How, without Incommoding himself, Athos got his Outfit

The young man made his escape while she was still threatening him with an impotent gesture. At the moment she lost sight of him milady sank back fainting into her bedroom.

D’Artagnan was so completely upset that, without considering what would become of Kitty, he ran at full speed across half Paris, and did not stop till he reached Athos’s door.

Grimaud, his eyes swollen with sleep, came to open for him. D’Artagnan darted so violently into the room that he nearly knocked him over.

In spite of his habitual silence, the poor fellow this time found his tongue.

“Helloa, there!” cried he; “what do you want, you strumpet? What’s your business here, you hussy?”

“Grimaud,” said Athos, coming out of his apartment in a dressing-gown—“Grimaud, I believe you are permitting yourself to speak?”

“Ah, monsieur, but—”


Grimaud contented himself with pointing at D’Artagnan.

Athos recognizing his comrade, and phlegmatic as he was, he burst into a laugh made quite excusable by the strange masquerade before his eyes—hood askew, petticoats falling over shoes, sleeves tucked up, and moustaches stiff with agitation.

“Don’t laugh, my friend!” cried D’Artagnan; “for Heaven’s sake, don’t laugh, for, on my soul, I tell you it’s no laughing matter!”

“Well?” said Athos.

“Well,” replied D’Artagnan, bending down to Athos’s ear, and lowering his voice, “milady is marked with a fleur-de-lis on her shoulder!”

“Ah!” cried the musketeer, as if he had received a ball in his heart.

“Come, now,” said D’Artagnan, “are you sure that the other is dead?”

The other?” said Athos, in such a stifled voice that D’Artagnan scarcely heard him.

“Yes; she of whom you told me one day at Amiens.”

Athos uttered a groan and let his head sink into his hands.

“This one is a woman of from twenty-six to twenty-eight years of age.”

“Fair,” said Athos, “is she not?”


“Clear, blue eyes, of a strange brilliancy, with black eyelashes and eyebrows?”


“Tall, well-made? She has lost a tooth, next to the eye-tooth on the left?”


  By PanEris using Melati.

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