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53. CAPTIVITY: THE SECOND DAY
Milady dreamed that she at length had d'Artagnan in her power, that she was present at his execution; and it was the sight of his odious blood, flowing beneath the ax of the headsman, which spread that charming smile upon her lips.
She slept as a prisoner sleeps, rocked by his first hope.
In the morning, when they entered her chamber she was still in bed. Felton remained in the corridor. He brought with him the woman of whom he had spoken the evening before, and who had just arrived; this woman entered, and approaching Milady's bed, offered her services.
Milady was habitually pale; her complexion might therefore deceive a person who saw her for the first time.
"I am in a fever," said she; "I have not slept a single instant during all this long night. I suffer horribly. Are you likely to be more humane to me than others were yesterday? All I ask is permission to remain abed."
"Would you like to have a physician called?" said the woman.
Felton listened to this dialogue without speaking a word.
Milady reflected that the more people she had around her the more she would have to work upon, and Lord de Winter would redouble his watch. Besides, the physician might declare the ailment feigned; and Milady, after having lost the first trick, was not willing to lose the second.
"Go and fetch a physician?" said she. "What could be the good of that? These gentlemen declared yesterday that my illness was a comedy; it would be just the same today, no doubt--for since yesterday evening they have had plenty of time to send for a doctor."
"Then," said Felton, who became impatient, "say yourself, madame, what treatment you wish followed."
"Eh, how can I tell? My God! I know that I suffer, that's all. Give me anything you like, it is of little consequence."
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