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14. THE MAN OF MEUNG (continued)
"Not a word of what has passed. Let the queen remain in perfect security; let her be ignorant that we know her secret. Let her believe that we are in search of some conspiracy or other. Send me the keeper of the seals, Seguier."
"And that man, what has your Eminence done with him?"
"What man?" asked the cardinal.
"I have done with him all that could be done. I have made him a spy upon his wife."
The Comte de Rochefort bowed like a man who acknowledges the superiority of the master as great, and retired.
Left alone, the cardinal seated himself again and wrote a letter, which he secured with his special seal. Then he rang. The officer entered for the fourth time.
"Tell Vitray to come to me," said he, "and tell him to get ready for a journey."
An instant after, the man he asked for was before him, booted and spurred.
"Vitray," said he, "you will go with all speed to London. You must not stop an instant on the way. You will deliver this letter to Milady. Here is an order for two hundred pistoles; call upon my treasurer and get the money. You shall have as much again if you are back within six days, and have executed your commission well."
The messenger, without replying a single word, bowed, took the letter, with the order for the two hundred pistoles, and retired.
Here is what the letter contained:
MILADY, Be at the first ball at which the Duke of Buckingham shall be present. He will wear on his doublet twelve diamond studs; get as near to him as you can, and cut off two.
As soon as these studs shall be in your possession, inform me.
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