Milady's Secret

D’Artagnan left the hôtel instead of going up at once to Kitty’s chamber, as she tried to persuade him to do, and for this he had two reasons: the first, because in this way he avoided reproaches, recriminations, and entreaties; the second, because he was not sorry to have an opportunity to read his own thoughts, and, if possible, to fathom this woman’s.

He walked six or seven times round the Place Royale, turning every ten steps to look at the light in milady’s apartment, which was to be seen through the blinds. It was evident that this time the young woman was not in such haste to retire to her bedroom as she had been the first.

At length the light disappeared.

With this light was extinguished the last irresolution in D’Artagnan’s heart. He recalled to his mind the details of the first night, and with beating heart and brain on fire he re-entered the hôtel and rushed up to Kitty’s chamber.

The young girl, pale as death, and trembling in all her limbs, wished to delay her lover; but milady, listening intently, had heard the noise made by D’Artagnan, and opening the door,

“Come,” said she.

The door closed after them.

She immediately came close to him again.

We cannot say how long the night seemed to milady, but D’Artagnan imagined he had been with her scarcely two hours when day began to appear at the window-blinds, and soon invaded the chamber with its pallid light.

Then milady, seeing that D’Artagnan was about to quit her, recalled to his mind for the last time the promise he had made to avenge her on the Comte de Wardes.

“I am quite ready,” said D’Artagnan; “but in the first place, I should like to be certain of one thing.”


“Whether you love me.”

“I have proved to you that I do.”

“Yes, and so I am yours body and soul. But if you love me as you say,” continued he, “do you not feel a little fear on my account?”

“What have I to fear?”

“Why, that I may be dangerously wounded—even killed.”

“Impossible!” cried milady; “you are such a valiant man, and such an expert swordsman.”

“You would not, then, prefer a means,” resumed D’Artagnan, “which would avenge you all the same, while rendering the combat useless?”

Milady looked at her lover in silence. The wan light of the first rays of day gave to her clear eyes a strangely baneful expression.

“Really,” said she, “I believe you are now beginning to hesitate.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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