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versing with her affectionately for a few minutes, dismissed
her.

A few minutes after twelve o'clock Bernouin knocked at
the Queen's bedroom door, having come by the Cardinal's



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TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 215

secret corridor. Anne of Austria opened the door herself.
She was in neglige, wrapped in a long dressing gown.

*'It is you, Bernouin," she said. "Is M. d*Artagnan there?"

*'Yes, madam, in your oratory; he is waiting till your
majesty be ready."

"I am. Go and tell Laporte to wake and dress the King,
and then pass on to the -Marshal de Villeroy and summon him
to me."

Bernouin bowed and retired.

The Queen entered her oratory, which was lighted by a sin-
gle lamp of Venetian crystal. She saw d'Artagnan, who stood
expecting her.

"Are you ready?"
1 am.

"And his Eminence, the Cardinal?**

"Has got off without any accident. He is awaiting your
majesty at Cours-la-Reine."

"But in what carriage do we start?"
^ "I have provided for everything — ^a carriage is waiting be-
low for your majesty."

"Let us go to the King."

D'Artagnan bowed, and followed the Queen. The young
Louis was already dressed with the exception of his shoes
and doublet; he had allowed himself to be dressed in great
astonishment, overwhelming with questions Laporte, who re-
plied only in these words: "Sire, it is by the Queen's com-
mands."

The bed was open, and the sheets were so worn that holes
could be seen in some places — ^another evidence of the stin-
giness of Mazarin.

The Queen entered, and d'Artagnan remained at the door.
As soon as the child perceived the Queen he escaped from
Laporte, and ran to meet her. Anne then motioned to d'Ar-
tagnan to approach, and he obeyed.

"My son," said Anne of Austria, pointing to the Musketeer,
calm, standing uncovered, "here is M. d'Artagnan, who is
as brave as one of those ancient heroes of whom you like so
much to hear from my women. Remember his name well,
and look at him well, that his face may not be forgotten, for
this evening he is going to render us a great service."

The King looked at the officer with his large- formed eye,
and repeated:

"M. d'Artagnan."

"That is it, my son."

The young King slowly raised his little hand, and held it
out to the Musketeer; the latter bent his knee, and kissed it.

"M. d'Artagnan," repeated Louis; "very well, madam."

At this moment they were startled by a noise as if a tumult
were approaching.

"What is that?" exclaimed the Queen.



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216 ^ TWENTY YEARS AFTER.

"Oh, oh !*• replied d'Artagnan, straining both at the same
time his quick ear, and his intelligent glance, "it is the sound
of the people rising."

^'We must flee," said the Queen.

"Your majesty has given me the control of this business;
we should wait and see what they want. I will answer for
everything."

Nothing is so speedily catching as confidence. The Queen,
full of strength and courage, was quickly alive to these two
virtues in others.

"Do as you Hke," she said, "I rely upon you."

"Will your majesty permit me to give orders in your name
in this whole business?"

"Command, sir."

"What do the people want again?" asked the King.

**We are about to learn, sire," replied d*Artagnan, as he rap-
idly left the room.

The riot continued to increase, and seemed to surround the
Palais Royal entirely. Cries were heard, from the interior of
which they could not comprehend the sense. It was evident
that there was clamor and sedition.

The King, half-dressed, the Queen and Laporte remained
each in the same state, and almost in the same place where
they were listening and waiting. Comminges, who was on
guard that night at the Palais Royal, ran in. He had about
two hundred men in the courtyards and stables and he placed
them at the Queen's disposal.

"Well," asked Anne of Austria, when d'Artagnan reappeared,
"what is it?"

"It is, madam, a report that the Queen has left the Palace,
carrying off the King, and the people ask to have proof to the
contrary, or threaten to demolish the Palace."

"Oh, this time it is too much," exclaimed the Queen, "and
I will prove to them that I have not leftl"

D'Artagnan saw from the expression of the Queen's face
that she was ab6ut to issue some violent command. He ap-
proached her, and said, in a low voice:

"Has your majesty still confidence in me?"

This voice startled her. "Yes, sir," she replied, "every con-
fidence — speak."

"Let your majesty dismiss M. de Comminges, and desire
him to shut himself up with his men, in the guard-house and
in the stables."

Comminges glanced at d'Artagnan, with the envious look
with which every courtier sees a new favorite spring up; then
bowing he took his leave.

"Come," said d'Artagnan to himself, "that is one nK>re en-
emy for me there."

"And now," said the Queen, addressing d'Artagnan, "what



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TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 217

is to be done? for you hear that, instead of becoming calmer,
the noise increases."

"Madam," said d'Artagnan, "the people want to see the
King, and they must see him."

**Howl they must see him! where, on the balcony?"

"Not at all, madam, but here, sleeping in his bed."

**0h, your majesty, exclaimed Laporte, **M. d'Artagnan is
right!"

The Queen became thoughtful, and smiled, for to a woman,
duplicity is no stranger.

"Without doubt," she murmured.

**M. Laporte," said d'Artagnan, **go and announce to the
people Uirough the grating that they are going to be satisfied,
and that in five minutes they shall not only see the King, but
they shall see him in bed; and that the King sleeps, and that
the Queen begs that they will keep silence, so as not to
awaken him."

"But not everyone, a deputation of two or four people!"

"Everyone, madam."

"But reflect, they will keep us here till daybreak."

"It shall take but a quarter of an hour. I answer for every-
thing, madam; believe me, I know the people — ^they are like a
great child, who only wants humoring. Before the sleeping
King they will be mute, gentle, and timid as lambs."

"Go, Laporte," said the Queen.

The Queen looked with surprise at this strange man, whose
brilliant courage made him^ the equal of the bravest, and who
was, by his fine and ready intelligence, the equal of all.

**Well?" asked the Queen, as Laporte entered.

"Madam," he replied, **M. d'Artagnan's prediction has been
accomplished; they were calmed as if by enchantment. The
doors are about to be opened, and in five minutes they will be
here."

"Laporte," said the Queen, "suppose you put one of your sons
in the King's place; we might be off during the time."

"If your majesty desires it," said Laporte, "my sons, like
myself, are at the Queen's service."

"Not at all," said d'Artagnan ; "for should one of them know
his majesty, and find out the substitute, all would be lost."

"You are right, sir— -always right," said Anne of Austria.
"Laporte, place the King in bed."

Laporte placed the King, dressed as he was, in the bed, and
then covered him as far as the shoulders with the sheet. The
Queen bent over him, and kissed his brow.

"Pretend to sleep, Louis," said she.

"Yes," said the King, "but I wish not to be touched by one
of those men."

"Sire, I am here," said d'Artagnan, "and I give you my
word that if a single man has the audacity, his life shall pay
for it,"



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218 TWENTY YEARS AFTER.

"And now what is to be done?" asked the Queen, "for I hear
them."

"M. Laporte, go to them, and again recommend silence.
Madam, wait at the door, whilst I shall be at the head of the
King's bed, ready to die for him."

Laporte went out; the Queen remained standing near the
hangings, whilst d'Artagnan glided behind the curtains.

Then the heavy and collected tramp of a multitude was heard,
and the Queen herself raised the tapestry hangings, and put her
finger on her lips.

On seeing the Queen, the men stopped short, respectfully.

"Enter, gentlemen; enter," said the Queen.

There was then amongst that crowd a moment's hesitation,
which looked like shame. They had expected resistance — they
had expected to be thwarted — ^to have to force the gates, and
to overturn the guards. The gates had opened of themselves,
and the King, ostensibly at least, had no other guard at his
bed-head, but his mother. The foremost of them stammered,
and attempted to fall back.

"Enter then, gentlemen," said Laporte, "since the Queen per-
mit^ you to do so."

Then one, more bold than the rest, ventured to pass the door,
and to advance on tip-toe. This example was imitated by the
rest, until the room filled silently, as if these men had been the
most humble and devoted courtiers. Far beyond the door, the
heads of those who were not able to enter could be seen, all
rising on the tips of their feet.

D*Artagnan saw it^ all through an opening that he had made
in the curtain, and in the first man who had entered he had
recognized Planchet

"Sir," said the Queen to him, thinking that he was the leader
of the band, "you wish to see the King, and therefore I deter-
mined to show him to you myself. Approach, and look at
him, and say if we have the appearance of people who wish to
escape."

"No, certainly," replied Planchet, rather astonished at the un-
expected honor conferred upon him.

"You will say, then, to my good and faithful Parisians," con-
tinued Anne, with a smile, the expression of which did not de-
ceive d'Artagnan, "that you have seen the King in bed and
asleep, and the Queen also ready to retire."

"I shall tell them, madam, and those who accompany me will
say the same thing, but^— "

"But what?" asked Anne of Austria.

"May your majesty pardon me," said Planchet, "but is it
really the King who is lying there?"

Anne of Austria started. "If," she said, "there is one among
you who knows the King, let him approach, and say whether it
is really his majesty lying there."

A man, wrapped in a cloak, in the folds of which fais face



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TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 219

was hidden, approached, and leaned over the bed and looked.

For one second d'Artagnan thought the man had some evil
design and he put his hand to his sword; but in the movement
made by the man in stooping, a portion of his face was un-
covered, and d*Artagnan recognized the Coadjutor.

"It is certainly the King," said the man, rising again. "God
bless his majesty!"

"Yes," repeated the leader in a whisper, "God bless his
majesty!" and all these men who had entered furious, passed
from anger to pity, and blessed the royal infant in their turn.

"Now," said Planchet, "let us thank the Queen. My friends,
retire.'*

They all bowed, and retired by degrees, as noiselessly as
they had entered. Planchet, who had been the first to enter,
was the last to leave. The Queen stopped him.

"What is your name, my friend?" she said.

Planchet, much surprised at the inquiry, turned back.

"Yes," continued the Queen, "I think myself as much honored
to have received you this evening as if you had been a prince,
and I wish to know your name."

"Yes," thought Planchet, "to treat me as a prince. No, thank
you."

D'Artagnan trembled lest Planchet should say his name, and
the Queen, knowing his name, would discover that Planchet had
belonged to him.

"Madam," replied Planchet, respectfully, "I am called Dulau-
rier, at your service."

"Thank you, M. Dulaurier," said the Queen, "and what is
your business?" v

"Madam, I am a clothier in the Rue Bourdonnais."

"That is all that I wished to know," said the Queen. "Much
obliged to you, M. Dulaurief. You will hear from me."

"Come, come," thought d'Artagnan, emerging from behind the
curtain, "decidedly M. Planchet is no fool, and it is evident
he has been brought up in a good school."

The different actors in this strange scene remained facing
one another, without uttering a single word; the Queen stand-
ing near the door, d*Artagnan half out of his hiding place,
the King raised on his elbow, ready to fall down on his bed
again, at the slightest sound which should indicate the return
of the multitude; but instead of approaching, the noise became
more and more distant, and finished by dying away entirely.

The Queen breathed more freely. D'Artagnan wiped his
damp forehead, and the King slid off his bed, saying— "Let
us go."

At this moment Laporte reappeared.

"Well?" asked the Queen.

"Well, madam!" replied the valet; "I followed them as far as
the gates. They announced to all their comrades that they had



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220 TWENTY YEARS AFTER,

seen the King, and that the Queen had spoken to them; and, in
fact, they have gone off quite proud and happy."

"Oh, the miserable wretches!" murmured the Queen, "they
shall pay dearly for their boldness, and it is I who promise it
to them."

Then turning to d'Artagnan, she said:

"Sir, you have given me this evening the best advice that
I have ever received. Continue, and say what we must do
now."

"M. Laporte," said d'Artagnan, "finish dressing his majesty."

"We may go then?" asked the Queen.

"When your majesty pleases. You have only to descend by
the private stairs, and you will find me at the door."

"Go, sir," said the Queen; "I will follow you."

D'Artagnan went down^ and found the carriage at its post,
and the Musketeer on the box. D'Artkgnan took out the parcel,
which he had desired Bemouin to plade under the seat. It may
be remembered that it was the hat and cloak belonging to
Gondy*s coachman.

He placed the cloak on his shoulders, and the hat on his head,
whilst the Musketeer got off the box.

^ "Sir," said ^ d' Artagnan, "you will go and release your com-
panion, who is guarding the coachman. You must mount your
horse, and proceed to Rue Tiquetonne, Hotel de la Chevrette,
whence you will take my horse, and that of M. du Vallon, which
you must saddle and equip as if for war, and then you will leave
Paris, bringing them with you to Cours-la-Reine. H, when you
arrive, you find no one, go on to St. Germain. In the King's
service."

The Musketeer touched his cap, and went away to execute
the orders he had received.

D'Artagnan mounted on the box, having a pair of pistols in
his belt, a musket under his feet, and a naked sword behind
him.

The Queen appeared, and was followed by the King and the '
Duke d'Anjou, his brother.

"Monsieur the Coadjutor's carriage!" she exclaimed, falling
back.

"Yes, madam," said d'Artagnan; "but get in fearlessly, for I
drive you."

The Queen uttered a cry of surprise, and entered the car-
riage, and the King and his brother took their places at her
side.

"Come, Laporte," said the Queen.

"How, madam!" said the valet, "in the same carriage as
your majesties!"

"It is not a matter of royal etiquette this evening but of the
King's safety. Get in, Laporte."

Laporte obeyed.

"Pull down the blinds," said d'Artagnan.



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TWENTY YEARS AFTER. 221

"But will that not excite suspicion, sir?" asked the Queen.

"Your majesty's mind may be quite at ease," replied the
officer. "I have my answer ready."

The blinds were pulled down, and they started at a gallop
by the Rue Richelieu. On reaching the gate, the captain of the
post advanced at the head of some ten men, holding a lantern
in his hand.

D'Artagnan signed to them to draw near.

"Don't you recognize the carriage?" he asked the sergeant.

"No," reified the latter.

"Look at the arms."

The sergeant put the lantern near the panel.

"They are those of the Coadjutor," he said.

"Hush; he is enjoying a drive with Mdme. de Guemenee."

The sergeant began to laugh.

"Open the gate," he cried, "I know who it is!" Then,
putting his face to the lowered blinds, he said :

"I wish you joy, my lord!"

"Impudent fellow," cried d'Artagnan, "you will get me
turned off."

The gate groaned on its hinges, and d'Artagnan, seeing
the gate cleared, whipped on his horses, who started at a
canter and five minutes later they had joined the Cardinal.

"Mousqueton !" exclaimed d*Artagnan, "draw up the blinds
of his majesty's carriage."

"It is he!" cried Porthos.

"As a coachman!" exclaimed Mazarin.

"And with the Coadjutor's carriage!" said the Queen.

"Corpo di Dio! Monsou d'Artagnan," said Mazarin, "you
are worth your weight in gold."



CHAPTER LI.

WHAT d'aRTAGNAN AND PORTHOS EARNED BY THE SALE OP
STRAW.

Mazarin was desirous of setting out instantly for St. Ger-
main; but the Queen declared that she should wait for the
people whom she had appointed to meet her. However, she
offered the Cardinal, Laporte's place, which he accepted, and
went from one carriage to the other.

The first carriage which arrived after the Queen's, \vas that
of the Prince de Conde, who, with the princess and dowager
princess, was in it. Both these ladies had been awakened in
the middle of the night, and did not know what it was all
about. The second contained the Duke and Duchess of Or-
leans, etc.

Carriages now arrived in crowds; the two Musketeers ar-

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222 TWENTY YEARS AFTER.

rived in their turn, holding the horses of d'Artagnan and Por-
thos. These two instantly mounted, the coachman of the
latter replacing d'Artagnan on the coach-box of the royal coach.
Mousqueton took the place of the coachman, and drove standipg,
for reasons known to himself, like the Phantom of antiquity.
The Queen, though occupied by a thousand details, tried to
catch the Gascon's eye; but he, with his wonted prudence, had
mingled with the crowd.

"Let us be the vanguard," said he to Porthos, "and find
out good quarters at St. Germain; nobody will think of us,
and for my part, I am nuich fatigued."

"As for me," replied Porthos, "Fm falling asleep, consid-
ering that we have not had any fighting; truly, the Parisians
are dull."

*^0r rather, we are very smart," said d'Artagnan. "And your
wrist-^how is it?"

"Better — but do you think that weVe got them this time?
You, your promotion — and I, my title."

"Ffaith! yes — I should expect so — besides, if they forget, I
shall take the liberty of reminding them."

"The Queen's voice! She is speaking," said Porthos; *1
think she wants to ride on horseback."

"Oh, she would like it — she would — ^but — ^the Cardinal
won't allow it."

"Gentlemen," he said, addressing the two Musketeers, "ac-
company the royal carriage; we are going on to seek for lodg-
ings."
"Let us depart, gentlemen," said the Queen.
And the royal carriage drove on, followed by the other coaches
and about fifty horsemen.

They reached St. Germain without any accident; on descend-
ing the footstep, the Queen found the prince awaiting her,
bareheaded, to offer her his hand.
"What an alarum for the Parisians!" said the Queen.
"It is war," were the emphatic words of the prince.
**Well, then, let it be war! Have we not on our side the
conqueror of Rocroy, of Nordlingen, of Lens?"
The prince bowed low.

It was then nine o'clock in the morning. The Queen walked
first into the chateau; everyone followed her. About two
hundred persons had accompanied her in her flight.

"Gentlemen," said the Queen, laughing, "pray take up your
abode in the chateau; it is large, and there will be no want of
room for you all; but, as we never thought of coming here,
I am informed that there are, in all, only three beds here, one

for the King, one for me '"

"And one for the Cardinal," muttered the prince.
"Am I— am I then to sleep on the floor?" asked Gaston
d'Orleans, with a forced smile.



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TWENTY YEARS AFTER, 22^

'*No, msr prince," replied Mazarin, "for the third bed is in-
tended for your highness."

"But your Eminence?" replied the prince.

"I" — answered Mazarin — "I shall not sleep at all! I shall
have work to do."

"Well, for my part, I shall not go to bed," said d'Artagnan;
"come, Porthos."

Porthos followed the lieutenant with that profound confi-
dence which he had in the wisdom of his friend. They walked
from one end of the chateau to the other, Porthos looking
with wondering eyes at d'Artagnan, who was counting on his
fingers, **Four hundred at a pistole each, four hundred pistoles."

"Yes," interposed Porthos, "four hundred pistoles; but who
is to make four hundred pistoles?"

"A pistole is not enough," said d'Artagnan, ** 'tis worth a
louis."

* What is worth a louis?"

"Four hundred, at a louis each, make four hundred louis."

"Four hundred!" exclaimed Porthos.

"listen!" cried d'Artagnan.

But,^ as there were all descriptions of people about, who
were in wonder at the arrival of the court, which they were
watching, he whispered in his friend's ear.

"I understand;" answered Porthos, "I understand you per-
fectly, on my honor; two hundred louis, each of us, would
be making a pretty thing of it; but what will the people say?"

"Let them say what they will; besides, how will they know
it's us?"

"But who will distribute these things?" asked Porthos.

"I, and Mousqueton there."

**But he wears my livery; my livery will be known," replied
Porthos.

"He can turn his coat inside out."

**You are always in the right, my dear friend," cried Por-
thos; "but where the devil do you discover all the notions
you put into practice?"

D'Artagnan smiled. The two friends turned down the first
street they came to. Porthos knocked at the door of a house
to the right, whilst d'Artagnan knocked at the door of a house
to the left.

"Some straw," they said.

"Sir, we don't keep any," was the reply of the people who
opened the doors; "but ask, please, at the hay-dealer's."

"Where is the hay-dealer's?"

"At the last large gateway in the street."

•*Are there any other people in St. Germain who sell
straw?"

"Yes; there's the landlord of the Lamb, and Gros-Louis, the
farmer— they live in the Rue des Ursulines."

•^ery weU."



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224 TWENTY YEARS AFTER.

D'Artagnan went instantly to the hay-dealer, and bargained
with him for a hundred and fifty trusses of straw, which he
had, at the rate of three pistoles each. He went afterwards
to the innkeeper, and bought from him two hundred trusses at
the same price. Finally, Farmer Louis sold them eighty trusses,
making in all four hundred and thirty.

There was no more to be had in St. Germain. This forag-
ing (Hd not occupy more than half an hour. Mousqueton,
duly instructed, was put at the head of this sudden and new
business. He was cautioned not to let a bit of straw out of
his hands under a louis a truss, and they entrusted to him
straw to the amount of four hundred and thirty louis. D'Ar-
tagnan, taking with him three trusses of straw, returned to
the chateau, where everybody, freezing with cold, and falling
asleep, envied the King, the Queen, and the Duke of Orleans,
on their camp-beds. The lieutenant's entrance produced a
burst of laughter in the great drawing-room; but he did not
appear to notice that he was the object of general attention,
and began to arrange his straw bed with so much cleverness,
nicety, and gaiety, that the mouths of all these sleepy crea-
tures, who could not go to sleep, began to water.

"Straw!" they all cried out, "straw! where is any to be
found?"

"I can show you," answered the Gascon.

And he conducted them to Mousqueton, who distributed
lavishly the trusses at a louis a piece. It was thought rather
dear, but people wanted to go to sleep, and who would not give
even two or three gold coins for some hours of sound sleep?

Mousqueton, who knew nothing of what was going on in
the chateau, wondered that the idea had not occurred to him
sooner. D'Artagnan put the gold in his hat, and, in going back,
settled the reckoning with Porthos; each of them had cleared
two hundred and fifteen louis.

Porthos, however, found that he had no straw left for him^-
self. He returned to Mousqueton, but the steward had sold the
last wisp. He then repaired to d'Artagnan, who, thanks to his
three trusses of straw, was in the act of making up and tasting,
by anticipation, the luxury of a bed so soft, so well stuffed at
the head, so well covered at the foot, that it would have ex-
cited the envy of the King himself, if his majesty had not been
fast asleep in his own. D'Artagnan could, on no account, con-
sent to pull his bed to pieces again for Porthos, but for a con-
sideration of four louis that the latter paid him for it, he
consented that Porthos should share his couch with him. He
laid his sword at the head, his pistols by his side, stretched his
cloak over his feet, placed his felt hat on the top of his cloak,
and extended himself luxuriously on the straw, which rustled
under him. He was already enjoying the sweet dreams en-



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