English and French

The hour having come, he repaired to a yard behind the Luxembourg where goats were kept. He threw a piece of money to the goatkeeper to withdraw.

A silent party soon drew near to the same enclosure, and came into it.

“Sir,” said D’Artagnan, “are we ready?”

“Yes!” answered the Englishman.

“On guard, then!” cried D’Artagnan.

And immediately two swords glittered in the rays of the setting sun, and the combat began with an animosity very natural to men who were enemies.

As to D’Artagnan, he fought purely and simply on the defensive. Then when he saw his adversary pretty well fatigued, with a vigorous side-thrust he knocked his sword from his grasp. The baron, finding himself disarmed, retreated two or three paces; but at this moment his foot slipped, and he fell backward.

D’Artagnan was on him at a bound, and placing his sword on his throat,

“I could kill you, sir,” said he to the Englishman; “you are quite at my mercy, but I spare your life for your sister’s sake.”

D’Artagnan was overjoyed. He had just realized the plan which he had conceived the development of which had occasioned the smiles we mentioned.

The Englishman, delighted at having to do with such a generous gentleman, pressed D’Artagnan in his arms, and paid a thousand compliments to him.

“And now, my young friend—for you will permit me, I hope, to call you by that name,” said Lord Winter—“on this very evening, if agreeable to you, I will present you to my sister, Lady Clarick. For I am desirous that she in her turn should take you into her good graces; and as she is in favour at court, perhaps, in the future, a word spoken by her might prove useful to you.”

D’Artagnan reddened with pleasure and bowed his assent.

Lord Winter, on quitting D’Artagnan, gave him his sister’s address. She lived at No. 6 Place Royale, then the fashionable quarter. Moreover, he promised to call and get him in order to present him. D’Artagnan appointed eight o’clock at Athos’s residence.

Lord Winter, arrived at the appointed time; but Athos, being warned of his coming, went into the other chamber. The Englishman accordingly found D’Artagnan alone, and as it was nearly eight o’clock, he took the young man with him.

An elegant coach below, drawn by two excellent horses, was waiting. They were soon at the Place Royale.

Milady Clarick received D’Artagnan seriously.

“You see,” said Lord Winter, presenting D’Artagnan to his sister, “a young gentleman who has held my life in his hands, and who has not abused his advantage, although we were doubly enemies, since it was I who insulted him, and since I am an Englishman. Thank him, then, madame, if you have any affection for me.”

Milady frowned slightly; a scarcely visible cloud passed over her brow, and such a peculiar smile appeared on her lips that the young man, observing this triple shade, almost shuddered at it.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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