Alexandre Dumas: The Man in the Iron Mask

Chapter 42: Belle-Ile-en-Mer. (continued)

Aramis here interrupted his companion by a cry, and by so sudden a movement, that Porthos stopped as if he were stupefied. "What do you say, Porthos? What! - You have sent the two boats - "

"In search of the others! Yes, to be sure I have," replied Porthos, calmly.

"Unhappy man! What have you done? Then we are indeed lost," cried the bishop.

"Lost! - what did you say?" exclaimed the terrified Porthos. "How lost, Aramis? How are we lost?"

Aramis bit his lips. "Nothing! nothing! Your pardon, I meant to say - "


"That if we were inclined - if we took a fancy to make an excursion by sea, we could not."

"Very good! and why should that vex you? A precious pleasure, ma foi! For my part, I don't regret it at all. What I regret is certainly not the more or less amusement we can find at Belle-Isle: what I regret, Aramis, is Pierrefonds; Bracieux; le Vallon; beautiful France! Here, we are not in France, my dear friend; we are - I know not where. Oh! I tell you, in full sincerity of soul, and your affection will excuse my frankness, but I declare to you I am not happy at Belle-Isle. No; in good truth, I am not happy!"

Aramis breathed a long, but stifled sigh. "Dear friend," replied he: "that is why it is so sad a thing you have sent the two boats we had left in search of the boats which disappeared two days ago. If you had not sent them away, we would have departed."

"'Departed!' And the orders, Aramis?"

"What orders?"

"Parbleu! Why, the orders you have been constantly, in and out of season, repeating to me - that we were to hold Belle-Isle against the usurper. You know very well!"

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