If it is to rejoin milady, said Athos coolly, it is useless. You will not find her.
What has become of her? asked Rochefort eagerly.
Come back with us to the camp and you shall know.
Rochefort remained thoughtful for a moment; then, as they were only a days journey from Surgères, where the cardinal was coming to meet the king, he resolved to follow Athoss advice and go back with them.
Besides, this return gave him the advantage of watching over his prisoner.
They resumed their route.
At three oclock the next afternoon they reached Surgères. The cardinal, on returning in the evening to his headquarters at the bridge of La Pierre, found DArtagnan, without his sword, and the three musketeers armed, standing before the door of the house which he was occupying.
This time, as he was well attended, he looked at them sternly, and made a sign with his eye and hand for DArtagnan to follow him.
We shall wait for you, DArtagnan, said Athos, loud enough for the cardinal to hear him.
His Eminence kept on his way without uttering a single word.
DArtagnan entered after the cardinal, and behind DArtagnan the door was guarded.
His Eminence went to the room which served him as a study, and made a sign to Rochefort to bring in the young musketeer.
Rochefort obeyed and retired.
DArtagnan remained alone before the cardinal. This was his second interview with Richelieu, and he afterwards confessed that he felt sure it would be his last.
Richelieu remained standing, leaning against the mantelpiece. A table was between him and DArtagnan.
Sir, said the cardinal, you have been arrested by my orders.
So I have been told, monseigneur.
Do you know why?
No, monseigneur, for the only thing for which I could be arrested is still unknown to your Eminence.
Richelieu looked steadfastly at the young man.
You are charged with having corresponded with the enemies of the kingdom. You are charged with having surprised state secrets. You are charged with having tried to thwart your generals plans.
And who charges me with this, monseigneur? said DArtagnan, who suspected the accusation came from miladya woman branded by the law of the country; a woman who was married to one man in France and to another in England; a woman who poisoned her second husband, and who attempted to poison me!
What is all this, sir? cried the cardinal, astonished; and what woman are you speaking of thus?
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