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Chapter 42: Belle-Ile-en-Mer. (continued)
"That is true!" murmured Aramis again.
"You see, then, plainly, my friend, that we could not depart; and that the sending away of the boats in search of the others cannot prove prejudicial to us in the very least."
Aramis was silent; and his vague glances, luminous as that of an albatross, hovered for a long time over the sea, interrogating space, seeking to pierce the very horizon.
"With all that, Aramis," continued Porthos, who adhered to his idea, and that the more closely from the bishop having apparently endorsed it, - "with all that, you give me no explanation about what can have happened to these unfortunate boats. I am assailed by cries and complaints whichever way I go. The children cry to see the desolation of the women, as if I could restore the absent husbands and fathers. What do you suppose, my friend, and how ought I to answer them?"
"Think all you like, my good Porthos, and say nothing."
This reply did not satisfy Porthos at all. He turned away grumbling something in ill-humor. Aramis stopped the valiant musketeer. "Do you remember," said he, in a melancholy tone, kneading the two hands of the giant between his own with affectionate cordiality, "do you remember, my friend, that in the glorious days of youth - do you remember, Porthos, when we were all strong and valiant - we, and the other two - if we had then had an inclination to return to France, do you think this sheet of salt water would have stopped us?"
"Oh!" said Porthos; "but six leagues."
"If you had seen me get astride of a plank, would you have remained on land, Porthos?"
"No, pardieu! No, Aramis. But, nowadays, what sort of a plank should we want, my friend! I, in particular." And the Seigneur de Bracieux cast a profound glance over his colossal rotundity with a loud laugh. "And do you mean seriously to say you are not tired of Belle-Isle a little, and that you would not prefer the comforts of your dwelling - of your episcopal palace, at Vannes? Come, confess."
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