Alexandre Dumas: Twenty Years After

53. How D'Artagnan and Porthos... (continued)

"What do you say of this?" asked the queen.

"I say that she is a hostage for the Parisians," answered the cardinal.

"Why is she not come?" asked the prince in a low voice, addressing his brother.

"Silence," whispered the duke, "she has her reasons."

"She will ruin us!" returned the prince.

"She will save us," said Conti.

Carriages now arrived in crowds; those of the Marechal de Villeroy, Guitant, Villequier and Comminges came into the line. The two musketeers arrived in their turn, holding the horses of D'Artagnan and Porthos in their hands. These two instantly mounted, the coachman of the latter replacing D'Artagnan on the coach-box of the royal coach. Mousqueton took the place of the coachman, and drove standing, for reasons known to himself, like Automedon of antiquity.

The queen, though occupied by a thousand details, tried to catch the Gascon's eye; but he, with his wonted prudence, had mingled with the crowd.

"Let us be the avant guard," said he to Porthos, "and find good quarters at Saint Germain; nobody will think of us, and for my part I am greatly fatigued."

"As for me," replied Porthos, "I am falling asleep, which is strange, considering we have not had any fighting; truly the Parisians are idiots."

"Or rather, we are very clever," said D'Artagnan.


"And how is your wrist?"

"Better; but do you think that we've got them this time?"

"Got what?"

"You your command, and I my title?"

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