“You are not wounded?” asked D’Artagnan.
“Not at all; thank you.”
“That’s well! Thou art a brave fellow, mordioux! The head of the father, and the arm of Porthos. Ah! if he had been here, good Porthos, you would have seen something worth looking at.” Then as if by way of remembrance —
“But where the devil can that brave Porthos be?” murmured D’Artagnan.
“Come, chevalier, pray come away,” urged Raoul.
“One minute, my friend; let me take my thirty-seven and a half pistols, and I am at your service. The house is a good property,” added D’Artagnan, as he entered the Image-de-Notre-Dame, “but decidedly, even if it were less profitable, I should prefer its being in another quarter.”
Whilst this violent, noisy, and bloody scene was passing on the Greve, several men, barricaded behind the gate of communication with the garden, replaced their swords in their sheaths, assisted one among them to mount a ready saddled horse which was waiting in the garden, and like a flock of startled birds, fled in all directions, some climbing the walls, others rushing out at the gates with all the fury of a panic. He who mounted the horse, and gave him the spur so sharply that the animal was near leaping the wall, this cavalier, we say, crossed the Place Baudoyer, passed like lightening before the crowd in the streets, riding against, running over and knocking down all that came in his way, and, ten minutes after, arrived at the gates of the superintendent, more out of breath than his horse. The Abbe Fouquet, at the clatter of hoofs on the pavement, appeared at a window of the court, and before even the cavalier had set foot to the ground, “Well! Danicamp?” cried he, leaning half out of the window.
“Well, it is all over,” replied the cavalier.
“All over!” cried the abbe. “Then they are saved?”
“No, monsieur,” replied the cavalier, “they are hung.”
“Hung!” repeated the abbe, turning pale. A lateral door suddenly opened, and Fouquet appeared in the chamber, pale, distracted, with lips half opened, breathing a cry of grief and anger. He stopped upon the threshold to listen to what was addressed from the court to the window.
“Miserable wretches!” said the abbe, “you did not fight, then?”
“Say like cowards.”
“A hundred men accustomed to war, sword in hand, are worth ten thousand archers in a surprise. Where is Menneville, that boaster, that braggart, who was to come back either dead or a conqueror?”
“Well, monsieur, he kept his word. He is dead!”
“Dead! Who killed him?”
“A demon disguised as a man, a giant armed with ten flaming swords — a madman, who at one blow extinguished the fire, put down the riot, and caused a hundred musketeers to rise up out of the pavement of the Greve.”