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Chapter 33: Promises.
Scarcely had D'Artagnan re-entered his apartment with his two friends, when one of the soldiers of the fort came to inform him that the governor was seeking him. The bark which Raoul had perceived at sea, and which appeared so eager to gain the port, came to Sainte-Marguerite with an important dispatch for the captain of the musketeers. On opening it, D'Artagnan recognized the writing of the king: "I should think," said Louis XIV., "you will have completed the execution of my orders, Monsieur d'Artagnan; return, then, immediately to Paris, and join me at the Louvre."
"There is the end of my exile!" cried the musketeer with joy; "God be praised, I am no longer a jailer!" And he showed the letter to Athos.
"So, then, you must leave us?" replied the latter, in a melancholy tone.
"Yes, but to meet again, dear friend, seeing that Raoul is old enough now to go alone with M. de Beaufort, and will prefer his father going back in company with M. d'Artagnan, to forcing him to travel two hundred leagues solitarily to reach home at La Fere; will you not, Raoul?"
"Certainly," stammered the latter, with an expression of tender regret.
"No, no, my friend," interrupted Athos, "I will never quit Raoul till the day his vessel disappears on the horizon. As long as he remains in France he shall not be separated from me."
"As you please, dear friend; but we will, at least, leave Sainte-Marguerite together; take advantage of the bark that will convey me back to Antibes."
"With all my heart; we cannot too soon be at a distance from this fort, and from the spectacle that shocked us so just now."
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