“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 day’s journey from Surgères, where the cardinal was coming to meet the king, he resolved to follow Athos’s advice and go back with them.

Besides, this return gave him the advantage of watching over his prisoner.

They resumed their route.

At three o’clock the next afternoon they reached Surgères. The cardinal, on returning in the evening to his headquarters at the bridge of La Pierre, found D’Artagnan, 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 D’Artagnan to follow him.

D’Artagnan obeyed.

“We shall wait for you, D’Artagnan,” said Athos, loud enough for the cardinal to hear him.

His Eminence kept on his way without uttering a single word.

D’Artagnan entered after the cardinal, and behind D’Artagnan 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.

D’Artagnan 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 D’Artagnan.

“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 general’s plans.”

“And who charges me with this, monseigneur?” said D’Artagnan, who suspected the accusation came from milady—“a 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?”

  By PanEris using Melati.

Previous chapter/page Back Home Email this Search Discuss Bookmark Next chapter/page
Copyright: All texts on Bibliomania are © Bibliomania.com Ltd, and may not be reproduced in any form without our written permission. See our FAQ for more details.