The Wife of Athos

“Now we still have to get news of Athos,” said D’Artagnan to the vivacious Aramis, when he had informed him of all that had passed since their departure from the capital, and when a good dinner had made one of them forget his woes and the other his fatigue.

“Do you think any harm can have happened to him?” asked Aramis. “Athos is so cool, so brave, and handles his sword so skilfully.”

“There is no doubt of that. Nobody has a higher opinion of the courage and skill of Athos than I have; but I like better to hear my sword clang against lances than against staves. I fear lest Athos has been carried down by a mob of menials. Those fellows strike hard, and don’t leave off in a hurry. This is my reason for wishing to set out again as soon as I possibly can.”

“I will try to accompany you,” said Aramis, “though I scarcely feel in a condition to mount on horseback. When do you set out?”

“To-morrow at daybreak.”

“Till to-morrow, then,” said Aramis; “for though you are made of iron you must need repose.”

The next morning, when D’Artagnan entered Aramis’s chamber, he found him standing at the window.

“My dear Aramis; take care of yourself,” said he; “I will go alone in search of Athos.”

“You are a man of bronze,” replied Aramis.

“No, I have good luck, that is all. But how do you mean to pass your time till I come back?”

Aramis smiled. “I will make verses,” said he.

“Yes, verses perfumed with the odour of the note from Madame de Chevreuse’s serving-maid.”

“Oh, make yourself easy on that head,” replied Aramis; “you will find me ready to follow you.”

They took leave of each other, and ten minutes later, after commending his friend to the care of Bazin and the hostess, D’Artagnan was trotting along in the direction of Amiens.

About eleven o’clock in the morning they perceived Ameins. At half-past eleven they were at the door of the cursed inn.

D’Artagnan related to Athos how he had found Porthos and Aramis. As he finished, the landlord entered with wine and a ham.

“Good!” said Athos, filling his glass and D’Artagnan’s. “Here’s to Porthos and Aramis! But, my friend, what is the matter with you, and what has happened to you personally? You don’t look happy.”

“Alas!” said D’Artagnan, “it is because I am the most unfortunate of all.”

“You unfortunate!” said Athos. “Come! how the devil can you be unfortunate? Tell me that.”

“Presently,” said D’Artagnan.

“Presently! And why presently? Because you think I am drunk, D’Artagnan? Keep this in mind: my ideas are never so clear as when I have had plenty of wine. Speak, then; I am all ears.”

D’Artagnan related his adventure with Madame Bonacieux. Athos listened to him without moving a muscle, and when he had finished,

  By PanEris using Melati.

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