It was a dark and stormy night. Monstrous clouds were flying across the sky, concealing the light of the stars. The moon would not rise before midnight.

Occasionally, by the light of a lightning flash gleaming along the horizon, the road could be seen stretching before them, white and solitary. Then when the flash became extinct, all relapsed into darkness.

Just as the little troop had passed Goskal, and were approaching the Post, a man sheltered under a tree stepped out from its trunk, with which he had been confounded in the darkness, and advanced into the middle of the road, with his finger on his lips.

Athos recognized Grimaud.

“What’s the matter?” cried Athos; “has she left Armentières?”

Grimaud nodded. At a movement made by D’Artagnan,

“Silence, D’Artagnan!” said Athos. “I have taken this whole affair myself, so it is my right to question Grimaud.

“Where is she?” asked Athos.

Grimaud stretched out his hands in the direction of the Lys.

“Far from here?” asked Athos.

Grimaud showed his master his forefinger bent.

“Alone?” asked Athos.

Grimaud made a sign that she was.

By a flash of lightning they saw the village of Enguinghem.

“Is she there, Grimaud?” asked Athos.

Grimaud shook his head.

And the troop continued their route.

Another flash gleamed. Grimaud stretched out his arm, and by the livid light of the fire-serpent they distinguished a little isolated house on the banks of the river, within a hundred paces of a ferry.

One window was lighted.

“Here we are!” said Athos.

At this moment a man who had been crouching in a ditch jumped up. It was Mousqueton. He pointed his finger to the lighted window.

“She’s there,” said he.

“And Bazin?” asked Athos.

“While I was watching the window, he was watching the door.”

“Good!” said Athos; “you are all faithful servants.”

  By PanEris using Melati.

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