Louis XIII stopped, terrified at what he was to say; while Richelieu, stretching out his neck, waited in vain for the word which had died on the lips of the king.

“He should have been—”

“Nothing,” said the king, “nothing. But all the time he was in Paris you, of course, did not lose sight of him?”

“No, sire.”

“Where did he lodge?”

“Rue de la Harpe, No. 75.”

“Where is that?”

“Towards the Luxembourg.”

“And you are certain that the queen and he did not see each other?”

“I believe the queen to have too high a sense of her duty, sire. And there is a simple way to make sure.”

“What is that?”

“Give a ball; you know how much the queen loves dancing.” Then the cardinal added,—“By the way, sire, do not forget to tell her Majesty, the evening before the ball, that you would like to see how her diamond studs become her.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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