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14. The Castle of Bragelonne.
Whilst this scene was going on, D'Artagnan remained with open mouth and a confused gaze. Everything had turned out so differently from what he expected that he was stupefied with wonder.
Athos, who had been observing him and guessing his thoughts, took his arm and led him into the garden.
"Whilst supper is being prepared," he said, smiling, "you will not, my friend, be sorry to have the mystery which so puzzles you cleared up."
"True, monsieur le comte," replied D'Artagnan, who felt that by degrees Athos was resuming that great influence which aristocracy had over him.
"First and foremost, dear D'Artagnan, we have no title such as count here. When I call you `chevalier,' it is in presenting you to my guests, that they may know who you are. But to you, D'Artagnan, I am, I hope, still dear Athos, your comrade, your friend. Do you intend to stand on ceremony because you are less attached to me than you were?"
"Oh! God forbid!"
"Then let us be as we used to be; let us be open with each other. You are surprised at what you see here?"
"But above all things, I am a marvel to you?"
"I confess it."
"I am still young, am I not? Should you not have known me again, in spite of my eight-and-forty years of age?"
"On the contrary, I do not find you the same person at all."
"I understand," cried Athos, with a gentle blush. "Everything, D'Artagnan, even folly, has its limit."
"Then your means, it appears, are improved; you have a capital house -- your own, I presume? You have a park, and horses, servants."
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