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Chapter 21: The King's Friend.
Fouquet was waiting with anxiety; he had already sent away many of his servants and friends, who, anticipating the usual hour of his ordinary receptions, had called at his door to inquire after him. Preserving the utmost silence respecting the danger which hung suspended by a hair above his head, he only asked them, as he did every one, indeed, who came to the door, where Aramis was. When he saw D'Artagnan return, and when he perceived the bishop of Vannes behind him, he could hardly restrain his delight; it was fully equal to his previous uneasiness. The mere sight of Aramis was a complete compensation to the surintendant for the unhappiness he had undergone in his arrest. The prelate was silent and grave; D'Artagnan completely bewildered by such an accumulation of events.
"Well, captain, so you have brought M. d'Herblay to me."
"And something better still, monseigneur."
"What is that?"
"I am free!"
"Yes; by the king's order."
Fouquet resumed his usual serenity, that he might interrogate Aramis with a look.
"Oh! yes, you can thank M. l'eveque de Vannes," pursued D'Artagnan, "for it is indeed to him that you owe the change that has taken place in the king."
"Oh!" said Fouquet, more humiliated at the service than grateful at its success.
"But you," continued D'Artagnan, addressing Aramis - "you, who have become M. Fouquet's protector and patron, can you not do something for me?"
"Anything in the wide world you like, my friend," replied the bishop, in his calmest tones.
"One thing only, then, and I shall be perfectly satisfied. How on earth did you manage to become the favorite of the king, you who have never spoken to him more than twice in your life?"
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