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12. In which it is shown... (continued)
"Sir, the favor I have to ask of you is, not to call me `Mousqueton' but `Mouston.' Since I have had the honor of being my lord's steward I have taken the last name as more dignified and calculated to make my inferiors respect me. You, sir, know how necessary subordination is in any large establishment of servants."
D'Artagnan smiled; Porthos wanted to lengthen out his names, Mousqueton to cut his short.
"Well, my dear Mouston," he said, "rest satisfied. I will call thee Mouston; and if it makes thee happy I will not `tutoyer' you any longer."
"Oh!" cried Mousqueton, reddening with joy; "if you do me, sir, such honor, I shall be grateful all my life; it is too much to ask."
"Alas!" thought D'Artagnan, "it is very little to offset the unexpected tribulations I am bringing to this poor devil who has so warmly welcomed me."
"Will monsieur remain long with us?" asked Mousqueton, with a serene and glowing countenance.
"I go to-morrow, my friend," replied D'Artagnan.
"Ah, monsieur," said Mousqueton, "then you have come here only to awaken our regrets."
"I fear that is true," said D'Artagnan, in a low tone.
D'Artagnan was secretly touched with remorse, not at inducing Porthos to enter into schemes in which his life and fortune would be in jeopardy, for Porthos, in the title of baron, had his object and reward; but poor Mousqueton, whose only wish was to be called Mouston -- was it not cruel to snatch him from the delightful state of peace and plenty in which he was?
He was thinking of these matters when Porthos summoned him to dinner.
"What! to dinner?" said D'Artagnan. "What time is it, then?"
"Eh! why, it is after one o'clock."
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