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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 556 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.

“I am all attention, Monsieur d’Artagnan.”

“You will go and inform your father of my departure.”

“Your departure?”

Pardieu! You will tell him I am gone into England; and that I am living in my little country-house.”

“In England, you! — And the king’s orders?”

“You get more and more silly:  do you imagine that I am going to the Louvre, to place myself at the disposal of that little crowned wolf-cub?”

“The king a wolf-cub?  Why, monsieur le chevalier, you are mad!”

“On the contrary, I never was so sane.  You do not know what he wants to do with me, this worthy son of Louis le Juste! — But, mordioux! that is policy.  He wishes to ensconce me snugly in the Bastile — purely and simply, look you!”

“What for?” cried Raoul, terrified at what he heard.

“On account of what I told him one day at Blois.  I was warm; he remembers it.”

“You told him what?”

“That he was mean, cowardly, and silly.”

“Good God!” cried Raoul, “is it possible that such words should have issued from your mouth?”

“Perhaps I don’t give the letter of my speech, but I give the sense of it.”

“But did not the king have you arrested immediately?”

“By whom?  It was I who commanded the musketeers; he must have commanded me to convey myself to prison; I would never have consented:  I would have resisted myself.  And then I went into England — no more D’Artagnan.  Now, the cardinal is dead, or nearly so, they learn that I am in Paris, and they lay their hands on me.”

“The cardinal was your protector?”

“The cardinal knew me; he knew certain particularities of me; I also knew some of his; we appreciated each other mutually.  And then, on rendering his soul to the devil, he would recommend Anne of Austria to make me the inhabitant of a safe place.  Go, then, and find your father, relate the fact to him — and adieu!”

“My dear Monsieur d’Artagnan,” said Raoul, very much agitated, after having looked out the window, “you cannot even fly!”

“Why not?”

“Because there is below an officer of the Swiss guards waiting for you.”

“Well?”

“Well, he will arrest you.”

D’Artagnan broke into a Homeric laugh.

“Oh!  I know very well that you will resist, that you will fight, even; I know very well that you will prove the conqueror; but that amounts to rebellion, and you are an officer yourself, knowing what discipline is.”

“Devil of a boy, how logical that is!” grumbled D’Artagnan.

“You approve of it, do you not?”

“Yes, instead of passing into the street, where that idiot is waiting for me, I will slip quietly out at the back.  I have a horse in the stable, and a good one.  I will ride him to death; my means permit me to do so, and by killing one horse after another, I shall arrive at Boulogne in eleven hours; I know the road.  Only tell your father one thing.”

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