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Chapter 1 THE THREE PRESENTS OF D'ARTAGNAN THE ELDER

  • On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the market town of Meung, i_hich the author of ROMANCE OF THE ROSE was born, appeared to be in as perfec_ state of revolution as if the Huguenots had just made a second La Rochell_f it. Many citizens, seeing the women flying toward the High Street, leavin_heir children crying at the open doors, hastened to don the cuirass, an_upporting their somewhat uncertain courage with a musket or a partisan, directed their steps toward the hostelry of the Jolly Miller, before which wa_athered, increasing every minute, a compact group, vociferous and full o_uriosity.
  • In those times panics were common, and few days passed without some city o_ther registering in its archives an event of this kind. There were nobles, who made war against each other; there was the king, who made war against th_ardinal; there was Spain, which made war against the king. Then, in additio_o these concealed or public, secret or open wars, there were robbers, mendicants, Huguenots, wolves, and scoundrels, who made war upon everybody.
  • The citizens always took up arms readily against thieves, wolves o_coundrels, often against nobles or Huguenots, sometimes against the king, bu_ever against cardinal or Spain. It resulted, then, from this habit that o_he said first Monday of April, 1625, the citizens, on hearing the clamor, an_eeing neither the red-and-yellow standard nor the livery of the Duc d_ichelieu, rushed toward the hostel of the Jolly Miller. When arrived there, the cause of the hubbub was apparent to all.
  • A young man—we can sketch his portrait at a dash. Imagine to yourself a Do_uixote of eighteen; a Don Quixote without his corselet, without his coat o_ail, without his cuisses; a Don Quixote clothed in a woolen doublet, the blu_olor of which had faded into a nameless shade between lees of wine and _eavenly azure; face long and brown; high cheek bones, a sign of sagacity; th_axillary muscles enormously developed, an infallible sign by which a Gasco_ay always be detected, even without his cap—and our young man wore a cap se_ff with a sort of feather; the eye open and intelligent; the nose hooked, bu_inely chiseled. Too big for a youth, too small for a grown man, a_xperienced eye might have taken him for a farmer's son upon a journey had i_ot been for the long sword which, dangling from a leather baldric, hi_gainst the calves of its owner as he walked, and against the rough side o_is steed when he was on horseback.
  • For our young man had a steed which was the observed of all observers. It wa_ Bearn pony, from twelve to fourteen years old, yellow in his hide, without _air in his tail, but not without windgalls on his legs, which, though goin_ith his head lower than his knees, rendering a martingale quite unnecessary, contrived nevertheless to perform his eight leagues a day. Unfortunately, th_ualities of this horse were so well concealed under his strange-colored hid_nd his unaccountable gait, that at a time when everybody was a connoisseur i_orseflesh, the appearance of the aforesaid pony at Meung—which place he ha_ntered about a quarter of an hour before, by the gate of Beaugency—produce_n unfavorable feeling, which extended to his rider.
  • And this feeling had been more painfully perceived by young d'Artagnan—for s_as the Don Quixote of this second Rosinante named—from his not being able t_onceal from himself the ridiculous appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was. He had sighed deeply, therefore, when accepting th_ift of the pony from M. d'Artagnan the elder. He was not ignorant that such _east was worth at least twenty livres; and the words which had accompanie_he present were above all price.
  • "My son," said the old Gascon gentleman, in that pure Bearn PATOIS of whic_enry IV could never rid himself, "this horse was born in the house of you_ather about thirteen years ago, and has remained in it ever since, whic_ught to make you love it. Never sell it; allow it to die tranquilly an_onorably of old age, and if you make a campaign with it, take as much care o_t as you would of an old servant. At court, provided you have ever the hono_o go there," continued M. d'Artagnan the elder, "—an honor to which, remember, your ancient nobility gives you the right—sustain worthily your nam_f gentleman, which has been worthily borne by your ancestors for five hundre_ears, both for your own sake and the sake of those who belong to you. By th_atter I mean your relatives and friends. Endure nothing from anyone excep_onsieur the Cardinal and the king. It is by his courage, please observe, b_is courage alone, that a gentleman can make his way nowadays. Whoeve_esitates for a second perhaps allows the bait to escape which during tha_xact second fortune held out to him. You are young. You ought to be brave fo_wo reasons: the first is that you are a Gascon, and the second is that yo_re my son. Never fear quarrels, but seek adventures. I have taught you how t_andle a sword; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel. Fight on al_ccasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently ther_s twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to give you, my son, bu_ifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsels you have just heard. Your mothe_ill add to them a recipe for a certain balsam, which she had from a Bohemia_nd which has the miraculous virtue of curing all wounds that do not reach th_eart. Take advantage of all, and live happily and long. I have but one wor_o add, and that is to propose an example to you—not mine, for I myself hav_ever appeared at court, and have only taken part in religious wars as _olunteer; I speak of Monsieur de Treville, who was formerly my neighbor, an_ho had the honor to be, as a child, the play-fellow of our king, Louis XIII, whom God preserve! Sometimes their play degenerated into battles, and in thes_attles the king was not always the stronger. The blows which he receive_ncreased greatly his esteem and friendship for Monsieur de Treville.
  • Afterward, Monsieur de Treville fought with others: in his first journey t_aris, five times; from the death of the late king till the young one came o_ge, without reckoning wars and sieges, seven times; and from that date up t_he present day, a hundred times, perhaps! So that in spite of edicts, ordinances, and decrees, there he is, captain of the Musketeers; that is t_ay, chief of a legion of Caesars, whom the king holds in great esteem an_hom the cardinal dreads—he who dreads nothing, as it is said. Still further, Monsieur de Treville gains ten thousand crowns a year; he is therefore a grea_oble. He began as you begin. Go to him with this letter, and make him you_odel in order that you may do as he has done."
  • Upon which M. d'Artagnan the elder girded his own sword round his son, kisse_im tenderly on both cheeks, and gave him his benediction.
  • On leaving the paternal chamber, the young man found his mother, who wa_aiting for him with the famous recipe of which the counsels we have jus_epeated would necessitate frequent employment. The adieux were on this sid_onger and more tender than they had been on the other—not that M. d'Artagna_id not love his son, who was his only offspring, but M. d'Artagnan was a man, and he would have considered it unworthy of a man to give way to his feelings; whereas Mme. d'Artagnan was a woman, and still more, a mother. She wep_bundantly; and—let us speak it to the praise of M. d'Artagnan th_ounger—notwithstanding the efforts he made to remain firm, as a futur_usketeer ought, nature prevailed, and he shed many tears, of which h_ucceeded with great difficulty in concealing the half.
  • The same day the young man set forward on his journey, furnished with th_hree paternal gifts, which consisted, as we have said, of fifteen crowns, th_orse, and the letter for M. de Treville—the counsels being thrown into th_argain.
  • With such a VADE MECUM d'Artagnan was morally and physically an exact copy o_he hero of Cervantes, to whom we so happily compared him when our duty of a_istorian placed us under the necessity of sketching his portrait. Don Quixot_ook windmills for giants, and sheep for armies; d'Artagnan took every smil_or an insult, and every look as a provocation—whence it resulted that fro_arbes to Meung his fist was constantly doubled, or his hand on the hilt o_is sword; and yet the fist did not descend upon any jaw, nor did the swor_ssue from its scabbard. It was not that the sight of the wretched pony di_ot excite numerous smiles on the countenances of passers-by; but as agains_he side of this pony rattled a sword of respectable length, and as over thi_word gleamed an eye rather ferocious than haughty, these passers-by represse_heir hilarity, or if hilarity prevailed over prudence, they endeavored t_augh only on one side, like the masks of the ancients. D'Artagnan, then, remained majestic and intact in his susceptibility, till he came to thi_nlucky city of Meung.
  • But there, as he was alighting from his horse at the gate of the Jolly Miller, without anyone—host, waiter, or hostler—coming to hold his stirrup or take hi_orse, d'Artagnan spied, though an open window on the ground floor, _entleman, well-made and of good carriage, although of rather a ster_ountenance, talking with two persons who appeared to listen to him wit_espect. d'Artagnan fancied quite naturally, according to his custom, that h_ust be the object of their conversation, and listened. This time d'Artagna_as only in part mistaken; he himself was not in question, but his horse was.
  • The gentleman appeared to be enumerating all his qualities to his auditors; and, as I have said, the auditors seeming to have great deference for th_arrator, they every moment burst into fits of laughter. Now, as a half-smil_as sufficient to awaken the irascibility of the young man, the effec_roduced upon him by this vociferous mirth may be easily imagined.
  • Nevertheless, d'Artagnan was desirous of examining the appearance of thi_mpertinent personage who ridiculed him. He fixed his haughty eye upon th_tranger, and perceived a man of from forty to forty-five years of age, wit_lack and piercing eyes, pale complexion, a strongly marked nose, and a blac_nd well-shaped mustache. He was dressed in a doublet and hose of a viole_olor, with aiguillettes of the same color, without any other ornaments tha_he customary slashes, through which the shirt appeared. This doublet an_ose, though new, were creased, like traveling clothes for a long time packe_n a portmanteau. d'Artagnan made all these remarks with the rapidity of _ost minute observer, and doubtless from an instinctive feeling that thi_tranger was destined to have a great influence over his future life.
  • Now, as at the moment in which d'Artagnan fixed his eyes upon the gentleman i_he violet doublet, the gentleman made one of his most knowing and profoun_emarks respecting the Bearnese pony, his two auditors laughed even loude_han before, and he himself, though contrary to his custom, allowed a pal_mile (if I may allowed to use such an expression) to stray over hi_ountenance. This time there could be no doubt; d'Artagnan was reall_nsulted. Full, then, of this conviction, he pulled his cap down over hi_yes, and endeavoring to copy some of the court airs he had picked up i_ascony among young traveling nobles, he advanced with one hand on the hilt o_is sword and the other resting on his hip. Unfortunately, as he advanced, hi_nger increased at every step; and instead of the proper and lofty speech h_ad prepared as a prelude to his challenge, he found nothing at the tip of hi_ongue but a gross personality, which he accompanied with a furious gesture.
  • "I say, sir, you sir, who are hiding yourself behind that shutter—yes, you, sir, tell me what you are laughing at, and we will laugh together!"
  • The gentleman raised his eyes slowly from the nag to his cavalier, as if h_equired some time to ascertain whether it could be to him that such strang_eproaches were addressed; then, when he could not possibly entertain an_oubt of the matter, his eyebrows slightly bent, and with an accent of iron_nd insolence impossible to be described, he replied to d'Artagnan, "I was no_peaking to you, sir."
  • "But I am speaking to you!" replied the young man, additionally exasperate_ith this mixture of insolence and good manners, of politeness and scorn.
  • The stranger looked at him again with a slight smile, and retiring from th_indow, came out of the hostelry with a slow step, and placed himself befor_he horse, within two paces of d'Artagnan. His quiet manner and the ironica_xpression of his countenance redoubled the mirth of the persons with whom h_ad been talking, and who still remained at the window.
  • D'Artagnan, seeing him approach, drew his sword a foot out of the scabbard.
  • "This horse is decidedly, or rather has been in his youth, a buttercup,"
  • resumed the stranger, continuing the remarks he had begun, and addressin_imself to his auditors at the window, without paying the least attention t_he exasperation of d'Artagnan, who, however placed himself between him an_hem. "It is a color very well known in botany, but till the present time ver_are among horses."
  • "There are people who laugh at the horse that would not dare to laugh at th_aster," cried the young emulator of the furious Treville.
  • "I do not often laugh, sir," replied the stranger, "as you may perceive by th_xpression of my countenance; but nevertheless I retain the privilege o_aughing when I please."
  • "And I," cried d'Artagnan, "will allow no man to laugh when it displeases me!"
  • "Indeed, sir," continued the stranger, more calm than ever; "well, that i_erfectly right!" and turning on his heel, was about to re-enter the hostelr_y the front gate, beneath which d'Artagnan on arriving had observed a saddle_orse.
  • But, d'Artagnan was not of a character to allow a man to escape him thus wh_ad the insolence to ridicule him. He drew his sword entirely from th_cabbard, and followed him, crying, "Turn, turn, Master Joker, lest I strik_ou behind!"
  • "Strike me!" said the other, turning on his heels, and surveying the young ma_ith as much astonishment as contempt. "Why, my good fellow, you must be mad!"
  • Then, in a suppressed tone, as if speaking to himself, "This is annoying,"
  • continued he. "What a godsend this would be for his Majesty, who is seekin_verywhere for brave fellows to recruit for his Musketeers!"
  • He had scarcely finished, when d'Artagnan made such a furious lunge at hi_hat if he had not sprung nimbly backward, it is probable he would have jeste_or the last time. The stranger, then perceiving that the matter went beyon_aillery, drew his sword, saluted his adversary, and seriously placed himsel_n guard. But at the same moment, his two auditors, accompanied by the host, fell upon d'Artagnan with sticks, shovels and tongs. This caused so rapid an_omplete a diversion from the attack that d'Artagnan's adversary, while th_atter turned round to face this shower of blows, sheathed his sword with th_ame precision, and instead of an actor, which he had nearly been, became _pectator of the fight—a part in which he acquitted himself with his usua_mpassiveness, muttering, nevertheless, "A plague upon these Gascons! Replac_im on his orange horse, and let him begone!"
  • "Not before I have killed you, poltroon!" cried d'Artagnan, making the bes_ace possible, and never retreating one step before his three assailants, wh_ontinued to shower blows upon him.
  • "Another gasconade!" murmured the gentleman. "By my honor, these Gascons ar_ncorrigible! Keep up the dance, then, since he will have it so. When he i_ired, he will perhaps tell us that he has had enough of it."
  • But the stranger knew not the headstrong personage he had to do with; d'Artagnan was not the man ever to cry for quarter. The fight was therefor_rolonged for some seconds; but at length d'Artagnan dropped his sword, whic_as broken in two pieces by the blow of a stick. Another blow full upon hi_orehead at the same moment brought him to the ground, covered with blood an_lmost fainting.
  • It was at this moment that people came flocking to the scene of action fro_ll sides. The host, fearful of consequences, with the help of his servant_arried the wounded man into the kitchen, where some trifling attentions wer_estowed upon him.
  • As to the gentleman, he resumed his place at the window, and surveyed th_rowd with a certain impatience, evidently annoyed by their remainin_ndispersed.
  • "Well, how is it with this madman?" exclaimed he, turning round as the nois_f the door announced the entrance of the host, who came in to inquire if h_as unhurt.
  • "Your excellency is safe and sound?" asked the host.
  • "Oh, yes! Perfectly safe and sound, my good host; and I wish to know what ha_ecome of our young man."
  • "He is better," said the host, "he fainted quite away."
  • "Indeed!" said the gentleman.
  • "But before he fainted, he collected all his strength to challenge you, and t_efy you while challenging you."
  • "Why, this fellow must be the devil in person!" cried the stranger.
  • "Oh, no, your Excellency, he is not the devil," replied the host, with a gri_f contempt; "for during his fainting we rummaged his valise and found nothin_ut a clean shirt and eleven crowns—which however, did not prevent his saying, as he was fainting, that if such a thing had happened in Paris, you shoul_ave cause to repent of it at a later period."
  • "Then," said the stranger coolly, "he must be some prince in disguise."
  • "I have told you this, good sir," resumed the host, "in order that you may b_n your guard."
  • "Did he name no one in his passion?"
  • "Yes; he struck his pocket and said, 'We shall see what Monsieur de Trevill_ill think of this insult offered to his protege.'"
  • "Monsieur de Treville?" said the stranger, becoming attentive, "he put hi_and upon his pocket while pronouncing the name of Monsieur de Treville? Now, my dear host, while your young man was insensible, you did not fail, I a_uite sure, to ascertain what that pocket contained. What was there in it?"
  • "A letter addressed to Monsieur de Treville, captain of the Musketeers."
  • "Indeed!"
  • "Exactly as I have the honor to tell your Excellency."
  • The host, who was not endowed with great perspicacity, did not observe th_xpression which his words had given to the physiognomy of the stranger. Th_atter rose from the front of the window, upon the sill of which he had leane_ith his elbow, and knitted his brow like a man disquieted.
  • "The devil!" murmured he, between his teeth. "Can Treville have set thi_ascon upon me? He is very young; but a sword thrust is a sword thrust, whatever be the age of him who gives it, and a youth is less to be suspecte_han an older man," and the stranger fell into a reverie which lasted som_inutes. "A weak obstacle is sometimes sufficient to overthrow a great design.
  • "Host," said he, "could you not contrive to get rid of this frantic boy fo_e? In conscience, I cannot kill him; and yet," added he, with a coldl_enacing expression, "he annoys me. Where is he?"
  • "In my wife's chamber, on the first flight, where they are dressing hi_ounds."
  • "His things and his bag are with him? Has he taken off his doublet?"
  • "On the contrary, everything is in the kitchen. But if he annoys you, thi_oung fool—"
  • "To be sure he does. He causes a disturbance in your hostelry, whic_espectable people cannot put up with. Go; make out my bill and notify m_ervant."
  • "What, monsieur, will you leave us so soon?"
  • "You know that very well, as I gave my order to saddle my horse. Have they no_beyed me?"
  • "It is done; as your Excellency may have observed, your horse is in the grea_ateway, ready saddled for your departure."
  • "That is well; do as I have directed you, then."
  • "What the devil!" said the host to himself. "Can he be afraid of this boy?"
  • But an imperious glance from the stranger stopped him short; he bowed humbl_nd retired.
  • "It is not necessary for Milady[[1]](footnotes.xml#footnote_1) to be seen b_his fellow," continued the stranger. "She will soon pass; she is alread_ate. I had better get on horseback, and go and meet her. I should like, however, to know what this letter addressed to Treville contains."
  • And the stranger, muttering to himself, directed his steps toward the kitchen.
  • In the meantime, the host, who entertained no doubt that it was the presenc_f the young man that drove the stranger from his hostelry, re-ascended to hi_ife's chamber, and found d'Artagnan just recovering his senses. Giving him t_nderstand that the police would deal with him pretty severely for havin_ought a quarrel with a great lord—for the opinion of the host the strange_ould be nothing less than a great lord—he insisted that notwithstanding hi_eakness d'Artagnan should get up and depart as quickly as possible.
  • D'Artagnan, half stupefied, without his doublet, and with his head bound up i_ linen cloth, arose then, and urged by the host, began to descend the stairs; but on arriving at the kitchen, the first thing he saw was his antagonis_alking calmly at the step of a heavy carriage, drawn by two large Norma_orses.
  • His interlocutor, whose head appeared through the carriage window, was a woma_f from twenty to two-and-twenty years. We have already observed with wha_apidity d'Artagnan seized the expression of a countenance. He perceived then, at a glance, that this woman was young and beautiful; and her style of beaut_truck him more forcibly from its being totally different from that of th_outhern countries in which d'Artagnan had hitherto resided. She was pale an_air, with long curls falling in profusion over her shoulders, had large, blue, languishing eyes, rosy lips, and hands of alabaster. She was talkin_ith great animation with the stranger.
  • "His Eminence, then, orders me—" said the lady.
  • "To return instantly to England, and to inform him as soon as the duke leave_ondon."
  • "And as to my other instructions?" asked the fair traveler.
  • "They are contained in this box, which you will not open until you are on th_ther side of the Channel."
  • "Very well; and you—what will you do?"
  • "I—I return to Paris."
  • "What, without chastising this insolent boy?" asked the lady.
  • The stranger was about to reply; but at the moment he opened his mouth, d'Artagnan, who had heard all, precipitated himself over the threshold of th_oor.
  • "This insolent boy chastises others," cried he; "and I hope that this time h_hom he ought to chastise will not escape him as before."
  • "Will not escape him?" replied the stranger, knitting his brow.
  • "No; before a woman you would dare not fly, I presume?"
  • "Remember," said Milady, seeing the stranger lay his hand on his sword, "th_east delay may ruin everything."
  • "You are right," cried the gentleman; "begone then, on your part, and I wil_epart as quickly on mine." And bowing to the lady, sprang into his saddle, while her coachman applied his whip vigorously to his horses. The tw_nterlocutors thus separated, taking opposite directions, at full gallop.
  • "Pay him, booby!" cried the stranger to his servant, without checking th_peed of his horse; and the man, after throwing two or three silver pieces a_he foot of mine host, galloped after his master.
  • "Base coward! false gentleman!" cried d'Artagnan, springing forward, in hi_urn, after the servant. But his wound had rendered him too weak to suppor_uch an exertion. Scarcely had he gone ten steps when his ears began t_ingle, a faintness seized him, a cloud of blood passed over his eyes, and h_ell in the middle of the street, crying still, "Coward! coward! coward!"
  • "He is a coward, indeed," grumbled the host, drawing near to d'Artagnan, an_ndeavoring by this little flattery to make up matters with the young man, a_he heron of the fable did with the snail he had despised the evening before.
  • "Yes, a base coward," murmured d'Artagnan; "but she—she was very beautiful."
  • "What she?" demanded the host.
  • "Milady," faltered d'Artagnan, and fainted a second time.
  • "Ah, it's all one," said the host; "I have lost two customers, but this on_emains, of whom I am pretty certain for some days to come. There will b_leven crowns gained."
  • It is to be remembered that eleven crowns was just the sum that remained i_'Artagnan's purse.
  • The host had reckoned upon eleven days of confinement at a crown a day, but h_ad reckoned without his guest. On the following morning at five o'cloc_'Artagnan arose, and descending to the kitchen without help, asked, amon_ther ingredients the list of which has not come down to us, for some oil, some wine, and some rosemary, and with his mother's recipe in his han_omposed a balsam, with which he anointed his numerous wounds, replacing hi_andages himself, and positively refusing the assistance of any doctor, d'Artagnan walked about that same evening, and was almost cured by the morrow.
  • But when the time came to pay for his rosemary, this oil, and the wine, th_nly expense the master had incurred, as he had preserved a stric_bstinence—while on the contrary, the yellow horse, by the account of th_ostler at least, had eaten three times as much as a horse of his size coul_easonably supposed to have done—d'Artagnan found nothing in his pocket bu_is little old velvet purse with the eleven crowns it contained; for as to th_etter addressed to M. de Treville, it had disappeared.
  • The young man commenced his search for the letter with the greatest patience, turning out his pockets of all kinds over and over again, rummaging an_erummaging in his valise, and opening and reopening his purse; but when h_ound that he had come to the conviction that the letter was not to be found, he flew, for the third time, into such a rage as was near costing him a fres_onsumption of wine, oil, and rosemary—for upon seeing this hot-headed yout_ecome exasperated and threaten to destroy everything in the establishment i_is letter were not found, the host seized a spit, his wife a broom handle, and the servants the same sticks they had used the day before.
  • "My letter of recommendation!" cried d'Artagnan, "my letter of recommendation!
  • or, the holy blood, I will spit you all like ortolans!"
  • Unfortunately, there was one circumstance which created a powerful obstacle t_he accomplishment of this threat; which was, as we have related, that hi_word had been in his first conflict broken in two, and which he had entirel_orgotten. Hence, it resulted when d'Artagnan proceeded to draw his sword i_arnest, he found himself purely and simply armed with a stump of a swor_bout eight or ten inches in length, which the host had carefully placed i_he scabbard. As to the rest of the blade, the master had slyly put that o_ne side to make himself a larding pin.
  • But this deception would probably not have stopped our fiery young man if th_ost had not reflected that the reclamation which his guest made was perfectl_ust.
  • "But, after all," said he, lowering the point of his spit, "where is thi_etter?"
  • "Yes, where is this letter?" cried d'Artagnan. "In the first place, I warn yo_hat that letter is for Monsieur de Treville, and it must be found, he wil_now how to find it."
  • His threat completed the intimidation of the host. After the king and th_ardinal, M. de Treville was the man whose name was perhaps most frequentl_epeated by the military, and even by citizens. There was, to be sure, Fathe_oseph, but his name was never pronounced but with a subdued voice, such wa_he terror inspired by his Gray Eminence, as the cardinal's familiar wa_alled.
  • Throwing down his spit, and ordering his wife to do the same with her broo_andle, and the servants with their sticks, he set the first example o_ommencing an earnest search for the lost letter.
  • "Does the letter contain anything valuable?" demanded the host, after a fe_inutes of useless investigation.
  • "Zounds! I think it does indeed!" cried the Gascon, who reckoned upon thi_etter for making his way at court. "It contained my fortune!"
  • "Bills upon Spain?" asked the disturbed host.
  • "Bills upon his Majesty's private treasury," answered d'Artagnan, who, reckoning upon entering into the king's service in consequence of thi_ecommendation, believed he could make this somewhat hazardous reply withou_elling of a falsehood.
  • "The devil!" cried the host, at his wit's end.
  • "But it's of no importance," continued d'Artagnan, with natural assurance;
  • "it's of no importance. The money is nothing; that letter was everything. _ould rather have lost a thousand pistoles than have lost it." He would no_ave risked more if he had said twenty thousand; but a certain juvenil_odesty restrained him.
  • A ray of light all at once broke upon the mind of the host as he was givin_imself to the devil upon finding nothing.
  • "That letter is not lost!" cried he.
  • "What!" cried d'Artagnan.
  • "No, it has been stolen from you."
  • "Stolen? By whom?"
  • "By the gentleman who was here yesterday. He came down into the kitchen, wher_our doublet was. He remained there some time alone. I would lay a wager h_as stolen it."
  • "Do you think so?" answered d'Artagnan, but little convinced, as he kne_etter than anyone else how entirely personal the value of this letter was, and was nothing in it likely to tempt cupidity. The fact was that none of hi_ervants, none of the travelers present, could have gained anything by bein_ossessed of this paper.
  • "Do you say," resumed d'Artagnan, "that you suspect that impertinen_entleman?"
  • "I tell you I am sure of it," continued the host. "When I informed him tha_our lordship was the protege of Monsieur de Treville, and that you even had _etter for that illustrious gentleman, he appeared to be very much disturbed, and asked me where that letter was, and immediately came down into th_itchen, where he knew your doublet was."
  • "Then that's my thief," replied d'Artagnan. "I will complain to Monsieur d_reville, and Monsieur de Treville will complain to the king." He then dre_wo crowns majestically from his purse and gave them to the host, wh_ccompanied him, cap in hand, to the gate, and remounted his yellow horse, which bore him without any further accident to the gate of St. Antoine a_aris, where his owner sold him for three crowns, which was a very good price, considering that d'Artagnan had ridden him hard during the last stage. Thu_he dealer to whom d'Artagnan sold him for the nine livres did not concea_rom the young man that he only gave that enormous sum for him on the accoun_f the originality of his color.
  • Thus d'Artagnan entered Paris on foot, carrying his little packet under hi_rm, and walked about till he found an apartment to be let on terms suited t_he scantiness of his means. This chamber was a sort of garret, situated i_he Rue des Fossoyeurs, near the Luxembourg.
  • As soon as the earnest money was paid, d'Artagnan took possession of hi_odging, and passed the remainder of the day in sewing onto his doublet an_ose some ornamental braiding which his mother had taken off an almost-ne_oublet of the elder M. d'Artagnan, and which she had given her son secretly.
  • Next he went to the Quai de Feraille to have a new blade put to his sword, an_hen returned toward the Louvre, inquiring of the first Musketeer he met fo_he situation of the hotel of M. de Treville, which proved to be in the Rue d_ieux-Colombier; that is to say, in the immediate vicinity of the chambe_ired by d'Artagnan—a circumstance which appeared to furnish a happy augur_or the success of his journey.
  • After this, satisfied with the way in which he had conducted himself at Meung, without remorse for the past, confident in the present, and full of hope fo_he future, he retired to bed and slept the sleep of the brave.
  • This sleep, provincial as it was, brought him to nine o'clock in the morning; at which hour he rose, in order to repair to the residence of M. de Treville, the third personage in the kingdom, in the paternal estimation.