Aramis and I heard her with our own ears.'
' It is no use struggling against such powerful
THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS 285
enemies,' said d'Artagnan in despair. ' I might as well
give it up and blow out rny brains.'
' That would be the silliest thing you could do/
answered Athos, ' and the only one that cannot be
remedied. But look at Grimaud ! Something is hap-
pening ! What is it, Grimaud ? Considering the matter
is important you may speak. Do you see anything ? '
' A troop.'
' Of how many men ? '
' What do they consist of ? '
' Sixteen pioneers and four soldiers.'
' How far off are they ? '
' Five hundred paces.'
' Good ! we shall have time to finish our breakfast
and to drink your health, d'Artagnan.'
' You are very kind,' answered d'Artagnan, ' but I
am afraid your wishes won't profit me much.'
' Who knows,' said Athos lightly, and after draining
his glass he rose carelessly, and picking up the gun that
lay nearest him he sauntered to a loophole, followed
by the rest, while Grimaud was ordered to stand behind
them in order to load the spare muskets.
' Well,' said Athos contemptuously, as the little
troop drew near the trenches, ' it hardly seems worth all
the trouble we have taken to fight this handful of men
armed with pikes and pickaxes. I'm sure that if
Grimaud had only made a sign to them they would have
gone away quite peaceably.'
' I doubt it,' answered d'Artagnan. ' They are
coming on steadily on this side. And besides the
pioneers, there are four soldiers and a brigadier armed
' I don't like firing on peaceable citizens of that sort,'
4 It does seem rather a shame,' answered Athos.
286 THE BASTION SA1NT-GERVAIS
' I don't believe they have seen us yet ; I am going to
speak to them.'
' You will get yourself shot,' cried d'Artagnan ; but
Athos paid no heed and advanced to the breach, his hat
in one hand and his gun in the other.
' Gentlemen,' he shouted to the advancing party,
who, astonished at the unexpected sight, halted suddenly
fifty paces from the bastion. ' Some friends and I are
breakfasting here. Now I need not tell you how un-
pleasant it is to be interrupted at one's breakfast, so I
beg of you, if you have any business with us, to wait till
we have finished, or else to return. Unless, of course, you
will forsake the cause of the rebels, and join us in
drinking the health of the king of France.'
' Take care, Athos,' exclaimed d'Artagnan, ' they are
aiming at you.'
' Yes, I know, but these citizens are very bad shots.
They won't touch me.'
As he spoke a shower of bullets fell about him, and
left him unharmed. In an instant four guns replied
from the bastion, and three of the Rochelais soldiers fell
dead, while one of the pioneers was wounded.
' Another musket, Grimaud,' said Athos, who had not
left the breach, and at the second volley the brigadier
and two pioneers were killed, and the rest ran away.
' Now a sortie,' cried Athos, and all four clambered
down to the field of battle, seized the muskets the soldiers
had dropped, and returned to the bastion feeling quite
sure that ,the fugitives would never stop till they had
reached the town.
' Reload all the muskets, Grimaud,' said Athos ;
' we are going to finish breakfast. But stay, tie a
napkin to the brigadier's pike and plant it on top of the
bastion, so that these rebels of Rochelle may understand
that they are fighting loyal soldiers of the King.'
Grimaud obeyed in silence. An instant later the
white flag of the Bourbons floated in the wind. A
THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS 287
thunder of applause followed. Half the camp was at
the barrier, looking on.
' You are curious to know what I wanted with
Milady,' continued Athos. ' Well, I had to get from her
a blank sheet of paper signed by the Cardinal, which she
could fill in as she chose. By this means she could
get rid of any or all of us ; beginning probably with
' And is this blank order still in her hands ? ' asked
' No, it is in mine,' replied Athos.
' My dear Athos,' said d'Artagnan, ' I have lost count
of the number of times you have saved my life ? And
you have the Cardinal's letter also ? '
' Yes, here it is,' answered Athos, drawing it from his
helmet and handing it to d'Artagnan.
' Read it,' said Porthos, and d'Artagnan read : ' It is
by my order and for the good of the State that the bearer
of this has done what he has done.
December 5, 1627. ' RICHELIEU.'
The young men looked at each other.
' It sounds mysterious,' said Aramis at last, ' but in
reality it is nothing but a pardon for any crime the bearer
may choose to commit.'
' It must be torn up at once,' said d'Artagnan, who
considered it as his own death-warrant.
' On the contrary, it must be kept carefully,' replied
Athos. ' I w r ould not part with that piece of paper for
ail the gold pieces that would cover it.'
To arms ! ' cried Grimaud, and they all ran to their
This time the party consisted of more than twenty
men, soldiers of the garrison of Rochelle.
' Hadn't we better go back to the camp ? ' asked
Porthos. ' The sides are unequal.'
' Impossible for three reasons,' replied Athos.
288 THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS
* First, we have not finished breakfast ; second, I have
still some important things to tell you ; third, that the
hour we undertook to remain here will not be up for ten
Then we must make a plan of battle,' said Aramis.
' It will be very simple,' answered Athos . ' When the
enemy is within reach, we fire ; if he continues to ad-
vance, we fire again ; and keep on firing as long as our
muskets have charges in them. If the rest of them wish
to try an assault we will allow them to get down into the
trenches, and then push over that bit of the wall which
is tottering already.'
' Bravo,' exclaimed Porthos. ' Athos, you were born
to be a general, and the Cardinal, who thinks himself
a great commander, is nothing in comparison with you.'
' Pick off your men,' was all Athos said, and at his
signal the four guns rang out like one, and four men fell.
But the Rochelais still advanced in spite of the fire, and
jumped into the trench.
The wall,' said Athos, and with a mighty effort all
four, aided by Grimaud, succeeded in moving the de-
tached part, which after rocking backwards and forwards
rolled over into the trench.
Onlv two or three wounded men were left to return to
Then Athos took out his watch. ' The hour is up,' he
said, ' and we have won our wager. But we must not be
in too great a hurry. Let us sit down and finish our
So for ten minutes more they rested and talked, till a
drum was heard in the direction of the town.
They will be sending a whole regiment,' observed
' But you don't intend to fight a whole regiment ? '
' Why not ? I am in the vein,' replied Athos.
1 The drum is coming nearer,' said d'Artagnan.
bec'aue a real flag
THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS 291
' Let it come,' remarked Athos. ' It takes a quarter
of an hour to get from here to the town, and that is more
time than enough. We shall never find a better place to
fight. But excuse me, I have some directions to give
to Grimaud,' and he signed to his valet.
' Grimaud,' he continued, pointing to the dead men
lying inside the bastion. ' You will take these gentlemen
and set them up against the wall, with their hats on their
heads and their guns in their hands.'
Grimaud nodded, and the four friends discussed
their affairs, and who could be trusted to carry an
important letter to London, in order to put a stop to the
designs of Milady, when d'Artagnan exclaimed,
' Look there ! you said they would send a regiment,
Athos, but it is a whole army ! '
' So it is,' answered Athos turning round, ' and they
have stolen upon us without drums or trumpets. Well,
Grimaud, have you finished ? '
Grimaud nodded again, and pointed to a dozen dead
men whom he had arranged along the walls in various
attitudes, some taking aim, some bearing arms, and
others with their hands on their swords.
' Bravo,' cried Athos, ' it does credit to your imagina-
' That is all very well,' said Porthos, ' but I should
like to understand what it all means.'
' Let us be off first,' answered d'Artagnan, ' and you
can understand afterwards.'
' One moment,' observed Athos, ' give Grimaud time
to clear away breakfast.'
' I agree with d'Artagnan,' said Aramis, ' the sooner
we get back to the camp the better.'
' All right,' remarked Athos, ' just as you like. We
have been here for an hour and a half.'
So they all followed Grimaud, who had hastily packed
' But the flag,' cried Athos, ' we have forgotten that.
292 THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS
It must not fall into the hands of the enemy, if it is only
a table-napkin.' And he ran back into the bastion, and
took down the flag amidst a shower of balls. Pausing
a moment he waved it, and was answered by shouts of
applause from the French camp.
Then a fresh volley from the rebels pierced the
napkin, and it became transformed into a real flag.
' Come down, come down,' cried the French, and
Athos joined his companions while the Rochelais directed
a furious fire at the dead men on the walls.
And that was how Athos won his wager.
LITTLE GENERAL MONK
Little General Monk
Sat upon a trunk.
So sang your nurse to you when you were a baby.
Now this story is to tell you how ' Little General Monk '
got inside the trunk, and who put him there.
Monsieur d'Artagnan was thirty-five years older than
when he had made friends with the three musketeers, and
many battles had he fought since then. Instead of being
eighteen, he was fifty-three, which makes a great deal
of difference, but the Gascon was as ready as ever for a
dangerous adventure and as skilful as before in carrying
One day early in the year 1660, d'Artagnan entered
a shop in the street of the Lombards, having for its sign
a Golden Pestle, and was welcomed with a cry of joy
by a middle-aged man in a white apron.
' Good morning, Planchet,' said d'Artagnan, greeting
his old valet, who had turned into a confectioner, and
grown fat in the process.
' Here, come quick, boys,' called Planchet in a bustle,
' let one hold Monsieur d'Artagnan's horse, and one pre-
pare his room, and one serve up supper.'
' Thank you, Planchet ! ' answered d'Artagnan, as
the apprentices ran hither and thither, proud of serving
a soldier of whose greatness their master was never tired
294 LITTLE GENERAL MONK
' I want to speak to you,' said d'Artagnan, ' so see
that no one interrupts us.'
Planchet looked up uneasily.
' Oh, it is all right,' replied d'Artagnan, ' nothing to
take away my appetite,' and he spoke truly as was seen
when in a few minutes they sat down at the supper
' I have got a piece of business on hand,' he began,
as soon as his hunger was satisfied. ' It will be very
profitable in the long run of that I have no doubt
but meanwhile we must have plenty of money to
Planchet 's face fell.
' How much, sir ? '
' Twenty thousand francs cash, for a month.'
' And is it to be used in Paris ? '
' No ; in England.'
' And, if I may be allow r ed to ask, what sort of a
business is it ? '
' A restoration.'
' Of monuments ? '
Yes, of monuments, Planchet. We are going to
That sounds important. You think you can do
that in a month ? '
' I do. But shut all the doors and open the windows,
for the noise in the streets will prevent anyone who
happens to be listening from overhearing us.'
You remember his Majesty Charles I. of England ? '
asked d'Artagnan, pouring out a glass of wine.
' It would not be easy to forget him, sir, seeing you
left France to help him, and were very nearly pulled
down in his fall. I remember also that he had two sons,
and I saw the second one, the Duke of York, one day in
the Palais-Royal, when he came over to see his mother,
the Queen of England.'
LITTLE GENERAL MONK 295
; Well, what I have to say is about the elder brother,
the Prince of Wales. I have watched him go through
all sorts of miseries, and whatever happened he was
always gay. I am sorry for him.'
At these words Planchet uttered a cry.
1 What is the matter ? ' said d'Artagnan.
1 It is only that I am afraid I understand-
' What, Planchet ? That I hope to restore King
Charles II. to his throne ? '
' Ah ! ' murmured Planchet, turning pale, ' so that is
what you meant by a " restoration."
' To be sure. And I believe we shall succeed. But
now I should like to consult you about some of the
And for another hour they discussed their plans, or
rather d'Artagnan explained his.
You know that Cromwell is dead and that his son
Richard has resigned ? ' he said.
; Well, the first man in England at the present
moment is General Monk, who commands the army. He
has never been defeated, and is besides very clever in
politics, for he rarely opens his mouth. He will think
for twelve hours before he bids you " Good morning ! '
and then he says " Good evening ! ' Now, listen ! I
am going over to England with a few men, perhaps as
many as forty, and I mean to kidnap him and bring
him over to France, where I can dispose of him in one
of two ways.'
* Ah ! Ah ! ' cried Planchet, filled with enthusiasm.
; We will put him in a cage and show him for a penny a
' I hadn't thought of that ; it is a third way. Your
plan is excellent, only mine are better. I should either
ransom him for a hundred thousand crowns or else
deliver him to King Charles, who will then be able to
296 LITTLE GENERAL MONK
restore himself and pay the hundred thousand crowns to
me. What do you think of that, Planchet ? '
' It is magnificent ! Magnificent ! ' cried Planchet.
' I wish to start for England to-morrow,' continued
d'Artagnan. ' Can you have the money ready ? '
' Yes, I will manage it.'
' Then I must draw up a contract, and we will both
sign it,' and d'Artagnan wrote :
' Seeing that in the matter of the restoration of the
King Charles II. to the throne of England, Monsieur d'Ar-
tagnan brings to his partnership with Monsieur Planchet
his time, his labour, his mind, and his skin (all things
very dear to him, especially the last) besides a capital of
twenty thousand francs, it is agreed that Monsieur
d'Artagnan shall keep two-thirds of the profits for him-
self. But in case Monsieur d'Artagnan should be killed
before the work is accomplished, Monsieur Planchet
gives hereby to his ghost a receipt for the twenty
thousand francs he has lent him.'
On hearing this clause, Planchet frowned, but, on
glancing at his partner, he looked so full of life and
power that he took courage and signed his name
without further protest.
After which d'Artagnan bade him good-night and
went to bed.
D'Artagnan woke early and began to consider the
number of men that would be most useful in his expedi-
tion to England. If Athos, Porthos and Aramis could
have gone with him, he would have taken the forty of
whom he had spoken to Planchet. But as they were all
away from Paris where he did not know and there
was no one else whom he could trust, he made up his
mind at last to cut down the number to ten, whom he
could always have under his own eye. So with six
soldiers, and four sailors whom he found half drunk in
a tavern in Calais, he started for Holland, where he
LITTLE GENERAL MONK 297
bought a fishing boat, for which he paid three thousand
francs. In this they all set sail for the River Tyne, as
d'Artagnan had learned that Monk and his army were
encamped near the sea to the east of Newcastle, while his
enemy, General Lambert, was drawn up on the opposite
bank a little higher up.
Meat was scarce in both armies, and the English
soldiers grumbled loudly. Monk, however, was more
fortunate than his foe, as a large part of his force was
composed of Scotchmen, who could live and fight on
porridge, and looked with contempt on the hungry
Englishmen. The general fared no better than his men,,
and he listened eagerly when late one evening a troop of
soldiers entered his tent and informed him that they had
just captured a fishing boat on its way to sell fish to the
. ' Where do these fishermen come from ? ' asked
They are Frenchmen, who were fishing in Dutch.
seas and were blown across in the gale.'
' Do any of them speak English ? '
Their chief seems to know a little.'
' How many of them are there ? '
' About ten or twelve, and the boat is of Dutch build.'
' And you say they were carrying the fish to General
Lambert ? '
' Yes, general. It seems they have made a good haul.'
' Well, send the head man to me,' said Monk, who
thought the whole affair very suspicious.
The officer soon returned bringing with him a fisher-
man who looked past fifty, dressed in a woollen tunic,
while a sailor's cap was pulled low over his eyes, and by
his side hung a cutlass. He stood with the smile, half
cunning, half stupid, peculiar to French peasants, while
Monk examined him closely.
' You can speak English ? ' asked the general.
298 LITTLE GENERAL MONK
6 Very badly, my lord,' answered the fisherman, with
the accent of Southern France rather than the drawl of
the North, as Monk was quick to notice.
' You appear to me to have done more fishing off
the shores of Gascony than in the Channel,' said Monk
smiling, and the man answered :
' Yes, I was born in Gascony, my lord ; but I hope that
doesn't prevent my being a good fisherman. I have a
fine cargo of mullets and whiting.'
' And why do you wish to sell them to General
Lambert and not to me ? '
' Because, my lord, if you will excuse me, these town
gentlemen pay well, while your Scotch eat little and pay
Monk laughed. * But what made you come to this
country ? ' he asked.
* It was an accident, my lord. We were returning
from Ostend to France with a cargo of mackerel when a
strong south wind sprang up. It was impossible to sail
in the teeth of it, so we made up our minds to sell our
fish at the nearest port where we could land, and we cast
anchor at the mouth of the Tyne, for, knowing that two
armies were encamped there, we made sure we should
have a good market.'
' You came from Ostend, you say ? No doubt you
heard plenty of gossip there about the man who calls
himself King of England ? '
' Ah, my lord, I did more than that, for I saw him
walking on the sand hills waiting for horses to take him
to the Hague. He is tall and pale, with black hair, and
he looks as if the air of Holland did not agree with him.'
Monk, who understood French very well, listened
attentively, watching the man's face all the time.
After a few more questions he added ' When you return
to your boat, you had better keep clear of the marshes,
for they are the quarters of some of my Scottish troops,
whom I have placed in ambush. Or, stay ! You shall
LITTLE GENERAL MONK 299
all sleep in a little group of tents near the refreshment
booths. Digby, are you there ? ' he cried, and when the
aide-de-camp appeared the general repeated his orders,
but, before he had finished, a sergeant entered and
' What is it ? ' asked Monk.
" A French gentleman wishes to speak to your
' What is his name ? '
' That I cannot tell you, general ; it is no name for
an English tongue.'
' Well, you can bring him in.'
' Am I to bandage his eyes ? '
' Why should you ? He will see nothing but eleven
thousand men, all ready to fight for the Parliament.
Now, my good man, you can go,' he continued, suddenly
remembering the fisher. ' You shall have the money for
your fish to-morrow,' and, followed by Digby, the man
departed, passing on the way a tall figure wrapped in a
long cloak, who was approaching the tent of the general.
The newcomer entered, and stood quietly waiting till
Monk asked him his business. Then he answered in very
good English that he wished to consult the general on a
subject of great importance.
' You speak my language so well,' said Monk, himself
speaking in French, ' that I cannot help inquiring where
you learned it ? '
' In England, my lord. When I was young I passed
some time in London. I have also travelled in Scotland,
and have even spent a few weeks in the Abbey here,
where part of your army is now r encamped.'
' And your name ? ' asked Monk.
' The Comte de la Fere.'
' The Comte de la Fere,' repeated Monk, to whom it
seemed in some way familiar ; ' have you any position in
the French Court ? '
300 LITTLE GENERAL MONK
' None whatever, general. But King Charles I. made
me a Knight of the Garter, and the Queen of France,
Anne of Austria, gave me the Order of the Saint Esprit.'
' And what had you done to gain such brilliant
distinctions ? '
' Served their Majesties faithfully ; that was all.'
Monk remained silent ; he did not know what to
think. The stranger appeared frank and straight-
forward, yet what could he want on the eve of a battle,
except to act as a spy ?
At length he said, ' Well, sir, let me hear your
' When I was in Newcastle with the King before his
late Majesty was delivered by the Scotch into the hands
of Cromwell I buried a large sum of money in the vaults
of the Abbey, under that tower on which the moon is
shining at the present moment. As the Abbey itself is
likely to be destroyed by cannon in the battle which will
shortly take place, I have come to beg permission of
your Excellency to take it away.'
' But are you sure it is there ? ' asked Monk. ' During
all these years some one may have discovered it. And
is the sum large enough to be worth all these risks ? '
' It is a million of money, my lord ; and it is con-
tained in two barrels.'
' A million ! ' cried Monk, staring in surprise.
Then he added, ' I will help you to get it if it is
still in its hiding place. And now, will you do me the
honour to sup with me ? As it happens, just before your
arrival, one of your countrymen had brought me some
While they were eating, the talk of the two men
wandered from one subject to another, but all concerning
the French Court. When they had finished. Monk
suddenly said, ' Can you recognise the place where your
money is buried ? '
' Yes, certainly I can,' answered Athos.
LITTLE GENERAL MONK 301
1 1 will come with you to get it. Indeed, without me
you would hardly be allowed to leave the camp.'
' I know it, or else I should not permit you to give
yourself the trouble.'
' Shall we take anyone with us ? ' asked Monk.
Two men and a horse to carry the barrels will be
enough,' replied Athos, and Monk, still puzzled and
suspicious, buckled on a short sword and put a pistol
in his belt, exposing as he did so the rings of a coat of
mail. Then, taking a Scotch dirk in his left hand, he
turned to Athos and inquired if he was ready.
' Perfectly, if you are,' was the reply, and, as he spoke,
Athos laid his dagger on the table and his sword beside it,
while he unbuttoned his tunic to take out his hand-
kerchief, baring his chest as he did so, and showing
carelessly that he had no arms concealed about him.
Quite alone the two men set out.
The way to the Abbey lay through the marshes on
the outskirts of which Digby had lodged the French
fishermen, and when they reached a place where three
roads branched off, the general paused. ' Which of
these paths should we take ? ' he asked, to see if Athos
had really been there before, or if he was laying a trap
' The middle one, I think,' answered Athos, and then
a slight noise caused them both to look round.
' Ah, Digby has followed us,' observed Monk. ' He
may be useful, as we shall need a light. Digby, come
here.' But the supposed Digby suddenly stepped back
into the shadow and made his way towards the fishers'
' It isn't Digby, after all,' said Monk ; but in a camp
there is nothing uncommon in a man prowling about at
eleven o'clock at night, and neither the general nor
Athos thought anything of it.
'One of your soldiers will bring us a torch,' said
302 LITTLE GENERAL MONK
Athos ; but Monk, who was anxious to know if his guest
was in league with the French fishermen, replied quickly :
' No, I think we had better take one of those French
sailors. They leave to-morrow, and therefore will not
have so much chance of betraying our secret, whereas
if once the story were to get about in the army that a
treasure had been found in the Abbey of Newcastle,
the men would imagine that a million was to be found