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Chapter 19: The Shadow of M. Fouquet. (continued)
"Yes; but, for your sake, Monsieur Fouquet, I will do what may almost be regarded as an impossibility."
"Thank you. What did the king say to you?"
"Ah! is that the way you talk?"
"What do you think of my situation?"
"I do not know."
"However, unless you have some ill feeling against me - "
"Your position is a difficult one."
"In what respect?"
"Because you are under your own roof."
"However difficult it may be, I understand it very well."
"Do you suppose that, with any one else but yourself, I should have shown so much frankness?"
"What! so much frankness, do you say? you, who refuse to tell me the slightest thing?"
"At all events, then, so much ceremony and consideration."
"Ah! I have nothing to say in that respect."
"One moment, monseigneur: let me tell you how I should have behaved towards any one but yourself. It might be that I happened to arrive at your door just as your guests or your friends had left you - or, if they had not gone yet, I should wait until they were leaving, and should then catch them one after the other, like rabbits; I should lock them up quietly enough, I should steal softly along the carpet of your corridor, and with one hand upon you, before you suspected the slightest thing amiss, I should keep you safely until my master's breakfast in the morning. In this way, I should just the same have avoided all publicity, all disturbance, all opposition; but there would also have been no warning for M. Fouquet, no consideration for his feelings, none of those delicate concessions which are shown by persons who are essentially courteous in their natures, whenever the decisive moment may arrive. Are you satisfied with the plan?"
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