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54. In which we hear Tidings of Aramis.
D'Artagnan went straight to the stables; day was just dawning. He found his horse and that of Porthos fastened to the manger, but to an empty manger. He took pity on these poor animals and went to a corner of the stable, where he saw a little straw, but in doing so he struck his foot against a human body, which uttered a cry and arose on its knees, rubbing its eyes. It was Mousqueton, who, having no straw to lie upon, had helped himself to that of the horses.
"Mousqueton," cried D'Artagnan, "let us be off! Let us set off."
Mousqueton, recognizing the voice of his master's friend, got up suddenly, and in doing so let fall some louis which he had appropriated to himself illegally during the night.
"Ho! ho!" exclaimed D'Artagnan, picking up a louis and displaying it; "here's a louis that smells confoundedly of straw."
Mousqueton blushed so confusedly that the Gascon began to laugh at him and said:
"Porthos would be angry, my dear Monsieur Mousqueton, but I pardon you, only let us remember that this gold must serve us as a joke, so be gay -- come along."
Mousqueton instantly assumed a jovial countenance, saddled the horses quickly and mounted his own without making faces over it.
Whilst this went on, Porthos arrived with a very cross look on his face, and was astonished to find the lieutenant resigned and Mousqueton almost merry.
"Ah, that's it!" he cried, "you have your promotion and I my barony."
"We are going to fetch our brevets," said D'Artagnan, "and when we come back, Master Mazarin will sign them."
"And where are we going?" asked Porthos.
"To Paris first; I have affairs to settle."
And they both set out for Paris.
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