The fleur-de-lis is small, rose-coloured, and somewhat faint from the coat of paste applied to it?
But you say she is an Englishwoman?
She is called milady, but she may be French. Lord Winter is only her brother-in-law.
I will see her, DArtagnan! and he rang the bell.
Athos made him a sign to go to DArtagnans residence and bring back some clothes.
Grimaud replied by another sign that he understood perfectly, and set off.
Come, now, my dear friend, but this does not help toward your equipment, said Athos, for if I am not mistaken, you have left all your clothes at miladys, and she certainly will not have the politeness to return them to you. Fortunately, you have the sapphire.
The sapphire is yours, my dear Athos! Did you not tell me it was a family ring?
Yes; my father gave two thousand crowns for it, as he once told me. It formed part of the wedding present he made my mother, and it is magnificent. My mother gave it to me; and I, madman that I was, instead of keeping the ring as a holy relic, gave it to that wretched woman.
Then, my dear, take back your ring, to which, it is plain, you attach much value.
I take back the ring after it has passed through that infamous creatures hands! Never! DArtagnan, this ring is defiled.
Sell it, then.
Sell a jewel that came from my mother! I confess I should regard it as a sacrilege.
Pawn it, then. You can raise at least a thousand crowns on it. With such a sum you will be master of the situation. Then, when you get more money, you can redeem it, and have it back cleansed from its stains, for it will have passed through the usurers hands.
You are a capital comrade, my dear DArtagnan, said he. Your never-failing cheerfulness lifts up poor souls in affliction. Well, let us pawn the ring, but on one condition.
That five hundred crowns of it shall be yours and five hundred mine.
Well, then, I will take it, said DArtagnan.
At this moment Grimaud came in accompanied by Planchet, who was anxious about his master and curious to know what had happened to him, and so had taken advantage of the opportunity and brought the clothes himself. DArtagnan dressed; Athos did the same. Then when both were ready to go out, Athos imitated the action of a person taking aim, and Grimaud immediately took down his musketoon and got ready to follow his master.
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