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Alexandre Dumas: The Man in the Iron Mask
Chapter 42: Belle-Ile-en-Mer. (continued)
"No," replied Aramis, without daring to look at Porthos.
"Let us stay where we are, then," said his friend, with a sigh, which, in spite of the efforts he made to restrain it, escaped his echoing breast. "Let us remain! - let us remain! And yet," added he, "and yet, if we seriously wished, but that decidedly - if we had a fixed idea, one firmly taken, to return to France, and there were not boats - "
"Have you remarked another thing, my friend - that is, since the disappearance of our barks, during the last two days' absence of fishermen, not a single small boat has landed on the shores of the isle?"
"Yes, certainly! you are right. I, too, have remarked it, and the observation was the more naturally made, for, before the last two fatal days, barks and shallops were as plentiful as shrimps."
"I must inquire," said Aramis, suddenly, and with great agitation. "And then, if we had a raft constructed - "
"But there are some canoes, my friend; shall I board one?"
"A canoe! - a canoe! Can you think of such a thing, Porthos? A canoe to be upset in. No, no," said the bishop of Vannes; "it is not our trade to ride upon the waves. We will wait, we will wait."
And Aramis continued walking about with increased agitation. Porthos, who grew tired of following all the feverish movements of his friend - Porthos, who in his faith and calmness understood nothing of the sort of exasperation which was betrayed by his companion's continual convulsive starts - Porthos stopped him. "Let us sit down upon this rock," said he. "Place yourself there, close to me, Aramis, and I conjure you, for the last time, to explain to me in a manner I can comprehend - explain to me what we are doing here."
"Porthos," said Aramis, much embarrassed.
"I know that the false king wished to dethrone the true king. That is a fact, that I understand. Well - "
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