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."
"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[](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.