The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

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

From the spot on which they had placed themselves the two new guests of the Image-de-Notre-Dame heard the ever-increasing hubbub of the tide of people, and lost neither a cry nor a gesture of the drinkers, at tables in the cabaret, or disseminated in the chambers.  If D’Artagnan had wished to place himself as a vidette for an expedition, he could not have succeeded better.  The tree under which he and Raoul were seated covered them with its already thick foliage; it was a low, thick chestnut-tree, with inclined branches, that cast their shade over a table so dilapidated the drinkers had abandoned it.  We said that from this post D’Artagnan saw everything.  He observed the goings and comings of the waiters; the arrival of fresh drinkers; the welcome, sometimes friendly, sometimes hostile, given to the newcomers by others already installed.  He observed all this to amuse himself, for the thirty-seven and a half pistoles were a long time coming.  Raoul recalled his attention to it.  “Monsieur,” said he, “you do not hurry your tenant, and the condemned will soon be here.  There will then be such a press we shall not be able to get out.”

“You are right,” said the musketeer; “Hola! oh! somebody there! Mordioux!” But it was in vain he cried and knocked upon the wreck of the old table, which fell to pieces beneath his fist; nobody came.  D’Artagnan was preparing to go and seek the cabaretier himself, to force him to a definite explanation, when the door of the court in which he was with Raoul, a door which communicated with the garden situated at the back, opened, and a man dressed as a cavalier, with his sword in the sheath, but not at his belt, crossed the court without closing the door; and having cast an oblique glance at D’Artagnan and his companion, directed his course towards the cabaret itself, looking about in all directions with his eyes capable of piercing walls of consciences.  “Humph!” said D’Artagnan, “my tenants are communicating.  That, no doubt, now, is some amateur in hanging matters.”  At the same moment the cries and disturbance in the upper chambers ceased.  Silence, under such circumstances, surprises more than a twofold increase of noise.  D’Artagnan wished to see what was the cause of this sudden silence.  He then perceived that this man, dressed as a cavalier, had just entered the principal chamber, and was haranguing the tipplers, who all listened to him with the greatest attention.  D’Artagnan would perhaps have heard his speech but for the dominant noise of the popular clamors, which made a formidable accompaniment to the harangue of the orator.  But it was soon finished, and all the people the cabaret contained came out, one after the other, in little groups, so that there only remained six in the chamber; one of these six, the man with the sword, took the cabaretier aside, engaging him in discourse more or less serious, whilst the others lit a great fire in the chimney-place — a circumstance rendered strange by the fine weather and the heat.

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.