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58. Jesus Seigneur. (continued)
D'Artagnan asked them what they wished and why they had taken that position.
"We have had orders," answered the man, "to help you in taking care of your prisoners."
There could be no fault to find with this arrangement; on the contrary, it seemed to be a delicate attention, to be gratefully received; D'Artagnan, therefore, thanked the man and gave him a crown piece to drink to General Cromwell's health.
The sergeant answered that Puritans never drank, and put the crown piece in his pocket.
"Ah!" said Porthos, "what a fearful day, my dear D'Artagnan!"
"What! a fearful day, when to-day we find our friends?"
"Yes; but under what circumstances?"
"'Tis true that our position is an awkward one; but let us go in and see more clearly what is to be done."
"Things look black enough," replied Porthos; "I understand now why Aramis advised me to strangle that horrible Mordaunt."
"Silence!" cried the Gascon; "do not utter that name."
"But," argued Porthos, "I speak French and they are all English."
D'Artagnan looked at Porthos with that air of wonder which a cunning man cannot help feeling at displays of crass stupidity.
But as Porthos on his side could not comprehend his astonishment, he merely pushed him indoors, saying, "Let us go in."
They found Athos in profound despondency; Aramis looked first at Porthos and then at D'Artagnan, without speaking, but the latter understood his meaningful look.
"You want to know how we came here? 'Tis easily guessed. Mazarin sent us with a letter to General Cromwell."
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