Before he answered, D’Artagnan took his time, and that appeared an age to the poor grocer. Nevertheless he did nothing but turn about on his chair.
“And if that were the case,” said he, slowly, moving his head up and down, “if that were the case, what would you say, my dear friend?”
Planchet, from being pale, turned yellow. It might have been thought he was going to swallow his tongue, so full became his throat, so red were his eyes!
“Twenty thousand livres!” murmured he. “Twenty thousand livres, and yet — "
D’Artagnan, with his neck elongated, his legs stretched out, and his hands hanging listlessly, looked like a statue of discouragement. Planchet drew up a sigh from the deepest cavities of his breast.
“Well,” said he, “I see how it is. Let us be men! It is all over, is it not? The principal thing is, monsieur, that your life is safe.”
“Doubtless! doubtless! — life is something — but I am ruined!”
“Cordieu! monsieur!” said Planchet, “If it is so, we must not despair for that; you shall become a grocer with me; I shall take you for my partner, we will share the profits, and if there should be no more profits, well, why then we shall share the almonds, raisins and prunes, and we will nibble together the last quarter of Dutch cheese.”
D’Artagnan could hold out no longer. “Mordioux!” cried he, with great emotion, “thou art a brave fellow, on my honor, Planchet. You have not been playing a part, have you? You have not seen the pack-horse with the bags under the shed yonder?”
“What horse? What bags?” said Planchet, whose trembling heart began to suggest that D’Artagnan was mad.
“Why, the English bags, Mordioux!” said D’Artagnan, all radiant, quite transfigured.
“Ah! good God!” articulated Planchet, drawing back before the dazzling fire of his looks.
“Imbecile!” cried D’Artagnan, “you think me mad! Mordioux! On the contrary, never was my head more clear, or my heart more joyous. To the bags, Planchet, to the bags!”
“But to what bags, good heavens!”
D’Artagnan pushed Planchet towards the window.
“Under that shed yonder, don’t you see a horse?”
“Don’t you see how his back is laden?”
“Don’t you see your lad talking with the postilion?”
“Yes, yes, yes!”
“Well, you know the name of that lad, because he is your own. Call him.”
“Abdon! Abdon!” vociferated Planchet, from the window.
“Bring the horse!” shouted D’Artagnan.
“Bring the horse!” screamed Planchet.
“Now give ten livres to the postilion,” said D’Artagnan, in the tone he would have employed in commanding a maneuver; “two lads to bring up the first two bags, two to bring up the two last, — and move, Mordioux! be lively!”