Grimaud by bending down his head had answered, “Yes.”
“When monsieur le comte incurred much danger?” asked Raoul.
“Neither too much nor too little,” was replied by a shrug of the shoulders.
“But still, what sort of danger?” insisted Raoul.
Grimaud pointed to the sword; he pointed to the fire and to a musket that was hanging on the wall.
“Monsieur le comte had an enemy there, then?” cried Raoul.
“Monk,” replied Grimaud.
“It is strange,” continued Raoul, “that monsieur le comte persists in considering me a novice, and not allowing me to partake the honor and danger of his adventure.”
Grimaud smiled. It was at this moment Athos came in. The host was lighting him up the stairs, and Grimaud, recognizing the step of his master, hastened to meet him, which cut short the conversation. But Raoul was launched on the sea of interrogatories, and did not stop. Taking both hands of the comte, with warm, but respectful tenderness, — “How is it, monsieur,” said he, “that you have set out upon a dangerous voyage without bidding me adieu, without commanding the aid of my sword, of myself, who ought to be your support, now I have the strength; whom you have brought up like a man? Ah! monsieur, can you expose me to the cruel trial of never seeing you again?”
“Who told you, Raoul,” said the comte, placing his cloak and hat in the hands of Grimaud, who had unbuckled his sword, “who told you that my voyage was a dangerous one?”
“I,” said Grimaud.
“And why did you do so?” said Athos, sternly.
Grimaud was embarrassed; Raoul came to his assistance, by answering for him. “It is natural, monsieur, that our good Grimaud should tell me the truth in what concerns you. By whom should you be loved an supported, if not by me?”
Athos did not reply. He made a friendly motion to Grimaud, which sent him out of the room; he then seated himself in a fauteuil, whilst Raoul remained standing before him.
“But it is true,” continued Raoul, “that your voyage was an expedition, and that steel and fire threatened you?”
“Say no more about that, vicomte,” said Athos, mildly. “I set out hastily, it is true: but the service of King Charles II. required a prompt departure. As to your anxiety, I thank you for it, and I know that I can depend on you. You have not wanted for anything, vicomte, in my absence, have you?”
“No, monsieur, thank you.”
“I left orders with Blaisois to pay you a hundred pistoles, if you should stand in need of money.”
“Monsieur, I have not seen Blaisois.”
“You have been without money, then?”
“Monsieur, I had thirty pistoles left from the sale of the horses I took in my last campaign, and M. le Prince had the kindness to allow me to win two hundred pistoles at his play-table three months ago.”
“Do you play? I don’t like that, Raoul.”