The Vicomte De Bragelonne eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 712 pages of information about The Vicomte De Bragelonne.

“It may be my opinion, but you will never get him.”

“Why?”

“Because we have allowed the time to go by.  He was dissatisfied with the court, we should have profited by that; since that, he has passed into England; there he powerfully assisted in the restoration, there he gained a fortune, and, after all, he returned to the service of the king.  Well, if he has returned to the service of the king, it is because he is well paid in that service.”

“We will pay him even better, that is all.”

“Oh! monsieur, excuse me; D’Artagnan has a high respect for his word, and where that is once engaged he keeps it.”

“What do you conclude, then?” said Fouquet, with great inquietude.

“At present, the principal thing is to parry a dangerous blow.”

“And how is it to be parried?”

“Listen.”

“But D’Artagnan will come and render an account to the king of his mission.”

“Oh, we have time enough to think about that.”

“How so?  You are much in advance of him, I presume?”

“Nearly ten hours.”

“Well, in ten hours — "

Aramis shook his pale head.  “Look at these clouds which flit across the heavens; at these swallows which cut the air.  D’Artagnan moves more quickly than the clouds or the birds; D’Artagnan is the wind which carries them.”

“A strange man!”

“I tell you, he is superhuman, monsieur.  He is of my own age, and I have known him these five-and-thirty years.”

“Well?”

“Well, listen to my calculation, monsieur.  I send M. du Vallon off to you two hours after midnight.  M. du Vallon was eight hours in advance of me; when did M. du Vallon arrive?”

“About four hours ago.”

“You see, then, that I gained four upon him; and yet Porthos is a staunch horseman, and he has left on the road eight dead horses, whose bodies I came to successively.  I rode post fifty leagues; but I have the gout, the gravel, and what else I know not; so that fatigue kills me.  I was obliged to dismount at Tours; since that, rolling along in a carriage, half dead, sometimes overturned, drawn upon the sides, and sometimes on the back of the carriage, always with four spirited horses at full gallop, I have arrived — arrived, gaining four hours upon Porthos; but, see you, D’Artagnan does not weigh three hundred-weight, as Porthos does; D’Artagnan has not the gout and gravel, as I have; he is not a horseman, he is a centaur.  D’Artagnan, look you, set out for Belle-Isle when I set out for Paris; and D’Artagnan, notwithstanding my ten hours’ advance, D’Artagnan will arrive within two hours after me.”

“But, then, accidents?”

“He never meets with accidents.”

“Horses may fail him.”

“He will run as fast as a horse.”

“Good God! what a man!”

“Yes, he is a man whom I love and admire.  I love him because he is good, great, and loyal; I admire him because he represents in my eyes the culminating point of human power; but, whilst loving and admiring him, I fear him, and am on my guard against him.  Now then, I resume, monsieur; in two hours D’Artagnan will be here; be beforehand with him.  Go to the Louvre, and see the king, before he sees D’Artagnan.”

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The Vicomte De Bragelonne from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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