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

“Ah!” said M. d’Artagnan, with an agreeable smile, balancing himself upon his stirrup to jump to the ground, “where is that dear count?”

“Ah! how unfortunate you are, monsieur!” said Blaisois:  “and how unfortunate will monsieur le comte, our master, think himself when he hears of your coming!  As ill luck will have it, monsieur le comte left home two hours ago.”

D’Artagnan did not trouble himself about such trifles.  “Very good!” said he.  “You always speak the best French in the world; you shall give me a lesson in grammar and correct language, whilst I wait the return of your master.”

“That is impossible, monsieur,” said Blaisois; “you would have to wait too long.”

“Will he not come back to-day, then?”

“No, nor to-morrow, nor the day after to-morrow.  Monsieur le comte has gone on a journey.”

“A journey!” said D’Artagnan, surprised; “that’s a fable, Master Blaisois.”

“Monsieur, it is no more than the truth.  Monsieur has done me the honor to give me the house in charge; and he added, with his voice so full of authority and kindness — that is all one to me:  ’You will say I have gone to Paris.’”

“Well!” cried D’Artagnan, “since he is gone towards Paris, that is all I wanted to know! you should have told me so at first, booby!  He is then two hours in advance?”

“Yes, monsieur.”

“I shall soon overtake him.  Is he alone?”

“No, monsieur.”

“Who is with him, then?”

“A gentleman whom I don’t know, an old man, and M. Grimaud.”

“Such a party cannot travel as fast as I can — I will start.”

“Will monsieur listen to me an instant?” said Blaisois, laying his hand gently on the reins of the horse.

“Yes, if you don’t favor me with fine speeches, and make haste.”

“Well, then, monsieur, that word Paris appears to me to be only an excuse.”

“Oh, oh!” said D’Artagnan, seriously, “an excuse, eh?”

“Yes, monsieur:  and monsieur le comte is not going to Paris, I will swear.”

“What makes you think so?”

“This, — M. Grimaud always knows where our master is going; and he had promised me that the first time he went to Paris, he would take a little money for me to my wife.”

“What, have you a wife, then?”

“I had one — she was of this country; but monsieur thought her a noisy scold, and I sent her to Paris; it is sometimes inconvenient, but very agreeable at others.”

“I understand; but go on.  You do not believe the count gone to Paris?”

“No, monsieur; for then M. Grimaud would have broken his word; he would have perjured himself, and that is impossible.”

“That is impossible,” repeated D’Artagnan, quite in a study, because he was quite convinced.  “Well, my brave Blaisois, many thanks to you.”

Blaisois bowed.

“Come, you know I am not curious — I have serious business with your master.  Could you not, by a little bit of a word — you who speak so well — give me to understand — one syllable only — I will guess the rest.”

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