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Alexandre Dumas: The Man in the Iron Mask
Chapter 42: Belle-Ile-en-Mer. (continued)
"Yes?" said Aramis.
"I know that the false king formed the project of selling Belle-Isle to the English. I understand that, too."
"I know that we engineers and captains came and threw ourselves into Belle-Isle to take direction of the works, and the command of ten companies levied and paid by M. Fouquet, or rather the ten companies of his son-in-law. All that is plain."
Aramis rose in a state of great impatience. He might be said to be a lion importuned by a gnat. Porthos held him by the arm. "But what I cannot understand, what, in spite of all the efforts of my mind, and all my reflections, I cannot comprehend, and never shall comprehend, is, that instead of sending us troops, instead of sending us reinforcements of men, munitions, provisions, they leave us without boats, they leave Belle-Isle without arrivals, without help; it is that instead of establishing with us a correspondence, whether by signals, or written or verbal communications, all relations with the shore are intercepted. Tell me, Aramis, answer me, or rather, before answering me, will you allow me to tell you what I have thought? Will you hear what my idea is, the plan I have conceived?"
The bishop raised his head. "Well! Aramis," continued Porthos, "I have dreamed, I have imagined that an event has taken place in France. I dreamt of M. Fouquet all the night, of lifeless fish, of broken eggs, of chambers badly furnished, meanly kept. Villainous dreams, my dear D'Herblay; very unlucky, such dreams!"
"Porthos, what is that yonder?" interrupted Aramis, rising suddenly, and pointing out to his friend a black spot upon the empurpled line of the water.
"A bark!" said Porthos; "yes, it is a bark! Ah! we shall have some news at last."
"There are two!" cried the bishop, on discovering another mast; "two! three! four!"
"Five!" said Porthos, in his turn. "Six! seven! Ah! mon Dieu! mon Dieu! it is a fleet!"
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