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33. SOUBRETTE AND MISTRESS
Meantime, as we have said, despite the cries of his conscience and the wise counsels of Athos, d'Artagnan became hourly more in love with Milady. Thus he never failed to pay his diurnal court to her; and the self-satisfied Gascon was convinced that sooner or later she could not fail to respond.
One day, when he arrived with his head in the air, and as light at heart as a man who awaits a shower of gold, he found the SOUBRETTE under the gateway of the hotel; but this time the pretty Kitty was not contented with touching him as he passed, she took him gently by the hand.
"Good!" thought d'Artagnan, "She is charged with some message for me from her mistress; she is about to appoint some rendezvous of which she had not courage to speak." And he looked down at the pretty girl with the most triumphant air imaginable.
"I wish to say three words to you, Monsieur Chevalier," stammered the SOUBRETTE.
"Speak, my child, speak," said d'Artagnan; "I listen."
"Here? Impossible! That which I have to say is too long, and above all, too secret."
"Well, what is to be done?"
"If Monsieur Chevalier would follow me?" said Kitty, timidly.
"Where you please, my dear child."
And Kitty, who had not let go the hand of d'Artagnan, led him up a little dark, winding staircase, and after ascending about fifteen steps, opened a door.
"Come in here, Monsieur Chevalier," said she; "here we shall be alone, and can talk."
"And whose room is this, my dear child?"
"It is mine, Monsieur Chevalier; it communicates with my mistress's by that door. But you need not fear. She will not hear what we say; she never goes to bed before midnight,.
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