Which Treats of the Outfit of Aramis and Porthos

Since the four friends had each been outfit-hunting they had had no regular meeting. They dined separately wherever they happened to be, or rather wherever they might find a dinner. Military duty likewise claimed its share of the precious time that was gliding away so swiftly.

They had agreed, however, to meet once a week about one o’clock at Athos’s.

The day that Kitty went to see D’Artagnan was the day for their reunion.

Kitty had barely left him before D’Artagnan directed his steps towards the Rue Férou.

Porthos arrived a minute after D’Artagnan. Thus the four friends were all assembled.

Their four faces expressed four different feelings—Porthos’s, tranquillity; D’Artagnan’s, hope; Aramis’s, anxiety; and Athos’s, carelessness.

Bazin made his appearance at the door.

“What do you want of me, my friend?” said Aramis, with that mildness of language which was observable in him every time that this ideas led toward the church.

“A man is waiting for you at home,” replied Bazin.

“Has he sent no special message for me?”

“Yes. ‘If M. Aramis hesitates to come,’ he said, ‘tell him I am from Tours.’ ”

“From Tours!” cried Aramis. “A thousand pardons, gentlemen, but no doubt this man brings me the news I expected.”

And instantly arising, he went off at a quick pace.

We will therefore leave the friends, who had nothing very important to say to each other, and follow Aramis.

On the news that the person wanted to speak to him came from Tours, we saw with what rapidity the young man followed or rather hastened ahead of Bazin: he ran without stopping from the Rue Férou to the Rue de Vaugirard.

On entering, he found a man of short stature and intelligent eyes, but covered with rags.

“Did you ask for me?” said the musketeer.

“I wish to speak with Monsieur Aramis. Is that your name, sir?”

“Yes. You have brought me something?”

“Yes, if you can show me a certain embroidered handkerchief.”

“Here it is,” said Aramis, taking a key from his breast, and opening a litte ebony box inlaid with mother- of-pearl—“here it is—look!”

The mendicant cast a rapid glance around him, in order to be sure that nobody could either see or hear him, and opening his ragged jacket, badly held together by a leather strap, he began to rip the upper part of his doublet, and drew a letter from it.

Aramis uttered a cry of joy at the sight of the seal, kissed the superscription, and with almost religious respect opened the letter, which contained the following:

  By PanEris using Melati.

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