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Chicot the Jester by Alexandre Dumas

Part 9 out of 12

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"Just here to the left." And as they had walked down to the old
copse, St. Luc pointed out the spot where Bussy always came over.

"Ah!" continued he, "here is a wall in a bad state; I must warn
the baron."

"Whom do you suspect?"

"Of what?"

"Of climbing over here to talk to my wife." St. Luc seemed to

"Diable!" said he, "it could only have been----"


"Why, yourself."

"Are you joking, M. de St. Luc?"

"Ma foi, no; when I was first married I did such things."

"Come! you are trying to put me off; but do not fear, I have courage.
Help me to seek, you will do me an immense favor."

St. Luc shook his head. "It must have been you," said he.

"Do not jest, I beg of you; the thing is serious."

"Do you think so?"

"I am sure of it."

"Oh! and how does this man come?"



"I fear so; look at the marks in the wall."

"Well, I suspected it, but I always fancied it was you."

"But I tell you, no!"

"Oh, I believe you, my dear sir."

"Well, then----"

"It must have been some one else."

Monsoreau began to look black, but St. Luc preserved his easy

"I have an idea," said he.

"Tell me."

"If it were----"


"But, no."

"Pray speak."

"The Duc d'Anjou."

"I thought so at first, but I have made inquiries, and it could
not have been he."

"Oh! he is very cunning."

"Yes, but it was not he."

"Wait, then."


"I have another idea; if it was neither you nor the duke, it must
have been I."


"Why not?"

"You to come on horseback to the outside of the park, when you
live inside!"

"Oh, mon Dieu! I am such a capricious being."

"You, who fled away when you saw me!"

"Oh! any one would do that."

"Then you were doing wrong," cried the count, no longer able to
keep in his anger.

"I do not say so."

"You are mocking me," cried the count, growing very pale, "and
have been doing so for a quarter of an hour."

"You are wrong, monsieur," said St. Luc, drawing out his watch,
and looking steadily at him; "it has been twenty minutes."

"You insult me."

"And you insult me with your questions like a constable."

"Ah! now I see clearly."

"How wonderful, at ten o'clock in the morning. But what do you

"I see that you act in concert with the traitor, the coward, whom
I saw yesterday."

"I should think so; he is my friend."

"Then I will kill you in his place."

"Bah! in your own house, and without crying, gare. Ah! M. de
Monsoreau, how badly you have been brought up, and how living
among beasts spoils the manners."

"Do you not see that I am furious?" howled the count.

"Yes, indeed, I do see it, and it does not become you at all;
you look frightful."

The count drew his sword.

"Ah!" said St. Luc, "you try to provoke me; you see I am perfectly

"Yes, I do provoke you."

"Take the trouble to get over the wall; on the other side we shall
be on neutral ground."

"What do I care!"

"I do; I do not want to kill you in your own house."

"Very well!" said Monsoreau, climbing over.

"Take care; pray do not hurt yourself, my dear count; those stones
are loose," said St. Luc. Then he also got over.



"Are you ready?" cried Monsoreau.

"No; I have the sun in my eyes."

"Move then; I warn you I shall kill you."

"Shall you really? Well, man proposes, and God disposes. Look
at that bed of poppies and dandelions."


"Well, I mean to lay you there." And he laughed as he drew his
sword. Monsoreau began the combat furiously, but St. Luc parried
his thrusts skilfully.

"Pardieu! M. de Monsoreau," said he, "you use your sword very
well; you might kill any one but Bussy or me."

Monsoreau grew pale.

"As for me," continued St. Luc, "the king, who loves me, took
the trouble to give me a great many lessons, and showed me, among
other things, a thrust, which you shall see presently. I tell
you, that you may have the pleasure of knowing you are killed
by the king's method; it is very flattering." And then suddenly
he rushed furiously on Monsoreau, who, half wild with rage as
he was, parried five thrusts, but received the sixth full in
his chest.

"Ah!" said St. Luc, "you will fall just where I told you," as
Monsoreau sank down on the poppies. Then, wiping his sword, he
stood quietly by, watching the changes which came over the face
of the dying man.

"Ah, you have killed me!" cried Monsoreau.

"I intended to do so, but now I see you dying, devil take me if
I am not sorry for what I have done. You are horribly jealous,
it is true, but you were brave. Have you any last wish? If so,
tell it to me; and, on the faith of a gentleman, it shall be
executed. Are you thirsty? Shall I get you water?"

Monsoreau did not reply. He turned over with his face to the
earth, biting the ground, and struggling in his blood. Then he
tried to raise his head, but fell back with a groan.

"Come, he is dead; let me think no more about him. Ah! but that
is not so easy, when you have killed a man." And jumping back
over the wall, he went to the chateau. The first person he saw
was Diana talking to his wife.

"How well she will look in black," thought he. Then, approaching
them, "Pardon me," said he, "but may I say a few words to Jeanne?"

"Do so; I will go to my father,"

"What is it?" said Jeanne, when Diana was gone; "you look rather

"Why, yes."

"What has happened?"

"Oh, mon Dieu! an accident."

"To you?"

"Not precisely to me, but to a person who was near me."

"Who was it?"

"The person I was walking with."

"M. de Monsoreau?"

"Alas! yes; poor dear man."

"What has happened to him?"

"I believe he is dead."

"Dead!" cried Jeanne, starting back in horror.

"Just so."

"He who was here just now talking----"

"Yes, that is just the cause of his death; he talked too much."

"St. Luc, you are hiding something from me!" cried Jeanne, seizing
his hands.

"I! Nothing; not even the place where he lies."

"Where is it?"

"Down there behind the wall; just where Bussy used to tie his

"It was you who killed him."

"Parbleu! that is not very difficult to discover."

"Unlucky that you are!"

"Ah, dear friend! he provoked me, insulted me, drew the sword

"It is dreadful! the poor man!"

"Good; I was sure of it; before a week is over he will be called
St. Monsoreau."

"But you cannot stay here in the house of the man you have killed."

"So I thought at once, and that is why I came to ask you to get

"He has not wounded you?"

"No, I am perfectly unhurt."

"Then, we will go."

"As quickly as possible, for you know the accident may be discovered
at any moment."

"Then Diana is a widow."

"That is just what I thought of."

"After you killed him?"

"No, before."

"Well, I will go and tell her."

"Spare her feelings."

"Do not laugh. Meanwhile you get the horses saddled. But where
shall we go?"

"To Paris."

"But the king?"

"Oh! he will have forgotten everything by this time; besides,
if there is to be war, as seems probable, he will be glad of
me. But I must have pen and ink."

"For what?"

"To write to Bussy; I cannot leave Anjou without telling him why."

"No, of course not; you will find all that you require in my room."
St. Luc went in, and wrote,--


"You will learn, by report, ere long, the accident which has
happened to M. de Monsoreau; we had together, by the old copse,
a discussion on broken-down walls and horses that go home alone.
In the heat of the argument, he fell on a bed of poppies and
dandelions so hard that he died there.

"Your friend for life,
"St. Luc.

"P. S. As you may think this rather improbable, I must add that
we had our swords in our hands. I set off at once for Paris to
make peace with the king, Anjou not seeming to me very safe after
what has occurred."

Ten minutes after a servant set off for Angers with this letter,
while M. and Madame de St. Luc went out by another door, leaving
Diana much grieved at their departure, and much embarrassed how
to tell the baron what had occurred. She had turned away her
eyes from St. Luc as he passed.

"That is the reward for serving your friends," said he to his
wife; "decidedly all people are ungrateful excepting me."



At the same time that M. de Monsoreau fell under the sword of
St. Luc, a flourish of trumpets sounded at the closed gates of
Angers. It was Catherine de Medicis, who arrived there with rather
a large suite. They sent to tell Bussy, who rose from his bed,
and went to the prince, who immediately got into his. Certainly
the airs played by the trumpets were fine, but they had not the
virtue of those which made the walls of Jericho fall, for the
gates did not open. Catherine leaned out of her litter to show
herself to the guards, hoping the sight of her would do more
than the sound of the trumpets. They saw her, and saluted her
courteously, but did not open the gates. Then she sent a gentleman
to demand admittance, but they replied that Angers being in a
state of war, the gates could not be opened without some necessary
formalities. Catherine was furious. At last Bussy appeared, with
five other gentlemen.

"Who is there?" cried he.

"It is her majesty the queen mother, who has come to visit Angers."

"Very well, go to the left, and about eighty steps off you will
find the postern."

"A postern for her majesty!" cried the gentleman. But Bussy was
no longer there to hear, he and his friends had ridden off towards
the indicated spot.

"Did your majesty hear?" asked the gentleman.

"Oh! yes, monsieur, I heard; let us go there, if that be the only
way to get in."

The cortege turned to the left, and the postern opened.

"Your majesty is welcome to Angers," said Bussy.

"Thank you, M. de Bussy," said the queen, descending from her
litter, and advancing towards the little door. Bussy stopped
her. "Take care, madame," said he, "the door is low, and you will
hurt yourself."

"Must I then stoop?" replied she; "it is the first time I ever
entered a city so."

Once through the gate she re-entered her litter to go to the palace,
Bussy and his friends escorting her.

"Where is my son?" cried she; "why do I not see M. d'Anjou?"

"Monseigneur is ill, madame, or else your majesty cannot doubt
that he would have come himself to do the honors of his city."

Catherine was sublime in hypocrisy.

"Ill--my poor child, ill!" cried she; "ah! let us hasten to him;
is he well taken care of?"

"Yes, madame, we do our best."

"Does he suffer?"

"Horribly, he is subject to these sudden indispositions."

"It was sudden, then?"

"Mon Dieu! yes, madame."

When they arrived at the palace, Bussy ran up first to the duke.

"Here she is!" cried he.

"Is she furious?"


"Does she complain?"

"No, she does worse, she smiles."

"What do the people say?"

"They looked at her in mute terror; now, monseigneur, be careful."

"We stick to war?"

"Pardieu, ask one hundred to get ten, and with her you will only
get five."

"Bah! you think me very weak. Are you all here? Where is Monsoreau?"

"I believe he is at Meridor."

"Her majesty the queen mother!" cried the usher at the door.

Catherine entered, looking pale. The duke made a movement to
rise, but she threw herself into his arms and half stifled him
with kisses. She did more--she wept.

"We must take care," said Antragues to Ribeirac, "each tear will
be paid for by blood."

Catherine now sat down on the foot of the bed. At a sign from
Bussy everyone went away but himself.

"Will you not go and look after my poor attendants, M. de Bussy?
you who are at home here," said the queen.

It was impossible not to go, so he replied, "I am happy to please
your majesty," and he also retired.

Catherine wished to discover whether her son were really ill or
feigning. But he, worthy son of such a mother, played his part
to perfection. She had wept, he had a fever. Catherine, deceived,
thought him really ill, and hoped to have more influence over a
mind weakened by suffering. She overwhelmed him with tenderness,
embraced him, and wept so much that at last he asked her the

"You have run so great a risk," replied she.

"In escaping from the Louvre, mother?"

"No, after."

"How so?"

"Those who aided you in this unlucky escape----"


"Were your most cruel enemies."

"She wishes to find out who it was," thought he.

"The King of Navarre," continued she, "the eternal scourge of
our race----"

"Ah! she knows."

"He boasts of having gained much by it."

"That is impossible, for he had nothing to do with it; and if
he had, I am quite safe, as you see. I have not seen the King
of Navarre for two years."

"It was not only of danger I spoke!"

"Of what, then?" replied the duke, smiling, as he saw the tapestry
shake behind the queen.

"The king's anger," said she, in a solemn voice; "the furious
anger which menaces you----"

"This danger is something like the other, madame; he may be furious,
but I am safe here."

"You believe so?"

"I am sure of it; your majesty has announced it to me yourself."

"How so?"

"Because if you had been charged only with menaces, you would
not have come, and the king in that case would have hesitated
to place such a hostage in my hands."

"A hostage! I!" cried she, terrified.

"A most sacred and venerable one," replied the duke, with a
triumphant glance at the wall.

Catherine was baffled, but she did not know that Bussy was
encouraging the duke by signs.

"My son," said she at length, "you are quite right; they are words
of peace I bring to you."

"I listen, mother, and I think we shall now begin to understand
each other."



Catherine had, as we have seen, had the worst of the argument.
She was surprised, and began to wonder if her son were really
as decided as he appeared to be, when a slight event changed
the aspect of affairs. Bussy had been, as we said, encouraging
the prince secretly at every word that he thought dangerous to
his cause. Now his cause was war at any price, for he wished to
stay in Anjou, watch M. de Monsoreau, and visit his wife. The
duke feared Bussy, and was guided by him. Suddenly, however,
Bussy felt himself pulled by his cloak; he turned and saw Remy,
who drew him gently towards him.

"What is it, Remy?" said he impatiently. "Why disturb me at such
a moment?"

"A letter."

"And for a letter you take me from this important conversation."

"It is from Meridor."

"Oh! thank you, my good Remy."

"Then I was not wrong?"

"Oh, no; where is it?"

"That is what made me think it of importance; the messenger would
only give it to you yourself."

"Is he here?"


"Bring him in."

Remy opened the door, and a servant entered.

"Here is M. de Bussy," said Remy.

"Oh, I know him well," said the man, giving the letter.

"Did she give it to you?"

"No; M. de St. Luc."

As Bussy read, he grew first pale, then crimson. Remy dismissed
the servant, and Bussy, with a bewildered look, held out the
letter to him.

"See," said he, "what St. Luc has done for me."

"Well," said Remy, "this appears to me to be very good and St.
Luc is a gallant fellow."

"It is incredible!" cried Bussy.

"Certainly; but that is nothing. Here is our position quite changed;
I shall have a Comtesse de Bussy for a patient."

"Yes, she shall be my wife. So he is dead."

"So, you see, it is written."

"Oh, it seems like a dream, Remy. What! shall I see no more that
specter, always coming between me and happiness? It cannot be

"It is true; read again, 'he died there.'"

"But Diana cannot stay at Meridor--I do not wish it; she must
go where she will forget him."

"Paris will be best; people soon forget at Paris."

"You are right; we will return to the little house in the Rue
des Tournelles, and she shall pass there her months of widowhood
in obscurity."

"But to go to Paris you must have----"


"Peace in Anjou."

"True; oh, mon Dieu! what time lost."

"That means that you are going at once to Meridor."

"No, not I, but you; I must stay here; besides, she might not
like my presence just now."

"How shall I see her? Shall I go to the castle?"

"No; go first to the old copse and see if she is there; if she
is not then go to the castle."

"What shall I say to her?"

"Say that I am half mad." And pressing the young man's hand, he
returned to his place behind the tapes try.

Catherine had been trying to regain her ground.

"My son," she had said, "it seemed to me that a mother and son
could not fail to understand each other."

"Yet you see that happens sometimes."

"Never when she wishes it."

"When they wish it, you mean," said the duke, seeking a sign of
approbation from Bussy for his boldness.

"But I wish it, my son, and am willing to make any sacrifices
to attain peace."


"Yes, my dear child. What do you ask?--what do you demand? Speak."

"Oh, my mother!" said Francois, almost embarrassed at his own
easy victory.

"Listen, my son. You do not wish to drown the kingdom in blood--it
is not possible; you are neither a bad Frenchman nor a bad brother."

"My brother insulted me, madame, and I owe him nothing, either
as my brother or king."

"But I, Francois--you cannot complain of me?"

"Yes, madame, you abandoned me."

"Ah! you wish to kill me. Well, a mother does not care to live
to see her children murder each other!" cried Catherine, who
wished very much to live.

"Oh, do not say that, madame, you tear my heart!" cried Francois,
whose heart was not torn at all.

Catherine burst into tears. The duke took her hands, and tried
to reassure her, not without uneasy glances towards the tapestry.

"But what do you want or ask for, mother? I will listen," said

"I wish you to return to Paris, dear child, to return to your
brother's court, who will receive you with open arms."

"No, madame, it is not he whose arms are open to receive me--it
is the Bastile."

"No; return, and on my honor, on my love as a mother, I solemnly
swear that you shall be received by the king as though you were
king and he the Duc d'Anjou."

The duke looked to the tapestry.

"Accept, my son; you will have honors, guards."

"Oh, madame, your son gave me guards--his four minions!"

"Do not reply so; you shall choose your own guards, and M. de.
Bussy shall be their captain, if you like."

Again the duke glanced to the wall, and, to his surprise, saw
Bussy smiling and applauding by every possible method.

"What is the meaning of this change?" thought the duke; "is it
that he may be captain of my guards? Then must I accept?" said
he aloud, as though talking to himself.

"Yes, yes!" signed Bussy, with head and hands.

"Quit Anjou, and return to Paris?"

"Yes!" signed Bussy, more decidedly than ever.

"Doubtless, dear child," said Catherine, "it is not disagreeable
to return to Paris."

"Well, I will reflect," said the duke, who wished to consult with

"I have won," thought Catherine.

They embraced once more, and separated.



Remy rode along, wondering in what humor he should find Diana,
and what he should say to her. He had just arrived at the park
wall, when his horse, which had been trotting, stopped so suddenly
that, had he not been a good rider, he would have been thrown
over his head. Remy, astonished, looked to see the cause, and
saw before him a pool of blood, and a little further on, a body,
lying against the wall. "It is Monsoreau!" cried he; "how strange!
he lies dead there, and the blood is down here. Ah! there is
the track; he must have crawled there, or rather that good M.
de St. Luc leaned him up against the wall that the blood might
not fly to his head. He died with his eyes open, too."

All at once Remy started back in horror; the two eyes, that he
had seen open, shut again, and a paleness more livid than ever
spread itself over the face of the defunct. Remy became almost
as pale as M. de Monsoreau, but, as he was a doctor, he quickly
recovered his presence of mind, and said to himself that if Monsoreau
moved his eyes, it showed he was not dead. "And yet I have read,"
thought he, "of strange movements after death. This devil of a
fellow frightens one even after death. Yes, his eyes are quite
closed; there is one method of ascertaining whether he is dead
or not, and that is to shove my sword into him, and if he does
not move, he is certainly dead." And Remy was preparing for this
charitable action, when suddenly the eyes opened again. Remy
started back, and the perspiration rolled off his forehead as
he murmured, "He is not dead; we are in a nice position. Yes,
but if I kill him he will be dead." And he looked at Monsoreau,
who seemed also to be looking at him earnestly.

"Oh!" cried Remy, "I cannot do it. God knows that if he were
upright before me I would kill him with all my heart; but as he
is now, helpless and three parts dead, it would be an infamy."

"Help!" murmured Monsoreau, "I am dying."

"Mordieu!" thought Remy, "my position is embarrassing. I am a
doctor, and, as such, bound to succor my fellow-creatures when
they suffer. It is true that Monsoreau is so ugly that he can
scarcely be called a fellow-creature, still he is a man. Come,
I must forget that I am the friend of M. de Bussy, and do my
duty as a doctor."

"Help!" repeated the wounded man.

"Here I am," said Remy.

"Fetch me a priest and a doctor."

"The doctor is here, and perhaps he will dispense with the priest."

"Remy," said Monsoreau, "by what chance--"

Remy understood all the question might mean. This was no beaten
road, and no one was likely to come without particular business.

"Pardieu!" he replied, "a mile or two off I met M. de St. Luc----"

"Ah! my murderer."

"And he said, 'Remy, go to the old copse, there you will find
a man dead.'"


"Yes, he thought so; well, I came here and saw you."

"And now, tell me frankly, am I mortally wounded?"

"I will try to find out."

Remy approached him carefully, took off his cloak, his doublet
and shirt. The sword had penetrated between the sixth and seventh

"Do you suffer much?"

"In my back, not in my chest."

"Ah, let me see; where?"

"Below the shoulder bone."

"The steel must have come against a bone." And he began to examine.
"No, I am wrong," said he, "the sword came against nothing, but
passed right through." Monsoreau fainted after this examination.

"Ah! that is all right," said Remy, "syncope, low pulse, cold in
the hands and legs: Diable! the widowhood of Madame de Monsoreau
will not last long, I fear."

At this moment a slight bloody foam rose to the lips of the wounded

Remy drew from his pocket his lancet case; then tearing off a
strip from the patient's shirt, bound it round his arm.

"We shall see," said he, "if the blood flows. Ah, it does! and
I believe that Madame de Monsoreau will not be a widow. Pardon,
my dear M. de Bussy, but I am a doctor."

Presently the patient breathed, and opened his eyes.

"Oh!" stammered he, "I thought all was over."

"Not yet, my dear monsieur; it is even possible----"

"That I live!"

"Oh, mon Dieu! yes; but let me close the wound. Stop; do not
move; nature at this moment is aiding my work. I make the blood
flow, and she stops it. Ah! nature is a great doctor, my dear
sir. Let me wipe your lips. See the bleeding has stopped already.
Good; all goes well, or rather badly."


"No, not for you; but I know what I mean."

"You think I shall get well?"

"Alas! yes."

"You are a singular doctor, M. Remy."

"Never mind, as long as I cure you," said he, rising.

"Do not abandon me," said the count.

"Ah! you talk too much. Diable! I ought to tell him to cry out."

"What do you mean?"

"Never mind; your wound is dressed. Now I will go to the castle
and fetch assistance."

"And what must I do meanwhile?"

"Keep quite still; do not stir; breathe lightly, and try not to
cough. Which is the nearest house?"

"The chateau de Meridor."

"Which is the way to it?" said Remy, affecting ignorance.

"Get over the wall, and you will find yourself in the park."

"Very well; I go."

"Thanks, generous man."

"Generous, indeed, if you only knew all."

He soon arrived at the chateau, where all the inhabitants were
busy looking for the body of the count; for St. Luc had given
them a wrong direction. Remy came among them like a thunderbolt,
and was so eager to bring them to the rescue, that Diana looked
at him with surprise, "I thought he was Bussy's friend," murmured
she, as Remy disappeared, carrying with him a wheelbarrow, lint
and water.



As soon as the duke left his mother, he hastened to Bussy to know
the meaning of all his signs. Bussy, who was reading St. Luc's
letter for the fifth time, received the prince with a gracious

"How! monseigneur takes the trouble to come to my house to seek

"Yes mordieu, I want an explanation."

"From me?"

"Yes, from you."

"I listen, monseigneur."

"You tell me to steel myself against the suggestions of my mother,
and to sustain the attack valiantly. I do so; and in the hottest
of the fight you tell me to surrender."

"I gave you all those charges, monseigneur, because I was ignorant
of the object for which your mother came; but now that I see that
she has come to promote your highness's honor and glory----"

"How! what do you mean?"

"Doubtless: what does your highness want? To triumph over your
enemies, do you not? For I do not believe, as some people say,
that you wish to become King of France."

The duke looked sullen.

"Some might counsel you to it, but believe me they are your most
cruel enemies. Consider for yourself, monseigneur; have you one
hundred thousand men--ten millions of livres--alliance with
foreigners--and, above all, would you turn against your king?"

"My king did not hesitate to turn against me."

"Ah! there you are right. Well! declare yourself--get crowned--take
the title of King of France--and if you succeed, I ask no better;
I should grow great with you."

"Who speaks of being king?" cried the duke, angrily; "you discuss
a question which I have never proposed, even to myself."

"Well, then, that is settled. Let them give you a guard and five
hundred thousand livres. Obtain, before peace is signed, a subsidy
from Anjou, to carry on the war. Once you have it, you can keep
it. So, we should have arms and money, and we could do----God
knows what."

"But once they have me at Paris, they will laugh at me."

"Oh! impossible, monseigneur; did you not hear what the queen
mother offered you?"

"She offered me many things."

"That disquiets you?"


"But, among other things, she offered you a company of guards,
even if I commanded it."

"Yes, she offered that."

"Well, accept; I will be captain; Antragues and Livarot lieutenants;
and Ribeirac ensign. Let us get up your company for you, and see
if they dare to laugh at you then."

"Ma foi! I believe you are right, Bussy; I will think of it."

"Do so, monseigneur."

"What were you reading so attentively when I came in?"

"Oh! a letter, which interests you still more than me. Where the
devil were my brains, that I did not show it to you?"

"What is it?"

"Sad news, monseigneur; Monsoreau is dead."

"What!" cried the duke, with a surprise which Bussy thought was
a joyful one.

"Dead, monseigneur."

"M. de Monsoreau!"

"Mon Dieu! yes; are we not all mortal?"

"Yes; but so suddenly."

"Ah! but if you are killed?"

"Then, he was killed?"

"So it seems; and by St. Luc, with whom he quarreled."

"Oh, that dear St. Luc!"

"I did not think he was one of your highness's friends."

"Oh, he is my brother's, and, since we are to be reconciled, his
friends are mine. But are you sure?"

"As sure as I can be. Here is a letter from St. Luc, announcing
it; and I have sent Remy, my doctor, to present my condolences
to the old baron."

"Oh, Monsoreau!" cried the prince, with his malignant smile.

"Why monseigneur, one would say you hated the poor count."

"No, it was you."

"Of course I did; did he not humiliate me through you?"

"You remember it still."

"But you, monseigneur, whose friend and tool he was----"

"Well, well, get my horse saddled, Bussy."

"What for?"

"To go to Meridor; I wish to pay a visit to Madame Monsoreau.
I have been projecting one for some time, and I do not know why
it has not taken place sooner."

"Now Monsoreau is dead," thought Bussy, "I do not care; I will
protect Diana. I will go with him, and see her."

A quarter of an hour after, the prince, Bussy, and ten gentlemen
rode to Meridor, with that pleasure which fine weather, turf,
and youth always inspire in men on horseback.

The porter at the chateau came to ask the names of the visitors.

"The Duc d'Anjou," replied the prince.

The porter blew his horn, and soon windows were opened, and they
heard the noise of bolts and bars as the door was unfastened,
and the old baron appeared on the threshold, holding in his hand
a bunch of keys. Immediately behind him stood a lady.

"Ah, there is the beautiful Diana!" cried the duke; "do you see
her, Bussy?"

Diana, indeed, came out of the house, and behind her came a litter,
on which lay Monsoreau, his eyes shining with fever and jealousy
as he was carried along.

"What does this mean?" cried the duke to his companion, who had
turned whiter than the handkerchief with which he was trying
to hide his emotion.

"Long live the Duc d'Anjou!" cried Monsoreau, raising his hand
in the air by a violent effort.

"Take care, you will hurt yourself," said a voice behind him.
It was Remy.

Surprise does not last long at court, so, with a smile, the duke
said, "Oh, my dear count, what a happy surprise! Do you know
we heard you were dead?"

"Come near, monseigneur, and let me kiss your hand. Thank God,
not only I am not dead, but I shall live; I hope to serve you
with more ardor than ever."

As for Bussy, he felt stunned, and scarcely dared to look at
Diana. This treasure, twice lost to him, belonged still to his

"And you, M. de Bussy," said Monsoreau, "receive my thanks, for
it is almost to you that I owe my life."

"To me!" stammered the young man, who thought the count was mocking

"Yes, indirectly, it is true, for here is my saviour," said he,
turning to Remy, who would willingly have sunk into the earth.
Then, in spite of his signs, which he took for precautions to
himself, he recounted the care and skill which the young doctor
had exhibited towards him.

The duke frowned, and Bussy looked thunders. The poor fellow raised
his hands to heaven.

"I hear," continued the count, "that Remy one day found you dying,
as he found me. It is a tie of friendship between us, M. de Bussy,
and when Monsoreau loves, he loves well; it is true that when
he hates, it is also with all his heart."

"Come, then," said the duke, getting off his horse, "deign, beautiful
Diana, to do us the honors of the house, which we thought to find
in grief, but which we find still the abode of joy. As for you,
Monsoreau, rest--you require it."

"Monseigneur!" said the count, "it shall never be said that
Monsoreau, while he lived, allowed another to do the honors of
his house to you; my servants will carry me, and wherever you
go, I shall follow."

Bussy approached Diana, and Monsoreau smiled; he took her hand,
and he smiled again. It was only the duke he feared.

"Here is a great change, M. le Comte," said Diana.

"Alas! why is it not greater!"



Bussy did not quit Diana; the smiles of Monsoreau gave him a liberty
which he was only too glad to make use of.

"Madame," said he to Diana, "I am in truth the most miserable
of men. On the news of his death, I advised the prince to return
to Paris, and to come to terms with his mother; he did so, and
now you remain in Anjou."

"Oh, Louis," replied she, "we dare not say that we are unhappy;
so many happy days, so many joys--do you forget them all?"

"I forget nothing, madame; on the contrary, I remember but too
much, and that is why I suffer as I do at losing this happiness.
What shall I do if I return to Paris, a hundred leagues from
you? My heart sinks at the thought, Diana."

Diana looked at him, and saw so much grief in his eyes, that she
said, "Well, if you go to Paris, I will go also."

"How! will you quit M. de Monsoreau?"

"No, he would not allow me to do so; he must come with us."

"Wounded, ill as he is? Impossible!"

"He will come, I tell you." And, leaving Bussy, she went to the
prince. The count frowned dreadfully.

"Monseigneur," said she, "they say your highness is fond of flowers;
if you will come with me, I will show you the most beautiful in

The duke offered her his hand.

"Where are you about to take monseigneur?" asked Monsoreau uneasily.

"Into the greenhouse."

"Ah! well, carry me there."

"Ma foi!" thought Remy, "I was right not to kill him, for he
will soon kill himself."

Diana smiled on Bussy, and said to him, in a low voice, "Do not
let M. de Monsoreau suspect that you are about to leave Anjou,
and I will manage all."

"Good!" said Bussy, and approaching the prince, he whispered,
"Do not let Monsoreau know that we intend to make peace."

"Why not?"

"Because he might tell the queen-mother, to make a friend of her."

"You suspect him, then?"

"Yes, I do."

"Well, so do I; I believe he only counterfeited death to deceive

"No, he really received a sword-thrust through his body, and
but for that fool of a Remy, he would have died; I believe his
soul must be glued to his body."

They arrived at the conservatory, and Diana continued to smile
charmingly on the prince. He passed first, then Diana, and Monsoreau
wished to follow, but it was impossible. His litter was too large
to go through the door. At this sight he uttered a groan. Diana
went on quietly, without looking at him, but Bussy, who understood
her, said to him:

"It is useless to try, M. le Comte, your litter will not pass."

"Monseigneur!" cried Monsoreau, "do not go into that conservatory,
some of the flowers exhale dangerous perfumes."

Then he fainted, and was carried to his room.

Bussy went to tell Diana what had happened, and she left the duke
to go to the castle.

"Have we succeeded?" said Bussy to her as she passed.

"I hope so; do not go away without having seen Gertrude."

When Monsoreau opened his eyes again, he saw Diana standing at
his bedside.

"Ah! it is you, madame," said he, "to-night we leave for Paris."

Remy cried out in horror, but Monsoreau paid no attention.

"Can you think of such a thing, with your wound?" said Diana,

"Madame, I would rather die than suffer, and were I to die on
the road, we start to-night."

"As you please, monsieur."

"Then make your preparations."

"My preparations are soon made, but may I ask the reason of this
sudden determination?"

"I will tell you, madame, when you have no more flowers to show to
the prince, and when my doors are large enough to admit litters."

Diana bowed.

"But, madame----" said Remy.

"M. le Comte wishes it," replied she, "and my duty is to obey."
And she left the room.

As the duke was making his adieux to the Baron de Meridor, Gertrude
appeared, and said aloud to the duke that her mistress regretted that
she could not have the honor of saying farewell to his highness; and
softly to Bussy that Diana would set off for Paris that evening.
As they went home again, the duke felt unwilling to leave Anjou
now that Diana smiled on him. Therefore he said, "I have been
reflecting, Bussy," said he.

"On what, monseigneur?"

"That it is not wise to give in at once to my mother."

"You are right, she thinks herself clever enough without that."

"But by dragging it on for a week, and giving fetes, and calling
the liability around us, she will see how strong we are."

"Well reasoned, but still----"

"I will stay here a week; depend upon it I shall draw new concessions
from the queen."

Bussy appeared to reflect. "Well, monseigneur," said he, "perhaps
you are right, but the king, not knowing your intentions, may
become annoyed; he is very irascible."

"You are right, but I shall send some one to the king to announce
my return in a week."

"Yes, but that some one will run great risks."

"If I change my mind, you mean."

"Yes, and in spite of your promise, you would do so if you thought
it your interest."


"Then they will send your messenger to the Bastile."

"I will give him a letter, and not let him know what he is carrying."

"On the contrary, give him no letter, and let him know."

"Then no one will go."

"Oh! I know some one."


"I, myself."


"Yes, I like difficult negotiations."

"Bussy, my dear Bussy, if you will do that, I shall be eternally

Bussy smiled. The duke thought he hesitated.

"And I will give you ten thousand crowns for your journey," added

"Thanks, monseigneur, but these things cannot be paid for."

"Then you will go?"



"Whenever you like."

"The sooner the better."

"This evening if you wish it."

"Dear Bussy."

"You know I would do anything for your highness. I will go to-night;
you stay here and enjoy yourself, and get me something good from
the queen-mother."

"I will not forget."

Bussy then prepared to depart as soon as the signal arrived from
Meridor. It did not come till the next morning, for the count had
felt himself so feeble that he had been forced to take a night's
rest. But early in the morning a messenger came to announce to
Bussy that the count had set off for Paris in a litter, followed
on horseback by Remy, Diana, and Gertrude. Bussy jumped on his
horse, and took the same road.



Since the departure of Catherine, Henri, however, confident in
his ambassador, had thought only of arming himself against the
attacks of his brother. He amused, or rather ennuyed, himself by
drawing up long lists of proscriptions, in which were inscribed
in alphabetical order all who had not shown themselves zealous
for his cause. The lists became longer every day, and at the
S---- and the L----, that is to say, twice over, was inscribed
the name of M. de St. Luc. Chicot, in the midst of all this,
was, little by little, and man by man, enrolling an army for
his master. One evening Chicot entered the room where the king
sat at supper.

"What is it?" asked the king.

"M. de St. Luc."

"M. de St. Luc?"


"At Paris?"


"At the Louvre?"


The king rose, red and agitated.

"What has he come for? The traitor!"

"Who knows?"

"He comes, I am sure, as deputy from the states of Anjou--as an
envoy from my rebellious brother. He makes use of the rebellion
as a safe conduct to come here and insult me."

"Who knows?"

"Or perhaps he comes to ask me for his property, of which I have
kept back the revenues, which may have been rather an abuse of
power, as, after all, he has committed no crime."

"Who knows?"

"Ah, you repeat eternally the same thing; mort de ma vie! you
tire my patience out with your eternal 'Who knows?'"

"Eh! mordieu! do you think you are very amusing with your eternal

"At least you might reply something."

"And what should I reply? Do you take me for an ancient oracle?
It is you who are tiresome with your foolish suppositions."

"M. Chicot?"

"M. Henri."

"Chicot, my friend, you see my grief and you laugh at me."

"Do not have any grief."

"But everyone betrays me."

"Who knows? Ventre de biche! who knows?"

Henri went down to his cabinet, where, at the news of his return,
a number of gentlemen had assembled, who were looking at St.
Luc with evident distrust and animosity. He, however, seemed
quite unmoved by this. He had brought his wife with him also,
and she was seated, wrapped in her traveling-cloak, when the
king entered in an excited state.

"Ah, monsieur, you here!" he cried.

"Yes, sire," replied St. Luc.

"Really, your presence at the Louvre surprises me."

"Sire, I am only surprised that, under the circumstances, your
majesty did not expect me."

"What do you mean, monsieur?"

"Sire, your majesty is in danger."

"Danger!" cried the courtiers.

"Yes, gentlemen, a real, serious danger, in which the king has
need of the smallest as well as the greatest of those devoted
to him; therefore I come to lay at his feet my humble services."

"Ah!" said Chicot, "you see, my son, that I was right to say,
'who knows.'"

Henri did not reply at once; he would not yield immediately.
After a pause, he said, "Monsieur, you have only done your duty;
your services are due to us."

"The services of all the king's subjects are due to him, I know,
sire; but in these times many people forget to pay their debts.
I, sire, come to pay mine, happy that your majesty will receive
me among the number of your creditors."

"Then," said Henri, in a softer tone, "you return without any
other motive than that which you state; without any mission,
or safe-conduct?"

"Sire, I return simply and purely for that reason. Now, your
majesty may throw me into the Bastile, or have me shot, but I
shall have done my duty. Sire, Anjou is on fire; Touraine is
about to revolt; Guienne is rising. M. le Duc d'Anjou is hard
at work."

"He is well supported, is he not?"

"Sire, M. de Bussy, firm as he is, cannot make your brother brave."

"Ah! he trembles, then, the rebel."

"Let me go and shake St. Luc's hand," said Chicot, advancing.

The king followed him, and going up to his old favorite, and laying
his hand on his shoulder, said,--

"You are welcome, St. Luc!"

"Ah! sire," cried St. Luc, kissing the king's hand, "I find again
my beloved master."

"Yes, but you, my poor St. Luc, you have grown thin."

"It is with grief at having displeased your majesty," said a
feminine voice. Now, although the voice was soft and respectful,
Henri frowned, for it was as distasteful to him as the noise
of thunder was to Augustus.

"Madame de St. Luc!" said he. "Ah! I forgot."

Jeanne threw herself at his feet.

"Rise, madame," said he, "I love all that bear the name of St.
Luc." Jeanne took his hand and kissed it, but he withdrew it

"You must convert the king," said Chicot to the young woman, "you
are pretty enough for it."

But Henri turned his back to her, and passing his arm round St.
Luc's neck, said,--

"Then we have made peace, St. Luc?"

"Say rather, sire, that the pardon is granted."

"Madame!" said Chicot, "a good wife should not leave her husband,"
and he pushed her after the king and St. Luc.



There are two of the personages mentioned in this story, about
whom the reader has the right to ask for information. We mean an
enormous monk, with thick eyebrows and large lips, whose neck was
diminishing every day; and a large donkey whose sides were gradually
swelling out like a balloon. The monk resembled a hogshead; and
the ass was like a child's cradle, supported by four posts.

The one inhabited a cell at St. Genevieve, and the other the
stable at the same convent. The one was called Gorenflot, and
the other Panurge. Both were enjoying the most prosperous lot
that ever fell to a monk and an ass.

The monks surrounded their illustrious brother with cares and
attentions, and Pan urge fared well for his master's sake.

If a missionary arrived from foreign countries, or a secret legate
from the Pope, they pointed out to him Brother Gorenflot, that
double model of the church preaching and militant; they showed
Gorenflot in all his glory, that is to say, in the midst of a
feast, seated at a table in which a hollow had been cut on purpose
for his sacred stomach, and they related with a noble pride that
Gorenflot consumed the rations of eight ordinary monks. And when
the newcomer had piously contemplated this spectacle, the prior
would say, "See how he eats! And if you had but heard his sermon
one famous night, in which he offered to devote himself for the
triumph of the faith. It is a mouth which speaks like that of
St. Chrysostom, and swallows like that of Gargantua."

Every time that any one spoke of the sermon, Gorenflot sighed
and said:

"What a pity I did not write it!

"A man like you has no need to write," the prior would reply.
"No, you speak from inspiration; you open your mouth, and the
words of God flow from your lips."

"Do you think so?" sighed Gorenflot.

However, Gorenflot was not perfectly happy. He, who at first
thought his banishment from the convent an immense misfortune,
discovered in his exile infinite joys before unknown to him. He
sighed for liberty; liberty with Chicot, the joyous companion,
with Chicot, whom he loved without knowing why. Since his return
to the convent, he had never been allowed to go out. He never
attempted to combat this decision, but he grew sadder from day
to day. The prior saw this, and at last said to him:

"My dear brother, no one can fight against his vocation; yours
is to fight for the faith; go then, fulfil your mission, only
watch well over your precious life, and return for the great

"What great day?"

"That of the Fete Dieu."

"Ita," replied Gorenflot; it was the only Latin word he knew,
and used it on all occasions. "But give me some money to bestow
in alms in a Christian manner."

"You have your text, have you not, dear brother?"

"Yes, certainly."

"Confide it to me."

"Willingly, but to you alone; it is this: 'The flail which threshes
the corn.'"

"Oh, magnificent! sublime!" cried the prior.

"Now, my father, am I free?"

"Yes, my son, go and walk in the way of the Lord."

Gorenflot saddled Panurge, mounted him with the aid of two vigorous
monks, and left the convent about seven in the evening. It was
the same day on which St. Luc arrived at Paris from Meridor.

Gorenflot, having passed through the Rue St. Etienne, was going
to have turned to the right, when suddenly Panurge stopped; a
strong hand was laid on his croup.

"Who is there?" cried Gorenflot, in terror.

"A friend."

Gorenflot tried to turn, but he could not.

"What do you want?" said he.

"Will my venerable brother show me the way to the Corne d'Abondance?"

"Morbleu! it is M. Chicot," cried Gorenflot, joyfully.

"Just so; I was going to seek you at the convent, when I saw
you come out, and followed you until we were alone. Ventre de
biche! how thin you are!"

"But what are you carrying, M. Chicot?" said the monk, "you appear

"It is some venison which I have stolen from the king."

"Dear M. Chicot! and under the other arm?"

"A bottle of Cyprus wine sent by a king to my king."

"Let me see!"

"It is my wine, and I love it much; do not you, brother?"

"Oh! oh!" cried Gorenflot, raising his eyes and hands to Heaven,
and beginning to sing in a voice which shook the neighboring
windows. It was the first time he had sung for a month.



Let us leave the two friends entering the Corne d'Abondance,
and return to the litter of M. Monsoreau and to Bussy, who set
out with the intention of following them. Not only is it not
difficult for a cavalier well mounted to overtake foot travelers,
but it is difficult not to pass them. This happened to Bussy.

It was the end of May, the heat was great, and about noon M.
de Monsoreau wished to make a halt in a little wood, which was
near the road, and as they had a horse laden with provisions,
they remained there until the great heat of the day had gone by.
During this time Bussy passed them, but he had not traveled, as
we may imagine, without inquiring if a party on horseback, and
a litter carried by peasants, had been seen. Until he had passed
the village of Durtal, he had obtained the most satisfactory
information, and, convinced that they were before him, had ridden
on quickly. But he could see nothing of them, and suddenly all
traces of them vanished, and on arriving at La Fleche he felt
certain he must have passed them on the road. Then he remembered
the little wood, and doubted not that they had been resting there
when he passed. He installed himself at a little inn, which had
the advantage of being opposite the principal hotel, where he
doubted not that Monsoreau would stop; and he remained at the
window watching. About four o'clock he saw a courier arrive,
and half an hour afterwards the whole party. He waited till nine
o'clock, and then he saw the courier set out again, and after
him the litter, then Diana, Remy, and Gertrude on horseback.
He mounted his horse and followed them, keeping them in sight.
Monsoreau scarcely allowed Diana to move from his side, but kept
calling her every instant. After a little while, Bussy gave a long,
shrill whistle, with which he had been in the habit of calling
his servants at his hotel. Remy recognized it in a moment. Diana
started, and looked at the young man, who made an affirmative
sign; then he came up to her and whispered:

"It is he!"

"Who is speaking to you, madame?" said Monsoreau.

"To me, monsieur?"

"Yes, I saw a shadow pass close to you, and heard a voice."

"It is M. Remy; are you also jealous of him?"

"No, but I like people to speak out, it amuses me."

"There are some things which cannot be said aloud before M. le
Comte, however," said Gertrude, coming to the rescue.

"Why not?"

"For two reasons; firstly, because some would not interest you,
and some would interest you too much."

"And of which kind is what M. Remy has just whispered?"

"Of the latter."

"What did Remy say to you, madame?"

"I said, M. le Comte, that if you excite yourself so much, you
will be dead before we have gone a third of the way."

Monsoreau grew deadly pale.

"He is expecting you behind," whispered Remy, again, "ride slowly,
and he will overtake you."

Monsoreau, who heard a murmur, tried to rise and look back after

"Another movement like that, M. le Comte, and you will bring on
the bleeding again," said Remy.

Diana turned and rode back a little way, while Remy walked by
the litter to occupy the count. A few seconds after, Bussy was
by her side.

"You see I follow you," said he, after their first embrace.

"Oh! I shall be happy, if I know you are always so near to me."

"But by day he will see us."

"No; by day you can ride afar off; it is only I who will see
you, Louis. From the summit of some hill, at the turn of some
road, your plume waving, your handkerchief fluttering in the
breeze, would speak to me in your name, and tell me that you
love me."

"Speak on, my beloved Diana; you do not know what music I find
in your voice."

"And when we travel by night, which we shall often do, for Remy
has told him that the freshness of the evening is good for his
wounds, then, as this evening, from time to time, I will stay
behind, and we will tell each other, with a rapid pressure of
the hands, all our thoughts of each other during the day."

"Oh! I love you! I love you!" murmured Bussy. "Oh! to see you,
to press your hand, Diana."

Suddenly they heard a voice which made them both tremble, Diana
with fear, and Bussy with anger.

"Diana!" it cried, "where are you? Answer me."

"Oh! it is he! I had forgotten him," said Diana. "Sweet dream,
frightful awaking."

"Listen, Diana; we are together. Say one word, and nothing can
separate us more; Diana, let us fly! What prevents us? Before
us is happiness and liberty. One word, and we go; one word, and
lost to him, you belong to me forever."

"And my father?"

"When he shall know how I love you?"

"Oh! a father!"

"I will do nothing by violence, dear Diana; order, and I obey."

"It is our destiny, Bussy; but be strong, and you shall see if
I know how to love."

"Must we then separate?"

"Comtesse!" cried the voice, "reply, or, if I kill myself in doing
it, I will jump from this infernal litter."

"Adieu, Bussy, he will do as he says."

"You pity him?"

"Jealous!" said Diana, with an adorable smile.

Bussy let her go.

In a minute she was by the litter, and found the count half fainting.

"Ah!" cried he, "where were you, madame?"

"Where should I have been? Behind you."

"At my side, madame; do not leave me again."

From time to time this scene was renewed. They all hoped he would
die with rage; but he did not die: on the contrary, at the end of
ten days, when they arrived at Paris, he was decidedly better.
During these ten days Diana had conquered all Bussy's pride,
and had persuaded him to come and visit Monsoreau, who always
showed him much friendship. Remy watched the husband and gave
notes to the wife.

"Esculapius and Mercury," said he; "my functions accumulate."



As neither Catherine nor the Duc d'Anjou reappeared at the Louvre,
the dissension between the brothers became apparently every day
more and more certain. The king thought, "No news, bad news."
The minions added, "Francois, badly counseled, has detained the

Badly counseled. In these words were comprised all the policy of
this singular reign, and the three preceding ones. Badly counseled
was Charles IX. when he authorized the massacre of St. Bartholomew.
Badly counseled was Francois II. when he ordered the massacre
at Amboise. Badly counseled had been Henri II. when he burned
so many heretics and conspirators. And now they dared not say,
"Your brother has the family blood in his veins; he wishes, like
the rest, to dethrone or poison; he would do to you what you
did to your elder brother; what your elder brother did to his,
what your mother has taught you to do to one another." Therefore
they said, "Your brother is badly counseled."

Now, as only one person was able to counsel Francois, it was
against Bussy that the cry was raised, which became every day
more and more furious. At last the news was spread that the duke
had sent an ambassador. At this the king grew pale with anger,
and the minions swore that he should be cut to pieces, and a
piece sent to all the provinces of France as a specimen of the
king's anger. Chicot said nothing, but he reflected. Now the
king thought much of Chicot's reflections, and he questioned him
about them.

"Sire," replied he, "if your brother sends an ambassador, it
is because he feels himself strong enough to do so; he who is
prudence itself. Now, if he is strong, we must temporize with him.
Let us respect his ambassador, and receive him with civility. That
engages you to nothing. Do you remember how your brother embraced
Admiral Coligny, who came as ambassador from the Huguenots?"

"Then you approve of the policy of my brother Charles?"

"Not so, but I cite a fact; and I say to you, do not hurt a poor
devil of a herald, or ambassador; perhaps we may find the way to
seize the master, the mover, the chief, the great Duc d'Anjou,
with the three Guises; and if you can shut them up in a place
safer than the Louvre, do it."

"That is not so bad."

"Then why do you let all your friends bellow so?"


"Yes; I would say, roar, if they could be taken for lions, but
they are more like bearded apes."

"Chicot, they are my friends."

"Friends! I would lay any bet to make them all turn against you
before to-morrow."

"Well, what do you advise?"

"To wait, my son. Half the wisdom of Solomon lies in that word.
If an ambassador arrive, receive him courteously. And as to your
brother, kill him if you can and like, but do not degrade him.
He is a great knave, but he is a Valois; besides, he can do that
well enough for himself."

"It is true, Chicot."

"One more lesson that you owe me. Now let me sleep, Henri; for
the last week I have been engaged in fuddling a monk."

"A monk! the one of whom you have already spoken to me?"

"Just so. You promised him an abbey."


"Pardieu! it is the least you can do for him, after all be has
done for you."

"He is then still devoted to me?"

"He adores you. Apropos, my son----"


"In three weeks it will be the Fete Dieu."


"Are we to have some pretty little procession?"

"I am the most Christian king, and it is my duty to set an example
to my subjects."

"And you will, as usual, stop at the four great convents of Paris?"


"At St. Genevieve?"

"Yes, that is the second I stop at."


"Why do you ask?"

"Oh, nothing--I was curious. Now I know all I want, so good night,

But just as Chicot prepared to leave, a great noise was heard.

"What is that noise?" said the king.

"It is ordained that I am not to sleep. Henri, you must get me
a room in the town, or I must leave your service; the Louvre
becomes insupportable."

At this moment the captain of the guards entered, saying, "Sire,
it is an envoy from M. le Duc d'Anjou."

"With a suite?"

"No, sire, alone."

"Then you must receive him doubly well, Henri, for he is a brave

"Well," said the king, very pale, but trying to look calm, "let
all my court assemble in the great hall."



Henri sat on his throne in the great hall, and around him was
grouped an eager crowd. He looked pale and frowning.

"Sire," said Quelus to the king, "do you know the name of the

"No; but what does it matter?"

"Sire, it is M. de Bussy; the insult is doubled."

"I see no insult," said the king, with affected sang-froid.

"Let him enter," continued he. Bussy, with his hat in his hand,
and his head erect, advanced straight to the king, and waited,
with his usual look of pride, to be interrogated.

"You here, M. de Bussy!" said the king; "I thought you were in

"Sire, I was, but you see I have quitted it."

"And what brings you here?"

"The desire of presenting my humble respects to your majesty."

The king and courtiers looked astonished; they expected a different

"And nothing else?" said the king.

"I will add, sire, the orders I received from the Duc d'Anjou
to join his respects to mine."

"And the duke said nothing else?"

"Only that he was on the point of returning with the queen-mother,
and wished me to apprise your majesty of the return of one of
your most faithful subjects."

The king was choked with surprise.

"Good morning, M. de Bussy," said Chicot.

Bussy turned, astonished to find a friend in that place.

"Good day, M. Chicot; I am delighted to see you."

"Is that all you have to say, M. de Bussy?" asked the king.

"Yes, sire; anything that remains to be said, will be said by
the duke himself."

The king rose and went away, and Bussy continued to converse
with Chicot, until the king called to him. As soon as Bussy was
alone, Quelus approached him.

"Good morning, M. Quelus," said Bussy graciously; "may I have
the honor of asking how you are?"

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