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11. How D'Artagnan, in discovering... (continued)
A third sigh from Porthos.
"I lost Madame du Vallon two years ago," he said, "and you find me still in affliction on that account. That was the reason why I left my Chateau du Vallon near Corbeil, and came to my estate, Bracieux. Poor Madame du Vallon! her temper was uncertain, but she came at last to accustom herself to my little ways and understand my little wishes."
"So you are free now, and rich?"
"Alas!" groaned Porthos, "I am a widower and have forty thousand francs a year. Let us go to breakfast."
"I shall be happy to do so; the morning air has made me hungry."
"Yes," said Porthos; "my air is excellent."
They went into the chateau; there was nothing but gilding, high and low; the cornices were gilt, the mouldings were gilt, the legs and arms of the chairs were gilt. A table, ready set out, awaited them.
"You see," said Porthos, "this is my usual style."
"Devil take me!" answered D'Artagnan, "I wish you joy of it. The king has nothing like it."
"No," answered Porthos, "I hear it said that he is very badly fed by the cardinal, Monsieur de Mazarin. Taste this cutlet, my dear D'Artagnan; 'tis off one of my sheep."
"You have very tender mutton and I wish you joy of it." said D'Artagnan.
"Yes, the sheep are fed in my meadows, which are excellent pasture."
"Give me another cutlet."
"No, try this hare, which I had killed yesterday in one of my warrens."
"Zounds! what a flavor!" cried D'Artagnan; "ah! they are fed on thyme only, your hares."
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