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List Of Contents | Contents of Louise de la Valliere, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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returned without his sword."

This discovery made the perspiration break out all over poor Grimaud's
face.  He did not waste any more time in useless conjecture, but clapped
his hat on his head, and ran to Raoul's lodgings.

Raoul, after Louise had left him, had mastered his grief, if not his
affection; and, compelled to look forward on that perilous road over
which madness and revulsion were hurrying him, he had seen, from the very
first glance, his father exposed to the royal obstinacy, since Athos had
himself been the first to oppose any resistance to the royal will.  At
this moment, from a very natural sequence of feeling, the unhappy young
man remembered the mysterious signs which Athos had made, and the
unexpected visit of D'Artagnan; the result of the conflict between a
sovereign and a subject revealed itself to his terrified vision.  As
D'Artagnan was on duty, that is, a fixture at his post without the
possibility of leaving it, it was certainly not likely that he had come
to pay Athos a visit merely for the pleasure of seeing him.  He must
have come to say something to him.  This something in the midst of such
painful conjectures must have been the news of either a misfortune or a
danger.  Raoul trembled at having been so selfish as to have forgotten
his father for his affection; at having, in a word, passed his time in
idle dreams, or in an indulgence of despair, at a time when a necessity
existed for repelling such an imminent attack on Athos.  The very idea
nearly drove him frantic; he buckled on his sword and ran towards his
father's lodgings.  On his way there he encountered Grimaud, who, having
set off from the opposite pole, was running with equal eagerness in
search of the truth.  The two men embraced each other most warmly.

"Grimaud," exclaimed Raoul, "is the comte well?"

"Have you seen him?"

"No; where is he?"

"I am trying to find out."

"And M. d'Artagnan?"

"Went out with him."

"When?"

"Ten minutes after you did."

"In what way did they go out?"

"In a carriage."

"Where did they go?"

"I have no idea at all."

"Did my father take any money with him?"

"No."

"Or his sword?"

"No."

"I have an idea, Grimaud, that M. d'Artagnan came in order to - "

"Arrest monsieur le comte, do you not think, monsieur?"

"Yes, Grimaud."

"I could have sworn it."

"What road did they take?"

"The way leading towards the quay."

"To the Bastile, then?"

"Yes, yes."

"Quick, quick; let us run."

"Yes, let us not lose a moment."

"But where are we to go?" said Raoul, overwhelmed.

"We will go to M. d'Artagnan's first, we may perhaps learn something
there."

"No; if they keep me in ignorance at my father's, they will do the same
everywhere.  Let us go to - Oh, good heavens! why, I must be mad to-day,
Grimaud; I have forgotten M. du Vallon, who is waiting for and expecting
me still."

"Where is he, then?"

"At the Minimes of Vincennes."

"Thank goodness, that is on the same side as the Bastile.  I will run and
saddle the horses, and we will go at once," said Grimaud.

"Do, my friend, do."


Chapter LXVI:
In Which Porthos Is Convinced without Having Understood Anything.

The good and worthy Porthos, faithful to all the laws of ancient
chivalry, had determined to wait for M. de Saint-Aignan until sunset; and
as Saint-Aignan did not come, as Raoul had forgotten to communicate with
his second, and as he found that waiting so long was very wearisome,
Porthos had desired one of the gate-keepers to fetch him a few bottles of
good wine and a good joint of meat, - so that, at least, he might pass
away the time by means of a glass or two and a mouthful of something to
eat.  He had just finished when Raoul arrived, escorted by Grimaud, both
of them riding at full speed.  As soon as Porthos saw the two cavaliers
riding at such a pace along the road, he did not for a moment doubt but
that they were the men he was expecting, and he rose from the grass upon
which he had been indolently reclining and began to stretch his legs and
arms, saying, "See what it is to have good habits.  The fellow has
finished by coming, after all.  If I had gone away he would have found no
one here and would have taken advantage of that."  He then threw himself
into a martial attitude, and drew himself up to the full height of his
gigantic stature.  But instead of Saint-Aignan, he only saw Raoul, who,
with the most despairing gestures, accosted him by crying out, "Pray
forgive me, my dear friend, I am most wretched."

"Raoul!" cried Porthos, surprised.

"You have been angry with me?" said Raoul, embracing Porthos.

"I?  What for?"

"For having forgotten you.  But I assure you my head seems utterly lost.
If you only knew!"

"You have killed him?"

"Who?"

"Saint-Aignan; or, if that is not the case, what is the matter?"

"The matter is, that Monsieur le Comte de la Fere has by this time been
arrested."

Porthos gave a start that would have thrown down a wall.

"Arrested!" he cried out; "by whom?"

"By D'Artagnan."

"It is impossible," said Porthos.

"My dear friend, it is perfectly true."

Porthos turned towards Grimaud, as if he needed a second confirmation of
the intelligence.

Grimaud nodded his head.  "And where have they taken him?"

"Probably to the Bastile."

"What makes you think that?"

"As we came along we questioned some persons, who saw the carriage pass;
and others who saw it enter the Bastile."

"Oh!" muttered Porthos.

"What do you intend to do?" inquired Raoul.

"I?  Nothing; only I will not have Athos remain at the Bastile."

"Do you know," said Raoul, advancing nearer to Porthos, "that the arrest
was made by order of the king?"

Porthos looked at the young man, as if to say, "What does that matter to
me?"  This dumb language seemed so eloquent of meaning to Raoul that he
did not ask any other question.  He mounted his horse again; and Porthos,
assisted by Grimaud, had already done the same.

"Let us arrange our plan of action," said Raoul.

"Yes," returned Porthos, "that is the best thing we can do."

Raoul sighed deeply, and then paused suddenly.

"What is the matter?" asked Porthos; "are you faint?"

"No, only I feel how utterly helpless our position is.  Can we three
pretend to go and take the Bastile?"

"Well, if D'Artagnan were only here," replied Porthos, "I am not so very
certain we would fail."

Raoul could not resist a feeling of admiration at the sight of such
perfect confidence, heroic in its simplicity.  These were truly the
celebrated men who, by three or four, attacked armies and assaulted
castles!  Men who had terrified death itself, who had survived the wrecks
of a tempestuous age, and still stood, stronger than the most robust of
the young.

"Monsieur," said he to Porthos, "you have just given me an idea; we
absolutely must see M. d'Artagnan."

"Undoubtedly."

"He ought by this time to have returned home, after having taken my
father to the Bastile.  Let us go to his house."

"First inquire at the Bastile," said Grimaud, who was in the habit of
speaking little, but that to the purpose.

Accordingly, they hastened towards the fortress, when one of those
chances which Heaven bestows on men of strong will caused Grimaud
suddenly to perceive the carriage, which was entering by the great gate
of the drawbridge.  This was the moment that D'Artagnan was, as we have
seen, returning from his visit to the king.  In vain was it that Raoul
urged on his horse in order to join the carriage, and to see whom it
contained.  The horses had already gained the other side of the great
gate, which again closed, while one of the sentries struck the nose of
Raoul's horse with his musket; Raoul turned about, only too happy to find
he had ascertained something respecting the carriage which had contained
his father.

"We have him," said Grimaud.

"If we wait a little it is certain he will leave; don't you think so, my
friend?"

"Unless, indeed, D'Artagnan also be a prisoner," replied Porthos, "in
which case everything is lost."

Raoul returned no answer, for any hypothesis was admissible.  He
instructed Grimaud to lead the horses to the little street Jean-Beausire,
so as to give rise to less suspicion, and himself with his piercing gaze
watched for the exit either of D'Artagnan or the carriage.  Nor had he
decided wrongly; for twenty minutes had not elapsed before the gate
reopened and the carriage reappeared.  A dazzling of the eyes prevented
Raoul from distinguishing what figures occupied the interior.  Grimaud
averred that he had seen two persons, and that one of them was his
master.  Porthos kept looking at Raoul and Grimaud by turns, in the hope
of understanding their idea.

"It is clear," said Grimaud, "that if the comte is in the carriage,
either he is set at liberty or they are taking him to another prison."

"We shall soon see that by the road he takes," answered Porthos.

"If he is set at liberty," said Grimaud, "they will conduct him home."

"True," rejoined Porthos.

"The carriage does not take that way," cried Raoul; and indeed the horses
were just disappearing down the Faubourg St. Antoine.

"Let us hasten," said Porthos; "we will attack the carriage on the road
and tell Athos to flee."

"Rebellion," murmured Raoul.

Porthos darted a second glance at Raoul, quite worthy of the first.
Raoul replied only by spurring the flanks of his steed.  In a few moments
the three cavaliers had overtaken the carriage, and followed it so
closely that their horses' breath moistened the back of it.  D'Artagnan,
whose senses were ever on the alert, heard the trot of the horses, at the
moment when Raoul was telling Porthos to pass the chariot, so as to see
who was the person accompanying Athos.  Porthos complied, but could not
see anything, for the blinds were lowered.  Rage and impatience were
gaining mastery over Raoul.  He had just noticed the mystery preserved by
Athos's companion, and determined on proceeding to extremities.  On his
part D'Artagnan had perfectly recognized Porthos, and Raoul also, from
under the blinds, and had communicated to the comte the result of his

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