Do you know, said Porthos, that to twist that damned miladys neck would be less of a sin than to twist the necks of these poor Huguenot devils, who have committed no other crimes than singing in French the Psalms that we sing in Latin?
What says the abbé? asked Athos quietly.
I say I am entirely of Porthoss opinion, replied Aramis.
And I too, said DArtagnan.
Fortunately, she is a good way off, said Porthos, for I confess she would make me very uncomfortable if she were here.
She makes me uncomfortable in England as well as in France, said Athos.
She makes me uncomfortable wherever she is, said DArtagnan.
But when you had her in your power, why did you not drown, her, or strangle her, or hang her? said Porthos. It is only the dead who dont come back again.
You think so, do you, Porthos? replied the musketeer, with a sad smile, which DArtagnan alone understood.
I have an idea, said DArtagnan.
What is it? cried the musketeers.
To arms! shouted Grimaud.
The young men sprang up and seized their muskets.
A small troop advanced, consisting of from twenty to twenty-five men; they were soldiers of the garrison.
Shall we return to the camp? suggested Porthos. I dont think the sides are equal.
Impossible, for three reasons, replied Athos. The first is, that we have not finished breakfast; the second is, that we have still some very important things to talk about; and the third is, that it yet lacks ten minutes before the hour will be over.
Well, then, said Aramis, we must form a plan of battle.
Its very simple, replied Athos. As soon as the enemy are within range, we must fire on them. If they continue to advance, we must fire again. We must fire as long as we have loaded guns. Then, if the rest of the troop persist in mounting to the assault, we will allow the besiegers to reach the ditch, and then we will push down on their heads that strip of wall which seems to stand only by a miracle of equilibrium.
Bravo! cried Porthos. Decidedly, Athos, you were born to be a general, and the cardinal, who fancies himself a great captain, is nothing to you.
Gentlemen, said Athos, no divided attention, I beg. Let each one pick out his man.
I cover mine, said DArtagnan.
And I mine, said Porthos.
And I idem, said Aramis.
Fire, then! said Athos.
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