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40. A TERRIBLE VISION
The cardinal leaned his elbow on his manuscript, his cheek upon his hand, and looked intently at the young man for a moment. No one had a more searching eye than the Cardinal de Richelieu, and d'Artagnan felt this glance run through his veins like a fever.
He however kept a good countenance, holding his hat in his hand and awaiting the good pleasure of his Eminence, without too much assurance, but also without too much humility.
"Monsieur," said the cardinal, "are you a d'Artagnan from Bearn?"
"Yes, monseigneur," replied the young man.
"There are several branches of the d'Artagnans at Tarbes and in its environs," said the cardinal; "to which do you belong?"
"I am the son of him who served in the Religious Wars under the great King Henry, the father of his gracious Majesty."
"That is well. It is you who set out seven or eight months ago from your country to seek your fortune in the capital?"
"You came through Meung, where something befell you. I don't very well know what, but still something."
"Monseigneur," said d'Artagnan, "this was what happened to me--"
"Never mind, never mind!" resumed the cardinal, with a smile which indicated that he knew the story as well as he who wished to relate it. "You were recommended to Monsieur de Treville, were you not?"
"Yes, monseigneur; but in that unfortunate affair at Meung--"
"The letter was lost," replied his Eminence; "yes, I know that. But Monsieur de Treville is a skilled physiognomist, who knows men at first sight; and he placed you in the company of his brother-in-law, Monsieur Dessessart, leaving you to hope that one day or other you should enter the Musketeers."
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