“What shall I say to the king?”
“Nothing; give him Belle-Isle.”
“Oh! Monsieur d’Herblay! Monsieur d’Herblay,” cried Fouquet, “what projects crushed all at once!”
“After one project that has failed, there is always another project that may lead to fortune; we should never despair. Go, monsieur, and go at once.”
“But that garrison, so carefully chosen, the king will change it directly.”
“That garrison, monsieur, was the king’s when it entered Belle-Isle; it is yours now; it is the same with all garrisons after a fortnight’s occupation. Let things go on, monsieur. Do you see any inconvenience in having an army at the end of a year, instead of two regiments? Do you not see that your garrison of to-day will make you partisans at La Rochelle, Nantes, Bordeaux, Toulouse — in short, wherever they may be sent to? Go to the king, monsieur; go; time flies, and D’Artagnan, while we are losing time, is flying, like an arrow, along the high-road.”
“Monsieur d’Herblay, you know that each word from you is a germ which fructifies in my thoughts. I will go to the Louvre.”
“Instantly, will you not?”
“I only ask time to change my dress.”
“Remember that D’Artagnan has no need to pass through Saint-Mande; but will go straight to the Louvre; that is cutting off an hour from the advantage that yet remains to us.”
“D’Artagnan may have everything except my English horses. I shall be at the Louvre in twenty-five minutes.” And, without losing a second, Fouquet gave orders for his departure.
Aramis had only time to say to him, “Return as quickly as you go; for I shall await you impatiently.”
Five minutes after, the superintendent was flying along the road to Paris. During this time, Aramis desired to be shown the chamber in which Porthos was sleeping. At the door of Fouquet’s cabinet he was folded in the arms of Pelisson, who had just heard of his arrival, and had left his office to see him. Aramis received, with that friendly dignity which he knew so well how to assume, these caresses, respectful as earnest; but all at once stopping on the landing-place, “What is that I hear up yonder?”
There was, in fact, a hoarse, growling kind of noise, like the roar of a hungry tiger, or an impatient lion. “Oh, that is nothing,” said Pelisson, smiling.
“Well; but — "
“It is M. du Vallon snoring.”
“Ah! true,” said Aramis: “I had forgotten. No one but he is capable of making such a noise. Allow me, Pelisson, to inquire if he wants anything.”
“And you will permit me to accompany you?”