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Twenty Years After by Alexandre Dumas [Pere]

Part 10 out of 20

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"No; that idiot Bazin had the folly to make himself verger,
as you know, and therefore cannot leave Notre Dame.

"Very well, take Blaisois, with whom I know not what to do,
since I already have Grimaud."

"Willingly," said Aramis.

At this moment Grimaud appeared at the door. "Ready," said
he, with his usual curtness.

"Let us go, then," said Athos.

The two friends mounted, as did their servants. At the
corner of the Quai they encountered Bazin, who was running

"Oh, sir!" exclaimed he, "thank Heaven I have arrived in
time. Monsieur Porthos has just been to your house and has
left this for you, saying that the letter was important and
must be given to you before you left."

"Good," said Aramis, taking a purse which Bazin presented to
him. "What is this?"

"Wait, your reverence, there is a letter."

"You know I have already told you that if you ever call me
anything but chevalier I will break every bone in your body.
Give me the letter."

"How can you read?" asked Athos, "it is as dark as a cold

"Wait," said Bazin, striking a flint, and setting afire a
twisted wax-light, with which he started the church candles.
Thus illumined, Aramis read the following epistle:

My dear D'Herblay, -- I learned from D'Artagnan who has
embraced me on the part of the Comte de la Fere and
yourself, that you are setting out on a journey which may
perhaps last two or three months; as I know that you do not
like to ask money of your friends I offer you some of my own
accord. Here are two hundred pistoles, which you can dispose
of as you wish and return to me when opportunity occurs. Do
not fear that you put me to inconvenience; if I want money I
can send for some to any of my chateaux; at Bracieux alone,
I have twenty thousand francs in gold. So, if I do not send
you more it is because I fear you would not accept a larger

"I address you, because you know, that although I esteem him
from my heart I am a little awed by the Comte de la Fere;
but it is understood that what I offer you I offer him at
the same time.

"I am, as I trust you do not doubt, your devoted

"Du Vallon de Bracieux de Pierrefonds.

"Well," said Aramis, "what do you say to that?"

"I say, my dear D'Herblay, that it is almost sacrilege to
distrust Providence when one has such friends, and therefore
we will divide the pistoles from Porthos, as we divided the
louis sent by D'Artagnan."

The division being made by the light of Bazin's taper, the
two friends continued their road and a quarter of an hour
later they had joined De Winter at the Porte Saint Denis.


In which it is proved that first Impulses are oftentimes the

The three gentlemen took the road to Picardy, a road so well
known to them and which recalled to Athos and Aramis some of
the most picturesque adventures of their youth.

"If Mousqueton were with us," observed Athos, on reaching the
spot where they had had a dispute with the paviers, "how he
would tremble at passing this! Do you remember, Aramis, that
it was here he received that famous bullet wound?"

"By my faith, 'twould be excusable in him to tremble,"
replied Aramis, "for even I feel a shudder at the
recollection; hold, just above that tree is the little spot
where I thought I was killed."

It was soon time for Grimaud to recall the past. Arriving
before the inn at which his master and himself had made such
an enormous repast, he approached Athos and said, showing
him the airhole of the cellar:


Athos began to laugh, for this juvenile escapade of his
appeared to be as amusing as if some one had related it of
another person.

At last, after traveling two days and a night, they arrived
at Boulogne toward the evening, favored by magnificent
weather. Boulogne was a strong position, then almost a
deserted town, built entirely on the heights; what is now
called the lower town did not then exist.

"Gentlemen," said De Winter, on reaching the gate of the
town, "let us do here as at Paris -- let us separate to
avoid suspicion. I know an inn, little frequented, but of
which the host is entirely devoted to me. I will go there,
where I expect to find letters, and you go to the first
tavern in the town, to L'Epee du Grand Henri for instance,
refresh yourselves, and in two hours be upon the jetty; our
boat is waiting for us there."

The matter being thus decided, the two friends found, about
two hundred paces further, the tavern indicated. Their
horses were fed, but not unsaddled; the grooms supped, for
it was already late, and their two masters, impatient to
return, appointed a place of meeting with them on the jetty
and desired them on no account to exchange a word with any
one. It is needless to say that this caution concerned
Blaisois alone -- long enough since it had been a useless
one to Grimaud.

Athos and Aramis walked down toward the port. From their
dress, covered with dust, and from a certain easy manner by
means of which a man accustomed to travel is always
recognizable, the two friends excited the attention of a few
promenaders. There was more especially one upon whom their
arrival had produced a decided impression. This man, whom
they had noticed from the first for the same reason they had
themselves been remarked by others, was walking in a
listless way up and down the jetty. From the moment he
perceived them he did not cease to look at them and seemed
to burn with the wish to speak to them.

On reaching the jetty Athos and Aramis stopped to look at a
little boat made fast to a pile and ready rigged as if
waiting to start.

"That is doubtless our boat," said Athos.

"Yes," replied Aramis, "and the sloop out there making ready
to sail must be that which is to take us to our destination;
now," continued he, "if only De Winter does not keep us
waiting. It is not at all amusing here; there is not a
single woman passing."

"Hush!" said Athos, "we are overheard."

In truth, the walker, who, during the observations of the
two friends, had passed and repassed behind them several
times, stopped at the name of De Winter; but as his face
betrayed no emotion at mention of this name, it might have
been by chance he stood so still.

"Gentlemen," said the man, who was young and pale, bowing
with ease and courtesy, "pardon my curiosity, but I see you
come from Paris, or at least that you are strangers at

"We come from Paris, yes," replied Athos, with the same
courtesy; "what is there we can do for you?"

"Sir," said the young man, "will you be so good as to tell
me if it be true that Cardinal Mazarin is no longer

"That is a strange question," said Aramis.

"He is and he is not," replied Athos; "that is to say, he is
dismissed by one-half of France, but by intrigues and
promises he makes the other half sustain him; you will
perceive that this may last a long time."

"However, sir," said the stranger, "he has neither fled nor
is in prison?"

"No, sir, not at this moment at least."

"Sirs, accept my thanks for your politeness," said the young
man, retreating.

"What do you think of that interrogator?" asked Aramis.

"I think he is either a dull provincial person or a spy in
search of information."

"And you replied to him with that notion?"

"Nothing warranted me to answer him otherwise; he was polite
to me and I was so to him."

"But if he be a spy ---- "

"What do you think a spy would be about here? We are not
living in the time of Cardinal Richelieu, who would have
closed the ports on bare suspicion."

"It matters not; you were wrong to reply to him as you did,"
continued Aramis, following with his eyes the young man, now
vanishing behind the cliffs.

"And you," said Athos, "you forget that you committed a very
different kind of imprudence in pronouncing Lord de Winter's
name. Did you not see that at that name the young man

"More reason, then, when he spoke to you, for sending him
about his business."

"A quarrel?" asked Athos.

"And since when have you become afraid of a quarrel?"

"I am always afraid of a quarrel when I am expected at any
place and when such a quarrel might possibly prevent my
reaching it. Besides, let me own something to you. I am
anxious to see that young man nearer."

"And wherefore?"

"Aramis, you will certainly laugh at me, you will say that I
am always repeating the same thing, you will call me the
most timorous of visionaries; but to whom do you see a
resemblance in that young man?"

"In beauty or on the contrary?" asked Aramis, laughing.

"In ugliness, in so far as a man can resemble a woman."

"Ah! Egad!" cried Aramis, "you set me thinking. No, in truth
you are no visionary, my dear friend, and now I think of it
-- you -- yes, i'faith, you're right -- those delicate, yet
firm-set lips, those eyes which seem always at the command
of the intellect and never of the heart! Yes, it is one of
Milady's bastards!"

"You laugh Aramis."

"From habit, that is all. I swear to you, I like no better
than yourself to meet that viper in my path."

"Ah! here is De Winter coming," said Athos.

"Good! one thing now is only awanting and that is, that our
grooms should not keep us waiting."

"No," said Athos. "I see them about twenty paces behind my
lord. I recognize Grimaud by his long legs and his
determined slouch. Tony carries our muskets."

"Then we set sail to-night?" asked Aramis, glancing toward
the west, where the sun had left a single golden cloud,
which, dipping into the ocean, appeared by degrees to be

"Probably," said Athos.

"Diable!" resumed Aramis, "I have little fancy for the sea
by day, still less at night; the sounds of wind and wave,
the frightful movements of the vessel; I confess I prefer
the convent of Noisy."

Athos smiled sadly, for it was evident that he was thinking
of other things as he listened to his friend and moved
toward De Winter.

"What ails our friend?" said Aramis, "he resembles one of
Dante's damned, whose neck Apollyon has dislocated and who
are ever looking at their heels. What the devil makes him
glower thus behind him?"

When De Winter perceived them, in his turn he advanced
toward them with surprising rapidity.

"What is the matter, my lord?" said Athos, "and what puts
you out of breath thus?"

"Nothing," replied De Winter; "nothing; and yet in passing
the heights it seemed to me ---- " and he again turned

Athos glanced at Aramis.

"But let us go," continued De Winter; "let us be off; the
boat must be waiting for us and there is our sloop at anchor
-- do you see it there? I wish I were on board already," and
he looked back again.

"He has seen him," said Athos, in a low tone, to Aramis.

They had reached the ladder which led to the boat. De Winter
made the grooms who carried the arms and the porters with
the luggage descend first and was about to follow them.

At this moment Athos perceived a man walking on the seashore
parallel to the jetty, and hastening his steps, as if to
reach the other side of the port, scarcely twenty steps from
the place of embarking. He fancied in the darkness that he
recognized the young man who had questioned him. Athos now
descended the ladder in his turn, without losing sight of
the young man. The latter, to make a short cut, had appeared
on a sluice.

"He certainly bodes us no good," said Athos; "but let us
embark; once out at sea, let him come."

And Athos sprang into the boat, which was immediately pushed
off and which soon sped seawards under the efforts of four
stalwart rowers.

But the young man had begun to follow, or rather to advance
before the boat. She was obliged to pass between the point
of the jetty, surmounted by a beacon just lighted, and a
rock which jutted out. They saw him in the distance climbing
the rock in order to look down upon the boat as it passed.

"Ay, but," said Aramis, "that young fellow is decidedly a

"Which is the young man?" asked De Winter, turning around.

"He who followed us and spoke to us awaits us there;

De Winter turned and followed the direction of Aramis's
finger. The beacon bathed with light the little strait
through which they were about to pass and the rock where the
young man stood with bare head and crossed arms.

"It is he!" exclaimed De Winter, seizing the arm of Athos;
"it is he! I thought I recognized him and I was not

"Whom do you mean?" asked Aramis.

"Milady's son," replied Athos.

"The monk!" exclaimed Grimaud.

The young man heard these words and bent so forward over the
rock that one might have supposed he was about to
precipitate himself from it.

"Yes, it is I, my uncle -- I, the son of Milady -- I, the
monk -- I, the secretary and friend of Cromwell -- I know
you now, both you and your companions."

In that boat sat three men, unquestionably brave, whose
courage no man would have dared dispute; nevertheless, at
that voice, that accent and those gestures, they felt a
chill access of terror cramp their veins. As for Grimaud,
his hair stood on end and drops of sweat ran down his brow.

"Ah!" exclaimed Aramis, "that is the nephew, the monk, and
the son of Milady, as he says himself."

"Alas, yes," murmured De Winter.

"Then wait," said Aramis; and with the terrible coolness
which on important occasions he showed, he took one of the
muskets from Tony, shouldered and aimed it at the young man,
who stood, like the accusing angel, upon the rock.

"Fire!" cried Grimaud, unconsciously.

Athos threw himself on the muzzle of the gun and arrested
the shot which was about to be fired.

"The devil take you," said Aramis. "I had him so well at the
point of my gun I should have sent a ball into his breast."

"It is enough to have killed the mother," said Athos,

"The mother was a wretch, who struck at us all and at those
dear to us."

"Yes, but the son has done us no harm."

Grimaud, who had risen to watch the effect of the shot, fell
back hopeless, wringing his hands.

The young man burst into a laugh.

"Ah, it is certainly you!" he cried. "I know you even better

His mocking laugh and threatening words passed over their
heads, carried by the breeze, until lost in the depths of
the horizon. Aramis shuddered.

"Be calm," exclaimed Athos, "for Heaven's sake! have we
ceased to be men?"

"No," said Aramis, "but that fellow is a fiend; and ask the
uncle whether I was wrong to rid him of his dear nephew."

De Winter only replied by a groan.

"It was all up with him," continued Aramis; "ah I much fear
that with all your wisdom such mercy yet will prove supernal

Athos took Lord de Winter's hand and tried to turn the

"When shall we land in England?" he asked; but De Winter
seemed not to hear his words and made no reply.

"Hold, Athos," said Aramis, "perhaps there is yet time. See
if he is still in the same place."

Athos turned around with an effort; the sight of the young
man was evidently painful to him, and there he still was, in
fact, on the rock, the beacon shedding around him, as it
were, a doubtful aureole.

"Decidedly, Aramis," said Athos, "I think I was wrong not to
let you fire."

"Hold your tongue," replied Aramis; "you would make me weep,
if such a thing were possible."

At this moment they were hailed by a voice from the sloop
and a few seconds later men, servants and baggage were
aboard. The captain was only waiting for his passengers;
hardly had they put foot on deck ere her head was turned
towards Hastings, where they were to disembark. At this
instant the three friends turned, in spite of themselves, a
last look on the rock, upon the menacing figure which
pursued them and now stood out with a distinctness still.
Then a voice reached them once more, sending this threat:
"To our next meeting, sirs, in England."


Te Deum for the Victory of Lens.

The bustle which had been observed by Henrietta Maria and
for which she had vainly sought to discover a reason, was
occasioned by the battle of Lens, announced by the prince's
messenger, the Duc de Chatillon, who had taken such a noble
part in the engagement; he was, besides, charged to hang
five and twenty flags, taken from the Lorraine party, as
well as from the Spaniards, upon the arches of Notre Dame.

Such news was decisive; it destroyed, in favor of the court,
the struggle commenced with parliament. The motive given for
all the taxes summarily imposed and to which the parliament
had made opposition, was the necessity of sustaining the
honor of France and the uncertain hope of beating the enemy.
Now, since the affair of Nordlingen, they had experienced
nothing but reverses; the parliament had a plea for calling
Mazarin to account for imaginary victories, always promised,
ever deferred; but this time there really had been fighting,
a triumph and a complete one. And this all knew so well that
it was a double victory for the court, a victory at home and
abroad; so that even when the young king learned the news he
exclaimed, "Ah, gentlemen of the parliament, we shall see
what you will say now!" Upon which the queen had pressed the
royal child to her heart, whose haughty and unruly
sentiments were in such harmony with her own. A council was
called on the same evening, but nothing transpired of what
had been decided on. It was only known that on the following
Sunday a Te Deum would be sung at Notre Dame in honor of the
victory of Lens.

The following Sunday, then, the Parisians arose with joy; at
that period a Te Deum was a grand affair; this kind of
ceremony had not then been abused and it produced a great
effect. The shops were deserted, houses closed; every one
wished to see the young king with his mother, and the famous
Cardinal Mazarin whom they hated so much that no one wished
to be deprived of his presence. Moreover, great liberty
prevailed throughout the immense crowd; every opinion was
openly expressed and chorused, so to speak, of coming
insurrection, as the thousand bells of all the Paris
churches rang out the Te Deum. The police belonging to the
city being formed by the city itself, nothing threatening
presented itself to disturb this concert of universal hatred
or freeze the frequent scoffs of slanderous lips.

Nevertheless, at eight o'clock in the morning the regiment
of the queen's guards, commanded by Guitant, under whom was
his nephew Comminges, marched publicly, preceded by drums
and trumpets, filing off from the Palais Royal as far as
Notre Dame, a manoeuvre which the Parisians witnessed
tranquilly, delighted as they were with military music and
brilliant uniforms.

Friquet had put on his Sunday clothes, under the pretext of
having a swollen face which he had managed to simulate by
introducing a handful of cherry kernels into one side of his
mouth, and had procured a whole holiday from Bazin. On
leaving Bazin, Friquet started off to the Palais Royal,
where he arrived at the moment of the turning out of the
regiment of guards; and as he had only gone there for the
enjoyment of seeing it and hearing the music, he took his
place at their head, beating the drum on two pieces of slate
and passing from that exercise to that of the trumpet, which
he counterfeited quite naturally with his mouth in a manner
which had more than once called forth the praises of
amateurs of imitative harmony.

This amusement lasted from the Barriere des Sergens to the
place of Notre Dame, and Friquet found in it very real
enjoyment; but when at last the regiment separated,
penetrated the heart of the city and placed itself at the
extremity of the Rue Saint Christophe, near the Rue
Cocatrix, in which Broussel lived, then Friquet remembered
that he had not had breakfast; and after thinking in which
direction he had better turn his steps in order to
accomplish this important act of the day, he reflected
deeply and decided that Councillor Broussel should bear the
cost of this repast.

In consequence he took to his heels, arrived breathlessly at
the councillor's door, and knocked violently.

His mother, the councillor's old servant, opened it.

"What doest thou here, good-for-nothing?" she said, "and why
art thou not at Notre Dame?"

"I have been there, mother," said Friquet, "but I saw things
happen of which Master Broussel ought to be warned, and so
with Monsieur Bazin's permission -- you know, mother,
Monsieur Bazin, the verger -- I came to speak to Monsieur

"And what hast thou to say, boy, to Monsieur Broussel?"

"I wish to tell him," replied Friquet, screaming with all
his might, "that there is a whole regiment of guards coming
this way. And as I hear everywhere that at the court they
are ill-disposed to him, I wish to warn him, that he may be
on his guard."

Broussel heard the scream of the young oddity, and,
enchanted with this excess of zeal, came down to the first
floor, for he was, in truth, working in his room on the

"Well," said he, "friend, what matters the regiment of
guards to us, and art thou not mad to make such a
disturbance? Knowest thou not that it is the custom of these
soldiers to act thus and that it is usual for the regiment
to form themselves into two solid walls when the king goes

Friquet counterfeited surprise, and twisting his new cap
around in his fingers, said:

"It is not astonishing for you to know it, Monsieur
Broussel, who knows everything; but as for me, by holy
truth, I did not know it and I thought I would give you good
advice; you must not be angry with me for that, Monsieur

"On the contrary, my boy, on the contrary, I am pleased with
your zeal. Dame Nanette, look for those apricots which
Madame de Longueville sent to us yesterday from Noisy and
give half a dozen of them to your son, with a crust of new

"Oh, thank you, sir, thank you, Monsieur Broussel," said
Friquet; "I am so fond of apricots!"

Broussel then proceeded to his wife's room and asked for
breakfast; it was nine o'clock. The councillor placed
himself at the window; the street was completely deserted,
but in the distance was heard, like the noise of the tide
rushing in, the deep hum of the populous waves increasing
now around Notre Dame.

This noise redoubled when D'Artagnan, with a company of
musketeers, placed himself at the gates of Notre Dame to
secure the service of the church. He had instructed Porthos
to profit by this opportunity to see the ceremony; and
Porthos, in full dress, mounted his finest horse, taking the
part of supernumerary musketeer, as D'Artagnan had so often
done formerly. The sergeant of this company, a veteran of
the Spanish wars, had recognized Porthos, his old companion,
and very soon all those who served under him were placed in
possession of startling facts concerning the honor of the
ancient musketeers of Treville. Porthos had not only been
well received by the company, but he was moreover looked on
with great admiration.

At ten o'clock the guns of the Louvre announced the
departure of the king, and then a movement, similar to that
of trees in a stormy wind that bend and writhe with agitated
tops, ran though the multitude, which was compressed behind
the immovable muskets of the guard. At last the king
appeared with the queen in a gilded chariot. Ten other
carriages followed, containing the ladies of honor, the
officers of the royal household, and the court.

"God save the king!" was the cry in every direction; the
young monarch gravely put his head out of the window, looked
sufficiently grateful and even bowed; at which the cries of
the multitude were renewed.

Just as the court was settling down in the cathedral, a
carriage, bearing the arms of Comminges, quitted the line of
the court carriages and proceeded slowly to the end of the
Rue Saint Christophe, now entirely deserted. When it arrived
there, four guards and a police officer, who accompanied it,
mounted into the heavy machine and closed the shutters; then
through an opening cautiously made, the policeman began to
watch the length of the Rue Cocatrix, as if he was waiting
for some one.

All the world was occupied with the ceremony, so that
neither the chariot nor the precautions taken by those who
were within it had been observed. Friquet, whose eye, ever
on the alert, could alone have discovered them, had gone to
devour his apricots upon the entablature of a house in the
square of Notre Dame. Thence he saw the king, the queen and
Monsieur Mazarin, and heard the mass as well as if he had
been on duty.

Toward the end of the service, the queen, seeing Comminges
standing near her, waiting for a confirmation of the order
she had given him before quitting the Louvre, said in a

"Go, Comminges, and may God aid you!"

Comminges immediately left the church and entered the Rue
Saint Christophe. Friquet, seeing this fine officer thus
walk away, followed by two guards, amused himself by
pursuing them and did this so much the more gladly as the
ceremony ended at that instant and the king remounted his

Hardly had the police officer observed Comminges at the end
of the Rue Cocatrix when he said one word to the coachman,
who at once put his vehicle into motion and drove up before
Broussel's door. Comminges knocked at the door at the same
moment, and Friquet was waiting behind Comminges until the
door should be opened.

"What dost thou there, rascal?" asked Comminges.

"I want to go into Master Broussel's house, captain,"
replied Friquet, in that wheedling way the "gamins" of Paris
know so well how to assume when necessary.

"And on what floor does he live?" asked Comminges.

"In the whole house," said Friquet; "the house belongs to
him; he occupies the second floor when he works and descends
to the first to take his meals; he must be at dinner now; it
is noon."

"Good," said Comminges.

At this moment the door was opened, and having questioned
the servant the officer learned that Master Broussel was at
home and at dinner.

Broussel was seated at the table with his family, having his
wife opposite to him, his two daughters by his side, and his
son, Louvieres, whom we have already seen when the accident
happened to the councillor -- an accident from which he had
quite recovered -- at the bottom of the table. The worthy
man, restored to perfect health, was tasting the fine fruit
which Madame de Longueville had sent to him.

At sight of the officer Broussel was somewhat moved, but
seeing him bow politely he rose and bowed also. Still, in
spite of this reciprocal politeness, the countenances of the
women betrayed a certain amount of uneasiness; Louvieres
became very pale and waited impatiently for the officer to
explain himself.

"Sir," said Comminges, "I am the bearer of an order from the

"Very well, sir," replied Broussel, "what is this order?"
And he held out his hand.

"I am commissioned to seize your person, sir," said
Comminges, in the same tone and with the same politeness;
"and if you will believe me you had better spare yourself
the trouble of reading that long letter and follow me."

A thunderbolt falling in the midst of these good people, so
peacefully assembled there, would not have produced a more
appalling effect. It was a horrible thing at that period to
be imprisoned by the enmity of the king. Louvieres sprang
forward to snatch his sword, which stood against a chair in
a corner of the room; but a glance from the worthy Broussel,
who in the midst of it all did not lose his presence of
mind, checked this foolhardy action of despair. Madame
Broussel, separated by the width of the table from her
husband, burst into tears, and the young girls clung to
their father's arms.

"Come, sir," said Comminges, "make haste; you must obey the

"Sir," said Broussel, "I am in bad health and cannot give
myself up a prisoner in this state; I must have time."

"It is impossible," said Comminges; "the order is strict and
must be put into execution this instant."

"Impossible!" said Louvieres; "sir, beware of driving us to

"Impossible!" cried a shrill voice from the end of the room.

Comminges turned and saw Dame Nanette, her eyes flashing
with anger and a broom in her hand.

"My good Nanette, be quiet, I beseech you," said Broussel.

"Me! keep quiet while my master is being arrested! he, the
support, the liberator, the father of the people! Ah! well,
yes; you have to know me yet. Are you going?" added she to

The latter smiled.

"Come, sir," said he, addressing Broussel, "silence that
woman and follow me."

"Silence me! me! me!" said Nanette. "Ah! yet one wants some
one besides you for that, my fine king's cockatoo! You shall
see." And Dame Nanette sprang to the window, threw it open,
and in such a piercing voice that it might have been heard
in the square of Notre Dame:

"Help!" she screamed, "my master is being arrested; the
Councillor Broussel is being arrested! Help!"

"Sir," said Comminges, "declare yourself at once; will you
obey or do you intend to rebel against the king?"

"I obey, I obey, sir!" cried Broussel, trying to disengage
himself from the grasp of his two daughters and by a look
restrain his son, who seemed determined to dispute

"In that case," commanded Comminges, "silence that old

"Ah! old woman!" screamed Nanette.

And she began to shriek more loudly, clinging to the bars of
the window:

"Help! help! for Master Broussel, who is arrested because he
has defended the people! Help!"

Comminges seized the servant around the waist and would have
dragged her from her post; but at that instant a treble
voice, proceeding from a kind of entresol, was heard

"Murder! fire! assassins! Master Broussel is being killed!
Master Broussel is being strangled."

It was Friquet's voice; and Dame Nanette, feeling herself
supported, recommenced with all her strength to sound her
shrilly squawk.

Many curious faces had already appeared at the windows and
the people attracted to the end of the street began to run,
first men, then groups, and then a crowd of people; hearing
cries and seeing a chariot they could not understand it; but
Friquet sprang from the entresol on to the top of the

"They want to arrest Master Broussel!" he cried; "the guards
are in the carriage and the officer is upstairs!"

The crowd began to murmur and approached the house. The two
guards who had remained in the lane mounted to the aid of
Comminges; those who were in the chariot opened the doors
and presented arms.

"Don't you see them?" cried Friquet, "don't you see? there
they are!"

The coachman turning around, gave Friquet a slash with his
whip which made him scream with pain.

"Ah! devil's coachman!" cried Friquet, "you're meddling too!

And regaining his entresol he overwhelmed the coachman with
every projectile he could lay hands on.

The tumult now began to increase; the street was not able to
contain the spectators who assembled from every direction;
the crowd invaded the space which the dreaded pikes of the
guards had till then kept clear between them and the
carriage. The soldiers, pushed back by these living walls,
were in danger of being crushed against the spokes of the
wheels and the panels of the carriages. The cries which the
police officer repeated twenty times: "In the king's name,"
were powerless against this formidable multitude -- seemed,
on the contrary, to exasperate it still more; when, at the
shout, "In the name of the king," an officer ran up, and
seeing the uniforms ill-treated, he sprang into the scuffle
sword in hand, and brought unexpected help to the guards.
This gentleman was a young man, scarcely sixteen years of
age, now white with anger. He leaped from his charger,
placed his back against the shaft of the carriage, making a
rampart of his horse, drew his pistols from their holsters
and fastened them to his belt, and began to fight with the
back sword, like a man accustomed to the handling of his

During ten minutes he alone kept the crowd at bay; at last
Comminges appeared, pushing Broussel before him.

"Let us break the carriage!" cried the people.

"In the king's name!" cried Comminges.

"The first who advances is a dead man!" cried Raoul, for it
was in fact he, who, feeling himself pressed and almost
crushed by a gigantic citizen, pricked him with the point of
his sword and sent him howling back.

Comminges, so to speak, threw Broussel into the carriage and
sprang in after him. At this moment a shot was fired and a
ball passed through the hat of Comminges and broke the arm
of one of the guards. Comminges looked up and saw amidst the
smoke the threatening face of Louvieres appearing at the
window of the second floor.

"Very well, sir," said Comminges, "you shall hear of this

"And you of me, sir," said Louvieres; "and we shall see then
who can speak the loudest."

Friquet and Nanette continued to shout; the cries, the noise
of the shot and the intoxicating smell of powder produced
their usual maddening effects.

"Down with the officer! down with him!" was the cry.

"One step nearer," said Comminges, putting down the sashes,
that the interior of the carriage might be well seen, and
placing his sword on his prisoner's breast, "one step
nearer, and I kill the prisoner; my orders were to carry him
off alive or dead. I will take him dead, that's all."

A terrible cry was heard, and the wife and daughters of
Broussel held up their hands in supplication to the people;
the latter knew that this officer, who was so pale, but who
appeared so determined, would keep his word; they continued
to threaten, but they began to disperse.

"Drive to the palace," said Comminges to the coachman, who
was by then more dead than alive.

The man whipped his animals, which cleared a way through the
crowd; but on arriving on the Quai they were obliged to
stop; the carriage was upset, the horses carried off,
stifled, mangled by the crowd. Raoul, on foot, for he had
not time to mount his horse again, tired, like the guards,
of distributing blows with the flat of his sword, had
recourse to its point. But this last and dreaded resource
served only to exasperate the multitude. From time to time a
shot from a musket or the blade of a rapier flashed among
the crowd; projectiles continued to hail down from the
windows and some shots were heard, the echo of which, though
they were probably fired in the air, made all hearts
vibrate. Voices, unheard except on days of revolution, were
distinguished; faces were seen that only appeared on days of
bloodshed. Cries of "Death! death to the guards! to the
Seine with the officer!" were heard above all the noise,
deafening as it was. Raoul, his hat in ribbons, his face
bleeding, felt not only his strength but also his reason
going; a red mist covered his sight, and through this mist
he saw a hundred threatening arms stretched over him, ready
to seize upon him when he fell. The guards were unable to
help any one -- each one was occupied with his
self-preservation. All was over; carriages, horses, guards,
and perhaps even the prisoner were about to be torn to
shreds, when all at once a voice well known to Raoul was
heard, and suddenly a great sword glittered in the air; at
the same time the crowd opened, upset, trodden down, and an
officer of the musketeers, striking and cutting right and
left, rushed up to Raoul and took him in his arms just as he
was about to fall.

"God's blood!" cried the officer, "have they killed him? Woe
to them if it be so!"

And he turned around, so stern with anger, strength and
threat, that the most excited rebels hustled back on one
another, in order to escape, and some of them even rolled
into the Seine.

"Monsieur d'Artagnan!" murmured Raoul.

"Yes, 'sdeath! in person, and fortunately it seems for you,
my young friend. Come on, here, you others," he continued,
rising in his stirrups, raising his sword, and addressing
those musketeers who had not been able to follow his rapid
onslaught. "Come, sweep away all that for me! Shoulder
muskets! Present arms! Aim ---- "

At this command the mountain of populace thinned so suddenly
that D'Artagnan could not repress a burst of Homeric

"Thank you, D'Artagnan," said Comminges, showing half of his
body through the window of the broken vehicle, "thanks, my
young friend; your name -- that I may mention it to the

Raoul was about to reply when D'Artagnan bent down to his

"Hold your tongue," said he, "and let me answer. Do not lose
time, Comminges," he continued; "get out of the carriage if
you can and make another draw up; be quick, or in five
minutes the mob will be on us again with swords and muskets
and you will be killed. Hold! there's a carriage coming over

Then bending again to Raoul, he whispered: "Above all things
do not divulge your name."

"That's right. I will go," said Comminges; "and if they come
back, fire!"

"Not at all -- not at all," replied D'Artagnan; "let no one
move. On the contrary, one shot at this moment would be paid
for dearly to-morrow."

Comminges took his four guards and as many musketeers and
ran to the carriage, from which he made the people inside
dismount, and brought them to the vehicle which had upset.
But when it was necessary to convey the prisoner from one
carriage to the other, the people, catching sight of him
whom they called their liberator, uttered every imaginable
cry and knotted themselves once more around the vehicle.

"Start, start!" said D'Artagnan. "There are ten men to
accompany you. I will keep twenty to hold in check the mob;
go, and lose not a moment. Ten men for Monsieur de

As the carriage started off the cries were redoubled and
more than ten thousand people thronged the Quai and
overflowed the Pont Neuf and adjacent streets. A few shots
were fired and one musketeer was wounded.

"Forward!" cried D'Artagnan, driven to extremities, biting
his moustache; and then he charged with his twenty men and
dispersed them in fear. One man alone remained in his place,
gun in hand.

"Ah!" he exclaimed, "it is thou who wouldst have him
assassinated? Wait an instant." And he pointed his gun at
D'Artagnan, who was riding toward him at full speed.
D'Artagnan bent down to his horse's neck the young man
fired, and the ball severed the feathers from the hat. The
horse started, brushed against the imprudent man, who
thought by his strength alone to stay the tempest, and he
fell against the wall. D'Artagnan pulled up his horse, and
whilst his musketeers continued to charge, he returned and
bent with drawn sword over the man he had knocked down.

"Oh, sir!" exclaimed Raoul, recognizing the young man as
having seen him in the Rue Cocatrix, "spare him! it is his

D'Artagnan's arm dropped to his side. "Ah, you are his son!"
he said; "that is a different thing."

"Sir, I surrender," said Louvieres, presenting his unloaded
musket to the officer.

"Eh, no! do not surrender, egad! On the contrary, be off,
and quickly. If I take you, you will be hung!"

The young man did not wait to be told twice, but passing
under the horse's head disappeared at the corner of the Rue

"I'faith!" said D'Artagnan to Raoul, "you were just in time
to stay my hand. He was a dead man; and on my honor, if I
had discovered that it was his son, I should have regretted
having killed him."

"Ah! sir!" said Raoul, "allow me, after thanking you for
that poor fellow's life, to thank you on my own account. I
too, sir, was almost dead when you arrived."

"Wait, wait, young man; do not fatigue yourself with
speaking. We can talk of it afterward."

Then seeing that the musketeers had cleared the Quai from
the Pont Neuf to the Quai Saint Michael, he raised his sword
for them to double their speed. The musketeers trotted up,
and at the same time the ten men whom D'Artagnan had given
to Comminges appeared.

"Halloo!" cried D'Artagnan; "has something fresh happened?"

"Eh, sir!" replied the sergeant, "their vehicle has broken
down a second time; it really must be doomed."

"They are bad managers," said D'Artagnan, shrugging his
shoulders. "When a carriage is chosen, it ought to be
strong. The carriage in which a Broussel is to be arrested
ought to be able to bear ten thousand men."

"What are your commands, lieutenant?"

"Take the detachment and conduct him to his place."

"But you will be left alone?"

"Certainly. So you suppose I have need of an escort? Go."

The musketeers set off and D'Artagnan was left alone with

"Now," he said, "are you in pain?"

"Yes; my head is not only swimming but burning."

"What's the matter with this head?" said D'Artagnan, raising
the battered hat. "Ah! ah! a bruise."

"Yes, I think I received a flower-pot upon my head."

"Brutes!" said D'Artagnan. "But were you not on horseback?
you have spurs."

"Yes, but I got down to defend Monsieur de Comminges and my
horse was taken away. Here it is, I see."

At this very moment Friquet passed, mounted on Raoul's
horse, waving his parti-colored cap and crying, "Broussel!

"Halloo! stop, rascal!" cried D'Artagnan. "Bring hither that

Friquet heard perfectly, but he pretended not to do so and
tried to continue his road. D'Artagnan felt inclined for an
instant to pursue Master Friquet, but not wishing to leave
Raoul alone he contented himself with taking a pistol from
the holster and cocking it.

Friquet had a quick eye and a fine ear. He saw D'Artagnan's
movement, heard the sound of the click, and stopped at once.

"Ah! it is you, your honor," he said, advancing toward
D'Artagnan; "and I am truly pleased to meet you."

D'Artagnan looked attentively at Friquet and recognized the
little chorister of the Rue de la Calandre.

"Ah! 'tis thou, rascal!" said he, "come here: so thou hast
changed thy trade; thou art no longer a choir boy nor a
tavern boy; thou hast become a horse stealer?"

"Ah, your honor, how can you say so?" exclaimed Friquet. "I
was seeking the gentleman to whom this horse belongs -- an
officer, brave and handsome as a youthful Caesar; "then,
pretending to see Raoul for the first time:

"Ah! but if I mistake not," continued he, "here he is; you
won't forget the boy, sir."

Raoul put his hand in his pocket.

"What are you about?" asked D'Artagnan.

"To give ten francs to this honest fellow," replied Raoul,
taking a pistole from his pocket.

"Ten kicks on his back!" said D'Artagnan; "be off, you
little villain, and forget not that I have your address."

Friquet, who did not expect to be let off so cheaply,
bounded off like a gazelle up the Quai a la Rue Dauphine,
and disappeared. Raoul mounted his horse, and both leisurely
took their way to the Rue Tiquetonne.

D'Artagnan watched over the youth as if he had been his own

They arrived without accident at the Hotel de la Chevrette.

The handsome Madeleine announced to D'Artagnan that Planchet
had returned, bringing Mousqueton with him, who had
heroically borne the extraction of the ball and was as well
as his state would permit.

D'Artagnan desired Planchet to be summoned, but he had

"Then bring some wine," said D'Artagnan. "You are much
pleased with yourself," said he to Raoul when they were
alone, "are you not?"

"Well, yes," replied Raoul. "It seems to me I did my duty. I
defended the king."

"And who told you to defend the king?"

"The Comte de la Fere himself."

"Yes, the king; but to-day you have not fought for the king,
you have fought for Mazarin; which is not quite the same

"But you yourself?"

"Oh, for me; that is another matter. I obey my captain's
orders. As for you, your captain is the prince, understand
that rightly; you have no other. But has one ever seen such
a wild fellow," continued he, "making himself a Mazarinist
and helping to arrest Broussel! Breathe not a word of that,
or the Comte de la Fere will be furious."

"You think the count will be angry with me?"

"Think it? I'm certain of it; were it not for that, I should
thank you, for you have worked for us. However, I scold you
instead of him, and in his place; the storm will blow over
more easily, believe me. And moreover, my dear child,"
continued D'Artagnan, "I am making use of the privilege
conceded to me by your guardian."

"I do not understand you, sir," said Raoul.

D'Artagnan rose, and taking a letter from his writing-desk,
presented it to Raoul. The face of the latter became serious
when he had cast his eyes upon the paper.

"Oh, mon Dieu!" he said, raising his fine eyes to
D'Artagnan, moist with tears, "the count has left Paris
without seeing me?"

"He left four days ago," said D'Artagnan.

"But this letter seems to intimate that he is about to incur
danger, perhaps death."

"He -- he -- incur danger of death! No, be not anxious; he
is traveling on business and will return ere long. I hope
you have no repugnance to accept me as your guardian in the

"Oh, no, Monsieur d'Artagnan," said Raoul, "you are such a
brave gentleman and the Comte de la Fere has so much
affection for you!"

"Eh! Egad! love me too; I will not torment you much, but
only on condition that you become a Frondist, my young
friend, and a hearty Frondist, too."

"But can I continue to visit Madame de Chevreuse?"

"I should say you could! and the coadjutor and Madame de
Longueville; and if the worthy Broussel were there, whom you
so stupidly helped arrest, I should tell you to excuse
yourself to him at once and kiss him on both cheeks."

"Well, sir, I will obey you, although I do not understand

"It is unnecessary for you to understand. Hold," continued
D'Artagnan, turning toward the door, which had just opened,
"here is Monsieur du Vallon, who comes with his coat torn."

"Yes, but in exchange," said Porthos, covered with
perspiration and soiled by dust, "in exchange, I have torn
many skins. Those wretches wanted to take away my sword!
Deuce take 'em, what a popular commotion!" continued the
giant, in his quiet manner; "but I knocked down more than
twenty with the hilt of Balizarde. A draught of wine,

"Oh, I'll aswer for you," said the Gascon, filling Porthos's
glass to the brim; "but when you have drunk, give me your

"Upon what?" asked Porthos.

"Look here," resumed D'Artagnan; "here is Monsieur de
Bragelonne, who determined at all risks to aid the arrest of
Broussel and whom I had great difficulty to prevent
defending Monsieur de Comminges."

"The devil!" said Porthos; "and his guardian, what would he
have said to that?"

"Do you hear?" interrupted D'Artagnan; "become a Frondist,
my friend, belong to the Fronde, and remember that I fill
the count's place in everything;" and he jingled his money.

"Will you come?" said he to Porthos.

"Where?" asked Porthos, filling a second glass of wine.

"To present our respects to the cardinal."

Porthos swallowed the second glass with the same grace with
which he had imbibed the first, took his beaver and followed
D'Artagnan. As for Raoul, he remained bewildered with what
he had seen, having been forbidden by D'Artagnan to leave
the room until the tumult was over.


The Beggar of St. Eustache.

D'Artagnan had calculated that in not going at once to the
Palais Royal he would give Comminges time to arrive before
him, and consequently to make the cardinal acquainted with
the eminent services which he, D'Artagnan, and his friend
had rendered to the queen's party in the morning.

They were indeed admirably received by Mazarin, who paid
them numerous compliments, and announced that they were more
than half on their way to obtain what they desired, namely,
D'Artagnan his captaincy, Porthos his barony.

D'Artagnan would have preferred money in hand to all that
fine talk, for he knew well that to Mazarin it was easy to
promise and hard to perform. But, though he held the
cardinal's promises as of little worth, he affected to be
completely satisfied, for he was unwilling to discourage

Whilst the two friends were with the cardinal, the queen
sent for him. Mazarin, thinking that it would be the means
of increasing the zeal of his two defenders if he procured
them personal thanks from the queen, motioned them to follow
him. D'Artagnan and Porthos pointed to their dusty and torn
dresses, but the cardinal shook his head.

"Those costumes," he said, "are of more worth than most of
those which you will see on the backs of the queen's
courtiers; they are costumes of battle."

D'Artagnan and Porthos obeyed. The court of Anne of Austria
was full of gayety and animation; for, after having gained a
victory over the Spaniard, it had just gained another over
the people. Broussel had been conducted out of Paris without
further resistance, and was at this time in the prison of
Saint Germain; while Blancmesnil, who was arrested at the
same time, but whose arrest had been made without difficulty
or noise, was safe in the Castle of Vincennes.

Comminges was near the queen, who was questioning him upon
the details of his expedition, and every one was listening
to his account, when D'Artagnan and Porthos were perceived
at the door, behind the cardinal.

"Ah, madame," said Comminges, hastening to D'Artagnan, "here
is one who can tell you better than myself, for he was my
protector. Without him I should probably at this moment be a
dead fish in the nets at Saint Cloud, for it was a question
of nothing less than throwing me into the river. Speak,
D'Artagnan, speak."

D'Artagnan had been a hundred times in the same room with
the queen since he had become lieutenant of the musketeers,
but her majesty had never once spoken to him.

"Well, sir," at last said Anne of Austria, "you are silent,
after rendering such a service?"

"Madame," replied D'Artagnan, "I have nought to say, save
that my life is ever at your majesty's service, and that I
shall only be happy the day I lose it for you.

"I know that, sir; I have known that," said the queen, "a
long time; therefore I am delighted to be able thus publicly
to mark my gratitude and my esteem."

"Permit me, madame," said D'Artagnan, "to reserve a portion
for my friend; like myself" (he laid an emphasis on these
words) "an ancient musketeer of the company of Treville; he
has done wonders."

"His name?" asked the queen.

"In the regiment," said D'Artagnan, "he is called Porthos"
(the queen started), "but his true name is the Chevalier du

"De Bracieux de Pierrefonds," added Porthos.

"These names are too numerous for me to remember them all,
and I will content myself with the first," said the queen,
graciously. Porthos bowed. At this moment the coadjutor was
announced; a cry of surprise ran through the royal
assemblage. Although the coadjutor had preached that same
morning it was well known that he leaned much to the side of
the Fronde; and Mazarin, in requesting the archbishop of
Paris to make his nephew preach, had evidently had the
intention of administering to Monsieur de Retz one of those
Italian kicks he so much enjoyed giving.

The fact was, in leaving Notre Dame the coadjutor had
learned the event of the day. Although almost engaged to the
leaders of the Fronde he had not gone so far but that
retreat was possible should the court offer him the
advantages for which he was ambitious and to which the
coadjutorship was but a stepping-stone. Monsieur de Retz
wished to become archbishop in his uncle's place, and
cardinal, like Mazarin; and the popular party could with
difficulty accord him favors so entirely royal. He therefore
hastened to the palace to congratulate the queen on the
battle of Lens, determined beforehand to act with or against
the court, as his congratulations were well or ill received.

The coadjutor possessed, perhaps, as much wit as all those
put together who were assembled at the court to laugh at
him. His speech, therefore, was so well turned, that in
spite of the great wish felt by the courtiers to laugh, they
could find no point on which to vent their ridicule. He
concluded by saying that he placed his feeble influence at
her majesty's command.

During the whole time he was speaking, the queen appeared to
be well pleased with the coadjutor's harangue; but
terminating as it did with such a phrase, the only one which
could be caught at by the jokers, Anne turned around and
directed a glance toward her favorites, which announced that
she delivered up the coadjutor to their tender mercies.
Immediately the wits of the court plunged into satire.
Nogent-Beautin, the fool of the court, exclaimed that "the
queen was very happy to have the succor of religion at such
a moment." This caused a universal burst of laughter. The
Count de Villeroy said that "he did not know how any fear
could be entertained for a moment, when the court had, to
defend itself against the parliament and the citizens of
Paris, his holiness the coadjutor, who by a signal could
raise an army of curates, church porters and vergers."

The Marechal de la Meilleraie added that in case the
coadjutor should appear on the field of battle it would be a
pity that he should not be distinguished in the melee by
wearing a red hat, as Henry IV. had been distinguished by
his white plume at the battle of Ivry.

During this storm, Gondy, who had it in his power to make it
most unpleasant for the jesters, remained calm and stern.
The queen at last asked him if he had anything to add to the
fine discourse he had just made to her.

"Yes, madame," replied the coadjutor; "I have to beg you to
reflect twice ere you cause a civil war in the kingdom."

The queen turned her back and the laughing recommenced.

The coadjutor bowed and left the palace, casting upon the
cardinal such a glance as is best understood by mortal foes.
That glance was so sharp that it penetrated the heart of
Mazarin, who, reading in it a declaration of war, seized
D'Artagnan by the arm and said:

"If occasion requires, monsieur, you will remember that man
who has just gone out, will you not?"

"Yes, my lord," he replied. Then, turning toward Porthos,
"The devil!" said he, "this has a bad look. I dislike these
quarrels among men of the church."

Gondy withdrew, distributing benedictions on his way, and
finding a malicious satisfaction in causing the adherents of
his foes to prostrate themselves at his feet.

"Oh!" he murmured, as he left the threshold of the palace:
"ungrateful court! faithless court! cowardly court! I will
teach you how to laugh to-morrow -- but in another manner."

But whilst they were indulging in extravagant joy at the
Palais Royal, to increase the hilarity of the queen,
Mazarin, a man of sense, and whose fear, moreover, gave him
foresight, lost no time in making idle and dangerous jokes;
he went out after the coadjutor, settled his account, locked
up his gold, and had confidential workmen to contrive hiding
places in his walls.

On his return home the coadjutor was informed that a young
man had come in after his departure and was waiting for
him; he started with delight when, on demanding the name of
this young man, he learned that it was Louvieres. He
hastened to his cabinet. Broussel's son was there, still
furious, and still bearing bloody marks of his struggle with
the king's officers. The only precaution he had taken in
coming to the archbishopric was to leave his arquebuse in
the hands of a friend.

The coadjutor went to him and held out his hand. The young
man gazed at him as if he would have read the secret of his

"My dear Monsieur Louvieres," said the coadjutor, "believe
me, I am truly concerned for the misfortune which has
happened to you."

"Is that true, and do you speak seriously?" asked Louvieres.

"From the depth of my heart," said Gondy.

"In that case, my lord, the time for words has passed and
the hour for action is at hand; my lord, in three days, if
you wish it, my father will be out of prison and in six
months you may be cardinal."

The coadjutor started.

"Oh! let us speak frankly," continued Louvieres, "and act in
a straightforward manner. Thirty thousand crowns in alms is
not given, as you have done for the last six months, out of
pure Christian charity; that would be too grand. You are
ambitious -- it is natural; you are a man of genius and you
know your worth. As for me, I hate the court and have but
one desire at this moment -- vengeance. Give us the clergy
and the people, of whom you can dispose, and I will bring
you the citizens and the parliament; with these four
elements Paris is ours in a week; and believe me, monsieur
coadjutor, the court will give from fear what it will not
give from good-will."

It was now the coadjutor's turn to fix his piercing eyes on

"But, Monsieur Louvieres, are you aware that it is simply
civil war you are proposing to me?"

"You have been preparing long enough, my lord, for it to be
welcome to you now."

"Never mind," said the coadjutor; "you must be well aware
that this requires reflection."

"And how many hours of reflection do you ask?"

"Twelve hours, sir; is it too long?"

"It is now noon; at midnight I will be at your house."

"If I should not be in, wait for me."

"Good! at midnight, my lord."

"At midnight, my dear Monsieur Louvieres."

When once more alone Gondy sent to summon all the curates
with whom he had any connection to his house. Two hours
later, thirty officiating ministers from the most populous,
and consequently the most disturbed parishes of Paris had
assembled there. Gondy related to them the insults he had
received at the Palais Royal and retailed the jests of
Beautin, the Count de Villeroy and Marechal de la
Meilleraie. The curates asked him what was to be done.

"Simply this," said the coadjutor. "You are the directors of
all consciences. Well, undermine in them the miserable
prejudice of respect and fear of kings; teach your flocks
that the queen is a tyrant; and repeat often and loudly, so
that all may know it, that the misfortunes of France are
caused by Mazarin, her lover and her destroyer; begin this
work to-day, this instant even, and in three days I shall
expect the result. For the rest, if any one of you have
further or better counsel to expound, I will listen to him
with the greatest pleasure."

Three curates remained -- those of St. Merri, St. Sulpice
and St. Eustache. The others withdrew.

"You think, then, that you can help me more efficaciously
than your brothers?" said Gondy.

"We hope so," answered the curates.

"Let us hear. Monsieur de St. Merri, you begin."

"My lord, I have in my parish a man who might be of the
greatest use to you."

"Who and what is this man?"

"A shopkeeper in the Rue des Lombards, who has great
influence upon the commerce of his quarter."

"What is his name?"

"He is named Planchet, who himself also caused a rising
about six weeks ago; but as he was searched for after this
emeute he disappeared."

"And can you find him?"

"I hope so. I think he has not been arrested, and as I am
his wife's confessor, if she knows where he is I shall know
it too."

"Very well, sir, find this man, and when you have found him
bring him to me."

"We will be with you at six o'clock, my lord."

"Go, my dear curate, and may God assist you!"

"And you, sir?" continued Gondy, turning to the curate of
St. Sulpice.

"I, my lord," said the latter, "I know a man who has
rendered great services to a very popular prince and who
would make an excellent leader of revolt. Him I can place at
your disposal; it is Count de Rochefort."

"I know him also, but unfortunately he is not in Paris."

"My lord, he has been for three days at the Rue Cassette."

"And wherefore has he not been to see me?"

"He was told -- my lord will pardon me ---- "

"Certainly, speak."

"That your lordship was about to treat with the court."

Gondy bit his lips.

"They are mistaken; bring him here at eight o'clock, sir,
and may Heaven bless you as I bless you!"

"And now 'tis your turn," said the coadjutor, turning to the
last that remained; "have you anything as good to offer me
as the two gentlemen who have left us?"

"Better, my lord."

"Diable! think what a solemn engagement you are making; one
has offered a wealthy shopkeeper, the other a count; you are
going, then, to offer a prince, are you?"

"I offer you a beggar, my lord."

"Ah! ah!" said Gondy, reflecting, "you are right, sir; some
one who could raise the legion of paupers who choke up the
crossings of Paris; some one who would know how to cry aloud
to them, that all France might hear it, that it is Mazarin
who has reduced them to poverty."

"Exactly your man."

"Bravo! and the man?"

"A plain and simple beggar, as I have said, my lord, who
asks for alms, as he gives holy water; a practice he has
carried on for six years on the steps of St. Eustache."

"And you say that he has a great influence over his

"Are you aware, my lord, that mendacity is an organized
body, a kind of association of those who have nothing
against those who have everything; an association in which
every one takes his share; one that elects a leader?"

"Yes, I have heard it said," replied the coadjutor.

"Well, the man whom I offer you is a general syndic."

"And what do you know of him?"

"Nothing, my lord, except that he is tormented with

"What makes you think so?"

"On the twenty-eighth of every month he makes me say a mass
for the repose of the soul of one who died a violent death;
yesterday I said this mass again."

"And his name?"

"Maillard; but I do not think it is his right one."

"And think you that we should find him at this hour at his


"Let us go and see your beggar, sir, and if he is such as
you describe him, you are right -- it will be you who have
discovered the true treasure."

Gondy dressed himself as an officer, put on a felt cap with
a red feather, hung on a long sword, buckled spurs to his
boots, wrapped himself in an ample cloak and followed the

The coadjutor and his companion passed through all the
streets lying between the archbishopric and the St. Eustache
Church, watching carefully to ascertain the popular feeling.
The people were in an excited mood, but, like a swarm of
frightened bees, seemed not to know at what point to
concentrate; and it was very evident that if leaders of the
people were not provided all this agitation would pass off
in idle buzzing.

On arriving at the Rue des Prouvaires, the curate pointed
toward the square before the church.

"Stop!" he said, "there he is at his post."

Gondy looked at the spot indicated and perceived a beggar
seated in a chair and leaning against one of the moldings; a
little basin was near him and he held a holy water brush in
his hand.

"Is it by permission that he remains there?" asked Gondy.

"No, my lord; these places are bought. I believe this man
paid his predecessor a hundred pistoles for his."

"The rascal is rich, then?"

"Some of those men sometimes die worth twenty thousand and
twenty-five and thirty thousand francs and sometimes more."

"Hum!" said Gondy, laughing; "I was not aware my alms were
so well invested."

In the meantime they were advancing toward the square, and
the moment the coadjutor and the curate put their feet on
the first church step the mendicant arose and proffered his

He was a man between sixty-six and sixty-eight years of age,
little, rather stout, with gray hair and light eyes. His
countenance denoted the struggle between two opposite
principles -- a wicked nature, subdued by determination,
perhaps by repentance.

He started on seeing the cavalier with the curate. The
latter and the coadjutor touched the brush with the tips of
their fingers and made the sign of the cross; the coadjutor
threw a piece of money into the hat, which was on the

"Maillard," began the curate, "this gentleman and I have
come to talk with you a little."

"With me!" said the mendicant; "it is a great honor for a
poor distributor of holy water."

There was an ironical tone in his voice which he could not
quite disguise and which astonished the coadjutor.

"Yes," continued the curate, apparently accustomed to this
tone, "yes, we wish to know your opinion of the events of
to-day and what you have heard said by people going in and
out of the church."

The mendicant shook his head.

"These are melancholy doings, your reverence, which always
fall again upon the poor. As to what is said, everybody is
discontented, everybody complains, but `everybody' means

"Explain yourself, my good friend," said the coadjutor.

"I mean that all these cries, all these complaints, these
curses, produce nothing but storms and flashes and that is
all; but the lightning will not strike until there is a hand
to guide it."

"My friend," said Gondy, "you seem to be a clever and a
thoughtful man; are you disposed to take a part in a little
civil war, should we have one, and put at the command of the
leader, should we find one, your personal influence and the
influence you have acquired over your comrades?"

"Yes, sir, provided this war were approved of by the church
and would advance the end I wish to attain -- I mean, the
remission of my sins."

"The war will not only be approved of, but directed by the
church. As for the remission of your sins, we have the
archbishop of Paris, who has the very greatest power at the
court of Rome, and even the coadjutor, who possesses some
plenary indulgences; we will recommend you to him."

"Consider, Maillard," said the curate, "that I have
recommended you to this gentleman, who is a powerful lord,
and that I have made myself responsible for you."

"I know, monsieur le cure," said the beggar, "that you have
always been very kind to me, and therefore I, in my turn,
will be serviceable to you."

"And do you think your power as great with the fraternity as
monsieur le cure told me it was just now?"

"I think they have some esteem for me," said the mendicant
with pride, "and that not only will they obey me, but
wherever I go they will follow me."

"And could you count on fifty resolute men, good,
unemployed, but active souls, brawlers, capable of bringing
down the walls of the Palais Royal by crying, `Down with
Mazarin,' as fell those at Jericho?"

"I think," said the beggar, "I can undertake things more
difficult and more important than that."

"Ah, ah," said Gondy, "you will undertake, then, some night,
to throw up some ten barricades?"

"I will undertake to throw up fifty, and when the day comes,
to defend them."

"I'faith!" exclaimed Gondy, "you speak with a certainty that
gives me pleasure; and since monsieur le cure can answer for
you ---- "

"I answer for him," said the curate.

"Here is a bag containing five hundred pistoles in gold;
make all your arrangements, and tell me where I shall be
able to find you this evening at ten o'clock."

"It must be on some elevated place, whence a given signal
may be seen in every part of Paris."

"Shall I give you a line for the vicar of St. Jacques de la
Boucherie? he will let you into the rooms in his tower,"
said the curate.

"Capital," answered the mendicant.

"Then," said the coadjutor, "this evening, at ten o'clock,
and if I am pleased with you another bag of five hundred
pistoles will be at your disposal."

The eyes of the mendicant dashed with cupidity, but he
quickly suppressed his emotion.

"This evening, sir," he replied, "all will be ready."


The Tower of St. Jacques de la Boucherie.

At a quarter to six o'clock, Monsieur de Gondy, having
finished his business, returned to the archiepiscopal

At six o'clock the curate of St. Merri was announced.

The coadjutor glanced rapidly behind and saw that he was
followed by another man. The curate then entered, followed
by Planchet.

"Your holiness," said the curate, "here is the person of
whom I had the honor to speak to you."

Planchet saluted in the manner of one accustomed to fine

"And you are disposed to serve the cause of the people?"
asked Gondy.

"Most undoubtedly," said Planchet. "I am a Frondist from my
heart. You see in me, such as I am, a person sentenced to be

"And on what account?"

"I rescued from the hands of Mazarin's police a noble lord
whom they were conducting back to the Bastile, where he had
been for five years."

"Will you name him?"

"Oh, you know him well, my lord -- it is Count de

"Ah! really, yes," said the coadjutor, "I have heard this
affair mentioned. You raised the whole district, so they
told me!"

"Very nearly," replied Planchet, with a self-satisfied air.

"And your business is ---- "

"That of a confectioner, in the Rue des Lombards."

"Explain to me how it happens that, following so peaceful a
business, you had such warlike inclinations."

"Why does my lord, belonging to the church, now receive me
in the dress of an officer, with a sword at his side and
spurs to his boots?"

"Not badly answered, i'faith," said Gondy, laughing; "but I
have, you must know, always had, in spite of my bands,
warlike inclinations."

"Well, my lord, before I became a confectioner I myself was
three years sergeant in the Piedmontese regiment, and before
I became sergeant I was for eighteen months the servant of
Monsieur d'Artagnan."

"The lieutenant of musketeers?" asked Gondy.

"Himself, my lord."

"But he is said to be a furious Mazarinist."

"Phew!" whistled Planchet.

"What do you mean by that?"

"Nothing, my lord; Monsieur d'Artagnan belongs to the
service; Monsieur d'Artagnan makes it his business to defend
the cardinal, who pays him, as much as we make it ours, we
citizens, to attack him, whom he robs."

"You are an intelligent fellow, my friend; can we count upon

"You may count upon me, my lord, provided you want to make a
complete upheaval of the city."

"'Tis that exactly. How many men, think you, you could
collect together to-night?"

"Two hundred muskets and five hundred halberds."

"Let there be only one man in every district who can do as
much and by to-morrow we shall have quite a powerful army.
Are you disposed to obey Count de Rochefort?"

"I would follow him to hell, and that is saying not a
little, as I believe him entirely capable of the descent."


"By what sign to-morrow shall we be able to distinguish
friends from foes?"

"Every Frondist must put a knot of straw in his hat."

"Good! Give the watchword."

"Do you want money?"

"Money never comes amiss at any time, my lord; if one has it
not, one must do without it; with it, matters go on much
better and more rapidly."

Gondy went to a box and drew forth a bag.

"Here are five hundred pistoles," he said; "and if the
action goes off well you may reckon upon a similar sum

"I will give a faithful account of the sum to your
lordship," said Planchet, putting the bag under his arm.

"That is right; I recommend the cardinal to your attention."

"Make your mind easy, he is in good hands."

Planchet went out, the curate remaining for a moment

"Are you satisfied, my lord?" he asked.

"Yes; he appears to be a resolute fellow."

"Well, he will do more than he has promised."

"He will do wonders then."

The curate rejoined Planchet, who was waiting for him on the
stairs. Ten minutes later the curate of St. Sulpice was
announced. As soon as the door of Gondy's study was opened a
man rushed in. It was the Count de Rochefort.

"'Tis you, then, my dear count," cried Gondy, offering his

"You have made up your mind at last, my lord?" said

"It has been made up a long time," said Gondy.

"Let us say no more on the subject; you tell me so, I
believe you. Well, we are going to give a ball to Mazarin."

"I hope so."

"And when will the dance begin?"

"The invitations are given for this evening," said the
coadjutor, "but the violins will not begin to play until
to-morrow morning."

"You may reckon upon me and upon fifty soldiers which the
Chevalier d'Humieres has promised me whenever I need them."

"Upon fifty soldiers?"

"Yes, he is making recruits and he will lend them to me; if
any are missing when the fete is over, I shall replace

"Good, my dear Rochefort; but that is not all. What have you
done with Monsieur de Beaufort?"

"He is in Vendome, where he will wait until I write to him
to return to Paris."

"Write to him; now's the time."

"You are sure of your enterprise?"

"Yes, but he must make haste; for hardly will the people of
Paris have revolted before we shall have a score of princes
begging to lead them. If he defers he will find the place of
honor taken."

"Shall I send word to him as coming from you?"

"Yes certainly."

"Shall I tell him that he can count on you?"

"To the end."

"And you will leave the command to him?"

"Of the war, yes, but in politics ---- "

"You must know it is not his element."

"He must leave me to negotiate for my cardinal's hat in my
own fashion."

"You care about it, then, so much?"

"Since they force me to wear a hat of a form which does not
become me," said Gondy, "I wish at least that the hat should
be red."

"One must not dispute matters of taste and colors," said
Rochefort, laughing. "I answer for his consent."

"How soon can he be here?"

"In five days."

"Let him come and he will find a change, I will answer for

"Therefore, go and collect your fifty men and hold yourself
in readiness."

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