, madame, I have not; but very likely I am on the road to
it.

Ah! then tell me who you are, and get along with you upon
your journey,replied the duchesswith the gayety which
made her so charmingfor I am sufficiently in bad odor
already, without compromising myself still more.

Who I am, madame? My name has been mentioned to you -- the
Comte de la Fere; you do not know that name. I once bore
another, which you knew, but you have certainly forgotten
it.

Tell it me, sir.

Formerly,said the countI was Athos.

Madame de Chevreuse looked astonished. The name was not
wholly forgottenbut mixed up and confused with ancient
recollections.

Athos?said she; "wait a moment."


And she placed her hands on her browas if to force the
fugitive ideas it contained to concentration in a moment.

Shall I help you, madame?asked Athos.

Yes, do,said the duchess.

This Athos was connected with three young musketeers, named
Porthos, D'Artagnan, and ----

He stopped short.

And Aramis,said the duchessquickly.

And Aramis; I see you have not forgotten the name.

No,she said; "poor Aramis; a charming manelegant
discreetand a writer of poetical verses. I am afraid he
has turned out ill she added.

He has; he is an abbe."

Ah, what a misfortune!exclaimed the duchessplaying
carelessly with her fan. "IndeedsirI thank you; you have
recalled one of the most agreeable recollections of my
youth."

Will you permit me, then, to recall another to you?

Relating to him?

Yes and no.

Faith!said Madame de Chevreusesay on. With a man like
you I fear nothing.

Athos bowed. "Aramis he continued, was intimate with a
young needlewoman from Toursa cousin of hisnamed Marie
Michon."

Ah, I knew her!cried the duchess. "It was to her he wrote
from the siege of Rochelleto warn her of a plot against
the Duke of Buckingham."

Exactly so; will you allow me to speak to you of her?

If,replied the duchesswith a meaning lookyou do not
say too much against her.

I should be ungrateful,said Athosand I regard
ingratitude, not as a fault or a crime, but as a vice, which
is much worse.

You ungrateful to Marie Michon, monsieur?said Madame de
Chevreusetrying to read in Athos's eyes. "But how can that
be? You never knew her."

Eh, madame, who knows?said Athos. "There is a popular
proverb to the effect that it is only mountains that never
meet; and popular proverbs contain sometimes a wonderful
amount of truth."

Oh, go on, monsieur, go on!said Madame de Chevreuse
eagerly; "you can't imagine how much this conversation


interests me."

You encourage me,said AthosI will continue, then. That
cousin of Aramis, that Marie Michon, that needlewoman,
notwithstanding her low condition, had acquaintances in the
highest rank; she called the grandest ladies of the court
her friend, and the queen -- proud as she is, in her double
character as Austrian and as Spaniard -- called her her
sister.

Alas!said Madame de Chevreusewith a slight sigh and a
little movement of her eyebrows that was peculiarly her own
since that time everything has changed.

And the queen had reason for her affection, for Marie was
devoted to her -- devoted to that degree that she served her
as medium of intercourse with her brother, the king of
Spain.

Which,interrupted the duchessis now brought up against
her as a great crime.

And therefore,continued Athosthe cardinal -- the true
cardinal, the other one -- determined one fine morning to
arrest poor Marie Michon and send her to the Chateau de
Loches. Fortunately the affair was not managed so secretly
but that it became known to the queen. The case had been
provided for: if Marie Michon should be threatened with any
danger the queen was to send her a prayer-book bound in
green velvet.

That is true, monsieur, you are well informed.

One morning the green book was brought to her by the Prince
de Marsillac. There was no time to lose. Happily Marie and a
follower of hers named Kitty could disguise themselves
admirably in men's clothes. The prince procured for Marie
Michon the dress of a cavalier and for Kitty that of a
lackey; he sent them two excellent horses, and the fugitives
went out hastily from Tours, shaping their course toward
Spain, trembling at the least noise, following unfrequented
roads, and asking for hospitality when they found themselves
where there was no inn.

Why, really, it was all exactly as you say!cried Madame
de Chevreuseclapping her hands. "It would indeed be
strange if ---- " she checked herself.

If I should follow the two fugitives to the end of their
journey?said Athos. "NomadameI will not thus waste
your time. We will accompany them only to a little village
in Limousinlying between Tulle and Angouleme -- a little
village called Roche-l'Abeille."

Madame de Chevreuse uttered a cry of surpriseand looked at
Athos with an expression of astonishment that made the old
musketeer smile.

Wait, madame,continued Athoswhat remains for me to
tell you is even more strange than what I have narrated.

Monsieur,said Madame de ChevreuseI believe you are a
sorcerer; I am prepared for anything. But really -- No
matter, go on.


The journey of that day had been long and wearing; it was a
cold day, the eleventh of October, there was no inn or
chateau in the village and the homes of the peasants were
poor and unattractive. Marie Michon was a very aristocratic
person; like her sister the queen, she had been accustomed
to pleasing perfumes and fine linen; she resolved,
therefore, to seek hospitality of the priest.

Athos paused.

Oh, continue!said the duchess. "I have told you that I am
prepared for anything."

The two travelers knocked at the door. It was late; the
priest, who had gone to bed, cried out to them to come in.
They entered, for the door was not locked -- there is much
confidence among villagers. A lamp burned in the chamber
occupied by the priest. Marie Michon, who made the most
charming cavalier in the world, pushed open the door, put
her head in and asked for hospitality. `Willingly, my young
cavalier,' said the priest, `if you will be content with the
remains of my supper and with half my chamber.'

The two travelers consulted for a moment. The priest heard
a burst of laughter and then the masteror ratherthe
mistressreplied: `Thank youmonsieur le cureI accept.'
`Supthenand make as little noise as possible' said the
priest`for Itoohave been on the go all day and shall
not be sorry to sleep to-night.'"

Madame de Chevreuse evidently went from surprise to
astonishmentand from astonishment to stupefaction. Her
faceas she looked at Athoshad taken on an expression
that cannot be described. It could be seen that she had
wished to speakbut she had remained silent through fear of
losing one of her companion's words.

What happened then?she asked.

Then?said Athos. "AhI have come now to what is most
difficult."

Speak, speak! One can say anything to me. Besides, it
doesn't concern me; it relates to Mademoiselle Marie
Michon.

Ah, that is true,said Athos. "WellthenMarie Michon
had supper with her followerand thenin accordance with
the permission given hershe entered the chamber of her
hostKitty meanwhile taking possession of an armchair in
the room first enteredwhere they had taken their supper."

Really, monsieur,said Madame de Chevreuseunless you
are the devil in person I don't know how you could become
acquainted with all these details.

A charming woman was that Marie Michon,resumed Athos
one of those wild creatures who are constantly conceiving
the strangest ideas. Now, thinking that her host was a
priest, that coquette took it into her head that it would be
a happy souvenir for her old age, among the many happy
souvenirs she already possessed, if she could win that of
having damned an abbe.


Count,said the duchessupon my word, you frighten me.

Alas!continued Athosthe poor abbe was not a St.
Ambroise, and I repeat, Marie Michon was an adorable
creature.

Monsieur!cried the duchessseizing Athos's handstell
me this moment how you know all these details, or I will
send to the convent of the Vieux Augustins for a monk to
come and exorcise you.

Athos laughed. "Nothing is easiermadame. A cavalier
charged with an important missionhad come an hour before
your arrivalseeking hospitalityat the very moment that
the curesummoned to the bedside of a dying personleft
not only his house but the villagefor the entire night.
The priest having all confidence in his guestwhobesides
was a noblemanhad left to him his househis supper and
his chamber. And therefore Marie came seeking hospitality
from the guest of the good abbe and not from the good abbe
himself."

And that cavalier, that guest, that nobleman who arrived
before she came?

It was I, the Comte de la Fere,said Athosrising and
bowing respectfully to the Duchess de Chevreuse.

The duchess remained a moment stupefied; thensuddenly
bursting into laughter:

Ah! upon my word,said sheit is very droll, and that
mad Marie Michon fared better than she expected. Sit down,
dear count, and go on with your story.

At this point I have to accuse myself of a fault, madame. I
have told you that I was traveling on an important mission.
At daybreak I left the chamber without noise, leaving my
charming companion asleep. In the front room the follower
was also still asleep, her head leaning back on the chair,
in all respects worthy of her mistress. Her pretty face
arrested my attention; I approached and recognized that
little Kitty whom our friend Aramis had placed with her. In
that way I discovered that the charming traveler was ----

Marie Michon!said Madame de Chevreusehastily.

Marie Michon,continued Athos. "Then I went out of the
house; I proceeded to the stable and found my horse saddled
and my lackey ready. We set forth on our journey."

And have you never revisited that village?eagerly asked
Madame de Chevreuse.

A year after, madame.

Well?

I wanted to see the good cure again. I found him much
preoccupied with an event that he could not at all
comprehend. A week before he had received, in a cradle, a
beautiful little boy three months old, with a purse filled
with gold and a note containing these simple words: `11


October, 1633.'

It was the date of that strange adventure,interrupted
Madame de Chevreuse.

Yes, but he couldn't understand what it meant, for he had
spent that night with a dying person and Marie Michon had
left his house before his return.

You must know, monsieur, that Marie Michon, when she
returned to France in 1643, immediately sought for
information about that child; as a fugitive she could not
take care of it, but on her return she wished to have it
near her.

And what said the abbe?asked Athos.

That a nobleman whom he did not know had wished to take
charge of it, had answered for its future, and had taken it
away.

That was true.

Ah! I see! That nobleman was you; it was his father!

Hush! do not speak so loud, madame; he is there.

He is there! my son! the son of Marie Michon! But I must
see him instantly.

Take care, madame,said Athosfor he knows neither his
father nor his mother.

You have kept the secret! you have brought him to see me,
thinking to make me happy. Oh, thanks! sir, thanks!cried
Madame de Chevreuseseizing his hand and trying to put it
to her lips; "you have a noble heart."

I bring him to you, madame,said Athoswithdrawing his
handhoping that in your turn you will do something for
him; till now I have watched over his education and I have
made him, I hope, an accomplished gentleman; but I am now
obliged to return to the dangerous and wandering life of
party faction. To-morrow I plunge into an adventurous affair
in which I may be killed. Then it will devolve on you to
push him on in that world where he is called on to occupy a
place.

Rest assured,cried the duchessI shall do what I can. I
have but little influence now, but all that I have shall
most assuredly be his. As to his title and fortune ----

As to that, madame, I have made over to him the estate of
Bragelonne, my inheritance, which will give him ten thousand
francs a year and the title of vicomte.

Upon my soul, monsieur,said the duchessyou are a true
nobleman! But I am eager to see our young vicomte. Where is
he?

There, in the salon. I will have him come in, if you really
wish it.

Athos moved toward the door; the duchess held him back.


Is he handsome?she asked.

Athos smiled.

He resembles his mother.

So he opened the door and beckoned the young man in.

The duchess could not restrain a cry of joy on seeing so
handsome a young cavalierso far surpassing all that her
maternal pride had been able to conceive.

Vicomte, come here,said Athos; "the duchess permits you
to kiss her hand."

The youth approached with his charming smile and his head
bareand kneeling downkissed the hand of the Duchess de
Chevreuse.

Sir,he saidturning to Athoswas it not in compassion
to my timidity that you told me that this lady was the
Duchess de Chevreuse, and is she not the queen?

No, vicomte,said Madame de Chevreusetaking his hand and
making him sit near herwhile she looked at him with eyes
sparkling with pleasure; "nounhappilyI am not the queen.
If I were I should do for you at once the most that you
deserve. But let us see; whatever I may be she added,
hardly restraining herself from kissing that pure brow, let
us see what profession you wish to follow."

Athosstandinglooked at them both with indescribable
pleasure.

Madame,answered the youth in his sweet voiceit seems
to me that there is only one career for a gentleman -- that
of the army. I have been brought up by monsieur le comte
with the intention, I believe, of making me a soldier; and
he gave me reason to hope that at Paris he would present me
to some one who would recommend me to the favor of the
prince.

Yes, I understand it well. Personally, I am on bad terms
with him, on account of the quarrels between Madame de
Montbazon, my mother-in-law, and Madame de Longueville. But
the Prince de Marsillac! Yes, indeed, that's the right
thing. The Prince de Marsillac -- my old friend -- will
recommend our young friend to Madame de Longueville, who
will give him a letter to her brother, the prince, who loves
her too tenderly not to do what she wishes immediately.

Well, that will do charmingly,said the count; "but may I
beg that the greatest haste may be madefor I have reasons
for wishing the vicomte not to sleep longer than to-morrow
night in Paris!"

Do you wish it known that you are interested about him,
monsieur le comte?

Better for him in future that he should be supposed never
to have seen me.

Oh, sir!cried Raoul.


You know, Bragelonne,said AthosI never speak without
reflection.

Well, comte, I am going instantly,interrupted the
duchessto send for the Prince de Marsillac, who is
happily, in Paris just now. What are you going to do this
evening?

We intend to visit the Abbe Scarron, for whom I have a
letter of introduction and at whose house I expect to meet
some of my friends.

'Tis well; I will go there also, for a few minutes,said
the duchess; "do not quit his salon until you have seen me."

Athos bowed and prepared to leave.

Well, monsieur le comte,said the duchesssmilingdoes
one leave so solemnly his old friends?

Ah,murmured Athoskissing her handhad I only sooner
known that Marie Michon was so charming a creature!And he
withdrewsighing.

The Abbe Scarron.

There was once in the Rue des Tournelles a house known by
all the sedan chairmen and footmen of Parisand yet
neverthelessthis house was neither that of a great lord
nor of a rich man. There was neither diningnor playing at
cardsnor dancing in that house. Neverthelessit was the
rendezvous of the great world and all Paris went there. It
was the abode of the little Abbe Scarron.

In the home of the witty abbe dwelt incessant laughter;
there all the items of the day had their source and were so
quickly transformedmisrepresentedmetamorphosedsome
into epigramssome into falsehoodsthat every one was
anxious to pass an hour with little Scarronlistening to
what he saidreporting it to others.

The diminutive Abbe Scarronwhohoweverwas an abbe only
because he owned an abbeyand not because he was in orders
had formerly been one of the gayest prebendaries in the town
of Manswhich he inhabited. On a day of the carnival he had
taken a notion to provide an unusual entertainment for that
good townof which he was the life and soul. He had made
his valet cover him with honey; thenopening a feather bed
he had rolled in it and had thus become the most grotesque
fowl it is possible to imagine. He then began to visit his
friends of both sexesin that strange costume. At first he
had been followed through astonishmentthen with derisive
shoutsthen the porters had insulted himthen children had
thrown stones at himand finally he was obliged to runto
escape the missiles. As soon as he took to flight every one
pursued himuntilpressed on all sidesScarron found no
way of escaping his escortexcept by throwing himself into


the river; but the water was icy cold. Scarron was heated
the cold seized on himand when he reached the farther bank
he found himself crippled.

Every means had been employed in vain to restore the use of
his limbs. He had been subjected to a severe disciplinary
course of medicineat length he sent away all his doctors
declaring that he preferred the disease to the treatment
and came to Pariswhere the fame of his wit had preceded
him. There he had a chair made on his own planand one day
visiting Anne of Austria in this chairshe asked him
charmed as she was with his witif he did not wish for a
title.

Yes, your majesty, there is a title which I covet much,
replied Scarron.

And what is that?

That of being your invalid,answered Scarron.

So he was called the queen's invalidwith a pension of
fifteen hundred francs.

From that lucky moment Scarron led a happy lifespending
both income and principal. One dayhoweveran emissary of
the cardinal's gave him to understand that he was wrong in
receiving the coadjutor so often.

And why?asked Scarron; "is he not a man of good birth?"

Certainly.

Agreeable?

Undeniably.

Witty?

He has, unfortunately, too much wit.

Well, then, why do you wish me to give up seeing such a
man?

Because he is an enemy.

Of whom?

Of the cardinal.

What?answered ScarronI continue to receive Monsieur
Gilles Despreaux, who thinks ill of me, and you wish me to
give up seeing the coadjutor, because he thinks ill of
another man. Impossible!

The conversation had rested there and Scarronthrough sheer
obstinacyhad seen Monsieur de Gondy only the more
frequently.

Nowthe very morning of which we speak was that of his
quarter-day paymentand Scarronas usualhad sent his
servant to get his money at the pension-officebut the man
had returned and said that the government had no more money
to give Monsieur Scarron.


It was on Thursdaythe abbe's reception day; people went
there in crowds. The cardinal's refusal to pay the pension
was known about the town in half an hour and he was abused
with wit and vehemence.

In the Rue Saint Honore Athos fell in with two gentlemen
whom he did not knowon horseback like himselffollowed by
a lackey like himselfand going in the same direction that
he was. One of themhat in handsaid to him:

Would you believe it, monsieur? that contemptible Mazarin
has stopped poor Scarron's pension.

That is unreasonable,said Athossaluting in his turn the
two cavaliers. And they separated with courteous gestures.

It happens well that we are going there this evening,said
Athos to the vicomte; "we will pay our compliments to that
poor man."

What, then, is this Monsieur Scarron, who thus puts all
Paris in commotion? Is he some minister out of office?

Oh, no, not at all, vicomte,Athos replied; "he is simply
a gentleman of great genius who has fallen into disgrace
with the cardinal through having written certain verses
against him."

Do gentlemen, then, make verses?asked RaoulnaivelyI
thought it was derogatory.

So it is, my dear vicomte,said Athoslaughingto make
bad ones; but to make good ones increases fame -- witness
Monsieur de Rotrou. Nevertheless,he continuedin the tone
of one who gives wholesome adviceI think it is better not
to make them.

Then,said Raoulthis Monsieur Scarron is a poet?

Yes; you are warned, vicomte. Consider well what you do in
that house. Talk only by gestures, or rather always listen.

Yes, monsieur,replied Raoul.

You will see me talking with one of my friends, the Abbe
d'Herblay, of whom you have often heard me speak.

I remember him, monsieur.

Come near to us from time to time, as if to speak; but do
not speak, and do not listen. That little stratagem may
serve to keep off interlopers.

Very well, monsieur; I will obey you at all points.

Athos made two visits in Paris; at seven o'clock he and
Raoul directed their steps to the Rue des Tournelles; it was
stopped by portershorses and footmen. Athos forced his way
through and enteredfollowed by the young man. The first
person that struck him on his entrance was Aramisplanted
near a great chair on castorsvery largecovered with a
canopy of tapestryunder which there movedenveloped in a
quilt of brocadea little faceyoungishvery merry


somewhat pallidwhilst its eyes never ceased to express a
sentiment at once livelyintellectualand amiable. This
was the Abbe Scarronalways laughingjokingcomplimenting
-- yet suffering -- and toying nervously with a small
switch.

Around this kind of rolling tent pressed a crowd of
gentlemen and ladies. The room was neatlycomfortably
furnished. Large valances of silkembroidered with flowers
of gay colorswhich were rather fadedfell from the wide
windows; the fittings of the room were simplebut in
excellent taste. Two well trained servingmen were in
attendance on the company. On perceiving AthosAramis
advanced toward himtook him by the hand and presented him
to Scarron. Raoul remained silentfor he was not prepared
for the dignity of the bel esprit.

After some minutes the door opened and a footman announced
Mademoiselle Paulet.

Athos touched the shoulder of the vicomte.

Look at this lady, Raoul, she is an historic personage; it
was to visit her King Henry IV. was going when he was
assassinated.

Every one thronged around Mademoiselle Pauletfor she was
always very much the fashion. She was a tall womanwith a
slender figure and a forest of golden curlssuch as Raphael
was fond of and Titian has painted all his Magdalens with.
This fawn-colored hairorperhaps the sort of ascendancy
which she had over other womengave her the name of "La
Lionne." Mademoiselle Paulet took her accustomed seatbut
before sitting downshe castin all her queen-like
grandeura look around the roomand her eyes rested on
Raoul.

Athos smiled.

Mademoiselle Paulet has observed you, vicomte; go and bow
to her; don't try to appear anything but what you are, a
true country youth; on no account speak to her of Henry IV.

When shall we two walk together?Athos then said to
Aramis.

Presently -- there are not a sufficient number of people
here yet; we shall be remarked.

At this moment the door opened and in walked the coadjutor.

At this name every one looked aroundfor his was already a
very celebrated name. Athos did the same. He knew the Abbe
de Gondy only by report.

He saw a little dark manill made and awkward with his
hands in everything -- except drawing a sword and firing a
pistol -- with something haughty and contemptuous in his
face.

Scarron turned around toward him and came to meet him in his
chair.

Well,said the coadjutoron seeing himyou are in


disgrace, then, abbe?

This was the orthodox phrase. It had been said that evening
a hundred times -- and Scarron was at his hundredth bon mot
on the subject; he was very nearly at the end of his
humoristic tetherbut one despairing effort saved him.

Monsieur, the Cardinal Mazarin has been so kind as to think
of me,he said.

But how can you continue to receive us?asked the
coadjutor; "if your income is lessened I shall be obliged to
make you a canon of Notre Dame."

Oh, no!cried ScarronI should compromise you too much.

Perhaps you have resources of which we are ignorant?

I shall borrow from the queen.

But her majesty has no property,interposed Aramis.

At this moment the door opened and Madame de Chevreuse was
announced. Every one arose. Scarron turned his chair toward
the doorRaoul blushedAthos made a sign to Aramiswho
went and hid himself in the enclosure of a window.

In the midst of all the compliments that awaited her on her
entrancethe duchess seemed to be looking for some one; at
last she found out Raoul and her eyes sparkled; she
perceived Athos and became thoughtful; she saw Aramis in the
seclusion of the window and gave a start of surprise behind
her fan.

Apropos,she saidas if to drive away thoughts that
pursued her in spite of herselfhow is poor Voiture, do
you know, Scarron?

What, is Monsieur Voiture ill?inquired a gentleman who
had spoken to Athos in the Rue Saint Honore; "what is the
matter with him?"

He was acting, but forgot to take the precaution to have a
change of linen ready after the performance,said the
coadjutorso he took cold and is about to die.

Is he then so ill, dear Voiture?asked Aramishalf hidden
by the window curtain.

Die!cried Mademoiselle Pauletbitterlyhe! Why, he is
surrounded by sultanas, like a Turk. Madame de Saintot has
hastened to him with broth; La Renaudot warms his sheets;
the Marquise de Rambouillet sends him his tisanes.

You don't like him, my dear Parthenie,said Scarron.

What an injustice, my dear invalid! I hate him so little
that I should be delighted to order masses for the repose of
his soul.

You are not called `Lionne' for nothing,observed Madame
de Chevreuseyour teeth are terrible.

You are unjust to a great poet, it seems to me,Raoul


ventured to say.

A great poet! come, one may easily see, vicomte, that you
are lately from the provinces and have never so much as seen
him. A great poet! he is scarcely five feet high.

Bravo bravo!cried a tall man with an enormous mustache
and a long rapierbravo, fair Paulet, it is high time to
put little Voiture in his right place. For my part, I always
thought his poetry detestable, and I think I know something
about poetry.

Who is this officer,inquired Raoul of Athoswho is
speaking?

Monsieur de Scudery, the author of `Clelie,' and of `Le
Grand Cyrus,' which were composed partly by him and partly
by his sister, who is now talking to that pretty person
yonder, near Monsieur Scarron.

Raoul turned and saw two faces just arrived. One was
perfectly charmingdelicatepensiveshaded by beautiful
dark hairand eyes soft as velvetlike those lovely
flowersthe heartseasein which shine out the golden
petals. The otherof mature ageseemed to have the former
one under her chargeand was colddry and yellow -- the
true type of a duenna or a devotee.

Raoul resolved not to quit the room without having spoken to
the beautiful girl with the soft eyeswho by a strange
fancyalthough she bore no resemblancereminded him of his
poor little Louisewhom he had left in the Chateau de la
Valliere and whomin the midst of all the partyhe had
never for one moment quite forgotten. Meantime Aramis had
drawn near to the coadjutorwhosmiling all the while
contrived to drop some words into his ear. Aramis
notwithstanding his self-controlcould not refrain from a
slight movement of surprise.

Laugh, then,said Monsieur de Retz; "they are looking at
us." And leaving Aramis he went to talk with Madame de
Chevreusewho was in the midst of a large group.

Aramis affected a laughto divert the attention of certain
curious listenersand perceiving that Athos had betaken
himself to the embrasure of a window and remained therehe
proceeded to join himthrowing out a few words carelessly
as he moved through the room.

As soon as the two friends met they began a conversation
which was emphasized by frequent gesticulation.

Raoul then approached them as Athos had directed him to do.

'Tis a rondeau by Monsieur Voiture that monsieur l'abbe is
repeating to me.said Athos in a loud voiceand I confess
I think it incomparable.

Raoul stayed only a few minutes near them and then mingled
with the group round Madame de Chevreuse.

Well, then?asked Athosin a low tone.

It is to be to-morrow,said Aramis hastily.


At what time?

Six o'clock.

Where?

At Saint Mande.

Who told you?

The Count de Rochefort.

Some one drew near.

And then philosophic ideas are wholly wanting in Voiture's
works, but I am of the same opinion as the coadjutor -- he
is a poet, a true poet.Aramis spoke so as to be heard by
everybody.

And I, too,murmured the young lady with the velvet eyes.
I have the misfortune also to admire his poetry
exceedingly.

Monsieur Scarron, do me the honor,said Raoulblushing
to tell me the name of that young lady whose opinion seems
so different from that of others of the company.

Ah! my young vicomte,replied ScarronI suppose you wish
to propose to her an alliance offensive and defensive.

Raoul blushed again.

You asked the name of that young lady. She is called the
fair Indian.

Excuse me, sir,returned Raoulblushing still more
deeplyI know no more than I did before. Alas! I am from
the country.

Which means that you know very little about the nonsense
which here flows down our streets. So much the better, young
man! so much the better! Don't try to understand it -- you
will only lose your time.

You forgive me, then, sir,said Raouland you will deign
to tell me who is the person that you call the young
Indian?

Certainly; one of the most charming persons that lives --
Mademoiselle Frances d'Aubigne.

Does she belong to the family of the celebrated Agrippa,
the friend of Henry IV.?

His granddaughter. She comes from Martinique, so I call her
the beautiful Indian.

Raoul looked surprised and his eyes met those of the young
ladywho smiled.

The company went on speaking of the poet Voiture.

Monsieur,said Mademoiselle d'Aubigne to Scarronas if


she wished to join in the conversation he was engaged in
with Raouldo you not admire Monsieur Voiture's friends?
Listen how they pull him to pieces even whilst they praise
him; one takes away from him all claim to good sense,
another robs him of his poetry, a third of his originality,
another of his humor, another of his independence of
character, a sixth -- but, good heavens! what will they
leave him? as Mademoiselle de Scudery remarks.

Scarron and Raoul laughed. The fair Indianastonished at
the sensation her observation producedlooked down and
resumed her air of naivete.

Athosstill within the inclosure of the windowwatched
this scene with a smile of disdain on his lips.

Tell the Comte de la Fere to come to me,said Madame de
ChevreuseI want to speak to him.

And I,said the coadjutorwant it to be thought that I
do not speak to him. I admire, I love him -- for I know his
former adventures -- but I shall not speak to him until the
day after to-morrow.

And why day after to-morrow?asked Madame de Chevreuse.

You will know that to-morrow evening,said the coadjutor
smiling.

Really, my dear Gondy,said the duchessyou remind one
of the Apocalypse. Monsieur d'Herblay,she addedturning
toward Aramiswill you be my servant once more this
evening?

How can you doubt it?replied Aramis; "this evening
to-morrowalways; command me."

I will, then. Go and look for the Comte de la Fere; I wish
to speak with him.

Aramis found Athos and brought him.

Monsieur le comte,said the duchessgiving him a letter
here is what I promised you; our young friend will be
extremely well received.

Madame, he is very happy in owing any obligation to you.

You have no reason to envy him on that score, for I owe to
you the pleasure of knowing him,replied the witty woman
with a smile which recalled Marie Michon to Aramis and to
Athos.

As she uttered that bon motshe arose and asked for her
carriage. Mademoiselle Paulet had already gone; Mademoiselle
de Scudery was going.

Vicomte,said Athos to Raoulfollow the duchess; beg her
to do you the favor to take your arm in going downstairs,
and thank her as you descend.

The fair Indian approached Scarron.

You are going already?he said.


One of the last, as you see; if you hear anything of
Monsieur Voiture, be so kind as to send me word to-morrow.

Oh!said Scarronhe may die now.

Why?asked the young girl with the velvet eyes.

Certainly; his panegyric has been uttered.

They partedlaughingshe turning back to gaze at the poor
paralytic man with interesthe looking after her with eyes
of love.

One by one the several groups broke up. Scarron seemed not
to observe that certain of his guests had talked
mysteriouslythat letters had passed from hand to hand and
that the assembly had seemed to have a secret purpose quite
apart from the literary discussion carried on with so much
ostentation. What was all that to Scarron? At his house
rebellion could be planned with impunityforas we have
saidsince that morning he had ceased to be "the queen's
invalid."

As to Raoulhe had attended the duchess to her carriage
whereas she took her seatshe gave him her hand to kiss;
thenby one of those wild caprices which made her so
adorable and at the same time so dangerousshe had suddenly
put her arm around his neck and kissed his foreheadsaying:

Vicomte, may my good wishes and this kiss bring you good
fortune!

Then she had pushed him away and directed the coachman to
stop at the Hotel de Luynes. The carriage had started
Madame de Chevreuse had made a parting gesture to the young
manand Raoul had returned in a state of stupefaction.

Athos surmised what had taken place and smiled. "Come
vicomte he said, it is time for you to go to bed; you
will start in the morning for the army of monsieur le
prince. Sleep well your last night as citizen."

I am to be a soldier then?said the young man. "Oh
monsieurI thank you with all my heart."

Adieu, count,said the Abbe d'Herblay; "I return to my
convent."

Adieu, abbe,said the coadjutorI am to preach to-morrow
and have twenty texts to examine this evening.

Adieu, gentlemen,said the count; "I am going to sleep
twenty-four hours; I am just falling down with fatigue."

The three men saluted one anotherwhilst exchanging a last
look.

Scarron followed their movements with a glance from the
corner of his eye.

Not one of them will do as he says,he murmuredwith his
little monkey smile; "but they may do as they pleasethe
brave gentlemen! Who knows if they will not manage to


restore to me my pension? They can move their armsthey
canand that is much. AlasI have only my tonguebut I
will try to show that it is good for something. Hothere
Champenois! hereit is eleven o'clock. Come and roll me to
bed. Reallythat Demoiselle d'Aubigne is very charming!"

So the invalid disappeared soon afterward and went into his
sleeping-room; and one by one the lights in the salon of the
Rue des Tournelles were extinguished.

Saint Denis.

The day had begun to break when Athos arose and dressed
himself. It was plainby a paleness still greater than
usualand by those traces which loss of sleep leaves on the
facethat he must have passed almost the whole of the night
without sleeping. Contrary to the custom of a man so firm
and decidedthere was this morning in his personal
appearance something tardy and irresolute.

He was occupied with the preparations for Raoul's departure
and was seeking to gain time. In the first place he himself
furbished a swordwhich he drew from its perfumed leather
sheath; he examined it to see if its hilt was well guarded
and if the blade was firmly attached to the hilt. Then he
placed at the bottom of the valise belonging to the young
man a small bag of louiscalled Olivainthe lackey who had
followed him from Bloisand made him pack the valise under
his own eyeswatchful to see that everything should be put
in which might be useful to a young man entering on his
first campaign.

At lengthafter occupying about an hour in these
preparationshe opened the door of the room in which the
vicomte sleptand entered.

The sunalready highpenetrated into the room through the
windowthe curtains of which Raoul had neglected to close
on the previous evening. He was still sleepinghis head
gracefully reposing on his arm.

Athos approached and hung over the youth in an attitude full
of tender melancholy; he looked long on this young man
whose smiling mouth and half closed eyes bespoke soft dreams
and lightest slumberas if his guardian angel watched over
him with solicitude and affection. By degrees Athos gave
himself up to the charms of his reverie in the proximity of
youthso pureso fresh. His own youth seemed to reappear
bringing with it all those savoury remembranceswhich are
like perfumes more than thoughts. Between the past and the
present was an ineffable abyss. But imagination has the
wings of an angel of light and travels safely through or
over the seas where we have been almost shipwreckedthe
darkness in which our illusions are lostthe precipice
whence our happiness has been hurled and swallowed up. He
remembered that all the first part of his life had been
embittered by a woman and he thought with alarm of the
influence love might assume over so fineand at the same


time so vigorous an organization as that of Raoul.

In recalling all he had been throughhe foresaw all that
Raoul might suffer; and the expression of the deep and
tender compassion which throbbed in his heart was pictured
in the moist eye with which he gazed on the young man.

At this moment Raoul awokewithout a cloud on his face
without weariness or lassitude; his eyes were fixed on those
of Athos and perhaps he comprehended all that passed in the
heart of the man who was awaiting his awakening as a lover
awaits the awakening of his mistressfor his glancein
returnhad all the tenderness of love.

You are there, sir?he saidrespectfully.

Yes, Raoul,replied the count.

And you did not awaken me?

I wished to leave you still to enjoy some moments of sleep,
my child; you must be fatigued from yesterday.

Oh, sir, how good you are!

Athos smiled.

How do you feel this morning?he inquired.

Perfectly well; quite rested, sir.

You are still growing,Athos continuedwith that charming
and paternal interest felt by a grown man for a youth.

Oh, sir, I beg your pardon!exclaimed Raoulashamed of so
much attention; "in an instant I shall be dressed."

Athos then called Olivain.

Everything,said Olivain to Athoshas been done
according to your directions; the horses are waiting.

And I was asleep,cried Raoulwhilst you, sir, you had
the kindness to attend to all these details. Truly, sir, you
overwhelm me with benefits!

Therefore you love me a little, I hope,replied Athosin
a tone of emotion.

Oh, sir! God knows how much I love, revere you.

See that you forget nothing,said Athosappearing to look
about himthat he might hide his emotion.

No, indeed, sir,answered Raoul.

The servant then approached Athos and saidhesitatingly:

Monsieur le vicomte has no sword.

'Tis well,said AthosI will take care of that.

They went downstairsRaoul looking every now and then at
the count to see if the moment of farewell was at handbut


Athos was silent. When they reached the steps Raoul saw
three horses.

Oh, sir! then you are going with me?

I will accompany you a portion of the way,said Athos.

Joy shone in Raoul's eyes and he leaped lightly to his
saddle.

Athos mounted more slowlyafter speaking in a low voice to
the lackeywhoinstead of following them immediately
returned to their rooms. Raouldelighted at the count's
companionshipperceivedor affected to perceive nothing of
this byplay.

They set outpassing over the Pont Neuf; they pursued their
way along the quay then called L'Abreuvoir Pepinand went
along by the walls of the Grand Chatelet. They proceeded to
the Rue Saint Denis.

After passing through the Porte Saint DenisAthos looked at
Raoul's way of riding and observed:

Take care, Raoul! I have already often told you of this;
you must not forget it, for it is a great defect in a rider.
See! your horse is tired already, he froths at the mouth,
whilst mine looks as if he had only just left the stable.
You hold the bit too tight and so make his mouth hard, so
that you will not be able to make him manoeuvre quickly. The
safety of a cavalier often depends on the prompt obedience
of his horse. In a week, remember, you will no longer be
performing your manoeuvres for practice, but on a field of
battle.

Then suddenlyin order not to give too uncomfortable an
importance to this observation:

See, Raoul!he resumed; "what a fine plain for partridge
shooting."

The young man stored in his mind the admonition whilst he
admired the delicate tenderness with which it was bestowed.

I have remarked also another thing,said Athoswhich is,
that in firing off your pistol you hold your arm too far
outstretched. This tension lessens the accuracy of the aim.
So in twelve times you thrice missed the mark.

Which you, sir, struck twelve times,answered Raoul
smiling.

Because I bent my arm and rested my hand on my elbow -- so;
do you understand what I mean?

Yes, sir. I have fired since in that manner and have been
quite successful.

What a cold wind!resumed Athos; "a wintry blast. Apropos
if you fire -- and you will do sofor you are recommended
to a young general who is very fond of powder -- remember
that in single combatwhich often takes place in the
cavalrynever to fire the first shot. He who fires the
first shot rarely hits his manfor he fires with the


apprehension of being disarmedbefore an armed foe; then
whilst he firesmake your horse rear; that manoeuvre has
saved my life several times."

I shall do so, if only in gratitude ----

Eh!cried Athosare not those fellows poachers they have
arrested yonder? They are. Then another important thing,
Raoul: should you be wounded in a battle, and fall from your
horse, if you have any strength left, disentangle yourself
from the line that your regiment has formed; otherwise, it
may be driven back and you will be trampled to death by the
horses. At all events, should you be wounded, write to me
that very instant, or get some one at once to write to me.
We are judges of wounds, we old soldiers,Athos added
smiling.

Thank you, sir,answered the young manmuch moved.

They arrived that very moment at the gate of the town
guarded by two sentinels.

Here comes a young gentleman,said one of themwho seems
as if he were going to join the army.

How do you make that out?inquired Athos.

By his manner, sir, and his age; he's the second to-day.

Has a young man, such as I am, gone through this morning,
then?asked Raoul.

Faith, yes, with a haughty presence, a fine equipage; such
as the son of a noble house would have.

He will be my companion on the journey, sir,cried Raoul.
Alas! he cannot make me forget what I shall have lost!

Thus talkingthey traversed the streetsfull of people on
account of the feteand arrived opposite the old cathedral
where first mass was going on.

Let us alight; Raoul,said Athos. "Olivaintake care of
our horses and give me my sword."

The two gentlemen then went into the church. Athos gave
Raoul some of the holy water. A love as tender as that of a
lover for his mistress dwellsundoubtedlyin some paternal
hearts toward a son.

Athos said a word to one of the vergerswho bowed and
proceeded toward the basement.

Come, Raoul,he saidlet us follow this man.

The verger opened the iron grating that guarded the royal
tombs and stood on the topmost stepwhilst Athos and Raoul
descended. The sepulchral depths of the descent were dimly
lighted by a silver lamp on the lowest step; and just below
this lamp there was laidwrapped in a flowing mantle of
violet velvetworked with fleurs-de-lis of golda
catafalque resting on trestles of oak. The young man
prepared for this scene by the state of his own feelings
which were mournfuland by the majesty of the cathedral


which he had passed throughdescended in a slow and solemn
manner and stood with head uncovered before these mortal
spoils of the last kingwho was not to be placed by the
side of his forefathers until his successor should take his
place there; and who appeared to abide on that spotthat he
might thus address human prideso sure to be exalted by the
glories of a throne: "Dust of the earth! Here I await thee!"

There was profound silence.

Then Athos raised his hand and pointing to the coffin:

This temporary sepulture is,he saidthat of a man who
was of feeble mind, yet one whose reign was full of great
events; because over this king watched the spirit of another
man, even as this lamp keeps vigil over this coffin and
illumines it. He whose intellect was thus supreme, Raoul,
was the actual sovereign; the other, nothing but a phantom
to whom he lent a soul; and yet, so powerful is majesty
amongst us, this man has not even the honor of a tomb at the
feet of him in whose service his life was worn away.
Remember, Raoul, this! If Richelieu made the king, by
comparison, seem small, he made royalty great. The Palace of
the Louvre contains two things -- the king, who must die,
and royalty, which never dies. The minister, so feared, so
hated by his master, has descended into the tomb, drawing
after him the king, whom he would not leave alone on earth,
lest his work should be destroyed. So blind were his
contemporaries that they regarded the cardinal's death as a
deliverance; and I, even I, opposed the designs of the great
man who held the destinies of France within the hollow of
his hand. Raoul, learn how to distinguish the king from
royalty; the king is but a man; royalty is the gift of God.
Whenever you hesitate as to whom you ought to serve, abandon
the exterior, the material appearance for the invisible
principle, for the invisible principle is everything. Raoul,
I seem to read your future destiny as through a cloud. It
will be happier, I think, than ours has been. Different in
your fate from us, you will have a king without a minister,
whom you may serve, love, respect. Should the king prove a
tyrant, for power begets tyranny, serve, love, respect
royalty, that Divine right, that celestial spark which makes
this dust still powerful and holy, so that we -- gentlemen,
nevertheless, of rank and condition -- are as nothing in
comparison with the cold corpse there extended.

I shall adore God, sir,said Raoulrespect royalty and
ever serve the king. And if death be my lot, I hope to die
for the king, for royalty and for God. Have I, sir,
comprehended your instructions?

Athos smiled.

Yours is a noble nature.he said; "here is your sword."

Raoul bent his knee to the ground.

It was worn by my father, a loyal gentleman. I have worn it
in my turn and it has sometimes not been disgraced when the
hilt was in my hand and the sheath at my side. Should your
hand still be too weak to use this sword, Raoul, so much the
better. You will have the more time to learn to draw it only
when it ought to be used.


Sir,replied Raoulputting the sword to his lips as he
received it from the countI owe you everything and yet
this sword is the most precious gift you have yet made me. I
will wear it, I swear to you, as a grateful man should do.

'Tis well; arise, vicomte, embrace me.

Raoul arose and threw himself with emotion into the count's
arms.

Adieu,faltered the countwho felt his heart die away
within him; "adieuand think of me."

Oh! for ever and ever!cried the youth; "oh! I swear to
yousirshould any harm befall meyour name will be the
last name that I shall utterthe remembrance of you my last
thought."

Athos hastened upstairs to conceal his emotionand regained
with hurried steps the porch where Olivain was waiting with
the horses.

Olivain,said Athosshowing the servant Raoul's
shoulder-belttighten the buckle of the sword, it falls
too low. You will accompany monsieur le vicomte till Grimaud
rejoins you. You know, Raoul, Grimaud is an old and zealous
servant; he will follow you.

Yes, sir,answered Raoul.

Now to horse, that I may see you depart!

Raoul obeyed.

Adieu, Raoul,said the count; "adieumy dearest boy!"

Adieu, sir, adieu, my beloved protector.

Athos waved his hand -- he dared not trust himself to speak:
and Raoul went awayhis head uncovered. Athos remained
motionlesslooking after him until he turned the corner of
the street.

Then the count threw the bridle of his horse into the hands
of a peasantremounted the stepswent into the cathedral
there to kneel down in the darkest corner and pray.

One of the Forty Methods of Escape of the Duc de Beaufort.

Meanwhile time was passing on for the prisoneras well as
for those who were preparing his escape; only for him it
passed more slowly. Unlike other menwho enter with ardor
upon a perilous resolution and grow cold as the moment of
execution approachesthe Duc de Beaufortwhose buoyant
courage had become a proverbseemed to push time before him
and sought most eagerly to hasten the hour of action. In his
escape aloneapart from his plans for the futurewhichit
must be admittedwere for the present sufficiently vague


and uncertainthere was a beginning of vengeance which
filled his heart. In the first place his escape would be a
serious misfortune to Monsieur de Chavignywhom he hated
for the petty persecutions he owed to him. It would be a
still worse affair for Mazarinwhom he execrated for the
greater offences he had committed. It may be observed that
there was a proper proportion in his sentiments toward the
governor of the prison and the minister -- toward the
subordinate and the master.

Then Monsieur de Beaufortwho was so familiar with the
interior of the Palais Royalthough he did not know the
relations existing between the queen and the cardinal
pictured to himselfin his prisonall that dramatic
excitement which would ensue when the rumor should run from
the minister's cabinet to the chamber of Anne of Austria:
Monsieur de Beaufort has escaped!Whilst saying that to
himselfMonsieur de Beaufort smiled pleasantly and imagined
himself already outsidebreathing the air of the plains and
the forestspressing a strong horse between his knees and
crying out in a loud voiceI am free!

It is true that on coming to himself he found that he was
still within four walls; he saw La Ramee twirling his thumbs
ten feet from himand his guards laughing and drinking in
the ante-chamber. The only thing that was pleasant to him in
that odious tableau -- such is the instability of the human
mind -- was the sullen face of Grimaudfor whom he had at
first conceived such a hatred and who now was all his hope.
Grimaud seemed to him an Antinous. It is needless to say
that this transformation was visible only to the prisoner's
feverish imagination. Grimaud was still the sameand
therefore he retained the entire confidence of his superior
La Rameewho now relied upon him more than he did upon
himselfforas we have saidLa Ramee felt at the bottom
of his heart a certain weakness for Monsieur de Beaufort.

And so the good La Ramee made a festivity of the little
supper with his prisoner. He had but one fault -- he was a
gourmand; he had found the pates goodthe wine excellent.
Now the successor of Pere Marteau had promised him a pate of
pheasant instead of a pate of fowland Chambertin wine
instead of Macon. All thisset off by the presence of that
excellent princewho was so good-naturedwho invented so
droll tricks against Monsieur de Chavigny and so fine jokes
against Mazarinmade for La Ramee the approaching Pentecost
one of the four great feasts of the year. He therefore
looked forward to six o'clock with as much impatience as the
duke himself.

Since daybreak La Ramee had been occupied with the
preparationsand trusting no one but himselfhe had
visited personally the successor of Pere Marteau. The latter
had surpassed himself; he showed La Ramee a monstrous pate
ornamented with Monsieur de Beaufort's coat-of-arms. It was
empty as yetbut a pheasant and two partridges were lying
near it. La Ramee's mouth watered and he returned to the
duke's chamber rubbing his hands. To crown his happiness
Monsieur de Chavigny had started on a journey that morning
and in his absence La Ramee was deputy-governor of the
chateau.

As for Grimaudhe seemed more sullen than ever.


In the course of the forenoon Monsieur de Beaufort had a
game of tennis with La Ramee; a sign from Grimaud put him on
the alert. Grimaudgoing in advancefollowed the course
which they were to take in the evening. The game was played
in an inclosure called the little court of the chateaua
place quite deserted except when Monsieur de Beaufort was
playing; and even then the precaution seemed superfluous
the wall was so high.

There were three gates to open before reaching the
inclosureeach by a different key. When they arrived
Grimaud went carelessly and sat down by a loophole in the
wallletting his legs dangle outside. It was evident that
there the rope ladder was to be attached.

This manoeuvretransparent to the Duc de Beaufortwas
quite unintelligible to La Ramee.

The game at tenniswhichupon a sign from Grimaud
Monsieur de Beaufort had consented to playbegan in the
afternoon. The duke was in full strength and beat La Ramee
completely.

Four of the guardswho were constantly near the prisoner
assisted in picking up the tennis balls. When the game was
overthe dukelaughing at La Ramee for his bad play
offered these men two louis d'or to go and drink his health
with their four other comrades.

The guards asked permission of La Rameewho gave it to
thembut not till the eveninghowever; until then he had
business and the prisoner was not to be left alone.

Six o'clock came andalthough they were not to sit down to
table until seven o'clockdinner was ready and served up.
Upon a sideboard appeared the colossal pie with the duke's
arms on itand seemingly cooked to a turnas far as one
could judge by the golden color which illuminated the crust.

The rest of the dinner was to come.

Every one was impatientLa Ramee to sit down to tablethe
guards to go and drinkthe duke to escape.

Grimaud alone was calm as ever. One might have fancied that
Athos had educated him with the express forethought of such
a great event.

There were moments whenlooking at Grimaudthe duke asked
himself if he was not dreaming and if that marble figure was
really at his service and would grow animated when the
moment came for action.

La Ramee sent away the guardsdesiring them to drink to the
duke's healthand as soon as they were gone shut all the
doorsput the keys in his pocket and showed the table to
the prince with an air that signified:

Whenever my lord pleases.

The prince looked at GrimaudGrimaud looked at the clock;
it was hardly a quarter-past six. The escape was fixed to
take place at seven o'clock; there was therefore
three-quarters of an hour to wait.


The dukein order to pass away another quarter of an hour
pretended to be reading something that interested him and
muttered that he wished they would allow him to finish his
chapter. La Ramee went up to him and looked over his
shoulder to see what sort of a book it was that had so
singular an influence over the prisoner as to make him put
off taking his dinner.

It was "Caesar's Commentaries which La Ramee had lent him,
contrary to the orders of the governor; and La Ramee
resolved never again to disobey these injunctions.

Meantime he uncorked the bottles and went to smell if the
pie was good.

At half-past six the duke arose and said very gravely:

CertainlyCaesar was the greatest man of ancient times."

You think so, my lord?answered La Ramee.

Yes.

Well, as for me, I prefer Hannibal.

And why, pray, Master La Ramee?asked the duke.

Because he left no Commentaries,replied La Rameewith
his coarse laugh.

The duke vouchsafed no replybut sitting down at the table
made a sign that La Ramee should seat himself opposite.
There is nothing so expressive as the face of an epicure who
finds himself before a well spread tableso La Rameewhen
receiving his plate of soup from Grimaudpresented a type
of perfect bliss.

The duke smiled.

Zounds!he said; "I don't suppose there is a more
contented man at this moment in all the kingdom than
yourself!"

You are right, my lord duke,answered the officer; "I
don't know any pleasanter sight on earth than a well covered
table; and whenadded to thathe who does the honors is
the grandson of Henry IV.you willmy lord dukeeasily
comprehend that the honor fairly doubles the pleasure one
enjoys."

The dukein his turnbowedand an imperceptible smile
appeared on the face of Grimaudwho kept behind La Ramee.

My dear La Ramee,said the dukeyou are the only man to
turn such faultless compliments.

No, my lord duke,replied La Rameein the fullness of his
heart; "I say what I think; there is no compliment in what I
say to you ---- "

Then you are attached to me?asked the duke.

To own the truth, I should be inconsolable if you were to


leave Vincennes.

A droll way of showing your affliction.The duke meant to
say "affection."

But, my lord,returned La Rameewhat would you do if you
got out? Every folly you committed would embroil you with
the court and they would put you into the Bastile, instead
of Vincennes. Now, Monsieur de Chavigny is not amiable, I
allow, but Monsieur du Tremblay is considerably worse.

Indeed!exclaimed the dukewho from time to time looked
at the clockthe fingers of which seemed to move with
sickening slowness.

But what can you expect from the brother of a capuchin
monk, brought up in the school of Cardinal Richelieu? Ah, my
lord, it is a great happiness that the queen, who always
wished you well, had a fancy to send you here, where there's
a promenade and a tennis court, good air, and a good table.

In short,answered the dukeif I comprehend you aright,
La Ramee, I am ungrateful for having ever thought of leaving
this place?

Oh! my lord duke, 'tis the height of ingratitude; but your
highness has never seriously thought of it?

Yes,returned the dukeI must confess I sometimes think
of it.

Still by one of your forty methods, your highness?

Yes, yes, indeed.

My lord,said La Rameenow we are quite at our ease and
enjoying ourselves, pray tell me one of those forty ways
invented by your highness.

Willingly,answered the dukegive me the pie!

I am listening,said La Rameeleaning back in his
armchair and raising his glass of Madeira to his lipsand
winking his eye that he might see the sun through the rich
liquid that he was about to taste.

The duke glanced at the clock. In ten minutes it would
strike seven.

Grimaud placed the pie before the dukewho took a knife
with a silver blade to raise the upper crust; but La Ramee
who was afraid of any harm happening to this fine work of
artpassed his knifewhich had an iron bladeto the duke.

Thank you, La Ramee,said the prisoner.

Well, my lord! this famous invention of yours?

Must I tell you,replied the dukeon what I most reckon
and what I determine to try first?

Yes, that's the thing, my lord!cried his custodian
gaily.


Well, I should hope, in the first instance, to have for
keeper an honest fellow like you.

And you have me, my lord. Well?

Having, then, a keeper like La Ramee, I should try also to
have introduced to him by some friend or other a man who
would be devoted to me, who would assist me in my flight.

Come, come,said La Rameethat's not a bad idea.

Capital, isn't it? for instance, the former servingman of
some brave gentleman, an enemy himself to Mazarin, as every
gentleman ought to be.

Hush! don't let us talk politics, my lord.

Then my keeper would begin to trust this man and to depend
upon him, and I should have news from those without the
prison walls.

Ah, yes! but how can the news be brought to you?

Nothing easier; in a game of tennis, for example.

In a game of tennis?asked La Rameegiving more serious
attention to the duke's words.

Yes; see, I send a ball into the moat; a man is there who
picks it up; the ball contains a letter. Instead of
returning the ball to me when I call for it from the top of
the wall, he throws me another; that other ball contains a
letter. Thus we have exchanged ideas and no one has seen us
do it.

The devil it does! The devil it does!said La Ramee
scratching his head; "you are in the wrong to tell me that
my lord. I shall have to watch the men who pick up balls."

The duke smiled.

But,resumed La Rameethat is only a way of
corresponding.

And that is a great deal, it seems to me.

But not enough.

Pardon me; for instance, I say to my friends, Be on a
certain day, on a certain hour, at the other side of the
moat with two horses.

Well, what then?La Ramee began to be uneasy; "unless the
horses have wings to mount the ramparts and come and fetch
you."

That's not needed. I have,replied the dukea way of
descending from the ramparts.

What?

A rope ladder.

Yes, but,answered La Rameetrying to laugha ladder of


ropes can't be sent around a ball, like a letter.

No, but it may be sent in something else.

In something else -- in something else? In what?

In a pate, for example.

In a pate?said La Ramee.

Yes. Let us suppose one thing,replied the duke "let us
supposefor instancethat my maitre d'hotelNoirmonthas
purchased the shop of Pere Marteau ---- "

Well?said La Rameeshuddering.

Well, La Ramee, who is a gourmand, sees his pates, thinks
them more attractive than those of Pere Marteau and proposes
to me that I shall try them. I consent on condition that La
Ramee tries them with me. That we may be more at our ease,
La Ramee removes the guards, keeping only Grimaud to wait on
us. Grimaud is the man whom a friend has sent to second me
in everything. The moment for my escape is fixed -- seven
o'clock. Well, at a few minutes to seven ----

At a few minutes to seven?cried La Rameecold sweat upon
his brow.

At a few minutes to seven,returned the duke (suiting the
action to the words)I raise the crust of the pie; I find
in it two poniards, a ladder of rope, and a gag. I point one
of the poniards at La Ramee's breast and I say to him, `My
friend, I am sorry for it, but if thou stirrest, if thou
utterest one cry, thou art a dead man!'

The dukein pronouncing these wordssuitedas we have
saidthe action to the words. He was standing near the
officer and he directed the point of the poniard in such a
mannerclose to La Ramee's heartthat there could be no
doubt in the mind of that individual as to his
determination. MeanwhileGrimaudstill mute as everdrew
from the pie the other poniardthe rope ladder and the gag.

La Ramee followed all these objects with his eyeshis alarm
every moment increasing.

Oh, my lord,he criedwith an expression of stupefaction
in his face; "you haven't the heart to kill me!"

No; not if thou dost not oppose my flight.

But, my lord, if I allow you to escape I am a ruined man.

I will compensate thee for the loss of thy place.

You are determined to leave the chateau?

By Heaven and earth! This night I am determined to be
free.

And if I defend myself, or call, or cry out?

I will kill thee, on the honor of a gentleman.


At this moment the clock struck.

Seven o'clock!said Grimaudwho had not spoken a word.

La Ramee made one movementin order to satisfy his
conscience. The duke frownedthe officer felt the point of
the poniardwhichhaving penetrated through his clothes
was close to his heart.

Let us dispatch,said the duke.

My lord, one last favor.

What? speak, make haste.

Bind my arms, my lord, fast.

Why bind thee?

That I may not be considered as your accomplice.

Your hands?asked Grimaud.

Not before me, behind me.

But with what?asked the duke.

With your belt, my lord!replied La Ramee.

The duke undid his belt and gave it to Grimaudwho tied La
Ramee in such a way as to satisfy him.

Your feet, too,said Grimaud.

La Ramee stretched out his legsGrimaud took a table-cloth
tore it into strips and tied La Ramee's feet together.

Now, my lord,said the poor manlet me have the poire
d'angoisse. I ask for it; without it I should be tried in a
court of justice because I did not raise the alarm. Thrust
it into my mouth, my lord, thrust it in.

Grimaud prepared to comply with this requestwhen the
officer made a sign as if he had something to say.

Speak,said the duke.

Now, my lord, do not forget, if any harm happens to me on
your account, that I have a wife and four children.

Rest assured; put the gag in, Grimaud.

In a second La Ramee was gagged and laid prostrate. Two or
three chairs were thrown down as if there had been a
struggle. Grimaud then took from the pocket of the officer
all the keys it contained and first opened the door of the
room in which they werethen shut it and double-locked it
and both he and the duke proceeded rapidly down the gallery
which led to the little inclosure. At last they reached the
tennis court. It was completely deserted. No sentinelsno
one at any of the windows. The duke ran to the rampart and
perceived on the other side of the ditchthree cavaliers
with two riding horses. The duke exchanged a signal with
them. It was indeed for him that they were there.


Grimaudmeantimeundid the means of escape.

This was nothowevera rope ladderbut a ball of silk
cordwith a narrow board which was to pass between the
legsthe ball to unwind itself by the weight of the person
who sat astride upon the board.

Go!said the duke.

First, my lord?inquired Grimaud.

Certainly. If I am caught, I risk nothing but being taken
back again to prison. If they catch thee, thou wilt be
hung.

True,replied Grimaud.

And instantlyGrimaudsitting upon the board as if on
horsebackcommenced his perilous descent.

The duke followed him with his eyeswith involuntary
terror. He had gone down about three-quarters of the length
of the wall when the cord broke. Grimaud fell -precipitated
into the moat.

The duke uttered a crybut Grimaud did not give a single
moan. He must have been dreadfully hurtfor he did not stir
from the place where he fell.

Immediately one of the men who were waiting slipped down
into the moattied under Grimaud's shoulders the end of a
cordand the remaining twowho held the other enddrew
Grimaud to them.

Descend, my lord,said the man in the moat. "There are
only fifteen feet more from the top down hereand the grass
is soft."

The duke had already begun to descend. His task was the more
difficultas there was no board to support him. He was
obliged to let himself down by his hands and from a height
of fifty feet. But as we have said he was activestrong
and full of presence of mind. In less than five minutes he
arrived at the end of the cord. He was then only fifteen
feet from the groundas the gentlemen below had told him.
He let go the rope and fell upon his feetwithout receiving
any injury.

He instantly began to climb up the slope of the moaton the
top of which he met De Rochefort. The other two gentlemen
were unknown to him. Grimaudin a swoonwas tied securely
to a horse.

Gentlemen,said the dukeI will thank you later; now we
have not a moment to lose. On, then! on! those who love me,
follow me!

And he jumped on his horse and set off at full gallop
snuffing the fresh air in his triumph and shouting outwith
an expression of face which it would be impossible to
describe:

Free! free! free!


The timely Arrival of D'Artagnan in Paris.

At BloisD'Artagnan received the money paid to him by
Mazarin for any future service he might render the cardinal.

From Blois to Paris was a journey of four days for ordinary
travelersbut D'Artagnan arrived on the third day at the
Barriere Saint Denis. In turning the corner of the Rue
Montmartrein order to reach the Rue Tiquetonne and the
Hotel de la Chevrettewhere he had appointed Porthos to
meet himhe saw at one of the windows of the hotelthat
friend himself dressed in a sky-blue waistcoatembroidered
with silverand gapingtill he showed every one of his
white teeth; whilst the people passing by admiringly gazed
at this gentlemanso handsome and so richwho seemed to
weary of his riches and his greatness.

D'Artagnan and Planchet had hardly turned the corner when
Porthos recognized them.

Eh! D'Artagnan!he cried. "Thank God you have come!"

Eh! good-day, dear friend!replied D'Artagnan.

Porthos came down at once to the threshold of the hotel.

Ah, my dear friend!he criedwhat bad stabling for my
horses here.

Indeed!said D'Artagnan; "I am most unhappy to hear iton
account of those fine animals."

And I, also -- I was also wretchedly off,he answered
moving backward and forward as he spoke; "and had it not
been for the hostess he added, with his air of vulgar
self-complacency, who is very agreeable and understands a
jokeI should have got a lodging elsewhere."

The pretty Madeleinewho had approached during this
colloquystepped back and turned pale as death on hearing
Porthos's wordsfor she thought the scene with the Swiss
was about to be repeated. But to her great surprise
D'Artagnan remained perfectly calmand instead of being
angry he laughedand said to Porthos:

Yes, I understand, the air of La Rue Tiquetonne is not like
that of Pierrefonds; but console yourself, I will soon
conduct you to one much better.

When will you do that?

Immediately, I hope.

Ah! so much the better!

To that exclamation of Porthos's succeeded a groaninglow
and profoundwhich seemed to come from behind a door.


D'Artagnanwho had just dismountedthen sawoutlined
against the wallthe enormous stomach of Musquetonwhose
down-drawn mouth emitted sounds of distress.

And you, too, my poor Monsieur Mouston, are out of place in
this poor hotel, are you not?asked D'Artagnanin that
rallying tone which may indicate either compassion or
mockery.

He finds the cooking detestable,replied Porthos.

Why, then, doesn't he attend to it himself, as at
Chantilly?

Ah, monsieur, I have not here, as I had there, the ponds of
monsieur le prince, where I could catch those beautiful
carp, nor the forests of his highness to provide me with
partridges. As for the cellar, I have searched every part
and poor stuff I found.

Monsieur Mouston,said D'ArtagnanI should indeed
condole with you had I not at this moment something very
pressing to attend to.

Then taking Porthos aside:

My dear Du Vallon,he saidhere you are in full dress
most fortunately, for I am going to take you to the
cardinal's.

Gracious me! really!exclaimed Porthosopening his great
wondering eyes.

Yes, my friend.

A presentation? indeed!

Does that alarm you?

No, but it agitates me.

Oh! don't be distressed; you have to deal with a cardinal
of another kind. This one will not oppress you by his
dignity.

'Tis the same thing -- you understand me, D'Artagnan -- a
court.

There's no court now. Alas!

The queen!

I was going to say, there's no longer a queen. The queen!
Rest assured, we shall not see her.

And you say that we are going from here to the Palais
Royal?

Immediately. Only, that there may be no delay, I shall
borrow one of your horses.

Certainly; all the four are at your service.

Oh, I need only one of them for the time being.


Shall we take our valets?

Yes, you may as well take Musqueton. As to Planchet, he has
certain reasons for not going to court.

And what are they?

Oh, he doesn't stand well with his eminence.

Mouston,said Porthossaddle Vulcan and Bayard.

And for myself, monsieur, shall I saddle Rustaud?

No, take a more stylish horse, Phoebus or Superbe; we are
going with some ceremony.

Ah,said Musquetonbreathing more freelyyou are only
going, then, to make a visit?

Oh! yes, of course, Mouston; nothing else. But to avoid
risk, put the pistols in the holsters. You will find mine on
my saddle, already loaded.

Mouston breathed a sigh; he couldn't understand visits of
ceremony made under arms.

Indeed,said Porthoslooking complacently at his old
lackey as he went awayyou are right, D'Artagnan; Mouston
will do; Mouston has a very fine appearance.

D'Artagnan smiled.

But you, my friend -- are you not going to change your
dress?

No, I shall go as I am. This traveling dress will serve to
show the cardinal my haste to obey his commands.

They set out on Vulcan and Bayardfollowed by Musqueton on
Phoebusand arrived at the Palais Royal at about a quarter
to seven. The streets were crowdedfor it was the day of
Pentecostand the crowd looked in wonder at these two
cavaliers; one as fresh as if he had come out of a bandbox
the other so covered with dust that he looked as if he had
but just come off a field of battle.

Musqueton also attracted attention; and as the romance of
Don Quixote was then the fashionthey said that he was
Sanchowhoafter having lost one masterhad found two.

On reaching the palaceD'Artagnan sent to his eminence the
letter in which he had been ordered to return without delay.
He was soon ordered to the presence of the cardinal.

Courage!he whispered to Porthosas they proceeded. "Do
not be intimidated. Believe methe eye of the eagle is
closed forever. We have only the vulture to deal with. Hold
yourself as bolt upright as on the day of the bastion of St.
Gervaisand do not bow too low to this Italian; that might
give him a poor idea of you."

Good!answered Porthos. "Good!"


Mazarin was in his studyworking at a list of pensions and
beneficesof which he was trying to reduce the number. He
saw D'Artagnan and Porthos enter with internal pleasureyet
showed no joy in his countenance.

Ah! you, is it? Monsieur le lieutenant, you have been very
prompt. 'Tis well. Welcome to ye.

Thanks, my lord. Here I am at your eminence's service, as
well as Monsieur du Vallon, one of my old friends, who used
to conceal his nobility under the name of Porthos.

Porthos bowed to the cardinal.

A magnificent cavalier,remarked Mazarin.

Porthos turned his head to the right and to the leftand
drew himself up with a movement full of dignity.

The best swordsman in the kingdom, my lord,said
D'Artagnan.

Porthos bowed to his friend.

Mazarin was as fond of fine soldiers asin later times
Frederick of Prussia used to be. He admired the strong
handsthe broad shoulders and the steady eye of Porthos. He
seemed to see before him the salvation of his administration
and of the kingdomsculptured in flesh and bone. He
remembered that the old association of musketeers was
composed of four persons.

And your two other friends?he asked.

Porthos opened his mouththinking it a good opportunity to
put in a word in his turn; D'Artagnan checked him by a
glance from the corner of his eye.

They are prevented at this moment, but will join us later.

Mazarin coughed a little.

And this gentleman, being disengaged, takes to the service
willingly?he asked.

Yes, my lord, and from pure devotion to the cause, for
Monsieur de Bracieux is rich.

Rich!said Mazarinwhom that single word always inspired
with a great respect.

Fifty thousand francs a year,said Porthos.

These were the first words he had spoken.

From pure zeal?resumed Mazarinwith his artful smile;
from pure zeal and devotion then?

My lord has, perhaps, no faith in those words?said
D'Artagnan.

Have you, Monsieur le Gascon?asked Mazarinsupporting
his elbows on his desk and his chin on his hands.


I,replied the GasconI believe in devotion as a word at
one's baptism, for instance, which naturally comes before
one's proper name; every one is naturally more or less
devout, certainly; but there should be at the end of one's
devotion something to gain.

And your friend, for instance; what does he expect to have
at the end of his devotion?

Well, my lord, my friend has three magnificent estates:
that of Vallon, at Corbeil; that of Bracieux, in the
Soissonais; and that of Pierrefonds, in the Valois. Now, my
lord, he would like to have one of his three estates erected
into a barony.

Only that?said Mazarinhis eyes twinkling with joy on
seeing that he could pay for Porthos's devotion without
opening his purse; "only that? That can be managed."

I shall be baron!explained Porthosstepping forward.

I told you so,said D'Artagnanchecking him with his
hand; "and now his eminence confirms it."

And you, Monsieur D'Artagnan, what do you want?

My lord,said D'Artagnanit is twenty years since
Cardinal de Richelieu made me lieutenant.

Yes, and you would be gratified if Cardinal Mazarin should
make you captain.

D'Artagnan bowed.

Well, that is not impossible. We will see, gentlemen, we
will see. Now, Monsieur de Vallon,said Mazarinwhat
service do you prefer, in the town or in the country?

Porthos opened his mouth to reply.

My lord,said D'ArtagnanMonsieur de Vallon is like me,
he prefers service extraordinary -- that is to say,
enterprises that are considered mad and impossible.

That boastfulness was not displeasing to Mazarin; he fell
into meditation.

And yet,he saidI must admit that I sent for you to
appoint you to quiet service; I have certain apprehensions
-- well, what is the meaning of that?

In facta great noise was heard in the ante-chamber; at the
same time the door of the study was burst open and a man
covered with dustrushed into itexclaiming:

My lord the cardinal! my lord the cardinal!

Mazarin thought that some one was going to assassinate him
and he drew backpushing his chair on the castors.
D'Artagnan and Porthos moved so as to plant themselves
between the person entering and the cardinal.

Well, sir,exclaimed Mazarinwhat's the matter? and why
do you rush in here, as if you were about to penetrate a


crowded market-place?

My lord,replied the messengerI wish to speak to your
eminence in secret. I am Monsieur du Poins, an officer in
the guards, on duty at the donjon of Vincennes.

Mazarinperceiving by the paleness and agitation of the
messenger that he had something of importance to saymade a
sign that D'Artagnan and Porthos should give place.

D'Artagnan and Porthos withdrew to a corner of the cabinet.

Speak, monsieur, speak at once!said Mazarin "What is the
matter?"

The matter is, my lord, that the Duc de Beaufort has
contrived to escape from the Chateau of Vincennes.

Mazarin uttered a cry and became paler than the man who had
brought the news. He fell backalmost faintingin his
chair.

Escaped? Monsieur de Beaufort escaped?

My lord, I saw him run off from the top of the terrace.
And you did not fire on him?


He was out of range.
Monsieur de Chavigny -- where was he?


Absent.
And La Ramee?


Was found locked up in the prisoner's room, a gag in his
mouth and a poniard near him.

But the man who was under him?

Was an accomplice of the duke's and escaped along with
him.

Mazarin groaned.

My lord,said D'Artagnanadvancing toward the cardinal
it seems to me that your eminence is losing precious time.
It may still be possible to overtake the prisoner. France is
large; the nearest frontier is sixty leagues distant.

And who is to pursue him?cried Mazarin.

I, pardieu!
And you would arrest him?


Why not?
You would arrest the Duc de Beaufort, armed, in the field?


If your eminence should order me to arrest the devil, I
would seize him by the horns and would bring him in.


So would I,said Porthos.

So would you!said Mazarinlooking with astonishment at
those two men. "But the duke will not yield himself without
a furious battle."

Very well,said D'Artagnanhis eyes aflamebattle! It
is a long time since we have had a battle, eh, Porthos?

Battle!cried Porthos.

And you think you can catch him?

Yes, if we are better mounted than he.

Go then, take what guards you find here, and pursue him.

You command us, my lord, to do so?

And I sign my orders,said Mazarintaking a piece of
paper and writing some lines; "Monsieur du Vallonyour
barony is on the back of the Duc de Beaufort's horse; you
have nothing to do but to overtake it. As for youmy dear
lieutenantI promise you nothing; but if you bring him back
to medead or aliveyou may ask all you wish."

To horse, Porthos!said D'Artagnantaking his friend by
the hand.

Here I am,smiled Porthoswith his sublime composure.

They descended the great staircasetaking with them all the
guards they found on their roadand crying outTo arms!
To arms!and immediately put spur to horsewhich set off
along the Rue Saint Honore with the speed of the whirlwind.

Well, baron, I promise you some good exercise!said the
Gascon.

Yes, my captain.

As they wentthe citizensawakenedleft their doors and
the street dogs followed the cavaliersbarking. At the
corner of the Cimetiere Saint JeanD'Artagnan upset a man;
it was too insignificant an occurrence to delay people so
eager to get on. The troop continued its course as though
their steeds had wings.

Alas! there are no unimportant events in this world and we
shall see that this apparently slight incident came near
endangering the monarchy.

An Adventure on the High Road.

The musketeers rode the whole length of the Faubourg Saint
Antoine and of the road to Vincennesand soon found
themselves out of the townthen in a forest and then within
sight of a village.


The horses seemed to become more lively with each successive
step; their nostrils reddened like glowing furnaces.
D'Artagnanfreely applying his spurswas in advance of
Porthos two feet at the most; Musqueton followed two lengths
behind; the guards were scattered according to the varying
excellence of their respective mounts.

From the top of an eminence D'Artagnan perceived a group of
people collected on the other side of the moatin front of
that part of the donjon which looks toward Saint Maur. He
rode onconvinced that in this direction he would gain
intelligence of the fugitive. In five minutes he had arrived
at the placewhere the guards joined himcoming up one by
one.

The several members of that group were much excited. They
looked at the cordstill hanging from the loophole and
broken at about twenty feet from the ground. Their eyes
measured the height and they exchanged conjectures. On the
top of the wall sentinels went and came with a frightened
air.

A few soldierscommanded by a sergeantdrove away idlers
from the place where the duke had mounted his horse.
D'Artagnan went straight to the sergeant.

My officer,said the sergeantit is not permitted to
stop here.

That prohibition is not for me,said D'Artagnan. "Have the
fugitives been pursued?"

Yes, my officer; unfortunately, they are well mounted.

How many are there?

Four, and a fifth whom they carried away wounded.

Four!said D'Artagnanlooking at Porthos. "Do you hear
baron? They are only four!"

A joyous smile lighted Porthos's face.

How long a start have they?

Two hours and a quarter, my officer.

Two hours and a quarter -- that is nothing; we are well
mounted, are we not, Porthos?

Porthos breathed a sigh; he thought of what was in store for
his poor horses.

Very good,said D'Artagnan; "and now in what direction did
they set out?"

That I am forbidden to tell.

D'Artagnan drew from his pocket a paper. "Order of the
king he said.

Speak to the governorthen."


And where is the governor?

In the country.

Anger mounted to D'Artagnan's face; he frowned and his
cheeks were colored.

Ah, you scoundrel!he said to the sergeantI believe you
are impudent to me! Wait!

He unfolded the paperpresented it to the sergeant with one
hand and with the other took a pistol from his holsters and
cocked it.

Order of the king, I tell you. Read and answer, or I will
blow out your brains!

The sergeant saw that D'Artagnan was in earnest. "The
Vendomois road he replied.

And by what gate did they go out?"

By the Saint Maur gate.

If you are deceiving me, rascal, you will be hanged
to-morrow.

And if you catch up with them you won't come back to hang
me,murmured the sergeant.

D'Artagnan shrugged his shouldersmade a sign to his escort
and started.

This way, gentlemen, this way!he crieddirecting his
course toward the gate that had been pointed out.

Butnow that the duke had escapedthe concierge had seen
fit to fasten the gate with a double lock. It was necessary
to compel him to open itas the sergeant had been compelled
to speakand this took another ten minutes. This last
obstacle having been overcomethe troop pursued their
course with their accustomed ardor; but some of the horses
could no longer sustain this pace; three of them stopped
after an hour's gallopand one fell down.

D'Artagnanwho never turned his headdid not perceive it.
Porthos told him of it in his calm manner.

If only we two arrive,said D'Artagnanit will be
enough, since the duke's troop are only four in number.

That is true,said Porthos

And he spurred his courser on.

At the end of another two hours the horses had gone twelve
leagues without stopping; their legs began to trembleand
the foam they shed whitened the doublets of their masters.

Let us rest here an instant to give these poor creatures
breathing time,said Porthos.

Let us rather kill them! yes, kill them!cried D'Artagnan;
I see fresh tracks; 'tis not a quarter of an hour since


they passed this place.

In factthe road was trodden by horses' feetvisible even
in the approaching gloom of evening.

They set out; after a run of two leaguesMusqueton's horse
sank.

Gracious me!said Porthosthere's Phoebus ruined.
The cardinal will pay you a hundred pistoles.


I'm above that.
Let us set out again, at full gallop.


Yes, if we can.


But at last the lieutenant's horse refused to go on; he
could not breathe; one last spurinstead of making him
advancemade him fall.

The devil!exclaimed Porthos; "there's Vulcan foundered."

Zounds!cried D'Artagnanthen we must stop! Give me your
horse, Porthos. What the devil are you doing?

By Jove, I am falling, or rather, Bayard is falling,
answered Porthos.

All three then cried: "All's over."

Hush!said D'Artagnan.
What is it?


I hear a horse.
It belongs to one of our companions, who is overtaking us.


No,said D'Artagnanit is in advance.


That is another thing,said Porthos; and he listened
toward the quarter indicated by D'Artagnan.

Monsieur,said Musquetonwhoabandoning his horse on the
high roadhad come on foot to rejoin his masterPhoebus
could no longer hold out and ----

Silence!said Porthos.

In factat that moment a second neighing was borne to them
on the night wind.

It is five hundred feet from here, in advance,said
D'Artagnan.

True, monsieur,said Musqueton; "and five hundred feet
from here is a small hunting-house."

Musqueton, thy pistols,said D'Artagnan.
I have them at hand, monsieur.


Porthos, take yours from your holsters.
I have them.

Good!said D'Artagnanseizing his own; "now you
understandPorthos?"

Not too well.

We are out on the king's service.
Well?

For the king's service we need horses.
That is true,said Porthos.

Then not a word, but set to work!

They went on through the darknesssilent as phantoms; they
saw a light glimmering in the midst of some trees.

Yonder is the house, Porthos,said the Gascon; "let me do
what I please and do you what I do."

They glided from tree to tree till they arrived at twenty
steps from the house unperceived and saw by means of a
lantern suspended under a hutfour fine horses. A groom was
rubbing them down; near them were saddles and bridles.

D'Artagnan approached quicklymaking a sign to his two
companions to remain a few steps behind.

I buy those horses,he said to the groom.

The groom turned toward him with a look of surprisebut
made no reply.
Didn't you hear, fellow?


Yes, I heard.
Why, then, didn't you reply?


Because these horses are not to be sold,was the reply.
I take them, then,said the lieutenant.


And he took hold of one within his reach; his two companions
did the same thing.

Sir,cried the groomthey have traversed six leagues and
have only been unsaddled half an hour.

Half an hour's rest is enough replied the Gascon.

The groom cried aloud for help. A kind of steward appeared
just as D'Artagnan and his companions were prepared to
mount. The steward attempted to expostulate.

My dear friend,cried the lieutenantif you say a word I
will blow out your brains.

But, sir,answered the stewarddo you know that these


horses belong to Monsieur de Montbazon?

So much the better; they must be good animals, then.

Sir, I shall call my people.

And I, mine; I've ten guards behind me, don't you hear them
gallop? and I'm one of the king's musketeers. Come, Porthos;
come, Musqueton.

They all mounted the horses as quickly as possible.

Halloo! hi! hi!cried the steward; "the house servants
with the carbines!"

On! on!cried D'Artagnan; "there'll be firing! on!"

They all set offswift as the wind.

Here!cried the stewardhere!whilst the groom ran to a
neighboring building.

Take care of your horses!cried D'Artagnan to him.

Fire!replied the steward.

A gleamlike a flash of lightningillumined the roadand
with the flash was heard the whistling of ballswhich were
fired wildly in the air.

They fire like grooms,said Porthos. "In the time of the
cardinal people fired better than thatdo you remember the
road to CrevecoeurMusqueton?"

Ah, sir! my left side still pains me!

Are you sure we are on the right track, lieutenant?

Egad, didn't you hear? these horses belong to Monsieur de
Montbazon; well, Monsieur de Montbazon is the husband of
Madame de Montbazon ----

And ----

And Madame de Montbazon is the mistress of the Duc de
Beaufort.

Ah! I understand,replied Porthos; "she has ordered relays
of horses."

Exactly so.

And we are pursuing the duke with the very horses he has
just left?

My dear Porthos, you are really a man of most superior
understanding,said D'Artagnanwith a look as if he spoke
against his conviction.

Pooh!replied PorthosI am what I am.

They rode on for an hourtill the horses were covered with
foam and dust.


Zounds! what is yonder?cried D'Artagnan.

You are very lucky if you see anything such a night as
this,said Porthos.

Something bright.

I, too,cried Musquetonsaw them also.

Ah! ah! have we overtaken them?

Good! a dead horse!said D'Artagnanpulling up his horse
which shied; "it seems their horsestooare breaking down
as well as ours."

I seem to hear the noise of a troop of horsemen,exclaimed
Porthosleaning over his horse's mane.

Impossible.

They appear to be numerous.

Then 'tis something else.

Another horse!said Porthos.

Dead?

No, dying.

Saddled?

Yes, saddled and bridled.

Then we are upon the fugitives.

Courage, we have them!

But if they are numerous,observed Musqueton'tis not we
who have them, but they who have us.

Nonsense!cried D'Artagnanthey'll suppose us to be
stronger than themselves, as we're in pursuit; they'll be
afraid and will disperse.

Certainly,remarked Porthos.

Ah! do you see?cried the lieutenant.

The lights again! this time I, too, saw them,said
Porthos.

On! on! forward! forward!cried D'Artagnanin his
stentorian voice; "we shall laugh over all this in five
minutes."

And they darted on anew. The horsesexcited by pain and
emulationraced over the dark roadin the midst of which
was now seen a moving massdenser and more obscure than the
rest of the horizon.


The Rencontre.

They rode on in this way for ten minutes. Suddenly two dark
forms seemed to separate from the massadvancedgrew in
sizeand as they loomed up larger and largerassumed the
appearance of two horsemen.

Aha!cried D'Artagnanthey're coming toward us.

So much the worse for them,said Porthos.

Who goes there?cried a hoarse voice.

The three horsemen made no replystopped notand all that
was heard was the noise of swords drawn from the scabbards
and the cocking of the pistols with which the two phantoms
were armed.

Bridle in mouth!said D'Artagnan.

Porthos understood him and he and the lieutenant each drew
with the left hand a pistol from their bolsters and cocked
it in their turn.

Who goes there?was asked a second time. "Not a step
forwardor you're dead men."

Stuff!cried Porthosalmost choked with dust and chewing
his bridle as a horse chews his bit. "Stuff and nonsense; we
have seen plenty of dead men in our time."

Hearing these wordsthe two shadows blockaded the road and
by the light of the stars might be seen the shining of their
arms.

Back!shouted D'Artagnanor you are dead!

Two shots were the reply to this threat; but the assailants
attacked their foes with such velocity that in a moment they
were upon them; a third pistol-shot was heardaimed by
D'Artagnanand one of his adversaries fell. As for Porthos
he assaulted the foe with such violence thatalthough his
sword was thrust asidethe enemy was thrown off his horse
and fell about ten steps from it.

Finish, Mouston, finish the work!cried Porthos. And he
darted on beside his friendwho had already begun a fresh
pursuit.

Well?said Porthos.

I've broken my man's skull,cried D'Artagnan. "And you
---- "

I've only thrown the fellow down, but hark!

Another shot of a carbine was heard. It was Musquetonwho
was obeying his master's command.

On! on!cried D'Artagnan; "all goes well! we have the
first throw."


Ha! ha!answered Porthosbehold, other players appear.

And in facttwo other cavaliers made their appearance
detachedas it seemedfrom the principal group; they again
disputed the road.

This time the lieutenant did not wait for the opposite party
to speak.

Stand aside!he cried; "stand off the road!"

What do you want?asked a voice.

The duke!Porthos and D'Artagnan roared out both at once.

A burst of laughter was the answerbut finished with a
groan. D'Artagnan hadwith his swordcut in two the poor
wretch who had laughed.

At the same time Porthos and his adversary fired on each
other and D'Artagnan turned to him.

Bravo! you've killed him, I think.

No, wounded his horse only.

What would you have, my dear fellow? One doesn't hit the
bull's-eye every time; it is something to hit inside the
ring. Ho! parbleau! what is the matter with my horse?

Your horse is falling,said Porthosreining in his own.

In truththe lieutenant's horse stumbled and fell on his
knees; then a rattling in his throat was heard and he lay
down to die. He had received in the chest the bullet of
D'Artagnan's first adversary. D'Artagnan swore loud enough
to be heard in the skies.

Does your honor want a horse?asked Musqueton.

Zounds! want one!cried the Gascon.

Here's one, your honor ----

How the devil hast thou two horses?asked D'Artagnan
jumping on one of them.

Their masters are dead! I thought they might be useful, so
I took them.

Meantime Porthos had reloaded his pistols.

Be on the qui vive!cried D'Artagnan. "Here are two other
cavaliers."

As he spoketwo horsemen advanced at full speed.

Ho! your honor!cried Musquetonthe man you upset is
getting up.

Why didn't thou do as thou didst to the first man?said
Porthos.


I held the horses, my hands were full, your honor.

A shot was fired that moment; Musqueton shrieked with pain.

Ah, sir! I'm hit in the other side! exactly opposite the
other! This hurt is just the fellow of the one I had on the
road to Amiens.

Porthos turned around like a lionplunged on the dismounted
cavalierwho tried to draw his sword; but before it was out
of the scabbardPorthoswith the hilt of his had struck
him such a terrible blow on the head that he fell like an ox
beneath the butcher's knife.

Musquetongroaningslipped from his horsehis wound not
allowing him to keep the saddle.

On perceiving the cavaliersD'Artagnan had stopped and
charged his pistol afresh; besideshis horsehe foundhad
a carbine on the bow of the saddle.

Here I am!exclaimed Porthos. "Shall we waitor shall we
charge?"

Let us charge them,answered the Gascon.

Charge!cried Porthos.

They spurred on their horses; the other cavaliers were only
twenty steps from them.

For the king!cried D'Artagnan.

The king has no authority here!answered a deep voice
which seemed to proceed from a cloudso enveloped was the
cavalier in a whirlwind of dust.

'Tis well, we will see if the king's name is not a passport
everywhere,replied the Gascon.

See!answered the voice.

Two shots were fired at onceone by D'Artagnanthe other
by the adversary of Porthos. D'Artagnan's ball took off his
enemy's hat. The ball fired by Porthos's foe went through
the throat of his horsewhich fellgroaning.

For the last time, where are you going?

To the devil!answered D'Artagnan.

Good! you may be easy, then -- you'll get there.

D'Artagnan then saw a musket-barrel leveled at him; he had
no time to draw from his holsters. He recalled a bit of
advice which Athos had once given himand made his horse
rear.

The ball struck the animal full in front. D'Artagnan felt
his horse giving way under him and with his wonderful
agility threw himself to one side.

Ah! this,cried the voicethe tone of which was at once
polished and jeeringthis is nothing but a butchery of


horses and not a combat between men. To the sword, sir! the
sword!

And he jumped off his horse.

To the swords! be it so!replied D'Artagnan; "that is
exactly what I want."

D'Artagnanin two stepswas engaged with the foewhom
according to customhe attacked impetuouslybut he met
this time with a skill and a strength of arm that gave him
pause. Twice he was obliged to step back; his opponent
stirred not one inch. D'Artagnan returned and again attacked
him.

Twice or thrice thrusts were attempted on both sides
without effect; sparks were emitted from the swords like
water spouting forth.

At last D'Artagnan thought it was time to try one of his
favorite feints in fencing. He brought it to bear
skillfully executed it with the rapidity of lightningand
struck the blow with a force which he fancied would prove
irresistible.

The blow was parried.

'Sdeath!he criedwith his Gascon accent.

At this exclamation his adversary bounded back andbending
his bare headtried to distinguish in the gloom the
features of the lieutenant.

As to D'Artagnanafraid of some feinthe still stood on
the defensive.

Have a care,cried Porthos to his opponent; "I've still
two pistols charged."

The more reason you should fire the first!cried his foe.

Porthos fired; the flash threw a gleam of light over the
field of battle.

As the light shone on them a cry was heard from the other
two combatants.

Athos!exclaimed D'Artagnan.

D'Artagnan!ejaculated Athos.

Athos raised his sword; D'Artagnan lowered his.

Aramis!cried Athosdon't fire!

Ah! ha! is it you, Aramis?said Porthos.

And he threw away his pistol.

Aramis pushed his back into his saddle-bags and sheathed his
sword.

My son!exclaimed Athosextending his hand to D'Artagnan.


This was the name which he gave him in former daysin their
moments of tender intimacy.

Athos!cried D'Artagnanwringing his hands. "So you
defend him! And Iwho have sworn to take him dead or alive
I am dishonored -- and by you!"

Kill me!replied Athosuncovering his breastif your
honor requires my death.

Oh! woe is me! woe is me!cried the lieutenant; "there's
only one man in the world who could stay my hand; by a
fatality that very man bars my way. What shall I say to the
cardinal?"

You can tell him, sir,answered a voice which was the
voice of high command in the battle-fieldthat he sent
against me the only two men capable of getting the better of
four men; of fighting man to man, without discomfiture,
against the Comte de la Fere and the Chevalier d'Herblay,
and of surrendering only to fifty men!

The prince!" exclaimed at the same moment Athos and Aramis
unmasking as they addressed the Duc de Beaufortwhilst
D'Artagnan and Porthos stepped backward.

Fifty cavaliers!cried the Gascon and Porthos.

Look around you, gentlemen, if you doubt the fact,said
the duke.

The two friends looked to the rightto the left; they were
encompassed by a troop of horsemen.

Hearing the noise of the fight,resumed the dukeI
fancied you had about twenty men with you, so I came back
with those around me, tired of always running away, and
wishing to draw my sword in my own cause; but you are only
two.

Yes, my lord; but, as you have said, two that are a match
for twenty,said Athos.

Come, gentlemen, your swords,said the duke.

Our swords!cried D'Artagnanraising his head and
regaining his self-possession. "Never!"

Never!added Porthos.

Some of the men moved toward them.

One moment, my lord,whispered Athosand he said
something in a low voice.

As you will,replied the duke. "I am too much indebted to
you to refuse your first request. Gentlemen he said to his
escort, withdraw. Monsieur d'ArtagnanMonsieur du Vallon
you are free."

The order was obeyed; D'Artagnan and Porthos then found
themselves in the centre of a large circle.

Now, D'Herblay,said Athosdismount and come here.


Aramis dismounted and went to Porthoswhilst Athos
approached D'Artagnan.

All four once more together.
Friends!said Athosdo you regret you have not shed our
blood?


No,replied D'Artagnan; "I regret to see that wehitherto
unitedare opposed to each other. Ah! nothing will ever go
well with us hereafter!"

Oh, Heaven! No, all is over!said Porthos.
Well, be on our side now,resumed Aramis.
Silence, D'Herblay!cried Athos; "such proposals are not


to be made to gentlemen such as these. 'Tis a matter of


conscience with themas with us."
Meantime, here we are, enemies!said Porthos. "Gramercy!
who would ever have thought it?"


D'Artagnan only sighed.
Athos looked at them both and took their hands in his.
Gentlemen,he saidthis is a serious business and my


heart bleeds as if you had pierced it through and through.
Yes, we are severed; there is the great, the distressing
truth! But we have not as yet declared war; perhaps we shall
have to make certain conditions, therefore a solemn
conference is indispensable.

For my own part, I demand it,said Aramis.
I accept it,interposed D'Artagnanproudly.
Porthos bowedas if in assent.
Let us choose a place of rendezvous,continued Athosand


in a last interview arrange our mutual position and the
conduct we are to maintain toward each other.
Good!the other three exclaimed.
Well, then, the place?
Will the Place Royale suit you?asked D'Artagnan.
In Paris?
Yes.
Athos and Aramis looked at each other.
The Place Royale -- be it so!replied Athos.
When?
To-morrow evening, if you like!
At what hour?



At ten in the evening, if that suits you; by that time we
shall have returned.

Good.

There,continued Athoseither peace or war will be
decided; honor, at all events, will be maintained!

Alas!murmured D'Artagnanour honor as soldiers is lost
to us forever!

D'Artagnan,said AthosgravelyI assure you that you do
me wrong in dwelling so upon that. What I think of is, that
we have crossed swords as enemies. Yes,he continuedsadly
shaking his headYes, it is as you said, misfortune,
indeed, has overtaken us. Come, Aramis.

And we, Porthos,said D'Artagnanwill return, carrying
our shame to the cardinal.

And tell him,cried a voicethat I am not too old yet
for a man of action.

D'Artagnan recognized the voice of De Rochefort.

Can I do anything for you, gentlemen?asked the duke.

Bear witness that we have done all that we could.

That shall be testified to, rest assured. Adieu! we shall
meet soon, I trust, in Paris, where you shall have your
revenge.The dukeas he spokekissed his handspurred
his horse into a gallop and disappearedfollowed by his
troopwho were soon lost in distance and darkness.

D'Artagnan and Porthos were now alone with a man who held by
the bridles two horses; they thought it was Musqueton and
went up to him.

What do I see?cried the lieutenant. "Grimaudis it
thou?"

Grimaud signified that he was not mistaken.

And whose horses are these?cried D'Artagnan.

Who has given them to us?said Porthos.

The Comte de la Fere.

Athos! Athos!muttered D'Artagnan; "you think of every
one; you are indeed a nobleman! Whither art thou going
Grimaud?"

To join the Vicomte de Bragelonne in Flanders, your honor.

They were taking the road toward Pariswhen groanswhich
seemed to proceed from a ditchattracted their attention.

What is that?asked D'Artagnan.

It is I -- Musqueton,said a mournful voicewhilst a sort
of shadow arose out of the side of the road.


Porthos ran to him. "Art thou dangerously woundedmy dear
Musqueton?" he said.

No, sir, but I am severely.

What can we do?said D'Artagnan; "we must return to
Paris."

I will take care of Musqueton,said Grimaud; and he gave
his arm to his old comradewhose eyes were full of tears
nor could Grimaud tell whether the tears were caused by
wounds or by the pleasure of seeing him again.

D'Artagnan and Porthos went onmeantimeto Paris. They
were passed by a sort of couriercovered with dustthe
bearer of a letter from the duke to the cardinalgiving
testimony to the valor of D'Artagnan and Porthos.

Mazarin had passed a very bad night when this letter was
brought to himannouncing that the duke was free and that
he would henceforth raise up mortal strife against him.

What consoles me,said the cardinal after reading the
letteris that, at least, in this chase, D'Artagnan has
done me one good turn -- he has destroyed Broussel. This
Gascon is a precious fellow; even his misadventures are of
use.

The cardinal referred to that man whom D'Artagnan upset at
the corner of the Cimetiere Saint Jean in Parisand who was
no other than the Councillor Broussel.

The four old Friends prepare to meet again.

Well,said Porthosseated in the courtyard of the Hotel
de la Chevretteto D'Artagnanwhowith a long and
melancholy facehad returned from the Palais Royal; "did he
receive you ungraciouslymy dear friend?"

I'faith, yes! a brute, that cardinal. What are you eating
there, Porthos?

I am dipping a biscuit in a glass of Spanish wine; do the
same.

You are right. Gimblou, a glass of wine.

Well, how has all gone off?

Zounds! you know there's only one way of saying things, so
I went in and said, `My lord, we were not the strongest
party.'

`YesI know that' he said`but give me the particulars.'

You know, Porthos, I could not give him the particulars
without naming our friends; to name them would be to commit


them to ruin, so I merely said they were fifty and we were
two.

`There was firingneverthelessI heard' he said; `and
your swords -- they saw the light of dayI presume?'

`That is, the night, my lord,' I answered.

`Ah!' cried the cardinal`I thought you were a Gasconmy
friend?'

`I am a Gascon,' said I, `only when I succeed.' The answer
pleased him and he laughed.

`That will teach me' he said`to have my guards provided
with better horses; for if they had been able to keep up
with you and if each one of them had done as much as you and
your friendyou would have kept your word and would have
brought him back to me dead or alive.'"

Well, there's nothing bad in that, it seems to me,said
Porthos.

Oh, mon Dieu! no, nothing at all. It was the way in which
he spoke. It is incredible how these biscuit soak up wine!
They are veritable sponges! Gimblou, another bottle.

The bottle was brought with a promptness which showed the
degree of consideration D'Artagnan enjoyed in the
establishment. He continued:

So I was going away, but he called me back.

`You have had three horses foundered or killed?' he asked
me.

`Yes, my lord.'

`How much were they worth?'"

Why,said Porthosthat was very good of him, it seems to
me.

`A thousand pistoles,' I said.

A thousand pistoles!Porthos exclaimed. "Oh! oh! that is a
large sum. If he knew anything about horses he would dispute
the price."

Faith! he was very much inclined to do so, the contemptible
fellow. He made a great start and looked at me. I also
looked at him; then he understood, and putting his hand into
a drawer, he took from it a quantity of notes on a bank in
Lyons.

For a thousand pistoles?

For a thousand pistoles -- just that amount, the beggar;
not one too many.

And you have them?

They are here.


Upon my word, I think he acted very generously.

Generously! to men who had risked their lives for him, and
besides had done him a great service?

A great service -- what was that?

Why, it seems that I crushed for him a parliament
councillor.

What! that little man in black that you upset at the corner
of Saint Jean Cemetery?

That's the man, my dear fellow; he was an annoyance to the
cardinal. Unfortunately, I didn't crush him flat. It seems
that he came to himself and that he will continue to be an
annoyance.

See that, now!said Porthos; "and I turned my horse aside
from going plump on to him! That will be for another time."

He owed me for the councillor, the pettifogger!

But,said Porthosif he was not crushed completely ---


Ah! Monsieur de Richelieu would have said, `Five hundred
crowns for the councillor.' Well, let's say no more about
it. How much were your animals worth, Porthos?

Ah, if poor Musqueton were here he could tell you to a
fraction.

No matter; you can tell within ten crowns.

Why, Vulcan and Bayard cost me each about two hundred
pistoles, and putting Phoebus at a hundred and fifty, we
should be pretty near the amount.

There will remain, then, four hundred and fifty pistoles,
said D'Artagnancontentedly.

Yes,said Porthosbut there are the equipments.

That is very true. Well, how much for the equipments?

If we say one hundred pistoles for the three ----

Good for the hundred pistoles; there remains, then, three
hundred and fifty.

Porthos made a sign of assent.

We will give the fifty pistoles to the hostess for our
expenses,said D'Artagnanand share the three hundred.

We will share,said Porthos.

A paltry piece of business!murmured D'Artagnan crumpling
his note.

Pooh!said Porthosit is always that. But tell me ----

What?


Didn't he speak of me in any way?

Ah! yes, indeed!cried D'Artagnanwho was afraid of
disheartening his friend by telling him that the cardinal
had not breathed a word about him; "yessurelyhe said
---- "

He said?resumed Porthos.

Stop, I want to remember his exact words. He said, `As to
your friend, tell him he may sleep in peace.'

Good, very good,said Porthos; "that signified as clear as
daylight that he still intends to make me a baron."

At this moment nine o'clock struck. D'Artagnan started.

Ah, yes,said Porthosthere is nine o'clock. We have a
rendezvous, you remember, at the Place Royale.

Ah! stop! hold your peace, Porthos, don't remind me of it;
'tis that which has made me so cross since yesterday. I
shall not go.

Why?asked Porthos.

Because it is a grievous thing for me to meet again those
two men who caused the failure of our enterprise.

And yet,said Porthosneither of them had any advantage
over us. I still had a loaded pistol and you were in full
fight, sword in hand.

Yes,said D'Artagnan; "but what if this rendezvous had
some hidden purpose?"

Oh!said Porthosyou can't think that, D'Artagnan!

D'Artagnan did not believe Athos to be capable of a
deceptionbut he sought an excuse for not going to the
rendezvous.

We must go,said the superb lord of Bracieuxlest they
should say we were afraid. We who have faced fifty foes on
the high road can well meet two in the Place Royale.

Yes, yes, but they took part with the princes without
apprising us of it. Athos and Aramis have played a game with
me which alarms me. We discovered yesterday the truth; what
is the use of going to-day to learn something else?

You really have some distrust, then?said Porthos.

Of Aramis, yes, since he has become an abbe. You can't
imagine, my dear fellow, the sort of man he is. He sees us
on the road which leads him to a bishopric, and perhaps will
not be sorry to get us out of his way.

Ah, as regards Aramis, that is another thing,said
Porthosand it wouldn't surprise me at all.

Perhaps Monsieur de Beaufort will try, in his turn, to lay
hands on us.


Nonsense! He had us in his power and he let us go. Besides
we can be on our guard; let us take arms, let Planchet post
himself behind us with his carbine.

Planchet is a Frondeur,answered D'Artagnan.

Devil take these civil wars! one can no more now reckon on
one's friends than on one's footmen,said Porthos. "Ah! if
Musqueton were here! there's a fellow who will never desert
me!"

So long as you are rich! Ah! my friend! 'tis not civil war
that disunites us. It is that we are each of us twenty years
older; it is that the honest emotions of youth have given
place to suggestions of interest, whispers of ambition,
counsels of selfishness. Yes, you are right; let us go,
Porthos, but let us go well armed; were we not to keep the
rendezvous, they would declare we were afraid. Halloo!
Planchet! here! saddle our horses, take your carbine.

Whom are we going to attack, sir?

No one; a mere matter of precaution,answered the Gascon.

You know, sir, that they wished to murder that good
councillor, Broussel, the father of the people?

Really, did they?said D'Artagnan.

Yes, but he has been avenged. He was carried home in the
arms of the people. His house has been full ever since. He
has received visits from the coadjutor, from Madame de
Longueville, and the Prince de Conti; Madame de Chevreuse
and Madame de Vendome have left their names at his door. And
now, whenever he wishes ----

Well, whenever he wishes?

Planchet began to sing:

Un vent de fronde

S'est leve ce matin;

Je crois qu'il gronde

Contre le Mazarin.

Un vent de fronde

S'est leve ce matin.

It doesn't surprise me,said D'Artagnanin a low tone to
Porthosthat Mazarin would have been much better satisfied
had I crushed the life out of his councillor.

You understand, then, monsieur,resumed Planchetthat if
it were for some enterprise like that undertaken against
Monsieur Broussel that you should ask me to take my carbine


----

No, don't be alarmed; but where did you get all these
details?

From a good source, sir; I heard it from Friquet.

From Friquet? I know that name ----

A son of Monsieur de Broussel's servant, and a lad that, I
promise you, in a revolt will not give away his share to the
dogs.

Is he not a singing boy at Notre Dame?asked D'Artagnan.

Yes, that is the very boy; he's patronized by Bazin.

Ah, yes, I know.

Of what importance is this little reptile to you?asked
Porthos.

Gad!replied D'Artagnan; "he has already given me good
information and he may do the same again."

Whilst all this was going onAthos and Aramis were entering
Paris by the Faubourg St. Antoine. They had taken some
refreshment on the road and hastened onthat they might not
fail at the appointed place. Bazin was their only attendant
for Grimaud had stayed behind to take care of Musqueton. As
they were passing onwardAthos proposed that they should
lay aside their arms and military costumeand assume a
dress more suited to the city.

Oh, no, dear count!cried Aramisis it not a warlike
encounter that we are going to?

What do you mean, Aramis?

That the Place Royale is the termination to the main road
to Vendomois, and nothing else.

What! our friends?

Are become our most dangerous enemies, Athos. Let us be on
our guard.

Oh! my dear D'Herblay!

Who can say whether D'Artagnan may not have betrayed us to
the cardinal? who can tell whether Mazarin may not take
advantage of this rendezvous to seize us?

What! Aramis, you think that D'Artagnan, that Porthos,
would lend their hands to such an infamy?

Among friends, my dear Athos, no, you are right; but among
enemies it would be only a stratagem.

Athos crossed his arms and bowed his noble head.

What can you expect, Athos? Men are so made; and we are not
always twenty years old. We have cruelly wounded, as you
know, that personal pride by which D'Artagnan is blindly


governed. He has been beaten. Did you not observe his
despair on the journey? As to Porthos, his barony was
perhaps dependent on that affair. Well, he found us on his
road and will not be baron this time. Perhaps that famous
barony will have something to do with our interview this
evening. Let us take our precautions, Athos.

But suppose they come unarmed? What a disgrace to us.

Oh, never fear! besides, if they do, we can easily make an
excuse; we came straight off a journey and are insurgents,
too.

An excuse for us! to meet D'Artagnan with a false excuse!
to have to make a false excuse to Porthos! Oh, Aramis!
continued Athosshaking his head mournfullyupon my soul,
you make me the most miserable of men; you disenchant a
heart not wholly dead to friendship. Go in whatever guise
you choose; for my part, I shall go unarmed.

No, for I will not allow you to do so. 'Tis not one man,
not Athos only, not the Comte de la Fere whom you will ruin
by this amiable weakness, but a whole party to whom you
belong and who depend upon you.

Be it so then,replied Athossorrowfully.

And they pursued their road in mournful silence.

Scarcely had they reached by the Rue de la Mule the iron
gate of the Place Royalewhen they perceived three
cavaliersD'ArtagnanPorthosand Planchetthe two former
wrapped up in their military cloaks under which their swords
were hiddenand Planchethis musket by his side. They were
waiting at the entrance of the Rue Sainte Catharineand
their horses were fastened to the rings of the arcade.
Athosthereforecommanded Bazin to fasten up his horse and
that of Aramis in the same manner.

They then advanced two and twoand saluted each other
politely.

Now where will it be agreeable to you that we hold our
conference?inquired Aramisperceiving that people were
stopping to look at themsupposing that they were going to
engage in one of those far-famed duels still extant in the
memory of the Parisiansand especially the inhabitants of
the Place Royale.

The gate is shut,said Aramisbut if these gentlemen
like a cool retreat under the trees, and perfect seclusion,
I will get the key from the Hotel de Rohan and we shall be
well suited.

D'Artagnan darted a look into the obscurity of the Place.
Porthos ventured to put his head between the railingsto
try if his glance could penetrate the gloom.

If you prefer any other place,said Athosin his
persuasive voicechoose for yourselves.

This place, if Monsieur d'Herblay can procure the key, is
the best that we can have,was the answer.


Aramis went off at oncebegging Athos not to remain alone
within reach of D'Artagnan and Porthos; a piece of advice
which was received with a contemptuous smile.

Aramis returned soon with a man from the Hotel de Rohanwho
was saying to him:

You swear, sir, that it is not so?

Stop,and Aramis gave him a louis d'or.

Ah! you will not swear, my master,said the concierge
shaking his head.

Well, one can never say what may happen; at present we and
these gentlemen are excellent friends.

Yes, certainly,added Athos and the other two.

D'Artagnan had heard the conversation and had understood it.

You see?he said to Porthos.

What do I see?

That he wouldn't swear.

Swear what?

That man wanted Aramis to swear that we are not going to
the Place Royale to fight.

And Aramis wouldn't swear?

No.

Attention, then!

Athos did not lose sight of the two speakers. Aramis opened
the gate and faced around in order that D'Artagnan and
Porthos might enter. In passing through the gatethe hilt
of the lieutenant's sword was caught in the grating and he
was obliged to pull off his cloak; in doing so he showed the
butt end of his pistols and a ray of the moon was reflected
on the shining metal.

Do you see?whispered Aramis to Athostouching his
shoulder with one hand and pointing with the other to the
arms which the Gascon wore under his belt.

Alas! I do!replied Athoswith a deep sigh.

He entered thirdand Aramiswho shut the gate after him
last. The two serving-men waited without; but as if they
likewise mistrusted each otherthey kept their respective
distances.

The Place Royale.


They proceeded silently to the centre of the Placebut as
at this very moment the moon had just emerged from behind a
cloudthey thought they might be observed if they remained
on that spot and therefore regained the shade of the
lime-trees.

There were benches here and there; the four gentlemen
stopped near them; at a sign from AthosPorthos and
D'Artagnan sat downthe two others stood in front of them.

After a few minutes of silent embarrassmentAthos spoke.

Gentlemen,he saidour presence here is the best proof
of former friendship; not one of us has failed the others at
this rendezvous; not one has, therefore, to reproach
himself.

Hear me, count,replied D'Artagnan; "instead of making
compliments to each otherlet us explain our conduct to
each otherlike men of right and honest hearts."

I wish for nothing more; have you any cause of complaint
against me or Monsieur d'Herblay? If so, speak out,
answered Athos.

I have,replied D'Artagnan. "When I saw you at your
chateau at BragelonneI made certain proposals to you which
you perfectly understood; instead of answering me as a
friendyou played with me as a child; the friendship
thereforethat you boast of was not broken yesterday by the
shock of swordsbut by your dissimulation at your castle."

D'Artagnan!said Athosreproachfully.

You asked for candor and you have it. You ask what I have
against you; I tell you. And I have the same sincerity to
show you, if you wish, Monsieur d'Herblay; I acted in a
similar way to you and you also deceived me.

Really, monsieur, you say strange things,said Aramis.
You came seeking me to make to me certain proposals, but
did you make them? No, you sounded me, nothing more. Very
well what did I say to you? that Mazarin was contemptible
and that I wouldn't serve Mazarin. But that is all. Did I
tell you that I wouldn't serve any other? On the contrary, I
gave you to understand, I think, that I adhered to the
princes. We even joked very pleasantly, if I remember
rightly, on the very probable contingency of your being
charged by the cardinal with my arrest. Were you a party
man? There is no doubt of that. Well, why should not we,
too, belong to a party? You had your secret and we had ours;
we didn't exchange them. So much the better; it proves that
we know how to keep our secrets.

I do not reproach you, monsieur,said D'Artagnan; "'tis
only because Monsieur de la Fere has spoken of friendship
that I question your conduct."

And what do you find in it that is worthy of blame?asked
Aramishaughtily.

The blood mounted instantly to the temples of D'Artagnan
who aroseand replied:


I consider it worthy conduct of a pupil of Jesuits.

On seeing D'Artagnan risePorthos rose also; these four men
were therefore all standing at the same timewith a
menacing aspectopposite to each other.

Upon hearing D'Artagnan's replyAramis seemed about to draw
his swordwhen Athos prevented him.

D'Artagnan,he saidyou are here to-night, still
infuriated by yesterday's adventure. I believed your heart
noble enough to enable a friendship of twenty years to
overcome an affront of a quarter of an hour. Come, do you
really think you have anything to say against me? Say it
then; if I am in fault I will avow the error.

The grave and harmonious tones of that beloved voice seemed
to have still its ancient influencewhilst that of Aramis
which had become harsh and tuneless in his moments of
ill-humorirritated him. He answered therefore:

I think, monsieur le comte, that you had something to
communicate to me at your chateau of Bragelonne, and that
gentleman-- he pointed to Aramis -- "had also something to
tell me when I was in his convent. At that time I was not
concerned in the adventurein the course of which you have
so successfully estopped me! Howeverbecause I was prudent
you must not take me for a fool. If I had wished to widen
the breach between those whom Monsieur d'Herblay chooses to
receive with a rope ladder and those whom he receives with a
wooden ladderI could have spoken out."

What are you meddling with?cried Aramispale with anger
suspecting that D'Artagnan had acted as a spy on him and had
seen him with Madame de Longueville.

I never meddle save with what concerns me, and I know how
to make believe that I haven't seen what does not concern
me; but I hate hypocrites, and among that number I place
musketeers who are abbes and abbes who are musketeers; and,
he addedturning to Porthos "here's a gentleman who's of
the same opinion as myself."

Porthoswho had not spoken one wordanswered merely by a
word and a gesture.

He said "yes" and he put his hand on his sword.

Aramis started back and drew his. D'Artagnan bent forward
ready either to attack or to stand on his defense.

Athos at that moment extended his hand with the air of
supreme command which characterized him alonedrew out his
sword and the scabbard at the same timebroke the blade in
the sheath on his knee and threw the pieces to his right.
Then turning to Aramis:

Aramis,he saidbreak your sword.

Aramis hesitated.

It must be done,said Athos; then in a lower and more
gentle voicehe added. "I wish it."


Then Aramispaler than beforebut subdued by these words
snapped the serpent blade between his handsand then
folding his armsstood trembling with rage.

These proceedings made D'Artagnan and Porthos draw back.
D'Artagnan did not draw his sword; Porthos put his back into
the sheath.

Never!exclaimed Athosraising his right hand to Heaven
never! I swear before God, who seeth us, and who, in the
darkness of this night heareth us, never shall my sword
cross yours, never my eye express a glance of anger, nor my
heart a throb of hatred, at you. We lived together, we
loved, we hated together; we shed, we mingled our blood
together, and too probably, I may still add, that there may
be yet a bond between us closer even than that of
friendship; perhaps there may be the bond of crime; for we
four, we once did condemn, judge and slay a human being whom
we had not any right to cut off from this world, although
apparently fitter for hell than for this life. D'Artagnan, I
have always loved you as my son; Porthos, we slept six years
side by side; Aramis is your brother as well as mine, and
Aramis has once loved you, as I love you now and as I have
ever loved you. What can Cardinal Mazarin be to us, to four
men who compelled such a man as Richelieu to act as we
pleased? What is such or such a prince to us, who fixed the
diadem upon a great queen's head? D'Artagnan, I ask your
pardon for having yesterday crossed swords with you; Aramis
does the same to Porthos; now hate me if you can; but for my
own part, I shall ever, even if you do hate me, retain
esteem and friendship for you. I repeat my words, Aramis,
and then, if you desire it, and if they desire it, let us
separate forever from our old friends.

There was a solemnthough momentary silencewhich was
broken by Aramis.

I swear,he saidwith a calm brow and kindly glancebut
in a voice still trembling with recent emotionI swear
that I no longer bear animosity to those who were once my
friends. I regret that I ever crossed swords with you,
Porthos; I swear not only that it shall never again be
pointed at your breast, but that in the bottom of my heart
there will never in future be the slightest hostile
sentiment; now, Athos, come.

Athos was about to retire.

Oh! no! no! do not go away!exclaimed D'Artagnanimpelled
by one of those irresistible impulses which showed the
nobility of his naturethe native brightness of his
character; "I swear that I would give the last drop of my
blood and the last fragment of my limbs to preserve the
friendship of such a friend as youAthos -- of such a man
as youAramis." And he threw himself into the arms of
Athos.

My son!exclaimed Athospressing him in his arms.

And as for me,said PorthosI swear nothing, but I'm
choked. Forsooth! If I were obliged to fight against you, I
think I should allow myself to be pierced through and
through, for I never loved any one but you in the wide


world;and honest Porthos burst into tears as he embraced
Athos.

My friends,said Athosthis is what I expected from such
hearts as yours. Yes, I have said it and I now repeat it:
our destinies are irrevocably united, although we now pursue
divergent roads. I respect your convictions, and whilst we
fight for opposite sides, let us remain friends. Ministers,
princes, kings, will pass away like mountain torrents; civil
war, like a forest flame; but we -- we shall remain; I have
a presentiment that we shall.

Yes,replied D'Artagnanlet us still be musketeers, and
let us retain as our battle-standard that famous napkin of
the bastion St. Gervais, on which the great cardinal had
three fleurs-de-lis embroidered.

Be it so,cried Aramis. "Cardinalists or Frondeurswhat
matters it? Let us meet again as capital seconds in a duel
devoted friends in businessmerry companions in our ancient
pleasures."

And whenever,added Athoswe meet in battle, at this
word, `Place Royale!' let us put our swords into our left
hands and shake hands with the right, even in the very lust
and music of the hottest carnage.

You speak charmingly,said Porthos.

And are the first of men!added D'Artagnan. "You excel us
all."

Athos smiled with ineffable pleasure.

'Tis then all settled. Gentlemen, your hands; are we not
pretty good Christians?

Egad!said D'Artagnanby Heaven! yes.

We should be so on this occasion, if only to be faithful to
our oath,said Aramis.

Ah, I'm ready to do what you will,cried Porthos; "even to
swear by Mahomet. Devil take me if I've ever been so happy
as at this moment."

And he wiped his eyesstill moist.

Has not one of you a cross?asked Athos.

Aramis smiled and drew from his vest a cross of diamonds
which was hung around his neck by a chain of pearls. "Here
is one he said.

Well resumed Athos, swear on this crosswhichin spite
of its magnificent materialis still a cross; swear to be
united in spite of everythingand foreverand may this
oath bind us to each otherand evenalsoour descendants!
Does this oath satisfy you?"

Yes,said they allwith one accord.

Ah, traitor!muttered D'Artagnanleaning toward Aramis
and whispering in his earyou have made us swear on the


crucifix of a Frondeuse.

The Ferry across the Oise.

We hope that the reader has not quite forgotten the young
traveler whom we left on the road to Flanders.

In losing sight of his guardianwhom he had quittedgazing
after him in front of the royal basilicanRaoul spurred on
his horsein order not only to escape from his own
melancholy reflectionsbut also to hide from Olivain the
emotion his face might betray.

One hour's rapid progresshoweversufficed to disperse the
gloomy fancies that had clouded the young man's bright
anticipations; and the hitherto unfelt pleasure of freedom
-- a pleasure which is sweet even to those who have never
known dependence -- seemed to Raoul to gild not only Heaven
and earthbut especially that blue but dim horizon of life
we call the future.

Neverthelessafter several attempts at conversation with
Olivain he foresaw that many days passed thus would prove
exceedingly dull; and the count's agreeable voicehis
gentle and persuasive eloquencerecurred to his mind at the
various towns through which they journeyed and about which
he had no longer any one to give him those interesting
details which he would have drawn from Athosthe most
amusing and the best informed of guides. Another
recollection contributed also to sadden Raoul: on their
arrival at Sonores he had perceivedhidden behind a screen
of poplarsa little chateau which so vividly recalled that
of La Valliere to his mind that he halted for nearly ten
minutes to gaze at itand resumed his journey with a sigh
too abstracted even to reply to Olivain's respectful inquiry
about the cause of so much fixed attention. The aspect of
external objects is often a mysterious guide communicating
with the fibres of memorywhich in spite of us will arouse
them at times; this threadlike that of Ariadnewhen once
unraveled will conduct one through a labyrinth of thought
in which one loses one's self in endeavoring to follow that
phantom of the past which is called recollection.

Now the sight of this chateau had taken Raoul back fifty
leagues westward and had caused him to review his life from
the moment when he had taken leave of little Louise to that
in which he had seen her for the first time; and every
branch of oakevery gilded weathercock on roof of slates
reminded him thatinstead of returning to the friends of
his childhoodevery instant estranged him further and that
perhaps he had even left them forever.

With a full heart and burning head he desired Olivain to
lead on the horses to a wayside innwhich he observed
within gunshot rangea little in advance of the place they
had reached.

As for himselfhe dismounted and remained under a beautiful


group of chestnuts in floweramidst which were murmuring a
multitude of happy beesand bade Olivain send the host to
him with writing paper and inkto be placed on a table
which he found thereconveniently ready. Olivain obeyed and
continued on his waywhilst Raoul remained sittingwith
his elbow leaning on the tablefrom time to time gently
shaking the flowers from his headwhich fell upon him like
snowand gazing vaguely on the charming landscape spread
out before himdotted over with green fields and groups of
trees. Raoul had been there about ten minutesduring five
of which he was lost in reveriewhen there appeared within
the circle comprised in his rolling gaze a man with a
rubicund facewhowith a napkin around his bodyanother
under his armand a white cap upon his headapproached
himholding paperpen and ink in hand.

Ha! ha!laughed the apparitionevery gentleman seems to
have the same fancy, for not a quarter of an hour ago a
young lad, well mounted like you, as tall as you and of
about your age, halted before this clump of trees and had
this table and this chair brought here, and dined here, with
an old gentleman who seemed to be his tutor, upon a pie, of
which they haven't left a mouthful, and two bottles of Macon
wine, of which they haven't left a drop, but fortunately we
have still some of the same wine and some of the same pies
left, and if your worship will but give your orders ----

No, friend replied RaoulsmilingI am obliged to you,
but at this moment I want nothing but the things for which I
have asked -- only I shall be very glad if the ink prove
black and the pen good; upon these conditions I will pay for
the pen the price of the bottle, and for the ink the price
of the pie.

Very well, sir,said the hostI'll give the pie and the
bottle of wine to your servant, and in this way you will
have the pen and ink into the bargain.

Do as you like,said Raoulwho was beginning his
apprenticeship with that particular class of societywho
when there were robbers on the highroadswere connected
with themand whosince highwaymen no longer existhave
advantageously and aptly filled their vacant place.

The hosthis mind at ease about his billplaced penink
and paper upon the table. By a lucky chance the pen was
tolerably good and Raoul began to write. The host remained
standing in front of himlooking with a kind of involuntary
admiration at his handsome facecombining both gravity and
sweetness of expression. Beauty has always been and always
will be all-powerful.

He's not a guest like the other one here just now,
observed mine host to Olivainwho had rejoined his master
to see if he wanted anythingand your young master has no
appetite.

My master had appetite enough three days ago, but what can
one do? he lost it the day before yesterday.

And Olivain and the host took their way together toward the
innOlivainaccording to the custom of serving-men well
pleased with their placerelating to the tavern-keeper all
that he could say in favor of the young gentleman; whilst


Raoul wrote on thus:

Sir, -- After a four hours' march I stop to write to you,
for I miss you every moment, and I am always on the point of
turning my head as if to reply when you speak to me. I was
so bewildered by your departure and so overcome with grief
at our separation, that I am sure I was able to but very
feebly express all the affection and gratitude I feel toward
you. You will forgive me, sir, for your heart is of such a
generous nature that you can well understand all that has
passed in mine. I entreat you to write to me, for you form a
part of my existence, and, if I may venture to tell you so,
I also feel anxious. It seemed to me as if you were yourself
preparing for some dangerous undertaking, about which I did
not dare to question you, since you told me nothing. I have,
therefore, as you see, great need of hearing from you. Now
that you are no longer beside me I am afraid every moment of
erring. You sustained me powerfully, sir, and I protest to
you that to-day I feel very lonely. Will you have the
goodness, sir, should you receive news from Blois, to send
me a few lines about my little friend Mademoiselle de la
Valliere, about whose health, when we left, so much anxiety
was felt? You can understand, honored and dear guardian, how
precious and indispensable to me is the remembrance of the
years that I have passed with you. I hope that you will
sometimes, too, think of me, and if at certain hours you
should miss me, if you should feel any slight regret at my
absence, I shall be overwhelmed with joy at the thought that
you appreciate my affection for and my devotion to yourself,
and that I have been able to prove them to you whilst I had
the happiness of diving with you.

After finishing this letter Raoul felt more composed; he
looked well around him to see if Olivain and the host might
not be watching himwhilst he impressed a kiss upon the
papera mute and touching caresswhich the heart of Athos
might well divine on opening the letter.

During this time Olivain had finished his bottle and eaten
his pie; the horses were also refreshed. Raoul motioned to
the host to approachthrew a crown upon the tablemounted
his horseand posted his letter at Senlis. The rest that
had been thus afforded to men and horses enabled them to
continue their journey at a good round pace. At Verberie
Raoul desired Olivain to make some inquiry about the young
man who was preceding them; he had been observed to pass
only three-quarters of an hour previouslybut he was well
mountedas the tavern-keeper had already saidand rode at
a rapid pace.

Let us try and overtake this gentleman,said Raoul to
Olivain; "like ourselves he is on his way to join the army
and may prove agreeable company."

It was about four o'clock in the afternoon when Raoul
arrived at Compiegne; there he dined heartily and again
inquired about the young gentleman who was in advance of
them. He had stoppedlike Raoulat the Hotel of the Bell
and Bottlethe best at Compiegne; and had started again on
his journeysaying that he should sleep at Noyon.


Well, let us sleep at Noyon,said Raoul.

Sir,replied Olivainrespectfullyallow me to remark
that we have already much fatigued the horses this morning.
I think it would be well to sleep here and to start again
very early to-morrow. Eighteen leagues is enough for the
first stage.

The Comte de la Fere wished me to hasten on,replied
Raoulthat I might rejoin the prince on the morning of the
fourth day; let us push on, then, to Noyon; it will be a
stage similar to those we traveled from Blois to Paris. We
shall arrive at eight o'clock. The horses will have a long
night's rest, and at five o'clock to-morrow morning we can
be again on the road.

Olivain dared offer no opposition to this determination but
he followed his mastergrumbling.

Go on, go on,said hebetween his teethexpend your
ardor the first day; to-morrow, instead of journeying twenty
leagues, you will travel ten, the day after to-morrow, five,
and in three days you will be in bed. There you must rest;
young people are such braggarts.

It was easy to see that Olivain had not been taught in the
school of the Planchets and the Grimauds. Raoul really felt
tiredbut he was desirous of testing his strengthand
brought up in the principles of Athos and certain of having
heard him speak a thousand times of stages of twenty-five
leagueshe did not wish to fall far short of his model.
D'Artagnanthat man of ironwho seemed to be made of nerve
and muscle onlyhad struck him with admiration. Therefore
in spite of Olivain's remarkshe continued to urge his
steed more and moreand following a pleasant little path
leading to a ferryand which he had been assured shortened
the journey by the distance of one leaguehe arrived at the
summit of a hill and perceived the river flowing before him.
A little troop of men on horseback were waiting on the edge
of the streamready to embark. Raoul did not doubt this was
the gentleman and his escort; he called out to himbut they
were too distant to be heard; thenin spite of the
weariness of his beasthe made it gallop but the rising
ground soon deprived him of all sight of the travelersand
when he had again attained a new heightthe ferryboat had
left the shore and was making for the opposite bank. Raoul
seeing that he could not arrive in time to cross the ferry
with the travelershalted to wait for Olivain. At this
moment a shriek was heard that seemed to come from the
river. Raoul turned toward the side whence the cry had
soundedand shaded his eyes from the glare of the setting
sun with his hand.

Olivain!he exclaimedwhat do I see below there?

A second screammore piercing than the firstnow sounded.

Oh, sir!cried Olivainthe rope which holds the
ferryboat has broken and the boat is drifting. But what do I
see in the water -- something struggling?

Oh, yes,exclaimed Raoulfixing his glance on one point
in the streamsplendidly illumined by the setting suna


horse, a rider!

They are sinking!cried Olivain in his turn.

It was trueand Raoul was convinced that some accident had
happened and that a man was drowning; he gave his horse its
headstruck his spurs into its sidesand the animalurged
by pain and feeling that he had space open before him
bounded over a kind of paling which inclosed the landing
placeand fell into the riverscattering to a distance
waves of white froth.

Ah, sir!cried Olivainwhat are you doing? Good God!

Raoul was directing his horse toward the unhappy man in
danger. This wasin facta custom familiar to him. Having
been brought up on the banks of the Loirehe might have
been said to have been cradled on its waves; a hundred times
he had crossed it on horsebacka thousand times had swum
across. Athosforeseeing the period when he should make a
soldier of the viscounthad inured him to all kinds of
arduous undertakings.

Oh, heavens!continued Olivainin despairwhat would
the count say if he only saw you now!

The count would do as I do,replied Raoulurging his
horse vigorously forward.

But I -- but I,cried Olivainpale and disconsolate
rushing about on the shorehow shall I cross?

Leap, coward!cried Raoulswimming on; then addressing
the travelerwho was struggling twenty yards in front of
him: "Couragesir!" said hecourage! we are coming to
your aid.

Olivain advancedretiredthen made his horse rear -turned
it and thenstruck to the core by shameleapedas
Raoul had doneonly repeating:

I am a dead man! we are lost!

In the meantimethe ferryboat had floated awaycarried
down by the streamand the shrieks of those whom it
contained resounded more and more. A man with gray hair had
thrown himself from the boat into the river and was swimming
vigorously toward the person who was drowning; but being
obliged to go against the current he advanced but slowly.
Raoul continued his way and was visibly gaining ground; but
the horse and its riderof whom he did not lose sightwere
evidently sinking. The nostrils of the horse were no longer
above waterand the riderwho had lost the reins in
strugglingfell with his head back and his arms extended.
One moment longer and all would disappear.

Courage!cried Raoulcourage!

Too late!murmured the young mantoo late!

The water closed above his head and stifled his voice.

Raoul sprang from his horseto which he left the charge of
its own preservationand in three or four strokes was at


the gentleman's side; he seized the horse at once by the
curb and raised its head above water; the animal began to
breathe again andas if he comprehended that they had come
to his aidredoubled his efforts. Raoul at the same time
seized one of the young man's hands and placed it on the
manewhich it grasped with the tenacity of a drowning man.
Thussure that the rider would not release his holdRaoul
now only directed his attention to the horsewhich he
guided to the opposite bankhelping it to cut through the
water and encouraging it with words.

All at once the horse stumbled against a ridge and then
placed its foot on the sand.

Saved!exclaimed the man with gray hairwho also touched
bottom.

Saved!mechanically repeated the young gentleman
releasing the mane and sliding from the saddle into Raoul's
arms; Raoul was but ten yards from the shore; there he bore
the fainting manand laying him down upon the grass
unfastened the buttons of his collar and unhooked his
doublet. A moment later the gray-headed man was beside him.
Olivain managed in his turn to landafter crossing himself
repeatedly; and the people in the ferryboat guided
themselves as well as they were able toward the bankwith
the aid of a pole which chanced to be in the boat.

Thanks to the attentions of Raoul and the man who
accompanied the young gentlemanthe color gradually
returned to the pale cheeks of the dying manwho opened his
eyesat first entirely bewilderedbut who soon fixed his
gaze upon the person who had saved him.

Ah, sir,he exclaimedit was you! Without you I was a
dead man -- thrice dead.

But one recovers, sir, as you perceive,replied Raoul
and we have but had a little bath.

Oh! sir, what gratitude I feel!exclaimed the man with
gray hair.

Ah, there you are, my good D'Arminges; I have given you a
great fright, have I not? but it is your own fault. You were
my tutor, why did you not teach me to swim?

Oh, monsieur le comte,replied the old manhad any
misfortune happened to you, I should never have dared to
show myself to the marshal again.

But how did the accident happen?asked Raoul.

Oh, sir, in the most natural way possible,replied he to
whom they had given the title of count. "We were about a
third of the way across the river when the cord of the
ferryboat broke. Alarmed by the cries and gestures of the
boatmenmy horse sprang into the water. I cannot swimand
dared not throw myself into the river. Instead of aiding the
movements of my horseI paralyzed them; and I was just
going to drown myself with the best grace in the worldwhen
you arrived just in time to pull me out of the water;
thereforesirif you will agreehenceforward we are
friends until death."


Sir,replied RaoulbowingI am entirely at your
service, I assure you.

I am called the Count de Guiche,continued the young man;
my father is the Marechal de Grammont; and now that you
know who I am, do me the honor to inform me who you are.

I am the Viscount de Bragelonne,answered Raoulblushing
at being unable to name his fatheras the Count de Guiche
had done.

Viscount, your countenance, your goodness and your courage
incline me toward you; my gratitude is already due. Shake
hands -- I crave your friendship.

Sir,said Raoulreturning the count's pressure of the
handI like you already, from my heart; pray regard me as
a devoted friend, I beseech you.

And nowwhere are you goingviscount?" inquired De Guiche.

To join the army, under the prince, count.

And I, too!exclaimed the young manin a transport of
joy. "Ohso much the betterwe will fire the first shot
together."

It is well; be friends,said the tutor; "young as you both
areyou were perhaps born under the same star and were
destined to meet. And now continued he, you must change
your clothes; your servantsto whom I gave directions the
moment they had left the ferryboatought to be already at
the inn. Linen and wine are both being warmed; come."

The young men had no objection to this proposition; on the
contrarythey thought it very timely.

They mounted again at oncewhilst looks of admiration
passed between them. They were indeed two elegant horsemen
with figures slight and uprightnoble facesbright and
proud looksloyal and intelligent smiles.

De Guiche might have been about eighteen years of agebut
he was scarcely taller than Raoulwho was only fifteen.

Skirmishing.

The halt at Noyon was but briefevery one there being
wrapped in profound sleep. Raoul had desired to be awakened
should Grimaud arrivebut Grimaud did not arrive.
Doubtlesstoothe horses on their part appreciated the
eight hours of repose and the abundant stabling which was
granted them. The Count de Guiche was awakened at five
o'clock in the morning by Raoulwho came to wish him
good-day. They breakfasted in hasteand at six o'clock had
already gone ten miles.


The young count's conversation was most interesting to
Raoultherefore he listened muchwhilst the count talked
well and long. Brought up in Pariswhere Raoul had been but
once; at the courtwhich Raoul had never seen; his follies
as page; two duelswhich he had already found the means of
fightingin spite of the edicts against them andmore
especiallyin spite of his tutor's vigilance -- these
things excited the greatest curiosity in Raoul. Raoul had
only been at M. Scarron's house; he named to Guiche the
people whom he had seen there. Guiche knew everybody -Madame
de NeuillanMademoiselle d'AubigneMademoiselle de
ScuderyMademoiselle PauletMadame de Chevreuse. He
criticised everybody humorously. Raoul trembledlest he
should laugh among the rest at Madame de Chevreusefor whom
he entertained deep and genuine sympathybut either
instinctivelyor from affection for the duchesshe said
everything in her favor. His praises increased Raoul's
friendship twofold. Then came the question of gallantry and
love affairs. Under this headalsoBragelonne had much
more to hear than to tell. He listened attentively and
fancied that he discovered through three or four rather
frivolous adventuresthat the countlike himselfhad a
secret to hide in the depths of his heart.

De Guicheas we have said beforehad been educated at the
courtand the intrigues of this court were not unknown to
him. It was the same court of which Raoul had so often heard
the Comte de la Fere speakexcept that its aspect had much
changed since the period when Athos had himself been part of
it; therefore everything which the Count de Guiche related
was new to his traveling companion. The young countwitty
and causticpassed all the world in review; the queen
herself was not sparedand Cardinal Mazarin came in for his
share of ridicule.

The day passed away as rapidly as an hour. The count's
tutora man of the world and a bon vivantup to his eyes
in learningas his pupil described himoften recalled the
profound eruditionthe witty and caustic satire of Athos to
Raoul; but as regarded gracedelicacyand nobility of
external appearanceno one in these points was to be
compared to the Comte de la Fere.

The horseswhich were more kindly used than on the previous
daystopped at Arras at four o'clock in the evening. They
were approaching the scene of war; and as bands of Spaniards
sometimes took advantage of the night to make expeditions
even as far as the neighborhood of Arrasthey determined to
remain in the town until the morrow. The French army held
all between Pont-a-Marc as far as Valenciennesfalling back
upon Douai. The prince was said to be in person at Bethune.

The enemy's army extended from Cassel to Courtray; and as
there was no species of violence or pillage it did not
committhe poor people on the frontier quitted their
isolated dwellings and fled for refuge into the strong
cities which held out a shelter to them. Arras was
encumbered with fugitives. An approaching battle was much
spoken ofthe prince having manoeuvreduntil that
movementonly in order to await a reinforcement that had
just reached him.

The young men congratulated themselves on having arrived so
opportunely. The evening was employed in discussing the war;


the grooms polished their arms; the young men loaded the
pistols in case of a skirmishand they awoke in despair
having both dreamed that they had arrived too late to
participate in the battle. In the morning it was rumored
that Prince de Conde had evacuated Bethune and fallen back
on Carvinleavinghowevera strong garrison in the former
city.

But as there was nothing positively certain in this report
the young warriors decided to continue their way toward
Bethunefree on the road to diverge to the right and march
to Carvin if necessary.

The count's tutor was well acquainted with the country; he
consequently proposed to take a crossroadwhich lay between
that of Lens and that of Bethune. They obtained information
at Ablainand a statement of their route was left for
Grimaud. About seven o'clock in the morning they set out. De
Guichewho was young and impulsivesaid to RaoulHere we
are, three masters and three servants. Our valets are well
armed and yours seems to be tough enough.

I have never seen him put to the test,replied Raoulbut
he is a Breton, which promises something.

Yes, yes,resumed De Guiche; "I am sure he can fire a
musket when required. On my side I have two sure menwho
have been in action with my father. We therefore represent
six fighting men; if we should meet a little troop of
enemiesequal or even superior in number to our ownshall
we charge themRaoul?"

Certainly, sir,replied the viscount.

Holloa! young people -- stop there!said the tutor
joining in the conversation. "Zounds! how you manoeuvre my
instructionscount! You seem to forget the orders I
received to conduct you safe and sound to his highness the
prince! Once with the army you may be killed at your good
pleasure; but until that timeI warn you that in my
capacity of general of the army I shall order a retreat and
turn my back on the first red coat we come across." De
Guiche and Raoul glanced at each othersmiling.

They arrived at Ablain without accident. There they inquired
and learned that the prince had in reality quitted Bethune
and stationed himself between Cambria and La Venthie.
Thereforeleaving directions at every place for Grimaud
they took a crossroad which conducted the little troop by
the bank of a small stream flowing into the Lys. The country
was beautifulintersected by valleys as green as the
emerald. Here and there they passed little copses crossing
the path which they were following. In anticipation of some
ambuscade in each of these little woods the tutor placed his
two servants at the head of the bandthus forming the
advance guard. Himself and the two young men represented the
body of the armywhilst Olivainwith his rifle upon his
knee and his eyes upon the watchprotected the rear.

They had observed for some time before themon the horizon
a rather thick wood; and when they had arrived at a distance
of a hundred steps from itMonsieur d'Arminges took his
usual precautions and sent on in advance the count's two
grooms. The servants had just disappeared under the trees


followed by the tutorand the young men were laughing and
talking about a hundred yards off. Olivain was at the same
distance in the rearwhen suddenly there resounded five or
six musket-shots. The tutor cried halt; the young men
obeyedpulling up their steedsand at the same moment the
two valets were seen returning at a gallop.

The young menimpatient to learn the cause of the firing
spurred on toward the servants. The tutor followed them.

Were you stopped?eagerly inquired the two youths.

No,replied the servantsit is even probable that we
have not been seen; the shots were fired about a hundred
paces in advance of us, in the thickest part of the wood,
and we returned to ask your advice.

My advice is this,said Monsieur d'Armingesand if needs
be, my will, that we beat a retreat. There may be an
ambuscade concealed in this wood.

Did you see nothing there?asked the count.

I thought I saw,said one of the servantshorsemen
dressed in yellow, creeping along the bed of the stream.

That's it said the tutor. We have fallen in with a party
of Spaniards. Come backsirsback."

The two youths looked at each otherand at this moment a
pistol-shot and cries for help were heard. Another glance
between the young men convinced them both that neither had
any wish to go backand as the tutor had already turned his
horse's headthey both spurred forwardRaoul crying:
Follow me, Olivain!and the Count de Guiche: "Follow
Urban and Planchet!" And before the tutor could recover from
his surprise they had both disappeared into the forest.
Whilst they spurred their steeds they held their pistols
ready also. In five minutes they arrived at the spot whence
the noise had proceededand then restraining their horses
they advanced cautiously.

Hush,whispered De Guichethese are cavaliers.

Yes, three on horseback and three who have dismounted.

Can you see what they are doing?

Yes, they appear to be searching a wounded or dead man.

It is some cowardly assassination,said De Guiche.

They are soldiers, though,resumed De Bragelonne.

Yes, skirmishers; that is to say, highway robbers.

At them!cried Raoul. "At them!" echoed De Guiche.

Oh! gentlemen! gentlemen! in the name of Heaven!cried the
poor tutor.

But he was not listened toand his cries only served to
arouse the attention of the Spaniards.


The men on horseback at once rushed at the two youths
leaving the three others to complete the plunder of the dead
or wounded travelers; for on approaching nearerinstead of
one extended figurethe young men discovered two. De Guiche
fired the first shot at ten paces and missed his man; and
the Spaniardwho had advanced to meet Raoulaimed in his
turnand Raoul felt a pain in the left armsimilar to that
of a blow from a whip. He let off his fire at but four
paces. Struck in the breast and extending his armsthe
Spaniard fell back on the crupperand the terrified horse
turning aroundcarried him off.

Raoul at this moment perceived the muzzle of a gun pointed
at himand remembering the recommendation of Athoshe
with the rapidity of lightningmade his horse rear as the
shot was fired. His horse bounded to one sidelosing its
footingand fellentangling Raoul's leg under its body.
The Spaniard sprang forward and seized the gun by its
muzzlein order to strike Raoul on the head with the butt.
In the position in which Raoul layunfortunatelyhe could
neither draw his sword from the scabbardnor his pistols
from their holsters. The butt end of the musket hovered over
his headand he could scarcely restrain himself from
closing his eyeswhen with one bound Guiche reached the
Spaniard and placed a pistol at his throat. "Yield!" he
criedor you are a dead man!The musket fell from the
soldier's handswho yielded on the instant. Guiche summoned
one of his groomsand delivering the prisoner into his
chargewith orders to shoot him through the head if he
attempted to escapehe leaped from his horse and approached
Raoul.

Faith, sir,said Raoulsmilingalthough his pallor
betrayed the excitement consequent on a first affairyou
are in a great hurry to pay your debts and have not been
long under any obligation to me. Without your aid,
continued herepeating the count's words "I should have
been a dead man -- thrice dead."

My antagonist took flight,replied De Guiche "and left me
at liberty to come to your assistance. But are you seriously
wounded? I see you are covered with blood!"

I believe,said Raoulthat I have got something like a
scratch on the arm. If you will help me to drag myself from
under my horse I hope nothing need prevent us continuing our
journey.

Monsieur d'Arminges and Olivain had already dismounted and
were attempting to raise the struggling horse. At last Raoul
succeeded in drawing his foot from the stirrup and his leg
from under the animaland in a second he was on his feet
again.

Nothing broken?asked De Guiche.

Faith, no, thank Heaven!replied Raoul; "but what has
become of the poor wretches whom these scoundrels were
murdering?"

I fear we arrived too late. They have killed them, I think,
and taken flight, carrying off their booty. My servants are
examining the bodies.


Let us go and see whether they are quite dead, or if they
can still be helped,suggested Raoul. "Olivainwe have
come into possession of two horsesbut I have lost my own.
Take for yourself the better of the two and give me yours."

They approached the spot where the unfortunate victims lay.

The Monk.

Two men lay prone upon the groundone bathed in blood and
motionlesswith his face toward the earth; this one was
dead. The other leaned against a treesupported there by
the two valetsand was praying ferventlywith clasped
hands and eyes raised to Heaven. He had received a ball in
his thighwhich had broken the bone. The young men first
approached the dead man.

He is a priest,said Bragelonnehe has worn the tonsure.
Oh, the scoundrels! to lift their hands against a minister
of God.

Come here, sir,said Urbanan old soldier who had served
under the cardinal duke in all his campaigns; "come here
there is nothing to be done with himwhilst we may perhaps
be able to save the other."

The wounded man smiled sadly. "Save me! Ohno!" said he
but help me to die, if you can.

Are you a priest?asked Raoul.

No sir.

I ask, as your unfortunate companion appeared to me to
belong to the church.

He is the curate of Bethune, sir, and was carrying the holy
vessels belonging to his church, and the treasure of the
chapter, to a safe place, the prince having abandoned our
town yesterday; and as it was known that bands of the enemy
were prowling about the country, no one dared to accompany
the good man, so I offered to do so.

Andsir continued the wounded man, I suffer much and
would likeif possibleto be carried to some house."

Where you can be relieved?asked De Guiche.

No, where I can confess.

But perhaps you are not so dangerously wounded as you
think,said Raoul.

Sir,replied the wounded manbelieve me, there is no
time to lose; the ball has broken the thigh bone and entered
the intestines.

Are you a surgeon?asked De Guiche.


No, but I know a little about wounds, and mine, I know, is
mortal. Try, therefore, either to carry me to some place
where I may see a priest or take the trouble to send one to
me here. It is my soul that must be saved; as for my body,
it is lost.

To die whilst doing a good deed! It is impossible. God will
help you.

Gentlemen, in the name of Heaven!said the wounded man
collecting all his forcesas if to get uplet us not lose
time in useless words. Either help me to gain the nearest
village or swear to me on your salvation that you will send
me the first monk, the first cure, the first priest you may
meet. But,he added in a despairing toneperhaps no one
will dare to come for it is known that the Spaniards are
ranging through the country, and I shall die without
absolution. My God! my God! Good God! good God!added the
wounded manin an accent of terror which made the young men
shudder; "you will not allow that? that would be too
terrible!"

Calm yourself, sir,replied De Guiche. "I swear to you
you shall receive the consolation that you ask. Only tell us
where we shall find a house at which we can demand aid and a
village from which we can fetch a priest."

Thank you, and God reward you! About half a mile from this,
on the same road, there is an inn, and about a mile further
on, after leaving the inn, you will reach the village of
Greney. There you must find the curate, or if he is not at
home, go to the convent of the Augustines, which is the last
house on the right, and bring me one of the brothers. Monk
or priest, it matters not, provided only that he has
received from holy church the power of absolving in articulo
mortis.

Monsieur d'Arminges,said De Guicheremain beside this
unfortunate man and see that he is removed as gently as
possible. The vicomte and myself will go and find a priest.

Go, sir,replied the tutor; "but in Heaven's name do not
expose yourself to danger!"

Do not fear. Besides, we are safe for to-day; you know the
axiom, `Non bis in idem.'

Courage, sir,said Raoul to the wounded man. "We are going
to execute your wishes."

May Heaven prosper you!replied the dying manwith an
accent of gratitude impossible to describe.

The two young men galloped off in the direction mentioned
and in ten minutes reached the inn. Raoulwithout
dismountingcalled to the host and announced that a wounded
man was about to be brought to his house and begged him in
the meantime to prepare everything needful. He desired him
alsoshould he know in the neighborhood any doctor or
chirurgeonto fetch himtaking on himself the payment of
the messenger.

The hostwho saw two young noblemenrichly cladpromised


everything they requiredand our two cavaliersafter
seeing that preparations for the reception were actually
begunstarted off again and proceeded rapidly toward
Greney.

They had gone rather more than a league and had begun to
descry the first houses of the villagethe red-tiled roofs
of which stood out from the green trees which surrounded
themwhencoming toward them mounted on a mulethey
perceived a poor monkwhose large hat and gray worsted
dress made them take him for an Augustine brother. Chance
for once seemed to favor them in sending what they were so
assiduously seeking. He was a man about twenty-two or
twenty-three years oldbut who appeared much older from
ascetic exercises. His complexion was palenot of that
deadly pallor which is a kind of neutral beautybut of a
biliousyellow hue; his colorless hair was short and
scarcely extended beyond the circle formed by the hat around
his headand his light blue eyes seemed destitute of any
expression.

Sir,began Raoulwith his usual politenessare you an
ecclesiastic?

Why do you ask me that?replied the strangerwith a
coolness which was barely civil.

Because we want to know,said De Guichehaughtily.

The stranger touched his mule with his heel and continued
his way.

In a second De Guiche had sprung before him and barred his
passage. "Answersir exclaimed he; you have been asked
politelyand every question is worth an answer."

I suppose I am free to say or not to say who I am to two
strangers who take a fancy to ask me.

It was with difficulty that De Guiche restrained the intense
desire he had of breaking the monk's bones.

In the first place,he saidmaking an effort to control
himselfwe are not people who may be treated anyhow; my
friend there is the Viscount of Bragelonne and I am the
Count de Guiche. Nor was it from caprice we asked the
question, for there is a wounded and dying man who demands
the succor of the church. If you be a priest, I conjure you
in the name of humanity to follow me to aid this man; if you
be not, it is a different matter, and I warn you in the name
of courtesy, of which you appear profoundly ignorant, that I
shall chastise you for your insolence.

The pale face of the monk became so livid and his smile so
strangethat Raoulwhose eyes were still fixed upon him
felt as if this smile had struck to his heart like an
insult.

He is some Spanish or Flemish spy,said heputting his
hand to his pistol. A glancethreatening and transient as
lightningreplied to Raoul.

Well, sir,said De Guicheare you going to reply?


I am a priest,said the young man.

Then, father,said Raoulforcing himself to convey a
respect by speech that did not come from his heartif you
are a priest you have an opportunity, as my friend has told
you, of exercising your vocation. At the next inn you will
find a wounded man, now being attended by our servants, who
has asked the assistance of a minister of God.

I will go,said the monk.

And he touched his mule.

If you do not go, sir,said De Guicheremember that we
have two steeds able to catch your mule and the power of
having you seized wherever you may be; and then I swear your
trial will be summary; one can always find a tree and a
cord.

The monk's eye again flashedbut that was all; he merely
repeated his phraseI will go,-- and he went.

Let us follow him,said De Guiche; "it will be the surest
plan."

I was about to propose so doing,answered De Bragelonne.

In the space of five minutes the monk turned around to
ascertain whether he was followed or not.

You see,said Raoulwe have done wisely.

What a horrible face that monk has,said De Guiche.

Horrible!replied Raoulespecially in expression.

Yes, yes,said De Guichea strange face; but these monks
are subject to such degrading practices; their fasts make
them pale, the blows of the discipline make them hypocrites,
and their eyes become inflamed through weeping for the good
things of this life we common folk enjoy, but they have
lost.

Well,said Raoulthe poor man will get his priest, but,
by Heaven, the penitent appears to me to have a better
conscience than the confessor. I confess I am accustomed to
priests of a very different appearance.

Ah!exclaimed De Guicheyou must understand that this is
one of those wandering brothers, who go begging on the high
road until some day a benefice falls down from Heaven on
them; they are mostly foreigners -- Scotch, Irish or Danish.
I have seen them before.

As ugly?

No, but reasonably hideous.

What a misfortune for the wounded man to die under the
hands of such a friar!

Pshaw!said De Guiche. "Absolution comes not from him who
administers itbut from God. Howeverfor my partI would
rather die unshriven than have anything to say to such a


confessor. You are of my opinionare you notviscount? and
I see you playing with the pommel of your swordas if you
had a great inclination to break the holy father's head."

Yes, count, it is a strange thing and one which might
astonish you, but I feel an indescribable horror at the
sight of yonder man. Have you ever seen a snake rise up on
your path?

Never,answered De Guiche.

Well, it has happened to me to do so in our Blaisois
forests, and I remember that the first time I encountered
one with its eyes fixed upon me, curled up, swinging its
head and pointing its tongue, I remained fixed, pale and as
though fascinated, until the moment when the Comte de la
Fere ----

Your father?asked De Guiche.

No, my guardian,replied Raoulblushing.

Very well ----

Until the moment when the Comte de la Fere,resumed Raoul
said, `Come, Bragelonne, draw your sword;' then only I
rushed upon the reptile and cut it in two, just at the
moment when it was rising on its tail and hissing, ere it
sprang upon me. Well, I vow I felt exactly the same
sensation at sight of that man when he said, `Why do you ask
me that?' and looked so strangely at me.

Then you regret that you did not cut your serpent in two
morsels?

Faith, yes, almost,said Raoul.

They had now arrived within sight of the little inn and
could see on the opposite side the procession bearing the
wounded man and guided by Monsieur d'Arminges. The youths
spurred on.

There is the wounded man,said De Guichepassing close to
the Augustine brother. "Be good enough to hurry yourself a
littlemonsieur monk."

As for Raoulhe avoided the monk by the whole width of the
road and passed himturning his head away in repulsion.

The young men rode up to the wounded man to announce that
they were followed by the priest. He raised himself to
glance in the direction which they pointed outsaw the
monkand fell back upon the litterhis face illumined by
joy.

And now,said the youthswe have done all we can for
you; and as we are in haste to rejoin the prince's army we
must continue our journey. You will excuse us, sir, but we
are told that a battle is expected and we do not wish to
arrive the day after it.

Go, my young sirs,said the sick manand may you both be
blessed for your piety. You have done for me, as you
promised, all that you could do. As for me I can only


repeat, may God protect you and all dear to you!

Sir,said De Guiche to his tutorwe will precede you,
and you can rejoin us on the road to Cambrin.

The host was at his door and everything was prepared -- bed
bandagesand lint; and a groom had gone to Lensthe
nearest villagefor a doctor.

Everything,said he to Raoulshall be done as you
desire; but you will not stop to have your wound dressed?

Oh, my wound -- mine -- 'tis nothing,replied the
viscount; "it will be time to think about it when we next
halt; only have the goodnessshould you see a cavalier who
makes inquiries about a young man on a chestnut horse
followed by a servantto tell himin factthat you have
seen mebut that I have continued my journey and intend to
dine at Mazingarbe and to stop at Cambrin. This cavalier is
my attendant."

Would it not be safer and more certain if I should ask him
his name and tell him yours?demanded the host.

There is no harm in over-precaution. I am the Viscount de
Bragelonne and he is called Grimaud.

At this moment the wounded man arrived from one direction
and the monk from the otherthe latter dismounting from his
mule and desiring that it should be taken to the stables
without being unharnessed.

Sir monk,said De Guicheconfess well that brave man;
and be not concerned for your expenses or for those of your
mule; all is paid.

Thanks, monsieur,said the monkwith one of those smiles
that made Bragelonne shudder.

Come, count,said Raoulwho seemed instinctively to
dislike the vicinity of the Augustine; "comeI feel ill
here and the two young men spurred on.

The litter, borne by two servants, now entered the house.
The host and his wife were standing on the steps, whilst the
unhappy man seemed to suffer dreadful pain and yet to be
concerned only to know if he was followed by the monk. At
sight of this pale, bleeding man, the wife grasped her
husband's arm.

Wellwhat's the matter?" asked the latterare you going
to be ill just now?

No, but look,replied the hostesspointing to the wounded
man; "I ask you if you recognize him?"

That man -- wait a bit.

Ah! I see you know him,exclaimed the wife; "for you have
become pale in your turn."

Truly,cried the hostmisfortune is coming on our house;
it is the former executioner of Bethune.


The former executioner of Bethune!murmured the young
monkshrinking back and showing on his countenance the
feeling of repugnance which his penitent inspired.

Monsieur d'Armingeswho was at the doorperceived his
hesitation.

Sir monk,said hewhether he is now or has been an
executioner, this unfortunate being is none the less a man.
Render to him, then, the last service he can by any
possibility ask of you, and your work will be all the more
meritorious.

The monk made no replybut silently wended his way to the
room where the two valets had deposited the dying man on a
bed. D'Arminges and Olivain and the two grooms then mounted
their horsesand all four started off at a quick trot to
rejoin Raoul and his companion. Just as the tutor and his
escort disappeared in their turna new traveler stopped on
the threshold of the inn.

What does your worship want?demanded the hostpale and
trembling from the discovery he had just made.

The traveler made a sign as if he wished to drinkand then
pointed to his horse and gesticulated like a man who is
brushing something.

Ah, diable!said the host to himself; "this man seems
dumb. And where will your worship drink?"

There,answered the travelerpointing to the table.

I was mistaken,said the hosthe's not quite dumb. And
what else does your worship wish for?

To know if you have seen a young man pass, fifteen years of
age, mounted on a chestnut horse and followed by a groom?

The Viscount de Bragelonne?

Just so."

Then you are called Monsieur Grimaud?

The traveler made a sign of assent.

Well, then,said the hostyour young master was here a
quarter of an hour ago; he will dine at Mazingarbe and sleep
at Cambrin.

How far is Mazingarbe?

Two miles and a half.

Thank you.

Grimaud was drinking his wine silently and had just placed
his glass on the table to be filled a second timewhen a
terrific scream resounded from the room occupied by the monk
and the dying man. Grimaud sprang up.

What is that?said he; "whence comes that cry?"


From the wounded man's room,replied the host.

What wounded man?

The former executioner of Bethune, who has just been
brought in here, assassinated by Spaniards, and who is now
being confessed by an Augustine friar.

The old executioner of Bethune,muttered Grimaud; "a man
between fifty-five and sixtytallstrongswarthyblack
hair and beard?"

That is he, except that his beard has turned gray and his
hair is white; do you know him?asked the host.

I have seen him once,replied Grimauda cloud darkening
his countenance at the picture so suddenly summoned to the
bar of recollection.

At this instant a second cryless piercing than the first
but followed by prolonged groaningwas heard.

The three listeners looked at one another in alarm.

We must see what it is,said Grimaud.

It sounds like the cry of one who is being murdered,
murmured the host.

Mon Dieu!said the womancrossing herself.

If Grimaud was slow in speakingwe know that he was quick
to act; he sprang to the door and shook it violentlybut it
was bolted on the other side.

Open the door!cried the host; "open it instantlysir
monk!"

No reply.

Unfasten it, or I will break it in!said Grimaud.

The same silenceand thenere the host could oppose his
designGrimaud seized a pair of pincers he perceived in a
corner and forced the bolt. The room was inundated with
blooddripping from the mattresses upon which lay the
wounded manspeechless; the monk had disappeared.

The monk!cried the host; "where is the monk?"

Grimaud sprang toward an open window which looked into the
courtyard.

He has escaped by this means,exclaimed he.

Do you think so?said the hostbewildered; "boysee if
the mule belonging to the monk is still in the stable."

There is no mule,cried he to whom this question was
addressed.

The host clasped his hands and looked around him
suspiciouslywhilst Grimaud knit his brows and approached
the wounded manwhose wornhard features awoke in his mind


such awful recollections of the past.

There can be no longer any doubt but that it is himself,
said he.

Does he still live?inquired the innkeeper.

Making no replyGrimaud opened the poor man's jacket to
feel if the heart beatwhilst the host approached in his
turn; but in a moment they both fell backthe host uttering
a cry of horror and Grimaud becoming pallid. The blade of a
dagger was buried up to the hilt in the left side of the
executioner.

Run! run for help!cried Grimaudand I will remain
beside him here.

The host quitted the room in agitationand as for his wife
she had fled at the sound of her husband's cries.

The Absolution.

This is what had taken place: We have seen that it was not
of his own free willbuton the contraryvery
reluctantlythat the monk attended the wounded man who had
been recommended to him in so strange a manner. Perhaps he
would have sought to escape by flight had he seen any
possibility of doing so. He was restrained by the threats of
the two gentlemen and by the presence of their attendants
who doubtless had received their instructions. And besides
he considered it most expedientwithout exhibiting too much
ill-willto follow to the end his role as confessor.

The monk entered the chamber and approached the bed of the
wounded man. The executioner searched his face with the
quick glance peculiar to those who are about to die and have
no time to lose. He made a movement of surprise and said:

Father, you are very young.

Men who bear my robe have no, age,replied the monk
dryly.

Alas, speak to me more gently, father; in my last moments I
need a friend.

Do you suffer much?asked the monk.

Yes, but in my soul much more than in my body.

We will save your soul,said the young man; "but are you
really the executioner of Bethuneas these people say?"

That is to say,eagerly replied the wounded manwho
doubtless feared that the name of executioner would take
from him the last help that he could claim -- "that is to
sayI wasbut am no longer; it is fifteen years since I
gave up the office. I still assist at executionsbut no


longer strike the blow myself -- noindeed."

You have, then, a repugnance to your profession?

So long as I struck in the name of the law and of justice
my profession allowed me to sleep quietly, sheltered as I
was by justice and law; but since that terrible night when I
became an instrument of private vengeance and when with
personal hatred I raised the sword over one of God's
creatures -- since that day ----

The executioner paused and shook his head with an expression
of despair.

Tell me about it,said the monkwhositting on the foot
of the bedbegan to be interested in a story so strangely
introduced.

Ah!cried the dying manwith all the effusiveness of a
grief declared after long suppressionah! I have sought to
stifle remorse by twenty years of good deeds; I have
assuaged the natural ferocity of those who shed blood; on
every occasion I have exposed my life to save those who were
in danger, and I have preserved lives in exchange for that I
took away. That is not all; the money gained in the exercise
of my profession I have distributed to the poor; I have been
assiduous in attending church and those who formerly fled
from me have become accustomed to seeing me. All have
forgiven me, some have even loved me; but I think that God
has not pardoned me, for the memory of that execution
pursues me constantly and every night I see that woman's
ghost rising before me.

A woman! You have assassinated a woman, then?cried the
monk.

You also!exclaimed the executioneryou use that word
which sounds ever in my ears -- `assassinated!' I have
assassinated, then, and not executed! I am an assassin,
then, and not an officer of justice!and he closed his eyes
with a groan.

The monk doubtless feared that he would die without saying
morefor he exclaimed eagerly:

Go on, I know nothing, as yet; when you have finished your
story, God and I will judge.

Oh, father,continued the executionerwithout opening his
eyesas if he feared on opening them to see some frightful
objectit is especially when night comes on and when I
have to cross a river, that this terror which I have been
unable to conquer comes upon me; it then seems as if my hand
grew heavy, as if the cutlass was still in its grasp, as if
the water had the color of blood, and all the voices of
nature -- the whispering of the trees, the murmur of the
wind, the lapping of the wave -- united in a voice tearful,
despairing, terrible, crying to me, `Place for the justice
of God!'

Delirium!murmured the monkshaking his head.

The executioner opened his eyesturned toward the young man
and grasped his arm.


`Delirium,'he repeated; "`delirium' do you say? Ohno!
I remember too well. It was evening; I had thrown the body
into the river and those words which my remorse repeats to
me are those which I in my pride pronounced. After being the
instrument of human justice I aspired to be that of the
justice of God."

But let me see, how was it done? Speak,said the monk.

It was at night. A man came to me and showed me an order
and I followed him. Four other noblemen awaited me. They led
me away masked. I reserved the right of refusing if the
office they required of me should seem unjust. We traveled
five or six leagues, serious, silent, and almost without
speaking. At length, through the window of a little hut,
they showed me a woman sitting, leaning on a table, and
said, `there is the person to be executed.'

Horrible!said the monk. "And you obeyed?"

Father, that woman was a monster. It was said that she had
poisoned her second husband; she had tried to assassinate
her brother-in-law; she had just poisoned a young woman who
was her rival, and before leaving England she had, it was
believed, caused the favorite of the king to be murdered.

Buckingham?cried the monk.

Yes, Buckingham.

The woman was English, then?

No, she was French, but she had married in England.

The monk turned palewiped his brow and went and bolted the
door. The executioner thought that he had abandoned him and
fell backgroaningupon his bed.

No, no; I am here,said the monkquickly coming back to
him. "Go on; who were those men?"

One of them was a foreigner, English, I think. The four
others were French and wore the uniform of musketeers.

Their names?asked the monk.

I don't know them, but the four other noblemen called the
Englishman `my lord.'

Was the woman handsome?

Young and beautiful. Oh, yes, especially beautiful. I see
her now, as on her knees at my feet, with her head thrown
back, she begged for life. I have never understood how I
could have laid low a head so beautiful, with a face so
pale.

The monk seemed agitated by a strange emotion; he trembled
all over; he seemed eager to put a question which yet he
dared not ask. At lengthwith a violent effort at
self-control:

The name of that woman?he said.


I don't know what it was. As I have said, she was twice
married, once in France, the second time in England.
She was young, you say?
Twenty-five years old.
Beautiful?
Ravishingly.
Blond?
Yes.
Abundance of hair -- falling over her shoulders?
Yes.
Eyes of an admirable expression?
When she chose. Oh, yes, it is she!
A voice of strange sweetness?


How do you know it?
The executioner raised himself on his elbow and gazed with a
frightened air at the monkwho became livid.


And you killed her?the monk exclaimed. "You were the tool
of those cowards who dared not kill her themselves? You had
no pity for that youthfulnessthat beautythat weakness?
you killed that woman?"

Alas! I have already told you, father, that woman, under
that angelic appearance, had an infernal soul, and when I
saw her, when I recalled all the evil she had done to me
----

To you? What could she have done to you? Come, tell me!

She had seduced and ruined my brother, a priest. She had
fled with him from her convent.
With your brother?
Yes, my brother was her first lover, and she caused his


death. Oh, father, do not look in that way at me! Oh, I am
guilty, then; you will not pardon me?
The monk recovered his usual expression.
Yes, yes,he saidI will pardon you if you tell me all.


Oh!cried the executionerall! all! all!
Answer, then. If she seduced your brother -- you said she
seduced him, did you not?


Yes.
If she caused his death -- you said that she caused his



death?

Yes,repeated the executioner.

Then you must know what her name was as a young girl.

Oh, mon Dieu!cried the executionerI think I am dying.
Absolution, father! absolution.

Tell me her name and I will give it.

Her name was ---- My God, have pity on me!murmured the
executioner; and he fell back on the bedpaletrembling
and apparently about to die.

Her name!repeated the monkbending over him as if to
tear from him the name if he would not utter it; "her name!
Speakor no absolution!"

The dying man collected all his forces.

The monk's eyes glittered.

Anne de Bueil,murmured the wounded man.

Anne de Bueil!cried the monkstanding up and lifting his
hands to Heaven. "Anne de Bueil! You said Anne de Bueildid
you not?"

Yes, yes, that was her name; and now absolve me, for I am
dying.

I, absolve you!cried the priestwith a laugh which made
the dying man's hair stand on end; "Iabsolve you? I am not
a priest."

You are not a priest!cried the executioner. "Whatthen
are you?"

I am about to tell you, wretched man.

Oh, mon Dieu!

I am John Francis de Winter.

I do not know you,said the executioner.

Wait, wait; you are going to know me. I am John Francis de
Winter,he repeatedand that woman ----

Well, that woman?

Was my mother!

The executioner uttered the first crythat terrible cry
which had been first heard.

Oh, pardon me, pardon me!he murmured; "if not in the name
of Godat least in your own name; if not as priestthen as
son."

Pardon you!cried the pretended monkpardon you! Perhaps
God will pardon you, but I, never!


For pity's sake,said the executionerextending his arms.

No pity for him who had no pity! Die, impenitent, die in
despair, die and be damned!And drawing a poniard from
beneath his robe he thrust it into the breast of the wounded
mansayingHere is my absolution!

Then was heard that second crynot so loud as the first and
followed by a long groan.

The executionerwho had lifted himself upfell back upon
his bed. As to the monkwithout withdrawing the poniard
from the woundhe ran to the windowopened itleaped out
into the flowers of a small gardenglided onward to the
stabletook out his mulewent out by a back gateran to a
neighbouring thicketthrew off his monkish garbtook from
his valise the complete habiliment of a cavalierclothed
himself in itwent on foot to the first postsecured there
a horse and continued with a loose rein his journey to
Paris.

Grimaud Speaks.

Grimaud was left alone with the executionerwho in a few
moments opened his eyes.

Help, help,he murmured; "ohGod! have I not a single
friend in the world who will aid me either to live or to
die?"

Take courage,said Grimaud; "they are gone to find
assistance."

Who are you?asked the wounded manfixing his half opened
eyes on Grimaud.

An old acquaintance,replied Grimaud.

You?and the wounded man sought to recall the features of
the person now before him.

Under what circumstances did we meet?he asked again.

One night, twenty years ago, my master fetched you from
Bethune and conducted you to Armentieres.

I know you well now,said the executioner; "you were one
of the four grooms."

Just so.

Where do you come from now?

I was passing by and drew up at this inn to rest my horse.
They told me the executioner of Bethune was here and
wounded, when you uttered two piercing cries. At the first
we ran to the door and at the second forced it open.


And the monk?exclaimed the executionerdid you see the
monk?

What monk?

The monk that was shut in with me.

No, he was no longer here; he appears to have fled by the
window. Was he the man that stabbed you?
Yes,said the executioner.


Grimaud moved as if to leave the room.
What are you going to do?asked the wounded man.


He must be apprehended.


Do not attempt it; he has revenged himself and has done
well. Now I may hope that God will forgive me, since my
crime is expiated.

Explain yourself.said Grimaud.

The woman whom you and your masters commanded me to kill
----

Milady?

Yes, Milady; it is true you called her thus.
What has the monk to do with this Milady?

She was his mother.

Grimaud trembled and stared at the dying man in a dull and
leaden manner.
His mother!he repeated.


Yes, his mother.
But does he know this secret, then?


I mistook him for a monk and revealed it to him in
confession.

Unhappy man!cried Grimaudwhose face was covered with
sweat at the bare idea of the evil results such a revelation
might cause; "unhappy manyou named no oneI hope?"

I pronounced no name, for I knew none, except his mother's,
as a young girl, and it was by this name that he recognized
her, but he knows that his uncle was among her judges.

Thus speakinghe fell back exhausted. Grimaudwishing to
relieve himadvanced his hand toward the hilt of the
dagger.

Touch me not!said the executioner; "if this dagger is
withdrawn I shall die."

Grimaud remained with his hand extended; thenstriking his
foreheadhe exclaimed:


Oh! if this man should ever discover the names of the
others, my master is lost.

Haste! haste to him and warn him,cried the wounded man
if he still lives; warn his friends, too. My death, believe
me, will not be the end of this atrocious misadventure.

Where was the monk going?asked Grimaud.

Toward Paris.

Who stopped him?

Two young gentlemen, who were on their way to join the army
and the name of one of whom I heard his companion mention -the
Viscount de Bragelonne.

And it was this young man who brought the monk to you? Then
it was the will of God that it should be so and this it is
which makes it all so awful,continued Grimaud. "And yet
that woman deserved her fate; do you not think so?"

On one's death-bed the crimes of others appear very small
in comparison with one's own,said the executioner; and
falling back exhausted he closed his eyes.

Grimaud was reluctant to leave the man alone and yet he
perceived the necessity of starting at once to bear these
tidings to the Comte de la Fere. Whilst he thus hesitated
the host re-entered the roomfollowed not only by a
surgeonbut by many other personswhom curiosity had
attracted to the spot. The surgeon approached the dying man
who seemed to have fainted.

We must first extract the steel from the side,said he
shaking his head in a significant manner.

The prophecy which the wounded man had just uttered recurred
to Grimaudwho turned away his head. The weaponas we have
already statedwas plunged into the body to the hiltand
as the surgeontaking it by the enddrew it forththe
wounded man opened his eyes and fixed them on him in a
manner truly frightful. When at last the blade had been
entirely withdrawna red froth issued from the mouth of the
wounded man and a stream of blood spouted afresh from the
wound when he at length drew breath; thenfixing his eyes
upon Grimaud with a singular expressionthe dying man
uttered the last death-rattle and expired.

Then Grimaudlifting the dagger from the pool of blood
which was gliding along the roomto the horror of all
presentmade a sign to the host to follow himpaid him
with a generosity worthy of his master and again mounted his
horse. Grimaud's first intention had been to return to
Parisbut he remembered the anxiety which his prolonged
absence might occasion Raouland reflecting that there were
now only two miles between the vicomte and himself and a
quarter of an hour's riding would unite themand that the
goingreturning and explanation would not occupy an hour
he put spurs to his horse and a few minutes after had
reached the only inn of Mazingarbe.

Raoul was seated at table with the Count de Guiche and his


tutorwhen all at once the door opened and Grimaud
presented himselftravel-staineddirtyand sprinkled with
the blood of the unhappy executioner.

Grimaud, my good Grimaud!exclaimed Raoul "here you are at
last! Excuse mesirsthis is not a servantbut a friend.
How did you leave the count?" continued he. "Does he regret
me a little? Have you seen him since I left him? Answerfor
I have many things to tell youtoo; indeedthe last three
days some odd adventures have happened -- but what is the
matter? how pale you are! and bloodtoo! What is this?"

It is the blood of the unfortunate man whom you left at the
inn and who died in my arms.

In your arms? -- that man! but know you who he was?

He used to be the headsman of Bethune.

You knew him? and he is dead?

Yes.

Well, sir,said D'Armingesit is the common lot; even an
executioner is not exempted. I had a bad opinion of him the
moment I saw his wound, and since he asked for a monk you
know that it was his opinion, too, that death would follow.

At the mention of the monkGrimaud became pale.

Come, come,continued D'Armingesto dinner;for like
most men of his age and generation he did not allow
sentiment or sensibility to interfere with a repast.

You are right, sir,said Raoul. "ComeGrimaudorder
dinner for yourself and when you have rested a little we can
talk."

No, sir, no,said Grimaud. "I cannot stop a moment; I must
start for Paris again immediately."

What? You start for Paris? You are mistaken; it is Olivain
who leaves me; you are to remain.

On the contrary, Olivain is to stay and I am to go. I have
come for nothing else but to tell you so.

But what is the meaning of this change?

I cannot tell you.

Explain yourself.

I cannot explain myself.

Come, tell me, what is the joke?

Monsieur le vicomte knows that I never joke.

Yes, but I know also that Monsieur le Comte de la Fere
arranged that you were to remain with me and that Olivain
should return to Paris. I shall follow the count's
directions.


Not under present circumstances, monsieur.

Perhaps you mean to disobey me?

Yes, monsieur, I must.

You persist, then?

Yes, I am going; may you be happy, monsieur,and Grimaud
saluted and turned toward the door to go out.

Raoulangry and at the same time uneasyran after him and
seized him by the arm. "Grimaud!" he cried; "remain; I wish
it."

Then,replied Grimaudyou wish me to allow monsieur le
comte to be killed.He saluted and made a movement to
depart.

Grimaud, my friend,said the viscountwill you leave me
thus, in such anxiety? Speak, speak, in Heaven's name!And
Raoul fell back trembling upon his chair.

I can tell you but one thing, sir, for the secret you wish
to know is not my own. You met a monk, did you not?

Yes.

The young men looked at each other with an expression of
fear.

You conducted him to the wounded man and you had time to
observe him, and perhaps you would know him again were you
to meet him.

Yes, yes!cried both young men.

Very well; if ever you meet him again, wherever it may be,
whether on the high road or in the street or in a church,
anywhere that he or you may be, put your foot on his neck
and crush him without pity, without mercy, as you would
crush a viper or a scorpion! destroy him utterly and quit
him not until he is dead; the lives of five men are not
safe, in my opinion, as long as he is on the earth.

And without adding another wordGrimaudprofiting by the
astonishment and terror into which he had thrown his
auditorsrushed from the room. Two minutes later the
thunder of a horse's hoofs was heard upon the road; it was
Grimaudon his way to Paris. When once in the saddle
Grimaud reflected on two things; firstthat at the pace he
was going his horse would not carry him ten milesand
secondlythat he had no money. But Grimaud's ingenuity was
more prolific than his speechand therefore at the first
halt he sold his steed and with the money obtained from the
purchase took post horses.

On the Eve of Battle.


Raoul was aroused from his sombre reflections by his host
who rushed into the apartment crying outThe Spaniards!
the Spaniards!

That cry was of such importance as to overcome all
preoccupation. The young men made inquiries and ascertained
that the enemy was advancing by way of Houdin and Bethune.

While Monsieur d'Arminges gave orders for the horses to be
made ready for departurethe two young men ascended to the
upper windows of the house and saw in the direction of
Marsin and of Lens a large body of infantry and cavalry.
This time it was not a wandering troop of partisans; it was
an entire army. There was therefore nothing for them to do
but to follow the prudent advice of Monsieur d'Arminges and
beat a retreat. They quickly went downstairs. Monsieur
d'Arminges was already mounted. Olivain had ready the horses
of the young menand the lackeys of the Count de Guiche
guarded carefully between them the Spanish prisonermounted
on a pony which had been bought for his use. As a further
precaution they had bound his hands.

The little company started off at a trot on the road to
Cambrinwhere they expected to find the prince. But he was
no longer therehaving withdrawn on the previous evening to
La Basseemisled by false intelligence of the enemy's
movements. Deceived by this intelligence he had concentrated
his forces between Vieille-Chapelle and La Venthie; and
after a reconnoissance along the entire linein company
with Marshal de Grammonthe had returned and seated himself
before a tablewith his officers around him. He questioned
them as to the news they had each been charged to obtain
but nothing positive had been learned. The hostile army had
disappeared two days before and seemed to have gone out of
existence.

Now an enemy is never so near and consequently so
threateningas when he has completely disappeared. The
prince wasthereforecontrary to his customgloomy and
anxiouswhen an officer entered and announced to Marshal de
Grammont that some one wished to see him.

The Duc de Grammont received permission from the prince by a
glance and went out. The prince followed him with his eyes
and continued looking at the door; no one ventured to speak
for fear of disturbing him.

Suddenly a dull and heavy noise was heard. The prince leaped
to his feetextending his hand in the direction whence came
the soundthere was no mistaking it -- it was the noise of
cannon. Every one stood up.

At that moment the door opened.

Monseigneur,said Marshal de Grammontwith a radiant
facewill your highness permit my son, Count de Guiche,
and his traveling companion, Viscount de Bragelonne, to come
in and give news of the enemy, whom they have found while we
were looking for him?

What!eagerly replied the princewill I permit? I not
only permit, I desire; let them come in.


The marshal introduced the two young men and placed them
face to face with the prince.

Speak, gentlemen,said the princesaluting them; "first
speak; we shall have time afterward for the usual
compliments. The most urgent thing now is to learn where the
enemy is and what he is doing."

It fell naturally to the Count de Guiche to make reply; not
only was he the elderbut he had been presented to the
prince by his father. Besideshe had long known the prince
whilst Raoul now saw him for the first time. He therefore
narrated to the prince what they had seen from the inn at
Mazingarbe.

Meanwhile Raoul closely observed the young generalalready
made so famous by the battles of RocroyFribourgand
Nordlingen.

Louis de BourbonPrince de Condewhosince the death of
his fatherHenri de Bourbonwas calledin accordance with
the custom of that periodMonsieur le Princewas a young
mannot more than twenty-six or twenty-seven years old
with the eye of an eagle -- agl' occhi grifanias Dante
says -- aquiline noselongwaving hairof medium height
well formedpossessed of all the qualities essential to the
successful soldier -- that is to saythe rapid glance
quick decisionfabulous courage. At the same time he was a
man of elegant manners and strong mindso that in addition
to the revolution he had made in warby his new
contributions to its methodshe had also made a revolution
at Parisamong the young noblemen of the courtwhose
natural chief he was and whoin distinction from the social
leaders of the ancient courtmodeled after Bassompierre
Bellegarde and the Duke d'Angoulemewere called the
petits-maitres.

At the first words of the Count de Guichethe prince
having in mind the direction whence came the sound of
cannonhad understood everything. The enemy was marching
upon Lenswith the intentiondoubtlessof securing
possession of that town and separating from France the army
of France. But in what force was the enemy? Was it a corps
sent out to make a diversion? Was it an entire army? To this
question De Guiche could not respond.

Nowas these questions involved matters of gravest
consequenceit was these to which the prince had especially
desired an answerexactprecisepositive.

Raoul conquered the very natural feeling of timidity he
experienced and approaching the prince:

My lord,he saidwill you permit me to hazard a few
words on that subject, which will perhaps relieve you of
your uncertainty?

The prince turned and seemed to cover the young man with a
single glance; he smiled on perceiving that he was a child
hardly fifteen years old.

Certainly, monsieur, speak,he saidsoftening his stern
accented tonesas if he were speaking to a woman.


My lord,said Raoulblushingmight examine the Spanish
prisoner.

Have you a Spanish prisoner?cried the prince.

Yes, my lord.

Ah, that is true,said De Guiche; "I had forgotten it."

That is easily understood; it was you who took him, count,
said Raoulsmiling.

The old marshal turned toward the viscountgrateful for
that praise of his sonwhilst the prince exclaimed:

The young man is right; let the prisoner be brought in.

Meanwhile the prince took De Guiche aside and asked him how
the prisoner had been taken and who this young man was.

Monsieur,said the princeturning toward RaoulI know
that you have a letter from my sister, Madame de
Longueville; but I see that you have preferred commending
yourself to me by giving me good counsel.

My lord,said Raoulcoloring upI did not wish to
interrupt your highness in a conversation so important as
that in which you were engaged with the count. But here is
the letter.

Very well,said the prince; "give it to me later. Here is
the prisoner; let us attend to what is most pressing."

The prisoner was one of those military adventurers who sold
their blood to whoever would buyand grew old in stratagems
and spoils. Since he had been taken he had not uttered a
wordso that it was not known to what country he belonged.
The prince looked at him with unspeakable distrust.

Of what country are you?asked the prince.

The prisoner muttered a few words in a foreign tongue.

Ah! ah! it seems that he is a Spaniard. Do you speak
Spanish, Grammont?

Faith, my lord, but indifferently.

And I not at all,said the princelaughing. "Gentlemen
he said, turning to those who were near him can any one of
you speak Spanish and serve me as interpreter?"

I can, my lord,said Raoul.

Ah, you speak Spanish?

Enough, I think, to fulfill your highness's wishes on this
occasion.

Meanwhile the prisoner had remained impassive and as if he
had no understanding of what was taking place.

My lord asks of what country you are,said the young man
in the purest Castilian.


Ich bin ein Deutscher,replied the prisoner.

What in the devil does he say?asked the prince. "What new
gibberish is that?"

He says he is German, my lord,replied Raoul; "but I doubt
itfor his accent is bad and his pronunciation defective."

Then you speak German, also?asked the prince.

Yes, my lord.

Well enough to question him in that language?

Yes, my lord.

Question him, then.

Raoul began the examinationbut the result justified his
opinion. The prisoner did not understandor seemed not to
understandwhat Raoul said to him; and Raoul could hardly
understand his repliescontaining a mixture of Flemish and
Alsatian. Howeveramidst all the prisoner's efforts to
elude a systematic examinationRaoul had recognized his
natural accent.

Non siete Spagnuolo,he said; "non siete Tedesco; siete
Italiano."

The prisoner started and bit his lips.

Ah, that,said the princeI understand that language
thoroughly; and since he is Italian I will myself continue
the examination. Thank you, viscount,continued the prince
laughingand I appoint you from this moment my
interpreter.

But the prisoner was not less unwilling to respond in
Italian than in the other languages; his aim was to elude
the examination. Thereforehe knew nothing either of the
enemy's numbersor of those in commandor of the purpose
of the army.

Very good,said the princeunderstanding the reason of
that ignorance; "the man was caught in the act of
assassination and robbery; he might have purchased his life
by speaking; he doesn't wish to speak. Take him out and
shoot him."

The prisoner turned pale. The two soldiers who had brought
him in took himeach by one armand led him toward the
doorwhilst the princeturning to Marshal de Grammont
seemed to have already forgotten the order he had given.

When he reached the threshold of the door the prisoner
stopped. The soldierswho knew only their ordersattempted
to force him along.

One moment,said the prisonerin French. "I am ready to
speakmy lord."

Ah! ah!said the princelaughingI thought we should
come to that. I have a sure method of limbering tongues.


Young men, take advantage of it against the time when you
may be in command.

But on condition,continued the prisonerthat your
highness will swear that my life shall be safe.

Upon my honor,said the prince.

Question, then, my lord.

Where did the army cross the Lys?

Between Saint-Venant and Aire.

By whom is it commanded?

By Count de Fuonsaldagna, General Beck and the archduke.

Of how many does it consist?

Eighteen thousand men and thirty-six cannon.

And its aim is?

Lens.

You see; gentlemen!said the princeturning with a
triumphant air toward Marshal de Grammont and the other
officers.

Yes, my lord,said the marshalyou have divined all that
was possible to human genius.

Recall Le Plessis, Bellievre, Villequier and D'Erlac,said
the princerecall all the troops that are on this side of
the Lys. Let them hold themselves in readiness to march
to-night. To-morrow, according to all probability, we shall
attack the enemy.

But, my lord,said Marshal de Grammontconsider that
when we have collected all our forces we shall have hardly
thirteen thousand men.

Monsieur le marechal,said the princewith that wonderful
glance that was peculiar to himit is with small armies
that great battles are won.

Then turning toward the prisonerTake away that man,he
saidand keep him carefully in sight. His life is
dependent on the information he has given us; if it is true,
he shall be free; if false, let him be shot.

The prisoner was led away.

Count de Guiche,said the princeit is a long time since
you saw your father, remain here with him. Monsieur,he
continuedaddressing Raoulif you are not too tired,
follow me.

To the end of the world, my lord!cried Raoulfeeling an
unknown enthusiasm for that young generalwho seemed to him
so worthy of his renown.

The prince smiled; he despised flatterersbut he


appreciated enthusiasts.

Come, monsieur,he saidyou are good in council, as we
have already discovered; to-morrow we shall know if you are
good in action.

And I,said the marshalwhat am I to do?

Wait here to receive the troops. I shall either return for
them myself or shall send a courier directing you to bring
them to me. Twenty guards, well mounted, are all that I
shall need for my escort.

That is very few,said the marshal.

It is enough,replied the prince. "Have you a good horse
Monsieur de Bragelonne?"

My horse was killed this morning, my lord, and I am mounted
provisionally on my lackey's.

Choose for yourself in my stables the horse you like best.
No false modesty; take the best horse you can find. You will
need it this evening, perhaps; you will certainly need it
to-morrow.

Raoul didn't wait to be told twice; he knew that with
superiorsespecially when those superiors are princesthe
highest politeness is to obey without delay or argument; he
went down to the stablespicked out a pie-bald Andalusian
horsesaddled and bridled it himselffor Athos had advised
him to trust no one with those important offices at a time
of dangerand went to rejoin the princewho at that moment
mounted his horse.

Now, monsieur,he said to Raoulwill you give me the
letter you have brought?

Raoul handed the letter to the prince.

Keep near me,said the latter.

The prince threw his bridle over the pommel of the saddle
as he was wont to do when he wished to have both hands free
unsealed the letter of Madame de Longueville and started at
a gallop on the road to Lensattended by Raoul and his
small escortwhilst messengers sent to recall the troops
set out with a loose rein in other directions. The prince
read as he hastened on.

Monsieur,he saidafter a momentthey tell me great
things of you. I have only to say, after the little that I
have seen and heard, that I think even better of you than I
have been told.'

Raoul bowed.

Meanwhile, as the little troop drew nearer to Lens, the
noise of the cannon sounded louder. The prince kept his gaze
fixed in the direction of the sound with the steadfastness
of a bird of prey. One would have said that his gaze could
pierce the branches of trees which limited his horizon. From
time to time his nostrils dilated as if eager for the smell
of powder, and he panted like a horse.


At length they heard the cannon so near that it was evident
they were within a league of the field of battle, and at a
turn of the road they perceived the little village of Aunay.

The peasants were in great commotion. The report of Spanish
cruelty had gone out and every one was frightened. The women
had already fled, taking refuge in Vitry; only a few men
remained. On seeing the prince they hastened to meet him.
One of them recognized him.

Ahmy lord he said, have you come to drive away those
rascal Spaniards and those Lorraine robbers?"

Yes,said the princeif you will serve me as guide.

Willingly, my lord. Where does your highness wish to go?

To some elevated spot whence I can look down on Lens and
the surrounding country ----

In that case, I'm your man.

I can trust you -- you are a true Frenchman?

I am an old soldier of Rocroy, my lord.

Here,said the princehanding him a pursehere is for
Rocroy. Now, do you want a horse, or will you go afoot?

Afoot, my lord; I have served always in the infantry.
Besides, I expect to lead your highness into places where
you will have to walk.

Come, then,said the prince; "let us lose no time."

The peasant started offrunning before the prince's horse;
thena hundred steps from the villagehe took a narrow
road hidden at the bottom of the valley. For a half league
they proceeded thusthe cannon-shot sounding so near that
they expected at each discharge to hear the hum of the
balls. At length they entered a path whichgoing out from
the roadskirted the mountainside. The prince dismounted
ordered one of his aids and Raoul to follow his exampleand
directed the others to await his orderskeeping themselves
meanwhile on the alert. He then began to ascend the path.

In about ten minutes they reached the ruins of an old
chateau; those ruins crowned the summit of a hill which
overlooked the surrounding country. At a distance of hardly
a quarter of a league they looked down on Lensat bayand
before Lens the enemy's entire army.

With a single glance the prince took in the extent of
country that lay before himfrom Lens as far as Vimy. In a
moment the plan of the battle which on the following day was
to save France the second time from invasion was unrolled in
his mind. He took a penciltore a page from his tablets and
wrote:

My Dear Marshal-- In an hour Lens will be in the enemy's
possession. Come and rejoin me; bring with you the whole


army. I shall be at Vendin to place it in position.
To-morrow we shall retake Lens and beat the enemy."

Thenturning toward Raoul: "Gomonsieur he said; ride
fast and give this letter to Monsieur de Grammont."

Raoul bowedtook the letterwent hastily down the
mountainleaped on his horse and set out at a gallop. A
quarter of an hour later he was with the marshal.

A portion of the troops had already arrived and the
remainder was expected from moment to moment. Marshal de
Grammont put himself at the head of all the available
cavalry and infantry and took the road to Vendinleaving
the Duc de Chatillon to await and bring on the rest. All the
artillery was ready to moveand started off at a moment's
notice.

It was seven o'clock in the evening when the marshal arrived
at the appointed place. The prince awaited him there. As he
had foreseenLens had fallen into the hands of the enemy
immediately after Raoul's departure. The event was announced
by the cessation of the firing.

As the shadows of night deepened the troops summoned by the
prince arrived in successive detachments. Orders were given
that no drum should be beatenno trumpet sounded.

At nine o'clock the night had fully come. Still a last ray
of twilight lighted the plain. The army marched silently
the prince at the head of the column. Presently the army
came in sight of Lens; two or three houses were in flames
and a dull noise was heard which indicated what suffering
was endured by a town taken by assault.

The prince assigned to every one his post. Marshal de
Grammont was to hold the extreme leftresting on Mericourt.
The Duc de Chatillon commanded the centre. Finallythe
prince led the right wingresting on Aunay. The order of
battle on the morrow was to be that of the positions taken
in the evening. Each oneon awakingwould find himself on
the field of battle.

The movement was executed in silence and with precision. At
ten o'clock every one was in his appointed position; at
half-past ten the prince visited the posts and gave his
final orders for the following day.

Three things were especially urged upon the officerswho
were to see that the soldiers observed them scrupulously:
the firstthat the different corps should so march that
cavalry and infantry should be on the same line and that
each body should protect its gaps; the secondto go to the
charge no faster than a walk; the thirdto let the enemy
fire first.

The prince assigned the Count de Guiche to his father and
kept Bragelonne near his own person; but the two young men
sought the privilege of passing the night together and it
was accorded them. A tent was erected for them near that of
the marshal.


Although the day had been fatiguingneither of them was
inclined to sleep. And besideseven for old soldiers the
evening before a battle is a serious time; it was so with
greater reason to two young men who were about to witness
for the first time that terrible spectacle. On the evening
before a battle one thinks of a thousand things forgotten
till then; those who are indifferent to one another become
friends and those who are friends become brothers. It need
not be said that if in the depths of the heart there is a
sentiment more tenderit reaches thenquite naturallythe
highest exaltation of which it is capable. Some sentiment of
this kind must have been cherished by each one of these two
friendsfor each of them almost immediately sat down by
himself at an end of the tent and began to write.

The letters were long -- the four pages were covered with
closely written words. The writers sometimes looked up at
each other and smiled; they understood without speaking
their organizations were so delicate and sympathetic. The
letters being finishedeach put his own into two envelopes
so that no onewithout tearing the first envelopecould
discover to whom the second was addressed; then they drew
near to each other and smilingly exchanged their letters.

In case any evil should happen to me,said Bragelonne.

In case I should be killed,said De Guiche.

They then embraced each other like two brothersand each
wrapping himself in his cloak they soon passed into that
kindly sleep of youth which is the prerogative of birds
flowers and infants.

A Dinner in the Old Style.

The second interview between the former musketeers was not
so formal and threatening as the first. Athoswith his
superior understandingwisely deemed that the supper table
would be the most complete and satisfactory point of
reunionand at the moment when his friendsin deference to
his deportment and sobrietydared scarcely speak of some of
their former good dinnershe was the first to propose that
they should all assemble around some well spread table and
abandon themselves unreservedly to their own natural
character and manners -- a freedom which had formerly
contributed so much to that good understanding between them
which gave them the name of the inseparables. For different
reasons this was an agreeable proposition to them alland
it was therefore agreed that each should leave a very exact
address and that upon the request of any of the associates a
meeting should be convoked at a famous eating house in the
Rue de la Monnaieof the sign of the Hermitage. The first
rendezvous was fixed for the following Wednesdayat eight
o'clock in the evening precisely.

On that dayin factthe four friends arrived punctually at
the houreach from his own abode or occupation. Porthos had
been trying a new horse; D'Artagnan was on guard at the


Louvre; Aramis had been to visit one of his penitents in the
neighborhood; and Athoswhose domicile was established in
the Rue Guenegaudfound himself close at hand. They were
thereforesomewhat surprised to meet altogether at the door
of the HermitageAthos starting out from the Pont Neuf
Porthos by the Rue de la RouleD'Artagnan by the Rue des
Fosse Saint Germain l'Auxerroisand Aramis by the Rue de
Bethisy.

The first words exchanged between the four friendson
account of the ceremony which each of them mingled with
their demonstrationwere somewhat forced and even the
repast began with a kind of stiffness. Athos perceived this
embarrassmentand by way of supplying an effectual remedy
called for four bottles of champagne.

At this ordergiven in Athos's habitually calm mannerthe
face of the Gascon relaxed and Porthos's brow grew smooth.
Aramis was astonished. He knew that Athos not only never
drankbut morethat he had a kind of repugnance to wine.
This astonishment was doubled when Aramis saw Athos fill a
bumper and toss it off with all his former enthusiasm. His
companions followed his example. In a very few minutes the
four bottles were empty and this excellent specific
succeeded in dissipating even the slightest cloud that might
have rested on their spirits. Now the four friends began to
speak loudscarcely waiting till one had finished before
another beganand each assumed his favorite attitude on or
at the table. Soon -- strange fact -- Aramis undid two
buttons of his doubletseeing whichPorthos unfastened his
entirely.

Battleslong journeysblows given and receivedsufficed
for the first themes of conversationwhich turned upon the
silent struggles sustained against him who was now called
the great cardinal.

Faith,said Aramislaughingwe have praised the dead
enough, let us revile the living a little; I should like to
say something evil of Mazarin; is it permissible?

Go on, go on,replied D'Artagnanlaughing heartily;
relate your story and I will applaud it if it is a good
one.

A great prince,said Aramiswith whom Mazarin sought an
alliance, was invited by him to send him a list of the
conditions on which he would do him the honor to negotiate
with him. The prince, who had a great repugnance to treat
with such an ill-bred fellow, made out a list, against the
grain, and sent it. In this list there were three conditions
which displeased Mazarin and he offered the prince ten
thousand crowns to renounce them.

Ah, ha, ha!laughed the three friendsnot a bad bargain;
and there was no fear of being taken at his word; what did
the prince do then?

The prince immediately sent fifty thousand francs to
Mazarin, begging him never to write to him again, and
offered twenty thousand francs more, on condition that he
would never speak to him. What did Mazarin do?

Stormed!suggested Athos.


Beat the messenger!cried Porthos.

Accepted the money!said D'Artagnan.

You have guessed it,answered Aramis; and they all laughed
so heartily that the host appeared in order to inquire
whether the gentlemen wanted anything; he thought they were
fighting.

At last their hilarity calmed down and:

Faith!exclaimed D'Artagnan to the two friendsyou may
well wish ill to Mazarin; for I assure you, on his side he
wishes you no good.

Pooh! really?asked Athos. "If I thought the fellow knew
me by my name I would be rebaptizedfor fear it might be
thought I knew him."

He knows you better by your actions than your name; he is
quite aware that there are two gentlemen who greatly aided
the escape of Monsieur de Beaufort, and he has instigated an
active search for them, I can answer for it.

By whom?

By me; and this morning he sent for me to ask me if I had
obtained any information.

And what did you reply?

That I had none as yet; but that I was to dine to-day with
two gentlemen, who would be able to give me some.

You told him that?said Porthosa broad smile spreading
over his honest face. "Bravo! and you are not afraid of
thatAthos?"

No,replied Athosit is not the search of Mazarin that I
fear.

Now,said Aramistell me a little what you do fear.

Nothing for the present; at least, nothing in good
earnest.

And with regard to the past?asked Porthos.

Oh! the past is another thing,said Athossighing; "the
past and the future."

Are you afraid for your young Raoul?asked Aramis.

Well,said D'Artagnanone is never killed in a first
engagement.

Nor in the second,said Aramis

Nor in the third,returned Porthos; "and even when one is
killedone rises againthe proof of which isthat here we
are!"

No,said Athosit is not Raoul about whom I am anxious,


for I trust he will conduct himself like a gentleman; and if
he is killed -- well, he will die bravely; but hold -should
such a misfortune happen -- well -- Athos passed
his hand across his pale brow.

Well?asked Aramis.

Well, I shall look upon it as an expiation.

Ah!said D'Artagnan; "I know what you mean."

And I, too,added Aramis; "but you must not think of that
Athos; what is pastis past."

I don't understand,said Porthos.

The affair at Armentieres,whispered D'Artagnan.

The affair at Armentieres?asked he again.

Milady.

Oh, yes!said Porthos; "trueI had forgotten it!"

Athos looked at him intently.

You have forgotten it, Porthos?said he.

Faith! yes, it is so long ago,answered Porthos.

This affair does not, then, weigh upon your conscience?

Faith, no.

And you, D'Artagnan?

I -- I own that when my mind returns to that terrible
period I have no recollection of anything but the rigid
corpse of poor Madame Bonancieux. Yes, yes,murmured heI
have often felt regret for the victim, but never the very
slightest remorse for the assassin.

Athos shook his dead doubtfully.

Consider,said Aramisif you admit divine justice and
its participation in the things of this world, that woman
was punished by the will of heaven. We were but the
instruments, that is all.

But as to free will, Aramis?

How acts the judge? He has a free will, yet he fearlessly
condemns. What does the executioner? He is master of his
arm, yet he strikes without remorse.

The executioner!muttered Athosas if arrested by some
recollection.

I know that it is terrible,said D'Artagnan; "but when I
reflect that we have killed EnglishRochellaisSpaniards
nayeven Frenchwho never did us any other harm but to aim
at and to miss uswhose only fault was to cross swords with
us and to be unable to ward off our blows -- I canon my
honorfind an excuse for my share in the murder of that


woman."

As for me,said Porthosnow that you have reminded me of
it, Athos, I have the scene again before me, as if I now
were there. Milady was there, as it were, where you sit.
(Athos changed color.) "I -- I was where D'Artagnan stands.
I wore a long sword which cut like a Damascus -- you
remember itAramis for you always called it Balizarde.
WellI swear to youall threethat had the executioner of
Bethune -- was he not of Bethune? -- yesegad! of Bethune!
-- not been thereI would have cut off the head of that
infamous being without thinking of itor even after
thinking of it. She was a most atrocious woman."

And then,said Aramiswith the tone of philosophical
indifference which he had assumed since he had belonged to
the church and in which there was more atheism than
confidence in Godwhat is the use of thinking of it all?
At the last hour we must confess this action and God knows
better than we can whether it is a crime, a fault, or a
meritorious deed. I repent of it? Egad! no. Upon my honor
and by the holy cross; I only regret it because she was a
woman.

The most satisfactory part of the matter,said D'Artagnan
is that there remains no trace of it.

She had a son,observed Athos.

Oh! yes, I know that,said D'Artagnanand you mentioned
it to me; but who knows what has become of him? If the
serpent be dead, why not its brood? Do you think his uncle
De Winter would have brought up that young viper? De Winter
probably condemned the son as he had done the mother.

Then,said Athoswoe to De Winter, for the child had
done no harm.

May the devil take me, if the child be not dead,said
Porthos. "There is so much fog in that detestable country
at least so D'Artagnan declares."

Just as the quaint conclusion reached by Porthos was about
to bring back hilarity to faces now more or less clouded
hasty footsteps were heard upon the stair and some one
knocked at the door.

Come in,cried Athos.

Please your honors,said the hosta person in a great
hurry wishes to speak to one of you.

To which of us?asked all the four friends.

To him who is called the Comte de la Fere.

It is I,said Athosand what is the name of the person?

Grimaud.

Ah!exclaimed Athosturning pale. "Back already! What can
have happenedthento Bragelonne?"

Let him enter,cried D'Artagnan; "let him come up."


But Grimaud had already mounted the staircase and was
waiting on the last step; so springing into the room he
motioned the host to leave it. The door being closedthe
four friends waited in expectation. Grimaud's agitationhis
pallorthe sweat which covered his facethe dust which
soiled his clothesall indicated that he was the messenger
of some important and terrible news.

Your honors,said hethat woman had a child; that child
has become a man; the tigress had a little one, the tiger
has roused himself; he is ready to spring upon you -beware!


Athos glanced around at his friends with a melancholy smile.
Porthos turned to look at his swordwhich was hanging on
the wall; Aramis seized his knife; D'Artagnan arose.

What do you mean, Grimaud?he exclaimed.

That Milady's son has left England, that he is in France,
on his road to Paris, if he be not here already.

The devil he is!said Porthos. "Are you sure of it?"

Certain,replied Grimaud.

This announcement was received in silence. Grimaud was so
breathlessso exhaustedthat he had fallen back upon a
chair. Athos filled a beaker with champagne and gave it to
him.

Well, after all,said D'Artagnansupposing that he
lives, that he comes to Paris; we have seen many other such.
Let him come.

Yes,echoed Porthosglancing affectionately at his sword
still hanging on the wall; "we can wait for him; let him
come."

Moreover, he is but a child,said Aramis.

Grimaud rose.

A child!he exclaimed. "Do you know what he has donethis
child? Disguised as a monk he discovered the whole history
in confession from the executioner of Bethuneand having
confessed himafter having learned everything from himhe
gave him absolution by planting this dagger into his heart.
Seeit is on fire yet with his hot bloodfor it is not
thirty hours since it was drawn from the wound."

And Grimaud threw the dagger on the table.

D'ArtagnanPorthos and Aramis rose and in one spontaneous
motion rushed to their swords. Athos alone remained seated
calm and thoughtful.

And you say he is dressed as a monk, Grimaud?

Yes, as an Augustine monk.

What sized man is he?


About my height; thin, pale, with light blue eyes and tawny
flaxen hair.

And he did not see Raoul?asked Athos.

Yes, on the contrary, they met, and it was the viscount
himself who conducted him to the bed of the dying man.

Athosin his turnrising without speakingwent and
unhooked his sword.

Heigh, sir,said D'Artagnantrying to laughdo you know
we look very much like a flock of silly, mouse-evading
women! How is it that we, four men who have faced armies
without blinking, begin to tremble at the mention of a
child?

It is true,said Athosbut this child comes in the name
of Heaven.

And very soon they left the inn.

A Letter from Charles the First.

The reader must now cross the Seine with us and follow us to
the door of the Carmelite Convent in the Rue Saint Jacques.
It is eleven o'clock in the morning and the pious sisters
have just finished saying mass for the success of the armies
of King Charles I. Leaving the churcha woman and a young
girl dressed in blackthe one as a widow and the other as
an orphanhave re-entered their cell.

The woman kneels on a prie-dieu of painted wood and at a
short distance from her stands the young girlleaning
against a chairweeping.

The woman must have once been handsomebut traces of sorrow
have aged her. The young girl is lovely and her tears only
embellish her; the lady appears to be about forty years of
agethe girl about fourteen.

Oh, God!prayed the kneeling suppliantprotect my
husband, guard my son, and take my wretched life instead!

Oh, God!murmured the girlleave me my mother!

Your mother can be of no use to you in this world,
Henrietta,said the ladyturning around. "Your mother has
no longer either throne or husband; she has neither son
money nor friends; the whole worldmy poor childhas
abandoned your mother!" And she fell backweepinginto her
daughter's arms.

Courage, take courage, my dear mother!said the girl.

Ah! 'tis an unfortunate year for kings,said the mother.
And no one thinks of us in this country, for each must
think about his own affairs. As long as your brother was


with me he kept me up; but he is gone and can no longer send
us news of himself, either to me or to your father. I have
pledged my last jewels, sold your clothes and my own to pay
his servants, who refused to accompany him unless I made
this sacrifice. We are now reduced to live at the expense of
these daughters of Heaven; we are the poor, succored by
God.

But why not address yourself to your sister, the queen?
asked the girl.

Alas! the queen, my sister, is no longer queen, my child.
Another reigns in her name. One day you will be able to
understand how all this is.

Well, then, to the king, your nephew. Shall I speak to him?
You know how much he loves me, my mother.

Alas! my nephew is not yet kingand you know Laporte has
told us twenty times that he himself is in need of almost
everything."

Then let us pray to Heaven,said the girl.

The two women who thus knelt in united prayer were the
daughter and grand-daughter of Henry IV.the wife and
daughter of Charles I.

They had just finished their double prayerwhen a nun
softly tapped at the door of the cell.

Enter, my sister,said the queen.

I trust your majesty will pardon this intrusion on her
meditations, but a foreign lord has arrived from England and
waits in the parlor, demanding the honor of presenting a
letter to your majesty.

Oh, a letter! a letter from the king, perhaps. News from
your father, do you hear, Henrietta? And the name of this
lord?

Lord de Winter.

Lord de Winter!exclaimed the queenthe friend of my
husband. Oh, bid him enter!

And the queen advanced to meet the messengerwhose hand she
seized affectionatelywhilst he knelt down and presented a
letter to hercontained in a case of gold.

Ah! my lord!said the queenyou bring us three things
which we have not seen for a long time. Gold, a devoted
friend, and a letter from the king, our husband and master.

De Winter bowed againunable to reply from excess of
emotion.

On their side the mother and daughter retired into the
embrasure of a window to read eagerly the following letter:

Dear Wife-- We have now reached the moment of decision. I


have concentrated here at Naseby camp all the resources
Heaven has left meand I write to you in haste from thence.
Here I await the army of my rebellious subjects. I am about
to struggle for the last time with them. If victoriousI
shall continue the struggle; if beatenI am lost. I shall
tryin the latter case (alas! in our positionone must
provide for everything)I shall try to gain the coast of
France. But can theywill they receive an unhappy kingwho
will bring such a sad story into a country already agitated
by civil discord? Your wisdom and your affection must serve
me as guides. The bearer of this letter will tell you
madamewhat I dare not trust to pen and paper and the risks
of transit. He will explain to you the steps that I expect
you to pursue. I charge him also with my blessing for my
children and with the sentiments of my soul for yourselfmy
dearest sweetheart."

The letter bore the signaturenot of "CharlesKing but
of Charles -- still king."

And let him be no longer king,cried the queen. "Let him
be conqueredexiledproscribedprovided he still lives.
Alas! in these days the throne is too dangerous a place for
me to wish him to retain it. But my lordtell me she
continued, hide nothing from me -- what isin truththe
king's position? Is it as hopeless as he thinks?"

Alas! madame, more hopeless than he thinks. His majesty has
so good a heart that he cannot understand hatred; is so
loyal that he does not suspect treason! England is torn in
twain by a spirit of disturbance which, I greatly fear,
blood alone can exorcise.

But Lord Montrose,replied the queenI have heard of his
great and rapid successes of battles gained. I heard it said
that he was marching to the frontier to join the king.

Yes, madame; but on the frontier he was met by Lesly; he
had tried victory by means of superhuman undertakings. Now
victory has abandoned him. Montrose, beaten at Philiphaugh,
was obliged to disperse the remains of his army and to fly,
disguised as a servant. He is at Bergen, in Norway.

Heaven preserve him!said the queen. "It is at least a
consolation to know that some who have so often risked their
lives for us are safe. And nowmy lordthat I see how
hopeless the position of the king istell me with what you
are charged on the part of my royal husband."

Well, then, madame,said De Winterthe king wishes you
to try and discover the dispositions of the king and queen
toward him.

Alas! you know that even now the king is but a child and
the queen a woman weak enough. Here, Monsieur Mazarin is
everything.

Does he desire to play the part in France that Cromwell
plays in England?

Oh, no! He is a subtle, conscienceless Italian, who though
he very likely dreams of crime, dares not commit it; and


unlike Cromwell, who disposes of both Houses, Mazarin has
had the queen to support him in his struggle with the
parliament.

More reason, then, he should protect a king pursued by
parliament.

The queen shook her head despairingly.

If I judge for myself, my lord,she saidthe cardinal
will do nothing, and will even, perhaps, act against us. The
presence of my daughter and myself in France is already
irksome to him; much more so would be that of the king. My
lord,added Henriettawith a melancholy smileit is sad
and almost shameful to be obliged to say that we have passed
the winter in the Louvre without money, without linen,
almost without bread, and often not rising from bed because
we wanted fire.

Horrible!cried De Winter; "the daughter of Henry IV.and
the wife of King Charles! Wherefore did you not applythen
madameto the first person you saw from us?"

Such is the hospitality shown to a queen by the minister
from whom a king demands it.

But I heard that a marriage between the Prince of Wales and
Mademoiselle d'Orleans was spoken of,said De Winter.

Yes, for an instant I hoped it was so. The young people
felt a mutual esteem; but the queen, who at first sanctioned
their affection, changed her mind, and Monsieur, the Duc
d'Orleans, who had encouraged the familiarity between them,
has forbidden his daughter to think any more about the
union. Oh, my lord!continued the queenwithout
restraining her tearsit is better to fight as the king
has done, and to die, as perhaps he will, than live in
beggary like me.

Courage, madame! courage! Do not despair! The interests of
the French crown, endangered at this moment, are to
discountenance rebellion in a neighboring nation. Mazarin,
as a statesman, will understand the politic necessity.

Are you sure,said the queen doubtfullythat you have
not been forestalled?

By whom?

By the Joices, the Prinns, the Cromwells?

By a tailor, a coachmaker, a brewer! Ah! I hope, madame,
that the cardinal will not enter into negotiations with such
men!

Ah! what is he himself?asked Madame Henrietta.

But for the honor of the king -- of the queen.

Well, let us hope he will do something for the sake of
their honor,said the queen. "A true friend's eloquence is
so powerfulmy lordthat you have reassured me. Give me
your hand and let us go to the minister; and yet she
added, suppose he should refuse and that the king loses the


battle?"

His majesty will then take refuge in Holland, where I hear
his highness the Prince of Wales now is.

And can his majesty count upon many such subjects as
yourself for his flight?

Alas! no, madame,answered De Winter; "but the case is
provided for and I am come to France to seek allies."

Allies!said the queenshaking her head.

Madame,replied De Winterprovided I can find some of my
good old friends of former times I will answer for
anything.

Come then, my lord,said the queenwith the painful doubt
that is felt by those who have suffered much; "comeand may
Heaven hear you."

Cromwell's Letter.

At the very moment when the queen quitted the convent to go
to the Palais Royala young man dismounted at the gate of
this royal abode and announced to the guards that he had
something of importance to communicate to Cardinal Mazarin.
Although the cardinal was often tormented by fearhe was
more often in need of counsel and informationand he was
therefore sufficiently accessible. The true difficulty of
being admitted was not to be found at the first doorand
even the second was passed easily enough; but at the third
watchedbesides the guard and the doorkeepersthe faithful
Bernouina Cerberus whom no speech could softenno wand
even of goldcould charm.

It was therefore at the third door that those who solicited
or were bidden to an audience underwent their formal
interrogatory.

The young man having left his horse tied to the gate in the
courtmounted the great staircase and addressed the guard
in the first chamber.

Cardinal Mazarin?said he.

Pass on,replied the guard.

The cavalier entered the second hallwhich was guarded by
the musketeers and doorkeepers.

Have you a letter of audience?asked a porteradvancing
to the new arrival.

I have one, but not one from Cardinal Mazarin.

Enter, and ask for Monsieur Bernouin,said the porter
opening the door of the third room. Whether he only held his


usual post or whether it was by accidentMonsieur Bernouin
was found standing behind the door and must have heard all
that had passed.

You seek me, sir,said he. "From whom may the letter be
you bear to his eminence?"

From General Oliver Cromwell,said the new comer. "Be so
good as to mention this name to his eminence and to bring me
word whether he will receive me -- yes or no."

Saying whichhe resumed the proud and sombre bearing
peculiar at that time to Puritans. Bernouin cast an
inquisitorial glance at the person of the young man and
entered the cabinet of the cardinalto whom he transmitted
the messenger's words.

A man bringing a letter from Oliver Cromwell?said
Mazarin. "And what kind of a man?"

A genuine Englishman, your eminence. Hair sandy-red -- more
red than sandy; gray-blue eyes -- more gray than blue; and
for the rest, stiff and proud.

Let him give in his letter.

His eminence asks for the letter,said Bernouinpassing
back into the ante-chamber.

His eminence cannot see the letter without the bearer of
it,replied the young man; "but to convince you that I am
really the bearer of a letterseehere it is; and kindly
add continued he, that I am not a simple messengerbut
an envoy extraordinary."

Bernouin re-entered the cabinetreturning in a few seconds.
Enter, sir,said he.

The young man appeared on the threshold of the minister's
closetin one hand holding his hatin the other the
letter. Mazarin rose. "Have yousir asked he, a letter
accrediting you to me?"

There it is, my lord,said the young man.

Mazarin took the letter and read it thus:

Mr. Mordaunt, one of my secretaries, will remit this letter
of introduction to His Eminence, the Cardinal Mazarin, in
Paris. He is also the bearer of a second confidential
epistle for his eminence.

Oliver Cromwell.

Very well, Monsieur Mordaunt,said Mazaringive me this
second letter and sit down.

The young man drew from his pocket a second letter
presented it to the cardinaland took his seat. The
cardinalhoweverdid not unseal the letter at oncebut


continued to turn it again and again in his hand; thenin
accordance with his usual custom and judging from experience
that few people could hide anything from him when he began
to question themfixing his eyes upon them at the same
timehe thus addressed the messenger:

You are very young, Monsieur Mordaunt, for this difficult
task of ambassador, in which the oldest diplomatists often
fail.

My lord, I am twenty-three years of age; but your eminence
is mistaken in saying that I am young. I am older than your
eminence, although I possess not your wisdom. Years of
suffering, in my opinion, count double, and I have suffered
for twenty years.

Ah, yes, I understand,said Mazarin; "want of fortune
perhaps. You are poorare you not?" Then he added to
himself: "These English Revolutionists are all beggars and
ill-bred."

My lord, I ought to have a fortune of six millions, but it
has been taken from me.

You are not, then, a man of the people?said Mazarin
astonished.

If I bore my proper title I should be a lord. If I bore my
name you would have heard one of the most illustrious names
of England.

What is your name, then?asked Mazarin.

My name is Mordaunt,replied the young manbowing.

Mazarin now understood that Cromwell's envoy desired to
retain his incognito. He was silent for an instantand
during that time he scanned the young man even more
attentively than he had done at first. The messenger was
unmoved.

Devil take these Puritans,said Mazarin aside; "they are
carved from granite." Then he added aloudBut you have
relations left you?

I have one remaining. Three times I presented myself to ask
his support and three times he ordered his servants to turn
me away.

Oh, mon Dieu! my dear Mr. Mordaunt,said Mazarinhoping
by a display of affected pity to catch the young man in a
snarehow extremely your history interests me! You know
not, then, anything of your birth -- you have never seen
your mother?

Yes, my lord; she came three times, whilst I was a child,
to my nurse's house; I remember the last time she came as
well as if it were to-day.

You have a good memory,said Mazarin.

Oh! yes, my lord,said the young manwith such peculiar
emphasis that the cardinal felt a shudder run through every
vein.


And who brought you up?he asked again.

A French nurse, who sent me away when I was five years old
because no one paid her for me, telling me the name of a
relation of whom she had heard my mother often speak.

What became of you?

As I was weeping and begging on the high road, a minister
from Kingston took me in, instructed me in the Calvinistic
faith, taught me all he knew himself and aided me in my
researches after my family.

And these researches?

Were fruitless; chance did everything.

You discovered what had become of your mother?

I learned that she had been assassinated by my relation,
aided by four friends, but I was already aware that I had
been robbed of my wealth and degraded from my nobility by
King Charles I.

Oh! I now understand why you are in the service of
Cromwell; you hate the king.

Yes, my lord, I hate him!said the young man.

Mazarin marked with surprise the diabolical expression with
which the young man uttered these words. Just as
ordinarilyfaces are colored by bloodhis face seemed dyed
by hatred and became livid.

Your history is a terrible one, Mr. Mordaunt, and touches
me keenly; but happily for you, you serve an all-powerful
master; he ought to aid you in your search; we have so many
means of gaining information.

My lord, to a well-bred dog it is only necessary to show
one end of a track; he is certain to reach the other.

But this relation you mentioned -- do you wish me to speak
to him?said Mazarinwho was anxious to make a friend
about Cromwell's person.

Thanks, my lord, I will speak to him myself. He will treat
me better the next time I see him.

You have the means, then, of touching him?

I have the means of making myself feared.

Mazarin looked at the young manbut at the fire which shot
from his glance he bent his head; thenembarrassed how to
continue such a conversationhe opened Cromwell's letter.

The young man's eyes gradually resumed their dull and glassy
appearance and he fell into a profound reverie. After
reading the first lines of the letter Mazarin gave a side
glance at him to see if he was watching the expression of
his face as he read. Observing his indifferencehe shrugged
his shoulderssaying:


Send on your business those who do theirs at the same time!
Let us see what this letter contains.

We here present the letter verbatim:

To his Eminence, Monseigneur le Cardinal Mazarini:

I have wishedmonseigneurto learn your intentions
relating to the existing state of affairs in England. The
two kingdoms are so near that France must be interested in
our situationas we are interested in that of France. The
English are almost of one mind in contending against the
tyranny of Charles and his adherents. Placed by popular
confidence at the head of that movementI can appreciate
better than any other its significance and its probable
results. I am at present in the midst of warand am about
to deliver a decisive battle against King Charles. I shall
gain itfor the hope of the nation and the Spirit of the
Lord are with me. This battle won by methe king will have
no further resources in England or in Scotland; and if he is
not captured or killedhe will endeavor to pass over into
France to recruit soldiers and to refurnish himself with
arms and money. France has already received Queen Henrietta
andunintentionallydoubtlesshas maintained a centre of
inextinguishable civil war in my country. But Madame
Henrietta is a daughter of France and was entitled to the
hospitality of France. As to King Charlesthe question must
be viewed differently; in receiving and aiding himFrance
will censure the acts of the English nationand thus so
essentially harm Englandand especially the well-being of
the governmentthat such a proceeding will be equivalent to
pronounced hostilities."

At this moment Mazarin became very uneasy at the turn which
the letter was taking and paused to glance under his eyes at
the young man. The latter continued in thought. Mazarin
resumed his reading:

It is important, therefore, monseigneur, that I should be
informed as to the intentions of France. The interests of
that kingdom and those of England, though taking now diverse
directions, are very nearly the same. England needs
tranquillity at home, in order to consummate the expulsion
of her king; France needs tranquillity to establish on solid
foundations the throne of her young monarch. You need, as
much as we do, that interior condition of repose which,
thanks to the energy of our government, we are about to
attain.

Your quarrels with the parliamentyour noisy dissensions
with the princeswho fight for you to-day and to-morrow
will fight against youthe popular following directed by
the coadjutorPresident Blancmesniland Councillor
Broussel -- all that disorderin shortwhich pervades the
several departments of the statemust lead you to view with
uneasiness the possibility of a foreign war; for in that
event Englandexalted by the enthusiasm of new ideaswill


ally herself with Spainalready seeking that alliance. I
have therefore believedmonseigneurknowing your prudence
and your personal relation to the events of the present
timethat you will choose to hold your forces concentrated
in the interior of the French kingdom and leave to her own
the new government of England. That neutrality consists
simply in excluding King Charles from the territory of
France and in refraining from helping him -- a stranger to
your country -- with armswith money or with troops.

My letter is private and confidential, and for that reason
I send it to you by a man who shares my most intimate
counsels. It anticipates, through a sentiment which your
eminence will appreciate, measures to be taken after the
events. Oliver Cromwell considered it more expedient to
declare himself to a mind as intelligent as Mazarin's than
to a queen admirable for firmness, without doubt, but too
much guided by vain prejudices of birth and of divine right.

Farewellmonseigneur; should I not receive a reply in the
space of fifteen daysI shall presume my letter will have
miscarried.

Oliver Cromwell.

Mr. Mordaunt,said the cardinalraising his voiceas if
to arouse the dreamermy reply to this letter will be more
satisfactory to General Cromwell if I am convinced that all
are ignorant of my having given one; go, therefore, and
await it at Boulogne-sur-Mer, and promise me to set out
to-morrow morning.

I promise, my lord,replied Mordaunt; "but how many days
does your eminence expect me to await your reply?"

If you do not receive it in ten days you can leave.

Mordaunt bowed.

That is not all, sir,continued Mazarin; "your private
adventures have touched me to the quick; besidesthe letter
from Mr. Cromwell makes you an important person as
ambassador; cometell mewhat can I do for you?"

Mordaunt reflected a moment andafter some hesitationwas
about to speakwhen Bernouin entered hastily and bending
down to the ear of the cardinalwhispered:

My lord, the Queen Henrietta Maria, accompanied by an
English noble, is entering the Palais Royal at this moment.

Mazarin made a bound from his chairwhich did not escape
the attention of the young man and suppressed the confidence
he was about to make.

Sir,said the cardinalyou have heard me? I fix on
Boulogne because I presume that every town in France is
indifferent to you; if you prefer another, name it; but you
can easily conceive that, surrounded as I am by influences I
can only muzzle by discretion, I desire your presence in
Paris to be unknown.


I go, sir,said Mordauntadvancing a few steps to the
door by which he had entered.

No, not that way, I beg, sir,quickly exclaimed the
cardinalbe so good as to pass by yonder gallery, by which
you can regain the hall. I do not wish you to be seen
leaving; our interview must be kept secret.

Mordaunt followed Bernouinwho led him through the adjacent
chamber and left him with a doorkeepershowing him the way
out.

Henrietta Maria and Mazarin.

The cardinal roseand advanced in haste to receive the
queen of England. He showed the more respect to this queen
deprived of every mark of pomp and stripped of followersas
he felt some self-reproach for his own want of heart and his
avarice. But supplicants for favor know how to accommodate
the expression of their featuresand the daughter of Henry

IV. smiled as she advanced to meet a man she hated and
despised.
Ah!said Mazarin to himselfwhat a sweet face; does she
come to borrow money of me?

And he threw an uneasy glance at his strong box; he even
turned inside the bevel of the magnificent diamond ringthe
brilliancy of which drew every eye upon his handwhich
indeed was white and handsome.

Your eminence,said the august visitorit was my first
intention to speak of the matters that have brought me here
to the queen, my sister, but I have reflected that political
affairs are more especially the concern of men.

Madame,said Mazarinyour majesty overwhelms me with
flattering distinction.

He is very gracious,thought the queen; "can he have
guessed my errand?"

Give,continued the cardinalyour commands to the most
respectful of your servants.

Alas, sir,replied the queenI have lost the habit of
commanding and have adopted instead that of making
petitions. I am here to petition you, too happy should my
prayer be favorably heard.

I am listening, madame, with the greatest interest,said
Mazarin.

Your eminence, it concerns the war which the king, my
husband, is now sustaining against his rebellious subjects.
You are perhaps ignorant that they are fighting in England,
added shewith a melancholy smileand that in a short
time they will fight in a much more decided fashion than


they have done hitherto.

I am completely ignorant of it, madame,said the cardinal
accompanying his words with a slight shrug of the shoulders;
alas, our own wars quite absorb the time and the mind of a
poor, incapable, infirm old minister like me.

Well, then, your eminence,said the queenI must inform
you that Charles I., my husband, is on the eve of a decisive
engagement. In case of a check(Mazarin made a slight
movement)one must foresee everything; in the case of a
check, he desires to retire into France and to live here as
a private individual. What do you say to this project?

The cardinal had listened without permitting a single fibre
of his face to betray what he feltand his smile remained
as it ever was -- false and flattering; and when the queen
finished speakinghe said:

Do you think, madame, that France, agitated and disturbed
as it is, would be a safe retreat for a dethroned king? How
will the crown, which is scarce firmly set on the head of
Louis XIV., support a double weight?

The weight was not so heavy when I was in peril,
interrupted the queenwith a sad smileand I ask no more
for my husband than has been done for me; you see that we
are very humble monarchs, sir.

Oh, you, madame,the cardinal hastened to sayin order to
cut short the explanation he foresaw was comingwith
regard to you, that is another thing. A daughter of Henry
IV., of that great, that sublime sovereign ----

All which does not prevent you refusing hospitality to his
son-in-law, sir! Nevertheless, you ought to remember that
that great, that sublime monarch, when proscribed at one
time, as my husband may be, demanded aid from England and
England accorded it to him; and it is but just to say that
Queen Elizabeth was not his niece.

Peccato!said Mazarinwrithing beneath this simple
eloquenceyour majesty does not understand me; you judge
my intentions wrongly, and that is partly because,
doubtless, I explain myself in French.

Speak Italian, sir. Ere the cardinal, your predecessor,
sent our mother, Marie de Medicis, to die in exile, she
taught us that language. If anything yet remains of that
great, that sublime king, Henry, of whom you have just
spoken, he would be much surprised at so little pity for his
family being united to such a profound admiration of
himself.

The perspiration stood in large drops on Mazarin's brow.

That admiration is, on the contrary, so great, so real,
madame,returned Mazarinwithout noticing the change of
language offered to him by the queenthat if the king,
Charles I. -- whom Heaven protect from evil! -- came into
France, I would offer him my house -- my own house; but,
alas! it would be but an unsafe retreat. Some day the people
will burn that house, as they burned that of the Marechal
d'Ancre. Poor Concino Concini! And yet he but desired the


good of the people.

Yes, my lord, like yourself!said the queenironically.

Mazarin pretended not to understand the double meaning of
his own sentencebut continued to compassionate the fate of
Concino Concini.

Well then, your eminence,said the queenbecoming
impatientwhat is your answer?

Madame,cried Mazarinmore and more movedwill your
majesty permit me to give you counsel?

Speak, sir,replied the queen; "the counsels of so prudent
a man as yourself ought certainly to be available."

Madame, believe me, the king ought to defend himself to the
last.

He has done so, sir, and this last battle, which he
encounters with resources much inferior to those of the
enemy, proves that he will not yield without a struggle; but
in case he is beaten?

Well, madame, in that case, my advice -- I know that I am
very bold to offer advice to your majesty -- my advice is
that the king should not leave his kingdom. Absent kings are
very soon forgotten; if he passes over into France his cause
is lost.

But,persisted the queenif such be your advice and you
have his interest at heart, send him help of men and money,
for I can do nothing for him; I have sold even to my last
diamond to aid him. If I had had a single ornament left, I
should have bought wood this winter to make a fire for my
daughter and myself.

Oh, madame,said Mazarinyour majesty knows not what you
ask. On the day when foreign succor follows in the train of
a king to replace him on his throne, it is an avowal that he
no longer possesses the help and love of his own subjects.

To the point, sir,said the queento the point, and
answer me, yes or no; if the king persists in remaining in
England will you send him succor? If he comes to France will
you accord him hospitality? What do you intend to do?
Speak.

Madame,said the cardinalaffecting an effusive frankness
of speechI shall convince your majesty, I trust, of my
devotion to you and my desire to terminate an affair which
you have so much at heart. After which your majesty will, I
think, no longer doubt my zeal in your behalf.

The queen bit her lips and moved impatiently on her chair.

Well, what do you propose to do?shesaid at length;
come, speak.

I will go this instant and consult the queen, and we will
refer the affair at once to parliament.

With which you are at war -- is it not so? You will charge


Broussel to report it. Enough, sir, enough. I understand you
or rather, I am wrong. Go to the parliament, for it was from
this parliament, the enemy of monarchs, that the daughter of
the great, the sublime Henry IV., whom you so much admire,
received the only relief this winter which prevented her
from dying of hunger and cold!

And with these words Henrietta rose in majestic indignation
whilst the cardinalraising his hands clasped toward her
exclaimedAh, madame, madame, how little you know me, mon
Dieu!

But Queen Henriettawithout even turning toward him who
made these hypocritical pretensionscrossed the cabinet
opened the door for herself and passing through the midst of
the cardinal's numerous guardscourtiers eager to pay
homagethe luxurious show of a competing royaltyshe went
and took the hand of De Winterwho stood apart in
isolation. Poor queenalready fallen! Though all bowed
before heras etiquette requiredshe had now but a single
arm on which she could lean.

It signifies little,said Mazarinwhen he was alone. "It
gave me pain and it was an ungracious part to playbut I
have said nothing either to the one or to the other.
Bernouin!"

Bernouin entered.

See if the young man with the black doublet and the short
hair, who was with me just now, is still in the palace.

Bernouin went out and soon returned with Commingeswho was
on guard.

Your eminence,said Commingesas I was re-conducting the
young man for whom you have asked, he approached the glass
door of the gallery, and gazed intently upon some object,
doubtless the picture by Raphael, which is opposite the
door. He reflected for a second and then descended the
stairs. I believe I saw him mount a gray horse and leave the
palace court. But is not your eminence going to the queen?

For what purpose?

Monsieur de Guitant, my uncle, has just told me that her
majesty had received news of the army.

It is well; I will go.

Comminges had seen rightlyand Mordaunt had really acted as
he had related. In crossing the gallery parallel to the
large glass galleryhe perceived De Winterwho was waiting
until the queen had finished her negotiation.

At this sight the young man stopped shortnot in admiration
of Raphael's picturebut as if fascinated at the sight of
some terrible object. His eyes dilated and a shudder ran
through his body. One would have said that he longed to
break through the wall of glass which separated him from his
enemy; for if Comminges had seen with what an expression of
hatred the eyes of this young man were fixed upon De Winter
he would not have doubted for an instant that the Englishman
was his eternal foe.


But he stoppeddoubtless to reflect; for instead of
allowing his first impulsewhich had been to go straight to
Lord de Winterto carry him awayhe leisurely descended
the staircaseleft the palace with his head downmounted
his horsewhich he reined in at the corner of the Rue
Richelieuand with his eyes fixed on the gatewaited until
the queen's carriage had left the court.

He had not long to waitfor the queen scarcely remained a
quarter of an hour with Mazarinbut this quarter of an hour
of expectation appeared a century to him. At last the heavy
machinewhich was called a chariot in those dayscame out
rumbling against the gatesand De Winterstill on
horsebackbent again to the door to converse with her
majesty.

The horses started on a trot and took the road to the
Louvrewhich they entered. Before leaving the convent of
the CarmelitesHenrietta had desired her daughter to attend
her at the palacewhich she had inhabited for a long time
and which she had only left because their poverty seemed to
them more difficult to bear in gilded chambers.

Mordaunt followed the carriageand when he had watched it
drive beneath the sombre arches he went and stationed
himself under a wall over which the shadow was extendedand
remained motionlessamidst the moldings of Jean Goujon
like a bas-relievorepresenting an equestrian statue.

Howsometimesthe Unhappy mistake Chance for Providence.

Well, madame,said De Winterwhen the queen had dismissed
her attendants.

Well, my lord, what I foresaw has come to pass.

What? does the cardinal refuse to receive the king? France
refuse hospitality to an unfortunate prince? Ay, but it is
for the first time, madame!

I did not say France, my lord; I said the cardinal, and the
cardinal is not even a Frenchman.

But did you see the queen?

It is useless,replied Henriettathe queen will not say
yes when the cardinal says no. Are you not aware that this
Italian directs everything, both indoors and out? And
moreover, I should not be surprised had we been forestalled
by Cromwell. He was embarrassed whilst speaking to me and
yet quite firm in his determination to refuse. Then did you
not observe the agitation in the Palais Royal, the passing
to and fro of busy people? Can they have received any news,
my lord?

Not from England, madame. I made such haste that I am
certain of not having been forestalled. I set out three days


ago, passing miraculously through the Puritan army, and I
took post horses with my servant Tony; the horses upon which
we were mounted were bought in Paris. Besides, the king, I
am certain, awaits your majesty's reply before risking
anything.

You will tell him, my lord,resumed the queen
despairinglythat I can do nothing; that I have suffered
as much as himself -- more than he has -- obliged as I am to
eat the bread of exile and to ask hospitality from false
friends who smile at my tears; and as regards his royal
person, he must sacrifice it generously and die like a king.
I shall go and die by his side.

Madame, madame,exclaimed De Winteryour majesty
abandons yourself to despair; and yet, perhaps, there still
remains some hope.

No friends left, my lord; no other friends left in the wide
world but yourself! Oh, God!exclaimed the poor queen
raising her eyes to Heavenhave You indeed taken back all
the generous hearts that once existed in the world?

I hope not, madame,replied De Winterthoughtfully; "I
once spoke to you of four men."

What can be done with four?

Four devoted, resolute men can do much? assure yourself,
madame; and those of whom I speak performed great things at
one time.

And where are these four men?

Ah, that is what I do not know. It is twenty years since I
saw them, and yet whenever I have seen the king in danger I
have thought of them.

And these men were your friends?

One of them held my life in his hands and gave it to me. I
know not whether he is still my friend, but since that time
I have remained his.

And these men are in France, my lord?

I believe so.

Tell me their names; perhaps I may have heard them
mentioned and might be able to aid you in finding them.

One of them was called the Chevalier d'Artagnan.

Ah, my lord, if I mistake not, the Chevalier d'Artagnan is
lieutenant of royal guards; but take care, for I fear that
this man is entirely devoted to the cardinal.

That would be a misfortune,said De Winterand I shall
begin to think that we are really doomed.

But the others,said the queenwho clung to this last
hope as a shipwrecked man clings to the hull of his vessel.
The others, my lord!


The second -- I heard his name by chance; for before
fighting us, these four gentlemen told us their names; the
second was called the Comte de la Fere. As for the two
others, I had so much the habit of calling them by nicknames
that I have forgotten their real ones.

Oh, mon Dieu, it is a matter of the greatest urgency to
find them out,said the queensince you think these
worthy gentlemen might be so useful to the king.

Oh, yes,said De Winterfor they are the same men.
Listen, madame, and recall your remembrances. Have you never
heard that Queen Anne of Austria was once saved from the
greatest danger ever incurred by a queen?

Yes, at the time of her relations with Monsieur de
Buckingham; it had to do in some way with certain studs and
diamonds.

Well, it was that affair, madame; these men are the ones
who saved her; and I smile with pity when I reflect that if
the names of those gentlemen are unknown to you it is
because the queen has forgotten them, who ought to have made
them the first noblemen of the realm.

Well, then, my lord, they must be found; but what can four
men, or rather three men do -- for I tell you, you must not
count on Monsieur d'Artagnan.

It will be one valiant sword the less, but there will
remain still three, without reckoning my own; now four
devoted men around the king to protect him from his enemies,
to be at his side in battle, to aid him with counsel, to
escort him in flight, are sufficient, not to make the king a
conqueror, but to save him if conquered; and whatever
Mazarin may say, once on the shores of France your royal
husband may find as many retreats and asylums as the seabird
finds in a storm.

Seek, then, my lord, seek these gentlemen; and if they will
consent to go with you to England, I will give to each a
duchy the day that we reascend the throne, besides as much
gold as would pave Whitehall. Seek them, my lord, and find
them, I conjure you.

I will search for them, madame,said De Winter "and
doubtless I shall find them; but time fails me. Has your
majesty forgotten that the king expects your reply and
awaits it in agony?"

Then indeed we are lost!cried the queenin the fullness
of a broken heart.

At this moment the door opened and the young Henrietta
appeared; then the queenwith that wonderful strength which
is the privilege of parentsrepressed her tears and
motioned to De Winter to change the subject.

But that act of self-controleffective as it wasdid not
escape the eyes of the young princess. She stopped on the
thresholdbreathed a sighand addressing the queen:

Why, then, do you always weep, mother, when I am away from
you?she said.


The queen smiledbut instead of answering:

See, De Winter,she saidI have at least gained one
thing in being only half a queen; and that is that my
children call me `mother' instead of `madame.'

Then turning toward her daughter:

What do you want, Henrietta?she demanded.

My mother,replied the young princessa cavalier has
just entered the Louvre and wishes to present his respects
to your majesty; he arrives from the army and has, he says,
a letter to remit to you, on the part of the Marechal de
Grammont, I think.

Ah!said the queen to De Winterhe is one of my faithful
adherents; but do you not observe, my dear lord, that we are
so poorly served that it is left to my daughter to fill the
office of doorkeeper?

Madame, have pity on me,exclaimed De Winter; "you wring
my heart!"

And who is this cavalier, Henrietta?asked the queen.

I saw him from the window, madame; he is a young man that
appears scarce sixteen years of age, and is called the
Viscount de Bragelonne.

The queensmilingmade a sign with her head; the young
princess opened the door and Raoul appeared on the
threshold.

Advancing a few steps toward the queenhe knelt down.

Madame,said heI bear to your majesty a letter from my
friend the Count de Guiche, who told me he had the honor of
being your servant; this letter contains important news and
the expression of his respect.

At the name of the Count de Guiche a blush spread over the
cheeks of the young princess and the queen glanced at her
with some degree of severity.

You told me that the letter was from the Marechal de
Grammont, Henrietta!said the queen.

I thought so, madame,stammered the young girl.

It is my fault, madame,said Raoul. "I did announce
myselfin truthas coming on the part of the Marechal de
Grammont; but being wounded in the right arm he was unable
to write and therefore the Count de Guiche acted as his
secretary."

There has been fighting, then?asked the queenmotioning
to Raoul to rise.

Yes, madame,said the young man.

At this announcement of a battle having taken placethe
princess opened her mouth as though to ask a question of


interest; but her lips closed again without articulating a
wordwhile the color gradually faded from her cheeks.

The queen saw thisand doubtless her maternal heart
translated the emotionfor addressing Raoul again:

And no evil has happened to the young Count de Guiche?she
asked; "for not only is he our servantas you saysirbut
more -- he is one of our friends."

No, madame,replied Raoul; "on the contraryhe gained
great glory and had the honor of being embraced by his
highnessthe princeon the field of battle."

The young princess clapped her hands; and thenashamed of
having been betrayed into such a demonstration of joyshe
half turned away and bent over a vase of rosesas if to
inhale their odor.

Let us see,said the queenwhat the count says.And she
opened the letter and read:

Madame, -- Being unable to have the honor of writing to you
myself, by reason of a wound I have received in my right
hand, I have commanded my son, the Count de Guiche, who,
with his father, is equally your humble servant, to write to
tell you that we have just gained the battle of Lens, and
that this victory cannot fail to give great power to
Cardinal Mazarin and to the queen over the affairs of
Europe. If her majesty will have faith in my counsels she
ought to profit by this event to address at this moment, in
favor of her august husband, the court of France. The
Vicomte de Bragelonne, who will have the honor of remitting
this letter to your majesty, is the friend of my son, who
owes to him his life; he is a gentleman in whom your majesty
may confide entirely, in case your majesty may have some
verbal or written order to remit to me.

I have the honor to bewith respectetc.

Marechal de Grammont.

At the moment mention occurred of his having rendered a
service to the countRaoul could not help turning his
glance toward the young princessand then he saw in her
eyes an expression of infinite gratitude to the young man;
he no longer doubted that the daughter of King Charles I.
loved his friend.

The battle of Lens gained!said the queen; "they are lucky
here indeed; they can gain battles! Yesthe Marechal de
Grammont is right; this will change the aspect of French
affairsbut I much fear it will do nothing for English
even if it does not harm them. This is recent newssir
continued she, and I thank you for having made such haste
to bring it to me; without this letter I should not have
heard till to-morrowperhaps after to-morrow -- the last of
all Paris."

Madame,said Raoulthe Louvre is but the second palace


this news has reached; it is as yet unknown to all, and I
had sworn to the Count de Guiche to remit this letter to
your majesty before even I should embrace my guardian.

Your guardian! is he, too, a Bragelonne?asked Lord de
Winter. "I once knew a Bragelonne -- is he still alive?"

No, sir, he is dead; and I believe it is from him my
guardian, whose near relation he was, inherited the estate
from which I take my name.

And your guardian, sir,asked the queenwho could not
help feeling some interest in the handsome young man before
herwhat is his name?

The Comte de la Fere, madame,replied the young man
bowing.

De Winter made a gesture of surprise and the queen turned to
him with a start of joy.

The Comte de la Fere!she cried. "Have you not mentioned
that name to me?"

As for De Winter he could scarcely believe that he had heard
aright. "The Comte de la Fere!" he cried in his turn. "Oh
sirreplyI entreat you -- is not the Comte de la Fere a
noble whom I rememberhandsome and bravea musketeer under
Louis XIII.who must be now about forty-seven or
forty-eight years of age?"

Yes, sir, you are right in every particular!

And who served under an assumed name?

Under the name of Athos. Latterly I heard his friend,
Monsieur d'Artagnan, give him that name.

That is it, madame, that is the same. God be praised! And
he is in Paris?continued headdressing Raoul; then
turning to the queen: "We may still hope. Providence has
declared for ussince I have found this brave man again in
so miraculous a manner. Andsirwhere does he reside
pray?"

The Comte de la Fere lodges in the Rue Guenegaud, Hotel du
Grand Roi Charlemagne.

Thanks, sir. Inform this dear friend that he may remain
within, that I shall go and see him immediately.

Sir, I obey with pleasure, if her majesty will permit me to
depart.

Go, Monsieur de Bragelonne,said the queenand rest
assured of our affection.

Raoul bent respectfully before the two princessesand
bowing to De Winterdeparted.

The queen and De Winter continued to converse for some time
in low voicesin order that the young princess should not
overhear them; but the precaution was needless: she was in
deep converse with her own thoughts.


Thenwhen De Winter rose to take leave:

Listen, my lord,said the queen; "I have preserved this
diamond cross which came from my motherand this order of
St. Michael which came from my husband. They are worth about
fifty thousand pounds. I had sworn to die of hunger rather
than part with these precious pledges; but now that this
ornament may be useful to him or his defenderseverything
must be sacrificed. Take themand if you need money for
your expeditionsell them fearlesslymy lord. But should
you find the means of retaining themremembermy lord
that I shall esteem you as having rendered the greatest
service that a gentleman can render to a queen; and in the
day of my prosperity he who brings me this order and this
cross shall be blessed by me and my children."

Madame,replied De Winteryour majesty will be served by
a man devoted to you. I hasten to deposit these two objects
in a safe place, nor should I accept them if the resources
of our ancient fortune were left to us, but our estates are
confiscated, our ready money is exhausted, and we are
reduced to turn to service everything we possess. In an hour
hence I shall be with the Comte de la Fere, and to-morrow
your majesty shall have a definite reply.

The queen tendered her hand to Lord de Winterwhokissing
it respectfullywent out and traversed alone and
unconducted those largedark and deserted apartments
brushing away tears whichblase as he was by fifty years
spent as a courtierhe could not withhold at the spectacle
of royal distress so dignifiedyet so intense.

Uncle and Nephew.

The horse and servant belonging to De Winter were waiting
for him at the door; he proceeded toward his abode very
thoughtfullylooking behind him from time to him to
contemplate the dark and silent frontage of the Louvre. It
was then that he saw a horsemanas it weredetach himself
from the wall and follow him at a little distance. In
leaving the Palais Royal he remembered to have observed a
similar shadow.

Tony,he saidmotioning to his groom to approach.

Here I am, my lord.

Did you remark that man who is following us?

Yes, my lord.

Who is he?

I do not know, only he has followed your grace from the
Palais Royal, stopped at the Louvre to wait for you, and now
leaves the Louvre with you.


Some spy of the cardinal,said De Winter to himaside.
Let us pretend not to notice that he is watching us.

And spurring on he plunged into the labyrinth of streets
which led to his hotelsituated near the Maraisfor having
for so long a time lived near the Place RoyaleLord de
Winter naturally returned to lodge near his ancient
dwelling.

The unknown spurred his horse to a gallop.

De Winter dismounted at his hotel and went up into his
apartmentintending to watch the spy; but as he was about
to place his gloves and hat on a tablehe saw reflected in
a glass opposite to him a figure which stood on the
threshold of the room. He turned around and Mordaunt stood
before him.

There was a moment of frozen silence between these two.

Sir,said De WinterI thought I had already made you
aware that I am weary of this persecution; withdraw, then,
or I shall call and have you turned out as you were in
London. I am not your uncle, I know you not.

My uncle,replied Mordauntwith his harsh and bantering
toneyou are mistaken; you will not have me turned out
this time as you did in London -- you dare not. As for
denying that I am your nephew, you will think twice about
it, now that I have learned some things of which I was
ignorant a year ago.

And how does it concern me what you have learned?said De
Winter.

Oh, it concerns you very closely, my uncle, I am sure, and
you will soon be of my opinion,added hewith a smile
which sent a shudder through the veins of him he thus
addressed. "When I presented myself before you for the first
time in Londonit was to ask you what had become of my
fortune; the second time it was to demand who had sullied my
name; and this time I come before you to ask a question far
more terrible than any otherto say to you as God said to
the first murderer: `Cainwhat hast thou done to thy
brother Abel?' My lordwhat have you done with your sister
-- your sisterwho was my mother?"

De Winter shrank back from the fire of those scorching eyes.

Your mother?he said.

Yes, my lord, my mother,replied the young manadvancing
into the room until he was face to face with Lord de Winter
and crossing his arms. "I have asked the headsman of
Bethune he said, his voice hoarse and his face livid with
passion and grief. And the headsman of Bethune gave me a
reply."

De Winter fell back in a chair as though struck by a
thunderbolt and in vain attempted a reply.

Yes,continued the young man; "all is now explained; with
this key I open the abyss. My mother inherited an estate
from her husbandyou have assassinated her; my name would


have secured me the paternal estateyou have deprived me of
it; you have despoiled me of my fortune. I am no longer
astonished that you knew me not. I am not surprised that you
refused to recognize me. When a man is a robber it is hard
to call him nephew whom he has impoverished; when one is a
murdererto recognize the man whom one has made an orphan."

These words produced a contrary effect to that which
Mordaunt had anticipated. De Winter remembered the monster
that Milady had been; he rosedignified and calm
restraining by the severity of his look the wild glance of
the young man.

You desire to fathom this horrible secret?said De Winter;
well, then, so be it. Know, then, what manner of woman it
was for whom to-day you call me to account. That woman had,
in all probability, poisoned my brother, and in order to
inherit from me she was about to assassinate me in my turn.
I have proof of it. What say you to that?

I say that she was my mother.

She caused the unfortunate Duke of Buckingham to be stabbed
by a man who was, ere that, honest, good and pure. What say
you to that crime, of which I have the proof?

She was my mother.

On our return to France she had a young woman who was
attached to one of her opponents poisoned in the convent of
the Augustines at Bethune. Will this crime persuade you of
the justice of her punishment -- for of all this I have the
proofs?

She was my mother!cried the young manwho uttered these
three successive exclamations with constantly increasing
force.

At last, charged with murders, with debauchery, hated by
every one and yet threatening still, like a panther
thirsting for blood, she fell under the blows of men whom
she had rendered desperate, though they had never done her
the least injury; she met with judges whom her hideous
crimes had evoked; and that executioner you saw -- that
executioner who you say told you everything -- that
executioner, if he told you everything, told you that he
leaped with joy in avenging on her his brother's shame and
suicide. Depraved as a girl, adulterous as a wife, an
unnatural sister, homicide, poisoner, execrated by all who
knew her, by every nation that had been visited by her, she
died accursed by Heaven and earth.

A sob which Mordaunt could not repress burst from his throat
and his livid face became suffused with blood; he clenched
his fistssweat covered his facehis hairlike Hamlet's
stood on endand racked with fury he cried out:

Silence, sir! she was my mother! Her crimes, I know them
not; her disorders, I know them not; her vices, I know them
not. But this I know, that I had a mother, that five men
leagued against one woman, murdered her clandestinely by
night -- silently -- like cowards. I know that you were one
of them, my uncle, and that you cried louder than the
others: `She must die.' Therefore I warn you, and listen


well to my words, that they may be engraved upon your
memory, never to be forgotten: this murder, which has robbed
me of everything -- this murder, which has deprived me of my
name -- this murder, which has impoverished me -- this
murder, which has made me corrupt, wicked, implacable -- I
shall summon you to account for it first and then those who
were your accomplices, when I discover them!

With hatred in his eyesfoaming at his mouthand his fist
extendedMordaunt had advanced one more stepa
threateningterrible steptoward De Winter. The latter put
his hand to his swordand saidwith the smile of a man who
for thirty years has jested with death:

Would you assassinate me, sir? Then I shall recognize you
as my nephew, for you would be a worthy son of such a
mother.

No,replied Mordauntforcing his features and the muscles
of his body to resume their usual places and be calm; "noI
shall not kill you; at least not at this momentfor without
you I could not discover the others. But when I have found
themthen tremblesir. I stabbed to the heart the headsman
of Bethunewithout mercy or pityand he was the least
guilty of you all."

With these words the young man went out and descended the
stairs with sufficient calmness to pass unobserved; then
upon the lowest landing place he passed Tonyleaning over
the balustradewaiting only for a call from his master to
mount to his room.

But De Winter did not call; crushedenfeebledhe remained
standing and with listening ear; then only when he had heard
the step of the horse going away he fell back on a chair
saying:

My God, I thank Thee that he knows me only.

Paternal Affection.

Whilst this terrible scene was passing at Lord de Winter's
Athosseated near his windowhis elbow on the table and
his head supported on his handwas listening intently to
Raoul's account of the adventures he met with on his journey
and the details of the battle.

Listening to the relation of those emotions so fresh and
purethe finenoble face of Athos betrayed indescribable
pleasure; he inhaled the tones of that young voiceas
harmonious music. He forgot all that was dark in the past
and that was cloudy in the future. It almost seemed as if
the return of this much loved boy had changed his fears to
hopes. Athos was happy -- happy as he had never been before.

And you assisted and took part in this great battle,
Bragelonne!cried the former musketeer.


Yes, sir.

And it was a fierce one?

His highness the prince charged eleven times in person.

He is a great commander, Bragelonne.

He is a hero, sir. I did not lose sight of him for an
instant. Oh! how fine it is to be called Conde and to be so
worthy of such a name!

He was calm and radiant, was he not?

As calm as at parade, radiant as at a fete. When we went up
to the enemy it was slowly; we were forbidden to draw first
and we were marching toward the Spaniards, who were on a
height with lowered muskets. When we arrived about thirty
paces from them the prince turned around to the soldiers:
`Comrades,' he said, `you are about to suffer a furious
discharge; but after that you will make short work with
those fellows.' There was such dead silence that friends and
enemies could have heard these words; then raising his
sword, `Sound trumpets!' he cried.

Well, very good; you will do as much when the opportunity
occurs, will you, Raoul?

I know not, sir, but I thought it really very fine and
grand!

Were you afraid, Raoul?asked the count.

Yes, sir,replied the young man naively; "I felt a great
chill at my heartand at the word `fire' which resounded
in Spanish from the enemy's ranksI closed my eyes and
thought of you."

In honest truth, Raoul?said Athospressing his hand.

Yes, sir; at that instant there was such a rataplan of
musketry that one might have imagined the infernal regions
had opened. Those who were not killed felt the heat of the
flames. I opened my eyes, astonished to find myself alive
and even unhurt; a third of the squadron were lying on the
ground, wounded, dead or dying. At that moment I encountered
the eye of the prince. I had but one thought and that was
that he was observing me. I spurred on and found myself in
the enemy's ranks.

And the prince was pleased with you?

He told me so, at least, sir, when he desired me to return
to Paris with Monsieur de Chatillon, who was charged to
carry the news to the queen and to bring the colors we had
taken. `Go,' said he; `the enemy will not rally for fifteen
days and until that time I have no need of your service. Go
and see those whom you love and who love you, and tell my
sister De Longueville that I thank her for the present that
she made me of you.' And I came, sir,added Raoulgazing
at the count with a smile of real affectionfor I thought
you would be glad to see me again.

Athos drew the young man toward him and pressed his lips to


his browas he would have done to a young daughter.

And now, Raoul,said heyou are launched; you have dukes
for friends, a marshal of France for godfather, a prince of
the blood as commander, and on the day of your return you
have been received by two queens; it is not so bad for a
novice.

Oh sir,said Raoulsuddenlyyou recall something,
which, in my haste to relate my exploits, I had forgotten;
it is that there was with Her Majesty the Queen of England,
a gentleman who, when I pronounced your name, uttered a cry
of surprise and joy; he said he was a friend of yours, asked
your address, and is coming to see you.

What is his name?

I did not venture to ask, sir; he spoke elegantly, although
I thought from his accent he was an Englishman.

Ah!said Athosleaning down his head as if to remember
who it could be. Thenwhen he raised it againhe was
struck by the presence of a man who was standing at the open
door and was gazing at him with a compassionate air.

Lord de Winter!exclaimed the count.

Athos, my friend!

And the two gentlemen were for an instant locked in each
other's arms; then Athoslooking into his friend's face and
taking him by both handssaid:

What ails you, my lord? you appear as unhappy as I am the
reverse.

Yes, truly, dear friend; and I may even say the sight of
you increases my dismay.

And De Winter glancing around himRaoul quickly understood
that the two friends wished to be alone and he therefore
left the room unaffectedly.

Come, now that we are alone,said Athoslet us talk of
yourself.

Whilst we are alone let us speak of ourselves,replied De
Winter. "He is here."

Who?

Milady's son.

Athosagain struck by this namewhich seemed to pursue him
like an echohesitated for a momentthen slightly knitting
his browshe calmly said:

I know it, Grimaud met him between Bethune and Arras and
then came here to warn me of his presence.

Does Grimaud know him, then?

No; but he was present at the deathbed of a man who knew
him.


The headsman of Bethune?exclaimed De Winter.

You know about that?cried Athosastonished.

He has just left me,replied De Winterafter telling me
all. Ah! my friend! what a horrible scene! Why did we not
destroy the child with the mother?

What need you fear?said Athosrecovering from the
instinctive fear he had at first experiencedby the aid of
reason; "are we not men accustomed to defend ourselves? Is
this young man an assassin by profession -- a murderer in
cold blood? He has killed the executioner of Bethune in an
access of passionbut now his fury is assuaged."

De Winter smiled sorrowfully and shook his head.

Do you not know the race?said he.

Pooh!said Athostrying to smile in his turn. "It must
have lost its ferocity in the second generation. Besidesmy
friendProvidence has warned usthat we may be on our
guard. All we can now do is to wait. Let us wait; andas I
said beforelet us speak of yourself. What brings you to
Paris?"

Affairs of importance which you shall know later. But what
is this that I hear from Her Majesty the Queen of England?
Monsieur d'Artagnan sides with Mazarin! Pardon my frankness,
dear friend. I neither hate nor blame the cardinal, and your
opinions will be held ever sacred by me. But do you happen
to belong to him?

Monsieur d'Artagnan,replied Athosis in the service; he
is a soldier and obeys all constitutional authority.
Monsieur d'Artagnan is not rich and has need of his position
as lieutenant to enable him to live. Millionaires like
yourself, my lord, are rare in France.

Alas!said De WinterI am at this moment as poor as he
is, if not poorer. But to return to our subject.

Well, then, you wish to know if I am of Mazarin's party?
No. Pardon my frankness, too, my lord.

I am obliged to you, count, for this pleasing intelligence!
You make me young and happy again by it. Ah! so you are not
a Mazarinist? Delightful! Indeed, you could not belong to
him. But pardon me, are you free? I mean to ask if you are
married?

Ah! as to that, no,replied Athoslaughing.

Because that young man, so handsome, so elegant, so
polished ----

Is a child I have adopted and who does not even know who
was his father.

Very well; you are always the same, Athos, great and
generous. Are you still friends with Monsieur Porthos and
Monsieur Aramis?


Add Monsieur d'Artagnan, my lord. We still remain four
friends devoted to each other; but when it becomes a
question of serving the cardinal or of fighting him, of
being Mazarinists or Frondists, then we are only two.

Is Monsieur Aramis with D'Artagnan?asked Lord de Winter.

No,said Athos; "Monsieur Aramis does me the honor to
share my opinions."

Could you put me in communication with your witty and
agreeable friend? Is he much changed?

He has become an abbe, that is all.

You alarm me; his profession must have made him renounce
any great undertakings.

On the contrary,said Athossmilinghe has never been
so much a musketeer as since he became an abbe, and you will
find him a veritable soldier.

Could you engage to bring him to me to-morrow morning at
ten o'clock, on the Pont du Louvre?

Oh, oh!exclaimed Athossmilingyou have a duel in
prospect.

Yes, count, and a splendid duel, too; a duel in which I
hope you will take your part.

Where are we to go, my lord?

To Her Majesty the Queen of England, who has desired me to
present you to her.

This is an enigma,said Athosbut it matters not; since
you know the solution of it I ask no further. Will your
lordship do me the honor to sup with me?

Thanks, count, no,replied De Winter. "I own to you that
that young man's visit has subdued my appetite and probably
will rob me of my sleep. What undertaking can have brought
him to Paris? It was not to meet me that he camefor he was
ignorant of my journey. This young man terrifies memy
lord; there lies in him a sanguinary predisposition."

What occupies him in England?

He is one of Cromwell's most enthusiastic disciples.

But what attached him to the cause? His father and mother
were Catholics, I believe?

His hatred of the king, who deprived him of his estates and
forbade him to bear the name of De Winter.

And what name does he now bear?

Mordaunt.

A Puritan, yet disguised as a monk he travels alone in
France.


Do you say as a monk?

It was thus, and by mere accident -- may God pardon me if I
blaspheme -- that he heard the confession of the executioner
of Bethune.

Then I understand it all! he has been sent by Cromwell to
Mazarin, and the queen guessed rightly; we have been
forestalled. Everything is clear to me now. Adieu, count,
till to-morrow.

But the night is dark,said Athosperceiving that Lord de
Winter seemed more uneasy than he wished to appear; "and you
have no servant."

I have Tony, a safe if simple youth.

Halloo, there, Grimaud, Olivain, and Blaisois! call the
viscount and take the musket with you.

Blaisois was the tall youthhalf groomhalf peasantwhom
we saw at the Chateau de Bragelonnewhom Athos had
christened by the name of his province.

Viscount,said Athos to Raoulas he enteredyou will
conduct my lord as far as his hotel and permit no one to
approach him.

Oh! count,said De Winterfor whom do you take me?

For a stranger who does not know Paris,said Athosand
to whom the viscount will show the way.

De Winter shook him by the hand.

Grimaud,said Athosput yourself at the head of the
troop and beware of the monk.

Grimaud shudderedand noddingawaited the departure
regarding the butt of his musket with silent eloquence. Then
obeying the orders given him by Athoshe headed the small
processionbearing the torch in one hand and the musket in
the otheruntil it reached De Winter's innwhen pounding
on the portal with his fisthe bowed to my lord and faced
about without a word.

The same order was followed in returningnor did Grimaud's
searching glance discover anything of a suspicious
appearancesave a dark shadowas it werein ambuscadeat
the corner of the Rue Guenegaud and of the Quai. He fancied
alsothat in going he had already observed the street
watcher who had attracted his attention. He pushed on toward
himbut before he could reach it the shadow had disappeared
into an alleyinto which Grimaud deemed it scarcely prudent
to pursue it.

The next dayon awakingthe count perceived Raoul by his
bedside. The young man was already dressed and was reading a
new book by M. Chapelain.

Already up, Raoul?exclaimed the count.

Yes, sir,replied Raoulwith slight hesitation; "I did
not sleep well."


You, Raoul, not sleep well! then you must have something on
your mind!said Athos.

Sir, you will perhaps think that I am in a great hurry to
leave you when I have only just arrived, but ----

Have you only two days of leave, Raoul?

On the contrary, sir, I have ten; nor is it to the camp I
wish to go.

Where, then?said Athossmilingif it be not a secret.
You are now almost a man, since you have made your first
passage of arms, and have acquired the right to go where you
will without consulting me.

Never, sir,said Raoulas long as I possess the
happiness of having you for a protector, shall I deem I have
the right of freeing myself from a guardianship so valuable
to me. I have, however, a wish to go and pass a day at
Blois. You look at me and you are going to laugh at me.

No, on the contrary, I am not inclined to laugh,said
Athossuppressing a sigh. "You wish to see Blois again; it
is but natural."

Then you permit me to go, you are not angry in your heart?
exclaimed Raouljoyously.

Certainly; and why should I regret what gives you
pleasure?

Oh! how kind you are,exclaimed the young manpressing
his guardian's hand; "and I can set out immediately?"

When you like, Raoul.

Sir,said Raoulas he turned to leave the roomI have
thought of one thing, and that is about the Duchess of
Chevreuse, who was so kind to me and to whom I owe my
introduction to the prince.

And you ought to thank her, Raoul. Well, try the Hotel de
Luynes, Raoul, and ask if the duchess can receive you. I am
glad to see you pay attention to the usages of the world.
You must take Grimaud and Olivain.

Both, sir?asked Raoulastonished.

Both.

Raoul went outand when Athos heard his youngjoyous voice
calling to Grimaud and Olivainhe sighed.

It is very soon to leave me,he thoughtbut he follows
the common custom. Nature has made us thus; she makes the
young look ever forward, not behind. He certainly likes the
child, but will he love me less as his affection grows for
her?

And Athos confessed to himself thathe was unprepared for
so prompt a departure; but Raoul was so happy that this
reflection effaced everything else from the consideration of


his guardian.

Everything was ready at ten o'clock for the departureand
as Athos was watching Raoul mounta groom rode up from the
Duchess de Chevreuse. He was charged to tell the Comte de la
Ferethat she had learned of the return of her youthful
protegeand also the manner he had conducted himself on the
fieldand she added that she should be very glad to offer
him her congratulations.

Tell her grace,replied Athosthat the viscount has just
mounted his horse to proceed to the Hotel de Luynes.

Thenwith renewed instructions to GrimaudAthos signified
to Raoul that he could set outand ended by reflecting that
it was perhaps better that Raoul should be away from Paris
at that moment.

Another Queen in Want of Help.

Athos had not failed to send early to Aramis and had given
his letter to Blaisoisthe only serving-man whom he had
left. Blaisois found Bazin donning his beadle's gownhis
services being required that day at Notre Dame.

Athos had desired Blaisois to try to speak to Aramis
himself. Blaisoisa tallsimple youthwho understood
nothing but what he was expressly toldaskedtherefore for
the Abbe d'Herblayand in spite of Bazin's assurances that
his master was not at homehe persisted in such a manner as
to put Bazin into a passion. Blaisois seeing Bazin in
clerical guisewas a little discomposed at his denials and
wanted to pass at all risksbelieving toothat the man
with whom he had to do was endowed with the virtues of his
clothnamelypatience and Christian charity.

But Bazinstill the servant of a musketeerwhen once the
blood mounted to his fat cheeksseized a broomstick and
began belaboring Blaisoissaying:

You have insulted the church, my friend, you have insulted
the church!

At this moment Aramisaroused by this unusual disturbance
cautiously opened the door of his room; and Blaisois
looking reproachfully at the Cerberusdrew the letter from
his pocket and presented it to Aramis.

From the Comte de la Fere,said Aramis. "All right." And
he retired into his room without even asking the cause of so
much noise.

Blaisois returned disconsolate to the Hotel of the Grand Roi
Charlemagne and when Athos inquired if his commission was
executedhe related his adventure.

You foolish fellow!said Athoslaughing. "And you did not
tell him that you came from me?"


No, sir.

At ten o'clock Athoswith his habitual exactitudewas
waiting on the Pont du Louvre and was almost immediately
joined by Lord de Winter.

They waited ten minutes and then his lordship began to fear
Aramis was not coming to join them.

Patience,said Athoswhose eyes were fixed in the
direction of the Rue du Bacpatience; I see an abbe
cuffing a man, then bowing to a woman; it must be Aramis.

It was indeed Aramis. Having run against a young shopkeeper
who was gaping at the crows and who had splashed himAramis
with one blow of his fist had distanced him ten paces.

At this moment one of his penitents passedand as she was
young and pretty Aramis took off his cap to her with his
most gracious smile.

A most affectionate greetingas one can well believe took
place between him and Lord de Winter.

Where are we going?inquired Aramis; "are we going to
fightperchance? I carry no sword this morning and cannot
return home to procure one."

No,said Lord de Winterwe are going to pay a visit to
Her Majesty the Queen of England.

Oh, very well,replied Aramis; then bending his face down
to Athos's earwhat is the object of this visit?
continued he.

Nay, I know not; some evidence required from us, perhaps.

May it not be about that cursed affair?asked Aramisin
which case I do not greatly care to go, for it will be to
pocket a lecture; and since it is my function to give them
to others I am rather averse to receiving them myself.

If it were so,answered Athoswe should not be taken
there by Lord de Winter, for he would come in for his share;
he was one of us.

You're right; yes, let us go.

On arriving at the Louvre Lord de Winter entered first;
indeedthere was but one porter there to receive them at
the gate.

It was impossible in daylight for the impoverished state of
the habitation grudging charity had conceded to an
unfortunate queen to pass unnoticed by AthosAramisand
even the Englishman. Large roomscompletely stripped of
furniturebare walls upon whichhere and thereshone the
old gold moldings which had resisted time and neglect
windows with broken panes (impossible to close)no carpets
neither guards nor servants: this is what first met the eyes
of Athosto which hetouching his companion's elbow
directed his attention by his glances.


Mazarin is better lodged,said Aramis.

Mazarin is almost king,answered Athos; "Madame Henrietta
is almost no longer queen."

If you would condescend to be clever, Athos,observed
AramisI really do think you would be wittier than poor
Monsieur de Voiture.

Athos smiled.

The queen appeared to be impatiently expecting themfor at
the first slight noise she heard in the hall leading to her
room she came herself to the door to receive these courtiers
in the corridors of Misfortune.

Enter. You are welcome, gentlemen,she said.

The gentlemen entered and remained standingbut at a motion
from the queen they seated themselves. Athos was calm and
gravebut Aramis was furious; the sight of such royal
misery exasperated him and his eyes examined every new trace
of poverty that presented itself.

You are examining the luxury I enjoy,said the queen
glancing sadly around her.

Madame,replied AramisI must ask your pardon, but I
know not how to hide my indignation at seeing how a daughter
of Henry IV. is treated at the court of France.

Monsieur Aramis is not an officer?asked the queen of Lord
de Winter.

That gentleman is the Abbe d'Herblay,replied he.

Aramis blushed. "Madame he said, I am an abbeit is
truebut I am so against my will. I never had a vocation
for the bands; my cassock is fastened by one button only
and I am always ready to become a musketeer once more. This
morningbeing ignorant that I should have the honor of
seeing your majestyI encumbered myself with this dress
but you will find me none the less a man devoted to your
majesty's servicein whatever way you may see fit to use
me."

The Abbe d'Herblay,resumed De Winteris one of those
gallant musketeers formerly belonging to His Majesty King
Louis XIII., of whom I have spoken to you, madame.Then
turning to Athoshe continuedAnd this gentleman is that
noble Comte de la Fere, whose high reputation is so well
known to your majesty.

Gentlemen,said the queena few years ago I had around
me ushers, treasures, armies; and by the lifting of a finger
all these were busied in my service. To-day, look around
you, and it may astonish you, that in order to accomplish a
plan which is dearer to me than life I have only Lord de
Winter, the friend of twenty years, and you, gentlemen, whom
I see for the first time and whom I know but as my
countrymen.

It is enough,said Athosbowing lowif the lives of
three men can purchase yours, madame.


I thank you, gentlemen. But hear me,continued she. "I am
not only the most miserable of queensbut the most unhappy
of mothersthe most wretched of wives. My childrentwo of
themat leastthe Duke of York and the Princess Elizabeth
are far away from meexposed to the blows of the ambitious
and our foes; my husbandthe kingis leading in England so
wretched an existence that it is no exaggeration to aver
that he seeks death as a thing to be desired. Hold!
gentlemenhere is the letter conveyed to me by Lord de
Winter. Read it."

Obeying the queenAthos read aloud the letter which we have
already seenin which King Charles demanded to know whether
the hospitality of France would be accorded him.

Well?asked Athoswhen he had closed the letter.

Well,said the queenit has been refused.

The two friends exchanged a smile of contempt.

And now,said Athoswhat is to be done? I have the honor
to inquire from your majesty what you desire Monsieur
d'Herblay and myself to do in your service. We are ready.

Ah, sir, you have a noble heart!exclaimed the queenwith
a burst of gratitude; whilst Lord de Winter turned to her
with a glance which saidDid I not answer for them?

But you, sir?said the queen to Aramis.

I, madame,replied hefollow Monsieur de la Fere
wherever he leads, even were it on to death, without
demanding wherefore; but when it concerns your majesty's
service, then,added helooking at the queen with all the
grace of former daysI precede the count.

Well, then, gentlemen,said the queensince it is thus,
and since you are willing to devote yourselves to the
service of a poor princess whom the whole world has
abandoned, this is what is required to be done for me. The
king is alone with a few gentlemen, whom he fears to lose
every day; surrounded by the Scotch, whom he distrusts,
although he be himself a Scotchman. Since Lord de Winter
left him I am distracted, sirs. I ask much, too much,
perhaps, for I have no title to request it. Go to England,
join the king, be his friends, protectors, march to battle
at his side, and be near him in his house, where
conspiracies, more dangerous than the perils of war, are
hatching every day. And in exchange for the sacrifice that
you make, gentlemen, I promise -- not to reward you, I
believe that word would offend you -- but to love you as a
sister, to prefer you, next to my husband and my children,
to every one. I swear it before Heaven.

And the queen raised her eyes solemnly upward.

Madame,said Athoswhen must we set out?

You consent then?exclaimed the queenjoyfully.

Yes, madame; only it seems to me that your majesty goes too
far in engaging to load us with a friendship so far above


our merit. We render service to God, madame in serving a
prince so unfortunate, a queen so virtuous. Madame, we are
yours, body and soul.

Oh, sirs,said the queenmoved even to tearsthis is
the first time for five years I have felt the least approach
to joy or hope. God, who can read my heart, all the
gratitude I feel, will reward you! Save my husband! Save the
king, and although you care not for the price that is placed
upon a good action in this world, leave me the hope that we
shall meet again, when I may be able to thank you myself. In
the meantime, I remain here. Have you anything to ask of me?
From this moment I become your friend, and since you are
engaged in my affairs I ought to occupy myself in yours.

Madame,replied AthosI have only to ask your majesty's
prayers.

And I,said AramisI am alone in the world and have only
your majesty to serve.

The queen held out her handwhich they kissedand she said
in a low tone to De Winter:

If you need money, my lord, separate the jewels I have
given you; detach the diamonds and sell them to some Jew.
You will receive for them fifty or sixty thousand francs;
spend them if necessary, but let these gentlemen be treated
as they deserve, that is to say, like kings.

The queen had two letters readyone written by herselfthe
other by her daughterthe Princess Henrietta. Both were
addressed to King Charles. She gave the first to Athos and
the other to Aramisso that should they be separated by
chance they might make themselves known to the king; after
which they withdrew.

At the foot of the staircase De Winter stopped.

Not to arouse suspicions, gentlemen,said hego your way
and I will go mine, and this evening at nine o'clock we will
assemble again at the Gate Saint Denis. We will travel on
horseback as far as our horses can go and afterward we can
take the post. Once more, let me thank you, my good friends,
both in my own name and the queen's.

The three gentlemen then shook handsLord de Winter taking
the Rue Saint Honoreand Athos and Aramis remaining
together.

Well,said Aramiswhen they were alonewhat do you
think of this business, my dear count?

Bad,replied Athosvery bad.

But you received it with enthusiasm.

As I shall ever receive the defense of a great principle,
my dear D'Herblay. Monarchs are only strong by the
assistance of the aristocracy, but aristocracy cannot
survive without the countenance of monarchs. Let us, then,
support monarchy, in order to support ourselves.

We shall be murdered there said Aramis. I hate the


English -- they are coarselike every nation that swills
beer."

Would it be better to remain here,said Athosand take a
turn in the Bastile or the dungeon of Vincennes for having
favored the escape of Monsieur de Beaufort? I'faith, Aramis,
believe me, there is little left to regret. We avoid
imprisonment and we play the part of heroes; the choice is
easy.

It is true; but in everything, friend, one must always
return to the same question -- a stupid one, I admit, but
very necessary -- have you any money?

Something like a hundred pistoles, that my farmer sent to
me the day before I left Bragelonne; but out of that sum I
ought to leave fifty for Raoul -- a young man must live
respectably. I have then about fifty pistoles. And you?

As for me, I am quite sure that after turning out all my
pockets and emptying my drawers I shall not find ten louis
at home. Fortunately Lord de Winter is rich.

Lord de Winter is ruined for the moment; Oliver Cromwell
has annexed his income resources.

Now is the time when Baron Porthos would be useful.

Now it is that I regret D'Artagnan.

Let us entice them away.

This secret, Aramis, does not belong to us; take my advice,
then, and let no one into our confidence. And moreover, in
taking such a step we should appear to be doubtful of
ourselves. Let us regret their absence to ourselves for our
own sakes, but not speak of it.

You are right; but what are you going to do until this
evening? I have two things to postpone.

And what are they?

First, a thrust with the coadjutor, whom I met last night
at Madame de Rambouillet's and whom I found particular in
his remarks respecting me.

Oh, fie -- a quarrel between priests, a duel between
allies!

What can I do, friend? he is a bully and so am I; his
cassock is a burden to him and I imagine I have had enough
of mine; in fact, there is so much resemblance between us
that I sometimes believe he is Aramis and I am the
coadjutor. This kind of life fatigues and oppresses me;
besides, he is a turbulent fellow, who will ruin our party.
I am convinced that if I gave him a box on the ear, such as
I gave this morning to the little citizen who splashed me,
it would change the appearance of things.

And I, my dear Aramis,quietly replied AthosI think it
would only change Monsieur de Retz's appearance. Take my
advice, leave things just as they are; besides, you are
neither of you now your own masters; he belongs to the


Fronde and you to the queen of England. So, if the second
matter which you regret being unable to attend to is not
more important than the first ----

Oh! that is of the first importance.

Attend to it, then, at once.

Unfortunately, it is a thing that I can't perform at any
time I choose. It was arranged for the evening and no other
time will serve.

I understand,said Athos smilingmidnight.

About that time.

But, my dear fellow, those are things that bear
postponement and you must put it off, especially with so
good an excuse to give on your return ----

Yes, if I return.

If you do not return, how does it concern you? Be
reasonable. Come, you are no longer twenty years old.

To my great regret, mordieu! Ah, if I were but twenty years
old!

Yes,said Athosdoubtless you would commit great
follies! But now we must part. I have one or two visits to
make and a letter yet to write. Call for me at eight o'clock
or shall I wait supper for you at seven?

That will do very well,said Aramis. "I have twenty visits
to make and as many letters to write."

They then separated. Athos went to pay a visit to Madame de
Vendomeleft his name at Madame de Chevreuse's and wrote
the following letter to D'Artagnan:

Dear Friend, -- I am about to set off with Aramis on
important business. I wished to make my adieux to you, but
time does not permit. Remember that I write to you now to
repeat how much affection for you I still cherish.

Raoul is gone to Blois and is ignorant of my departure;
watch over him in my absence as much as you possibly can;
and if by chance you receive no news of me three months
hencetell him to open a packet which he will find
addressed to him in my bronze casket at Bloisof which I
send you now the key.

Embrace Porthos from Aramis and myself. Adieu, perhaps
farewell.

At the hour agreed upon Aramis arrived; he was dressed as an
officer and had the old sword at his side which he had drawn
so often and which he was more than ever ready to draw.

By-the-bye,he saidI think that we are decidedly wrong


to depart thus, without leaving a line for Porthos and
D'Artagnan.

The thing is done, dear friend,said Athos; "I foresaw
that and have embraced them both from you and myself."

You are a wonderful man, my dear count,said Aramis; "you
think of everything."

Well, have you made up your mind to this journey?

Quite; and now that I reflect about it, I am glad to leave
Paris at this moment.

And so am I,replied Athos; "my only regret is not having
seen D'Artagnan; but the rascal is so cunninghe might have
guessed our project."

When supper was over Blaisois entered. "Sir said he, here
is Monsieur d'Artagnan's answer."

But I did not tell you there would be an answer, stupid!
said Athos.

And I set off without waiting for one, but he called me
back and gave me this;and he presented a little leather
bagplump and giving out a golden jingle.

Athos opened it and began by drawing forth a little note
written in these terms:

My dear Count, -- When one travels, and especially for
three months, one never has a superfluity of money. Now,
recalling former times of mutual distress, I send you half
my purse; it is money to obtain which I made Mazarin sweat.
Don't make a bad use of it, I entreat you.

As to what you say about not seeing you againI believe
not a word of it; with such a heart as yours -- and such a
sword -- one passes through the valley of the shadow of
death a dozen timesunscathed and unalarmed. Au revoirnot
farewell.

It is unnecessary to say that from the day I saw Raoul I
loved him; nevertheless, believe that I heartily pray that I
may not become to him a father, however much I might be
proud of such a son.

Your

D'Artagnan.

P.S. -- Be it well understood that the fifty louis which I
send are equally for Aramis as for you -- for you as
Aramis."

Athos smiledand his fine eye was dimmed by a tear.
D'Artagnanwho had loved him so tenderlyloved him still
although a Mazarinist.


There are the fifty louis, i'faith,said Aramisemptying
the purse on the tableall bearing the effigy of Louis

XIII. "Wellwhat shall you do with this moneycount? Shall
you keep it or send it back?"
I shall keep it, Aramis, and even though I had no need of
it I still should keep it. What is offered from a generous
heart should be accepted generously. Take twenty-five of
them, Aramis, and give me the remaining twenty-five.

All right; I am glad to see you are of my opinion. There
now, shall we start?

When you like; but have you no groom?

No; that idiot Bazin had the folly to make himself verger,
as you know, and therefore cannot leave Notre Dame.

Very welltake Blaisoiswith whom I know not what to do
since I already have Grimaud."

Willingly,said Aramis.

At this moment Grimaud appeared at the door. "Ready said
he, with his usual curtness.

Let us gothen said Athos.

The two friends mounted, as did their servants. At the
corner of the Quai they encountered Bazin, who was running
breathlessly.

Ohsir!" exclaimed hethank Heaven I have arrived in
time. Monsieur Porthos has just been to your house and has
left this for you, saying that the letter was important and
must be given to you before you left.

Good,said Aramistaking a purse which Bazin presented to
him. "What is this?"

Wait, your reverence, there is a letter.

You know I have already told you that if you ever call me
anything but chevalier I will break every bone in your body.
Give me the letter.

How can you read?asked Athosit is as dark as a cold
oven.

Wait,said Bazinstriking a flintand setting afire a
twisted wax-lightwith which he started the church candles.
Thus illuminedAramis read the following epistle:

My dear D'Herblay-- I learned from D'Artagnan who has
embraced me on the part of the Comte de la Fere and
yourselfthat you are setting out on a journey which may
perhaps last two or three months; as I know that you do not
like to ask money of your friends I offer you some of my own
accord. Here are two hundred pistoleswhich you can dispose
of as you wish and return to me when opportunity occurs. Do
not fear that you put me to inconvenience; if I want money I
can send for some to any of my chateaux; at Bracieux alone
I have twenty thousand francs in gold. Soif I do not send
you more it is because I fear you would not accept a larger


sum.

I address you, because you know, that although I esteem him
from my heart I am a little awed by the Comte de la Fere;
but it is understood that what I offer you I offer him at
the same time.

I amas I trust you do not doubtyour devoted

Du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds.

Well said Aramis, what do you say to that?"

I say, my dear D'Herblay, that it is almost sacrilege to
distrust Providence when one has such friends, and therefore
we will divide the pistoles from Porthos, as we divided the
louis sent by D'Artagnan.

The division being made by the light of Bazin's taperthe
two friends continued their road and a quarter of an hour
later they had joined De Winter at the Porte Saint Denis.

In which it is proved that first Impulses are oftentimes the
best.

The three gentlemen took the road to Picardya road so well
known to them and which recalled to Athos and Aramis some of
the most picturesque adventures of their youth.

If Musqueton were with us,observed Athoson reaching the
spot where they had had a dispute with the paviershow he
would tremble at passing this! Do you remember, Aramis, that
it was here he received that famous bullet wound?

By my faith, 'twould be excusable in him to tremble,
replied Aramisfor even I feel a shudder at the
recollection; hold, just above that tree is the little spot
where I thought I was killed.

It was soon time for Grimaud to recall the past. Arriving
before the inn at which his master and himself had made such
an enormous repasthe approached Athos and saidshowing
him the airhole of the cellar:

Sausages!

Athos began to laughfor this juvenile escapade of his
appeared to be as amusing as if some one had related it of
another person.

At lastafter traveling two days and a nightthey arrived
at Boulogne toward the eveningfavored by magnificent
weather. Boulogne was a strong positionthen almost a
deserted townbuilt entirely on the heights; what is now
called the lower town did not then exist.


Gentlemen,said De Winteron reaching the gate of the
townlet us do here as at Paris -- let us separate to
avoid suspicion. I know an inn, little frequented, but of
which the host is entirely devoted to me. I will go there,
where I expect to find letters, and you go to the first
tavern in the town, to L'Epee du Grand Henri for instance,
refresh yourselves, and in two hours be upon the jetty; our
boat is waiting for us there.

The matter being thus decidedthe two friends foundabout
two hundred paces furtherthe tavern indicated. Their
horses were fedbut not unsaddled; the grooms suppedfor
it was already lateand their two mastersimpatient to
returnappointed a place of meeting with them on the jetty
and desired them on no account to exchange a word with any
one. It is needless to say that this caution concerned
Blaisois alone -- long enough since it had been a useless
one to Grimaud.

Athos and Aramis walked down toward the port. From their
dresscovered with dustand from a certain easy manner by
means of which a man accustomed to travel is always
recognizablethe two friends excited the attention of a few
promenaders. There was more especially one upon whom their
arrival had produced a decided impression. This manwhom
they had noticed from the first for the same reason they had
themselves been remarked by otherswas walking in a
listless way up and down the jetty. From the moment he
perceived them he did not cease to look at them and seemed
to burn with the wish to speak to them.

On reaching the jetty Athos and Aramis stopped to look at a
little boat made fast to a pile and ready rigged as if
waiting to start.

That is doubtless our boat,said Athos.

Yes,replied Aramisand the sloop out there making ready
to sail must be that which is to take us to our destination;
now,continued heif only De Winter does not keep us
waiting. It is not at all amusing here; there is not a
single woman passing.

Hush!said Athoswe are overheard.

In truththe walkerwhoduring the observations of the
two friendshad passed and repassed behind them several
timesstopped at the name of De Winter; but as his face
betrayed no emotion at mention of this nameit might have
been by chance he stood so still.

Gentlemen,said the manwho was young and palebowing
with ease and courtesypardon my curiosity, but I see you
come from Paris, or at least that you are strangers at
Boulogne.

We come from Paris, yes,replied Athoswith the same
courtesy; "what is there we can do for you?"

Sir,said the young manwill you be so good as to tell
me if it be true that Cardinal Mazarin is no longer
minister?

That is a strange question,said Aramis.


He is and he is not,replied Athos; "that is to sayhe is
dismissed by one-half of Francebut by intrigues and
promises he makes the other half sustain him; you will
perceive that this may last a long time."

However, sir,said the strangerhe has neither fled nor
is in prison?

No, sir, not at this moment at least.

Sirs, accept my thanks for your politeness,said the young
manretreating.

What do you think of that interrogator?asked Aramis.

I think he is either a dull provincial person or a spy in
search of information.

And you replied to him with that notion?

Nothing warranted me to answer him otherwise; he was polite
to me and I was so to him.

But if he be a spy ----

What do you think a spy would be about here? We are not
living in the time of Cardinal Richelieu, who would have
closed the ports on bare suspicion.

It matters not; you were wrong to reply to him as you did,
continued Aramisfollowing with his eyes the young mannow
vanishing behind the cliffs.

And you,said Athosyou forget that you committed a very
different kind of imprudence in pronouncing Lord de Winter's
name. Did you not see that at that name the young man
stopped?

More reason, then, when he spoke to you, for sending him
about his business.

A quarrel?asked Athos.

And since when have you become afraid of a quarrel?

I am always afraid of a quarrel when I am expected at any
place and when such a quarrel might possibly prevent my
reaching it. Besides, let me own something to you. I am
anxious to see that young man nearer.

And wherefore?

Aramis, you will certainly laugh at me, you will say that I
am always repeating the same thing, you will call me the
most timorous of visionaries; but to whom do you see a
resemblance in that young man?

In beauty or on the contrary?asked Aramislaughing.

In ugliness, in so far as a man can resemble a woman.

Ah! Egad!cried Aramisyou set me thinking. No, in truth
you are no visionary, my dear friend, and now I think of it


-- you -- yes, i'faith, you're right -- those delicate, yet
firm-set lips, those eyes which seem always at the command
of the intellect and never of the heart! Yes, it is one of
Milady's bastards!

You laugh Aramis.

From habit, that is all. I swear to you, I like no better
than yourself to meet that viper in my path.

Ah! here is De Winter coming,said Athos.

Good! one thing now is only awanting and that is, that our
grooms should not keep us waiting.

No,said Athos. "I see them about twenty paces behind my
lord. I recognize Grimaud by his long legs and his
determined slouch. Tony carries our muskets."

Then we set sail to-night?asked Aramisglancing toward
the westwhere the sun had left a single golden cloud
whichdipping into the oceanappeared by degrees to be
extinguished.

Probably,said Athos.

Diable!resumed AramisI have little fancy for the sea
by day, still less at night; the sounds of wind and wave,
the frightful movements of the vessel; I confess I prefer
the convent of Noisy.

Athos smiled sadlyfor it was evident that he was thinking
of other things as he listened to his friend and moved
toward De Winter.

What ails our friend?said Aramishe resembles one of
Dante's damned, whose neck Apollyon has dislocated and who
are ever looking at their heels. What the devil makes him
glower thus behind him?

When De Winter perceived themin his turn he advanced
toward them with surprising rapidity.

What is the matter, my lord?said Athosand what puts
you out of breath thus?

Nothing,replied De Winter; "nothing; and yet in passing
the heights it seemed to me ---- " and he again turned
round.

Athos glanced at Aramis.

But let us go,continued De Winter; "let us be off; the
boat must be waiting for us and there is our sloop at anchor
-- do you see it there? I wish I were on board already and
he looked back again.

He has seen him said Athos, in a low tone, to Aramis.

They had reached the ladder which led to the boat. De Winter
made the grooms who carried the arms and the porters with
the luggage descend first and was about to follow them.

At this moment Athos perceived a man walking on the seashore


parallel to the jetty, and hastening his steps, as if to
reach the other side of the port, scarcely twenty steps from
the place of embarking. He fancied in the darkness that he
recognized the young man who had questioned him. Athos now
descended the ladder in his turn, without losing sight of
the young man. The latter, to make a short cut, had appeared
on a sluice.

He certainly bodes us no good said Athos; but let us
embark; once out at sealet him come."

And Athos sprang into the boatwhich was immediately pushed
off and which soon sped seawards under the efforts of four
stalwart rowers.

But the young man had begun to followor rather to advance
before the boat. She was obliged to pass between the point
of the jettysurmounted by a beacon just lightedand a
rock which jutted out. They saw him in the distance climbing
the rock in order to look down upon the boat as it passed.

Ay, but,said Aramisthat young fellow is decidedly a
spy.

Which is the young man?asked De Winterturning around.

He who followed us and spoke to us awaits us there;
behold!

De Winter turned and followed the direction of Aramis's
finger. The beacon bathed with light the little strait
through which they were about to pass and the rock where the
young man stood with bare head and crossed arms.

It is he!exclaimed De Winterseizing the arm of Athos;
it is he! I thought I recognized him and I was not
mistaken.

Whom do you mean?asked Aramis.

Milady's son,replied Athos.

The monk!exclaimed Grimaud.

The young man heard these words and bent so forward over the
rock that one might have supposed he was about to
precipitate himself from it.

Yes, it is I, my uncle -- I, the son of Milady -- I, the
monk -- I, the secretary and friend of Cromwell -- I know
you now, both you and your companions.

In that boat sat three menunquestionably bravewhose
courage no man would have dared dispute; neverthelessat
that voicethat accent and those gesturesthey felt a
chill access of terror cramp their veins. As for Grimaud
his hair stood on end and drops of sweat ran down his brow.

Ah!exclaimed Aramisthat is the nephew, the monk, and
the son of Milady, as he says himself.

Alas, yes,murmured De Winter.

Then wait,said Aramis; and with the terrible coolness


which on important occasions he showedhe took one of the
muskets from Tonyshouldered and aimed it at the young man
who stoodlike the accusing angelupon the rock.

Fire!cried Grimaudunconsciously.

Athos threw himself on the muzzle of the gun and arrested
the shot which was about to be fired.

The devil take you,said Aramis. "I had him so well at the
point of my gun I should have sent a ball into his breast."

It is enough to have killed the mother,said Athos
hoarsely.

The mother was a wretch, who struck at us all and at those
dear to us.

Yes, but the son has done us no harm.

Grimaudwho had risen to watch the effect of the shotfell
back hopelesswringing his hands.

The young man burst into a laugh.

Ah, it is certainly you!he cried. "I know you even better
now."

His mocking laugh and threatening words passed over their
headscarried by the breezeuntil lost in the depths of
the horizon. Aramis shuddered.

Be calm,exclaimed Athosfor Heaven's sake! have we
ceased to be men?

No,said Aramisbut that fellow is a fiend; and ask the
uncle whether I was wrong to rid him of his dear nephew.

De Winter only replied by a groan.

It was all up with him,continued Aramis; "ah I much fear
that with all your wisdom such mercy yet will prove supernal
folly."

Athos took Lord de Winter's hand and tried to turn the
conversation.

When shall we land in England?he asked; but De Winter
seemed not to hear his words and made no reply.

Hold, Athos,said Aramisperhaps there is yet time. See
if he is still in the same place.

Athos turned around with an effort; the sight of the young
man was evidently painful to himand there he still wasin
facton the rockthe beacon shedding around himas it
werea doubtful aureole.

Decidedly, Aramis,said AthosI think I was wrong not to
let you fire.

Hold your tongue,replied Aramis; "you would make me weep
if such a thing were possible."


At this moment they were hailed by a voice from the sloop
and a few seconds later menservants and baggage were
aboard. The captain was only waiting for his passengers;
hardly had they put foot on deck ere her head was turned
towards Hastingswhere they were to disembark. At this
instant the three friends turnedin spite of themselvesa
last look on the rockupon the menacing figure which
pursued them and now stood out with a distinctness still.
Then a voice reached them once moresending this threat:
To our next meeting, sirs, in England.

Te Deum for the Victory of Lens.

The bustle which had been observed by Henrietta Maria and
for which she had vainly sought to discover a reasonwas
occasioned by the battle of Lensannounced by the prince's
messengerthe Duc de Chatillonwho had taken such a noble
part in the engagement; he wasbesidescharged to hang
five and twenty flagstaken from the Lorraine partyas
well as from the Spaniardsupon the arches of Notre Dame.

Such news was decisive; it destroyedin favor of the court
the struggle commenced with parliament. The motive given for
all the taxes summarily imposed and to which the parliament
had made oppositionwas the necessity of sustaining the
honor of France and the uncertain hope of beating the enemy.
Nowsince the affair of Nordlingenthey had experienced
nothing but reverses; the parliament had a plea for calling
Mazarin to account for imaginary victoriesalways promised
ever deferred; but this time there really had been fighting
a triumph and a complete one. And this all knew so well that
it was a double victory for the courta victory at home and
abroad; so that even when the young king learned the news he
exclaimedAh, gentlemen of the parliament, we shall see
what you will say now!Upon which the queen had pressed the
royal child to her heartwhose haughty and unruly
sentiments were in such harmony with her own. A council was
called on the same eveningbut nothing transpired of what
had been decided on. It was only known that on the following
Sunday a Te Deum would be sung at Notre Dame in honor of the
victory of Lens.

The following Sundaythenthe Parisians arose with joy; at
that period a Te Deum was a grand affair; this kind of
ceremony had not then been abused and it produced a great
effect. The shops were desertedhouses closed; every one
wished to see the young king with his motherand the famous
Cardinal Mazarin whom they hated so much that no one wished
to be deprived of his presence. Moreovergreat liberty
prevailed throughout the immense crowd; every opinion was
openly expressed and chorusedso to speakof coming
insurrectionas the thousand bells of all the Paris
churches rang out the Te Deum. The police belonging to the
city being formed by the city itselfnothing threatening
presented itself to disturb this concert of universal hatred
or freeze the frequent scoffs of slanderous lips.

Neverthelessat eight o'clock in the morning the regiment


of the queen's guardscommanded by Guitantunder whom was
his nephew Commingesmarched publiclypreceded by drums
and trumpetsfiling off from the Palais Royal as far as
Notre Damea manoeuvre which the Parisians witnessed
tranquillydelighted as they were with military music and
brilliant uniforms.

Friquet had put on his Sunday clothesunder the pretext of
having a swollen face which he had managed to simulate by
introducing a handful of cherry kernels into one side of his
mouthand had procured a whole holiday from Bazin. On
leaving BazinFriquet started off to the Palais Royal
where he arrived at the moment of the turning out of the
regiment of guards; and as he had only gone there for the
enjoyment of seeing it and hearing the musiche took his
place at their headbeating the drum on two pieces of slate
and passing from that exercise to that of the trumpetwhich
he counterfeited quite naturally with his mouth in a manner
which had more than once called forth the praises of
amateurs of imitative harmony.

This amusement lasted from the Barriere des Sergens to the
place of Notre Dameand Friquet found in it very real
enjoyment; but when at last the regiment separated
penetrated the heart of the city and placed itself at the
extremity of the Rue Saint Christophenear the Rue
Cocatrixin which Broussel livedthen Friquet remembered
that he had not had breakfast; and after thinking in which
direction he had better turn his steps in order to
accomplish this important act of the dayhe reflected
deeply and decided that Councillor Broussel should bear the
cost of this repast.

In consequence he took to his heelsarrived breathlessly at
the councillor's doorand knocked violently.

His motherthe councillor's old servantopened it.

What doest thou here, good-for-nothing?she saidand why
art thou not at Notre Dame?

I have been there, mother,said Friquetbut I saw things
happen of which Master Broussel ought to be warned, and so
with Monsieur Bazin's permission -- you know, mother,
Monsieur Bazin, the verger -- I came to speak to Monsieur
Broussel.

And what hast thou to say, boy, to Monsieur Broussel?

I wish to tell him,replied Friquetscreaming with all
his mightthat there is a whole regiment of guards coming
this way. And as I hear everywhere that at the court they
are ill-disposed to him, I wish to warn him, that he may be
on his guard.

Broussel heard the scream of the young oddityand
enchanted with this excess of zealcame down to the first
floorfor he wasin truthworking in his room on the
second.

Well,said hefriend, what matters the regiment of
guards to us, and art thou not mad to make such a
disturbance? Knowest thou not that it is the custom of these
soldiers to act thus and that it is usual for the regiment


to form themselves into two solid walls when the king goes
by?

Friquet counterfeited surpriseand twisting his new cap
around in his fingerssaid:

It is not astonishing for you to know it, Monsieur
Broussel, who knows everything; but as for me, by holy
truth, I did not know it and I thought I would give you good
advice; you must not be angry with me for that, Monsieur
Broussel.

On the contrary, my boy, on the contrary, I am pleased with
your zeal. Dame Nanette, look for those apricots which
Madame de Longueville sent to us yesterday from Noisy and
give half a dozen of them to your son, with a crust of new
bread.

Oh, thank you, sir, thank you, Monsieur Broussel,said
Friquet; "I am so fond of apricots!"

Broussel then proceeded to his wife's room and asked for
breakfast; it was nine o'clock. The councillor placed
himself at the window; the street was completely deserted
but in the distance was heardlike the noise of the tide
rushing inthe deep hum of the populous waves increasing
now around Notre Dame.

This noise redoubled when D'Artagnanwith a company of
musketeersplaced himself at the gates of Notre Dame to
secure the service of the church. He had instructed Porthos
to profit by this opportunity to see the ceremony; and
Porthosin full dressmounted his finest horsetaking the
part of supernumerary musketeeras D'Artagnan had so often
done formerly. The sergeant of this companya veteran of
the Spanish warshad recognized Porthoshis old companion
and very soon all those who served under him were placed in
possession of startling facts concerning the honor of the
ancient musketeers of Treville. Porthos had not only been
well received by the companybut he was moreover looked on
with great admiration.

At ten o'clock the guns of the Louvre announced the
departure of the kingand then a movementsimilar to that
of trees in a stormy wind that bend and writhe with agitated
topsran though the multitudewhich was compressed behind
the immovable muskets of the guard. At last the king
appeared with the queen in a gilded chariot. Ten other
carriages followedcontaining the ladies of honorthe
officers of the royal householdand the court.

God save the king!was the cry in every direction; the
young monarch gravely put his head out of the windowlooked
sufficiently grateful and even bowed; at which the cries of
the multitude were renewed.

Just as the court was settling down in the cathedrala
carriagebearing the arms of Commingesquitted the line of
the court carriages and proceeded slowly to the end of the
Rue Saint Christophenow entirely deserted. When it arrived
therefour guards and a police officerwho accompanied it
mounted into the heavy machine and closed the shutters; then
through an opening cautiously madethe policeman began to
watch the length of the Rue Cocatrixas if he was waiting


for some one.

All the world was occupied with the ceremonyso that
neither the chariot nor the precautions taken by those who
were within it had been observed. Friquetwhose eyeever
on the alertcould alone have discovered themhad gone to
devour his apricots upon the entablature of a house in the
square of Notre Dame. Thence he saw the kingthe queen and
Monsieur Mazarinand heard the mass as well as if he had
been on duty.

Toward the end of the servicethe queenseeing Comminges
standing near herwaiting for a confirmation of the order
she had given him before quitting the Louvresaid in a
whisper:

Go, Comminges, and may God aid you!

Comminges immediately left the church and entered the Rue
Saint Christophe. Friquetseeing this fine officer thus
walk awayfollowed by two guardsamused himself by
pursuing them and did this so much the more gladly as the
ceremony ended at that instant and the king remounted his
carriage.

Hardly had the police officer observed Comminges at the end
of the Rue Cocatrix when he said one word to the coachman
who at once put his vehicle into motion and drove up before
Broussel's door. Comminges knocked at the door at the same
momentand Friquet was waiting behind Comminges until the
door should be opened.

What dost thou there, rascal?asked Comminges.

I want to go into Master Broussel's house, captain,
replied Friquetin that wheedling way the "gamins" of Paris
know so well how to assume when necessary.

And on what floor does he live?asked Comminges.

In the whole house,said Friquet; "the house belongs to
him; he occupies the second floor when he works and descends
to the first to take his meals; he must be at dinner now; it
is noon."

Good,said Comminges.

At this moment the door was openedand having questioned
the servant the officer learned that Master Broussel was at
home and at dinner.

Broussel was seated at the table with his familyhaving his
wife opposite to himhis two daughters by his sideand his
sonLouviereswhom we have already seen when the accident
happened to the councillor -- an accident from which he had
quite recovered -- at the bottom of the table. The worthy
manrestored to perfect healthwas tasting the fine fruit
which Madame de Longueville had sent to him.

At sight of the officer Broussel was somewhat movedbut
seeing him bow politely he rose and bowed also. Stillin
spite of this reciprocal politenessthe countenances of the
women betrayed a certain amount of uneasiness; Louvieres
became very pale and waited impatiently for the officer to


explain himself.

Sir,said CommingesI am the bearer of an order from the
king.

Very well, sir,replied Brousselwhat is this order?
And he held out his hand.

I am commissioned to seize your person, sir,said
Commingesin the same tone and with the same politeness;
and if you will believe me you had better spare yourself
the trouble of reading that long letter and follow me.

A thunderbolt falling in the midst of these good peopleso
peacefully assembled therewould not have produced a more
appalling effect. It was a horrible thing at that period to
be imprisoned by the enmity of the king. Louvieres sprang
forward to snatch his swordwhich stood against a chair in
a corner of the room; but a glance from the worthy Broussel
who in the midst of It all did not lose his presence of
mindchecked this foolhardy action of despair. Madame
Brousselseparated by the width of the table from her
husbandburst into tearsand the young girls clung to
their father's arms.

Come, sir,said Commingesmake haste; you must obey the
king.

Sir,said BrousselI am in bad health and cannot give
myself up a prisoner in this state; I must have time.

It is impossible,said Comminges; "the order is strict and
must be put into execution this instant."

Impossible!said Louvieres; "sirbeware of driving us to
despair."

Impossible!cried a shrill voice from the end of the room.

Comminges turned and saw Dame Nanetteher eyes flashing
with anger and a broom in her hand.

My good Nanette, be quiet, I beseech you,said Broussel.

Me! keep quiet while my master is being arrested! he, the
support, the liberator, the father of the people! Ah! well,
yes; you have to know me yet. Are you going?added she to
Comminges.

The latter smiled.

Come, sir,said headdressing Brousselsilence that
woman and follow me.

Silence me! me! me!said Nanette. "Ah! yet one wants some
one besides you for thatmy fine king's cockatoo! You shall
see." And Dame Nanette sprang to the windowthrew it open
and in such a piercing voice that it might have been heard
in the square of Notre Dame:

Help!she screamedmy master is being arrested; the
Councillor Broussel is being arrested! Help!

Sir,said Commingesdeclare yourself at once; will you


obey or do you intend to rebel against the king?

I obey, I obey, sir!cried Brousseltrying to disengage
himself from the grasp of his two daughters and by a look
restrain his sonwho seemed determined to dispute
authority.

In that case,commanded Commingessilence that old
woman.

Ah! old woman!screamed Nanette.

And she began to shriek more loudlyclinging to the bars of
the window:

Help! help! for Master Broussel, who is arrested because he
has defended the people! Help!

Comminges seized the servant around the waist and would have
dragged her from her post; but at that instant a treble
voiceproceeding from a kind of entresolwas heard
screeching:

Murder! fire! assassins! Master Broussel is being killed!
Master Broussel is being strangled.

It was Friquet's voice; and Dame Nanettefeeling herself
supportedrecommenced with all her strength to sound her
shrilly squawk.

Many curious faces had already appeared at the windows and
the people attracted to the end of the street began to run
first menthen groupsand then a crowd of people; hearing
cries and seeing a chariot they could not understand it; but
Friquet sprang from the entresol on to the top of the
carriage.

They want to arrest Master Broussel!he cried; "the guards
are in the carriage and the officer is upstairs!"

The crowd began to murmur and approached the house. The two
guards who had remained in the lane mounted to the aid of
Comminges; those who were in the chariot opened the doors
and presented arms.

Don't you see them?cried Friquetdon't you see? there
they are!

The coachman turning aroundgave Friquet a slash with his
whip which made him scream with pain.

Ah! devil's coachman!cried Friquetyou're meddling too!
Wait!

And regaining his entresol he overwhelmed the coachman with
every projectile he could lay hands on.

The tumult now began to increase; the street was not able to
contain the spectators who assembled from every direction;
the crowd invaded the space which the dreaded pikes of the
guards had till then kept clear between them and the
carriage. The soldierspushed back by these living walls
were in danger of being crushed against the spokes of the
wheels and the panels of the carriages. The cries which the


police officer repeated twenty times: "In the king's name
were powerless against this formidable multitude -- seemed,
on the contrary, to exasperate it still more; when, at the
shout, In the name of the king an officer ran up, and
seeing the uniforms ill-treated, he sprang into the scuffle
sword in hand, and brought unexpected help to the guards.
This gentleman was a young man, scarcely sixteen years of
age, now white with anger. He leaped from his charger,
placed his back against the shaft of the carriage, making a
rampart of his horse, drew his pistols from their holsters
and fastened them to his belt, and began to fight with the
back sword, like a man accustomed to the handling of his
weapon.

During ten minutes he alone kept the crowd at bay; at last
Comminges appeared, pushing Broussel before him.

Let us break the carriage!" cried the people.

In the king's name!cried Comminges.

The first who advances is a dead man!cried Raoulfor it
was in fact hewhofeeling himself pressed and almost
crushed by a gigantic citizenpricked him with the point of
his sword and sent him howling back.

Commingesso to speakthrew Broussel into the carriage and
sprang in after him. At this moment a shot was fired and a
ball passed through the hat of Comminges and broke the arm
of one of the guards. Comminges looked up and saw amidst the
smoke the threatening face of Louvieres appearing at the
window of the second floor.

Very well, sir,said Commingesyou shall hear of this
anon.

And you of me, sir,said Louvieres; "and we shall see then
who can speak the loudest."

Friquet and Nanette continued to shout; the criesthe noise
of the shot and the intoxicating smell of powder produced
their usual maddening effects.

Down with the officer! down with him!was the cry.

One step nearer,said Commingesputting down the sashes
that the interior of the carriage might be well seenand
placing his sword on his prisoner's breastone step
nearer, and I kill the prisoner; my orders were to carry him
off alive or dead. I will take him dead, that's all.

A terrible cry was heardand the wife and daughters of
Broussel held up their hands in supplication to the people;
the latter knew that this officerwho was so palebut who
appeared so determinedwould keep his word; they continued
to threatenbut they began to disperse.

Drive to the palace,said Comminges to the coachmanwho
was by then more dead than alive.

The man whipped his animalswhich cleared a way through the
crowd; but on arriving on the Quai they were obliged to
stop; the carriage was upsetthe horses carried off
stifledmangled by the crowd. Raoulon footfor he had


not time to mount his horse againtiredlike the guards
of distributing blows with the flat of his swordhad
recourse to its point. But this last and dreaded resource
served only to exasperate the multitude. From time to time a
shot from a musket or the blade of a rapier flashed among
the crowd; projectiles continued to hail down from the
windows and some shots were heardthe echo of whichthough
they were probably fired in the airmade all hearts
vibrate. Voicesunheard except on days of revolutionwere
distinguished; faces were seen that only appeared on days of
bloodshed. Cries of "Death! death to the guards! to the
Seine with the officer!" were heard above all the noise
deafening as it was. Raoulhis hat in ribbonshis face
bleedingfelt not only his strength but also his reason
going; a red mist covered his sightand through this mist
he saw a hundred threatening arms stretched over himready
to seize upon him when he fell. The guards were unable to
help any one -- each one was occupied with his
self-preservation. All was over; carriageshorsesguards
and perhaps even the prisoner were about to be torn to
shredswhen all at once a voice well known to Raoul was
heardand suddenly a great sword glittered in the air; at
the same time the crowd openedupsettrodden downand an
officer of the musketeersstriking and cutting right and
leftrushed up to Raoul and took him in his arms just as he
was about to fall.

God's blood!cried the officerhave they killed him? Woe
to them if it be so!

And he turned aroundso stern with angerstrength and
threatthat the most excited rebels hustled back on one
anotherin order to escapeand some of them even rolled
into the Seine.

Monsieur d'Artagnan!murmured Raoul.

Yes, 'sdeath! in person, and fortunately it seems for you,
my young friend. Come on, here, you others,he continued
rising in his stirrupsraising his swordand addressing
those musketeers who had not been able to follow his rapid
onslaught. "Comesweep away all that for me! Shoulder
muskets! Present arms! Aim ---- "

At this command the mountain of populace thinned so suddenly
that D'Artagnan could not repress a burst of Homeric
laughter.

Thank you, D'Artagnan,said Commingesshowing half of his
body through the window of the broken vehiclethanks, my
young friend; your name -- that I may mention it to the
queen.

Raoul was about to reply when D'Artagnan bent down to his
ear.

Hold your tongue,said heand let me answer. Do not lose
time, Comminges,he continued; "get out of the carriage if
you can and make another draw up; be quickor in five
minutes the mob will be on us again with swords and muskets
and you will be killed. Hold! there's a carriage coming over
yonder."

Then bending again to Raoulhe whispered: "Above all things


do not divulge your name."

That's right. I will go,said Comminges; "and if they come
backfire!"

Not at all -- not at all,replied D'Artagnan; "let no one
move. On the contraryone shot at this moment would be paid
for dearly to-morrow."

Comminges took his four guards and as many musketeers and
ran to the carriagefrom which he made the people inside
dismountand brought them to the vehicle which had upset.
But when it was necessary to convey the prisoner from one
carriage to the otherthe peoplecatching sight of him
whom they called their liberatoruttered every imaginable
cry and knotted themselves once more around the vehicle.

Start, start!said D'Artagnan. "There are ten men to
accompany you. I will keep twenty to hold in check the mob;
goand lose not a moment. Ten men for Monsieur de
Comminges."

As the carriage started off the cries were redoubled and
more than ten thousand people thronged the Quai and
overflowed the Pont Neuf and adjacent streets. A few shots
were fired and one musketeer was wounded.

Forward!cried D'Artagnandriven to extremitiesbiting
his moustache; and then he charged with his twenty men and
dispersed them in fear. One man alone remained in his place
gun in hand.

Ah!he exclaimedit is thou who wouldst have him
assassinated? Wait an instant.And he pointed his gun at
D'Artagnanwho was riding toward him at full speed.
D'Artagnan bent down to his horse's neck the young man
firedand the ball severed the feathers from the hat. The
horse startedbrushed against the imprudent manwho
thought by his strength alone to stay the tempestand he
fell against the wall. D'Artagnan pulled up his horseand
whilst his musketeers continued to chargehe returned and
bent with drawn sword over the man he had knocked down.

Oh, sir!exclaimed Raoulrecognizing the young man as
having seen him in the Rue Cocatrixspare him! it is his
son!

D'Artagnan's arm dropped to his side. "Ahyou are his son!"
he said; "that is a different thing."

Sir, I surrender,said Louvierespresenting his unloaded
musket to the officer.

Eh, no! do not surrender, egad! On the contrary, be off,
and quickly. If I take you, you will be hung!

The young man did not wait to be told twicebut passing
under the horse's head disappeared at the corner of the Rue
Guenegaud.

I'faith!said D'Artagnan to Raoulyou were just in time
to stay my hand. He was a dead man; and on my honor, if I
had discovered that it was his son, I should have regretted
having killed him.


Ah! sir!said Raoulallow me, after thanking you for
that poor fellow's life, to thank you on my own account. I
too, sir, was almost dead when you arrived.

Wait, wait, young man; do not fatigue yourself with
speaking. We can talk of it afterward.

Then seeing that the musketeers had cleared the Quai from
the Pont Neuf to the Quai Saint Michaelhe raised his sword
for them to double their speed. The musketeers trotted up
and at the same time the ten men whom D'Artagnan had given
to Comminges appeared.

Halloo!cried D'Artagnan; "has something fresh happened?"

Eh, sir!replied the sergeanttheir vehicle has broken
down a second time; it really must be doomed.

They are bad managers,said D'Artagnanshrugging his
shoulders. "When a carriage is chosenit ought to be
strong. The carriage in which a Broussel is to be arrested
ought to be able to bear ten thousand men."

What are your commands, lieutenant?

Take the detachment and conduct him to his place.

But you will be left alone?

Certainly. So you suppose I have need of an escort? Go.

The musketeers set off and D'Artagnan was left alone with
Raoul.

Now,he saidare you in pain?

Yes; my head is not only swimming but burning.

What's the matter with this head?said D'Artagnanraising
the battered hat. "Ah! ah! a bruise."

Yes, I think I received a flower-pot upon my head.

Brutes!said D'Artagnan. "But were you not on horseback?
you have spurs."

Yes, but I got down to defend Monsieur de Comminges and my
horse was taken away. Here it is, I see.

At this very moment Friquet passedmounted on Raoul's
horsewaving his parti-colored cap and cryingBroussel!
Broussel!

Halloo! stop, rascal!cried D'Artagnan. "Bring hither that
horse."

Friquet heard perfectlybut he pretended not to do so and
tried to continue his road. D'Artagnan felt inclined for an
instant to pursue Master Friquetbut not wishing to leave
Raoul alone he contented himself with taking a pistol from
the holster and cocking it.

Friquet had a quick eye and a fine ear. He saw D'Artagnan's


movementheard the sound of the clickand stopped at once.

Ah! it is you, your honor,he saidadvancing toward
D'Artagnan; "and I am truly pleased to meet you."

D'Artagnan looked attentively at Friquet and recognized the
little chorister of the Rue de la Calandre.

Ah! 'tis thou, rascal!said hecome here: so thou hast
changed thy trade; thou art no longer a choir boy nor a
tavern boy; thou hast become a horse stealer?

Ah, your honor, how can you say so?exclaimed Friquet. "I
was seeking the gentleman to whom this horse belongs -- an
officerbrave and handsome as a youthful Caesar; "then
pretending to see Raoul for the first time:

Ah! but if I mistake not,continued hehere he is; you
won't forget the boy, sir.

Raoul put his hand in his pocket.

What are you about?asked D'Artagnan.

To give ten francs to this honest fellow,replied Raoul
taking a pistole from his pocket.

Ten kicks on his back!said D'Artagnan; "be offyou
little villainand forget not that I have your address."

Friquetwho did not expect to be let off so cheaply
bounded off like a gazelle up the Quai a la Rue Dauphine
and disappeared. Raoul mounted his horseand both leisurely
took their way to the Rue Tiquetonne.

D'Artagnan watched over the youth as if he had been his own
son.

They arrived without accident at the Hotel de la Chevrette.

The handsome Madeleine announced to D'Artagnan that Planchet
had returnedbringing Musqueton with himwho had
heroically borne the extraction of the ball and was as well
as his state would permit.

D'Artagnan desired Planchet to be summonedbut he had
disappeared.

Then bring some wine,said D'Artagnan. "You are much
pleased with yourself said he to Raoul when they were
alone, are you not?"

Well, yes,replied Raoul. "It seems to me I did my duty. I
defended the king."

And who told you to defend the king?

The Comte de la Fere himself.

Yes, the king; but to-day you have not fought for the king,
you have fought for Mazarin; which is not quite the same
thing.

But you yourself?


Oh, for me; that is another matter. I obey my captain's
orders. As for you, your captain is the prince, understand
that rightly; you have no other. But has one ever seen such
a wild fellow,continued hemaking himself a Mazarinist
and helping to arrest Broussel! Breathe not a word of that,
or the Comte de la Fere will be furious.

You think the count will be angry with me?

Think it? I'm certain of it; were it not for that, I should
thank you, for you have worked for us. However, I scold you
instead of him, and in his place; the storm will blow over
more easily, believe me. And moreover, my dear child,
continued D'ArtagnanI am making use of the privilege
conceded to me by your guardian.

I do not understand you, sir,said Raoul.

D'Artagnan roseand taking a letter from his writing-desk
presented it to Raoul. The face of the latter became serious
when he had cast his eyes upon the paper.

Oh, mon Dieu!he saidraising his fine eyes to
D'Artagnanmoist with tearsthe count has left Paris
without seeing me?

He left four days ago,said D'Artagnan.

But this letter seems to intimate that he is about to incur
danger, perhaps death.

He -- he -- incur danger of death! No, be not anxious; he
is traveling on business and will return ere long. I hope
you have no repugnance to accept me as your guardian in the
interim.

Oh, no, Monsieur d'Artagnan,said Raoulyou are such a
brave gentleman and the Comte de la Fere has so much
affection for you!

Eh! Egad! love me too; I will not torment you much, but
only on condition that you become a Frondist, my young
friend, and a hearty Frondist, too.

But can I continue to visit Madame de Chevreuse?

I should say you could! and the coadjutor and Madame de
Longueville; and if the worthy Broussel were there, whom you
so stupidly helped arrest, I should tell you to excuse
yourself to him at once and kiss him on both cheeks.

Well, sir, I will obey you, although I do not understand
you.

It is unnecessary for you to understand. Hold continued
D'Artagnan, turning toward the door, which had just opened,
here is Monsieur du Vallonwho comes with his coat torn."

Yes, but in exchange,said Porthoscovered with
perspiration and soiled by dustin exchange, I have torn
many skins. Those wretches wanted to take away my sword!
Deuce take 'em, what a popular commotion!continued the
giantin his quiet manner; "but I knocked down more than


twenty with the hilt of Balizarde. A draught of wine
D'Artagnan."

OhI'll aswer for you said the Gascon, filling Porthos's
glass to the brim; but when you have drunkgive me your
opinion."

Upon what?asked Porthos.

Look here,resumed D'Artagnan; "here is Monsieur de
Bragelonnewho determined at all risks to aid the arrest of
Broussel and whom I had great difficulty to prevent
defending Monsieur de Comminges."

The devil!said Porthos; "and his guardianwhat would he
have said to that?"

Do you hear?interrupted D'Artagnan; "become a Frondist
my friendbelong to the Frondeand remember that I fill
the count's place in everything;" and he jingled his money.

Will you come?said he to Porthos.

Where?asked Porthosfilling a second glass of wine.

To present our respects to the cardinal.

Porthos swallowed the second glass with the same grace with
which he had imbibed the firsttook his beaver and followed
D'Artagnan. As for Raoulhe remained bewildered with what
he had seenhaving been forbidden by D'Artagnan to leave
the room until the tumult was over.

The Beggar of St. Eustache.

D'Artagnan had calculated that in not going at once to the
Palais Royal he would give Comminges time to arrive before
himand consequently to make the cardinal acquainted with
the eminent services which heD'Artagnanand his friend
had rendered to the queen's party in the morning.

They were indeed admirably received by Mazarinwho paid
them numerous complimentsand announced that they were more
than half on their way to obtain what they desirednamely
D'Artagnan his captaincyPorthos his barony.

D'Artagnan would have preferred money in hand to all that
fine talkfor he knew well that to Mazarin it was easy to
promise and hard to perform. Butthough he held the
cardinal's promises as of little worthhe affected to be
completely satisfiedfor he was unwilling to discourage
Porthos.

Whilst the two friends were with the cardinalthe queen
sent for him. Mazarinthinking that it would be the means
of increasing the zeal of his two defenders if he procured
them personal thanks from the queenmotioned them to follow
him. D'Artagnan and Porthos pointed to their dusty and torn


dressesbut the cardinal shook his head.

Those costumes,he saidare of more worth than most of
those which you will see on the backs of the queen's
courtiers; they are costumes of battle.

D'Artagnan and Porthos obeyed. The court of Anne of Austria
was full of gayety and animation; forafter having gained a
victory over the Spaniardit had just gained another over
the people. Broussel had been conducted out of Paris without
further resistanceand was at this time in the prison of
Saint Germain; while Blancmesnilwho was arrested at the
same timebut whose arrest had been made without difficulty
or noisewas safe in the Castle of Vincennes.

Comminges was near the queenwho was questioning him upon
the details of his expeditionand every one was listening
to his accountwhen D'Artagnan and Porthos were perceived
at the doorbehind the cardinal.

Ah, madame,said Commingeshastening to D'Artagnanhere
is one who can tell you better than myself, for he was my
protector. Without him I should probably at this moment be a
dead fish in the nets at Saint Cloud, for it was a question
of nothing less than throwing me into the river. Speak,
D'Artagnan, speak.

D'Artagnan had been a hundred times in the same room with
the queen since he had become lieutenant of the musketeers
but her majesty had never once spoken to him.

Well, sir,at last said Anne of Austriayou are silent,
after rendering such a service?

Madame,replied D'ArtagnanI have nought to say, save
that my life is ever at your majesty's service, and that I
shall only be happy the day I lose it for you.

I know thatsir; I have known that said the queen, a
long time; therefore I am delighted to be able thus publicly
to mark my gratitude and my esteem."

Permit me, madame,said D'Artagnanto reserve a portion
for my friend; like myself(he laid an emphasis on these
words) "an ancient musketeer of the company of Treville; he
has done wonders."

His name?asked the queen.

In the regiment,said D'Artagnanhe is called Porthos
(the queen started)but his true name is the Chevalier du
Vallon.

De Bracieux de Pierrefonds,added Porthos.

These names are too numerous for me to remember them all,
and I will content myself with the first,said the queen
graciously. Porthos bowed. At this moment the coadjutor was
announced; a cry of surprise ran through the royal
assemblage. Although the coadjutor had preached that same
morning it was well known that he leaned much to the side of
the Fronde; and Mazarinin requesting the archbishop of
Paris to make his nephew preachhad evidently had the
intention of administering to Monsieur de Retz one of those


Italian kicks he so much enjoyed giving.

The fact wasin leaving Notre Dame the coadjutor had
learned the event of the day. Although almost engaged to the
leaders of the Fronde he had not gone so far but that
retreat was possible should the court offer him the
advantages for which he was ambitious and to which the
coadjutorship was but a stepping-stone. Monsieur de Retz
wished to become archbishop in his uncle's placeand
cardinallike Mazarin; and the popular party could with
difficulty accord him favors so entirely royal. He therefore
hastened to the palace to congratulate the queen on the
battle of Lensdetermined beforehand to act with or against
the courtas his congratulations were well or ill received.

The coadjutor possessedperhapsas much wit as all those
put together who were assembled at the court to laugh at
him. His speechthereforewas so well turnedthat in
spite of the great wish felt by the courtiers to laughthey
could find no point on which to vent their ridicule. He
concluded by saying that he placed his feeble influence at
her majesty's command.

During the whole time he was speakingthe queen appeared to
be well pleased with the coadjutor's harangue; but
terminating as it did with such a phrasethe only one which
could be caught at by the jokersAnne turned around and
directed a glance toward her favoriteswhich announced that
she delivered up the coadjutor to their tender mercies.
Immediately the wits of the court plunged into satire.
Nogent-Beautinthe fool of the courtexclaimed that "the
queen was very happy to have the succor of religion at such
a moment." This caused a universal burst of laughter. The
Count de Villeroy said that "he did not know how any fear
could be entertained for a momentwhen the court hadto
defend itself against the parliament and the citizens of
Parishis holiness the coadjutorwho by a signal could
raise an army of curateschurch porters and vergers."

The Marechal de la Meilleraie added that in case the
coadjutor should appear on the field of battle it would be a
pity that he should not be distinguished in the melee by
wearing a red hatas Henry IV. had been distinguished by
his white plume at the battle of Ivry.

During this stormGondywho had it in his power to make it
most unpleasant for the jestersremained calm and stern.
The queen at last asked him if he had anything to add to the
fine discourse he had just made to her.

Yes, madame,replied the coadjutor; "I have to beg you to
reflect twice ere you cause a civil war in the kingdom."

The queen turned her back and the laughing recommenced.

The coadjutor bowed and left the palacecasting upon the
cardinal such a glance as is best understood by mortal foes.
That glance was so sharp that it penetrated the heart of
Mazarinwhoreading in it a declaration of warseized
D'Artagnan by the arm and said:

If occasion requires, monsieur, you will remember that man
who has just gone out, will you not?


Yes, my lord,he replied. Thenturning toward Porthos
The devil!said hethis has a bad look. I dislike these
quarrels among men of the church.

Gondy withdrewdistributing benedictions on his wayand
finding a malicious satisfaction in causing the adherents of
his foes to prostrate themselves at his feet.

Oh!he murmuredas he left the threshold of the palace:
ungrateful court! faithless court! cowardly court! I will
teach you how to laugh to-morrow -- but in another manner.

But whilst they were indulging in extravagant joy at the
Palais Royalto increase the hilarity of the queen
Mazarina man of senseand whose fearmoreovergave him
foresightlost no time in making idle and dangerous jokes;
he went out after the coadjutorsettled his accountlocked
up his goldand had confidential workmen to contrive hiding
places in his walls.

On his return home the coadjutor was informed that a young
man hail come in after his departure and was waiting for
him; he started with delight whenon demanding the name of
this young manhe learned that it was Louvieres. He
hastened to his cabinet. Broussel's son was therestill
furiousand still bearing bloody marks of his struggle with
the king's officers. The only precaution he had taken in
coming to the archbishopric was to leave his arquebuse in
the hands of a friend.

The coadjutor went to him and held out his hand. The young
man gazed at him as if he would have read the secret of his
heart.

My dear Monsieur Louvieres,said the coadjutorbelieve
me, I am truly concerned for the misfortune which has
happened to you.

Is that true, and do you speak seriously?asked Louvieres.

From the depth of my heart,said Gondy.

In that case, my lord, the time for words has passed and
the hour for action is at hand; my lord, in three days, if
you wish it, my father will be out of prison and in six
months you may be cardinal.

The coadjutor started.

Oh! let us speak frankly,continued Louvieresand act in
a straightforward manner. Thirty thousand crowns in alms is
not given, as you have done for the last six months, out of
pure Christian charity; that would be too grand. You are
ambitious -- it is natural; you are a man of genius and you
know your worth. As for me, I hate the court and have but
one desire at this moment -- vengeance. Give us the clergy
and the people, of whom you can dispose, and I will bring
you the citizens and the parliament; with these four
elements Paris is ours in a week; and believe me, monsieur
coadjutor, the court will give from fear what it will not
give from good-will.

It was now the coadjutor's turn to fix his piercing eyes on
Louvieres.


But, Monsieur Louvieres, are you aware that it is simply
civil war you are proposing to me?

You have been preparing long enough, my lord, for it to be
welcome to you now.

Never mind,said the coadjutor; "you must be well aware
that this requires reflection."

And how many hours of reflection do you ask?

Twelve hours, sir; is it too long?

It is now noon; at midnight I will be at your house.

If I should not be in, wait for me.

Good! at midnight, my lord.

At midnight, my dear Monsieur Louvieres.

When once more alone Gondy sent to summon all the curates
with whom he had any connection to his house. Two hours
laterthirty officiating ministers from the most populous
and consequently the most disturbed parishes of Paris had
assembled there. Gondy related to them the insults he had
received at the Palais Royal and retailed the jests of
Beautinthe Count de Villeroy and Marechal de la
Meilleraie. The curates asked him what was to be done.

Simply this,said the coadjutor. "You are the directors of
all consciences. Wellundermine in them the miserable
prejudice of respect and fear of kings; teach your flocks
that the queen is a tyrant; and repeat often and loudlyso
that all may know itthat the misfortunes of France are
caused by Mazarinher lover and her destroyer; begin this
work to-daythis instant evenand in three days I shall
expect the result. For the restif any one of you have
further or better counsel to expoundI will listen to him
with the greatest pleasure."

Three curates remained -- those of St. MerriSt. Sulpice
and St. Eustache. The others withdrew.

You think, then, that you can help me more efficaciously
than your brothers?said Gondy.

We hope so,answered the curates.

Let us hear. Monsieur de St. Merri, you begin.

My lord, I have in my parish a man who might be of the
greatest use to you.

Who and what is this man?

A shopkeeper in the Rue des Lombards, who has great
influence upon the commerce of his quarter.

What is his name?

He is named Planchet, who himself also caused a rising
about six weeks ago; but as he was searched for after this


emeute he disappeared.

And can you find him?

I hope so. I think he has not been arrested, and as I am
his wife's confessor, if she knows where he is I shall know
it too.

Very well, sir, find this man, and when you have found him
bring him to me.

We will be with you at six o'clock, my lord.

Go, my dear curate, and may God assist you!

And you, sir?continued Gondyturning to the curate of
St. Sulpice.

I, my lord,said the latterI know a man who has
rendered great services to a very popular prince and who
would make an excellent leader of revolt. Him I can place at
your disposal; it is Count de Rochefort.

I know him also, but unfortunately he is not in Paris.

My lord, he has been for three days at the Rue Cassette.

And wherefore has he not been to see me?

He was told -- my lord will pardon me ----

Certainly, speak.

That your lordship was about to treat with the court.

Gondy bit his lips.

They are mistaken; bring him here at eight o'clock, sir,
and may Heaven bless you as I bless you!

And now 'tis your turn,said the coadjutorturning to the
last that remained; "have you anything as good to offer me
as the two gentlemen who have left us?"

Better, my lord.

Diable! think what a solemn engagement you are making; one
has offered a wealthy shopkeeper, the other a count; you are
going, then, to offer a prince, are you?

I offer you a beggar, my lord.

Ah! ah!said Gondyreflectingyou are right, sir; some
one who could raise the legion of paupers who choke up the
crossings of Paris; some one who would know how to cry aloud
to them, that all France might hear it, that it is Mazarin
who has reduced them to poverty.

Exactly your man.

Bravo! and the man?

A plain and simple beggar, as I have said, my lord, who
asks for alms, as he gives holy water; a practice he has


carried on for six years on the steps of St. Eustache.

And you say that he has a great influence over his
compeers?

Are you aware, my lord, that mendacity is an organized
body, a kind of association of those who have nothing
against those who have everything; an association in which
every one takes his share; one that elects a leader?

Yes, I have heard it said,replied the coadjutor.

Well, the man whom I offer you is a general syndic.

And what do you know of him?

Nothing, my lord, except that he is tormented with
remorse.

What makes you think so?

On the twenty-eighth of every month he makes me say a mass
for the repose of the soul of one who died a violent death;
yesterday I said this mass again.

And his name?

Maillard; but I do not think it is his right one.

And think you that we should find him at this hour at his
post?

Certainly.

Let us go and see your beggar, sir, and if he is such as
you describe him, you are right -- it will be you who have
discovered the true treasure.

Gondy dressed himself as an officerput on a felt cap with
a red featherhung on a long swordbuckled spurs to his
bootswrapped himself in an ample cloak and followed the
curate.

The coadjutor and his companion passed through all the
streets lying between the archbishopric and the St. Eustache
Churchwatching carefully to ascertain the popular feeling.
The people were in an excited moodbutlike a swarm of
frightened beesseemed not to know at what point to
concentrate; and it was very evident that if leaders of the
people were not provided all this agitation would pass off
in idle buzzing.

On arriving at the Rue des Prouvairesthe curate pointed
toward the square before the church.

Stop!he saidthere he is at his post.

Gondy looked at the spot indicated and perceived a beggar
seated in a chair and leaning against one of the moldings; a
little basin was near him and he held a holy water brush in
his hand.

Is it by permission that he remains there?asked Gondy.


No, my lord; these places are bought. I believe this man
paid his predecessor a hundred pistoles for his.

The rascal is rich, then?

Some of those men sometimes die worth twenty thousand and
twenty-five and thirty thousand francs and sometimes more.

Hum!said Gondylaughing; "I was not aware my alms were
so well invested."

In the meantime they were advancing toward the squareand
the moment the coadjutor and the curate put their feet on
the first church step the mendicant arose and proffered his
brush.

He was a man between sixty-six and sixty-eight years of age
littlerather stoutwith gray hair and light eyes. His
countenance denoted the struggle between two opposite
principles -- a wicked naturesubdued by determination
perhaps by repentance.

He started on seeing the cavalier with the curate. The
latter and the coadjutor touched the brush with the tips of
their fingers and made the sign of the cross; the coadjutor
threw a piece of money into the hatwhich was on the
ground.

Maillard,began the curatethis gentleman and I have
come to talk with you a little.

With me!said the mendicant; "it is a great honor for a
poor distributor of holy water."

There was an ironical tone in his voice which he could not
quite disguise and which astonished the coadjutor.

Yes,continued the curateapparently accustomed to this
toneyes, we wish to know your opinion of the events of
to-day and what you have heard said by people going in and
out of the church.

The mendicant shook his head.

These are melancholy doings, your reverence, which always
fall again upon the poor. As to what is said, everybody is
discontented, everybody complains, but `everybody' means
`nobody.'

Explain yourself, my good friend,said the coadjutor.

I mean that all these cries, all these complaints, these
curses, produce nothing but storms and flashes and that is
all; but the lightning will not strike until there is a hand
to guide it.

My friend,said Gondyyou seem to be a clever and a
thoughtful man; are you disposed to take a part in a little
civil war, should we have one, and put at the command of the
leader, should we find one, your personal influence and the
influence you have acquired over your comrades?

Yes, sir, provided this war were approved of by the church
and would advance the end I wish to attain -- I mean, the


remission of my sins.

The war will not only be approved of, but directed by the
church. As for the remission of your sins, we have the
archbishop of Paris, who has the very greatest power at the
court of Rome, and even the coadjutor, who possesses some
plenary indulgences; we will recommend you to him.

Consider, Maillard,said the curatethat I have
recommended you to this gentleman, who is a powerful lord,
and that I have made myself responsible for you.

I know, monsieur le cure,said the beggarthat you have
always been very kind to me, and therefore I, in my turn,
will be serviceable to you.

And do you think your power as great with the fraternity as
monsieur le cure told me it was just now?

I think they have some esteem for me,said the mendicant
with prideand that not only will they obey me, but
wherever I go they will follow me.

And could you count on fifty resolute men, good,
unemployed, but active souls, brawlers, capable of bringing
down the walls of the Palais Royal by crying, `Down with
Mazarin,' as fell those at Jericho?

I think,said the beggarI can undertake things more
difficult and more important than that.

Ah, ah,said Gondyyou will undertake, then, some night,
to throw up some ten barricades?

I will undertake to throw up fifty, and when the day comes,
to defend them.

I'faith!exclaimed Gondyyou speak with a certainty that
gives me pleasure; and since monsieur le cure can answer for
you ----

I answer for him,said the curate.

Here is a bag containing five hundred pistoles in gold;
make all your arrangements, and tell me where I shall be
able to find you this evening at ten o'clock.

It must be on some elevated place, whence a given signal
may be seen in every part of Paris.

Shall I give you a line for the vicar of St. Jacques de la
Boucherie? he will let you into the rooms in his tower,
said the curate.

Capital,answered the mendicant.

Then,said the coadjutorthis evening, at ten o'clock,
and if I am pleased with you another bag of five hundred
pistoles will be at your disposal.

The eyes of the mendicant dashed with cupiditybut he
quickly suppressed his emotion.

This evening, sir,he repliedall will be ready.


The Tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie.

At a quarter to six o'clockMonsieur de Gondyhaving
finished his businessreturned to the archiepiscopal
palace.

At six o'clock the curate of St. Merri was announced.

The coadjutor glanced rapidly behind and saw that he was
followed by another man. The curate then enteredfollowed
by Planchet.

Your holiness,said the curatehere is the person of
whom I had the honor to speak to you.

Planchet saluted in the manner of one accustomed to fine
houses.

And you are disposed to serve the cause of the people?
asked Gondy.

Most undoubtedly,said Planchet. "I am a Frondist from my
heart. You see in mesuch as I ama person sentenced to be
hung."

And on what account?

I rescued from the hands of Mazarin's police a noble lord
whom they were conducting back to the Bastile, where he had
been for five years.

Will you name him?

Oh, you know him well, my lord -- it is Count de
Rochefort.

Ah! really, yes,said the coadjutorI have heard this
affair mentioned. You raised the whole district, so they
told me!

Very nearly,replied Planchetwith a self-satisfied air.

And your business is ----

That of a confectioner, in the Rue des Lombards.

Explain to me how it happens that, following so peaceful a
business, you had such warlike inclinations.

Why does my lord, belonging to the church, now receive me
in the dress of an officer, with a sword at his side and
spurs to his boots?

Not badly answered, i'faith,said Gondylaughing; "but I
haveyou must knowalways hadin spite of my bands
warlike inclinations."


Well, my lord, before I became a confectioner I myself was
three years sergeant in the Piedmontese regiment, and before
I became sergeant I was for eighteen months the servant of
Monsieur d'Artagnan.

The lieutenant of musketeers?asked Gondy.

Himself, my lord.

But he is said to be a furious Mazarinist.

Phew!whistled Planchet.

What do you mean by that?

Nothing, my lord; Monsieur d'Artagnan belongs to the
service; Monsieur d'Artagnan makes it his business to defend
the cardinal, who pays him, as much as we make it ours, we
citizens, to attack him, whom he robs.

You are an intelligent fellow, my friend; can we count upon
you?

You may count upon me, my lord, provided you want to make a
complete upheaval of the city.

'Tis that exactly. How many men, think you, you could
collect together to-night?

Two hundred muskets and five hundred halberds.

Let there be only one man in every district who can do as
much and by to-morrow we shall have quite a powerful army.
Are you disposed to obey Count de Rochefort?

I would follow him to hell, and that is saying not a
little, as I believe him entirely capable of the descent.

Bravo!

By what sign to-morrow shall we be able to distinguish
friends from foes?

Every Frondist must put a knot of straw in his hat.

Good! Give the watchword.

Do you want money?

Money never comes amiss at any time, my lord; if one has it
not, one must do without it; with it, matters go on much
better and more rapidly.

Gondy went to a box and drew forth a bag.

Here are five hundred pistoles,he said; "and if the
action goes off well you may reckon upon a similar sum
to-morrow."

I will give a faithful account of the sum to your
lordship,said Planchetputting the bag under his arm.

That is right; I recommend the cardinal to your attention.


Make your mind easy, he is in good hands.

Planchet went outthe curate remaining for a moment

Are you satisfied, my lord?he asked.

Yes; he appears to be a resolute fellow.

Well, he will do more than he has promised.

He will do wonders then.

The curate rejoined Planchetwho was waiting for him on the
stairs. Ten minutes later the curate of St. Sulpice was
announced. As soon as the door of Gondy's study was opened a
man rushed in. It was the Count de Rochefort.

'Tis you, then, my dear count,cried Gondyoffering his
hand.

You have made up your mind at last, my lord?said
Rochefort.

It has been made up a long time,said Gondy.

Let us say no more on the subject; you tell me so, I
believe you. Well, we are going to give a ball to Mazarin.

I hope so.

And when will the dance begin?

The invitations are given for this evening,said the
coadjutorbut the violins will not begin to play until
to-morrow morning.

You may reckon upon me and upon fifty soldiers which the
Chevalier d'Humieres has promised me whenever I need them.

Upon fifty soldiers?

Yes, he is making recruits and he will lend them to me; if
any are missing when the fete is over, I shall replace
them.

Good, my dear Rochefort; but that is not all. What have you
done with Monsieur de Beaufort?

He is in Vendome, where he will wait until I write to him
to return to Paris.

Write to him; now's the time.

You are sure of your enterprise?

Yes, but he must make haste; for hardly will the people of
Paris have revolted before we shall have a score of princes
begging to lead them. If he defers he will find the place of
honor taken.

Shall I send word to him as coming from you?

Yes certainly.


Shall I tell him that he can count on you?

To the end.

And you will leave the command to him?

Of the war, yes, but in politics ----

You must know it is not his element.

He must leave me to negotiate for my cardinal's hat in my
own fashion.

You care about it, then, so much?

Since they force me to wear a hat of a form which does not
become me,said GondyI wish at least that the hat should
be red.

One must not dispute matters of taste and colors,said
Rochefortlaughing. "I answer for his consent."

How soon can he be here?

In five days.

Let him come and he will find a change, I will answer for
it.

Therefore, go and collect your fifty men and hold yourself
in readiness.

For what?

For everything.

Is there any signal for the general rally?

A knot of straw in the hat.

Very good. Adieu, my lord.

Adieu, my dear Rochefort.

Ah, Monsieur Mazarin, Monsieur Mazarin,said Rochefort
leading off his curatewho had not found an opportunity of
uttering a single word during the foregoing dialogueyou
will see whether I am too old to be a man of action.

It was half-past nine o'clock and the coadjutor required
half an hour to go from the archbishop's palace to the tower
of St. Jacques de la Boucherie. He remarked that a light was
burning in one of the highest windows of the tower. "Good
said he, our syndic is at his post."

He knocked and the door was opened. The vicar himself
awaited himconducted him to the top of the towerand when
there pointed to a little doorplaced the light which he
had brought with him in a corner of the wallthat the
coadjutor might be able to find it on his returnand went
down again. Although the key was in the door the coadjutor
knocked.

Come in,said a voice which he recognized as that of the


mendicantwhom he found lying on a kind of truckle bed. He
rose on the entrance of the coadjutorand at that moment
ten o'clock struck.

Well,said Gondyhave you kept your word with me?

Not exactly,replied the mendicant.

How is that?

You asked me for five hundred men, did you not? Well, I
have ten thousand for you.

You are not boasting?

Do you wish for a proof?

Yes.

There were three candles alighteach of which burnt before
a windowone looking upon the citythe other upon the
Palais Royaland a third upon the Rue Saint Denis.

The man went silently to each of the candles and blew them
out one after the other.

What are you doing?asked the coadjutor.

I have given the signal.

For what?

For the barricades. When you leave this you will behold my
men at work. Only take care you do not break your legs in
stumbling over some chain or your neck by falling in a
hole.

Good! there is your money, the same sum as that you have
received already. Now remember that you are a general and do
not go and drink.

For twenty years I have tasted nothing but water.

The man took the bag from the hands of the coadjutorwho
heard the sound of his fingers counting and handling the
gold pieces.

Ah! ah!said the coadjutoryou are avaricious, my good
fellow.

The mendicant sighed and threw down the bag.

Must I always be the same?said heand shall I never
succeed in overcoming the old leaven? Oh, misery, oh,
vanity!

You take it, however.

Yes, but I make hereby a vow in your presence, to employ
all that remains to me in pious works.

His face was pale and drawnlike that of a man who had just
undergone some inward struggle.


Singular man!muttered Gondytaking his hat to go away;
but on turning around he saw the beggar between him and the
door. His first idea was that this man intended to do him
some harmbut on the contrary he saw him fall on his knees
before him with his hands clasped.

Your blessing, your holiness, before you go, I beseech
you!he cried.

Your holiness!said Gondy; "my friendyou take me for
some one else."

No, your holiness, I take you for what you are, that is to
say, the coadjutor; I recognized you at the first glance.

Gondy smiled. "And you want my blessing?" he said.

Yes, I have need of it.

The mendicant uttered these words in a tone of such
humilitysuch earnest repentancethat Gondy placed his
hand upon him and gave him his benediction with all the
unction of which he was capable.

Now,said Gondythere is a communion between us. I have
blessed you and you are sacred to me. Come, have you
committed some crime, pursued by human justice, from which I
can protect you?

The beggar shook his head. "The crime which I have
committedmy lordhas no call upon human justiceand you
can only deliver me from it by blessing me frequentlyas
you have just done."

Come, be candid,said the coadjutoryou have not all
your life followed the trade which you do now?

No, my lord. I have pursued it for six years only.

And previously, where were you?

In the Bastile.

And before you went to the Bastile?

I will tell you, my lord, on the day when you are willing
to hear my confession.

Good! At whatsoever hour of the day or night you may
present yourself, remember that I shall be ready to give you
absolution.

Thank you, my lord,said the mendicant in a hoarse voice.
But I am not yet ready to receive it.

Very well. Adieu.

Adieu, your holiness,said the mendicantopening the door
and bending low before the prelate.


The Riot.

It was about eleven o'clock at night. Gondy had not walked a
hundred steps ere he perceived the strange change which had
been made in the streets of Paris.

The whole city seemed peopled with fantastic beings; silent
shadows were seen unpaving the streets and others dragging
and upsetting great wagonswhilst others again dug ditches
large enough to ingulf whole regiments of horsemen. These
active beings flitted here and there like so many demons
completing some unknown labor; these were the beggars of the
Court of Miracles -- the agents of the giver of holy water
in the Square of Saint Eustachepreparing barricades for
the morrow.

Gondy gazed on these deeds of darknesson these nocturnal
laborerswith a kind of fear; he asked himselfifafter
having called forth these foul creatures from their denshe
should have the power of making them retire again. He felt
almost inclined to cross himself when one of these beings
happened to approach him. He reached the Rue Saint Honore
and went up it toward the Rue de la Ferronnerie; there the
aspect changed; here it was the tradesmen who were running
from shop to shop; their doors seemed closed like their
shuttersbut they were only pushed to in such a manner as
to open and allow the menwho seemed fearful of showing
what they carriedto enterclosing immediately. These men
were shopkeeperswho had arms to lend to those who had
none.

One individual went from door to doorbending under the
weight of swordsgunsmuskets and every kind of weapon
which he deposited as fast as he could. By the light of a
lantern the coadjutor recognized Planchet.

The coadjutor proceeded onward to the quay by way of the Rue
de la Monnaie; there he found groups of bourgeois clad in
black cloaks or grayaccording as they belonged to the
upper or lower bourgeoisie. They were standing motionless
while single men passed from one group to another. All these
cloaksgray or blackwere raised behind by the point of a
swordor before by the barrel of an arquebuse or a musket.

On reaching the Pont Neuf the coadjutor found it strictly
guarded and a man approached him.

Who are you?asked the man. "I do not know you for one of
us."

Then it is because you do not know your friends, my dear
Monsieur Louvieres,said the coadjutorraising his hat.

Louvieres recognized him and bowed.

Gondy continued his way and went as far as the Tour de
Nesle. There he saw a lengthy chain of people gliding under
the walls. They might be said to be a procession of ghosts
for they were all wrapped in white cloaks. When they reached
a certain spot these men appeared to be annihilatedone
after the otheras if the earth had opened under their
feet. Gondyedged into a cornersaw them vanish from the


first until the last but one. The last raised his eyesto
ascertaindoubtlessthat neither his companions nor
himself had been watchedandin spite of the darknesshe
perceived Gondy. He walked straight up to him and placed a
pistol to his throat.

Halloo! Monsieur de Rochefort,said Gondylaughingare
you a boy to play with firearms?

Rochefort recognized the voice.

Ah, it is you, my lord!said he.

The very same. What people are you leading thus into the
bowels of the earth?

My fifty recruits from the Chevalier d'Humieres, who are
destined to enter the light cavalry and who have only
received as yet for their equipment their white cloaks.

And where are you going?

To the house of one of my friends, a sculptor, only we
enter by the trap through which he lets down his marble.

Very good,said Gondyshaking Rochefort by the handwho
descended in his turn and closed the trap after him.

It was now one o'clock in the morning and the coadjutor
returned home. He opened a window and leaned out to listen.
A strangeincomprehensibleunearthly sound seemed to
pervade the whole city; one felt that something unusual and
terrible was happening in all the streetsnow dark as
ocean's most unfathomable caves. From time to time a dull
sound was heardlike that of a rising tempest or a billow
of the sea; but nothing clearnothing distinctnothing
intelligible; it was like those mysterious subterraneous
noises that precede an earthquake.

The work of revolt continued the whole night thus. The next
morningon awakingParis seemed to be startled at her own
appearance. It was like a besieged town. Armed men
shouldering musketswatched over the barricades with
menacing looks; words of commandpatrolsarrests
executionsevenwere encountered at every step. Those
bearing plumed hats and gold swords were stopped and made to
cryLong live Broussel!Down with Mazarin!and whoever
refused to comply with this ceremony was hooted atspat
upon and even beaten. They had not yet begun to slaybut it
was well felt that the inclination to do so was not wanting.

The barricades had been pushed as far as the Palais Royal.
From the Rue de Bons Enfants to that of the Ferronnerie
from the Rue Saint Thomas-du-Louvre to the Pont Neuffrom
the Rue Richelieu to the Porte Saint Honorethere were more
than ten thousand armed men; those who were at the front
hurled defiance at the impassive sentinels of the regiment
of guards posted around the Palais Royalthe gates of which
were closed behind thema precaution which made their
situation precarious. Among these thousands movedin bands
numbering from one hundred to two hundredpale and haggard
menclothed in ragswho bore a sort of standard on which
was inscribed these words: "Behold the misery of the
people!" Wherever these men passedfrenzied cries were


heard; and there were so many of these bands that the cries
were to be heard in all directions.

The astonishment of Mazarin and of Anne of Austria was great
when it was announced to them that the citywhich the
previous evening they had left entirely tranquilhad
awakened to such feverish commotion; nor would either the
one or the other believe the reports that were brought to
themdeclaring they would rather rely on the evidence of
their own eyes and ears. Then a window was opened and when
they saw and heard they were convinced.

Mazarin shrugged his shoulders and pretended to despise the
populace; but he turned visibly pale and ran to his closet
trembling all overlocked up his gold and jewels in his
caskets and put his finest diamonds on his fingers. As for
the queenfuriousand left to her own guidanceshe went
for the Marechal de la Meilleraie and desired him to take as
many men as he pleased and to go and see what was the
meaning of this pleasantry.

The marshal was ordinarily very adventurous and was wont to
hesitate at nothing; and he had that lofty contempt for the
populace which army officers usually profess. He took a
hundred and fifty men and attempted to go out by the Pont du
Louvrebut there he met Rochefort and his fifty horsemen
attended by more than five hundred men. The marshal made no
attempt to force that barrier and returned up the quay. But
at Pont Neuf he found Louvieres and his bourgeois. This time
the marshal chargedbut he was welcomed by musket shots
while stones fell like hail from all the windows. He left
there three men.

He beat a retreat toward the marketbut there he met
Planchet with his halberdiers; their halberds were leveled
at him threateningly. He attempted to ride over those gray
cloaksbut the gray cloaks held their ground and the
marshal retired toward the Rue Saint Honoreleaving four of
his guards dead on the field of battle.

The marshal then entered the Rue Saint Honorebut there he
was opposed by the barricades of the mendicant of Saint
Eustache. They were guardednot only by armed menbut even
by women and children. Master Friquetthe owner of a pistol
and of a sword which Louvieres had given himhad organized
a company of rogues like himself and was making a tremendous
racket.

The marshal thought this barrier not so well fortified as
the others and determined to break through it. He dismounted
twenty men to make a breach in the barricadewhilst he and
othersremaining on their horseswere to protect the
assailants. The twenty men marched straight toward the
barrierbut from behind the beamsfrom among the
wagon-wheels and from the heights of the rocks a terrible
fusillade burst forth and at the same time Planchet's
halberdiers appeared at the corner of the Cemetery of the
Innocentsand Louvieres's bourgeois at the corner of the
Rue de la Monnaie.

The Marechal de la Meilleraie was caught between two fires
but he was brave and made up his mind to die where he was.
He returned blow for blow and cries of pain began to be
heard in the crowd. The guardsmore skillfuldid greater


execution; but the bourgeoismore numerousoverwhelmed
them with a veritable hurricane of iron. Men fell around him
as they had fallen at Rocroy or at Lerida. Fontrailleshis
aide-de-camphad an arm broken; his horse had received a
bullet in his neck and he had difficulty in controlling him
maddened by pain. In shorthe had reached that supreme
moment when the bravest feel a shudder in their veinswhen
suddenlyin the direction of the Rue de l'Arbre-Secthe
crowd openedcrying: "Long live the coadjutor!" and Gondy
in surplice and cloakappearedmoving tranquilly in the
midst of the fusillade and bestowing his benedictions to the
right and leftas undisturbed as if he were leading a
procession of the Fete Dieu.

All fell to their knees. The marshal recognized him and
hastened to meet him.

Get me out of this, in Heaven's name!he saidor I shall
leave my carcass here and those of all my men.

A great tumult arosein the midst of which even the noise
of thunder could not have been heard. Gondy raised his hand
and demanded silence. All were still.

My children,he saidthis is the Marechal de la
Meilleraie, as to whose intentions you have been deceived
and who pledges himself, on returning to the Louvre, to
demand of the queen, in your name, our Broussel's release.
You pledge yourself to that, marshal?added Gondyturning
to La Meilleraie.

Morbleu!cried the latterI should say that I do pledge
myself to it! I had no hope of getting off so easily.

He gives you his word of honor,said Gondy.

The marshal raised his hand in token of assent.

Long live the coadjutor!cried the crowd. Some voices even
added: "Long live the marshal!" But all took up the cry in
chorus: "Down with Mazarin!"

The crowd gave placethe barricade was openedand the
marshalwith the remnant of his companyretreated
preceded by Friquet and his banditssome of them making a
presence of beating drums and others imitating the sound of
the trumpet. It was almost a triumphal procession; only
behind the guards the barricades were closed again. The
marshal bit his fingers.

In the meantimeas we have saidMazarin was in his closet
putting his affairs in order. He called for D'Artagnanbut
in the midst of such tumult he little expected to see him
D'Artagnan not being on service. In about ten minutes
D'Artagnan appeared at the doorfollowed by the inseparable
Porthos.

Ah, come in, come in, Monsieur d'Artagnan!cried the
cardinaland welcome your friend too. But what is going on
in this accursed Paris?

What is going on, my lord? nothing good,replied
D'Artagnanshaking his head. "The town is in open revolt
and just nowas I was crossing the Rue Montorgueil with


Monsieur du Vallonwho is hereand is your humble servant
they wanted in spite of my uniformor perhaps because of my
uniformto make us cry `Long live Broussel!' and must I
tell youmy lord what they wished us to cry as well?"

Speak, speak.

`Down with Mazarin!' I'faith, the treasonable word is out.

Mazarin smiledbut became very pale.

And you did cry?he asked.

I'faith, no,said D'Artagnan; "I was not in voice;
Monsieur du Vallon has a cold and did not cry either. Then
my lord ---- "

Then what?asked Mazarin.

Look at my hat and cloak.

And D'Artagnan displayed four gunshot holes in his cloak and
two in his beaver. As for Porthos's coata blow from a
halberd had cut it open on the flank and a pistol shot had
cut his feather in two.

Diavolo!said the cardinalpensively gazing at the two
friends with lively admiration; "I should have criedI
should."

At this moment the tumult was heard nearer.

Mazarin wiped his forehead and looked around him. He had a
great desire to go to the windowbut he dared not.

See what is going on, Monsieur D'Artagnan,said he.

D'Artagnan went to the window with his habitual composure.
Oho!said hewhat is this? Marechal de la Meilleraie
returning without a hat -- Fontrailles with his arm in a
sling -- wounded guards -- horses bleeding; eh, then, what
are the sentinels about? They are aiming -- they are going
to fire!

They have received orders to fire on the people if the
people approach the Palais Royal!exclaimed Mazarin.

But if they fire, all is lost!cried D'Artagnan.

We have the gates.

The gates! to hold for five minutes -- the gates, they will
be torn down, twisted into iron wire, ground to powder!
God's death, don't fire!screamed D'Artagnanthrowing open
the window.

In spite of this recommendationwhichowing to the noise
could scarcely have been heardtwo or three musket shots
resoundedsucceeded by a terrible discharge. The balls
might be heard peppering the facade of the Palais Royaland
one of thempassing under D'Artagnan's armentered and
broke a mirrorin which Porthos was complacently admiring
himself.


Alack! alack!cried the cardinala Venetian glass!

Oh, my lord,said D'Artagnanquietly shutting the window
it is not worth while weeping yet, for probably an hour
hence there will not be one of your mirrors remaining in the
Palais Royal, whether they be Venetian or Parisian.

But what do you advise, then?asked Mazarintrembling.

Eh, egad, to give up Broussel as they demand! What the
devil do you want with a member of the parliament? He is of
no earthly use to anybody.

And you, Monsieur du Vallon, is that your advice? What
would you do?

I should give up Broussel,said Porthos.

Come, come with me, gentlemen!exclaimed Mazarin. "I will
go and discuss the matter with the queen."

He stopped at the end of the corridor and said:

I can count upon you, gentlemen, can I not?

We do not give ourselves twice over,said D'Artagnan; "we
have given ourselves to you; commandwe shall obey."

Very well, then,said Mazarin; "enter this cabinet and
wait till I come back."

And turning off he entered the drawing-room by another door.

The Riot becomes a Revolution.

The closet into which D'Artagnan and Porthos had been
ushered was separated from the drawing-room where the queen
was by tapestried curtains onlyand this thin partition
enabled them to hear all that passed in the adjoining room
whilst the aperture between the two hangingssmall as it
waspermitted them to see.

The queen was standing in the roompale with anger; her
self-controlhoweverwas so great that it might have been
imagined that she was calm. CommingesVillequier and
Guitant were behind her and the women again were behind the
men. The Chancellor Sequierwho twenty years previously had
persecuted her so ruthlesslystood before herrelating how
his carriage had been smashedhow he had been pursued and
had rushed into the Hotel d'O ----that the hotel was
immediately invadedpillaged and devastated; happily he had
time to reach a closet hidden behind tapestryin which he
was secreted by an old womantogether with his brotherthe
Bishop of Meaux. Then the danger was so imminentthe
rioters came so nearuttering such threatsthat the
chancellor thought his last hour had come and confessed
himself to his brother priestso as to be all ready to die
in case he was discovered. Fortunatelyhoweverhe had not


been taken; the peoplebelieving that he had escaped by
some back entranceretired and left him at liberty to
retreat. Thendisguised in he clothes of the Marquis d'O
----he had left the hotelstumbling over the bodies of
an officer and two guards who had been killed whilst
defending the street door.

During the recital Mazarin entered and glided noiselessly up
to the queen to listen.

Well,said the queenwhen the chancellor had finished
speaking; "what do you think of it all?"

I think that matters look very gloomy, madame.

But what step would you propose to me?

I could propose one to your majesty, but I dare not.

You may, you may, sir,said the queen with a bitter smile;
you were not so timid once.

The chancellor reddened and stammered some words.

It is not a question of the past, but of the present,said
the queen; "you said you could give me advice -- what is
it?"

Madame,said the chancellorhesitatingit would be to
release Broussel.

The queenalthough already palebecame visibly paler and
her face was contracted.

Release Broussel!she criednever!

At this moment steps were heard in the ante-room and without
any announcement the Marechal de la Meilleraie appeared at
the door.

Ah, there you are, marechal,cried Anne of Austria
joyfully. "I trust you have brought this rabble to reason."

Madame,replied the marechalI have left three men on
the Pont Neuf, four at the Halle, six at the corner of the
Rue de l'Arbre-Sec and two at the door of your palace -fifteen
in all. I have brought away ten or twelve wounded. I
know not where I have left my hat, and in all probability I
should have been left with my hat, had the coadjutor not
arrived in time to rescue me.

Ah, indeed,said the queenit would have much astonished
me if that low cur, with his distorted legs, had not been
mixed up with all this.

Madame,said La Meilleraiedo not say too much against
him before me, for the service he rendered me is still
fresh.

Very good,said the queenbe as grateful as you like, it
does not implicate me; you are here safe and sound, that is
all I wished for; you are not only welcome, but welcome
back.


Yes, madame; but I only came back on one condition -- that
I would transmit to your majesty the will of the people.

The will!exclaimed the queenfrowning. "Oh! oh! monsieur
marechalyou must indeed have found yourself in wondrous
peril to have undertaken so strange a commission!"

The irony with which these words were uttered did not escape
the marechal.

Pardon, madame,he saidI am not a lawyer, I am a mere
soldier, and probably, therefore, I do not quite comprehend
the value of certain words; I ought to have said the wishes,
and not the will, of the people. As for what you do me the
honor to say, I presume you mean I was afraid?

The queen smiled.

Well, then, madame, yes, I did feel fear; and though I have
been through twelve pitched battles and I cannot count how
many charges and skirmishes, I own for the third time in my
life I was afraid. Yes, and I would rather face your
majesty, however threatening your smile, than face those
demons who accompanied me hither and who sprung from I know
not whence, unless from deepest hell.

(" Bravo said D'Artagnan in a whisper to Porthos; well
answered.")

Well,said the queenbiting her lipswhilst her
courtiers looked at each other with surprisewhat is the
desire of my people?

That Broussel shall be given up to them, madame.

Never!said the queennever!

Your majesty is mistress,said La Meilleraieretreating a
few steps.

Where are you going, marechal?asked the queen.

To give your majesty's reply to those who await it.

Stay, marechal; I will not appear to parley with rebels.

Madame, I have pledged my word, and unless you order me to
be arrested I shall be forced to return.

Anne of Austria's eyes shot glances of fire.

Oh! that is no impediment, sir,said she; "I have had
greater men than you arrested -- Guitant!"

Mazarin sprang forward.

Madame, said heif I dared in my turn advise ----

Would it be to give up Broussel, sir? If so, you can spare
yourself the trouble.

No,said Mazarin; "althoughperhapsthat counsel is as
good as any other."


Then what may it be?

To call for monsieur le coadjuteur.

The coadjutor!cried the queenthat dreadful mischief
maker! It is he who has raised all this revolt.

The more reason,said Mazarin; "if he has raised it he can
put it down."

And hold, madame,suggested Commingeswho was near a
windowout of which he could see; "holdthe moment is a
happy onefor there he is nowgiving his blessing in the
square of the Palais Royal."

The queen sprang to the window.

It is true,she saidthe arch hypocrite -- see!

I see,said Mazarinthat everybody kneels before him,
although he be but coadjutor, whilst I, were I in his place,
though I am cardinal, should be torn to pieces. I persist,
then, madame, in my wish(he laid an emphasis on the word)
that your majesty should receive the coadjutor.

And wherefore do you not say, like the rest, your will?
replied the queenin a low voice.

Mazarin bowed.

Monsieur le marechal,said the queenafter a moment's
reflectiongo and find the coadjutor and bring him to me.

And what shall I say to the people?

That they must have patience,said Anneas I have.

The fiery Spanish woman spoke in a tone so imperative that
the marechal made no reply; he bowed and went out.

(D'Artagnan turned to Porthos. "How will this end?" he said.

We shall soon see,said Porthosin his tranquil way.)

In the meantime Anne of Austria approached Comminges and
conversed with him in a subdued tonewhilst Mazarin glanced
uneasily at the corner occupied by D'Artagnan and Porthos.
Ere long the door opened and the marechal enteredfollowed
by the coadjutor.

There, madame,he saidis Monsieur Gondy, who hastens to
obey your majesty's summons.

The queen advanced a few steps to meet himand then
stoppedcoldsevereunmovedwith her lower lip
scornfully protruded.

Gondy bowed respectfully.

Well, sir,said the queenwhat is your opinion of this
riot?

That it is no longer a riot, madame,he repliedbut a
revolt.


The revolt is at the door of those who think my people can
rebel,cried Anneunable to dissimulate before the
coadjutorwhom she looked uponand probably with reason
as the promoter of the tumult. "Revolt! thus it is called by
those who have wished for this demonstration and who are
perhapsthe cause of it; butwaitwait! the king's
authority will put all this to rights."

Was it to tell me that, madame,coldly replied Gondy
that your majesty admitted me to the honor of entering your
presence?

No, my dear coadjutor,said Mazarin; "it was to ask your
advice in the unhappy dilemma in which we find ourselves."

Is it true,asked Gondyfeigning astonishmentthat her
majesty summoned me to ask for my opinion?

Yes,said the queenit is requested.

The coadjutor bowed.

Your majesty wishes, then ----

You to say what you would do in her place,Mazarin
hastened to reply.

The coadjutor looked at the queenwho replied by a sign in
the affirmative.

Were I in her majesty's place,said GondycoldlyI
should not hesitate; I should release Broussel.

And if I do not give him up, what think you will be the
result?exclaimed the queen.

I believe that not a stone in Paris will remain unturned,
put in the marechal.

It was not your opinion that I asked,said the queen
sharplywithout even turning around.

If it is I whom your majesty interrogates,replied the
coadjutor in the same calm mannerI reply that I hold
monsieur le marechal's opinion in every respect.

The color mounted to the queen's face; her fine blue eyes
seemed to start out of her head and her carmine lips
compared by all the poets of the day to a pomegranate in
flowerwere trembling with anger. Mazarin himselfwho was
well accustomed to the domestic outbreaks of this disturbed
householdwas alarmed.

Give up Broussel!she cried; "fine counselindeed. Upon
my word! one can easily see it comes from a priest.

Gondy remained firmand the abuse of the day seemed to
glide over his head as the sarcasms of the evening before
had done; but hatred and revenge were accumulating in his
heart silently and drop by drop. He looked coldly at the
queenwho nudged Mazarin to make him say something in his
turn.


Mazarinaccording to his customwas thinking much and
saying little.

Ho! ho!said hegood advice, advice of a friend. I, too,
would give up that good Monsieur Broussel, dead or alive,
and all would be at an end.

If you yield him dead, all will indeed be at an end, my
lord, but quite otherwise than you mean.

Did I say `dead or alive?'replied Mazarin. "It was only a
way of speaking. You know I am not familiar with the French
languagewhich youmonsieur le coadjuteurboth speak and
write so well."

("This is a council of state D'Artagnan remarked to
Porthos; but we held better ones at La Rochellewith Athos
and Aramis."

At the Saint Gervais bastion,said Porthos.

There and elsewhere.)

The coadjutor let the storm pass over his head and resumed
still with the same tranquillity:

Madame, if the opinion I have submitted to you does not
please you it is doubtless because you have better counsels
to follow. I know too well the wisdom of the queen and that
of her advisers to suppose that they will leave the capital
long in trouble that may lead to a revolution.

Thus, then, it is your opinion,said Anne of Austriawith
a sneer and biting her lips with ragethat yesterday's
riot, which to-day is already a rebellion, to-morrow may
become a revolution?

Yes, madame,replied the coadjutorgravely.

But if I am to believe you, sir, the people seem to have
thrown off all restraint.

It is a bad year for kings,said Gondyshaking his head;
look at England, madame.

Yes; but fortunately we have no Oliver Cromwell in France,
replied the queen.

Who knows?said Gondy; "such men are like thunderbolts -one
recognizes them only when they have struck."

Every one shuddered and there was a moment of silence
during which the queen pressed her hand to her side
evidently to still the beatings of her heart.

("Porthos murmured D'Artagnan, look well at that priest."

Yes,said PorthosI see him. What then?

Well, he is a man.

Porthos looked at D'Artagnan in astonishment. Evidently he
did not understand his meaning.)


Your majesty,continued the coadjutorpitilesslyis
about to take such measures as seem good to you, but I
foresee that they will be violent and such as will still
further exasperate the rioters.

In that case, you, monsieur le coadjuteur, who have such
power over them and are at the same time friendly to us,
said the queenironicallywill quiet them by bestowing
your blessing upon them.

Perhaps it will be too late,said Gondystill unmoved;
perhaps I shall have lost all influence; while by giving up
Broussel your majesty will strike at the root of the
sedition and will gain the right to punish severely any
revival of the revolt.

Have I not, then, that right?cried the queen.

If you have it, use it,replied Gondy.

("Peste!" said D'Artagnan to Porthos. "There is a man after
my own heart. Oh! if he were minister and I were his
D'Artagnaninstead of belonging to that beast of a Mazarin
mordieu! what fine things we would do together!"

Yes,said Porthos.)

The queen made a sign for every oneexcept Mazarinto quit
the room; and Gondy bowedas if to leave with the rest.

Stay, sir,said Anne to him.

Good,thought Gondyshe is going to yield.

("She is going to have him killed said D'Artagnan to
Porthos, but at all events it shall not be by me. I swear
to Heavenon the contrarythat if they fall upon him I
will fall upon them."

And I, too,said Porthos.)

Good,muttered Mazarinsitting downwe shall soon see
something startling.

The queen's eyes followed the retreating figures and when
the last had closed the door she turned away. It was evident
that she was making unnatural efforts to subdue her anger;
she fanned herselfsmelled at her vinaigrette and walked up
and down. Gondywho began to feel uneasyexamined the
tapestry with his eyestouched the coat of mail which he
wore under his long gown and felt from time to time to see
if the handle of a good Spanish daggerwhich was hidden
under his cloakwas well within reach.

And now,at last said the queennow that we are alone,
repeat your counsel, monsieur le coadjuteur.

It is this, madame: that you should appear to have
reflected, and publicly acknowledge an error, which
constitutes the extra strength of a strong government;
release Broussel from prison and give him back to the
people.

Oh!cried Anneto humble myself thus! Am I, or am I not,


the queen? This screaming mob, are they, or are they not, my
subjects? Have I friends? Have I guards? Ah! by Notre Dame!
as Queen Catherine used to say,continued sheexcited by
her own wordsrather than give up this infamous Broussel
to them I will strangle him with my own hands!

And she sprang toward Gondywhom assuredly at that moment
she hated more than Brousselwith outstretched arms. The
coadjutor remained immovable and not a muscle of his face
was discomposed; only his glance flashed like a sword in
returning the furious looks of the queen.

("He were a dead man)" said the Gasconif there were still
a Vitry at the court and if Vitry entered at this moment;
but for my part, before he could reach the good prelate I
would kill Vitry at once; the cardinal would be infinitely
pleased with me.

Hush!said Porthos; "listen.")

Madame,cried the cardinalseizing hold of Anne and
drawing her backMadame, what are you about?

Then he added in SpanishAnne, are you mad? You, a queen
to quarrel like a washerwoman! And do you not perceive that
in the person of this priest is represented the whole people
of Paris and that it is dangerous to insult him at this
moment, and if this priest wished it, in an hour you would
be without a crown? Come, then, on another occasion you can
be firm and strong; but to-day is not the proper time;
to-day, flatter and caress, or you are only a common woman.

(At the first words of this address D'Artagnan had seized
Porthos's armwhich he pressed with gradually increasing
force. When Mazarin ceased speaking he said to Porthos in a
low tone:

Never tell Mazarin that I understand Spanish, or I am a
lost man and you are also.

All right,said Porthos.)

This rough appealmarked by the eloquence which
characterized Mazarin when he spoke in Italian or Spanish
and which he lost entirely in speaking Frenchwas uttered
with such impenetrable expression that Gondyclever
physiognomist as he washad no suspicion of its being more
than a simple warning to be more subdued.

The queenon her partthus chidedsoftened immediately
and sat downand in an almost weeping voiceletting her
arms fall by her sidesaid:

Pardon me, sir, and attribute this violence to what I
suffer. A woman, and consequently subject to the weaknesses
of my sex, I am alarmed at the idea of civil war; a queen,
accustomed to be obeyed, I am excited at the first
opposition.

Madame,replied Gondybowingyour majesty is mistaken
in qualifying my sincere advice as opposition. Your majesty
has none but submissive and respectful subjects. It is not
the queen with whom the people are displeased; they ask for
Broussel and are only too happy, if you release him to them,


to live under your government.

Mazarinwho at the wordsIt is not the queen with whom
the people are displeased,had pricked up his ears
thinking that the coadjutor was about to speak of the cries
Down with Mazarin,and pleased with Gondy's suppression of
this facthe said with his sweetest voice and his most
gracious expression:

Madame, credit the coadjutor, who is one of the most able
politicians we have; the first available cardinal's hat
seems to belong already to his noble brow.

Ah! how much you have need of me, cunning rogue!thought
Gondy.

("And what will he promise us?" said D'Artagnan. "Pesteif
he is giving away hats like thatPorthoslet us look out
and both demand a regiment to-morrow. Corbleu! let the civil
war last but one year and I will have a constable's sword
gilt for me."

And for me?put in Porthos.

For you? I will give you the baton of the Marechal de la
Meilleraie, who does not seem to be much in favor just
now.)

And so, sir,said the queenyou are seriously afraid of
a public tumult.

Seriously,said Gondyastonished at not having further
advanced; "I fear that when the torrent has broken its
embankment it will cause fearful destruction."

And I,said the queenthink that in such a case other
embankments should be raised to oppose it. Go; I will
reflect.

Gondy looked at Mazarinastonishedand Mazarin approached
the queen to speak to herbut at this moment a frightful
tumult arose from the square of the Palais Royal.

Gondy smiledthe queen's color rose and Mazarin grew even
paler.

What is that again?he asked.

At this moment Comminges rushed into the room.

Pardon, your majesty,he criedbut the people have
dashed the sentinels against the gates and they are now
forcing the doors; what are your commands?

Listen, madame,said Gondy.

The moaning of wavesthe noise of thunderthe roaring of a
volcanocannot be compared with the tempest of cries heard
at that moment.

What are my commands?said the queen.

Yes, for time presses.


How many men have you about the Palais Royal?

Six hundred.

Place a hundred around the king and with the remainder
sweep away this mob for me.

Madame,cried Mazarinwhat are you about?

Go!said the queen.

Comminges went out with a soldier's passive obedience.

At this moment a monstrous battering was heard. One of the
gates began to yield.

Oh! madame,cried Mazarinyou have ruined us all -- the
king, yourself and me.

At this cry from the soul of the frightened cardinalAnne
became alarmed in her turn and would have recalled
Comminges.

It is too late,said Mazarintearing his hairtoo
late!

The gale had given way. Hoarse shouts were heard from the
excited mob. D'Artagnan put his hand to his swordmotioning
to Porthos to follow his example.

Save the queen!cried Mazarin to the coadjutor.

Gondy sprang to the window and threw it open; he recognized
Louvieres at the head of a troop of about three or four
thousand men.

Not a step further,he shoutedthe queen is signing!

What are you saying?asked the queen.

The truth, madame,said Mazarinplacing a pen and a paper
before heryou must;then he added: "SignAnneI
implore you -- I command you."

The queen fell into a chairtook the pen and signed.

The peoplekept back by Louviereshad not made another
step forward; but the awful murmuringwhich indicates an
angry peoplecontinued.

The queen had writtenThe keeper of the prison at Saint
Germain will set Councillor Broussel at liberty;and she
had signed it.

The coadjutorwhose eyes devoured her slightest movements
seized the paper immediately the signature had been affixed
to itreturned to the window and waved it in his hand.

This is the order,he said.

All Paris seemed to shout with joyand then the air
resounded with the cries of "Long live Broussel!" "Long live
the coadjutor!"


Long live the queen!cried De Gondy; but the cries which
replied to his were poor and fewand perhaps he had but
uttered it to make Anne of Austria sensible of her weakness.

And now that you have obtained what you want, go,said
sheMonsieur de Gondy.

Whenever her majesty has need of me,replied the
coadjutorbowingher majesty knows I am at her command.

Ah, cursed priest!cried Annewhen he had retired
stretching out her arm to the scarcely closed doorone day
I will make you drink the dregs of the atrocious gall you
have poured out on me to-day.

Mazarin wished to approach her. "Leave me!" she exclaimed;
you are not a man!and she went out of the room.

It is you who are not a woman,muttered Mazarin.

Thenafter a moment of reveriehe remembered where he had
left D'Artagnan and Porthos and that they must have
overheard everything. He knit his brows and went direct to
the tapestrywhich he pushed aside. The closet was empty.

At the queen's last wordD'Artagnan had dragged Porthos
into the gallery. Thither Mazarin went in his turn and found
the two friends walking up and down.

Why did you leave the closet, Monsieur d'Artagnan?asked
the cardinal.

Because,replied D'Artagnanthe queen desired every one
to leave and I thought that this command was intended for us
as well as for the rest.

And you have been here since ----

About a quarter of an hour,said D'Artagnanmotioning to
Porthos not to contradict him.

Mazarin saw the sign and remained convinced that D'Artagnan
had seen and heard everything; but he was pleased with his
falsehood.

Decidedly, Monsieur d'Artagnan, you are the man I have been
seeking. You may reckon upon me and so may your friend.
Then bowing to the two musketeers with his most gracious
smilehe re-entered his closet more calmlyfor on the
departure of De Gondy the uproar had ceased as though by
enchantment.

Misfortune refreshes the Memory.

Anne of Austria returned to her oratoryfurious.

What!she criedwringing her beautiful handsWhat! the
people have seen Monsieur de Conde, a prince of the blood


royal, arrested by my mother-in-law, Maria de Medicis; they
saw my mother-in-law, their former regent, expelled by the
cardinal; they saw Monsieur de Vendome, that is to say, the
son of Henry IV., a prisoner at Vincennes; and whilst these
great personages were imprisoned, insulted and threatened,
they said nothing; and now for a Broussel -- good God! what,
then, is to become of royalty?

The queen unconsciously touched here upon the exciting
question. The people had made no demonstration for the
princesbut they had risen for Broussel; they were taking
the part of a plebeian and in defending Broussel they
instinctively felt they were defending themselves.

During this time Mazarin walked up and down the study
glancing from time to time at his beautiful Venetian mirror
starred in every direction. "Ah!" he saidit is sad, I
know well, to be forced to yield thus; but, pshaw! we shall
have our revenge. What matters it about Broussel -- it is a
name, not a thing.

Mazarinclever politician as he waswas for once mistaken;
Broussel was a thingnot a name.

The next morningthereforewhen Broussel made his entrance
into Paris in a large carriagehaving his son Louvieres at
his side and Friquet behind the vehiclethe people threw
themselves in his way and cries of "Long live Broussel!"
Long live our father!resounded from all parts and was
death to Mazarin's ears; and the cardinal's spies brought
bad news from every directionwhich greatly agitated the
ministerbut was calmly received by the queen. The latter
seemed to be maturing in her mind some great strokea fact
which increased the uneasiness of the cardinalwho knew the
proud princess and dreaded much the determination of Anne of
Austria.

The coadjutor returned to parliament more a monarch than
kingqueenand cardinalall three together. By his advice
a decree from parliament summoned the citizens to lay down
their arms and demolish the barricades. They now knew that
it required but one hour to take up arms again and one night
to reconstruct the barricades.

Rochefort had returned to the Chevalier d'Humieres his fifty
horsemenless twomissing at roll call. But the chevalier
was himself at heart a Frondist and would hear nothing said
of compensation.

The mendicant had gone to his old place on the steps of
Saint Eustache and was again distributing holy water with
one hand and asking alms with the other. No one could
suspect that those two hands had been engaged with others in
drawing out from the social edifice the keystone of royalty.

Louvieres was proud and satisfied; he had taken revenge on
Mazarin and had aided in his father's deliverance from
prison. His name had been mentioned as a name of terror at
the Palais Royal. Laughingly he said to the councillor
restored to his family:

Do you think, father, that if now I should ask for a
company the queen would give it to me?


D'Artagnan profited by this interval of calm to send away
Raoulwhom he had great difficulty in keeping shut up
during the riotand who wished positively to strike a blow
for one party or the other. Raoul had offered some
opposition at first; but D'Artagnan made use of the Comte de
la Fere's nameand after paying a visit to Madame de
ChevreuseRaoul started to rejoin the army.

Rochefort alone was dissatisfied with the termination of
affairs. He had written to the Duc de Beaufort to come and
the duke was about to arriveand he world find Paris
tranquil. He went to the coadjutor to consult with him
whether it would not be better to send word to the duke to
stop on the roadbut Gondy reflected for a momentand then
said:

Let him continue his journey.

All is not then over?asked Rochefort.

My dear count, we have only just begun.

What induces you to think so?

The knowledge that I have of the queen's heart; she will
not rest contented beaten.

Is she, then, preparing for a stroke?

I hope so.

Come, let us see what you know.

I know that she has written to the prince to return in
haste from the army.

Ah! ha!said Rochefortyou are right. We must let
Monsieur de Beaufort come.

In factthe evening after this conversation the report was
circulated that the Prince de Conde had arrived. It was a
very simplenatural circumstance and yet it created a
profound sensation. It was said that Madame de Longueville
for whom the prince had more than a brother's affection and
in whom he had confidedhad been indiscreet. His confidence
had unveiled the sinister project of the queen.

Even on the night of the prince's returnsome citizens
bolder than the restsuch as the sheriffscaptains and the
quartermasterwent from house to house among their friends
saying:

Why do we not take the king and place him in the Hotel de
Ville? It is a shame to leave him to be educated by our
enemies, who will give him evil counsel; whereas, brought up
by the coadjutor, for instance, he would imbibe national
principles and love his people.

That night the question was secretly agitated and on the
morrow the gray and black cloaksthe patrols of armed
shop-peopleand the bands of mendicants reappeared.

The queen had passed the night in lonely conference with the
princewho had entered the oratory at midnight and did not


leave till five o'clock in the morning.

At five o'clock Anne went to the cardinal's room. If she had
not yet taken any reposehe at least was already up. Six
days had already passed out of the ten he had asked from
Mordaunt; he was therefore occupied in revising his reply to
Cromwellwhen some one knocked gently at the door of
communication with the queen's apartments. Anne of Austria
alone was permitted to enter by that door. The cardinal
therefore rose to open it.

The queen was in a morning gownbut it became her still;
forlike Diana of Poictiers and NinonAnne of Austria
enjoyed the privilege of remaining ever beautiful;
neverthelessthis morning she looked handsomer than usual
for her eyes had all the sparkle inward satisfaction adds to
expression.

What is the matter, madame?said Mazarinuneasily. "You
seem secretly elated."

Yes, Giulio,she saidproud and happy; for I have found
the means of strangling this hydra.

You are a great politician, my queen,said Mazarin; "let
us hear the means." And he hid what he had written by
sliding the letter under a folio of blank paper.

You know,said the queenthat they want to take the king
away from me?

Alas! yes, and to hang me.

They shall not have the king.

Nor hang me.

Listen. I want to carry off my son from them, with
yourself. I wish that this event, which on the day it is
known will completely change the aspect of affairs, should
be accomplished without the knowledge of any others but
yourself, myself, and a third person.

And who is this third person?

Monsieur le Prince.

He has come, then, as they told me?

Last evening.

And you have seen him?

He has just left me.

And will he aid this project?

The plan is his own.

And Paris?

He will starve it out and force it to surrender at
discretion.


The plan is not wanting in grandeur; I see but one
impediment.

What is it?

Impossibility.

A senseless word. Nothing is impossible.

On paper.

In execution. We have money?

A little,said Mazarintremblinglest Anne should ask to
draw upon his purse.

Troops?

Five or six thousand men.

Courage?

Plenty.

Then the thing is easy. Oh! do think of it, Giulio! Paris,
this odious Paris, waking up one morning without queen or
king, surrounded, besieged, famished -- having for its sole
resource its stupid parliament and their coadjutor with
crooked limbs!

Charming! charming!said Mazarin. "I can imagine the
effectI do not see the means."

I will find the means myself.

You are aware it will be war, civil war, furious,
devouring, implacable?

Oh! yes, yes, war,said Anne of Austria. "YesI will
reduce this rebellious city to ashes. I will extinguish the
fire with blood! I will perpetuate the crime and punishment
by making a frightful example. Paris!; I -- I detestI
loathe it!"

Very fine, Anne. You are now sanguinary; but take care. We
are not in the time of Malatesta and Castruccio Castracani.
You will get yourself decapitated, my beautiful queen, and
that would be a pity.

You laugh.

Faintly. It is dangerous to go to war with a nation. Look
at your brother monarch, Charles I. He is badly off, very
badly.

We are in France, and I am Spanish.

So much the worse; I had much rather you were French and
myself also; they would hate us both less.

Nevertheless, you consent?

Yes, if the thing be possible.


It is; it is I who tell you so; make preparations for
departure.

I! I am always prepared to go, only, as you know, I never
do go, and perhaps shall go this time as little as before.

In short, if I go, will you go too?

I will try.

You torment me, Giulio, with your fears; and what are you
afraid of, then?

Of many things.

What are they?

Mazarin's facesmiling as it wasbecame clouded.

Anne,said heyou are but a woman and as a woman you may
insult men at your ease, knowing that you can do it with
impunity. You accuse me of fear; I have not so much as you
have, since I do not fly as you do. Against whom do they cry
out? is it against you or against myself? Whom would they
hang, yourself or me? Well, I can weather the storm -- I,
whom, notwithstanding, you tax with fear -- not with
bravado, that is not my way; but I am firm. Imitate me. Make
less hubbub and think more deeply. You cry very loud, you
end by doing nothing; you talk of flying ----

Mazarin shrugged his shoulders and taking the queen's hand
led her to the window.

Look!he said.

Well?said the queenblinded by her obstinacy.

Well, what do you see from this window? If I am not
mistaken those are citizens, helmeted and mailed, armed with
good muskets, as in the time of the League, and whose eyes
are so intently fixed on this window that they will see you
if you raise that curtain much; and now come to the other
side -- what do you see? Creatures of the people, armed with
halberds, guarding your doors. You will see the same at
every opening from this palace to which I should lead you.
Your doors are guarded, the airholes of your cellars are
guarded, and I could say to you, as that good La Ramee said
to me of the Duc de Beaufort, you must be either bird or
mouse to get out.

He did get out, nevertheless.

Do you think of escaping in the same way?

I am a prisoner, then?

Parbleu!said MazarinI have been proving it to you this
last hour.

And he quietly resumed his dispatch at the place where he
had been interrupted.

Annetrembling with anger and scarlet with humiliation
left the roomshutting the door violently after her.


Mazarin did not even turn around. When once more in her own
apartment Anne fell into a chair and wept; then suddenly
struck with an idea:

I am saved!she exclaimedrising; "ohyes! yes! I know a
man who will find the means of taking me from Parisa man I
have too long forgotten." Then falling into a reverieshe
addedhoweverwith an expression of joyUngrateful woman
that I am, for twenty years I have forgotten this man, whom
I ought to have made a marechal of France. My mother-in-law
expended gold, caresses, dignities on Concini, who ruined
her; the king made Vitry marechal of France for an
assassination: while I have left in obscurity, in poverty,
the noble D'Artagnan, who saved me!

And running to a tableon which were paperpens and ink
she hastily began to write.

The Interview.

It had been D'Artagnan's practiceever since the riotsto
sleep in the same room as Porthosand on this eventful
morning he was still theresleepingand dreaming that a
yellow cloud had overspread the sky and was raining gold
pieces into his hatwhich he held out till it was
overflowing with pistoles. As for Porthoshe dreamed that
the panels of his carriage were not capacious enough to
contain the armorial bearings he had ordered to be painted
on them. They were both aroused at seven o'clock by the
entrance of an unliveried servantwho brought a letter for
D'Artagnan.

From whom?asked the Gascon.

From the queen,replied the servant.

Ho!said Porthosraising himself in his bed; "what does
she say?"

D'Artagnan requested the servant to wait in the next room
and when the door was closed he sprang up from his bed and
read rapidlywhilst Porthos looked at him with starting
eyesnot daring to ask a single question.

Friend Porthos,said D'Artagnanhanding the letter to
himthis time, at least, you are sure of your title of
baron, and I of my captaincy. Read for yourself and judge.

Porthos took the letter and with a trembling voice read the
following words:

The queen wishes to speak to Monsieur d'Artagnan, who must
follow the bearer.

Well!exclaimed Porthos; "I see nothing in that very
extraordinary."

But I see much that is very extraordinary in it,replied


D'Artagnan. "It is evidentby their sending for methat
matters are becoming complicated. Just reflect a little what
an agitation the queen's mind must be in for her to have
remembered me after twenty years."

It is true,said Porthos.

Sharpen your sword, baron, load your pistols, and give some
corn to the horses, for I will answer for it,

something lightning-like will happen ere to-morrow.

But, stop; do you think it can be a trap that they are
laying for us?suggested Porthosincessantly thinking how
his greatness must be irksome to inferior people.

If it is a snare,replied D'ArtagnanI shall scent it
out, be assured. If Mazarin is an Italian, I am a Gascon.

And D'Artagnan dressed himself in an instant.

Whilst Porthosstill in bedwas hooking on his cloak for
hima second knock at the door was heard.

Come in,exclaimed D'Artagnan; and another servant
entered.

From His Eminence, Cardinal Mazarin,presenting a letter.

D'Artagnan looked at Porthos.

A complicated affair,said Porthos; "where will you
begin?"

It is arranged capitally; his eminence expects me in half
an hour.

Good.

My friend,said D'Artagnanturning to the servanttell
his eminence that in half an hour I shall be at his
command.

It is very fortunate,resumed the Gasconwhen the valet
had retiredthat he did not meet the other one.

Do you not think that they have sent for you, both for the
same thing?

I do not think it, I am certain of it.

Quick, quick, D'Artagnan. Remember that the queen awaits
you, and after the queen, the cardinal, and after the
cardinal, myself.

D'Artagnan summoned Anne of Austria's servant and signified
that he was ready to follow him into the queen's presence.

The servant conducted him by the Rue des Petits Champs and
turning to the left entered the little garden gate leading
into the Rue Richelieu; then they gained the private
staircase and D'Artagnan was ushered into the oratory. A
certain emotionfor which he could not accountmade the
lieutenant's heart beat: he had no longer the assurance of


youth; experience had taught him the importance of past
events. Formerly he would have approached the queen as a
young man who bends before a woman; but now it was a
different thing; he answered her summons as an humble
soldier obeys an illustrious general.

The silence of the oratory was at last disturbed by the
slight rustling of silkand D'Artagnan started when he
perceived the tapestry raised by a white handwhichby its
formits color and its beauty he recognized as that royal
hand which had one day been presented to him to kiss. The
queen entered.

It is you, Monsieur d'Artagnan,she saidfixing a gaze
full of melancholy interest on the countenance of the
officerand I know you well. Look at me well in your turn.
I am the queen; do you recognize me?

No, madame,replied D'Artagnan.

But are you no longer aware,continued Annegiving that
sweet expression to her voice which she could do at will
that in former days the queen had once need of a young,
brave and devoted cavalier -- that she found this cavalier
-- and that, although he might have thought that she had
forgotten him, she had kept a place for him in the depths of
her heart?

No, madame, I was ignorant of that,said the musketeer.

So much the worse, sir,said Anne of Austria; "so much the
worseat least for the queenfor to-day she has need of
the same courage and the same devotion."

What!exclaimed D'Artagnandoes the queen, surrounded as
she is by such devoted servants, such wise counselors, men,
in short, so great by merit or position -- does she deign to
cast her eyes on an obscure soldier?

Anne understood this covert reproach and was more moved than
irritated by it. She had many a time felt humiliated by the
self-sacrifice and disinterestedness shown by the Gascon
gentleman. She had allowed herself to be exceeded in
generosity.

All that you tell me of those by whom I am surrounded,
Monsieur d'Artagnan, is doubtless true,said the queen
but I have confidence in you alone. I know that you belong
to the cardinal, but belong to me as well, and I will take
upon myself the making of your fortune. Come, will you do
to-day what formerly the gentleman you do not know did for
the queen?

I will do everything your majesty commands,replied
D'Artagnan.

The queen reflected for a moment and thenseeing the
cautious demeanor of the musketeer:

Perhaps you like repose?she said.

I do not know, for I have never had it, madame.

Have you any friends?


I had three, two of whom have left Paris, to go I know not
where. One alone is left to me, but he is one of those
known, I believe, to the cavalier of whom your majesty did
me the honor to speak.

Very good,said the queen; "you and your friend are worth
an army."

What am I to do, madame?

Return at five o'clock and I will tell you; but do not
breathe to a living soul, sir, the rendezvous which I give
you.

No, madame.

Swear it upon the cross.

Madame, I have never been false to my word; when I say I
will not do a thing, I mean it.

The queenalthough astonished at this languageto which
she was not accustomed from her courtiersargued from it a
happy omen of the zeal with which D'Artagnan would serve her
in the accomplishment of her project. It was one of the
Gascon's artifices to hide his deep cunning occasionally
under an appearance of rough loyalty.

Has the queen any further commands for me now?asked
D'Artagnan.

No, sir,replied Anne of Austriaand you may retire
until the time that I mentioned to you.

D'Artagnan bowed and went out.

Diable!he exclaimed when the door was shutthey seem to
have the greatest need of me just now.

Thenas the half hour had already glided byhe crossed the
gallery and knocked at the cardinal's door.

Bernouin introduced him.

I come for your commands, my lord,he said.

And according to his custom D'Artagnan glanced rapidly
around and remarked that Mazarin had a sealed letter before
him. But it was so placed on the desk that he could not see
to whom it was addressed.

You come from the queen?said Mazarinlooking fixedly at
D'Artagnan.

I! my lord -- who told you that?

Nobody, but I know it.

I regret infinitely to tell you, my lord, that you are
mistaken,replied the Gasconimpudentlyfirm to the
promise he had just made to Anne of Austria.

I opened the door of the ante-room myself and I saw you


enter at the end of the corridor.

Because I was shown up the private stairs.

How so?

I know not; it must have been a mistake.

Mazarin was aware that it was not easy to make D'Artagnan
reveal anything he was desirous of hidingso he gave up
for the timethe discovery of the mystery the Gascon was
concealing.

Let us speak of my affairs,said Mazarinsince you will
tell me naught of yours. Are you fond of traveling?

My life has been passed on the high road.

Would anything retain you particularly in Paris?

Nothing but an order from a superior would retain me in
Paris.

Very well. Here is a letter, which must be taken to its
address.

To its address, my lord? But it has none.

In factthe side of the letter opposite the seal was blank.

I must tell you,resumed Mazarinthat it is in a double
envelope.

I understand; and I am to take off the first one when I
have reached a certain place?

Just so, take it and go. You have a friend, Monsieur du
Vallon, whom I like much; let him accompany you.

The devil!said D'Artagnan to himself. "He knows that we
overheard his conversation yesterday and he wants to get us
away from Paris."

Do you hesitate?asked Mazarin.

No, my lord, and I will set out at once. There is one thing
only which I must request.

What is it? Speak.

That your eminence will go at once to the queen.

What for?

Merely to say these words: `I am going to send Monsieur
d'Artagnan away and I wish him to set out directly.'

I told you,said Mazarinthat you had seen the queen.

I had the honor of saying to your eminence that there had
been some mistake.

What is the meaning of that?


May I venture to repeat my prayer to your eminence?

Very well; I will go. Wait here for me.And looking
attentively around himto see if he had left any of his
keys in his closetsMazarin went out. Ten minutes elapsed
during which D'Artagnan made every effort to read through
the first envelope what was written on the second. But he
did not succeed.

Mazarin returnedpaleand evidently thoughtful. He seated
himself at his desk and D'Artagnan proceeded to examine his
faceas he had just examined the letter he heldbut the
envelope which covered his countenance appeared as
impenetrable as that which covered the letter.

Ah!thought the Gascon; "he looks displeased. Can it be
with me? He meditates. Is it about sending me to the
Bastile? All very finemy lordbut at the very first hint
you give of such a thing I will strangle you and become
Frondist. I should be carried home in triumph like Monsieur
Broussel and Athos would proclaim me the French Brutus. It
would be exceedingly droll."

The Gasconwith his vivid imaginationhad already seen the
advantage to be derived from his situation. Mazarin gave
howeverno order of the kindbut on the contrary began to
be insinuating.

You were right,he saidmy dear Monsieur d'Artagnan, and
you cannot set out yet. I beg you to return me that
dispatch.

D'Artagnan obeyedand Mazarin ascertained that the seal was
intact.

I shall want you this evening,he said "Return in two
hours."

My lord,said D'ArtagnanI have an appointment in two
hours which I cannot miss.

Do not be uneasy,said Mazarin; "it is the same."

Good!thought D'Artagnan; "I fancied it was so."

Return, then, at five o'clock and bring that worthy
Monsieur du Vallon with you. Only, leave him in the
ante-room, as I wish to speak to you alone.

D'Artagnan bowedand thought: "Both at the same hour; both
commands alike; both at the Palais Royal. Monsieur de Gondy
would pay a hundred thousand francs for such a secret!"

You are thoughtful,said Mazarinuneasily.

Yes, I was thinking whether we ought to come armed or not.

Armed to the teeth!replied Mazarin.

Very well, my lord; it shall be so.

D'Artagnan salutedwent out and hastened to repeat to his
friend Mazarin's flattering promiseswhich gave Porthos an
indescribable happiness.


The Flight.

When D'Artagnan returned to the Palais Royal at five
o'clockit presentedin spite of the excitement which
reigned in the towna spectacle of the greatest rejoicing.
Nor was that surprising. The queen had restored Broussel and
Blancmesnil to the people and had therefore nothing to fear
since the people had nothing more just then to ask for. The
returnalsoof the conqueror of Lens was the pretext for
giving a grand banquet. The princes and princesses were
invited and their carriages had crowded the court since
noon; then after dinner the queen was to have a play in her
apartment. Anne of Austria had never appeared more brilliant
than on that day -- radiant with grace and wit. Mazarin
disappeared as they rose from table. He found D'Artagnan
waiting for him already at his post in the ante-room.

The cardinal advanced to him with a smile and taking him by
the hand led him into his study.

My dear M. d'Artagnan,said the ministersitting downI
am about to give you the greatest proof of confidence that a
minister can give an officer.

I hope,said D'Artagnanbowingthat you give it, my
lord, without hesitation and with the conviction that I am
worthy of it.

More worthy than any one in Paris my dear friend; therefore
I apply to you. We are about to leave this evening,
continued Mazarin. "My dear M. d'Artagnanthe welfare of
the state is deposited in your hands." He paused.

Explain yourself, my lord, I am listening.

The queen has resolved to make a little excursion with the
king to Saint Germain.

Aha!said D'Artagnanthat is to say, the queen wishes to
leave Paris.

A woman's caprice -- you understand.

Yes, I understand perfectly,said D'Artagnan.

It was for this she summoned you this morning and that she
told you to return at five o'clock.

Was it worth while to wish me to swear this morning that I
would mention the appointment to no one?muttered
D'Artagnan. "Ohwomen! women! whether queens or notthey
are always the same."

Do you disapprove of this journey, my dear M. d'Artagnan?
asked Mazarinanxiously.

I, my lord?said D'Artagnan; "why should I?"


Because you shrug your shoulders.

It is a way I have of speaking to myself. I neither approve
nor disapprove, my lord; I merely await your commands.

Good; it is you, accordingly, that I have pitched upon to
conduct the king and the queen to Saint Germain.

Liar!thought D'Artagnan.

You see, therefore,continued the cardinalperceiving
D'Artagnan's composurethat, as I have told you, the
welfare of the state is placed in your hands.

Yes, my lord, and I feel the whole responsibility of such a
charge.

You accept, however?

I always accept.
Do you think the thing possible?


Everything is possible.
Shall you be attacked on the road?


Probably.
And what will you do in that case?


I shall pass through those who attack me.
And suppose you cannot pass through them?


So much the worse for them; I shall pass over them.


And you will place the king and queen in safety also, at
Saint Germain?

Yes.
On your life?


On my life.


You are a hero, my friend,said Mazaringazing at the
musketeer with admiration.
D'Artagnan smiled.


And I?asked Mazarinafter a moment's silence.
How? and you, my lord?


If I wish to leave?
That would be much more difficult.


Why so?
Your eminence might be recognized.



Even under this disguise?asked Mazarinraising a cloak
which covered an arm-chairupon which lay a complete dress
for an officerof pearl-gray and redentirely embroidered
with silver.

If your eminence is disguised it will be almost easy.

Ah!said Mazarinbreathing more freely.

But it will be necessary for your eminence to do what the
other day you declared you should have done in our place -cry,
`Down with Mazarin!'

I will: `Down with Mazarin'

In French, in good French, my lord, take care of your
accent; they killed six thousand Angevins in Sicily because
they pronounced Italian badly. Take care that the French do
not take their revenge on you for the Sicilian vespers.

I will do my best.

The streets are full of armed men,continued D'Artagnan.
Are you sure that no one is aware of the queen's project?

Mazarin reflected.

This affair would give a fine opportunity for a traitor, my
lord; the chance of being attacked would be an excuse for
everything.

Mazarin shudderedbut he reflected that a man who had the
least intention to betray would not warn first.

And therefore,added hequietlyI have not confidence
in every one; the proof of which is, that I have fixed upon
you to escort me.

Shall you not go with the queen?

No,replied Mazarin.

Then you will start after the queen?

No,said Mazarin again.

Ah!said D'Artagnanwho began to understand.

Yes,continued the cardinal. "I have my plan. With the
queen I double her risk; after the queen her departure would
double mine; thenthe court once safeI might be
forgotten. The great are often ungrateful."

Very true,said D'Artagnanfixing his eyesin spite of
himselfon the queen's diamondwhich Mazarin wore on his
finger. Mazarin followed the direction of his eyes and
gently turned the hoop of the ring inside.

I wish,he saidwith his cunning smileto prevent them
from being ungrateful to me.

It is but Christian charity,replied D'Artagnannot to
lead one's neighbors into temptation.


It is exactly for that reason,said Mazarinthat I wish
to start before them.

D'Artagnan smiled -- he was just the man to understand the
astute Italian. Mazarin saw the smile and profited by the
moment.

You will begin, therefore, by taking me first out of Paris,
will you not, my dear M. d'Artagnan?

A difficult commission, my lord,replied D'Artagnan
resuming his serious manner.

But,said Mazarinyou did not make so many difficulties
with regard to the king and queen.

The king and the queen are my king and queen,replied the
musketeermy life is theirs and I must give it for them.
If they ask it what have I to say?

That is true,murmured Mazarinin a low tonebut as thy
life is not mine I suppose I must buy it, must I not?and
sighing deeply he began to turn the hoop of his ring outside
again. D'Artagnan smiled. These two men met at one point and
that wascunning; had they been actuated equally by
couragethe one would have done great things for the other.

But, also,said Mazarinyou must understand that if I
ask this service from you it is with the intention of being
grateful.

Is it still only an intention, your eminence?asked
D'Artagnan.

Stay,said Mazarindrawing the ring from his fingermy
dear D'Artagnan, there is a diamond which belonged to you
formerly, it is but just it should return to you; take it, I
pray.

D'Artagnan spared Mazarin the trouble of insistingand
after looking to see if the stone was the same and assuring
himself of the purity of its waterhe took it and passed it
on his finger with indescribable pleasure.

I valued it much,said Mazaringiving a last look at it;
nevertheless, I give it to you with great pleasure.

And I, my lord,said D'Artagnanaccept it as it is
given. Come, let us speak of your little affairs. You wish
to leave before everybody and at what hour?

At ten o'clock.

And the queen, at what time is it her wish to start?

At midnight.

Then it is possible. I can get you out of Paris and leave
you beyond the barriere, and can return for her.

Capital; but how will you get me out of Paris?

Oh! as to that, you must leave it to me.


I give you absolute power, therefore; take as large an
escort as you like.

D'Artagnan shook his head.

It seems to me, however,said Mazarinthe safest
method.

Yes, for you, my lord, but not for the queen; you must
leave it to me and give me the entire direction of the
undertaking.

Nevertheless ----

Or find some one else,continued D'Artagnanturning his
back.

Oh!muttered MazarinI do believe he is going off with
the diamond! M. d'Artagnan, my dear M. d'Artagnan,he
called out in a coaxing voicewill you answer for
everything?

I will answer for nothing. I will do my best.

Well, then, let us go -- I must trust to you.
It is very fortunate,said D'Artagnan to himself.

You will be here at half-past nine.
And I shall find your eminence ready?

Certainly, quite ready.

Well, then, it is a settled thing; and now, my lord, will
you obtain for me an audience with the queen?

For what purpose?

I wish to receive her majesty's commands from her own
lips.
She desired me to give them to you.


She may have forgotten something.
You really wish to see her?


It is indispensable, my lord.
Mazarin hesitated for one instantbut D'Artagnan was firm.


Come, then,said the minister; "I will conduct you to her
but remembernot one word of our conversation."

What has passed between us concerns ourselves alone. my
lord,replied D'Artagnan.

Swear to be mute.

I never swear, my lord, I say yes or no; and, as I am a
gentleman, I keep my word.

Come, then, I see that I must trust unreservedly to you.


Believe me, my lord, it will be your best plan.

Come,said Mazarinconducting D'Artagnan into the queen's
oratory and desiring him to wait there. He did not wait
longfor in five minutes the queen entered in full gala
costume. Thus dressed she scarcely appeared thirty-five
years of age. She was still exceedingly handsome.

It is you, Monsieur D'Artagnan,she saidsmiling
graciously; "I thank you for having insisted on seeing me."

I ought to ask your majesty's pardon, but I wished to
receive your commands from your own mouth.

Do you accept the commission which I have intrusted to
you?

With gratitude.

Very well, be here at midnight.

I will not fail.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,continued the queenI know your
disinterestedness too well to speak of my own gratitude at
such a moment, but I swear to you that I shall not forget
this second service as I forgot the first.

Your majesty is free to forget or to remember, as it
pleases you; and I know not what you mean,said D'Artagnan
bowing.

Go, sir,said the queenwith her most bewitching smile
go and return at midnight.

And D'Artagnan retiredbut as he passed out he glanced at
the curtain through which the queen had entered and at the
bottom of the tapestry he remarked the tip of a velvet
slipper.

Good,thought he; "Mazarin has been listening to discover
whether I betrayed him. In truththat Italian puppet does
not deserve the services of an honest man."

D'Artagnan was not less exact to his appointment and at
half-past nine o'clock he entered the ante-room.

He found the cardinal dressed as an officerand he looked
very well in that costumewhichas we have already said
he wore elegantly; only he was very pale and trembled
slightly.

Quite alone?he asked.

Yes, my lord.

And that worthy Monsieur du Vallon, are we not to enjoy his
society?

Certainly, my lord; he is waiting in his carriage at the
gate of the garden of the Palais Royal.

And we start in his carriage, then?


Yes, my lord.

And with us no other escort but you two?

Is it not enough? One of us would suffice.

Really, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan,said the cardinal
your coolness startles me.

I should have thought, on the contrary, that it ought to
have inspired you with confidence.

And Bernouin -- do I not take him with me?

There is no room for him, he will rejoin your eminence.

Let us go,said Mazarinsince everything must be done as
you wish.

My lord, there is time to draw back,said D'Artagnanand
your eminence is perfectly free.

Not at all, not at all,said Mazarin; "let us be off."

And so they descended the private stairMazarin leaning on
the arm of D'Artagnan a hand the musketeer felt trembling.
At lastafter crossing the courts of the Palais Royal
where there still remained some of the conveyances of late
gueststhey entered the garden and reached the little gate.
Mazarin attempted to open it by a key which he took from his
pocketbut with such shaking fingers that he could not find
the keyhole.

Give it to me,said D'Artagnanwho when the gate was open
deposited the key in his pocketreckoning upon returning by
that gate.

The steps were already down and the door open. Musqueton
stood at the door and Porthos was inside the carriage.

Mount, my lord,said D'Artagnan to Mazarinwho sprang
into the carriage without waiting for a second bidding.
D'Artagnan followed himand Musquetonhaving closed the
doormounted behind the carriage with many groans. He had
made some difficulties about goingunder pretext that he
still suffered from his woundbut D'Artagnan had said to
him:

Remain if you like, my dear Monsieur Mouston, but I warn
you that Paris will be burnt down to-night;upon which
Musqueton had declaredwithout asking anything further
that he was ready to follow his master and Monsieur
d'Artagnan to the end of the world.

The carriage started at a measured pacewithout betraying
by the slightest sign that it contained people in a hurry.
The cardinal wiped his forehead with his handkerchief and
looked around him. On his left was Porthoswhilst
D'Artagnan was on his right; each guarded a door and served
as a rampart to him on either side. Before himon the front
seatlay two pairs of pistols -- one in front of Porthos
and the other of D'Artagnan. About a hundred paces from the
Palais Royal a patrol stopped the carriage.


Who goes?asked the captain.

Mazarin!replied D'Artagnanbursting into a laugh. The
cardinal's hair stood on end. But the joke appeared an
excellent one to the citizenswhoseeing the conveyance
without escort and unarmedwould never have believed in the
possibility of so great an imprudence.

A good journey to ye,they criedallowing it to pass.

Hem!said D'Artagnanwhat does my lord think of that
reply?

Man of talent!cried Mazarin.

In truth,said PorthosI understand; but now ----

About the middle of the Rue des Petits Champs they were
stopped by a second patrol.

Who goes there?inquired the captain of the patrol.

Keep back, my lord,said D'Artagnan. And Mazarin buried
himself so far behind the two friends that he disappeared
completely hidden between them.

Who goes there?cried the same voiceimpatiently whilst
D'Artagnan perceived that they had rushed to the horses'
heads. But putting hid head out of the carriage:

Eh! Planchet,said he.

The chief approachedand it was indeed Planchet; D'Artagnan
had recognized the voice of his old servant.

How, sir!said Planchetis it you?

Eh! mon Dieu! yes, my good friend, this worthy Porthos has
just received a sword wound and I am taking him to his
country house at Saint Cloud.

Oh! really,said Planchet.

Porthos,said D'Artagnanif you can still speak, say a
word, my dear Porthos, to this good Planchet.

Planchet, my friend,said Porthosin a melancholy voice
I am very ill; should you meet a doctor you will do me a
favor by sending him to me.

Oh! good Heaven,said Planchetwhat a misfortune! and
how did it happen?

I will tell you all about it,replied Musqueton.

Porthos uttered a deep groan.

Make way for us, Planchet,said D'Artagnan in a whisper to
himor he will not arrive alive; the lungs are attacked,
my friend.

Planchet shook his head with the air of a man who saysIn
that case things look ill.Then he exclaimedturning to


his men:

Let them pass; they are friends.

The carriage resumed its course, and Mazarin, who had held
his breath, ventured to breathe again.

Bricconi!" muttered he.

A few steps in advance of the gate of Saint Honore they met
a third troop; this latter party was composed of ill-looking
fellowswho resembled bandits more than anything else; they
were the men of the beggar of Saint Eustache.

Attention, Porthos!cried D'Artagnan.

Porthos placed his hand on the pistols.

What is it?asked Mazarin.

My lord, I think we are in bad company.

A man advanced to the door with a kind of scythe in his
hand. "Qui vive?" he asked.

Eh, rascal!said D'Artagnando you not recognize his
highness the prince's carriage?

Prince or not,said the manopen. We are here to guard
the gate, and no one whom we do not know shall pass.

What is to be done?said Porthos.

Pardieu! pass,replied D'Artagnan.

But how?asked Mazarin.

Through or over; coachman, gallop on.

The coachman raised his whip.

Not a step further,said the manwho appeared to be the
captainor I will hamstring your horses.

Peste!said Porthosit would be a pity; animals which
cost me a hundred pistoles each.

I will pay you two hundred for them,said Mazarin.

Yes, but when once they are hamstrung, our necks will be
strung next.

If one of them comes to my side,asked Porthosmust I
kill him?

Yes, by a blow of your fist, if you can; we will not fire
but at the last extremity.

I can do it,said Porthos.

Come and open, then!cried D'Artagnan to the man with the
scythetaking one of the pistols up by the muzzle and
preparing to strike with the handle. And as the man
approachedD'Artagnanin order to have more freedom for


his actionsleaned half out of the door; his eyes were
fixed upon those of the mendicantwhich were lighted up by
a lantern. Without doubt he recognized D'Artagnanfor he
became deadly pale; doubtless the musketeer knew himfor
his hair stood up on his head.

Monsieur d'Artagnan!he criedfalling back a step; "it is
Monsieur d'Artagnan! let him pass."

D'Artagnan was perhaps about to replywhen a blowsimilar
to that of a mallet falling on the head of an oxwas heard.
The noise was caused by Porthoswho had just knocked down
his man.

D'Artagnan turned around and saw the unfortunate man upon
his back about four paces off.

'Sdeath!cried he to the coachman. "Spur your horses!
whip! get on!"

The coachman bestowed a heavy blow of the whip upon his
horses; the noble animals bounded forward; then cries of men
who were knocked down were heard; then a double concussion
was feltand two of the wheels seemed to pass over a round
and flexible body. There was a moment's silencethen the
carriage cleared the gate.

To Cours la Reine!cried D'Artagnan to the coachman; then
turning to Mazarin he saidNow, my lord, you can say five
paters and five aves, in thanks to Heaven for your
deliverance. You are safe -- you are free.

Mazarin replied only by a groan; he could not believe in
such a miracle. Five minutes later the carriage stopped
having reached Cours la Reine.

Is my lord pleased with his escort?asked D'Artagnan.

Enchanted, monsieur,said Mazarinventuring his head out
of one of the windows; "and now do as much for the queen."

It will not be so difficult,replied D'Artagnanspringing
to the ground. "Monsieur du VallonI commend his eminence
to your care."

Be quite at ease,said Porthosholding out his hand
which D'Artagnan took and shook in his.

Oh!cried Porthosas if in pain.

D'Artagnan looked with surprise at his friend.

What is the matter, then?he asked.

I think I have sprained my wrist,' said Porthos.

The devil! whyyou strike like a blind or a deaf man."

It was necessary; my man was going to fire a pistol at me;
but you -- how did you get rid of yours?

Oh, mine,replied D'Artagnanwas not a man.

What was it then?


It was an apparition.

And ----

I charmed it away.

Without further explanation D'Artagnan took the pistols
which were upon the front seatplaced them in his belt
wrapped himself in his cloakand not wishing to enter by
the same gate as that through which they had lefthe took
his way toward the Richelieu gate.

The Carriage of Monsieur le Coadjuteur.

Instead of returningthenby the Saint Honore gate
D'Artagnanwho had time before himwalked around and
re-entered by the Porte Richelieu. He was approached to be
examinedand when it was discovered by his plumed hat and
his laced coatthat he was an officer of the musketeershe
was surroundedwith the intention of making him cryDown
with Mazarin!The demonstration did not fail to make him
uneasy at first; but when he discovered what it meanthe
shouted it in such a voice that even the most exacting were
satisfied. He walked down the Rue Richelieumeditating how
he should carry off the queen in her turnfor to take her
in a carriage bearing the arms of France was not to be
thought ofwhen he perceived an equipage standing at the
door of the hotel belonging to Madame de Guemenee.

He was struck by a sudden idea.

Ah, pardieu!he exclaimed; "that would be fair play."

And approaching the carriagehe examined the arms on the
panels and the livery of the coachman on his box. This
scrutiny was so much the more easythe coachman being sound
asleep.

It is, in truth, monsieur le coadjuteur's carriage,said
D'Artagnan; "upon my honor I begin to think that Heaven
favors us."

He mounted noiselessly into the chariot and pulled the silk
cord which was attached to the coachman's little finger.

To the Palais Royal,he called out.

The coachman awoke with a start and drove off in the
direction he was desirednever doubting but that the order
had come from his master. The porter at the palace was about
to close the gatesbut seeing such a handsome equipage he
fancied that it was some visit of importance and the
carriage was allowed to pass and to stop beneath the porch.
It was then only the coachman perceived the grooms were not
behind the vehicle; he fancied monsieur le coadjuteur had
sent them backand without dropping the reins he sprang
from his box to open the door. D'Artagnanin his turn


sprang to the groundand just at the moment when the
coachmanalarmed at not seeing his masterfell back a
stephe seized him by his collar with the leftwhilst with
the right hand he placed the muzzle of a pistol at his
breast.

Pronounce one single word,muttered D'Artagnanand you
are a dead man.

The coachman perceived at onceby the expression of the man
who thus addressed himthat he had fallen into a trapand
he remained with his mouth wide open and his eyes
portentously staring.

Two musketeers were pacing the courtto whom D'Artagnan
called by their names.

Monsieur de Belliere,said he to one of themdo me the
favor to take the reins from the hands of this worthy man,
mount upon the box and drive to the door of the private
stair, and wait for me there; it is an affair of importance
on the service of the king.

The musketeerwho knew that his lieutenant was incapable of
jesting with regard to the serviceobeyed without a word
although he thought the order strange. Then turning toward
the second musketeerD'Artagnan said:

Monsieur du Verger, help me to place this man in a place of
safety.

The musketeerthinking that his lieutenant had just
arrested some prince in disguisebowedand drawing his
swordsignified that he was ready. D'Artagnan mounted the
staircasefollowed by his prisonerwho in his turn was
followed by the soldierand entered Mazarin's ante-room.
Bernouin was waiting thereimpatient for news of his
master.

Well, sir?he said.

Everything goes on capitally, my dear Monsieur Bernouin,
but here is a man whom I must beg you to put in a safe
place.

Where, then, sir?

Where you like, provided that the place which you shall
choose has iron shutters secured by padlocks and a door that
can be locked.

We have that, sir,replied Bernouin; and the poor coachman
was conducted to a closetthe windows of which were barred
and which looked very much like a prison.

And now, my good friend,said D'Artagnan to himI must
invite you to deprive yourself, for my sake, of your hat and
cloak.

The coachmanas we can well understandmade no resistance;
in facthe was so astonished at what had happened to him
that he stammered and reeled like a drunken man; D'Artagnan
deposited his clothes under the arm of one of the valets.


And now, Monsieur du Verger,he saidshut yourself up
with this man until Monsieur Bernouin returns to open the
door. The duty will be tolerably long and not very amusing,
I know; but,added heseriouslyyou understand, it is on
the king's service.

At your command, lieutenant,replied the musketeerwho
saw the business was a serious one.

By-the-bye,continued D'Artagnanshould this man attempt
to fly or to call out, pass your sword through his body.

The musketeer signified by a nod that these commands should
be obeyed to the letterand D'Artagnan went outfollowed
by Bernouin. Midnight struck.

Lead me into the queen's oratory,said D'Artagnan
announce to her I am here, and put this parcel, with a
well-loaded musket, under the seat of the carriage which is
waiting at the foot of the private stair.

Bernouin conducted D'Artagnan to the oratorywhere he sat
down pensively. Everything had gone on as usual at the
Palais Royal. As we said beforeby ten o'clock almost all
the guests had dispersed; those who were to fly with the
court had the word of command and they were each severally
desired to be from twelve o'clock to one at Cours la Reine.

At ten o'clock Anne of Austria had entered the king's room.
Monsieur had just retiredand the youthful Louisremaining
the lastwas amusing himself by placing some lead soldiers
in a line of battlea game which delighted him much. Two
royal pages were playing with him.

Laporte,said the queenit is time for his majesty to go
to bed.

The king asked to remain uphavinghe saidno wish to
sleep; but the queen was firm.

Are you not going to-morrow morning at six o'clock, Louis,
to bathe at Conflans? I think you wished to do so of your
own accord?

You are right, madame,said the kingand I am ready to
retire to my room when you have kissed me. Laporte, give the
light to Monsieur the Chevalier de Coislin.

The queen touched with her lips the whitesmooth brow the
royal child presented to her with a gravity which already
partook of etiquette.

Go to sleep soon, Louis,said the queenfor you must be
awakened very early.

I will do my best to obey you, madame,said the youthful
kingbut I have no inclination to sleep.

Laporte,said Anne of Austriain an undertonefind some
very dull book to read to his majesty, but do not undress
yourself.

The king went outaccompanied by the Chevalier de Coislin
bearing the candlestickand then the queen returned to her


own apartment. Her ladies -- that is to say Madame de Bregy
Mademoiselle de BeaumontMadame de Mottevilleand
Socratineher sisterso called on account of her sense -had
just brought into her dressing-room the remains of the
dinneron whichaccording to her usual customshe supped.
The queen then gave her ordersspoke of a banquet which the
Marquis de Villequier was to give to her on the day after
the morrowindicated the persons she would admit to the
honor of partaking of itannounced another visit on the
following day to Val-de-Gracewhere she intended to pay her
devotionsand gave her commands to her senior valet to
accompany her. When the ladies had finished their supper the
queen feigned extreme fatigue and passed into her bedroom.
Madame de Mottevillewho was on especial duty that evening
followed to aid and undress her. The queen then began to
readand after conversing with her affectionately for a few
minutesdismissed her.

It was at this moment D'Artagnan entered the courtyard of
the palacein the coadjutor's carriageand a few seconds
later the carriages of the ladies-in-waiting drove out and
the gates were shut after them.

A few minutes after twelve o'clock Bernouin knocked at the
queen's bedroom doorhaving come by the cardinal's secret
corridor. Anne of Austria opened the door to him herself.
She was dressedthat is to sayin dishabillewrapped in a
longwarm dressing-gown.

It is you, Bernouin,she said. "Is Monsieur d'Artagnan
there?"

Yes, madame, in your oratory. He is waiting till your
majesty is ready.

I am. Go and tell Laporte to wake and dress the king, and
then pass on to the Marechal de Villeroy and summon him to
me.

Bernouin bowed and retired.

The queen entered her oratorywhich was lighted by a single
lamp of Venetian crystalShe saw D'Artagnanwho stood
expecting her.

Is it you?she said.

Yes, madame.

Are you ready?

I am.

And his eminence, the cardinal?

Has got off without any accident. He is awaiting your
majesty at Cours la Reine.

But in what carriage do we start?

I have provided for everything; a carriage below is waiting
for your majesty.

Let us go to the king.


D'Artagnan bowed and followed the queen. The young Louis was
already dressedwith the exception of his shoes and
doublet; he had allowed himself to be dressedin great
astonishmentoverwhelming Laporte with questionswho
replied only in these wordsSire, it is by the queen's
commands.

The bedclothes were thrown backexposing the king's bed
linenwhich was so worn that here and there holes could be
seen. It was one of the results of Mazarin's niggardliness.

The queen entered and D'Artagnan remained at the door. As
soon as the child perceived the queen he escaped from
Laporte and ran to meet her. Anne then motioned to
D'Artagnan to approachand he obeyed.

My son,said Anne of Austriapointing to the musketeer
calmstanding uncoveredhere is Monsieur d'Artagnan, who
is as brave as one of those ancient heroes of whom you like
so much to hear from my women. Remember his name well and
look at him well, that his face may not be forgotten, for
this evening he is going to render us a great service.

The young king looked at the officer with his large-formed
eyeand repeated:

Monsieur d'Artagnan.

That is it, my son.

The young king slowly raised his little hand and held it out
to the musketeer; the latter bent on his knee and kissed it.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,repeated Louis; "very wellmadame."

At this moment they were startled by a noise as if a tumult
were approaching.

What is that?exclaimed the queen.

Oh, oh!replied D'Artagnanstraining both at the same
time his quick ear and his intelligent glanceit is the
murmur of the populace in revolution.

We must fly,said the queen.

Your majesty has given me the control of this business; we
had better wait and see what they want.

Monsieur d'Artagnan!

I will answer for everything.

Nothing is so catching as confidence. The queenfull of
energy and couragewas quickly alive to these two virtues
in others.

Do as you like,she saidI rely upon you.

Will your majesty permit me to give orders in your name
throughout this business?

Command, sir.


What do the people want this time?demanded the king.

We are about to ascertain, sire,replied D'Artagnanas he
rapidly left the room.

The tumult continued to increase and seemed to surround the
Palais Royal entirely. Cries were heard from the interior
of which they could not comprehend the sense. It was evident
that there was clamor and sedition.

The kinghalf dressedthe queen and Laporte remained each
in the same state and almost in the same placewhere they
were listening and waiting. Commingeswho was on guard that
night at the Palais Royalran in. He had about two hundred
men in the courtyards and stablesand he placed them at the
queen's disposal.

Well,asked Anne of Austriawhen D'Artagnan reappeared
what does it mean?

It means, madame, that the report has spread that the queen
has left the Palais Royal, carrying off the king, and the
people ask to have proof to the contrary, or threaten to
demolish the Palais Royal.

Oh, this time it is too much!exclaimed the queenand I
will prove to them I have not left.

D'Artagnan saw from the expression of the queen's face that
she was about to issue some violent command. He approached
her and said in a low voice:

Has your majesty still confidence in me?

This voice startled her. "Yessir she replied, every
confidence; speak."

Will the queen deign to follow my advice?

Speak.

Let your majesty dismiss M. de Comminges and desire him to
shut himself up with his men in the guardhouse and in the
stables.

Comminges glanced at D'Artagnan with the envious look with
which every courtier sees a new favorite spring up.

You hear, Comminges?said the queen.

D'Artagnan went up to him; with his usual quickness he
caught the anxious glance.

Monsieur de Comminges,he saidpardon me; we both are
servants of the queen, are we not? It is my turn to be of
use to her; do not envy me this happiness.

Comminges bowed and left.

Come,said D'Artagnan to himselfI have got one more
enemy.

And now,said the queenaddressing D'Artagnanwhat is


to be done? for you hear that, instead of becoming calmer,
the noise increases.

Madame,said D'Artagnanthe people want to see the king
and they must see him.

What! must see him! Where -- on the balcony?

Not at all, madame, but here, sleeping in his bed.

Oh, your majesty,exclaimed LaporteMonsieur d'Artagnan
is right.

The queen became thoughtful and smiledlike a woman to whom
duplicity is no stranger.

Without doubt,she murmured.

Monsieur Laporte,said D'Artagnango and announce to the
people through the grating that they are going to be
satisfied and that in five minutes they shall not only see
the king, but they shall see him in bed; add that the king
sleeps and that the queen begs that they will keep silence,
so as not to awaken him.

But not every one; a deputation of two or four people.

Every one, madame.

But reflect, they will keep us here till daybreak.

It shall take but a quarter of an hourI answer for
everythingmadame; believe meI know the people; they are
like a great childwho only wants humoring. Before the
sleeping king they will be mutegentle and timid as lambs."

Go, Laporte,said the queen.

The young king approached his mother and saidWhy do as
these people ask?

It must be so, my son,said Anne of Austria.

But if they say, `it must be' to me, am I no longer king?

The queen remained silent.

Sire,said D'Artagnanwill your majesty permit me to ask
you a question?

Louis XIV. turned aroundastonished that any one should
dare to address him. But the queen pressed the child's hand.

Yes, sir.he said.

Does your majesty remember, when playing in the park of
Fontainebleau, or in the palace courts at Versailles, ever
to have seen the sky grow suddenly dark and heard the sound
of thunder?

Yes, certainly.

Well, then, this noise of thunder, however much your
majesty may have wished to continue playing, has said, `go


in, sire. You must do so.'

Certainly, sir; but they tell me that the noise of thunder
is the voice of God.

Well then, sire,continued D'Artagnanlisten to the
noise of the people; you will perceive that it resembles
that of thunder.

In truth at that moment a terrible murmur was wafted to them
by the night breeze; then all at once it ceased.

Hold, sire,said D'Artagnanthey have just told the
people that you are asleep; you see, you still are king.

The queen looked with surprise at this strange manwhose
brilliant courage made him the equal of the bravestand who
wasby his fine and quick intelligencethe equal of the
most astute.

Laporte entered.

Well, Laporte?asked the queen.

Madame,he repliedMonsieur d'Artagnan's prediction has
been accomplished; they are calm, as if by enchantment. The
doors are about to be opened and in five minutes they will
be here.

Laporte,said the queensuppose you put one of your sons
in the king's place; we might be off during the time.

If your majesty desires it,said Laportemy sons, like
myself, are at the queen's service.

Not at all,said D'Artagnan; "should one of them know his
majesty and discover but a substituteall would be lost."

You are right, sir, always right,said Anne of Austria.
Laporte, place the king in bed.

Laporte placed the kingdressed as he wasin the bed and
then covered him as far as the shoulders with the sheet. The
queen bent over him and kissed his brow.

Pretend to sleep, Louis,said she.

Yes,said the kingbut I do not wish to be touched by
any of those men.

Sire, I am here,said D'Artagnanand I give you my word,
that if a single man has the audacity, his life shall pay
for it.

And now what is to be done?asked the queenfor I hear
them.

Monsieur Laporte, go to them and again recommend silence.
Madame, wait at the door, whilst I shall be at the head of
the king's bed, ready to die for him.

Laporte went out; the queen remained standing near the
hangingswhilst D'Artagnan glided behind the curtains.


Then the heavy and collected steps of a multitude of men
were heardand the queen herself raised the tapestry
hangings and put her finger on her lips.

On seeing the queenthe men stopped shortrespectfully.

Enter, gentlemen, enter,said the queen.

There was then amongst that crowd a moment's hesitation
which looked like shame. They had expected resistancethey
had expected to be thwartedto have to force the gatesto
overturn the guards. The gates had opened of themselvesand
the kingostensibly at leasthad no other guard at his
bed-head but his mother. The foremost of them stammered and
attempted to fall back.

Enter, gentlemen,said Laportesince the queen desires
you so to do.

Then one more bold than the rest ventured to pass the door
and to advance on tiptoe. This example was imitated by the
restuntil the room filled silentlyas if these men had
been the humblestmost devoted courtiers. Far beyond the
door the heads of those who were not able to enter could be
seenall craning to their utmost height to try and see.

D'Artagnan saw it all through an opening he had made in the
curtainand in the very first man who entered he recognized
Planchet.

Sir,said the queen to himthinking he was the leader of
the bandyou wished to see the king and therefore I
determined to show him to you myself. Approach and look at
him and say if we have the appearance of people who wish to
run away.

No, certainly,replied Planchetrather astonished at the
unexpected honor conferred upon him.

You will say, then, to my good and faithful Parisians,
continued Annewith a smilethe expression of which did
not deceive D'Artagnanthat you have seen the king in bed,
asleep, and the queen also ready to retire.

I shall tell them, madame, and those who accompany me will
say the same thing; but ----

But what?asked Anne of Austria.

Will your majesty pardon me,said Planchetbut is it
really the king who is lying there?

Anne of Austria started. "If she said, there is one among
you who knows the kinglet him approach and say whether it
is really his majesty lying there."

A man wrapped in a cloakin the folds of which his face was
hiddenapproached and leaned over the bed and looked.

For one secondD'Artagnan thought the man had some evil
design and he put his hand to his sword; but in the movement
made by the man in stooping a portion of his face was
uncovered and D'Artagnan recognized the coadjutor.


It is certainly the king,said the manrising again. "God
bless his majesty!"

Yes,repeated the leader in a whisperGod bless his
majesty!and all these menwho had entered enragedpassed
from anger to pity and blessed the royal infant in their
turn.

Now,', said Planchet, let us thank the queen. My friends
retire."

They all bowedand retired by degrees as noiselessly as
they had entered. Planchetwho had been the first to enter
was the last to leave. The queen stopped him.

What is your name, my friend?she said.

Planchetmuch surprised at the inquiryturned back.

Yes,continued the queenI think myself as much honored
to have received you this evening as if you had been a
prince, and I wish to know your name.

Yes,thought Planchetto treat me as a prince. No, thank
you.

D'Artagnan trembled lest Planchetseducedlike the crow in
the fableshould tell his nameand that the queenknowing
his namewould discover that Planchet had belonged to him.

Madame,replied PlanchetrespectfullyI am called
Dulaurier, at your service.

Thank you, Monsieur Dulaurier,said the queen; "and what
is your business?"

Madame, I am a clothier in the Rue Bourdonnais.

That is all I wished to know,said the queen. "Much
obliged to youMonsieur Dulaurier. You will hear again from
me."

Come, come,thought D'Artagnanemerging from behind the
curtaindecidedly Monsieur Planchet is no fool; it is
evident he has been brought up in a good school.

The different actors in this strange scene remained facing
one anotherwithout uttering a single word; the queen
standing near the doorD'Artagnan half out of his hiding
placethe king raised on his elbowready to fall down on
his bed again at the slightest sound that would indicate the
return of the multitudebut instead of approachingthe
noise became more and more distant and very soon it died
entirely away.

The queen breathed more freely. D'Artagnan wiped his damp
forehead and the king slid off his bedsayingLet us go.

At this moment Laporte reappeared.

Well?asked the queen

Well, madame,replied the valetI followed them as far
as the gates. They announced to all their comrades that they


had seen the king and that the queen had spoken to them;
and, in fact, they went away quite proud and happy.

Oh, the miserable wretches!murmured the queenthey
shall pay dearly for their boldness, and it is I who promise
this.

Then turning to D'Artagnanshe said:

Sir, you have given me this evening the best advice I have
ever received. Continue, and say what we must do now.

Monsieur Laporte,said D'Artagnanfinish dressing his
majesty.

We may go, then?asked the queen.

Whenever your majesty pleases. You have only to descend by
the private stairs and you will find me at the door.

Go, sir,said the queen; "I will follow you."

D'Artagnan went down and found the carriage at its post and
the musketeer on the box. D'Artagnan took out the parcel
which he had desired Bernouin to place under the seat. It
may be remembered that it was the hat and cloak belonging to
Monsieur de Gondy's coachman.

He placed the cloak on his shoulders and the hat on his
headwhilst the musketeer got off the box.

Sir,said D'Artagnanyou will go and release your
companion, who is guarding the coachman. You must mount your
horse and proceed to the Rue Tiquetonne, Hotel de la
Chevrette, whence you will take my horse and that of
Monsieur du Vallon, which you must saddle and equip as if
for war, and then you will leave Paris, bringing them with
you to Cours la Reine. If, when you arrive at Cours la
Reine, you find no one, you must go on to Saint Germain. On
the king's service.

The musketeer touched his cap and went away to execute the
orders thus received.

D'Artagnan mounted the boxhaving a pair of pistols in his
belta musket under his feet and a naked sword behind him.

The queen appearedand was followed by the king and the
Duke d'Anjouhis brother.

Monsieur the coadjutor's carriage!she exclaimedfalling
back.

Yes, madame,said D'Artagnan; "but get in fearlesslyfor
I myself will drive you."

The queen uttered a cry of surprise and entered the
carriageand the king and monsieur took their places at her
side.

Come, Laporte,said the queen.

How, madame!said the valetin the same carriage as your
majesties?


It is not a matter of royal etiquette this evening, but of
the king's safety. Get in, Laporte.

Laporte obeyed.
Pull down the blinds,said D'Artagnan.


But will that not excite suspicion, sir?asked the queen.


Your majesty's mind may be quite at ease,replied the
officer; "I have my answer ready."

The blinds were pulled down and they started at a gallop by
the Rue Richelieu. On reaching the gate the captain of the
post advanced at the head of a dozen menholding a lantern
in his hand.

D'Artagnan signed to them to draw near.

Do you recognize the carriage?he asked the sergeant.
No,replied the latter.


Look at the arms.
The sergeant put the lantern near the panel.


They are those of monsieur le coadjuteur,he said.
Hush; he is enjoying a ride with Madame de Guemenee.


The sergeant began to laugh.


Open the gate,he cried. "I know who it is!" Then putting
his face to the lowered blindshe said:

I wish you joy, my lord!

Impudent fellow!cried D'Artagnanyou will get me turned
off.

The gate groaned on its hingesand D'Artagnanseeing the
way clearwhipped his horseswho started at a canterand
five minutes later they had rejoined the cardinal.

Musqueton!exclaimed D'Artagnandraw up the blinds of
his majesty's carriage.

It is he!cried Porthos.
Disguised as a coachman!exclaimed Mazarin.


And driving the coadjutor's carriage!said the queen.


Corpo di Dio! Monsieur d'Artagnan!said Mazarinyou are
worth your weight in gold.

How D'Artagnan and Porthos earned by selling Strawthe one
Two Hundred and Nineteenand the other Two Hundred and


Fifteen Louis d'or.

Mazarin was desirous of setting out instantly for Saint
Germainbut the queen declared that she should wait for the
people whom she had appointed to meet her. Howevershe
offered the cardinal Laporte's placewhich he accepted and
went from one carriage to the other.

It was not without foundation that a report of the king's
intention to leave Paris by night had been circulated. Ten
or twelve persons had been in the secret since six o'clock
and howsoever great their prudence might bethey could not
issue the necessary orders for the departure without
suspicion being generated. Besideseach individual had one
or two others for whom he was interested; and as there could
be no doubt but that the queen was leaving Paris full of
terrible projects of vengeanceevery one had warned parents
and friends of what was about to transpire; so that the news
of the approaching exit ran like a train of lighted
gunpowder along the streets.

The first carriage which arrived after that of the queen was
that of the Prince de Condewith the princess and dowager
princess. Both these ladies had been awakened in the middle
of the night and did not know what it all was about. The
second contained the Duke and Duchess of Orleansthe tall
young Mademoiselle and the Abbe de la Riviere; and the
thirdthe Duke de Longueville and the Prince de Conti
brother and brother-in-law of Conde. They all alighted and
hastened to pay their respects to the king and queen in
their coach. The queen fixed her eyes upon the carriage they
had leftand seeing that it was emptyshe said:

But where is Madame de Longueville?

Ah, yes, where is my sister?asked the prince.

Madame de Longueville is ill,said the dukeand she
desired me to excuse her to your majesty.

Anne gave a quick glance to Mazarinwho answered by an
almost imperceptible shake of his head.

What do you say of this?asked the queen.

I say that she is a hostage for the Parisians,answered
the cardinal.

Why is she not come?asked the prince in a low voice
addressing his brother.

Silence,whispered the dukeshe has her reasons.

She will ruin us!returned the prince.

She will save us,said Conti.

Carriages now arrived in crowds; those of the Marechal de
VilleroyGuitantVillequier and Comminges came into the
line. The two musketeers arrived in their turnholding the
horses of D'Artagnan and Porthos in their hands. These two
instantly mountedthe coachman of the latter replacing


D'Artagnan on the coach-box of the royal coach. Musqueton
took the place of the coachmanand drove standingfor
reasons known to himselflike Automedon of antiquity.

The queenthough occupied by a thousand detailstried to
catch the Gascon's eye; but hewith his wonted prudence
had mingled with the crowd.

Let us be the avant guard,said he to Porthosand find
good quarters at Saint Germain; nobody will think of us, and
for my part I am greatly fatigued.

As for me,replied PorthosI am falling asleep, which is
strange, considering we have not had any fighting; truly the
Parisians are idiots.

Or rather, we are very clever,said D'Artagnan.

Perhaps.

And how is your wrist?

Better; but do you think that we've got them this time?

Got what?

You your command, and I my title?

I'faith! yes -- I should expect so; besides, if they
forget, I shall take the liberty of reminding them.

The queen's voice! she is speaking,said Porthos; "I think
she wants to ride on horseback."

Oh, she would like it, but ----

But what?

The cardinal won't allow it. Gentlemen,he said
addressing the two musketeersaccompany the royal
carriage, we are going forward to look for lodgings.

D'Artagnan started off for Saint Germainfollowed by
Porthos.

We will go on, gentlemen,said the queen.

And the royal carriage drove onfollowed by the other
coaches and about fifty horsemen.

They reached Saint German without any accident; on
descendingthe queen found the prince awaiting her
bare-headedto offer her his hand.

What an awakening for the Parisians!said the queen
radiant.

It is war,said the prince.

Well, then, let it be war! Have we not on our side the
conqueror of Rocroy, of Nordlingen, of Lens?

The prince bowed low.


It was then three o'clock in the morning. The queen walked
firstevery one followed her. About two hundred persons had
accompanied her in her flight.

Gentlemen,said the queenlaughingpray take up your
abode in the chateau; it is large, and there will be no want
of room for you all; but, as we never thought of coming
here, I am informed that there are, in all, only three beds
in the whole establishment, one for the king, one for me
----

And one for the cardinal,muttered the prince.

Am I -- am I, then, to sleep on the floor?asked Gaston
d'Orleanswith a forced smile.

No, my prince,replied Mazarinthe third bed is intended
for your highness.

But your eminence?replied the prince.

I,answered MazarinI shall not sleep at all; I have
work to do.

Gaston desired that he should be shown into the room wherein
he was to sleepwithout in the least concerning himself as
to where his wife and daughter were to repose.

Well, for my part, I shall go to bed,said D'Artagnan;
come, Porthos.

Porthos followed the lieutenant with that profound
confidence he ever had in the wisdom of his friend. They
walked from one end of the chateau to the otherPorthos
looking with wondering eyes at D'Artagnanwho was counting
on his fingers.

Four hundred, at a pistole each, four hundred pistoles.

Yes,interposed Porthosfour hundred pistoles; but who
is to make four hundred pistoles?

A pistole is not enough,said D'Artagnan'tis worth a
louis.

What is worth a louis?

Four hundred, at a louis each, make four hundred louis.

Four hundred?said Porthos.

Yes, there are two hundred of them, and each of them will
need two, which will make four hundred.

But four hundred what?

Listen!cried D'Artagnan.

But as there were all kinds of people aboutwho were in a
state of stupefaction at the unexpected arrival of the
courthe whispered in his friend's ear.

I understand,answered PorthosI understand you
perfectly, on my honor; two hundred louis, each of us, would


be making a pretty thing of it; but what will people say?

Let them say what they will; besides, how will they know
that we are doing it?

But who will distribute these things?asked Porthos.

Isn't Musqueton there?

But he wears my livery; my livery will be known,replied
Porthos.

He can turn his coat inside out.

You are always in the right, my dear friend,cried
Porthos; "but where the devil do you discover all the
notions you put into practice?"

D'Artagnan smiled. The two friends turned down the first
street they came to. Porthos knocked at the door of a house
to the rightwhilst D'Artagnan knocked at the door of a
house to the left.

Some straw,they said.

Sir, we don't keep any,was the reply of the people who
opened the doors; "but please ask at the hay dealer's."

Where is the hay dealer's?

At the last large door in the street.

Are there any other people in Saint Germain who sell
straw?

Yes; there's the landlord of the Lamb, and Gros-Louis the
farmer; they both live in the Rue des Ursulines.

Very well.

D'Artagnan went instantly to the hay dealer and bargained
with him for a hundred and fifty trusses of strawwhich he
obtainedat the rate of three pistoles each. He went
afterward to the innkeeper and bought from him two hundred
trusses at the same price. FinallyFarmer Louis sold them
eighty trussesmaking in all four hundred and thirty.

There was no more to be had in Saint Germain. This foraging
did not occupy more than half an hour. Musquetonduly
instructedwas put at the head of this sudden and new
business. He was cautioned not to let a bit of straw out of
his hands under a louis the trussand they intrusted to him
straw to the amount of four hundred and thirty louis.
D'Artagnantaking with him three trusses of strawreturned
to the chateauwhere everybodyfreezing with cold and more
than half asleepenvied the kingthe queenand the Duke
of Orleanson their camp beds. The lieutenant's entrance
produced a burst of laughter in the great drawing-room; but
he did not appear to notice that he was the object of
general attentionbut began to arrangewith so much
clevernessnicety and gayetyhis straw bedthat the
mouths of all these poor creatureswho could not go to
sleepbegan to water.


Straw!they all cried outstraw! where is there any to
be found?

I can show you,answered the Gascon.

And he conducted them to Musquetonwho freely distributed
the trusses at the rate of a louis apiece. It was thought
rather dearbut people wanted to sleepand who would not
give even two or three louis for a few hours of sound sleep?

D'Artagnan gave up his bed to any one who wanted itmaking
it over about a dozen times; and since he was supposed to
have paidlike the othersa louis for his truss of straw
he pocketed in that way thirty louis in less than half an
hour. At five o'clock in the morning the straw was worth
eighty francs a truss and there was no more to be had.

D'Artagnan had taken the precaution to set apart four
trusses for his own use. He put in his pocket the key of the
room where he had hidden themand accompanied by Porthos
returned to settle with Musquetonwhonaivelyand like
the worthy steward that he washanded them four hundred and
thirty louis and kept one hundred for himself.

Musquetonwho knew nothing of what was going on in the
chateauwondered that the idea had not occurred to him
sooner. D'Artagnan put the gold in his hatand in going
back to the chateau settled the reckoning with Porthoseach
of them had cleared two hundred and fifteen louis.

Porthoshoweverfound that he had no straw left for
himself. He returned to Musquetonbut the steward had sold
the last wisp. He then repaired to D'Artagnanwhothanks
to his four trusses of strawwas in the act of making up
and tastingby anticipationthe luxury of a bed so soft
so well stuffed at the headso well covered at the foot
that it would have excited the envy of the king himselfif
his majesty had not been fast asleep in his own. D'Artagnan
could on no account consent to pull his bed to pieces again
for Porthosbut for a consideration of four louis that the
latter paid him for ithe consented that Porthos should
share his couch with him. He laid his sword at the headhis
pistols by his sidestretched his cloak over his feet
placed his felt hat on the top of his cloak and extended
himself luxuriously on the strawwhich rustled under him.
He was already enjoying the sweet dream engendered by the
possession of two hundred and nineteen louismade in a
quarter of an hourwhen a voice was heard at the door of
the hallwhich made him stir.

Monsieur d'Artagnan!it cried.

Here!cried Porthoshere!

Porthos foresaw that if D'Artagnan was called away he should
remain the sole possessor of the bed. An officer approached.

I am come to fetch you, Monsieur d'Artagnan.

From whom?

His eminence sent me.

Tell my lord that I'm going to sleep, and I advise him, as


a friend, to do the same.

His eminence is not gone to bed and will not go to bed, and
wants you instantly.

The devil take Mazarin, who does not know when to sleep at
the proper time. What does he want with me? Is it to make me
a captain? In that case I will forgive him.

And the musketeer rosegrumblingtook his swordhat
pistolsand cloakand followed the officerwhilst
Porthosalone and sole possessor of the bedendeavored to
follow the good example of falling asleepwhich his
predecessor had set him.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,said the cardinalon perceiving him
I have not forgotten with what zeal you have served me. I
am going to prove to you that I have not.

Good,thought the Gasconthis is a promising beginning.

Monsieur d'Artagnan,he resumeddo you wish to become a
captain?

Yes, my lord.

And your friend still longs to be made a baron?

At this very moment, my lord, he no doubt dreams that he is
one already.

Then,said Mazarintaking from his portfolio the letter
which he had already shown D'Artagnantake this dispatch
and carry it to England.

D'Artagnan looked at the envelope; there was no address on
it.

Am I not to know to whom to present it?

You will know when you reach London; at London you may tear
off the outer envelope.

And what are my instructions?

To obey in every particular the man to whom this letter is
addressed. You must set out for Boulogne. At the Royal Arms
of England you will find a young gentleman named Mordaunt.

Yes, my lord; and what am I to do with this young
gentleman?

Follow wherever he leads you.

D'Artagnan looked at the cardinal with a stupefied air.

There are your instructions,said Mazarin; "go!"

Go! 'tis easy to say so, but that requires money, and I
haven't any.

Ah!replied Mazarinso you have no money?

None, my lord.


But the diamond I gave you yesterday?

I wish to keep it in remembrance of your eminence.

Mazarin sighed.

'Tis very dear living in England, my lord, especially as
envoy extraordinary.

Zounds!replied Mazarinthe people there are very
sedate, and their habits, since the revolution, simple; but
no matter.

He opened a drawer and took out a purse.

What do you say to a thousand crowns?

D'Artagnan pouted out his lower lip in a most extraordinary
manner.

I reply, my lord, 'tis but little, as certainly I shall not
go alone.

I suppose not. Monsieur du Vallon, that worthy gentleman,
for, with the exception of yourself, Monsieur d'Artagnan,
there's not a man in France that I esteem and love so much
as him ----

Then, my lord,replied D'Artagnanpointing to the purse
which Mazarin still heldif you love and esteem him so
much, you -- understand me?

Be it so! on his account I add two hundred crowns.

Scoundrel!muttered D'Artagnan. "But on our return he
said aloud, may wethat ismy friend and Idepend on
havinghe his baronyand I my promotion?"

On the honor of Mazarin.

I should like another sort of oath better,said D'Artagnan
to himself; then aloudMay I not offer my duty to her
majesty the queen?

Her majesty is asleep and you must set off directly,
replied Mazarin; "gopraysir ---- "

One word more, my lord; if there's any fighting where I'm
going, must I fight?

You are to obey the commands of the personage to whom I
have addressed the inclosed letter.

'Tis well,said D'Artagnanholding out his hand to
receive the money. "I offer my best respects and services to
youmy lord."

D'Artagnan thenreturning to the officersaid:

Sir, have the kindness also to awaken Monsieur du Vallon
and to say 'tis by his eminence's order, and that I shall
await him at the stables.


The officer went off with an eagerness that showed the
Gascon that he had some personal interest in the matter.

Porthos was snoring most musically when some one touched him
on the shoulder.

I come from the cardinal,said the officer.

Heigho!said Porthosopening his large eyes; "what have
you got to say?"

That his eminence has ordered you to England and that
Monsieur d'Artagnan is waiting for you in the stables.

Porthos sighed heavilyarosetook his hathis pistols
and his cloakand departedcasting a look of regret upon
the couch where he had hoped to sleep so well.

No sooner had he turned his back than the officer laid
himself down in itand he had scarcely crossed the
threshold before his successorin his turnwas snoring
immoderately. It was very naturalhe being the only person
in the whole assemblageexcept the kingthe queenand the
Duke of Orleanswho slept gratuitously.

In which we hear Tidings of Aramis.

D'Artagnan went straight to the stables; day was just
dawning. He found his horse and that of Porthos fastened to
the mangerbut to an empty manger. He took pity on these
poor animals and went to a corner of the stablewhere he
saw a little strawbut in doing so he struck his foot
against a human bodywhich uttered a cry and arose on its
kneesrubbing its eyes. It was Musquetonwhohaving no
straw to lie uponhad helped himself to that of the horses.

Musqueton,cried D'Artagnanlet us be off! Let us set
off.

Musquetonrecognizing the voice of his master's friendgot
up suddenlyand in doing so let fall some louis which he
had appropriated to himself illegally during the night.

Ho! ho!exclaimed D'Artagnanpicking up a louis and
displaying it; "here's a louis that smells confoundedly of
straw."

Musqueton blushed so confusedly that the Gascon began to
laugh at him and said:

Porthos would be angry, my dear Monsieur Musqueton, but I
pardon you, only let us remember that this gold must serve
us as a joke, so be gay -- come along.

Musqueton instantly assumed a jovial countenancesaddled
the horses quickly and mounted his own without making faces
over it.


Whilst this went onPorthos arrived with a very cross look
on his faceand was astonished to find the lieutenant
resigned and Musqueton almost merry.

Ah, that's it!he criedyou have your promotion and I my
barony.

We are going to fetch our brevets,said D'Artagnanand
when we come back, Master Mazarin will sign them.

And where are we going?asked Porthos.

To Paris first; I have affairs to settle.

And they both set out for Paris.

On arriving at its gates they were astounded to see the
threatening aspect of the capital. Around a broken-down
carriage the people were uttering imprecationswhilst the
persons who had attempted to escape were made prisoners -that
is to sayan old man and two women. On the other hand
as the two friends approached to enterthey showed them
every kind of civilitythinking them deserters from the
royal party and wishing to bind them to their own.

What is the king doing?they asked.

He is asleep.

And the Spanish woman?

Dreaming.

And the cursed Italian?

He is awake, so keep on the watch, as they are gone away;
it's for some purpose, rely on it. But as you are the
strongest, after all,continued D'Artagnandon't be
furious with old men and women, and keep your wrath for more
appropriate occasions.

The people listened to these words and let go the ladies
who thanked D'Artagnan with an eloquent look.

Now! onward!cried the Gascon.

And they continued their waycrossing the barricades
getting the chains about their legspushed about
questioning and questioned.

In the place of the Palais Royal D'Artagnan saw a sergeant
who was drilling six or seven hundred citizens. It was
Planchetwho brought into play profitably the recollections
of the regiment of Piedmont.

In passing before D'Artagnan he recognized his former
master.

Good-day, Monsieur d'Artagnan,said Planchet proudly.

Good-day, Monsieur Dulaurier,replied D'Artagnan.

Planchet stopped shortstaring at D'Artagnan. The first
rowseeing their sergeant stopstopped in their turnand


so on to the very last.

These citizens are dreadfully ridiculous,observed
D'Artagnan to Porthos and went on his way.

Five minutes afterward he entered the hotel of La Chevrette
where pretty Madeleinethe hostesscame to him.

My dear Mistress Turquaine,said the Gasconif you
happen to have any money, lock it up quickly; if you happen
to have any jewels, hide them directly; if you happen to
have any debtors, make them pay you, or any creditors, don't
pay them.

Why, prithee?asked Madeleine.

Because Paris is going to be reduced to dust and ashes like
Babylon, of which you have no doubt heard tell.

And are you going to leave me at such a time?

This very instant.

And where are you going?

Ah, if you could tell me that, you would be doing me a
service.

Ah, me! ah, me!

Have you any letters for me?" inquired D'Artagnanwishing
to signify to the hostess that her lamentations were
superfluous and that therefore she had better spare him
demonstrations of her grief.

There's one just arrived,and she handed the letter to
D'Artagnan.

From Athos!cried D'Artagnanrecognizing the handwriting.

Ah!said Porthoslet us hear what he says.

D'Artagnan opened the letter and read as follows:

Dear D'Artagnan, dear Du Vallon, my good friends, perhaps
this may be the last time that you will ever hear from me.
Aramis and I are very unhappy; but God, our courage, and the
remembrance of our friendship sustain us. Think often of
Raoul. I intrust to you certain papers which are at Blois;
and in two months and a half, if you do not hear of us, take
possession of them.

Embracewith all your heartthe vicomtefor your
devotedfriend

ATHOS.

I believe, by Heaven,said D'Artagnanthat I shall
embrace him, since he's upon our road; and if he is so
unfortunate as to lose our dear Athos, from that very day he


becomes my son.

And I,said Porthosshall make him my sole heir.

Let us see, what more does Athos say?

Should you meet on your journey a certain Monsieur
Mordaunt, distrust him, in a letter I cannot say more.

Monsieur Mordaunt!exclaimed the Gasconsurprised.

Monsieur Mordaunt! 'tis well,said Porthoswe shall
remember that; but see, there is a postscript from Aramis.

So there is,said D'Artagnanand he read:

We conceal the place where we are, dear friends, knowing
your brotherly affection and that you would come and die
with us were we to reveal it.

Confound it,interrupted Porthoswith an explosion of
passion which sent Musqueton to the other end of the room;
are they in danger of dying?

D'Artagnan continued:

Athos bequeaths to you Raoul, and I bequeath to you my
revenge. If by any good luck you lay your hand on a certain
man named Mordaunt, tell Porthos to take him into a corner
and to wring his neck. I dare not say more in a letter.

ARAMIS.

If that is all, it is easily done,said Porthos.

On the contrary,observed D'Artagnanwith a vexed look;
it would be impossible.

How so?

It is precisely this Monsieur Mordaunt whom we are going to
join at Boulogne and with whom we cross to England.

Well, suppose instead of joining this Monsieur Mordaunt we
were to go and join our friends?said Porthoswith a
gesture fierce enough to have frightened an army.

I did think of it, but this letter has neither date nor
postmark.

True,said Porthos. And he began to wander about the room
like a man beside himselfgesticulating and half drawing


his sword out of the scabbard.

As to D'Artagnanhe remained standing like a man in
consternationwith the deepest affliction depicted on his
face.

Ah, this is not right; Athos insults us; he wishes to die
alone; it is bad, bad, bad.

Musquetonwitnessing this despairmelted into tears in a
corner of the room.

Come,said D'Artagnanall this leads to nothing. Let us
go on. We will embrace Raoul, and perhaps he will have news
of Athos.

Stop -- an idea!cried Porthos; "indeedmy dear
D'ArtagnanI don't know how you managebut you are always
full of ideas; let us go and embrace Raoul."

Woe to that man who should happen to contradict my master
at this moment,said Musqueton to himself; "I wouldn't give
a farthing for his life."

They set out. On arriving at the Rue Saint Denisthe
friends found a vast concourse of people. It was the Duc de
Beaufortwho was coming from the Vendomois and whom the
coadjutor was showing to the Parisiansintoxicated with
joy. With the duke's aid they already considered themselves
invincible.

The two friends turned off into a side street to avoid
meeting the princeand so reached the Saint Denis gate.

Is it true,said the guard to the two cavaliersthat the
Duc de Beaufort has arrived in Paris?

Nothing more certain; and the best proof of it is,said
D'Artagnanthat he has dispatched us to meet the Duc de
Vendome, his father, who is coming in his turn.

Long live De Beaufort!cried the guardsand they drew
back respectfully to let the two friends pass. Once across
the barriers these two knew neither fatigue nor fear. Their
horses flewand they never ceased speaking of Athos and
Aramis.

The camp had entered Saint Omer; the friends made a little
detour and went to the campand gave the army an exact
account of the flight of the king and queen. They found
Raoul near his tentreclining on a truss of hayof which
his horse stole some mouthfuls; the young man's eyes were
red and he seemed dejected. The Marechal de Grammont and the
Comte de Guiche had returned to Paris and he was quite
lonely. And as soon as he saw the two cavaliers he ran to
them with open arms.

Oh, is it you, dear friends? Did you come here to fetch me?
Will you take me away with you? Do you bring me tidings of
my guardian?

Have you not received any?said D'Artagnan to the youth.

Alas! sir, no, and I do not know what has become of him; so


that I am really so unhappy that I weep.

In facttears rolled down his cheeks.

Porthos turned asidein order not to show by his honest
round face what was passing in his mind.

Deuce take it!cried D'Artagnanmore moved than he had
been for a long timedon't despair, my friend, if you have
not received any letters from the count, we have received
one.

Oh, really!cried Raoul.

And a comforting one, too,added D'Artagnanseeing the
delight that his intelligence gave the young man.

Have you it?asked Raoul

Yes -- that is, I had it,repined the Gasconmaking
believe to find it. "Waitit ought to be there in my
pocket; it speaks of his returndoes it notPorthos?"

All Gascon as he wasD'Artagnan could not bear alone the
weight of that falsehood.

Yes,replied Porthoscoughing.

Eh, give it to me!said the young man.

Eh! I read it a little while since. Can I have lost it? Ah!
confound it! yes, my pocket has a hole in it.

Oh, yes, Monsieur Raoul!said Musquetonthe letter was
very consoling. These gentlemen read it to me and I wept for
joy.

But at any rate, you know where he is, Monsieur
d'Artagnan?asked Raoulsomewhat comforted.

Ah! that's the thing!replied the Gascon. "Undoubtedly I
know itbut it is a mystery."

Not to me, I hope?

No, not to you, so I am going to tell you where he is.

Porthos devoured D'Artagnan with wondering eyes.

Where the devil shall I say that he is, so that he cannot
try to rejoin him?thought D'Artagnan.

Well, where is he, sir?asked Raoulin a soft and coaxing
voice.

He is at Constantinople.

Among the Turks!exclaimed Raoulalarmed. "Good heavens!
how can you tell me that?"

Does that alarm you?cried D'Artagnan. "Pooh! what are the
Turks to such men as the Comte de la Fere and the Abbe
d'Herblay?"


Ah, his friend is with him?said Raoul. "That comforts me
a little."

Has he wit or not -- this demon D'Artagnan?said Porthos
astonished at his friend's deception.

Now, sir,said D'Artagnanwishing to change the
conversationhere are fifty pistoles that the count has
sent you by the same courier. I suppose you have no more
money and that they will be welcome.

I have still twenty pistoles, sir.

Well, take them; that makes seventy.

And if you wish for more,said Porthosputting his hand
to his pocket ---


Thank you, sir,replied Raoulblushing; "thank you a
thousand times."

At this moment Olivain appeared. "Apropos said D'Artagnan,
loud enough for the servant to hear him, are you satisfied
with Olivain?"

Yes, in some respects, tolerably well.

Olivain pretended to have heard nothing and entered the
tent.

What fault do you find with the fellow?

He is a glutton.

Oh, sir!cried Olivainreappearing at this accusation.

And a little bit of a thief.

Oh, sir! oh!

And, more especially, a notorious coward.

Oh, oh! sir! you really vilify me!cried Olivain.

The deuce!cried D'Artagnan. "Pray learnMonsieur
Olivainthat people like us are not to be served by
cowards. Rob your mastereat his sweetmeatsand drink his
wine; butby Jove! don't be a cowardor I shall cut off
your ears. Look at Monsieur Moustonsee the honorable
wounds he has receivedobserve how his habitual valor has
given dignity to his countenance."

Musqueton was in the third heaven and would have embraced
D'Artagnan had he dared; meanwhile he resolved to sacrifice
his life for him on the next occasion that presented itself.

Send away that fellow, Raoul,said the Gascon; "for if
he's a coward he will disgrace thee some day."

Monsieur says I am coward,cried Olivainbecause he
wanted the other day to fight a cornet in Grammont's
regiment and I refused to accompany him.

Monsieur Olivain, a lackey ought never to disobey,said


D'Artagnansternly; then taking him asidehe whispered to
him: "Thou hast done right; thy master was in the wrong;
here's a crown for theebut should he ever be insulted and
thou cost not let thyself be cut in quarters for himI will
cut out thy tongue. Remember that."

Olivain bowed and slipped the crown into his pocket.

And now, Raoul,said the GasconMonsieur du Vallon and I
are going away as ambassadors, where, I know not; but should
you want anything, write to Madame Turquaine, at La
Chevrette, Rue Tiquetonne and draw upon her purse as on a
banker -- with economy; for it is not so well filled as that
of Monsieur d'Emery.

And havingmeantimeembraced his wardhe passed him into
the robust arms of Porthoswho lifted him up from the
ground and held him a moment suspended near the noble heart
of the formidable giant.

Come,said D'Artagnanlet us go.

And they set out for Boulognewhere toward evening they
arrivedtheir horses flecked with foam and dark with
perspiration.

At ten steps from the place where they halted was a young
man in blackwho seemed waiting for some oneand whofrom
the moment he saw them enter the townnever took his eyes
off them.

D'Artagnan approached himand seeing him stare so fixedly
said:

Well, friend! I don't like people to quiz me!

Sir,said the young mando you not come from Paris, if
you please?

D'Artagnan thought it was some gossip who wanted news from
the capital.

Yes, sir,he saidin a softened tone.

Are you not going to put up at the `Arms of England'?

Yes, sir.

Are you not charged with a mission from his eminence,
Cardinal Mazarin?

Yes, sir.

In that case, I am the man you have to do with. I am M.
Mordaunt.

Ah!thought D'Artagnanthe man I am warned against by
Athos.

Ah!thought Porthosthe man Aramis wants me to
strangle.

They both looked searchingly at the young manwho
misunderstood the meaning of that inquisition.


Do you doubt my word?he said. "In that case I can give
you proofs."

No, sir,said D'Artagnan; "and we place ourselves at your
orders."

Well, gentlemen,resumed Mordauntwe must set out
without delay, to-day is the last day granted me by the
cardinal. My ship is ready, and had you not come I must have
set off without you, for General Cromwell expects my return
impatiently.

So!thought the lieutenant'tis to General Cromwell that
our dispatches are addressed.

Have you no letter for him?asked the young man.

I have one, the seal of which I am not to break till I
reach London; but since you tell me to whom it is addressed,
'tis useless to wait till then.

D'Artagnan tore open the envelope of the letter. It was
directed to "Monsieur Oliver CromwellGeneral of the Army
of the English Nation."

Ah!said D'Artagnan; "a singular commission."

Who is this Monsieur Oliver Cromwell?inquired Porthos.

Formerly a brewer,replied the Gascon.

Perhaps Mazarin wishes to make a speculation in beer, as we
did in straw,said Porthos.

Come, come, gentlemen,said Mordauntimpatientlylet us
depart.

What!exclaimed Porthos "without supper? Cannot Monsieur
Cromwell wait a little?"

Yes, but I?said Mordaunt.

Well, you,said Porthoswhat then?

I cannot wait.

Oh! as to you, that is not my concern, and I shall sup
either with or without your permission.

The young man's eyes kindled in secretbut he restrained
himself.

Monsieur,said D'Artagnanyou must excuse famished
travelers. Besides, our supper can't delay you much. We will
hasten on to the inn; you will meanwhile proceed on foot to
the harbor. We will take a bite and shall be there as soon
as you are.

Just as you please, gentlemen, provided we set sail,he
said.

The name of your ship?inquired D'Artagnan.


The Standard.

Very well; in half an hour we shall be on board.

And the friendsspurring on their horsesrode to the
hotelthe "Arms of England."

What do you say of that young man?asked D'Artagnanas
they hurried along.

I say that he doesn't suit me at all,said Porthosand
that I feel a strong itching to follow Aramis's advice.

By no means, my dear Porthos; that man is a messenger of
General Cromwell; it would insure for us a poor reception, I
imagine, should it be announced to him that we had twisted
the neck of his confidant.

Nevertheless,said PorthosI have always noticed that
Aramis gives good advice.

Listen,returned D'Artagnanwhen our embassy is finished
----

Well?

If it brings us back to France ----

Well?

Well, we shall see.

At that moment the two friends reached the hotelArms of
England,where they supped with hearty appetite and then at
once proceeded to the port.

There they found a brig ready to set sailupon the deck of
which they recognized Mordaunt walking up and down
impatiently.

It is singular,said D'Artagnanwhilst the boat was
taking them to the Standardit is astonishing how that
young man resembles some one I must have known, but who it
was I cannot yet remember.

A few minutes later they were on boardbut the embarkation
of the horses was a longer matter than that of the menand
it was eight o'clock before they raised anchor.

The young man stamped impatiently and ordered all sail to be
spread.

Porthoscompletely used up by three nights without sleep
and a journey of seventy leagues on horsebackretired to
his cabin and went to sleep.

D'Artagnanovercoming his repugnance to Mordauntwalked
with him upon the deck and invented a hundred stories to
make him talk.

Musqueton was seasick.


The Scotchman.

And now our readers must leave the Standard to sail
peaceablynot toward Londonwhere D'Artagnan and Porthos
believed they were goingbut to Durhamwhither Mordaunt
had been ordered to repair by the letter he had received
during his sojourn at Boulogneand accompany us to the
royalist campon this side of the Tynenear Newcastle.

Thereplaced between two rivers on the borders of Scotland
but still on English soilthe tents of a little army
extended. It was midnight. Some Highlanders were listlessly
keeping watch. The moonwhich was partially obscured by
heavy cloudsnow and then lit up the muskets of the
sentinelsor silvered the wallsthe roofsand the spires
of the town that Charles I. had just surrendered to the
parliamentary troopswhilst Oxford and Newark still held
out for him in the hopes of coming to some arrangement.

At one of the extremities of the campnear an immense tent
in which the Scottish officers were holding a kind of
councilpresided over by Lord Leventheir commandera man
attired as a cavalier lay sleeping on the turfhis right
hand extended over his sword.

About fifty paces offanother manalso appareled as a
cavalierwas talking to a Scotch sentinelandthough a
foreignerhe seemed to understand without much difficulty
the answers given in the broad Perthshire dialect.

As the town clock of Newcastle struck one the sleeper awoke
and with all the gestures of a man rousing himself out of
deep sleep he looked attentively about him; perceiving that
he was alone he rose and making a little circuit passed
close to the cavalier who was speaking to the sentinel. The
former had no doubt finished his questionsfor a moment
later he said good-night and carelessly followed the same
path taken by the first cavalier.

In the shadow of a tent the former was awaiting him.

Well, my dear friend?said hein as pure French as has
ever been uttered between Rouen and Tours.

Well, my friend, there is not a moment to lose; we must let
the king know immediately.

Why, what is the matter?

It would take too long to tell you, besides, you will hear
it all directly and the least word dropped here might ruin
all. We must go and find Lord Winter.

They both set off to the other end of the campbut as it
did not cover more than a surface of five hundred feet they
quickly arrived at the tent they were looking for.

Tony, is your master sleeping?said one of the two
cavaliers to a servant who was lying in the outer
compartmentwhich served as a kind of ante-room.


No, monsieur le comte,answered the servantI think not;
or at least he has not long been so, for he was pacing up
and down for more than two hours after he left the king, and
the sound of his footsteps has only ceased during the last
ten minutes. However, you may look and see,added the
lackeyraising the curtained entrance of the tent.

Lord Winter was seated near an aperturearranged as a
window to let in the night airhis eyes mechanically
following the course of the moonintermittently veiledas
we before observedby heavy clouds. The two friends
approached Winterwhowith his head on his handswas
gazing at the heavens; he did not hear them enter and
remained in the same attitude till he felt a hand upon his
shoulder.

He turned aroundrecognized Athos and Aramis and held out
his hand to them.

Have you observed,said he to themwhat a blood-red
color the moon has to-night?

No,replied Athos; "I thought it looked much the same as
usual."

Look, again, chevalier,returned Lord Winter.

I must own,said AramisI am like the Comte de la Fere
-- I can see nothing remarkable about it.

My lord,said Athosin a position so precarious as ours
we must examine the earth and not the heavens. Have you
studied our Scotch troops and have you confidence in them?

The Scotch?inquired Winter. "What Scotch?"

Ours, egad!exclaimed Athos. "Those in whom the king has
confided -- Lord Leven's Highlanders."

No,said Winterthen he paused; "but tell mecan you not
perceive the russet tint which marks the heavens?"

Not the least in the world,said Aramis and Athos at once.

Tell me,continued Winteralways possessed by the same
ideais there not a tradition in France that Henry IV.,
the evening before the day he was assassinated, when he was
playing at chess with M. de Bassompiere, saw clots of blood
upon the chessboard?

Yes,said Athosand the marechal has often told me so
himself.

Then it was so,murmured Winterand the next day Henry

IV. was killed.
But what has this vision of Henry IV. to do with you, my
lord?inquired Aramis.

Nothing; and indeed I am mad to trouble you with such
things, when your coming to my tent at such an hour
announces that you are the bearers of important news.


Yes, my lord,said AthosI wish to speak to the king.

To the king! but the king is asleep.

I have something important to reveal to him.

Can it not be put off till to-morrow?

He must know it this moment, and perhaps it is already too
late.

Come, then,said Lord Winter.

Lord Winter's tent was pitched by the side of the royal
marqueea kind of corridor communicating between the two.
This corridor was guardednot by a sentinelbut by a
confidential servantthrough whomin case of urgency
Charles could communicate instantly with his faithful
subject.

These gentlemen are with me,said Winter.

The lackey bowed and let them pass. As he had saidon a
camp beddressed in his black doubletbootedunbelted
with his felt hat beside himlay the kingovercome by
sleep and fatigue. They advancedand Athoswho was the
first to entergazed a moment in silence on that pale and
noble faceframed in its long and now untidymatted hair
the blue veins showing through the transparent templeshis
eyes seemingly swollen by tears.

Athos sighed deeply; the sigh woke the kingso lightly did
he sleep.

He opened his eyes.

Ah!said heraising himself on his elbowis it you,
Comte de la Fere?

Yes, sire,replied Athos.

You watch while I sleep and you have come to bring me some
news?

Alas, sire,answered Athosyour majesty has guessed
aright.

It is bad news?

Yes, sire.

Never mind; the messenger is welcome. You never come to me
without conferring pleasure. You whose devotion recognizes
neither country nor misfortune, you who are sent to me by
Henrietta; whatever news you bring, speak out.

Sire, Cromwell has arrived this night at Newcastle.

Ah!exclaimed the kingto fight?

No, sire, but to buy your majesty.

What did you say?


I said, sire, that four hundred thousand pounds are owing
to the Scottish army.

For unpaid wages; yes, I know it. For the last year my
faithful Highlanders have fought for honor alone.

Athos smiled.

Well, sir, though honor is a fine thing, they are tired of
fighting for it, and to-night they have sold you for two
hundred thousand pounds -- that is to say, for half what is
owing them.

Impossible!cried the kingthe Scotch sell their king
for two hundred thousand pounds! And who is the Judas who
has concluded this infamous bargain?

Lord Leven.

Are you certain of it, sir?

I heard it with my own ears.

The king sighed deeplyas if his heart would breakand
then buried his face in his hands.

Oh! the Scotch,he exclaimedthe Scotch I called `my
faithful,' to whom I trusted myself when I could have fled
to Oxford! the Scotch, my brothers! But are you well
assured, sir?

Lying behind the tent of Lord Leven, I raised it and saw
all, heard all!

And when is this to be consummated?

To-day -- this morning; so your majesty must perceive there
is no time to lose!

To do what? since you say I am sold.

To cross the Tyne, reach Scotland and rejoin Lord Montrose,
who will not sell you.

And what shall I do in Scotland? A war of partisans,
unworthy of a king.

The example of Robert Bruce will absolve you, sire.

No, no! I have fought too long; they have sold me, they
shall give me up, and the eternal shame of treble treason
shall fall on their heads.

Sire,said Athosperhaps a king should act thus, but not
a husband and a father. I have come in the name of your wife
and daughter and of the children you have still in London,
and I say to you, `Live, sire,' -- it is the will of
Heaven.

The king raised himselfbuckled on his beltand passing
his handkerchief over his moist foreheadsaid:

Well, what is to be done?


Sire, have you in the army one regiment on which you can
implicitly rely?

Winter,said the kingdo you believe in the fidelity of
yours?

Sire, they are but men, and men are become both weak and
wicked. I will not answer for them. I would confide my life
to them, but I should hesitate ere I trusted them with your
majesty's.

Well!said Athossince you have not a regiment, we are
three devoted men. It is enough. Let your majesty mount on
horseback and place yourself in the midst of us; we will
cross the Tyne, reach Scotland, and you will be saved.

Is this your counsel also, Winter?inquired the king.

Yes, sire.

And yours, Monsieur d'Herblay?

Yes, sire.

As you wish, then. Winter, give the necessary orders.

Winter then left the tent; in the meantime the king finished
his toilet. The first rays of daybreak penetrated the
aperture of the tent as Winter re-entered it.

All is ready, sire,said he.

For us, also?inquired Athos.

Grimaud and Blaisois are holding your horses, ready
saddled.

In that case,exclaimed Athoslet us not lose an
instant, but set off.

Come,added the king.

Sire,said Aramiswill not your majesty acquaint some of
your friends of this?

Friends!answered CharlessadlyI have but three -- one
of twenty years, who has never forgotten me, and two of a
week's standing, whom I shall never forget. Come, gentlemen,
come!

The king quitted his tent and found his horse ready waiting
for him. It was a chestnut that the king had ridden for
three years and of which he was very fond.

The horse neighed with pleasure at seeing him.

Ah!said the kingI was unjust; here is a creature that
loves me. You at least will be faithful to me, Arthur.

The horseas if it understood these wordsbent its red
nostrils toward the king's faceand parting his lips
displayed all its teethas if with pleasure.

Yes, yes,said the kingcaressing it with his handyes,


my Arthur, thou art a fond and faithful creature.

After this little scene Charles threw himself into the
saddleand turning to AthosAramis and Wintersaid:

Now, gentlemen, I am at your service.

But Athos was standing with his eyes fixed on a black line
which bordered the banks of the Tyne and seemed to extend
double the length of the camp.

What is that line?cried Athoswhose vision was still
rather obscured by the uncertain shades and demi-tints of
daybreak. "What is that line? I did not observe it
yesterday."

It must be the fog rising from the river,said the king.

Sire, it is something more opaque than the fog.

Indeed!said Winterit appears to me like a bar of red
color.

It is the enemy, who have made a sortie from Newcastle and
are surrounding us!exclaimed Athos.

The enemy!cried the king.

Yes, the enemy. It is too late. Stop a moment; does not
that sunbeam yonder, just by the side of the town, glitter
on the Ironsides?

This was the name given the cuirassierswhom Cromwell had
made his body-guard.

Ah!said the kingwe shall soon see whether my
Highlanders have betrayed me or not.

What are you going to do?exclaimed Athos.

To give them the order to charge, and run down these
miserable rebels.

And the kingputting spurs to his horseset off to the
tent of Lord Leven.

Follow him,said Athos.

Come!exclaimed Aramis.

Is the king wounded?cried Lord Winter. "I see spots of
blood on the ground." And he set off to follow the two
friends.

He was stopped by Athos.

Go and call out your regiment,said he; "I can foresee
that we shall have need of it directly."

Winter turned his horse and the two friends rode on. It had
taken but two minutes for the king to reach the tent of the
Scottish commander; he dismounted and entered.

The general was theresurrounded by the more prominent


chiefs.

The king!they exclaimedas all rose in bewilderment.

Charles was indeed in the midst of themhis hat on his
headhis brows bentstriking his boot with his riding
whip.

Yes, gentlemen, the king in person, the king who has come
to ask for some account of what has happened.

What is the matter, sire?exclaimed Lord Leven.

It is this, sir,said the kingangrilythat General
Cromwell has reached Newcastle; that you knew it and I was
not informed of it; that the enemy have left the town and
are now closing the passages of the Tyne against us; that
our sentinels have seen this movement and I have been left
unacquainted with it; that, by an infamous treaty you have
sold me for two hundred thousand pounds to Parliament. Of
this treaty, at least, I have been warned. This is the
matter, gentlemen; answer and exculpate yourselves, for I
stand here to accuse you.

Sire,said Lord Levenwith hesitationsire, your
majesty has been deceived by false reports.

My own eyes have seen the enemy extend itself between
myself and Scotland; and I can almost say that with my own
ears I have heard the clauses of the treaty debated.

The Scotch chieftains looked at each other in their turn
with frowning brows.

Sire,murmured Lord Levencrushed by shamesire, we are
ready to give you every proof of our fidelity.

I ask but one,said the king; "put the army in battle
array and face the enemy."

That cannot be, sire,said the earl.

How, cannot be? What hinders it?exclaimed the king.

Your majesty is well aware that there is a truce between us
and the English army.

And if there is a truce the English army has broken it by
quitting the town, contrary to the agreement which kept it
there. Now, I tell you, you must pass with me through this
army across to Scotland, and if you refuse you may choose
betwixt two names, which the contempt of all honest men will
brand you with -- you are either cowards or traitors!

The eyes of the Scotch flashed fire; andas often happens
on such occasionsfrom shame they passed to effrontery and
two heads of clans advanced upon the king.

Yes,said theywe have promised to deliver Scotland and
England from him who for the last five-and-twenty years has
sucked the blood and gold of Scotland and England. We have
promised and we will keep our promise. Charles Stuart, you
are our prisoner.


And both extended their hands as if to seize the kingbut
before they could touch him with the tips of their fingers
both had fallenone deadthe other stunned.

Aramis had passed his sword through the body of the first
and Athos had knocked down the other with the butt end of
his pistol.

Thenas Lord Leven and the other chieftains recoiled before
this unexpected rescuewhich seemed to come from Heaven for
the prince they already thought was their prisonerAthos
and Aramis dragged the king from the perjured assembly into
which he had so imprudently venturedand throwing
themselves on horseback all three returned at full gallop to
the royal tent.

On their road they perceived Lord Winter marching at the
head of his regiment. The king motioned him to accompany
them.

The Avenger.

They all four entered the tent; they had no plan ready -they
must think of one.

The king threw himself into an arm-chair. "I am lost said
he.

Nosire replied Athos. You are only betrayed."

The king sighed deeply.

Betrayed! yes betrayed by the Scotch, amongst whom I was
born, whom I have always loved better than the English. Oh,
traitors that ye are!

Sire,said Athosthis is not a moment for recrimination,
but a time to show yourself a king and a gentleman. Up,
sire! up! for you have here at least three men who will not
betray you. Ah! if we had been five!murmured Athos
thinking of D'Artagnan and Porthos.

What do you say?inquired Charlesrising.

I say, sire, that there is now but one way open. Lord
Winter answers for his regiment, or at least very nearly so
-- we will not split straws about words -- let him place
himself at the head of his men, we will place ourselves at
the side of your majesty, and we will mow a swath through
Cromwell's army and reach Scotland.

There is another method,said Aramis. "Let one of us put
on the dress and mount the king's horse. Whilst they pursue
him the king might escape."

It is good advice,said Athosand if the king will do
one of us the honor we shall be truly grateful to him.


What do you think of this counsel, Winter?asked the king
looking with admiration at these two menwhose chief idea
seemed to be how they could take on their shoulders all the
dangers that assailed him.

I think the only chance of saving your majesty has just
been proposed by Monsieur d'Herblay. I humbly entreat your
majesty to choose quickly, for we have not an instant to
lose.

But if I accept, it is death, or at least imprisonment, for
him who takes my place.

He will have had the glory of having saved his king,cried
Winter.

The king looked at his old friend with tears in his eyes;
undid the Order of the Saint Esprit which he woreto honor
the two Frenchmen who were with himand passed it around
Winter's neckwho received on his knees this striking proof
of his sovereign's confidence and friendship.

It is right,said Athos; "he has served your majesty
longer than we have."

The king overheard these words and turned around with tears
in his eyes.

Wait a moment, sir,said he; "I have an order for each of
you also."

He turned to a closet where his own orders were locked up
and took out two ribbons of the Order of the Garter.

These cannot be for us,said Athos.

Why not, sir?asked Charles.

Such are for royalty, and we are simple commoners.

Speak not of crowns. I shall not find amongst them such
great hearts as yours. No, no, you do yourselves injustice;
but I am here to do you justice. On your knees, count.

Athos knelt down and the king passed the ribbon down from
left to right as usualraised his swordand instead of
pronouncing the customary formulaI make you a knight. Be
brave, faithful and loyal,he saidYou are brave,
faithful and loyal. I knight you, monsieur le comte.

Then turning to Aramishe said:

It is now your turn, monsieur le chevalier.

The same ceremony recommencedwith the same wordswhilst
Winter unlaced his leather cuirassthat he might disguise
himself like the king. Charleshaving proceeded with Aramis
as with Athosembraced them both.

Sire,said Winterwho in this trying emergency felt all
his strength and energy fire upwe are ready.

The king looked at the three gentlemen. "Then we must fly!"
said he.


Flying through an army, sire,said Athosin all
countries in the world is called charging.

Then I shall die, sword in hand,said Charles. "Monsieur
le comtemonsieur le chevalierif ever I am king ---- "

Sire, you have already done us more honor than simple
gentlemen could ever aspire to, therefore gratitude is on
our side. But we must not lose time. We have already wasted
too much.

The king again shook hands with all threeexchanged hats
with Winter and went out.

Winter's regiment was ranged on some high ground above the
camp. The kingfollowed by the three friendsturned his
steps that way. The Scotch camp seemed as if at last
awakened; the soldiers had come out of their tents and taken
up their station in battle array.

Do you see that?said the king. "Perhaps they are penitent
and preparing to march."

If they are penitent,said Athoslet them follow us.

Well!said the kingwhat shall we do?

Let us examine the enemy's army.

At the same instant the eyes of the little group were fixed
on the same line which at daybreak they had mistaken for fog
and which the morning sun now plainly showed was an army in
order of battle. The air was soft and clearas it generally
is at that early hour of the morning. The regimentsthe
standardsand even the colors of the horses and uniforms
were now clearly distinct.

On the summit of a rising grounda little in advance of the
enemyappeared a short and heavy looking man; this man was
surrounded by officers. He turned a spyglass toward the
little group amongst which the king stood.

Does this man know your majesty personally?inquired
Aramis.

Charles smiled.

That man is Cromwell,said he.

Then draw down your hat, sire, that he may not discover the
substitution.

Ah!said Athoshow much time we have lost.

Now,said the kinggive the word and let us start.

Will you not give it, sire?asked Athos.

No; I make you my lieutenant-general,said the king.

Listen, then, Lord Winter. Proceed, sire, I beg. What we
are going to say does not concern your majesty.


The kingsmilingturned a few steps back.

This is what I propose to do,said Athos. "We will divide
our regiments into two squadrons. You will put yourself at
the head of the first. We and his majesty will lead the
second. If no obstacle occurs we will both charge together
force the enemy's line and throw ourselves into the Tyne
which we must crosseither by fording or swimming; ifon
the contraryany repulse should take placeyou and your
men must fight to the last manwhilst we and the king
proceed on our road. Once arrived at the brink of the river
should we even find them three ranks deepas long as you
and your regiment do your dutywe will look to the rest."

To horse!said Lord Winter.

To horse!re-echoed Athos; "everything is arranged and
decided."

Now, gentlemen,cried the kingforward! and rally to the
old cry of France, `Montjoy and St. Denis!' The war cry of
England is too often in the mouths of traitors.

They mounted -- the king on Winter's horse and Winter on
that of the king; then Winter took his place at the head of
the first squadronand the kingwith Athos on his right
and Aramis on his leftat the head of the second.

The Scotch army stood motionless and silentseized with
shame at sight of these preparations.

Some of the chieftains left the ranks and broke their swords
in two.

There,said the kingthat consoles me; they are not all
traitors.

At this moment Winter's voice was raised with the cry of
Forward!

The first squadron moved off; the second followedand
descended from the plateau. A regiment of cuirassiers
nearly equal as to numbersissued from behind the hill and
came full gallop toward it.

The king pointed this out.

Sire,said Athoswe foresaw this; and if Lord Winter's
men but do their duty, we are saved, instead of lost.

At this moment they heard above all the galloping and
neighing of the horses Winter's voice crying out:

Sword in hand!

At these words every sword was drawnand glittered in the
air like lightning.

Now, gentlemen,said the king in his turnexcited by this
sightcome, gentlemen, sword in hand!

But Aramis and Athos were the only ones to obey this command
and the king's example.


We are betrayed,said the king in a low voice.

Wait a moment,said Athosperhaps they do not recognize
your majesty's voice, and await the order of their captain.

Have they not heard that of their colonel? But look! look!
cried the kingdrawing up his horse with a sudden jerk
which threw it on its haunchesand seizing the bridle of
Athos's horse.

Ah, cowards! traitors!screamed Lord Winterwhose voice
they heardwhilst his menquitting their ranksdispersed
all over the plain.

About fifteen men were ranged around him and awaited the
charge of Cromwell's cuirassiers.

Let us go and die with them!said the king.

Let us go,said Athos and Aramis.

All faithful hearts with me!cried out Winter.

This voice was heard by the two friendswho set offfull
gallop.

No quarter!cried a voice in Frenchanswering to that of
Winterwhich made them tremble.

As for Winterat the sound of that voice he turned pale
and wasas it werepetrified.

It was the voice of a cavalier mounted on a magnificent
black horsewho was charging at the head of the English
regimentof whichin his ardorhe was ten steps in
advance.

'Tis he!murmured Winterhis eyes glazed and he allowed
his sword to fall to his side.

The king! the king!cried out several voicesdeceived by
the blue ribbon and chestnut horse of Winter; "take him
alive."

No! it is not the king!exclaimed the cavalier. "Lord
Winteryou are not the king; you are my uncle."

At the same moment Mordauntfor it was heleveled his
pistol at Winter; it went off and the ball entered the heart
of the old cavalierwho with one bound on his saddle fell
back into the arms of Athosmurmuring: "He is avenged!"

Think of my mother!shouted Mordauntas his horse plunged
and darted off at full gallop.

Wretch!exclaimed Aramisraising his pistol as he passed
by him; but the powder flashed in the pan and it did not go
off.

At this moment the whole regiment came up and they fell upon
the few men who had held outsurrounding the two Frenchmen.
Athosafter making sure that Lord Winter was really dead
let fall the corpse and said:


Come, Aramis, now for the honor of France!and the two
Englishmen who were nearest to them fellmortally wounded.

At the same moment a fearful "hurrah!" rent the air and
thirty blades glittered about their heads.

Suddenly a man sprang out of the English ranksfell upon
Athostwined arms of steel around himand tearing his
sword from himsaid in his ear:

Silence! yield -- you yield to me, do you not?

A giant had seized also Aramis's two wristswho struggled
in vain to release himself from this formidable grasp.

D'Art ---- exclaimed Athoswhilst the Gascon covered his
mouth with his hand.

I am your prisoner,said Aramisgiving up his sword to
Porthos.

Fire, fire!cried Mordauntreturning to the group
surrounding the two friends.

And wherefore fire?said the colonel; "every one has
yielded."

It is the son of Milady,said Athos to D'Artagnan.

I recognize him.

It is the monk,whispered Porthos to Aramis.

I know it.

And now the ranks began to open. D'Artagnan held the bridle
of Athos's horse and Porthos that of Aramis. Both of them
attempted to lead his prisoner off the battle-field.

This movement revealed the spot where Winter's body had
fallen. Mordaunt had found it out and was gazing on his dead
relative with an expression of malignant hatred.

Athosthough now cool and collectedput his hand to his
beltwhere his loaded pistols yet remained.

What are you about?said D'Artagnan.

Let me kill him.

We are all four lost, if by the least gesture you discover
that you recognize him.

Then turning to the young man he exclaimed:

A fine prize! a fine prize, friend Mordaunt; we have both
myself and Monsieur du Vallon, taken two Knights of the
Garter, nothing less.

But,said Mordauntlooking at Athos and Aramis with
bloodshot eyesthese are Frenchmen, I imagine.

I'faith, I don't know. Are you French, sir?said he to
Athos.


I am,replied the lattergravely.

Very well, my dear sir, you are the prisoner of a fellow
countryman.

But the king -- where is the king?exclaimed Athos
anxiously.

D'Artagnan vigorously seized his prisoner's handsaying:

Eh! the king? We have secured him.

Yes,said Aramisthrough an infamous act of treason.

Porthos pressed his friend's hand and said to him:

Yes, sir, all is fair in war, stratagem as well as force;
look yonder!

At this instant the squadronthat ought to have protected
Charles's retreatwas advancing to meet the English
regiments. The kingwho was entirely surroundedwalked
alone in a great empty space. He appeared calmbut it was
evidently not without a mighty effort. Drops of perspiration
trickled down his faceand from time to time he put a
handkerchief to his mouth to wipe away the blood that rilled
from it.

Behold Nebuchadnezzar!exclaimed an old Puritan soldier
whose eyes flashed at the sight of the man they called the
tyrant.

Do you call him Nebuchadnezzar?said Mordauntwith a
terrible smile; "noit is Charles the Firstthe kingthe
good King Charleswho despoils his subjects to enrich
himself."

Charles glanced a moment at the insolent creature who
uttered thisbut did not recognize him. Neverthelessthe
calm religious dignity of his countenance abashed Mordaunt.

Bon jour, messieurs!said the king to the two gentlemen
who were held by D'Artagnan and Porthos. "The day has been
unfortunatebut it is not your faultthank God! But where
is my old friend Winter?"

The two gentlemen turned away their heads in silence.

In Strafford's company,said Mordaunttauntingly.

Charles shuddered. The demon had known how to wound him. The
remembrance of Strafford was a source of lasting remorse to
himthe shadow that haunted him by day and night. The king
looked around him. He saw a corpse at his feet. It was
Winter's. He uttered not a wordnor shed a tearbut a
deadly pallor spread over his face; he knelt down on the
groundraised Winter's headand unfastening the Order of
the Saint Espritplaced it on his own breast.

Lord Winter is killed, then?inquired D'Artagnanfixing
his eyes on the corpse.

Yes,said Athosby his own nephew.


Come, he was the first of us to go; peace be to him! he was
an honest man,said D'Artagnan.

Charles Stuart,said the colonel of the English regiment
approaching the kingwho had just put on the insignia of
royaltydo you yield yourself a prisoner?

Colonel Tomlison,said Charleskings cannot yield; the
man alone submits to force.

Your sword.

The king drew his sword and broke it on his knee.

At this moment a horse without a ridercovered with foam
his nostrils extended and eyes all firegalloped upand
recognizing his masterstopped and neighed with pleasure;
it was Arthur.

The king smiledpatted it with his hand and jumped lightly
into the saddle.

Now, gentlemen,said heconduct me where you will.

Turning back againhe saidI thought I saw Winter move;
if he still lives, by all you hold most sacred, do not
abandon him.

Never fear, King Charles,said Mordauntthe bullet
pierced his heart.

Do not breathe a word nor make the least sign to me or
Porthos,said D'Artagnan to Athos and Aramisthat you
recognize this man, for Milady is not dead; her soul lives
in the body of this demon.

The detachment now moved toward the town with the royal
captive; but on the road an aide-de-campfrom Cromwell
sent orders that Colonel Tomlison should conduct him to
Holdenby Castle.

At the same time couriers started in every direction over
England and Europe to announce that Charles Stuart was the
prisoner of Oliver Cromwell.

Oliver Cromwell.

Have you been to the general?said Mordaunt to D'Artagnan
and Porthos; "you know he sent for you after the action."

We want first to put our prisoners in a place of safety,
replied D'Artagnan. "Do you knowsirthese gentlemen are
each of them worth fifteen hundred pounds?"

Oh, be assured,said Mordauntlooking at them with an
expression he vainly endeavoured to softenmy soldiers
will guard them, and guard them well, I promise you.


I shall take better care of them myself,answered
D'Artagnan; "besidesall they require is a good roomwith
sentinelsor their simple parole that they will not attempt
escape. I will go and see about thatand then we shall have
the honor of presenting ourselves to the general and
receiving his commands for his eminence."

You think of starting at once, then?inquired Mordaunt.

Our mission is ended, and there is nothing more to detain
us now but the good pleasure of the great man to whom we
were sent.

The young man bit his lips and whispered to his sergeant:

You will follow these men and not lose sight of them; when
you have discovered where they lodge, come and await me at
the town gate.

The sergeant made a sign of comprehension.

Instead of following the knot of prisoners that were being
taken into the townMordaunt turned his steps toward the
rising ground from whence Cromwell had witnessed the battle
and on which he had just had his tent pitched.

Cromwell had given orders that no one was to be allowed
admission; but the sentinelwho knew that Mordaunt was one
of the most confidential friends of the generalthought the
order did not extend to the young man. Mordaunttherefore
raised the canvasand saw Cromwell seated before a table
his head buried in his handshis back being turned.

Whether he heard Mordaunt or not as he enteredCromwell did
not move. Mordaunt remained standing near the door. At last
after a few momentsCromwell raised his headandas if he
divined that some one was thereturned slowly around.

I said I wished to be alone,he exclaimedon seeing the
young man.

They thought this order did not concern me, sir;
nevertheless, if you wish it, I am ready to go.

Ah! is it you, Mordaunt?said Cromwellthe cloud passing
away from his face; "since you are hereit is well; you may
remain."

I come to congratulate you.

To congratulate me -- what for?

On the capture of Charles Stuart. You are now master of
England.

I was much more really so two hours ago.

How so, general?

Because England had need of me to take the tyrant, and now
the tyrant is taken. Have you seen him?

Yes, sir.said Mordaunt.


What is his bearing?


Mordaunt hesitated; but it seemed as though he was
constrained to tell the truth.
Calm and dignified,said he.


What did he say?
Some parting words to his friends.


His friends!murmured Cromwell. "Has he any friends?" Then
he added aloudDid he make any resistance?

No, sir, with the exception of two or three friends every
one deserted him; he had no means of resistance.

To whom did he give up his sword?

He did not give it up; he broke it.

He did well; but instead of breaking it, he might have used
it to still more advantage.

There was a momentary pause.

I heard that the colonel of the regiment that escorted
Charles was killed,said Cromwellstaring very fixedly at
Mordaunt.

Yes, sir.

By whom?inquired Cromwell.
By me.

What was his name?
Lord Winter.

Your uncle?exclaimed Cromwell.

My uncle,answered Mordaunt; "but traitors to England are
no longer members of my family."

Cromwell observed the young man a moment in silencethen
with that profound melancholy Shakespeare describes so well:

Mordaunt,he saidyou are a terrible servant.

When the Lord commands,said MordauntHis commands are
not to be disputed. Abraham raised the knife against Isaac,
and Isaac was his son.

Yes,said Cromwellbut the Lord did not suffer that
sacrifice to be accomplished.

I have looked around me,said Mordauntand I have seen
neither goat nor kid caught among the bushes of the plain.

Cromwell bowed. "You are strong among the strongMordaunt
he said; and the Frenchmenhow did they behave?"


Most fearlessly.

Yes, yes,murmured Cromwell; "the French fight well; and
if my glass was good and I mistake notthey were foremost
in the fight."

They were,replied Mordaunt.

After you, however,said Cromwell.
It was the fault of their horses, not theirs.


Another pause
And the Scotch?


They kept their word and never stirred,said Mordaunt.
Wretched men!


Their officers wish to see you, sir.
I have no time to see them. Are they paid?


Yes, to-night.


Let them be off and return to their own country, there to
hide their shame, if its hills are high enough; I have
nothing more to do with them nor they with me. And now go,
Mordaunt.

Before I go,said MordauntI have some questions and a
favor to ask you, sir.

A favor from me?

Mordaunt bowed.

I come to you, my leader, my head, my father, and I ask
you, master, are you contented with me?

Cromwell looked at him with astonishment. The young man
remained immovable.

Yes,said Cromwell; "you have donesince I knew younot
only your dutybut more than your duty; you have been a
faithful frienda cautious negotiatora brave soldier."

Do you remember, sir it was my idea, the Scotch treaty, for
giving up the king?

Yes, the idea was yours. I had no such contempt for men
before.

Was I not a good ambassador in France?

Yes, for Mazarin has granted what I desire.
Have I not always fought for your glory and interests?


Too ardently, perhaps; it is what I have just reproached
you for. But what is the meaning of all these questions?

To tell you, my lord, that the moment has now arrived when,


with a single word, you may recompense all these services.

Oh!said Oliverwith a slight curl of his lipI forgot
that every service merits some reward and that up to this
moment you have not been paid.

Sir, I can take my pay at this moment, to the full extent
of my wishes.

How is that?

I have the payment under my hand; I almost possess it.

What is it? Have they offered you money? Do you wish a
step, or some place in the government?

Sir, will you grant me my request?

Let us hear what it is, first.

Sir, when you have told me to obey an order did I ever
answer, `Let me see that order '?

If, however, your wish should be one impossible to
fulfill?

When you have cherished a wish and have charged me with its
fulfillment, have I ever replied, `It is impossible'?

But a request preferred with so much preparation ----

Ah, do not fear, sir,said Mordauntwith apparent
simplicity: "it will not ruin you."

Well, then,said CromwellI promise, as far as lies in
my power, to grant your request; proceed.

Sir, two prisoners were taken this morning, will you let me
have them?

For their ransom? have they then offered a large one?
inquired Cromwell.

On the contrary, I think they are poor, sir.

They are friends of yours, then?

Yes, sir,exclaimed Mordauntthey are friends, dear
friends of mine, and I would lay down my life for them.

Very well, Mordaunt,exclaimed Cromwellpleased at having
his opinion of the young man raised once more; "I will give
them to you; I will not even ask who they are; do as you
like with them."

Thank you, sir!exclaimed Mordauntthank you; my life is
always at your service, and should I lose it I should still
owe you something; thank you; you have indeed repaid me
munificently for my services.

He threw himself at the feet of Cromwelland in spite of
the efforts of the Puritan generalwho did not like this
almost kingly homagehe took his hand and kissed it.


What!said Cromwellarresting him for a moment as he
arose; "is there nothing more you wish? neither gold nor
rank?"

You have given me all you can give me, and from to-day your
debt is paid.

And Mordaunt darted out of the general's tenthis heart
beating and his eyes sparkling with joy.

Cromwell gazed a moment after him.

He has slain his uncle!he murmured. "Alas! what are my
servants? Possibly this onewho asks nothing or seems to
ask nothinghas asked more in the eyes of Heaven than those
who tax the country and steal the bread of the poor. Nobody
serves me for nothing. Charleswho is my prisonermay
still have friendsbut I have none!"

And with a deep sigh he again sank into the reverie that had
been interrupted by Mordaunt.

Jesus Seigneur.

Whilst Mordaunt was making his way to Cromwell's tent
D'Artagnan and Porthos had brought their prisoners to the
house which had been assigned to them as their dwelling at
Newcastle.

The order given by Mordaunt to the sergeant had been heard
by D'Artagnanwho accordinglyby an expressive glance
warned Athos and Aramis to exercise extreme caution. The
prisonersthereforehad remained silent as they marched
along in company with their conquerors -- which they could
do with the less difficulty since each of them had
occupation enough in answering his own thoughts.

It would be impossible to describe Musqueton's astonishment
when from the threshold of the door he saw the four friends
approachingfollowed by a sergeant with a dozen men. He
rubbed his eyesdoubting if he really saw before him Athos
and Aramis; and forced at last to yield to evidencehe was
on the point of breaking forth in exclamations when he
encountered a glance from the eyes of Porthosthe
repressive force of which he was not inclined to dispute.

Musqueton remained glued to the doorawaiting the
explanation of this strange occurrence. What upset him
completely was that the four friends seemed to have no
acquaintance with one another.

The house to which D'Artagnan and Porthos conducted Athos
and Aramis was the one assigned to them by General Cromwell
and of which they had taken possession on the previous
evening. It was at the corner of two streets and had in the
rearbordering on the side streetstables and a sort of
garden. The windows on the ground flooraccording to a
custom in provincial villageswere barredso that they


strongly resembled the windows of a prison.

The two friends made the prisoners enter the house first
whilst they stood at the doordesiring Musqueton to take
the four horses to the stable.

Why don't we go in with them?asked Porthos.

We must first see what the sergeant wishes us to do,
replied D'Artagnan.

The sergeant and his men took possession of the little
garden.

D'Artagnan asked them what they wished and why they had
taken that position.

We have had orders,answered the manto help you in
taking care of your prisoners.

There could be no fault to find with this arrangement; on
the contraryit seemed to be a delicate attentionto be
gratefully received; D'Artagnanthereforethanked the man
and gave him a crown piece to drink to General Cromwell's
health.

The sergeant answered that Puritans never drankand put the
crown piece in his pocket.

Ah!said Porthoswhat a fearful day, my dear
D'Artagnan!

What! a fearful day, when to-day we find our friends?

Yes; but under what circumstances?

'Tis true that our position is an awkward one; but let us
go in and see more clearly what is to be done.

Things look black enough,replied Porthos; "I understand
now why Aramis advised me to strangle that horrible
Mordaunt."

Silence!cried the Gascon; "do not utter that name."

But,argued PorthosI speak French and they are all
English.

D'Artagnan looked at Porthos with that air of wonder which a
cunning man cannot help feeling at displays of crass
stupidity.

But as Porthos on his side could not comprehend his
astonishmenthe merely pushed him indoorssayingLet us
go in.

They found Athos in profound despondency; Aramis looked
first at Porthos and then at D'Artagnanwithout speaking
but the latter understood his meaning look.

You want to know how we came here? 'Tis easily guessed.
Mazarin sent us with a letter to General Cromwell.

But how came you to fall into company with Mordaunt, whom I


bade you distrust?asked Athos.

And whom I advised you to strangle, Porthos,said Aramis.

Mazarin again. Cromwell had sent him to Mazarin. Mazarin
sent us to Cromwell. There is a certain fatality in it.

Yes, you are right, D'Artagnan, a fatality that will
separate and ruin us! So, my dear Aramis, say no more about
it and let us prepare to submit to destiny.

Zounds! on the contrary, let us speak about it; for it was
agreed among us, once for all, that we should always hold
together, though engaged on opposing sides.

Yes,added AthosI now ask you, D'Artagnan, what side
you are on? Ah! behold for what end the wretched Mazarin has
made use of you. Do you know in what crime you are to-day
engaged? In the capture of a king, his degradation and his
murder.

Oh! oh!cried Porthosdo you think so?

You are exaggerating, Athos; we are not so far gone as
that,replied the lieutenant.

Good heavens! we are on the very eve of it. I say, why is
the king taken prisoner? Those who wish to respect him as a
master would not buy him as a slave. Do you think it is to
replace him on the throne that Cromwell has paid for him two
hundred thousand pounds sterling? They will kill him, you
may be sure of it.

I don't maintain the contrary,said D'Artagnan. "But
what's that to us? I am here because I am a soldier and have
to obey orders -- I have taken an oath to obeyand I do
obey; but you who have taken no such oathwhy are you here
and what cause do you represent?"

That most sacred in the world,said Athos; "the cause of
misfortuneof religionroyalty. A frienda wifea
daughterhave done us the honor to call us to their aid. We
have served them to the best of our poor meansand God will
recompense the willforgive the want of power. You may see
matters differentlyD'Artagnanand think otherwise. I will
not attempt to argue with youbut I blame you."

Heyday!cried D'Artagnanwhat matters it to me, after
all, if Cromwell, who's an Englishman, revolts against his
king, who is a Scotchman? I am myself a Frenchman. I have
nothing to do with these things -- why hold me responsible?

Yes,said Porthos.

Because all gentlemen are brothers, because you are a
gentleman, because the kings of all countries are the first
among gentlemen, because the blind populace, ungrateful and
brutal, always takes pleasure in pulling down what is above
them. And you, you, D'Artagnan, a man sprung from the
ancient nobility of France, bearing an honorable name,
carrying a good sword, have helped to give up a king to
beersellers, shopkeepers, and wagoners. Ah! D'Artagnan!
perhaps you have done your duty as a soldier, but as a
gentleman, I say that you are very culpable.


D'Artagnan was chewing the stalk of a flowerunable to
reply and thoroughly uncomfortable; for when turned from the
eyes of Athos he encountered those of Aramis.

And you, Porthos,continued the countas if in
consideration for D'Artagnan's embarrassmentyou, the best
heart, the best friend, the best soldier that I know -- you,
with a soul that makes you worthy of a birth on the steps of
a throne, and who, sooner or later, must receive your reward
from an intelligent king -- you, my dear Porthos, you, a
gentleman in manners, in tastes and in courage, you are as
culpable as D'Artagnan.

Porthos blushedbut with pleasure rather than with
confusion; and yetbowing his headas if humiliatedhe
said:

Yes, yes, my dear count, I feel that you are right.

Athos arose.

Come,he saidstretching out his hand to D'Artagnan
come, don't be sullen, my dear son, for I have said all
this to you, if not in the tone, at least with the feelings
of a father. It would have been easier to me merely to have
thanked you for preserving my life and not to have uttered a
word of all this.

Doubtless, doubtless, Athos. But here it is: you have
sentiments, the devil knows what, such as every one can't
entertain. Who could suppose that a sensible man could leave
his house, France, his ward -- a charming youth, for we saw
him in the camp -- to fly to the aid of a rotten, worm-eaten
royalty, which is going to crumble one of these days like an
old hovel. The sentiments you air are certainly fine, so
fine that they are superhuman.

However that may be, D'Artagnan,replied Athoswithout
falling into the snare which his Gascon friend had prepared
for him by an appeal to his parental lovehowever that may
be, you know in the bottom of your heart that it is true;
but I am wrong to dispute with my master. D'Artagnan, I am
your prisoner -- treat me as such.

Ah! pardieu!said D'Artagnanyou know you will not be my
prisoner very long.

No,said Aramisthey will doubtless treat us like the
prisoners of the Philipghauts.

And how were they treated?asked D'Artagnan.

Why,said Aramisone-half were hanged and the other half
were shot.

Well, I,said D'Artagnan "I answer that while there
remains a drop of blood in my veins you will be neither
hanged nor shot. Sang Diou! let them come on! Besides -- do
you see that doorAthos?"

Yes; what then?

Well, you can go out by that door whenever you please; for


from this moment you are free as the air.

I recognize you there, my brave D'Artagnan,replied Athos;
but you are no longer our masters. That door is guarded,
D'Artagnan; you know that.

Very well, you will force it,said Porthos. "There are
only a dozen men at the most."

That would be nothing for us four; it is too much for us
two. No, divided as we now are, we must perish. See the
fatal example: on the Vendomois road, D'Artagnan, you so
brave, and you, Porthos, so valiant and so strong -- you
were beaten; to-day Aramis and I are beaten in our turn. Now
that never happened to us when we were four together. Let us
die, then, as De Winter has died; as for me, I will fly only
on condition that we all fly together.

Impossible,said D'Artagnan; "we are under Mazarin's
orders."

I know it and I have nothing more to say; my arguments lead
to nothing; doubtless they are bad, since they have not
determined minds so just as yours.

Besides,said Aramishad they taken effect it would be
still better not to compromise two excellent friends like
D'Artagnan and Porthos. Be assured, gentlemen, we shall do
you honor in our dying. As for myself, I shall be proud to
face the bullets, or even the rope, in company with you,
Athos; for you have never seemed to me so grand as you are
to-day.

D'Artagnan said nothingbutafter having gnawed the flower
stalkhe began to bite his nails. At last:

Do you imagine,he resumedthat they mean to kill you?
And wherefore should they do so? What interest have they in
your death? Moreover, you are our prisoners.

Fool!cried Aramis; "knowest thou notthenMordaunt? I
have but exchanged with him one lookyet that look
convinced me that we were doomed."

The truth is, I'm very sorry that I did not strangle him as
you advised me,said Porthos.

Eh! I make no account of the harm Mordaunt can do!cried
D'Artagnan. "Cap de Diou! if he troubles me too much I will
crush himthe insect! Do not flythen. It is useless; for
I swear to you that you are as safe here as you were twenty
yearsago -- youAthosin the Rue Ferouand youAramis
in the Rue de Vaugirard."

Stop,cried Athosextending his hand to one of the grated
windows by which the room was lighted; "you will soon know
what to expectfor here he is."

Who?

Mordaunt.

In factlooking at the place to which Athos pointed
D'Artagnan saw a cavalier coming toward the house at full


gallop.

It was Mordaunt.

D'Artagnan rushed out of the room.

Porthos wanted to follow him.

Stay,said D'Artagnanand do not come till you hear me
drum my fingers on the door.

When Mordaunt arrived opposite the house he saw D'Artagnan
on the threshold and the soldiers lying on the grass here
and therewith their arms.

Halloo!he criedare the prisoners still there?

Yes, sir,answered the sergeantuncovering.

'Tis well; order four men to conduct them to my lodging.

Four men prepared to do so.

What is it?said D'Artagnanwith that jeering manner
which our readers have so often observed in him since they
made his acquaintance. "What is the matterif you please?"

Sir,replied MordauntI have ordered the two prisoners
we made this morning to be conducted to my lodging.

Wherefore, sir? Excuse curiosity, but I wish to be
enlightened on the subject.

Because these prisoners, sir, are at my disposal and I
choose to dispose of them as I like.

Allow me -- allow me, sir,said D'Artagnanto observe
you are in error. The prisoners belong to those who take
them and not to those who only saw them taken. You might
have taken Lord Winter -- who, 'tis said, was your uncle -prisoner,
but you preferred killing him; 'tis well; we, that
is, Monsieur du Vallon and I, could have killed our
prisoners -- we preferred taking them.

Mordaunt's very lips grew white with rage.

D'Artagnan now saw that affairs were growing worse and he
beat the guard's march upon the door. At the first beat
Porthos rushed out and stood on the other side of the door.

This movement was observed by Mordaunt.

Sir!he thus addressed D'Artagnanyour resistance is
useless; these prisoners have just been given me by my
illustrious patron, Oliver Cromwell.

These words struck D'Artagnan like a thunderbolt. The blood
mounted to his templeshis eyes became dim; he saw from
what fountainhead the ferocious hopes of the young man
aroseand he put his hand to the hilt of his sword.

As for Porthoshe looked inquiringly at D'Artagnan.

This look of Porthos's made the Gascon regret that he had


summoned the brute force of his friend to aid him in an
affair which seemed to require chiefly cunning.

Violence,he said to himselfwould spoil all;
D'Artagnan, my friend, prove to this young serpent that thou
art not only stronger, but more subtle than he is.

Ah!he saidmaking a low bowwhy did you not begin by
saying that, Monsieur Mordaunt? What! are you sent by
General Oliver Cromwell, the most illustrious captain of the
age?

I have this instant left him,replied Mordauntalighting
in order to give his horse to a soldier to hold.

Why did you not say so at once, my dear sir! all England is
with Cromwell; and since you ask for my prisoners, I bend,
sir, to your wishes. They are yours; take them.

MordauntdelightedadvancedPorthos looking at D'Artagnan
with open-mouthed astonishment. Then D'Artagnan trod on his
foot and Porthos began to understand that this was merely
acting.

Mordaunt put his foot on the first step of the door and
with his hat in handprepared to pass by the two friends
motioning to the four men to follow him.

But, pardon,said D'Artagnanwith the most charming smile
and putting his hand on the young man's shoulderif the
illustrious General Oliver Cromwell has disposed of our
prisoners in your favour, he has, of course, made that act
of donation in writing.

Mordaunt stopped short.

He has given you some little writing for me -- the least
bit of paper which may show that you come in his name. Be
pleased to give me that scrap of paper so that I may
justify, by a pretext at least, my abandoning my countrymen.
Otherwise, you see, although I am sure that General Oliver
Cromwell can intend them no harm, it would have a bad
appearance.

Mordaunt recoiled; he felt the blow and discharged a
terrible look at D'Artagnanwho responded by the most
amiable expression that ever graced a human countenance.

When I tell you a thing, sir,said Mordauntyou insult
me by doubting it.

I!cried D'ArtagnanI doubt what you say!God keep me
from itmy dear Monsieur Mordaunt! On the contraryI take
you to be a worthy and accomplished gentleman. And then
sirdo you wish me to speak freely to you?" continued
D'Artagnanwith his frank expression.

Speak out, sir,said Mordaunt.

Monsieur du Vallon, yonder, is rich and has forty thousand
francs yearly, so he does not care about money. I do not
speak for him, but for myself.

Well, sir? What more?


Well -- I -- I'm not rich. In Gascony 'tis no dishonor,
sir, nobody is rich; and Henry IV., of glorious memory, who
was the king of the Gascons, as His Majesty Philip IV. is
the king of the Spaniards, never had a penny in his pocket.

Go on, sir, I see what you wish to get at; and if it is
simply what I think that stops you, I can obviate the
difficulty.

Ah, I knew well,said the Gasconthat you were a man of
talent. Well, here's the case, here's where the saddle hurts
me, as we French say. I am an officer of fortune, nothing
else; I have nothing but what my sword brings me in -- that
is to say, more blows than banknotes. Now, on taking
prisoners, this morning, two Frenchmen, who seemed to me of
high birth -- in short, two knights of the Garter -- I said
to myself, my fortune is made. I say two, because in such
circumstances, Monsieur du Vallon, who is rich, always gives
me his prisoners.

Mordauntcompletely deceived by the wordy civility of
D'Artagnansmiled like a man who understands perfectly the
reasons given himand said:

I shall have the order signed directly, sir, and with it
two thousand pistoles; meanwhile, let me take these men
away.

No,replied D'Artagnan; "what signifies a delay of half an
hour? I am a man of ordersir; let us do things in order."

Nevertheless,replied MordauntI could compel you; I
command here.

Ah, sir!said D'ArtagnanI see that although we have had
the honor of traveling in your company you do not know us.
We are gentlemen; we are, both of us, able to kill you and
your eight men -- we two only. For Heaven's sake don't be
obstinate, for when others are obstinate I am obstinate
likewise, and then I become ferocious and headstrong, and
there's my friend, who is even more headstrong and ferocious
than myself. Besides, we are sent here by Cardinal Mazarin,
and at this moment represent both the king and the cardinal,
and are, therefore, as ambassadors, able to act with
impunity, a thing that General Oliver Cromwell, who is
assuredly as great a politician as he is a general, is quite
the man to understand. Ask him then, for the written order.
What will that cost you my dear Monsieur Mordaunt?

Yes, the written order,said Porthoswho now began to
comprehend what D'Artagnan was aiming atwe ask only for
that.

However inclined Mordaunt was to have recourse to violence
he understood the reasons D'Artagnan had given him; besides
completely ignorant of the friendship which existed between
the four Frenchmenall his uneasiness disappeared when he
heard of the plausible motive of the ransom. He decided
thereforenot only to fetch the orderbut the two thousand
pistolesat which he estimated the prisoners. He therefore
mounted his horse and disappeared.

Good!thought D'Artagnan; "a quarter of an hour to go to


the tenta quarter of an hour to return; it is more than we
need." Then turningwithout the least change of
countenanceto Porthoshe saidlooking him full in the
face: "Friend Porthoslisten to this; firstnot a syllable
to either of our friends of what you have heard; it is
unnecessary for them to know the service we are going to
render them."

Very well; I understand.

Go to the stable; you will find Musqueton there; saddle
your horses, put your pistols in your saddle-bags, take out
the horses and lead them to the street below this, so that
there will be nothing to do but mount them; all the rest is
my business.

Porthos made no remarkbut obeyedwith the sublime
confidence he had in his friend.

I go,he saidonly, shall I enter the chamber where
those gentlemen are?

No, it is not worth while.

Well, do me the kindness to take my purse. which I left on
the mantelpiece.

All right.

He then proceededwith his usual calm gaitto the stable
and went into the very midst of the soldierywhoforeigner
as he wascould not help admiring his height and the
enormous strength of his great limbs.

At the corner of the street he met Musqueton and took him
with him.

D'Artagnanmeantimewent into the housewhistling a tune
which he had begun before Porthos went away.

My dear Athos, I have reflected on your arguments and I am
convinced. I am sorry to have had anything to do with this
matter. As you say, Mazarin is a knave. I have resolved to
fly with you, not a word -- be ready. Your swords are in the
corner; do not forget them, they are in many circumstances
very useful; there is Porthos's purse, too.

He put it into his pocket. The two friends were perfectly
stupefied.

Well, pray, is there anything to be so surprised at?he
said. "I was blind; Athos has made me seethat's all; come
here."

The two friends went near him.

Do you see that street? There are the horses. Go out by the
door, turn to the right, jump into your saddles, all will be
right; don't be uneasy at anything except mistaking the
signal. That will be the signal when I call out -- Jesus
Seigneur!

But give us your word that you will come too, D'Artagnan,
said Athos.


I swear I will, by Heaven.

'Tis settled,said Aramis; "at the cry `Jesus Seigneur' we
go outupset all that stands in our wayrun to our horses
jump into our saddlesspur them; is that all?"

Exactly.

See, Aramis, as I have told you, D'Artagnan is first
amongst us all,said Athos.

Very true,replied the Gasconbut I always run away from
compliments. Don't forget the signal: `Jesus Seigneur!'and
he went out as he came inwhistling the self-same air.

The soldiers were playing or sleeping; two of them were
singing in a cornerout of tunethe psalm: "On the rivers
of Babylon."

D'Artagnan called the sergeant. "My dear friendGeneral
Cromwell has sent Monsieur Mordaunt to fetch me. Guard the
prisoners wellI beg of you."

The sergeant made a signas much as to say he did not
understand Frenchand D'Artagnan tried to make him
comprehend by signs and gestures. Then he went into the
stable; he found the five horses saddledhis own amongst
the rest.

Each of you take a horse by the bridle,he said to Porthos
and Musqueton; "turn to the leftso that Athos and Aramis
may see you clearly from the window."

They are coming, then?said Porthos.

In a moment.

You didn't forget my purse?

No; be easy.

Good.

Porthos and Musqueton each took a horse by the bridle and
proceeded to their post.

Then D'Artagnanbeing alonestruck a light and lighted a
small bit of tindermounted his horse and stopped at the
door in the midst of the soldiers. Therecaressing as he
pretendedthe animal with his handhe put this bit of
burning tinder in his ear. It was necessary to be as good a
horseman as he was to risk such a schemefor no sooner had
the animal felt the burning tinder than he uttered a cry of
pain and reared and jumped as if he had been mad.

The soldierswhom he was nearly tramplingran away.

Help! help!cried D'Artagnan; "stop -- my horse has the
staggers."

In an instant the horse's eyes grew bloodshot and he was
white with foam.


Help!cried D'Artagnan. "What! will you let me be killed?
Jesus Seigneur!"

No sooner had he uttered this cry than the door opened and
Athos and Aramis rushed out. The coastowing to the
Gascon's stratagemwas clear.

The prisoners are escaping! the prisoners are escaping!
cried the sergeant.

Stop! stop!cried D'Artagnangiving rein to his famous
steedwhodarting forthoverturned several men.

Stop! stop!cried the soldiersand ran for their arms.

But the prisoners were in their saddles and lost no time
hastening to the nearest gate.

In the middle of the street they saw Grimaud and Blaisois
who were coming to find their masters. With one wave of his
hand Athos made Grimaudwho followed the little troop
understand everythingand they passed on like a whirlwind
D'Artagnan still directing them from behind with his voice.

They passed through the gate like apparitionswithout the
guards thinking of detaining themand reached the open
country.

All this time the soldiers were calling outStop! stop!
and the sergeantwho began to see that he was the victim of
an artificewas almost in a frenzy of despair. Whilst all
this was going ona cavalier in full gallop was seen
approaching. It was Mordaunt with the order in his hand.

The prisoners!he exclaimedjumping off his horse.

The sergeant had not the courage to reply; he showed him the
open doorthe empty room. Mordaunt darted to the steps
understood alluttered a cryas if his very heart was
piercedand fell fainting on the stone steps.

In which it is shown that under the most trying
Circumstances noble Natures never lose their Couragenor
good Stomachs their Appetites.

The little troopwithout looking behind them or exchanging
a wordfled at a rapid gallopfording a little streamof
which none of them knew the nameand leaving on their left
a town which Athos declared to be Durham. At last they came
in sight of a small woodand spurring their horses afresh
rode in its direction.

As soon as they had disappeared behind a green curtain
sufficiently thick to conceal them from the sight of any one
who might be in pursuit they drew up to hold a council
together. The two grooms held the horsesthat they might


take a little rest without being unsaddledand Grimaud was
posted as sentinel.

Come, first of all,said Athos to D'Artagnanmy friend,
that I may shake hands with you -- you, our rescuer -- you,
the true hero of us all.

Athos is right -- you have my adoration,said Aramisin
his turn pressing his hand. "To what are you not equalwith
your superior intelligenceinfallible eyeyour arm of iron
and your enterprising mind!"

Now,said the Gasconthat is all well, I accept for
Porthos and myself everything -- thanks and compliments; we
have plenty of time to spare.

The two friendsrecalled by D'Artagnan to what was also due
to Porthospressed his hand in their turn.

And now,said Athosit is not our plan to run anywhere
and like madmen, but we must map up our campaign. What shall
we do?

What are we going to do, i'faith? It is not very difficult
to say.

Tell us, then, D'Artagnan.

We are going to reach the nearest seaport, unite our little
resources, hire a vessel and return to France. As for me I
will give my last sou for it. Life is the greatest treasure,
and speaking candidly, ours hangs by a thread.

What do you say to this, Du Vallon?

I,said PorthosI am entirely of D'Artagnan's opinion;
this is a `beastly' country, this England.

You are quite decided, then, to leave it?asked Athos of
D'Artagnan.

Egad! I don't see what is to keep me here.

A glance was exchanged between Athos and Aramis.

Go, then, my friends,said the formersighing.

How, go then?exclaimed D'Artagnan. "Let us goyou mean?"

No, my friend,said Athosyou must leave us.

Leave you!cried D'Artagnanquite bewildered at this
unexpected announcement.

Bah!said Porthoswhy separate, since we are all
together?

Because you can and ought to return to France; your mission
is accomplished, but ours is not.

Your mission is not accomplished?exclaimed D'Artagnan
looking in astonishment at Athos.

No, my friend,replied Athosin his gentle but decided


voicewe came here to defend King Charles; we have but ill
defended him -- it remains for us to save him!

To save the king?said D'Artagnanlooking at Aramis as he
had looked at Athos.

Aramis contented himself by making a sign with his head.

D'Artagnan's countenance took an expression of the deepest
compassion; he began to think he had to do with madmen.

You cannot be speaking seriously, Athos!said he; "the
king is surrounded by an armywhich is conducting him to
London. This army is commanded by a butcheror the son of a
butcher -- it matters little -- Colonel Harrison. His
majestyI can assure youwill be tried on his arrival in
London; I have heard enough from the lips of Oliver Cromwell
to know what to expect."

A second look was exchanged between Athos and Aramis.

And when the trial is ended there will be no delay in
putting the sentence into execution,continued D'Artagnan.

And to what penalty do you think the king will be
condemned?asked Athos.

The penalty of death, I greatly fear; they have gone too
far for him to pardon them, and there is nothing left to
them but one thing, and that is to kill him. Have you never
heard what Oliver Cromwell said when he came to Paris and
was shown the dungeon at Vincennes where Monsieur de Vendome
was imprisoned?

What did he say?asked Porthos.

`Princes must be knocked on the head.'

I remember it,said Athos.

And you fancy he will not put his maxim into execution, now
that he has got hold of the king?

On the contrary, I am certain he will do so. But then that
is all the more reason why we should not abandon the august
head so threatened.

Athos, you are becoming mad.

No, my friend,Athos gently repliedbut De Winter sought
us out in France and introduced us, Monsieur d'Herblay and
myself, to Madame Henrietta. Her majesty did us the honor to
ask our aid for her husband. We engaged our word; our word
included everything. It was our strength, our intelligence,
our life, in short, that we promised. It remains now for us
to keep our word. Is that your opinion, D'Herblay?

Yes,said Aramiswe have promised.

Then,continued Athoswe have another reason; it is this
-- listen: In France at this moment everything is poor and
paltry. We have a king ten years old, who doesn't yet know
what he wants; we have a queen blinded by a belated passion;
we have a minister who governs France as he would govern a


great farm -- that is to say, intent only on turning out all
the gold he can by the exercise of Italian cunning and
invention; we have princes who set up a personal and
egotistic opposition, who will draw from Mazarin's hands
only a few ingots of gold or some shreds of power granted as
bribes. I have served them without enthusiasm -- God knows
that I estimated them at their real value, and that they are
not high in my esteem -- but on principle. To-day I am
engaged in a different affair. I have encountered misfortune
in a high place, a royal misfortune, a European misfortune;
I attach myself to it. If we can succeed in saving the king
it will be good; if we die for him it will be grand.

So you know beforehand you must perish!said D'Artagnan.

We fear so, and our only regret is to die so far from both
of you.

What will you do in a foreign land, an enemy's country?

I traveled in England when I was young, I speak English
like an Englishman, and Aramis, too, knows something of the
language. Ah! if we had you, my friends! With you,
D'Artagnan, with you, Porthos -- all four reunited for the
first time for twenty years -- we would dare not only
England, but the three kingdoms put together!

And did you promise the queen,resumed D'Artagnan
petulantlyto storm the Tower of London, to kill a hundred
thousand soldiers, to fight victoriously against the wishes
of the nation and the ambition of a man, and when that man
is Cromwell? Do not exaggerate your duty. In Heaven's name,
my dear Athos, do not make a useless sacrifice. When I see
you merely, you look like a reasonable being; when you
speak, I seem to have to do with a madman. Come, Porthos,
join me; say frankly, what do you think of this business?

Nothing good,replied Porthos.

Come,continued D'Artagnanwhoirritated that instead of
listening to him Athos seemed to be attending to his own
thoughtsyou have never found yourself the worse for my
advice. Well, then, believe me, Athos, your mission is
ended, and ended nobly; return to France with us.

Friend,said Athosour resolution is irrevocable.

Then you have some other motive unknown to us?

Athos smiled and D'Artagnan struck his hand together in
anger and muttered the most convincing reasons that he could
discover; but to all these reasons Athos contented himself
by replying with a calmsweet smile and Aramis by nodding
his head.

Very well,cried D'Artagnanat lastfuriousvery well,
since you wish it, let us leave our bones in this beggarly
land, where it is always cold, where fine weather is a fog,
fog is rain, and rain a deluge; where the sun represents the
moon and the moon a cream cheese; in truth, whether we die
here or elsewhere matters little, since we must die.

Only reflect, my good fellow,said Athosit is but dying
rather sooner.


Pooh! a little sooner or a little later, it isn't worth
quarreling over.

If I am astonished at anything,remarked Porthos
sententiouslyit is that it has not already happened.

Oh, it will happen, you may be sure,said D'Artagnan. "So
it is agreedand if Porthos makes no objection ---- "

I,said PorthosI will do whatever you please; and
besides, I think what the Comte de la Fere said just now is
very good.

But your future career, D'Artagnan -- your ambition,
Porthos?

Our future, our ambition!replied D'Artagnanwith
feverish volubility. "Need we think of that since we are to
save the king? The king saved -- we shall assemble our
friends together -- we will head the Puritans -- reconquer
England; we shall re-enter London -- place him securely on
his throne ---- "

And he will make us dukes and peers,said Porthoswhose
eyes sparkled with joy at this imaginary prospect.

Or he will forget us,added D'Artagnan.

Oh!said Porthos.

Well, that has happened, friend Porthos. It seems to me
that we once rendered Anne of Austria a service not much
less than that which to-day we are trying to perform for
Charles I.; but, none the less, Anne of Austria has
forgotten us for twenty years.

Well, in spite of that, D'Artagnan,said Athosyou are
not sorry that you were useful to her?

No, indeed,said D'Artagnan; "I admit even that in my
darkest moments I find consolation in that remembrance."

You see, then, D'Artagnan, though princes often are
ungrateful, God never is.

Athos,said D'ArtagnanI believe that were you to fall
in with the devil, you would conduct yourself so well that
you would take him with you to Heaven.

So, then?said Athosoffering his hand to D'Artagnan.

'Tis settled,replied D'Artagnan. "I find England a
charming countryand I stay -- but on one condition only."

What is it?

That I am not forced to learn English.

Well, now,said AthostriumphantlyI swear to you, my
friend, by the God who hears us -- I believe that there is a
power watching over us, and that we shall all four see
France again.


So be it!said D'Artagnanbut I -- I confess I have a
contrary conviction.

Our good D'Artagnan,said Aramisrepresents among us the
opposition in parliament, which always says no, and always
does aye.

But in the meantime saves the country,added Athos.

Well, now that everything is decided,cried Porthos
rubbing his handssuppose we think of dinner! It seems to
me that in the most critical positions of our lives we have
always dined.

Oh! yes, speak of dinner in a country where for a feast
they eat boiled mutton, and as a treat drink beer. What the
devil did you come to such a country for, Athos? But I
forgot,added the Gasconsmilingpardon, I forgot you
are no longer Athos; but never mind, let us hear your plan
for dinner, Porthos.

My plan!

Yes, have you a plan?

No! I am hungry, that is all.

Pardieu, if that is all, I am hungry, too; but it is not
everything to be hungry, one must find something to eat,
unless we browse on the grass, like our horses ----

Ah!exclaimed Aramiswho was not quite so indifferent to
the good things of the earth as Athosdo you remember,
when we were at Parpaillot, the beautiful oysters that we
ate?

And the legs of mutton of the salt marshes,said Porthos
smacking his lips.

But,suggested D'Artagnanhave we not our friend
Musqueton, who managed for us so well at Chantilly,
Porthos?

Yes,said Porthoswe have Musqueton, but since he has
been steward, he has become very heavy; never mind, let us
call him, and to make sure that he will reply agreeably ---


Here! Mouston cried Porthos.

Mouston appeared, with a most piteous face.

What is the mattermy dear M. Mouston?" asked D'Artagnan.
Are you ill?

Sir, I am very hungry,replied Mouston.

Well, it is just for that reason that we have called you,
my good M. Mouston. Could you not procure us a few of those
nice little rabbits, and some of those delicious partridges,
of which you used to make fricassees at the hotel ---- ?
'Faith, I do not remember the name of the hotel.

At the hotel of ---- ,said Porthos; "by my faith -- nor
do I remember it either."


It does not matter; and a few of those bottles of old
Burgundy wine, which cured your master so quickly of his
sprain!

Alas! sir,said MusquetonI much fear that what you ask
for are very rare things in this detestable and barren
country, and I think we should do better to go and seek
hospitality from the owner of a little house we see on the
fringe of the forest.

How! is there a house in the neighborhood?asked
D'Artagnan.

Yes, sir,replied Musqueton.

Well, let us, as you say, go and ask a dinner from the
master of that house. What is your opinion, gentlemen, and
does not M. Mouston's suggestion appear to you full of
sense?

Oh!said Aramissuppose the master is a Puritan?

So much the better, mordioux!replied D'Artagnan; "if he
is a Puritan we will inform him of the capture of the king
and in honor of the news he will kill for us his fatted
hens."

But if he should be a cavalier?said Porthos.

In that case we will put on an air of mourning and he will
pluck for us his black fowls.

You are very happy,exclaimed Athoslaughingin spite of
himselfat the sally of the irresistible Gascon; "for you
see the bright side of everything."

What would you have?said D'Artagnan. "I come from a land
where there is not a cloud in the sky."

It is not like this, then,said Porthos stretching out his
hand to assure himself whether a chill sensation he felt on
his cheek was not really caused by a drop of rain.

Come, come,said D'Artagnanmore reason why we should
start on our journey. Halloo, Grimaud!

Grimaud appeared.

Well, Grimaud, my friend, have you seen anything?asked
the Gascon.

Nothing!replied Grimaud.

Those idiots!cried Porthosthey have not even pursued
us. Oh! if we had been in their place!

Yes, they are wrong,said D'Artagnan. "I would willingly
have said two words to Mordaunt in this little desert. It is
an excellent spot for bringing down a man in proper style."

I think, decidedly,observed Aramisgentlemen, that the
son hasn't his mother's energy.


What, my good fellow!replied Athoswait awhile; we have
scarcely left him two hours ago -- he does not know yet in
what direction we came nor where we are. We may say that he
is not equal to his mother when we put foot in France, if we
are not poisoned or killed before then.

Meanwhile, let us dine,suggested Porthos.

I'faith, yes,said Athosfor I am hungry.

Look out for the black fowls!cried Aramis.

And the four friendsguided by Musquetontook up the way
toward the housealready almost restored to their former
gayety; for they were nowas Athos had saidall four once
more united and of single mind.

Respect to Fallen Majesty.

As our fugitives approached the housethey found the ground
cut upas if a considerable body of horsemen had preceded
them. Before the door the traces were yet more apparent;
these horsemenwhoever they might behad halted there.

Egad!cried D'Artagnanit's quite clear that the king
and his escort have been by here.

The devil!said Porthos; "in that case they have eaten
everything."

Bah!said D'Artagnanthey will have left a chicken, at
least.He dismounted and knocked on the door. There was no
response.

He pushed open the door and found the first room empty and
deserted.

Well?cried Porthos.

I can see nobody,said D'Artagnan. "Aha!"

What?

Blood!

At this word the three friends leaped from their horses and
entered. D'Artagnan had already opened the door of the
second roomand from the expression of his face it was
clear that he there beheld some extraordinary object.

The three friends drew near and discovered a young man
stretched on the groundbathed in a pool of blood. It was
evident that he had attempted to regain his bedbut had not
had sufficient strength to do so.

Athoswho imagined that he saw him movewas the first to
go up to him.


Well?inquired D'Artagnan.

Well, if he is dead,said Athoshe has not been so long,
for he is still warm. But no, his heart is beating. Ho,
there, my friend!

The wounded man heaved a sigh. D'Artagnan took some water in
the hollow of his hand and threw it upon his face. The man
opened his eyesmade an effort to raise his headand fell
back again. The wound was in the top of his skull and blood
was flawing copiously.

Aramis dipped a cloth into some water and applied it to the
gash. Again the wounded man opened his eyes and looked in
astonishment at these strangerswho appeared to pity him.

You are among friends,said Athosin English; "so cheer
upand tell usif you have the strength to do sowhat has
happened?"

The king,muttered the wounded manthe king is a
prisoner.

You have seen him?asked Aramisin the same language.

The man made no reply.

Make your mind easy,resumed Athoswe are all faithful
servants of his majesty.

Is what you tell me true?asked the wounded man.

On our honor as gentlemen.

Then I may tell you all. I am brother to Parry, his
majesty's lackey.

Athos and Aramis remembered that this was the name by which
De Winter had called the man they had found in the passage
of the king's tent.

We know him,said Athoshe never left the king.

Yes, that is he. Well, he thought of me, when he saw the
king was taken, and as they were passing before the house he
begged in the king's name that they would stop, as the king
was hungry. They brought him into this room and placed
sentinels at the doors and windows. Parry knew this room, as
he had often been to see me when the king was at Newcastle.
He knew that there was a trap-door communicating with a
cellar, from which one could get into the orchard. He made a
sign, which I understood, but the king's guards must have
noticed it and held themselves on guard. I went out as if to
fetch wood, passed through the subterranean passage into the
cellar, and whilst Parry was gently bolting the door, pushed
up the board and beckoned to the king to follow me. Alas! he
would not. But Parry clasped his hands and implored him, and
at last he agreed. I went on first, fortunately. The king
was a few steps behind me, when suddenly I saw something
rise up in front of me like a huge shadow. I wanted to cry
out to warn the king, but that very moment I felt a blow as
if the house was falling on my head, and fell insensible.
When I came to myself again, I was stretched in the same
place. I dragged myself as far as the yard. The king and his


escort were no longer there. I spent perhaps an hour in
coming from the yard to this place; then my strength gave
out and I fainted again.

And now how are you feeling?

Very ill,replied the wounded man.

Can we do anything for you?asked Athos.

Help to put me on the bed; I think I shall feel better
there.

Have you any one to depend on for assistance?

My wife is at Durham and may return at any moment. But you
-- is there nothing that you want?

We came here with the intention of asking for something to
eat.

Alas, they have taken everything; there isn't a morsel of
bread in the house.

You hear, D'Artagnan?said Athos; "we shall have to look
elsewhere for our dinner."

It is all one to me now,said D'Artagnan; "I am no longer
hungry."

Faith! neither am I,said Porthos.

They carried the man to his bed and called Grimaud to dress
the wound. In the service of the four friends Grimaud had
had so frequent occasion to make lint and bandages that he
had become something of a surgeon.

In the meantime the fugitives had returned to the first
roomwhere they took counsel together.

Now,said Aramiswe know how the matter stands. The king
and his escort have gone this way; we had better take the
opposite direction, eh?

Athos did not reply; he reflected.

Yes,said Porthoslet us take the opposite direction; if
we follow the escort we shall find everything devoured and
die of hunger. What a confounded country this England is!
This is the first time I have gone without my dinner for ten
years, and it is generally my best meal.

What do you think, D'Artagnan?asked Athos. "Do you agree
with Aramis?"

Not at all,said D'Artagnan; "I am precisely of the
contrary opinion."

What! you would follow the escort?exclaimed Porthosin
dismay.

No, I would join the escort.

Athos's eyes shone with joy.


Join the escort!cried Aramis.

Let D'Artagnan speak,said Athos; "you know he always has
wise advice to give."

Clearly,said D'Artagnanwe must go where they will not
look for us. Now, they will be far from looking for us among
the Puritans; therefore, with the Puritans we must go.

Good, my friend, good!said Athos. "It is excellent
advice. I was about to give it when you anticipated me."

That, then, is your opinion?asked Aramis.

Yes. They will think we are trying to leave England and
will search for us at the ports; meanwhile we shall reach
London with the king. Once in London we shall be hard to
find -- without considering,continued Athosthrowing a
glance at Aramisthe chances that may come to us on the
way.

Yes,said AramisI understand.

I, however, do not understand,said Porthos. "But no
matter; since it is at the same time the opinion of
D'Artagnan and of Athosit must be the best."

But,said Aramisshall we not be suspected by Colonel
Harrison?

Egad!cried D'Artagnanhe's just the man I count upon.
Colonel Harrison is one of our friends. We have met him
twice at General Cromwell's. He knows that we were sent from
France by Monsieur Mazarin; he will consider us as brothers.
Besides, is he not a butcher's son? Well, then, Porthos
shall show him how to knock down an ox with a blow of the
fist, and I how to trip up a bull by taking him by the
horns. That will insure his confidence.

Athos smiled. "You are the best companion that I know
D'Artagnan he said, offering his hand to the Gascon; and
I am very happy in having found you againmy dear son."

This wasas we have seenthe term which Athos applied to
D'Artagnan in his more expansive moods.

At this moment Grimaud came in. He had stanched the wound
and the man was better.

The four friends took leave of him and asked if they could
deliver any message for him to his brother.

Tell him,answered the brave manto let the king know
that they have not killed me outright. However insignificant
I am, I am sure that his majesty is concerned for me and
blames himself for my death.

Be easy,said D'Artagnanhe will know all before night.

The little troop recommenced their marchand at the end of
two hours perceived a considerable body of horsemen about
half a league ahead.


My dear friends,said D'Artagnangive your swords to
Monsieur Mouston, who will return them to you at the proper
time and place, and do not forget you are our prisoners.

It was not long before they joined the escort. The king was
riding in frontsurrounded by troopersand when he saw
Athos and Aramis a glow of pleasure lighted his pale cheeks.

D'Artagnan passed to the head of the columnand leaving his
friends under the guard of Porthoswent straight to
Harrisonwho recognized him as having met him at Cromwell's
and received him as politely as a man of his breeding and
disposition could. It turned out as D'Artagnan had foreseen.
The colonel neither had nor could have any suspicion.

They halted for the king to dine. This timehoweverdue
precautions were taken to prevent any attempt at escape. In
the large room of the hotel a small table was placed for him
and a large one for the officers.

Will you dine with me?asked Harrison of D'Artagnan.

Gad, I should be very happy, but I have my companion,
Monsieur du Vallon, and the two prisoners, whom I cannot
leave. Let us manage it better. Have a table set for us in a
corner and send us whatever you like from yours.

Good,answered Harrison.

The matter was arranged as D'Artagnan had suggestedand
when he returned he found the king already seated at his
little tablewhere Parry waited on himHarrison and his
officers sitting together at another tableandin a
cornerplaces reserved for himself and his companions.

The table at which the Puritan officers were seated was
roundand whether by chance or coarse intentionHarrison
sat with his back to the king.

The king saw the four gentlemen come inbut appeared to
take no notice of them.

They sat down in such a manner as to turn their backs on
nobody. The officerstable and that of the king were
opposite to them.

I'faith, colonel,said D'Artagnanwe are very grateful
for your gracious invitation; for without you we ran the
risk of going without dinner, as we have without breakfast.
My friend here, Monsieur du Vallon, shares my gratitude, for
he was particularly hungry.

And I am so still,said Porthos bowing to Harrison.

And how,said Harrisonlaughingdid this serious
calamity of going without breakfast happen to you?

In a very simple manner, colonel,said D'Artagnan. "I was
in a hurry to join you and took the road you had already
gone by. You can understand our disappointment when
arriving at a pretty little house on the skirts of a wood
which at a distance had quite a gay appearancewith its red
roof and green shutterswe found nothing but a poor wretch
bathed -- Ah! colonelpay my respects to the officer of


yours who struck that blow."

Yes,said Harrisonlaughingand looking over at one of
the officers seated at his table. "When Groslow undertakes
this kind of thing there's no need to go over the ground a
second time."

Ah! it was this gentleman?said D'Artagnanbowing to the
officer. "I am sorry he does not speak Frenchthat I might
tender him my compliments."

I am ready to receive and return them, sir,said the
officerin pretty good Frenchfor I resided three years
in Paris.

Then, sir, allow me to assure you that your blow was so
well directed that you have nearly killed your man.

Nearly? I thought I had quite,said Groslow.

No. It was a very near thing, but he is not dead.

As he said thisD'Artagnan gave a glance at Parrywho was
standing in front of the kingto show him that the news was
meant for him.

The kingtoowho had listened in the greatest agonynow
breathed again.

Hang it,said GroslowI thought I had succeeded better.
If it were not so far from here to the house I would return
and finish him.

And you would do well, if you are afraid of his recovering;
for you know, if a wound in the head does not kill at once,
it is cured in a week.

And D'Artagnan threw a second glance toward Parryon whose
face such an expression of joy was manifested that Charles
stretched out his hand to himsmiling.

Parry bent over his master's hand and kissed it
respectfully.

I've a great desire to drink the king's health,said
Athos.

Let me propose it, then,said D'Artagnan.

Do,said Aramis.

Porthos looked at D'Artagnanquite amazed at the resources
with which his companion's Gascon sharpness continually
supplied him. D'Artagnan took up his camp tin cupfilled it
with wine and arose.

Gentlemen,said helet us drink to him who presides at
the repast. Here's to our colonel, and let him know that we
are always at his commands as far as London and farther.

And as D'Artagnanas he spokelooked at Harrisonthe
colonel imagined the toast was for himself. He arose and
bowed to the four friendswhose eyes were fixed on Charles
while Harrison emptied his glass without the slightest


misgiving.

The kingin returnlooked at the four gentlemen and drank
with a smile full of nobility and gratitude.

Come, gentlemen,cried Harrisonregardless of his
illustrious captivelet us be off.

Where do we sleep, colonel?

At Thirsk,replied Harrison.

Parry,said the kingrising toomy horse; I desire to
go to Thirsk.

Egad!said D'Artagnan to Athosyour king has thoroughly
taken me, and I am quite at his service.

If what you say is sincere,replied Athoshe will never
reach London.

How so?

Because before then we shall have carried him off.

Well, this time, Athos,said D'Artagnanupon my word,
you are mad.

Have you some plan in your head then?asked Aramis.

Ay!said Porthosthe thing would not be impossible with
a good plan.

I have none,said Athos; "but D'Artagnan will discover
one."

D'Artagnan shrugged his shoulders and they proceeded.

D'Artagnan hits on a Plan.

As night closed in they arrived at Thirsk. The four friends
appeared to be entire strangers to one another and
indifferent to the precautions taken for guarding the king.
They withdrew to a private houseand as they had reason
every moment to fear for their safetythey occupied but one
room and provided an exitwhich might be useful in case of
an attack. The lackeys were sent to their several posts
except that Grimaud lay on a truss of straw across the
doorway.

D'Artagnan was thoughtful and seemed for the moment to have
lost his usual loquacity. Porthoswho could never see
anything that was not self-evidenttalked to him as usual.
He replied in monosyllables and Athos and Aramis looked
significantly at one another.

Next morning D'Artagnan was the first to rise. He had been
down to the stablesalready taken a look at the horses and


given the necessary orders for the daywhilst Athos and
Aramis were still in bed and Porthos snoring.

At eight o'clock the march was resumed in the same order as
the night beforeexcept that D'Artagnan left his friends
and began to renew the acquaintance which he had already
struck up with Monsieur Groslow.

Groslowwhom D'Artagnan's praises had greatly pleased
welcomed him with a gracious smile.

Really, sir,D'Artagnan said to himI am pleased to find
one with whom to talk in my own poor tongue. My friend,
Monsieur du Vallon, is of a very melancholy disposition, so
much so, that one can scarcely get three words out of him
all day. As for our two prisoners, you can imagine that they
are but little in the vein for conversation.

They are hot royalists,said Groslow.

The more reason they should be sulky with us for having
captured the Stuart, for whom, I hope, you're preparing a
pretty trial.

Why,said Groslowthat is just what we are taking him to
London for.

And you never by any chance lose sight of him, I presume?

I should think not, indeed. You see he has a truly royal
escort.

Ay, there's no fear in the daytime; but at night?

We redouble our precautions.

And what method of surveillance do you employ?

Eight men remain constantly in his room.

The deuce, he is well guarded, then. But besides these
eight men, you doubtless place some guard outside?

Oh, no! Just think. What would you have two men without
arms do against eight armed men?

Two men -- how do you mean?

Yes, the king and his lackey.

Oh! then they allow the lackey to remain with him?

Yes; Stuart begged this favor and Harrison consented. Under
pretense that he's a king it appears he cannot dress or
undress without assistance.

Really, captain,said D'Artagnandetermined to continue
on the laudatory tack on which he had commencedthe more I
listen to you the more surprised I am at the easy and
elegant manner in which you speak French. You have lived
three years in Paris? May I ask what you were doing there?

My father, who is a merchant, placed me with his
correspondent, who in turn sent his son to join our house in


London.

Were you pleased with Paris, sir?

Yes, but you are much in want of a revolution like our own
-- not against your king, who is a mere child, but against
that lazar of an Italian, the queen's favorite.

Ah! I am quite of your opinion, sir, and we should soon
make an end of Mazarin if we had only a dozen officers like
yourself, without prejudices, vigilant and incorruptible.

But,said the officerI thought you were in his service
and that it was he who sent you to General Cromwell.

That is to say I am in the king's service, and that knowing
he wanted to send some one to England, I solicited the
appointment, so great was my desire to know the man of
genius who now governs the three kingdoms. So that when he
proposed to us to draw our