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List Of Contents | Contents of Ten Years Later, by Alexandre Dumas, Pere
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traitor too, if I did not, with greater justice, regard you as a madman."

"Monsieur," exclaimed De Wardes, exasperated, "I was deceived, I find, in
terming you a pedagogue.  The tone you assume, and the style which is
peculiarly your own, is that of a Jesuit, and not of a gentleman.
Discontinue, I beg, whenever I am present, this style I complain of, and
the tone also.  I hate M. d'Artagnan, because he was guilty of a cowardly
act towards my father."

"You lie, monsieur," said Raoul, coolly.

"You give me the lie, monsieur?" exclaimed De Wardes.

"Why not, if what you assert is untrue?"

"You give me the lie, and will not draw your sword?"

"I have resolved, monsieur, not to kill you until Madame shall have been
delivered safely into her husband's hands."

"Kill me!  Believe me, monsieur, your schoolmaster's rod does not kill so
easily."

"No," replied Raoul, sternly, "but M. d'Artagnan's sword kills; and, not
only do I possess his sword, but he has himself taught me how to use it;
and with that sword, when a befitting time arrives, I will avenge his
name - a name you have dishonored."

"Take care, monsieur," exclaimed De Wardes; "if you do not immediately
give me satisfaction, I will avail myself of every means to revenge
myself."

"Indeed, monsieur," said Buckingham, suddenly, appearing upon the scene
of action, "that is a threat which savors of assassination, and
therefore, ill becomes a gentleman."

"What did you say, my lord?" said De Wardes, turning round towards him.

"I said, monsieur, that the words you have just spoken are displeasing to
my English ears."

"Very well, monsieur, if what you say is true," exclaimed De Wardes,
thoroughly incensed, "I at least find in you one who will not escape me.
Understand my words as you like."

"I take them in the manner they cannot but be understood," replied
Buckingham, with that haughty tone which characterized him, and which,
even in ordinary conversation, gave a tone of defiance to everything he
said; "M. de Bragelonne is my friend, you insult M. de Bragelonne, and
you shall give me satisfaction for that insult."

De Wardes cast a look upon De Bragelonne, who, faithful to the character
he had assumed, remained calm and unmoved, even after the duke's defiance.

"It would seem that I did not insult M. de Bragelonne, since M. de
Bragelonne, who carries a sword by his side, does not consider himself
insulted."

"At all events you insult someone."

"Yes, I insulted M. d'Artagnan," resumed De Wardes, who had observed that
this was the only means of stinging Raoul, so as to awaken his anger.

"That, then," said Buckingham, "is another matter."

"Precisely so," said De Wardes; "it is the province of M. d'Artagnan's
friends to defend him."

"I am entirely of your opinion," replied the duke, who had regained all
his indifference of manner; "if M. de Bragelonne were offended, I could
not reasonably be expected to espouse his quarrel, since he is himself
here; but when you say that it is a quarrel of M. d'Artagnan - "

"You will of course leave me to deal with the matter," said De Wardes.

"Nay, on the contrary, for I draw my sword," said Buckingham, unsheathing
it as he spoke; "for if M. d'Artagnan injured your father, he rendered,
or at least did all that he could to render, a great service to mine."

De Wardes was thunderstruck.

"M. d'Artagnan," continued Buckingham, "is the bravest gentleman I know.
I shall be delighted, as I owe him many personal obligations, to settle
them with you, by crossing my sword with yours."  At the same moment
Buckingham drew his sword from its scabbard, saluted Raoul, and put
himself on guard.

De Wardes advanced a step to meet him.

"Stay, gentlemen," said Raoul, advancing towards them, and placing his
own drawn sword between the combatants, "the affair is hardly worth the
trouble of blood being shed almost in the presence of the princess.  M.
de Wardes speaks ill of M. d'Artagnan, with whom he is not even
acquainted."

"What, monsieur," said De Wardes, setting his teeth hard together, and
resting the point of his sword on the toe of his boot, "do you assert
that I do not know M. d'Artagnan?"

"Certainly not; you do not know him," replied Raoul, coldly, "and you are
even not aware where he is to be found."

"Not know where he is?"

"Such must be the case, since you fix your quarrel with him upon
strangers, instead of seeking M. d'Artagnan where he is to be found."  De
Wardes turned pale.  "Well, monsieur," continued Raoul, "I will tell you
where M. d'Artagnan is: he is now in Paris; when on duty he is to be met
with at the Louvre, - when not on duty, in the Rue des Lombards.  M.
d'Artagnan can easily be discovered at either of those two places.
Having, therefore, as you assert, so many causes of complaint against
him, show your courage in seeking him out, and afford him an opportunity
of giving you that satisfaction you seem to ask of every one but of
himself."  De Wardes passed his hand across his forehead, which was
covered with perspiration.  "For shame, M. de Wardes! so quarrelsome a
disposition is hardly becoming after the publication of the edicts
against duels.  Pray think of that; the king will be incensed at our
disobedience, particularly at such a time, - and his majesty will be in
the right."

"Excuses," murmured De Wardes; "mere pretexts."

"Really, M. De Wardes," resumed Raoul, "such remarks are the idlest
bluster.  You know very well that the Duke of Buckingham is a man of
undoubted courage, who has already fought ten duels, and will probably
fight eleven.  His name alone is significant enough.  As far as I am
concerned, you are well aware that I can fight also.  I fought at Lens,
at Bleneau, at the Dunes in front of the artillery, a hundred paces in
front of the line, while you - I say this parenthetically - were a
hundred paces behind it.  True it is, that on that occasion there was far
too great a concourse of persons present for your courage to be observed,
and on that account perhaps you did not reveal it; while here, it would
be a display, and would excite remark - you wish that others should talk
about you, in what manner you do not care.  Do not depend upon me, M. de
Wardes to assist you in your designs, for I shall certainly not afford
you that pleasure."

"Sensibly observed," said Buckingham, putting up his sword, "and I ask
your forgiveness, M. de Bragelonne, for having allowed myself to yield to
a first impulse."

De Wardes, however, on the contrary, perfectly furious, bounded forward
and raised his sword, threateningly, against Raoul, who had scarcely
enough time to put himself in a posture of defense.

"Take care, monsieur," said Bragelonne, tranquilly, "or you will put out
one of my eyes."

"You will not fight, then?" said De Wardes.

"Not at this moment; but this I promise to do; immediately on our arrival
at Paris I will conduct you to M. d'Artagnan, to whom you shall detail
all the causes of complaint you have against him.  M d'Artagnan will
solicit the king's permission to measure swords with you.  The king will
yield his consent, and when you shall have received the sword-thrust in
due course, you will consider, in a calmer frame of mind, the precepts of
the Gospel, which enjoin forgetfulness of injuries."

"Ah!" exclaimed De Wardes, furious at this imperturbable coolness, "one
can clearly see you are half a bastard, M. de Bragelonne."

Raoul became as pale as death; his eyes flashed lightning, causing De
Wardes involuntarily to fall back.  Buckingham, also, who had perceived
their expression, threw himself between the two adversaries, whom he had
expected to see precipitate themselves on each other.  De Wardes had
reserved this injury for the last; he clasped his sword firmly in his
hand, and awaited the encounter.  "You are right, monsieur," said Raoul,
mastering his emotion, "I am only acquainted with my father's name; but I
know too well that the Comte de la Fere is too upright and honorable a
man to allow me to fear for a single moment that there is, as you
insinuate, any stain upon my birth.  My ignorance, therefore, of my
mother's name is a misfortune for me, and not a reproach.  You are
deficient in loyalty of conduct; you are wanting in courtesy, in
reproaching me with misfortune.  It matters little, however, the insult
has been given, and I consider myself insulted accordingly.  It is quite
understood, then, that after you shall have received satisfaction from M.
d'Artagnan, you will settle your quarrel with me."

"I admire your prudence, monsieur," replied De Wardes with a bitter
smile; "a little while ago you promised me a sword-thrust from M.
d'Artagnan, and now, after I shall have received his, you offer me one
from yourself."

"Do not disturb yourself," replied Raoul, with concentrated anger; "in
all affairs of that nature, M. d'Artagnan is exceedingly skillful, and I
will beg him as a favor to treat you as he did your father; in other
words, to spare your life at least, so as to leave me the pleasure, after
your recovery, of killing you outright; for you have the heart of a
viper, M. de Wardes, and in very truth, too many precautions cannot be
taken against you."

"I shall take my precautions against you," said De Wardes, "be assured of
it."

"Allow me, monsieur," said Buckingham, "to translate your remark by a
piece of advice I am about to give M. de Bragelonne; M. de Bragelonne,
wear a cuirass."

De Wardes clenched his hands.  "Ah!" said he, "you two gentlemen intend
to wait until you have taken that precaution before you measure your
swords against mine."

"Very well, monsieur," said Raoul, "since you positively will have it so,
let us settle the affair now."  And, drawing his sword, he advanced
towards De Wardes.

"What are you going to do?" said Buckingham.

"Be easy," said Raoul, "it will not be very long."

De Wardes placed himself on his guard; their swords crossed.  De Wardes
flew upon Raoul with such impetuosity, that at the first clashing of the
steel blades Buckingham clearly saw that Raoul was only trifling with his

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