D'Artagnan's Character Unfolds

As Athos and Porthos had foreseen, at the expiration of half an hour D’Artagnan returned. He had this time again missed his man, who had disappeared as if by enchantment. D’Artagnan had run, sword in hand, through all the neighbouring streets, but had found nobody resembling him whom he was looking for.While D’Artagnan was running through the streets and knocking at doors, Aramis had joined his companions, so that on returning home D’Artagnan found the reunion complete.

“Well?” cried the three musketeers all together, on seeing D’Artagnan enter with his brow covered with perspiration and his face clouded with anger.

“Well!” cried he, throwing his sword upon the bed; “this man must be the devil in person. He has disappeared like a phantom, like a shade, like a spectre.”

He then told his friends, word for word, all that had passed between him and his landlord, and how the man who had carried off the wife of his worthy landlord was the same with whom he had had a difference at the hostelry of the Franc-Meunier.

“And did the mercer,” rejoined Athos, “tell you, D’Artagnan, that the queen thought that Buckingham had been brought over by a forged letter?”

“She is afraid so.”

“Wait a minute, then,” said Aramis.

“What for?” demanded Porthos.

“Gentlemen,” cried Aramis, “listen to this.”

“Listen to Aramis,” said his three friends.

“Yesterday I was at the house of a learned doctor of theology whom I sometimes consult about my studies.”

Athos smiled.

“This doctor has a niece,” continued Aramis.

“A niece, has he?” interrupted Porthos.

“A very respectable lady,” said Aramis.

The three friends began to laugh.

“Ah, if you laugh, or doubt what I say,” replied Aramis, “you shall know nothing.”

“We are as staunch believers as Mohammedans, and as mute as catafalques,” said Athos.

“I will go on, then,” resumed Aramis. “This niece comes sometimes to see her uncle, and by chance was there yesterday at the same time that I was, and I could do no less than offer to conduct her to her carriage.”

“Oh, oh! Then this niece of the doctor’s keeps a carriage, does she?” interrupted Porthos, one of whose faults was a great looseness of speech. “A very nice acquaintance, my friend!”

“Porthos,” replied Aramis, “I have already had occasion to observe to you more than once that you are very indiscreet, and that this injures you with women.”

“Gentlemen, gentlemen,” cried D’Artagnan, who began to get a glimpse of the result of the adventure, “the thing is serious. Endeavour, then, not to joke, if possible. Go on, Aramis, go on.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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