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78. The Battle of Charenton. (continued)
"Yes," answered Athos, "but his right place is in our ranks, with the Prince de Conti, De Beaufort, D'Elbeuf, and De Bouillon; but, sir, supposing that the conference is broken off -- are you going to try to take Charenton?"
"Such are my orders."
"Sir, since you command the cavalry ---- "
"Pardon me, I am commander-in-chief."
"So much the better. You must know all your officers -- I mean those more distinguished."
"Why, yes, very nearly."
"Will you then kindly tell me if you have in your command the Chevalier d'Artagnan, lieutenant in the musketeers?"
"No, sir, he is not with us; he left Paris more than six weeks ago and is believed to have gone on a mission to England."
"I knew that, but I supposed he had returned."
"No, sir; no one has seen him. I can answer positively on that point, for the musketeers belong to our forces and Monsieur de Cambon, the substitute for Monsieur d'Artagnan, still holds his place."
The two friends looked at each other.
"You see," said Athos.
"It is strange," said Aramis.
"It is absolutely certain that some misfortune has happened to them on the way."
"If we have no news of them this evening, to-morrow we must start."
Athos nodded affirmatively, then turning:
"And Monsieur de Bragelonne, a young man fifteen years of age, attached to the Prince de Conde -- has he the honor of being known to you?" diffident in allowing the sarcastic Aramis to perceive how strong were his paternal feelings.
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