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22. Saint Denis. (continued)
"Oh, sir! God knows how much I love, revere you."
"See that you forget nothing," said Athos, appearing to look about him, that he might hide his emotion.
"No, indeed, sir," answered Raoul.
The servant then approached Athos and said, hesitatingly:
"Monsieur le vicomte has no sword."
"'Tis well," said Athos, "I will take care of that."
They went downstairs, Raoul looking every now and then at the count to see if the moment of farewell was at hand, but Athos was silent. When they reached the steps Raoul saw three horses.
"Oh, sir! then you are going with me?"
"I will accompany you a portion of the way," said Athos.
Joy shone in Raoul's eyes and he leaped lightly to his saddle.
Athos mounted more slowly, after speaking in a low voice to the lackey, who, instead of following them immediately, returned to their rooms. Raoul, delighted at the count's companionship, perceived, or affected to perceive nothing of this byplay.
They set out, passing over the Pont Neuf; they pursued their way along the quay then called L'Abreuvoir Pepin, and went along by the walls of the Grand Chatelet. They proceeded to the Rue Saint Denis.
After passing through the Porte Saint Denis, Athos looked at Raoul's way of riding and observed:
"Take care, Raoul! I have already often told you of this; you must not forget it, for it is a great defect in a rider. See! your horse is tired already, he froths at the mouth, whilst mine looks as if he had only just left the stable. You hold the bit too tight and so make his mouth hard, so that you will not be able to make him manoeuvre quickly. The safety of a cavalier often depends on the prompt obedience of his horse. In a week, remember, you will no longer be performing your manoeuvres for practice, but on a field of battle."
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