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解密目标语言:英语                                解密辅助语言:汉语
              Language to be decoded:  English             Auxiliary Language :  Chinese  

  
       
解密文本:     《三剑客》(《三个火枪手》)   [法] 大仲马  著         


Les trois mousquetaires
Alexandre Dumas

 

  The Three Musketeers
Alexandre Dumas
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Table of Contents

 

目 录

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

 

作者序

Chapter 1 THE THREE PRESENTS OF D'ARTAGNAN THE ELDER

 

第一章 达达尼昂老爹的三件赏赐

Chapter 2 THE ANTECHAMBER OF M. DE TREVILLE

 

第二章 特雷维尔先生的候见室

Chapter 3 THE AUDIENCE

 

第三章 谒见

Chapter 4 THE SHOULDER OF ATHOS, THE BALDRIC OF PORTHOS AND THE HANDKERCHIEF OF ARAMIS

 

第四章 阿托斯的肩膀、波托斯的肩带和阿拉米斯的手绢

Chapter 5 THE KING'S MUSKETEERS AND THE CARDINAL'S GUARDS

 

第五章 国王的火枪手和红衣主教的卫士

Chapter 6 HIS MAJESTY KING LOUIS XIII

 

第六章 国王陛下路易十三

Chapter 7 THE INTERIOR OF "THE MUSKETEERS"

 

第七章 火枪手的内情

Chapter 8 CONCERNING A COURT INTRIGUE

 

第八章 宫廷里的阴谋

Chapter 9 D'ARTAGNAN SHOWS HIMSELF

 

第九章 达达尼昂初露锋芒

Chapter 10 A MOUSETRAP IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

 

第十章 十七世纪的捕鼠笼子

Chapter 11 IN WHICH THE PLOT THICKENS

 

第十一章 牵线搭桥

Chapter 12 GEORGE VILLIERS, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM

 

第十二章 白金汉公爵乔治•维利尔斯

Chapter 13 MONSIEUR BONACIEUX

 

第十三章 波那瑟先生

Chapter 14 THE MAN OF MEUNG

 

第十四章 默恩镇的那个人

Chapter 15 MEN OF THE ROBE AND MEN OF THE SWORD

 

第十五章 法官和军人

Chapter 16 IN WHICH M. SEGUIER, KEEPER OF THE SEALS, LOOKS MORE THAN ONCE FOR THE BELL

 

第十六章 掌玺大臣赛基埃又一次想打钟驱魔

Chapter 17 BONACIEUX AT HOME

 

第十七章 波那瑟夫妇

Chapter 18 LOVER AND HUSBAND

 

第十八章 情夫与丈夫

Chapter 19 PLAN OF CAMPAIGN

 

第十九章 行动计划

Chapter 20 THE JOURNEY

 

第二十章 旅途

Chapter 21 THE COUNTESS DE WINTER

 

第二十一章 温特伯爵夫人

Chapter 22 THE BALLET OF LA MERLAISON

 

第二十二章 美尔莱宋舞

Chapter 23 THE RENDEZVOUS

 

第二十三章 幽会

Chapter 24 THE PAVILION

 

第二十四章 小楼

Chapter 25 PORTHOS

 

第二十五章 波托斯

Chapter 26 ARAMIS AND HIS THESIS

 

第二十六章 阿拉米斯的论文

Chapter 27 THE WIFE OF ATHOS

 

第二十七章 阿托斯的妻子

Chapter 28 THE RETURN

 

第二十八章 归途

Chapter 29 HUNTING FOR THE EQUIPMENTS

 

第二十九章 筹办装备

Chapter 30 D'ARTAGNAN AND THE ENGLISHMAN

 

第三十章 米拉迪

Chapter 31 ENGLISH AND FRENCH

 

第三十一章 英国人和法国人

Chapter 32 A PROCURATOR'S DINNER

 

第三十二章 诉讼代理人家的一顿晚餐

Chapter 33 SOUBRETTE AND MISTRESS

 

第三十三章 侍女与主人

Chapter 34 IN WHICH THE EQUIPMENT OF ARAMIS AND PORTHOS IS TREATED OF

 

第三十四章 阿拉米斯和波托斯的装备

Chapter 35 A GASCON A MATCH FOR CUPID

 

第三十五章 冒名顶替

Chapter 36 DREAM OF VENGEANCE

 

第三十六章 复仇之梦

Chapter 37 MILADY'S SECRET

 

第三十七章 米拉迪的秘密

Chapter 38 HOW, WITHOUT INCOMMDING HIMSELF, ATHOS PROCURES HIS EQUIPMENT

 

第三十八章 阿托斯当宝从戎

Chapter 39 A VISION

 

第三十九章 一个幻觉

Chapter 40 A TERRIBLE VISION

 

第四十章 红衣主教

Chapter 41 THE SEIGE OF LA ROCHELLE

 

第四十一章 围困拉罗舍尔之战

Chapter 42 THE ANJOU WINE

 

第四十二章 昂儒葡萄酒

Chapter 43 THE SIGN OF THE RED DOVECOT

 

第四十三章 红鸽舍客栈

Chapter 44 THE UTILITY OF STOVEPIPES

 

第四十四章 火炉烟筒的妙用

Chapter 45 A CONJUGAL SCENE

 

第四十五章 夫妻一战

Chapter 46 THE BASTION SAINT-GERVAIS

 

第四十六章 圣热尔韦棱堡

Chapter 47 THE COUNCIL OF THE MUSKETEERS

 

第四十七章 火枪手的集会

Chapter 48 A FAMILY AFFAIR

 

第四十八章 家事

Chapter 49 FATALITY

 

第四十九章 厄运

Chapter 50 CHAT BETWEEN BROTHER AND SISTER

 

第五十章 叔嫂间的谈话

Chapter 51 OFFICER

 

第五十一章 长官

Chapter 52 CAPTIVITY: THE FIRST DAY

 

第五十二章 软禁的第一天

Chapter 53 CAPTIVITY: THE SECOND DAY

 

第五十三章 软禁的第二天

Chapter 54 CAPTIVITY: THE THIRD DAY

 

第五十四章 软禁中的第三天

Chapter 55 CAPTIVITY: THE FOURTH DAY

 

第五十五章 软禁的第四天

Chapter 56 CAPTIVITY: THE FIFTH DAY

 

第五十六章 软禁的第五天

Chapter 57 MEANS FOR CLASSICAL TRAGEDY

 

第五十七章 一个古典悲剧的手法

Chapter 58 ESCAPE

 

第五十八章 越狱

Chapter 59 WHAT TOOK PLACE AT PORTSMOUTH AUGUST 23, 1628

 

第五十九章 一六二八年八月二十三日朴茨茅斯凶杀案

Chapter 60 IN FRANCE

 

第六十章 在法国

Chapter 61 THE CARMELITE CONVENT AT BETHUNE

 

第六十一章 贝图纳加尔默罗会女修道院

Chapter 62 TWO VARIETIES OF DEMONS

 

第六十二章 两个恶魔变种

Chapter 63 THE DROP OF WATER

 

第六十三章 一滴水

Chapter 64 THE MAN IN THE RED CLOAK

 

第六十四章 身披红大氅的男人

Chapter 65 TRIAL

 

第六十五章 审判

Chapter 66 EXECUTION

 

第六十六章 处决

Chapter 67 CONCLUSION

 

第六十七章 结局

EPILOGUE

 

尾声







AUTHOR'S PREFACE

A short time ago, while making researches in the Royal Library for my History of Louis XIV, I stumbled by chance upon the Memoirs of M. d'Artagnan, printed--as were most of the works of that period, in which authors could not tell the truth without the risk of a residence, more or less long, in the Bastille--at Amsterdam, by Pierre Rouge. The title attracted me; I took them home with me, with the permission of the guardian, and devoured them.

It is not my intention here to enter into an analysis of this curious work; and I shall satisfy myself with referring such of my readers as appreciate the pictures of the period to its pages. They will therein find portraits penciled by the hand of a master; and although these squibs may be, for the most part, traced upon the doors of barracks and the walls of cabarets, they will not find the likenesses of Louis XIII, Anne of Austria, Richelieu, Mazarin, and the courtiers of the period, less faithful than in the history of M. Anquetil.

But, it is well known, what strikes the capricious mind of the poet is not always what affects the mass of readers. Now, while admiring, as others doubtless will admire, the details we have to relate, our main preoccupation concerned a matter to which no one before ourselves had given a thought.

D'Artagnan relates that on his first visit to M. de Treville, captain of the king's Musketeers, he met in the antechamber three young men, serving in the illustrious corps into which he was soliciting the honor of being received, bearing the names of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

We must confess these three strange names struck us; and it immediately occurred to us that they were but pseudonyms, under which d'Artagnan had disguised names perhaps illustrious, or else that the bearers of these borrowed names had themselves chosen them on the day in which, from caprice, discontent, or want of fortune, they had donned the simple Musketeer's uniform.

From the moment we had no rest till we could find some trace in contemporary works of these extraordinary names which had so strongly awakened our curiosity.

The catalogue alone of the books we read with this object would fill a whole chapter, which, although it might be very instructive, would certainly afford our readers but little amusement. It will suffice, then, to tell them that at the moment at which, discouraged by so many fruitless investigations, we were about to abandon our search, we at length found, guided by the counsels of our illustrious friend Paulin Paris, a manuscript in folio, endorsed 4772 or 4773, we do not recollect which, having for title, "Memoirs of the Comte de la Fere, Touching Some Events Which Passed in France Toward the End of the Reign of King Louis XIII and the Commencement of the Reign of King Louis XIV."

It may be easily imagined how great was our joy when, in turning over this manuscript, our last hope, we found at the twentieth page the name of Athos, at the twenty-seventh the name of Porthos, and at the thirty-first the name of Aramis.

The discovery of a completely unknown manuscript at a period in which historical science is carried to such a high degree appeared almost miraculous. We hastened, therefore, to obtain permission to print it, with the view of presenting ourselves someday with the pack of others at the doors of the Academie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, if we should not succeed--a very probable thing, by the by--in gaining admission to the Academie Francaise with our own proper pack. This permission, we feel bound to say, was graciously granted; which compels us here to give a public contradiction to the slanderers who pretend that we live under a government but moderately indulgent to men of letters.

Now, this is the first part of this precious manuscript which we offer to our readers, restoring it to the title which belongs to it, and entering into an engagement that if (of which we have no doubt) this first part should obtain the success it merits, we will publish the second immediately.

In the meanwhile, as the godfather is a second father, we beg the reader to lay to our account, and not to that of the Comte de la Fere, the pleasure or the ENNUI he may experience.

This being understood, let us proceed with our history.

 

作者序

将近一年前,我为了纂修路易十四史,去王室图书馆搜集资料,偶然见到一本题为《达达尼昂回忆录》的书。这本书是在阿姆斯特丹灯石书社排印的。当年法国的作家若想讲真话,而又不去巴士底狱或长或短地呆一段时间,大多数都把自己的作品送到荷兰京城去出版。我被这本书的题目吸引住了,便把它带回家,贪婪地读了一遍,当然是得到馆长先生许可的。

我无意在这里对这部奇书进行剖析,而把这个工作留给我那些爱好时代画卷的读者去做。他们从这部书里,将看到堪称大手笔描纂的人物肖像;这些人物肖像虽然往往画在军营的门上或小酒店的墙上,但读者从中还是可以认出一些与昂克蒂尔①先生的历史著作中同样逼真的人物,诸如路易十三、安娜•奥地利、黎塞留、马萨林以及当时大多数廷臣的形象。

  ①法国十八世纪的一位历史学家。

不过,正如大家知道的,能够在作家变幻莫测的头脑里产生强烈印象的东西,并不总是能给广大读者留下深刻印象。然而,当我们像其他人可能会欣赏的那样去欣赏我们提到的细节时,我们最关心的无疑是在我们之前谁也不曾留心过的事情。

达达尼昂记述,他头一次谒见国王火枪队的队长特雷维尔先生,请求接受他加入这支久负盛名的火枪队时,在候见室里见到三个年轻人。他们都是该队的火枪手,分别姓阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯。

说实话,一看到这三个陌生的姓氏,我们都感到奇怪,立刻想到它们都是化名。倘若不是那三个化名者由于心血来潮,心情不好,或时运不佳,才在穿上朴素的火枪队队服那天自己选择的,那就是达达尼昂借以隐匿了几个很有名望的姓氏。

这三个不寻常的姓氏引起了我们强烈的好奇。从那时起,我们便不停地从今人的著作中去寻找它们的踪迹。

我们仅仅为达到这个目的而查阅的书目,就足可刊载整整一个专栏。这书目也许可以使人增长见识,但对我们的读者来讲,肯定索然寡味。所以我们满意地告诉他们:在我们经过大量徒劳无益的研究,已经灰心丧气,准备放弃这个工作时,却在著名而博学的朋友保兰•巴黎①的指点下,终于发现了一部对开本的手稿,其编号是四七七二还是四七七三我们记不清了,题目是:

  ①保兰•巴黎(一八○○——一八八一),王室图书馆馆长,法兰西学院教授,中世纪文学专家。

拉费尔伯爵回忆录

  ——路易十三末年和路易十四初年间法国部分大事随笔

我们把这部手稿视为最后的希望,在翻阅过程中,在第二十页找到了阿托斯这个名字,在第二十七页找到了波托斯,在第三十一页找到了阿拉米斯。我们当时是怎样地高兴,那是不难想象的。

在历史学高度发展的时代,竟然发现了一部完全不为人知的手稿,这几乎是一个奇迹。因此我们赶紧请求允许我们把它印出来,以期将来如果不能——这是非常可能的——凭自己的著作加入法兰西学院,那么也可以凭别人的著作加入金石学院和文学院。应该说,我们的请求被爽快地接受了。我们把这些话记录在这里,就是要揭露那些心怀恶意的人的谎言:他们声称我们的政府很不关心文人。

不过,我们今天奉献给读者的,只是这部珍贵手稿的一部分,给它拟定了一个适当的题目,并且保证,如果第一部分像我们所深信的那样取得应有的成功,那么就马上发表第二部分。

教父乃第二父亲,所以在这里我们谨提请读者注意,你读了这本书是感到有趣还是感到无聊,责任全在我们,与拉费尔伯爵毫无关系。

还是闲话少说,言归正传吧。




Chapter 1 THE THREE PRESENTS OF D'ARTAGNAN THE ELDER

On the first Monday of the month of April, 1625, the market town of Meung, in which the author of ROMANCE OF THE ROSE was born, appeared to be in as perfect a state of revolution as if the Huguenots had just made a second La Rochelle of it. Many citizens, seeing the women flying toward the High Street, leaving their children crying at the open doors, hastened to don the cuirass, and supporting their somewhat uncertain courage with a musket or a partisan, directed their steps toward the hostelry of the Jolly Miller, before which was gathered, increasing every minute, a compact group, vociferous and full of curiosity.

In those times panics were common, and few days passed without some city or other registering in its archives an event of this kind. There were nobles, who made war against each other; there was the king, who made war against the cardinal; there was Spain, which made war against the king. Then, in addition to these concealed or public, secret or open wars, there were robbers, mendicants, Huguenots, wolves, and scoundrels, who made war upon everybody. The citizens always took up arms readily against thieves, wolves or scoundrels, often against nobles or Huguenots, sometimes against the king, but never against cardinal or Spain. It resulted, then, from this habit that on the said first Monday of April, 1625, the citizens, on hearing the clamor, and seeing neither the red-and-yellow standard nor the livery of the Duc de Richelieu, rushed toward the hostel of the Jolly Miller. When arrived there, the cause of the hubbub was apparent to all.

A young man--we can sketch his portrait at a dash. Imagine to yourself a Don Quixote of eighteen; a Don Quixote without his corselet, without his coat of mail, without his cuisses; a Don Quixote clothed in a woolen doublet, the blue color of which had faded into a nameless shade between lees of wine and a heavenly azure; face long and brown; high cheek bones, a sign of sagacity; the maxillary muscles enormously developed, an infallible sign by which a Gascon may always be detected, even without his cap--and our young man wore a cap set off with a sort of feather; the eye open and intelligent; the nose hooked, but finely chiseled. Too big for a youth, too small for a grown man, an experienced eye might have taken him for a farmer's son upon a journey had it not been for the long sword which, dangling from a leather baldric, hit against the calves of its owner as he walked, and against the rough side of his steed when he was on horseback.

For our young man had a steed which was the observed of all observers. It was a Bearn pony, from twelve to fourteen years old, yellow in his hide, without a hair in his tail, but not without windgalls on his legs, which, though going with his head lower than his knees, rendering a martingale quite unnecessary, contrived nevertheless to perform his eight leagues a day. Unfortunately, the qualities of this horse were so well concealed under his strange-colored hide and his unaccountable gait, that at a time when everybody was a connoisseur in horseflesh, the appearance of the aforesaid pony at Meung--which place he had entered about a quarter of an hour before, by the gate of Beaugency--produced an unfavorable feeling, which extended to his rider.

And this feeling had been more painfully perceived by young d'Artagnan--for so was the Don Quixote of this second Rosinante named--from his not being able to conceal from himself the ridiculous appearance that such a steed gave him, good horseman as he was. He had sighed deeply, therefore, when accepting the gift of the pony from M. d'Artagnan the elder. He was not ignorant that such a beast was worth at least twenty livres; and the words which had accompanied the present were above all price.

"My son," said the old Gascon gentleman, in that pure Bearn PATOIS of which Henry IV could never rid himself, "this horse was born in the house of your father about thirteen years ago, and has remained in it ever since, which ought to make you love it. Never sell it; allow it to die tranquilly and honorably of old age, and if you make a campaign with it, take as much care of it as you would of an old servant. At court, provided you have ever the honor to go there," continued M. d'Artagnan the elder, "--an honor to which, remember, your ancient nobility gives you the right--sustain worthily your name of gentleman, which has been worthily borne by your ancestors for five hundred years, both for your own sake and the sake of those who belong to you. By the latter I mean your relatives and friends. Endure nothing from anyone except Monsieur the Cardinal and the king. It is by his courage, please observe, by his courage alone, that a gentleman can make his way nowadays. Whoever hesitates for a second perhaps allows the bait to escape which during that exact second fortune held out to him. You are young. You ought to be brave for two reasons: the first is that you are a Gascon, and the second is that you are my son. Never fear quarrels, but seek adventures. I have taught you how to handle a sword; you have thews of iron, a wrist of steel. Fight on all occasions. Fight the more for duels being forbidden, since consequently there is twice as much courage in fighting. I have nothing to give you, my son, but fifteen crowns, my horse, and the counsels you have just heard. Your mother will add to them a recipe for a certain balsam, which she had from a Bohemian and which has the miraculous virtue of curing all wounds that do not reach the heart. Take advantage of all, and live happily and long. I have but one word to add, and that is to propose an example to you--not mine, for I myself have never appeared at court, and have only taken part in religious wars as a volunteer; I speak of Monsieur de Treville, who was formerly my neighbor, and who had the honor to be, as a child, the play-fellow of our king, Louis XIII, whom God preserve! Sometimes their play degenerated into battles, and in these battles the king was not always the stronger. The blows which he received increased greatly his esteem and friendship for Monsieur de Treville. Afterward, Monsieur de Treville fought with others: in his first journey to Paris, five times; from the death of the late king till the young one came of age, without reckoning wars and sieges, seven times; and from that date up to the present day, a hundred times, perhaps! So that in spite of edicts, ordinances, and decrees, there he is, captain of the Musketeers; that is to say, chief of a legion of Caesars, whom the king holds in great esteem and whom the cardinal dreads--he who dreads nothing, as it is said. Still further, Monsieur de Treville gains ten thousand crowns a year; he is therefore a great noble. He began as you begin. Go to him with this letter, and make him your model in order that you may do as he has done."

Upon which M. d'Artagnan the elder girded his own sword round his son, kissed him tenderly on both cheeks, and gave him his benediction.

On leaving the paternal chamber, the young man found his mother, who was waiting for him with the famous recipe of which the counsels we have just repeated would necessitate frequent employment. The adieux were on this side longer and more tender than they had been on the other--not that M. d'Artagnan did not love his son, who was his only offspring, but M. d'Artagnan was a man, and he would have considered it unworthy of a man to give way to his feelings; whereas Mme. d'Artagnan was a woman, and still more, a mother. She wept abundantly; and--let us speak it to the praise of M. d'Artagnan the younger--notwithstanding the efforts he made to remain firm, as a future Musketeer ought, nature prevailed, and he shed many tears, of which he succeeded with great difficulty in concealing the half.

The same day the young man set forward on his journey, furnished with the three paternal gifts, which consisted, as we have said, of fifteen crowns, the horse, and the letter for M. de Treville--the counsels being thrown into the bargain.

With such a VADE MECUM d'Artagnan was morally and physically an exact copy of the hero of Cervantes, to whom we so happily compared him when our duty of an historian placed us under the necessity of sketching his portrait. Don Quixote took windmills for giants, and sheep for armies; d'Artagnan took every smile for an insult, and every look as a provocation--whence it resulted that from Tarbes to Meung his fist was constantly doubled, or his hand on the hilt of his sword; and yet the fist did not descend upon any jaw, nor did the sword issue from its scabbard. It was not that the sight of the wretched pony did not excite numerous smiles on the countenances of passers-by; but as against the side of this pony rattled a sword of respectable length, and as over this sword gleamed an eye rather ferocious than haughty, these passers-by repressed their hilarity, or if hilarity prevailed over prudence, they endeavored to laugh only on one side, like the masks of the ancients. D'Artagnan, then, remained majestic and intact in his susceptibility, till he came to this unlucky city of Meung.

But there, as he was alighting from his horse at the gate of the Jolly Miller, without anyone--host, waiter, or hostler--coming to hold his stirrup or take his horse, d'Artagnan spied, though an open window on the ground floor, a gentleman, well-made and of good carriage, although of rather a stern countenance, talking with two persons who appeared to listen to him with respect. d'Artagnan fancied quite naturally, according to his custom, that he must be the object of their conversation, and listened. This time d'Artagnan was only in part mistaken; he himself was not in question, but his horse was. The gentleman appeared to be enumerating all his qualities to his auditors; and, as I have said, the auditors seeming to have great deference for the narrator, they every moment burst into fits of laughter. Now, as a half-smile was sufficient to awaken the irascibility of the young man, the effect produced upon him by this vociferous mirth may be easily imagined.

Nevertheless, d'Artagnan was desirous of examining the appearance of this impertinent personage who ridiculed him. He fixed his haughty eye upon the stranger, and perceived a man of from forty to forty-five years of age, with black and piercing eyes, pale complexion, a strongly marked nose, and a black and well-shaped mustache. He was dressed in a doublet and hose of a violet color, with aiguillettes of the same color, without any other ornaments than the customary slashes, through which the shirt appeared. This doublet and hose, though new, were creased, like traveling clothes for a long time packed in a portmanteau. d'Artagnan made all these remarks with the rapidity of a most minute observer, and doubtless from an instinctive feeling that this stranger was destined to have a great influence over his future life.

Now, as at the moment in which d'Artagnan fixed his eyes upon the gentleman in the violet doublet, the gentleman made one of his most knowing and profound remarks respecting the Bearnese pony, his two auditors laughed even louder than before, and he himself, though contrary to his custom, allowed a pale smile (if I may allowed to use such an expression) to stray over his countenance. This time there could be no doubt; d'Artagnan was really insulted. Full, then, of this conviction, he pulled his cap down over his eyes, and endeavoring to copy some of the court airs he had picked up in Gascony among young traveling nobles, he advanced with one hand on the hilt of his sword and the other resting on his hip. Unfortunately, as he advanced, his anger increased at every step; and instead of the proper and lofty speech he had prepared as a prelude to his challenge, he found nothing at the tip of his tongue but a gross personality, which he accompanied with a furious gesture.

"I say, sir, you sir, who are hiding yourself behind that shutter--yes, you, sir, tell me what you are laughing at, and we will laugh together!"

The gentleman raised his eyes slowly from the nag to his cavalier, as if he required some time to ascertain whether it could be to him that such strange reproaches were addressed; then, when he could not possibly entertain any doubt of the matter, his eyebrows slightly bent, and with an accent of irony and insolence impossible to be described, he replied to d'Artagnan, "I was not speaking to you, sir."

"But I am speaking to you!" replied the young man, additionally exasperated with this mixture of insolence and good manners, of politeness and scorn.

The stranger looked at him again with a slight smile, and retiring from the window, came out of the hostelry with a slow step, and placed himself before the horse, within two paces of d'Artagnan. His quiet manner and the ironical expression of his countenance redoubled the mirth of the persons with whom he had been talking, and who still remained at the window.

D'Artagnan, seeing him approach, drew his sword a foot out of the scabbard.

"This horse is decidedly, or rather has been in his youth, a buttercup," resumed the stranger, continuing the remarks he had begun, and addressing himself to his auditors at the window, without paying the least attention to the exasperation of d'Artagnan, who, however placed himself between him and them. "It is a color very well known in botany, but till the present time very rare among horses."

"There are people who laugh at the horse that would not dare to laugh at the master," cried the young emulator of the furious Treville.

"I do not often laugh, sir," replied the stranger, "as you may perceive by the expression of my countenance; but nevertheless I retain the privilege of laughing when I please."

"And I," cried d'Artagnan, "will allow no man to laugh when it displeases me!"

"Indeed, sir," continued the stranger, more calm than ever; "well, that is perfectly right!" and turning on his heel, was about to re-enter the hostelry by the front gate, beneath which d'Artagnan on arriving had observed a saddled horse.

But, d'Artagnan was not of a character to allow a man to escape him thus who had the insolence to ridicule him. He drew his sword entirely from the scabbard, and followed him, crying, "Turn, turn, Master Joker, lest I strike you behind!"

"Strike me!" said the other, turning on his heels, and surveying the young man with as much astonishment as contempt. "Why, my good fellow, you must be mad!" Then, in a suppressed tone, as if speaking to himself, "This is annoying," continued he. "What a godsend this would be for his Majesty, who is seeking everywhere for brave fellows to recruit for his Musketeers!"

He had scarcely finished, when d'Artagnan made such a furious lunge at him that if he had not sprung nimbly backward, it is probable he would have jested for the last time. The stranger, then perceiving that the matter went beyond raillery, drew his sword, saluted his adversary, and seriously placed himself on guard. But at the same moment, his two auditors, accompanied by the host, fell upon d'Artagnan with sticks, shovels and tongs. This caused so rapid and complete a diversion from the attack that d'Artagnan's adversary, while the latter turned round to face this shower of blows, sheathed his sword with the same precision, and instead of an actor, which he had nearly been, became a spectator of the fight--a part in which he acquitted himself with his usual impassiveness, muttering, nevertheless, "A plague upon these Gascons! Replace him on his orange horse, and let him begone!"

"Not before I have killed you, poltroon!" cried d'Artagnan, making the best face possible, and never retreating one step before his three assailants, who continued to shower blows upon him.

"Another gasconade!" murmured the gentleman. "By my honor, these Gascons are incorrigible! Keep up the dance, then, since he will have it so. When he is tired, he will perhaps tell us that he has had enough of it."

But the stranger knew not the headstrong personage he had to do with; d'Artagnan was not the man ever to cry for quarter. The fight was therefore prolonged for some seconds; but at length d'Artagnan dropped his sword, which was broken in two pieces by the blow of a stick. Another blow full upon his forehead at the same moment brought him to the ground, covered with blood and almost fainting.

It was at this moment that people came flocking to the scene of action from all sides. The host, fearful of consequences, with the help of his servants carried the wounded man into the kitchen, where some trifling attentions were bestowed upon him.

As to the gentleman, he resumed his place at the window, and surveyed the crowd with a certain impatience, evidently annoyed by their remaining undispersed.

"Well, how is it with this madman?" exclaimed he, turning round as the noise of the door announced the entrance of the host, who came in to inquire if he was unhurt.

"Your excellency is safe and sound?" asked the host.

"Oh, yes! Perfectly safe and sound, my good host; and I wish to know what has become of our young man."

"He is better," said the host, "he fainted quite away."

"Indeed!" said the gentleman.

"But before he fainted, he collected all his strength to challenge you, and to defy you while challenging you."

"Why, this fellow must be the devil in person!" cried the stranger.

"Oh, no, your Excellency, he is not the devil," replied the host, with a grin of contempt; "for during his fainting we rummaged his valise and found nothing but a clean shirt and eleven crowns--which however, did not prevent his saying, as he was fainting, that if such a thing had happened in Paris, you should have cause to repent of it at a later period."

"Then," said the stranger coolly, "he must be some prince in disguise."

"I have told you this, good sir," resumed the host, "in order that you may be on your guard."

"Did he name no one in his passion?"

"Yes; he struck his pocket and said, 'We shall see what Monsieur de Treville will think of this insult offered to his protege.'"

"Monsieur de Treville?" said the stranger, becoming attentive, "he put his hand upon his pocket while pronouncing the name of Monsieur de Treville? Now, my dear host, while your young man was insensible, you did not fail, I am quite sure, to ascertain what that pocket contained. What was there in it?"

"A letter addressed to Monsieur de Treville, captain of the Musketeers."

"Indeed!"

"Exactly as I have the honor to tell your Excellency."

The host, who was not endowed with great perspicacity, did not observe the expression which his words had given to the physiognomy of the stranger. The latter rose from the front of the window, upon the sill of which he had leaned with his elbow, and knitted his brow like a man disquieted.

"The devil!" murmured he, between his teeth. "Can Treville have set this Gascon upon me? He is very young; but a sword thrust is a sword thrust, whatever be the age of him who gives it, and a youth is less to be suspected than an older man," and the stranger fell into a reverie which lasted some minutes. "A weak obstacle is sometimes sufficient to overthrow a great design.

"Host," said he, "could you not contrive to get rid of this frantic boy for me? In conscience, I cannot kill him; and yet," added he, with a coldly menacing expression, "he annoys me. Where is he?"

"In my wife's chamber, on the first flight, where they are dressing his wounds."

"His things and his bag are with him? Has he taken off his doublet?"

"On the contrary, everything is in the kitchen. But if he annoys you, this young fool--"

"To be sure he does. He causes a disturbance in your hostelry, which respectable people cannot put up with. Go; make out my bill and notify my servant."

"What, monsieur, will you leave us so soon?"

"You know that very well, as I gave my order to saddle my horse. Have they not obeyed me?"

"It is done; as your Excellency may have observed, your horse is in the great gateway, ready saddled for your departure."

"That is well; do as I have directed you, then."

"What the devil!" said the host to himself. "Can he be afraid of this boy?" But an imperious glance from the stranger stopped him short; he bowed humbly and retired.

"It is not necessary for Milady* to be seen by this fellow," continued the stranger. "She will soon pass; she is already late. I had better get on horseback, and go and meet her. I should like, however, to know what this letter addressed to Treville contains."

We are well aware that this term, milady, is only properly used when followed by a family name. But we find it thus in the manuscript, and we do not choose to take upon ourselves to alter it.

And the stranger, muttering to himself, directed his steps toward the kitchen.

In the meantime, the host, who entertained no doubt that it was the presence of the young man that drove the stranger from his hostelry, re-ascended to his wife's chamber, and found d'Artagnan just recovering his senses. Giving him to understand that the police would deal with him pretty severely for having sought a quarrel with a great lord--for the opinion of the host the stranger could be nothing less than a great lord--he insisted that notwithstanding his weakness d'Artagnan should get up and depart as quickly as possible. D'Artagnan, half stupefied, without his doublet, and with his head bound up in a linen cloth, arose then, and urged by the host, began to descend the stairs; but on arriving at the kitchen, the first thing he saw was his antagonist talking calmly at the step of a heavy carriage, drawn by two large Norman horses.

His interlocutor, whose head appeared through the carriage window, was a woman of from twenty to two-and-twenty years. We have already observed with what rapidity d'Artagnan seized the expression of a countenance. He perceived then, at a glance, that this woman was young and beautiful; and her style of beauty struck him more forcibly from its being totally different from that of the southern countries in which d'Artagnan had hitherto resided. She was pale and fair, with long curls falling in profusion over her shoulders, had large, blue, languishing eyes, rosy lips, and hands of alabaster. She was talking with great animation with the stranger.

"His Eminence, then, orders me--" said the lady.

"To return instantly to England, and to inform him as soon as the duke leaves London."

"And as to my other instructions?" asked the fair traveler.

"They are contained in this box, which you will not open until you are on the other side of the Channel."

"Very well; and you--what will you do?"

"I--I return to Paris."

"What, without chastising this insolent boy?" asked the lady.

The stranger was about to reply; but at the moment he opened his mouth, d'Artagnan, who had heard all, precipitated himself over the threshold of the door.

"This insolent boy chastises others," cried he; "and I hope that this time he whom he ought to chastise will not escape him as before."

"Will not escape him?" replied the stranger, knitting his brow.

"No; before a woman you would dare not fly, I presume?"

"Remember," said Milady, seeing the stranger lay his hand on his sword, "the least delay may ruin everything."

"You are right," cried the gentleman; "begone then, on your part, and I will depart as quickly on mine." And bowing to the lady, sprang into his saddle, while her coachman applied his whip vigorously to his horses. The two interlocutors thus separated, taking opposite directions, at full gallop.

"Pay him, booby!" cried the stranger to his servant, without checking the speed of his horse; and the man, after throwing two or three silver pieces at the foot of mine host, galloped after his master.

"Base coward! false gentleman!" cried d'Artagnan, springing forward, in his turn, after the servant. But his wound had rendered him too weak to support such an exertion. Scarcely had he gone ten steps when his ears began to tingle, a faintness seized him, a cloud of blood passed over his eyes, and he fell in the middle of the street, crying still, "Coward! coward! coward!"

"He is a coward, indeed," grumbled the host, drawing near to d'Artagnan, and endeavoring by this little flattery to make up matters with the young man, as the heron of the fable did with the snail he had despised the evening before.

"Yes, a base coward," murmured d'Artagnan; "but she--she was very beautiful."

"What she?" demanded the host.

"Milady," faltered d'Artagnan, and fainted a second time.

"Ah, it's all one," said the host; "I have lost two customers, but this one remains, of whom I am pretty certain for some days to come. There will be eleven crowns gained."

It is to be remembered that eleven crowns was just the sum that remained in d'Artagnan's purse.

The host had reckoned upon eleven days of confinement at a crown a day, but he had reckoned without his guest. On the following morning at five o'clock d'Artagnan arose, and descending to the kitchen without help, asked, among other ingredients the list of which has not come down to us, for some oil, some wine, and some rosemary, and with his mother's recipe in his hand composed a balsam, with which he anointed his numerous wounds, replacing his bandages himself, and positively refusing the assistance of any doctor, d'Artagnan walked about that same evening, and was almost cured by the morrow.

But when the time came to pay for his rosemary, this oil, and the wine, the only expense the master had incurred, as he had preserved a strict abstinence--while on the contrary, the yellow horse, by the account of the hostler at least, had eaten three times as much as a horse of his size could reasonably supposed to have done--d'Artagnan found nothing in his pocket but his little old velvet purse with the eleven crowns it contained; for as to the letter addressed to M. de Treville, it had disappeared.

The young man commenced his search for the letter with the greatest patience, turning out his pockets of all kinds over and over again, rummaging and rerummaging in his valise, and opening and reopening his purse; but when he found that he had come to the conviction that the letter was not to be found, he flew, for the third time, into such a rage as was near costing him a fresh consumption of wine, oil, and rosemary--for upon seeing this hot-headed youth become exasperated and threaten to destroy everything in the establishment if his letter were not found, the host seized a spit, his wife a broom handle, and the servants the same sticks they had used the day before.

"My letter of recommendation!" cried d'Artagnan, "my letter of recommendation! or, the holy blood, I will spit you all like ortolans!"

Unfortunately, there was one circumstance which created a powerful obstacle to the accomplishment of this threat; which was, as we have related, that his sword had been in his first conflict broken in two, and which he had entirely forgotten. Hence, it resulted when d'Artagnan proceeded to draw his sword in earnest, he found himself purely and simply armed with a stump of a sword about eight or ten inches in length, which the host had carefully placed in the scabbard. As to the rest of the blade, the master had slyly put that on one side to make himself a larding pin.

But this deception would probably not have stopped our fiery young man if the host had not reflected that the reclamation which his guest made was perfectly just.

"But, after all," said he, lowering the point of his spit, "where is this letter?"

"Yes, where is this letter?" cried d'Artagnan. "In the first place, I warn you that that letter is for Monsieur de Treville, and it must be found, he will know how to find it."

His threat completed the intimidation of the host. After the king and the cardinal, M. de Treville was the man whose name was perhaps most frequently repeated by the military, and even by citizens. There was, to be sure, Father Joseph, but his name was never pronounced but with a subdued voice, such was the terror inspired by his Gray Eminence, as the cardinal's familiar was called.

Throwing down his spit, and ordering his wife to do the same with her broom handle, and the servants with their sticks, he set the first example of commencing an earnest search for the lost letter.

"Does the letter contain anything valuable?" demanded the host, after a few minutes of useless investigation.

"Zounds! I think it does indeed!" cried the Gascon, who reckoned upon this letter for making his way at court. "It contained my fortune!"

"Bills upon Spain?" asked the disturbed host.

"Bills upon his Majesty's private treasury," answered d'Artagnan, who, reckoning upon entering into the king's service in consequence of this recommendation, believed he could make this somewhat hazardous reply without telling of a falsehood.

"The devil!" cried the host, at his wit's end.

"But it's of no importance," continued d'Artagnan, with natural assurance; "it's of no importance. The money is nothing; that letter was everything. I would rather have lost a thousand pistoles than have lost it." He would not have risked more if he had said twenty thousand; but a certain juvenile modesty restrained him.

A ray of light all at once broke upon the mind of the host as he was giving himself to the devil upon finding nothing.

"That letter is not lost!" cried he.

"What!" cried d'Artagnan.

"No, it has been stolen from you."

"Stolen? By whom?"

"By the gentleman who was here yesterday. He came down into the kitchen, where your doublet was. He remained there some time alone. I would lay a wager he has stolen it."

"Do you think so?" answered d'Artagnan, but little convinced, as he knew better than anyone else how entirely personal the value of this letter was, and was nothing in it likely to tempt cupidity. The fact was that none of his servants, none of the travelers present, could have gained anything by being possessed of this paper.

"Do you say," resumed d'Artagnan, "that you suspect that impertinent gentleman?"

"I tell you I am sure of it," continued the host. "When I informed him that your lordship was the protege of Monsieur de Treville, and that you even had a letter for that illustrious gentleman, he appeared to be very much disturbed, and asked me where that letter was, and immediately came down into the kitchen, where he knew your doublet was."

"Then that's my thief," replied d'Artagnan. "I will complain to Monsieur de Treville, and Monsieur de Treville will complain to the king." He then drew two crowns majestically from his purse and gave them to the host, who accompanied him, cap in hand, to the gate, and remounted his yellow horse, which bore him without any further accident to the gate of St. Antoine at Paris, where his owner sold him for three crowns, which was a very good price, considering that d'Artagnan had ridden him hard during the last stage. Thus the dealer to whom d'Artagnan sold him for the nine livres did not conceal from the young man that he only gave that enormous sum for him on the account of the originality of his color.

Thus d'Artagnan entered Paris on foot, carrying his little packet under his arm, and walked about till he found an apartment to be let on terms suited to the scantiness of his means. This chamber was a sort of garret, situated in the Rue des Fossoyeurs, near the Luxembourg.

As soon as the earnest money was paid, d'Artagnan took possession of his lodging, and passed the remainder of the day in sewing onto his doublet and hose some ornamental braiding which his mother had taken off an almost-new doublet of the elder M. d'Artagnan, and which she had given her son secretly. Next he went to the Quai de Feraille to have a new blade put to his sword, and then returned toward the Louvre, inquiring of the first Musketeer he met for the situation of the hotel of M. de Treville, which proved to be in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier; that is to say, in the immediate vicinity of the chamber hired by d'Artagnan--a circumstance which appeared to furnish a happy augury for the success of his journey.

After this, satisfied with the way in which he had conducted himself at Meung, without remorse for the past, confident in the present, and full of hope for the future, he retired to bed and slept the sleep of the brave.

This sleep, provincial as it was, brought him to nine o'clock in the morning; at which hour he rose, in order to repair to the residence of M. de Treville, the third personage in the kingdom, in the paternal estimation.

 

第一章 达达尼昂老爹的三件赏赐

一六二五年四月的头一个星期一,《玫瑰传奇》①作者的故乡默恩镇,仿佛陷入了大动乱,就像胡格诺派②把它变成了第二个拉罗舍尔③似的。几个店主看见妇女们向大街那边跑,听见孩子们在门口叫喊,便赶忙披上铠甲,拿起火枪或长矛,镇定一下多少有些恐慌的情绪,向诚实磨坊主客店跑去。客店前面挤着一堆人,而且越来越多,一个个吵吵嚷嚷,显得很好奇。

  ①法国中世纪后期最流行的诗歌之一,全诗二一○○○余行,前四五八○行为吉约姆•德•洛利所作,是向一个以玫瑰花苞为象征的少女求爱的寓言,大约一二八○年由让•德•默恩续完。

  ②十六世纪欧洲宗教改革运动中兴起于法国而长期惨遭迫害的新教派。

  ③法国西南部海滨城市,十六至十七世纪胡格诺派教徒抵抗天主派教徒进攻的最大军事据点。

在那个年头,恐慌的情景司空见惯,难得有一天平静无事,不是这个城镇就是那个城镇,总要发生可供记载的这类事件。领主与领主相打,国王与红衣主教相斗,西班牙人向国王开仗。除了这些暗的或明的、秘密的或公开的战争,还有盗匪、乞丐、胡格诺派教徒、野狼以及达官贵人的跟班,也全都与大众为敌。因此,市民都武装起来,常备不懈,抵御盗匪、野狼和达官贵人的跟班,也常常抵御领主和胡格诺派教徒,有时也抵御国王,但从来不抵御西班牙人和红衣主教。久而久之养成了习惯,所以在上文所说的一六二五年四月头一个星期一,默恩镇的人听到沸沸扬扬的声音,也不管看见没看见红黄两色的军旗或黎塞留公爵①部下的号衣,便纷纷向诚实磨坊主客店跑去。

到了那里一看,大家才明白这骚动的原因。

原来是一个年轻人……让我们简单勾画一下他的模样吧:诸位不妨想象一下十八九岁的堂吉诃德②,不过这个唐吉诃德没有披挂防护之物,既没有锁子甲,也没有盔甲,只穿了一件羊毛织的紧身短上衣;那件短上衣本来是蓝色的,但变得酒渣色不像酒渣色,天蓝色不像天蓝色了。一张黑红的长脸,突出的颧骨显示出足智多谋,而下上颌的肌肉非常发达,一眼就可以断定是加斯科尼人,即使不戴无檐平顶软帽也看得出来,何况我们这个年轻人藏了这样一顶软帽,上面还插了一根翎毛呢;一对眼睛显得坦诚、聪慧;鼻子钩钩的,但挺秀气;个子嘛,算小青年太高,算成年人又嫌矮;皮斜带上挂柄长剑,走路时磕碰腿肚子,骑马时摩擦坐骑蓬乱的毛;没有这柄长剑,缺乏经验的人也许会把他看做庄稼人子弟。

  ①此处指的是当时担任宰相和红衣主教的黎塞留。

  ②西班牙作家塞万提斯的名作《堂吉诃德》的主人公。

不错,我们这个年轻人有匹坐骑,那匹坐骑甚至还挺出色,引起了大家注意哩。那是一匹贝亚恩矮马,口齿十二或十四岁,一身黄毛,一条秃尾巴,腿弯处生有坏疽,行走时脑袋低到膝盖以下,不需要系颌缰,尽管如此,每天还是可以走八法里①。不幸的是,这匹马的优点完全被古怪的毛色和不得体的姿态掩盖了。因此,在那个人人自命为相马行家的年代,当这匹矮马约一刻钟前从波让西门踏进默恩镇时,它给人的印象不佳,连骑在它背上的主人也受到轻视。

这种轻视使年轻的达达尼昂(这就是这位骑着另一匹洛西南特②的堂吉诃德的姓)感到非常难堪,因为不论他是多么高明的骑手,也无法掩饰这样一匹坐骑使他显得可笑的一面。所以,当达达尼昂老爹把这匹马赏赐给他时,他一边接受,一边长嘘短叹。他心里很清楚,这样一匹马,至少要值二十利弗尔③,而随同这件赏赐给他的训示,的确堪称金玉良言。

  ①一法里约合四公里。

  ②堂吉诃德的马的名字。

  ③金法郎的古称。

"孩子,"那位加斯科尼绅士用纯粹的、连亨利四世也没能改过来的贝亚恩土话说道,"孩子,这匹马生在你老子家里,眼看就满十三个年头了,从生下来就没离开过,你应该珍爱它才是。千万别把它卖了,让它安静、体面地老死吧。假如你骑着它去打仗,一定要好生爱护它,就像爱护一位老仆人一样。到了朝廷里,"达达尼昂老爹接着说道,"如果你有幸进朝廷的话,其实,你古老的贵族出身赋予了你享受这种荣耀的权利。到了朝廷,你决不要辱没自己的绅士姓氏;这个姓氏,你的列祖列宗高贵地保持了五百年。这可是为了你和你的亲人啊。我说你的亲人,就是指你的双亲和你的朋友。你只能听命于红衣主教和国王。如今,一个绅士要想平步青云,全凭自己的勇气,听明白了没有?全凭自己的勇气。你在一刹那间畏首畏尾,很可能就错过了幸运之神在这刹那间送给你的机遇。你年纪轻轻,从两条理由讲你都应当勇敢无畏:第一你是加斯科尼人;第二你是我儿子。不要错过时机,要敢于冒险。我教会了你击剑,你两腿很有劲,手腕子很有力,一有机会就应该大打出手;如今禁止决斗,要打架更需有双倍的勇气。孩儿,我所能给你的,只有十五埃居、我这匹马和你刚才听到的这番忠告。你母亲还要告诉你一种药膏的秘方,那是她从一个吉卜赛女人那里学来的,凡是不触及心脏的伤口,抹那种药膏有奇效。你要事事争先,快快活活地生活,长命百岁。除了这些,我只还有一句话要补充:我建议你效法一个榜样。这个榜样不是我,我从来没有在朝里做过事,只是早年随义勇军参加过宗教战争;我想说的是德•特雷维尔先生。他从前是我的邻居,小时候有幸经常与我们的国王路易十三一块玩耍。愿上帝保佑国王!有时,他们玩着玩着就打起来,而一打起架来,国王并非总是最强者。他没少挨揍,而这反而使他对德•特雷维尔先生颇产生了一些敬重和友情。特雷维尔呢,后来头一次到巴黎旅行就与别人决斗过五次;从老王过世到储王成年亲政期间,他除了参加打仗和攻城,又与别人决斗过七次;而从当今国王登基到现在,他可能又决斗过上百次!所以,尽管有法令,有谕旨,有禁止决斗的规定,他却当上了火枪队的队长,即国王非常倚重的禁军的首领。这支禁军,连红衣主教也惧怕三分,虽然谁都知道,红衣主教是什么也不怕的。特雷维尔先生每年挣一万埃居,算得上一个很大的爵爷啦,可是他当初也与你一样。你带上这封信去拜见他吧,应该以他为榜样,像他一样飞黄腾达。"

达达尼昂老爹说完这番话,就把自己的剑给儿子佩上,深情地亲了亲他的双颊,并为他祝福。

小伙子出了父亲的房间就去找母亲。母亲手里拿着那个神妙的药方,正等着他。正如我们刚才说过的,这个药方以后该会经常使用。母子之间的话别,比父子之间的话别更长久,更充满柔情。这倒不是说达达尼昂老爹不管自己的儿子,不爱这根独苗苗,而是只为他是男子汉,感情上缠缠绵绵,算得上什么男子汉!达达尼昂太太则不同,她是女人,又是母亲,所以一个劲地哭。至于小达达尼昂,倒也值得称道,他想到以后要当火枪手,便竭力表现得意志坚强,不过最终还是让天性占了上风,流了不少眼泪,只是尽力忍着,才忍住了一半。

小伙子当天就上路了,带着父亲的三件赏赐。正如我们在前面所说的,这三件赏赐就是十五埃居、一匹马和一封给德•特雷维尔先生的信;此外当然还有种种嘱咐,这是大家都想得到的。

随身带着这些东西,达达尼昂彻头彻尾活脱脱就是塞万提斯笔下那个主人公,我们刚才本着历史学家的职责为他描绘小照时,已经恰如其分地把他比作那个主人公。堂吉诃德把风车当成巨人,把羊群当成军队,达达尼昂则把每一个微笑当成侮辱,把每一个眼神当成挑衅。正因为如此,他从塔布走到默恩镇,两个拳头一直攥得紧紧的,两只手每天十来次去握剑柄,只不过他的拳头没有揍人,那柄剑也没有出鞘。行人们见到那匹黄矮马的倒霉样子,都禁不住想笑,可是一瞧见黄矮马上面响着一柄长得吓人的剑,瞧见剑上面又闪烁着两道凶狠多于傲慢的目光,便都忍住不敢笑了;万一笑的欲望压倒了谨慎心理,也只是半边脸露出笑容,像古代的面具一样。就这样,一直走到倒霉的默恩镇,达达尼昂始终保持着尊严和敏感。

可是,进了默恩镇,他在诚实磨坊主客店前面准备下马的时候,却不见任何人,既不见店主,也不见茶房或马夫前来替他抓住马镫,只见楼下一个半开的窗口站着一位绅士,体态匀称,神情高傲,微微皱着眉头,正在与另外两个人说话,那两个人毕恭毕敬地听着。达达尼昂自然习惯地以为那三个人议论的就是他,便侧耳细听。这回他只误会了一半:那三个人议论的不是他本人,而是他的马。那位绅士似乎正在列举达达尼昂这匹马的种种品质,另外两个人正如我刚才所讲的,完全是一副洗耳恭听的样子,不时哈哈大笑。既然一丝微笑都足以惹得我们这个年轻人会大动肝火,那么这样哈哈大笑对他会产生什么影响,便可想而知了。

然而,达达尼昂想先看清楚,那个讥讽他的毫无礼貌的家伙是副什么模样,便用傲慢的目光盯住那个陌生人,发现他介于四十至四十五岁之间,黑溜溜的眼睛,目光犀利,脸色苍白,鼻子高高的,黝黑的胡子修剪得很整齐;穿着紫色紧身短上衣、紫色短裤,裤腿系着紫色细带子,浑身上下除了露出衬衣的袖衩之外,没有任何装饰;紧身短上衣和短裤虽然是新的,但全都皱巴巴,像在箱子底压久了的旅行服。这一切,达达尼昂是以最细心的观察者那种迅捷的目光观察到的,大概本能的感觉告诉他,这个人将会对他未来的生活产生巨大的影响。

然而,当达达尼昂两眼盯住穿紫色短上衣的绅士时,那位绅士正对他那匹贝亚恩矮马发表极为精彩而深刻的议论,另外两个人听了大笑不止,绅士本人呢,显然一反常态,脸上掠过一丝淡淡的微笑。这一回确凿无疑了,达达尼昂觉得真是受到了侮辱。他确信对方是在讥笑他,便把帽子往眼睛上面一拉,模仿路过加斯科尼的某些贵族老爷摆出的官架子,一手压住剑柄的护手,一手叉腰,朝他们走过去。不幸的是,他越朝前走,怒火越旺,竟至完全丧失了理智,把想好的傲慢而庄严的挑衅话忘到了脑后,怒气冲冲地用手朝人家一指,嘴里吐出的完全是一个莽汉的语言:

"喂!先生,"他嚷道,"窗板后面的那位先生!不错,我喊的就是您!您在笑什么?说说看,好让我们来一快儿笑!"

那位绅士慢慢地把目光从坐骑移到骑士身上,仿佛一时还没明白这种奇怪的指责是针对他的,等到终于明白过来之后,他略略皱一下眉头,又停顿了相当长时间,才用一种难以形容的讥讽、傲慢的口气说道:

"先生,我并没有和您说话。"

"我吗,可是在和您说话!"。小伙子被这种既傲慢又优雅,既礼貌又蔑视的态度激怒了,这样说道。

陌生人脸上挂着淡淡的微笑,又打量达达尼昂一会儿,然后离开窗口,走出客店,来到与他相距两步远的地方,站在马的对面。另外两个人始终留在窗口,看见陌生人那副从容不迫而又蔑视讥讽的态度,笑得更厉害了。

达达尼昂见他朝自己走过来,便把剑从鞘里拔出一尺光景。

"这匹马的确是,或者更确切地讲,它年轻的时候的确是一朵金色的毛莨花,"陌生人继续对窗口的两个人发表已经开始的议论,似乎根本没有注意到达达尼昂怒不可遏的样子,虽然达达尼昂站在他和那两个人之间。"这种颜色在植物界很常见,不过这种颜色的马,至今很少见。"

"笑马者未必有胆量笑马的主人吧!"特雷维尔先生的效仿者怒气冲冲地说道。

"本人不常笑,先生,"陌生人答道,"这从我的表情您自己可以看得出来,不过,在老子高兴的时候,这笑的特权我是要保留的。"

"可是,老子不愿意别人在我不高兴的时候笑!"达达尼昂嚷道。

"真的吗,先生?"陌生人问道,显得异乎寻常地平静,"好啊,这太合乎情理啦。"说完他一转身,准备从大门回到屋里去。达达尼昂到达的时候,就看见门洞里停着一匹上了鞍子的马。

达达尼昂的性格,岂能放过一个如此无礼嘲笑自己的家伙!他嗖的一声从鞘里把整个剑拔出来,追上去喊道:"转过身来,那位嘲笑人的先生,给我转过身来,我不想从背后给您一剑。"

"给我一剑!"那人转过身,吃惊而又轻蔑地打量着这个年轻人,说道,"啊哈,亲爱的,得了吧,您莫不是疯了!"

接着,他又自言自语般低声说道:

"真遗憾,本来倒是块好料子。国王陛下正派人四处寻找,招募火枪手哩!"

他的话还没落音,达达尼昂就愤怒地一剑刺了过去。他要不是赶紧往后一跳,这辈子恐怕就是最后一回取笑人了。陌生人见事情已经越出唇舌相讥的界限,便也拔出剑,向对手施了施礼,认真地摆出了防卫的姿势。而正在这时,他那两个听众随同店主,挥舞着棍棒、铲子和火钳,劈头盖脸朝达达尼昂打将过去。这突如其来的进攻,立刻把达达尼昂完全牵制住了,使他不得不回转身,对付这雨点般的打击,而他的对手准确地把剑插回了剑鞘,从没有当成的战斗者,变成了战斗的旁观者,不动声色地在一旁观看,一边嘴里咕噜道:

"加斯科尼人真该死!把他扔回到那匹枯黄色的马背上,叫他滚蛋!"

"不宰了你老子才不会走呢,孬种!"达达尼昂一边嚷着,一边尽力抵抗,并没有在三个围攻上来的敌人面前后退一步。

"还是一副加斯科尼人的牛脾气。"绅士嘟囔道,"我敢肯定,这些加斯科尼人的本性是改不了啦!既然他非要这样不可,你们就继续让他这样蹦蹦跳跳,等他跳累了,就会说够了的。"

不过,陌生人不知道他面对的这个人多么倔强。达达尼昂是条绝不会求饶的汉子。因此,战斗又继续了一会儿。终于,达达尼昂筋疲力尽了,手里的剑被对方一棍击断为两截,他只好扔了。另一棍击伤了他的前额,他立刻摔倒在地上,鲜血淋漓,几乎失去了知觉。

就是在这时,镇上的人才从四面八方向出事的地点跑来。店主怕发生丑闻,便叫几个茶房帮忙,把受伤者抬进厨房,稍事包扎。

那位绅士回到了他刚才所站的窗口,带着不耐烦的神情,望着黑压压的人群。这人群待在那里,似乎使他感到非常不痛快。

"喂!那个浑小子怎么样啦?"他听见门吱呀一声开了,便转过头,对出来向他问安的店主问道。

"阁下安然无恙吧?"店主问道。

"是的,绝对安然无恙,亲爱的店主。我问您咱们那个年轻人怎么样了。"

"好些啦。"店主答道,"刚才他完全昏过去了。"

"真的吗?"绅士问道。

"不过,在昏过去之前,他使出吃奶的力气拼命喊您,一边喊一边向您挑衅。"

"这家伙莫非是魔鬼的化身吗?"陌生人大声说道。

"啊!不,大人,他不是魔鬼。"店主轻蔑地做了做鬼脸说道,"因为在他昏迷不醒的时候,我们搜了他身上。他的行囊里只有一件衬衣,钱包里只有十一埃居。在昏过去的时候,他却夸海口说:这种事如果发生在巴黎,你们会立刻后悔莫及的;

在这里,你们只不过晚一点后悔罢了。"

"那么,"陌生人冷冷地说,"他莫非是个乔装改扮的王子?"

"我对您说这些,老爷,"店主接着说道,"是要您提高警惕。"

"他发火的时候提到什么人的姓名没有?"

"提到的。他拍着口袋说:等特雷维尔先生知道有人如此侮辱他所保护的人,看他会怎样收拾你们!"

"特雷维尔先生?"店主的话引起了陌生人注意,"他拍着口袋提到特雷维尔先生的姓名?……啊,亲爱的店主,在您那个小伙子晕过去的时候,我可以肯定,您不会不看看他的口袋的。那里面有什么东西?"

"有一封给火枪队队长特雷维尔先生的信。"

"真有这事?"

"我所禀报的半句不假,老爷。"

店主不是一个很善于察言观色的人,没有注意到陌生人听到这些话之后,脸上表情的变化。陌生人一直将胳膊肘搁在窗台上,这时离开了那里,不安地皱起眉头。

"见鬼!"他自言自语地咕噜道,"特雷维尔居然派了这个加斯科尼人来刺杀我?他还乳臭未干呢!不过刺一剑总是一剑,不论行刺者多大年纪,况且,一个孩子比起其他人,不大会引起警觉。有时,一个小的障碍足以使一项伟大的计划受阻。"

陌生人陷入了沉思,过了几分钟才说道:

"喂,店主,您不能帮助我摆脱这个疯子吗?出于良心,我不能宰了他。可是,"他现出冷酷、威胁的表情继续说,"可是,他碍我的事。他现在在什么地方?"

"在楼上我太太房间里。正在给他包扎。"

"他的衣服和那个口袋可还在身上?他没有脱下紧身短上衣吧?"

"全脱下啦,都放在楼下厨房里哩。既然这个小疯子碍您的事……"

"可能碍我的事。他在您的客店里胡闹,正直的人都不能容忍。您上去给我结账吧,并且通知我的跟班。"

"怎么!先生这就要离开敝店了?"

"这您很清楚,既然我早已吩咐您给我备马。难道没有按照我的吩咐去做?"

"哪能呢,大人您不是看见,马已备好在门洞里,说走就可以走了?"

"好。您就照我说的去办。"

"是。"店主答应着,但心里嘀咕道:"他莫非害怕那个小青年?"

但陌生人威严地瞪他一眼,使他再也不敢多想,谦卑地行个礼,退了下去。

"不能让米拉迪给这个怪家伙看见。"陌生人想道,"米拉迪马上就要经过这里,她甚至已经误了时间。显然,我最好是骑马迎头去找她……要是能知道那封给特雷维尔先生的信的内容就好了。"

陌生人独自嘀咕着向厨房走去。

店主深信不疑,是小青年的到来把陌生人从他的客店里赶走的。这时,他到了楼上太太的房里,发现达达尼昂终于苏醒过来了。于是,他提醒达达尼昂,由于他刚才向一位大爵爷寻衅——据店主的看法,陌生人肯定是一位大爵爷——,警察可能会来找他的麻烦。他可不管达达尼昂身体还很虚弱,硬是劝他起来,去赶他的路。达达尼昂神志还没有完全清醒,身上没有了短上衣,头上缠着许多绷带,就这么爬了起来,由店主推着往楼下走去。走到厨房门口,他第一眼看到的就是那个向他寻衅的家伙,正站在一辆笨重的马车的踏脚板上,平静地与人交谈;那辆马车套了两匹膘肥体壮的诺曼底马。

与陌生人交谈的是个女人,头从车门里露出来,看上去二十至二十二岁光景。我们已经提到过,达达尼昂能如何迅速地观察一个人的容貌。他头一眼就看出,那女人既年轻又漂亮。然而,这女人的美貌令他吃惊,因为在他有生以来居住的南方地区,压根儿就没见到过如此漂亮的女人。这女人脸色苍白,金色的长发鬈曲地披在肩头,一对大眼睛现出忧郁的神色,嘴唇粉红,两手雪白。她正兴奋地与陌生人交谈。

"所以,红衣主教阁下吩咐我……"车子里的女人说道。

"……立刻返回英国,如果公爵离开了伦敦,就直接通知他。"

"那么,给我的其他指示呢?"漂亮的女旅客问道。

"全都封在这个匣子里,您过了拉芒什海峡再打开。"

"很好。您打算干什么呢?"

"我吗,回巴黎。"

"不惩罚一下那个无礼的小子?"

陌生人正要回答,但嘴刚张开,一切全听到了的达达尼昂,已经冲到门口嚷道:

"是那个无礼的小子要来惩罚你们。我希望,这回他要惩罚的家伙,不会像头一回那样逃出他的手掌心了。"

"不会像头一回那样逃出你的手掌心?"陌生人眉头一皱说道。

"是的,当着一个女人的面,我料你也没有脸逃走。"

"三思而行。"米拉迪见绅士伸手拔剑,忙劝阻道,"可要三思而行,稍稍耽搁都可能满盘皆输。"

"言之有理。"绅士大声说道,"您赶您的路吧,我赶我的。"

他向米拉迪点头告别,随即飞身上马,而马车上的车夫也挥鞭抽打牲口。两个交谈的人沿着大街,朝相反的方向飞驰而去。

"喂!您的账!"店主高声喊道。他见这位房客连账也不付就走了,心里对他的好感顿时变成了蔑视。

"给他钱呀,蠢货!"那位旅客马不停蹄地对自己的跟班喊道。跟班掏出两三枚银币往店主脚边一扔,也打马跟着主人飞奔而去。

"哈!胆小鬼。哈!无耻之徒。哈!冒牌绅士。"达达尼昂追在那跟班后面骂道。

但是他受了伤,身体还很虚弱,经受不了折腾,跑了不到十步,耳朵里嗡嗡作响,只觉得天旋地转,眼前一黑,便一头裁倒在地上,嘴里还在骂着:

"胆小鬼!胆小鬼!胆小鬼!"

"他的确是个胆小鬼。"店主低声说着走到达达尼昂身边,试图以这种讨好的方式与可怜的小伙子和解,就像寓言里的鹭鸶傍晚时分对待蜗牛一样①。

  ①拉封丹寓言:鹭鸶感到饿了,但不屑吃鲤鱼等,熬到傍晚时分,不得不连蜗牛也吃。

"对,真是个胆小鬼。"达达尼昂喃喃道,"可是她,真漂亮啊!"

"她,谁?"店主问道。

"米拉迪啊。"达达尼昂含糊不清地说道。

说完,他第二次晕了过去。

"反正不亏,"店主嘀咕道,"我失去了两个房客,但这一位留下了,可以肯定他至少要呆上几天。十一埃居还是可以赚到手的。"

我们已经知道,十一埃居恰好是达达尼昂钱袋子里的数目。

店主盘算:达达尼昂要留在店里养十一天伤,每天一埃居。不过,这是他的盘算,并没有问过旅客。第二天清晨五点钟,达达尼昂就起了床,自己下到厨房里,要了点葡萄酒、橄榄油和迷迭香,还照方子要了几样我们不得而知的东西,随后一手捏着母亲给他的方子,照着配制了一剂药膏,接着把药膏抹在遍体的伤口上,又自己换了纱布和绷带。大概因为这种药真有效,抑或因为没有医生,傍晚时分,达达尼昂就行走自如,第二天就差不多痊愈了。

他遵守绝对禁食疗法,所以唯一的花销,就是那点迷迭香、橄榄油和葡萄酒钱,可是照老板的说法,他那匹黄马所吃的草料,足比按它的个头估计的数量多三倍。达达尼昂付账时,只找到那只磨损的丝绒钱袋子和里面的十一埃居,至于那封准备交给德•特雷维尔先生的信,则不见了踪影。

小伙子开始很有耐心地找那封信,一次又一次把身上大大小小的口袋翻过来翻过去,又在行囊里反复翻寻,把钱袋子打开又收拢。最后,他确信那封信再也找不到了,就第三次暴跳如雷,差点又要用一剂药膏,因为客店里的人见这位脾气暴躁的年轻人失去了理智,扬言如果不把那封信找出来,就要捣毁整个客店,老板已经绰起一枝长矛,老板娘拿起了一个笤帚把,茶房们也都绰起了先天用过的棍棒。

"我的推荐信!"达达尼昂嚷道,"我的推荐信,他妈的快给我找出来!否则,我把你们像穿雪鹀一样用铁扦子穿起来!"

遗憾的是,情况根本不允许小伙子把他的威胁付诸实践,因为正如我们前面交代过的,他的剑在头一次交手中已经断成两截。这一点他早已忘得一干二净,所以他伸手去拔剑,可是拔出来捏在手里的,仅仅是一截十来寸长的断剑。那是店主仔细地插在剑鞘里的,至于另一截子,已被厨房里手捷眼快的领班师傅拿去,改制成了剔肥膘的尖刀。

达达尼昂大为失望。然而要不是店主想到他的要求十分合理,这失望大概也不会使我们这位狂怒的年轻人住手。

"对呀,"店主不再把长矛对着达达尼昂,"那封信哪里去了呢?"

"就是嘛,信哪里去了呢?"达达尼昂嚷道,"首先,我告诉您,那封信是写给特雷维尔先生的,非找到不可,要是找不到,特雷维尔先生准会打发人来找的!"

这一威胁终于把店主镇住了。除了国王和红衣主教,特雷维尔这个名字是军人,甚至平民最常提到的。固然还有红衣主教的亲信、被世人称为灰衣主教的若瑟夫神甫,不过人们提到他的名字时总是悄悄的,因为他引起极大的恐怖。

于是,店主把手里的长矛扔得远远的,而且叫妻子扔掉笤帚把,叫茶房们扔掉棍棒,接着便身先士卒,亲自开始寻找那封不见了的信。

"那封信里是不是装有什么珍贵的东西?"店主一无所获地找了一阵之后问道。

"那还用说!当然装了珍贵东西。"加斯科尼人本来指望靠这封信去飞黄腾达的,所以信口说,"里面装着我的全部财产。"

"可是储蓄银行的存票?"老板不安地问道。

"国王特别金库的存票。"达达尼昂指望靠那封推荐信去谋求给国王当差的,所以并不觉得这样回答是说假话。

"见鬼了!"店主完全绝望了。

"不过关系不大,"达达尼昂以法兰西人特有的镇定态度说道,"关系不大,钱算不了什么,要紧的是那封信。我宁愿丢掉一千比斯托尔①,也不愿丢掉那封信。"

  ①法国古币名,相当于十利弗尔。

他就是说宁愿丢掉两万比斯托尔,也不会冒什么风险。不过,一种青年人的廉耻心使他没有那么说。

信找不到,店主急得像热锅上的蚂蚁。突然他眼前一亮,大声说道:

"那封信没丢。"

"噢?"达达尼昂这么说了一声。

"没丢,是有人拿走了。"

"拿走了?谁拿走了?"

"昨天那位绅士。他下楼去过厨房,而你的短上衣当时搁在那里。他一个人呆在厨房里,我敢担保是他拿走了。"

"您相信是他?"达达尼昂问道。他不大相信店主的话,因为他比谁都清楚,那封信仅仅对他个人来说挺重要,他看不出别人有什么理由想得到它。事实上,在场的所有仆人和房客,谁得到那封信也没有用处。

"您说您怀疑那位放肆无理的绅士?"达达尼昂又问道。

"我对您说我可以肯定。当我告诉他,老爷您是受德•特雷维尔先生保护的,您甚至有给这位赫赫有名的绅士的一封信,他听了显得很不安,问那封信在什么地方。他知道您的短上衣放在厨房里,便立刻下楼去那里了。"

"那么,这家伙是偷我的东西的贼了,"达达尼昂说道,"我一定到特雷维尔先生那里去告他。特雷维尔先生一定会到国王面前参他一本。"说罢,他挺神气地从口袋里掏出两埃居,给了店主。店主慌忙摘下帽子拿在手里,把他送到大门口。达达尼昂又跨上黄马,一路平安无事到了巴黎圣安端纳门。在那里,他把黄马卖了三埃居。这价钱相当不错,因为在最后阶段,他过度驱使了那匹马。马贩子拿出九利弗尔,达达尼昂便把马卖给了他。马一到手,马贩子毫不隐讳地告诉达达尼昂,他之所以出这么高的价,是因为这匹马的毛色挺稀罕。

这样,达达尼昂只好步行进巴黎城,腋下夹着小小的行囊,走了好多路,才找到一间他口袋里那点钱能租得起的房子。那是一间顶楼的房子,位于卢森堡公园附近的掘墓人街。

交过定金,达达尼昂就住进了那个房间,利用白天剩余的时间,把随身带的绦子缝在自己的紧身短上衣和紧身长裤上。那些绦子,是他母亲从他父亲一件几乎崭新的紧身短上衣上面拆下来的,悄悄地塞给了他。缝完绦子,他走到沿河铁器街,配了剑身,然后折回来走到罗浮宫,向遇到的头一个火枪手打听特雷维尔先生的官邸在什么地方。特雷维尔先生的官邸位于老鸽棚街,恰好与达达尼昂所租的那个房间相距不远。他把这一点视为预示此行成功的好兆头。

而后,他怀着对在默恩镇的行为感到满意,对过去毫不后悔,对现在满怀信心,对未来充满希望的心情,上床安歇,很快就像好汉一样睡着了。

他还是像乡下人一样,一觉睡到早晨九点钟才起床,准备去拜访大名鼎鼎的特雷维尔先生。照他父亲的说法,特雷维尔先生是王国的第三号人物。




Chapter 2 THE ANTECHAMBER OF M. DE TREVILLE

M de Troisville, as his family was still called in Gascony, or M. de Treville, as he has ended by styling himself in Paris, had really commenced life as d'Artagnan now did; that is to say, without a sou in his pocket, but with a fund of audacity, shrewdness, and intelligence which makes the poorest Gascon gentleman often derive more in his hope from the paternal inheritance than the richest Perigordian or Berrichan gentleman derives in reality from his. His insolent bravery, his still more insolent success at a time when blows poured down like hail, had borne him to the top of that difficult ladder called Court Favor, which he had climbed four steps at a time.

He was the friend of the king, who honored highly, as everyone knows, the memory of his father, Henry IV. The father of M. de Treville had served him so faithfully in his wars against the league that in default of money--a thing to which the Bearnais was accustomed all his life, and who constantly paid his debts with that of which he never stood in need of borrowing, that is to say, with ready wit--in default of money, we repeat, he authorized him, after the reduction of Paris, to assume for his arms a golden lion passant upon gules, with the motto FIDELIS ET FORTIS. This was a great matter in the way of honor, but very little in the way of wealth; so that when the illustrious companion of the great Henry died, the only inheritance he was able to leave his son was his sword and his motto. Thanks to this double gift and the spotless name that accompanied it, M. de Treville was admitted into the household of the young prince where he made such good use of his sword, and was so faithful to his motto, that Louis XIII, one of the good blades of his kingdom, was accustomed to say that if he had a friend who was about to fight, he would advise him to choose as a second, himself first, and Treville next--or even, perhaps, before himself.

Thus Louis XIII had a real liking for Treville--a royal liking, a self-interested liking, it is true, but still a liking. At that unhappy period it was an important consideration to be surrounded by such men as Treville. Many might take for their device the epithet STRONG, which formed the second part of his motto, but very few gentlemen could lay claim to the FAITHFUL, which constituted the first. Treville was one of these latter. His was one of those rare organizations, endowed with an obedient intelligence like that of the dog; with a blind valor, a quick eye, and a prompt hand; to whom sight appeared only to be given to see if the king were dissatisfied with anyone, and the hand to strike this displeasing personage, whether a Besme, a Maurevers, a Poltiot de Mere, or a Vitry. In short, up to this period nothing had been wanting to Treville but opportunity; but he was ever on the watch for it, and he faithfully promised himself that he would not fail to seize it by its three hairs whenever it came within reach of his hand. At last Louis XIII made Treville the captain of his Musketeers, who were to Louis XIII in devotedness, or rather in fanaticism, what his Ordinaries had been to Henry III, and his Scotch Guard to Louis XI.

On his part, the cardinal was not behind the king in this respect. When he saw the formidable and chosen body with which Louis XIII had surrounded himself, this second, or rather this first king of France, became desirous that he, too, should have his guard. He had his Musketeers therefore, as Louis XIII had his, and these two powerful rivals vied with each other in procuring, not only from all the provinces of France, but even from all foreign states, the most celebrated swordsmen. It was not uncommon for Richelieu and Louis XIII to dispute over their evening game of chess upon the merits of their servants. Each boasted the bearing and the courage of his own people. While exclaiming loudly against duels and brawls, they excited them secretly to quarrel, deriving an immoderate satisfaction or genuine regret from the success or defeat of their own combatants. We learn this from the memoirs of a man who was concerned in some few of these defeats and in many of these victories.

Treville had grasped the weak side of his master; and it was to this address that he owed the long and constant favor of a king who has not left the reputation behind him of being very faithful in his friendships. He paraded his Musketeers before the Cardinal Armand Duplessis with an insolent air which made the gray moustache of his Eminence curl with ire. Treville understood admirably the war method of that period, in which he who could not live at the expense of the enemy must live at the expense of his compatriots. His soldiers formed a legion of devil-may-care fellows, perfectly undisciplined toward all but himself.

Loose, half-drunk, imposing, the king's Musketeers, or rather M. de Treville's, spread themselves about in the cabarets, in the public walks, and the public sports, shouting, twisting their mustaches, clanking their swords, and taking great pleasure in annoying the Guards of the cardinal whenever they could fall in with them; then drawing in the open streets, as if it were the best of all possible sports; sometimes killed, but sure in that case to be both wept and avenged; often killing others, but then certain of not rotting in prison, M. de Treville being there to claim them. Thus M. de Treville was praised to the highest note by these men, who adored him, and who, ruffians as they were, trembled before him like scholars before their master, obedient to his least word, and ready to sacrifice themselves to wash out the smallest insult.

M de Treville employed this powerful weapon for the king, in the first place, and the friends of the king--and then for himself and his own friends. For the rest, in the memoirs of this period, which has left so many memoirs, one does not find this worthy gentleman blamed even by his enemies; and he had many such among men of the pen as well as among men of the sword. In no instance, let us say, was this worthy gentleman accused of deriving personal advantage from the cooperation of his minions. Endowed with a rare genius for intrigue which rendered him the equal of the ablest intriguers, he remained an honest man. Still further, in spite of sword thrusts which weaken, and painful exercises which fatigue, he had become one of the most gallant frequenters of revels, one of the most insinuating lady's men, one of the softest whisperers of interesting nothings of his day; the BONNES FORTUNES of de Treville were talked of as those of M. de Bassompierre had been talked of twenty years before, and that was not saying a little. The captain of the Musketeers was therefore admired, feared, and loved; and this constitutes the zenith of human fortune.

Louis XIV absorbed all the smaller stars of his court in his own vast radiance; but his father, a sun PLURIBUS IMPAR, left his personal splendor to each of his favorites, his individual value to each of his courtiers. In addition to the leeves of the king and the cardinal, there might be reckoned in Paris at that time more than two hundred smaller but still noteworthy leeves. Among these two hundred leeves, that of Treville was one of the most sought.

The court of his hotel, situated in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier, resembled a camp from by six o'clock in the morning in summer and eight o'clock in winter. From fifty to sixty Musketeers, who appeared to replace one another in order always to present an imposing number, paraded constantly, armed to the teeth and ready for anything. On one of those immense staircases, upon whose space modern civilization would build a whole house, ascended and descended the office seekers of Paris, who ran after any sort of favor--gentlemen from the provinces anxious to be enrolled, and servants in all sorts of liveries, bringing and carrying messages between their masters and M. de Treville. In the antechamber, upon long circular benches, reposed the elect; that is to say, those who were called. In this apartment a continued buzzing prevailed from morning till night, while M. de Treville, in his office contiguous to this antechamber, received visits, listened to complaints, gave his orders, and like the king in his balcony at the Louvre, had only to place himself at the window to review both his men and arms.

The day on which d'Artagnan presented himself the assemblage was imposing, particularly for a provincial just arriving from his province. It is true that this provincial was a Gascon; and that, particularly at this period, the compatriots of d'Artagnan had the reputation of not being easily intimidated. When he had once passed the massive door covered with long square-headed nails, he fell into the midst of a troop of swordsmen, who crossed one another in their passage, calling out, quarreling, and playing tricks one with another. In order to make one's way amid these turbulent and conflicting waves, it was necessary to be an officer, a great noble, or a pretty woman.

It was, then, into the midst of this tumult and disorder that our young man advanced with a beating heat, ranging his long rapier up his lanky leg, and keeping one hand on the edge of his cap, with that half-smile of the embarrassed a provincial who wishes to put on a good face. When he had passed one group he began to breathe more freely; but he could not help observing that they turned round to look at him, and for the first time in his life d'Artagnan, who had till that day entertained a very good opinion of himself, felt ridiculous.

Arrived at the staircase, it was still worse. There were four Musketeers on the bottom steps, amusing themselves with the following exercise, while ten or twelve of their comrades waited upon the landing place to take their turn in the sport.

One of them, stationed upon the top stair, naked sword in hand, prevented, or at least endeavored to prevent, the three others from ascending.

These three others fenced against him with their agile swords.

D'Artagnan at first took these weapons for foils, and believed them to be buttoned; but he soon perceived by certain scratches that every weapon was pointed and sharpened, and that at each of these scratches not only the spectators, but even the actors themselves, laughed like so many madmen.

He who at the moment occupied the upper step kept his adversaries marvelously in check. A circle was formed around them. The conditions required that at every hit the man touched should quit the game, yielding his turn for the benefit of the adversary who had hit him. In five minutes three were slightly wounded, one on the hand, another on the ear, by the defender of the stair, who himself remained intact--a piece of skill which was worth to him, according to the rules agreed upon, three turns of favor.

However difficult it might be, or rather as he pretended it was, to astonish our young traveler, this pastime really astonished him. He had seen in his province--that land in which heads become so easily heated--a few of the preliminaries of duels; but the daring of these four fencers appeared to him the strongest he had ever heard of even in Gascony. He believed himself transported into that famous country of giants into which Gulliver afterward went and was so frightened; and yet he had not gained the goal, for there were still the landing place and the antechamber.

On the landing they were no longer fighting, but amused themselves with stories about women, and in the antechamber, with stories about the court. On the landing d'Artagnan blushed; in the antechamber he trembled. His warm and fickle imagination, which in Gascony had rendered formidable to young chambermaids, and even sometimes their mistresses, had never dreamed, even in moments of delirium, of half the amorous wonders or a quarter of the feats of gallantry which were here set forth in connection with names the best known and with details the least concealed. But if his morals were shocked on the landing, his respect for the cardinal was scandalized in the antechamber. There, to his great astonishment, d'Artagnan heard the policy which made all Europe tremble criticized aloud and openly, as well as the private life of the cardinal, which so many great nobles had been punished for trying to pry into. That great man who was so revered by d'Artagnan the elder served as an object of ridicule to the Musketeers of Treville, who cracked their jokes upon his bandy legs and his crooked back. Some sang ballads about Mme. d'Aguillon, his mistress, and Mme. Cambalet, his niece; while others formed parties and plans to annoy the pages and guards of the cardinal duke--all things which appeared to d'Artagnan monstrous impossibilities.

Nevertheless, when the name of the king was now and then uttered unthinkingly amid all these cardinal jests, a sort of gag seemed to close for a moment on all these jeering mouths. They looked hesitatingly around them, and appeared to doubt the thickness of the partition between them and the office of M. de Treville; but a fresh allusion soon brought back the conversation to his Eminence, and then the laughter recovered its loudness and the light was not withheld from any of his actions.

"Certes, these fellows will all either be imprisoned or hanged," thought the terrified d'Artagnan, "and I, no doubt, with them; for from the moment I have either listened to or heard them, I shall be held as an accomplice. What would my good father say, who so strongly pointed out to me the respect due to the cardinal, if he knew I was in the society of such pagans?"

We have no need, therefore, to say that d'Artagnan dared not join in the conversation, only he looked with all his eyes and listened with all his ears, stretching his five senses so as to lose nothing; and despite his confidence on the paternal admonitions, he felt himself carried by his tastes and led by his instincts to praise rather than to blame the unheard-of things which were taking place.

Although he was a perfect stranger in the court of M. de Treville's courtiers, and this his first appearance in that place, he was at length noticed, and somebody came and asked him what he wanted. At this demand d'Artagnan gave his name very modestly, emphasized the title of compatriot, and begged the servant who had put the question to him to request a moment's audience of M. de Treville--a request which the other, with an air of protection, promised to transmit in due season.

D'Artagnan, a little recovered from his first surprise, had now leisure to study costumes and physiognomy.

The center of the most animated group was a Musketeer of great height and haughty countenance, dressed in a costume so peculiar as to attract general attention. He did not wear the uniform cloak--which was not obligatory at that epoch of less liberty but more independence--but a cerulean-blue doublet, a little faded and worn, and over this a magnificent baldric, worked in gold, which shone like water ripples in the sun. A long cloak of crimson velvet fell in graceful folds from his shoulders, disclosing in front the splendid baldric, from which was suspended a gigantic rapier. This Musketeer had just come off guard, complained of having a cold, and coughed from time to time affectedly. It was for this reason, as he said to those around him, that he had put on his cloak; and while he spoke with a lofty air and twisted his mustache disdainfully, all admired his embroidered baldric, and d'Artagnan more than anyone.

"What would you have?" said the Musketeer. "This fashion is coming in. It is a folly, I admit, but still it is the fashion. Besides, one must lay out one's inheritance somehow."

"Ah, Porthos!" cried one of his companions, "don't try to make us believe you obtained that baldric by paternal generosity. It was given to you by that veiled lady I met you with the other Sunday, near the gate St. Honor."

"No, upon honor and by the faith of a gentleman, I bought it with the contents of my own purse," answered he whom they designated by the name Porthos.

"Yes; about in the same manner," said another Musketeer, "that I bought this new purse with what my mistress put into the old one."

"It's true, though," said Porthos; "and the proof is that I paid twelve pistoles for it."

The wonder was increased, though the doubt continued to exist.

"Is it not true, Aramis?" said Porthos, turning toward another Musketeer.

This other Musketeer formed a perfect contrast to his interrogator, who had just designated him by the name of Aramis. He was a stout man, of about two- or three-and-twenty, with an open, ingenuous countenance, a black, mild eye, and cheeks rosy and downy as an autumn peach. His delicate mustache marked a perfectly straight line upon his upper lip; he appeared to dread to lower his hands lest their veins should swell, and he pinched the tips of his ears from time to time to preserve their delicate pink transparency. Habitually he spoke little and slowly, bowed frequently, laughed without noise, showing his teeth, which were fine and of which, as the rest of his person, he appeared to take great care. He answered the appeal of his friend by an affirmative nod of the head.

This affirmation appeared to dispel all doubts with regard to the baldric. They continued to admire it, but said no more about it; and with a rapid change of thought, the conversation passed suddenly to another subject.

"What do you think of the story Chalais's esquire relates?" asked another Musketeer, without addressing anyone in particular, but on the contrary speaking to everybody.

"And what does he say?" asked Porthos, in a self-sufficient tone.

"He relates that he met at Brussels Rochefort, the AME DAMNEE of the cardinal disguised as a Capuchin, and that this cursed Rochefort, thanks to his disguise, had tricked Monsieur de Laigues, like a ninny as he is."

"A ninny, indeed!" said Porthos; "but is the matter certain?"

"I had it from Aramis," replied the Musketeer.

"Indeed?"

"Why, you knew it, Porthos," said Aramis. "I told you of it yesterday. Let us say no more about it."

"Say no more about it? That's YOUR opinion!" replied Porthos.

"Say no more about it! PESTE! You come to your conclusions quickly. What! The cardinal sets a spy upon a gentleman, has his letters stolen from him by means of a traitor, a brigand, a rascal-has, with the help of this spy and thanks to this correspondence, Chalais's throat cut, under the stupid pretext that he wanted to kill the king and marry Monsieur to the queen! Nobody knew a word of this enigma. You unraveled it yesterday to the great satisfaction of all; and while we are still gaping with wonder at the news, you come and tell us today, 'Let us say no more about it.'"

"Well, then, let us talk about it, since you desire it," replied Aramis, patiently.

"This Rochefort," cried Porthos, "if I were the esquire of poor Chalais, should pass a minute or two very uncomfortably with me."

"And you--you would pass rather a sad quarter-hour with the Red Duke," replied Aramis.

"Oh, the Red Duke! Bravo! Bravo! The Red Duke!" cried Porthos, clapping his hands and nodding his head. "The Red Duke is capital. I'll circulate that saying, be assured, my dear fellow. Who says this Aramis is not a wit? What a misfortune it is you did not follow your first vocation; what a delicious abbe you would have made!"

"Oh, it's only a temporary postponement," replied Aramis; "I shall be one someday. You very well know, Porthos, that I continue to study theology for that purpose."

"He will be one, as he says," cried Porthos; "he will be one, sooner or later."

"Sooner." said Aramis.

"He only waits for one thing to determine him to resume his cassock, which hangs behind his uniform," said another Musketeer.

"What is he waiting for?" asked another.

"Only till the queen has given an heir to the crown of France."

"No jesting upon that subject, gentlemen," said Porthos; "thank God the queen is still of an age to give one!"

"They say that Monsieur de Buckingham is in France," replied Aramis, with a significant smile which gave to this sentence, apparently so simple, a tolerably scandalous meaning.

"Aramis, my good friend, this time you are wrong," interrupted Porthos. "Your wit is always leading you beyond bounds; if Monsieur de Treville heard you, you would repent of speaking thus."

"Are you going to give me a lesson, Porthos?" cried Aramis, from whose usually mild eye a flash passed like lightning.

"My dear fellow, be a Musketeer or an abbe. Be one or the other, but not both," replied Porthos. "You know what Athos told you the other day; you eat at everybody's mess. Ah, don't be angry, I beg of you, that would be useless; you know what is agreed upon between you, Athos and me. You go to Madame d'Aguillon's, and you pay your court to her; you go to Madame de Bois-Tracy's, the cousin of Madame de Chevreuse, and you pass for being far advanced in the good graces of that lady. Oh, good Lord! Don't trouble yourself to reveal your good luck; no one asks for your secret-all the world knows your discretion. But since you possess that virtue, why the devil don't you make use of it with respect to her Majesty? Let whoever likes talk of the king and the cardinal, and how he likes; but the queen is sacred, and if anyone speaks of her, let it be respectfully."

"Porthos, you are as vain as Narcissus; I plainly tell you so," replied Aramis. "You know I hate moralizing, except when it is done by Athos. As to you, good sir, you wear too magnificent a baldric to be strong on that head. I will be an abbe if it suits me. In the meanwhile I am a Musketeer; in that quality I say what I please, and at this moment it pleases me to say that you weary me."

"Aramis!"

"Porthos!"

"Gentlemen! Gentlemen!" cried the surrounding group.

"Monsieur de Treville awaits Monsieur d'Artagnan," cried a servant, throwing open the door of the cabinet.

At this announcement, during which the door remained open, everyone became mute, and amid the general silence the young man crossed part of the length of the antechamber, and entered the apartment of the captain of the Musketeers, congratulating himself with all his heart at having so narrowly escaped the end of this strange quarrel.

 

第二章 特雷维尔先生的候见室

在加斯科尼,他的姓依然是特洛瓦维尔;在巴黎,他终于把自己的姓改为特雷维尔。当初,他的确是像达达尼昂一样开始自己前程的,就是说身无分文,却有着勇敢、机智、善断这种资本。这种资本使得最贫穷的加斯科尼人子弟,也比最富有的贝立古或倍黎①贵族子弟更有希望继承父辈的业绩。在打击像冰雹般袭来之时,他总表现出异乎寻常的勇气,并且总有着异乎寻常的运气,这使他在圣宠这架难以攀登的阶梯上,三脚两步就爬到了最顶点。

他是国王的朋友,而国王,谁都知道,非常尊重先王亨利四世的世交。特雷维尔的父亲,在亨利四世反对神圣联盟②的战争中,曾为之效过犬马之劳。亨利四世没有现钱——这个贝亚恩人一辈子所缺的就是现钱,他欠人家的情分,总是用他唯一不需要借贷的东西,即机智来偿还。——亨利四世缺乏现金,在巴黎受降以后,便特许特雷维尔的父亲以一头金狮子作为自己的勋徽图案,狮子嘴里衔着"忠诚无畏"四个字。这种恩赐可谓殊荣,却谈不上实惠。所以,亨利大王的这位名将仙逝之时,给儿子留下的就只有一把宝剑和这四字铭言。就是凭着这两件遗产和伴随这两件遗产的清白姓氏,特雷维尔踏进了年轻王子的府里,充分展示了自己的剑术,并且身体力行这四字铭言。路易十三乃全国击剑名手,由于特雷维尔的这种表现,他常说,如果有一位朋友要与人决斗而需要请副手,他就劝这位朋友头一个请他自己,第二个请特雷维尔,甚至头一个就请特雷维尔。

  ①贝立古和倍黎为古时法国两个省。

  ②十六世纪的法国天主教联盟。

因此,路易十三对特雷维尔的确怀有某种情谊。这种情谊自然带有帝王作风,是利己主义的,但终究不失为一种情谊。在那多事之秋,谁都想物色特雷维尔这类人作为亲信。然而,能把四字铭言的后半部分,即"无畏"二字作为座右铭者不少;能把四字铭言前半部分,即"忠诚"二字作为座右铭者却不多见。特雷维尔正是这些不多见的人中间的一个。他堪称奇才,像看家狗一样聪明而忠实,勇猛而盲从,并且手捷眼快:他的眼睛天生是观察国王对谁不满意的,他的双手天生是打击不讨国王喜欢的人的,例如贝斯蒙、摩勒韦、波尔托、维特利①那类人。总之,到当时为止,特雷维尔所缺的只是机会。他时时窥伺着,而且暗暗下了决心,一旦机会来临,一定抓住不放。因此,路易十三让他做了火枪队的队长。这火枪队对路易十三忠诚不二,更确切地说是盲目服从,就像过去常备禁军对亨利三世,苏格兰禁军对路易十一那样。

  ①这几个人是法国历史上或当时的刺客。

在这方面,红衣主教不甘心落在国王后面。这位法兰西的二号或毋宁说头号国君,目睹路易十三鞍前马后有这样一支令人生畏的精锐部队,便也想建立自己的卫队。于是,他和路易十三一样有了自己的火枪队。人们看到,这两支敌对的力量各自在法国各省,甚至在国外,选拔精干的击剑名手为自己效力。晚上,黎塞留和路易十三对弈的时候,总是各夸各的火枪队如何军容整齐,英勇善战,经常争得面红耳赤。两个人一面明令禁止决斗和在公众场合斗殴,而暗地里却煽动自己的火枪队攻击对方,打输了就心里很不痛快,打赢了就高兴万分。以上情况,至少有一个人在自己的回忆录里有所记载;这个人亲身经历过几次这样的失败和许多这样的胜利。

特雷维尔摸准了主子的弱点。正是靠这种机灵,他得到国王长久不变的宠幸,尽管这位国王并没有留下很忠实于友谊的名声。国王经常带着嘲讽的神情,在红衣主教阿尔芒•杜普莱西①面前炫耀自己的火枪队,直气得主教大人花白胡须倒竖。特雷维尔对那个时代的行伍生涯看得非常透彻:当你不能靠敌人养活自己,就得靠本国同胞来养活自己。所以,他的火枪队是一支无法无天的部队,除了在他本人面前,根本不守什么纪律。

  ①阿尔芒•杜普莱西是黎塞留的名字,黎塞留是姓。

国王的或者毋宁说特雷维尔的火枪手们,经常个个衣冠不整,酗酒胡闹,出现于各小酒店,散步的地方,公共游乐场所,在那里大呼小叫,吹胡子瞪眼,弄得佩剑当啷响,遇到红衣主教的卫士,就故意碰撞,以此为乐,还常常在大街当中拔出剑来,惹事生非。他们当中偶尔也有被杀死的,那么肯定有人为他落泪,为他报仇;他们常常杀死人,当然绝不会久蹲班房,有特雷维尔先生要求释放他们呢。所以,这些人对特雷维尔颂扬备至,交口称誉,五体投地,虽然个个都是杀人不眨眼的角色,但在特雷维尔面前,就像小学生在老师面前一样害怕得发抖,俯首贴耳听从他的每一句话,听到他的半句责备,就准备拿性命来证明自己的忠诚不二。

特雷维尔手里掌握着这支强大的力量,首先是为国王及其朋友们效劳,其次呢,也为自己和自己的朋友们谋利。不过,在那个时代留下的许许多多回忆录之中,没有一本谴责这位侍卫长,连他的敌人也没谴责他,尽管无论在文人还是在武士之中,他都树敌不少。的确,在任何一本回忆录之中,都见不到谴责这位高贵的侍卫长与部下同流合污的记载。他具有玩弄阴谋诡计的奇才,与最老奸巨猾的阴谋家不相上下,然而他始终是个正人君子。此外,尽管在击剑格斗中受过伤,又总是被辛勤的操练搞得疲劳不堪,但他仍不失为窄街小巷里最风流的嫖客,也是那个时代最精明的棋手,最风趣的闲聊者。人们都说特雷维尔走运,就像二十年前人们谈论巴松彼埃尔①一样。他的确福星高照。总之,这位火枪队队长有人敬,有人怕,有人爱。人生幸运,莫过于此。

  ①十六、七世纪法国外交界和军界的名流。

路易十四把宫廷里的所有小星宿都吸引在自己的万丈光芒之下。然而,他父亲是一轮无与伦比的太阳,把自己的光辉留给了每一位宠臣,把个人的功德留给了每一位宠妃。因此在巴黎,除了国王和红衣主教这两轮太阳之外,还有两百多座不平凡的小星宿,其中特雷维尔这座星宿,属于最引人注目者之一。

特雷维尔的官邸位于老鸽棚街。夏天从早晨六点钟,冬天从早晨八点钟起,他的官邸的院子就像一个营地。五十六个火枪手,仿佛轮流在院子里走来走去似的,人数显得十分可观,个个全副武装,准备应付一切事变。院子里有几座宽大的石阶,其占地面积之大,按照现代文明,足可以建筑整整一座房子。在这些石阶之中,有一座不断有人上上下下,其中有跑来请求恩典的巴黎人,有渴望加入火枪队的外省绅士,也有穿各种颜色制服的跟班,被主人派来给特雷维尔先生送信。候见室里摆成一圈的长凳上,坐着被选中的人,即被允许进来接受召见的人。这里从早到晚一片窃窃私语,而特雷维尔先生则在隔壁的办公室里接见来访者,听取控告,发布命令。他只要走到窗口,就可以检阅他的部下及其装备,就像国王在罗浮宫的露台上检阅一样。

达达尼昂前来拜见特雷维尔那天,院子里人数众多,在一个初来乍到的外省人眼里,可谓气象森严,尽管这个外省人是加斯科尼人,而在那个时代,达达尼昂的同乡人以无所畏惧而著称。事实上,一跨进钉满方头长钉的厚实大门,就撞上了一群军人,他们散开在院子里,大呼小叫,你争我吵,相互打闹。要想从这批像翻滚的旋涡般的人之间走过去,除非你是当官的,是贵族老爷或漂亮女人。

我们的年轻人正是从这群乱纷纷、吵嚷嚷的人中间穿过去,心怦怦直跳,一只手握住贴在瘦腿上的长剑,另一只手抓住帽檐,脸上微露笑容,恰如一个发窘的乡下人,尽量保持泰然自若的样子。越过几个呆在一起的人之后,他感到呼吸自由了些,不过他知道人家都在回头打量他。直到这天为止,达达尼昂一直觉得自己不错,这时他却有生以来头一回感到自己显得可笑。

到了台阶跟前,情况更糟:在最下面的几级石阶上,有四个火枪手正在轮流斗剑闹着玩,而他们的十一二个同伴在台阶顶上等候轮到自己。

四个人之中,有一个抢占了上面一级石阶,手里握着出鞘的剑,拦住或试图拦住其他三个人,不让他们往上跑。

下面的三个人灵活地挥剑攻击。达达尼昂起初以为他们使用的是练习用的花剑,即剑尖是一个花式圆球,但不久他发现斗剑者身上划出了口子,这才明白他们所使用的都是锋利的真家伙。每当有人身上划出一道伤口,不仅旁观者,连几个击剑手也都狂笑不止。

占据上一级石阶的那个人身手不凡,使三个对手不敢轻易往上攻。大家围着观看。这种比剑的条件规定,凡是被刺中了的人,立刻出局,并且失去了谒见队长的机会,而让击中他的人去。交锋才五分钟,另外三个人就都被划破了皮,一个是手腕子,另一个是下巴,还有一个是耳朵,都是上面那个人刺伤的,而他自己一根毫毛也没伤着,因为他挺灵巧。按照事先商定的规则,他得到优待,可以再比试三轮。

上面那个人并非与其他三个人不友好,只不过他想要大家叹服他的技艺。这种消遣方式令我们的年轻游子不胜惊讶。在他那个省份,人们的头脑都容易发热,近乎决斗的场面司空见惯。可是,这四个闹着玩的人这种天不怕地不怕的精神,真是难得见到,就是在加斯科尼,也算顶了不起的。他以为自己到了著名的巨人国,即格列佛①曾经游历并被吓得要死的那个国度。然而,达达尼昂不能到此止步,他还要登上台阶,进入候见室。

  ①格列佛为英国十六世纪作家斯威夫特所著讽刺小说《格列佛游记》中的主角。

石阶顶上没有人斗剑,大家都在谈论女人的趣闻,候见室里的人则大谈宫廷轶事。达达尼昂经过石阶顶上时,不由得脸发红,进到候见室里则止不住哆嗦起来。他是一个想象力非常活跃而又荒诞不经的人。在加斯科尼,这种想象力使得年轻的女佣人们,甚至使得一些年轻的主妇,见到他就未免提心吊胆。可是,现在听到的这些情场奇闻和风流豪兴,不仅与最著名的大人物有关,而且讲述得淋漓尽致,毫不掩饰,因而无比刺激,他即使在梦呓当中,也想象不到一半,尤其那些风流豪兴,连四分之一都想象不到。在台阶顶上,他对淳朴风俗的崇尚受到了伤害;进到候见室里,他对红衣主教的景仰受到了嘲讽。在候见室里,达达尼昂听到有人大声抨击红衣主教使欧洲为之发抖的政策以及他的私生活,不禁大惊失色,因为许多很有地位和势力的贵族,曾经试图深究这些问题而受到了惩罚。红衣主教是一个大人物,深受达达尼昂老爹崇敬,现在却成了特雷维尔的火枪手们嘲笑的对象。他们嘲笑他的罗圈腿和驼背,一些人按《圣诞歌》的调子唱他的情妇埃吉翁夫人和他的侄女孔巴雷夫人,另一些人则异口同声攻击他的侍从和卫士。达达尼昂听到这一切,认为全是耸人听闻,决不可能真有其事。

然而,在满屋子的人七嘴八舌讥讽红衣主教的过程中,当偶尔有人出其不意提到国王的名字时,大家立刻噤若寒蝉,嘴巴像被木塞堵住了似的,个个现出犹疑的神情,看看周围,仿佛担心话会透过墙壁,传到特雷维尔的耳朵里。但片刻又有人一语双关把话引到红衣主教阁下头上,于是大家更肆无忌惮地高声谈论起来,把他的所作所为揭露无余。

"这些人肯定要被关进巴士底狱,活活给绞死的。"达达尼昂心惊胆战地想道,"我无疑也会和他们落得同样的下场,因为我不仅听他们瞎说,而且听见了他们所说的话,准会被当成同谋犯。家父一再嘱咐我要尊敬红衣主教,他要是知道我与这批异端分子为伍,会怎么说呢?"

所以,不消说谁都料得到,达达尼昂不敢参与谈话,而是眼观六路,耳听八方,警觉地集中全部注意力,不漏掉一句话。尽管他相信父亲的嘱咐是对的,但兴趣和本能使得他对这儿发生的闻所未闻的事情,不仅不想指责,反而暗暗赞赏。

他与这批趋奉特雷维尔先生的人完全陌生,而且是头一回在这个地方露面,所以这时有人走过来向他询问来意。达达尼昂连忙谦逊地报了姓名,强调他是特雷维尔先生的同乡,请前来询问的跟班求特雷维尔先生接见他。那位跟班答应立刻进去通报。

初进来时的惊异略定之后,达达尼昂现在能够从容地观察这些人的服饰和相貌了。

在最后活跃的那几个人中间,坐着一个身材高大的火枪手。此人神态高傲,衣着古怪,引起了所有人注意。他没有穿作为队服的外套——在那个不大讲究自由却更讲究独立的时代,队服并不是非穿不可的——,而是穿了一件天蓝色的齐膝紧身上衣,已经有点褪色和磨损,上面佩戴一条金丝刺绣的华丽肩带,像阳光下的粼粼水波一样耀眼;肩上潇洒地披着一件深红色天鹅绒长斗篷,仅仅前面露出那条光彩夺目的肩带及其下端所挂的长剑。

那位火枪手刚刚下岗,一个劲抱怨受了风寒,不时故意咳嗽两声。他对周围的人说,正因为这样他才披了斗篷。他说话时昂着头,露出不可一世的样子卷着髭须,而听他说话的人都兴致勃勃地欣赏他那条绣花肩带,其中最欣赏的要算达达尼昂。

"诸位想教我怎样说呢?"那位火枪手说道,"这是时尚所致啊。我也知道,这玩意儿意思不大,可眼下时兴嘛。再说,手里捏着继承来的钱,总得买点什么呀。"

"哈!波托斯!"在场的一个人嚷起来,"别想叫我们相信这条肩带是令尊大人慷慨留给你的。它肯定是那个蒙面纱的贵夫人送给你的。就是有个星期天我在圣奥诺雷门碰见和你在一起的那一个。"

"不,"名叫波托斯的火枪手答道,"我以绅士的名誉担保,这条肩带是我自己买的,而且用的是我自己的钱。"

"是啊,"另一个火枪手说,"就像我买这个新荷包一样,用的是我的情妇放在我的旧荷包里的钱。"

"我可没说假话,"波托斯说,"证据嘛,我买这条肩带花了十二比斯托尔。"

疑问仍未消除,却引起了加倍的赞赏。

"不是吗,阿拉米斯?"波托斯转向另一个火枪手问道。

叫做阿拉米斯的那个火枪手,与问话的这个火枪手适成鲜明的对照。阿拉米斯是一个才二十二三岁的年轻人,一张甜甜的脸,显得挺天真,眼睛乌黑,目光温和,白里透红的面颊长满茸毛,酷似秋天的桃子,上唇细细的髭须呈现一条水平的直线,双手似乎不敢垂下,像害怕静脉曲张似的,不时捏一下耳垂,使之总是显得嫩红而透明。他平时说话不多,又总是慢条斯理,见人就打招呼,笑起来不出声,露出一口整齐雪白的牙齿;对于牙齿和对身体的其他部位一样,他十分注意保养。

听见朋友叫到自己的名字,他肯定地点点头。

这点头似乎澄清了有关那条肩带的怀疑。大家继续欣赏,但不再议论。每个人的思路都转得极快,随即转到了另一个话题。

"对夏莱①的侍从所讲的情况,你们有何看法?"另一位火枪手问道。他不是向某个人,而是向大家发问。

  ①路易十三的宠臣,在情妇的怂恿下试图谋害黎塞留,被处死。

"他到底讲了什么情况?"波托斯以自负的口气问道。

"他说他在布鲁塞尔看见过那个愿为红衣主教赴汤滔火的罗什福尔,装扮成一名方济各会的修士。正是靠这种乔装打扮,这个该诅咒的罗什福尔,像玩弄傻瓜一样玩弄了赖格。"

"像玩弄真正的傻瓜。"波托斯说道,"不过,这事可靠吗?"

"我是听阿拉米斯讲的。"那个火枪手答道。

"真的?"

"唉!波托斯,这件事您知道得很清楚。"阿拉米斯说道,"我昨天对您本人讲过,不必再谈了。"

"不必再谈了!哼!这只是您个人的意见。"波托斯说道,"不必再谈了!见鬼!您这个断语也下得太快了。怎么!红衣主教居然派人对一位绅士进行暗探活动,指使一个叛徒,强盗,一个该吊死的家伙去偷他的信件,随后在这个叛徒的帮助下,利用那些信件,砍了夏莱的头,其荒谬的借口是夏莱企图谋弑国王,并且企图让王后与国王的大弟成婚!这个冤案的底细谁也不清楚。昨天您把这件事告诉了我们,大家都感到满意。可是今天,大家还为这条消息惊愕不已的时候,您却说不必再提了!"

"那么,大家就继续谈好了,既然你们愿谈。"阿拉米斯耐心地说道。

"这个罗什福尔,"波托斯嚷道,"假如我是可怜的夏莱的侍从,我准会叫他难受一阵子。"

"那么您呢,那位红公爵准会让您难受好大一阵子。"阿拉米斯说道。

"哈!红公爵!妙,妙极了!红公爵!"波托斯又拍手又点头地大加赞赏,"红公爵这个称呼真迷人。放心吧,亲爱的,我要让它家喻户晓。这个阿拉米斯真幽默!可惜呀,亲爱的,您没有能够继续从事您那个行当,不然,您早就成了讨人喜欢的教士了。"

"唔!只不过暂时耽误一下。"阿拉米斯说道,"您知道,波托斯,正是为了这个,我在继续钻研神学呢。"

"他会像他说的一样成为教士的。"波托斯转向大家说,"他迟早会成为教士的。"

"不会太迟。"阿拉米斯说道。

"他只等一件事情来促使他下决心重新披上道袍啦。那件道袍一直挂在他的军服后面呢。"一个火枪手插话道。

"等待什么事情?"另一个问道。

"等待王后生一个继承人承袭法国的王位。"

"别拿这种事开玩笑,先生们。"波托斯说道,"托上帝的福,王后还处于能够生继承人的年龄。"

"听说白金汉先生眼下正在法国。"阿拉米斯说着诡秘地一笑。这句表面上极普通的话经他这么一笑,就多少带点透露丑闻的味道了。

"阿拉米斯,朋友,您这就不对了。"波托斯打断他的话道,"您喜欢幽默,结果往往说话走火。要是叫特雷维尔先生听见了,有您好看的。"

"您要来教训我吗,波托斯?"阿拉米斯大声说道。他温和的目光里仿佛闪过一道电光。

"亲爱的,您要么当火枪手要么当教士,二者只能选择其一,不能二者都当。"波托斯说道,"行啦,前几天阿托斯还对您说过:您这个人所有槽里的料都吃。啊!我请求您不要发火,那无济于事。您很清楚,您、我和阿托斯早就约法三章的。您常上埃吉翁夫人家,向她献殷勤;您又经常去谢弗勒斯夫人的表妹布瓦特拉西夫人家。谁都知道,在博得贵夫人欢心方面您很有一套。哈!不必承认您走桃花运。没有人打听您的秘密,大家都知道您向来嘴巴严。不过,既然您具有这种美德,那么他妈的,请您对待王后陛下也这样好不好?国王和红衣主教嘛,您爱怎么谈论就怎么谈论。王后可是圣洁的,要谈论她,应该谈论好的方面。"

"波托斯,我提醒您,您像那喀索斯①一样自命不凡。"阿拉米斯答道,"您知道我讨厌说教,除非说教者是阿托斯。至于您嘛,亲爱的,您有一条很漂亮的肩带,没有资格来对我说三道四。教士吗,只要适合,我日后要当的;眼下我当火枪手。作为火枪手,我爱说啥就说啥,现在我要对您说的是,您已使我忍无可忍了!"

"阿拉米斯!"

"波托斯!"

"哎!两位先生!两位先生!"四周响起一片劝阻声。

"特雷维尔先生有请达达尼昂先生。"刚才那位跟班打开办公室的门,打断候见室里的吵嚷声喊道。

  ①希腊神话中河神刻菲索斯和仙女莱里奥普之子,美貌出众,拒绝回答女神的求爱,被众神罚他只爱自己在水中的倒影,后憔悴而死,在他死的地方长出一种花,命名为水仙花。

门依然开着。听到这通知,谁都不作声了。在普遍的沉默中,年轻的加斯科尼人穿过候见室的一部分,进了火枪队队长的办公室,暗暗庆幸自己得以及时脱身,避免看到这种莫名其妙的争吵的结局。




Chapter 3 THE AUDIENCE

M de Treville was at the moment in rather ill-humor, nevertheless he saluted the young man politely, who bowed to the very ground; and he smiled on receiving d'Artagnan's response, the Bearnese accent of which recalled to him at the same time his youth and his country--a double remembrance which makes a man smile at all ages; but stepping toward the antechamber and making a sign to d'Artagnan with his hand, as if to ask his permission to finish with others before he began with him, he called three times, with a louder voice at each time, so that he ran through the intervening tones between the imperative accent and the angry accent.

"Athos! Porthos! Aramis!"

The two Musketeers with whom we have already made acquaintance, and who answered to the last of these three names, immediately quitted the group of which they had formed a part, and advanced toward the cabinet, the door of which closed after them as soon as they had entered. Their appearance, although it was not quite at ease, excited by its carelessness, at once full of dignity and submission, the admiration of d'Artagnan, who beheld in these two men demigods, and in their leader an Olympian Jupiter, armed with all his thunders.

When the two Musketeers had entered; when the door was closed behind them; when the buzzing murmur of the antechamber, to which the summons which had been made had doubtless furnished fresh food, had recommenced; when M. de Treville had three or four times paced in silence, and with a frowning brow, the whole length of his cabinet, passing each time before Porthos and Aramis, who were as upright and silent as if on parade--he stopped all at once full in front of them, and covering them from head to foot with an angry look, "Do you know what the king said to me," cried he, "and that no longer ago than yesterday evening--do you know, gentlemen?"

"No," replied the two Musketeers, after a moment's silence, "no, sir, we do not."

"But I hope that you will do us the honor to tell us," added Aramis, in his politest tone and with his most graceful bow.

"He told me that he should henceforth recruit his Musketeers from among the Guards of Monsieur the Cardinal."

"The Guards of the cardinal! And why so?" asked Porthos, warmly.

"Because he plainly perceives that his piquette* stands in need of being enlivened by a mixture of good wine."

A watered liquor, made from the second pressing of the grape.

The two Musketeers reddened to the whites of their eyes. d'Artagnan did not know where he was, and wished himself a hundred feet underground.

"Yes, yes," continued M. de Treville, growing warmer as he spoke, "and his majesty was right; for, upon my honor, it is true that the Musketeers make but a miserable figure at court. The cardinal related yesterday while playing with the king, with an air of condolence very displeasing to me, that the day before yesterday those DAMNED MUSKETEERS, those DAREDEVILS--he dwelt upon those words with an ironical tone still more displeasing to me--those BRAGGARTS, added he, glancing at me with his tiger-cat's eye, had made a riot in the Rue Ferou in a cabaret, and that a party of his Guards (I thought he was going to laugh in my face) had been forced to arrest the rioters! MORBLEU! You must know something about it. Arrest Musketeers! You were among them--you were! Don't deny it; you were recognized, and the cardinal named you. But it's all my fault; yes, it's all my fault, because it is myself who selects my men. You, Aramis, why the devil did you ask me for a uniform when you would have been so much better in a cassock? And you, Porthos, do you only wear such a fine golden baldric to suspend a sword of straw from it? And Athos--I don't see Athos. Where is he?"

"Ill--"

"Very ill, say you? And of what malady?"

"It is feared that it may be the smallpox, sir," replied Porthos, desirous of taking his turn in the conversation; "and what is serious is that it will certainly spoil his face."

"The smallpox! That's a great story to tell me, Porthos! Sick of the smallpox at his age! No, no; but wounded without doubt, killed, perhaps. Ah, if I knew! S'blood! Messieurs Musketeers, I will not have this haunting of bad places, this quarreling in the streets, this swordplay at the crossways; and above all, I will not have occasion given for the cardinal's Guards, who are brave, quiet, skillful men who never put themselves in a position to be arrested, and who, besides, never allow themselves to be arrested, to laugh at you! I am sure of it--they would prefer dying on the spot to being arrested or taking back a step. To save yourselves, to scamper away, to flee--that is good for the king's Musketeers!"

Porthos and Aramis trembled with rage. They could willingly have strangled M. de Treville, if, at the bottom of all this, they had not felt it was the great love he bore them which made him speak thus. They stamped upon the carpet with their feet; they bit their lips till the blood came, and grasped the hilts of their swords with all their might. All without had heard, as we have said, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis called, and had guessed, from M. de Treville's tone of voice, that he was very angry about something. Ten curious heads were glued to the tapestry and became pale with fury; for their ears, closely applied to the door, did not lose a syllable of what he said, while their mouths repeated as he went on, the insulting expressions of the captain to all the people in the antechamber. In an instant, from the door of the cabinet to the street gate, the whole hotel was boiling.

"Ah! The king's Musketeers are arrested by the Guards of the cardinal, are they?" continued M. de Treville, as furious at heart as his soldiers, but emphasizing his words and plunging them, one by one, so to say, like so many blows of a stiletto, into the bosoms of his auditors. "What! Six of his Eminence's Guards arrest six of his Majesty's Musketeers! MORBLEU! My part is taken! I will go straight to the louvre; I will give in my resignation as captain of the king's Musketeers to take a lieutenancy in the cardinal's Guards, and if he refuses me, MORBLEU! I will turn abbe."

At these words, the murmur without became an explosion; nothing was to be heard but oaths and blasphemies. The MORBLEUS, the SANG DIEUS, the MORTS TOUTS LES DIABLES, crossed one another in the air. D'Artagnan looked for some tapestry behind which he might hide himself, and felt an immense inclination to crawl under the table.

"Well, my Captain," said Porthos, quite beside himself, "the truth is that we were six against six. But we were not captured by fair means; and before we had time to draw our swords, two of our party were dead, and Athos, grievously wounded, was very little better. For you know Athos. Well, Captain, he endeavored twice to get up, and fell again twice. And we did not surrender--no! They dragged us away by force. On the way we escaped. As for Athos, they believed him to be dead, and left him very quiet on the field of battle, not thinking it worth the trouble to carry him away. That's the whole story. What the devil, Captain, one cannot win all one's battles! The great Pompey lost that of Pharsalia; and Francis the First, who was, as I have heard say, as good as other folks, nevertheless lost the Battle of Pavia."

"And I have the honor of assuring you that I killed one of them with his own sword," said Aramis; "for mine was broken at the first parry. Killed him, or poniarded him, sir, as is most agreeable to you."

"I did not know that," replied M. de Treville, in a somewhat softened tone. "The cardinal exaggerated, as I perceive."

"But pray, sir," continued Aramis, who, seeing his captain become appeased, ventured to risk a prayer, "do not say that Athos is wounded. He would be in despair if that should come to the ears of the king; and as the wound is very serious, seeing that after crossing the shoulder it penetrates into the chest, it is to be feared--"

At this instant the tapestry was raised and a noble and handsome head, but frightfully pale, appeared under the fringe.

"Athos!" cried the two Musketeers.

"Athos!" repeated M. de Treville himself.

"You have sent for me, sir," said Athos to M. de Treville, in a feeble yet perfectly calm voice, "you have sent for me, as my comrades inform me, and I have hastened to receive your orders. I am here; what do you want with me?"

And at these words, the Musketeer, in irreproachable costume, belted as usual, with a tolerably firm step, entered the cabinet. M. de Treville, moved to the bottom of his heart by this proof of courage, sprang toward him.

"I was about to say to these gentlemen," added he, "that I forbid my Musketeers to expose their lives needlessly; for brave men are very dear to the king, and the king knows that his Musketeers are the bravest on the earth. Your hand, Athos!"

And without waiting for the answer of the newcomer to this proof of affection, M. de Treville seized his right hand and pressed it with all his might, without perceiving that Athos, whatever might be his self-command, allowed a slight murmur of pain to escape him, and if possible, grew paler than he was before.

The door had remained open, so strong was the excitement produced by the arrival of Athos, whose wound, though kept as a secret, was known to all. A burst of satisfaction hailed the last words of the captain; and two or three heads, carried away by the enthusiasm of the moment, appeared through the openings of the tapestry. M. de Treville was about to reprehend this breach of the rules of etiquette, when he felt the hand of Athos, who had rallied all his energies to contend against pain, at length overcome by it, fell upon the floor as if he were dead.

"A surgeon!" cried M. de Treville, "mine! The king's! The best! A surgeon! Or, s'blood, my brave Athos will die!"

At the cries of M. de Treville, the whole assemblage rushed into the cabinet, he not thinking to shut the door against anyone, and all crowded round the wounded man. But all this eager attention might have been useless if the doctor so loudly called for had not chanced to be in the hotel. He pushed through the crowd, approached Athos, still insensible, and as all this noise and commotion inconvenienced him greatly, he required, as the first and most urgent thing, that the Musketeer should be carried into an adjoining chamber. Immediately M. de Treville opened and pointed the way to Porthos and Aramis, who bore their comrade in their arms. Behind this group walked the surgeon; and behind the surgeon the door closed.

The cabinet of M. de Treville, generally held so sacred, became in an instant the annex of the antechamber. Everyone spoke, harangued, and vociferated, swearing, cursing, and consigning the cardinal and his Guards to all the devils.

An instant after, Porthos and Aramis re-entered, the surgeon and M. de Treville alone remaining with the wounded.

At length, M. de Treville himself returned. The injured man had recovered his senses. The surgeon declared that the situation of the Musketeer had nothing in it to render his friends uneasy, his weakness having been purely and simply caused by loss of blood.

Then M. de Treville made a sign with his hand, and all retired except d'Artagnan, who did not forget that he had an audience, and with the tenacity of a Gascon remained in his place.

When all had gone out and the door was closed, M. de Treville, on turning round, found himself alone with the young man. The event which had occurred had in some degree broken the thread of his ideas. He inquired what was the will of his persevering visitor. d'Artagnan then repeated his name, and in an instant recovering all his remembrances of the present and the past, M. de Treville grasped the situation.

"Pardon me," said he, smiling, "pardon me my dear compatriot, but I had wholly forgotten you. But what help is there for it! A captain is nothing but a father of a family, charged with even a greater responsibility than the father of an ordinary family. Soldiers are big children; but as I maintain that the orders of the king, and more particularly the orders of the cardinal, should be executed--"

D'Artagnan could not restrain a smile. By this smile M. de Treville judged that he had not to deal with a fool, and changing the conversation, came straight to the point.

"I respected your father very much," said he. "What can I do for the son? Tell me quickly; my time is not my own."

"Monsieur," said d'Artagnan, "on quitting Tarbes and coming hither, it was my intention to request of you, in remembrance of the friendship which you have not forgotten, the uniform of a Musketeer; but after all that I have seen during the last two hours, I comprehend that such a favor is enormous, and tremble lest I should not merit it."

"It is indeed a favor, young man," replied M. de Treville, "but it may not be so far beyond your hopes as you believe, or rather as you appear to believe. But his majesty's decision is always necessary; and I inform you with regret that no one becomes a Musketeer without the preliminary ordeal of several campaigns, certain brilliant actions, or a service of two years in some other regiment less favored than ours."

D'Artagnan bowed without replying, feeling his desire to don the Musketeer's uniform vastly increased by the great difficulties which preceded the attainment of it.

"But," continued M. de Treville, fixing upon his compatriot a look so piercing that it might be said he wished to read the thoughts of his heart, "on account of my old companion, your father, as I have said, I will do something for you, young man. Our recruits from Bearn are not generally very rich, and I have no reason to think matters have much changed in this respect since I left the province. I dare say you have not brought too large a stock of money with you?"

D'Artagnan drew himself up with a proud air which plainly said, "I ask alms of no man."

"Oh, that's very well, young man," continued M. de Treville, "that's all very well. I know these airs; I myself came to Paris with four crowns in my purse, and would have fought with anyone who dared to tell me I was not in a condition to purchase the Louvre."

D'Artagnan's bearing became still more imposing. Thanks to the sale of his horse, he commenced his career with four more crowns than M. de Treville possessed at the commencement of his.

"You ought, I say, then, to husband the means you have, however large the sum may be; but you ought also to endeavor to perfect yourself in the exercises becoming a gentleman. I will write a letter today to the Director of the Royal Academy, and tomorrow he will admit you without any expense to yourself. Do not refuse this little service. Our best-born and richest gentlemen sometimes solicit it without being able to obtain it. You will learn horsemanship, swordsmanship in all its branches, and dancing. You will make some desirable acquaintances; and from time to time you can call upon me, just to tell me how you are getting on, and to say whether I can be of further service to you."

D'Artagnan, stranger as he was to all the manners of a court, could not but perceive a little coldness in this reception.

"Alas, sir," said he, "I cannot but perceive how sadly I miss the letter of introduction which my father gave me to present to you."

"I certainly am surprised," replied M. de Treville, "that you should undertake so long a journey without that necessary passport, the sole resource of us poor Bearnese."

"I had one, sir, and, thank God, such as I could wish," cried d'Artagnan; "but it was perfidiously stolen from me."

He then related the adventure of Meung, described the unknown gentleman with the greatest minuteness, and all with a warmth and truthfulness that delighted M. de Treville.

"This is all very strange," said M. de Treville, after meditating a minute; "you mentioned my name, then, aloud?"

"Yes, sir, I certainly committed that imprudence; but why should I have done otherwise? A name like yours must be as a buckler to me on my way. Judge if I should not put myself under its protection."

Flattery was at that period very current, and M. de Treville loved incense as well as a king, or even a cardinal. He could not refrain from a smile of visible satisfaction; but this smile soon disappeared, and returning to the adventure of Meung, "Tell me," continued he, "had not this gentlemen a slight scar on his cheek?"

"Yes, such a one as would be made by the grazing of a ball."

"Was he not a fine-looking man?"

"Yes."

"Of lofty stature."

"Yes."

"Of complexion and brown hair?"

"Yes, yes, that is he; how is it, sir, that you are acquainted with this man? If I ever find him again--and I will find him, I swear, were it in hell!"

"He was waiting for a woman," continued Treville.

"He departed immediately after having conversed for a minute with her whom he awaited."

"You know not the subject of their conversation?"

"He gave her a box, told her not to open it except in London."

"Was this woman English?"

"He called her Milady."

"It is he; it must be he!" murmured Treville. "I believed him still at Brussels."

"Oh, sir, if you know who this man is," cried d'Artagnan, "tell me who he is, and whence he is. I will then release you from all your promises--even that of procuring my admission into the Musketeers; for before everything, I wish to avenge myself."

"Beware, young man!" cried Treville. "If you see him coming on one side of the street, pass by on the other. Do not cast yourself against such a rock; he would break you like glass."

"That will not prevent me," replied d'Artagnan, "if ever I find him."

"In the meantime," said Treville, "seek him not--if I have a right to advise you."

All at once the captain stopped, as if struck by a sudden suspicion. This great hatred which the young traveler manifested so loudly for this man, who--a rather improbable thing--had stolen his father's letter from him--was there not some perfidy concealed under this hatred? Might not this young man be sent by his Eminence? Might he not have come for the purpose of laying a snare for him? This pretended d'Artagnan--was he not an emissary of the cardinal, whom the cardinal sought to introduce into Treville's house, to place near him, to win his confidence, and afterward to ruin him as had been done in a thousand other instances? He fixed his eyes upon d'Artagnan even more earnestly than before. He was moderately reassured however, by the aspect of that countenance, full of astute intelligence and affected humility. "I know he is a Gascon," reflected he, "but he may be one for the cardinal as well as for me. Let us try him."

"My friend," said he, slowly, "I wish, as the son of an ancient friend--for I consider this story of the lost letter perfectly true--I wish, I say, in order to repair the coldness you may have remarked in my reception of you, to discover to you the secrets of our policy. The king and the cardinal are the best of friends; their apparent bickerings are only feints to deceive fools. I am not willing that a compatriot, a handsome cavalier, a brave youth, quite fit to make his way, should become the dupe of all these artifices and fall into the snare after the example of so many others who have been ruined by it. Be assured that I am devoted to both these all-powerful masters, and that my earnest endeavors have no other aim than the service of the king, and also the cardinal--one of the most illustrious geniuses that France has ever produced.

"Now, young man, regulate your conduct accordingly; and if you entertain, whether from your family, your relations, or even from your instincts, any of these enmities which we see constantly breaking out against the cardinal, bid me adieu and let us separate. I will aid you in many ways, but without attaching you to my person. I hope that my frankness at least will make you my friend; for you are the only young man to whom I have hitherto spoken as I have done to you."

Treville said to himself: "If the cardinal has set this young fox upon me, he will certainly not have failed--he, who knows how bitterly I execrate him--to tell his spy that the best means of making his court to me is to rail at him. Therefore, in spite of all my protestations, if it be as I suspect, my cunning gossip will assure me that he holds his Eminence in horror."

It, however, proved otherwise. D'Artagnan answered, with the greatest simplicity: "I came to Paris with exactly such intentions. My father advised me to stoop to nobody but the king, the cardinal, and yourself--whom he considered the first three personages in France."

D'Artagnan added M. de Treville to the others, as may be perceived; but he thought this addition would do no harm.

"I have the greatest veneration for the cardinal," continued he, "and the most profound respect for his actions. So much the better for me, sir, if you speak to me, as you say, with frankness--for then you will do me the honor to esteem the resemblance of our opinions; but if you have entertained any doubt, as naturally you may, I feel that I am ruining myself by speaking the truth. But I still trust you will not esteem me the less for it, and that is my object beyond all others."

M de Treville was surprised to the greatest degree. So much penetration, so much frankness, created admiration, but did not entirely remove his suspicions. The more this young man was superior to others, the more he was to be dreaded if he meant to deceive him; "You are an honest youth; but at the present moment I can only do for you that which I just now offered. My hotel will be always open to you. Hereafter, being able to ask for me at all hours, and consequently to take advantage of all opportunities, you will probably obtain that which you desire."

"That is to say," replied d'Artagnan, "that you will wait until I have proved myself worthy of it. Well, be assured," added he, with the familiarity of a Gascon, "you shall not wait long." And he bowed in order to retire, and as if he considered the future in his own hands.

"But wait a minute," said M. de Treville, stopping him. "I promised you a letter for the director of the Academy. Are you too proud to accept it, young gentleman?"

"No, sir," said d'Artagnan; "and I will guard it so carefully that I will be sworn it shall arrive at its address, and woe be to him who shall attempt to take it from me!"

M de Treville smiled at this flourish; and leaving his young man compatriot in the embrasure of the window, where they had talked together, he seated himself at a table in order to write the promised letter of recommendation. While he was doing this, d'Artagnan, having no better employment, amused himself with beating a march upon the window and with looking at the Musketeers, who went away, one after another, following them with his eyes until they disappeared.

M de Treville, after having written the letter, sealed it, and rising, approached the young man in order to give it to him. But at the very moment when d'Artagnan stretched out his hand to receive it, M. de Treville was highly astonished to see his protege make a sudden spring, become crimson with passion, and rush from the cabinet crying, "S'blood, he shall not escape me this time!"

"And who?" asked M. de Treville.

"He, my thief!" replied d'Artagnan. "Ah, the traitor!" and he disappeared.

"The devil take the madman!" murmured M. de Treville, "unless," added he, "this is a cunning mode of escaping, seeing that he had failed in his purpose!"

 

第三章 谒见

特雷维尔先生当时心情很不好,然而见到这个年轻人对他鞠躬到地,还是挺客气地还了礼,并且面带微笑听着他的恭维话。这个年轻人的贝亚恩口音,使他回忆起自己的青年时代和故乡。这种双重的回忆,会使任何年龄的人露出微笑的。但是,他几乎立刻朝候见室那边走去,一边走一边朝达达尼昂做个手势,似乎是请他允许自己先和别人谈完,再来和他谈话。他接连叫了三声,一声比一声高,用的是一种介乎于命令和生气之间的很难描述的语气:

"阿托斯!波托斯!阿拉米斯!"

我们已经认识的那两个火枪手听见后两个名字,连忙答应,立刻离开和他们在一块的几个人,向队长办公室走来。他们一迈进门槛,身后的门立刻关上了。他们的神态虽然不完全镇定自若,然而显得挺随便,既充满尊严,又表现出服从,令达达尼昂十分欣赏。在他眼里,他们不啻是半神半人,而他们的首领是掌握雷电的奥林匹斯山主神朱庇特。

在两个火枪手进了办公室,他们身后的门关上之后,候见室里本来已经停止的说话声,经刚才这样一叫人,大概获得了新的谈话资料,又嗡嗡地响起来。特雷维尔先生皱着眉头,默默地在办公室里来回踱了两三趟,每趟都从波托斯和阿拉米斯面前经过;他们俩屏息静气,直挺挺站在那里,像接受检阅一般。突然,特雷维尔在他们面前站定,怒气冲冲地从头到脚扫了他们一眼,大声说道:

"你们可知道国王对我说什么来着?这才不过是昨晚上的事情。你们可知道,先生们?"

"不知道,"两个火枪手怔了怔答道,"不知道,队长,我们一无所知。"

"不过,希望队长您赏个脸告诉我们。"阿拉米斯礼貌有加地补充道,同时很乖巧地行了个礼。

"国王说以后他要从红衣主教的卫队里去招募火枪手了。"

"从红衣主教的卫队里!为什么?"波托斯连忙问道。

"因为他觉得自己这桶劣质酒,要掺些好酒进去才够味。"

两位火枪手顿时连眼白都红了。达达尼昂也懵了,恨不得钻到地底下去。

"是的,的确是这样,"特雷维尔越来越恼火地说道,"的确是这样,陛下说的有道理。因为,老实讲,火枪手们在宫廷里的确尽丢人现眼。昨晚上,红衣主教与国王玩牌时,装出一副令我很讨厌的痛心样子说:'那几个该死的火枪手,那几个不安分的家伙'——他说到这几个字时语气特别重,而且充满讥讽,更使我感到讨厌——'那几个无法无天的家伙,前天呆在费鲁街一家小酒店里迟迟不归。'——他说这话时用山猫眼睛盯住我——'我的一支巡逻的卫队,不得不逮捕了那几个捣乱分子。'说到这里,他简直要当面羞辱我了。他妈的!这件事你们一点也不知道吗?几个火枪手让人家逮捕了!你们几个也在其中嘛,不用强辩,有人认出了你们,红衣主教点了你们几个的名。咳!这事儿怪我,是的,怪我,因为我手下的人全是我挑选的。瞧你,阿拉米斯,你他妈的本来就要披道袍了的,为什么跑来请求我给你一套军服?还有你,波托斯,你有一条漂亮的绣金肩带,用来挂一把稻草剑不是很合适吗?至于阿托斯。

怎么不见阿托斯!他哪儿去了?"

"先生,"阿拉米斯难过地说道,"他病了,病得很厉害。"

"你说他病了,病得很厉害?什么病?"

"恐怕是出天花,先生。"波托斯插嘴答道,"这可麻烦了,肯定会破相。"

"出天花!你又告诉了我一件挺光彩的事,波托斯!他那种年纪还出天花?不对吧!可能受了伤,也许被杀死了……唉!要是我早知道……真见鬼!火枪手先生们,我不允许你们去那些乌烟瘴气的场所,也不允许你们在大街上吵架,在十字路口斗剑。总之,我不能容忍你们招来红衣主教的卫士们的嘲笑。他们都是勇敢的人,不惹事生非,又很机灵,从来不会落到被人逮捕的地步,再说也不会让人家逮捕……我可以肯定……他们宁肯就地战死,也不会后退一步……逃跑,溜走,躲避,这是国王的火枪手们的本领!"

波托斯和阿拉米斯气得直发抖。要不是感到,特雷维尔先生对他们这样说,正是出自对他们深沉的爱,他们真想把他掐死。他们不停地跺脚,牙齿咬得嘴唇出血,手使劲捏住剑柄把手。前面我们提到过,办公室外面的人刚才听到叫阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯三个人的名字时,从特雷维尔的语气,就听出他正大发脾气。十个好奇的人把头凑近门口的壁毯,脸都气得发白,耳朵都贴在门上,所以办公室里的谈话他们一句也没漏掉,嘴里一句句向候见室里所有人重复着特雷维尔先生骂人的话。不多一会儿,从办公室门口到临街的大门口,整个火枪队队部沸腾起来了。

"哼!国王的火枪手让红衣主教的卫士抓起来了!"特雷维尔继续说道。他心里与部下们一样怒不可遏,说话一字一顿,每个字都像匕首一样戳在听众的心上,"哼!枢机主教阁下的六名卫士居然抓走了国王陛下的六名火枪手!见鬼!我拿定了主意,这就去罗浮宫,辞掉国王火枪队队长的职务,去红衣主教的卫队里请求当个副队长。要是他拒绝,他娘的我就去当教士。"

听到这些话,办公室外面的低语变成了怒吼,只听见一片诅咒和谩骂,"他妈的!""活见鬼!""宰了这些鬼东西!"不绝于耳。达达尼昂真想找块壁毯,跑到后面藏起来,又恨不得钻到桌子底下去。

"咳!队长,"波托斯再也控制不住自己,说道,"事实上,我们当时的确是六对六,可是我们遭到了暗算,还没来得及拔出剑,就有两个弟兄倒在地上死了,阿托斯身负重伤,不中用了。阿托斯你是了解的,队长。唉!他两次试图爬起来,两次又倒下了。可是,我们并没有投降,没有,而是被硬拖走的。半路上我们逃脱了。至于阿托斯,他们以为他死了,让他躺在战场没有碰他,认为没有必要把他抬走。这就是事情的经过。这回真见了鬼,队长。胜败乃兵家常事。伟大的庞培①还在法萨罗战役中打输了呢;弗朗索瓦一世并不比别人差吧,据说也在帕维亚②吃了败仗。"

  ①庞培,罗马共和国后期最伟大的政治家和最伟大的将军之一,公元前四八年在法萨罗被凯撒打败。

  ②法王弗朗索瓦一世与哈布斯堡皇帝查理五世在意大利战争的一次决定性战役中,法军全部被歼,弗朗索瓦一世被俘。

"我荣幸地向您禀报,"阿拉米斯说道,"我杀死了一个卫士,用的是他本人的剑,因为我的剑在头一个回合中就折断了……至于那家伙是杀死的还是戳死的,先生您怎么说都可以。"

"这些情况我不知道,"特雷维尔说,语气缓和了点儿,"看来红衣主教夸大了。"

"不过,请您开恩,先生,"阿拉米斯见队长气消了,便大胆央求道,"请您开恩,不要说阿托斯受了伤,因为话如果传到国王耳朵里,他会绝望的。他的伤势很严重,是穿透肩膀戳进胸膛的,恐怕……"

正在这时,门帘掀开了,绦子之间伸进一个高贵、漂亮但脸色非常苍白的头。

"阿托斯!"两个火枪手一齐叫起来。

"阿托斯!"特雷维尔先生也叫了起来。

"您刚才传我,先生,"阿托斯用虚弱但非常镇定的声音说道,"队里的伙伴说您叫我,我便赶来听候您的命令。我到啦,先生,有何吩咐?"

这位火枪手穿戴整齐,像平常一样束着腰带,说完这几句话,便迈着坚定的步伐走进了办公室。看到他表现得如此勇武,特雷维尔打心底里感动不已,连忙迎上去,说道:

"我正在对这两位先生说,我禁止我的火枪手们毫无必要地到外面去招摇过市,因为正直的人对国王来说是极其宝贵的。国王知道,他的火枪手们是天下最正直的人。伸过手来吧,阿托斯。"

没等刚进来的火枪手对这种亲切表示作出反应,特雷维尔就抓住了他的右手使劲地握着,说来令人难以相信,他竟没有注意到,阿托斯虽然竭力忍着,还是露出了痛苦的表情,脸色更苍白了。

阿托斯进来之后,门一直半开着,他负伤的事虽然是保密的,但大家都已知道,引起了一阵骚动。听到队长最后几句话,候见室里响起一阵满意的喝采声,有两三个人冲动之下,把头伸过门帘往里张望。特雷维尔先生大概正想大声呵斥,制止这种不拘礼节的行为,突然感觉到阿托斯的手在自己的手中抽动起来,抬眼一看,发现他快要晕过去了。此时,阿托斯尽平生力气忍住疼痛,但终于熬不住了,像死了一样倒在地板上。

"快喊外科医生来!"特雷维尔喊道,"喊我的或国王的,喊最好的。快去喊外科医生!真见鬼!我正直的阿托斯要断气了。"

听到特雷维尔的喊声,所有人都拥进办公室。特雷维尔根本没有想到把门关上,阻止任何人进来。大家热心地围住受伤者。但这种热心毫无用处,如果去请的医生不在公馆里的话。医生挤过人群,走到一直处于昏迷状态的阿托斯身边。由于吵嚷声和拥挤妨碍了他,他要求把受伤的火枪手抬到隔壁房间里,说这是首要的、最紧要的事情。特雷维尔立刻打开一扇门,给抱起了伙伴的波托斯和阿拉米斯引路。医生跟在后面,他身后的门又关上了。

于是,特雷维尔先生的办公室,这个平常谁也不敢擅自进入的房间,暂时成了候见室的附属部分,大家七嘴八舌,议论纷纷,大声吵闹,谩骂,诅咒,都说让红衣主教和他的卫士们见鬼去。

过了一会儿,波托斯和阿拉米斯回来了,只有医生和特雷维尔先生留在伤员身边。

最后,特雷维尔先生也回来了。伤员恢复了知觉,医生说,这位火枪手的状况,他的朋友们一点也不用担忧,他的虚弱完全是失血过多造成的。

特雷维尔先生挥了一下手,所有人都退出了办公室,只有达达尼昂没有退出。他没有忘记自己是来谒见特雷维尔先生的,而且以加斯科尼人的固执劲儿,仍旧待在老地方。

等大家全都出去了,门关上之后,特雷维尔先生才转过身来。现在已剩下他和这个年轻人了。刚才发生的事情多少打断了他的思路。他询问这位固执的求见者的来意。达达尼昂报了姓名,特雷维尔才陡然记起现在和过去的一切,明白他所面对的情况。

"对不起,"他微笑道,"对不起,亲爱的老乡,我完全把您忘记了。有什么办法呢!一个队长无异于一位家长,身上所担的责任比普通家长还重。战士们都是大孩子,但是我必须执行国王的命令,尤其是红衣主教的命令……"

达达尼昂禁不住笑了笑。看到他的笑样,特雷维尔明白与自己打交道的不是一个糊涂人,于是话锋一转,谈到正题。

"我与令尊交谊颇深,"他说道,"我能为他的爱子做点什么呢?请您快告诉我,我的时间不由我支配。"

"先生,"达达尼昂说道,"我离开塔布来到这里,是打算请您看在您不曾忘记的这种交谊的份上,赏我一套火枪手队服。可是到达这里两个小时来所看到的一切,使我明白这是一种非同寻常的优待,我担心自己是否够格。"

"这的确是一种优待,年轻人,"特雷维尔说道,"不过它并非像您想象的那样,或者像您似乎想象的那么高不可攀。然而,陛下预料到这种情况,做出了一项决定,很遗憾,我不得不告诉您:要想成为我们火枪队的一员,必须先经受一番考验,打过几仗,立过显赫战功,或者在条件不如我队优越的部队里服役过两年。"

达达尼昂默默地欠欠身子。听说成为火枪手如此困难,他更渴望能穿上火枪队队服了。

"不过,"特雷维尔犀利的目光盯住他的同乡,似乎要看透他的内心,"正如我刚才所说,令尊是我的老朋友,看在他的份上,我想为您出点力。我们贝亚恩青年一般都不富有,我想自我离开家乡之后,情况也没有太大变化。您身上所带的钱供您生活大概不很宽裕吧。"

达达尼昂高傲地昂起头,那神气似乎是说,他并不乞求任何人的施舍。

"很好,年轻人,很好。"特雷维尔接着说道,"这种神气我很熟悉。我来巴黎的时候,口袋里只有四埃居,但谁要是说我买不起罗浮宫,我准会和他打一架。"

达达尼昂的头昂得更高了。他这次是带着卖马所得的八埃居来闯事业的,比当初特雷维尔先生还多四埃居。"依我看,您现在手头不管有多少钱,都要留着别花掉了。我今天就给王家学堂的校长写封信,明天他就会让您入校而不收你任何费用。不要拒绝这点小意思。我们不少门第显赫、家财万贯的绅士子弟还求之不得呢。您在那里学习马术、剑术和跳舞,不时来看看我,告诉我您学得怎么样,需要我什么帮助。"

达达尼昂对官场里待人接物的一套还一无所知,但感觉到自己受到的接待是冷淡的。

"唉!先生,"他说道,"我现在才明白家父叫我交给您的那封介绍信多么重要。"

"是呀,"特雷维尔先生说道,"我正觉得奇怪呢,您出这么远的门,竟没有带那种必不可少的东西,那可是我们贝亚恩人唯一的敲门砖啊。"

"我本来是有的,先生,而且托上帝的福,是一封顶刮刮的介绍信,"达达尼昂大声说道,"可是叫人无耻地偷走了。"

于是,他把在默恩镇的遭遇从头至尾讲了一遍,仔细描绘了那位陌生绅士的相貌特征,讲的时候挺冲动,态度挺真诚,使特雷维尔听得出了神。

"这事儿好蹊跷,"特雷维尔现出思索的样子说道,"您真的大声提起过我的姓名?"

"是的,先生。我这样做也许太不谨慎。可是,有什么办法呢?您这样的大名,无异于我一路上的护身符呀。您想吧,我是不是得经常乞求它的保护?"

这样的奉承话说得很合时宜。特雷维尔像国王和红衣主教一类人物一样,喜欢人家对他顶礼膜拜。他不禁明显露出了满意的微笑。但他很快收敛了笑容,话锋从自己转到默恩镇事件:

"您说,"他继续说道,"那位绅士太阳穴上是不是有一个小疤?"

"是呀,像一粒子弹擦伤留下来的。"

"是不是一个气色很好的人?"

"对呀。"

"是不是高高的个子?"

"不错。"

"是不是皮肤白皙,头发呈褐色?"

"对,对,是这样。先生您怎么认识这个人?啊!要是我能找到他……我一定要找到他,我发誓,哪怕是在地狱里……"

"他在等候一个女人?"特雷维尔又问道。

"他至少在离去之前,与他所等候的那个女人交谈了一会儿。"

"他们谈话的内容您知道吗?"

"他交给那女人一个盒子,说那盒子里封着他的指示,嘱咐他到伦敦才打开。"

"那个女人是英国人?"

"她名叫米拉迪。"

"是他!"特雷维尔喃喃说道,"是他!我以为他还在布鲁塞尔呢!"

"啊!先生,您如果知道这是个什么人,"达达尼昂大声说道,"那么请您告诉我他的姓名和行踪吧,我就不再向你提任何请求了,连火枪手也不求你让我当了,因为我首先要去报仇。"

"千万不要这样,年轻人。"特雷维尔连忙制止道,"相反,如果您在街上看见他从这边过来,您就从另一边过去,千万不要去碰这样一座顽石,那会把您像鸡蛋一样碰得粉碎的。"

"这吓不倒我,"达达尼昂说道,"要是我再碰到他……"

"暂时吗,"特雷维尔又说,"您不要去找他,如果要我对您提出忠告的话。"

特雷维尔突然疑心一动,不再往下说了。这个年轻游子这样大声嚷嚷表示仇恨那个人,声称那个人偷了他父亲写的信,这是不大可信的。那么,这种仇恨是否包藏某种祸心?这个年轻人是不是红衣主教阁下派来给他设陷阱的?这个自称达达尼昂的人,是不是红衣主教设法安插到他队里来的一个密探,把他安插在身边博取他的信任,然后再来陷害他,就像已经多次做过的那样?他第二次定定盯住达达尼昂,目光比第一次更犀利。眼前这张流露出聪明、机智和装得谦卑的脸,是不大令人放心的。

"不错,他是加斯科尼人。"他想道,"不过,即使是加斯科尼人,他也有可能站在红衣主教那边或者我这边。好,考验考验他吧。"

"朋友,"他慢条斯理地说道,"我愿意把您当做我老朋友的儿子对待,因为我相信您丢了信的事是真的。您注意到了,开始的时候我对您接待冷淡,为了弥补这一点,现在我想向您披露我们政治方面的秘密。国王和红衣主教是最要好的朋友。他们之间表面上的过节儿,只不过是骗骗糊涂人的。我不想让自己的一位同乡,一位挺帅的骑士,一位正直的小伙子被这些表面现象所迷惑,稀里糊涂地落进陷阱,就像许多上当受骗的傻瓜一样。您要知道,我对这两个权力至高无上的主人都怀着赤胆忠心。我的一切重大行动,都是为国王和红衣主教效劳的,除此没有别的目的;红衣主教是法国出的最杰出的天才。现在,年轻人,请您在这方面反省一下,假如您因为家庭或亲友方面的关系,甚或受本能的支配,抱着某种敌视红衣主教的观念,就像我们经常看到一般绅士所表现的那样,那么您就向我说再见,咱们就此分道扬镳。将来一有机会我仍会帮助您,但不让您与我本人发生联系。尽管如此,希望我的坦率态度能使您成为我的朋友,因为迄今为止,在年轻人当中,我这番话只对您说过。"

特雷维尔暗自想道:

"如果这个小狐狸是红衣主教派来的,那么红衣主教肯定会告诉过他这个密探,向我献殷勤的最好方式,是大说他的坏话,因为他知道我对他恨之入骨。所以,尽管我这样声明了一番,这个狡猾的家伙一定还会对我说他对主教大人如何切齿痛恨的。"

可是,情况与特雷维尔预料的完全相反,达达尼昂非常单纯地说道:

"先生,我正是怀着同样的愿望来到巴黎的。家父叮嘱我对国王、红衣主教和您一定要忠心耿耿,他认为你们三个是法国最伟大的三个人。"

读者想必注意到了,达达尼昂在国王和红衣主教后面加了特雷维尔先生。他认为这样做决不会有什么害处。

"我对红衣主教非常崇敬,"他继续说道,"深深敬佩他的行为。您这样坦率地和我谈话,先生,正如您刚才所说的,这对我再好不过了。您我见解相同,这使我感到荣耀。如果您对我不信任——这是很自然的——,那么我说了真话就是毁了自己。那就算我倒霉,不让我想您还会尊重我的吧,这是世界上我最看重的事情。"

特雷维尔惊诧不已。达达尼昂说得如此透彻,如此坦率,使他不由得大为赞赏。不过,他心里的怀疑并没有完全消除:这个年轻人越是比其他年轻人高超,就越是可怕,如果他看错了的话。然而,他握住达达尼昂的手,对他说道:

"您是一个诚实的小伙子。不过暂时嘛,我只能给您提供刚才已答应的帮助。以后您可以利用一切机会,随时向我提出要求,才可能得到您希望得到的东西。"

"这就是说,先生,"达达尼昂又说道,"您要等待我取得足够的资格。好吧,请您放心,"他以加斯科尼人特有的随便态度补充道,"您不会等待很久的。"

他鞠了一躬准备告辞,似乎其他一切都不需要特雷维尔操心了。

"不过请您等一等,"特雷维尔叫住他,"我答应为您给王室学堂校长写封信的。您是不是不屑于接受,我的年轻绅士?"

"哪能呢,先生。"达达尼昂答道,"我向您保证,这封信决不会像前封信一样丢失的,我一定小心放好,交给收信人。如果谁试图把它偷走,那他就自找倒霉。"

听到这些大话,特雷维尔先生笑了笑。他本来和年轻人站在窗口交谈的,这时他让年轻人仍留在那里,自己走到一张桌子前坐下,着手写答应写的介绍信。达达尼昂无所事事,用手指在窗玻璃上敲着一支进行曲,一边看火枪手们三三两两地离去,目送着他们,直到他们消失在街道拐角处。

特雷维尔先生写完信,封好,走到年轻人身边准备交给他。就在达达尼昂伸手接信的时候,特雷维尔吃惊地看到他的被保护人突然惊跳起来,脸气得通红,冲出了办公室,一边喊道:

"啊!该死的家伙!这回他休想逃脱了。"

"谁?"特雷维尔问道。

"偷我信的那个扒手!"达达尼昂回答,"哼!坏东西!"

他消失了。

"好一个疯狂的家伙!"特雷维尔喃喃道,接着又低声说:"莫非他看到自己的目的落空了,想出这么一个巧妙溜走的法子?"




Chapter 4 THE SHOULDER OF ATHOS, THE BALDRIC OF PORTHOS AND THE HANDKERCHIEF OF ARAMIS

D'Artagnan, in a state of fury, crossed the antechamber at three bounds, and was darting toward the stairs, which he reckoned upon descending four at a time, when, in his heedless course, he ran head foremost against a Musketeer who was coming out of one of M. de Treville's private rooms, and striking his shoulder violently, made him utter a cry, or rather a howl.

"Excuse me," said d'Artagnan, endeavoring to resume his course, "excuse me, but I am in a hurry."

Scarcely had he descended the first stair, when a hand of iron seized him by the belt and stopped him.

"You are in a hurry?" said the Musketeer, as pale as a sheet. "Under that pretense you run against me! You say. 'Excuse me,' and you believe that is sufficient? Not at all my young man. Do you fancy because you have heard Monsieur de Treville speak to us a little cavalierly today that other people are to treat us as he speaks to us? Undeceive yourself, comrade, you are not Monsieur de Treville."

"My faith!" replied d'Artagnan, recognizing Athos, who, after the dressing performed by the doctor, was returning to his own apartment. "I did not do it intentionally, and not doing it intentionally, I said 'Excuse me.' It appears to me that this is quite enough. I repeat to you, however, and this time on my word of honor--I think perhaps too often--that I am in haste, great haste. Leave your hold, then, I beg of you, and let me go where my business calls me."

"Monsieur," said Athos, letting him go, "you are not polite; it is easy to perceive that you come from a distance."

D'Artagnan had already strode down three or four stairs, but at Athos's last remark he stopped short.

"MORBLEU, monsieur!" said he, "however far I may come, it is not you who can give me a lesson in good manners, I warn you."

"Perhaps," said Athos.

"Ah! If I were not in such haste, and if I were not running after someone," said d'Artagnan.

"Monsieur Man-in-a-hurry, you can find me without running--ME, you understand?"

"And where, I pray you?"

"Near the Carmes-Deschaux."

"At what hour?"

"About noon."

"About noon? That will do; I will be there."

"Endeavor not to make me wait; for at quarter past twelve I will cut off your ears as you run."

"Good!" cried d'Artagnan, "I will be there ten minutes before twelve." And he set off running as if the devil possessed him, hoping that he might yet find the stranger, whose slow pace could not have carried him far.

But at the street gate, Porthos was talking with the soldier on guard. Between the two talkers there was just enough room for a man to pass. D'Artagnan thought it would suffice for him, and he sprang forward like a dart between them. But d'Artagnan had reckoned without the wind. As he was about to pass, the wind blew out Porthos's long cloak, and d'Artagnan rushed straight into the middle of it. Without doubt, Porthos had reasons for not abandoning this part of his vestments, for instead of quitting his hold on the flap in his hand, he pulled it toward him, so that d'Artagnan rolled himself up in the velvet by a movement of rotation explained by the persistency of Porthos.

D'Artagnan, hearing the Musketeer swear, wished to escape from the cloak, which blinded him, and sought to find his way from under the folds of it. He was particularly anxious to avoid marring the freshness of the magnificent baldric we are acquainted with; but on timidly opening his eyes, he found himself with his nose fixed between the two shoulders of Porthos--that is to say, exactly upon the baldric.

Alas, like most things in this world which have nothing in their favor but appearances, the baldric was glittering with gold in the front, but was nothing but simple buff behind. Vainglorious as he was, Porthos could not afford to have a baldric wholly of gold, but had at least half. One could comprehend the necessity of the cold and the urgency of the cloak.

"Bless me!" cried Porthos, making strong efforts to disembarrass himself of d'Artagnan, who was wriggling about his back; "you must be mad to run against people in this manner."

"Excuse me," said d'Artagnan, reappearing under the shoulder of the giant, "but I am in such haste--I was running after someone and--"

"And do you always forget your eyes when you run?" asked Porthos.

"No," replied d'Artagnan, piqued, "and thanks to my eyes, I can see what other people cannot see."

Whether Porthos understood him or did not understand him, giving way to his anger, "Monsieur," said he, "you stand a chance of getting chastised if you rub Musketeers in this fashion."

"Chastised, Monsieur!" said d'Artagnan, "the expression is strong."

"It is one that becomes a man accustomed to look his enemies in the face."

"Ah, PARDIEU! I know full well that you don't turn your back to yours."

And the young man, delighted with his joke, went away laughing loudly.

Porthos foamed with rage, and made a movement to rush after d'Artagnan.

"Presently, presently," cried the latter, "when you haven't your cloak on."

"At one o'clock, then, behind the Luxembourg."

"Very well, at one o'clock, then," replied d'Artagnan, turning the angle of the street.

But neither in the street he had passed through, nor in the one which his eager glance pervaded, could he see anyone; however slowly the stranger had walked, he was gone on his way, or perhaps had entered some house. D'Artagnan inquired of everyone he met with, went down to the ferry, came up again by the Rue de Seine, and the Red Cross; but nothing, absolutely nothing! This chase was, however, advantageous to him in one sense, for in proportion as the perspiration broke from his forehead, his heart began to cool.

He began to reflect upon the events that had passed; they were numerous and inauspicious. It was scarcely eleven o'clock in the morning, and yet this morning had already brought him into disgrace with M. de Treville, who could not fail to think the manner in which d'Artagnan had left him a little cavalier.

Besides this, he had drawn upon himself two good duels with two men, each capable of killing three d'Artagnans--with two Musketeers, in short, with two of those beings whom he esteemed so greatly that he placed them in his mind and heart above all other men.

The outlook was sad. Sure of being killed by Athos, it may easily be understood that the young man was not very uneasy about Porthos. As hope, however, is the last thing extinguished in the heart of man, he finished by hoping that he might survive, even though with terrible wounds, in both these duels; and in case of surviving, he made the following reprehensions upon his own conduct:

"What a madcap I was, and what a stupid fellow I am! That brave and unfortunate Athos was wounded on that very shoulder against which I must run head foremost, like a ram. The only thing that astonishes me is that he did not strike me dead at once. He had good cause to do so; the pain I gave him must have been atrocious. As to Porthos--oh, as to Porthos, faith, that's a droll affair!"

And in spite of himself, the young man began to laugh aloud, looking round carefully, however, to see that his solitary laugh, without a cause in the eyes of passers-by, offended no one.

"As to Porthos, that is certainly droll; but I am not the less a giddy fool. Are people to be run against without warning? No! And have I any right to go and peep under their cloaks to see what is not there? He would have pardoned me, he would certainly have pardoned me, if I had not said anything to him about that cursed baldric--in ambiguous words, it is true, but rather drolly ambiguous. Ah, cursed Gascon that I am, I get from one hobble into another. Friend d'Artagnan," continued he, speaking to himself with all the amenity that he thought due himself, "if you escape, of which there is not much chance, I would advise you to practice perfect politeness for the future. You must henceforth be admired and quoted as a model of it. To be obliging and polite does not necessarily make a man a coward. Look at Aramis, now; Aramis is mildness and grace personified. Well, did anybody ever dream of calling Aramis a coward? No, certainly not, and from this moment I will endeavor to model myself after him. Ah! That's strange! Here he is!"

D'Artagnan, walking and soliloquizing, had arrived within a few steps of the hotel d'Arguillon and in front of that hotel perceived Aramis, chatting gaily with three gentlemen; but as he had not forgotten that it was in presence of this young man that M. de Treville had been so angry in the morning, and as a witness of the rebuke the Musketeers had received was not likely to be at all agreeable, he pretended not to see him. D'Artagnan, on the contrary, quite full of his plans of conciliation and courtesy, approached the young men with a profound bow, accompanied by a most gracious smile. All four, besides, immediately broke off their conversation.

D'Artagnan was not so dull as not to perceive that he was one too many; but he was not sufficiently broken into the fashions of the gay world to know how to extricate himself gallantly from a false position, like that of a man who begins to mingle with people he is scarcely acquainted with and in a conversation that does not concern him. He was seeking in his mind, then, for the least awkward means of retreat, when he remarked that Aramis had let his handkerchief fall, and by mistake, no doubt, had placed his foot upon it. This appeared to be a favorable opportunity to repair his intrusion. He stooped, and with the most gracious air he could assume, drew the handkerchief from under the foot of the Musketeer in spite of the efforts the latter made to detain it, and holding it out to him, said, "I believe, monsieur, that this is a handkerchief you would be sorry to lose?"

The handkerchief was indeed richly embroidered, and had a coronet and arms at one of its corners. Aramis blushed excessively, and snatched rather than took the handkerchief from the hand of the Gascon.

"Ah, ah!" cried one of the Guards, "will you persist in saying, most discreet Aramis, that you are not on good terms with Madame de Bois-Tracy, when that gracious lady has the kindness to lend you one of her handkerchiefs?"

Aramis darted at d'Artagnan one of those looks which inform a man that he has acquired a mortal enemy. Then, resuming his mild air, "You are deceived, gentlemen," said he, "this handkerchief is not mine, and I cannot fancy why Monsieur has taken it into his head to offer it to me rather than to one of you; and as a proof of what I say, here is mine in my pocket."

So saying, he pulled out his own handkerchief, likewise a very elegant handkerchief, and of fine cambric--though cambric was dear at the period--but a handkerchief without embroidery and without arms, only ornamented with a single cipher, that of its proprietor.

This time d'Artagnan was not hasty. He perceived his mistake; but the friends of Aramis were not at all convinced by his denial, and one of them addressed the young Musketeer with affected seriousness. "If it were as you pretend it is," said he, "I should be forced, my dear Aramis, to reclaim it myself; for, as you very well know, Bois-Tracy is an intimate friend of mine, and I cannot allow the property of his wife to be sported as a trophy."

"You make the demand badly," replied Aramis; "and while acknowledging the justice of your reclamation, I refuse it on account of the form."

"The fact is," hazarded d'Artagnan, timidly, "I did not see the handkerchief fall from the pocket of Monsieur Aramis. He had his foot upon it, that is all; and I thought from having his foot upon it the handkerchief was his."

"And you were deceived, my dear sir," replied Aramis, coldly, very little sensible to the reparation. Then turning toward that one of the guards who had declared himself the friend of Bois-Tracy, "Besides," continued he, "I have reflected, my dear intimate of Bois-Tracy, that I am not less tenderly his friend than you can possibly be; so that decidedly this handkerchief is as likely to have fallen from your pocket as mine."

"No, upon my honor!" cried his Majesty's Guardsman.

"You are about to swear upon your honor and I upon my word, and then it will be pretty evident that one of us will have lied. Now, here, Montaran, we will do better than that--let each take a half."

"Of the handkerchief?"

"Yes."

"Perfectly just," cried the other two Guardsmen, "the judgment of King Solomon! Aramis, you certainly are full of wisdom!"

The young men burst into a laugh, and as may be supposed, the affair had no other sequel. In a moment or two the conversation ceased, and the three Guardsmen and the Musketeer, after having cordially shaken hands, separated, the Guardsmen going one way and Aramis another.

"Now is my time to make peace with this gallant man," said d'Artagnan to himself, having stood on one side during the whole of the latter part of the conversation; and with this good feeling drawing near to Aramis, who was departing without paying any attention to him, "Monsieur," said he, "you will excuse me, I hope."

"Ah, monsieur," interrupted Aramis, "permit me to observe to you that you have not acted in this affair as a gallant man ought."

"What, monsieur!" cried d'Artagnan, "and do you suppose--"

"I suppose, monsieur that you are not a fool, and that you knew very well, although coming from Gascony, that people do not tread upon handkerchiefs without a reason. What the devil! Paris is not paved with cambric!"

"Monsieur, you act wrongly in endeavoring to mortify me," said d'Artagnan, in whom the natural quarrelsome spirit began to speak more loudly than his pacific resolutions. "I am from Gascony, it is true; and since you know it, there is no occasion to tell you that Gascons are not very patient, so that when they have begged to be excused once, were it even for a folly, they are convinced that they have done already at least as much again as they ought to have done."

"Monsieur, what I say to you about the matter," said Aramis, "is not for the sake of seeking a quarrel. Thank God, I am not a bravo! And being a Musketeer but for a time, I only fight when I am forced to do so, and always with great repugnance; but this time the affair is serious, for here is a lady compromised by you."

"By US, you mean!" cried d'Artagnan.

"Why did you so maladroitly restore me the handkerchief?"

"Why did you so awkwardly let it fall?"

"I have said, monsieur, and I repeat, that the handkerchief did not fall from my pocket."

"And thereby you have lied twice, monsieur, for I saw it fall."

"Ah, you take it with that tone, do you, Master Gascon? Well, I will teach you how to behave yourself."

"And I will send you back to your Mass book, Master Abbe. Draw, if you please, and instantly--"

"Not so, if you please, my good friend--not here, at least. Do you not perceive that we are opposite the Hotel d'Arguillon, which is full of the cardinal's creatures? How do I know that this is not his Eminence who has honored you with the commission to procure my head? Now, I entertain a ridiculous partiality for my head, it seems to suit my shoulders so correctly. I wish to kill you, be at rest as to that, but to kill you quietly in a snug, remote place, where you will not be able to boast of your death to anybody."

"I agree, monsieur; but do not be too confident. Take your handkerchief; whether it belongs to you or another, you may perhaps stand in need of it."

"Monsieur is a Gascon?" asked Aramis.

"Yes. Monsieur does not postpone an interview through prudence?"

"Prudence, monsieur, is a virtue sufficiently useless to Musketeers, I know, but indispensable to churchmen; and as I am only a Musketeer provisionally, I hold it good to be prudent. At two o'clock I shall have the honor of expecting you at the hotel of Monsieur de Treville. There I will indicate to you the best place and time."

The two young men bowed and separated, Aramis ascending the street which led to the Luxembourg, while d'Artagnan, perceiving the appointed hour was approaching, took the road to the Carmes-Deschaux, saying to himself, "Decidedly I can't draw back; but at least, if I am killed, I shall be killed by a Musketeer."

 

第四章 阿托斯的肩膀、波托斯的肩带和阿拉米斯的手绢

达达尼昂怒气冲天,三步蹿出候见室,扑到台阶跟前,就要几级一跨往下冲。正在这时,一个火枪手从特雷维尔先生办公楼的一道旁门走出来。达达尼昂低着头只顾跑,一头撞在那个火枪手的肩膀上,撞得他大叫一声,确切地讲是嚎叫了一声。

"对不起,"达达尼昂说道,还想继续跑,"对不起,我有急事。"

他刚跨下第一级台阶,一只铁一样的手一把抓住了他的肩带,使他停住了。

"您有急事!"那个火枪手脸色惨白,厉声说道,"借口有急事撞了我,然后说声'对不起',您以为这就够了吗?没那么简单,年轻人。您听见特雷维尔先生今天不大客气地说了我们,就以为可以像他那样对待我们了?您错了,伙计,您不是特雷维尔先生。"

"说实话,"达达尼昂答道,他认出对方是阿托斯,经医生包扎之后,正回寓所去。"说实话,我不是故意的。我说了'对不起',我觉得已经够了。不过我现在还是对您再说一遍;这一遍也许是多余的。我以名誉担保,我真有急事,非常急。放我走吧,求您了,让我去办我的事。"

"先生,"阿托斯放了他,说道,"你没有礼貌,显然是从远地来的。"

达达尼昂已经跨下三四级台阶,听到阿托斯的指责,顿时收住脚步。

"够了,先生!"他说道,"告诉您,不管我是从多么远的地方来的,也不能由您来教训我要懂礼貌。"

"也许吧。"阿托斯说道。

"哼!要不是我有急事,"达达尼昂大声说,"要不是我正在追一个人……"

"有急事的先生,您不需要跑就能找到我,听懂了吗?"

"请问在什么地方?"

"加尔默罗-赤足修道院旁边。"

"几点钟。"

"正午时分。"

"正午时分,成,我一定到。"

"别让我等候。我事先告诉您,十二点一刻不见您来,我可就要去找您,半路上割掉你的耳朵。"

"好!"达达尼昂答道,"我十二点差十分到达。"

说罢,他像被魔鬼驱使着,又跑起来,希望还能找到那个陌生人,因为陌生人走路不紧不慢,估计不会走得太远。

但是在大门口,波托斯正与门卫在聊天。两个聊天的人之间,只有可以通过一个人的空当儿。达达尼昂以为通过没有问题,便箭一般从两个人之间冲过去。偏偏在他正要过去时,风刮得波托斯的长斗篷鼓了起来,恰巧把达达尼昂罩住了。波托斯大概自有道理,不肯让身上这件主要的衣裳落到地上,所以他抓住前摆的两手不仅没有松开,反而往身边一拉,结果把达达尼昂裹了进去,而且他本来就一副倔脾气,又拉得那样猛,使达达尼昂在斗篷里打了一个滚。

达达尼昂听见这个火枪手骂娘,想从斗篷底下钻出来,但眼睛看不见,便想从斗篷褶子间找出路。他尤其担心把那条我们已经见过的漂亮肩带弄脏。可是,当他胆怯地睁开眼睛时,发现自己正鼻子贴在波托斯的双肩之间,就是说正贴在肩带上。

唉!就像世界上大部分东西只讲究外表一样,这条肩带前面是绣金的,后面却只不过是水牛皮做的。难怪波托斯自命不凡:他虽然没有一条整个儿绣金的肩带,至少有一半是绣了金的嘛。不过,现在我们总算明白了他为什么伤风了,为什么非披上斗篷不可。

"活见鬼!"波托斯嚷道,他想尽力摆脱在他背后乱钻的达达尼昂,"您疯了吗,这样往人身上撞!"

"请原谅,"达达尼昂从大个子的肩膀底下钻出来,"我有急事,正追一个人,所以……"

"您追起人来难道忘了带眼睛吗?"

"那倒没忘,"达达尼昂被激怒了,"那倒没忘。正因为带了眼睛,我看见了别人看不见的东西。"

这句话波托斯是否听明白了不得而知,不过他总是和以往一样,发起火来就控制不住。

"先生,我告诉您,这样向火枪手挑衅是自讨苦吃。"

"自讨苦吃!先生,"达达尼昂说,"这话未免太凶啦。"

"对于一向敢于正视敌人的人来讲,这话恰到好处。"

"啊!这还用说!我知道您不会背朝着您的敌人。"

小伙子对自己这句俏皮话很得意,哈哈大笑着抬腿就走。

波托斯怒不可遏,准备向达达尼昂扑过去。

"稍许等一等吧,稍许等一等吧,"达达尼昂说道,"等你不穿斗篷再说。"

"那么,一点钟在卢森堡公园后面。"

"很好,一点钟见。"达达尼昂说罢转过了街角。

可是,无论是他跑过的街上,还是他现在举目搜寻的街上,都没看见那个陌生人的影子。那人即使走得慢,也该走远了,也有可能进了某所房子。达达尼昂逢人就打听是否见到过那个人。他一直下到渡口,然后又沿着塞纳河街和红十字街往上走。没有见到那人,连影子都没有见到。然而,这阵追赶对他还是有益处的:他跑得满头大汗,心里渐渐冷静下来了。

他开始考虑刚刚发生的事。刚发生的事不少,而且件件不吉利。现在才上午十一点钟,可是这个上午使他失去了特雷维尔先生的信任,因为他离开他的那种方式,肯定会使特雷维尔先生觉得有点粗鲁。

其次,他自找了两场地道的决斗,而那两个对手,每个都能杀死三个达达尼昂。总之,两个对手都是火枪手,就是说,都是他非常尊重的人。在他的心目中,他们是超乎一般人之上的人。

情况不妙。这个年轻人肯定自己会被阿托斯杀死,倒是没怎么把波托斯放在心上,这是不难理解的。然而,希望是人心灵里最后熄灭的东西。达达尼昂还是希望自己在两次决斗中能够幸存下来,当然会受到重伤。想到能够幸存下来,他便为未来而自我责备道:

"我真冒失,真鲁莽!那个正直而不幸的阿托斯肩膀受了伤,我却刚好撞在他肩膀上,像头山羊那样顶着头撞过去。唯一令我诧异的事情,他没有不由分说杀了我。他本来有这种权利的,我那一头撞得他肯定疼得不得了。至于波托斯!呃!至于波托斯,老实讲,情况就比较滑稽了。"

小伙子情不自禁笑起来。然而,想起独自一个人这样笑,会使看见他笑的人感到莫名其妙,所以他抬眼打量一下四周,看他的笑是不是会伤害什么行人。

"至于波托斯,情况则比较滑稽,但我也鲁莽得可怜。有那样连招呼也不打一声就扑到人家身上的吗?没有!有那样钻到人家斗篷底下去看他不愿意让人看见的东西的吗?他肯定可以原凉我,他本来已经原凉了我,如果我不对他提那条讨厌的肩带的话,不错,只是含沙射影地提到;是的,巧妙的含沙射影!咳!我这个可恶的加斯科尼人,总是爱开玩笑,将来难免自讨苦吃的。行啦,达达尼昂,老伙计,"他以这种自认为应有的礼貌态度,继续对自己说道,"这次你要是能逃出条性命——这不大可能——,那么将来无论对谁都要彬彬有礼。要做到让世人敬佩你,引你为楷模。为人和气、礼貌并不是怯懦。瞧人家阿拉米斯多么温文,多么尔雅。那么,是不是有人说阿拉米斯是个懦夫呢?肯定没有。以后无论在哪方面,我都要以他为榜样。哈!说阿拉米斯,阿拉米斯就恰巧在这儿。"

达达尼昂一边走,一边独言自语,到了离埃吉翁公馆几步远的地方,看见阿拉米斯正在公馆前面愉快地与王室卫队的几个绅士闲聊。阿拉米斯也看见了达达尼昂,但是他没有忘记,今天上午特雷维尔先生正是当着这个小伙子的面,对他们大发雷霆;一个亲眼看见火枪手们受申斥的人是不受欢迎的,所以他装作没有看见达达尼昂。达达尼昂正相反,一心想着要和解,对人要礼貌,便走到四个年轻人跟前,笑容可掬地向他们深深鞠一躬。阿拉米斯只微微点了点头,脸上没有一丝笑容。四个人立即停止了闲聊。

达达尼昂并不傻,自然看出了自己是多余的。不过,他也缺乏经验,不了解上流社会的处事方式,不懂得遇到眼前这种尴尬情形,即碰见几个不大认识的人,在一起谈与自己无关的事情,应该巧妙地回避。他心里正琢磨用什么法子退走,而又不使自己显得笨拙,正在这时,他看见阿拉米斯把手绢弄掉了,显然自己还没有发现,一脚踩在上面。达达尼昂觉得补救自己举止不当的时机到了,便弯下腰,极殷勤地把手绢从阿拉米斯脚下——尽管他踩住不放——拉出来,交到他手里,说道:

"先生,这条手绢我想您是不愿意丢掉的。"

那条手绢绣得很精致,一个角上绣有一个花冠和一个勋徽。阿拉米斯顿时满脸通红,像抢似的一把将手绢从达达尼昂手里夺了过去。

"哈哈!"一位卫士叫起来,"一向小心谨慎的阿拉米斯,这回您还说您与布瓦特拉西夫人合不来吗?这位迷人的夫人连手绢都殷勤地借给您用啦!"

阿拉米斯恶狠狠瞪达达尼昂一眼。这一眼足以让人明白,自己刚刚结了一个死对头。然后,他恢复了温和的神态说道:"你们误会了,先生们,这块手绢不是我的。不知道这位先生受什么怪念头支配塞到了我手里,而没有交给你们之中哪一位。我的手绢在我口袋,这就证明我说的不假。"

阿拉米斯说着掏出自己的手绢。那块手绢也很漂亮,是用细亚麻布做的,尽管当时亚麻布很贵。不过上面没有绣花,也没有绣勋徽,只绣了物主姓名的起首字母。

这回达达尼昂一声不吭了,明白自己又做了傻事。可是,阿拉米斯的朋友们根本不相信阿拉米斯否认的话,他们之中的一位装出严肃的样子问道:

"假如您所说的是真话,亲爱的阿拉米斯,那么就请您把那块手绢给我,因为正如您知道的,布瓦特拉西先生是我的朋友,我不愿意让别人拿他妻子的东西作纪念品。"

"您这要求不合时宜。"阿拉米斯答道,"我虽然承认您的要求从实质上讲是正确的,但从处理方式上讲,我拒绝把它交给您。"

"事实上。"达达尼昂怯生生地插话道,"我没有看见手绢是从阿拉米斯先生口袋里掉出来的。他的脚踩住了它,就这么回事。我想手绢既然在他的脚底下,就一定是他的了。"

"您想错了,可爱的先生。"阿拉米斯冷冰冰说道,对达达尼昂极力补过无动于衷。

然后他转向自称是布瓦特拉西的朋友的那个卫士说道:"况且,我想,亲爱的,您是布瓦特拉西的亲密朋友,我也是他的朋友,同他的交情并不比您差,所以严格地讲,这条手绢可能是从您口袋里掉出来的,也有可能是从我口袋里掉出来的。"

"不是从我口袋里掉出来的,我以名誉担保。"国王陛下的卫士说道。

"您以名誉担保,我也赌咒发誓,那么,显然我们俩之中有一个是说假话。那么,蒙塔兰,我们最好各拿一半。"

"这条手绢各拿一半?"

"不错。"

"好极了,"另外两个卫士叫起来,"真堪称所罗门王的审判①。阿拉米斯,你的确非常聪明。"

  ①所罗门为古代以色列国王。有两妇人共争一孩子,所罗门令将孩子劈为两半,让她们各取一半,孩子的真母亲为保全亲子性命,宁愿放弃。所罗门遂将孩子判给她。此称"所罗门王的审判"。

几个年轻人哈哈大笑。大家当然想得到,事情不会有别的下文。过了一会儿,闲聊结束,三个卫士与火枪手热情握手告别,与阿拉米斯互朝相反的方向走了。

"唔,与这位温文尔雅的人讲和的时机到了。"达达尼昂暗自说道。刚才阿拉米斯与那几个人最后闲聊时,他退得稍微远点儿站在一旁。现在,他怀着这种善意的想法,走到阿拉米斯身边。阿拉米斯正要离开,根本没注意到他。

"先生,"他对阿拉米斯说道,"希望你会原谅我。"

"啊!先生,"阿拉米斯打断他,"我谨向您指出,您在这种场合的举止的确不像一个有礼貌的人。"

"什么!先生,"达达尼昂大声说道,"您想……"

"先生,我想您不是一个蠢货,即使是从加斯科尼来的,也会明白一个人决不会无缘无故踩在手绢上。真见鬼!巴黎并非到处都铺了细麻布。"

"先生,您这样想方设法侮辱我可错了。"达达尼昂说道。在他内心深处,吵架的本性正在战胜和好的决心。"不错,我是从加斯科尼来的;既然你知道这一点,我就没有必要告诉您加斯科尼人是没有多少耐心的。他们即使干了一件傻事,道过一次歉之后,就认为该做的事已经做了一半。"

"先生,我对您说这些话,并不是想同您吵架。谢天谢地,我不是个好舞刀弄剑的人,当火枪手也不过是权宜之计,我只是迫不得已才与人决斗,而且心里总是非常厌恶。可是这一次,事情严重,您损害了一位贵夫人的名誉。"

"要说的话,是被你我两个人损害的。"达达尼昂大声说。

"您为什么要笨手笨脚把手绢还给我?"

"您为什么笨手笨脚把手绢掉在地上?"

"我说过了,我再重复一遍,先生:那块手绢不是从我口袋里掉出来的。"

"好呀,您说了两次假话,先生。我亲眼看见手绢从您口袋里掉出来的。"

"哼!您居然用这种口气说话,加斯科尼先生,我要教您怎样做人。"

"我要打发您回去做您的弥撒去,教士先生!请您马上拔出剑来。"

"请别,漂亮的朋友,至少别在这儿。您难道没看见,我们对面就是埃吉翁公馆,里面尽是红衣主教的人?谁能告诉我,您不是主教大人派来要我的脑袋的?可是,我偏偏非常珍惜我的脑袋,因为它长在我的肩膀上似乎挺合适的。所以,我倒想宰了您,不过别慌,我要慢慢地宰您,而且找一个偏僻的地方,以免您向别人夸口您是怎么死的。"

"我愿意奉陪,不过您不要太自信,还是带上您的手绢吧,管它是不是您的,您也许用得着的。"

"先生是加斯科尼人?"阿拉米斯问道。

"不错。先生不会出于谨慎而推迟一次约会吧?"

"先生,谨慎对于火枪手来说是一种没有多大用处的品德,这我知道,但对于教士来说,却是必不可少的品德。我当火枪手只是暂时为之,所以我坚持谨慎行事。两点钟,我在特雷维尔先生的公馆里恭候您,那时再告诉您适宜的地点。"

两个年轻人就此告别。阿拉米斯沿着通向卢森堡公园的街道走了;达达尼昂见时候不早了,便向加尔默罗-赤足修道院走去,一边走一边对自己说:

"我这一去准回不来了,但就是死了,至少也是死在一个火枪手手里。"




Chapter 5 THE KING'S MUSKETEERS AND THE CARDINAL'S GUARDS

D'Artagnan was acquainted with nobody in Paris. He went therefore to his appointment with Athos without a second, determined to be satisfied with those his adversary should choose. Besides, his intention was formed to make the brave Musketeer all suitable apologies, but without meanness or weakness, fearing that might result from this duel which generally results from an affair of this kind, when a young and vigorous man fights with an adversary who is wounded and weakened--if conquered, he doubles the triumph of his antagonist; if a conqueror, he is accused of foul play and want of courage.

Now, we must have badly painted the character of our adventure seeker, or our readers must have already perceived that d'Artagnan was not an ordinary man; therefore, while repeating to himself that his death was inevitable, he did not make up his mind to die quietly, as one less courageous and less restrained might have done in his place. He reflected upon the different characters of men he had to fight with, and began to view his situation more clearly. He hoped, by means of loyal excuses, to make a friend of Athos, whose lordly air and austere bearing pleased him much. He flattered himself he should be able to frighten Porthos with the adventure of the baldric, which he might, if not killed upon the spot, relate to everybody a recital which, well managed, would cover Porthos with ridicule. As to the astute Aramis, he did not entertain much dread of him; and supposing he should be able to get so far, he determined to dispatch him in good style or at least, by hitting him in the face, as Caesar recommended his soldiers do to those of Pompey, to damage forever the beauty of which he was so proud.

In addition to this, d'Artagnan possessed that invincible stock of resolution which the counsels of his father had implanted in his heart: "Endure nothing from anyone but the king, the cardinal, and Monsieur de Treville." He flew, then, rather than walked, toward the convent of the Carmes Dechausses, or rather Deschaux, as it was called at that period, a sort of building without a window, surrounded by barren fields--an accessory to the Preaux-Clercs, and which was generally employed as the place for the duels of men who had no time to lose.

When d'Artagnan arrived in sight of the bare spot of ground which extended along the foot of the monastery, Athos had been waiting about five minutes, and twelve o'clock was striking. He was, then, as punctual as the Samaritan woman, and the most rigorous casuist with regard to duels could have nothing to say.

Athos, who still suffered grievously from his wound, though it had been dressed anew by M. de Treville's surgeon, was seated on a post and waiting for his adversary with hat in hand, his feather even touching the ground.

"Monsieur," said Athos, "I have engaged two of my friends as seconds; but these two friends are not yet come, at which I am astonished, as it is not at all their custom."

"I have no seconds on my part, monsieur," said d'Artagnan; "for having only arrived yesterday in Paris, I as yet know no one but Monsieur de Treville, to whom I was recommended by my father, who has the honor to be, in some degree, one of his friends."

Athos reflected for an instant. "You know no one but Monsieur de Treville?" he asked.

"Yes, monsieur, I know only him."

"Well, but then," continued Athos, speaking half to himself, "if I kill you, I shall have the air of a boy-slayer."

"Not too much so," replied d'Artagnan, with a bow that was not deficient in dignity, "since you do me the honor to draw a sword with me while suffering from a wound which is very inconvenient."

"Very inconvenient, upon my word; and you hurt me devilishly, I can tell you. But I will take the left hand--it is my custom in such circumstances. Do not fancy that I do you a favor; I use either hand easily. And it will be even a disadvantage to you; a left-handed man is very troublesome to people who are not prepared for it. I regret I did not inform you sooner of this circumstance."

"You have truly, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, bowing again, "a courtesy, for which, I assure you, I am very grateful."

"You confuse me," replied Athos, with his gentlemanly air; "let us talk of something else, if you please. Ah, s'blood, how you have hurt me! My shoulder quite burns."

"If you would permit me--" said d'Artagnan, with timidity.

"What, monsieur?"

"I have a miraculous balsam for wounds--a balsam given to me by my mother and of which I have made a trial upon myself."

"Well?"

"Well, I am sure that in less than three days this balsam would cure you; and at the end of three days, when you would be cured--well, sir, it would still do me a great honor to be your man."

D'Artagnan spoke these words with a simplicity that did honor to his courtesy, without throwing the least doubt upon his courage.

"PARDIEU, monsieur!" said Athos, "that's a proposition that pleases me; not that I can accept it, but a league off it savors of the gentleman. Thus spoke and acted the gallant knights of the time of Charlemagne, in whom every cavalier ought to seek his model. Unfortunately, we do not live in the times of the great emperor, we live in the times of the cardinal; and three days hence, however well the secret might be guarded, it would be known, I say, that we were to fight, and our combat would be prevented. I think these fellows will never come."

"If you are in haste, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, with the same simplicity with which a moment before he had proposed to him to put off the duel for three days, "and if it be your will to dispatch me at once, do not inconvenience yourself, I pray you."

"There is another word which pleases me," cried Athos, with a gracious nod to d'Artagnan. "That did not come from a man without a heart. Monsieur, I love men of your kidney; and I foresee plainly that if we don't kill each other, I shall hereafter have much pleasure in your conversation. We will wait for these gentlemen, so please you; I have plenty of time, and it will be more correct. Ah, here is one of them, I believe."

In fact, at the end of the Rue Vaugirard the gigantic Porthos appeared.

"What!" cried d'Artagnan, "is your first witness Monsieur Porthos?"

"Yes, that disturbs you?"

"By no means."

"And here is the second."

D'Artagnan turned in the direction pointed to by Athos, and perceived Aramis.

"What!" cried he, in an accent of greater astonishment than before, "your second witness is Monsieur Aramis?"

"Doubtless! Are you not aware that we are never seen one without the others, and that we are called among the Musketeers and the Guards, at court and in the city, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, or the Three Inseparables? And yet, as you come from Dax or Pau--"

"From Tarbes," said d'Artagnan.

"It is probable you are ignorant of this little fact," said Athos.

"My faith!" replied d'Artagnan, "you are well named, gentlemen; and my adventure, if it should make any noise, will prove at least that your union is not founded upon contrasts."

In the meantime, Porthos had come up, waved his hand to Athos, and then turning toward d'Artagnan, stood quite astonished.

Let us say in passing that he had changed his baldric and relinquished his cloak.

"Ah, ah!" said he, "what does this mean?"

"This is the gentleman I am going to fight with," said Athos, pointing to d'Artagnan with his hand and saluting him with the same gesture.

"Why, it is with him I am also going to fight," said Porthos.

"But not before one o'clock," replied d'Artagnan.

"And I also am to fight with this gentleman," said Aramis, coming in his turn onto the place.

"But not until two o'clock," said d'Artagnan, with the same calmness.

"But what are you going to fight about, Athos?" asked Aramis.

"Faith! I don't very well know. He hurt my shoulder. And you, Porthos?"

"Faith! I am going to fight--because I am going to fight," answered Porthos, reddening.

Athos, whose keen eye lost nothing, perceived a faintly sly smile pass over the lips of the young Gascon as he replied, "We had a short discussion upon dress."

"And you, Aramis?" asked Athos.

"Oh, ours is a theological quarrel," replied Aramis, making a sign to d'Artagnan to keep secret the cause of their duel.

Athos indeed saw a second smile on the lips of d'Artagnan.

"Indeed?" said Athos.

"Yes; a passage of St. Augustine, upon which we could not agree," said the Gascon.

"Decidedly, this is a clever fellow," murmured Athos.

"And now you are assembled, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, "permit me to offer you my apologies."

At this word APOLOGIES, a cloud passed over the brow of Athos, a haughty smile curled the lip of Porthos, and a negative sign was the reply of Aramis.

"You do not understand me, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, throwing up his head, the sharp and bold lines of which were at the moment gilded by a bright ray of the sun. "I asked to be excused in case I should not be able to discharge my debt to all three; for Monsieur Athos has the right to kill me first, which must much diminish the face-value of your bill, Monsieur Porthos, and render yours almost null, Monsieur Aramis. And now, gentlemen, I repeat, excuse me, but on that account only, and--on guard!"

At these words, with the most gallant air possible, d'Artagnan drew his sword.

The blood had mounted to the head of d'Artagnan, and at that moment he would have drawn his sword against all the Musketeers in the kingdom as willingly as he now did against Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.

It was a quarter past midday. The sun was in its zenith, and the spot chosen for the scene of the duel was exposed to its full ardor.

"It is very hot," said Athos, drawing his sword in its turn, "and yet I cannot take off my doublet; for I just now felt my wound begin to bleed again, and I should not like to annoy Monsieur with the sight of blood which he has not drawn from me himself."

"That is true, Monsieur," replied d'Artagnan, "and whether drawn by myself or another, I assure you I shall always view with regret the blood of so brave a gentleman. I will therefore fight in my doublet, like yourself."

"Come, come, enough of such compliments!" cried Porthos. "Remember, we are waiting for our turns."

"Speak for yourself when you are inclined to utter such incongruities," interrupted Aramis. "For my part, I think what they say is very well said, and quite worthy of two gentlemen."

"When you please, monsieur," said Athos, putting himself on guard.

"I waited your orders," said d'Artagnan, crossing swords.

But scarcely had the two rapiers clashed, when a company of the Guards of his Eminence, commanded by M. de Jussac, turned the corner of the convent.

"The cardinal's Guards!" cried Aramis and Porthos at the same time. "Sheathe your swords, gentlemen, sheathe your swords!"

But it was too late. The two combatants had been seen in a position which left no doubt of their intentions.

"Halloo!" cried Jussac, advancing toward them and making a sign to his men to do so likewise, "halloo, Musketeers? Fighting here, are you? And the edicts? What is become of them?"

"You are very generous, gentlemen of the Guards," said Athos, full of rancor, for Jussac was one of the aggressors of the preceding day. "If we were to see you fighting, I can assure you that we would make no effort to prevent you. Leave us alone, then, and you will enjoy a little amusement without cost to yourselves."

"Gentlemen," said Jussac, "it is with great regret that I pronounce the thing impossible. Duty before everything. Sheathe, then, if you please, and follow us."

"Monsieur," said Aramis, parodying Jussac, "it would afford us great pleasure to obey your polite invitation if it depended upon ourselves; but unfortunately the thing is impossible--Monsieur de Treville has forbidden it. Pass on your way, then; it is the best thing to do."

This raillery exasperated Jussac. "We will charge upon you, then," said he, "if you disobey."

"There are five of them," said Athos, half aloud, "and we are but three; we shall be beaten again, and must die on the spot, for, on my part, I declare I will never appear again before the captain as a conquered man."

Athos, Porthos, and Aramis instantly drew near one another, while Jussac drew up his soldiers.

This short interval was sufficient to determine d'Artagnan on the part he was to take. It was one of those events which decide the life of a man; it was a choice between the king and the cardinal--the choice made, it must be persisted in. To fight, that was to disobey the law, that was to risk his head, that was to make at one blow an enemy of a minister more powerful than the king himself. All this young man perceived, and yet, to his praise we speak it, he did not hesitate a second. Turning towards Athos and his friends, "Gentlemen," said he, "allow me to correct your words, if you please. You said you were but three, but it appears to me we are four."

"But you are not one of us," said Porthos.

"That's true," replied d'Artagnan; "I have not the uniform, but I have the spirit. My heart is that of a Musketeer; I feel it, monsieur, and that impels me on."

"Withdraw, young man," cried Jussac, who doubtless, by his gestures and the expression of his countenance, had guessed d'Artagnan's design. "You may retire; we consent to that. Save your skin; begone quickly."

D'Artagnan did not budge.

"Decidedly, you are a brave fellow," said Athos, pressing the young man's hand.

"Come, come, choose your part," replied Jussac.

"Well," said Porthos to Aramis, "we must do something."

"Monsieur is full of generosity," said Athos.

But all three reflected upon the youth of d'Artagnan, and dreaded his inexperience.

"We should only be three, one of whom is wounded, with the addition of a boy," resumed Athos; "and yet it will not be the less said we were four men."

"Yes, but to yield!" said Porthos.

"That IS difficult," replied Athos.

D'Artagnan comprehended their irresolution.

"Try me, gentlemen," said he, "and I swear to you by my honor that I will not go hence if we are conquered."

"What is your name, my brave fellow?" said Athos.

"d'Artagnan, monsieur."

"Well, then, Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan, forward!" cried Athos.

"Come, gentlemen, have you decided?" cried Jussac for the third time.

"It is done, gentlemen," said Athos.

"And what is your choice?" asked Jussac.

"We are about to have the honor of charging you," replied Aramis, lifting his hat with one hand and drawing his sword with the other.

"Ah! You resist, do you?" cried Jussac.

"S'blood; does that astonish you?"

And the nine combatants rushed upon each other with a fury which however did not exclude a certain degree of method.

Athos fixed upon a certain Cahusac, a favorite of the cardinal's. Porthos had Bicarat, and Aramis found himself opposed to two adversaries. As to d'Artagnan, he sprang toward Jussac himself.

The heart of the young Gascon beat as if it would burst through his side--not from fear, God be thanked, he had not the shade of it, but with emulation; he fought like a furious tiger, turning ten times round his adversary, and changing his ground and his guard twenty times. Jussac was, as was then said, a fine blade, and had had much practice; nevertheless it required all his skill to defend himself against an adversary who, active and energetic, departed every instant from received rules, attacking him on all sides at once, and yet parrying like a man who had the greatest respect for his own epidermis.

This contest at length exhausted Jussac's patience. Furious at being held in check by one whom he had considered a boy, he became warm and began to make mistakes. D'Artagnan, who though wanting in practice had a sound theory, redoubled his agility. Jussac, anxious to put an end to this, springing forward, aimed a terrible thrust at his adversary, but the latter parried it; and while Jussac was recovering himself, glided like a serpent beneath his blade, and passed his sword through his body. Jussac fell like a dead mass.

D'Artagnan then cast an anxious and rapid glance over the field of battle.

Aramis had killed one of his adversaries, but the other pressed him warmly. Nevertheless, Aramis was in a good situation, and able to defend himself.

Bicarat and Porthos had just made counterhits. Porthos had received a thrust through his arm, and Bicarat one through his thigh. But neither of these two wounds was serious, and they only fought more earnestly.

Athos, wounded anew by Cahusac, became evidently paler, but did not give way a foot. He only changed his sword hand, and fought with his left hand.

According to the laws of dueling at that period, d'Artagnan was at liberty to assist whom he pleased. While he was endeavoring to find out which of his companions stood in greatest need, he caught a glance from Athos. The glance was of sublime eloquence. Athos would have died rather than appeal for help; but he could look, and with that look ask assistance. D'Artagnan interpreted it; with a terrible bound he sprang to the side of Cahusac, crying, "To me, Monsieur Guardsman; I will slay you!"

Cahusac turned. It was time; for Athos, whose great courage alone supported him, sank upon his knee.

"S'blood!" cried he to d'Artagnan, "do not kill him, young man, I beg of you. I have an old affair to settle with him when I am cured and sound again. Disarm him only--make sure of his sword. That's it! Very well done!"

The exclamation was drawn from Athos by seeing the sword of Cahusac fly twenty paces from him. D'Artagnan and Cahusac sprang forward at the same instant, the one to recover, the other to obtain, the sword; but d'Artagnan, being the more active, reached it first and placed his foot upon it.

Cahusac immediately ran to the Guardsman whom Aramis had killed, seized his rapier, and returned toward d'Artagnan; but on his way he met Athos, who during his relief which d'Artagnan had procured him had recovered his breath, and who, for fear that d'Artagnan would kill his enemy, wished to resume the fight.

D'Artagnan perceived that it would be disobliging Athos not to leave him alone; and in a few minutes Cahusac fell, with a sword thrust through his throat.

At the same instant Aramis placed his sword point on the breast of his fallen enemy, and forced him to ask for mercy.

There only then remained Porthos and Bicarat. Porthos made a thousand flourishes, asking Bicarat what o'clock it could be, and offering him his compliments upon his brother's having just obtained a company in the regiment of Navarre; but, jest as he might, he gained nothing. Bicarat was one of those iron men who never fell dead.

Nevertheless, it was necessary to finish. The watch might come up and take all the combatants, wounded or not, royalists or cardinalists. Athos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan surrounded Bicarat, and required him to surrender. Though alone against all and with a wound in his thigh, Bicarat wished to hold out; but Jussac, who had risen upon his elbow, cried out to him to yield. Bicarat was a Gascon, as d'Artagnan was; he turned a deaf ear, and contented himself with laughing, and between two parries finding time to point to a spot of earth with his sword, "Here," cried he, parodying a verse of the Bible, "here will Bicarat die; for I only am left, and they seek my life."

"But there are four against you; leave off, I command you."

"Ah, if you command me, that's another thing," said Bicarat. "As you are my commander, it is my duty to obey." And springing backward, he broke his sword across his knee to avoid the necessity of surrendering it, threw the pieces over the convent wall, and crossed him arms, whistling a cardinalist air.

Bravery is always respected, even in an enemy. The Musketeers saluted Bicarat with their swords, and returned them to their sheaths. D'Artagnan did the same. Then, assisted by Bicarat, the only one left standing, he bore Jussac, Cahusac, and one of Aramis's adversaries who was only wounded, under the porch of the convent. The fourth, as we have said, was dead. They then rang the bell, and carrying away four swords out of five, they took their road, intoxicated with joy, toward the hotel of M. de Treville.

They walked arm in arm, occupying the whole width of the street and taking in every Musketeer they met, so that in the end it became a triumphal march. The heart of d'Artagnan swam in delirium; he marched between Athos and Porthos, pressing them tenderly.

"If I am not yet a Musketeer," said he to his new friends, as he passed through the gateway of M. de Treville's hotel, "at least I have entered upon my apprenticeship, haven't I?"

 

第五章 国王的火枪手和红衣主教的卫士

达达尼昂在巴黎没有任何熟人,所以他去与阿托斯决斗时没带副手,心想反正对手会挑选的,就用他选中的吧。再说,他的意图很明确,是去向那位正直的火枪手适当地表示歉意,但也不示弱。他所担心的是,这场决斗正如所有这类事情一样,结果总是令人不快的:他是一个年轻而强壮的人,对手是一个受伤而衰弱的人,他输了,就会让对方获得双重胜利;他赢了呢,人家肯定会给他加上不老实、讨便宜的罪名。

再说,我们这个爱惹是非的年轻人的性格,就算我们没有交代清楚吧,读者恐怕也已经注意到了:达达尼昂绝非等闲之辈。因此,他一遍又一遍对自己说,他这回是死定了,而且希望要死就死个痛快,他可不是那种畏首畏尾、贪生怕死的人。他考虑了就要与他决斗的几个人的不同性格,对自己的处境开始看得更清楚了。他希望通过老老实实的道歉,能使阿托斯变成自己的朋友,因为阿托斯那种大贵族的气度和庄重的仪表,令他十分倾心。至于波托斯,他自认为可以利用那条肩带的事,使他怕自己,就是说,他如果在决斗中没丢掉性命,就可以把肩带的事抖出去,巧妙地利用流言的影响,使波托斯成为一个可笑的人物。最后还有那个阴险狡猾的阿拉米斯,也没有什么可怕的,等他来到自己跟前,干脆一剑结果他的性命,或者至少要刺伤他的脸,就像凯撒嘱咐士兵毁掉庞培的容貌一样,永远毁掉阿拉米斯如此自豪的那张漂亮的脸蛋。

此外,父亲的告诫,在达达尼昂内心深处形成了坚定不移的决心,这告诫的要旨就是:"除了国王、红衣主教和特雷维尔先生,不要在任何人面前折腰。"他就是怀着这种决心,向加尔默罗-赤足修道院飞跑而去。这座修道院,大多数人就叫它赤足修道院,是一座没有窗户的建筑,旁边有一片光秃秃的草地。是文人漫步草地的一部分。平时,许多忙忙碌碌没有时间可浪费的人,多在这里会面。

达达尼昂赶到修道院旁边那一小片空地时,阿托斯刚到五分钟,时间正好是正午十二点。就是说,他到得挺准时,就像萨马丽丹钟楼①的时钟一样准,即使最严厉的决斗裁判也无话可说。

  ①位于巴黎市新桥附近。

阿托斯的伤口虽然刚刚经特雷维尔先生的外科医生包扎过,但仍然疼痛难忍。他坐在一块界石上等待着对手,态度从容,保持一贯的高贵神态。看见达达尼昂,他站起来,彬彬有礼地迎向前几步。达达尼昂立刻摘下帽子拿在手里,帽子上的羽翎拂着地面,向对方走过去。

"先生,"阿托斯说道,"我叫了两个朋友给我当副手,可是他们还没来。看来他们要迟到了,我感到奇怪,他们向来挺守时的。"

"我吗,没有带副手,先生。"达达尼昂说道,"我昨天才来到巴黎,在这里除了特雷维尔先生,一个人也不认识。特雷维尔先生还是家父叫我来投奔的,家父荣幸地与特雷维尔先生有些交情。"

阿托斯若有所思地问道:

"您只认识特雷维尔先生?"

"是的,先生,我只认识他。"

"啊,这,如果……"阿托斯半自言自语,半对达达尼昂说道,"啊,这……如果我杀了您,岂不会被世人视为吞噬少年的恶魔!"

"不见得吧,先生。"达达尼昂不失尊严地欠欠身子答道,"不见得吧。再说,您身上带伤,很不方便,还与我交手,我实在感到荣幸。"

"的确很不方便。老实讲,您那一下撞得我疼得要命。不过,我准备用左手,在这种情形下我一向是这样。不要以为我是有意让您,我两只手一样利索。这甚至对您不利,一个用左手的人对于没有思想准备的对手,是很难应付的。很抱歉我没有把这一点早点告诉您。"

"先生,您真是一位谦谦君子,"达达尼昂说着又欠欠身子,"我对您感激不尽。"

"您让我感到不好意思。"阿托斯以绅士风度答道,"假如您不反感的话,咱们谈谈别的事情好吗?哎哟!见鬼!您撞得我真疼!这个肩膀现在像火烧的一样。"

"如果您允许的话……"达达尼昂吞吞吐吐地说。

"什么,先生?"

"我有一种膏药,医治创伤有奇效。这药是家母给我的,我在自己身上试过。"

"管用吗?"

"管用,我担保不到三天,这膏药就能医好您的伤口。三天之后等您的伤好了,那时我再与您交手,仍感到莫大的荣幸。"

达达尼昂说这些话时态度很真诚,显示出谦恭的风度,但丝毫不显得怯弱。

"啊,先生,"阿托斯说,"这个建议我当然觉得不错。这倒不是说我接受了它,但它充分显示出一种绅士风度。查理曼大帝时代的骑士们都是这样说和这样做的,所有骑士都应该以他们为楷模。可惜今天已不是查理曼大帝时代。现在是红衣主教时代,即使我们严守秘密,三天之后,人家也会知道我们俩要决斗而加以阻挠。嗯,这个嘛……怎么,那两个拖拖拉拉的家伙莫非不来了?"

"先生,如果您等不及,"达达尼昂像刚才提议把决斗推迟三天一样,态度真城地说道,"如果您性急,想马上结果我,那么就请您放手结果我好了。"

"我觉得这又是一句中听的话。"阿托斯亲切地向达达尼昂点点头说道,"这种话没有头脑的人是说不出来的,只有血性男儿才能说得出来。先生,我喜欢您这种素质的人,而且相信,如果您我不互相杀死对方,以后我一定能从与您一块儿闭谈之中获得真正的乐趣。请等那两位先生来了再说吧,我不着急,他们来了更符合规则。啊!好像来了一个。"

果然,沃吉拉尔街口出现了波托斯的高大身影。

"怎么!"达达尼昂说道,"您的第一个证人是波托斯先生?"

"是呀。您对此反感吗?"

"不,一点儿也不。"

"瞧,第二个也来啦。"

达达尼昂转身朝阿托斯所指的方向望去,认出来人是阿拉米斯。

"怎么!"他比刚才更吃惊地大声问道,"您的第二个证人是阿拉米斯先生?"

"当然。难道您不知道,我们三个人从来不分开的?无论是在火枪队、禁军、宫廷里还是在巴黎城里,人们都叫我们阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯三个人或者三个形影不离的人。看来您是从达克斯或波城来的吧……"

"从塔布来的。"达达尼昂答道。

"所以这个细节您不知道可以理解。"阿托斯说。

"说真的,"达达尼昂说道,"你们三位先生的名字很和谐。我这次冒险如果引起什么反响的话,它至少可以证明,你们三位的结合是建立在协调一致的基础之上的。"

这时,波托斯走近了,举手向阿托斯打了个招呼。接着他转过身,一看见达达尼昂,不禁惊讶地愣住了。

顺便提一句,波托斯换了条肩带,并且脱了大衣。

"喂!喂!"他叫起来,"这是怎么回事?"

"我就是要与这位先生决斗,"阿托斯指指达达尼昂说道,同时向他欠欠身子。

"我也是要和他决斗。"波托斯说道。

"不过是约定在一点钟。"达达尼昂答道。

"我也一样,也是要和这位先生决斗。"阿拉米斯来到场地上说道。

"不过,那是约定在两点钟。"达达尼昂依然沉着地说道。

"可是,阿托斯,你为什么要和他决斗?"阿拉米斯问道。

"老实讲,我也说不清,他撞痛了我的肩膀。你呢,波托斯?"

"老实讲,我是为了决斗而决斗。"波托斯红着脸答道。

什么都逃不过阿托斯的眼睛,他看见加斯科尼人嘴唇上掠过一丝微笑。

"我们在服饰方面发生了一点争执。"小伙子说道。

"那么你呢,阿拉米斯?"阿托斯又问道。

"我嘛,决斗是为了神学方面的原因。"阿拉米斯答道,一边对达达尼昂使眼色,求他保守秘密,不要说出他参加决斗的原因。

阿托斯看见达达尼昂嘴边又掠过一丝微笑。

"真的吗?"他问道。

"真的。在有关圣奥古斯丁的一个问题上,我们看法不一致。"加斯科尼人说道。

"这的确是个有头脑的人。"阿托斯自言自语道。

"先生们,现在你们都到齐了,"达达尼昂说道,"请允许我向你们表示歉意。"

听到表示歉意几个字,阿托斯脸上掠过一丝疑云,波托斯嘴边浮现出傲慢的微笑,阿拉米斯则摇头表示没有必要。

"先生们,你们没明白我的意思。"达达尼昂抬起头说道。这时一道阳光照射在他的头上,把他那轮廓秀气而豪放的头部映成了金黄色。"我向你们表示歉意,是因为我无法全部偿还你们三位的债:阿托斯先生有权头一个结果我。这样,偿还您的债的机会就大大减少了,波托斯先生,而您的债就几乎不可能偿还了,阿拉米斯先生。先生们,现在我再次向你们表示歉意,不过仅仅是在这一点上。请准备交手吧!"

说罢,达达尼昂以最剽悍的动作拔出了剑。

这时他热血上涌,别说是阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯三个火枪手,就是面对全国所有火枪手,他也敢拔剑与他们对阵。

时间是十二点过一刻钟。烈日当空,事先选定的决斗场地被烤晒得火热。

"好热,"阿托斯也拔出了剑,说道,"可是我无法脱掉紧身短上衣,因为刚才我觉得我的伤口还在流血,我怕这位先生见到血会局促不安,其实这血并不是他刺出来的。"

"的确,先生,",达达尼昂说道,"这血不管是他人刺出来的还是我刺出来的,看到一位像您这样正直的绅士流血,我总会感到遗憾的。因此,我和您一样,穿着紧身上衣进行决斗。"

"行啦,行啦,"波托斯说道,"不必再这样客套啦,想一想吧,我和阿拉米斯还等着轮到我们呢。"

"如此没有礼貌的话,您还是代表您自己说吧。"阿拉米斯抢着说,"我吗,倒觉得这两位先生的话说得好,完全符合绅士风度。"

"悉听尊便,先生。"阿托斯说着摆好了架势。

"遵命。"达达尼昂说着举剑便刺。

两剑刚刚相碰,发出铿锵的响声时,修道院角上出现了一队红衣主教的卫士,是由朱萨克带领的。

"红衣主教的卫士!"波托斯和阿拉米斯同时叫起来,"收起剑,先生们!收起剑!"

可是,来不及了。两位决斗者摆出的姿势已被那些人看得一清二楚,他们正要干什么,想掩饰也掩饰不住了。

"好啊!"朱萨克一边叫嚷,一边向他们逼过来,同时示意手下人跟他一块靠拢,"好啊!火枪手们,居然在这里决斗?那么,御旨呢,我们将之置于何地?"

"卫士先生们,你们想必都是挺大度的。"阿托斯满腔怨恨地说道,因为朱萨克是前天袭击他们的人中间的一个。"如果我们看见你们在决斗,我保证我们不会干涉。让我们打吧,这样你们也免得麻烦,何乐而不为呢?"

"先生们,"朱萨克说道,"我非常遗憾地向你们宣布,这办不到。我们的职责高于一切。请收起剑,跟我们走。"

"先生,"阿拉米斯模仿朱萨克的腔调说道,"如果事情取决于我们,我们会很愉快地接受您的盛情邀请。遗憾的是,这办不到,特雷维尔先生禁止我们这样做。走你们的路吧,这是你们最好的选择。"

这段嘲笑的话激怒了朱萨克。

"你们拒不服从,我们可要冲过来了。"朱萨克说道。

"他们五个人,"阿托斯说道,"咱们只有三个,还是打不赢。这回非战死在这里不可啦,我宣布,我决不作为败将去见队长。"

波托斯和阿拉米斯立刻向阿托斯靠拢,朱萨克也命令手下人摆开阵势。

这片刻功夫已经足够达达尼昂拿定主意了,这可是决定一生命运的事件,是要在国王和红衣主教之间作出抉择;一旦作出抉择,就要坚持到底。介入这场战斗,就是违犯法律,就是拿脑袋冒险,就是使一位比国王还有势力的大臣马上成为自己的敌人。这一切小伙子都模糊意识到了,不过他真是好样的,一秒钟也没有犹豫,就转过身对阿托斯和他的两个朋友说道:

"先生们,你们如果不介意,我来补充一下你们的话:你们说你们只有三个人,可是我觉得咱们一共有四个人。"

"可是,您不是我们的人啊。"波托斯说。

"不错,"达达尼昂答道,"我衣着不是,但心灵是的。我有一颗火枪手的心,先生,这我感觉得到,所以我站在你们一边。"

"您走开,年轻人。"朱萨克大概从达达尼昂的动作和表情猜到了他的意图,所以这样叫道,"您可以离开,我们允许您离开。逃命吧,赶快!"

达达尼昂一动不动。

"您真是个可爱的小伙子。"阿托斯握住年轻人的手说道。

"喂!喂!快拿定主意吧。"朱萨克又叫道。

"瞧,"波托斯和阿拉米斯说,"咱们得合计一下。"

"先生真是满身豪侠气概。"阿托斯说道。

"但三个火枪手都想到达达尼昂太年轻,担心他没有经验。

"我们只有三个人加上一个孩子,其中还有一个负了伤。"

阿托斯又说道,"不过,人家还是会说我们是四个人。"

"是这样。那么后退吧!"波托斯说道。

"后退很困难。"阿托斯说。

达达尼昂明白他们为什么犹豫不决。

"先生们,总该试试我呀。"他说道,"我以名誉发誓,我是不愿意被打败了从这里退走的。"

"好汉,您叫什么名字?"阿托斯问道。

"达达尼昂,先生。"

"好!阿托斯、波托斯、阿拉米斯和达达尼昂,前进!"阿托斯喊道。

"喂!怎么样,先生们,你们到底拿什么主意,决定好了吗?"朱萨克第三次叫道。

"决定好啦,先生们。"阿托斯答道。

"你们拿定了什么主意?"朱萨克问道。

"我们就要荣幸地来攻击你们啦。"阿拉米斯说着一手抬抬帽子,一手拔出了剑。

"哈!你们竟敢顽抗!"朱萨克吼道。

"妈的!你没想到吧?"

于是,九个战士都相互向对方扑过去,攻击异常猛烈,但不乱章法。

阿托斯迎战卡于萨克,那是红衣主教的宠将;波托斯截住比斯卡拉;阿拉米斯一个对付两个。

至于达达尼昂,则扑向了朱萨克本人。

这个年轻的加斯科尼人,心都跳得快要从胸膛里蹦出来了。不过,老天在上,这并不是因为害怕,他没有丝毫怯懦心理,而是因为求胜心切。他像一只发威的老虎,绕着对手转了十来个圈,二十来次变化姿势和位置,频频发动进攻。朱萨克呢,当时人们都说他酷爱击剑,剑术精湛。可是这一回,他连招架都非常吃力,对手异常敏捷,不断地跳来跳去,避开成法,同时从四方八方攻击。这一切说明,他是一个很珍爱自己的人,决不让对手划破自己一点皮的。

这种斗法终于使朱萨克失去了耐心。在他心目中,对手只不过是个乳臭未干的孩子,自己却一分便宜也没占到,不禁怒气冲天,头脑一热,便渐渐露出了破绽。达达尼昂虽然缺乏实战经验,但剑术理论精深,越战越灵活。朱萨克想结束战斗,便使出杀手锏,朝前猛跨一步刺将过来,对手举剑一挡,躲过了,然后趁他抬身之机,水蛇般从他剑下溜了过去,同时反手一剑,把他的身体刺了个对穿。朱萨克像一根木头倒下了。

达达尼昂放心不下,迅速扫一眼战场。

阿拉米斯已经杀死一个对手,但另一个紧逼着他。不过,阿拉米斯处于很好的位置,还能够防卫。

比斯卡拉和波托斯刚刚同时刺中了对方:波托斯胳膊被刺穿了,比斯卡拉则大腿给刺穿了。但两个人伤得都不严重,所以越战越起劲。

阿托斯又让卡于萨克刺伤了,脸色异常苍白,但没有后退一步,只是换了一只手,用左手握剑厮杀。

根据当时的决斗规则,达达尼昂可以支援同伴中的一个。他正在观察三个同伴谁需要他支援时,突然注意到阿托斯的一个眼色。那眼色流露出崇高的神情。阿托斯宁愿战死,也不愿喊同伴解救自己。不过他可以用眼睛,用目光请求支援。达达尼昂明白了,一个箭步枪到卡于萨克侧面,厉声喝道:

"跟我打吧,卫士先生,让我来宰掉你!"

卡于萨克转过身。真是太及时了。阿托斯全凭最大的勇气支撑着,这时一膝跪到了地上。

"喂!"他喊道,"年轻人,请您不要杀死他。我与他还有一笔旧帐未了,等我养好了伤。身体健康了,再同他算。只解除他的武装,缴了他的剑就成了。就这样,好!好极了!"

阿托斯禁不住这样叫好,因为卡于萨克的剑飞到了二十步远的地方。达达尼昂和卡于萨克同时扑上去,一个是为了拾起它,另一个是为了夺取它。但达达尼昂更迅捷,头一个赶到,一脚将剑踏住。

卡于萨克跑到被阿拉米斯杀死的卫士身边,拿了他的剑,准备回头来攻击达达尼昂,可是半道上遇到了阿托斯。阿托斯利用达达尼昂提供的片刻工夫,已经喘过气来。他担心达达尼昂杀了他的敌人,想再拼杀。

达达尼昂明白,不让阿托斯这样做,他准会不高兴。果然,几秒钟之后,卡于萨克咽喉被剑刺穿,倒在地上。

与此同时,阿拉米斯用剑尖顶住了倒在地上的对手的胸口,迫使他求饶。

只剩下波托斯和比斯卡拉还在厮打。波托斯虚张声势,不停地说话,一会儿问比斯卡拉大概几点钟了,一会儿又恭维他的兄弟刚刚在纳瓦尔团队里晋升为连长了。他就这样取笑对方,可是一点便宜也没占有到。比斯卡拉是个铁打的汉子,不死是不会倒下的。

然而,战斗应该结束了。巡逻队一来会把交手的双方都抓起来,不管受伤的还是没受伤的,是拥护国王的还是拥护红衣主教的。阿托斯、阿拉米斯和达达尼昂围住了比斯卡拉,勒令他投降。比斯卡拉尽管是一个人对抗对方的所有人,而且大腿上挨了一剑,但还是想坚持到底。但是,朱萨克用胳膊将身体支起来,喊他投降。比斯卡拉像达达尼昂一样是加斯科尼人,根本不听朱萨克的话,只是哈哈大笑,闪过对方的两次攻击,用剑尖指着一个地方,模仿《圣经》里的一句话说道:

"同伴之中唯一留下的比斯卡拉将死在这里。"

"可是,他们四个对你一个,住手吧,我命令你。"

"唔!既然你下了命令,那是另外一码事了。"比斯卡拉说道,"你是队长,我应当服从。"

他向后跃一步,将剑在膝盖上折为两半,以免落到对方手里,然后把两截剑扔到修道院墙外,抱起胳膊,口里吹着一支颂扬红衣主教的曲子。

勇敢无畏的精神总会受到尊重的,即使是敌人。火枪手们举剑向比斯卡拉致意,然后把剑插进鞘里。达达尼昂也像他们一样,然后他在唯一没有倒下的比斯卡拉帮助下,把朱萨克、卡于萨克和阿拉米斯那个仅仅受伤的对手,抬到修道院的门廊下。第四名卫士,正如我们说过的,已经一命呜呼。随后他们敲响了修道院的钟,把敌方五柄剑之中的四柄捎上,欣喜若狂地向特雷维尔先生的官邸走去。

人们看见他们挽着胳膊,排成一横排在街道当中走着,把半路上遇到的火枪手都挽在一块,最后形成了一支浩浩荡荡的凯旋队伍。达达尼昂的心像喝醉了酒一样轻飘飘的,他走在阿托斯和波托斯之间,亲切地挽着他们的胳膊。在迈进特雷维尔先生的官邸的大门时,他对自己的新朋友们说:

"如果说我现在还不是火枪手,但至少我已经当上了学徒,不是吗?"




Chapter 6 HIS MAJESTY KING LOUIS XIII

This affair made a great noise. M. de Treville scolded his Musketeers in public, and congratulated them in private; but as no time was to be lost in gaining the king, M. de Treville hastened to report himself at the Louvre. It was already too late. The king was closeted with the cardinal, and M. de Treville was informed that the king was busy and could not receive him at that moment. In the evening M. de Treville attended the king's gaming table. The king was winning; and as he was very avaricious, he was in an excellent humor. Perceiving M. de Treville at a distance--

"Come here, Monsieur Captain," said he, "come here, that I may growl at you. Do you know that his Eminence has been making fresh complaints against your Musketeers, and that with so much emotion, that this evening his Eminence is indisposed? Ah, these Musketeers of yours are very devils--fellows to be hanged."

"No, sire," replied Treville, who saw at the first glance how things would go, "on the contrary, they are good creatures, as meek as lambs, and have but one desire, I'll be their warranty. And that is that their swords may never leave their scabbards but in your majesty's service. But what are they to do? The Guards of Monsieur the Cardinal are forever seeking quarrels with them, and for the honor of the corps even, the poor young men are obliged to defend themselves."

"Listen to Monsieur de Treville," said the king; "listen to him! Would not one say he was speaking of a religious community? In truth, my dear Captain, I have a great mind to take away your commission and give it to Mademoiselle de Chemerault, to whom I promised an abbey. But don't fancy that I am going to take you on your bare word. I am called Louis the Just, Monsieur de Treville, and by and by, by and by we will see."

"Ah, sire; it is because I confide in that justice that I shall wait patiently and quietly the good pleasure of your Majesty."

"Wait, then, monsieur, wait," said the king; "I will not detain you long."

In fact, fortune changed; and as the king began to lose what he had won, he was not sorry to find an excuse for playing Charlemagne--if we may use a gaming phrase of whose origin we confess our ignorance. The king therefore arose a minute after, and putting the money which lay before him into his pocket, the major part of which arose from his winnings, "La Vieuville," said he, "take my place; I must speak to Monsieur de Treville on an affair of importance. Ah, I had eighty louis before me; put down the same sum, so that they who have lost may have nothing to complain of. Justice before everything."

Then turning toward M. de Treville and walking with him toward the embrasure of a window, "Well, monsieur," continued he, "you say it is his Eminence's Guards who have sought a quarrel with your Musketeers?"

"Yes, sire, as they always do."

"And how did the thing happen? Let us see, for you know, my dear Captain, a judge must hear both sides."

"Good Lord! In the most simple and natural manner possible. Three of my best soldiers, whom your Majesty knows by name, and whose devotedness you have more than once appreciated, and who have, I dare affirm to the king, his service much at heart--three of my best soldiers, I say, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, had made a party of pleasure with a young fellow from Gascony, whom I had introduced to them the same morning. The party was to take place at St. Germain, I believe, and they had appointed to meet at the Carmes-Deschaux, when they were disturbed by de Jussac, Cahusac, Bicarat, and two other Guardsmen, who certainly did not go there in such a numerous company without some ill intention against the edicts."

"Ah, ah! You incline me to think so," said the king. "There is no doubt they went thither to fight themselves."

"I do not accuse them, sire; but I leave your Majesty to judge what five armed men could possibly be going to do in such a deserted place as the neighborhood of the Convent des Carmes."

"Yes, you are right, Treville, you are right!"

"Then, upon seeing my Musketeers they changed their minds, and forgot their private hatred for partisan hatred; for your Majesty cannot be ignorant that the Musketeers, who belong to the king and nobody but the king, are the natural enemies of the Guardsmen, who belong to the cardinal."

"Yes, Treville, yes," said the king, in a melancholy tone; "and it is very sad, believe me, to see thus two parties in France, two heads to royalty. But all this will come to an end, Treville, will come to an end. You say, then, that the Guardsmen sought a quarrel with the Musketeers?"

"I say that it is probable that things have fallen out so, but I will not swear to it, sire. You know how difficult it is to discover the truth; and unless a man be endowed with that admirable instinct which causes Louis XIII to be named the Just--"

"You are right, Treville; but they were not alone, your Musketeers. They had a youth with them?"

"Yes, sire, and one wounded man; so that three of the king's Musketeers--one of whom was wounded--and a youth not only maintained their ground against five of the most terrible of the cardinal's Guardsmen, but absolutely brought four of them to earth."

"Why, this is a victory!" cried the king, all radiant, "a complete victory!"

"Yes, sire; as complete as that of the Bridge of Ce."

"Four men, one of them wounded, and a youth, say you?"

"One hardly a young man; but who, however, behaved himself so admirably on this occasion that I will take the liberty of recommending him to your Majesty."

"How does he call himself?"

"d'Artagnan, sire; he is the son of one of my oldest friends--the son of a man who served under the king your father, of glorious memory, in the civil war."

"And you say this young man behaved himself well? Tell me how, Treville--you know how I delight in accounts of war and fighting."

And Louis XIII twisted his mustache proudly, placing his hand upon his hip.

"Sire," resumed Treville, "as I told you, Monsieur d'Artagnan is little more than a boy; and as he has not the honor of being a Musketeer, he was dressed as a citizen. The Guards of the cardinal, perceiving his youth and that he did not belong to the corps, invited him to retire before they attacked."

"So you may plainly see, Treville," interrupted the king, "it was they who attacked?"

"That is true, sire; there can be no more doubt on that head. They called upon him then to retire; but he answered that he was a Musketeer at heart, entirely devoted to your Majesty, and that therefore he would remain with Messieurs the Musketeers."

"Brave young man!" murmured the king.

"Well, he did remain with them; and your Majesty has in him so firm a champion that it was he who gave Jussac the terrible sword thrust which has made the cardinal so angry."

"He who wounded Jussac!" cried the king, "he, a boy! Treville, that's impossible!"

"It is as I have the honor to relate it to your Majesty."

"Jussac, one of the first swordsmen in the kingdom?"

"Well, sire, for once he found his master."

"I will see this young man, Treville--I will see him; and if anything can be done--well, we will make it our business."

"When will your Majesty deign to receive him?"

"Tomorrow, at midday, Treville."

"Shall I bring him alone?"

"No, bring me all four together. I wish to thank them all at once. Devoted men are so rare, Treville, by the back staircase. It is useless to let the cardinal know."

"Yes, sire."

"You understand, Treville--an edict is still an edict, it is forbidden to fight, after all."

"But this encounter, sire, is quite out of the ordinary conditions of a duel. It is a brawl; and the proof is that there were five of the cardinal's Guardsmen against my three Musketeers and Monsieur d'Artagnan."

"That is true," said the king; "but never mind, Treville, come still by the back staircase."

Treville smiled; but as it was indeed something to have prevailed upon this child to rebel against his master, he saluted the king respectfully, and with this agreement, took leave of him.

That evening the three Musketeers were informed of the honor accorded them. As they had long been acquainted with the king, they were not much excited; but d'Artagnan, with his Gascon imagination, saw in it his future fortune, and passed the night in golden dreams. By eight o'clock in the morning he was at the apartment of Athos.

D'Artagnan found the Musketeer dressed and ready to go out. As the hour to wait upon the king was not till twelve, he had made a party with Porthos and Aramis to play a game at tennis in a tennis court situated near the stables of the Luxembourg. Athos invited d'Artagnan to follow them; and although ignorant of the game, which he had never played, he accepted, not knowing what to do with his time from nine o'clock in the morning, as it then scarcely was, till twelve.

The two Musketeers were already there, and were playing together. Athos, who was very expert in all bodily exercises, passed with d'Artagnan to the opposite side and challenged them; but at the first effort he made, although he played with his left hand, he found that his wound was yet too recent to allow of such exertion. D'Artagnan remained, therefore, alone; and as he declared he was too ignorant of the game to play it regularly they only continued giving balls to one another without counting. But one of these balls, launched by Porthos' herculean hand, passed so close to d'Artagnan's face that he thought that if, instead of passing near, it had hit him, his audience would have been probably lost, as it would have been impossible for him to present himself before the king. Now, as upon this audience, in his Gascon imagination, depended his future life, he saluted Aramis and Porthos politely, declaring that he would not resume the game until he should be prepared to play with them on more equal terms, and went and took his place near the cord and in the gallery.

Unfortunately for d'Artagnan, among the spectators was one of his Eminence's Guardsmen, who, still irritated by the defeat of his companions, which had happened only the day before, had promised himself to seize the first opportunity of avenging it. He believed this opportunity was now come and addressed his neighbor: "It is not astonishing that that young man should be afraid of a ball, for he is doubtless a Musketeer apprentice."

D'Artagnan turned round as if a serpent had stung him, and fixed his eyes intensely upon the Guardsman who had just made this insolent speech.

"PARDIEU," resumed the latter, twisting his mustache, "look at me as long as you like, my little gentleman! I have said what I have said."

"And as since that which you have said is too clear to require any explanation," replied d'Artagnan, in a low voice, "I beg you to follow me."

"And when?" asked the Guardsman, with the same jeering air.

"At once, if you please."

"And you know who I am, without doubt?"

"I? I am completely ignorant; nor does it much disquiet me."

"You're in the wrong there; for if you knew my name, perhaps you would not be so pressing."

"What is your name?"

"Bernajoux, at your service."

"Well, then, Monsieur Bernajoux," said d'Artagnan, tranquilly, "I will wait for you at the door."

"Go, monsieur, I will follow you."

"Do not hurry yourself, monsieur, lest it be observed that we go out together. You must be aware that for our undertaking, company would be in the way."

"That's true," said the Guardsman, astonished that his name had not produced more effect upon the young man.

Indeed, the name of Bernajoux was known to all the world, d'Artagnan alone excepted, perhaps; for it was one of those which figured most frequently in the daily brawls which all the edicts of the cardinal could not repress.

Porthos and Aramis were so engaged with their game, and Athos was watching them with so much attention, that they did not even perceive their young companion go out, who, as he had told the Guardsman of his Eminence, stopped outside the door. An instant after, the Guardsman descended in his turn. As d'Artagnan had no time to lose, on account of the audience of the king, which was fixed for midday, he cast his eyes around, and seeing that the street was empty, said to his adversary, "My faith! It is fortunate for you, although your name is Bernajoux, to have only to deal with an apprentice Musketeer. Never mind; be content, I will do my best. On guard!"

"But," said he whom d'Artagnan thus provoked, "it appears to me that this place is badly chosen, and that we should be better behind the Abbey St. Germain or in the Pre-aux-Clercs."

"What you say is full of sense," replied d'Artagnan; "but unfortunately I have very little time to spare, having an appointment at twelve precisely. On guard, then, monsieur, on guard!"

Bernajoux was not a man to have such a compliment paid to him twice. In an instant his sword glittered in his hand, and he sprang upon his adversary, whom, thanks to his great youthfulness, he hoped to intimidate.

But d'Artagnan had on the preceding day served his apprenticeship. Fresh sharpened by his victory, full of hopes of future favor, he was resolved not to recoil a step. So the two swords were crossed close to the hilts, and as d'Artagnan stood firm, it was his adversary who made the retreating step; but d'Artagnan seized the moment at which, in this movement, the sword of Bernajoux deviated from the line. He freed his weapon, made a lunge, and touched his adversary on the shoulder. d'Artagnan immediately made a step backward and raised his sword; but Bernajoux cried out that it was nothing, and rushing blindly upon him, absolutely spitted himself upon d'Artagnan's sword. As, however, he did not fall, as he did not declare himself conquered, but only broke away toward the hotel of M. de la Tremouille, in whose service he had a relative, d'Artagnan was ignorant of the seriousness of the last wound his adversary had received, and pressing him warmly, without doubt would soon have completed his work with a third blow, when the noise which arose from the street being heard in the tennis court, two of the friends of the Guardsman, who had seen him go out after exchanging some words with d'Artagnan, rushed, sword in hand, from the court, and fell upon the conqueror. But Athos, Porthos, and Aramis quickly appeared in their turn, and the moment the two Guardsmen attacked their young companion, drove them back. Bernajoux now fell, and as the Guardsmen were only two against four, they began to cry, "To the rescue! The Hotel de la Tremouille!" At these cries, all who were in the hotel rushed out and fell upon the four companions, who on their side cried aloud, "To the rescue, Musketeers!"

This cry was generally heeded; for the Musketeers were known to be enemies of the cardinal, and were beloved on account of the hatred they bore to his Eminence. Thus the soldiers of other companies than those which belonged to the Red Duke, as Aramis had called him, often took part with the king's Musketeers in these quarrels. Of three Guardsmen of the company of M. Dessessart who were passing, two came to the assistance of the four companions, while the other ran toward the hotel of M. de Treville, crying, "To the rescue, Musketeers! To the rescue!" As usual, this hotel was full of soldiers of this company, who hastened to the succor of their comrades. The MELEE became general, but strength was on the side of the Musketeers. The cardinal's Guards and M. de la Tremouille's people retreated into the hotel, the doors of which they closed just in time to prevent their enemies from entering with them. As to the wounded man, he had been taken in at once, and, as we have said, in a very bad state.

Excitement was at its height among the Musketeers and their allies, and they even began to deliberate whether they should not set fire to the hotel to punish the insolence of M. de la Tremouille's domestics in daring to make a SORTIE upon the king's Musketeers. The proposition had been made, and received with enthusiasm, when fortunately eleven o'clock struck. D'Artagnan and his companions remembered their audience, and as they would very much have regretted that such an opportunity should be lost, they succeeded in calming their friends, who contented themselves with hurling some paving stones against the gates; but the gates were too strong. They soon tired of the sport. Besides, those who must be considered the leaders of the enterprise had quit the group and were making their way toward the hotel of M. de Treville, who was waiting for them, already informed of this fresh disturbance.

"Quick to the Louvre," said he, "to the Louvre without losing an instant, and let us endeavor to see the king before he is prejudiced by the cardinal. We will describe the thing to him as a consequence of the affair of yesterday, and the two will pass off together."

M de Treville, accompanied by the four young fellows, directed his course toward the Louvre; but to the great astonishment of the captain of the Musketeers, he was informed that the king had gone stag hunting in the forest of St. Germain. M. de Treville required this intelligence to be repeated to him twice, and each time his companions saw his brow become darker.

"Had his Majesty," asked he, "any intention of holding this hunting party yesterday?"

"No, your Excellency," replied the valet de chambre, "the Master of the Hounds came this morning to inform him that he had marked down a stag. At first the king answered that he would not go; but he could not resist his love of sport, and set out after dinner."

"And the king has seen the cardinal?" asked M. de Treville.

"In all probability he has," replied the valet, "for I saw the horses harnessed to his Eminence's carriage this morning, and when I asked where he was going, they told me, 'To St. Germain.'"

"He is beforehand with us," said M. de Treville. "Gentlemen, I will see the king this evening; but as to you, I do not advise you to risk doing so."

This advice was too reasonable, and moreover came from a man who knew the king too well, to allow the four young men to dispute it. M. de Treville recommended everyone to return home and wait for news.

On entering his hotel, M. de Treville thought it best to be first in making the complaint. He sent one of his servants to M. de la Tremouille with a letter in which he begged of him to eject the cardinal's Guardsmen from his house, and to reprimand his people for their audacity in making SORTIE against the king's Musketeers. But M. de la Tremouille--already prejudiced by his esquire, whose relative, as we already know, Bernajoux was--replied that it was neither for M. de Treville nor the Musketeers to complain, but, on the contrary, for him, whose people the Musketeers had assaulted and whose hotel they had endeavored to burn. Now, as the debate between these two nobles might last a long time, each becoming, naturally, more firm in his own opinion, M. de Treville thought of an expedient which might terminate it quietly. This was to go himself to M. de la Tremouille.

He repaired, therefore, immediately to his hotel, and caused himself to be announced.

The two nobles saluted each other politely, for if no friendship existed between them, there was at least esteem. Both were men of courage and honor; and as M. de la Tremouille--a Protestant, and seeing the king seldom--was of no party, he did not, in general, carry any bias into his social relations. This time, however, his address, although polite, was cooler than usual.

"Monsieur," said M. de Treville, "we fancy that we have each cause to complain of the other, and I am come to endeavor to clear up this affair."

"I have no objection," replied M. de la Tremouille, "but I warn you that I am well informed, and all the fault is with your Musketeers."

"You are too just and reasonable a man, monsieur!" said Treville, "not to accept the proposal I am about to make to you."

"Make it, monsieur, I listen."

"How is Monsieur Bernajoux, your esquire's relative?"

"Why, monsieur, very ill indeed! In addition to the sword thrust in his arm, which is not dangerous, he has received another right through his lungs, of which the doctor says bad things."

"But has the wounded man retained his senses?"

"Perfectly."

"Does he talk?"

"With difficulty, but he can speak."

"Well, monsieur, let us go to him. Let us adjure him, in the name of the God before whom he must perhaps appear, to speak the truth. I will take him for judge in his own cause, monsieur, and will believe what he will say."

M de la Tremouille reflected for an instant; then as it was difficult to suggest a more reasonable proposal, he agreed to it.

Both descended to the chamber in which the wounded man lay. The latter, on seeing these two noble lords who came to visit him, endeavored to raise himself up in his bed; but he was too weak, and exhausted by the effort, he fell back again almost senseless.

M de la Tremouille approached him, and made him inhale some salts, which recalled him to life. Then M. de Treville, unwilling that it should be thought that he had influenced the wounded man, requested M. de la Tremouille to interrogate him himself.

That happened which M. de Treville had foreseen. Placed between life and death, as Bernajoux was, he had no idea for a moment of concealing the truth; and he described to the two nobles the affair exactly as it had passed.

This was all that M. de Treville wanted. He wished Bernajoux a speedy convalescence, took leave of M. de la Tremouille, returned to his hotel, and immediately sent word to the four friends that he awaited their company at dinner.

M de Treville entertained good company, wholly anticardinalist, though. It may easily be understood, therefore, that the conversation during the whole of dinner turned upon the two checks that his Eminence's Guardsmen had received. Now, as d'Artagnan had been the hero of these two fights, it was upon him that all the felicitations fell, which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis abandoned to him, not only as good comrades, but as men who had so often had their turn that could very well afford him his.

Toward six o'clock M. de Treville announced that it was time to go to the Louvre; but as the hour of audience granted by his Majesty was past, instead of claiming the ENTREE by the back stairs, he placed himself with the four young men in the antechamber. The king had not yet returned from hunting. Our young men had been waiting about half an hour, amid a crowd of courtiers, when all the doors were thrown open, and his Majesty was announced.

At his announcement d'Artagnan felt himself tremble to the very marrow of his bones. The coming instant would in all probability decide the rest of his life. His eyes therefore were fixed in a sort of agony upon the door through which the king must enter.

Louis XIII appeared, walking fast. He was in hunting costume covered with dust, wearing large boots, and holding a whip in his hand. At the first glance, d'Artagnan judged that the mind of the king was stormy.

This disposition, visible as it was in his Majesty, did not prevent the courtiers from ranging themselves along his pathway. In royal antechambers it is worth more to be viewed with an angry eye than not to be seen at all. The three Musketeers therefore did not hesitate to make a step forward. D'Artagnan on the contrary remained concealed behind them; but although the king knew Athos, Porthos, and Aramis personally, he passed before them without speaking or looking--indeed, as if he had never seen them before. As for M. de Treville, when the eyes of the king fell upon him, he sustained the look with so much firmness that it was the king who dropped his eyes; after which his Majesty, grumbling, entered his apartment.

"Matters go but badly," said Athos, smiling; "and we shall not be made Chevaliers of the Order this time."

"Wait here ten minutes," said M. de Treville; "and if at the expiration of ten minutes you do not see me come out, return to my hotel, for it will be useless for you to wait for me longer."

The four young men waited ten minutes, a quarter of an hour, twenty minutes; and seeing that M. de Treville did not return, went away very uneasy as to what was going to happen.

M de Treville entered the king's cabinet boldly, and found his Majesty in a very ill humor, seated on an armchair, beating his boot with the handle of his whip. This, however, did not prevent his asking, with the greatest coolness, after his Majesty's health.

"Bad, monsieur, bad!" replied the king; "I am bored."

This was, in fact, the worst complaint of Louis XIII, who would sometimes take one of his courtiers to a window and say, "Monsieur So-and-so, let us weary ourselves together."

"How! Your Majesty is bored? Have you not enjoyed the pleasures of the chase today?"

"A fine pleasure, indeed, monsieur! Upon my soul, everything degenerates; and I don't know whether it is the game which leaves no scent, or the dogs that have no noses. We started a stag of ten branches. We chased him for six hours, and when he was near being taken--when St.-Simon was already putting his horn to his mouth to sound the mort--crack, all the pack takes the wrong scent and sets off after a two-year-older. I shall be obliged to give up hunting, as I have given up hawking. Ah, I am an unfortunate king, Monsieur de Treville! I had but one gerfalcon, and he died day before yesterday."

"Indeed, sire, I wholly comprehend your disappointment. The misfortune is great; but I think you have still a good number of falcons, sparrow hawks, and tiercets."

"And not a man to instruct them. Falconers are declining. I know no one but myself who is acquainted with the noble art of venery. After me it will all be over, and people will hunt with gins, snares, and traps. If I had but the time to train pupils! But there is the cardinal always at hand, who does not leave me a moment's repose; who talks to me about Spain, who talks to me about Austria, who talks to me about England! Ah! A PROPOS of the cardinal, Monsieur de Treville, I am vexed with you!"

This was the chance at which M. de Treville waited for the king. He knew the king of old, and he knew that all these complaints were but a preface--a sort of excitation to encourage himself--and that he had now come to his point at last.

"And in what have I been so unfortunate as to displease your Majesty?" asked M. de Treville, feigning the most profound astonishment.

"Is it thus you perform your charge, monsieur?" continued the king, without directly replying to de Treville's question. "Is it for this I name you captain of my Musketeers, that they should assassinate a man, disturb a whole quarter, and endeavor to set fire to Paris, without your saying a word? But yet," continued the king, "undoubtedly my haste accuses you wrongfully; without doubt the rioters are in prison, and you come to tell me justice is done."

"Sire," replied M. de Treville, calmly, "on the contrary, I come to demand it of you."

"And against whom?" cried the king.

"Against calumniators," said M. de Treville.

"Ah! This is something new," replied the king. "Will you tell me that your three damned Musketeers, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and your youngster from Bearn, have not fallen, like so many furies, upon poor Bernajoux, and have not maltreated him in such a fashion that probably by this time he is dead? Will you tell me that they did not lay siege to the hotel of the Duc de la Tremouille, and that they did not endeavor to burn it?--which would not, perhaps, have been a great misfortune in time of war, seeing that it is nothing but a nest of Huguenots, but which is, in time of peace, a frightful example. Tell me, now, can you deny all this?"

"And who told you this fine story, sire?" asked Treville, quietly.

"Who has told me this fine story, monsieur? Who should it be but he who watches while I sleep, who labors while I amuse myself, who conducts everything at home and abroad--in France as in Europe?"

"Your Majesty probably refers to God," said M. de Treville; "for I know no one except God who can be so far above your Majesty."

"No, monsieur; I speak of the prop of the state, of my only servant, of my only friend--of the cardinal."

"His Eminence is not his holiness, sire."

"What do you mean by that, monsieur?"

"That it is only the Pope who is infallible, and that this infallibility does not extend to cardinals."

"You mean to say that he deceives me; you mean to say that he betrays me? You accuse him, then? Come, speak; avow freely that you accuse him!"

"No, sire, but I say that he deceives himself. I say that he is ill-informed. I say that he has hastily accused your Majesty's Musketeers, toward whom he is unjust, and that he has not obtained his information from good sources."

"The accusation comes from Monsieur de la Tremouille, from the duke himself. What do you say to that?"

"I might answer, sire, that he is too deeply interested in the question to be a very impartial witness; but so far from that, sire, I know the duke to be a royal gentleman, and I refer the matter to him--but upon one condition, sire."

"What?"

"It is that your Majesty will make him come here, will interrogate him yourself, TETE-A-TETE, without witnesses, and that I shall see your Majesty as soon as you have seen the duke."

"What, then! You will bind yourself," cried the king, "by what Monsieur de la Tremouille shall say?"

"Yes, sire."

"You will accept his judgment?"

"Undoubtedly."

"Any you will submit to the reparation he may require?"

"Certainly."

"La Chesnaye," said the king. "La Chesnaye!"

Louis XIII's confidential valet, who never left the door, entered in reply to the call.

"La Chesnaye," said the king, "let someone go instantly and find Monsieur de la Tremouille; I wish to speak with him this evening."

"Your Majesty gives me your word that you will not see anyone between Monsieur de la Tremouille and myself?"

"Nobody, by the faith of a gentleman."

"Tomorrow, then, sire?"

"Tomorrow, monsieur."

"At what o'clock, please your Majesty?"

"At any hour you will."

"But in coming too early I should be afraid of awakening your Majesty."

"Awaken me! Do you think I ever sleep, then? I sleep no longer, monsieur. I sometimes dream, that's all. Come, then, as early as you like--at seven o'clock; but beware, if you and your Musketeers are guilty."

"If my Musketeers are guilty, sire, the guilty shall be placed in your Majesty's hands, who will dispose of them at your good pleasure. Does your Majesty require anything further? Speak, I am ready to obey."

"No, monsieur, no; I am not called Louis the Just without reason. Tomorrow, then, monsieur--tomorrow."

"Till then, God preserve your Majesty!"

However ill the king might sleep, M. de Treville slept still worse. He had ordered his three Musketeers and their companion to be with him at half past six in the morning. He took them with him, without encouraging them or promising them anything, and without concealing from them that their luck, and even his own, depended upon the cast of the dice.

Arrived at the foot of the back stairs, he desired them to wait. If the king was still irritated against them, they would depart without being seen; if the king consented to see them, they would only have to be called.

On arriving at the king's private antechamber, M. de Treville found La Chesnaye, who informed him that they had not been able to find M. de la Tremouille on the preceding evening at his hotel, that he returned too late to present himself at the Louvre, that he had only that moment arrived and that he was at that very hour with the king.

This circumstance pleased M. de Treville much, as he thus became certain that no foreign suggestion could insinuate itself between M. de la Tremouille's testimony and himself.

In fact, ten minutes had scarcely passed away when the door of the king's closet opened, and M. de Treville saw M. de la Tremouille come out. The duke came straight up to him, and said: "Monsieur de Treville, his Majesty has just sent for me in order to inquire respecting the circumstances which took place yesterday at my hotel. I have told him the truth; that is to say, that the fault lay with my people, and that I was ready to offer you my excuses. Since I have the good fortune to meet you, I beg you to receive them, and to hold me always as one of your friends."

"Monsieur the Duke," said M. de Treville, "I was so confident of your loyalty that I required no other defender before his Majesty than yourself. I find that I have not been mistaken, and I thank you that there is still one man in France of whom may be said, without disappointment, what I have said of you."

"That's well said," cried the king, who had heard all these compliments through the open door; "only tell him, Treville, since he wishes to be considered your friend, that I also wish to be one of his, but he neglects me; that it is nearly three years since I have seen him, and that I never do see him unless I send for him. Tell him all this for me, for these are things which a king cannot say for himself."

"Thanks, sire, thanks," said the duke; "but your Majesty may be assured that it is not those--I do not speak of Monsieur de Treville--whom your Majesty sees at all hours of the day that are most devoted to you."

"Ah! You have heard what I said? So much the better, Duke, so much the better," said the king, advancing toward the door. "Ah! It is you, Treville. Where are your Musketeers? I told you the day before yesterday to bring them with you; why have you not done so?"

"They are below, sire, and with your permission La Chesnaye will bid them come up."

"Yes, yes, let them come up immediately. It is nearly eight o'clock, and at nine I expect a visit. Go, Monsieur Duke, and return often. Come in, Treville."

The Duke saluted and retired. At the moment he opened the door, the three Musketeers and d'Artagnan, conducted by La Chesnaye, appeared at the top of the staircase.

"Come in, my braves," said the king, "come in; I am going to scold you."

The Musketeers advanced, bowing, d'Artagnan following closely behind them.

"What the devil!" continued the king. "Seven of his Eminence's Guards placed HORS DE COMBAT by you four in two days! That's too many, gentlemen, too many! If you go on so, his Eminence will be forced to renew his company in three weeks, and I to put the edicts in force in all their rigor. One now and then I don't say much about; but seven in two days, I repeat, it is too many, it is far too many!"

"Therefore, sire, your Majesty sees that they are come, quite contrite and repentant, to offer you their excuses."

"Quite contrite and repentant! Hem!" said the king. "I place no confidence in their hypocritical faces. In particular, there is one yonder of a Gascon look. Come hither, monsieur."

D'Artagnan, who understood that it was to him this compliment was addressed, approached, assuming a most deprecating air.

"Why you told me he was a young man? This is a boy, Treville, a mere boy! Do you mean to say that it was he who bestowed that severe thrust at Jussac?"

"And those two equally fine thrusts at Bernajoux."

"Truly!"

"Without reckoning," said Athos, "that if he had not rescued me from the hands of Cahusac, I should not now have the honor of making my very humble reverence to your Majesty."

"Why he is a very devil, this Bearnais! VENTRE-SAINT-GRIS, Monsieur de Treville, as the king my father would have said. But at this sort of work, many doublets must be slashed and many swords broken. Now, Gascons are always poor, are they not?"

"Sire, I can assert that they have hitherto discovered no gold mines in their mountains; though the Lord owes them this miracle in recompense for the manner in which they supported the pretensions of the king your father."

"Which is to say that the Gascons made a king of me, myself, seeing that I am my father's son, is it not, Treville? Well, happily, I don't say nay to it. La Chesnaye, go and see if by rummaging all my pockets you can find forty pistoles; and if you can find them, bring them to me. And now let us see, young man, with your hand upon your conscience, how did all this come to pass?"

D'Artagnan related the adventure of the preceding day in all its details; how, not having been able to sleep for the joy he felt in the expectation of seeing his Majesty, he had gone to his three friends three hours before the hour of audience; how they had gone together to the tennis court, and how, upon the fear he had manifested lest he receive a ball in the face, he had been jeered at by Bernajoux who had nearly paid for his jeer with his life and M. de la Tremouille, who had nothing to do with the matter, with the loss of his hotel.

"This is all very well," murmured the king, "yes, this is just the account the duke gave me of the affair. Poor cardinal! Seven men in two days, and those of his very best! But that's quite enough, gentlemen; please to understand, that's enough. You have taken your revenge for the Rue Ferou, and even exceeded it; you ought to be satisfied."

"If your Majesty is so," said Treville, "we are."

"Oh, yes; I am," added the king, taking a handful of gold from La Chesnaye, and putting it into the hand of d'Artagnan. "Here," said he, "is a proof of my satisfaction."

At this epoch, the ideas of pride which are in fashion in our days did not prevail. A gentleman received, from hand to hand, money from the king, and was not the least in the world humiliated. D'Artagnan put his forty pistoles into his pocket without any scruple--on the contrary, thanking his Majesty greatly.

"There," said the king, looking at a clock, "there, now, as it is half past eight, you may retire; for as I told you, I expect someone at nine. Thanks for your devotedness, gentlemen. I may continue to rely upon it, may I not?"

"Oh, sire!" cried the four companions, with one voice, "we would allow ourselves to be cut to pieces in your Majesty's service."

"Well, well, but keep whole; that will be better, and you will be more useful to me. Treville," added the king, in a low voice, as the others were retiring, "as you have no room in the Musketeers, and as we have besides decided that a novitiate is necessary before entering that corps, place this young man in the company of the Guards of Monsieur Dessessart, your brother-in-law. Ah, PARDIEU, Treville! I enjoy beforehand the face the cardinal will make. He will be furious; but I don't care. I am doing what is right."

The king waved his hand to Treville, who left him and rejoined the Musketeers, whom he found sharing the forty pistoles with d'Artagnan.

The cardinal, as his Majesty had said, was really furious, so furious that during eight days he absented himself from the king's gaming table. This did not prevent the king from being as complacent to him as possible whenever he met him, or from asking in the kindest tone, "Well, Monsieur Cardinal, how fares it with that poor Jussac and that poor Bernajoux of yours?"

 

第六章 国王陛下路易十三

这一事件引起了很大反响。特雷维尔先生公开狠狠地申斥几个火枪手,暗地里却向他们祝贺。不过,他觉得事不宜迟,应该赶紧禀报国王,便匆匆向罗浮宫走去。他到得已经太迟,国王正相红衣主教在里边密谈。门卫告诉特雷维尔,陛下在处理政务,此时不接见。当天晚上,特雷维尔去国王赌牌的地方。国王陛下赢了钱,他本是个爱钱的人,所以这时心情非常愉快,老远望见特雷维尔就说:

"请过来,队长先生。请过来接受我的训话。您知道吗,红衣主教阁下来向我告了您那几个火枪手的状,事情闹得他心情很不好,今晚都病了。嗯,这个嘛,您那些火枪手都是冒失鬼,都该吊死。"

"不对,陛下,"特雷维尔一眼就看出了事情的转机,连忙答道,"不对。恰恰相反,他们几个都是安分守己的人,个个像绵羊一样温顺。他们只有一个欲望,我可以担保:他们的剑出鞘,唯有为陛下效劳。可是有什么办法呢?红衣主教的卫士不断找他们的茬儿。为了全队的荣誉,那几个可怜的年轻人不得不自卫。"

"听我说,特雷维尔先生,"国王说道,"听我说!红衣主教似乎提到一家修道院。老实讲,亲爱的队长,我真想撤掉您的职务,把它给谢孟萝小姐,我早就答应过她,把一家修道院交给她去主持。不要以为我会相信您的一面之词。世人都称朕为公正的路易嘛,特雷维尔先生。等会儿吧,等会儿咱们再谈。"

"啊!我相信您的公道,陛下,所以我会耐心地、安静地恭候御旨。"

"等着吧,先生,等着吧,"国王又说道,"朕不会让您等很长时间的。"

果然,国王的手气变得不佳,开始输掉赢到手的钱,他自然很高兴能找个托词"做查理曼大帝"①——一直沿用下来的赌场上这个切口,其起源,老实讲我们不得而知。所以不一会儿国王就站起身来,把面前的钱——其中大部分是赢来的,统统装进腰包。

  ①"做查理曼大帝",就是在赌场上赢了钱就走的意思。

"拉维约维尔,"他说道,"你来占据我这个位置吧。我有紧要事要与特雷维尔先生谈。哦!……我面前本来有八十路易的,你摆出相同数额的钱吧,免得输家们埋怨。公平最要紧啊!"

然后,国王转向特雷维尔先生,两人一起走到一扇窗口。

"怎么,先生,"国王问道,"您说是主教阁下的卫士向您的火枪手找茬儿?"

"是的,陛下,像以往一样。"

"事情究竟是怎样闹起来的?您知道,亲爱的队长,审判者需要听双方的申诉。"

"咳!老天在上,事情再简单不过,再自然不过啦。我三名最优秀的士兵,陛下早就知道他们的名字,并且不止一次表扬过他们的忠诚。我向陛下担保,他们都是全心全意效忠于陛下的。我三名最优秀的士兵,即阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯,昨天出去散心,与他们同去的还有我昨天早上介绍给他们的一个加斯科尼小青年。他们要去散心的地方。我想是圣日耳曼,事先约定在加尔默罗-赤足修道院会齐。刚到那里,就有朱萨克、卡于萨克、比斯卡拉和另外两名卫士,向他们寻衅。很显然,这些卫士如果不是图谋不轨,一下子去那么多人干什么?"

"哦!哦!您倒是提醒了我,"国王说道,"大概是他们自己去那里决斗吧。"

"我没这样举报他们。我想陛下自会判断,赤足修道院附近那样荒凉,他们五个人带着武器去那里干什么?"

"对,言之有理。特雷维尔,言之有理。"

"他们一看见我那几个火枪手,就立刻改变了主意,把彼此之间的私怨抛到一边,而要报集体的仇了。陛下不是不知道,效忠于国王,全心全意效忠于国王的火枪手,是效忠于红衣主教的卫士们不共戴天的仇敌。"

"是啊,特雷维尔,是啊。"国王忧郁地说,"眼见法国这样分成两派,王位上有两个元首,真教人痛心。不过,这种局面会结束的,特雷维尔,这种局面会结束的。那么,您说是卫士们向火枪手们寻衅?"

"我说事情可能是这样发生的,但我不能肯定,陛下。您知道,要弄明真相多么不容易,除非天赋超凡的禀性,能被世人称为公正的路易十三……"

"您说的有道理,特雷维尔。可是,不光是您那几个火枪手,还有一个孩子和他们在一起?"

"是的,陛下,他们之中还有一个本来受了伤的。就是说,包括一个伤员在内的国王的三个火枪手,加上一个孩子,不仅顶住了红衣主教的五名穷凶极恶的卫士,而且把其中四个打翻在地。"

"这可是一次胜利啊!"国王喜形于色地嚷起来,"一次全胜!"

"是的,陛下,像在塞桥那次一样大获全胜。"

"您说是四个人,其中包括一个伤员和一个孩子?"

"一个刚长成的小青年。他这次甚至还表现得非常出色哩。我冒昧地把他推荐给陛下。"

"他叫什么名字?

"达达尼昂,陛下。这是我交情最老的一位朋友的儿子。他的父亲是一个有着光荣历史的人,曾跟随先王参加过教派战争。"

"您说这小伙子表现得挺出色?讲给我听听。您知道,我就爱听打仗和格斗的故事。"

国王得意地捋着胡子,半坐半靠在窗台上。

"陛下,"特雷维尔说道,"我对您说过,达达尼昂几乎还是个孩子,而且他由于还没能成为火枪手,当时是一身老百姓装束。红衣主教的卫士们看出他很年轻,又不是火枪队的人,所以叫他在他们发动进攻之前走开。"

"原来如此,您看清楚了吧,特雷维尔,"国王说道,"是他们先发动进攻的。"

"正是这样,陛下,这毫无疑义。他们喝令达达尼昂走开,但是他回答说,他的心是火枪手的心,他的一切属于陛下,所以他要和几个火枪手生死与共。"

"勇敢的年轻人!"国王喃喃道。

"他果然留下和火枪手们并肩战斗了。陛下您得到了一个非常果敢的斗士,正是他给朱萨克刺了那可怕的,使红衣主教气急败坏的一剑。"

"是他刺伤了朱萨克?"国王叫起来,"他才是一个孩子呀!

这个,特雷维尔,不可能吧。"

"然而,事实就是我刚才荣幸地向陛下禀报的那样。"

"朱萨克可是全国第一流的剑客!"

"是呀,陛下,他这回遇到了高手。"

"我想见见这小伙子,特雷维尔,我想见见他。看看能作点什么安排,嗯,我们一定要照顾他。"

"陛下何时召见他?"

"明天中午,特雷维尔。"

"就带他一个人来?"

"不,把四个一起带来。我想同时向他们四个表示感谢;忠诚不二的人可不多呀,特雷维尔,应该奖励他们的一片忠心。"

"陛下,我们中午在罗浮宫听候召见。"

"唔,从小楼梯上来,特雷维尔,从小楼梯上来。没有必要让红衣主教知道……"

"是,陛下。"

"您知道,特雷维尔,法令还是法令,法令终归是禁止决斗的。"

"可是,这次交手,陛下,已经超出了一般决斗的范围,这是一次斗殴。证据么,就是红衣主教的五名卫士,攻击我的三个火枪手和达达尼昂。"

"对。"国王说,"不过没关系,特雷维尔,还是从小楼梯上来吧。"

特雷维尔脸上露出了微笑。他觉得,能让这位年少的国王反对他的老师①,收获已经不少,便毕恭毕敬地向国王鞠一躬,得到允许后就退了出来。

  ①路易十三生于一六○一年,一六一○年即位,而黎塞留生于一五八五年,曾是路易十三的老师,并调解过他与母后的矛盾,故有此说。

当天晚上,三个火枪手就知道了他们获得的这一殊荣。他们早就认识国王,所以并不太过于兴奋,可是达达尼昂凭着其加斯科尼人的想象力,却看见自己即将平步青云,夜里做了好多黄金梦。第二天早晨刚八点钟,他就到了阿托斯的住处。

达达尼昂看见这位火枪手穿戴得整整齐齐,正准备出门。国王要在中午才接见,所以他与波托斯、阿拉米斯打算去卢森堡公园马厩旁边的网球场打网球。阿托斯邀请达达尼昂与他们一块去。达达尼昂虽然对这项运动一无所知,从来没有玩过,但还是答应去,因为现在才将近九点钟,要等到中午十二点钟,他不知道这段时间怎么打发。

另外两个火枪手已经到了,正在练球。阿托斯各项体育运动都挺行,便与达达尼昂走到对面场地,与他们对打。但是,他虽然用的左手,人一活动,就明白自己的新伤承受不了这种运动。因此,这一方只剩下达达尼昂一个人,而他声称自己太笨,打正式比赛不成,他们就继续打着玩,不记分。但是,波托斯那大力士般的手腕子发出来的一个球,几乎擦着达达尼昂的脸飞了过去。达达尼昂想,这球若不是从侧面飞过去而正打在自己脸上,那么他就很可能失去召见的机会,永远不能觐见国王了。而在他那加斯科尼人的想象中,这次觐见将决定他的前程,所以他彬彬有礼地向波托斯和阿拉米斯鞠一躬,说他要等到自己足以与他们较量时,再来与他们打球,说罢就退到了球场边线外的走廊里。

也算是达达尼昂晦气,观众之中有一个红衣主教的卫士。此人对昨天自己的同伴所遭受的失败还愤愤不平,决心寻找机会报复,现在以为机会来了,便对身旁的人说:

"这个年轻人怕球,这倒也不奇怪,看来他是火枪手队里的一个小学徒。"

达达尼昂像被蛇咬了一口,回过头,死死盯住那个说话无礼的卫士。

"他妈的,"卫士盛气凌人地捻着胡须说道,"小子,你爱怎么看就怎么看我,老子的话说了就说了。"

"你的话说得再清楚不过啦,"达达尼昂低声回答道,"根本用不着解释。请你跟我走。"

"什么时候?"卫士还是用嘲笑的口气问道。

"立刻。请。"

"你大概知道我是谁吧?"

"我吗,根本就不知道,而且也不想打听。"

"你错了。你要是知道了我的名字,也许就不会这样急不可待了。"

"你叫什么名字?"

"贝纳如,悉听吩咐。"

"好,贝纳如先生,"达达尼昂不动声地说,"我在门口等你。"

"走吧,先生,我随你走。"

"别太着急,先生,不要让人家注意到我们是一块出去的。

你想必明白,闲人一多,会妨碍我们要去做的事情。"

"好的。"卫士说道。他感到奇怪,他的名字居然没对这个年轻人产生什么作用。

贝纳如这个名字的确无人不知,无人不晓,大概只有达达尼昂不知道。三天两头发生的斗殴事件中,总是少不了这个人。这类斗殴事件,尽管国王和红衣主教一再明令禁止,但就是屡禁不止。

波托斯和阿拉米斯一门心思打球,阿托斯集中注意力看球,都没有留意他们年轻的同伴出去了。达达尼昂像对红衣主教的卫士说过的那样,走到大门口停住了脚步;不一会儿,卫士也下来了。达达尼昂要按约定的时间,中午十二点去觐见国王,所以一分钟都不能浪费。他环视四周,发现街上阒无一人。

"老实讲,"他向对手说,"你运气不错,虽然你叫贝纳如,但你遇到的只不过是一个火枪手学徒。不过,放心吧,我会尽力而为的。准备交手!"

"可是,"受到达达尼昂挑衅的卫士说道,"这地点似乎选择得不太好,我们最好去圣日耳曼修道院后面,或者去文人漫步草地。"

"你的话很有道理,"达达尼昂说道,"可惜我中午十二点正有个约会,时间太紧啦。准备,先生,准备!"

如此的恭维话,贝纳如是听不得人家重复一遍的。刹那间,他已经拔出明晃晃的剑,向对手猛刺过来。他认为对手还乳臭未干,想镇住他。

可是,达达尼昂昨天已经当过学徒,刚刚在胜利中出了师,而且受到未来的宠遇的极大鼓舞,所以他决不会后退半步。如此"当"的一声双剑相交,达达尼昂脚跟站得牢牢的,倒是对手倒退了一步。贝纳如在后退之时剑偏了偏,达达尼昂抓住机会,将对方的剑一挑,迅猛进击,一下刺中了贝纳如的肩膀。他立刻后退一步,将剑举了一下,可是贝纳如高叫说这算不了什么,旋即盲目地猛扑过来,结果自己撞在达达尼昂的剑尖上。不过,他并没有倒下,所以还不服输,只是向拉特雷穆耶公馆那边退去,因为他有一个亲戚在那家公馆里做事。达达尼昂不知道对手被第二剑创伤的严重程度,紧逼不放,看来他就要刺第三剑,结果对手的性命了。正在这时,街上的喧闹声传到了网球场,贝纳如的两个朋友听见他与达达尼昂说过话,后来又看见他出去了,于是他们赶忙拔出剑,冲了出来,正好遇到乘胜追击者。不过,正当他们动手攻击达达尼昂的时候,阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯也冲了出来,迫使两个卫士回转身来对付他们。这时,贝纳如倒下了,卫士们见自己是两个低挡四个,便喊起来:"拉特雷穆耶公馆的人,快出来帮我们!"公馆里的人听见喊声,全都跑了出来,冲向四个火枪手。这四个也喊起来:"火枪手们,快来帮我们!"

平常人们一听见这喊声就知道发生了什么事,因为大家都知道火枪手是红衣主教的敌人,并且都因为他们恨红衣主教而喜欢他们。好些不属于阿拉米斯所称的红公爵管辖的禁军的士兵,在这类打斗中,一般都站在国王的火枪手们一边。这时,埃萨尔先生队里的三名士兵,就有两个赶来帮助火枪队的四位同伴,另一个跑到特雷维尔先生的官邸喊道:"快来帮我们,火枪手们,快来帮我们!"像往常一样,火枪手们都集中在特雷维尔先生官邸,他们全都跑来支援自己的同伴,结果形成了一场大混战,但优势在火枪手们一边。红衣主教的卫士和拉特雷穆耶的人退进了公馆,及时关上了大门,阻止了敌人随着他们冲进去。至于那个受伤的,早就被抬进去了;前文已交代过,他伤势十分严重。

火枪手及其盟友们非常激愤。有人已经在商量,是不是该放火烧掉拉特雷穆耶公馆,以惩罚公馆的仆人胆大妄为袭击国王的火枪手的行为。这个建议一提出来,就受到热烈的拥护。幸而这时候时钟敲响了十一点,达达尼昂和他的三位同伴记起还要接受国王的召见。这样一次轰轰烈烈的行动他们参加不上,那该多么可惜。于是他们经过劝说,终于让大家头脑冷静下来。大家只捡了几块街石朝大门砸去,大门当然砸不开,大家也累了,况且可能被视为带头肇事的几个人已离开现场,向特雷维尔先生的官邸走去。特雷维尔已风闻这场混战,正等着他们呢。

"赶快去罗浮宫,"他说,"赶快去,一分一秒都不能耽误,我们要赶在红衣主教去报告国王之前就见到国王,向国王禀报,把这件事说成是昨天那一事件的延续,这样两件事就一齐了啦。"

特雷维尔先生带着四个年轻人赶到罗浮宫,可是令火枪队队长大为意外的是,宫里传出话来,说国王去圣日耳曼森林里猎鹿去了。特雷维尔请侍从把这条消息连说两遍;四个年轻人注意到,每说一遍,他的脸色就难看一点。

"陛下可是昨天就有了这个出猎计划?"他问道。

"不,阁下。"侍从回答,"是犬猎队队长今天早上来报告说,昨夜他们把一头鹿赶了过来,好让圣上去围猎。圣上起初说不去,但经不住这场围猎的乐趣的诱惑,用过早膳就移驾前往了。"

"国王可是见过红衣主教?"特雷维尔又问。

"很可能。"侍从答道,"今天早上我见主教大人的车子套好了马,就回是要去哪里,得到的回答是:'去圣日耳曼。"

"我们让人家抢先了。"特雷维尔先生说,"先生们,我今天晚上去见国王,各位么,我看就不要冒然前往了。"

这个意见非常明智,尤其它是出自一个摸诱了国王脾气的人之口,四个年轻人无法反驳。特雷维尔请他们回各自的住处,等待他的消息。

回到府上,特雷维尔先生考虑,应该采取主动,头一个去告状。他修书一封,叫一个仆人送给拉特雷穆耶先生。信中请拉特雷穆耶先生把红衣主教的那个卫士逐出府门,并且惩办他手下那些胆敢对火枪手发动袭击的人。但是,拉特雷穆耶先生已得到他的养马人,即我们已知的贝纳如那个亲戚的报告,叫来人传他的回话:告状的不应该是特雷维尔先生和他的火枪手们,相反应该是他,因为特雷维尔的火枪手们不仅打了他手下的人,而且企图放火烧他的公馆。这两位贵族自然各执一词,互不相让,这样下去,他们之间的争执势必持续很长时间。于是,特雷维尔先生便想出一个意在彻底解决的办法,亲自去找拉特雷穆耶先生。

他立刻赶到拉特雷穆耶公馆,叫人进去通报。

两位贵族客气地相互施礼。他们之间虽说没有交情,但至少彼此还是尊重的。两位贵族都是有胆略,顾名誉的人。拉特雷穆耶是新教徒,很少见国王,又不属于任何党派,所以在社会交往中,一般不抱成见。不过这一回,他的接待虽然礼貌周到,但比平常来得冷淡。

"先生,"特雷维尔说道,"您我都认为对方值得抱怨,我亲自来府上,就是想和您一块弄明事实真相。"

"很好,"拉特雷穆耶答道,"不过我事先告诉您,情况我了解得很清楚,完全是您的火枪手的过错。"

"先生,您为人很公正,又很通情达理,"特雷维尔说,"我有个建议您不至于不接受吧。"

"请讲,先生,在下洗耳恭听。"

"府上的养马人的亲戚贝纳如现在情形如何?"

"很糟,先生。他臂上挨了一剑,倒还无妨,此外他还挨了一剑,直穿透了肺部,照医生的说法,非常不妙。"

"受伤者神志可还清楚?"

"完全清楚。"

"能说话吗?"

"很困难,不过还能说。"

"很好,先生。我们去看看他。他也许就要被上帝召去了,我们要求他在上帝面前讲出事实真相。我把他当作法官来审判他自己的案子,先生,他说的话我一定相信的。"

拉特雷穆耶思考片刻,自己实在提不出更合理的建议,便接受了。

两人下楼,来到受伤者的房间。受伤者见两位尊贵的老爷来看自己,想坐起来,但身体太虚弱,没爬起来,反而累得精疲力竭,又倒在床上,几乎失去知觉。

拉特雷穆耶走到床前,让他嗅了嗅盐,使他清醒过来。特雷维尔先生不愿意别人指责他对受伤者旋加影响,便请拉特雷穆耶亲自审问。

不出特雷维尔所料,半死不活的贝纳如,再也不想把真相隐瞒片刻,向两位老爷原原本本讲了事情的经过。

特雷维尔所盼望的正是这个。他祝贝纳如早日康复,辞别拉特雷穆耶先生,回到官邸,立刻派人通知四个朋友,他等他们共进晚餐。

特雷维尔招待的几个人都是世家子弟,而且都是反红衣主教的。因此席间所谈,可想而知都离不开红衣主教的卫士新近的两次惨败。而这两天演主角的是达达尼昂,所以大家都向他表示祝贺,阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯也都把荣誉让给他。他们三人不仅是耿介伙伴,而且这类荣誉经常得到,所以尽管让给达达尼昂一个人。

六点钟光景,特雷维尔说必须去罗浮宫了。但是,国王恩准的召见时间已过,所以他不要求从小楼梯进宫,而与四个年轻人一起在前厅里等候。国王出猎尚未归来。四个年轻人夹杂在从廷臣之中,恭候了将近半小时,突然层层宫门大开,外面通报圣上回驾。

听到这声通报,达达尼昂感到全身上下颤栗起来。即将到来的这一时刻,很可能决定他今后的人生。因此,他两眼不安地盯住国王就要进来的门。

路易十三出现了,就是走在最前面的那一个,一身猎装,风尘仆仆,足穿高统靴,手里拎着马鞭。达达尼昂一眼就看出来,国王正在气头上。

虽然国王心情明显不好,一班廷臣还是必须排列在他经过的路上。能在王宫的前厅里被他怒目瞪一眼,总比根本没被他看见要好得多。三个火枪手毫不犹豫地迎上前一步,相反达达尼昂却躲在他们后面。国王本来是认得阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯的,却从他们面前走了过去,而没有看他们,也没有同他们说话,完全视同陌路。至于特雷维尔先生,当国王的目光在他身上停留片刻时,他倒是坚定不移地迎着那目光,反而使得国王不得不把目光移开。接着,圣上嘟嘟囔囔地进了他的房间。

"事情不妙,"阿托斯微笑着说道,"这回我们仍然得不到骑士封号。"

"你们在这里等候十分钟。"特雷维尔先生说道,"十分钟后不见我出来,你们就回我的官邸去,因为再等下去也是白等。"

四个年轻人等了十分钟,一刻钟,二十分钟,一直不见特雷维尔先生出来,便离开了王宫,心里七上八下,不知将发生什么事情。

特雷维尔先生壮着胆子进到御书房里,发现圣上心情很不好,坐在一张靠背椅上,用马鞭柄敲打着靴子。尽管如此,特雷维尔还是硬着头皮问圣体是否安康。

"很不好,先生,很不好,"国王答道,"我烦死了。"

事实上,这正是路易十三最严重的毛病。他常挽住一位朝臣的胳膊,拉他走到窗前说:"某某先生,我们一块来体验一下烦恼吧。"

"怎么!陛下感到烦恼!"特雷维尔说道,"难道陛下今天没有享受到打猎的乐趣?"

"好大的乐趣,先生!说句心里话,一切都糟透了,不知是野物没有留下踪迹,还是狗的鼻子不灵。我们赶出一头有十个叉角的鹿,追了六个小时,看来快要捕获它,圣-西蒙已经把号角放到嘴里,准备吹号叫大家合围时,呼啦一声,所有狗突然改变了方向,拼命追一头幼鹿去了。您看吧,总有一天我不得不放弃围猎啦,就像我已经放弃用猛禽狩猎一样。唉!寡人是个很不幸的国王,特雷维尔先生!我只剩下一只北欧大隼,前天也死了。"

"的确,陛下,臣理解您失望的心情。这的确非常不愉快,不过据我所知,似乎还剩下许多鹞子、隼和雄鹰嘛。"

"没有一个人来训练它们,训练猎鹰的人一个个都走啦,而犬猎也只有我一个人懂。我死了之后,什么也不消说了,将来打猎,就只有用捕兽器、陷阱和套圈一类玩意儿啦。要是我现在还有时间来培养学生多好!时间倒是有,可是红衣主教总是缠住我,搅得我一刻也不得安宁,他对我又是谈西班牙,又是谈奥地利,又是谈英国!唉!一提起红衣主教,特雷维尔先生,我对您就来气。"

"不知臣在什么事情上闯了祸,惹得陛下龙心不悦?"特雷维尔装出惊愕万分的样子问道。

"您就是这样尽职的吗,先生?"国王并不直接回答特雷维尔的问题,而是反问道,"我就是为了这个任命您做火枪队队长的吗?您的队员杀了一个人,搅得整个街区鸡飞狗跳,甚至想放火烧掉巴黎,可是您却一句话也不说!不过话又说回来,"国王继续说道,"也许我这样说未免太性急了,肇事者想必已经抓起来,您大概是来向我报告一切已秉公处理了吧。"

"陛下,正好相反,"特雷维尔不慌不忙地说,"我是来请求陛下秉公处理的。"

"处理谁?"国王厉声喝问。

"处理妄进谗言者。"

"啊!这倒挺新鲜。"国王说道,"您大概不至于说,您那三个该死的火枪手阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯,还有您那个贝亚恩小子,没有疯狂地扑向可怜的贝纳如,粗暴地折磨他,使得他这会儿正在断气了吧!您大概也不至于说,尔后他们没有包围拉特雷穆耶公爵的公馆,没有想把他的公馆烧掉吧!在战争时期,这也许算不上闯了什么大祸,可是现在是太平盛世,这样做就是开了一个恶劣的先例。说吧,您总不至于否认这一切吧?"

"这个动听的故事是谁对陛下编造的?"特雷维尔还是不慌不忙地问道。

"谁对我编造的这个动听的故事,先生!除了那个我睡觉他熬夜,我行乐他做事的人,除了那个包揽国内外一切事务,包揽法国和欧洲一切事务的人,您想还有谁?"

"陛下莫非说的是天主吧?"特雷维尔说道,"因为我知道,只有天主高过陛下,又如此有能耐。"

"不,先生,我说的是国家的柱石,是我唯一的仆人、唯一的朋友,是红衣主教先生。"

"陛下,红衣主教阁下不是教皇陛下。"

"这话怎讲,先生?"

"只有教皇是金口玉言;这金口玉言可轮不上红衣主教们。"

"您的意思是说他欺骗我,他背叛了我。您这是在控告他了。那好,请讲,您就坦率承认是在控告他吧。"

"我不是这个意思,陛下,我只不过是说他自己弄错了,是说他了解的情况不准确,是说他控告陛下的火枪手们未免太性急了,他对待火枪手们不公正,他掌握的情况来源不可靠。"

"控告是拉特雷穆耶先生提出的,是公爵本人提出的。这您还有什么话好说?"

"我是有话可说的,陛下:在这个问题上,公爵个人的利害关系牵涉得太深,他不可能充当一位很公正的证人;除此而外,陛下,我知道公爵是一位正直的绅士,我可以接受由他出面作证,但是有个条件,陛下。"

"什么条件?"

"就是陛下召他进宫来问话,不过请陛下单独亲自问他,不要有旁人在场。等陛下问完了公爵,我立刻再进来觐见陛下。"

"好吧!"国王说道,"拉特雷穆耶先生说的话您能接受?"

"是的,陛下。"

"您接受他的评判?"

"不错。"

"他要求谢罪,您也服从?"

"完全接受。"

"拉舍斯奈!"国王唤道,"拉舍斯奈!"

路易十三的这位心腹侍从,平时总是站在门外,听到招呼连忙进来。

"拉舍斯奈,"国王说道,"叫人立刻去传拉特雷穆耶先生进宫,朕今晚要和他谈话。"

"陛下可说定了,在拉特雷穆耶觐见之后和我再来之前,不接见任何人?"

"凭绅士的信用,不接见任何人。"

"那么明天再见,陛下。"

"明天见,先生。"

"陛下意欲明天几点钟?"

"您愿意几点钟来都行。"

"不过来得太早,我怕惊扰陛下寝安。"

"惊扰我的寝安?我能睡得着吗?我再也无法安眠啦,先生,只不过有时做做梦,如此而已。因此,请尽量早点来吧,臂如七点钟。不过,如果罪在您那几个火枪手,您给我小心就是了!"

"如果我那几个火枪手有罪,就听凭陛下处置,陛下要怎样发落就怎样发落。陛下还有什么吩咐吗?请明示,臣唯命是从。"

"没有啦,先生,没有啦。世人称朕为公正的路易,总是事出有因的。明天见,先生,明天见。"

"祝陛下万岁,万万岁!"

国王寝不能寐,特雷维尔更是通宵没有合眼。他当晚就通知三个火枪手和他们那个同伴,天亮之后六点半钟就来他的官邸。他带领他们进宫,但什么也没对他们讲明,什么也没对他们许诺,却是丝毫不向他们掩饰,他们的宠幸,甚至他本人的宠幸,全取决于此行,孤注一掷了。

到达小楼梯脚下,他叫四个年轻人等着。万一圣上依然怒气未消,他们就悄然离去不求接见;如果圣上恩准接见他们,他叫人招呼他们进去就是了。

特雷维尔进入国王寝宫候见室,见到拉舍斯奈。后者告诉他,拉特雷穆耶昨夜归家晚,在他府上没找到,刚刚赶到罗浮宫,此刻正在接受国王问话呢。

这种情况,特雷维尔正求之不得。这样,在拉特雷穆耶和他的证言之间,就肯定没有旁人来进谗言了。

果然,约摸过了十分钟,御书房的门开了,特雷维尔见拉特雷穆耶公爵从里面出来。公爵走过来对他说道:

"特雷维尔先生,圣上派人传我进宫来,了解昨天上午在舍间发生的事情的经过情形。我如实向圣上禀报了,就是说,错在敝舍下人,我准备向您赔罪。既然在此遇到您,就请接受我的谢罪吧,并望继续视我为您的朋友。"

"公爵先生,"特雷维尔说道,"对您的正直品德,鄙人一向心悦诚服。故此,除了您本人,我没有想到请旁人到圣上面前为我辩护。看来我没有认错人。我还得感谢您,因为在法国还有这样一位君子,人们可以像我刚才称道您一样称道他,而不会称道错。"

"说得好,说得好!"国王在门里听到了这些恭维话,说道,"不过,特雷维尔,请告诉他,既然他自称是您的朋友,那么朕也愿意成为他的朋友,可是他疏远了朕,朕都有三年没见到他了,直到这次派人找他来。请替我把这些话告诉他,因为这类事情,一个国王是不好亲口讲的。"

"谢谢,陛下,谢谢。"公爵说,"不过请陛下明察,陛下平日常见的人,我所指的绝不包括特雷维尔先生,陛下平日常见的人,可并不是对陛下最忠诚的。"

"哈!您听到了我说的话,公爵,这样更好,这样更好。"国王来到门口说道,"啊!您在这里,特雷维尔!您那几个火枪手呢?我前天就叫您带他们来见我,为何没带来?"

"他们都在楼下,陛下。只要陛下恩准,我就请拉舍斯奈叫他们上来吧。"

"好,好,叫他们即刻上来。快八点钟了,九点钟我还要接受朝见。好吧,公爵先生,一定要常来呀。请进,特雷维尔。"

公爵鞠躬退出。他推开门,只见拉舍斯奈引着三个火枪手和达达尼昂,上了楼梯。

"来吧,我的勇士们,来吧,"国王说道,"我要训诉你们哩。"

三个火枪手走到国王面前行鞠躬礼,达达尼昂跟在后面。

"你们这几个鬼东西,"国王说,"怎么搞的,四个人两天之内报销了红衣主教阁下的七名卫士!太多了,先生们,太多了。这样下去,三个星期之后,红衣主教阁下就得被迫重新招募他的卫队,而我呢,也不得不降旨严格执法。偶然报销他一个,我不说话,但是两天报销七个,我再说一遍,太多啦,真是太多了。"

"正因为这样,陛下,您想必看出来了,他们都十分痛心,十分懊悔地来问圣上请罪啦。"

"十分痛心,十分懊悔!"国王说道,"哼!我才不相信他们这副假惺惺的样子呢,尤其他们之中有一张加斯科尼人面孔。

请这儿来,先生。"

达达尼昂明白这是表扬他,便装出一副非常愧疚的样子,走到国王身边。

"啊哈!您怎么对我说这是个小伙子?这还是个孩子嘛,特雷维尔先生,地地道道的一个孩子!叫朱萨克结结实实吃了一剑的,可就是他?"

"还有贝纳如挨的那出色的两剑。"

"真有你的!"

"还不止这些呢,"阿托斯插嘴说,"要不是他从比斯卡拉手里搭救了我,这会儿我肯定没有福分来恭恭敬敬向陛下鞠躬了。"

"这个贝亚恩小子,莫非真是一个恶魔,一个精怪,特雷维尔先生,就像先王吾父所说的那样?练这个行当,不知要戳破多少紧身衣,劈断多少剑呢!可是,加斯科尼人偏偏一直很穷,不是吗?"

"陛下,我只能说,他们还没有找到他们那些山里的金矿,尽管上帝想必恩赐了这种奇迹,以报偿他们拥护先王的宏图大业的方式。"

"这就是说,正是多亏了加斯科尼人,我本人才当上国王的,不是吗,特雷维尔,因为我是先王吾父之子?是吗,好极了,我不否认。拉舍斯奈,去翻遍我所有的口袋,看能不能翻出四十比斯托尔,找到了就拿来给我。现在,年轻人,老老实实来讲一讲事情发生的经过吧。"

达达尼昂把先天的遭遇详详细细讲了一遍:他怎样因为就要见到圣上而兴奋得通宵睡不着觉,怎样在觐见前三小时到了他的朋友们的住处,他们怎样一快儿到了网球场,他又怎样表现出害怕球打在脸上,贝纳如怎样嘲笑他,而贝纳如的嘲笑差点使他自己丧了命,拉特雷穆耶先生本来与这件事毫无干系,又怎样差点连公馆也被烧掉了。

"果真如此。"国王自言自语道,"对呀,和公爵刚才对我讲的情形一样。可怜的红衣主教,两天损失了七个人,而且全是他最宠爱的。不过,这就够了,先生们,可听明白了!够了,你们已经报了费鲁街之仇,甚至超过了,该满意了。"

"陛下满意,我们也就满意了。"特雷维尔说道。

"是的,我感到满意。"国王说着,从拉舍斯奈手里抓了一把金币,放到达达尼昂手里,补充说,"这就是我满意的证据。"

在那个时代,现在流行的自尊观念还不时兴。一位绅士亲手接受国王的赏钱,根本不算有失体面。达达尼昂把四十比斯托尔放进口袋,不仅毫不做作,反而大大方方地向国王鞠一躬表示感谢。

"啊,"国王望一眼挂钟说道,"啊,现在八点半了,你们退下吧。我对你们说过,我九点钟还要接受朝见。先生们,感谢你们的忠诚。你们的忠诚是靠得住的,不是吗?"

"啊!陛下,"四位伙伴异口同声地大声说道,"为了陛下,我们就是粉身碎骨也在所不辞。"

"好,好,不过还是保全自己吧,那样更好,对我也更有用。特雷维尔,"当其他人退出时,国王低声说道,"您的火枪队里已经没有位置,而且我们曾经决定,必须经过一段时间见习,才能进火枪队,把这个年轻人放到您妹夫埃萨尔先生那一队禁军里去吧。嘿!说真的,特雷维尔,一想到红衣主教就要气歪脸,我就美滋滋的。他肯定会气急败坏,我才不管他呢,朕行使朕的权利!"

国王向特雷维尔挥挥手,特雷维尔退出来,赶上他的三个火枪手,看见他们正与达达尼昂在分那四十比斯托尔呢。

正如国王所说的那样,红衣主教果然气急败坏,一周不来和国王打牌,尽管这样,国王对他却异常地和颜悦色,每次遇到他总以关怀备至的口气问道:

"喂,红衣主教先生,您手下的贝纳如和朱萨克那两个可怜的人怎样了?"




Chapter 7 THE INTERIOR OF "THE MUSKETEERS"

When d'Artagnan was out of the Louvre, and consulted his friends upon the use he had best make of his share of the forty pistoles, Athos advised him to order a good repast at the Pomme-de-Pin, Porthos to engage a lackey, and Aramis to provide himself with a suitable mistress.

The repast was carried into effect that very day, and the lackey waited at table. The repast had been ordered by Athos, and the lackey furnished by Porthos. He was a Picard, whom the glorious Musketeer had picked up on the Bridge Tournelle, making rings and plashing in the water.

Porthos pretended that this occupation was proof of a reflective and contemplative organization, and he had brought him away without any other recommendation. The noble carriage of this gentleman, for whom he believed himself to be engaged, had won Planchet--that was the name of the Picard. He felt a slight disappointment, however, when he saw that this place was already taken by a compeer named Mousqueton, and when Porthos signified to him that the state of his household, though great, would not support two servants, and that he must enter into the service of d'Artagnan. Nevertheless, when he waited at the dinner given by his master, and saw him take out a handful of gold to pay for it, he believed his fortune made, and returned thanks to heaven for having thrown him into the service of such a Croesus. He preserved this opinion even after the feast, with the remnants of which he repaired his own long abstinence; but when in the evening he made his master's bed, the chimeras of Planchet faded away. The bed was the only one in the apartment, which consisted of an antechamber and a bedroom. Planchet slept in the antechamber upon a coverlet taken from the bed of d'Artagnan, and which d'Artagnan from that time made shift to do without.

Athos, on his part, had a valet whom he had trained in his service in a thoroughly peculiar fashion, and who was named Grimaud. He was very taciturn, this worthy signor. Be it understood we are speaking of Athos. During the five or six years that he had lived in the strictest intimacy with his companions, Porthos and Aramis, they could remember having often seen him smile, but had never heard him laugh. His words were brief and expressive, conveying all that was meant, and no more; no embellishments, no embroidery, no arabesques. His conversation a matter of fact, without a single romance.

Although Athos was scarcely thirty years old, and was of great personal beauty and intelligence of mind, no one knew whether he had ever had a mistress. He never spoke of women. He certainly did not prevent others from speaking of them before him, although it was easy to perceive that this kind of conversation, in which he only mingled by bitter words and misanthropic remarks, was very disagreeable to him. His reserve, his roughness, and his silence made almost an old man of him. He had, then, in order not to disturb his habits, accustomed Grimaud to obey him upon a simple gesture or upon a simple movement of his lips. He never spoke to him, except under the most extraordinary occasions.

Sometimes, Grimaud, who feared his master as he did fire, while entertaining a strong attachment to his person and a great veneration for his talents, believed he perfectly understood what he wanted, flew to execute the order received, and did precisely the contrary. Athos then shrugged his shoulders, and, without putting himself in a passion, thrashed Grimaud. On these days he spoke a little.

Porthos, as we have seen, had a character exactly opposite to that of Athos. He not only talked much, but he talked loudly, little caring, we must render him that justice, whether anybody listened to him or not. He talked for the pleasure of talking and for the pleasure of hearing himself talk. He spoke upon all subjects except the sciences, alleging in this respect the inveterate hatred he had borne to scholars from his childhood. He had not so noble an air as Athos, and the commencement of their intimacy often rendered him unjust toward that gentleman, whom he endeavored to eclipse by his splendid dress. But with his simple Musketeer's uniform and nothing but the manner in which he threw back his head and advanced his foot, Athos instantly took the place which was his due and consigned the ostentatious Porthos to the second rank. Porthos consoled himself by filling the antechamber of M. de Treville and the guardroom of the Louvre with the accounts of his love scrapes, after having passed from professional ladies to military ladies, from the lawyer's dame to the baroness, there was question of nothing less with Porthos than a foreign princess, who was enormously fond of him.

An old proverb says, "Like master, like man." Let us pass, then, from the valet of Athos to the valet of Porthos, from Grimaud to Mousqueton.

Mousqueton was a Norman, whose pacific name of Boniface his master had changed into the infinitely more sonorous name of Mousqueton. He had entered the service of Porthos upon condition that he should only be clothed and lodged, though in a handsome manner; but he claimed two hours a day to himself, consecrated to an employment which would provide for his other wants. Porthos agreed to the bargain; the thing suited him wonderfully well. He had doublets cut out of his old clothes and cast-off cloaks for Mousqueton, and thanks to a very intelligent tailor, who made his clothes look as good as new by turning them, and whose wife was suspected of wishing to make Porthos descend from his aristocratic habits, Mousqueton made a very good figure when attending on his master.

As for Aramis, of whom we believe we have sufficiently explained the character--a character which, like that of his lackey was called Bazin. Thanks to the hopes which his master entertained of someday entering into orders, he was always clothed in black, as became the servant of a churchman. He was a Berrichon, thirty-five or forty years old, mild, peaceable, sleek, employing the leisure his master left him in the perusal of pious works, providing rigorously for two a dinner of few dishes, but excellent. For the rest, he was dumb, blind, and deaf, and of unimpeachable fidelity.

And now that we are acquainted, superficially at least, with the masters and the valets, let us pass on to the dwellings occupied by each of them.

Athos dwelt in the Rue Ferou, within two steps of the Luxembourg. His apartment consisted of two small chambers, very nicely fitted up, in a furnished house, the hostess of which, still young and still really handsome, cast tender glances uselessly at him. Some fragments of past splendor appeared here and there upon the walls of this modest lodging; a sword, for example, richly embossed, which belonged by its make to the times of Francis I, the hilt of which alone, encrusted with precious stones, might be worth two hundred pistoles, and which, nevertheless, in his moments of greatest distress Athos had never pledged or offered for sale. It had long been an object of ambition for Porthos. Porthos would have given ten years of his life to possess this sword.

One day, when he had an appointment with a duchess, he endeavored even to borrow it of Athos. Athos, without saying anything, emptied his pockets, got together all his jewels, purses, aiguillettes, and gold chains, and offered them all to Porthos; but as to the sword, he said it was sealed to its place and should never quit it until its master should himself quit his lodgings. In addition to the sword, there was a portrait representing a nobleman of the time of Henry III, dressed with the greatest elegance, and who wore the Order of the Holy Ghost; and this portrait had certain resemblances of lines with Athos, certain family likenesses which indicated that this great noble, a knight of the Order of the King, was his ancestor.

Besides these, a casket of magnificent goldwork, with the same arms as the sword and the portrait, formed a middle ornament to the mantelpiece, and assorted badly with the rest of the furniture. Athos always carried the key of this coffer about him; but he one day opened it before Porthos, and Porthos was convinced that this coffer contained nothing but letters and papers--love letters and family papers, no doubt.

Porthos lived in an apartment, large in size and of very sumptuous appearance, in the Rue du Vieux-Colombier. Every time he passed with a friend before his windows, at one of which Mousqueton was sure to be placed in full livery, Porthos raised his head and his hand, and said, "That is my abode!" But he was never to be found at home; he never invited anybody to go up with him, and no one could form an idea of what his sumptuous apartment contained in the shape of real riches.

As to Aramis, he dwelt in a little lodging composed of a boudoir, an eating room, and a bedroom, which room, situated, as the others were, on the ground floor, looked out upon a little fresh green garden, shady and impenetrable to the eyes of his neighbors.

With regard to d'Artagnan, we know how he was lodged, and we have already made acquaintance with his lackey, Master Planchet.

D'Artagnan, who was by nature very curious--as people generally are who possess the genius of intrigue--did all he could to make out who Athos, Porthos, and Aramis really were (for under these pseudonyms each of these young men concealed his family name)--Athos in particular, who, a league away, savored of nobility. He addressed himself then to Porthos to gain information respecting Athos and Aramis, and to Aramis in order to learn something of Porthos.

Unfortunately Porthos knew nothing of the life of his silent companion but what revealed itself. It was said Athos had met with great crosses in love, and that a frightful treachery had forever poisoned the life of this gallant man. What could this treachery be? All the world was ignorant of it.

As to Porthos, except his real name (as was the case with those of his two comrades), his life was very easily known. Vain and indiscreet, it was as easy to see through him as through a crystal. The only thing to mislead the investigator would have been belief in all the good things he said of himself.

With respect to Aramis, though having the air of having nothing secret about him, he was a young fellow made up of mysteries, answering little to questions put to him about others, and having learned from him the report which prevailed concerning the success of the Musketeer with a princess, wished to gain a little insight into the amorous adventures of his interlocutor. "And you, my dear companion," said he, "you speak of the baronesses, countesses, and princesses of others?"

"PARDIEU! I spoke of them because Porthos talked of them himself, because he had paraded all these fine things before me. But be assured, my dear Monsieur d'Artagnan, that if I had obtained them from any other source, or if they had been confided to me, there exists no confessor more discreet than myself."

"Oh, I don't doubt that," replied d'Artagnan; "but it seems to me that you are tolerably familiar with coats of arms--a certain embroidered handkerchief, for instance, to which I owe the honor of your acquaintance?"

This time Aramis was not angry, but assumed the most modest air and replied in a friendly tone, "My dear friend, do not forget that I wish to belong to the Church, and that I avoid all mundane opportunities. The handkerchief you saw had not been given to me, but it had been forgotten and left at my house by one of my friends. I was obliged to pick it up in order not to compromise him and the lady he loves. As for myself, I neither have, nor desire to have, a mistress, following in that respect the very judicious example of Athos, who has none any more than I have."

"But what the devil! You are not a priest, you are a Musketeer!"

"A Musketeer for a time, my friend, as the cardinal says, a Musketeer against my will, but a churchman at heart, believe me. Athos and Porthos dragged me into this to occupy me. I had, at the moment of being ordained, a little difficulty with--But that would not interest you, and I am taking up your valuable time."

"Not at all; it interests me very much," cried d'Artagnan; "and at this moment I have absolutely nothing to do."

"Yes, but I have my breviary to repeat," answered Aramis; "then some verses to compose, which Madame d'Aiguillon begged of me. Then I must go to the Rue St. Honore in order to purchase some rouge for Madame de Chevreuse. So you see, my dear friend, that if you are not in a hurry, I am very much in a hurry."

Aramis held out his hand in a cordial manner to his young companion, and took leave of him.

Notwithstanding all the pains he took, d'Artagnan was unable to learn any more concerning his three new-made friends. He formed, therefore, the resolution of believing for the present all that was said of their past, hoping for more certain and extended revelations in the future. In the meanwhile, he looked upon Athos as an Achilles, Porthos as an Ajax, and Aramis as a Joseph.

As to the rest, the life of the four young friends was joyous enough. Athos played, and that as a rule unfortunately. Nevertheless, he never borrowed a sou of his companions, although his purse was ever at their service; and when he had played upon honor, he always awakened his creditor by six o'clock the next morning to pay the debt of the preceding evening.

Porthos had his fits. On the days when he won he was insolent and ostentatious; if he lost, he disappeared completely for several days, after which he reappeared with a pale face and thinner person, but with money in his purse.

As to Aramis, he never played. He was the worst Musketeer and the most unconvivial companion imaginable. He had always something or other to do. Sometimes in the midst of dinner, when everyone, under the attraction of wine and in the warmth of conversation, believed they had two or three hours longer to enjoy themselves at table, Aramis looked at his watch, arose with a bland smile, and took leave of the company, to go, as he said, to consult a casuist with whom he had an appointment. At other times he would return home to write a treatise, and requested his friends not to disturb him.

At this Athos would smile, with his charming, melancholy smile, which so became his noble countenance, and Porthos would drink, swearing that Aramis would never be anything but a village CURE.

Planchet, d'Artagnan's valet, supported his good fortune nobly. He received thirty sous per day, and for a month he returned to his lodgings gay as a chaffinch, and affable toward his master. When the wind of adversity began to blow upon the housekeeping of the Rue des Fossoyeurs--that is to say, when the forty pistoles of King Louis XIII were consumed or nearly so--he commenced complaints which Athos thought nauseous, Porthos indecent, and Aramis ridiculous. Athos counseled d'Artagnan to dismiss the fellow; Porthos was of opinion that he should give him a good thrashing first; and Aramis contended that a master should never attend to anything but the civilities paid to him.

"This is all very easy for you to say," replied d'Artagnan, "for you, Athos, who live like a dumb man with Grimaud, who forbid him to speak, and consequently never exchange ill words with him; for you, Porthos, who carry matters in such a magnificent style, and are a god to your valet, Mousqueton; and for you, Aramis, who, always abstracted by your theological studies, inspire your servant, Bazin, a mild, religious man, with a profound respect; but for me, who am without any settled means and without resources--for me, who am neither a Musketeer nor even a Guardsman, what I am to do to inspire either the affection, the terror, or the respect in Planchet?"

"This is serious," answered the three friends; "it is a family affair. It is with valets as with wives, they must be placed at once upon the footing in which you wish them to remain. Reflect upon it."

D'Artagnan did reflect, and resolved to thrash Planchet provisionally; which he did with the conscientiousness that d'Artagnan carried into everything. After having well beaten him, he forbade him to leave his service without his permission. "For," added he, "the future cannot fail to mend; I inevitably look for better times. Your fortune is therefore made if you remain with me, and I am too good a master to allow you to miss such a chance by granting you the dismissal you require."

This manner of acting roused much respect for d'Artagnan's policy among the Musketeers. Planchet was equally seized with admiration, and said no more about going away.

The life of the four young men had become fraternal. D'Artagnan, who had no settled habits of his own, as he came from his province into the midst of his world quite new to him, fell easily into the habits of his friends.

They rose about eight o'clock in the winter, about six in summer, and went to take the countersign and see how things went on at M. de Treville's. D'Artagnan, although he was not a Musketeer, performed the duty of one with remarkable punctuality. He went on guard because he always kept company with whoever of his friends was on duty. He was well known at the Hotel of the Musketeers, where everyone considered him a good comrade. M. de Treville, who had appreciated him at the first glance and who bore him a real affection, never ceased recommending him to the king.

On their side, the three Musketeers were much attached to their young comrade. The friendship which united these four men, and the need they felt of seeing another three or four times a day, whether for dueling, business, or pleasure, caused them to be continually running after one another like shadows; and the Inseparables were constantly to be met with seeking one another, from the Luxembourg to the Place St. Sulpice, or from the Rue du Vieux-Colombier to the Luxembourg.

In the meanwhile the promises of M. de Treville went on prosperously. One fine morning the king commanded M. de Chevalier Dessessart to admit d'Artagnan as a cadet in his company of Guards. D'Artagnan, with a sigh, donned his uniform, which he would have exchanged for that of a Musketeer at the expense of ten years of his existence. But M. de Treville promised this favor after a novitiate of two years--a novitiate which might besides be abridged if an opportunity should present itself for d'Artagnan to render the king any signal service, or to distinguish himself by some brilliant action. Upon this promise d'Artagnan withdrew, and the next day he began service.

Then it became the turn of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to mount guard with d'Artagnan when he was on duty. The company of M. le Chevalier Dessessart thus received four instead of one when it admitted d'Artagnan.

 

第七章 火枪手的内情

出了罗浮宫,达达尼昂征求朋友们的意见,怎样使用他从四十比斯托尔中分到的那份钱。阿托斯建议他去松球酒家美美地吃一顿;波托斯建议他雇一个跟班;阿拉米斯建议他找一个称心如意的情妇。

酒饭当天就吃了,由跟班伺候着吃。酒饭是阿托斯去订的,跟班则是波托斯帮助找的。这个跟班是庇卡底人,我们这位自命不凡的火枪手,看见他站在杜奈尔桥上往河里吐口水,观看水面漾起的一个个圆圆,便把他雇了来。

波托斯说,这个人当时那样专心致志,证明他善于深思熟虑,沉着冷静,因此不用什么人推荐,就把他领了回来。这个庇卡底人名叫普朗歇,他被雇佣他的绅士的非凡派头迷住了,以为自己找了个好主儿。可是,到了这个主人家里一看,下房已经让一个名叫穆斯克东的伙计占据了,而波托斯对他说,虽然他的寓所相当宽敞,但容不下两个跟班,他得去伺候达达尼昂,他这才多少有些失望。然而,及至看到主人请客的那次晚餐,尤其看到达达尼昂从口袋里掏出一大把金币付帐,他又以为自己福星高照了,暗暗感谢上天,让自己跟了这样一个克罗伊斯①。他是个长期混不饱肚子的角色,这次盛筵的残羹剩饭让他饱吃了一顿,所以直到饭后他仍然以为自己交了好运。不过,晚上为主人铺床的时候,普朗歇的幻想破灭了。房子倒是有两间,一间过厅,一间卧室,床却只有一张。普朗歇只好从达达尼昂床上抽出一条毯子,睡在过厅里;达达尼昂呢,从此就少盖一条毯子。

  ①公元前五世纪小亚细亚地区吕底亚国的末代国王,古代巨富之一。

阿托斯也有一个跟班,名叫格里默,是他用一种特殊的方法训练出来,给自己当差的。这位高贵的爵爷生性沉默。这里所说的爵爷当然是阿托斯。五六年来,他与自己的两个伙伴,波托斯和阿拉米斯,亲密无间地生活在一起。在这两个伙伴的记忆中,他们倒是经常见他露出微笑,但从来没有听见他笑出声。他说话言简意赅,说自己想说的,从来不多说一句,不矫饰,不做作,不卖弄,实事求是,绝不添枝加叶。

阿托斯虽然年方三十,仪表堂堂,思想高雅,却谁也没发现他有情妇。他从来不谈女人,不过也不阻止别人当他的面谈;他偶然插两句话,也多是尖酸刻薄,愤世嫉俗。显而易见,这类谈话令他非常反感。他矜持孤僻,沉默寡言,显得像个老头儿;这些多年的习惯他不愿抛弃,便把格里默训练得能根据他简单的手势或嘴唇简单的动作行事。不到万不得已,他是不对格里默说话的。

格里默对主人的品格深深热爱,对主人的天才极为敬佩,但在他面前总是诚惶诚恐。有时,他自以为完全领会了主人的意图,雷厉风行去执行主人的命令,所做的却与主人的意旨背道而驰。每每遇到这种情形,阿托斯耸耸肩膀,并不动怒,只是揍格里默一顿,也只有在这样的时候,他一天才说几句话。

波托斯呢,正如我们所看见的那样,性格与阿托斯完全相反。他不仅话多,而且爱大声嚷嚷,至于别人听不听,则全然不在乎——这里得为他说句公道话:他说话是图痛快,是图听见自己说话那份痛快。他无事不谈,只有学问除外。对于这一点,他自己解释说,那是因为他从小就对有学问的人,抱有根深蒂固的厌恶。他不像阿托斯那样气宇轩昂,也感到自己气质上不如阿托斯,所以在他们交往之初,他对这个气度不凡的人,往往表现得不公正,因而极力想超过他,办法就是追求服饰的华丽。可是,阿托斯虽然穿着普普通通的火枪手外套,但只要他一昂首迈步,便立刻显出独领风骚的派头,使穿着讲究的波托斯,显得相形见绌了。波托斯为了自我安慰,就常常在特雷维尔先生的候见室里和罗浮宫卫队里,吹嘘自己如何大走桃花运,说他从黄袍贵族变成佩剑贵族之后,情妇也就由村妇换成了男爵夫人,而眼下呢,确确实实有一位外国王妃对他恩爱有加呢。这类事情,阿托斯向来闭口不谈。

常言道:"有其主必有其仆。"现在且按下阿托斯的跟班格里默不表,而来谈谈波托斯的跟班穆斯克东吧。

穆斯克东是诺曼底人,本来有一个温厚的名字,叫波尼法斯,主人给他换成了穆斯克东这样一个非常响亮,非常好斗的名字①。他给波托斯当差的条件仅仅是穿、住不愁就行,不过要穿住得讲究。他没有别的要求,只要求每天有两个钟头的自由时间,去搞点什么名堂,满足自己其他方面的需要。这条件波托斯接受了,觉得挺相宜。他拿出几件旧衣服和替换的斗篷,去为穆斯克东订做了几件紧身短上衣。多亏了一个心灵手巧的裁缝,把这些旧衣服翻成了新的。不过,有人怀疑裁缝的老婆想让他放弃贵族习惯,屈就于她。穆斯克东到处跟着主人,可神气了。

  ①在法语里,波尼法斯(Boniface)意为头脑简单、傻里傻气的人;穆斯克东(Mousqueton)意为短筒火枪。

至于阿拉米斯,他的性格介绍得够充分的了。再说,他本人的性格也好,他的伙伴们的性格也好,我们可以在其成熟的过程中随时介绍。阿拉米斯的跟班,名叫巴赞。由于他的主人希望有一天能当上教士,所以这个跟班像教士的仆人一样,总是穿着黑衣裳。他是贝里克人,三十五到四十岁光景,性情温厚,文静,人长得胖胖的,在主人留给他的空闲时间,常读宗教书籍,必要的时候,也为主人和他自己做饭,菜的样数不多,但极为可口。除此之外,他算得上又哑,又瞎,又聋,忠实得死心塌地。

现在,我们对这几个主人及跟班,至少有了表面的了解,下面就来看一看他们每个人的住所吧。

阿托斯住在费鲁街,和户森堡公园相隔不过几步远。他的寓所是一套两小间房子,布置得挺讲究,是连家具一起租的;房东太太还算年轻,颇有风韵,常对阿托斯飞媚眼,但不起作用。这套简朴的房子的墙上,点缀着几件旧时代璀璨夺目的东西,例如其中有一把宝剑,上面有精美的金银丝嵌花,从款式看,应该是弗朗索瓦一世时代的了,仅仅镶嵌着宝石的剑柄,就可值两百比斯托尔。然而,即使在最穷困的时候,阿托斯也不肯拿去典当或出卖。这把宝剑,波托斯一直见了就眼红,如果能得到它,就是少活十年他也心甘。

有一天,他甚至想向阿托斯借这把剑,去与一位公爵夫人幽会。阿托斯一句话也没说,搜遍了身上的口袋,把珠宝、钱包、大小金链子,统统掏出来,交给波托斯。"至于那把剑,"他说,"它固定在墙上啦,只有当它的主人离开这套房子时,它才会挪动位置。"除了这把宝剑,墙上还有一幅肖像,画的是亨利三世时代的一个贵族老爷,服饰非常华丽,胸前佩戴着圣灵勋章,面部的轮廓与阿托斯有某些相似之处,那是同宗同族的相似,说明那位显赫的贵族老爷,那位国王骑士团的骑士,是阿托斯的祖先。

最后还有一个镶嵌金银的小匣子,制作非常精致,上面有着与宝剑和肖像上相同的勋徽图案;它搁在壁炉台当中,与房间的其他陈设相比,显得极不协调。匣子的钥匙,阿托斯随时带在身上。不过,有一天他当着波托斯的面打开过那匣子,所以波托斯知道,匣子里只装着一些信件和文件,大概是情书和家传的文件。

波托斯的寓所在老鸽棚街,房子挺宽敞,外表上很豪华。每当他与某个朋友一起经过自己寓所的窗子下时,看见穆斯克东像往常一样,穿着讲究的制服站在窗口,便抬起头,用手一指说:"这就是敝人的寓所。"不过,谁也没有上他家里去找过他,他也从来不邀请任何人上他家,所以他这个外表豪华的家,里边究竟怎样富丽堂皇,没有任何人想象得出。

阿拉米斯的寓所不大,包括一间小客厅、一间餐厅和一间卧室,全都在楼下;窗外一个小花园,明丽青翠,绿树成荫,阻隔了邻居的视线。

至于达达尼昂,我们已经了解他的住所,并且认识他的跟班普朗歇师傅。

达达尼昂生性很好奇,正如一般爱玩弄计谋的人一样,千方百计了解阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯究竟是什么人,因为这几个年轻人的名字,都是当兵以后取的,而隐没了各自本来的绅士姓氏,尤其阿托斯,老远就能看出他是个大贵人。因此,达达尼昂去波托斯那里了解阿托斯和阿拉米斯的情况,又向阿拉米斯了解波托斯的情况。

遗憾的是,对于那位沉默寡言的伙伴,波托斯也仅仅了解一些表面的情况。据说,他在婚恋方面曾遭遇过巨大的不幸,一种令人发指的背叛破坏了这个风流倜傥的汉子的一生。至于是怎样的背叛,则谁也不晓得。

波托斯吗,他的真姓名与另外两位伙伴的姓名一样,只有特雷维尔先生知道;除了这一点之外,他的生活是容易了解的。他这个人好虚荣,心里有话藏不住,内心像水晶一样透明,一眼可以看穿。他唯一叫人摸不透的,就是他的自我吹嘘,你如果信了就被他迷惑住了。

阿拉米斯表面上为人坦白,实际上城府很深。你向他了解别人的情况,他爱答不理;你问他自己的情况,他避而不答。有一回,达达尼昂向他打听波托斯的情况,左问右问,才了解到有关这位火枪手交了桃花运,勾搭上了一位王妃的传闻。接着,达达尼昂又想了解这位交谈者本人的风流艳史,便问道:"那么您呢,亲爱的伙计,您尽谈别人勾搭上了男爵夫人、伯爵夫人、王妃什么的,那么您自己呢?"

"很抱歉,"阿拉米斯打断他说道,"我谈这些,是因为波托斯本人不讳言这些,因为他当着我的面大谈特谈这些情场艳遇。不过,请您相信,这些情况如果我是从别的地方了解到的,或者是他私下告诉我的,那么,我会比守口如瓶的忏悔师还更能保守秘密。"

"这一点我不怀疑。"达达尼昂又说道,"不过话说回来,您似乎与那些贵族家庭过往甚密,那条使我有幸与您认识的手绢,就是一个物证。"

这回阿拉米斯不仅没有生气,还谦和、亲切地答道:"亲爱的,请您不要忘了,我是想当教士的,一切交际机会我都躲得远远的。您见过的那条手绢根本不是什么人私下送的定情物,而是一位朋友遗忘在我家里的。我把它收起来,是为了使他们,即我的朋友和他所爱的贵夫人的名誉不受损害。至于我本人,根本没有也不想有情妇。我效法的是阿托斯这个明智的榜样。他和我一样,根本没有情妇。"

"真见鬼!您现在并不是教士,而是火枪手嘛!"

"暂时的火枪手,亲爱的。正如红衣主教所说,当火枪手并非心甘情愿,一心想当的是教士,请相信我吧。阿托斯和波托斯把我拉进火枪队,是不让我闲得无聊,因为我正要接受圣职的时候,遇到了一点小小的麻烦,……不过,这种事您不会感兴趣的,白白浪费您的宝贵时间。"

"恰恰相反,"达达尼昂赶紧说,"这种事我非常感兴趣,而且我现在根本没有什么事情要做。"

"是么,不过我要念日课经了,"阿拉米斯答道,"念完之后要写几行诗,是埃吉翁夫人要求我写的;然后吗,还要去圣奥诺雷街为谢弗勒斯太太买口红。你看,亲爱的,你闲着没事,我可是忙得不可开交。"

说罢,阿拉米斯亲热地向伙伴伸出手,告辞走了。

关于这三位新朋友,达达尼昂怎么问也问不出更多情况。因此,关于他们的过去,眼下他只好满足于他们自己所说的,而希望将来能了解到更可靠、更全面的情况。暂时,他把阿托斯看成阿喀琉斯,把波托斯看成埃阿斯,把阿拉米斯看成约瑟①。

  ①阿喀琉斯为希腊神话中的勇士;埃阿斯为特洛伊战争中的英雄,仅次于阿喀琉斯;约瑟是《圣经•创世纪》中的人物,雅各的幼子。

不过,四个年轻人生活得挺愉快。阿托斯好赌,但赌运总是不佳。然而,他从来不向三个朋友借一个子儿,尽管他经常解囊帮助他们,而且他在赌场上从不食言,先天晚上欠了钱言明次日还,第二天早上六点钟就去唤醒赢家,还清所欠赌债。波托斯缺乏涵养,这些日子,他赌赢了,就目中无人,得意洋洋;赌输了,就好几天不见踪影,重新露面的时候,一张脸拉得长长的,十分苍白,但口袋里却有钱了。

阿拉米斯从来不赌钱。真没见过这样别扭的火枪手,这样难相与的伙伴!他总是有事要做。有时正吃着饭,大家酒兴正浓,谈锋正健,以为还要再吃两三个钟头才散席呢,阿拉米斯看看表,彬彬有礼地笑一笑,站起来,向大家道别,说他与一位决疑派神学家有约在先,有问题要去请教他。有时,他干脆回寓所去写论文,请求朋友们别打扰他。

每当这种时候,阿托斯总是露出迷人而忧伤的微笑;波托斯则一边喝酒,一边骂骂咧咧,说阿拉米斯永远只配当个乡村神甫。

达达尼昂的跟班普朗歇交了好运,得意了一阵子:他每天拿到三十苏工钱,每次回到寓所,总是乐呵呵的,对主人也挺殷勤。这样过了一个月,当逆风开始刮向掘墓人街这户人家时,就是说当国王路易十三赏的四十比斯托尔吃光了或者快吃光了时,他就开始抱怨了。他的抱怨,阿托斯觉得恶心,波托斯觉得不成体统,阿拉米斯觉得可笑。为此,阿托斯建议达达尼昂辞退这个怪家伙,波托斯主张先打他几棍子再说,阿拉米斯则声称,仆人对主人,只有赞扬的份儿。

"这些话你们说起来很轻松。"达达尼昂说道,"就说您吧,阿托斯,您与格里默过的是哑巴生活,您禁止他说话,所以您从来没有听见他说过难听的话;波托斯呢,您过着阔绰的生活,在您的跟班穆斯克东眼里,您是个神;而您,阿拉米斯,您的心思经常用在神学研究上,您的跟班巴赞,那个性格温顺、笃信宗教的人,对您怀着深深的敬意。可是我呢,要地位没地位,要财源没财源,不是火枪手,连禁军都不是,我有什么办法能使普朗歇对我亲切、惧怕或恭敬呢?"

"事情严重,"三个朋友答道,"这是内部事务。有些仆人像娘儿们一样,雇佣之后就必须立刻严加管束,叫他们干什么就得干什么。你好好考虑一下吧。"

达达尼昂经过考虑,决定暂时揍跟班一顿。他执行这个决定,像干其他一切事情一样认真。狠狠揍过一顿之后,他告诉普朗歇,没有他的允许不准离职。"因为,"他补充道,"我不可能没有前途,好时光一定会到来的。你呆在我身边肯定会有出息。我是一个心肠慈善的主人,决不会同意你辞工而使你失去机会。"

这种处理方式使三个火枪手大为钦佩达达尼昂的手段。

普朗歇也不胜敬佩,再也不说要走了。

四个年轻人的生活变得密不可分。达达尼昂本来一点也不习惯,因为他来自外省,一下子进到了一个完全陌生的世界。不过,他很快就与三个朋友一样养成了习惯。

他们冬天早上八点钟起床,夏天早上六点钟起床,接着到特雷维尔先生的队部去了解当天的口令和新闻。达达尼昂虽然不是火枪手,出勤却非常准时,令人感动:他从早到晚站岗,因为三个朋友不管谁站岗,他都陪着站。在火枪手队部,没有人不认识他,大家都把他当做好伙伴;特雷维尔先生第一眼就看中了他,现在带着一种真正亲切的情感,不断在国王面前举荐他。

三个火枪手都很喜欢这个年轻的伙伴。友谊把他们四个人联结在一起,他们每天都要见三四次面,不是为了决斗,就是为了办事,或者为了玩,他们经常在一起,形影不离,别人常常看见这四个人互相寻找,从卢森堡公园找到圣絮比斯广场,或者从老鸽棚街找到卢森堡公园。

这期间,特雷维尔先生许诺的事情一步步落实。一天,国王突然吩咐埃萨尔骑士收下达达尼昂,让他在其禁军队里当一名见习兵。达达尼昂叹息一声,穿上禁军的军服;他宁可少活十年,去换一件火枪手的外套来穿。特雷维尔先生答应,在见习两年期满之后,他可以得到这种优待;如果达达尼昂有机会出面为国王效劳,或者立一个大功,两年的见习期还可以缩短。

现在,每当达达尼昂站岗的时候,阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯也陪他站岗。所以说,埃萨尔先生的禁军队收录了达达尼昂,等于收录了四个人而不是一个人。




Chapter 8 CONCERNING A COURT INTRIGUE

In the meantime, the forty pistoles of King Louis XIII, like all other things of this world, after having had a beginning had an end, and after this end our four companions began to be somewhat embarrassed. At first, Athos supported the association for a time with his own means.

Porthos succeeded him; and thanks to one of those disappearances to which he was accustomed, he was able to provide for the wants of all for a fortnight. At last it became Aramis's turn, who performed it with a good grace and who succeeded--as he said, by selling some theological books--in procuring a few pistoles.

Then, as they had been accustomed to do, they had recourse to M. de Treville, who made some advances on their pay; but these advances could not go far with three Musketeers who were already much in arrears and a Guardsman who as yet had no pay at all.

At length when they found they were likely to be really in want, they got together, as a last effort, eight or ten pistoles, with which Porthos went to the gaming table. Unfortunately he was in a bad vein; he lost all, together with twenty-five pistoles for which he had given his word.

Then the inconvenience became distress. The hungry friends, followed by their lackeys, were seen haunting the quays and Guard rooms, picking up among their friends abroad all the dinners they could meet with; for according to the advice of Aramis, it was prudent to sow repasts right and left in prosperity, in order to reap a few in time of need.

Athos was invited four times, and each time took his friends and their lackeys with him. Porthos had six occasions, and contrived in the same manner that his friends should partake of them; Aramis had eight of them. He was a man, as must have been already perceived, who made but little noise, and yet was much sought after.

As to d'Artagnan, who as yet knew nobody in the capital, he only found one chocolate breakfast at the house of a priest of his own province, and one dinner at the house of a cornet of the Guards. He took his army to the priest's, where they devoured as much provision as would have lasted him for two months, and to the cornet's, who performed wonders; but as Planchet said, "People do not eat at once for all time, even when they eat a good deal."

D'Artagnan thus felt himself humiliated in having only procured one meal and a half for his companions--as the breakfast at the priest's could only be counted as half a repast--in return for the feasts which Athos, Porthos, and Aramis had procured him. He fancied himself a burden to the society, forgetting in his perfectly juvenile good faith that he had fed this society for a month; and he set his mind actively to work. He reflected that this coalition of four young, brave, enterprising, and active men ought to have some other object than swaggering walks, fencing lessons, and practical jokes, more or less witty.

In fact, four men such as they were--four men devoted to one another, from their purses to their lives; four men always supporting one another, never yielding, executing singly or together the resolutions formed in common; four arms threatening the four cardinal points, or turning toward a single point--must inevitably, either subterraneously, in open day, by mining, in the trench, by cunning, or by force, open themselves a way toward the object they wished to attain, however well it might be defended, or however distant it may seem. The only thing that astonished d'Artagnan was that his friends had never thought of this.

He was thinking by himself, and even seriously racking his brain to find a direction for this single force four times multiplied, with which he did not doubt, as with the lever for which Archimedes sought, they should succeed in moving the world, when someone tapped gently at his door. D'Artagnan awakened Planchet and ordered him to open it.

From this phrase, "d'Artagnan awakened Planchet," the reader must not suppose it was night, or that day was hardly come. No, it had just struck four. Planchet, two hours before, had asked his master for some dinner, and he had answered him with the proverb, "He who sleeps, dines." And Planchet dined by sleeping.

A man was introduced of simple mien, who had the appearance of a tradesman. Planchet, by way of dessert, would have liked to hear the conversation; but the citizen declared to d'Artagnan that what he had to say being important and confidential, he desired to be left alone with him.

D'Artagnan dismissed Planchet, and requested his visitor to be seated. There was a moment of silence, during which the two men looked at each other, as if to make a preliminary acquaintance, after which d'Artagnan bowed, as a sign that he listened.

"I have heard Monsieur d'Artagnan spoken of as a very brave young man," said the citizen; "and this reputation which he justly enjoys had decided me to confide a secret to him."

"Speak, monsieur, speak," said d'Artagnan, who instinctively scented something advantageous.

The citizen made a fresh pause and continued, "I have a wife who is seamstress to the queen, monsieur, and who is not deficient in either virtue or beauty. I was induced to marry her about three years ago, although she had but very little dowry, because Monsieur Laporte, the queen's cloak bearer, is her godfather, and befriends her."

"Well, monsieur?" asked d'Artagnan.

"Well!" resumed the citizen, "well, monsieur, my wife was abducted yesterday morning, as she was coming out of her workroom."

"And by whom was your wife abducted?"

"I know nothing surely, monsieur, but I suspect someone."

"And who is the person whom you suspect?"

"A man who has pursued her a long time."

"The devil!"

"But allow me to tell you, monsieur," continued the citizen, "that I am convinced that there is less love than politics in all this."

"Less love than politics," replied d'Artagnan, with a reflective air; "and what do you suspect?"

"I do not know whether I ought to tell you what I suspect."

"Monsieur, I beg you to observe that I ask you absolutely nothing. It is you who have come to me. It is you who have told me that you had a secret to confide in me. Act, then, as you think proper; there is still time to withdraw."

"No, monsieur, no; you appear to be an honest young man, and I will have confidence in you. I believe, then, that it is not on account of any intrigues of her own that my wife has been arrested, but because of those of a lady much greater than herself."

"Ah, ah! Can it be on account of the amours of Madame de Bois-Tracy?" said d'Artagnan, wishing to have the air, in the eyes of the citizen, of being posted as to court affairs.

"Higher, monsieur, higher."

"Of Madame d'Aiguillon?"

"Still higher."

"Of Madame de Chevreuse?"

"Of the--" d'Artagnan checked himself.

"Yes, monsieur," replied the terrified citizen, in a tone so low that he was scarcely audible.

"And with whom?"

"With whom can it be, if not the Duke of--"

"The Duke of--"

"Yes, monsieur," replied the citizen, giving a still fainter intonation to his voice.

"But how do you know all this?"

"How do I know it?"

"Yes, how do you know it? No half-confidence, or--you understand!"

"I know it from my wife, monsieur--from my wife herself."

"Who learns it from whom?"

"From Monsieur Laporte. Did I not tell you that she was the goddaughter of Monsieur Laporte, the confidential man of the queen? Well, Monsieur Laporte placed her near her Majesty in order that our poor queen might at least have someone in whom she could place confidence, abandoned as she is by the king, watched as she is by the cardinal, betrayed as she is by everybody."

"Ah, ah! It begins to develop itself," said d'Artagnan.

"Now, my wife came home four days ago, monsieur. One of her conditions was that she should come and see me twice a week; for, as I had the honor to tell you, my wife loves me dearly--my wife, then, came and confided to me that the queen at that very moment entertained great fears."

"Truly!"

"Yes. The cardinal, as it appears, pursues he and persecutes her more than ever. He cannot pardon her the history of the Saraband. You know the history of the Saraband?"

"PARDIEU! Know it!" replied d'Artagnan, who knew nothing about it, but who wished to appear to know everything that was going on.

"So that now it is no longer hatred, but vengeance."

"Indeed!"

"And the queen believes--"

"Well, what does the queen believe?"

"She believes that someone has written to the Duke of Buckingham in her name."

"In the queen's name?"

"Yes, to make him come to Paris; and when once come to Paris, to draw him into some snare."

"The devil! But your wife, monsieur, what has she to do with all this?"

"Her devotion to the queen is known; and they wish either to remove her from her mistress, or to intimidate her, in order to obtain her Majesty's secrets, or to seduce her and make use of her as a spy."

"That is likely," said d'Artagnan; "but the man who has abducted her--do you know him?"

"I have told you that I believe I know him."

"His name?"

"I do not know that; what I do know is that he is a creature of the cardinal, his evil genius."

"But you have seen him?"

"Yes, my wife pointed him out to me one day."

"Has he anything remarkable about him by which one may recognize him?"

"Oh, certainly; he is a noble of very lofty carriage, black hair, swarthy complexion, piercing eye, white teeth, and has a scar on his temple."

"A scar on his temple!" cried d'Artagnan; "and with that, white teeth, a piercing eye, dark complexion, black hair, and haughty carriage--why, that's my man of Meung."

"He is your man, do you say?"

"Yes, yes; but that has nothing to do with it. No, I am wrong. On the contrary, that simplifies the matter greatly. If your man is mine, with one blow I shall obtain two revenges, that's all; but where to find this man?"

"I know not."

"Have you no information as to his abiding place?"

"None. One day, as I was conveying my wife back to the Louvre, he was coming out as she was going in, and she showed him to me."

"The devil! The devil!" murmured d'Artagnan; "all this is vague enough. From whom have you learned of the abduction of your wife?"

"From Monsieur Laporte."

"Did he give you any details?"

"He knew none himself."

"And you have learned nothing from any other quarter?"

"Yes, I have received--"

"What?"

"I fear I am committing a great imprudence."

"You always come back to that; but I must make you see this time that it is too late to retreat."

"I do not retreat, MORDIEU!" cried the citizen, swearing in order to rouse his courage. "Besides, by the faith of Bonacieux--"

"You call yourself Bonacieux?" interrupted d'Artagnan.

"Yes, that is my name."

"You said, then, by the word of Bonacieux. Pardon me for interrupting you, but it appears to me that that name is familiar to me."

"Possibly, monsieur. I am your landlord."

"Ah, ah!" said d'Artagnan, half rising and bowing; "you are my landlord?"

"Yes, monsieur, yes. And as it is three months since you have been here, and though, distracted as you must be in your important occupations, you have forgotten to pay me my rent--as, I say, I have not tormented you a single instant, I thought you would appreciate my delicacy."

"How can it be otherwise, my dear Bonacieux?" replied d'Artagnan; "trust me, I am fully grateful for such unparalleled conduct, and if, as I told you, I can be of any service to you--"

"I believe you, monsieur, I believe you; and as I was about to say, by the word of Bonacieux, I have confidence in you."

"Finish, then, what you were about to say."

The citizen took a paper from his pocket, and presented it to d'Artagnan.

"A letter?" said the young man.

"Which I received this morning."

D'Artagnan opened it, and as the day was beginning to decline, he approached the window to read it. The citizen followed him.

"'Do not seek your wife,'" read d'Artagnan; "'she will be restored to you when there is no longer occasion for her. If you make a single step to find her you are lost.'

"That's pretty positive," continued d'Artagnan; "but after all, it is but a menace."

"Yes; but that menace terrifies me. I am not a fighting man at all, monsieur, and I am afraid of the Bastille."

"Hum!" said d'Artagnan. "I have no greater regard for the Bastille than you. If it were nothing but a sword thrust, why then--"

"I have counted upon you on this occasion, monsieur."

"Yes?"

"Seeing you constantly surrounded by Musketeers of a very superb appearance, and knowing that these Musketeers belong to Monsieur de Treville, and were consequently enemies of the cardinal, I thought that you and your friends, while rendering justice to your poor queen, would be pleased to play his Eminence an ill turn."

"Without doubt."

"And then I have thought that considering three months' lodging, about which I have said nothing--"

"Yes, yes; you have already given me that reason, and I find it excellent."

"Reckoning still further, that as long as you do me the honor to remain in my house I shall never speak to you about rent--"

"Very kind!"

"And adding to this, if there be need of it, meaning to offer you fifty pistoles, if, against all probability, you should be short at the present moment."

"Admirable! You are rich then, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux?"

"I am comfortably off, monsieur, that's all; I have scraped together some such thing as an income of two or three thousand crown in the haberdashery business, but more particularly in venturing some funds in the last voyage of the celebrated navigator Jean Moquet; so that you understand, monsieur--But--" cried the citizen.

"What!" demanded d'Artagnan.

"Whom do I see yonder?"

"Where?"

"In the street, facing your window, in the embrasure of that door--a man wrapped in a cloak."

"It is he!" cried d'Artagnan and the citizen at the same time, each having recognized his man.

"Ah, this time," cried d'Artagnan, springing to his sword, "this time he will not escape me!"

Drawing his sword from its scabbard, he rushed out of the apartment. On the staircase he met Athos and Porthos, who were coming to see him. They separated, and d'Artagnan rushed between them like a dart.

"Pah! Where are you going?" cried the two Musketeers in a breath.

"The man of Meung!" replied d'Artagnan, and disappeared.

D'Artagnan had more than once related to his friends his adventure with the stranger, as well as the apparition of the beautiful foreigner, to whom this man had confided some important missive.

The opinion of Athos was that d'Artagnan had lost his letter in the skirmish. A gentleman, in his opinion--and according to d'Artagnan's portrait of him, the stranger must be a gentleman--would be incapable of the baseness of stealing a letter.

Porthos saw nothing in all this but a love meeting, given by a lady to a cavalier, or by a cavalier to a lady, which had been disturbed by the presence of d'Artagnan and his yellow horse.

Aramis said that as these sorts of affairs were mysterious, it was better not to fathom them.

They understood, then, from the few words which escaped from d'Artagnan, what affair was in hand, and as they thought that overtaking his man, or losing sight of him, d'Artagnan would return to his rooms, they kept on their way.

When they entered d'Artagnan's chamber, it was empty; the landlord, dreading the consequences of the encounter which was doubtless about to take place between the young man and the stranger, had, consistent with the character he had given himself, judged it prudent to decamp.

 

第八章 宫廷里的阴谋

国王路易十三赏赐的四十比斯托尔,像世界上的一切东西一样,有始必有终。而从这个终点起,我们的四位伙伴便陷入了手头拮据的局面。起初,阿托斯用自己的钱,使大家支撑了几天。接着是波托斯,利用大家已习以为常的一次失踪搞到一些钱,使大家又维持了将近半个月。轮到阿拉米斯了,他也乐于履行自己的义务,弄到了几个比斯托尔,据他自己讲,那是卖掉了他的神学书赚来的。

临了,他们像往常一样,不得不求助于特雷维尔先生。特雷维尔先生让他们预支了一点薪饷。这点薪饷维持不了多久,因为三个火枪手已经欠了不少帐,而且他们还有一个尚无薪饷的禁军。

最后,眼看着就要一个子儿也没有了,大家尽最大的努力,搜集了八九个比斯托尔,让波托斯拿去赌。不幸的是,波托斯手气不好,输得个精光不算,还倒欠二十五比斯托尔,保证按期偿还。

于是,拮据变成了困境。他们饿着肚子带上跟班,奔波于沿河一带和各禁军队部之间,千方百计到外面的朋友们那里找饭吃。正如阿拉米斯所说的,人在富裕的时候,是不在乎赏别人几顿饭的;这样,将来万一走了霉运,也可以混几顿饭吃。

阿托斯被请了四次,每次都带上几个朋友和他们的跟班。波托斯有过六次机会,也总是带朋友们一块去分享。阿拉米斯被邀请了八次。正如我们已经看到的那样,他是一个不说空话,崇高实干的人。

至于达达尼昂,他在京城里没有什么熟人,只在一个同乡神甫家里找到一顿巧克力早餐,在禁军的一个号手那里混了一顿午餐。他把这一帮人领到神甫家里,足足吃掉了人家两个月的食粮;在那位号手家里,主人倒是招待得非常周到。不过正如普朗歇所说,就是吃得再多,也只是一顿。

达达尼昂只为伙伴们找到一顿半饭,觉得面子上很过不去,因为与阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯找到的那些盛宴相比较,神甫家里那顿早餐只能算半顿饭。他还很年轻,心地又善良,觉得自己成了大家的负担,而忘记了他自己曾供养过大家一个月。他那充满忧患意识的头脑,开始积极活动起来。他想,他们这结成莫逆之交的四个人,都年轻、勇敢、肯干、积极,每天除了闲逛、习武和说说笑笑之外,还应该有别的目标才成。

事实上,像他们这样的四个人,肝胆相照,从钱财到性命都不计较彼此,始终相互支持,从不退缩,共同作出的决定,不管是一个人还是大家一道,都能坚决执行,四双手不论是四处出击,还是集中攻击一点,不论是秘密地还是公开地,不论是从地道里还是从壕沟里,不论是用计谋还是凭实力,都必定能开辟一条道路,达到他们想要达到的目标,不管这目标有多么遥远,有多少艰难险阻。而唯一令达达尼昂感到奇怪的事情,就是他的几个伙伴根本没有想到这一点。

他反复考虑,甚至认真地绞尽脑汁,想为四个人拧在一起的这股没有匹敌的力量,寻求一个奋斗的方向;他相信,只要找到了这个方向,就像阿基米德找到了杠杆一样,这股力量能够掀翻整个世界——正想到这里,他听见轻轻的叩门声,便叫醒普朗歇,要他去开门。

这里提到达达尼昂"叫醒普朗歇",读者大概会以为,当时不是已经天黑,就是还没有天亮吧。不对!时钟才刚敲过下午四点钟。两小时之前,普朗歇还跑来向主人要午饭吃,达达尼昂借用一句谚语说:"睡觉就是吃饭。"普朗歇便以睡觉代替吃饭了。

普朗歇引进来一个相貌淳朴的市民。

普朗歇想听听来客与主人交谈,权当饭后甜点和水果一样享用,可是那市民声称,他要讲的事情重要而又机密,希望与达达尼昂单独谈。

达达尼昂叫普朗歇走开,请客人坐下。

两个人沉默一会儿,互相打量,像是彼此先摸摸底细似的,接着达达尼昂欠欠身子,表示他洗耳恭听。

"我听人说达达尼昂先生是一个很勇敢的年轻人,"市民说道,"看来真是名不虚传,我正是慕名前来把一件机密事告诉先生的。"

"请讲,先生,请讲。"达达尼昂凭直觉感到此事似乎有利可图,便说道。

市民又停顿片刻,然后接着说道:

"在下的内人是为王后管内衣的使女,先生,她可是又聪明又漂亮。我与她结婚快满三年了,当初她虽然没有什么财产,但为王后管大衣的内侍拉波特先生是她的教父和保护人……"

"那么发生了什么事,先生?"达达尼昂问道。

"发生了什么事吗,"市民答道,"发生了什么事吗,先生,贱内昨天早上从她的工作室出来时,被人绑架啦。"

"您太太被谁绑架啦?"

"这我当然一无所知,先生,不过我怀疑一个人。"

"您怀疑哪个?"

"一个早就追踪她的人。"

"哦!"

"不过,您可愿意我讲清楚,先生?"市民又说道,"我相信整个这件事情之中,政治因素多于爱情因素。"

"政治因素多于爱情因素,"达达尼昂现出思考的样子问道,"那么您怀疑什么?"

"不知道我该不该把我的怀疑告诉您……"

"先生,我可得提醒您,我根本就没有问您,是您跑来找我的。是您对我说,您要告诉我一件机密事情。请便吧,您现在想走还来得及。"

"不,先生,不。我觉得您是个正直的年轻人,我信得过您。我认为贱内被绑架,并不是因为她自己有什么私恋,而是因为一个地位比她高的夫人的爱情问题。"

"哦!哦!是不是因为布瓦•特拉西夫人的爱情问题?"达达尼昂问道,他想在这个市民面前显得自己熟悉宫中的情况。

"地位更高的,先生,地位更高的。"

"埃吉翁夫人?"

"还要高。"

"谢弗勒斯夫人?"

"还要高,高得多!"

"那么是……"达达尼昂欲言又止。

"是呀,先生。"市民吓破了胆,用低得几乎听不见的声音说道。

"那么同谁呢?"

"那能同谁呢,若不是同那个……公爵。"

"那个公爵……"

"是呀,先生。"市民答道,声音压得更低。

"可是,这一切您怎么知道的?"

"啊!我怎么知道的?"

"是呀,您怎么知道的?不要半吞半吐,否则……您明白。"

"我是听贱内讲的,先生,是听贱内亲口讲的。"

"那么,她又是听谁讲的呢?"

"是拉波特先生告诉她的。我不是对您提到过吗,贱内是拉波特先生的教女,而拉波特是王后的心腹。所以,拉波特把她安排在王后身边,使得我们可怜的王后身边至少有一个信得过的人。真是的,王后遭到国王那样无情的抛弃,遭到红衣主教那样严密的监视,遭到众人那样可耻的背叛。"

"哦!哦!事情算有了点眉目。"

"贱内四天前还回家来过,先生;她答应我的条件之一,就是每周回来看我两次。在下不胜荣幸地告诉您,先生,贱内很爱我。所以那天她回来了,告诉我说,这阵子王后忧心忡忡。"

"真的吗?"

"真的。看来红衣主教先生对她的监视和威逼,比任何时候都厉害。他不能原谅她关于萨拉班德舞那件事。萨拉班德舞那件事您知道吗?"

"我知道不知道,这还要问!"达达尼昂其实一点都不知道,不过装得熟悉宫中内情。

"以至于到现在,红衣主教不再是怨恨,而是图报复了。"

"真的?"

"王后相信……"

"哦,王后相信什么?"

"王后相信有人用她的名义给白金汉公爵写了信。"

"用王后的名义?"

"是呀,目的是叫他来巴黎,等他一到巴黎,就引诱他落入陷阱。"

"天哪!不过,亲爱的先生,您太太在这件事情中究竟有什么干系?"

"人家知道她对王后忠心耿耿,绑架她,不是要使她脱离女主人,就是要威胁她,试图从她嘴里得到王后的秘密,抑或引诱,利用她去当密探。"

"这是可能的。"达达尼昂说道,"不过,那个绑架她的人,您可认识?"

"我对您说过,我相信能认得出他。"

"他叫什么名字?"

"名字我不知道,我只知道他是红衣主教的心腹,是红衣主教死心塌地的爪牙。"

"您见过他。"

"是的,有一天我内人指给我看过。"

"他有不有什么特征,教人一眼就能认得出来?"

"唔!当然,这是一位神态高傲的爵爷,乌黑的须发,黧黑的皮肤,目光炯炯,牙齿雪白,鬓角下有个伤疤。"

"鬓角下有个伤疤!"达达尼昂嚷起来,"加上雪白的牙齿,炯炯的目光,黧黑的皮肤,乌黑的须发,高傲的神态,这正是我在默恩镇遇到的那个人!"

"怎么,您见过这人?"

"是的,见过,不过,与这件事毫不相干。一点儿也不相干,是我搞错了。如果您讲的那个人就是我遇见过的那个人,事情相反会简单得多,我就可以一箭报双仇,就这么回事。可是,上哪儿去找这个人呢?"

"不知道。"

"关于他的住处,您一点情况也不了解?"

"一点也不了解。有一天,我送内人去罗浮宫,内人正要进去,恰好他从里面出来,内人便把他指给我看。"

"哎!见鬼!"达达尼昂低声说道,"这太不具体啦。您太太被绑架是谁告诉您的?"

"拉波特先生。"

"他有没有告诉您详细经过?"

"详细经过他根本不知道。"

"您没有从其他方面得到过一点消息?"

"得到过。我收到过……"

"收到过什么?"

"不知道讲出来是不是太不谨慎。"

"您又来了,不过这回我提醒您,要退缩未免太晚了点儿。"

"所以我根本就没想往后退,他妈的!"市民为了自我激励,这样骂道,"而且,波那瑟保证……"

"您叫波那瑟?"达达尼昂打断他问道。

"是的,正是小名。"

"您刚才说波那瑟保证!对不起,我打断了您。不过,这个名字对我似乎并不陌生。"

"这是可能的,先生,我是您的房东。"

"哦!哦!"达达尼昂抬起半个身子,施了施礼说道,"您是我的房东!"

"是呀,先生,是呀。您在我家里住了三个月了,大概成天忙着干大事,忘了给我交房租啦。我可是从来没有追着你讨呀。我想,您想必注意到了我的通情达理吧。"

"怎么!亲爱的波那瑟先生,"达达尼昂答道,"请相信,对于您这种做法,我真是感激不尽,正如我对您说过的,要是您有用得着我的地方……"

"我相信您,先生,我相信您。我正要对您说呢,凭波那瑟的良心讲,我信得过您。"

"请把您已经开始对我讲的事讲完吧。"

市民从口袋里掏出一张纸,递给达达尼昂。

"一封信!"年轻人说道。

"是我今早上收到的。"

达达尼昂打开那封信。由于已近黄昏,他走到窗前。市民跟着他走过去。

"别寻找你的妻子,"达达尼昂念道,"我们不再需要她的时候,会把她还给你的。只要你着手寻找她,你就完蛋了。"

"这话可说得一点儿也不含糊。"达达尼昂说道,"不过,这毕竟只是一种恫吓。"

"是的,不过这恫吓可把我吓坏了。先生,我不是军人,我害怕关进巴士底狱。"

"嗯!"达达尼昂说道,"我也不比您更想进巴士底狱。不过,要是只弄弄剑,还可以吧。"

"而我呢,先生,我想遇到这种机会,指望您是靠得住的。"

"是吗?"

"我看见您总是和那些有英雄气概的火枪手在一起,又认出那几位火枪手都是特雷维尔先生的人,因而都是红衣主教的敌人。所以我想,您和您的朋友们在为我们可怜的王后讨回公道的同时,能够和红衣主教阁下开个玩笑,一定很开心吧。"

"也许吧。"

"此外我还想,您欠了我三个月的房租,而我连提也从来没对您提过……"

"是的,不错,这条理由您已经说过了,我觉得非常对。"

"进一步讲吧,只要您肯赏光继续住在我家里,以后的房租您连提都不必提……"

"很好。"

"除此而外,如果需要,我打算另外送您五十比斯托尔,眼下您多半手头很拮据吧?"

"好极了!亲爱的波那瑟先生,您到底是富有啊。"

"小康而已,先生,这样说比较确切。我开服饰用品店,积攒了两三千埃居,尤其为著名航海家让•莫凯最近那次航海,投了点儿资。因此,您明白,先生……啊!那可是……"市民叫起来。

"什么?"达达尼昂问道。

"那儿是什么人?"

"哪儿?"

"街上,您站的窗口对面,那扇门的外边,一个披斗篷的人。"

"是他!"达达尼昂和市民同时叫起来,两个人同时认出了自己想找的人。

"哼!这一回,"达达尼昂大声说着抓起剑,"这一回,他逃不掉啦!"

他拔出剑,冲出了寓所。

他在楼梯上撞见来看他的阿托斯和波托斯。他们往旁边一闪,达达尼昂箭一般从他们之间冲了下去。

"喂,你这是往哪儿跑?"两个火枪手同时大声冲他问道。

"去追默恩镇那个人!"达达尼昂回答完就不见了。

达达尼昂与那个陌生人的纠纷,他对三位朋友讲过不止一次,还有那个漂亮的女旅客的出现,陌生人似乎交给了她一封非常重要的信。

阿托斯认为,达达尼昂的信是在打斗的时候丢掉的;根据达达尼昂对那个陌生人外表的描述,那人只能是一位绅士,而照他的看法,一位绅士是不会干偷信这种下流勾当的。

在波托斯看来,那只不过是一次情人之间的约会,不是一位贵夫人约了一位骑士,就是一位骑士约了一位贵夫人,而达达尼昂和他那匹黄马的出现,搅扰了人家的约会。

阿拉米斯则说,这类事情神秘莫测,最好不要深究。

从达达尼昂嚷出的那句话,阿托斯和波托斯明白是怎么回事了,认为达达尼昂不管追不追得上那个人,反正最终会回来的,所以他们继续上楼。

他们进到达达尼昂的房间里,房间里没有人。房东认为,年轻人也许能追上陌生人,他们见面的后果,实在令人担心。出于他自己暴露出的那种天性,他认为最好还是溜之大吉。




Chapter 9 D'ARTAGNAN SHOWS HIMSELF

As Athos and Porthos had foreseen, at the expiration of a half hour, d'Artagnan returned. He had again missed his man, who had disappeared as if by enchantment. D'Artagnan had run, sword in hand, through all the neighboring streets, but had found nobody resembling the man he sought for. Then he came back to the point where, perhaps, he ought to have begun, and that was to knock at the door against which the stranger had leaned; but this proved useless--for though he knocked ten or twelve times in succession, no one answered, and some of the neighbors, who put their noses out of their windows or were brought to their doors by the noise, had assured him that that house, all the openings of which were tightly closed, had not been inhabited for six months.

While d'Artagnan was running through the streets and knocking at doors, Aramis had joined his companions; so that on returning home d'Artagnan found the reunion complete.

"Well!" cried the three Musketeers all together, on seeing d'Artagnan enter with his brow covered with perspiration and his countenance upset with anger.

"Well!" cried he, throwing his sword upon the bed, "this man must be the devil in person; he has disappeared like a phantom, like a shade, like a specter."

"Do you believe in apparitions?" asked Athos of Porthos.

"I never believe in anything I have not seen, and as I never have seen apparitions, I don't believe in them."

"The Bible," said Aramis, "make our belief in them a law; the ghost of Samuel appeared to Saul, and it is an article of faith that I should be very sorry to see any doubt thrown upon, Porthos."

"At all events, man or devil, body or shadow, illusion or reality, this man is born for my damnation; for his flight has caused us to miss a glorious affair, gentlemen--an affair by which there were a hundred pistoles, and perhaps more, to be gained."

"How is that?" cried Porthos and Aramis in a breath.

As to Athos, faithful to his system of reticence, he contented himself with interrogating d'Artagnan by a look.

"Planchet," said d'Artagnan to his domestic, who just then insinuated his head through the half-open door in order to catch some fragments of the conversation, "go down to my landlord, Monsieur Bonacieux, and ask him to send me half a dozen bottles of Beaugency wine; I prefer that."

"Ah, ah! You have credit with your landlord, then?" asked Porthos.

"Yes," replied d'Artagnan, "from this very day; and mind, if the wine is bad, we will send him to find better."

"We must use, and not abuse," said Aramis, sententiously.

"I always said that d'Artagnan had the longest head of the four," said Athos, who, having uttered his opinion, to which d'Artagnan replied with a bow, immediately resumed his accustomed silence.

"But come, what is this about?" asked Porthos.

"Yes," said Aramis, "impart it to us, my dear friend, unless the honor of any lady be hazarded by this confidence; in that case you would do better to keep it to yourself."

"Be satisfied," replied d'Artagnan; "the honor of no one will have cause to complain of what I have to tell."

He then related to his friends, word for word, all that had passed between him and his host, and how the man who had abducted the wife of his worthy landlord was the same with whom he had had the difference at the hostelry of the Jolly Miller.

"Your affair is not bad," said Athos, after having tasted like a connoisseur and indicated by a nod of his head that he thought the wine good; "and one may draw fifty or sixty pistoles from this good man. Then there only remains to ascertain whether these fifty or sixty pistoles are worth the risk of four heads."

"But observe," cried d'Artagnan, "that there is a woman in the affair--a woman carried off, a woman who is doubtless threatened, tortured perhaps, and all because she is faithful to her mistress."

"Beware, d'Artagnan, beware," said Aramis. "You grow a little too warm, in my opinion, about the fate of Madame Bonacieux. Woman was created for our destruction, and it is from her we inherit all our miseries."

At this speech of Aramis, the brow of Athos became clouded and he bit his lips.

"It is not Madame Bonacieux about whom I am anxious," cried d'Artagnan, "but the queen, whom the king abandons, whom the cardinal persecutes, and who sees the heads of all her friends fall, one after the other."

"Why does she love what we hate most in the world, the Spaniards and the English?"

"Spain is her country," replied d'Artagnan; "and it is very natural that she should love the Spanish, who are the children of the same soil as herself. As to the second reproach, I have heard it said that she does not love the English, but an Englishman."

"Well, and by my faith," said Athos, "it must be acknowledged that this Englishman is worthy of being loved. I never saw a man with a nobler air than his."

"Without reckoning that he dresses as nobody else can," said Porthos. "I was at the Louvre on the day when he scattered his pearls; and, PARDIEU, I picked up two that I sold for ten pistoles each. Do you know him, Aramis?"

"As well as you do, gentlemen; for I was among those who seized him in the garden at Amiens, into which Monsieur Putange, the queen's equerry, introduced me. I was at school at the time, and the adventure appeared to me to be cruel for the king."

"Which would not prevent me," said d'Artagnan, "if I knew where the Duke of Buckingham was, from taking him by the hand and conducting him to the queen, were it only to enrage the cardinal, and if we could find means to play him a sharp turn, I vow that I would voluntarily risk my head in doing it."

"And did the mercer*," rejoined Athos, "tell you, d'Artagnan, that the queen thought that Buckingham had been brought over by a forged letter?"

*Haberdasher

"She is afraid so."

"Wait a minute, then," said Aramis.

"What for?" demanded Porthos.

"Go on, while I endeavor to recall circumstances."

"And now I am convinced," said d'Artagnan, "that this abduction of the queen's woman is connected with the events of which we are speaking, and perhaps with the presence of Buckingham in Paris."

"The Gascon is full of ideas," said Porthos, with admiration.

"I like to hear him talk," said Athos; "his dialect amuses me."

"Gentlemen," cried Aramis, "listen to this."

"Listen to Aramis," said his three friends.

"Yesterday I was at the house of a doctor of theology, whom I sometimes consult about my studies."

Athos smiled.

"He resides in a quiet quarter," continued Aramis; "his tastes and his profession require it. Now, at the moment when I left his house--"

Here Aramis paused.

"Well," cried his auditors; "at the moment you left his house?"

Aramis appeared to make a strong inward effort, like a man who, in the full relation of a falsehood, finds himself stopped by some unforeseen obstacle; but the eyes of his three companions were fixed upon him, their ears were wide open, and there were no means of retreat.

"This doctor has a niece," continued Aramis.

"Ah, he has a niece!" interrupted Porthos.

"A very respectable lady," said Aramis.

The three friends burst into laughter.

"Ah, if you laugh, if you doubt me," replied Aramis, "you shall know nothing."

"We believe like Mohammedans, and are as mute as tombstones," said Athos.

"I will continue, then," resumed Aramis. "This niece comes sometimes to see her uncle; and by chance was there yesterday at the same time that I was, and it was my duty to offer to conduct her to her carriage."

"Ah! She has a carriage, then, this niece of the doctor?" interrupted Porthos, one of whose faults was a great looseness of tongue. "A nice acquaintance, my friend!"

"Porthos," replied Aramis, "I have had the occasion to observe to you more than once that you are very indiscreet; and that is injurious to you among the women."

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," cried d'Artagnan, who began to get a glimpse of the result of the adventure, "the thing is serious. Let us try not to jest, if we can. Go on Aramis, go on."

"All at once, a tall, dark gentleman--just like yours, d'Artagnan."

"The same, perhaps," said he.

"Possibly," continued Aramis, "came toward me, accompanied by five or six men who followed about ten paces behind him; and in the politest tone, 'Monsieur Duke,' said he to me, 'and you madame,' continued he, addressing the lady on my arm--"

"The doctor's niece?"

"Hold your tongue, Porthos," said Athos; "you are insupportable."

"'--will you enter this carriage, and that without offering the least resistance, without making the least noise?'"

"He took you for Buckingham!" cried d'Artagnan.

"I believe so," replied Aramis.

"But the lady?" asked Porthos.

"He took her for the queen!" said d'Artagnan.

"Just so," replied Aramis.

"The Gascon is the devil!" cried Athos; "nothing escapes him."

"The fact is," said Porthos, "Aramis is of the same height, and something of the shape of the duke; but it nevertheless appears to me that the dress of a Musketeer--"

"I wore an enormous cloak," said Aramis.

"In the month of July? The devil!" said Porthos. "Is the doctor afraid that you may be recognized?"

"I can comprehend that the spy may have been deceived by the person; but the face--"

"I had a large hat," said Aramis.

"Oh, good lord," cried Porthos, "what precautions for the study of theology!"

"Gentlemen, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, "do not let us lose our time in jesting. Let us separate, and let us seek the mercer's wife--that is the key of the intrigue."

"A woman of such inferior condition! Can you believe so?" said Porthos, protruding his lips with contempt.

"She is goddaughter to Laporte, the confidential valet of the queen. Have I not told you so, gentlemen? Besides, it has perhaps been her Majesty's calculation to seek on this occasion for support so lowly. High heads expose themselves from afar, and the cardinal is longsighted."

"Well," said Porthos, "in the first place make a bargain with the mercer, and a good bargain."

"That's useless," said d'Artagnan; "for I believe if he does not pay us, we shall be well enough paid by another party."

At this moment a sudden noise of footsteps was heard upon the stairs; the door was thrown violently open, and the unfortunate mercer rushed into the chamber in which the council was held.

"Save me, gentlemen, for the love of heaven, save me!" cried he. "There are four men come to arrest me. Save me! Save me!"

Porthos and Aramis arose.

"A moment," cried d'Artagnan, making them a sign to replace in the scabbard their half-drawn swords. "It is not courage that is needed; it is prudence."

"And yet," cried Porthos, "we will not leave--"

"You will leave d'Artagnan to act as he thinks proper," said Athos. "He has, I repeat, the longest head of the four, and for my part I declare that I will obey him. Do as you think best, d'Artagnan."

At this moment the four Guards appeared at the door of the antechamber, but seeing four Musketeers standing, and their swords by their sides, they hesitated about going farther.

"Come in, gentlemen, come in," called d'Artagnan; "you are here in my apartment, and we are all faithful servants of the king and cardinal."

"Then, gentlemen, you will not oppose our executing the orders we have received?" asked one who appeared to be the leader of the party.

"On the contrary, gentlemen, we would assist you if it were necessary."

"What does he say?" grumbled Porthos.

"You are a simpleton," said Athos. "Silence!"

"But you promised me--" whispered the poor mercer.

"We can only save you by being free ourselves," replied d'Artagnan, in a rapid, low tone; "and if we appear inclined to defend you, they will arrest us with you."

"It seems, nevertheless--"

"Come, gentlemen, come!" said d'Artagnan, aloud; "I have no motive for defending Monsieur. I saw him today for the first time, and he can tell you on what occasion; he came to demand the rent of my lodging. Is that not true, Monsieur Bonacieux? Answer!"

"That is the very truth," cried the mercer; "but Monsieur does not tell you--"

"Silence, with respect to me, silence, with respect to my friends; silence about the queen, above all, or you will ruin everybody without saving yourself! Come, come, gentlemen, remove the fellow." And d'Artagnan pushed the half-stupefied mercer among the Guards, saying to him, "You are a shabby old fellow, my dear. You come to demand money of me--of a Musketeer! To prison with him! Gentlemen, once more, take him to prison, and keep him under key as long as possible; that will give me time to pay him."

The officers were full of thanks, and took away their prey. As they were going down d'Artagnan laid his hand on the shoulder of their leader.

"May I not drink to your health, and you to mine?" said d'Artagnan, filling two glasses with the Beaugency wine which he had obtained from the liberality of M. Bonacieux.

"That will do me great honor," said the leader of the posse, "and I accept thankfully."

"Then to yours, monsieur--what is your name?"

"Boisrenard."

"Monsieur Boisrenard."

"To yours, my gentlemen! What is your name, in your turn, if you please?"

"d'Artagnan."

"To yours, monsieur."

"And above all others," cried d'Artagnan, as if carried away by his enthusiasm, "to that of the king and the cardinal."

The leader of the posse would perhaps have doubted the sincerity of d'Artagnan if the wine had been bad; but the wine was good, and he was convinced.

"What diabolical villainy you have performed here," said Porthos, when the officer had rejoined his companions and the four friends found themselves alone. "Shame, shame, for four Musketeers to allow an unfortunate fellow who cried for help to be arrested in their midst! And a gentleman to hobnob with a bailiff!"

"Porthos," said Aramis, "Athos has already told you that you are a simpleton, and I am quite of his opinion. D'Artagnan, you are a great man; and when you occupy Monsieur de Treville's place, I will come and ask your influence to secure me an abbey."

"Well, I am in a maze," said Porthos; "do YOU approve of what d'Artagnan has done?"

"PARBLEU! Indeed I do," said Athos; "I not only approve of what he has done, but I congratulate him upon it."

"And now, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan, without stopping to explain his conduct to Porthos, "All for one, one for all--that is our motto, is it not?"

"And yet--" said Porthos.

"Hold out your hand and swear!" cried Athos and Aramis at once.

Overcome by example, grumbling to himself, nevertheless, Porthos stretched out his hand, and the four friends repeated with one voice the formula dictated by d'Artagnan:

"All for one, one for all."

"That's well! Now let us everyone retire to his own home," said d'Artagnan, as if he had done nothing but command all his life; "and attention! For from this moment we are at feud with the cardinal."

 

第九章 达达尼昂初露锋芒

不出阿托斯和波托斯所料,半个钟头之后,达达尼昂回来了。这一回,他还是没追上那个人,那人像变魔法似的没了踪影。达达尼昂手执宝剑,跑遍了附近所有街道,也没有发现一个人像他所要找的人。于是,他折回来,做那件也许一开始他就应该做的事情,就是去敲陌生人靠过的那扇门。他用敲门锤敲了十一、二下,毫无用处,根本没人回答。一些邻居闻声跑到门口或窗口张望,他们都肯定地告诉他,这所房子根本没人住,已经有半年了,那不,门窗全都关死了。

达达尼昂在街上奔跑寻找,挨家挨户敲门的时候,阿拉米斯来找两个伙伴,因此达达尼昂回到家里时,发现大家一个不漏全聚在一起。

"怎么样?"三个火枪手看见达达尼昂进来,满头大汗,脸都气歪了,便齐声这样问道。

"怎么样!"达达尼昂将剑往床上一扔,气鼓鼓地说道,"那人简直是个魔鬼,他像鬼,像影子,像幽灵一样消失了。"

"你相信有鬼吗?"阿托斯问波托斯。

"我只相信我看见过的东西;鬼我从来没看见过,所以不相信。"

"信鬼可是《圣经》里给我们规定的一条戒律,"阿拉米斯说道,"索罗就见到过撒母耳的幽灵。连这个信条都怀疑,波托斯,真叫我生气。"

"不管怎么说,无论是人还是鬼,是人形还是幽灵,是幻觉还是现实,那人天生是要和我作对的,因为他这样逃之夭夭,使我们失去了一笔好交易,一笔能赚一百比斯托尔,也许能赚更多的交易。"

"怎么回事?"波托斯和阿拉米斯齐声问道。

阿托斯一贯是不开口的,只用目光向达达尼昂询问。

"普朗歇,"达达尼昂见跟班从半掩的门外探进头来,想听到他们交谈的片言只语,便对他说道,"下楼去房东波那瑟家一趟,告诉他给我们送六瓶波朗西酒来。这酒是我最爱喝的。"

"哎呀,你莫非在房东家里开了赊帐的户头?"波托斯问道。

"是的,"达达尼昂回答,"从今天起,你们就放心吧,他送来的酒要是不好,可以退回去叫他换别的来。"

"利用是可以的,可不能蒙哄人家。"阿拉米斯以教训的口气说。

"我一直说,我们四个人之中,数达达尼昂最有头脑。"阿托斯发表了这个看法之后,又陷入了习惯性的沉默,达达尼昂朝他点点头表示感谢。

"喂,究竟怎么回事?"波托斯问道。

"是啊,"阿拉米斯说,"告诉我们吧,亲爱的朋友,除非这秘密牵涉到某个贵夫人的荣誉,要是那样,你最好留在心里别告诉人。"

"请放心,"达达尼昂回答,"我要对你们说的话,不会损害任何人的名誉。"

于是,他把房东与他之间刚才发生的事一五一十讲了一遍,还介绍了绑架可敬的房东的妻子那个人,怎么就是和他在诚实磨坊主客店发生冲突的那个人。

"你这笔交易不错啊,"阿托斯内行地尝了尝酒,点头表示这酒是好酒之后,这样说道,"我们可以从这个正直的人身上捞到五十至六十比斯托尔。不过问题是,为了五十至六十比斯托尔,值不值得拿四个脑袋去冒险。"

"不过请你注意,"达达尼昂嚷起来,"这件事情关系到一个女人,这个女人遭到了绑架,现在可能正受到恫吓,也许正遭受拷打呢,而这一切仅仅因为她忠实于自己的女主人。"

"当心,达达尼昂,当心!"阿拉米斯说道,"我看,为了波那瑟太太的命运,你的头脑太热了点儿。女人之为造物,就是为了断送我们的,我们的全部灾难,无一不是女人带来的。"

阿托斯听到阿拉米斯这几句话,不由得皱了皱眉头,咬住嘴唇。

"我担忧的根本不是波那瑟太太,"达达尼昂大声说,"我担忧的是王后,她被国王抛弃,遭到红衣主教迫害,眼睁睁看着自己所有的朋友一个个脑袋落地。"

"她为什么偏偏爱这世界上我们最憎恨的西班牙人和英国人?"

"西班牙是她的祖国,"达达尼昂答道,"所以她很自然爱西班牙人,他们和她是同一块土地哺育成长的。至于你对她的第二项指责,我听说她所爱的并非所有英国人,而是一个英国人。"

"啊!说真的,"阿托斯说道,"应当承认,那个英国人是很值得爱的。我从来没有见过一个人有他那样高贵的气质。"

"还没算他与众不同的穿着呢。"波托斯说道,"那天他在罗浮宫撒珍珠时,我正好在场,那可真是!我捡到两颗,每颗足足卖了十比斯托尔。你呢,阿拉米斯,你认识他吗。"

"我像你们一样认识他,先生们。我是在亚眠花园里参加逮捕他的人之一。是王后的马房总管皮唐热领我进去的。我当时在神学院念书,我觉得那样的事对国王来讲的确不堪忍受。"

"尽管这样,"达达尼昂说道,"我如果知道白金汉公爵在什么地方,一定拉着他的手,把他带到王后面前,即使惹得红衣主教暴跳如雷也在所不惜。因为,先生们,我们真正的、唯一的、永远的对头,就是红衣主教。如果我们能够无情地捉弄他一下,老实讲,就是丢掉脑袋,我也心甘情愿。"

"喂,"阿托斯又说道,"达达尼昂,服饰用品店老板是不是对你讲过,王后认为有人伪造书信,叫白金汉来巴黎?"

"她有这种担心。"

"等一等。"阿拉米斯说。

"什么事?"波托斯问道。

"还是继续讲吧,我正努力回忆某些情况。"

"我现在深信,"达达尼昂说,"王后这个女侍被绑架,与我们所谈的这些大事有关,可能也与白金汉公爵来巴黎一事有关。"

"这个加斯科尼人真会想问题。"波托斯赞赏地说。

"我挺喜欢听他说话,"阿托斯说,"他这口乡音挺有趣。"

"先生们,"阿拉米斯说道,"请听我说。"

"咱们听阿拉米斯说。"三个朋友说道。

"昨天,我在一位学问渊博的神学博士家,我不时去请教他一些学习中遇到的问题……"

阿托斯脸上露出了微笑。

"他住在一个僻静的地方,"阿拉米斯继续说道,"他的情趣和职业都要求他住在这种地方。后来,当我从他家出来时……"

阿拉米斯说到这里停住了。

"怎么样,"三个听众问道,"当你从他家出来时?"

阿拉米斯似乎在勉强做自己不愿意做的事情,就像正在信口开河说谎话,突然因为某种意外的因素卡了壳。可是,三位伙伴都眼巴巴盯着他,都拉长了耳朵听他讲,现在没法缩回去了。

"那位博士有个侄女,"阿拉米斯说。

"哦!他有个侄女!"波托斯岔断了他的话。

"一位值得尊敬的夫人。"阿拉米斯说道。

三个朋友笑起来。

"哎!你们笑或者怀疑,"阿拉米斯正色说道,"那就什么也别想知道。"

"我们像穆罕默德的信徒一样虔诚,像灵柩台一样肃静听你讲。"阿托斯说道。

"那我就继续讲,"阿拉米斯接着说,"那位侄女不时来看望她叔叔;昨天她偶然与我同时在那里,我便不得不主动表示送她上马车。"

"啊!博士的这位侄女有一辆马车?"波托斯又打断阿拉米斯,他这个人有个大毛病,就是爱饶舌。"结识她好运气啊,朋友。"

"波托斯,"阿拉米斯又说道,"我不止一次向你指出来过,你总喜欢乱说,这可不利于你结交女人。"

"先生们,先生们,"达达尼昂仿佛隐约看到了事件的底蕴,大声说道,"这是件严肃的事情,我们尽量别开玩笑好不好。继续吧,阿拉米斯,请讲下去。"

"突然,一个身材魁梧,皮肤黧黑,举止像个绅士的男人……喏,很像你说的那个人,达达尼昂。"

"可能就是同一个人。"达达尼昂说道。

"可能。"阿拉米斯接着说道,"那人走到我身边,后面十来步远的距离跟着五六个人。他以非常礼貌的口气对我说道:"公爵先生,还有您,夫人,"他对挽着我的胳膊的女士说道……

"是对博士的侄女?"

"别打岔,波托斯!"阿托斯说,"你真教人无法忍受。"

"请上这辆马车,不要试图有任何反抗,不要出声。"

"他把你当成白金汉了!"达达尼昂叫起来。

"我想是这样。"阿拉米斯附和道。

"可是那位女士呢?"波托斯问道。

"他把她当成王后了!"达达尼昂说。

"正是这样。"阿拉米斯说道。

"这个加斯科尼人真是个机灵鬼!"阿托斯说道,"什么都瞒不过他。"

"事实上,"波托斯说,"阿拉米斯在风度上的确有点像那位仪表堂堂的公爵,可是我觉得火枪手的服装未免……"

"我披了一件很大的斗篷。"阿拉米斯说。

"七月天披斗篷,真见鬼!"波托斯说,"是博士怕你被人认出来吗?"

"我还有个疑问,"阿托斯说道,"风度可以蒙骗密探,可是相貌呢?"

"我戴了一顶大帽子。"阿拉米斯答道。

"啊!天哪,"波托斯嚷起来,"去学神学居然采取了这么多防范措施。"

"先生们,先生们,"达达尼昂说道,"不要开玩笑浪费时间了,咱们分头去寻找服饰用品店的老板娘吧,这是阴谋的关键。"

"一个地位如此卑微的女人!你相信吗,达达尼昂?"波托斯轻蔑地耷拉着嘴唇问道。

"她是拉波特的教女,王后的心腹侍女。我不是告诉了你们吗,先生们?况且,这次王后陛下找一个如此卑微的支持者,可能是经过盘算的。上层人物容易被人发现,红衣主教那双眼睛可是挺厉害的。"

"那么,"波托斯说,"先去与服饰用品商讲定价钱吧,尽量要高一点儿。"

"不必,"达达尼昂说,"因为我相信,如果他不付给我们钱,我们会从另一方面得到相当可观的补偿的。"

这时,楼梯上响起一阵急促的脚步声,房门砰的一声被推开了,一副倒霉相的服饰用品店老板,闯进四个人正在商议的房间。

"啊!先生们,"他叫道,"救救我吧,看在上天份上,救救我吧!来了四个人,准是来抓我的。救救我吧,救救我吧!"

波托斯和阿拉米斯站了起来。

"请稍等,"达达尼昂大声说着,示意他们把半拔出来的剑重新插进剑鞘。"请稍等。这里现在需要的不是勇敢,而是谨慎。"

"可是,"波托斯嚷起来,"我们不让……"

"你让达达尼昂去安排吧,"阿托斯说道,"我再说一遍:他是我们之中最有头脑的人。我本人吗,宣布服从他。该怎么办你就怎么办吧,达达尼昂。"

这时,四名卫士出现在前厅的门口,看见四个火枪手站在房间里,身边都有剑,便犹豫着不敢进来。

"请进,先生们,请进,"达达尼昂叫道,"这是我的家,我们都是国王和红衣主教的忠实奴仆。"

"那么,先生们,你们不反对我们执行我们收到的命令?"

一个看去像班长的人这样问道。

"相反,先生们,必要的话我们还会协助你们。"

"哎,他说什么?"波托斯嘟囔道。

"你真是个糊涂虫,"阿托斯说道,"别出声!"

"可是,您向我许诺过的……"可怜的服饰用品店老板悄声说道。

"我们必须保持自由才能救您,"达达尼昂很快地低声回答,"只要我们表示要保护您,他们就会把我们和您一块抓走。"

"可是我觉得……"

"来吧,先生们,来吧。"达达尼昂高声说,"我没有任何理由保护这位先生。我今天才头一回见到他,而且是在怎样的情况下,他本人会向你们交代的。是在他来向我讨房租的情况下。我说得属实吗,波那瑟先生?请回答!"

"千真万确,"服饰用品店老板说道,"不过,先生没对你们讲……"

"不要提我,不要提我的朋友,尤其不要提王后。否则,你就断送了大家,而自己也不能获救。行啦,好吧,先生们,把这个人带走吧!"

达达尼昂把呆头呆脑的服饰用品店老板推给卫士,一边冲他说:

"你是个恶棍,亲爱的,居然来问我要钱,问我!问一个火枪手要钱!把他关进监狱,先生们,我再说一遍,把他带走,送进监狱。要严加看守,关的时间越长越好,这样我就可以迟迟不付房租。"

四个卫士连声道谢,然后押着擒获的人走了。

当他们要下楼梯时,达达尼昂拍了拍他们的头儿的肩膀说道:

"让我喝一杯祝您健康,您也喝一杯祝我健康好吗?"他说着将两只杯子斟满了波那瑟先生慷慨送来的波朗西酒。

"这是给我面子,"卫士的头儿说道,"我领谢啦。"

"那么,为您的健康干杯,先生……请问贵姓?"

"布瓦勒纳。"

"布瓦勒纳先生!"

"为您的健康干杯,绅士,请问您贵姓?"

"达达尼昂。"

"为您的健康干杯,达达尼昂先生!"

"除了相互干杯之外,"达达尼昂现出兴奋的样子大声说,"让我们为国王和红衣主教的健康干杯。"

如果酒不好,卫士的头儿可能会怀疑达达尼昂的诚意;这酒是好酒,所以他信服了。

"你搞的什么鬼名堂?"等卫士头儿去追他的伙伴们,房间里只剩下四位朋友时,波托斯冲着达达尼昂问道,"呸!四个火枪手,眼睁睁看着一个可怜巴巴喊救命的人,从他们中间被抓走!一位绅士和一个小卫士碰杯!"

"波托斯,"阿拉米斯说,"阿托斯已经讲过你是个糊涂虫,我赞同他的意见。达达尼昂,你是个了不起的人,将来你升到特雷维尔先生的位置时,我请求你保护我,把一家修道院交给我主持。"

"哎!这都把我给闹糊涂了,"波托斯说道,"你们俩赞成刚才达达尼昂的所作所为?"

"不错,我想是这样。"阿托斯说道,"我不仅赞成他刚才的所作所为,而且对他表示祝贺。"

"现在,先生们,"达达尼昂并不想向波托斯解释自己的所作所为,而是说道,"大家为一人,一人为大家,这是我们的座右铭,是不是?"

"可是……"波托斯说。

"举手宣誓吧!"阿托斯和阿拉米斯异口同声说道。

波托斯不得不效法他们,一边低声嘀咕,一边举起了手。

四个朋友用同一个声音重复着达达尼昂领着说的誓言:

"大家为一人,一人为大家。"

"好了,现在大家各自回去。"达达尼昂说道,仿佛他有生以来一直是专门指挥别人似的,"要分外小心,因为从现在起,我们是与红衣主教较量了。"




Chapter 10 A MOUSETRAP IN THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY

The invention of the mousetrap does not date from our days; as soon as societies, in forming, had invented any kind of police, that police invented mousetraps.

As perhaps our readers are not familiar with the slang of the Rue de Jerusalem, and as it is fifteen years since we applied this word for the first time to this thing, allow us to explain to them what is a mousetrap.

When in a house, of whatever kind it may be, an individual suspected of any crime is arrested, the arrest is held secret. Four or five men are placed in ambuscade in the first room. The door is opened to all who knock. It is closed after them, and they are arrested; so that at the end of two or three days they have in their power almost all the HABITUES of the establishment. And that is a mousetrap.

The apartment of M. Bonacieux, then, became a mousetrap; and whoever appeared there was taken and interrogated by the cardinal's people. It must be observed that as a separate passage led to the first floor, in which d'Artagnan lodged, those who called on him were exempted from this detention.

Besides, nobody came thither but the three Musketeers; they had all been engaged in earnest search and inquiries, but had discovered nothing. Athos had even gone so far as to question M. de Treville--a thing which, considering the habitual reticence of the worthy Musketeer, had very much astonished his captain. But M. de Treville knew nothing, except that the last time he had seen the cardinal, the king, and the queen, the cardinal looked very thoughtful, the king uneasy, and the redness of the queen's eyes donated that she had been sleepless or tearful. But this last circumstance was not striking, as the queen since her marriage had slept badly and wept much.

M de Treville requested Athos, whatever might happen, to be observant of his duty to the king, but particularly to the queen, begging him to convey his desires to his comrades.

As to d'Artagnan, he did not budge from his apartment. He converted his chamber into an observatory. From his windows he saw all the visitors who were caught. Then, having removed a plank from his floor, and nothing remaining but a simple ceiling between him and the room beneath, in which the interrogatories were made, he heard all that passed between the inquisitors and the accused.

The interrogatories, preceded by a minute search operated upon the persons arrested, were almost always framed thus: "Has Madame Bonacieux sent anything to you for her husband, or any other person? Has Monsieur Bonacieux sent anything to you for his wife, or for any other person? Has either of them confided anything to you by word of mouth?"

"If they knew anything, they would not question people in this manner," said d'Artagnan to himself. "Now, what is it they want to know? Why, they want to know if the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris, and if he has had, or is likely to have, an interview with the queen."

D'Artagnan held onto this idea, which, from what he had heard, was not wanting in probability.

In the meantime, the mousetrap continued in operation, and likewise d'Artagnan's vigilance.

On the evening of the day after the arrest of poor Bonacieux, as Athos had just left d'Artagnan to report at M. de Treville's, as nine o'clock had just struck, and as Planchet, who had not yet made the bed, was beginning his task, a knocking was heard at the street door. The door was instantly opened and shut; someone was taken in the mousetrap.

D'Artagnan flew to his hole, laid himself down on the floor at full length, and listened.

Cries were soon heard, and then moans, which someone appeared to be endeavoring to stifle. There were no questions.

"The devil!" said d'Artagnan to himself. "It seems like a woman! They search her; she resists; they use force--the scoundrels!"

In spite of his prudence, d'Artagnan restrained himself with great difficulty from taking a part in the scene that was going on below.

"But I tell you that I am the mistress of the house, gentlemen! I tell you I am Madame Bonacieux; I tell you I belong to the queen!" cried the unfortunate woman.

"Madame Bonacieux!" murmured d'Artagnan. "Can I be so lucky as to find what everybody is seeking for?"

The voice became more and more indistinct; a tumultuous movement shook the partition. The victim resisted as much as a woman could resist four men.

"Pardon, gentlemen--par--" murmured the voice, which could now only be heard in inarticulate sounds.

"They are binding her; they are going to drag her away," cried d'Artagnan to himself, springing up from the floor. "My sword! Good, it is by my side! Planchet!"

"Monsieur."

"Run and seek Athos, Porthos and Aramis. One of the three will certainly be at home, perhaps all three. Tell them to take arms, to come here, and to run! Ah, I remember, Athos is at Monsieur de Treville's."

"But where are you going, monsieur, where are you going?"

"I am going down by the window, in order to be there the sooner," cried d'Artagnan. "You put back the boards, sweep the floor, go out at the door, and run as I told you."

"Oh, monsieur! Monsieur! You will kill yourself," cried Planchet.

"Hold your tongue, stupid fellow," said d'Artagnan; and laying hold of the casement, he let himself gently down from the first story, which fortunately was not very elevated, without doing himself the slightest injury.

He then went straight to the door and knocked, murmuring, "I will go myself and be caught in the mousetrap, but woe be to the cats that shall pounce upon such a mouse!"

The knocker had scarcely sounded under the hand of the young man before the tumult ceased, steps approached, the door was opened, and d'Artagnan, sword in hand, rushed into the rooms of M. Bonacieux, the door of which doubtless acted upon by a spring, closed after him.

Then those who dwelt in Bonacieux's unfortunate house, together with the nearest neighbors, heard loud cries, stamping of feet, clashing of swords, and breaking of furniture. A moment after, those who, surprised by this tumult, had gone to their windows to learn the cause of it, saw the door open, and four men, clothed in black, not COME out of it, but FLY, like so many frightened crows, leaving on the ground and on the corners of the furniture, feathers from their wings; that is to say, patches of their clothes and fragments of their cloaks.

D'Artagnan was conqueror--without much effort, it must be confessed, for only one of the officers was armed, and even he defended himself for form's sake. It is true that the three others had endeavored to knock the young man down with chairs, stools, and crockery; but two or three scratches made by the Gascon's blade terrified them. Ten minutes sufficed for their defeat, and d'Artagnan remained master of the field of battle.

The neighbors who had opened their windows, with the coolness peculiar to the inhabitants of Paris in these times of perpetual riots and disturbances, closed them again as soon as they saw the four men in black flee--their instinct telling them that for the time all was over. Besides, it began to grow late, and then, as today, people went to bed early in the quarter of the Luxembourg.

On being left alone with Mme. Bonacieux, d'Artagnan turned toward her; the poor woman reclined where she had been left, half-fainting upon an armchair. D'Artagnan examined her with a rapid glance.

She was a charming woman of twenty-five or twenty-six years, with dark hair, blue eyes, and a nose slightly turned up, admirable teeth, and a complexion marbled with rose and opal. There, however, ended the signs which might have confounded her with a lady of rank. The hands were white, but without delicacy; the feet did not bespeak the woman of quality. Happily, d'Artagnan was not yet acquainted with such niceties.

While d'Artagnan was examining Mme. Bonacieux, and was, as we have said, close to her, he saw on the ground a fine cambric handkerchief, which he picked up, as was his habit, and at the corner of which he recognized the same cipher he had seen on the handkerchief which had nearly caused him and Aramis to cut each other's throat.

From that time, d'Artagnan had been cautious with respect to handkerchiefs with arms on them, and he therefore placed in the pocket of Mme. Bonacieux the one he had just picked up.

At that moment Mme. Bonacieux recovered her senses. She opened her eyes, looked around her with terror, saw that the apartment was empty and that she was alone with her liberator. She extended her hands to him with a smile. Mme. Bonacieux had the sweetest smile in the world.

"Ah, monsieur!" said she, "you have saved me; permit me to thank you."

"Madame," said d'Artagnan, "I have only done what every gentleman would have done in my place; you owe me no thanks."

"Oh, yes, monsieur, oh, yes; and I hope to prove to you that you have not served an ingrate. But what could these men, whom I at first took for robbers, want with me, and why is Monsieur Bonacieux not here?"

"Madame, those men were more dangerous than any robbers could have been, for they are the agents of the cardinal; and as to your husband, Monsieur Bonacieux, he is not here because he was yesterday evening conducted to the Bastille."

"My husband in the Bastille!" cried Mme. Bonacieux. "Oh, my God! What has he done? Poor dear man, he is innocence itself!"

And something like a faint smile lighted the still-terrified features of the young woman.

"What has he done, madame?" said d'Artagnan. "I believe that his only crime is to have at the same time the good fortune and the misfortune to be your husband."

"But, monsieur, you know then--"

"I know that you have been abducted, madame."

"And by whom? Do you know him? Oh, if you know him, tell me!"

"By a man of from forty to forty-five years, with black hair, a dark complexion, and a scar on his left temple."

"That is he, that is he; but his name?"

"Ah, his name? I do not know that."

"And did my husband know I had been carried off?"

"He was informed of it by a letter, written to him by the abductor himself."

"And does he suspect," said Mme. Bonacieux, with some embarrassment, "the cause of this event?"

"He attributed it, I believe, to a political cause."

"I doubted from the first; and now I think entirely as he does. Then my dear Monsieur Bonacieux has not suspected me a single instant?"

"So far from it, madame, he was too proud of your prudence, and above all, of your love."

A second smile, almost imperceptible, stole over the rosy lips of the pretty young woman.

"But," continued d'Artagnan, "how did you escape?"

"I took advantage of a moment when they left me alone; and as I had known since morning the reason of my abduction, with the help of the sheets I let myself down from the window. Then, as I believed my husband would be at home, I hastened hither."

"To place yourself under his protection?"

"Oh, no, poor dear man! I knew very well that he was incapable of defending me; but as he could serve us in other ways, I wished to inform him."

"Of what?"

"Oh, that is not my secret; I must not, therefore, tell you."

"Besides," said d'Artagnan, "pardon me, madame, if, guardsman as I am, I remind you of prudence--besides, I believe we are not here in a very proper place for imparting confidences. The men I have put to flight will return reinforced; if they find us here, we are lost. I have sent for three of my friends, but who knows whether they were at home?"

"Yes, yes! You are right," cried the affrighted Mme. Bonacieux; "let us fly! Let us save ourselves."

At these words she passed her arm under that of d'Artagnan, and urged him forward eagerly.

"But whither shall we fly--whither escape?"

"Let us first withdraw from this house; afterward we shall see."

The young woman and the young man, without taking the trouble to shut the door after them, descended the Rue des Fossoyeurs rapidly, turned into the Rue des Fosses-Monsieur-le-Prince, and did not stop till they came to the Place St. Sulpice.

"And now what are we to do, and where do you wish me to conduct you?" asked d'Artagnan.

"I am at quite a loss how to answer you, I admit," said Mme. Bonacieux. "My intention was to inform Monsieur Laporte, through my husband, in order that Monsieur Laporte might tell us precisely what had taken place at the Louvre in the last three days, and whether there is any danger in presenting myself there."

"But I," said d'Artagnan, "can go and inform Monsieur Laporte."

"No doubt you could, only there is one misfortune, and that is that Monsieur Bonacieux is known at the Louvre, and would be allowed to pass; whereas you are not known there, and the gate would be closed against you."

"Ah, bah!" said d'Artagnan; "you have at some wicket of the Louvre a CONCIERGE who is devoted to you, and who, thanks to a password, would--"

Mme. Bonacieux looked earnestly at the young man.

"And if I give you this password," said she, "would you forget it as soon as you used it?"

"By my honor, by the faith of a gentleman!" said d'Artagnan, with an accent so truthful that no one could mistake it.

"Then I believe you. You appear to be a brave young man; besides, your fortune may perhaps be the result of your devotedness."

"I will do, without a promise and voluntarily, all that I can do to serve the king and be agreeable to the queen. Dispose of me, then, as a friend."

"But I--where shall I go meanwhile?"

"Is there nobody from whose house Monsieur Laporte can come and fetch you?"

"No, I can trust nobody."

"Stop," said d'Artagnan; "we are near Athos's door. Yes, here it is."

"Who is this Athos?"

"One of my friends."

"But if he should be at home and see me?"

"He is not at home, and I will carry away the key, after having placed you in his apartment."

"But if he should return?"

"Oh, he won't return; and if he should, he will be told that I have brought a woman with me, and that woman is in his apartment."

"But that will compromise me sadly, you know."

"Of what consequence? Nobody knows you. Besides, we are in a situation to overlook ceremony."

"Come, then, let us go to your friend's house. Where does he live?"

"Rue Ferou, two steps from here."

"Let us go!"

Both resumed their way. As d'Artagnan had foreseen, Athos was not within. He took the key, which was customarily given him as one of the family, ascended the stairs, and introduced Mme. Bonacieux into the little apartment of which we have given a description.

"You are at home," said he. "Remain here, fasten the door inside, and open it to nobody unless you hear three taps like this;" and he tapped thrice--two taps close together and pretty hard, the other after an interval, and lighter.

"That is well," said Mme. Bonacieux. "Now, in my turn, let me give you my instructions."

"I am all attention."

"Present yourself at the wicket of the Louvre, on the side of the Rue de l'Echelle, and ask for Germain."

"Well, and then?"

"He will ask you what you want, and you will answer by these two words, 'Tours' and 'Bruxelles.' He will at once put himself at your orders."

"And what shall I command him?"

"To go and fetch Monsieur Laporte, the queen's VALET DE CHAMBRE."

"And when he shall have informed him, and Monsieur Laporte is come?"

"You will send him to me."

"That is well; but where and how shall I see you again?"

"Do you wish to see me again?"

"Certainly."

"Well, let that care be mine, and be at ease."

"I depend upon your word."

"You may."

D'Artagnan bowed to Mme. Bonacieux, darting at her the most loving glance that he could possibly concentrate upon her charming little person; and while he descended the stairs, he heard the door closed and double-locked. In two bounds he was at the Louvre; as he entered the wicket of L'Echelle, ten o'clock struck. All the events we have described had taken place within a half hour.

Everything fell out as Mme. Bonacieux prophesied. On hearing the password, Germain bowed. In a few minutes, Laporte was at the lodge; in two words d'Artagnan informed him where Mme. Bonacieux was. Laporte assured himself, by having it twice repeated, of the accurate address, and set off at a run. Hardly, however, had he taken ten steps before he returned.

"Young man," said he to d'Artagnan, "a suggestion."

"What?"

"You may get into trouble by what has taken place."

"You believe so?"

"Yes. Have you any friend whose clock is too slow?"

"Well?"

"Go and call upon him, in order that he may give evidence of your having been with him at half past nine. In a court of justice that is called an alibi."

D'Artagnan found his advice prudent. He took to his heels, and was soon at M. de Treville's; but instead of going into the saloon with the rest of the crowd, he asked to be introduced to M. de Treville's office. As d'Artagnan so constantly frequented the hotel, no difficulty was made in complying with his request, and a servant went to inform M. de Treville that his young compatriot, having something important to communicate, solicited a private audience. Five minutes after, M. de Treville was asking d'Artagnan what he could do to serve him, and what caused his visit at so late an hour.

"Pardon me, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, who had profited by the moment he had been left alone to put back M. de Treville's clock three-quarters of an hour, "but I thought, as it was yet only twenty-five minutes past nine, it was not too late to wait upon you."

"Twenty-five minutes past nine!" cried M. de Treville, looking at the clock; "why, that's impossible!"

"Look, rather, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, "the clock shows it."

"That's true," said M. de Treville; "I believed it later. But what can I do for you?"

Then d'Artagnan told M. de Treville a long history about the queen. He expressed to him the fears he entertained with respect to her Majesty; he related to him what he had heard of the projects of the cardinal with regard to Buckingham, and all with a tranquillity and candor of which M. de Treville was the more the dupe, from having himself, as we have said, observed something fresh between the cardinal, the king, and the queen.

As ten o'clock was striking, d'Artagnan left M. de Treville, who thanked him for his information, recommended him to have the service of the king and queen always at heart, and returned to the saloon; but at the foot of the stairs, d'Artagnan remembered he had forgotten his cane. He consequently sprang up again, re-entered the office, with a turn of his finger set the clock right again, that it might not be perceived the next day that it had been put wrong, and certain from that time that he had a witness to prove his alibi, he ran downstairs and soon found himself in the street.

 

第十章 十七世纪的捕鼠笼子

捕鼠笼子不是今天才发明的,而是社会在形成的时候发明了警察,警察发明了捕鼠笼子。

对于耶路撒冷街①的这个切口,读者恐怕还不熟悉,而且笔者虽然已经写了十五年书,但用这个词来称呼这种东西,还是头一回。因此,有必要向读者诸君解释一下何为捕鼠笼子。

  ①耶路撒冷街是当时法国警署所在地。

凡是在一所房子里——不管是一所什么样的房子——逮捕了一名重罪嫌疑犯,立刻严密封锁这次逮捕的消息,而在这所房子的头一个房间里埋伏四五个人,听见有人敲门就开门让他进来,随即把门一关,把进来的人捉住。用这种办法,不出两三天,就可以把经常出入这所房子的人几乎全部捉住。

捕鼠笼子就是这么一种玩意儿。

波那瑟先生的住宅就这样变成了一个捕鼠笼子,不管什么人,只要一进来,就会被红衣主教的人逮捕、审问。当然,由于专门有一条路通到达达尼昂所住的二层楼,所以上达达尼昂家的人不会遇到麻烦。

况且,只有三个火枪手会上达达尼昂家来。他们三个人分头去探听,但什么也没有找到,什么也没有发现。阿托斯甚至去问过特雷维尔先生。这位可敬的火枪手一向沉默寡言,现在居然主动跑来询问,队长不免暗暗称奇。但是,特雷维尔先生也一无所知,只是最近一次他见到红衣主教、国王和王后时,红衣主教显得忧心忡忡,国王心神不定,王后则两眼发红,说明她夜里失眠或者哭过。不过,王后的情形并没令他感到意外,因为成婚以来,失眠和落泪,在王后乃是家常便饭。

特雷维尔先生嘱咐阿托斯,不管在什么情况下,都要效力于国王,尤其效力于王后,并且请他转告他的伙伴们也这样做。

至于达达尼昂,他一步也没离开过家,而把自己的卧室变成观察哨所。他站在窗口,能看见一切来自投罗网的人;他又撬开了地板上的方砖,在地板上抠了一个洞。这样他的卧室和下面的房间就只剩一板之隔,下面房间里进行的审讯,包括审讯者和被审讯者的一切动静,他都听得一清二楚。

审讯之前,先是对被捕者仔细搜身,而审讯几乎总是提这样几个问题:

"波那瑟太太是不是交给了你什么东西。叫你转给她丈夫或别的什么人?"

"波那瑟先生是不是交给了你什么东西,叫你转给她太太或其他什么人?"

"他们夫妇俩是否向你透露过什么秘密?"

达达尼昂听了,心里琢磨开了:

"他们要是知道点什么,是不会这样审问的。现在他们想了解什么呢?是想了解白金汉公爵是否在巴黎,他是否没有或者可能还没有与王后见面?"

想到这里,达达尼昂顿住了,根据他所听到的情况,这不是不可能的。

现在捕鼠笼子时时张着,达达尼昂的警惕性也一刻不能松懈。

可怜的波那瑟被抓走的第二天晚上,阿托斯刚刚告别达达尼昂去特雷维尔先生那里,时钟刚敲响九点,还没铺床的普朗歇开始铺床,这时临街那边传来敲门声,门立刻开了又关上了:有人自己投进了捕鼠笼子。

达达尼昂立刻跑到方砖被撬开的地方,趴在地板上侧耳倾听。

立刻传来几声尖叫,接着是呻吟,有人捂住被捕者的嘴,不让他出声。审问还没有进行。

"见鬼!"达达尼昂嘀咕道,"好像是个女人。他们正搜她身子,而她在挣扎。他们对她施行强暴——这帮坏蛋!"

达达尼昂素来小心谨慎,这时尽了最大努力,才强忍住没有介入楼下发生的场面。

"我对你们说我是这个家的女主人,先生们,我对你们说我是波那瑟太太,我对你们说我是王后的人!"那不幸的女人嚷道。

"波那瑟太太!"达达尼昂自言自语道,"看来我运气不错,大家都在寻找的人让我给碰上了!"

"我们等的就是你!"审问者说道。

嘴又被捂住了,声音越来越模糊,只听见一阵撕扯,撞得板壁乱响,受害者竭尽一个女人的全力,抵抗着四个男人。

"请饶了我吧,先生们,请……"那声音有气无力地说道,后面的话完全听不清了。

"他们堵住了她的嘴,就要把她带走了,"达达尼昂像弹簧似地跳起来说道,"我的剑!好,剑就在我身边。普朗歇!"

"什么事,先生?"

"快去找阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯来。他们三个人肯定有一个在家里,也许三个人全回家了。叫他们带上武器快来,跑步来。哦!我记起来了,阿托斯在特雷维尔先生那里。"

"可是,您去哪里?先生,您去哪里?"

"我从窗口跳下去,"达达尼昂大声说,"为了争取时间。你呢,先把方砖重新铺上,将地板扫干净,然后从大门出去,跑步去我叫你去的地方。"

"哎呀!先生,先生,您会摔死的。"普朗歇叫道。

"闭嘴,傻瓜!"达达尼昂说着,用手抓住窗台边缘,从二层楼跳了下去。好在这楼不高,他一点儿也没受伤。

他立刻跑去敲门,一边自言自语道:

"我也要钻进这个捕鼠笼子了,叫那些胆敢来碰我这只老鼠的猫吃点苦头!"

年轻人拿起敲门锤刚敲了一下,房间里的撕扯声立刻停止了,一阵脚步声一直响到门边,门开了。达达尼昂握着明晃晃的剑,蹿进波那瑟老板屋里。门后大概安了根弹簧,在他背后自动关上了。

于是,波那瑟这座晦气的楼里还没有搬走的住户和隔壁的邻居,听见几声大叫,拳打脚踢,刀剑相碰和一声长长的家具被打翻的声音。过了一会儿,那些被这阵杂乱的声音惊动的人跑到窗口,想看看发生了什么事,只见那扇门又开了,四个穿黑衣服的人不是从里面跑出来,而是像惊弓的乌鸦从里面飞出来,地上和桌子角上残留着他们翅膀上的羽毛,即他们的衣服和斗篷上扯下来的碎布片。

应该说,达达尼昂没费多少力气就取得了胜利,因为四个密探只有一个带了武器,而且只是勉强招架了几下。其他三个倒是企图用椅子、凳子和盆盆罐罐砸倒达达尼昂,但是加斯科尼人的剑给他们造成的两三处皮肉创伤,就吓得他们屁滚尿流。仅仅十分钟他们便落荒而逃,战场落在了达达尼昂手里。

那些邻居,以骚乱不已的年代巴黎居民特有的冷静推开窗户,看见四个穿黑衣服的人逃走了,又立刻将窗户关上:本能告诉他们,现在暂时无事了。

再说,时间也不早了。那时和现在一样,卢森堡公园附近一带的居民睡得早。

房间里只剩下达达尼昂和波那瑟太太。他向她转过身:那可怜的女人仰卧在一张扶手椅上,已经半昏迷。达达尼昂很快打量她一眼。

这是一个二十五六岁的女人,颇有姿色,棕色头发,蓝色眼睛,鼻头微翘,牙齿洁白而整齐,皮肤白里透红。然而,也只有这些特征可以使人把她当成一位豪门贵妇。她的一双手白是白,但不纤巧,一双脚也看不出她是一个高贵的女性。幸好达达尼昂还不会去注意这些细节。

达达尼昂正打量波那瑟太太,即如刚才所说,正打量到她的脚时,看见地上有一条细麻纱手绢。他凭习惯捡起来,发现角上有一个由姓名起首字母组成的图案,恰好与那条差点使他和阿拉米斯拼命的手绢上的一模一样。

自那次以后,达达尼昂对绣有勋徽图案的手绢就存有戒心,因此他什么也没说,就把拾起的手绢放进波那瑟太太的口袋里。这时,波那瑟太太恢复了知觉。她睁开眼睛,恐惧地看一看周围,见房间里没有人,只剩下她和她的救命恩人,立刻微笑着向他伸出双手。波那瑟太太的微笑是世界上最迷人的。

"啊!先生,"她说道,"是您救了我,请接受我的感谢。"

"夫人,"达达尼昂说,"我所做的事,任何绅士处在我的地位都会做的,因此您根本不用谢我。"

"哪里话,先生,哪里话。我希望向您表明,您救助的不是一个忘恩负义的女人。可是,刚才这些人想要我怎么样?我起初还以为他们是小偷呢。还有,为什么波那瑟先生不在这儿?"

"夫人,这些人比小偷危险得多,因为他们是红衣主教的密探。至于您丈夫波那瑟先生嘛,他不在这里,因为昨天有人来抓了他,送到巴士底狱去了。"

"我丈夫关进了巴士底狱!"波那瑟太太叫起来,"啊!天哪!他做了什么事?可怜的亲人!他可是绝对清白无辜的!"

少妇那张还惶恐不安的脸上,仿佛透出了一丝微笑。

"他做了什么事吗,夫人?"达达尼昂说道,"我想他唯一的罪过,就是既有福分又倒霉地做了您的丈夫。"

"哦,先生,您知道了……"

"我知道您被绑架了,夫人。"

"被谁绑架的?您知道吗?啊!您知道就请告诉我。"

"是一个四十至四十五岁的男人,此人头发乌黑,肤色黧黑,左鬓角下有块伤疤。"

"对,对。可是他的姓名呢?"

"啊!姓名吗?这我可不知道。"

"我丈夫知道我被绑架了吗?"

"绑架者本人写的一封信通知了他。"

"他对这件事的原因可有怀疑?"波那瑟太太不无尴尬地问道。

"他归结为政治方面的原因,我想。"

"起初我也怀疑过,现在我和他想法一样啦。因此,我可爱的波那瑟一刻也没怀疑过我……"

"啊!不用说怀疑,夫人,他对您的聪明,尤其对您的爱情自豪得不得了呢。"

漂亮的少妇红红的嘴唇上又掠过一丝几乎觉察不到的微笑。

"可是,"达达尼昂又说道,"您是怎样逃出来的?"

"是利用他们让我独自呆着的机会。从今天早上起,我就知道我遭绑架与什么事情有关,于是我利用床单,打窗口逃了出来。我以为我丈夫在家里,便跑了来。"

"是想求他保护您?"

"啊!不,这个可爱又可怜的人,我知道他没有能力保护我,但是他对我们有别的用处,所以我想来通知他。"

"通知他什么?"

"啊!这件事不是我自己的秘密,我不能告诉您。"

"再说,"达达尼昂说道,"请原谅,夫人,作为禁军,我提醒您要谨慎。再说,我想这里也不是谈机密事的地方。被我赶走的那些人,会带着打手回来的。如果他们看见我们在这里,我们就完了。我倒是派了人去找我的三个朋友,不过谁知道能否在家里找到他们!"

"对,对,您说得对。"波那瑟太太害怕地说,"走吧,咱们逃走吧。"

说罢,她挽起达达尼昂的胳膊,急忙拽着他走。

"可是去哪儿呢?"达达尼昂说道,"往哪儿逃呢?"

"先离开这座房子再说。"

少妇和小伙子连门都没关,就迅速沿着掘墓人街往下走,拐进王爷壕沟街,一直走到圣絮比斯广场才停下。

"现在怎么办?"达达尼昂问道,"您要我把您送到什么地方?"

"说实话,我真不知道该怎样回答您。"波那瑟太太说道,"我本来想叫我丈夫去通知拉波特先生,好让拉波特先生确切告诉我们,三天来罗浮宫发生了什么事,我去那里是不是有危险。"

"噢,"达达尼昂说道,"我可以去通知拉波特先生。"

"倒也是,只不过有一个麻烦:罗浮宫里的人认识波那瑟先生,放他进去,可是谁也不认识您,您会被拒之于门外的。"

"唔!"达达尼昂说,"在罗浮宫的某道小门口,总有一个忠实于您的门房吧,只要说句暗语不就……"

波那瑟太太目不转睛地盯住年轻人。

"如果我把暗语告诉您,"她说道,"您能不能在用完之后就立即忘掉?"

"我以名誉和绅士的信义担保!"达达尼昂用令人信服的真诚口气说道。

"好,我相信您,您看上去是个正直的青年。再说,您的忠诚也许最终会使您青云直上的。"

"我不想赌咒发誓,"达达尼昂说道,"只要能为国王效力,让王后高兴的事,我一定竭尽全力,认认真真去做。请把我当成朋友使唤吧。"

"可是,这期间您让我呆在什么地方呢?"

"有不有这样一个人,您可以呆在他家里,等待拉波特先生来接您?"

"没有,我不想把自己托付给任何人。"

"等一等,"达达尼昂说,"我们走到阿托斯的门口了。对,就这么办。"

"阿托斯是什么人?"

"我的一个朋友。"

"如果他在家里看见了我怎么办?"

"他不在家,我把您送进他的寓所之后,把钥匙带走。"

"他回来了呢?"

"他不会回来。再说,我会告诉他,我带回来一个女人,这个女人现在在他家里。"

"可是您知道,这会严重影响我的名誉。"

"有什么关系!这里又没有人认识您。况且,我们现在的处境,也顾不了那么多体面啦!"

"那么就去您朋友家吧。他住在哪儿?"

"费鲁街,离这里两步远。"

"咱们去吧。"

两个人又朝前走。不出达达尼昂所料,阿托斯不在家。看门人像以往一样,把他看成这个家庭的挚友,将钥匙给了他。他拿了钥匙,上了楼梯,把波那瑟太太领进我们已经描写过的那套小公寓。

"您就当在自己家里一样。"达达尼昂说道,"等一等,从里面把门插上,不要对任何人开门,除非听见这样敲三下,听!"他敲了三下,两下是连着敲的,相当响;另一下是停了停之后敲的,比较轻。

"好,"波那瑟太太说,"现在该轮到我来吩咐您了。"

"听候吩咐。"

"您去罗浮宫临梯子街那道小门口,找热尔曼。"

"好的,然后呢?"

"他会问您有什么事,您就以这样两个地理名词回答他:

图尔和布鲁塞尔。他马上就会听从您的吩咐。"

"我吩咐他什么呢?"

"吩咐他去找王后的近侍拉波特先生。"

"他找来了拉波特先生呢?"

"你就叫拉波特到我这里来。"

"好。不过,将来我去什么地方,怎样再和您见面呢?"

"您可是很希望再和我见面?"

"当然。"

"那么好吧,这件事就让我来安排,放心吧。"

"我相信您这句话。"

"请相信就是了。"

达达尼昂向波那瑟太太告别,同时以最多情的目光,凝视一眼这个娇小而可爱的女人。下楼梯的时候,他听见身后的门关上后落了两重锁。他疾步如飞,一会儿就到了罗浮宫,进梯子街那道小门时,时钟正敲响十点。我们刚才叙述的种种变故,都相继发生在半小时之内。

一切都像波那瑟太太事先所讲的那样进行的。热尔曼听到暗语,赶紧鞠了一躬;十分钟后,拉波特就来到了门房的小屋子里,达达尼昂三言两语把事情介绍了一下,并告诉他波那瑟太太在什么地方。拉波特连问两遍问准了地址,就紧跑着走了,走了不到十步又回转来。

"年轻人,"他对达达尼昂说道,"我有一言相劝。"

"什么事?"

"刚才发生的事可能给您惹来一些麻烦。"

"您这样相信?"

"是的。您是否有个朋友,他家里的钟走得慢?"

"怎么?"

"去看他吧,以便他能够证明九点半钟您在他家里。在司法上,这叫做'不在现场的证明'。"

达达尼昂觉得这个劝告是谨慎的,便飞跑到特雷维尔先生官邸。不过,他不与大家一起去客厅,而是请求去特雷维尔先生的办公室。达达尼昂是官邸的常客,他的请求毫无困难地应准了。有人进去向特雷维尔通报,他年轻的同乡请求单独接见,有重要事情向他禀报。五分钟之后,特雷维尔先生问达达尼昂,有什么事情需要帮忙,时间这么晚他登门有什么要事。

"请见谅,先生!"达达尼昂刚才利用单独呆着的机会,把时钟倒拨了三刻钟,这时他说道,"现在才九点二十五分,我想我来得不算太晚。"

"九点二十五分!"特雷维尔先生叫起来,抬头看一眼钟,"这怎么可能!"

"您还是看看钟吧,先生,"达达尼昂说道,"钟是错不了的。"

"不错,"特雷维尔说,"我还以为要晚一些呢。好啦,您有什么事?"

于是,达达尼昂讲了一段很长的有关王后的事情,讲了他对王后陛下的担心,以及传闻红衣主教对付白金汉的种种计划。这一切他讲得从容不迫,泰然自若,不由得特雷维尔先生不相信,尤其正如我们说过的,特雷维尔本人也已注意到,红衣主教、国王和王后之间的关系,出现了某种新动向。

十点正,达达尼昂告辞特雷维尔先生。特雷维尔感谢他提供的情况,嘱咐他要时时记住为国王和王后效力,然后就回客厅去了。但是,达达尼昂走到台阶底下,突然想起忘了自己的手杖,便急忙上楼,返回特雷维尔办公室里,用手指把钟点拨正,这样第二天就谁也觉察不到有人动过时钟。现在他放心了,有人可以证明他"不在现场"了。于是,他下了台阶,一会儿就到了街上。




Chapter 11 IN WHICH THE PLOT THICKENS

His visit to M. de Treville being paid, the pensive d'Artagnan took the longest way homeward.

On what was d'Artagnan thinking, that he strayed thus from his path, gazing at the stars of heaven, and sometimes sighing, sometimes smiling?

He was thinking of Mme. Bonacieux. For an apprentice Musketeer the young woman was almost an ideal of love. Pretty, mysterious, initiated in almost all the secrets of the court, which reflected such a charming gravity over her pleasing features, it might be surmised that she was not wholly unmoved; and this is an irresistible charm to novices in love. Moreover, d'Artagnan had delivered her from the hands of the demons who wished to search and ill treat her; and this important service had established between them one of those sentiments of gratitude which so easily assume a more tender character.

D'Artagnan already fancied himself, so rapid is the flight of our dreams upon the wings of imagination, accosted by a messenger from the young woman, who brought him some billet appointing a meeting, a gold chain, or a diamond. We have observed that young cavaliers received presents from their king without shame. Let us add that in these times of lax morality they had no more delicacy with respect to the mistresses; and that the latter almost always left them valuable and durable remembrances, as if they essayed to conquer the fragility of their sentiments by the solidity of their gifts.

Without a blush, men made their way in the world by the means of women blushing. Such as were only beautiful gave their beauty, whence, without doubt, comes the proverb, "The most beautiful girl in the world can only give what she has." Such as were rich gave in addition a part of their money; and a vast number of heroes of that gallant period may be cited who would neither have won their spurs in the first place, nor their battles afterward, without the purse, more or less furnished, which their mistress fastened to the saddle bow.

D'Artagnan owned nothing. Provincial diffidence, that slight varnish, the ephemeral flower, that down of the peach, had evaporated to the winds through the little orthodox counsels which the three Musketeers gave their friend. D'Artagnan, following the strange custom of the times, considered himself at Paris as on a campaign, neither more nor less than if he had been in Flanders--Spain yonder, woman here. In each there was an enemy to contend with, and contributions to be levied.

But, we must say, at the present moment d'Artagnan was ruled by a feeling much more noble and disinterested. The mercer had said that he was rich; the young man might easily guess that with so weak a man as M. Bonacieux; and interest was almost foreign to this commencement of love, which had been the consequence of it. We say ALMOST, for the idea that a young, handsome, kind, and witty woman is at the same time rich takes nothing from the beginning of love, but on the contrary strengthens it.

There are in affluence a crowd of aristocratic cares and caprices which are highly becoming to beauty. A fine and white stocking, a silken robe, a lace kerchief, a pretty slipper on the foot, a tasty ribbon on the head do not make an ugly woman pretty, but they make a pretty woman beautiful, without reckoning the hands, which gain by all this; the hands, among women particularly, to be beautiful must be idle.

Then d'Artagnan, as the reader, from whom we have not concealed the state of his fortune, very well knows--d'Artagnan was not a millionaire; he hoped to become one someday, but the time which in his own mind he fixed upon for this happy change was still far distant. In the meanwhile, how disheartening to see the woman one loves long for those thousands of nothings which constitute a woman's happiness, and be unable to give her those thousands of nothings. At least, when the woman is rich and the lover is not, that which he cannot offer she offers to herself; and although it is generally with her husband's money that she procures herself this indulgence, the gratitude for it seldom reverts to him.

Then d'Artagnan, disposed to become the most tender of lovers, was at the same time a very devoted friend, In the midst of his amorous projects for the mercer's wife, he did not forget his friends. The pretty Mme. Bonacieux was just the woman to walk with in the Plain St. Denis or in the fair of St. Germain, in company with Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, to whom d'Artagnan had often remarked this. Then one could enjoy charming little dinners, where one touches on one side the hand of a friend, and on the other the foot of a mistress. Besides, on pressing occasions, in extreme difficulties, d'Artagnan would become the preserver of his friends.

And M. Bonacieux? whom d'Artagnan had pushed into the hands of the officers, denying him aloud although he had promised in a whisper to save him. We are compelled to admit to our readers that d'Artagnan thought nothing about him in any way; or that if he did think of him, it was only to say to himself that he was very well where he was, wherever it might be. Love is the most selfish of all the passions.

Let our readers reassure themselves. IF d'Artagnan forgets his host, or appears to forget him, under the pretense of not knowing where he has been carried, we will not forget him, and we know where he is. But for the moment, let us do as did the amorous Gascon; we will see after the worthy mercer later.

D'Artagnan, reflecting on his future amours, addressing himself to the beautiful night, and smiling at the stars, ascended the Rue Cherish-Midi, or Chase-Midi, as it was then called. As he found himself in the quarter in which Aramis lived, he took it into his head to pay his friend a visit in order to explain the motives which had led him to send Planchet with a request that he would come instantly to the mousetrap. Now, if Aramis had been at home when Planchet came to his abode, he had doubtless hastened to the Rue des Fossoyeurs, and finding nobody there but his other two companions perhaps, they would not be able to conceive what all this meant. This mystery required an explanation; at least, so d'Artagnan declared to himself.

He likewise thought this was an opportunity for talking about pretty little Mme. Bonacieux, of whom his head, if not his heart, was already full. We must never look for discretion in first love. First love is accompanied by such excessive joy that unless the joy be allowed to overflow, it will stifle you.

Paris for two hours past had been dark, and seemed a desert. Eleven o'clock sounded from all the clocks of the Faubourg St. Germain. It was delightful weather. D'Artagnan was passing along a lane on the spot where the Rue d'Assas is now situated, breathing the balmy emanations which were borne upon the wind from the Rue de Vaugirard, and which arose from the gardens refreshed by the dews of evening and the breeze of night. From a distance resounded, deadened, however, by good shutters, the songs of the tipplers, enjoying themselves in the cabarets scattered along the plain. Arrived at the end of the lane, d'Artagnan turned to the left. The house in which Aramis dwelt was situated between the Rue Cassette and the Rue Servandoni.

D'Artagnan had just passed the Rue Cassette, and already perceived the door of his friend's house, shaded by a mass of sycamores and clematis which formed a vast arch opposite the front of it, when he perceived something like a shadow issuing from the Rue Servandoni. This something was enveloped in a cloak, and d'Artagnan at first believed it was a man; but by the smallness of the form, the hesitation of the walk, and the indecision of the step, he soon discovered that it was a woman. Further, this woman, as if not certain of the house she was seeking, lifted up her eyes to look around her, stopped, went backward, and then returned again. D'Artagnan was perplexed.

"Shall I go and offer her my services?" thought he. "By her step she must be young; perhaps she is pretty. Oh, yes! But a woman who wanders in the streets at this hour only ventures out to meet her lover. If I should disturb a rendezvous, that would not be the best means of commencing an acquaintance."

Meantime the young woman continued to advance, counting the houses and windows. This was neither long nor difficult. There were but three hotels in this part of the street; and only two windows looking toward the road, one of which was in a pavilion parallel to that which Aramis occupied, the other belonging to Aramis himself.

"PARIDIEU!" said d'Artagnan to himself, to whose mind the niece of the theologian reverted, "PARDIEU, it would be droll if this belated dove should be in search of our friend's house. But on my soul, it looks so. Ah, my dear Aramis, this time I shall find you out." And d'Artagnan, making himself as small as he could, concealed himself in the darkest side of the street near a stone bench placed at the back of a niche.

The young woman continued to advance; and in addition to the lightness of her step, which had betrayed her, she emitted a little cough which denoted a sweet voice. D'Artagnan believed this cough to be a signal.

Nevertheless, whether the cough had been answered by a similar signal which had fixed the irresolution of the nocturnal seeker, or whether without this aid she saw that she had arrived at the end of her journey, she resolutely drew near to Aramis's shutter, and tapped, at three equal intervals, with her bent finger.

"This is all very fine, dear Aramis," murmured d'Artagnan. "Ah, Monsieur Hypocrite, I understand how you study theology."

The three blows were scarcely struck, when the inside blind was opened and a light appeared through the panes of the outside shutter.

"Ah, ah!" said the listener, "not through doors, but through windows! Ah, this visit was expected. We shall see the windows open, and the lady enter by escalade. Very pretty!"

But to the great astonishment of d'Artagnan, the shutter remained closed. Still more, the light which had shone for an instant disappeared, and all was again in obscurity.

D'Artagnan thought this could not last long, and continued to look with all his eyes and listen with all his ears.

He was right; at the end of some seconds two sharp taps were heard inside. The young woman in the street replied by a single tap, and the shutter was opened a little way.

It may be judged whether d'Artagnan looked or listened with avidity. Unfortunately the light had been removed into another chamber; but the eyes of the young man were accustomed to the night. Besides, the eyes of the Gascons have, as it is asserted, like those of cats, the faculty of seeing in the dark.

D'Artagnan then saw that the young woman took from her pocket a white object, which she unfolded quickly, and which took the form of a handkerchief. She made her interlocutor observe the corner of this unfolded object.

This immediately recalled to d'Artagnan's mind the handkerchief which he had found at the feet of Mme. Bonacieux, which had reminded him of that which he had dragged from under the feet of Aramis.

"What the devil could that handkerchief signify?"

Placed where he was, d'Artagnan could not perceive the face of Aramis. We say Aramis, because the young man entertained no doubt that it was his friend who held this dialogue from the interior with the lady of the exterior. Curiosity prevailed over prudence; and profiting by the preoccupation into which the sight of the handkerchief appeared to have plunged the two personages now on the scene, he stole from his hiding place, and quick as lightning, but stepping with utmost caution, he ran and placed himself close to the angle of the wall, from which his eye could pierce the interior of Aramis's room.

Upon gaining this advantage d'Artagnan was near uttering a cry of surprise; it was not Aramis who was conversing with the nocturnal visitor, it was a woman! D'Artagnan, however, could only see enough to recognize the form of her vestments, not enough to distinguish her features.

At the same instant the woman inside drew a second handkerchief from her pocket, and exchanged it for that which had just been shown to her. Then some words were spoken by the two women. At length the shutter closed. The woman who was outside the window turned round, and passed within four steps of d'Artagnan, pulling down the hood of her mantle; but the precaution was too late, d'Artagnan had already recognized Mme. Bonacieux.

Mme. Bonacieux! The suspicion that it was she had crossed the mind of d'Artagnan when she drew the handkerchief from her pocket; but what probability was there that Mme. Bonacieux, who had sent for M. Laporte in order to be reconducted to the Louvre, should be running about the streets of Paris at half past eleven at night, at the risk of being abducted a second time?

This must be, then, an affair of importance; and what is the most important affair to a woman of twenty-five! Love.

But was it on her own account, or on account of another, that she exposed herself to such hazards? This was a question the young man asked himself, whom the demon of jealousy already gnawed, being in heart neither more nor less than an accepted lover.

There was a very simple means of satisfying himself whither Mme. Bonacieux was going; that was to follow her. This method was so simple that d'Artagnan employed it quite naturally and instinctively.

But at the sight of the young man, who detached himself from the wall like a statue walking from its niche, and at the noise of the steps which she heard resound behind her, Mme. Bonacieux uttered a little cry and fled.

D'Artagnan ran after her. It was not difficult for him to overtake a woman embarrassed with her cloak. He came up with her before she had traversed a third of the street. The unfortunate woman was exhausted, not by fatigue, but by terror, and when d'Artagnan placed his hand upon her shoulder, she sank upon one knee, crying in a choking voice, "Kill me, if you please, you shall know nothing!"

D'Artagnan raised her by passing his arm round her waist; but as he felt by her weight she was on the point of fainting, he made haste to reassure her by protestations of devotedness. These protestations were nothing for Mme. Bonacieux, for such protestations may be made with the worst intentions in the world; but the voice was all. Mme. Bonacieux thought she recognized the sound of that voice; she reopened her eyes, cast a quick glance upon the man who had terrified her so, and at once perceiving it was d'Artagnan, she uttered a cry of joy, "Oh, it is you, it is you! Thank God, thank God!"

"Yes, it is I," said d'Artagnan, "it is I, whom God has sent to watch over you."

"Was it with that intention you followed me?" asked the young woman, with a coquettish smile, whose somewhat bantering character resumed its influence, and with whom all fear had disappeared from the moment in which she recognized a friend in one she had taken for an enemy.

"No," said d'Artagnan; "no, I confess it. It was chance that threw me in your way; I saw a woman knocking at the window of one of my friends."

"One of your friends?" interrupted Mme. Bonacieux.

"Without doubt; Aramis is one of my best friends."

"Aramis! Who is he?"

"Come, come, you won't tell me you don't know Aramis?"

"This is the first time I ever heard his name pronounced."

"It is the first time, then, that you ever went to that house?"

"Undoubtedly."

"And you did not know that it was inhabited by a young man?"

"No."

"By a Musketeer?"

"No, indeed!"

"It was not he, then, you came to seek?"

"Not the least in the world. Besides, you must have seen that the person to whom I spoke was a woman."

"That is true; but this woman is a friend of Aramis--"

"I know nothing of that."

"--since she lodges with him."

"That does not concern me."

"But who is she?"

"Oh, that is not my secret."

"My dear Madame Bonacieux, you are charming; but at the same time you are one of the most mysterious women."

"Do I lose by that?"

"No; you are, on the contrary, adorable."

"Give me your arm, then."

"Most willingly. And now?"

"Now escort me."

"Where?"

"Where I am going."

"But where are you going?"

"You will see, because you will leave me at the door."

"Shall I wait for you?"

"That will be useless."

"You will return alone, then?"

"Perhaps yes, perhaps no."

"But will the person who shall accompany you afterward be a man or a woman?"

"I don't know yet."

"But I will know it!"

"How so?"

"I will wait until you come out."

"In that case, adieu."

"Why so?"

"I do not want you."

"But you have claimed--"

"The aid of a gentleman, not the watchfulness of a spy."

"The word is rather hard."

"How are they called who follow others in spite of them?"

"They are indiscreet."

"The word is too mild."

"Well, madame, I perceive I must do as you wish."

"Why did you deprive yourself of the merit of doing so at once?"

"Is there no merit in repentance?"

"And do you really repent?"

"I know nothing about it myself. But what I know is that I promise to do all you wish if you allow me to accompany you where you are going."

"And you will leave me then?"

"Yes."

"Without waiting for my coming out again?"

"Yes."

"Word of honor?"

"By the faith of a gentleman. Take my arm, and let us go."

D'Artagnan offered his arm to Mme. Bonacieux, who willingly took it, half laughing, half trembling, and both gained the top of Rue de la Harpe. Arriving there, the young woman seemed to hesitate, as she had before done in the Rue Vaugirard. She seemed, however, by certain signs, to recognize a door, and approaching that door, "And now, monsieur," said she, "it is here I have business; a thousand thanks for your honorable company, which has saved me from all the dangers to which, alone I was exposed. But the moment is come to keep your word; I have reached my destination."

"And you will have nothing to fear on your return?"

"I shall have nothing to fear but robbers."

"And that is nothing?"

"What could they take from me? I have not a penny about me."

"You forget that beautiful handkerchief with the coat of arms."

"Which?"

"That which I found at your feet, and replaced in your pocket."

"Hold your tongue, imprudent man! Do you wish to destroy me?"

"You see very plainly that there is still danger for you, since a single word makes you tremble; and you confess that if that word were heard you would be ruined. Come, come, madame!" cried d'Artagnan, seizing her hands, and surveying her with an ardent glance, "come, be more generous. Confide in me. Have you not read in my eyes that there is nothing but devotion and sympathy in my heart?"

"Yes," replied Mme. Bonacieux; "therefore, ask my own secrets, and I will reveal them to you; but those of others--that is quite another thing."

"Very well," said d'Artagnan, "I shall discover them; as these secrets may have an influence over your life, these secrets must become mine."

"Beware of what you do!" cried the young woman, in a manner so serious as to make d'Artagnan start in spite of himself. "Oh, meddle in nothing which concerns me. Do not seek to assist me in that which I am accomplishing. This I ask of you in the name of the interest with which I inspire you, in the name of the service you have rendered me and which I never shall forget while I have life. Rather, place faith in what I tell you. Have no more concern about me; I exist no longer for you, any more than if you had never seen me."

"Must Aramis do as much as I, madame?" said d'Artagnan, deeply piqued.

"This is the second or third time, monsieur, that you have repeated that name, and yet I have told you that I do not know him."

"You do not know the man at whose shutter you have just knocked? Indeed, madame, you believe me too credulous!"

"Confess that it is for the sake of making me talk that you invent this story and create this personage."

"I invent nothing, madame; I create nothing. I only speak that exact truth."

"And you say that one of your friends lives in that house?"

"I say so, and I repeat it for the third time; that house is one inhabited by my friend, and that friend is Aramis."

"All this will be cleared up at a later period," murmured the young woman; "no, monsieur, be silent."

"If you could see my heart," said d'Artagnan, "you would there read so much curiosity that you would pity me and so much love that you would instantly satisfy my curiosity. We have nothing to fear from those who love us."

"You speak very suddenly of love, monsieur," said the young woman, shaking her head.

"That is because love has come suddenly upon me, and for the first time; and because I am only twenty."

The young woman looked at him furtively.

"Listen; I am already upon the scent," resumed d'Artagnan. "About three months ago I was near having a duel with Aramis concerning a handkerchief resembling the one you showed to the woman in his house--for a handkerchief marked in the same manner, I am sure."

"Monsieur," said the young woman, "you weary me very much, I assure you, with your questions."

"But you, madame, prudent as you are, think, if you were to be arrested with that handkerchief, and that handkerchief were to be seized, would you not be compromised?"

"In what way? The initials are only mine--C. B., Constance Bonacieux."

"Or Camille de Bois-Tracy."

"Silence, monsieur! Once again, silence! Ah, since the dangers I incur on my own account cannot stop you, think of those you may yourself run!"

"Me?"

"Yes; there is peril of imprisonment, risk of life in knowing me."

"Then I will not leave you."

"Monsieur!" said the young woman, supplicating him and clasping her hands together, "monsieur, in the name of heaven, by the honor of a soldier, by the courtesy of a gentleman, depart! There, there midnight sounds! That is the hour when I am expected."

"Madame," said the young man, bowing; "I can refuse nothing asked of me thus. Be content; I will depart."

"But you will not follow me; you will not watch me?"

"I will return home instantly."

"Ah, I was quite sure you were a good and brave young man," said Mme. Bonacieux, holding out her hand to him, and placing the other upon the knocker of a little door almost hidden in the wall.

D'Artagnan seized the hand held out to him, and kissed it ardently.

"Ah! I wish I had never seen you!" cried d'Artagnan, with that ingenuous roughness which women often prefer to the affectations of politeness, because it betrays the depths of the thought and proves that feeling prevails over reason.

"Well!" resumed Mme. Bonacieux, in a voice almost caressing, and pressing the hand of d'Artagnan, who had not relinquished hers, "well: I will not say as much as you do; what is lost for today may not be lost forever. Who knows, when I shall be at liberty, that I may not satisfy your curiosity?"

"And will you make the same promise to my love?" cried d'Artagnan, beside himself with joy.

"Oh, as to that, I do not engage myself. That depends upon the sentiments with which you may inspire me."

"Then today, madame--"

"Oh, today, I am no further than gratitude."

"Ah! You are too charming," said d'Artagnan, sorrowfully; "and you abuse my love."

"No, I use your generosity, that's all. But be of good cheer; with certain people, everything comes round."

"Oh, you render me the happiest of men! Do not forget this evening--do not forget that promise."

"Be satisfied. In the proper time and place I will remember everything. Now then, go, go, in the name of heaven! I was expected at sharp midnight, and I am late."

"By five minutes."

"Yes; but in certain circumstances five minutes are five ages."

"When one loves."

"Well! And who told you I had no affair with a lover?"

"It is a man, then, who expects you?" cried d'Artagnan. "A man!"

"The discussion is going to begin again!" said Mme. Bonacieux, with a half-smile which was not exempt from a tinge of impatience.

"No, no; I go, I depart! I believe in you, and I would have all the merit of my devotion, even if that devotion were stupidity. Adieu, madame, adieu!"

And as if he only felt strength to detach himself by a violent effort from the hand he held, he sprang away, running, while Mme. Bonacieux knocked, as at the shutter, three light and regular taps. When he had gained the angle of the street, he turned. The door had been opened, and shut again; the mercer's pretty wife had disappeared.

D'Artagnan pursued his way. He had given his word not to watch Mme. Bonacieux, and if his life had depended upon the spot to which she was going or upon the person who should accompany her, d'Artagnan would have returned home, since he had so promised. Five minutes later he was in the Rue des Fossoyeurs.

"Poor Athos!" said he; "he will never guess what all this means. He will have fallen asleep waiting for me, or else he will have returned home, where he will have learned that a woman had been there. A woman with Athos! After all," continued d'Artagnan, "there was certainly one with Aramis. All this is very strange; and I am curious to know how it will end."

"Badly, monsieur, badly!" replied a voice which the young man recognized as that of Planchet; for, soliloquizing aloud, as very preoccupied people do, he had entered the alley, at the end of which were the stairs which led to his chamber.

"How badly? What do you mean by that, you idiot?" asked d'Artagnan. "What has happened?"

"All sorts of misfortunes."

"What?"

"In the first place, Monsieur Athos is arrested."

"Arrested! Athos arrested! What for?"

"He was found in your lodging; they took him for you."

"And by whom was he arrested?"

"By Guards brought by the men in black whom you put to flight."

"Why did he not tell them his name? Why did he not tell them he knew nothing about this affair?"

"He took care not to do so, monsieur; on the contrary, he came up to me and said, 'It is your master that needs his liberty at this moment and not I, since he knows everything and I know nothing. They will believe he is arrested, and that will give him time; in three days I will tell them who I am, and they cannot fail to let me go.'"

"Bravo, Athos! Noble heart!" murmured d'Artagnan. "I know him well there! And what did the officers do?"

"Four conveyed him away, I don't know where--to the Bastille or Fort l'Eveque. Two remained with the men in black, who rummaged every place and took all the papers. The last two mounted guard at the door during this examination; then, when all was over, they went away, leaving the house empty and exposed."

"And Porthos and Aramis?"

"I could not find them; they did not come."

"But they may come any moment, for you left word that I awaited them?"

"Yes, monsieur."

"Well, don't budge, then; if they come, tell them what has happened. Let them wait for me at the Pomme-de-Pin. Here it would be dangerous; the house may be watched. I will run to Monsieur de Treville to tell them all this, and will meet them there."

"Very well, monsieur," said Planchet.

"But you will remain; you are not afraid?" said d'Artagnan, coming back to recommend courage to his lackey.

"Be easy, monsieur," said Planchet; "you do not know me yet. I am brave when I set about it. It is all in beginning. Besides, I am a Picard."

"Then it is understood," said d'Artagnan; "you would rather be killed than desert your post?"

"Yes, monsieur; and there is nothing I would not do to prove to Monsieur that I am attached to him."

"Good!" said d'Artagnan to himself. "It appears that the method I have adopted with this boy is decidedly the best. I shall use it again upon occasion."

And with all the swiftness of his legs, already a little fatigued however, with the perambulations of the day, d'Artagnan directed his course toward M. de Treville's.

M de Treville was not at his hotel. His company was on guard at the Louvre; he was at the Louvre with his company.

It was necessary to reach M. de Treville; it was important that he should be informed of what was passing. D'Artagnan resolved to try and enter the Louvre. His costume of Guardsman in the company of M. Dessessart ought to be his passport.

He therefore went down the Rue des Petits Augustins, and came up to the quay, in order to take the New Bridge. He had at first an idea of crossing by the ferry; but on gaining the riverside, he had mechanically put his hand into his pocket, and perceived that he had not wherewithal to pay his passage.

As he gained the top of the Rue Guenegaud, he saw two persons coming out of the Rue Dauphine whose appearance very much struck him. Of the two persons who composed this group, one was a man and the other a woman. The woman had the outline of Mme. Bonacieux; the man resembled Aramis so much as to be mistaken for him.

Besides, the woman wore that black mantle which d'Artagnan could still see outlined on the shutter of the Rue de Vaugirard and on the door of the Rue de la Harpe; still further, the man wore the uniform of a Musketeer.

The woman's hood was pulled down, and the man held a handkerchief to his face. Both, as this double precaution indicated, had an interest in not being recognized.

They took the bridge. That was d'Artagnan's road, as he was going to the Louvre. D'Artagnan followed them.

He had not gone twenty steps before he became convinced that the woman was really Mme. Bonacieux and that the man was Aramis.

He felt at that instant all the suspicions of jealousy agitating his heart. He felt himself doubly betrayed, by his friend and by her whom he already loved like a mistress. Mme. Bonacieux had declared to him, by all the gods, that she did not know Aramis; and a quarter of an hour after having made this assertion, he found her hanging on the arm of Aramis.

D'Artagnan did not reflect that he had only known the mercer's pretty wife for three hours; that she owed him nothing but a little gratitude for having delivered her from the men in black, who wished to carry her off, and that she had promised him nothing. He considered himself an outraged, betrayed, and ridiculed lover. Blood and anger mounted to his face; he was resolved to unravel the mystery.

The young man and young woman perceived they were watched, and redoubled their speed. D'Artagnan determined upon his course. He passed them, then returned so as to meet them exactly before the Samaritaine. Which was illuminated by a lamp which threw its light over all that part of the bridge.

D'Artagnan stopped before them, and they stopped before him.

"What do you want, monsieur?" demanded the Musketeer, recoiling a step, and with a foreign accent, which proved to d'Artagnan that he was deceived in one of his conjectures.

"It is not Aramis!" cried he.

"No, monsieur, it is not Aramis; and by your exclamation I perceive you have mistaken me for another, and pardon you."

"You pardon me?" cried d'Artagnan.

"Yes," replied the stranger. "Allow me, then, to pass on, since it is not with me you have anything to do."

"You are right, monsieur, it is not with you that I have anything to do; it is with Madame."

"With Madame! You do not know her," replied the stranger.

"You are deceived, monsieur; I know her very well."

"Ah," said Mme. Bonacieux; in a tone of reproach, "ah, monsieur, I had your promise as a soldier and your word as a gentleman. I hoped to be able to rely upon that."

"And I, madame!" said d'Artagnan, embarrassed; "you promised me--"

"Take my arm, madame," said the stranger, "and let us continue our way."

D'Artagnan, however, stupefied, cast down, annihilated by all that happened, stood, with crossed arms, before the Musketeer and Mme. Bonacieux.

The Musketeer advanced two steps, and pushed d'Artagnan aside with his hand. D'Artagnan made a spring backward and drew his sword. At the same time, and with the rapidity of lightning, the stranger drew his.

"In the name of heaven, my Lord!" cried Mme. Bonacieux, throwing herself between the combatants and seizing the swords with her hands.

"My Lord!" cried d'Artagnan, enlightened by a sudden idea, "my Lord! Pardon me, monsieur, but you are not--"

"My Lord the Duke of Buckingham," said Mme. Bonacieux, in an undertone; "and now you may ruin us all."

"My Lord, Madame, I ask a hundred pardons! But I love her, my Lord, and was jealous. You know what it is to love, my Lord. Pardon me, and then tell me how I can risk my life to serve your Grace?"

"You are a brave young man," said Buckingham, holding out his hand to d'Artagnan, who pressed it respectfully. "You offer me your services; with the same frankness I accept them. Follow us at a distance of twenty paces, as far as the Louvre, and if anyone watches us, slay him!"

D'Artagnan placed his naked sword under his arm, allowed the duke and Mme. Bonacieux to take twenty steps ahead, and then followed them, ready to execute the instructions of the noble and elegant minister of Charles I.

Fortunately, he had no opportunity to give the duke this proof of his devotion, and the young woman and the handsome Musketeer entered the Louvre by the wicket of the Echelle without any interference.

As for d'Artagnan, he immediately repaired to the cabaret of the Pomme-de-Pin, where he found Porthos and Aramis awaiting him. Without giving them any explanation of the alarm and inconvenience he had caused them, he told them that he had terminated the affair alone in which he had for a moment believed he should need their assistance.

Meanwhile, carried away as we are by our narrative, we must leave our three friends to themselves, and follow the Duke of Buckingham and his guide through the labyrinths of the Louvre.

 

第十一章 牵线搭桥

拜访过特雷维尔先生,达达尼昂思绪纷繁,特意选择了一条最长的路往家里走。

达达尼昂放着平常的路不走,仰望着夜空的星星,时而叹息,时而微笑,他脑子里在想什么?

他在想波那瑟太太。在一位火枪手学徒心目中,那少妇几乎是一个理想的心上人儿。她俊俏,神秘,对宫廷里的秘密差不多件件了如指掌,这使得她那风姿绰约的容颜,平添了许多端庄的魅力,让人一看就知道,她绝非感情冷漠的女性。仅此一点,就足以让情场新手神魂颠倒。更何况,是达达尼昂从那些试图对她动手动脚、施以强暴的歹徒手里,把她解救出来的。这搭救不是件小事,使得他们之间产生了一种感恩的情感,这种情感很容易带上爱慕的性质。

美梦乘上想象的翅膀,飞得可真是快极了。达达尼昂已经看见少妇派了人来,交给他一张约会的便条、一条金链子或一颗钻石。前面提到,年轻的骑士可以毫无羞耻地接受国王的赏钱;这里不得不补充一句:在那种道德观念淡薄的时代,年轻的骑士在情妇面前也是不顾廉耻的,情妇们几乎总是把贵重而永久性的纪念品赠送给他们,好像试图以坚固的礼品来征服他们脆弱的情感。

当时的男人靠女人发迹而不会感到脸红。仅仅拥有美貌的女人也只能奉献其美貌,所谓"天下最美丽的姑娘只能奉献其所有"的说法,多半源出于此。富有的女人除了美貌,还能奉献其部分钱财。我们可以列举那个风流时代的许多英雄人物,如果当初不是情妇把相当充实的钱袋子系在他们的马鞍子上,他们是不可能立功疆场,扬名天下的。

达达尼昂一无所有,他那种乡下人的畏缩心理,犹如薄薄的油彩,一现即谢的昙花,桃子上的绒毛,早已被他的朋友三个火枪手离经叛道的建议之风刮得无影无踪。达达尼昂也摆脱不了当时奇特的习俗,虽然身居巴黎,却自视如在战场,即像在弗朗德尔地区①,对面是西班牙人,身旁是女人,随时都有敌人要去拼杀,随时都有赞助要去接受。

  ①弗朗德尔地区南段为法国领土,北段为比利时领土,但在十七世纪为西班牙所占,西法两国经常在这里发生争夺战。

不过应该说,当时达达尼昂受着一种更高尚,更超逸的情感支配。那个服饰用品商说过他家境殷实,小伙子当然想得到,像波那瑟那样一个笨蛋,家里银箱的钥匙肯定掌握在老婆手里。但是,这一切丝毫没有影响他见到波那瑟太太时所产生的感情。这种爱情的萌发,基本上与利益不相干,利益只不过是后来的事情。我们说"基本上",因为想到一个年轻女性美丽、温雅、聪颖同时又富有,这丝毫不会损害爱情的萌发,相反却会促进它的成长。

富裕的生活,能提供许多贵族式的保养和癖好,而这正是美貌不可缺少的。一双精致雪白的长统袜,一件缎袍,一条花边披肩,一双漂亮的皮鞋,一根颜色鲜艳的头带,这些固然不会使一个丑陋的女人变得漂亮,却能使一个漂亮的女人变得美丽,还没有算那双比这一切更重要的手;手,尤其是女人的手,必须长期清闲不劳作,才能保持美丽。

再则,达达尼昂的财产状况我们没有隐瞒,所以读者诸君都知道,达达尼昂不是腰缠万贯的大富翁;他倒是希望有一天能成为大富翁,不过他私下确定的这个时来运转的日期相当遥远。眼前么,看到自己所爱的女人渴望得到一般女人视为幸福的千百种小玩意儿,而自己却没有能力送给她,多么令人颓丧!当女人富有,情郎贫穷时,情郎无力提供这些东西,至少女人可以自己提供,尽管她获得这类享受所花的钱通常都是丈夫的,却很少因此感谢丈夫。

达达尼昂准备做最温柔的情郎,可眼下还得当一个非常忠实的朋友。他在考虑与服饰用品商的妻子谈恋爱的种种计划时,并没有忘记自己的朋友。这个漂亮的波那瑟太太,把她带到圣德尼平原或者圣日耳曼市场去遛达遛达该多美,并且请阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯陪同,让他们看看他达达尼昂征服的这样一个美人儿,那该多么神气!且说,路走长了,人就饿,达达尼昂感觉到这一点,已经有好一会儿了。如能这样小吃小酌一餐,一边触着朋友的手,另一边碰到情妇的脚,那才惬意哩!不过说到底,在紧急关头,在陷入绝境之时,达达尼昂是会挺身而出搭救朋友的。

那么,达达尼昂曾经高声斥责着推到卫士手里,而低声许诺一定会去搭救的那个波那瑟呢?我们应当坦白地告诉读者,此刻达达尼昂根本没有想到他,即使想到了,心里也会说:就让他呆在他所呆的地方吧,至于那是什么地方,管他呢!在人类的所有感情中,爱情是最自私的。

不过,请读者放心:如果达达尼昂忘记了他的房东,或者借口不知道他被带到什么地方去了,而假装忘记了他,那么我们是不会忘记他的,我们也知道他在什么地方。不过,让我们暂且像这个坠入情网的加斯科尼人一样行动吧,至于那个可敬的服饰用品店老板,我们等会儿再回头来谈他。

达达尼昂想象着未来的爱情,又是对夜色独言自语,又是朝星星微笑,再次沿着舍斯米迪街——当时叫沙斯米迪街——朝前走。走到阿拉米斯所住的街区,他想去看一下这位朋友,顺便向他解释一下,他为什么打发普朗歇请他立即去捕鼠笼子。普朗歇赶到的时候,阿拉米斯如果正好在家,那么他无疑早就跑到掘墓人街去了,不过到了那里又没见到人,也许只见到两个伙伴,而他们三个谁都不知道究竟是怎么回事。这样搅扰了人家,是应该去解释一下的——这话达达尼昂大声说了出来。

尔后,他心里对自己说,这也是个机会,可以谈谈娇小、漂亮的波那瑟太太。这个波那瑟太太即使还没有完全占据他的心,也已经装满了他的脑袋。不应当要求初恋的人严守秘密。初恋总是伴随着巨大的喜悦,这种喜悦之情必须倾吐出来,否则它会把人憋死的。

巴黎两小时之前天就黑了,街上的行人渐渐稀少。市郊圣日耳曼各处的钟楼正敲响十一点。气候温煦。达达尼昂沿着一条如今已变成阿萨街的小巷走着。微风习习,把夜露滋润的花园里的芳香,沿着沃吉拉尔街一阵阵送过来。他呼吸着,同时听到远处平原上偏僻的小酒店里,传来醉鬼的阵阵歌声,隔着厚厚的窗板,声音显得沉闷。走到小巷尽头,达达尼昂向左拐。阿拉米斯的住所位于卡塞特街和塞万多尼街之间。

达达尼昂刚过卡塞特街,就认出了朋友家的门。一丛埃及无花果树和铁线莲,浓密的枝叶像把大圆伞,门就隐藏在下面。蓦地,达达尼昂看见从塞万多尼街口出来一个影子似的东西。那东西披件斗篷,达达尼昂起初以为是个男人,但从那娇小的身材,踌躇的步履,欲进又止的样子,他很快认出那是一个女人。那女人似乎对她要找的房子没有把握,抬起眼睛辨认,停了一会儿,转身走开,又走回去。达达尼昂觉得奇怪。

"我上前问问她要不要帮忙吧!"他想道,"看样子,她挺年轻,也许还蛮标致哩!啊!是的。不过,这么深更半夜的,一个女人在街上走,多半是去会情郎。哟!我要是搅扰了人家的幽会,日后要想攀交情,可就没门儿罗。"

这时,那女人又朝前走,一座座房子、一个个窗户数着去。这无需费多少时间,也不困难,因为那段街只有三座公寓,临街的窗户只有两扇:一扇是与阿拉米斯的住宅平行的一栋小楼的窗户,另一扇就是阿拉米斯这栋住宅本身的窗户。

"乖乖!"达达尼昂想起了那位神学家的侄女,"乖乖!要是那个迟归的妞儿在找我们这位朋友的家,那可真有意思。说实话,看上去还真像哩!啊!亲爱的阿拉米斯,这回我可要弄它个水落石出。"

于是,他尽量缩着身子,溜到街道最暗的那一侧,躲在一个墙凹里的石凳旁。

年轻女人继续朝前走;显示出她年轻的,一是她步履轻盈,二是她刚刚轻轻咳了一声,听得出她的嗓音挺清脆。达达尼昂认为这咳嗽是个暗号。

这时,要么是有人用相应的暗号回答了这声咳嗽,使这位夤夜的寻访者不再犹豫,要么是她并未靠外来的帮助而自己发觉已到达目的地,她毅然走到阿拉米斯家的窗下,屈起指头在护窗板上间歇均匀地敲了三下。

"她果然是来找阿拉米斯的,"达达尼昂悄声说,"哈!假道学先生,我可摸透你研究神学的底细啦。"

三下刚敲过,里面的窗门就开了,玻璃窗里漏出一道灯光。

"哈哈!"窥伺者又暗自说道,"不敲门敲窗户,哈!这幽会是事先约定的。瞧吧,外面的护窗板就要推开了,这个女人肯定要从窗户里爬进去。好极了。"

可是,令达达尼昂大感意外的是,护窗板并未推开,那亮了一会儿的灯光又消失了,一切回到了黑暗之中。

达达尼昂想情况不会这样持续下去,他继续目不转睛地望着,侧起耳朵倾听着。

他估计得不错:过了一会儿,里面传出两声干脆的敲击声。

年轻女人只敲了一下作为回答,护窗板就推开了。

人们可以判断,达达尼昂是否在贪婪地看,贪婪地听。

遗憾的是,灯光挪到另一个房间去了。但年轻人的眼睛已经习惯了黑暗;再说,有人肯定,加斯科尼人的眼睛像猫眼睛一样,具有在黑暗中看得见东西的特性。

达达尼昂看见年轻女人从口袋里掏出一个白色的东西,急忙打开。那东西呈现了一方手绢的形状。她把那展开的东西的一角给对方看。

这使达达尼昂想起波那瑟太太脚边的那条手绢,而那条手绢又曾经使他想起阿拉米斯脚下的那一条。

"见鬼!这条手绢代表了什么?"

达达尼昂处在他所站的地方,看不见阿拉米斯的脸。我们说阿拉米斯的脸,因为小伙子丝毫不怀疑,在里面和外边的女人说话的人肯定是他的朋友。因此,好奇心胜过了谨慎,他利用我们描述的两个人物正全神贯注看手绢的时机,从躲藏的地方出来,闪电般快速但仍然蹑手蹑脚地蹿到墙的一角。紧贴墙壁站在那里,可以清楚地看见阿拉米斯房间里的情形。

到了那里,达达尼昂正想叫一声吓一吓阿拉米斯,却发现与夜访者说话的不是阿拉米斯,而是一个女人。不过,达达尼昂只是从服装的款式判断那是个女人,并没太看清她的面部轮廓。

就在同一时刻,房间里面的女人从口袋里掏出另一块手绢,换取了从外面递给她看的那一块。随后,两个女人交谈了几句。最后,窗板放下了。窗外的那个女人回转身,从离达达尼昂三四步远的地方走过,一边戴上斗篷的帽子。不过这谨慎的动作太晚了,达达尼昂已经认出她是波那瑟太太。

波那瑟太太!在她从口袋里掏出手绢时,达达尼昂脑海里已经闪过一丝怀疑。可是,波那瑟太太既然已派了人去找拉波特先生,通知他来领她去罗浮宫,怎么可能冒着第二次被绑架的危险,深夜十一点半钟只身一个人在巴黎街头奔走呢?

除非是为了一件很紧要的事情。什么是一个二十五岁的女人很紧要的事情?当然是爱情。

不过,她究竟是为了自己还是为了另一个人,而冒这么大的风险呢?小伙子心里这样问道。他俨然已是一个正式情人,心灵受着嫉妒这个恶魔的啃啮。

现在要弄清波那瑟太太往哪儿去,有一个很简单的办法,就是跟踪她。这办法真简单,达达尼昂自然而然地立即采用了。

可是,波那瑟太太瞥见年轻人像一尊神像离开神龛,又听见后面有脚步声,她轻轻地叫了一声,拔腿便逃。

达达尼昂紧追不舍。追上一个被斗篷裹得跑不动的女人,在他并不是一件难事。波那瑟太太拐进那条街刚跑完三分之一,就被追上了。这个可怜的女人已经筋疲力尽,不过那不是因为疲劳,而是因为恐惧。当达达尼昂将一只手放在她的肩头,她一个膝盖一弯,人就倒了下去,用窒息的声音喊道:

"你杀了我吧,不过你什么也休想知道。"

达达尼昂揽住她的腰,把她扶起来,但从她身体的重量,感到她就要晕过去了,便赶紧向他表白一片忠诚,好使她放心。这种表白丝毫没有打动波那瑟太太,因为同样的表白完全可能出自世间最不良的意图。但是声音起了很大作用。少妇觉得这声音好耳熟,便睁开眼睛,看一眼把她吓得半死的这个男人,认出是达达尼昂,就高兴得叫起来:

"啊!是您!是您!感谢上帝!"

"不错,是我。"达达尼昂说道,"是上帝派我来守护您的。"

"您是带着这种用意跟踪我的吗?"少妇不胜娇媚地笑一笑问道。她那有点爱嘲讽的性格又占了上风;本来当成敌人的,却认出是自己的朋友,从那一刻起,心里的一切恐惧全都烟消云散了。

"不,"达达尼昂说道,"不是。我是偶然遇到您的,我看见一个女人在敲我一个朋友家的窗户……"

"您的一个朋友?"波那瑟太太打断他问道。

"是呀,阿拉米斯是我最好的朋友之一。"

"阿拉米斯!您讲的什么?"

"得了吧,莫非您想说您不认识阿拉米斯?"

"我是头一回听到这个名字。"

"您也是头一回来这座房子?"

"自然。"

"您不知道这座房子里住着一个年轻人?"

"不知道。"

"不知道住着一位火枪手?"

"一点也不知道。"

"您真的不是来找他的?"

"绝对不是。再说,您看见了的,和我说话的是个女人。"

"不假。不过,那女人是阿拉米斯的朋友。"

"这我全然不知。"

"可是,她住在他家里啊。"

"这与我不相干。"

"那么她是谁?"

"啊!这不是我本人的秘密。"

"亲爱的波那瑟太太,您很可爱,但同时也是最神秘莫测的女人。"

"我因此而不可爱了吗?"

"不,恰恰相反,您是值得爱慕的。"

"那么,请挽起我的胳膊吧。"

"很愿意。那么现在呢?"

"现在吗,送我走吧。"

"去哪儿?"

"去我要去的地方。"

"可是您要去哪里?"

"您会知道的,因为您把我送到门口就行了。"

"还要等您吗?"

"不必。"

"那么您一个人回来?"

"也许是,也许不是。"

"后来陪您的人是男人还是女人?"

"我还不知道。"

"我会知道的!"

"您怎么能知道?"

"我要等在门口看您出来。"

"要是这样,现在就分手吧!"

"为什么?"

"我不需要您了。"

"可是您恳求过……"

"一位绅士的帮助,而不是一个密探的监视。"

"这句话未免有点难听!"

"那些不管人家愿意不愿意老跟着人家的人叫做什么?"

"不知趣的人。"

"这说法太轻了。"

"行了,夫人,看来一切都得遵照您的意志办。"

"为什么您不争取立即照办呢?"

"难道没有一点什么要后悔的?"

"您真的后悔了?"

"这我自己一点也不知道。我所知道的,就是我答应一切按照您的意志办,只要您让我陪您一直走到您要去的地方。"

"然后您就离开我吗?"

"离开。"

"不在门口窥伺?"

"不。"

"可是君子之言?"

"绅士的信誉!"

"那么,请挽起我的胳膊走吧。"

达达尼昂将胳膊伸给波那瑟太太;波那瑟太太挽住他的胳膊,笑嘻嘻的浑身直哆嗦。两个人走到了竖琴街坡上。到了那里,少妇似乎又犹豫起来了,就像在沃吉拉尔街一样。最后,她好像根据某些标记认出了一扇门,便径直走到那扇门前。

"现在,先生,"她说道,"这就是我要办事的地方。十分感谢您盛情陪同,这使我免遭危险;我一个人走,什么危险都可能发生的。不过,现在是该您实践诺言的时刻了,我已到达目的地。"

"您回去的时候什么也不怕吗?"

"除了强盗我什么也不怕。"

"强盗不会找您麻烦?"

"他们能抢走我什么?我身上一个子儿也没有。"

"您忘了那条带勋徽的漂亮绣花手绢。"

"哪一条?"

"我在您脚边捡到又放回您口袋里的那一条。"

"住嘴!住嘴!坏家伙!"少妇嚷起来,"您想毁了我吗?"

"看吧,您还是有危险的,既然一句话就使您害怕得发抖,而且您也承认,如果这句话让旁人听见了,您就完了。哎!行啦,夫人,"达达尼昂大声说着,一把抓住少妇的手,用热烈的目光注视着她,"行啦!您就更慷慨一点,信任我吧。您难道从我的眼睛里看不出来,我心里只有忠诚和同情?"

"当然看得出来,"波那瑟夫人答道,"正因为如此,您打听我的秘密,我可以奉告,可是别人的,那就是另一码事了。"

"很好,"达达尼昂说,"我会发现的,既然这些秘密关系到您的生命,它们也应该成为我的秘密。"

"请不要这样做,"少妇大声说,口气之严肃令达达尼昂不由得打个寒战,"啊!绝不要插手与我有关的事情,不要试图帮助我完成我所致力的事情。凭您对我的关心,凭您对我终生难忘的恩情,我请求您这样。请您还是相信我所说的吧。不要再把我放在心上,我对您已不再存在,就像您从来没见过我一样。"

"阿拉米斯也应该和我一样做吗,夫人?"达达尼昂不高兴地问道。

"这是您第二次或第三次提到这个名字了,先生。然而我已经对您说过,我不认识这个人。"

"一个男人,您去敲了他的窗户却不认识他,得了吧,夫人!在您看来,我也太轻信啦!"

"老实讲吧,您这是为了套我的话,才编出这个故事,造出这个人物的。"

"我没编任何东西,没造任何东西,夫人,我说的完全是事实。"

"您说您的一位朋友住在那座房子里?"

"我说过,我第三次重复这句话:那座房子是我的一位朋友住的,这位朋友就是阿拉米斯。"

"这一切以后会弄清楚的。"少妇低声说道,"现在吗,先生,请不要说了。"

"能把我这颗心剖开给您看就好了,"达达尼昂说道,"您看到里面有那么多好奇,肯定会怜悯我的;您看到里面有那么多爱情,肯定会立即满足我的好奇的。对爱您的人根本就不用害怕。"

"您谈到爱情,未免太快了吧,先生。"少妇摇头说道。

"这是因为我一见钟情,而且是头一回:我还不到二十岁呢。"

少妇偷偷地打量他。

"请听我说,我已经摸到线索了,"达达尼昂说道,"三个月前,我差点与阿拉米斯决斗,为的就是一条手绢,与您在他家里让那个女人看的那条一模一样的手绢;两条手绢绣的图案完全一样,我可以肯定。"

"先生,"少妇说,"老实讲吧,您这些问题烦死我了。"

"夫人,您是一个很谨慎的人,请想一想吧,要是您身上带着这块手绢被抓住,给人家搜查出来了,您不会受连累吗?"

"受什么连累?手绢上的图案不就是我的姓名的起首字母吗?C.B.正是康斯坦斯•波那瑟嘛。"

"或许是卡米尔•布瓦-特拉西呢。"

"别这么大声,先生,再次请您别这么大声!咳!既然我所冒的危险不能使您住嘴,那就请您想想您自己所冒的危险吧!"

"我?"

"是呀,您。认识我就有坐牢、杀头的危险。"

"那么,我再也不离开您啦。"

"先生,"少妇双手合掌恳求道,"先生,看在老天份上,看在军人的荣誉份上,看在绅士的礼貌份上,请走吧。您听,都敲子夜十二点钟了,人家已经在等我了。"

"夫人,"年轻人欠欠身子说,"谁这样要求我,我都不能拒绝。您该满意了吧,我这就走。"

"您不跟踪我,不窥伺我?"

"我立即回家去。"

"啊!我就知道您是个正直的小伙子!"波那瑟太太大声说着,向达达尼昂伸过一只手,伸出另一只手去抓安在墙壁里几乎看不见的小门的敲门锤。

达达尼昂抓住伸过来的那只手,热烈地吻了一下。

"啊!我宁愿压根儿没见过您。"达达尼昂天真而粗鲁地大声说道。女人一般喜欢这种态度,认为这比矫揉造作的礼貌好,因为这流露出了最深层的思想,表明感情胜过了理智。

"好啦,"波那瑟太太用近乎温存的口气说,继续握住达达尼昂还没有松开的手,"好啦,我就不说您这么多了,今天失去的东西,将来还可能找回来,谁说得准,有朝一日我获得了解脱,是否会满足您的好奇心呢?"

"对我的爱情您也能这样许诺吗?"达达尼昂高兴之极大声问道。

"啊!这方面吗,我可不想承诺,这取决于您唤起我的感情达到什么程度。"

"就像今天这样,夫人……"

"今天吗,先生,我还只怀有感激之情。"

"啊!您太可爱了,"达达尼昂黯然神伤地说,"您愚弄了我的爱情。"

"不,我只是利用了您的慷慨,如此而已。不过,请您相信,与某些人交往,一切都是可以重新获得的。"

"啊!您使我变成了最幸福的人。请不要忘了今天晚上,不要忘了这个许诺。"

"放心吧,在适当的时候和地点,我会记起一切的。好啦,走吧,看在老天的份上,请走吧。人家午夜十二点正等我呢。我迟到啦。"

"迟到五分钟。"

"是的,可是在某些情况下,五分钟等于五百年。"

"在恋爱的时候。"

"对呀,谁对您说我要应付的不是一个情郎?"

"在等您的是个男人?"达达尼昂叫起来,"一个男人!"

"得啦,您瞧,又要争论起来了不是?"波那瑟太太强露微笑,而这微笑掩饰不住焦急的神色。

"好,好,我走,我这就走。我相信您,我一定忠心不二,哪怕这忠心是愚蠢的。再见,夫人,再见!"

他感觉到似乎需要一种强烈的震撼,才能放开自己攥着的那只手,所以猛跑着离开了。波那瑟太太像先头敲窗板一样,在门上慢慢地、均匀地敲了三下。达达尼昂走到街道拐角的地方回头一看,只见门开了又关上了,漂亮的波那瑟太太消失在门里。

达达尼昂继续走着。他许下了诺言,不去窥伺波那瑟太太,所以即使她的生命取决于她要去的地方,取决于应该陪伴他的人,他也只能回家去,因为他说过他就回去。五分钟后,他到了掘墓人街。

"可怜的阿托斯,"他自言自语道,"他不明白这是怎么回事,一定在等我的时候睡着了,不然就回家去了,而一回到家,他就知道有一个女人来过。一个女人来过阿托斯家里!不管怎么说,"达达尼昂继续独言自语,"阿拉米斯家倒是有个女人,这一切好生奇怪,我多么希望知道结果如何啊。"

"不好,先生,不好。"突然一个声音接过他的话说道。小伙子听出这是普朗歇的声音,原来他刚才像一门心思想某种事情的人一样,独言自语地把心里所想说了出来,一边说一边踏进了通向他的住所台阶脚下的小巷子。

"什么不好?你说什么,笨蛋?"达达尼昂问道,"出了什么事?"

"一连串祸事。"

"什么祸事?"

"首先,阿托斯先生给抓走了。"

"阿托斯给抓走了!为何抓走了?"

"他们在您屋子里找到他,把他当成您抓走了。"

"究竟是谁抓走了他?"

"被您赶走的那几个穿黑衣服的人找来的卫士。"

"他为什么不讲出自己的姓名?为什么不说他与这件事无关?"

"他是有意不说的,先生。相反,他走到我身边对我说:'现在是你主人需要自由,不是我,因为他知道一切,而我什么也不知道。人家以为抓的是他,这就会为他赢得时间;三天之后我再讲出我是谁,他们就不得不放我出来。"

"真了不起,阿托斯!多么高尚的心灵。"达达尼昂喃喃说道,"我就看出他是这样的人!那些密探干什么啦?"

"四个人把阿托斯先生带到不知什么地方去了,反正不是巴士底狱,就是主教堡;留下两个人和那几个穿黑衣服的人,到处乱翻,把所有文件全抄走了。还剩两个人,在这些人搜查时把守着门口。搜查完了之后,他们就都走了,留下的屋子空空的,门窗都没关。"

"波托斯和阿拉米斯呢?"

"我没找到他们,他们没来。"

"不过,他们随时都可能来。你给他们留了话,说我等他们,不是吗?"

"是的,先生。"

"好,你呆在这里别动窝儿。如果他们来了,你就把所发生的事情告诉他们,说我在松球酒店等他们,这里会有危险,我的住所可能受到了监视。我赶到特雷维尔先生那里去,向他报告这一切,然后再去会波托斯和阿拉米斯。"

"好的,先生。"普朗歇答道。

"你呆在这里,不要怕!"达达尼昂走了几步又返回去鼓励跟班一句。

"放心吧,先生。"普朗歇说道,"您还不了解我,勇气我有的是。一件事交给了我,您就放心吧,我会全心全意办好的。再说,我是庇卡底人啊!"

"那好,一言既出,驷马难追,"达达尼昂说道,"你就是死了,也不要离开岗位。"

"是呀,先生,为了证明我对先生的忠诚,没有什么我办不到的。"

"不错,"达达尼昂想道,"看来,我管教这小子曾使用的方法真不错,必要的时候还得用。"

一天的奔跑,达达尼昂两腿已经有点累了,但他一说完,就快步如飞地向老鸽棚街跑去。

特雷维尔先生不在官邸,他带着火枪队在罗浮宫里守卫。

非找到特雷维尔先生不可,这么紧要的事情不能不告诉他。达达尼昂决定想法子进罗浮宫。他身上穿的是埃萨尔禁军队的军服,这也许会起到通行证的作用。

他沿小奥古斯丁街往下走,又沿河堤而上,预备过新桥,忽然又想摆渡过去,可是到了河边,他下意识地将手伸进口袋,这才发现身上没有摆渡钱。

快到格内戈街时,他看见从多菲娜街结伴走出来两个人,他们的模样引起了他的注意。

那结伴的两个人,一个是男人,另一个是女人。

从外表看,那女人像波那瑟太太,那男人则酷似阿拉米斯。

再说,那女人披着一件黑斗篷。此刻达达尼昂闭上眼睛,还能想起贴近沃吉拉尔街那扇窗板和竖琴街那扇门的斗篷。

还有呢,那男人穿着火枪手制服。

那女人将斗篷的风帽罩在头上,那男人用一块手帕遮住脸。他们所采取的这种谨慎措施说明,两个人都想不让人认出来。

两个人上了桥,这正是达达尼昂要走的路,因为达达尼昂要去罗浮宫,他便跟在他们后面。

达达尼昂还没走出二十步,就确信:那女人是波那瑟太太,那男人是阿拉米斯。

他顿时疑窦丛生,心里的嫉妒就像开了锅。

他同时被两个人背叛了,一个是他的朋友,另一个是他已经当作情妇一样爱着的女人。波那瑟太太对他指天发誓,说她不认识阿拉米斯,可是半个钟头过后,他却看见她挽着阿拉米斯的胳膊。

达达尼昂根本不去想,他认识这个漂亮的服饰用品店老板娘才三个小时,她并不欠他什么情分,除了对他从抓她的那些黑衣人手中搭救了她那点感激之情,她也没有对他许诺过什么。他觉得自己像一个被侮辱、被背弃、被愚弄的情夫,热血和怒火一齐升到了脸上,决计把一切弄个水落石出。

那少妇和那青年觉察到有人跟踪,便加快了脚步。达达尼昂紧跑几步,超过了他们。等他们走到萨马丽丹大厦前面时,趁着路灯把大厦和桥的那一部分照得通亮,他猝然回转身朝他们走去。

达达尼昂在他们面前停住了脚步,他们也在他面前停住了。

"您要干什么,先生?"那位火枪手后退一步,带着外国口音问道。这口音向达达尼昂证明,他的推测有一部分错了。

"不是阿拉米斯!"他大声说。

"对,先生,不是阿拉米斯。从您惊讶的口气,看得出您把我当成了另一个人,我原谅您。"

"您愿谅我!"达达尼昂嚷起来。

"是的,"陌生人道,"请让我过去,既然您要找的人不是我。"

"您说得对,先生,"达达尼昂说,"我要找的人不是您,而是夫人。"

"是夫人!您并不认识她。"外国人说。

"您说错了,先生,我认识她。"

"喂!"波那瑟太太以责备的口气说,"喂,先生!您用军人的荣誉和绅士的信用向我许诺过的,我希望您不至于言而无信吧。"

"您呢,夫人,"达达尼昂尴尬地说,"您也向我许诺过……"

"请挽住我的胳膊,夫人,"外国人说,"我们继续走路。"

可是,达达尼昂被所发生的一切搞得惊愕,沮丧,懵懵懂懂,他双手抱拳,挺立在那位火枪手和波那瑟太太面前。

那位火枪手抢前两步,用手推开达达尼昂。

达达尼昂往后一跃,剑已出鞘。

与此同时,陌生人也闪电般拔剑在手。

"看在上天份上,大人!"波那瑟太太叫着冲到两个好斗者之间,两手抓住双方的剑。

"大人!"达达尼昂猛醒过来,大叫道,"大人!对不起,先生,您莫非是……"

"白金汉公爵大人,"波那瑟太太低声说道,"现在您可能叫我们大家都完蛋啦。"

"大人,夫人,对不起,一百个对不起。因为我爱她,大人,我起了嫉妒心,您知道什么叫做爱。大人,宽恕我吧,请告诉我怎样才能用性命感谢您的大恩大德。"

"您是一位正直的青年,"白金汉说着向达达尼昂伸过一只手,达达尼昂毕恭毕敬地握住,"您表示愿为我效劳,我愿意接受,请离二十步远跟在我们后面,一直把我们送到罗浮宫;

如果有人盯我们的梢,就收拾了他!"

达达尼昂将出鞘的剑夹在腋下,让波那瑟太太和公爵先行二十步,跟在他们后面,准备不折不扣地执行查理一世这位高贵、潇洒的宰相的训示。

幸运的是,这位年轻的效忠者,没有任何机会向公爵表示他的忠诚;少妇和那位风度翩翩的火枪手没有遇到任何麻烦,就从梯子街的小门进了罗浮宫。

达达尼昂立刻赶到松球酒家,见波托斯和阿拉米斯已在等他。

他没有过多地解释约他们出来的原因,只是对他们说,有件事他原以为要他们介入才能办成,现在他一个人就了结了。

故事讲到这里,我们暂让这三位朋友返回各自的寓所,而循着罗浮宫里的曲径回廊,去追踪白金汉公爵及其向导吧。




Chapter 12 GEORGE VILLIERS, DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM

Mme. Bonacieux and the duke entered the Louvre without difficulty. Mme. Bonacieux was known to belong to the queen; the duke wore the uniform of the Musketeers of M. de Treville, who, as we have said, were that evening on guard. Besides, Germain was in the interests of the queen; and if anything should happen, Mme. Bonacieux would be accused of having introduced her lover into the Louvre, that was all. She took the risk upon herself. Her reputation would be lost, it is true; but of what value in the world was the reputation of the little wife of a mercer?

Once within the interior of the court, the duke and the young woman followed the wall for the space of about twenty-five steps. This space passed, Mme. Bonacieux pushed a little servants' door, open by day but generally closed at night. The door yielded. Both entered, and found themselves in darkness; but Mme. Bonacieux was acquainted with all the turnings and windings of this part of the Louvre, appropriated for the people of the household. She closed the door after her, took the duke by the hand, and after a few experimental steps, grasped a balustrade, put her foot upon the bottom step, and began to ascend the staircase. The duke counted two stories. She then turned to the right, followed the course of a long corridor, descended a flight, went a few steps farther, introduced a key into a lock, opened a door, and pushed the duke into an apartment lighted only by a lamp, saying, "Remain here, my Lord Duke; someone will come." She then went out by the same door, which she locked, so that the duke found himself literally a prisoner.

Nevertheless, isolated as he was, we must say that the Duke of Buckingham did not experience an instant of fear. One of the salient points of his character was the search for adventures and a love of romance. Brave, rash, and enterprising, this was not the first time he had risked his life in such attempts. He had learned that the pretended message from Anne of Austria, upon the faith of which he had come to Paris, was a snare; but instead of regaining England, he had, abusing the position in which he had been placed, declared to the queen that he would not depart without seeing her. The queen had at first positively refused; but at length became afraid that the duke, if exasperated, would commit some folly. She had already decided upon seeing him and urging his immediate departure, when, on the very evening of coming to this decision, Mme. Bonacieux, who was charged with going to fetch the duke and conducting him to the Louvre, was abducted. For two days no one knew what had become of her, and everything remained in suspense; but once free, and placed in communication with Laporte, matters resumed their course, and she accomplished the perilous enterprise which, but for her arrest, would have been executed three days earlier.

Buckingham, left alone, walked toward a mirror. His Musketeer's uniform became him marvelously.

At thirty-five, which was then his age, he passed, with just title, for the handsomest gentleman and the most elegant cavalier of France or England.

The favorite of two kings, immensely rich, all-powerful in a kingdom which he disordered at his fancy and calmed again at his caprice, George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham, had lived one of those fabulous existences which survive, in the course of centuries, to astonish posterity.

Sure of himself, convinced of his own power, certain that the laws which rule other men could not reach him, he went straight to the object he aimed at, even were this object were so elevated and so dazzling that it would have been madness for any other even to have contemplated it. It was thus he had succeeded in approaching several times the beautiful and proud Anne of Austria, and in making himself loved by dazzling her.

George Villiers placed himself before the glass, as we have said, restored the undulations to his beautiful hair, which the weight of his hat had disordered, twisted his mustache, and, his heart swelling with joy, happy and proud at being near the moment he had so long sighed for, he smiled upon himself with pride and hope.

At this moment a door concealed in the tapestry opened, and a woman appeared. Buckingham saw this apparition in the glass; he uttered a cry. It was the queen!

Anne of Austria was then twenty-six or twenty-seven years of age; that is to say, she was in the full splendor of her beauty.

Her carriage was that of a queen or a goddess; her eyes, which cast the brilliancy of emeralds, were perfectly beautiful, and yet were at the same time full of sweetness and majesty.

Her mouth was small and rosy; and although her underlip, like that of all princes of the House of Austria, protruded slightly beyond the other, it was eminently lovely in its smile, but as profoundly disdainful in its contempt.

Her skin was admired for its velvety softness; her hands and arms were of surpassing beauty, all the poets of the time singing them as incomparable.

Lastly, her hair, which, from being light in her youth, had become chestnut, and which she wore curled very plainly, and with much powder, admirably set off her face, in which the most rigid critic could only have desired a little less rouge, and the most fastidious sculptor a little more fineness in the nose.

Buckingham remained for a moment dazzled. Never had Anne of Austria appeared to him so beautiful, amid balls, fetes, or carousals, as she appeared to him at this moment, dressed in a simple robe of white satin, and accompanied by Donna Estafania--the only one of her Spanish women who had not been driven from her by the jealousy of the king or by the persecutions of Richelieu.

Anne of Austria took two steps forward. Buckingham threw himself at her feet, and before the queen could prevent him, kissed the hem of her robe.

"Duke, you already know that it is not I who caused you to be written to."

"Yes, yes, madame! Yes, your Majesty!" cried the duke. "I know that I must have been mad, senseless, to believe that snow would become animated or marble warm; but what then! They who love believe easily in love. Besides, I have lost nothing by this journey because I see you."

"Yes," replied Anne, "but you know why and how I see you; because, insensible to all my sufferings, you persist in remaining in a city where, by remaining, you run the risk of your life, and make me run the risk of my honor. I see you to tell you that everything separates us--the depths of the sea, the enmity of kingdoms, the sanctity of vows. It is sacrilege to struggle against so many things, my Lord. In short, I see you to tell you that we must never see each other again."

"Speak on, madame, speak on, Queen," said Buckingham; "the sweetness of your voice covers the harshness of your words. You talk of sacrilege! Why, the sacrilege is the separation of two hearts formed by God for each other."

"My Lord," cried the queen, "you forget that I have never said that I love you."

"But you have never told me that you did not love me; and truly, to speak such words to me would be, on the part of your Majesty, too great an ingratitude. For tell me, where can you find a love like mine--a love which neither time, nor absence, nor despair can extinguish, a love which contents itself with a lost ribbon, a stray look, or a chance word? It is now three years, madame, since I saw you for the first time, and during those three years I have loved you thus. Shall I tell you each ornament of your toilet? Mark! I see you now. You were seated upon cushions in the Spanish fashion; you wore a robe of green satin embroidered with gold and silver, hanging sleeves knotted upon your beautiful arms--those lovely arms--with large diamonds. You wore a close ruff, a small cap upon your head of the same color as your robe, and in that cap a heron's feather. Hold! Hold! I shut my eyes, and I can see you as you then were; I open them again, and I see what you are now--a hundred time more beautiful!"

"What folly," murmured Anne of Austria, who had not the courage to find fault with the duke for having so well preserved her portrait in his heart, "what folly to feed a useless passion with such remembrances!"

"And upon what then must I live? I have nothing but memory. It is my happiness, my treasure, my hope. Every time I see you is a fresh diamond which I enclose in the casket of my heart. This is the fourth which you have let fall and I have picked up; for in three years, madame, I have only seen you four times--the first, which I have described to you; the second, at the mansion of Madame de Chevreuse; the third, in the gardens of Amiens."

"Duke," said the queen, blushing, "never speak of that evening."

"Oh, let us speak of it; on the contrary, let us speak of it! That is the most happy and brilliant evening of my life! You remember what a beautiful night it was? How soft and perfumed was the air; how lovely the blue heavens and star-enameled sky! Ah, then, madame, I was able for one instant to be alone with you. Then you were about to tell me all--the isolation of your life, the griefs of your heart. You leaned upon my arm--upon this, madame! I felt, in bending my head toward you, your beautiful hair touch my cheek; and every time that it touched me I trembled from head to foot. Oh, Queen! Queen! You do not know what felicity from heaven, what joys from paradise, are comprised in a moment like that. Take my wealth, my fortune, my glory, all the days I have to live, for such an instant, for a night like that. For that night, madame, that night you loved me, I will swear it."

"My Lord, yes; it is possible that the influence of the place, the charm of the beautiful evening, the fascination of your look--the thousand circumstances, in short, which sometimes unite to destroy a woman--were grouped around me on that fatal evening; but, my Lord, you saw the queen come to the aid of the woman who faltered. At the first word you dared to utter, at the first freedom to which I had to reply, I called for help."

"Yes, yes, that is true. And any other love but mine would have sunk beneath this ordeal; but my love came out from it more ardent and more eternal. You believed that you would fly from me by returning to Paris; you believed that I would not dare to quit the treasure over which my master had charged me to watch. What to me were all the treasures in the world, or all the kings of the earth! Eight days after, I was back again, madame. That time you had nothing to say to me; I had risked my life and favor to see you but for a second. I did not even touch your hand, and you pardoned me on seeing me so submissive and so repentant."

"Yes, but calumny seized upon all those follies in which I took no part, as you well know, my Lord. The king, excited by the cardinal, made a terrible clamor. Madame de Vernet was driven from me, Putange was exiled, Madame de Chevreuse fell into disgrace, and when you wished to come back as ambassador to France, the king himself--remember, my lord--the king himself opposed to it."

"Yes, and France is about to pay for her king's refusal with a war. I am not allowed to see you, madame, but you shall every day hear of me. What object, think you, have this expedition to Re and this league with the Protestants of La Rochelle which I am projecting? The pleasure of seeing you. I have no hope of penetrating, sword in hand, to Paris, I know that well. But this war may bring round a peace; this peace will require a negotiator; that negotiator will be me. They will not dare to refuse me then; and I will return to Paris, and will see you again, and will be happy for an instant. Thousands of men, it is true, will have to pay for my happiness with their lives; but what is that to me, provided I see you again! All this is perhaps folly--perhaps insanity; but tell me what woman has a lover more truly in love; what queen a servant more ardent?"

"My Lord, my Lord, you invoke in your defense things which accuse you more strongly. All these proofs of love which you would give me are almost crimes."

"Because you do not love me, madame! If you loved me, you would view all this otherwise. If you loved me, oh, if you loved me, that would be too great happiness, and I should run mad. Ah, Madame de Chevreuse was less cruel than you. Holland loved her, and she responded to his love."

"Madame de Chevreuse was not queen," murmured Anne of Austria, overcome, in spite of herself, by the expression of so profound a passion.

"You would love me, then, if you were not queen! Madame, say that you would love me then! I can believe that it is the dignity of your rank alone which makes you cruel to me; I can believe that you had been Madame de Chevreuse, poor Buckingham might have hoped. Thanks for those sweet words! Oh, my beautiful sovereign, a hundred times, thanks!"

"Oh, my Lord! You have ill understood, wrongly interpreted; I did not mean to say--"

"Silence, silence!" cried the duke. "If I am happy in an error, do not have the cruelty to lift me from it. You have told me yourself, madame, that I have been drawn into a snare; I, perhaps, may leave my life in it--for, although it may be strange, I have for some time had a presentiment that I should shortly die." And the duke smiled, with a smile at once sad and charming.

"Oh, my God!" cried Anne of Austria, with an accent of terror which proved how much greater an interest she took in the duke than she ventured to tell.

"I do not tell you this, madame, to terrify you; no, it is even ridiculous for me to name it to you, and, believe me, I take no heed of such dreams. But the words you have just spoken, the hope you have almost given me, will have richly paid all--were it my life."

"Oh, but I," said Anne, "I also, duke, have had presentiments; I also have had dreams. I dreamed that I saw you lying bleeding, wounded."

"In the left side, was it not, and with a knife?" interrupted Buckingham.

"Yes, it was so, my Lord, it was so--in the left side, and with a knife. Who can possibly have told you I had had that dream? I have imparted it to no one but my God, and that in my prayers."

"I ask for no more. You love me, madame; it is enough."

"I love you, I?"

"Yes, yes. Would God send the same dreams to you as to me if you did not love me? Should we have the same presentiments if our existences did not touch at the heart? You love me, my beautiful queen, and you will weep for me?"

"Oh, my God, my God!" cried Anne of Austria, "this is more than I can bear. In the name of heaven, Duke, leave me, go! I do not know whether I love you or love you not; but what I know is that I will not be perjured. Take pity on me, then, and go! Oh, if you are struck in France, if you die in France, if I could imagine that your love for me was the cause of your death, I could not console myself; I should run mad. Depart then, depart, I implore you!"

"Oh, how beautiful you are thus! Oh, how I love you!" said Buckingham.

"Go, go, I implore you, and return hereafter! Come back as ambassador, come back as minister, come back surrounded with guards who will defend you, with servants who will watch over you, and then I shall no longer fear for your days, and I shall be happy in seeing you."

"Oh, is this true what you say?"

"Yes."

"Oh, then, some pledge of your indulgence, some object which came from you, and may remind me that I have not been dreaming; something you have worn, and that I may wear in my turn--a ring, a necklace, a chain."

"Will you depart--will you depart, if I give you that you demand?"

"Yes."

"This very instant?"

"Yes."

"You will leave France, you will return to England?"

"I will, I swear to you."

"Wait, then, wait."

Anne of Austria re-entered her apartment, and came out again almost immediately, holding a rosewood casket in her hand, with her cipher encrusted with gold.

"Here, my Lord, here," said she, "keep this in memory of me."

Buckingham took the casket, and fell a second time on his knees.

"You have promised me to go," said the queen.

"And I keep my word. Your hand, madame, your hand, and I depart!"

Anne of Austria stretched forth her hand, closing her eyes, and leaning with the other upon Estafania, for she felt that her strength was about to fail her.

Buckingham pressed his lips passionately to that beautiful hand, and then rising, said, "Within six months, if I am not dead, I shall have seen you again, madame--even if I have to overturn the world." And faithful to the promise he had made, he rushed out of the apartment.

In the corridor he met Mme. Bonacieux, who waited for him, and who, with the same precautions and the same good luck, conducted him out of the Louvre.

 

第十二章 白金汉公爵乔治•维利尔斯

波那瑟太太和公爵没有遇到什么麻烦就进了罗浮宫。波那瑟太太宫里人都知道她是王后的下人;公爵穿着特雷维尔火枪队的队服,而前面已经交代过,这天晚上特雷维尔在宫里守卫。此外,热尔曼也是为王后效力的,如果发生什么意外,就指责波那瑟太太把自己的情人带进了罗浮宫,事情就到此止步;波那瑟太太背上罪名,固然名誉扫地,不过在这个世界上,小小一个服饰用品店老板娘的名誉,算得了什么?

一踏进内院,公爵和少妇沿着墙根约莫走二十五步。走完这段距离,波那瑟太太推开一扇供仆役出入的门。这扇小门白天开着,夜里一般是关上的。门推开之后,两个人迈进门槛,四周一片漆黑,但是,罗浮宫这一部分回环曲折的路径,是专供仆役通行的,波那瑟太太了如指掌。她关上身后的门,拉住公爵的手,摸索着走几步,抓住一段栏杆,用脚碰到一级台阶,便登上一架楼梯。公爵数了,他们一共上了两层楼。然后波那瑟太太往右一拐,顺着一条长长的走廊,又下一层楼,再走几步,把钥匙插进一个锁孔,打开一扇门,把公爵推进一个房间。里面只亮着一盏守夜小灯。少妇说道:"请待在这里吧,公爵大人,马上就会有人来的。"说罢,她从进来的门退出去,将门锁上,于是公爵就完全像一名囚犯了。

不过应该说,公爵虽然一个人待着,却压根儿没有感到害怕;他的性格的一个突出方面,就是寻求冒险和富有传奇色彩的爱情。他勇敢胆大,敢闯敢干,已经不是头一回冒着生命危险,进行这类尝试了。他收到那封冒充安娜•奥地利写给他的信,信以为真,来到巴黎,在知道这是一个陷阱之后,并不返回英国,反而将计就计,向王后宣称,不见到她,他决不离开巴黎。起初,王后坚决回绝了他,但又怕他一气之下,干出荒唐事来,终于决定见他一面,恳求他立刻离开法国。可是,就在作出决定的当天晚上,负责去接公爵并把他带进罗浮宫的波那瑟太太,突然遭到绑架,两天之内音讯全无,下落不明,于是一切暂时停止。而当她一获得自由,并与拉波特建立了联系,事情就重新进行了。她刚刚完成的冒险行动,如果不是遭到绑架,三天之前就完成了。

白金汉一个人待着,走到一面镜子前一照,那套火枪手服装,穿在他身上真是再合适不过了。

他年届三十五岁,被恰如其分地公认为英、法两国最英俊潇洒的绅士,最风流倜傥的骑士。

他是两朝国王的宠臣,百万家资的巨富,一个王国的极权人物。这个王国被他的异想天开搅得动荡不安,又在他的任性行事面前俯首贴耳。这个身受白金汉公爵封号的乔治•维利尔斯,他的生活充满传奇色彩,在他谢世几百年之后,仍令世人惊叹不已。

他对自己充满信心,对自己的权势深信不疑,相信支配其他人的法律对他毫无约束,对自己确定的目标勇往直前,不管这目标多么高不可攀,多么灿烂辉煌,一般人哪怕想一想,也是荒唐至极,正是这样,他几次接近美丽骄傲的安娜•奥地利,以其无比的魅力,使她爱上了自己。

如上所述,乔治•维利尔斯站在一面镜子前面,理一理漂亮的金发,使被帽子压平的波浪恢复原样,又卷一卷胡子,心里充满快乐,为他长期盼望的时刻即将来临而感到幸福和自豪,骄傲而满怀希望地冲自己莞尔一笑。

这时,一扇隐藏在壁毯里的门开了,进来一个女人。白金汉从镜子里看见她进来,禁不住叫了一声:原来是王后。

安娜•奥地利二十六七岁光景,即是说,正处于美貌光彩照人的时期。

她有着王后或女神的风仪,一双碧玉般的眼睛,目光流盼,美丽无比,既非常温柔,又异常庄重。

她那张樱桃小嘴,正像奥地利王室的子嗣一样,下唇略显突出,但嫣然一笑之时,妩媚无比,在表示鄙夷之时,却显得极其傲慢。

她的皮肤细若凝脂,手和双臂出奇地秀美,当时的诗人争相歌颂,赞之为无与伦比。

她的头发少女时是金黄色,现在变成了栗色,卷得挺蓬松,扑了许多粉①,从脸庞两边飘落而下,显出几多风韵!最挑剔的品评家,也只能希望胭脂稍淡一点;最苛求的雕刻家,也只能希望鼻子稍纤巧一点。

  ①头发扑粉是昔时欧洲人的一种化妆。

一时间,白金汉目瞪口呆:在他眼里,安娜•奥地利从来没有现在这么美丽,无论是在舞会上、节日庆典上,还是在跑马场的看台上。她穿着一件普通的白缎子长袍,身边跟着爱丝特法尼娅夫人。由于国王的嫉妒和黎塞留的迫害,王后身边的西班牙侍女全部被赶走,只剩下这一个了。

安娜•奥地利向前走了两步,白金汉连忙往她跟前一跪,不顾王后阻止,吻着她的长袍的下摆。

"公爵,您已经知道不是我叫人给您写信的。"

"啊!是的,娘娘,是的。"公爵大声说,"陛下,我知道自己是个疯子,是个失去理智的人;居然相信冰雪会动感情,大理石会变得热烈。可是,您叫我怎么办呢,一个人坠入了爱河,对爱情就会轻信,何况我这趟旅行并非完全徒劳,因为我见到了您。"

"说得对。"安娜答道,"可是,大人,您可知道我为什么又是怎样来和您见面的吗?我和您见面是出于对您的怜悯;我和您见面,是因为您对我的痛苦无动于衷,固执地要留在一座城市里,而留在这座城市里,您自己的性命堪虑,而我也可能身败名裂;我和您见面,是要告诉您,英吉利海峡的深度,英法两个王国的敌对,婚姻誓言的神圣,这一切都是把我们分隔开的。悖逆这许多东西就是亵渎神圣啊,大人。总之,我和您见面,就是要对您说,我们不应该再见面。"

"说吧,娘娘;说吧,王后。"白金汉说道,"您的声音的温柔,掩盖了您的言辞的冷酷。您说什么亵渎神圣!把上帝造就相爱的两颗心分开,才是亵渎神圣呢!

"大人,"王后大声说,"您忘了我从来没有说过我爱您。"

"可是,您也从来没有说过您根本不爱我呀。说实话,陛下对我说这种话,未免太寡情了。试问,您到哪里去找得到能与我的爱情媲美的爱情?这种爱情,无论是时间、离别还是失望,都无法使它熄灭;这种爱情,只需一根遗忘的丝带、一个不经意的眼神、一句顺口说出的话,就能使它满足。

"我头一次见到您已经三年了,娘娘,三年来我始终如一爱着您。

"您可是想要我告诉您,头一回我见到您时,您穿的什么衣服?您可是想要我详细道出,您衣服上的每一个点缀?啊!现在我还看见:您按照西班牙习俗,坐在四方形的坐垫上;您身着绿色缎袍,上面绣着金银丝图案;您两条白皙、漂亮的胳膊上,卷着宽大的袖子,上面缀有大颗的钻石;您脖子上扣着皱领,头上戴顶与长袍颜色相同的小圆帽,上面还插一根鹭鸶翎毛。

"啊!瞧,您瞧,我闭上眼睛,就看见您当时的模样,我睁开眼睛,看见的是您现在的模样,比那时还要美丽百倍的模样!"

"真是发痴,"公爵这样出色地把自己的肖像保存在心里,安娜•奥地利没有勇气责怪他,只是喃喃说道,"真是发痴,用这样的回忆去维持一种不会有结果的热情!"

"您叫我靠什么活着?我只有回忆。这是我的幸福,我的财富,我的希望。每次见到您,我心上的珠宝匣里,就增添一颗珍藏的钻石。今天这是您遗落让我捡起来的第四颗了。三年之中,娘娘,我只见了您四次:头一次吗,我刚才对您说了;第二次是在谢弗勒斯夫人家里;第三次是在亚眠花园里。"

"公爵,"王后脸一红说道,"不要再提那次晚会。"

"啊!相反要提,娘娘,要提。那是我平生一次幸福而辉煌的晚会。您还记得那个美好的夜晚吗?空气多么温煦,多么芬芳,夜空多么清朗,繁星多么璀璨!啊!娘娘,那次我有幸和您单独呆了一会儿;那次您准备向我倾吐一切的,包括您生活的孤单寂寞和心灵的痛苦忧伤。您当时靠在我的胳膊上,瞧,就是这一只。我脑袋往您那边一偏,就感到您的秀发拂着我的面颊;每次轻拂一下,我就止不住从头震颤到脚。啊!王后,王后!啊!您不知道,在那样的时刻,我感受到了天上的极乐,天堂的欣悦。啊,为了那样一个时刻,为了那样一个夜晚,我的家业,我的财产,我的荣誉,我所剩的有生之年,一切何足惜!因为那天晚上,娘娘,那天晚上您爱我,我可以肯定。"

"大人,这是可能的,是的。环境的影响,那个美好的晚会的魅力,您的目光的诱惑力,总之,有时使一个女人不能自持的种种情况,在那个倒霉的晚会上包围了我。不过您亲眼看见的,大人,王后来搭救了那个意志薄弱的女人:对于您头一句大胆的话和头一个大胆的举动,我的回答就是立刻叫人来。"

"啊!是的,不错,是这样。然而,若是另一个人,他的爱情遇到这种考验,无疑就会熄灭。可是,我的爱情经过考验,却变得更加炽烈,更加持久。您以为回到巴黎就逃脱了我,您以为我没有勇气离开我的主子派我守护的财宝。啊!在我眼里,世间的所有财宝,地上的所有国王,算得了什么!一星期之后,我就回来了,娘娘。那次您见到我相对无言。我冒着失去宠幸和生命的危险跑来,只见了您一秒钟,连您的手都没碰到。不过看到我那样顺从,那样悔悟,您倒是宽恕了我。"

"是的。可是,各种流言大肆攻击这些痴情举动,而对这些痴情举动,您知道,大人,我没有任何责任。在红衣主教的煽动下,国王大为震怒,韦尔内夫人被赶出宫,皮唐热被流放,谢弗勒斯夫人失宠,当您想来法国当大使时,还记得吧,大人,国王本人表示反对。"

"是的,国王的拒绝,使法国承受了一场战争的代价。我再也不能来看您,娘娘。那么好吧,我要让您听到人们每天谈论我。

"我计划进军雷岛并与拉罗舍尔的新教徒结成联盟。您认为我这样做的目的是什么呢?是为了与您见面的快乐!"我知道,我不可能手执武器进入巴黎。但是,这场战争可能带来和平,而和平是需要谈判的,谈判者将是我。那时,就没有人再敢拒绝我,我将重返巴黎,再和您见面,再获得片刻的幸福。不错,成千上万的人将为我的幸福付出生命。不过,我才不管那么多呢,只要能再见到您就成!这一切可能很疯狂,可能完全丧失了理智,可是,请您说说看,哪一个女人有一个更多情的情人,哪一位王后有一位更热情的臣仆?"

"大人,大人,您为了自我辩护,而提出了一些会使您进一步遭受谴责的事情;大人,您想向我提出的所有这些爱情的证据,几乎没有一桩不是罪过。"

"因为您不爱我,娘娘。您如果爱我,就会用另一种眼光来看待这一切。您如果爱我,啊!您如果爱我,那我就太幸福了,肯定会变成疯子。唔!谢弗勒斯夫人,您刚才提到的谢弗勒斯夫人,她就不像您一样冷酷,奥兰爱上了她,她接受了他的爱情。"

"谢弗勒斯夫人不是王后。"安娜•奥地利喃喃说道。她不由自主地被公爵表达的如此深厚的爱情征服了。

"您如果不是王后,就会爱我吗,娘娘?说呀,您就会爱我吗?因此我可以相信,使您对我这样冷酷无情的,仅仅是您尊贵的地位;因此我可以相信,假如您是谢弗勒斯夫人,可怜的白金汉还有希望?感谢这些充满柔情的话,我美丽的陛下,让我说一百次感谢!"

"啊!大人,您听错了,您理解错了,我想说的并不是……"

"别说了!别说了!"公爵说道,"我如果因为听错了而感到幸福,千万不要无情地剥夺我这种幸福。您自己说过,有人想引诱我落入陷阱,我也许会把性命留在这个陷阱里,因为,唉!真奇怪,一段时间以来,我总预感到我不久于人世了。"公爵脸上露出忧伤而又迷人的微笑。

"啊!天哪!"安娜•奥地利恐怖地叫起来,这证明她对公爵多么关心,只不过不肯说出来而已。

"我说这话不是为了吓唬您,娘娘,不是的。我对您说的话甚至是可笑的。请相信,我根本不把这类梦幻放在心上。但是,您刚才说的那句话,您几乎已经给了我的那个希望,肯定可以补偿一切,甚至补偿我的生命。"

"咳!"安娜•奥地利说道,"我也一样,公爵,也有预感,也有梦幻。我在梦中看到您身上负伤,鲜血淋漓倒在地上。"

"是左边肋骨上被捅了一刀,不是吗?"白金汉打断王后,这样问道。

"对,是这样,大人,是这样,左边肋骨上被捅了一刀。是谁告诉您我做了这个梦?我只向上帝禀报过,而且是在祈祷的时候。"

"我没有更多的奢望啦,娘娘,您爱我,这就行了。"

"我爱您吗,我?"

"是呀,您。如果您不爱我,您与我所做的同样的梦,是上帝托给您的不成?如果我们两个人不是心有灵犀一点通,怎么会有同样的预感呢?您爱我,王后,您将来会为我哭泣的。"

"啊!天哪!天哪!"安娜•奥地利叫道,"这真叫我受不了啦。听着,公爵,看在上天份上,您走吧,退出去吧。我不知道我爱您还是不爱您,我所知道的,是我绝不会背离婚约的誓言,所以请您可怜我,请您走吧。唉!假如您在法国遇到意外,假如您死在法国,而我能够揣测到,您的死因就是您对我的爱情,那么我将永远得不到安慰,我肯定会变疯。请您走吧,走吧,我恳求您。"

"啊!您现在多么美丽!啊!我多么爱您!"白金汉说道。

"走吧,走吧,我恳求您。以后再来,以大使的身份来,以公使的身份来,身边带上保护您的卫士来,带上伺候您的仆从来;那样我就不会天天为您担惊受怕了,我会因为与您重逢而感到幸福。"

"啊!您对我说的可是真心话?"

"是的……"

"那么,请开恩给件信物吧,一件来自您的东西,一件告诉我此刻我不是在做梦的东西,一件您随身佩带、我也可以随身佩带的东西,例如一枚戒指,一条项链,一条手链。"

"我给了您所要求的东西,您就走吗?"

"是的。"

"立刻就走?"

"立刻就走。"

"您离开法国,返回英国吗?"

"是的,我向您保证!"

"那么,请稍候,请稍候。"

安娜•奥地利返回她的卧室,片刻工夫又出来了,手里托个香木小匣子,上面用金丝镶嵌着她的姓名起首字母图案。

"接着,公爵大人,接着,"她说道,"请把这个作为我的纪念品保存吧。"

白金汉接过小匣子,第二次跪在王后面前。

"您对我许诺过就走的。"王后提醒道。

"我信守诺言。您的手,请伸出您的手,娘娘,我这就走。"

安娜•奥地利闭上眼睛伸出一只手,另一只手扶在爱丝特法尼娅身上,因为她感觉到自己的力气就要耗尽了。

白金汉热烈地在那只美丽的手上印了一个吻,然后站起来。

"如果我没有死,"他说道,"半年之内我一定会再见到您,娘娘。为了这个,哪怕把世界搅个天翻地覆,也在所不惜。"

他信守自己许下的诺言,匆忙退出了房间。

到了走廊里,他遇到了波那瑟太太。波那瑟太太在等待他,随即像来时一样小心谨慎,一样兴奋地领着他出了罗浮宫。




Chapter 13 MONSIEUR BONACIEUX

There was in all this, as may have been observed, one personage concerned, of whom, notwithstanding his precarious position, we have appeared to take but very little notice. This personage was M. Bonacieux, the respectable martyr of the political and amorous intrigues which entangled themselves so nicely together at this gallant and chivalric period.

Fortunately, the reader may remember, or may not remember--fortunately we have promised not to lose sight of him.

The officers who arrested him conducted him straight to the Bastille, where he passed trembling before a party of soldiers who were loading their muskets. Thence, introduced into a half-subterranean gallery, he became, on the part of those who had brought him, the object of the grossest insults and the harshest treatment. The officers perceived that they had not to deal with a gentleman, and they treated him like a very peasant.

At the end of half an hour or thereabouts, a clerk came to put an end to his tortures, but not to his anxiety, by giving the order to conduct M. Bonacieux to the Chamber of Examination. Ordinarily, prisoners were interrogated in their cells; but they did not do so with M. Bonacieux.

Two guards attended the mercer who made him traverse a court and enter a corridor in which were three sentinels, opened a door and pushed him unceremoniously into a low room, where the only furniture was a table, a chair, and a commissary. The commissary was seated in the chair, and was writing at the table.

The two guards led the prisoner toward the table, and upon a sign from the commissary drew back so far as to be unable to hear anything.

The commissary, who had till this time held his head down over his papers, looked up to see what sort of person he had to do with. This commissary was a man of very repulsive mien, with a pointed nose, with yellow and salient cheek bones, with eyes small but keen and penetrating, and an expression of countenance resembling at once the polecat and the fox. His head, supported by a long and flexible neck, issued from his large black robe, balancing itself with a motion very much like that of the tortoise thrusting his head out of his shell. He began by asking M. Bonacieux his name, age, condition, and abode.

The accused replied that his name was Jacques Michel Bonacieux, that he was fifty-one years old, a retired mercer, and lived Rue des Fossoyeurs, No. 14.

The commissary then, instead of continuing to interrogate him, made him a long speech upon the danger there is for an obscure citizen to meddle with public matters. He complicated this exordium by an exposition in which he painted the power and the deeds of the cardinal, that incomparable minister, that conqueror of past ministers, that example for ministers to come--deeds and power which none could thwart with impunity.

After this second part of his discourse, fixing his hawk's eye upon poor Bonacieux, he bade him reflect upon the gravity of his situation.

The reflections of the mercer were already made; he cursed the instant when M. Laporte formed the idea of marrying him to his goddaughter, and particularly the moment when that goddaughter had been received as Lady of the Linen to her Majesty.

At bottom the character of M. Bonacieux was one of profound selfishness mixed with sordid avarice, the whole seasoned with extreme cowardice. The love with which his young wife had inspired him was a secondary sentiment, and was not strong enough to contend with the primitive feelings we have just enumerated. Bonacieux indeed reflected on what had just been said to him.

"But, Monsieur Commissary," said he, calmly, "believe that I know and appreciate, more than anybody, the merit of the incomparable eminence by whom we have the honor to be governed."

"Indeed?" asked the commissary, with an air of doubt. "If that is really so, how came you in the Bastille?"

"How I came there, or rather why I am there," replied Bonacieux, "that is entirely impossible for me to tell you, because I don't know myself; but to a certainty it is not for having, knowingly at least, disobliged Monsieur the Cardinal."

"You must, nevertheless, have committed a crime, since you are here and are accused of high treason."

"Of high treason!" cried Bonacieux, terrified; "of high treason! How is it possible for a poor mercer, who detests Huguenots and who abhors Spaniards, to be accused of high treason? Consider, monsieur, the thing is absolutely impossible."

"Monsieur Bonacieux," said the commissary, looking at the accused as if his little eyes had the faculty of reading to the very depths of hearts, "you have a wife?"

"Yes, monsieur," replied the mercer, in a tremble, feeling that it was at this point affairs were likely to become perplexing; "that is to say, I HAD one."

"What, you 'had one'? What have you done with her, then, if you have her no longer?"

"They have abducted her, monsieur."

"They have abducted her? Ah!"

Bonacieux inferred from this "Ah" that the affair grew more and more intricate.

"They have abducted her," added the commissary; "and do you know the man who has committed this deed?"

"I think I know him."

"Who is he?"

"Remember that I affirm nothing, Monsieur the Commissary, and that I only suspect."

"Whom do you suspect? Come, answer freely."

M Bonacieux was in the greatest perplexity possible. Had he better deny everything or tell everything? By denying all, it might be suspected that he must know too much to avow; by confessing all he might prove his good will. He decided, then, to tell all.

"I suspect," said he, "a tall, dark man, of lofty carriage, who has the air of a great lord. He has followed us several times, as I think, when I have waited for my wife at the wicket of the Louvre to escort her home."

The commissary now appeared to experience a little uneasiness.

"And his name?" said he.

"Oh, as to his name, I know nothing about it; but if I were ever to meet him, I should recognize him in an instant, I will answer for it, were he among a thousand persons."

The face of the commissary grew still darker.

"You should recognize him among a thousand, say you?" continued he.

"That is to say," cried Bonacieux, who saw he had taken a false step, "that is to say--"

"You have answered that you should recognize him," said the commissary. "That is all very well, and enough for today; before we proceed further, someone must be informed that you know the ravisher of your wife."

"But I have not told you that I know him!" cried Bonacieux, in despair. "I told you, on the contrary--"

"Take away the prisoner," said the commissary to the two guards.

"Where must we place him?" demanded the chief.

"In a dungeon."

"Which?"

"Good Lord! In the first one handy, provided it is safe," said the commissary, with an indifference which penetrated poor Bonacieux with horror.

"Alas, alas!" said he to himself, "misfortune is over my head; my wife must have committed some frightful crime. They believe me her accomplice, and will punish me with her. She must have spoken; she must have confessed everything--a woman is so weak! A dungeon! The first he comes to! That's it! A night is soon passed; and tomorrow to the wheel, to the gallows! Oh, my God, my God, have pity on me!"

Without listening the least in the world to the lamentations of M. Bonacieux--lamentations to which, besides, they must have been pretty well accustomed--the two guards took the prisoner each by an arm, and led him away, while the commissary wrote a letter in haste and dispatched it by an officer in waiting.

Bonacieux could not close his eyes; not because his dungeon was so very disagreeable, but because his uneasiness was so great. He sat all night on his stool, starting at the least noise; and when the first rays of the sun penetrated into his chamber, the dawn itself appeared to him to have taken funereal tints.

All at once he heard his bolts drawn, and made a terrified bound. He believed they were come to conduct him to the scaffold; so that when he saw merely and simply, instead of the executioner he expected, only his commissary of the preceding evening, attended by his clerk, he was ready to embrace them both.

"Your affair has become more complicated since yesterday evening, my good man, and I advise you to tell the whole truth; for your repentance alone can remove the anger of the cardinal."

"Why, I am ready to tell everything," cried Bonacieux, "at least, all that I know. Interrogate me, I entreat you!"

"Where is your wife, in the first place?"

"Why, did not I tell you she had been stolen from me?"

"Yes, but yesterday at five o'clock in the afternoon, thanks to you, she escaped."

"My wife escaped!" cried Bonacieux. "Oh, unfortunate creature! Monsieur, if she has escaped, it is not my fault, I swear."

"What business had you, then, to go into the chamber of Monsieur d'Artagnan, your neighbor, with whom you had a long conference during the day?"

"Ah, yes, Monsieur Commissary; yes, that is true, and I confess that I was in the wrong. I did go to Monsieur d'Artagnan's."

"What was the aim of that visit?"

"To beg him to assist me in finding my wife. I believed I had a right to endeavor to find her. I was deceived, as it appears, and I ask your pardon."

"And what did Monsieur d'Artagnan reply?"

"Monsieur d'Artagnan promised me his assistance; but I soon found out that he was betraying me."

"You impose upon justice. Monsieur d'Artagnan made a compact with you; and in virtue of that compact put to flight the police who had arrested your wife, and has placed her beyond reach."

"Fortunately, Monsieur d'Artagnan is in our hands, and you shall be confronted with him."

"By my faith, I ask no better," cried Bonacieux; "I shall not be sorry to see the face of an acquaintance."

"Bring in the Monsieur d'Artagnan," said the commissary to the guards. The two guards led in Athos.

"Monsieur d'Artagnan," said the commissary, addressing Athos, "declare all that passed yesterday between you and Monsieur."

"But," cried Bonacieux, "this is not Monsieur d'Artagnan whom you show me."

"What! Not Monsieur d'Artagnan?" exclaimed the commissary.

"Not the least in the world," replied Bonacieux.

"What is this gentleman's name?" asked the commissary.

"I cannot tell you; I don't know him."

"How! You don't know him?"

"No."

"Did you never see him?"

"Yes, I have seen him, but I don't know what he calls himself."

"Your name?" replied the commissary.

"Athos," replied the Musketeer.

"But that is not a man's name; that is the name of a mountain," cried the poor questioner, who began to lose his head.

"That is my name," said Athos, quietly.

"But you said that your name was d'Artagnan."

"Who, I?"

"Yes, you."

"Somebody said to me, 'You are Monsieur d'Artagnan?' I answered, 'You think so?' My guards exclaimed that they were sure of it. I did not wish to contradict them; besides, I might be deceived."

"Monsieur, you insult the majesty of justice."

"Not at all," said Athos, calmly.

"You are Monsieur d'Artagnan."

"You see, monsieur, that you say it again."

"But I tell you, Monsieur Commissary," cried Bonacieux, in his turn, "there is not the least doubt about the matter. Monsieur d'Artagnan is my tenant, although he does not pay me my rent--and even better on that account ought I to know him. Monsieur d'Artagnan is a young man, scarcely nineteen or twenty, and this gentleman must be thirty at least. Monsieur d'Artagnan is in Monsieur Dessessart's Guards, and this gentleman is in the company of Monsieur de Treville's Musketeers. Look at his uniform, Monsieur Commissary, look at his uniform!"

"That's true," murmured the commissary; "PARDIEU, that's true."

At this moment the door was opened quickly, and a messenger, introduced by one of the gatekeepers of the Bastille, gave a letter to the commissary.

"Oh, unhappy woman!" cried the commissary.

"How? What do you say? Of whom do you speak? It is not of my wife, I hope!"

"On the contrary, it is of her. Yours is a pretty business."

"But," said the agitated mercer, "do me the pleasure, monsieur, to tell me how my own proper affair can become worse by anything my wife does while I am in prison?"

"Because that which she does is part of a plan concerted between you--of an infernal plan."

"I swear to you, Monsieur Commissary, that you are in the profoundest error, that I know nothing in the world about what my wife had to do, that I am entirely a stranger to what she has done; and that if she has committed any follies, I renounce her, I abjure her, I curse her!"

"Bah!" said Athos to the commissary, "if you have no more need of me, send me somewhere. Your Monsieur Bonacieux is very tiresome."

The commissary designated by the same gesture Athos and Bonacieux, "Let them be guarded more closely than ever."

"And yet," said Athos, with his habitual calmness, "if it be Monsieur d'Artagnan who is concerned in this matter, I do not perceive how I can take his place."

"Do as I bade you," cried the commissary, "and preserve absolute secrecy. You understand!"

Athos shrugged his shoulders, and followed his guards silently, while M. Bonacieux uttered lamentations enough to break the heart of a tiger.

They locked the mercer in the same dungeon where he had passed the night, and left him to himself during the day. Bonacieux wept all day, like a true mercer, not being at all a military man, as he himself informed us. In the evening, about nine o'clock, at the moment he had made up his mind to go to bed, he heard steps in his corridor. These steps drew near to his dungeon, the door was thrown open, and the guards appeared.

"Follow me," said an officer, who came up behind the guards.

"Follow you!" cried Bonacieux, "follow you at this hour! Where, my God?"

"Where we have orders to lead you."

"But that is not an answer."

"It is, nevertheless, the only one we can give."

"Ah, my God, my God!" murmured the poor mercer, "now, indeed, I am lost!" And he followed the guards who came for him, mechanically and without resistance.

He passed along the same corridor as before, crossed one court, then a second side of a building; at length, at the gate of the entrance court he found a carriage surrounded by four guards on horseback. They made him enter this carriage, the officer placed himself by his side, the door was locked, and they were left in a rolling prison. The carriage was put in motion as slowly as a funeral car. Through the closely fastened windows the prisoner could perceive the houses and the pavement, that was all; but, true Parisian as he was, Bonacieux could recognize every street by the milestones, the signs, and the lamps. At the moment of arriving at St. Paul--the spot where such as were condemned at the Bastille were executed--he was near fainting and crossed himself twice. He thought the carriage was about to stop there. The carriage, however, passed on.

Farther on, a still greater terror seized him on passing by the cemetery of St. Jean, where state criminals were buried. One thing, however, reassured him; he remembered that before they were buried their heads were generally cut off, and he felt that his head was still on his shoulders. But when he saw the carriage take the way to La Greve, when he perceived the pointed roof of the Hotel de Ville, and the carriage passed under the arcade, he believed it was over with him. He wished to confess to the officer, and upon his refusal, uttered such pitiable cries that the officer told him that if he continued to deafen him thus, he should put a gag in his mouth.

This measure somewhat reassured Bonacieux. If they meant to execute him at La Greve, it could scarcely be worth while to gag him, as they had nearly reached the place of execution. Indeed, the carriage crossed the fatal spot without stopping. There remained, then, no other place to fear but the Traitor's Cross; the carriage was taking the direct road to it.

This time there was no longer any doubt; it was at the Traitor's Cross that lesser criminals were executed. Bonacieux had flattered himself in believing himself worthy of St. Paul or of the Place de Greve; it was at the Traitor's Cross that his journey and his destiny were about to end! He could not yet see that dreadful cross, but he felt somehow as if it were coming to meet him. When he was within twenty paces of it, he heard a noise of people and the carriage stopped. This was more than poor Bonacieux could endure, depressed as he was by the successive emotions which he had experienced; he uttered a feeble groan which night have been taken for the last sigh of a dying man, and fainted.

 

第十三章 波那瑟先生

列位无疑注意到了,在整个事件中,有一个人虽然处境毫无保障,却谁也没怎么为他担忧。这个人物就是波那瑟先生。他是政界和情场的阴谋可敬的牺牲品。在那个侠义与风流并重的时代,政界和情场的阴谋往往是纠结在一起的。

不管读者还记得不记得这个人物,幸而我们许诺过,因此一定不放弃对他的追踪。

那几个卫士抓住他之后,把他径直送到巴士底狱。领着他经过一小队正在给火枪装弹药的士兵面前,吓得他浑身直哆嗦。

他被推进一间半地下坑道式的囚室。那些把他带来的人,立刻以最下流的语言谩骂他,以最野蛮的方式对待他。狱卒们看见交到他们手里的不是一位绅士,便把他当成了真正的乡巴佬。

约莫过了半个小时,来了一位书记官,对他的折磨才停止,但他的忧虑并没因此而消除,因为书记官吩咐把波那瑟带到审讯室去。平常,对犯人的审讯,都是在各自的囚室里进行的,对波那瑟看来就不讲究这种方式了。

两个狱卒抓住服饰用品商,押着他穿过一个院子,走进一条有三个士兵把守的过道,然后打开一扇门,一把将他推进一个低矮的房间。房间里的陈设,只有一张桌子和一把椅子,还有一位狱吏。狱吏坐在椅子上,伏在桌子上写东西。

两名狱卒把犯人带到桌子前面,见狱吏挥了挥手,便连忙退到听不见审问的地方。

狱吏一直俯首在公文上,这时抬起头来,看看他要审问的是一个什么样的人。这个狱吏相貌凶恶,鼻子尖尖的,面颊蜡黄,颧骨突出,一对小眼睛露出探究的神色,滴溜溜乱转,既像黄鼠狼又像狐狸。转动自如的长脖子托着一个脑袋,从宽大的黑袍子里伸出来,左顾右盼,活像从背甲里伸出来的乌龟脑袋。

他先问波那瑟姓名、年龄、职业和住址。

被告回答说:他名叫雅克-米歇尔•波那瑟,五十一岁,歇业的服饰用品商,家住掘墓人街十一号。

狱吏并不继续审问他,却长篇大论地对他发表一通训话,指出一个默默无闻的市民卷入国家事务的危险性。

他这通开场白又臭又长,其中讲到红衣主教的权势和训谕,说红衣主教是个无可匹敌的宰相,是过去所有宰相的战胜者,是未来所有宰相的楷模,谁想违逆他的训谕和权势而不受惩罚,那是痴心妄想。

训话的第二段结束之后,狱吏用老鹰般的目光盯住可怜巴巴的波那瑟,叫他好生想一想他的处境的严重性。

服饰用品商早就想好了:过去他听从了拉波特的主意,娶了他的教女,尤其是他这个教女又当了为王后管内衣的侍女,这一切都是魔鬼主使的。

波那瑟本质上非常自私,又极端吝啬,而且极为怯懦。在他身上,对自己年轻的太太的爱情,只不过是第二位的情感,根本不可能与这里列举的天性相抗衡。

狱吏刚才所说的话,波那瑟真的考虑了一番。

"狱吏先生,"他战战兢兢说道,"请相信,对于无可匹敌的红衣主教阁下的丰功伟绩,我比谁都清楚,比谁都钦佩,有他为我们掌舵,真是我们的福分。"

"真的吗?"狱吏现出不相信的样子问道,"如果真是这样,你怎么进了巴士底狱呢?"

"您问我怎么进了巴士底狱,还不如问我为什么进了巴士底狱,"波那瑟答道,"这我可是完完全全没法向您交代,因为连我自己也莫名其妙;不过可以肯定,绝不是因为我不服从红衣主教大人,至少不是有意不服从。"

"然而,你肯定犯了大罪,因为你关进这里的罪名是叛国罪。"

"叛国罪!"波那瑟吓坏了,情不自禁叫起来,"叛国罪!一个厌恶胡格诺派教徒,痛恨西班牙人的可怜的服饰用品商,怎么居然有人指控他犯了叛国罪?请您想一想吧,先生,这种事是根本不可能的。"

"波那瑟先生,"狱吏逼视着被告,两只小眼睛仿佛能看透人的内心深处,"波那瑟先生,你可有位太太?"

"是的,先生,"服饰用品商答道,感到这一下事情可讲不清楚了,止不住浑身哆嗦起来,"就是说,我有过一位。"

"这话怎讲?你有过一位!现在你没有了吗?那你把她怎样了?"

"有人把她绑架了,先生。"

"有人把她绑架了?哦!"狱吏说道。

波那瑟听到这声"哦!"感到事情越来越茫无头绪了。

"有人把她绑架了!"狱吏又说道,"你知道这绑架之事是什么人干的吗?"

"我想我认识那个人。"

"什么人?"

"您听明白了,我什么也没肯定,我只是怀疑。"

"你怀疑谁?喂,老实回答。"

波那瑟完全失去了主意。他该否认一切还是说出一切呢?否认一切吧,人家会以为他知道东西太多不敢承认;说出一切吧,倒可以证明他的诚意。于是,他决定说出一切。

"我怀疑一个褐头发的大个儿,"他说道,"这个人气宇轩昂,看上去像个大贵族。我经常去罗浮宫那个门口等我太太,接她回家,我觉得这个人似乎跟踪过我们好几次。"

狱吏似乎感到有点儿不自在。

"这人叫什么名字?"他问道。

"啊!他的名字吗,我压根儿不知道,不过只要碰到他,我马上就能认出来。我敢保证,即使在一千个人之中我也认得出来。"

狱吏的脸色变得阴沉了。

"你说在一千个人之中你也认得出来?"他又问道。

"就是说,"波那瑟说道,他发觉自己失算,"就是说……"

"你说你保证认得出那个人,"狱吏说道,"好,今天就到这儿。在继续对你进行审问之前,我们要向某人报告你认识绑架你太太的人。"

"可是,我并没有对您讲我认识他!"波那瑟绝望地嚷起来,"我对您说的正相反……"

"把犯人带下去。"狱吏对两个狱卒说道。

"带到哪里去?"书记官问道。

"押在一间单人囚室里。"

"哪一间?"

"哎!真见鬼!随便哪一间,锁严了就行。"狱吏无所谓地答道,使可怜的波那瑟感到毛骨悚然。

"唉!唉!"他自言自语道,"我大祸临头啦,我老婆肯定犯了滔天大罪,而他们认为我是她的同谋,我会和她一起受到惩罚。她肯定会招供,会承认她什么都告诉过我。女人吗,就是软弱!一间单人囚室,随便哪一间!这还不明白,一个夜晚很快就过去了,明天就要被车轮碾死,就要被绞死!啊!上帝!上帝!可怜可怜我吧。"

两个狱卒根本不听波那瑟先生的哀诉,这种哀诉他们听惯了,他们抓住这位犯人的胳膊,拖着他走了。狱吏赶紧着手拟一份公函,预备让在一旁等候的书记官送走。

波那瑟通宵没合眼,倒不是因为那间单人囚室特别不舒服,而是因为他极为不安。他一直坐在凳子上,听见一点响声就吓得直哆嗦。好不容易挨到初露的曙光照进了囚室,他却觉得黎明格外惨愁。

突然,他听见有人拉门闩,他猛地惊跳一下,以为是来押他去断头台了,可是看见进来的却不是刽子手,而是昨天那位狱吏和书记官,他简直恨不得跑上前去亲他们一下。

"你的案子从昨天晚上起严重复杂化了,正直的人。"狱吏说道,"我劝你把事实真相全都讲出来,因为只有你的悔过能够消除红衣主教的怒火。"

"我是准备把一切讲出来的呀,"波那瑟大声说,"至少,我所知道的全部情况。请审问吧。"

"首先,你太太现在何处?"

"可是,我对您讲过她被绑架了。"

"你是讲过,可是由于你的帮助,她昨天下午五点钟逃走了。"

"我太太逃走了!"波那瑟叫起来,"唉!倒霉的女人!先生,她逃走了可怪不得我呀,我向您发誓。"

"那么,你到你的邻居达达尼昂家去干什么?那天你与他谈了很长时间。"

"哦!是的,狱吏先生,是的,的确是这样,我承认我错了。

我是去过达达尼昂先生家。"

"你去的目的是什么?"

"去求他帮助我找回我太太。我当时认为我有权把她找回来。现在看来我错了,请您宽恕我。"

"达达尼昂是怎样回答你的?"

"达达尼昂先生答应帮助我,可是我很快发现他出卖了我。"

"你欺骗法庭!达达尼昂和你达成了协议,根据这项协议,他赶走了已经抓住你太太的警察,又帮助她躲过一切搜捕。"

"达达尼昂先生抢走了我太太!啊!这,您这是什么意思?"

"幸好达达尼昂落到了我们手里,我们就要让你和他对质。"

"啊!说真的,我正求之不得呢!"波那瑟大声说,"能看到一张熟人的面孔,我不会感到不高兴。"

"带达达尼昂进来。"狱吏对两个狱卒说。

两个狱卒带进阿托斯。

"达达尼昂先生,"狱吏对阿托斯说,"请讲一讲你与这位先生之间发生的事情。"

"可是!"波那瑟喊起来,"您让我看的这位不是达达尼昂先生!"

"怎么!他不是达达尼昂?"狱吏大声问道。

"绝对不是。"波那瑟答道。

"这位先生叫什么名字?"狱吏问道。

"我没法告诉您,我不认识他。"

"怎么!你不认识他?"

"不认识。"

"你从没见过他?"

"见倒是见过,但不知他叫什么名字。"

"您叫什么名字?"狱吏问阿托斯。

"阿托斯。"火枪手答道。

"可是,这不是一个人的名字,而是一座山的名字!"可怜的狱吏嚷道,他有点慌了神。

"这是我的名字。"阿托斯平静地说。

"可是,您说过您名叫达达尼昂。"

"我?"

"是的,您。"

"就是说,你们问我:'您是达达尼昂先生吗?'我回答说:'您认为?'那两个狱卒一口咬定我是,我只是懒得反驳。再说,我也有可能听错了。"

"先生,您藐视法律的尊严。"

"丝毫没有。"阿托斯不动声色地说。

"您就是达达尼昂。"

"瞧,您还在说我是达达尼昂。"

"喂!"波那瑟先生也嚷了起来,"我告诉您吧,狱吏先生,这一点根本不容怀疑。达达尼昂是我的房客,所以我认得他,尽管他没有付我房租,但正因为这样,我不可能不认识他。达达尼昂是个小伙子,将近十九到二十岁,这位先生至少有三十岁了。达达尼昂是埃萨尔先生的禁军里的,而这位先生是特雷维尔先生的火枪队的。您看看他的制服吧,狱吏先生,您看看他的制服吧。"

"果然是这样。"狱吏自言自语道,"这真见鬼了。"

这时,门猛地给推开了,一位信差由监狱一位传达领着进来,交给狱吏一封信。

"啊!该死的女人!"狱吏大骂道。

"怎么?您说什么?您说谁?但愿不是我太太!"

"相反,正是说她。你的案子有你好瞧的啦,哼!"

"啊,这,"服饰用品商气恼地嚷起来,"先生,请您赏个面子告诉我,我已经蹲在监狱里,我的案子怎么会因为我太太所干的事而变得更严重?"

"因为她的行动是根据你们共同制订的险恶计划采取的!"

"我向您发誓,您彻底搞错了,我压根儿不知道我太太打算干什么,我与她所干的事完全无关。如果她干了糊涂事,我就不再认她,就同她决裂,就诅咒她。"

"喂,"阿托斯对狱吏说,"您这里如果不再需要我,请把我送到什么地方去吧,您这位波那瑟先生很讨厌。"

"把这两个犯人押回他们的囚室,"狱吏说着,一伸手同时指着阿托斯和波那瑟说道,"要加倍严格看守。"

"可是,"阿托斯用一贯的平静态度说道,"既然您要打交道的是达达尼昂先生,我看不出我怎么能代替他。"

"照我说的办!"狱吏喝道,"绝对保密,听见没有!"

阿托斯耸耸肩膀,跟着两个狱卒走了;波那瑟先生唉声叹气,就是老虎听见了也会产生恻隐之心。

狱卒把服饰用品商押回他昨夜住的那间囚室,整个一天没再来过问他。整整一天,波那瑟一直哭泣不止,恰如他自己所说,他是一位十足的服饰用品商,没有半点军人的气质。

晚上将近九点钟,他正打算上床,却听见走廊里有脚步声。这脚步声到了他的囚室门前,门推开之后,进来几个狱卒。

"跟我走。"随狱卒进来的一个小头目说道。

"跟您走!"波那瑟叫起来,"这么晚了还跟您走!去什么地方?天哪!"

"去我们奉命押你去的地方。"

"可是,这等于没回答。"

"然而,我们只能这么回答你。"

"啊!上帝啊,上帝!"可怜的服饰用品商喃喃道,"这回我算完啦!"

他木然、顺从地跟在来押他的两个狱卒后面。

他经过已经走过的那条走廊,穿过头一个院子和第二座主体建筑,最后来到大门口的院子里。那里有一辆马车,四名骑马的警察列于两边。狱卒让他上了车,一名警官坐在他身旁,车门关上并落了锁,于是他和那位警官都给关在一间可移动的囚室里了。

车子启动了,慢得像辆柩车。透过锁得严严的铁栅栏,囚犯只瞥见一座座房子和街面的石板,其他什么也看不见。波那瑟是地道的巴黎人,仅仅根据路碑、招牌和路灯,就能认出每条街。走到圣保罗广场,那是专门处决巴士底狱的犯人的地方,他差点晕了过去,赶忙在胸前画了两次十字。他以为车子就会停在那里,然而车子却驶了过去。

又往前走一段,车子沿着圣约翰公墓的界墙行驶。这里正是埋犯有叛国罪罪犯的地方,所以他更是吓得魂不附体。唯一使他略感放心的事情,就是罪犯在被掩埋之前,通常要割下脑袋,而他的脑袋还在肩膀上。可是,当他看到车子驶上了通往沙滩广场的道路,已经瞥见市政府尖尖的屋顶,车子拐进了拱廊,他以为这回可是彻底完蛋了,想向身旁的警官忏悔,遭到拒绝之后,就可怜地大叫大嚷起来。警官不得不警告他,再这样震耳欲聋地大喊大叫,就堵住他的嘴巴。

这个威胁倒是使他平静了点儿:如果要在沙滩广场处决他,那就没有必要堵住他的嘴,因为行刑的地点马上就要到了。果然,车子穿过了那个晦气的广场而没有停下。现在令他害怕的,就只剩下特拉华十字架了。车子恰好沿那条路驶去。

这回毫无疑问了。特拉华十字架是处决下层囚犯的地方。波那瑟还以为自己够资格在圣保罗广场或沙滩广场接受处决呢,他的行程和命运行将结束的地方,竟是特拉华十字架!他还没有望见那座倒霉的十字架,但已经感到它正迎面而来。距十字架还有二十来步远的时候,他听见一阵喧嚷,车也在这时停了下来。可怜的波那瑟本来就被接二连三的恐惧压垮了,这时再也承受不住了。他像垂死的人最后叹息似地,轻轻地哼了一声,接着就昏了过去。




Chapter 14 THE MAN OF MEUNG

The crowd was caused, not by the expectation of a man to be hanged, but by the contemplation of a man who was hanged.

The carriage, which had been stopped for a minute, resumed its way, passed through the crowd, threaded the Rue St. Honore, turned into the Rue des Bons Enfants, and stopped before a low door.

The door opened; two guards received Bonacieux in their arms from the officer who supported him. They carried him through an alley, up a flight of stairs, and deposited him in an antechamber.

All these movements had been effected mechanically, as far as he was concerned. He had walked as one walks in a dream; he had a glimpse of objects as through a fog. His ears had perceived sounds without comprehending them; he might have been executed at that moment without his making a single gesture in his own defense or uttering a cry to implore mercy.

He remained on the bench, with his back leaning against the wall and his hands hanging down, exactly on the spot where the guards placed him.

On looking around him, however, as he could perceive no threatening object, as nothing indicated that he ran any real danger, as the bench was comfortably covered with a well-stuffed cushion, as the wall was ornamented with a beautiful Cordova leather, and as large red damask curtains, fastened back by gold clasps, floated before the window, he perceived by degrees that his fear was exaggerated, and he began to turn his head to the right and the left, upward and downward.

At this movement, which nobody opposed, he resumed a little courage, and ventured to draw up one leg and then the other. At length, with the help of his two hands he lifted himself from the bench, and found himself on his feet.

At this moment an officer with a pleasant face opened a door, continued to exchange some words with a person in the next chamber and then came up to the prisoner. "Is your name Bonacieux?" said he.

"Yes, Monsieur Officer," stammered the mercer, more dead than alive, "at your service."

"Come in," said the officer.

And he moved out of the way to let the mercer pass. The latter obeyed without reply, and entered the chamber, where he appeared to be expected.

It was a large cabinet, close and stifling, with the walls furnished with arms offensive and defensive, and in which there was already a fire, although it was scarcely the end of the month of September. A square table, covered with books and papers, upon which was unrolled an immense plan of the city of La Rochelle, occupied the center of the room.

Standing before the chimney was a man of middle height, of a haughty, proud mien; with piercing eyes, a large brow, and a thin face, which was made still longer by a ROYAL (or IMPERIAL, as it is now called), surmounted by a pair of mustaches. Although this man was scarcely thirty-six or thirty-seven years of age, hair, mustaches, and royal, all began to be gray. This man, except a sword, had all the appearance of a soldier; and his buff boots still slightly covered with dust, indicated that he had been on horseback in the course of the day.

This man was Armand Jean Duplessis, Cardinal de Richelieu; not such as he is now represented--broken down like an old man, suffering like a martyr, his body bent, his voice failing, buried in a large armchair as in an anticipated tomb; no longer living but by the strength of his genius, and no longer maintaining the struggle with Europe but by the eternal application of his thoughts--but such as he really was at this period; that is to say, an active and gallant cavalier, already weak of body, but sustained by that moral power which made of him one of the most extraordinary men that ever lived, preparing, after having supported the Duc de Nevers in his duchy of Mantua, after having taken Nimes, Castres, and Uzes, to drive the English from the Isle of Re and lay siege to La Rochelle.

At first sight, nothing denoted the cardinal; and it was impossible for those who did not know his face to guess in whose presence they were.

The poor mercer remained standing at the door, while the eyes of the personage we have just described were fixed upon him, and appeared to wish to penetrate even into the depths of the past.

"Is this that Bonacieux?" asked he, after a moment of silence.

"Yes, monseigneur," replied the officer.

"That's well. Give me those papers, and leave us."

The officer took from the table the papers pointed out, gave them to him who asked for them, bowed to the ground, and retired.

Bonacieux recognized in these papers his interrogatories of the Bastille. From time to time the man by the chimney raised his eyes from the writings, and plunged them like poniards into the heart of the poor mercer.

At the end of ten minutes of reading and ten seconds of examination, the cardinal was satisfied.

"That head has never conspired," murmured he, "but it matters not; we will see."

"You are accused of high treason," said the cardinal, slowly.

"So I have been told already, monseigneur," cried Bonacieux, giving his interrogator the title he had heard the officer give him, "but I swear to you that I know nothing about it."

The cardinal repressed a smile.

"You have conspired with your wife, with Madame de Chevreuse, and with my Lord Duke of Buckingham."

"Indeed, monseigneur," responded the mercer, "I have heard her pronounce all those names."

"And on what occasion?"

"She said that the Cardinal de Richelieu had drawn the Duke of Buckingham to Paris to ruin him and to ruin the queen."

"She said that?" cried the cardinal, with violence.

"Yes, monseigneur, but I told her she was wrong to talk about such things; and that his Eminence was incapable--"

"Hold your tongue! You are stupid," replied the cardinal.

"That's exactly what my wife said, monseigneur."

"Do you know who carried off your wife?"

"No, monseigneur."

"You have suspicions, nevertheless?"

"Yes, monseigneur; but these suspicions appeared to be disagreeable to Monsieur the Commissary, and I no longer have them."

"Your wife has escaped. Did you know that?"

"No, monseigneur. I learned it since I have been in prison, and that from the conversation of Monsieur the Commissary--an amiable man."

The cardinal repressed another smile.

"Then you are ignorant of what has become of your wife since her flight."

"Absolutely, monseigneur; but she has most likely returned to the Louvre."

"At one o'clock this morning she had not returned."

"My God! What can have become of her, then?"

"We shall know, be assured. Nothing is concealed from the cardinal; the cardinal knows everything."

"In that case, monseigneur, do you believe the cardinal will be so kind as to tell me what has become of my wife?"

"Perhaps he may; but you must, in the first place, reveal to the cardinal all you know of your wife's relations with Madame de Chevreuse."

"But, monseigneur, I know nothing about them; I have never seen her."

"When you went to fetch your wife from the Louvre, did you always return directly home?"

"Scarcely ever; she had business to transact with linen drapers, to whose houses I conducted her."

"And how many were there of these linen drapers?"

"Two, monseigneur."

"And where did they live?"

"One in Rue de Vaugirard, the other Rue de la Harpe."

"Did you go into these houses with her?"

"Never, monseigneur; I waited at the door."

"And what excuse did she give you for entering all alone?"

"She gave me none; she told me to wait, and I waited."

"You are a very complacent husband, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux," said the cardinal.

"He calls me his dear Monsieur," said the mercer to himself. "PESTE! Matters are going all right."

"Should you know those doors again?"

"Yes."

"Do you know the numbers?"

"Yes."

"What are they?"

"No. 25 in the Rue de Vaugirard; 75 in the Rue de la Harpe."

"That's well," said the cardinal.

At these words he took up a silver bell, and rang it; the officer entered.

"Go," said he, in a subdued voice, "and find Rochefort. Tell him to come to me immediately, if he has returned."

"The count is here," said the officer, "and requests to speak with your Eminence instantly."

"Let him come in, then!" said the cardinal, quickly.

The officer sprang out of the apartment with that alacrity which all the servants of the cardinal displayed in obeying him.

"To your Eminence!" murmured Bonacieux, rolling his eyes round in astonishment.

Five seconds has scarcely elapsed after the disappearance of the officer, when the door opened, and a new personage entered.

"It is he!" cried Bonacieux.

"He! What he?" asked the cardinal.

"The man who abducted my wife."

The cardinal rang a second time. The officer reappeared.

"Place this man in the care of his guards again, and let him wait till I send for him."

"No, monseigneur, no, it is not he!" cried Bonacieux; "no, I was deceived. This is quite another man, and does not resemble him at all. Monsieur is, I am sure, an honest man."

"Take away that fool!" said the cardinal.

The officer took Bonacieux by the arm, and led him into the antechamber, where he found his two guards.

The newly introduced personage followed Bonacieux impatiently with his eyes till he had gone out; and the moment the door closed, "They have seen each other;" said he, approaching the cardinal eagerly.

"Who?" asked his Eminence.

"He and she."

"The queen and the duke?" cried Richelieu.

"Yes."

"Where?"

"At the Louvre."

"Are you sure of it?"

"Perfectly sure."

"Who told you of it?"

"Madame de Lannoy, who is devoted to your Eminence, as you know."

"Why did she not let me know sooner?"

"Whether by chance or mistrust, the queen made Madame de Surgis sleep in her chamber, and detained her all day."

"Well, we are beaten! Now let us try to take our revenge."

"I will assist you with all my heart, monseigneur; be assured of that."

"How did it come about?"

"At half past twelve the queen was with her women--"

"Where?"

"In her bedchamber--"

"Go on."

"When someone came and brought her a handkerchief from her laundress."

"And then?"

"The queen immediately exhibited strong emotion; and despite the rouge with which her face was covered evidently turned pale--"

"And then, and then?"

"She then arose, and with altered voice, 'Ladies,' said she, 'wait for me ten minutes, I shall soon return.' She then opened the door of her alcove, and went out."

"Why did not Madame de Lannoy come and inform you instantly?"

"Nothing was certain; besides, her Majesty had said, 'Ladies, wait for me,' and she did not dare to disobey the queen."

"How long did the queen remain out of the chamber?"

"Three-quarters of an hour."

"None of her women accompanied her?"

"Only Donna Estafania."

"Did she afterward return?"

"Yes; but only to take a little rosewood casket, with her cipher upon it, and went out again immediately."

"And when she finally returned, did she bring that casket with her?"

"No."

"Does Madame de Lannoy know what was in that casket?"

"Yes; the diamond studs which his Majesty gave the queen."

"And she came back without this casket?"

"Yes."

"Madame de Lannoy, then, is of opinion that she gave them to Buckingham?"

"She is sure of it."

"How can she be so?"

"In the course of the day Madame de Lannoy, in her quality of tire-woman of the queen, looked for this casket, appeared uneasy at not finding it, and at length asked information of the queen."

"And then the queen?"

"The queen became exceedingly red, and replied that having in the evening broken one of those studs, she had sent it to her goldsmith to be repaired."

"He must be called upon, and so ascertain if the thing be true or not."

"I have just been with him."

"And the goldsmith?"

"The goldsmith has heard nothing of it."

"Well, well! Rochefort, all is not lost; and perhaps--perhaps everything is for the best."

"The fact is that I do not doubt your Eminence's genius--"

"Will repair the blunders of his agent--is that it?"

"That is exactly what I was going to say, if your Eminence had let me finish my sentence."

"Meanwhile, do you know where the Duchesse de Chevreuse and the Duke of Buckingham are now concealed?"

"No, monseigneur; my people could tell me nothing on that head."

"But I know."

"You, monseigneur?"

"Yes; or at least I guess. They were, one in the Rue de Vaugirard, No. 25; the other in the Rue de la Harpe, No. 75."

"Does your Eminence command that they both be instantly arrested?"

"It will be too late; they will be gone."

"But still, we can make sure that they are so."

"Take ten men of my Guardsmen, and search the two houses thoroughly."

"Instantly, monseigneur." And Rochefort went hastily out of the apartment.

The cardinal being left alone, reflected for an instant and then rang the bell a third time. The same officer appeared.

"Bring the prisoner in again," said the cardinal.

M Bonacieux was introduced afresh, and upon a sign from the cardinal, the officer retired.

"You have deceived me!" said the cardinal, sternly.

"I," cried Bonacieux, "I deceive your Eminence!"

"Your wife, in going to Rue de Vaugirard and Rue de la Harpe, did not go to find linen drapers."

"Then why did she go, just God?"

"She went to meet the Duchesse de Chevreuse and the Duke of Buckingham."

"Yes," cried Bonacieux, recalling all his remembrances of the circumstances, "yes, that's it. Your Eminence is right. I told my wife several times that it was surprising that linen drapers should live in such houses as those, in houses that had no signs; but she always laughed at me. Ah, monseigneur!" continued Bonacieux, throwing himself at his Eminence's feet, "ah, how truly you are the cardinal, the great cardinal, the man of genius whom all the world reveres!"

The cardinal, however contemptible might be the triumph gained over so vulgar a being as Bonacieux, did not the less enjoy it for an instant; then, almost immediately, as if a fresh thought has occurred, a smile played upon his lips, and he said, offering his hand to the mercer, "Rise, my friend, you are a worthy man."

"The cardinal has touched me with his hand! I have touched the hand of the great man!" cried Bonacieux. "The great man has called me his friend!"

"Yes, my friend, yes," said the cardinal, with that paternal tone which he sometimes knew how to assume, but which deceived none who knew him; "and as you have been unjustly suspected, well, you must be indemnified. Here, take this purse of a hundred pistoles, and pardon me."

"I pardon you, monseigneur!" said Bonacieux, hesitating to take the purse, fearing, doubtless, that this pretended gift was but a pleasantry. "But you are able to have me arrested, you are able to have me tortured, you are able to have me hanged; you are the master, and I could not have the least word to say. Pardon you, monseigneur! You cannot mean that!"

"Ah, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux, you are generous in this matter. I see it and I thank you for it. Thus, then, you will take this bag, and you will go away without being too malcontent."

"I go away enchanted."

"Farewell, then, or rather, AU REVOIR!"

And the cardinal made him a sign with his hand, to which Bonacieux replied by bowing to the ground. He then went out backward, and when he was in the antechamber the cardinal heard him, in his enthusiasm, crying aloud, "Long life to the Monseigneur! Long life to his Eminence! Long life to the great cardinal!" The cardinal listened with a smile to this vociferous manifestation of the feelings of M. Bonacieux; and then, when Bonacieux's cries were no longer audible, "Good!" said he, "that man would henceforward lay down his life for me." And the cardinal began to examine with the greatest attention the map of La Rochelle, which, as we have said, lay open on the desk, tracing with a pencil the line in which the famous dyke was to pass which, eighteen months later, shut up the port of the besieged city. As he was in the deepest of his strategic meditations, the door opened, and Rochefort returned.

"Well?" said the cardinal, eagerly, rising with a promptitude which proved the degree of importance he attached to the commission with which he had charged the count.

"Well," said the latter, "a young woman of about twenty-six or twenty-eight years of age, and a man of from thirty-five to forty, have indeed lodged at the two houses pointed out by your Eminence; but the woman left last night, and the man this morning."

"It was they!" cried the cardinal, looking at the clock; "and now it is too late to have them pursued. The duchess is at Tours, and the duke at Boulogne. It is in London they must be found."

"What are your Eminence's orders?"

"Not a word of what has passed. Let the queen remain in perfect security; let her be ignorant that we know her secret. Let her believe that we are in search of some conspiracy or other. Send me the keeper of the seals, Seguier."

"And that man, what has your Eminence done with him?"

"What man?" asked the cardinal.

"That Bonacieux."

"I have done with him all that could be done. I have made him a spy upon his wife."

The Comte de Rochefort bowed like a man who acknowledges the superiority of the master as great, and retired.

Left alone, the cardinal seated himself again and wrote a letter, which he secured with his special seal. Then he rang. The officer entered for the fourth time.

"Tell Vitray to come to me," said he, "and tell him to get ready for a journey."

An instant after, the man he asked for was before him, booted and spurred.

"Vitray," said he, "you will go with all speed to London. You must not stop an instant on the way. You will deliver this letter to Milady. Here is an order for two hundred pistoles; call upon my treasurer and get the money. You shall have as much again if you are back within six days, and have executed your commission well."

The messenger, without replying a single word, bowed, took the letter, with the order for the two hundred pistoles, and retired.

Here is what the letter contained:

MILADY, Be at the first ball at which the Duke of Buckingham shall be present. He will wear on his doublet twelve diamond studs; get as near to him as you can, and cut off two.

As soon as these studs shall be in your possession, inform me.

 

第十四章 默恩镇的那个人

那里聚集了那么多人,不是等着看一个行将处以绞刑的人,而是观看一个已经被绞死的人。

车子停了片刻又开动了,穿过人群,继续赶路,笔直驶过圣奥诺雷街,绕过好孩子街,停在一道低矮的门前。

门开了,两个警察张开胳膊接住警官扶出车门的波那瑟。他们推着他踏上一条小径,登上一道台阶,最后把他撂在一间前厅里。

这一系列运动他都是机械一样完成的。

他走路时像在梦游似的,眼前的一切物体都像笼罩在雾中,各种声音传到他的耳朵里都分辨不出是什么声音;这时如果处决他,他不会做任何自卫的动作,不会发出任何祈求怜悯的叫喊。

他就这样坐在长凳上,背靠墙壁,垂着双手,警察把他放在什么地方就一直坐在那地方。

然而,他向四周望去,就没有看到任何威胁性的东西,没有任何迹象表明他正面临着实际的危险,那条长凳包垫得还挺像样,墙壁上蒙着漂亮的科尔多瓦皮革,窗前摆动着宽大的红锦缎窗帘,两边用金色的带子系住。于是,他渐渐明白自己的恐惧太过分了,他的头开始上下左右动起来。

没有任何人阻止他做这种动作,他的胆子大点儿了,便试着把一条腿挪拢来,随后又挪另一条,最后靠两只手的帮助,从长凳上站起来,身子便立在两只脚上了。

这时候,一位气色很好的军官掀起一幅门帘,一面继续与邻室里边的一个人说话,一面向犯人转过身来问道:

"名叫波那瑟的人就是你吗?"

"是的,长官先生,"半死不活的服饰用品商答道,"我恭听吩咐。"

"进来。"军官说。

军官闪在一旁,让服饰用品商进去。服饰用品商二话没说,顺从地进到里间,里边像是有人正等着他。

这是一间宽大的办公室,四壁装饰着进攻和自卫的兵器,门窗紧闭,通风不良,才九月底就已经生了火。屋子中央一张方桌上堆满了书籍和文件,上面摊开一张拉罗舍尔城的大地图。

一个中等身材的人站在壁炉前面。此人神态高傲凶残,目光犀利,前额宽阔,嘴边两撇八字须,再加上唇下的短髭,使本来瘦削的脸显得挺长。他虽然才三十六七岁光景,头发和须髭却已呈斑白,身上没有佩剑,却颇有军人风度,牛皮长统马靴略沾尘土,说明他白天骑过马。

这个人就是黎塞留红衣主教阿尔芒-让•杜普莱西。他并不像人们向我们描写的那样,弯腰曲背像个老翁,疾病缠身像个受难者,老态龙钟,声音苍老,成天缩在一张大扶手椅里,像未死先进了坟墓一般,仅凭他那天才的力量还活着,全仗他那不停的焦思苦虑与欧洲周旋。实际上,当时的他完全是另一番风范,即是一位矫捷风流的骑士,虽然身体已经衰弱,但凭着他那强大的精神力量的支持,可以说是世间曾有过的最非凡的人物之一,曾经在曼杜领地辅佐过内韦尔公爵,先后攻克了尼姆、加斯特和于塞斯,现在又在准备把英国人赶出雷岛,并且围困拉罗舍尔城了。

第一眼看上去,没有任何特征表明他是红衣主教。因此,不认识他的相貌的人,根本不晓得自己面前这个人是谁。

服饰用品商可怜巴巴地站门口,而我们刚刚描写的那个人物,两眼死死盯住他,仿佛想彻底看透他的过去。

"这就是那个波那瑟吗?"他沉默了片刻之后问道。

"正是,大人。"军官回答。

"好,把那些文件给我,就让我和他待在这儿。"

军官拿了所指的桌子上的文件,交给索取的人,深深一躬鞠到地面,然后退了出去。

波那瑟认出那些文件是在巴士底狱审问他的记录。壁炉前面的人不时从文件上抬起眼睛,犀利的目光像两把匕首,一直插入可怜的服饰用品商心底。

红衣主教看了十分钟文件又分析了十秒钟,心里已拿定主意。

"这个脑瓜从来没有搞过阴谋,"他自言自语道,"不过没有什么关系,且问问看。"

"你被指控犯了叛国罪。"红衣主教慢条斯理地说道。

"他们已经这样对我讲过,大人。"波那瑟大声说,他对审问者的称谓,是刚才从那位军官嘴里听来的,"不过我向您发誓,我什么也不知道。"

红衣主教敛起已浮到脸上的微笑。

"你与你的妻子、谢弗勒斯夫人,还有白金汉公爵大人一块儿谋反。"

"大人,"服饰用品商回答,"这几个名字我的确听她说过。"

"在什么场合?"

"她说过黎塞留红衣主教引诱白金汉公爵来到巴黎,目的是要陷害他,连带也陷害王后。"

"她说过这种话?"红衣主教气鼓鼓地大声问道。

"是的,大人,但是我对她说,她讲这种话是错误的,红衣主教阁下不可能……"

"闭嘴,你是一个笨蛋。"红衣主教说道。

"我太太也恰恰是这样回答我的,大人。"

"你知道是谁绑架了你妻子吗?"

"不知道,大人。"

"不过你有些怀疑吧?"

"是有,大人,可是这些怀疑使狱吏先生感到不高兴,所以我现在没有了。"

"你妻子逃走了,你知道吗?"

"不知道,大人。我是进了班房之后才知道的,还是那位狱吏先生告诉我的,他真是一个和蔼可亲的人!"

红衣主教又一次敛起已浮到脸上的微笑。

"那么,你妻子逃走之后的情况你不知道?"

"一点儿都不知道,大人,不过她可能回罗浮宫了。"

"凌晨一点钟她还没有回到宫里。"

"啊!天哪!那她到底怎样了呢?"

"会搞清楚的,放心吧,什么事都瞒不过红衣主教;红衣主教什么都知道。"

"既然这样,大人,您认为红衣主教会愿意把我太太的情况告诉我吗?"

"也许会的。不过,你首先应该彻底坦白交代你妻子与谢弗勒斯夫人的关系。"

"可是,大人,我什么也不知道,我从没见过谢弗勒斯夫人。"

"你每次去罗浮宫接你妻子,她是直接回家的吗?"

"几乎从来不直接回家,她和一些布商打交道,我总送她去他们家。"

"有几个布商?"

"两个,大人。"

"他们住在什么地方?"

"一个住在沃吉拉尔街,另一个住在竖琴街。"

"你和你妻子一块儿进他们家去吗?"

"从来没有,大人,我总在门口等她。"

"她以什么借口总是一个人进去?"

"她并没有找什么借口,只是叫我等着,我就等着。"

"你真是一位百依百顺的丈夫,亲爱的波那瑟先生。"

"他称我亲爱的先生!"服饰用品商暗自说道,"成!事情有转机。"

"你认得出那两家的门吗?"

"认得。"

"知道门牌号码吗?"

"知道。"

"是多少号?"

"沃吉拉尔街二十五号,竖琴街七十五号。"

"好。"红衣主教说道。

说罢,他拿起一个银铃摇了摇,军官闻声进来。

"去把罗什福尔给我找来。"红衣主教低声说道,"叫他马上来,如果他回来了的话。"

"伯爵就在门外,"军官说道,"他有话急于向阁下禀报。"

"向阁下禀报!"波那瑟嘀咕道,他知道人们一般都称红衣主教阁下,"……向阁下禀报!"

"那就叫他进来,叫他进来!"黎塞留连忙道。

军官跑出办公室,速度之快,正如红衣主教身边所有仆人听到他的命令时一样。

"向阁下禀报!"波那瑟茫然地转动着眼珠子,自言自语道。

军官出去不到五秒钟,门就开了,进来另外一个人。

"正是他。"波那瑟嚷起来。

"你是指谁?"红衣主教问道。

"绑架我太太的人。"

红衣主教第二次摇铃,军官又进来了。

"把这个人交给两个警察,让他等候我再传他。"

"不,大人!不,不是他!"波那瑟大声说,"我认错人了。是另外一个人,一点儿也不像他!这位先生是个正派人。"

"把这个傻瓜带下去!"红衣主教说道。

军官抓住波那瑟,带回前厅,交给待在那儿的两名警察。

新进来的那个人不耐烦地目送波那瑟出去,等他身后的门一关上,就赶紧走到红衣主教身边说道:

"他们见过面了。"

"谁?"红衣主教问道。

"她和他。"

"王后和公爵吗?"黎塞留大声问道。

"正是。"

"在什么地方?"

"罗浮宫。"

"您能肯定。"

"绝对肯定。"

"谁告诉您的?"

"拉诺阿夫人。她完全忠于阁下,正如您所知道的。"

"她为什么没早说?"

"不知是出于偶然,还是出于提防,王后让法尔吉夫人在她房间里睡觉,整个一天守住她。"

"好呀,我们又吃了败仗,得想办法报复一下。"

"我一定尽心竭力为您效劳,大人请放心。"

"事情经过情形如何?"

"午夜十二点半钟,王后与她的侍女们在一起……"

"在什么地方?"

"在她的卧室里……"

"嗯。"

"这时,有人把管内衣的侍女捎进来的一条手绢交给王后……"

"后来呢?"

"王后马上显得非常激动,她脸上虽然搽了胭脂,但还是显得挺苍白。"

"后来呢?后来呢?"

"这时,王后站起来,用变了调的声音说道:'各位夫人,请你们等候我十分钟,我就回来。'说罢,她推开卧榻旁边的门,就出去了。"

"拉诺阿夫人为什么没有立即来向您报告?"

"当时还什么也不能肯定,况且王后说:'各位夫人,请等候我。'她不敢违逆王后啊。"

"王后出卧室之后待了多长时间?"

"三刻钟。"

"那些侍女,没有一个人陪她出去?"

"只有爱丝特法尼娅夫人。"

"王后返回来过吗?"

"返回来过,是取一个香木小匣子,上面有她的姓名起首字母图案,取了就立刻出去了。"

"后来她回来时,把这个匣子带回来了吗?"

"没有。"

"拉诺阿夫人知道那个匣子里装有什么吗?"

"知道:里面装着国王陛下送给王后的钻石坠子。"

"王后回来时没带那个匣子?"

"没有。"

"拉诺阿夫人认为她交给白金汉了?"

"她肯定是这样。"

"怎么肯定是这样?"

"拉诺阿夫人作为王后身边的侍女,白天找过那个匣子,但找不到,显得挺不安,最后问王后匣子怎么不见了。"

"那么,王后……?"

"王后变得满脸通红,回答说先天晚上摔碎了一颗钻石,叫人拿到金银首饰匠家里修理去了。"

"应该去首饰匠家,弄清事情是真的还是假的。"

"我去过了。"

"那么,首饰匠怎么说?"

"他根本没有听见这么回事。"

"好!好!罗什福尔,还没有全盘输光,也许……也许现在最有利了。"

"事实上,我相信阁下的神机妙算……"

"可以补救他的密探干的蠢事,不是吗?"

"这正是我要说的,如果阁下让我把话说完的话。"

"您知道谢弗勒斯伯爵夫人和白金汉公爵现在藏在什么地方吗?"

"不知道,大人,我手下的人没有告诉我这方面的任何确切消息。"

"我倒知道。"

"大人您知道?"

"是的,至少我猜得到:他们一个躲在沃吉拉尔街二十五号,一个躲在竖琴街七十五号。"

"阁下要我把他们抓起来吗?"

"太晚啦,他们走了。"

"不管怎样,总可以查清倒底走没走。"

"从我的卫士中挑选十个人去,搜查那两栋住宅。"

罗什福尔立刻跑了出去。

红衣主教单独一个人思考片刻,第三次摇响银铃。

还是那个军官闻声进来。

"把犯人带进来。"红衣主教说。

波那瑟先生又被带进来。红衣主教一挥手,军官退了出去。

"你欺骗了我。"红衣主教严厉地说。

"我,"波那瑟说道,"我欺骗阁下!"

"你妻子去沃吉拉尔街和竖琴街,并不是上布商家。"

"那么她是上什么人家呢,公正的天主!"

"她是上谢弗勒斯伯爵夫人和白金汉公爵家。"

"哦,"波那瑟想起以往的情景,"哦,是的。阁下说得对。我对我太太说过好几回,真奇怪,布商居然住在这样的房子里,连招牌都没有一块,每回我太太听了总是笑起来。啊!大人,"波那瑟说着,扑通一声往阁下面前一跪,"啊!您就是红衣主教,伟大的红衣主教,万民景仰的天才!"

虽然是在波那瑟这样一个市井小民身上取得一点小小的胜利,一时间红衣主教还是欣欣然面带喜色。不过,他脑子里仿佛几乎马上闪过了一个新的想法,他咧了咧嘴微微一笑,向服饰用品商伸出手说道:

"请起来吧,朋友,你是一个正直的人。"

"红衣主教碰到了我的手!我碰到了这个伟人的手!"波那瑟感慨道,"这个伟人称呼我朋友!"

"是的,朋友,是的!"红衣主教用慈父般的口气说;在某些场合,他是善于用这种口气说话的,不过受其蒙骗的只有那些不了解他的人。"对你的怀疑是冤枉了你,嗯,该给你赔偿才行。喂!这钱袋子里有一百比斯托尔,拿去吧,还请你原谅我。"

"请我原谅您,大人!"波那瑟说道,他有些犹豫,不敢接钱袋子,担心这种所谓赏赐是拿他开心。"其实,您可以随意逮捕我,随意拷打我,随意绞死我啊,因为您是主子,我没有任何话可说。原谅您,大人!哪儿的话,这不折杀了我!"

"啊!亲爱的波那瑟先生!我看你真大度,不胜感激。让你拿了这口袋钱,就这样离开,你不会不高兴吧?"

"我会高高兴兴离开,大人。"

"那么分手了,或者不如说再会了,因为我希望我们后会有期。"

"那还不随大人的意,小人悉听吩咐。"

"我们会经常见面的,放心吧,因为与你谈话,我感到非常有趣。"

"啊!大人!"

"再会了,波那瑟先生,再会。"

红衣主教向波那瑟挥挥手,波那瑟一躬到地表示回答,然后退了出去。他一回到前厅,红衣主教就听见他兴奋地扯开嗓门高呼:"大人万岁!""阁下万岁""伟大的红衣主教万岁!"红衣主教听着波那瑟先生这种表达热烈感情的出色方式,脸上漾开了微笑,直到波那瑟的呼喊声消失在远处。

"好。"他自言自语道,"今后又多了一个愿意为我卖命的人。"

红衣主教开始全神贯注研究拉罗舍尔地图。我们在前面交待过,这幅地图摊开在他的办公桌上,他用铅笔在地图上画了一条线,十八个月之后,将会根据这条线筑起一条长堤,封锁被围困的港口城市拉罗舍乐。

他正沉浸在战略的思考中,门又开了,罗什福尔又一次进来。

"怎么样?"红衣主教很快抬起头来,急忙问道。这说明他对伯爵奉命去执行的这项任务有多么重视。

"不错,"罗什福尔答道,"阁下指出的那两所房子里,的确住过一个二十六至二十八岁的女人,一个三十五至四十岁的男人,一个住了四天,另一个住了五天,女的昨天夜里离开的,男的是今天早上。"

"正是他们!"红衣主教看一眼墙上的挂钟说道,"现在去追来不及啦:伯爵夫人已到图尔,公爵已到布洛内。要找到他们得去伦敦。"

"阁下有何吩咐?"

"对所发生的事情守口如瓶;绝对保证王后的安全,不要让她知道我们已经了解她的秘密;让她以为我们正在追查一桩普通的阴谋;叫掌玺大臣赛基埃来见我。"

"那个人阁下把他怎样了?"

"哪个人?"红衣主教问道。

"那个波那瑟。"

"我已尽可能安排好啦,把他安插到他妻子身边做密探。"

罗什福尔承认主子手段高强,自己望尘莫及,鞠一躬,退了出去。

剩下一个人之后,红衣主教重新坐下,提笔修书一封,在封口加盖了自己的私章,然后摇铃,第四次叫军官进来。

"给我把维特莱叫来,"他说道,"告诉他作好旅行的准备。"

不一会儿,他需要的人站在了他面前,穿着马靴,上了马剌。

"维特莱,"他说道,"您快马加鞭赶到伦敦去,途中不得有片刻停留。您把这封信交给米拉迪。这是一张两百比斯托尔的支票,您去找我的司库,叫他付现金给您。如果您能在六天之内返回这里,出色完成我交给的任务,还可以拿到这么多钱。"

信差二话没说,鞠一躬,接过信和两百比斯托尔的支票,就退出来。

那封信的内容是:

米拉迪:

去参加白金汉公爵最近要出席的舞会。他的紧身上衣上缀有十二粒钻石坠子,设法接近他,剪下两粒。

两粒坠子弄到手之后,立即通知我。




Chapter 15 MEN OF THE ROBE AND MEN OF THE SWORD

On the day after these events had taken place, Athos not having reappeared, M. de Treville was informed by d'Artagnan and Porthos of the circumstance. As to Aramis, he had asked for leave of absence for five days, and was gone, it was said, to Rouen on family business.

M de Treville was the father of his soldiers. The lowest or the least known of them, as soon as he assumed the uniform of the company, was as sure of his aid and support as if he had been his own brother.

He repaired, then, instantly to the office of the LIEUTENANT-CRIMINEL. The officer who commanded the post of the Red Cross was sent for, and by successive inquiries they learned that Athos was then lodged in the Fort l'Eveque.

Athos had passed through all the examinations we have seen Bonacieux undergo.

We were present at the scene in which the two captives were confronted with each other. Athos, who had till that time said nothing for fear that d'Artagnan, interrupted in his turn, should not have the time necessary, from this moment declared that his name was Athos, and not d'Artagnan. He added that he did not know either M. or Mme. Bonacieux; that he had never spoken to the one or the other; that he had come, at about ten o'clock in the evening, to pay a visit to his friend M. d'Artagnan, but that till that hour he had been at M. de Treville's, where he had dined. "Twenty witnesses," added he, "could attest the fact"; and he named several distinguished gentlemen, and among them was M. le Duc de la Tremouille.

The second commissary was as much bewildered as the first had been by the simple and firm declaration of the Musketeer, upon whom he was anxious to take the revenge which men of the robe like at all times to gain over men of the sword; but the name of M. de Treville, and that of M. de la Tremouille, commanded a little reflection.

Athos was then sent to the cardinal; but unfortunately the cardinal was at the Louvre with the king.

It was precisely at this moment that M. de Treville, on leaving the residence of the LIEUTENANT-CRIMINEL and the governor of the Fort l'Eveque without being able to find Athos, arrived at the palace.

As captain of the Musketeers, M. de Treville had the right of entry at all times.

It is well known how violent the king's prejudices were against the queen, and how carefully these prejudices were kept up by the cardinal, who in affairs of intrigue mistrusted women infinitely more than men. One of the grand causes of this prejudice was the friendship of Anne of Austria for Mme. de Chevreuse. These two women gave him more uneasiness than the war with Spain, the quarrel with England, or the embarrassment of the finances. In his eyes and to his conviction, Mme. de Chevreuse not only served the queen in her political intrigues, but, what tormented him still more, in her amorous intrigues.

At the first word the cardinal spoke of Mme. de Chevreuse--who, though exiled to Tours and believed to be in that city, had come to Paris, remained there five days, and outwitted the police--the king flew into a furious passion. Capricious and unfaithful, the king wished to be called Louis the Just and Louis the Chaste. Posterity will find a difficulty in understanding this character, which history explains only by facts and never by reason.

But when the cardinal added that not only Mme. de Chevreuse had been in Paris, but still further, that the queen had renewed with her one of those mysterious correspondences which at that time was named a CABAL; when he affirmed that he, the cardinal, was about to unravel the most closely twisted thread of this intrigue; that at the moment of arresting in the very act, with all the proofs about her, the queen's emissary to the exiled duchess, a Musketeer had dared to interrupt the course of justice violently, by falling sword in hand upon the honest men of the law, charged with investigating impartially the whole affair in order to place it before the eyes of the king--Louis XIII could not contain himself, and he made a step toward the queen's apartment with that pale and mute indignation which, when in broke out, led this prince to the commission of the most pitiless cruelty. And yet, in all this, the cardinal had not yet said a word about the Duke of Buckingham.

At this instant M. de Treville entered, cool, polite, and in irreproachable costume.

Informed of what had passed by the presence of the cardinal and the alteration in the king's countenance, M. de Treville felt himself something like Samson before the Philistines.

Louis XIII had already placed his hand on the knob of the door; at the noise of M. de Treville's entrance he turned round. "You arrive in good time, monsieur," said the king, who, when his passions were raised to a certain point, could not dissemble; "I have learned some fine things concerning your Musketeers."

"And I," said Treville, coldly, "I have some pretty things to tell your Majesty concerning these gownsmen."

"What?" said the king, with hauteur.

"I have the honor to inform your Majesty," continued M. de Treville, in the same tone, "that a party of PROCUREURS, commissaries, and men of the police--very estimable people, but very inveterate, as it appears, against the uniform--have taken upon themselves to arrest in a house, to lead away through the open street, and throw into the Fort l'Eveque, all upon an order which they have refused to show me, one of my, or rather your Musketeers, sire, of irreproachable conduct, of an almost illustrious reputation, and whom your Majesty knows favorably, Monsieur Athos."

"Athos," said the king, mechanically; "yes, certainly I know that name."

"Let your Majesty remember," said Treville, "that Monsieur Athos is the Musketeer who, in the annoying duel which you are acquainted with, had the misfortune to wound Monsieur de Cahusac so seriously. A PROPOS, monseigneur," continued Treville. Addressing the cardinal, "Monsieur de Cahusac is quite recovered, is he not?"

"Thank you," said the cardinal, biting his lips with anger.

"Athos, then, went to pay a visit to one of his friends absent at the time," continued Treville, "to a young Bearnais, a cadet in his Majesty's Guards, the company of Monsieur Dessessart, but scarcely had he arrived at his friend's and taken up a book, while waiting his return, when a mixed crowd of bailiffs and soldiers came and laid siege to the house, broke open several doors--"

The cardinal made the king a sign, which signified, "That was on account of the affair about which I spoke to you."

"We all know that," interrupted the king; "for all that was done for our service."

"Then," said Treville, "it was also for your Majesty's service that one of my Musketeers, who was innocent, has been seized, that he has been placed between two guards like a malefactor, and that this gallant man, who has ten times shed his blood in your Majesty's service and is ready to shed it again, has been paraded through the midst of an insolent populace?"

"Bah!" said the king, who began to be shaken, "was it so managed?"

"Monsieur de Treville," said the cardinal, with the greatest phlegm, "does not tell your Majesty that this innocent Musketeer, this gallant man, had only an hour before attacked, sword in hand, four commissaries of inquiry, who were delegated by myself to examine into an affair of the highest importance."

"I defy your Eminence to prove it," cried Treville, with his Gascon freedom and military frankness; "for one hour before, Monsieur Athos, who, I will confide it to your Majesty, is really a man of the highest quality, did me the honor after having dined with me to be conversing in the saloon of my hotel, with the Duc de la Tremouille and the Comte de Chalus, who happened to be there."

The king looked at the cardinal.

"A written examination attests it," said the cardinal, replying aloud to the mute interrogation of his Majesty; "and the ill-treated people have drawn up the following, which I have the honor to present to your Majesty."

"And is the written report of the gownsmen to be placed in comparison with the word of honor of a swordsman?" replied Treville haughtily.

"Come, come, Treville, hold your tongue," said the king.

"If his Eminence entertains any suspicion against one of my Musketeers," said Treville, "the justice of Monsieur the Cardinal is so well known that I demand an inquiry."

"In the house in which the judicial inquiry was made," continued the impassive cardinal, "there lodges, I believe, a young Bearnais, a friend of the Musketeer."

"Your Eminence means Monsieur d'Artagnan."

"I mean a young man whom you patronize, Monsieur de Treville."

"Yes, your Eminence, it is the same."

"Do you not suspect this young man of having given bad counsel?"

"To Athos, to a man double his age?" interrupted Treville. "No, monseigneur. Besides, d'Artagnan passed the evening with me."

"Well," said the cardinal, "everybody seems to have passed the evening with you."

"Does your Eminence doubt my word?" said Treville, with a brow flushed with anger.

"No, God forbid," said the cardinal; "only, at what hour was he with you?"

"Oh, as to that I can speak positively, your Eminence; for as he came in I remarked that it was but half past nine by the clock, although I had believed it to be later."

"At what hour did he leave your hotel?"

"At half past ten--an hour after the event."

"Well," replied the cardinal, who could not for an instant suspect the loyalty of Treville, and who felt that the victory was escaping him, "well, but Athos WAS taken in the house in the Rue des Fossoyeurs."

"Is one friend forbidden to visit another, or a Musketeer of my company to fraternize with a Guard of Dessessart's company?"

"Yes, when the house where he fraternizes is suspected."

"That house is suspected, Treville," said the king; "perhaps you did not know it?"

"Indeed, sire, I did not. The house may be suspected; but I deny that it is so in the part of it inhabited my Monsieur d'Artagnan, for I can affirm, sire, if I can believe what he says, that there does not exist a more devoted servant of your Majesty, or a more profound admirer of Monsieur the Cardinal."

"Was it not this d'Artagnan who wounded Jussac one day, in that unfortunate encounter which took place near the Convent of the Carmes-Dechausses?" asked the king, looking at the cardinal, who colored with vexation.

"And the next day, Bernajoux. Yes, sire, yes, it is the same; and your Majesty has a good memory."

"Come, how shall we decide?" said the king.

"That concerns your Majesty more than me," said the cardinal. "I should affirm the culpability."

"And I deny it," said Treville. "But his Majesty has judges, and these judges will decide."

"That is best," said the king. "Send the case before the judges; it is their business to judge, and they shall judge."

"Only," replied Treville, "it is a sad thing that in the unfortunate times in which we live, the purest life, the most incontestable virtue, cannot exempt a man from infamy and persecution. The army, I will answer for it, will be but little pleased at being exposed to rigorous treatment on account of police affairs."

The expression was imprudent; but M. de Treville launched it with knowledge of his cause. He was desirous of an explosion, because in that case the mine throws forth fire, and fire enlightens.

"Police affairs!" cried the king, taking up Treville's words, "police affairs! And what do you know about them, Monsieur? Meddle with your Musketeers, and do not annoy me in this way. It appears, according to your account, that if by mischance a Musketeer is arrested, France is in danger. What a noise about a Musketeer! I would arrest ten of them, VENTREBLEU, a hundred, even, all the company, and I would not allow a whisper."

"From the moment they are suspected by your Majesty," said Treville, "the Musketeers are guilty; therefore, you see me prepared to surrender my sword--for after having accused my soldiers, there can be no doubt that Monsieur the Cardinal will end by accusing me. It is best to constitute myself at once a prisoner with Athos, who is already arrested, and with d'Artagnan, who most probably will be."

"Gascon-headed man, will you have done?" said the king.

"Sire," replied Treville, without lowering his voice in the least, "either order my Musketeer to be restored to me, or let him be tried."

"He shall be tried," said the cardinal.

"Well, so much the better; for in that case I shall demand of his Majesty permission to plead for him."

The king feared an outbreak.

"If his Eminence," said he, "did not have personal motives--"

The cardinal saw what the king was about to say and interrupted him:

"Pardon me," said he; "but the instant your Majesty considers me a prejudiced judge, I withdraw."

"Come," said the king, "will you swear, by my father, that Athos was at your residence during the event and that he took no part in it?"

"By your glorious father, and by yourself, whom I love and venerate above all the world, I swear it."

"Be so kind as to reflect, sire," said the cardinal. "If we release the prisoner thus, we shall never know the truth."

"Athos may always be found," replied Treville, "ready to answer, when it shall please the gownsmen to interrogate him. He will not desert, Monsieur the Cardinal, be assured of that; I will answer for him."

"No, he will not desert," said the king; "he can always be found, as Treville says. Besides," added he, lowering his voice and looking with a suppliant air at the cardinal, "let us give them apparent security; that is policy."

This policy of Louis XIII made Richelieu smile.

"Order it as you please, sire; you possess the right of pardon."

"The right of pardoning only applies to the guilty," said Treville, who was determined to have the last word, "and my Musketeer is innocent. It is not mercy, then, that you are about to accord, sire, it is justice."

"And he is in the Fort l'Eveque?" said the king.

"Yes, sire, in solitary confinement, in a dungeon, like the lowest criminal."

"The devil!" murmured the king; "what must be done?"

"Sign an order for his release, and all will be said," replied the cardinal. "I believe with your Majesty that Monsieur de Treville's guarantee is more than sufficient."

Treville bowed very respectfully, with a joy that was not unmixed with fear; he would have preferred an obstinate resistance on the part of the cardinal to this sudden yielding.

The king signed the order for release, and Treville carried it away without delay. As he was about to leave the presence, the cardinal gave him a friendly smile, and said, "A perfect harmony reigns, sire, between the leaders and the soldiers of your Musketeers, which must be profitable for the service and honorable to all."

"He will play me some dog's trick or other, and that immediately," said Treville. "One has never the last word with such a man. But let us be quick--the king may change his mind in an hour; and at all events it is more difficult to replace a man in the Fort l'Eveque or the Bastille who has got out, than to keep a prisoner there who is in."

M de Treville made his entrance triumphantly into the Fort l'Eveque, whence he delivered the Musketeer, whose peaceful indifference had not for a moment abandoned him.

The first time he saw d'Artagnan, "You have come off well," said he to him; "there is your Jussac thrust paid for. There still remains that of Bernajoux, but you must not be too confident."

As to the rest, M. de Treville had good reason to mistrust the cardinal and to think that all was not over, for scarcely had the captain of the Musketeers closed the door after him, than his Eminence said to the king, "Now that we are at length by ourselves, we will, if your Majesty pleases, converse seriously. Sire, Buckingham has been in Paris five days, and only left this morning."

 

第十五章 法官和军人

这些事情发生的第二天,阿托斯还是没有踪影。达达尼昂和波托斯把他失踪的消息通知了特雷维尔先生。

阿拉米斯本来就请了五天假,去了卢昂,据说是处理家事。

特雷维尔先生如同手下士兵们的兄长。最低等和最不起眼的士兵,只要穿上火枪队队服,就肯定能得到这位队长兄长般的帮助和支持。

因此他一得到阿托斯失踪的消息,就立刻去找刑事总监。找来了红十字警察分局局长,从陆续得到的消息了解到,阿托斯暂时被关押在主教堡监狱。

阿托斯经受了层层审讯,凡是我们所见波那瑟经受过的,他都经受过。

我们目睹过这两个在押犯对质的情形。在那之前,阿托斯一直守口如瓶,担心达达尼昂没有足够的时间;等到对质之后,他就声明自己是阿托斯,不是达达尼昂。

他还补充说:他既不认识波那瑟先生,也不认识波那瑟夫人,从来没有同他们之中任何一个讲过话;他晚上十点钟光景去看望他的朋友达达尼昂先生,在这之前他一直待在特雷维尔先生那里,是在那里吃的晚饭,有二十个人可以证明这一事实。他随后列举了好几个地位显赫的绅士的姓名,其中有拉特雷穆耶公爵。

第二位狱吏和头一位狱吏一样,听了这位火枪手简单而坚定的陈述,感到不知所措。本来他想报复一下这个火枪手;司法人员总想对军人施展一点报复手段的。可是,一听到特雷维尔和拉特雷穆耶公爵这两个名字,他就感到需要三思而行。

于是,阿托斯被送给红衣主教发落,不巧红衣主教去了罗浮宫。

正在这时,特雷维尔会晤了刑事总监和主教堡监狱典狱长,但仍然没找到阿托斯,便赶到宫里去拜见国王。

作为火枪队队长,特雷维尔随时都可以进宫见国王。

我们都知道,国王对王后抱有什么样的成见。红衣主教巧妙地使国王保持这种成见,他在策划阴谋方面,对女人的提防远远超过对男人的提防。国王对王后所抱成见的主要原因之一,是安娜•奥地利与谢弗勒斯夫人之间的交情。这两个女人比对西班牙的战争、与英国的纠纷和财政上的困难,更使他寝食不安。在他的心目中,谢弗勒斯夫人不仅在政治阴谋方面,而且在恋情阴谋方面为王后效力,而这后一方面更使他头疼。

因此,红衣主教一提起谢弗勒斯夫人本来发配在图尔,一般人也都以为她待在那里,不料她却到巴黎来住了五天,连警察局都没发现她的踪迹,国王立刻龙颜大怒。国王原本是个喜怒无常,对爱情又不忠贞的人,却偏偏要世人崇奉他为"公正的路易"和"贞洁的路易"。后世很难发现他具有这种品格,因为历史总是以事实而不是以推想为准的。

红衣主教又说到,不仅谢弗勒斯夫人来过巴黎,而且王后利用当时被称为通神魔法的秘密通信方式,与她重新建立了联系。他还肯定地说,当他作为红衣主教,正要查清这种阴谋最隐秘的线索时,当他手下的人掌握了一切证据,去作案现场捉拿为王后给谢弗勒斯夫人送信的人时,当正直的司法人员正在公正地审问整个案子,准备整理呈交国王时,正在这时,却有一个胆大包天的火枪手,拿着剑凶猛地扑向他们,使审问立即中断。听到这里,国王再也控制不住自己,提起脚就向王后的寝宫走去,脸色苍白,怒火中烧,一言不发。这种无言的怒火一旦爆发,就会使这位国王变得异常冷酷暴戾。

然而,红衣主教在谈到这一切时,还只字未提到白金汉公爵。

就在国王朝王后的寝宫走去时,特雷维尔先生进来了。他态度冷静,彬彬有礼,仪表端正。

他见红衣主教在这里,又见国王脸色铁青,立刻明白发生了什么事情,但他就像面对菲利士人的孙参①,毫无惧色。

路易十三已经捏住了门把手,听见特雷维尔进来,便转过身来。

  ①孙参为古代以色列人的英雄,曾烧毁菲利士人的庄稼为妻子和岳父报仇,被缚引渡给菲利士人,他挣断绳索,杀菲利士人一千而逃脱。

"您来得正好,先生,"国王向来情绪激动到一定程度,就不知道掩饰,这时便说道,"朕听说您的火枪手们干了好事。"

"我呢,"特雷维尔沉着地说,"也有关于司法人员干了好事的消息,特来禀报陛下。"

"什么消息请讲。"国王傲慢地说道。

"臣荣幸地启奏陛下,"特雷维尔以同样的口气接着说,"一个由检查官、狱吏和警察结成的派别,其中都是一些值得尊敬的人,但似乎十分敌视军人,居然在一座住宅里逮捕了我的一名火枪手,当众带走,关进了主教堡监狱。这一切是根据一纸命令干的,但谁都不肯把那纸命令拿给我看。我那个火枪手,陛下,不如说是您的一个火枪手,他向来品行端正,几乎有口皆碑,而且得到陛下的赏识,他就是阿托斯先生。"

"阿托斯,"国王不自觉地重复一遍,"不错,这个名字我的确熟悉。"

"陛下想必还记得,"特雷维尔继续说,"阿托斯先生就是在陛下知道的那次令人不愉快的决斗中,严重刺伤了卡于萨克先生的那位火枪手。——顺便问一句,大人,"特雷维尔转向红衣主教问道,"卡于萨克先生已经彻底疹愈,不是吗?"

"多谢!"红衣主教气得撅起嘴巴答道。

"阿托斯先生是去看望一位朋友,"特雷维尔继续说,"那个朋友是贝亚恩人,是陛下禁军中的一名见习兵,在埃萨尔队里,他当时不在家。阿托斯刚刚在这位朋友家坐下,拿了一本书一边翻阅,一边等他。这时,警察和士兵混在一起的黑压压一群人包围了那座房子,捣毁了好几扇门……"

红衣主教示意国王:"他讲的就是我刚才向您禀报的那件事。"

"这一切我们都知道啦,"国王说道,"因为这一切都是为我们而办的。"

"那么,"特雷维尔说道,"抓走我手下一名清白无辜的火枪手,像对付歹徒似的,由两名警察夹着,从放肆无礼的小市民中间走过,而这位火枪手可是一个高尚文雅的人,他为陛下效劳,曾经十次流过血,今后还准备继续洒尽一腔热血。请问这一切也是为陛下效劳吗?"

"唔!"国王有点动摇了,问道:"事情真是这样的吗?"

"特雷维尔先生没有讲到的是,"红衣主教非常冷静地说,"这位清白无辜的火枪手,这个高尚文雅的人,在一个钟头之前用剑刺伤了四个预审干事;这四个干事是我派去调查一个极重要的案子的。"

"我看阁下未必能够证实这种说法,"特雷维尔以十足的加斯科尼人的直率和十足的军人的粗鲁说道,"因为,我要对陛下说句心里话,阿托斯先生是一个品质很高尚的人。一个钟头之前,他在我家吃晚饭,饭后又在我家客厅里聊天,在场的有拉特雷穆耶公爵和夏吕伯爵等人。"

国王看一眼红衣主教。

"有一份笔录可以作证,"红衣主教大声回答国王无言的询问,"那几个受到攻击的人都写了旁证材料,在此我荣幸地恭呈圣上过目。"

"法官的笔录难道抵得上军人的保证吗?"特雷维尔自豪地反驳道。

"好啦,好啦,特雷维尔,您不用说了。"国王说道。

"假如主教阁下对我的一名火枪手有什么怀疑,"特雷维尔说道,"而红衣主教秉公办事是相当有名的,因此我以自己的名义要求进行调查。"

"在进行过现场调查的那座房子里,"红衣主教不动声色地说道,"我想住着一个贝亚恩人,即这位火枪手的朋友。"

"阁下是指达达尼昂先生吗?"

"特雷维尔先生,我讲的是一个受您保护的年轻人。"

"对,阁下,正是受我保护的。"

"您难道不怀疑正是这个青年唆使……"

"唆使阿托斯先生?唆使一个年龄比他大一倍的人?"特雷维尔打断红衣主教的话,"不可能,大人。再说,那天晚上达达尼昂先生是在我家里度过的。"

"啊,这,"红衣主教说道,"这样说来,那天晚上所有人都是在你家里度过的?"

"阁下不相信我的话?"特雷维尔反问道,气得满脸通红。

"上帝保佑,哪能不相信呢!"红衣主教答道,"不过,他几点钟在您那里?"

"噢!这个吗,我可以明确告诉阁下,因为他进来时,我本来以为已经很晚了,但注意到挂钟才九点半。"

"那么,他几点钟离开您的公馆的?"

"十点半钟,即事件发生之后一个钟头。"

"不管怎么说,"红衣主教从没怀疑过特雷维尔的正直,感到胜利正在化为泡影,便说道,"不管怎么说,阿托斯是在掘墓人街那座房子里被抓住的。"

"难道一位朋友去看望一位朋友是被禁止的吗?难道我队里一个火枪手与埃萨尔队里一个禁军过往是被禁止的吗?"

"是被禁止的,当他与这位朋友过往的那座房子可疑的时候。"

"因为那座房子可疑,特雷维尔,"国王说道,"这一点您也许还不知道吧?"

"我的确不知道,陛下。不管怎样,那座房子可能处处可疑,但我不认为达达尼昂居住的那一部分也可疑,因为我可以向您肯定,陛下,如果达达尼昂说的话可信的话,那么就找不到一个比他更效忠于陛下,更崇敬红衣主教的人了。"

"是不是就是在加尔默罗-赤足修道院附近那次不幸的遭遇中,刺伤了朱萨克的那个达达尼昂?"国王问道,同时瞟红衣主教一眼,发现他气得满脸通红。

"第二天又刺伤了贝纳如。对,陛下,对,正是这样。陛下记性真好。"

"那么,我们该怎样解决呢?"国王问道。

"这就要看陛下的了,不是我作得了主的。"红衣主教说道,"不过,我肯定他有罪。"

"我否认。"特雷维尔说道,"不过陛下不是有法官吗?由陛下的法官去决定好了。"

"对,"国王说道,"把案子交给法官们吧,审判是他们的事,他们会作出判决的。"

"不过,"特雷维尔又说道,"说起来叫人痛心,在我们这个不幸的时代,一个人即使一生纯洁无瑕,品德无懈可击,也免不了遭到诽谤和迫害。因此我可以肯定,军队眼见自己由于警方惹出的是非而受到严厉的对待,是不会怎么满意的。"

这句话够冒失的,但特雷维尔故出此言。他希望引起一次爆炸,因为地雷爆炸就会产生火光,有火光才会把一切照亮。

"警方惹出的是非!"国王抓住特雷维尔的话厉声呵斥道,"警方惹出的是非!您懂什么,先生?去管您的火枪手吧,别搅得我头昏脑胀。照您的说法,如果不幸逮捕了一名火枪手,似乎整个法国就处在危险之中了。哼!为了一个火枪手,竟搞得满城风雨!真见鬼!我要逮捕十个,一百个,甚至整个火枪队!

而不准旁人说一个字。"

"陛下一旦也认为他们可疑,"特雷维尔说道,"火枪手们就肯定都有罪了。因此,请陛下明鉴,我准备把身上的剑还给您。因为我相信,红衣主教在指控了我的士兵之后,最终一定会指控我本人的;阿托斯已经被捕入狱,达达尼昂看来也快要给抓起来了,我呢,最好还是赶紧同他们一块去坐牢。"

"加斯科尼人的脾气,您有完没完?"国王说道。

"陛下,"特雷维尔声音一点也没降低,"请您下令把我的火枪手交还给我,不然就让他接受审判。"

"会对他进行审判的。"红衣主教说道。

"那好,我巴不得能。在这种情况下,我请求陛下恩准我为他辩护。"

国王担心事情闹大,便说:

"如果阁下个人没有什么理由……"

红衣主教见国王向自己进逼,连忙迎击。

"请恕罪,如果陛下认为我作为审判者有成见,我退出就是了。"

"那么,"国王对特雷维尔说道,"您能否看在先王吾父份上对我发誓,案发时阿托斯先生在您官邸,他和案子绝对没有关系?"

"我对光荣的先王和世界上我最热爱、最崇敬的陛下发誓!"

"请考虑一下,陛下,"红衣主教说道,"就这样放掉犯人,事实真相可就搞不清楚了。"

"阿托斯先生还在嘛,"特雷维尔说道,"法官们想审问他,他随时可以回答。他绝不会逃跑,红衣主教先生,放心吧,我为他担保。"

"是啊,他逃跑不了。"国王说道,"随时都可以找他来嘛,正如特雷维尔先生所说的。况且,"国王压低声音,露出恳求的神色盯住红衣主教,补充说:"我们应该保障他们的安全,这是策略。"

路易十三的这种策略令黎塞留发笑。

"降旨吧,陛下,"他说道,"您有赦免权。"

"赦免权只适用于罪犯,"特雷维尔希望彻底赢得这场争论,说道,"我的火枪手是清白无辜的。所以,陛下,您要做的不是赦免他,而是为他主持公道。"

"他关押在主教堡监狱?"国王问道。

"是的,陛下,秘密关在黑牢里,就像关押罪大恶极的罪犯。"

"见鬼!见鬼!"国王自言自语道,"怎么办好呢?"

"您签发一道释放的谕旨,就什么都解决了。"红衣主教说道,"我像陛下一样相信,特雷维尔先生的保证是靠得住的。"

特雷维尔怀着喜悦的心情恭敬地欠欠身子。他这种喜悦的心情并非没夹杂着担心:他宁愿看到红衣主教顽固地反对到底,而不是突然这样痛快的同意。

国王签署了释放谕旨,特雷维尔迫不及待地接过来就往外走。

他正要迈出门槛时,红衣主教冲他友好地一笑,对国王说道:

"陛下,在您的火枪队里,长官与士兵之间关系很和谐啊。

这很有利于公务,也使大家脸上很光彩。"

"他肯定马上要对我玩弄什么阴谋诡计了。"特雷维尔暗自琢磨,"这样一个人,你永远别想治服他。赶快吧,国王随时可能改变主意的。归根到底,要想把一个已经获释的人再关进巴士底狱或主教堡狱,总比把一个在押犯继续关押下去费事多啦。"

特雷维尔得意扬扬地走进主教堡狱,解救他那位始终安安静静满不在乎的火枪手。

这之后,他头一回见到达达尼昂时就对他说:

"这回算你侥幸逃脱了。你给于萨克那一剑算是偿清啦。

还剩下贝纳如那一剑,你可不要太大意。"

特雷维尔先生对红衣主教存有戒心,认为事情还没有完,这无疑是对的,因为火枪队队长刚拉上身后的门,红衣主教阁下就对国王说道:

"现在只剩下我们两个人了,陛下如果有兴趣,让我们来严肃地谈一谈吧。陛下,白金汉先生在巴黎待了五天,直到今天早上才离开的。"




Chapter 16 IN WHICH M. SEGUIER, KEEPER OF THE SEALS, LOOKS MORE THAN ONCE FOR THE BELL

It is impossible to form an idea of the impression these few words made upon Louis XIII. He grew pale and red alternately; and the cardinal saw at once that he had recovered by a single blow all the ground he had lost.

"Buckingham in Paris!" cried he, "and why does he come?"

"To conspire, no doubt, with your enemies, the Huguenots and the Spaniards."

"No, PARDIEU, no! To conspire against my honor with Madame de Chevreuse, Madame de Longueville, and the Condes."

"Oh, sire, what an idea! The queen is too virtuous; and besides, loves your Majesty too well."

"Woman is weak, Monsieur Cardinal," said the king; "and as to loving me much, I have my own opinion as to that love."

"I not the less maintain," said the cardinal, "that the Duke of Buckingham came to Paris for a project wholly political."

"And I am sure that he came for quite another purpose, Monsieur Cardinal; but if the queen be guilty, let her tremble!"

"Indeed," said the cardinal, "whatever repugnance I may have to directing my mind to such a treason, your Majesty compels me to think of it. Madame de Lannoy, whom, according to your Majesty's command, I have frequently interrogated, told me this morning that the night before last her Majesty sat up very late, that this morning she wept much, and that she was writing all day."

"That's it!" cried the king; "to him, no doubt. Cardinal, I must have the queen's papers."

"But how to take them, sire? It seems to me that it is neither your Majesty nor myself who can charge himself with such a mission."

"How did they act with regard to the Marechale d'Ancre?" cried the king, in the highest state of choler; "first her closets were thoroughly searched, and then she herself."

"The Marechale d'Ancre was no more than the Marechale d'Ancre. A Florentine adventurer, sire, and that was all; while the august spouse of your Majesty is Anne of Austria, Queen of France--that is to say, one of the greatest princesses in the world."

"She is not the less guilty, Monsieur Duke! The more she has forgotten the high position in which she was placed, the more degrading is her fall. Besides, I long ago determined to put an end to all these petty intrigues of policy and love. She has near her a certain Laporte."

"Who, I believe, is the mainspring of all this, I confess," said the cardinal.

"You think then, as I do, that she deceives me?" said the king.

"I believe, and I repeat it to your Majesty, that the queen conspires against the power of the king, but I have not said against his honor."

"And I--I tell you against both. I tell you the queen does not love me; I tell you she loves another; I tell you she loves that infamous Buckingham! Why did you not have him arrested while in Paris?"

"Arrest the Duke! Arrest the prime minister of King Charles I! Think of it, sire! What a scandal! And if the suspicions of your Majesty, which I still continue to doubt, should prove to have any foundation, what a terrible disclosure, what a fearful scandal!"

"But as he exposed himself like a vagabond or a thief, he should have been--"

Louis XIII stopped, terrified at what he was about to say, while Richelieu, stretching out his neck, waited uselessly for the word which had died on the lips of the king.

"He should have been--?"

"Nothing," said the king, "nothing. But all the time he was in Paris, you, of course, did not lose sight of him?"

"No, sire."

"Where did he lodge?"

"Rue de la Harpe. No. 75."

"Where is that?"

"By the side of the Luxembourg."

"And you are certain that the queen and he did not see each other?"

"I believe the queen to have too high a sense of her duty, sire."

"But they have corresponded; it is to him that the queen has been writing all the day. Monsieur Duke, I must have those letters!"

"Sire, notwithstanding--"

"Monsieur Duke, at whatever price it may be, I will have them."

"I would, however, beg your Majesty to observe--"

"Do you, then, also join in betraying me, Monsieur Cardinal, by thus always opposing my will? Are you also in accord with Spain and England, with Madame de Chevreuse and the queen?"

"Sire," replied the cardinal, sighing, "I believed myself secure from such a suspicion."

"Monsieur Cardinal, you have heard me; I will have those letters."

"There is but one way."

"What is that?"

"That would be to charge Monsieur de Seguier, the keeper of the seals, with this mission. The matter enters completely into the duties of the post."

"Let him be sent for instantly."

"He is most likely at my hotel. I requested him to call, and when I came to the Louvre I left orders if he came, to desire him to wait."

"Let him be sent for instantly."

"Your Majesty's orders shall be executed; but--"

"But what?"

"But the queen will perhaps refuse to obey."

"My orders?"

"Yes, if she is ignorant that these orders come from the king."

"Well, that she may have no doubt on that head, I will go and inform her myself."

"Your Majesty will not forget that I have done everything in my power to prevent a rupture."

"Yes, Duke, yes, I know you are very indulgent toward the queen, too indulgent, perhaps; we shall have occasion, I warn you, at some future period to speak of that."

"Whenever it shall please your Majesty; but I shall be always happy and proud, sire, to sacrifice myself to the harmony which I desire to see reign between you and the Queen of France."

"Very well, Cardinal, very well; but, meantime, send for Monsieur the Keeper of the Seals. I will go to the queen."

And Louis XIII, opening the door of communication, passed into the corridor which led from his apartments to those of Anne of Austria.

The queen was in the midst of her women--Mme. de Guitaut, Mme. de Sable, Mme. de Montbazon, and Mme. de Guemene. In a corner was the Spanish companion, Donna Estafania, who had followed her from Madrid. Mme. Guemene was reading aloud, and everybody was listening to her with attention with the exception of the queen, who had, on the contrary, desired this reading in order that she might be able, while feigning to listen, to pursue the thread of her own thoughts.

These thoughts, gilded as they were by a last reflection of love, were not the less sad. Anne of Austria, deprived of the confidence of her husband, pursued by the hatred of the cardinal, who could not pardon her for having repulsed a more tender feeling, having before her eyes the example of the queen-mother whom that hatred had tormented all her life--though Marie de Medicis, if the memoirs of the time are to be believed, had begun by according to the cardinal that sentiment which Anne of Austria always refused him--Anne of Austria had seen her most devoted servants fall around her, her most intimate confidants, her dearest favorites. Like those unfortunate persons endowed with a fatal gift, she brought misfortune upon everything she touched. Her friendship was a fatal sign which called down persecution. Mme. de Chevreuse and Mme. de Bernet were exiled, and Laporte did not conceal from his mistress that he expected to be arrested every instant.

It was at the moment when she was plunged in the deepest and darkest of these reflections that the door of the chamber opened, and the king entered.

The reader hushed herself instantly. All the ladies rose, and there was a profound silence. As to the king, he made no demonstration of politeness, only stopping before the queen. "Madame," said he, "you are about to receive a visit from the chancellor, who will communicate certain matters to you with which I have charged him."

The unfortunate queen, who was constantly threatened with divorce, exile, and trial even, turned pale under her rouge, and could not refrain from saying, "But why this visit, sire? What can the chancellor have to say to me that your Majesty could not say yourself?"

The king turned upon his heel without reply, and almost at the same instant the captain of the Guards, M. de Guitant, announced the visit of the chancellor.

When the chancellor appeared, the king had already gone out by another door.

The chancellor entered, half smiling, half blushing. As we shall probably meet with him again in the course of our history, it may be well for our readers to be made at once acquainted with him.

This chancellor was a pleasant man. He was Des Roches le Masle, canon of Notre Dame, who had formerly been valet of a bishop, who introduced him to his Eminence as a perfectly devout man. The cardinal trusted him, and therein found his advantage.

There are many stories related of him, and among them this. After a wild youth, he had retired into a convent, there to expiate, at least for some time, the follies of adolescence. On entering this holy place, the poor penitent was unable to shut the door so close as to prevent the passions he fled from entering with him. He was incessantly attacked by them, and the superior, to whom he had confided this misfortune, wishing as much as in him lay to free him from them, had advised him, in order to conjure away the tempting demon, to have recourse to the bell rope, and ring with all his might. At the denunciating sound, the monks would be rendered aware that temptation was besieging a brother, and all the community would go to prayers.

This advice appeared good to the future chancellor. He conjured the evil spirit with abundance of prayers offered up by the monks. But the devil does not suffer himself to be easily dispossessed from a place in which he has fixed his garrison. In proportion as they redoubled the exorcisms he redoubled the temptations; so that day and night the bell was ringing full swing, announcing the extreme desire for mortification which the penitent experienced.

The monks had no longer an instant of repose. By day they did nothing but ascend and descend the steps which led to the chapel; at night, in addition to complines and matins, they were further obliged to leap twenty times out of their beds and prostrate themselves on the floor of their cells.

It is not known whether it was the devil who gave way, or the monks who grew tired; but within three months the penitent reappeared in the world with the reputation of being the most terrible POSSESSED that ever existed.

On leaving the convent he entered into the magistracy, became president on the place of his uncle, embraced the cardinal's party, which did not prove want of sagacity, became chancellor, served his Eminence with zeal in his hatred against the queen-mother and his vengeance against Anne of Austria, stimulated the judges in the affair of Calais, encouraged the attempts of M. de Laffemas, chief gamekeeper of France; then, at length, invested with the entire confidence of the cardinal--a confidence which he had so well earned--he received the singular commission for the execution of which he presented himself in the queen's apartments.

The queen was still standing when he entered; but scarcely had she perceived him then she reseated herself in her armchair, and made a sign to her women to resume their cushions and stools, and with an air of supreme hauteur, said, "What do you desire, monsieur, and with what object do you present yourself here?"

"To make, madame, in the name of the king, and without prejudice to the respect which I have the honor to owe to your Majesty a close examination into all your papers."

"How, monsieur, an investigation of my papers--mine! Truly, this is an indignity!"

"Be kind enough to pardon me, madame; but in this circumstance I am but the instrument which the king employs. Has not his Majesty just left you, and has he not himself asked you to prepare for this visit?"

"Search, then, monsieur! I am a criminal, as it appears. Estafania, give up the keys of my drawers and my desks."

For form's sake the chancellor paid a visit to the pieces of furniture named; but he well knew that it was not in a piece of furniture that the queen would place the important letter she had written that day.

When the chancellor had opened and shut twenty times the drawers of the secretaries, it became necessary, whatever hesitation he might experience--it became necessary, I say, to come to the conclusion of the affair; that is to say, to search the queen herself. The chancellor advanced, therefore, toward Anne of Austria, and said with a very perplexed and embarrassed air, "And now it remains for me to make the principal examination."

"What is that?" asked the queen, who did not understand, or rather was not willing to understand.

"His majesty is certain that a letter has been written by you during the day; he knows that it has not yet been sent to its address. This letter is not in your table nor in your secretary; and yet this letter must be somewhere."

"Would you dare to lift your hand to your queen?" said Anne of Austria, drawing herself up to her full height, and fixing her eyes upon the chancellor with an expression almost threatening.

"I am a faithful subject of the king, madame, and all that his Majesty commands I shall do."

"Well, it is true!" said Anne of Austria; "and the spies of the cardinal have served him faithfully. I have written a letter today; that letter is not yet gone. The letter is here." And the queen laid her beautiful hand on her bosom.

"Then give me that letter, madame," said the chancellor.

"I will give it to none but the king monsieur," said Anne.

"If the king had desired that the letter should be given to him, madame, he would have demanded it of you himself. But I repeat to you, I am charged with reclaiming it; and if you do not give it up--"

"Well?"

"He has, then, charged me to take it from you."

"How! What do you say?"

"That my orders go far, madame; and that I am authorized to seek for the suspected paper, even on the person of your Majesty."

"What horror!" cried the queen.

"Be kind enough, then, madame, to act more compliantly."

"The conduct is infamously violent! Do you know that, monsieur?"

"The king commands it, madame; excuse me."

"I will not suffer it! No, no, I would rather die!" cried the queen, in whom the imperious blood of Spain and Austria began to rise.

The chancellor made a profound reverence. Then, with the intention quite patent of not drawing back a foot from the accomplishment of the commission with which he was charged, and as the attendant of an executioner might have done in the chamber of torture, he approached Anne of Austria, for whose eyes at the same instant sprang tears of rage.

The queen was, as we have said, of great beauty. The commission might well be called delicate; and the king had reached, in his jealousy of Buckingham, the point of not being jealous of anyone else.

Without doubt the chancellor, Seguier looked about at that moment for the rope of the famous bell; but not finding it he summoned his resolution, and stretched forth his hands toward the place where the queen had acknowledged the paper was to be found.

Anne of Austria took one step backward, became so pale that it might be said she was dying, and leaning with her left hand upon a table behind her to keep herself from falling, she with her right hand drew the paper from her bosom and held it out to the keeper of the seals.

"There, monsieur, there is that letter!" cried the queen, with a broken and trembling voice; "take it, and deliver me from your odious presence."

The chancellor, who, on his part, trembled with an emotion easily to be conceived, took the letter, bowed to the ground, and retired. The door was scarcely closed upon him, when the queen sank, half fainting, into the arms of her women.

The chancellor carried the letter to the king without having read a single word of it. The king took it with a trembling hand, looked for the address, which was wanting, became very pale, opened it slowly, then seeing by the first words that it was addressed to the King of Spain, he read it rapidly.

It was nothing but a plan of attack against the cardinal. The queen pressed her brother and the Emperor of Austria to appear to be wounded, as they really were, by the policy of Richelieu--the eternal object of which was the abasement of the house of Austria--to declare war against France, and as a condition of peace, to insist upon the dismissal of the cardinal; but as to love, there was not a single word about it in all the letter.

The king, quite delighted, inquired if the cardinal was still at the Louvre; he was told that his Eminence awaited the orders of his Majesty in the business cabinet.

The king went straight to him.

"There, Duke," said he, "you were right and I was wrong. The whole intrigue is political, and there is not the least question of love in this letter; but, on the other hand, there is abundant question of you."

The cardinal took the letter, and read it with the greatest attention; then, when he had arrived at the end of it, he read it a second time. "Well, your Majesty," said he, "you see how far my enemies go; they menace you with two wars if you do not dismiss me. In your place, in truth, sire, I should yield to such powerful instance; and on my part, it would be a real happiness to withdraw from public affairs."

"What say you, Duke?"

"I say, sire, that my health is sinking under these excessive struggles and these never-ending labors. I say that according to all probability I shall not be able to undergo the fatigues of the siege of La Rochelle, and that it would be far better that you should appoint there either Monsieur de Conde, Monsieur de Bassopierre, or some valiant gentleman whose business is war, and not me, who am a churchman, and who am constantly turned aside for my real vocation to look after matters for which I have no aptitude. You would be the happier for it at home, sire, and I do not doubt you would be the greater for it abroad."

"Monsieur Duke," said the king, "I understand you. Be satisfied, all who are named in that letter shall be punished as they deserve, even the queen herself."

"What do you say, sire? God forbid that the queen should suffer the least inconvenience or uneasiness on my account! She has always believed me, sire, to be her enemy; although your Majesty can bear witness that I have always taken her part warmly, even against you. Oh, if she betrayed your Majesty on the side of your honor, it would be quite another thing, and I should be the first to say, 'No grace, sire--no grace for the guilty!' Happily, there is nothing of the kind, and your Majesty has just acquired a new proof of it."

"That is true, Monsieur Cardinal," said the king, "and you were right, as you always are; but the queen, not the less, deserves all my anger."

"It is you, sire, who have now incurred hers. And even if she were to be seriously offended, I could well understand it; your Majesty has treated her with a severity--"

"It is thus I will always treat my enemies and yours, Duke, however high they may be placed, and whatever peril I may incur in acting severely toward them."

"The queen is my enemy, but is not yours, sire; on the contrary, she is a devoted, submissive, and irreproachable wife. Allow me, then, sire, to intercede for her with your Majesty."

"Let her humble herself, then, and come to me first."

"On the contrary, sire, set the example. You have committed the first wrong, since it was you who suspected the queen."

"What! I make the first advances?" said the king. "Never!"

"Sire, I entreat you to do so."

"Besides, in what manner can I make advances first?"

"By doing a thing which you know will be agreeable to her."

"What is that?"

"Give a ball; you know how much the queen loves dancing. I will answer for it, her resentment will not hold out against such an attention."

"Monsieur Cardinal, you know that I do not like worldly pleasures."

"The queen will only be the more grateful to you, as she knows your antipathy for that amusement; besides, it will be an opportunity for her to wear those beautiful diamonds which you gave her recently on her birthday and with which she has since had no occasion to adorn herself."

"We shall see, Monsieur Cardinal, we shall see," said the king, who, in his joy at finding the queen guilty of a crime which he cared little about, and innocent of a fault of which he had great dread, was ready to make up all differences with her, "we shall see, but upon my honor, you are too indulgent toward her."

"Sire," said the cardinal, "leave severity to your ministers. Clemency is a royal virtue; employ it, and you will find that you derive advantage therein."

Thereupon the cardinal, hearing the clock strike eleven, bowed low, asking permission of the king to retire, and supplicating him to come to a good understanding with the queen.

Anne of Austria, who, in consequence of the seizure of her letter, expected reproaches, was much astonished the next day to see the king make some attempts at reconciliation with her. Her first movement was repellent. Her womanly pride and her queenly dignity had both been so cruelly offended that she could not come round at the first advance; but, overpersuaded by the advice of her women, she at last had the appearance of beginning to forget. The king took advantage of this favorable moment to tell her that her had the intention of shortly giving a fete.

A fete was so rare a thing for poor Anne of Austria that at this announcement, as the cardinal had predicted, the last trace of her resentment disappeared, if not from her heart at least from her countenance. She asked upon what day this fete would take place, but the king replied that he must consult the cardinal upon that head.

Indeed, every day the king asked the cardinal when this fete should take place; and every day the cardinal, under some pretext, deferred fixing it. Ten days passed away thus.

On the eighth day after the scene we have described, the cardinal received a letter with the London stamp which only contained these lines: "I have them; but I am unable to leave London for want of money. Send me five hundred pistoles, and four or five days after I have received them I shall be in Paris."

On the same day the cardinal received this letter the king put his customary question to him.

Richelieu counted on his fingers, and said to himself, "She will arrive, she says, four or five days after having received the money. It will require four or five days for the transmission of the money, four or five days for her to return; that makes ten days. Now, allowing for contrary winds, accidents, and a woman's weakness, there are twelve days."

"Well, Monsieur Duke," said the king, "have you made your calculations?"

"Yes, sire. Today is the twentieth of September. The aldermen of the city give a fete on the third of October. That will fall in wonderfully well; you will not appear to have gone out of your way to please the queen."

Then the cardinal added, "A PROPOS, sire, do not forget to tell her Majesty the evening before the fete that you should like to see how her diamond studs become her."

 

第十六章 掌玺大臣赛基埃又一次想打钟驱魔

路易十三听了红衣主教这几句话的感想,真是难以形容。他的脸红一阵白一阵;红衣主教立刻看到,他失去的地盘一下子收复了。

"白金汉在巴黎!"国王嚷起来,"他来干什么?"

"大概是与我们的敌人胡格诺派教徒和西班牙人策划阴谋吧。"

"不,见鬼,不是!而是与谢弗勒斯夫人、龙格维尔夫人以及孔代家族①一道密谋如何毁坏我的名誉。"

  ①孔代家族是波旁王朝的一个重要分支。

"啊!陛下想到哪儿去了!王后是很明智的,尤其又很爱陛下。"

"女人都意志薄弱,红衣主教先生,"国王说道,"至于说到她很爱我,对这种爱情我自有看法。"

"我还是坚持我的看法,"红衣主教说,"白金汉公爵来巴黎是为了一项政治计划。"

"我肯定他来巴黎是为了旁的事情,红衣主教先生。不过,如果王后是有罪的,就让她发抖去吧!"

"关于这一点吗,"红衣主教说,"这样的背信弃义令我反感至极,连想都不愿意去想,不过陛下的话提醒了我:我按陛下的吩咐盘问过拉诺阿夫人好几次,今天早上她告诉我,昨天夜里王后陛下睡得很晚,今天早上她哭得很厉害,整天在写信。"

"这就对了,"国王说道,"也许是给他写信。红衣主教,我要弄到王后那些信。"

"可是,怎么弄到手呢,陛下?这种差事,我看无论我还是陛下都不能胜任。"

"当年是怎样对付昂克尔①元帅夫人的?"国王愤怒之极,大声问道,"不是搜查了她的衣柜,最后搜了她的身吗!"

  ①昂克尔为意大利冒险家、政治家,因其妻深得路易十三母后宠爱,擢升为法国元帅。路易十三掌权后,遣人暗杀昂克尔,并治其妻死罪。吐出来。

"昂克尔元帅夫人是昂克尔元帅夫人,陛下,她只不过是佛罗伦萨的一个女冒险家,如此而已。而陛下令人尊敬的配偶,乃是安娜•奥地利,法兰西的王后,也是世界上最高贵的王后之一。"

"正因为如此,她就更罪孽深重,公爵先生!她愈是忘记了自己所处的高贵地位,就愈是堕落得低级下流。再说,朕早就决计要结束这类政治和爱情方面的小阴谋诡计了。她身边还有一个叫拉波特的……"

"老实讲,我认为此人是这一切的关键人物。"红衣主教说道。

"您像我一样认为她欺骗我吗?"国王问道。

"我认为,我向陛下再说一遍,王后阴谋反对国王的权势;

我绝没有说王后阴谋毁坏国王的名誉。"

"而我,我对您说吧,她是针对这两者的;我对您说吧,王后根本不爱我,而爱另一个人;我对您说吧,她爱的就是那个寡廉鲜耻的白金汉公爵!他在巴黎的时候,您为什么不把他抓起来?"

"把公爵抓起来!把英王查理一世的首相抓起来!您想那么做吗,陛下?那会引起多大的风波?就算陛下的怀疑有点根据吧——对此我仍然不相信,那会引起多么可怕的风波!会是一桩多么令人失望的丑闻!"

"既然他像流浪汉和扒手一样跑来冒险,那就该……"

路易十三自动住了口,不敢按自己的想法继续讲下去,黎塞留伸长脖子等待听下文,白搭,后半句话到了国王嘴边硬是没有"那就该怎样?"

"不怎样,"国王说,"不怎样。不过,他在巴黎逗留期间,您一直监视着他吧?"

"是的,陛下。"

"他住在何处?"

"竖琴街七十五号。"

"这条街在哪一带?"

"在卢森堡公园附近。"

"您肯定王后没有与他见面?"

"我相信王后太看重自己的职责了,陛下。"

"可是他们通了信,王后整天写的信就是准备寄给他的。

公爵先生,我要看那些信!"

"可是,陛下……"

"公爵先生,不管花什么代价,朕一定要看那些信。"

"然而,臣谨请陛下注意……"

"红衣主教先生,您总是这样违逆朕的意志,难道您也要背弃朕吗?难道您也与西班牙人、英国人、谢弗勒斯夫人和王后一条心吗。"

"陛下,"红衣主教叹口气说道,"我相信这种怀疑加不到臣头上。"

"红衣主教先生,您听见联的话了吧?朕要那些信。"

"只有一个办法。"

"什么办法?"

"把这个任务交给掌玺大臣赛基埃。这完全是属于他的职权范围之内的事。"

"马上叫人传他来!"

"他可能正在我的官邸,陛下。是我请他去的。我进宫的时候留下了话,如果他来了,就请他等我。"

"立刻传他来!"

"陛下的旨意自然要照办,不过……"

"不过什么?"

"不过王后可能拒不服从。"

"拒不服从朕的旨意?"

"是的,如果她不知道这是陛下的旨意。"

"那好,为了让她明白是朕的旨意,朕亲自去通知她。"

"请陛下不要忘了,臣可是竭尽所能防止关系破裂的。"

"对的,公爵,朕知道您对王后很宽大,也许过于宽大了。

关于这一点,我们以后要谈一谈,我事先通知您。"

"陛下高兴什么时候都可以。不过,臣盼望陛下与法兰西王后和睦相处。为了保持这种和睦,臣就是肝脑涂地,也感到幸福和自豪。"

"好,红衣主教,好。不过,现在请派人去传掌玺大臣吧;我吗,这就去王后那里……"

路易十三推开间壁墙的门,走进由他的寝宫通向安娜•奥地利的寝宫那条走廊。

王后与她的侍女们在一起,其中有基多夫人、萨布雷夫人、蒙巴宗夫人和盖梅芮夫人。坐在一个角落里的,是从马德里跟随王后过来的西班牙侍女爱丝特法尼娅夫人。盖梅芮夫人在朗读一本书,大家听得很仔细,只有王后除外:这朗读本是王后提议的,但王后的目的,是让自己在假装听朗读的同时,能够想自己的心事。

王后的心事,虽然被爱情最后一道闪光映得金光灿烂,但总免不了凄凉。安娜•奥地利既得不到丈夫的信任,又时时受到红衣主教的憎恨。红衣主教之所以对她不肯宽容,是因为她拒绝了他的一种更为温柔的感情。对王后来讲,太后的前车之鉴犹在眼前:如果当时的回忆录是可信的,就知道安娜•奥地利始终拒绝给予红衣主教的感情,玛丽•梅迪奇①一开始就给予他了,可是她一辈子还是免不了受他的憎恨折磨。安娜•奥地利眼睁睁看着自己最忠实的仆人,最亲密的心腹,最心爱的宠臣,一个个先后倒下了。她就像那些祸星,接触到什么就给什么带来不幸;她的友情是一个注定要倒霉的信号,会招来迫害。谢弗勒斯夫人和韦尔内夫人遭到发配;最后拉波特也毫不隐讳地告诉女主人,他随时都可能被逮捕。

  ①又译玛丽•美第奇,路易十三之母,出身于意大利有名的梅迪奇家族。

正当她深深地沉浸在最阴郁的心事当中的时候,房间的门开了,进来的是国王。

朗读立刻停止了,所有侍女一齐站起来,房间里鸦雀无声。

国王没有任何礼貌的表示,只是走到王后面前停下来,用很不自然的口气说道:

"娘娘,掌玺大臣要来晋见您,他会把我委托他办的事知照您的。"

可怜的王后不断受到离婚、发配、甚至审判的威胁,这时虽然抹了胭脂,脸色还是显得煞白,禁不住问道:

"这次晋见是为了什么,陛下?掌玺大臣有什么话要对我说,陛下本人不能对我说吗?"

国王毫不理会,转身就走,而几乎同一时刻,禁军队长基多先生通报掌玺大臣到。

掌玺大臣露面时,国王已经从另一道门出去了。

掌玺大臣半微笑,半脸红地进来了。这个人物我们在本故事的发展过程中可能还会碰到的,所以读者现在就来认识他一下,是不会有什么害处的。

这位掌玺大臣是个讨人喜欢的人。巴黎圣母院的议事司铎戴罗什•勒马斯尔,曾经给红衣主教当过跟班。是他把赛基埃推荐给红衣主教的,说他是个非常忠实的人。红衣主教信任他,觉得他挺不错。

流传着一些有关他的故事,下面是其中之一:

在度过一段动荡不安的青春期之后,他进了一所隐修院,为的是至少暂时抑制一下青年时期的种种荒唐行为。

可是,这个可怜的苦修者在踏进这块圣地之时,没有赶快把门关严,致使他所逃避的情欲跟随他一块进到了里边,依然不停地来纠缠他。他把这种不幸向院长作了忏悔;院长愿意尽其所能,保护他不受侵扰,便教他一个驱除诱惑人的恶魔的法子,即抓住打钟的绳子,拼命敲钟。这告发的钟声一响,隐修士们立刻明白,诱惑人的恶魔包围了他们之中的一个教友,全体修士便都开始祈祷。

这位未来的掌玺大臣觉得这个建议不错,便依靠修士们的祈祷的有力支援,来驱除恶魔。可是,恶魔不会轻易退出它已占据的地盘。你越是驱除它,它越是加倍来诱惑,结果闹得钟声白天黑夜响个不停,报告我们这位苦修者希望禁欲的非常强烈的愿望。

修士们再也得不到片刻休息。白天,他们不停地在通往祈祷室的台阶上跑上跑下;夜里除了晚祷和午夜过后一点钟的晨祷,他们还要一二十次从床上爬下来,跪在寝室里的地板上祈祷。

不知道是魔鬼撒了手,还是修士们厌倦了,三个月之后,这个苦修者重新出现在社会上,人人都知道他是最可怕的魔鬼附身者,过去从没见到过。

他出了修道院,就进了司法界,接替他叔父的位置,当上了大理院院长,一头扎进红衣主教的派别,表现得相当精明,遂擢升为掌玺大臣,竭诚为红衣主教卖力,帮助他发泄对太后的憎恨,对安娜•奥地利进行报复,在夏莱案件①中怂恿法官,鼓励围猎总监拉夫马②的试验。他很善于迎合红衣主教,获得了红衣主教的全部信任,最后接受了这个特殊使命,为了执行这一使命而来到了王后的寝宫。

  ①夏莱(一五九九——一六二六),在情妇谢弗勒斯夫人怂恿下密谋反对红衣主教,被处决。

  ②拉夫马(一五八四——一六五七),酷吏,以在审判反对黎塞留的贵族的案件中,施用酷刑而著称。

赛基埃进来时,王后还是站着的。一瞥见他,王后立刻在扶手椅里坐下,并且招呼侍女们在软垫或圆凳上坐下。

"先生有何贵干!"安娜•奥地利用非常高贵的口气问道,"您来此有何目的?"

"娘娘,请恕臣冒昧,臣有幸前来觐见陛下,是奉圣上之命,来仔细检查娘娘的书信。"

"怎么,先生!检查我的书信……查到我头上来了!这可是侮辱性的行为!"

"臣请娘娘宽恕。在这种情况下,臣只不过是国王手里的工具。国王陛下不是刚从这里出去的吗?难道王上没有亲口告诉您预备臣来进见?"

"那就检查好了,先生。看来我成了罪犯啦。爱丝特法尼娅,把我所有桌子和写字台的钥匙给他。"

掌玺大臣只是装模作样翻看了家具的抽屉。他知道,王后当天写的那封重要的信,决不会藏在家具的抽屉里。

他把书桌的抽屉开关了足足二十次之后,尽管非常犹豫,但也不得不,是的,不得不走最后一着了,就是搜查王后本人。因此,掌玺大臣向安娜•奥地利走去,显出挺尴尬的样子,用为难的口气说道:

"现在就剩下主要的一项检查没进行了。"

"检查什么?"王后问道,与其说她不明白掌玺大臣的意思,不如说她不愿意明白。

"王上肯定您白天写了一封信,并且知道这封信还没寄走。这封信在您的桌子和写字台里都没找到,然而它总该藏在某个地方。"

"您胆敢在您的王后身上动手?"安娜•奥地利说着直挺挺地站起来,两眼盯住掌玺大臣,目光里几乎带有威胁的神色。

"我是忠于王上的臣子,娘娘,王上下令的事情,我不能不做。"

"哼,的确是这样,"安娜•奥地利说道,"红衣主教的密探们为国王效尽了犬马之劳。我今天是写了一封信,这封信没有寄走。它在这儿。"

王后抬起玉手,搁在胸前衣襟上。

"那么,请把这封信给我,娘娘。"掌玺大臣说道。

"我只把它交给国王,先生。"安娜说。

"国王如果要您把这封信直接交给他,娘娘,他刚才就开口向您要了。我再说一遍,国王是派我来要这封信的,您要是不给……"

"不给又怎样?"

"国王叫我就硬拿去。"

"怎么,您这话是什么意思?"

"我奉命可以采取严厉措施,娘娘,有权在陛下身上搜寻那封可疑的信。"

"多么骇人听闻!"王后叫起来。

"娘娘,还是不要费事的好。"

"您知道吗,先生,这种行为可是卑鄙无耻的暴行。"

"国王是这样命令的,娘娘,请宽恕臣子。"

"我绝不容许,不,宁可死也不容许!"王后嚷着,刚烈的西班牙和奥地利血统在她身上反抗了。

掌玺大臣深深地鞠一躬,显然是决心完成他所承担的使命,而不想后退一步,像刑讯室里的刽子手那样逼近安娜•奥地利;在场的人看见她眼里立刻迸出了愤怒的热泪。

正如我们前面说过,王后有着倾国倾城的姿色。

因此,掌玺大臣执行的使命是十分微妙的;国王由于嫉妒白金汉,竟然对其他任何人都不嫉妒了。

此时此刻,掌玺大臣赛基埃大概抬眼寻找了那口著名的钟下的绳索,却没有找到,于是横下一条心,把手伸向王后承认藏信的地方。

安娜•奥地利后退一步,脸色像临死的人一样苍白,她左手扶住身后的桌子,使自己不致倒下,右手从胸部掏出那封信,递给掌玺大臣。

"拿去吧,先生,这封信在这里。"王后用不连贯的、颤抖的声音说道,"拿走吧,免得我再看见您丑恶的嘴脸。"

掌玺大臣也激动得浑身发抖,他的激动是不难想象的,他接过信,一躬到地,退了出去。

门一关上,王后就半昏倒在侍女们的怀抱里。

那封信掌玺大臣一眼没看,径直送到国王手里。国王用颤抖的手接过信,寻找收信人地址,却没有。他变得非常苍白,慢慢地将信展开,从抬头就看出是写给西班牙国王的,便很快溜了一遍。

整封信是一个攻击红衣主教的计划。王后要求她的兄弟和奥地利皇帝,以黎塞留处心积虑降低奥地利皇室的声威,他的政策伤害了他们的感情为理由,假装向法国宣战,提出革除黎塞留的职务为媾和条件,强迫法王接受。至于爱情,信中从头至尾一句话也没有。

国王非常高兴,问左右红衣主教是否还在宫中,左右回答说红衣主教阁下在自己的办公室恭候圣上的谕旨。

国王立刻到了红衣主教身边。

"看吧,公爵,"他说道,"还是您说得对,我错啦。阴谋完全是政治性的,爱情吗这封信里只字未提。相反呢,倒是与您很有关系。"

红衣主教接过信,非常仔细地看起来,看完之后,回头又看一遍。

"好嘛,陛下,"他说道,"您看我的敌人真是无所不用其极:他们竟然以两场战争来威胁您,如果您不将我革职的话。说真的,陛下,如果处在您的地位,我会向这种强硬要求让步,而我本人呢,能够摆脱公务,着实非常高兴。"

"您说到哪儿去了,公爵?"

"我是说,这过度的斗争和无尽的工作,使我的身体已经大不如前。我是说,从各方面的情况判断,我经受不住围攻拉罗舍尔的辛劳,您最好任命孔代先生,或者巴松皮埃尔先生,或者某一位以打仗为职业的勇将,着其代替我。我是教门中的人,人们总是让我脱离自己的老本行,去干我根本无力胜任的事情。这样呢,在国内您会更加称心如意,陛下,而且我相信,在国外您会更加声名远扬。"

"公爵先生,"国王说,"我理解您的话,放心吧,凡是这封信里提到的人,将罪有应得受到惩罚,王后本人也不例外。"

"陛下,您说什么?但愿王后不要因为我而蒙受任何不愉快!她一直认为我是她的敌人,尽管圣上可以作证,我一直是维护她的,甚至因此而违逆陛下您的旨意。咳!要是她背弃陛下的荣誉,那就是另一码事了,我会头一个站出来说:'不能宽恕,陛下,不能宽恕罪人!'幸好事情根本不是这样,陛下您刚刚获得了新的证据。"

"对,红衣主教先生,"国王说道,"像往常一样,您说得有道理。不过,王后惹得朕动怒完全是咎由自取。"

"陛下,是您惹得她生气。说实话,每当她真的与您赌气时,我总觉得是可以理解的,那是因为陛下严厉地对待了她!

……"

"朕总是这样对待自己和您的敌人的,公爵,不管他们地位有多高,也不管对他们采取严厉措施会冒多大危险。"

"王后是我的敌人,但不是您的敌人,陛下。相反,她是一个忠实、顺从、无可指责的伴侣。因此,请允许我代她向陛下求情吧。"

"叫她低头先来找朕认错。"

"相反,陛下,您做个榜样吧。是您先错的,因为是您怀疑了王后。"

"叫朕先认错?"国王说,"绝不!"

"陛下,臣恳求您。"

"再说,朕怎样先认错?"

"做一件能使她感到愉快的事。"

"什么事?"

"举行一次舞会。您知道王后多么爱跳舞。我向您保证,这样的殷勤准会使她的怨恨情绪烟消云散。"

"红衣主教先生,您知道,朕并非对一切交际娱乐都感兴趣的。"

"这样王后就更会感谢陛下,因为她知道您对这项娱乐本来是反感的。再说,这也是个机会,她可以佩戴您在她生日那天送给她的钻石坠子,她一直还没有机会佩戴呢。"

"看看再说吧,红衣主教先生,看看再说吧。"国王说道,他发现王后在他甚少关心的方面犯有罪过,而在他非常担心的方面却清白无辜,所以心里很高兴,完全愿意与王后言归于好,而嘴上则说,"看看再说吧,不过说实话,您太宽大为怀了。"

"陛下,"红衣主教说,"让大臣们严厉去吧。宽容乃是王者的美德,请宽容待人吧。您将发现,这对您会大有好处。"

说到这里,红衣主教听到挂钟敲响了十一点,便深深鞠一躬,向国王告辞准备退出来,同时恳求国王与王后和好。

安娜•奥地利在信被搜去之后,本来预料会受到申斥,不曾想第二天国王却试图重新与她接近,因而十分诧异。她的头一个动作是表示反感,因为她作为女人的自尊和作为王后的尊严,二者都受到冷酷无情的侵犯,她不能在对方一有表示就回心转意。不过,侍女们都劝她。她被她们说服了,终于现出了开始捐弃前嫌的样子。国王趁她开始转变态度的时机,对她说,他打算不久举行一次舞会。

对于可怜的安娜•奥地利来讲,舞会是一件非常稀罕的事情。因此不出红衣主教所料,一听到国王宣布这件事,最后一点怨恨的痕迹,即使没有从她心里,至少从她脸上彻底消失了。她问舞会在哪一天举行,但国王回答说,这一点需要同红衣主教商定。

国王果然每天都问红衣主教,舞会什么时候举行;每天红衣主教都随便找个借口,不肯确定日期。

这样过了十天。

在我们所叙述的那场风波发生后的一星期,红衣主教收到盖有伦敦邮戳的信。这封信只有两行:

东西已到手,但缺少盘费,我无法离开伦敦。请寄来五百比斯托尔。款收到后四五天,我即抵巴黎。

红衣主教收到信的当天,国王再次向他提出那个老问题。

黎塞留屈指一算,低声对自己说:

"她说收到款之后四五天;款寄到得四五天,她回来也得四五天,加起来就是十天。现在,就算遇到顶头风,节外生枝,再加上女人的软弱,十二天也就够了。"

"怎么样,公爵先生,"国王问道,"您算好了吗?"

"算好啦,陛下。今天是九月二十日,十月三日巴黎市政长官要举行一次舞会。事情这样安排妙极了,别人就不会认为是您回心转意讨好王后啦。"

接着,红衣主教又补充说:

"对了,陛下,在舞会举行的头天晚上,请别忘了告诉王后,您希望看看她佩上那些钻石坠子是否合适。"




Chapter 17 BONACIEUX AT HOME

It was the second time the cardinal had mentioned these diamond studs to the king. Louis XIII was struck with this insistence, and began to fancy that this recommendation concealed some mystery.

More than once the king had been humiliated by the cardinal, whose police, without having yet attained the perfection of the modern police, were excellent, being better informed than himself, even upon what was going on in his own household. He hoped, then, in a conversation with Anne of Austria, to obtain some information from that conversation, and afterward to come upon his Eminence with some secret which the cardinal either knew or did not know, but which, in either case, would raise him infinitely in the eyes of his minister.

He went then to the queen, and according to custom accosted her with fresh menaces against those who surrounded her. Anne of Austria lowered her head, allowed the torrent to flow on without replying, hoping that it would cease of itself; but this was not what Louis XIII meant. Louis XIII wanted a discussion from which some light or other might break, convinced as he was that the cardinal had some afterthought and was preparing for him one of those terrible surprises which his Eminence was so skillful in getting up. He arrived at this end by his persistence in accusation.

"But," cried Anne of Austria, tired of these vague attacks, "but, sire, you do not tell me all that you have in your heart. What have I done, then? Let me know what crime I have committed. It is impossible that your Majesty can make all this ado about a letter written to my brother."

The king, attacked in a manner so direct, did not know what to answer; and he thought that this was the moment for expressing the desire which he was not going to have made until the evening before the fete.

"Madame," said he, with dignity, "there will shortly be a ball at the Hotel de Ville. I wish, in order to honor our worthy aldermen, you should appear in ceremonial costume, and above all, ornamented with the diamond studs which I gave you on your birthday. That is my answer."

The answer was terrible. Anne of Austria believed that Louis XIII knew all, and that the cardinal had persuaded him to employ this long dissimulation of seven or eight days, which, likewise, was characteristic. She became excessively pale, leaned her beautiful hand upon a CONSOLE, which hand appeared then like one of wax, and looking at the king with terror in her eyes, she was unable to reply by a single syllable.

"You hear, madame," said the king, who enjoyed the embarrassment to its full extent, but without guessing the cause. "You hear, madame?"

"Yes, sire, I hear," stammered the queen.

"You will appear at this ball?"

"Yes."

"With those studs?"

"Yes."

The queen's paleness, if possible, increased; the king perceived it, and enjoyed it with that cold cruelty which was one of the worst sides of his character.

"Then that is agreed," said the king, "and that is all I had to say to you."

"But on what day will this ball take place?" asked Anne of Austria.

Louis XIII felt instinctively that he ought not to reply to this question, the queen having put it in an almost dying voice.

"Oh, very shortly, madame," said he; "but I do not precisely recollect the date of the day. I will ask the cardinal."

"It was the cardinal, then, who informed you of this fete?"

"Yes, madame," replied the astonished king; "but why do you ask that?"

"It was he who told you to invite me to appear with these studs?"

"That is to say, madame--"

"It was he, sire, it was he!"

"Well, and what does it signify whether it was he or I? Is there any crime in this request?"

"No, sire."

"Then you will appear?"

"Yes, sire."

"That is well," said the king, retiring, "that is well; I count upon it."

The queen made a curtsy, less from etiquette than because her knees were sinking under her. The king went away enchanted.

"I am lost," murmured the queen, "lost!--for the cardinal knows all, and it is he who urges on the king, who as yet knows nothing but will soon know everything. I am lost! My God, my God, my God!"

She knelt upon a cushion and prayed, with her head buried between her palpitating arms.

In fact, her position was terrible. Buckingham had returned to London; Mme. Chevreuse was at Tours. More closely watched than ever, the queen felt certain, without knowing how to tell which, that one of her women had betrayed her. Laporte could not leave the Louvre; she had not a soul in the world in whom she could confide. Thus, while contemplating the misfortune which threatened her and the abandonment in which she was left, she broke out into sobs and tears.

"Can I be of service to your Majesty?" said all at once a voice full of sweetness and pity.

The queen turned sharply round, for there could be no deception in the expression of that voice; it was a friend who spoke thus.

In fact, at one of the doors which opened into the queen's apartment appeared the pretty Mme. Bonacieux. She had been engaged in arranging the dresses and linen in a closet when the king entered; she could not get out and had heard all.

The queen uttered a piercing cry at finding herself surprised--for in her trouble she did not at first recognize the young woman who had been given to her by Laporte.

"Oh, fear nothing, madame!" said the young woman, clasping her hands and weeping herself at the queen's sorrows; "I am your Majesty's, body and soul, and however far I may be from you, however inferior may be my position, I believe I have discovered a means of extricating your Majesty from your trouble."

"You, oh, heaven, you!" cried the queen; "but look me in the face. I am betrayed on all sides. Can I trust in you?"

"Oh, madame!" cried the young woman, falling on her knees; "upon my soul, I am ready to die for your Majesty!"

This expression sprang from the very bottom of the heart, and, like the first, there was no mistaking it.

"Yes," continued Mme. Bonacieux, "yes, there are traitors here; but by the holy name of the Virgin, I swear that no one is more devoted to your Majesty than I am. Those studs which the king speaks of, you gave them to the Duke of Buckingham, did you not? Those studs were enclosed in a little rosewood box which he held under his arm? Am I deceived? Is it not so, madame?"

"Oh, my God, my God!" murmured the queen, whose teeth chattered with fright.

"Well, those studs," continued Mme. Bonacieux, "we must have them back again."

"Yes, without doubt, it is necessary," cried the queen; "but how am I to act? How can it be effected?"

"Someone must be sent to the duke."

"But who, who? In whom can I trust?"

"Place confidence in me, madame; do me that honor, my queen, and I will find a messenger."

"But I must write."

"Oh, yes; that is indispensable. Two words from the hand of your Majesty and your private seal."

"But these two words would bring about my condemnation, divorce, exile!"

"Yes, if they fell into infamous hands. But I will answer for these two words being delivered to their address."

"Oh, my God! I must then place my life, my honor, my reputation, in your hands?"

"Yes, yes, madame, you must; and I will save them all."

"But how? Tell me at least the means."

"My husband had been at liberty these two or three days. I have not yet had time to see him again. He is a worthy, honest man who entertains neither love nor hatred for anybody. He will do anything I wish. He will set out upon receiving an order from me, without knowing what he carries, and he will carry your Majesty's letter, without even knowing it is from your Majesty, to the address which is on it."

The queen took the two hands of the young woman with a burst of emotion, gazed at her as if to read her very heart, and seeing nothing but sincerity in her beautiful eyes, embraced her tenderly.

"Do that," cried she, "and you will have saved my life, you will have saved my honor!"

"Do not exaggerate the service I have the happiness to render your Majesty. I have nothing to save for your Majesty; you are only the victim of perfidious plots."

"That is true, that is true, my child," said the queen, "you are right."

"Give me then, that letter, madame; time presses."

The queen ran to a little table, on which were ink, paper, and pens. She wrote two lines, sealed the letter with her private seal, and gave it to Mme. Bonacieux.

"And now," said the queen, "we are forgetting one very necessary thing."

"What is that, madame?"

"Money."

Mme. Bonacieux blushed.

"Yes, that is true," said she, "and I will confess to your Majesty that my husband--"

"Your husband has none. Is that what you would say?"

"He has some, but he is very avaricious; that is his fault. Nevertheless, let not your Majesty be uneasy, we will find means."

"And I have none, either," said the queen. Those who have read the MEMOIRS of Mme. de Motteville will not be astonished at this reply. "But wait a minute."

Anne of Austria ran to her jewel case.

"Here," said she, "here is a ring of great value, as I have been assured. It came from my brother, the King of Spain. It is mine, and I am at liberty to dispose of it. Take this ring; raise money with it, and let your husband set out."

"In an hour you shall be obeyed."

"You see the address," said the queen, speaking so low that Mme. Bonacieux could hardly hear what she said, "To my Lord Duke of Buckingham, London."

"The letter shall be given to himself."

"Generous girl!" cried Anne of Austria.

Mme. Bonacieux kissed the hands of the queen, concealed the paper in the bosom of her dress, and disappeared with the lightness of a bird.

Ten minutes afterward she was at home. As she told the queen, she had not seen her husband since his liberation; she was ignorant of the change that had taken place in him with respect to the cardinal--a change which had since been strengthened by two or three visits from the Comte de Rochefort, who had become the best friend of Bonacieux, and had persuaded him, without much trouble, was putting his house in order, the furniture of which he had found mostly broken and his closets nearly empty--justice not being one of the three things which King Solomon names as leaving no traces of their passage. As to the servant, she had run away at the moment of her master's arrest. Terror had had such an effect upon the poor girl that she had never ceased walking from Paris till she reached Burgundy, her native place.

The worthy mercer had, immediately upon re-entering his house, informed his wife of his happy return, and his wife had replied by congratulating him, and telling him that the first moment she could steal from her duties should be devoted to paying him a visit.

This first moment had been delayed five days, which, under any other circumstances, might have appeared rather long to M. Bonacieux; but he had, in the visit he had made to the cardinal and in the visits Rochefort had made him, ample subjects for reflection, and as everybody knows, nothing makes time pass more quickly than reflection.

This was the more so because Bonacieux's reflections were all rose-colored. Rochefort called him his friend, his dear Bonacieux, and never ceased telling him that the cardinal had a great respect for him. The mercer fancied himself already on the high road to honors and fortune.

On her side Mme. Bonacieux had also reflected; but, it must be admitted, upon something widely different from ambition. In spite of herself her thoughts constantly reverted to that handsome young man who was so brave and appeared to be so much in love. Married at eighteen to M. Bonacieux, having always lived among her husband's friends--people little capable of inspiring any sentiment whatever in a young woman whose heart was above her position--Mme. Bonacieux had remained insensible to vulgar seductions; but at this period the title of gentleman had great influence with the citizen class, and d'Artagnan was a gentleman. Besides, he wore the uniform of the Guards, which next to that of the Musketeers was most admired by the ladies. He was, we repeat, handsome, young, and bold; he spoke of love like a man who did love and was anxious to be loved in return. There was certainly enough in all this to turn a head only twenty-three years old, and Mme. Bonacieux had just attained that happy period of life.

The couple, then, although they had not seen each other for eight days, and during that time serious events had taken place in which both were concerned, accosted each other with a degree of preoccupation. Nevertheless, Bonacieux manifested real joy, and advanced toward his wife with open arms. Madame Bonacieux presented her cheek to him.

"Let us talk a little," said she.

"How!" said Bonacieux, astonished.

"Yes, I have something of the highest importance to tell you."

"True," said he, "and I have some questions sufficiently serious to put to you. Describe to me your abduction, I pray you."

"Oh, that's of no consequence just now," said Mme. Bonacieux.

"And what does it concern, then--my captivity?"

"I heard of it the day it happened; but as you were not guilty of any crime, as you were not guilty of any intrigue, as you, in short, knew nothing that could compromise yourself or anybody else, I attached no more importance to that event than it merited."

"You speak very much at your ease, madame," said Bonacieux, hurt at the little interest his wife showed in him. "Do you know that I was plunged during a day and night in a dungeon of the Bastille?"

"Oh, a day and night soon pass away. Let us return to the object that brings me here."

"What, that which brings you home to me? Is it not the desire of seeing a husband again from whom you have been separated for a week?" asked the mercer, piqued to the quick.

"Yes, that first, and other things afterward."

"Speak."

"It is a thing of the highest interest, and upon which our future fortune perhaps depends."

"The complexion of our fortune has changed very much since I saw you, Madam Bonacieux, and I should not be astonished if in the course of a few months it were to excite the envy of many folks."

"Yes, particularly if you follow the instructions I am about to give you."

"Me?"

"Yes, you. There is good and holy action to be performed, monsieur, and much money to be gained at the same time."

Mme. Bonacieux knew that in talking of money to her husband, she took him on his weak side. But a man, were he even a mercer, when he had talked for ten minutes with Cardinal Richelieu, is no longer the same man.

"Much money to be gained?" said Bonacieux, protruding his lip.

"Yes, much."

"About how much?"

"A thousand pistoles, perhaps."

"What you demand of me is serious, then?"

"It is indeed."

"What must be done?"

"You must go away immediately. I will give you a paper which you must not part with on any account, and which you will deliver into the proper hands."

"And whither am I to go?"

"To London."

"I go to London? Go to! You jest! I have no business in London."

"But others wish that you should go there."

"But who are those others? I warn you that I will never again work in the dark, and that I will know not only to what I expose myself, but for whom I expose myself."

"An illustrious person sends you; an illustrious person awaits you. The recompense will exceed your expectations; that is all I promise you."

"More intrigues! Nothing but intrigues! Thank you, madame, I am aware of them now; Monsieur Cardinal has enlightened me on that head."

"The cardinal?" cried Mme. Bonacieux. "Have you seen the cardinal?"

"He sent for me," answered the mercer, proudly.

"And you responded to his bidding, you imprudent man?"

"Well, I can't say I had much choice of going or not going, for I was taken to him between two guards. It is true also, that as I did not then know his Eminence, if I had been able to dispense with the visit, I should have been enchanted."

"He ill-treated you, then; he threatened you?"

"He gave me his hand, and called me his friend. His friend! Do you hear that, madame? I am the friend of the great cardinal!"

"Of the great cardinal!"

"Perhaps you would contest his right to that title, madame?"

"I would contest nothing; but I tell you that the favor of a minister is ephemeral, and that a man must be mad to attach himself to a minister. There are powers above his which do not depend upon a man or the issue of an event; it is to these powers we should rally."

"I am sorry for it, madame, but I acknowledge not her power but that of the great man whom I have the honor to serve."

"You serve the cardinal?"

"Yes, madame; and as his servant, I will not allow you to be concerned in plots against the safety of the state, or to serve the intrigues of a woman who is not French and who has a Spanish heart. Fortunately we have the great cardinal; his vigilant eye watches over and penetrates to the bottom of the heart."

Bonacieux was repeating, word for word, a sentence which he had heard from the Comte de Rochefort; but the poor wife, who had reckoned on her husband, and who, in that hope, had answered for him to the queen, did not tremble the less, both at the danger into which she had nearly cast herself and at the helpless state to which she was reduced. Nevertheless, knowing the weakness of her husband, and more particularly his cupidity, she did not despair of bringing him round to her purpose.

"Ah, you are a cardinalist, then, monsieur, are you?" cried she; "and you serve the party of those who maltreat your wife and insult your queen?"

"Private interests are as nothing before the interests of all. I am for those who save the state," said Bonacieux, emphatically.

"And what do you know about the state you talk of?" said Mme. Bonacieux, shrugging her shoulders. "Be satisfied with being a plain, straightforward citizen, and turn to that side which offers the most advantages."

"Eh, eh!" said Bonacieux, slapping a plump, round bag, which returned a sound a money; "what do you think of this, Madame Preacher?"

"Whence comes that money?"

"You do not guess?"

"From the cardinal?"

"From him, and from my friend the Comte de Rochefort."

"The Comte de Rochefort! Why it was he who carried me off!"

"That may be, madame!"

"And you receive silver from that man?"

"Have you not said that that abduction was entirely political?"

"Yes; but that abduction had for its object the betrayal of my mistress, to draw from me by torture confessions that might compromise the honor, and perhaps the life, of my august mistress."

"Madame," replied Bonacieux, "your august mistress is a perfidious Spaniard, and what the cardinal does is well done."

"Monsieur," said the young woman, "I know you to be cowardly, avaricious, and foolish, but I never till now believed you infamous!"

"Madame," said Bonacieux, who had never seen his wife in a passion, and who recoiled before this conjugal anger, "madame, what do you say?"

"I say you are a miserable creature!" continued Mme. Bonacieux, who saw she was regaining some little influence over her husband. "You meddle with politics, do you--and still more, with cardinalist politics? Why, you sell yourself, body and soul, to the demon, the devil, for money!"

"No, to the cardinal."

"It's the same thing," cried the young woman. "Who calls Richelieu calls Satan."

"Hold your tongue, hold your tongue, madame! You may be overheard."

"Yes, you are right; I should be ashamed for anyone to know your baseness."

"But what do you require of me, then? Let us see."

"I have told you. You must depart instantly, monsieur. You must accomplish loyally the commission with which I deign to charge you, and on that condition I pardon everything, I forget everything; and what is more," and she held out her hand to him, "I restore my love."

Bonacieux was cowardly and avaricious, but he loved his wife. He was softened. A man of fifty cannot long bear malice with a wife of twenty-three. Mme. Bonacieux saw that he hesitated.

"Come! Have you decided?" said she.

"But, my dear love, reflect a little upon what you require of me. London is far from Paris, very far, and perhaps the commission with which you charge me is not without dangers?"

"What matters it, if you avoid them?"

"Hold, Madame Bonacieux," said the mercer, "hold! I positively refuse; intrigues terrify me. I have seen the Bastille. My! Whew! That's a frightful place, that Bastille! Only to think of it makes my flesh crawl. They threatened me with torture. Do you know what torture is? Wooden points that they stick in between your legs till your bones stick out! No, positively I will not go. And, MORBLEU, why do you not go yourself? For in truth, I think I have hitherto been deceived in you. I really believe you are a man, and a violent one, too."

"And you, you are a woman--a miserable woman, stupid and brutal. You are afraid, are you? Well, if you do not go this very instant, I will have you arrested by the queen's orders, and I will have you placed in the Bastille which you dread so much."

Bonacieux fell into a profound reflection. He weighed the two angers in his brain--that of the cardinal and that of the queen; that of the cardinal predominated enormously.

"Have me arrested on the part of the queen," said he, "and I--I will appeal to his Eminence."

At once Mme. Bonacieux saw that she had gone too far, and she was terrified at having communicated so much. She for a moment contemplated with fright that stupid countenance, impressed with the invincible resolution of a fool that is overcome by fear.

"Well, be it so!" said she. "Perhaps, when all is considered, you are right. In the long run, a man knows more about politics than a woman, particularly such as, like you, Monsieur Bonacieux, have conversed with the cardinal. And yet it is very hard," added she, "that a man upon whose affection I thought I might depend, treats me thus unkindly and will not comply with any of my fancies."

"That is because your fancies go too far," replied the triumphant Bonacieux, "and I mistrust them."

"Well, I will give it up, then," said the young woman, sighing. "It is well as it is; say no more about it."

"At least you should tell me what I should have to do in London," replied Bonacieux, who remembered a little too late that Rochefort had desired him to endeavor to obtain his wife's secrets.

"It is of no use for you to know anything about it," said the young woman, whom an instinctive mistrust now impelled to draw back. "It was about one of those purchases that interest women--a purchase by which much might have been gained."

But the more the young woman excused herself, the more important Bonacieux thought the secret which she declined to confide to him. He resolved then to hasten immediately to the residence of the Comte de Rochefort, and tell him that the queen was seeking for a messenger to send to London.

"Pardon me for quitting you, my dear Madame Bonacieux," said he; "but, not knowing you would come to see me, I had made an engagement with a friend. I shall soon return; and if you will wait only a few minutes for me, as soon as I have concluded my business with that friend, as it is growing late, I will come back and reconduct you to the Louvre."

"Thank you, monsieur, you are not brave enough to be of any use to me whatever," replied Mme. Bonacieux. "I shall return very safely to the Louvre all alone."

"As you please, Madame Bonacieux," said the ex-mercer. "Shall I see you again soon?"

"Next week I hope my duties will afford me a little liberty, and I will take advantage of it to come and put things in order here, as they must necessarily be much deranged."

"Very well; I shall expect you. You are not angry with me?"

"Not the least in the world."

"Till then, then?"

"Till then."

Bonacieux kissed his wife's hand, and set off at a quick pace.

"Well," said Mme. Bonacieux, when her husband had shut the street door and she found herself alone; "that imbecile lacked but one thing to become a cardinalist. And I, who have answered for him to the queen--I, who have promised my poor mistress--ah, my God, my God! She will take me for one of those wretches with whom the palace swarms and who are placed about her as spies! Ah, Monsieur Bonacieux, I never did love you much, but now it is worse than ever. I hate you, and on my word you shall pay for this!"

At the moment she spoke these words a rap on the ceiling made her raise her head, and a voice which reached her through the ceiling cried, "Dear Madame Bonacieux, open for me the little door on the alley, and I will come down to you."

 

第十七章 波那瑟夫妇

红衣主教是第二次向国王提到那些钻石坠子了。这种强调使路易十三觉得不同寻常,心想这叮嘱之下肯定隐藏着某种秘密。

国王感到,红衣主教已经不止一次使他脸上无光,因为红衣主教的警察机构,虽然尚不及现代警察机构完善,但相当精干,对国王家里发生的事情,比国王本人了解得还清楚。因此,国王想和安娜•奥地利谈一次话,从中弄明一些情况,然后带着了解到的秘密,回头去找红衣主教。这秘密红衣主教知道也罢,不知道也罢,反正不管那种情况,他在自己的宰相心目中的形象,都会大大提高。

国王于是去找王后,交谈之初,他照例总是要对王后身边的人威胁一番。安娜•奥地利抵着头,任凭他口若悬河,自己不置一辞,盼望他说够了停下来。但这并不是路易十三所希望的,路易十三所希望的是引起一场争论,从争论中摸清某种底细,因为他深信,红衣主教抱着不可告人的想法,谋图对他发动一次可怕的突然袭击。这位主教阁下是擅长于此道的。国王固执地指摘这个,攻击那个,终于达到了上述目的。

"可是,"安娜•奥地利被这种泛泛的攻击弄得不耐烦了,大声说道,"可是,陛下,您并没有把藏在您心里的话全部告诉我。我究竟做了什么事?说呀,我究竟犯了什么罪?陛下不可能是为了一封写给我兄弟的信,而这样大吵大闹吧。"

国王受到如此直率的攻击,不知如何回答,心想索性把预备舞会前夕叮嘱王后的话,现在讲出来算了。

"娘娘,"他郑重其事地说道,"市府大厦不久就要举行舞会,为了赏那些正直的市政官员一个面子,我希望您出席时穿礼服,尤其要佩戴我在您生日时送给您的钻石坠子。这就是我的回答。"

这个回答真是可怕。安娜•奥地利以为路易十三什么都知道了,是红衣主教叫他假装一无所知达七八天之久,这种作法正符合红衣主教的性格。王后顿时脸色异常苍白,一只美丽绝伦,像蜡做的手,扶住身旁的小圆桌,瞪着一双惊恐的眼睛望着国王,一个字也答不上来。

"听见了吧,娘娘,"国王虽然猜不透王后如此张惶失措的原因,但看到她的神态,心里暗暗高兴,"您可听见了?"

"是的,陛下,我听见了。"王后支吾道。

"那次舞会您出席吗?"

"出席。"

"佩戴钻石坠子?"

"是的。"

王后的脸色越来越苍白,简直白得不能再白了。国王注意到了,冷酷地暗暗幸灾乐祸。这冷酷正是他的性格中恶劣的一面。

"那么就这样定了,"国王说道,"我要对您讲的就这些啦。"

"舞会哪天举行?"安娜•奥地利问道。

"路易十三本能地感到这个问题他不应当回答,因为王后问话时的声音有气无力,几乎听不见。

"就在最近,娘娘。"国王答道,"不过,日期我记不清了,我去问问红衣主教。"

"这次舞会可是红衣主教告诉您的?"王后大声问道。

"是呀,娘娘。"国王惊讶地回答,"为什么要问这个?"

"是他告诉您叫我佩戴钻石坠子出席的?"

"娘娘的意思是……"

"是他,陛下,准是他!"

"怎么!是他或是我有什么关系?邀请您出席总不是罪过吧。"

"不是,陛下。"

"那么您将出席?"

"是的,陛下。"

"这就好,"国王一边离去一边说,"这就好。我相信您说的话。"

王后行了一个屈膝礼,这倒不完全是出于宫中礼节,更主要的是她的膝盖已经支持不住了。

国王满心欢喜地走了。

"我完啦,"王后自言自语道,"完啦。红衣主教什么都知道了,是他在背后怂恿国王。国王现在还什么都不知道,但不久就全知道了。我完啦!上帝!上帝!我的上帝!"

她跪在一个垫子上祈祷,头深深埋在两条颤抖的手臂里。

她的处境的确可怕。白金汉回了伦敦,谢弗勒斯夫人去了图尔。王后受到空前严密的监视,隐隐觉得自己的侍女中有一个人出卖了她,但不知道是哪一个。拉波特无法离开罗浮宫。

王后在世界上简直没有一个可以信任的人。

她感到大祸临头,却又孤苦无助,只好嚎啕大哭。

"难道我对陛下一点用处也没有吗?"突然,一个充满亲切和怜悯的声音说道。

王后连忙回过头,因为从声音判断,说这话的无疑是一个女朋友。

果然,从通到王后房间的一扇门里,出现了漂亮的波那瑟太太。她本来在一个小房间里整理王后的衣衫,国王来的时候没来得及退走,所以什么都听见了。

王后发现自己被人撞见,尖叫了一声,因为慌乱之中,她没有认出拉波特推荐给她的那位少妇。

"啊!别怕,娘娘。"少妇双手合十说道,自己也在为王后的痛苦落泪,"我是完全忠于陛下的。虽然我与陛下相距遥远,虽然我地位低下,但我想我找到了一个使陛下摆脱困境的办法。"

"您!老天爷!您!"王后大声说,"不过慢着,您且正眼看一看我。我可是从各方面被人出卖了。我能够信任您吗?"

"啊!娘娘!"少妇叫唤一声扑通跪在地上,"我凭自己的灵魂起誓,为了陛下我愿意肝脑涂地。"

这一声叫唤和第一声叫唤一样,是发自心灵的深处。这听得出来,绝对没错。

"是的,"波那瑟太太接着说,"是的,这里有人出卖了陛下。不过,我以圣母的圣名起誓,没有一个人比我对陛下更忠诚。国王追索的那些钻石坠子,您可不是给了白金汉公爵?可不是装在一个小香木匣子里,由白金汉公爵夹在胳膊底下带走了?我没有说错吧?难道不是这样吗?"

"啊!上帝!上帝!"王后喃喃说道,吓得魂不附体,上下牙直打架。

"那么,"波那瑟太太又说道,"那些钻石坠子应该收回来。"

"是的,也许吧,应该收回来。"王后说,"可是怎么办呢,怎么办得到呢?"

"应该派一个人去找公爵。"

"可是派谁呢?……派谁?……谁可以信得过?"

"请相信我,娘娘;请给我这份荣誉吧,王后。这个送信人我找得到!"

"可是那得写封信!"

"啊!是的。这是必不可少的。陛下亲笔写两句话,再盖上陛下的私章。"

"可是,这两句话就是我的判决书呀!就是离婚,就是流放!"

"是的,如果这两句话落到坏人手里的话。但是我保证,这两句话一定会送到目的地"

"啊!我的上帝!这就是说,我得把自己的性命、荣誉和名声,全交到您手里!"

"是呀,是呀,娘娘,必须这样做。我一定能拯救这一切!"

"可是怎么拯救呢?您至少得对我说说。"

"我丈夫两三天前被释放了,我还没有空回去看他呢。他是个正直、本分的人,不管对什么人,既不恨也不爱。我要他做什么他就做什么。我吩咐一句,他就会上路,根本不问我给他带的是什么东西。他会把陛下写的信送到指定的地点,甚至不知道信是出自陛下之手。"

王后激动不已地抓住少妇的两只手,凝视着她,仿佛要看透她的心,但在那对漂亮的眼睛里看到的只有真诚,于是亲切地拥抱了她。

"就照您说的办吧。"王后大声说,"您拯救我的性命,拯救我的荣誉吧!"

"啊!我只不过有福份为您效劳而已,请您不要夸大。您是背信弃义的阴谋的受害者,根本谈不上我拯救陛下。"

"是这样,是这样,孩子。"王后说道,"您说得对。"

"请给我这封信吧,娘娘,时间很紧迫。"

王后走到一张小桌子跟前。桌子上正好有纸有笔,她写了两行字,将信封好盖上私章,交给波那瑟太太。

"现在,"王后说,"我们忘了一样必不可少的东西。"

"什么东西?"

"钱。"

波那瑟太太脸红了。

"对,这倒是,"她说道,"我向陛下说实话吧,我丈夫……"

"您是想说您丈夫没有钱。"

"不是这个意思,我丈夫有钱,只是他很吝啬,这是他的缺点。不过,请陛下不用担心,我们会有办法的……"

"因为我也没有。"王后说道(凡是读过蒙特维尔夫人的回忆录的人,听到这个回答,都不会感到奇怪。),"不过,等一等。"

安娜•奥地利跑到她的首饰盒前。

"瞧,"她说,"这枚戒指据说能值很多钱,是我的兄弟西班牙国王送给我的。它是我个人的东西,我可以随意处置,把这枚戒指拿去换成钱,就请您丈夫动身。"

"一个钟头之后就遵照您的吩咐动身。"

"看清楚上面的地址,"王后补充说,声音压得很低,几乎听不见她说什么,"送给伦敦白金汉公爵大人。"

"信一定会交到他本人手里。"

"心地宽厚的孩子。"安娜•奥地利大声说。

波那瑟太太亲了亲王后的手,将信贴胸藏在内衣里,像轻盈的鸟儿一样消失了。

十分钟之后,她回到了自己家里。正如她对王后所说的那样,丈夫获释之后,她一直没见过他,所以不知道他对红衣主教的态度所发生的变化。这种变化是在红衣主教阁下的恭维话和钱的引诱下产生的;自从罗什福尔来看望过他两三次之后,这种变化就更大了。罗什福尔成了波那瑟最好的朋友。他没费多大劲就使波那瑟相信,绑架他的妻子,绝非出于罪恶的感情,而仅仅是政治上的一个预防措施。

波那瑟太太看见丈夫一个人在家里。这个可怜的人费了九牛二虎之力,才把这个家理出一点头绪。他回来时,发现家具几乎全砸坏了,柜子差不多全掏空了。法警可不是所罗门国王所说经过之处不留痕迹的那三种东西①。至于家里的女佣人,早在主人被捕时就逃走了。那个可怜的姑娘吓得不得了,从巴黎走回了家乡勃艮第,路上都没敢停留。

  ①所罗门国王所讲的那三种东西是鹰、蛇和船。见《旧约•箴言》。

可敬的服饰用品商一回到家里,就把他幸运获释通知了太太。他太太捎回话来向他表示祝贺,并且告诉他,等她职务上能偷得空闲,她就什么也不干,跑回来看他。

这一等就等了五天。在往常,波那瑟会觉得这时间太长了点儿。可是,自从他去拜会过红衣主教,罗什福尔几次来看望过他之后,他就有大事要考虑了,而我们都知道,人考虑起问题来,时间就过得快。

尤其波那瑟所考虑的大事都带瑰玫色。罗什福尔称他为朋友,叫他亲爱的波那瑟,而且不断对他说,红衣主教非常器重他。服饰用品商看见自己已经踏上飞黄腾达的道路。

波那瑟太太也在想心事。不过应该说,她的心事与野心毫不相干。她的思想转来转去,总是不自觉地转到那个勇敢英俊,看上去非常钟情的小伙子头上,她十八岁嫁给波那瑟先生,一直生活在丈夫的朋友们之中,而这些朋友,根本引不起一个地位低下却心比天高的少妇的任何感情。波那瑟太太对那些粗俗的诱惑无动于衷。

在那个时代,绅士的头衔对一般市民有很大影响。达达尼昂是绅士,而且穿着禁军的军服。除了火枪队的队服,禁军的军服是最受妇女们青睐的。再加上,正如前面提到的,达达尼昂英俊,年轻,爱冒险。从他谈恋爱的态度就可以看出,他是一个心里充满爱也渴望被人爱的男人。这一切足以让一个二十三岁的年轻女子神魂颠倒,而波那瑟太太正当人生的这种青春妙龄。

波那瑟两口子一星期没有见面了,而在这一周时间里,他们之间发生了种种重大变故,所以当他们走到一起时,彼此的心里难免都带着某种惴惴不安。不过,波那瑟先生表现出一种发自心底的喜悦,伸开双臂向妻子迎过去。

波那瑟太太把前额伸给他。

"咱们谈谈吧。"她说。

"怎么?"波那瑟愣住了。

"是呀,是应该谈谈,我有一件非常重要的事情要对您说。"

"正好,我也有一些严肃的问题要问您哩。请对我谈谈您被绑架的事吧。"

"现在还轮不到谈这个。"波那瑟太太说道。

"那么谈什么?谈我被捕的事?"

"您被捕的事我当天就知道了,不过,我知道您没有犯任何罪,没有卷入任何阴谋活动,甚至任何可能牵连您或其他任何人的事情都不知道,所以这件事我并没有怎么放在心上。"

"您说得好轻松,太太!"被那瑟见妻子对自己并不怎么关心,十分伤心,"您知道吗,我在巴士底狱的黑牢里关了一天一夜。"

"一天一夜很快就过去了。还是暂时不谈您被捕的事,而来谈谈是什么事把我引到您身边来的吧。"

"怎么?是什么事把您引到我身边来的?难道不是想重新见到分别了一星期的丈夫的愿望?"被严重刺伤的服饰用品商问道。

"首先是这个,其次还有别的事情。"

"讲吧!"

"一件利害关系极大的事情,可能将决定我们未来的命运。"

"自从我们上次见面以来,我们的命运已经大大改观了,波那瑟太太;如果三五个月之内它引起许多人羡慕,我是不会感到意外的。"

"是啊,尤其如果您愿意按照我吩咐您的话去做。"

"吩咐我?"

"是的,吩咐您。现在有一件高尚而神圣的事要做,先生,同时能赚很多钱。"

波那瑟太太知道,对丈夫谈钱,就是抓住了他的弱点。

可是,一个人,哪怕是一位服饰用品商,只要与红衣主教黎塞留谈上十分钟话,就变成了另一个人。

"能赚很多钱!"波那瑟撇了撇嘴说道。

"对,能赚很多。"

"大概多少?"

"可能一千比斯托尔。"

"您要我去做的事真很重要?"

"是的。"

"是干什么?"

"您立刻出发,我交给您一封信,不管遇到什么情况,您都不能丢了它,一定要送到收信人手里。"

"那么叫我去哪儿呢?"

"伦敦。"

"叫我去伦敦!得了吧,您简直是开玩笑,我又不需要去伦敦办什么事。"

"可是,有人需要您去那里。"

"您讲的有人是谁?我可告诉您,我再也不会盲目做任何事情,我不仅要知道我要冒什么风险,而且要知道是为谁去冒风险。"

"派您去的是一个大人物,在那边等您的也是一个大人物。报酬会比您所指望的还高。我能向您许诺的就是这些。"

"又是阴谋诡计,总是搞阴谋诡计!多谢啦,现在我可警惕了,红衣主教先生擦亮了我的眼睛。"

"红衣主教!"波那瑟太太叫起来,"您见过红衣主教?"

"是他派人叫我去的。"服饰用品商自豪地答道。

"他一邀请您就去了,您真是不谨慎。"

"应该说,去不去由不得我,因为我是被两个警察押去的。另外说实话,直到那时我不认识红衣主教,如果能逃避不去见他,我会很高兴。"

"他虐待您,威胁您了吗?"

"他向我伸过手来,称我为他的朋友——他的朋友!听到没有,我的太太?我是伟大的红衣主教的朋友啦!"

"伟大的红衣主教!"

"这称呼莫非您不赞成,我的太太?"

"我没有什么赞成不赞成的,不过我告诉您,一位宰相的宠幸是靠不住的,只有狂人才去攀宰相的高枝。还有比宰相更高的势力,它们既不是建立在某一个人的好恶之上,也不是建立在某一个事件的结局之上,应该归附这种势力才对。"

"您真叫我生气,太太。除了我荣幸地为之效劳的这个伟人之外,我不知道别的什么势力。"

"您为红衣主教效劳?"

"是啊,太太。作为红衣主教的臣民,我不允许您参与反对国家安全的阴谋活动,不允许您为一个不是法国籍而有一颗西班牙心的女人的阴谋活动卖力。幸好我们有伟大的红衣主教,他那警惕的目光监视并洞察人的心。"

波那瑟一字不漏地重复了他听罗什福尔说过的一句话。可是,那个曾经一心指望丈夫,并因此在王后面前为丈夫担过保的可怜女人,现在发现自己差一点陷入危险之中,而且已经处于无能为力的境地,不禁感到不寒而栗。然而,她了解丈夫的弱点,尤其知道他贪财,所以并没灰心,还是想说服他按自己的意志去办事。

"哼!您现在是红衣主教派啦,先生。"她大声说道,"哼!您现在为迫害您妻子,侮辱您的王后那一派人效劳啦。"

"在大众利益面前,个人利益算得了什么!"波那瑟夸张地说道,"我拥护那些拯救国家的人。"

这又是罗什福尔伯爵说的一句话,他记住了,在这里正好用上了。

"您知道您所说的国家是什么吗?"波那瑟太太耸耸肩膀问道,"我劝您还是老老实实当您的市民,不要去学那些阴谋手段,不要去理睬那些许诺要给您许多好处的人。"

"喂!喂!"波那瑟一边说,一边拍着圆鼓鼓的钱袋子,拍得里边的钱币叮当响,"这玩意儿您觉得怎么样,爱说教的太太?"

"这钱哪儿来的?"

"猜不着吗?"

"红衣主教给的?"

"有红衣主教给的,也有我的朋友罗什福尔伯爵给的。"

"罗什福尔伯爵!正是他绑架了我啊!"

"也许是吧。太太。"

"您接受这个人的钱?"

"您不是对我说,对您的绑架完全是政治性的吗?"

"是啊,他们绑架我的目的,就是要我背叛自己的女主人,就是想通过拷打逼我招供,去毁坏我尊贵的女主人的荣誉,甚至生命。"

"太太,"波那瑟又说道,"您那位尊贵的女主人是背信弃义的西班牙人,红衣主教的所作所为是正确的。"

"先生,"少妇说道,"我知道您怯懦,吝啬、愚蠢,没想到您还这么卑鄙!"

"太太,"波那瑟从没见过妻子动怒,而且一见妻子发火就退让的,这时问道,"太太,您说的是什么话?"

"我说您是无耻之徒!"波那瑟太太见自己对丈夫的影响有点恢复,就继续骂道,"哼!您居然搞起政治来了,您!而且搞的是红衣主教的政治!哼!您为了钱,把自己连肉体和灵魂都出卖给了魔鬼。"

"不是出卖给魔鬼,而是出卖给红衣主教。"

"这是一码事!"少妇嚷道,"黎塞留就是撒旦。"

"住嘴,太太,住嘴,可能会有人听见的!"

"哦,您说得对。您这样的软骨头,我真为您害臊。"

"可是,您到底要求我干什么?谈谈看。"

"我刚才对您说过了:您马上出发,先生,忠实地完成我好心交给您的任务。只有这样,我才一切都不计较,才能够原谅您,而且——她把手伸给丈夫——我还可以恢复对您的情义。"

波那瑟怯懦,吝啬,但还是爱妻子的。他感动了。一个五十岁的男人,是不会长久怨恨一个二十三岁的女人的。波那瑟太太注意到他正犹豫不决。

"怎么样,拿定主意了吗?"她问道。

"我说,亲爱的,您还是再考虑一下您要我去干的事吧。伦敦离巴黎可远了,非常远,而且您叫我去完成的使命也许不是没有危险的。"

"危险怕什么,您避开它就是了!"

"哎呀,波那瑟太太,"服饰用品商说道,"得啦,我干脆拒绝:干阴谋勾当让我害怕。我可是见过巴士底狱的,唉!那实在可怕,巴士底狱!只要想起那地方,我就浑身起鸡皮疙瘩。狱吏威胁要严刑拷打我呢。您知道什么叫严刑拷打吗?硬是拿木头楔子往腿里钉,直钉到骨头折裂为止!不,我绝不去。见鬼!您自己为什么不去?老实讲,我想直到现在我对您都看错了。我现在相信您是一个男人,而且是最狂热的男人!"

"那么您呢,您就是一个女人,一个卑鄙无耻、又蠢又笨的女人。哼!您害怕!如果您不马上出发,我就根据王后的命令叫人逮捕您,把您关进那座您害怕得要命的巴士底狱。"

波那瑟深深地陷入了沉思。他反复权衡了红衣主教和王后两人发起怒来的厉害,觉得红衣主教动起怒来要厉害得多。

"您就叫人按王后的命令逮捕我好了,"他说道,"我有红衣主教作靠山呢!"

这一下,波那瑟太太发现自己走得太远了,并且因为自己走得这样远而害怕起来。她惶恐地凝视一会儿那张愚蠢,顽固,不可礼遇,像吓呆了的傻子的脸。

"好吧,算了!"她说道,"也许到头来您是对的。政治方面吗,男人懂的总比女人多,尤其您是与红衣主教谈过话的,波那瑟先生。不过,"她补充说,"我原以为自己的丈夫这样一个男子汉的感情是靠得住的,他却这样无情无义对待我,根本不愿意满足我一时的兴致,这心里实在难受。"

"这是因为您的一时兴致可能走得太远,"波那瑟得意地说道,"我信不过。"

"我就此撒手不管了,"少妇叹口气说道,"好啦,这事儿就不要再提了。"

"为什么不提?至少您也告诉我叫我去伦敦做什么事啊。"波那瑟说道,因为他想起,罗什福尔曾经嘱咐他探取他妻子的秘密,可是已经迟了一点儿。

"您知道也没有用,"本能的疑心使少妇赶紧往后缩,"是一桩妇女们感兴趣的小事,一桩可以赚很多钱的买卖。"

可是,少妇越是回避,波那瑟就越是认为她不愿透露的是重大秘密。他决定马上跑去找罗什福尔伯爵,告诉他王后正寻找一位派往伦敦的送信人。

"对不起,亲爱的波那瑟太太,我得离开您一会儿,"他说道,"我不知道您回来看我,事先与一个朋友订一了个约会。我马上回来,请您只等我半分钟,我去与那位朋友打个招呼就回来陪您。时候不早了,我送您回宫。"

"多谢,先生,"波那瑟太太说道,"您胆小如鼠,帮不了我任何忙。我会一个人回宫的。"

"那随您的便吧,波那瑟太太,"歇业的服饰用品店老板说道,"我不久就能见着您吗?"

"也许吧。但愿下个星期我有点儿空闲。我会抽空回来把咱们的东西整理一下的,家里的东西有点儿太乱啦。"

"好吧,我等您。您不怪我吧?"

"怪您!根本没有的事儿。"

"那么,再见了?"

"再见了。"

波那瑟亲一下妻子的手,很快离开了。

"得啦,"当丈夫拉上了临街的门,只剩下她一个人时,波那瑟太太自言自语道,"这混蛋只差没有当红衣主教的爪牙了!我还在王后面前作了保证,我向可怜的女主人许诺过……啊!上帝!我的上帝!宫里那么多无耻之徒,那么多被安插在王后身边的密探。这样一来,王后不把我看成一个那样的人才怪呢。唉!波那瑟先生!我对您从来就爱得不深,现在就更糟啦:我恨您!我发誓,一定要您为此付出代价!"

正当她这么自言自语时,天花板上面有人敲了一下。她抬起头,只听见一个声音隔着楼板对她喊道:

"波那瑟太太,请您打开小巷子的门,我就下楼到您身边来。"




Chapter 18 LOVER AND HUSBAND

Ah, Madame," said d'Artagnan, entering by the door which the young woman opened for him, "allow me to tell you that you have a bad sort of a husband."

"You have, then, overheard our conversation?" asked Mme. Bonacieux, eagerly, and looking at d'Artagnan with disquiet.

"The whole."

"But how, my God?"

"By a mode of proceeding known to myself, and by which I likewise overheard the more animated conversation which he had with the cardinal's police."

"And what did you understand by what we said?"

"A thousand things. In the first place, that, unfortunately, your husband is a simpleton and a fool; in the next place, you are in trouble, of which I am very glad, as it gives me a opportunity of placing myself at your service, and God knows I am ready to throw myself into the fire for you; finally, that the queen wants a brave, intelligent, devoted man to make a journey to London for her. I have at least two of the three qualities you stand in need of, and here I am."

Mme. Bonacieux made no reply; but her heart beat with joy and secret hope shone in her eyes.

"And what guarantee will you give me," asked she, "if I consent to confide this message to you?"

"My love for you. Speak! Command! What is to be done?"

"My God, my God!" murmured the young woman, "ought I to confide such a secret to you, monsieur? You are almost a boy."

"I see that you require someone to answer for me?"

"I admit that would reassure me greatly."

"Do you know Athos?"

"No."

"Porthos?"

"No."

"Aramis?"

"No. Who are these gentleman?"

"Three of the king's Musketeers. Do you know Monsieur de Treville, their captain?"

"Oh, yes, him! I know him; not personally, but from having heard the queen speak of him more than once as a brave and loyal gentleman."

"You do not fear lest he should betray you to the cardinal?"

"Oh, no, certainly not!"

"Well, reveal your secret to him, and ask him whether, however important, however valuable, however terrible it may be, you may not confide it to me."

"But this secret is not mine, and I cannot reveal it in this manner."

"You were about to confide it to Monsieur Bonacieux," said d'Artagnan, with chagrin.

"As one confides a letter to the hollow of a tree, to the wing of a pigeon, to the collar of a dog."

"And yet, me--you see plainly that I love you."

"You say so."

"I am an honorable man."

"You say so."

"I am a gallant fellow."

"I believe it."

"I am brave."

"Oh, I am sure of that!"

"Then, put me to the proof."

Mme. Bonacieux looked at the young man, restrained for a minute by a last hesitation; but there was such an ardor in his eyes, such persuasion in his voice, that she felt herself constrained to confide in him. Besides, she found herself in circumstances where everything must be risked for the sake of everything. The queen might be as much injured by too much reticence as by too much confidence; and--let us admit it--the involuntary sentiment which she felt for her young protector decided her to speak.

"Listen," said she; "I yield to your protestations, I yield to your assurances. But I swear to you, before God who hears us, that if you betray me, and my enemies pardon me, I will kill myself, while accusing you of my death."

"And I--I swear to you before God, madame," said d'Artagnan, "that if I am taken while accomplishing the orders you give me, I will die sooner than do anything that may compromise anyone."

Then the young woman confided in him the terrible secret of which chance had already communicated to him a part in front of the Samaritaine. This was their mutual declaration of love.

D'Artagnan was radiant with joy and pride. This secret which he possessed, this woman whom he loved! Confidence and love made him a giant.

"I go," said he; "I go at once."

"How, you will go!" said Mme. Bonacieux; "and your regiment, your captain?"

"By my soul, you had made me forget all that, dear Constance! Yes, you are right; a furlough is needful."

"Still another obstacle," murmured Mme. Bonacieux, sorrowfully.

"As to that," cried d'Artagnan, after a moment of reflection, "I shall surmount it, be assured."

"How so?"

"I will go this very evening to Treville, whom I will request to ask this favor for me of his brother-in-law, Monsieur Dessessart."

"But another thing."

"What?" asked d'Artagnan, seeing that Mme. Bonacieux hesitated to continue.

"You have, perhaps, no money?"

"PERHAPS is too much," said d'Artagnan, smiling.

"Then," replied Mme. Bonacieux, opening a cupboard and taking from it the very bag which a half hour before her husband had caressed so affectionately, "take this bag."

"The cardinal's?" cried d'Artagnan, breaking into a loud laugh, he having heard, as may be remembered, thanks to the broken boards, every syllable of the conversation between the mercer and his wife.

"The cardinal's," replied Mme. Bonacieux. "You see it makes a very respectable appearance."

"PARDIEU," cried d'Artagnan, "it will be a double amusing affair to save the queen with the cardinal's money!"

"You are an amiable and charming young man," said Mme. Bonacieux. "Be assured you will not find her Majesty ungrateful."

"Oh, I am already grandly recompensed!" cried d'Artagnan. "I love you; you permit me to tell you that I do--that is already more happiness than I dared to hope."

"Silence!" said Mme. Bonacieux, starting.

"What!"

"Someone is talking in the street."

"It is the voice of--"

"Of my husband! Yes, I recognize it!"

D'Artagnan ran to the door and pushed the bolt.

"He shall not come in before I am gone," said he; "and when I am gone, you can open to him."

"But I ought to be gone, too. And the disappearance of his money; how am I to justify it if I am here?"

"You are right; we must go out."

"Go out? How? He will see us if we go out."

"Then you must come up into my room."

"Ah," said Mme. Bonacieux, "you speak that in a tone that frightens me!"

Mme. Bonacieux pronounced these words with tears in her eyes. d'Artagnan saw those tears, and much disturbed, softened, he threw himself at her feet.

"With me you will be as safe as in a temple; I give you my word of a gentleman."

"Let us go," said she, "I place full confidence in you, my friend!"

D'Artagnan drew back the bolt with precaution, and both, light as shadows, glided through the interior door into the passage, ascended the stairs as quietly as possible, and entered d'Artagnan's chambers.

Once there, for greater security, the young man barricaded the door. They both approached the window, and through a slit in the shutter they saw Bonacieux talking with a man in a cloak.

At sight of this man, d'Artagnan started, and half drawing his sword, sprang toward the door.

It was the man of Meung.

"What are you going to do?" cried Mme. Bonacieux; "you will ruin us all!"

"But I have sworn to kill that man!" said d'Artagnan.

"Your life is devoted from this moment, and does not belong to you. In the name of the queen I forbid you to throw yourself into any peril which is foreign to that of your journey."

"And do you command nothing in your own name?"

"In my name," said Mme. Bonacieux, with great emotion, "in my name I beg you! But listen; they appear to be speaking of me."

D'Artagnan drew near the window, and lent his ear.

M Bonacieux had opened his door, and seeing the apartment, had returned to the man in the cloak, whom he had left alone for an instant.

"She is gone," said he; "she must have returned to the Louvre."

"You are sure," replied the stranger, "that she did not suspect the intentions with which you went out?"

"No," replied Bonacieux, with a self-sufficient air, "she is too superficial a woman."

"Is the young Guardsman at home?"

"I do not think he is; as you see, his shutter is closed, and you can see no light shine through the chinks of the shutters."

"All the same, it is well to be certain."

"How so?"

"By knocking at his door. Go."

"I will ask his servant."

Bonacieux re-entered the house, passed through the same door that had afforded a passage for the two fugitives, went up to d'Artagnan's door, and knocked.

No one answered. Porthos, in order to make a greater display, had that evening borrowed Planchet. As to d'Artagnan, he took care not to give the least sign of existence.

The moment the hand of Bonacieux sounded on the door, the two young people felt their hearts bound within them.

"There is nobody within," said Bonacieux.

"Never mind. Let us return to your apartment. We shall be safer there than in the doorway."

"Ah, my God!" whispered Mme. Bonacieux, "we shall hear no more."

"On the contrary," said d'Artagnan, "we shall hear better."

D'Artagnan raised the three or four boards which made his chamber another ear of Dionysius, spread a carpet on the floor, went upon his knees, and made a sign to Mme. Bonacieux to stoop as he did toward the opening.

"You are sure there is nobody there?" said the stranger.

"I will answer for it," said Bonacieux.

"And you think that your wife--"

"Has returned to the Louvre."

"Without speaking to anyone but yourself?"

"I am sure of it."

"That is an important point, do you understand?"

"Then the news I brought you is of value?"

"The greatest, my dear Bonacieux; I don't conceal this from you."

"Then the cardinal will be pleased with me?"

"I have no doubt of it."

"The great cardinal!"

"Are you sure, in her conversation with you, that your wife mentioned no names?"

"I think not."

"She did not name Madame de Chevreuse, the Duke of Buckingham, or Madame de Vernet?"

"No; she only told me she wished to send me to London to serve the interests of an illustrious personage."

"The traitor!" murmured Mme. Bonacieux.

"Silence!" said d'Artagnan, taking her hand, which, without thinking of it, she abandoned to him.

"Never mind," continued the man in the cloak; "you were a fool not to have pretended to accept the mission. You would then be in present possession of the letter. The state, which is now threatened, would be safe, and you--"

"And I?"

"Well you--the cardinal would have given you letters of nobility."

"Did he tell you so?"

"Yes, I know that he meant to afford you that agreeable surprise."

"Be satisfied," replied Bonacieux; "my wife adores me, and there is yet time."

"The ninny!" murmured Mme. Bonacieux.

"Silence!" said d'Artagnan, pressing her hand more closely.

"How is there still time?" asked the man in the cloak.

"I go to the Louvre; I ask for Mme. Bonacieux; I say that I have reflected; I renew the affair; I obtain the letter, and I run directly to the cardinal."

"Well, go quickly! I will return soon to learn the result of your trip."

The stranger went out.

"Infamous!" said Mme. Bonacieux, addressing this epithet to her husband.

"Silence!" said d'Artagnan, pressing her hand still more warmly.

A terrible howling interrupted these reflections of d'Artagnan and Mme. Bonacieux. It was her husband, who had discovered the disappearance of the moneybag, and was crying "Thieves!"

"Oh, my God!" cried Mme. Bonacieux, "he will rouse the whole quarter."

Bonacieux called a long time; but as such cries, on account of their frequency, brought nobody in the Rue des Fossoyeurs, and as lately the mercer's house had a bad name, finding that nobody came, he went out continuing to call, his voice being heard fainter and fainter as he went in the direction of the Rue du Bac.

"Now he is gone, it is your turn to get out," said Mme. Bonacieux. "Courage, my friend, but above all, prudence, and think what you owe to the queen."

"To her and to you!" cried d'Artagnan. "Be satisfied, beautiful Constance. I shall become worthy of her gratitude; but shall I likewise return worthy of your love?"

The young woman only replied by the beautiful glow which mounted to her cheeks. A few seconds afterward d'Artagnan also went out enveloped in a large cloak, which ill-concealed the sheath of a long sword.

Mme. Bonacieux followed him with her eyes, with that long, fond look with which he had turned the angle of the street, she fell on her knees, and clasping her hands, "Oh, my God," cried she, "protect the queen, protect me!"

 

第十八章 情夫与丈夫

"唉!太太,"达达尼昂从少妇给他打开的门里进来说道,"恕我直言,您这个丈夫真是个可鄙的家伙。"

"您听见了我们的谈话?"波那瑟太太不安地望着达达尼昂,激动地问道。

"一字不漏。"

"您是怎样听见的?天哪!"

"用一种只有我知道的办法。您与红衣主教的警察更激烈的谈话,我也是通过这个办法听到的。"

"从我们的谈话中您听明白了什么?"

"好多事情:首先,您丈夫是个糊里糊涂的大笨蛋,幸好是这样;其次,您陷入了困境,而我却感到高兴,这给我提供了一个为您效劳的机会,老天爷在上,为了您我就是赴汤蹈火也在所不辞;最后,王后需要一个勇敢、机智、忠诚的人为她去伦敦跑一趟。您所需要的优点,我至少具备两个。我这就来啦。"

波那瑟太太没有回答,但她的心高兴得怦怦直跳,眼睛里闪烁着深藏心底的希望。

"您拿什么向我担保,"她问道,"要是我同意把这个使命交给您?"

"我对您的爱。行啦,您吩咐吧,下命令吧:我该干什么?"

"上帝!上帝!"少妇喃喃道,"我能把这样一个秘密托咐给您吗,先生。您还几乎是个孩子!"

"啊,我看您是需要一个人为我担保。"

"坦白地讲,那样我就放心得多。"

"您认识阿托斯吗?"

"不认识。"

"波托斯呢?"

"也不认识。"

"阿拉米斯呢?"

"也不认识。这几位先生是什么人?"

"是国王的火枪手。你认识他们的队长特雷维尔先生吗?"

"啊!是的,这一位我认识,不过并不认识他本人,而是不止一次听人向王后提起过,说他是一位勇敢而正直的绅士。"

"您不担心他会为了红衣主教而出卖您吧,对吗?"

"啊!当然不担心。"

"那好,去把您的秘密透露给他,并且问问他,不管您的秘密多么重大,多么宝贵,多么可怕,您是不是可以把它托咐给我。"

"可是,这个秘密不属于我,我不能这样向人透露。"

"您不是差一点儿向波那瑟先生透露了吗?"达达尼昂没好气地说道。

"那等于把一封信放在树洞里,系在鸽子的翅膀上或狗的项圈上。"

"然而我呢,您看得很清楚,我爱您啊。"

"您说说而已。"

"我可是个多情男子!"

"这我相信。"

"我很勇敢!"

"啊!这个嘛,我深信不疑。"

"那么,请考验我吧。"

波那瑟太太注视着年轻人,只有最后一丝犹豫,使她还保持谨慎。但是,小伙子的目光是那样热忱,声音是那样充满说服力,她感到这一切在促使她向他和盘托出。再说,她目前的处境,也只有孤注一掷。过分谨慎和过分轻信一样,都会毁掉王后。还有,应当承认,她对这个年轻保护人情不自禁产生的感情,也促使她下决心把秘密告诉他。

"听我说,"她对小伙子说道,"您这样反复申明,一再保证,算是把我说服啦。不过,上帝在上,听得见我们说话。我在上帝面前发誓,如果您出卖我,而我的敌人没有处死我,我就一定自杀,以我的死来向上帝控告您。"

"我呢,也在上帝面前发誓,太太,"达达尼昂说道,"如果我在完成您交给的使命期间被抓住,我就一死了之,决不做牵连什么人的任何事,不说牵连什么人的任何话。"

于是,少妇将那可怕的秘密托咐给了达达尼昂。这个秘密,偶然的机会已经使他在萨马丽丹大厦附近窥见了一部分。

这也是他们相互倾吐爱情。

达达尼昂容光焕发,非常高兴和自豪。他已掌握的这个秘密,他所钟爱的这个女人,总之信任和爱情,使他成了一个巨人。

"我这就出发,"他说,"立刻出发。"

"怎么!您这就出发!"波那瑟太太叫起来,"您的部队,您的队长呢?"

"说实话,您使我把这一切忘到了九霄云外,亲爱的康斯坦斯!对,您说得对,我必须请假。"

"还有一个障碍。"波那瑟太太痛苦地说。

"啊!这个障碍吗,"达达尼昂想了想说道,"我会克服的,放心吧。"

"怎么克服法?"

"今晚上我就去找特雷维尔先生,请他去帮我向他的妹夫埃萨尔求个情。"

"现在还有另外一个问题。"

"什么问题?"达达尼昂见波那瑟太太欲言又止,便问道。

"您大概没有钱吧?"

"大概两个字是多余的。"达达尼昂微笑着说。

"那么,"波那瑟太太说着打开一个柜子,拿出她丈夫半个钟头前那么深情地抚摩过的钱袋子,"把这袋钱拿去吧。"

"这是红衣主教给的!"达达尼昂说罢哈哈大笑。正如读者所记得的,他由于挑开了地板的方砖,把服饰用品商两口子的谈话一字不漏全听到了。

"是红衣主教给的,"波那瑟太太答道,"您看,从这个角度讲,他这个人表现得还是挺可敬的哩!"

"真棒!"达达尼昂大声说,"用红衣主教的钱,去搭救王后,这可是加倍有趣啊!"

"您是一个可亲可爱的小伙子,"波那瑟太太说道,"请相信,王后不是个忘恩负义的人。"

"啊!我已经得到很大的报偿啦!"达达尼昂提高嗓门说,"我爱您,您允许我对您这样说,这幸福已经超过了我敢于希望的。"

"别出声!"波那瑟太太怔忪地说道。

"什么?"

"街上有人说话。"

"这声音是……"

"是我丈夫。没错,我听出来了!"

达达尼昂跑到门边,插上门闩。

"我没走之前不让他进来,"他说道,"我走了,您才给他开门。"

"可是我也得走才成,我呆在这里,那一口袋钱不见了,我怎么解释?"

"您说得对。应该出去。"

"怎么出去?我们一出门他就看得见。"

"那么该上我家去。"

"啊!"波那瑟太太说,"您说这话的口气叫我害怕。"

波那瑟太太说这话时,眼睛里噙满了泪水。达达尼昂看见了那泪水,又发窘,又感动,连忙往她面前一跪。

"在我家里,"他说,"您会像在教堂里一样安全,我以绅士名誉向您保证。"

"去吧,"波那瑟太太说,"我相信您,朋友。"

达达尼昂轻轻地拔开门闩,两个人如同无声无息的影子,从后门溜到巷子里,蹑手蹑脚上了楼梯,进到达达尼昂的房间里。

进到自己家里,为了更安全,年轻人用家具把门顶住。两个人走到窗口,透过护窗板的一条缝,看见波那瑟与一个披斗篷的人一边走一边聊。

看到披斗篷的那个人,达达尼昂蹦起来,剑已半出鞘,向门口冲去。

那是默恩镇遇到的那个人。

"您要干什么?"波那瑟太太叫道,"您这会断送我们俩。"

"可是,我发过誓要杀掉这个人的!"达达尼昂说。

"您的生命您已经拿它许过愿了,现在不属于您自己啦。

我以王后的名义,禁止您卷入与这次旅行不相干的任何危险。"

"您不想以自己的名义吩咐我做什么吗?"

"以我自己的名义吗,"波那瑟太太十分激动地说,"我以自己的名义央求您别冒险。哎,听!他们好像在谈我呢。"

达达尼昂重新走到窗口,侧耳倾听。

波那瑟打开自家的门,发现屋里没有人,连忙回到留在外边的那个披斗篷的人身边。

"她走啦,"他说道,"准是回罗浮宫了。"

"您肯定吗,"陌生人问道,"她对您出门的动机没有怀疑?"

"没有,"波那瑟自信地说,"这是个头脑简单的女人。"

"那个见习禁军在家吗?"

"我想不在家,正如您看见的,护窗板都关住的嘛,窗缝里一点灯光也没漏出来。"

"这不说明问题,应该搞清楚。"

"怎么搞清楚?"

"去敲他的门。"

"我去问他的跟班吧。"

"去吧。"

波那瑟又回到屋里,跨出刚才那两个人溜出的那扇门,上了楼梯,来到达达尼昂的房门口举手敲门。

没有人回答。这天晚上,普朗歇让波托斯借去撑场面摆阔去了。至于达达尼昂,没有露出一点他在家里的迹象。

波那瑟的手指敲得门砰砰响时,屋里一对年轻人觉得他们的心怦怦乱跳。

"他家里没人。"波那瑟说。

"不管他,还是进您家去吧,进屋去总比呆在门口安全。"

"啊!天哪!"波那瑟太太悄声说,"这样我们什么也听不到了。"

"相反,"达达尼昂说,"我们听得更清楚。"

达达尼昂挪开楼板的三四块方砖,使他的房间变成了德尼斯的另一只耳朵①,再在地上铺块毯子,跪在上面,并示意波那瑟太太也像他一样,向那个洞俯下身子。

  ①德尼斯是古锡拉丘兹王国暴君,多疑,经常身披盔甲,全副武装躲在他的古堡里,而通过墙上凿的洞窥听是否有人想谋反加害于他。

"好像没有。"

"您肯定没有人吗?"陌生人问道。

"我担保。"波那瑟回答。

"您认为您妻子……"

"回罗浮宫啦。"

"除了和您谈过,再没跟别人谈?"

"肯定没有。"

"这一点可很重要,明白吗?"

"这样说,我送给您的这个消息有一定价值?"

"有很大价值,亲爱的波那瑟,不瞒您说。"

"那么,红衣主教会满意我啦?"

"那还用说!"

"伟大的红衣主教!"

"您肯定您妻子在与您谈话时,没有提到什么人的姓名?"

"她既没有提到谢弗勒斯夫人,也没有提到白金汉先生,抑或韦尔内夫人?"

"没有。她只是对我说,派我去伦敦为一个大人物效劳。"

"叛徒!"波那瑟太太悄声骂道。

"别出声!"达达尼昂说着捏住她一只手。她根本没多想,就让他捏着。

"您真蠢,"披斗篷的人说道,"无论如何应该接受那个使命;那样的话,现在您不是得到那封信了?受威胁的国家得救了,而您本人……"

"我本人?"

"是呀,您本人!红衣主教打算授予您贵族封号……"

"他对您说过?"

"是的,我知道他想让您喜出望外。"

"放心吧。"波那瑟又说,"我太太很爱我,还来得及的。"

"白痴!"波那瑟太太低声骂道。

"别出声!"达达尼昂说着更紧地捏住了她的手。

"怎么还来得及?"披斗篷的人问道。

"我再去罗浮宫,要求见波那瑟太太,我告诉她我经过考虑,愿意接受那件事。得到那封信之后,我就跑去找红衣主教。"

"好,快去。我一会儿再来了解您采取的行动的结果。"

陌生人说罢出去了。

"无耻之徒!"波那瑟太太又这样骂丈夫。

"别吭声!"达达尼昂说道,又更紧地捏住了那只手。

这时,一声可怕的叫喊,打断了达达尼昂和波那瑟太太的思考。原来是他丈夫发现钱袋子不见了,大喊大叫捉贼。

"啊!天哪!"波那瑟太太大声说,"这样他会把所有街坊全引过来的。"

波那瑟叫喊了很久,但这类叫喊大家都听惯了,并没有把任何人吸引到掘墓人街来;再说,一段时期来,服饰用品商家的名声也不太好。他见没有人来,就跑到街上去继续叫喊,人们听见他的喊声朝巴克街方向渐渐远去了。

"他走啦,现在该您走了。"波那瑟太太说,"要勇敢,尤其要谨慎,要随时想到您是在为王后效劳。"

"是为王后,也是为您!"达达尼昂大声说,"放心吧,美人儿康斯坦斯,我回来时一定无愧于王后的赏识,但是否也无愧于您的爱情?"

波那瑟太太没有回答,只是两颊泛起红潮。片刻之后,达达尼昂就出了门。他也披了一件大斗篷,一柄长剑把斗篷顶得高高的,颇有骑士风度。

波那瑟太太含情脉脉,久久地目送着达达尼昂,恰如一般女人目送爱自己的男人一样。但是,当达达尼昂转过街角不见了时,她双膝往地上一跪,双手合十,高声祈祷起来:

"啊!上帝!请您保佑王后,保佑我吧!"




Chapter 19 PLAN OF CAMPAIGN

D'Artagnan went straight to M. de Treville's. He had reflected that in a few minutes the cardinal would be warned by this cursed stranger, who appeared to be his agent, and he judged, with reason, he had not a moment to lose.

The heart of the young man overflowed with joy. An opportunity presented itself to him in which there would be at the same time glory to be acquired, and money to be gained; and as a far higher encouragement, it brought him into close intimacy with a woman he adored. This chance did, then, for him at once more than he would have dared to ask of Providence.

M de Treville was in his saloon with his habitual court of gentlemen. D'Artagnan, who was known as a familiar of the house, went straight to his office, and sent word that he wished to see him on something of importance.

D'Artagnan had been there scarcely five minutes when M. de Treville entered. At the first glance, and by the joy which was painted on his countenance, the worthy captain plainly perceived that something new was on foot.

All the way along d'Artagnan had been consulting with himself whether he should place confidence in M. de Treville, or whether he should only ask him to give him CARTE BLANCHE for some secret affair. But M. de Treville had always been so thoroughly his friend, had always been so devoted to the king and queen, and hated the cardinal so cordially, that the young man resolved to tell him everything.

"Did you ask for me, my good friend?" said M. de Treville.

"Yes, monsieur," said d'Artagnan, lowering his voice, "and you will pardon me, I hope, for having disturbed you when you know the importance of my business."

"Speak, then, I am all attention."

"It concerns nothing less," said d'Artagnan, "than the honor, perhaps the life of the queen."

"What did you say?" asked M. de Treville, glancing round to see if they were surely alone, and then fixing his questioning look upon d'Artagnan.

"I say, monsieur, that chance has rendered me master of a secret--"

"Which you will guard, I hope, young man, as your life."

"But which I must impart to you, monsieur, for you alone can assist me in the mission I have just received from her Majesty."

"Is this secret your own?"

"No, monsieur; it is her Majesty's."

"Are you authorized by her Majesty to communicate it to me?"

"No, monsieur, for, on the contrary, I am desired to preserve the profoundest mystery."

"Why, then, are you about to betray it to me?"

"Because, as I said, without you I can do nothing; and I am afraid you will refuse me the favor I come to ask if you do not know to what end I ask it."

"Keep your secret, young man, and tell me what you wish."

"I wish you to obtain for me, from Monsieur Dessessart, leave of absence for fifteen days."

"When?"

"This very night."

"You leave Paris?"

"I am going on a mission."

"May you tell me whither?"

"To London."

"Has anyone an interest in preventing your arrival there?"

"The cardinal, I believe, would give the world to prevent my success."

"And you are going alone?"

"I am going alone."

"In that case you will not get beyond Bondy. I tell you so, by the faith of de Treville."

"How so?"

"You will be assassinated."

"And I shall die in the performance of my duty."

"But your mission will not be accomplished."

"That is true," replied d'Artagnan.

"Believe me," continued Treville, "in enterprises of this kind, in order that one may arrive, four must set out."

"Ah, you are right, monsieur," said d'Artagnan; "but you know Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, and you know if I can dispose of them."

"Without confiding to them the secret which I am not willing to know?"

"We are sworn, once for all, to implicit confidence and devotedness against all proof. Besides, you can tell them that you have full confidence in me, and they will not be more incredulous than you."

"I can send to each of them leave of absence for fifteen days, that is all--to Athos, whose wound still makes him suffer, to go to the waters of Forges; to Porthos and Aramis to accompany their friend, whom they are not willing to abandon in such a painful condition. Sending their leave of absence will be proof enough that I authorize their journey."

"Thanks, monsieur. You are a hundred times too good."

"Begone, then, find them instantly, and let all be done tonight! Ha! But first write your request to Dessessart. Perhaps you had a spy at your heels; and your visit, if it should ever be known to the cardinal, will thus seem legitimate."

D'Artagnan drew up his request, and M. de Treville, on receiving it, assured him that by two o'clock in the morning the four leaves of absence should be at the respective domiciles of the travelers.

"Have the goodness to send mine to Athos's residence. I should dread some disagreeable encounter if I were to go home."

"Be easy. Adieu, and a prosperous voyage. A PROPOS," said M. de Treville, calling him back.

D'Artagnan returned.

"Have you any money?"

D'Artagnan tapped the bag he had in his pocket.

"Enough?" asked M. de Treville.

"Three hundred pistoles."

"Oh, plenty! That would carry you to the end of the world. Begone, then!"

D'Artagnan saluted M. de Treville, who held out his hand to him; d'Artagnan pressed it with a respect mixed with gratitude. Since his first arrival at Paris, he had had constant occasion to honor this excellent man, whom he had always found worthy, loyal, and great.

His first visit was to Aramis, at whose residence he had not been since the famous evening on which he had followed Mme. Bonacieux. Still further, he had seldom seen the young Musketeer; but every time he had seen him, he had remarked a deep sadness imprinted on his countenance.

This evening, especially, Aramis was melancholy and thoughtful. d'Artagnan asked some questions about this prolonged melancholy. Aramis pleaded as his excuse a commentary upon the eighteenth chapter of St. Augustine, which he was forced to write in Latin for the following week, and which preoccupied him a good deal.

After the two friends had been chatting a few moments, a servant from M. de Treville entered, bringing a sealed packet.

"What is that?" asked Aramis.

"The leave of absence Monsieur has asked for," replied the lackey.

"For me! I have asked for no leave of absence."

"Hold your tongue and take it!" said d'Artagnan. "And you, my friend, there is a demipistole for your trouble; you will tell Monsieur de Treville that Monsieur Aramis is very much obliged to him. Go."

The lackey bowed to the ground and departed.

"What does all this mean?" asked Aramis.

"Pack up all you want for a journey of a fortnight, and follow me."

"But I cannot leave Paris just now without knowing--"

Aramis stopped.

"What is become of her? I suppose you mean--" continued d'Artagnan.

"Become of whom?" replied Aramis.

"The woman who was here--the woman with the embroidered handkerchief."

"Who told you there was a woman here?" replied Aramis, becoming as pale as death.

"I saw her."

"And you know who she is?"

"I believe I can guess, at least."

"Listen!" said Aramis. "Since you appear to know so many things, can you tell me what is become of that woman?"

"I presume that she has returned to Tours."

"To Tours? Yes, that may be. You evidently know her. But why did she return to Tours without telling me anything?"

"Because she was in fear of being arrested."

"Why has she not written to me, then?"

"Because she was afraid of compromising you."

"d'Artagnan, you restore me to life!" cried Aramis. "I fancied myself despised, betrayed. I was so delighted to see her again! I could not have believed she would risk her liberty for me, and yet for what other cause could she have returned to Paris?"

"For the cause which today takes us to England."

"And what is this cause?" demanded Aramis.

"Oh, you'll know it someday, Aramis; but at present I must imitate the discretion of 'the doctor's niece.'"

Aramis smiled, as he remembered the tale he had told his friends on a certain evening. "Well, then, since she has left Paris, and you are sure of it, d'Artagnan, nothing prevents me, and I am ready to follow you. You say we are going--"

"To see Athos now, and if you will come thither, I beg you to make haste, for we have lost much time already. A PROPOS, inform Bazin."

"Will Bazin go with us?" asked Aramis.

"Perhaps so. At all events, it is best that he should follow us to Athos's."

Aramis called Bazin, and, after having ordered him to join them at Athos's residence, said "Let us go then," at the same time taking his cloak, sword, and three pistols, opening uselessly two or three drawers to see if he could not find stray coin. When well assured this search was superfluous, he followed d'Artagnan, wondering to himself how this young Guardsman should know so well who the lady was to whom he had given hospitality, and that he should know better than himself what had become of her.

Only as they went out Aramis placed his hand upon the arm of d'Artagnan, and looking at him earnestly, "You have not spoken of this lady?" said he.

"To nobody in the world."

"Not even to Athos or Porthos?"

"I have not breathed a syllable to them."

"Good enough!"

Tranquil on this important point, Aramis continued his way with d'Artagnan, and both soon arrived at Athos's dwelling. They found him holding his leave of absence in one hand, and M. de Treville's note in the other.

"Can you explain to me what signify this leave of absence and this letter, which I have just received?" said the astonished Athos.

My dear Athos,

I wish, as your health absolutely requires it, that you should rest for a fortnight. Go, then, and take the waters of Forges, or any that may be more agreeable to you, and recuperate yourself as quickly as possible.

Yours affectionate,

de Treville

"Well, this leave of absence and that letter mean that you must follow me, Athos."

"To the waters of Forges?"

"There or elsewhere."

"In the king's service?"

"Either the king's or the queen's. Are we not their Majesties' servants?"

At that moment Porthos entered. "PARDIEU!" said he, "here is a strange thing! Since when, I wonder, in the Musketeers, did they grant men leave of absence without their asking for it?"

"Since," said d'Artagnan, "they have friends who ask it for them."

"Ah, ah!" said Porthos, "it appears there's something fresh here."

"Yes, we are going--" said Aramis.

"To what country?" demanded Porthos.

"My faith! I don't know much about it," said Athos. "Ask d'Artagnan."

"To London, gentlemen," said d'Artagnan.

"To London!" cried Porthos; "and what the devil are we going to do in London?"

"That is what I am not at liberty to tell you, gentlemen; you must trust to me."

"But in order to go to London," added Porthos, "money is needed, and I have none."

"Nor I," said Aramis.

"Nor I," said Athos.

"I have," replied d'Artagnan, pulling out his treasure from his pocket, and placing it on the table. "There are in this bag three hundred pistoles. Let each take seventy-five; that is enough to take us to London and back. Besides, make yourselves easy; we shall not all arrive at London."

"Why so?"

"Because, in all probability, some one of us will be left on the road."

"Is this, then, a campaign upon which we are now entering?"

"One of a most dangerous kind, I give you notice."

"Ah! But if we do risk being killed," said Porthos, "at least I should like to know what for."

"You would be all the wiser," said Athos.

"And yet," said Aramis, "I am somewhat of Porthos's opinion."

"Is the king accustomed to give you such reasons? No. He says to you jauntily, 'Gentlemen, there is fighting going on in Gascony or in Flanders; go and fight,' and you go there. Why? You need give yourselves no more uneasiness about this."

"d'Artagnan is right," said Athos; "here are our three leaves of absence which came from Monsieur de Treville, and here are three hundred pistoles which came from I don't know where. So let us go and get killed where we are told to go. Is life worth the trouble of so many questions? D'Artagnan, I am ready to follow you."

"And I also," said Porthos.

"And I also," said Aramis. "And, indeed, I am not sorry to quit Paris; I had need of distraction."

"Well, you will have distractions enough, gentlemen, be assured," said d'Artagnan.

"And, now, when are we to go?" asked Athos.

"Immediately," replied d'Artagnan; "we have not a minute to lose."

"Hello, Grimaud! Planchet! Mousqueton! Bazin!" cried the four young men, calling their lackeys, "clean my boots, and fetch the horses from the hotel."

Each Musketeer was accustomed to leave at the general hotel, as at a barrack, his own horse and that of his lackey. Planchet, Grimaud, Mousqueton, and Bazin set off at full speed.

"Now let us lay down the plan of campaign," said Porthos. "Where do we go first?"

"To Calais," said d'Artagnan; "that is the most direct line to London."

"Well," said Porthos, "this is my advice--"

"Speak!"

"Four men traveling together would be suspected. D'Artagnan will give each of us his instructions. I will go by the way of Boulogne to clear the way; Athos will set out two hours after, by that of Amiens; Aramis will follow us by that of Noyon; as to d'Artagnan, he will go by what route he thinks is best, in Planchet's clothes, while Planchet will follow us like d'Artagnan, in the uniform of the Guards."

"Gentlemen," said Athos, "my opinion is that it is not proper to allow lackeys to have anything to do in such an affair. A secret may, by chance, be betrayed by gentlemen; but it is almost always sold by lackeys."

"Porthos's plan appears to me to be impracticable," said d'Artagnan, "inasmuch as I am myself ignorant of what instructions I can give you. I am the bearer of a letter, that is all. I have not, and I cannot make three copies of that letter, because it is sealed. We must, then, as it appears to me, travel in company. This letter is here, in this pocket," and he pointed to the pocket which contained the letter. "If I should be killed, one of you must take it, and continue the route; if he be killed, it will be another's turn, and so on--provided a single one arrives, that is all that is required."

"Bravo, d'Artagnan, your opinion is mine," cried Athos, "Besides, we must be consistent; I am going to take the waters, you will accompany me. Instead of taking the waters of Forges, I go and take sea waters; I am free to do so. If anyone wishes to stop us, I will show Monsieur de Treville's letter, and you will show your leaves of absence. If we are attacked, we will defend ourselves; if we are tried, we will stoutly maintain that we were only anxious to dip ourselves a certain number of times in the sea. They would have an easy bargain of four isolated men; whereas four men together make a troop. We will arm our four lackeys with pistols and musketoons; if they send an army out against us, we will give battle, and the survivor, as d'Artagnan says, will carry the letter."

"Well said," cried Aramis; "you don't often speak, Athos, but when you do speak, it is like St. John of the Golden Mouth. I agree to Athos's plan. And you, Porthos?"

"I agree to it, too," said Porthos, "if d'Artagnan approves of it. D'Artagnan, being the bearer of the letter, is naturally the head of the enterprise; let him decide, and we will execute."

"Well," said d'Artagnan, "I decide that we should adopt Athos's plan, and that we set off in half an hour."

"Agreed!" shouted the three Musketeers in chorus.

Each one, stretching out his hand to the bag, took his seventy-five pistoles, and made his preparations to set out at the time appointed.

 

第十九章 行动计划

达达尼昂径直赶到特雷维尔先生官邸。他想,几分钟之内,红衣主教便会得到那个该死的陌生人的报告;那家伙看来是红衣主教的密探。所以达达尼昂认为一分钟也不能耽误,这想法是有道理的。

这年轻人心里充满了快乐。一个既能获得荣誉,又可以赚到钱的机会,让他碰上了,而好像是作为第一个鼓励,刚才他又接近了他所钟爱的女人。这偶然的机遇一下子给他带来的东西,比他敢于向上帝祈求的东西还多。

特雷维尔正在客厅里,陪那些经常来府上的绅士。达达尼昂也常来府上,上上下下都认得他,所以他径直奔特雷维尔先生办公室,叫人去通知他,说他有重要事等着向他报告。

达达尼昂等了不到五分钟,特雷维尔先生就进来了。从小伙子喜形于色的表情,这位可敬的队长第一眼就看出来,果然发生了什么新情况。

一路上,达达尼昂一直在琢磨,是把秘密告诉特雷维尔先生好呢,还是仅仅要求特雷维尔先生允许他自由行动,去办一件秘密事情。但是,在他心目中,特雷维尔先生一直是那样完美无缺,他对国王和王后是那样忠心耿耿,而对红衣主教是那样深恶痛绝,所以小伙子决定把一切全告诉他。

"是您叫人找我吗,年轻的朋友?"特雷维尔先生问道。

"是的,先生。"达达尼昂说道,"打扰您了,不过希望您在知道我来找您是为了多么重要的事情之后,能够原谅我。"

"那么请讲吧,我听您说。"

"老实讲,"达达尼昂压低声音说,"这件事关系到王后的荣誉,也许关系到王后的生命。"

"您说什么?"特雷维尔先生一边问,一边打量四周,看有否其他人,然后又把探询的目光移回到达达尼昂身上。

"我说,先生,偶然的机会使我掌握了一个秘密……"

"我想是您用生命担保要保守的秘密吧,年轻人。"

"可是,我不能不告诉您,先生,因为只有您能帮助我完成刚刚从王后陛下那里接受的使命。"

"那个秘密是属于您的吗?"

"不,不是,是王后的。"

"王后陛下允许您对我讲吗?"

"没有,先生,相反,我受到叮嘱要绝对严守秘密。"

"那么,您为什么要在我面前暴露这个秘密呢?"

"因为,我刚才说了,没有您,我什么也做不成;我是来请求您恩典的,担心您不知我请求您的目的,会拒绝我。"

"保守您的秘密吧,年轻人,告诉我您希望什么。"

"我希望您为我向埃萨尔先生请半个月假。"

"什么时候。"

"从今晚起。"

"您要离开巴黎?"

"我要出差。"

"能告诉我去哪儿吗?"

"去伦敦。"

"是否有人为了自己的利益,想阻止您达到目的?"

"我相信红衣主教会不惜一切手段,阻止我取得成功。"

"您一个人去?"

"我一个人去。"

"这样,您过不了邦迪①。这是我对您说的,相信特雷维尔吧。"

  ①邦迪是距巴黎二十多公里远的一个小镇。

"为什么过不去?"

"您会被暗杀。"

"那就殉职罢了。"

"可是您的使命完不成。"

"这倒是。"达达尼昂说。

"相信我吧,"特雷维尔接着说,"完成这类行动,必须有四个人,才能有一个到达目的地。"

"啊!您说得对,先生,"达达尼昂说道,"阿托斯、波托斯和阿拉米斯三个人您不是了解吧,而且您知道我能指使他们。"

"不告诉他们我不愿意了解的秘密?"

"我们一起发过誓,不管遇到什么考验,永远都要不问缘由互相信任,忠心不二。况且,您也可以对他们说,您完全相信我,他们准会像您一样深信不疑。"

"我可以给他们每人开半个月假单,如此而已。准假的理由吗,"谢谢。先生,您真是太好了。"

"立刻去找他们,一切在今晚办妥。哦!您先写个请假报告,给我交给埃萨尔。刚才可能有一个密探盯您的梢,如果是这样,您上我这儿来红衣主教就已经知道了。有了这份请假报告,您来我这儿的事就好解释了。"

达达尼昂写好了请假报告。特雷维尔从他手里接过来时叫他放心,凌晨两点钟之前,四位旅行者的假单都会送到各自家里。

"请费心把我的送到阿托斯家里,"达达尼昂说,"我担心回自己家会遇到麻烦。"

"放心吧,再见,一路顺风。喂,还有一件事!"特雷维尔先生说完又叫住达达尼昂。

达达尼昂又回转来。

"有钱吗?"

达达尼昂拍得衣兜里的钱袋子叮当响。

"够了吗?"特雷维尔问。

"三百比斯托尔。"

"好。有了这些钱,走到世界尽头都够了。去吧。"

达达尼昂向特雷维尔先生告别,特雷维尔伸给他一只手,他连忙恭敬而感激地握住。自从来到巴黎之后,对这个好人他感到非常满意,觉得他总是那样高贵、正直和伟大。

他首先去看望阿拉米斯。自从他跟踪波那瑟太太那个令人难忘的晚上以来,他就没有见过这个朋友。甚至他很难与这位年轻的火枪手见面,而且每次见到他,总发现他脸上流露出深深忧伤的神色。

这天晚上,阿拉米斯仍然闷坐在家里出神。达达尼昂问他为什么显得这样忧伤,阿拉米斯借故说,他正用拉丁文写一篇关于圣徒奥古斯丁回忆录第十八章的评论,下周就要交稿,为此绞尽了脑汁。

两位朋友刚聊了一会儿,特雷维尔先生的一个跟班送来两个封严的纸包。

"这是什么?"阿拉米斯问道。

"先生请假的准假单。"跟班回答。

"可我并没有请假呀。"

"别说了,收下吧。"达达尼昂说,"而你,朋友,这半个比斯托尔是酬劳您的。请向特雷维尔先生回话,说阿拉米斯先生衷心感谢他。去吧。"

跟班一躬到地,退了出去。

"这是什么意思?"阿拉米斯问道。

"带上半个月旅行用的东西,跟我走。"

"可是,我目前不能离开巴黎,因为我还不知道……"

阿拉米斯话说一半停住了。

"不知道她的情况怎样了,是吧?"达达尼昂问道。

"您指谁?"阿拉米斯反问道。

"在这里待过的那个女人,有块绣花手绢的那个女人。"

"谁告诉您有个女人在这里待过?"阿拉米斯问道,脸像死人一样苍白。

"我见过她。"

"您知道她是谁吗?"

"我想我至少能猜到。"

"听我说,"阿拉米斯说道,"您既然知道这么多事,知道这个女人怎样了吗?"

"我估计她回图尔去了。"

"回图尔去了?对,不错,您认识她。可是,她怎么什么也没对我说,就回图尔去了呢?"

"因为她害怕被逮捕。"

"她怎么没给我写信?"

"因为她怕牵连您。"

"达达尼昂,您真救了我的命!"阿拉米斯大声说,"我还以为她看不起我,背弃了我哩。见到她我多么幸福!我无法相信她会为了我,而冒失去自由的风险。不过,她回巴黎来的原因是什么?"

"她回巴黎的原因,也就是我们今天要去英国的原因。"

"究竟是什么原因?"阿拉米斯问道。

"有一天您会知道的,阿拉米斯;暂时吗,我要学那位医生的侄女,还是谨慎为妙。"

阿拉米斯险上露出了微笑,因为他想起了有天晚上他向朋友们瞎编的故事。

"好吧,既然她离开了巴黎,而您对这一点很肯定,达达尼昂,我就再也没什么牵挂啦,我准备跟您走。您说我们去……"

"暂时去阿托斯家。您如果愿意去,就请快点儿,我们已经耽搁了很多时间。对了,叫上巴赞。"

"巴赞和我们一块去?"阿拉米斯问道。

"也许吧。不管怎样,他最好暂时跟我们去阿托斯家。"

阿拉米斯叫来巴赞,吩咐他到阿托斯家去找他。

"咱们走吧。"他说着拿了斗篷、宝剑和三枝短枪,打开三四个抽屉,看里面是不是有遗忘的一两个比斯托尔,一个也没发现,明白这种寻找实属多余,才跟着达达尼昂往外走,心里一边琢磨,这个见习禁军,怎么和他一样清楚在他家住过的那个女人是谁,而关于那个女人现在如何,却比他还知道得更清楚?

在跨出门槛的时候,阿拉米斯把手放在达达尼昂的胳膊上,注视着他,问道:

"您没有对任何人提起这个女人吧?"

"没有对世界上任何人提过。"

"对阿托斯和波托斯也没提过?"

"一个字都没对他们提过。"

"太好了。"

这一点至关重要,阿拉米斯放心了,就跟着达达尼昂上路。不久他们就到了阿托斯家。

他们看见阿托斯一只手捏着假单,一只手拿着特雷维尔先生写给他的信。

"我刚刚收到这张假单和这封信,"阿托斯现出迷惑不解的样子说,"你们能对我解释一下,这是什么意思吗?"

亲爱的阿托斯,既然您的身体绝对需要休养,我同意给您半个月假期。去福尔温泉疗养站或其他您觉得相宜的地方吧。祝您早日康复。

您亲切的朋友特雷维尔

"好。这张假单和这封信意味着,您必须跟我走,阿托斯。"

"去福尔热温泉疗养站?"

"去那里或者别的地方。"

"为国王效劳?"

"为国王或为王后,我们不是为两位陛下效劳的吗?"

正在这时,波托斯进来了。

"真见鬼,"他说道,"你们瞧这事儿多奇怪:从什么时候起,火枪队里兄弟们没请假,就有人准他们的假?"

"自从有朋友为他们请假的时候起。"达达尼昂说道。

"啊!啊!"波托斯说道,"看来这里有新情况?"

"是的,我们就要出发。"阿拉米斯说。

"去什么地方?"波托斯问道。

"说实话,我一无所知。"阿托斯说,"问达达尼昂吧。"

"去伦敦,先生们。"达达尼昂说。

"去伦敦!"波托斯叫起来,"我们去伦敦干什么?"

"这个我不能告诉诸位,先生们,应该相信我。"

"可是,"波托斯补充说,"要去伦敦就要有钱,我可没有。"

"我也没有。"阿拉米斯说。

"我也没有。"阿托斯说。

"我有。"达达尼昂说着,把那一大袋子钱掏出来,搁在桌子上。"这袋子里有三百比斯托尔,我们每个人拿七十五比斯托尔。去伦敦往返一趟足够了。再说,放心吧,我们不会全都到达伦敦的。"

"那又为什么?"

"因为我们之中有几个多半会留在半途。"

"这么说,我们是要去打仗吗?"

"要打最危险的仗,我告诉你们。"

"哦,是这样。"波托斯说,"既然我们冒着去送死的危险,我想至少知道是为了什么?"

"您想得太远了!"阿托斯说。

"不过,"阿拉米斯说,"我同意波托斯的意见。"

"国王是不是总是把情况向你们讲明呢?不,他只是简单地对你们说:'先生们,加斯科尼或弗朗德尔正在打仗,各位去打吧。'你们就去了。为了什么?你们甚至连想都不想。"

"达达尼昂说得对。"阿托斯说,"这是特雷维尔先生开的三张假条,只是不知从哪儿来的三百比斯托尔。叫我们上哪儿去拼命,我们就上哪儿去拼。性命值得提这么多问题吗?达达尼昂,我准备跟您走。"

"我也一样。"波托斯说。

"我也一样。"阿拉米斯说,"再说,离开巴黎没有什么不高兴的,我正要散散心哩!"

"好啊,各位要散心,没问题,放心吧,先生们。"达达尼昂说道。

"我们什么时候出发?"阿托斯问。

"马上,"达达尼昂回答,"一分钟都不能耽搁。"

"喂!格里默,普朗歇,穆斯克东,巴赞!"四个年轻人齐声叫他们的跟班,"把我们的马靴擦好,去队部把马牵来。"

每个火枪手实际上都把队部当作营房,一般情况下总把自己和跟班的马留在那里。

普朗歇、格里默、穆斯克东和巴赞急忙去牵马了。

"现在我们拟订一个行动计划吧,"波托斯说,"首先,我们朝哪儿走?"

"朝加莱走,"达达尼昂说,"这是去伦敦最近的路线。"

"好,"波托斯说,"下面是我的意见。"

"请讲。"

"四个人一起旅行,难免引人怀疑。由达达尼昂给我们下达指示。我先动身,打布洛内这条道走,去前面探路;阿托斯两个钟头后动身,走亚眠那条道;阿拉米斯走诺戎那条道,跟在我们后面;至于达达尼昂,随便他走哪条道,只是换上普朗歇的衣服,而由普朗歇穿上禁军服,装扮成达达尼昂跟在我们后面。"

"先生们,"阿托斯说,"我的意见,绝不宜让跟班参与一次这样的行动。因为,一个秘密可能偶然被绅士们暴露,但几乎总是被仆人们出卖的。"

"我觉得波托斯的计划行不通,"达达尼昂说,"因为我自己也不知道给你们下达什么指示。我身上带着一封信,别的我什么也不知道。这封信我没有三份抄件,也无法抄三份,因为它是用蜡印封死的。因此,我的意见是必须一块走。这封信在这儿,在这个口袋里。"达达尼昂指一指藏信的口袋,"如果我被打死了,你们之中一个人带上它,继续赶路;如果他也死了,就由另一个人带上它,就这样接替下去,只要有一个人到达目的地,任务就完成了。"

"好极了,达达尼昂!你的意见就是我的意见。"阿托斯说道,"再说,事情必须无懈可击:我是去水边疗养,你们几位陪我一块去,但我们不去福尔热泡温泉,而去海边洗海水浴。我有选择的自由。有人想逮捕我们,我就拿出特雷维尔先生的信,你们拿出各自的准假单;有人想攻击我们,我们就自卫;有人想审判我们,我们就一口咬定,我们没有任何别的意图,只不过想洗几次海水浴。分散的四个人太好对付了,四个人在一起就顶得上一支部队。我们让四个跟班也用短枪和火枪武装起来。如果有人派一队人马来打我们,我们就战斗;最后一个活着的人,正如达达尼昂所说的,一定把信送到目的地。"

"说得好,"阿拉米斯赞扬说,"你不常说话,阿托斯,可是你一说起话来,就像圣徒金嘴约翰①。我同意阿托斯的计划,你呢,波托斯?"

  ①圣徒金嘴约翰为公元四世纪君士坦丁堡一位主教,以能言善辩著称。

"我也同意,"波托斯说,"如果达达尼昂觉得适合的话。达达尼昂带着信,自然是这次行动的头儿,他决定我们照办。"

"好,"达达尼昂说,"我决定我们采取阿托斯的计划,半个钟头后动身。"

"赞成!"三个火枪手齐声说。

每个人都伸手到钱袋子里取七十五比斯托尔,然后各自准备,好在约定时间动身。




Chapter 20 THE JOURNEY

At two o'clock in the morning, our four adventurers left Paris by the Barriere St. Denis. As long as it was dark they remained silent; in spite of themselves they submitted to the influence of the obscurity, and apprehended ambushes on every side.

With the first rays of day their tongues were loosened; with the sun gaiety revived. It was like the eve of a battle; the heart beat, the eyes laughed, and they felt that the life they were perhaps going to lose, was, after all, a good thing.

Besides, the appearance of the caravan was formidable. The black horses of the Musketeers, their martial carriage, with the regimental step of these noble companions of the soldier, would have betrayed the most strict incognito. The lackeys followed, armed to the teeth.

All went well till they arrived at Chantilly, which they reached about eight o'clock in the morning. They needed breakfast, and alighted at the door of an AUBERGE, recommended by a sign representing St. Martin giving half his cloak to a poor man. They ordered the lackeys not to unsaddle the horses, and to hold themselves in readiness to set off again immediately.

They entered the common hall, and placed themselves at table. A gentleman, who had just arrived by the route of Dammartin, was seated at the same table, and was breakfasting. He opened the conversation about rain and fine weather; the travelers replied. He drank to their good health, and the travelers returned his politeness.

But at the moment Mousqueton came to announce that the horses were ready, and they were arising from table, the stranger proposed to Porthos to drink the health of the cardinal. Porthos replied that he asked no better if the stranger, in his turn, would drink the health of the king. The stranger cried that he acknowledged no other king but his Eminence. Porthos called him drunk, and the stranger drew his sword.

"You have committed a piece of folly," said Athos, "but it can't be helped; there is no drawing back. Kill the fellow, and rejoin us as soon as you can."

All three remounted their horses, and set out at a good pace, while Porthos was promising his adversary to perforate him with all the thrusts known in the fencing schools.

"There goes one!" cried Athos, at the end of five hundred paces.

"But why did that man attack Porthos rather than any other one of us?" asked Aramis.

"Because, as Porthos was talking louder than the rest of us, he took him for the chief," said d'Artagnan.

"I always said that this cadet from Gascony was a well of wisdom," murmured Athos; and the travelers continued their route.

At Beauvais they stopped two hours, as well to breathe their horses a little as to wait for Porthos. At the end of two hours, as Porthos did not come, not any news of him, they resumed their journey.

At a league from Beauvais, where the road was confined between two high banks, they fell in with eight or ten men who, taking advantage of the road being unpaved in this spot, appeared to be employed in digging holes and filling up the ruts with mud.

Aramis, not liking to soil his boots with this artificial mortar, apostrophized them rather sharply. Athos wished to restrain him, but it was too late. The laborers began to jeer the travelers and by their insolence disturbed the equanimity even of the cool Athos, who urged on his horse against one of them.

Then each of these men retreated as far as the ditch, from which each took a concealed musket; the result was that our seven travelers were outnumbered in weapons. Aramis received a ball which passed through his shoulder, and Mousqueton another ball which lodged in the fleshy part which prolongs the lower portion of the loins. Therefore Mousqueton alone fell from his horse, not because he was severely wounded, but not being able to see the wound, he judged it to be more serious than it really was.

"It was an ambuscade!" shouted d'Artagnan. "Don't waste a charge! Forward!"

Aramis, wounded as he was, seized the mane of his horse, which carried him on with the others. Mousqueton's horse rejoined them, and galloped by the side of his companions.

"That will serve us for a relay," said Athos.

"I would rather have had a hat," said d'Artagnan. "Mine was carried away by a ball. By my faith, it is very fortunate that the letter was not in it."

"They'll kill poor Porthos when he comes up," said Aramis.

"If Porthos were on his legs, he would have rejoined us by this time," said Athos. "My opinion is that on the ground the drunken man was not intoxicated."

They continued at their best speed for two hours, although the horses were so fatigued that it was to be feared they would soon refuse service.

The travelers had chosen crossroads in the hope that they might meet with less interruption; but at Crevecoeur, Aramis declared he could proceed no farther. In fact, it required all the courage which he concealed beneath his elegant form and polished manners to bear him so far. He grew more pale every minute, and they were obliged to support him on his horse. They lifted him off at the door of a cabaret, left Bazin with him, who, besides, in a skirmish was more embarrassing than useful, and set forward again in the hope of sleeping at Amiens.

"MORBLEU," said Athos, as soon as they were again in motion, "reduced to two masters and Grimaud and Planchet! MORBLEU! I won't be their dupe, I will answer for it. I will neither open my mouth nor draw my sword between this and Calais. I swear by--"

"Don't waste time in swearing," said d'Artagnan; "let us gallop, if our horses will consent."

And the travelers buried their rowels in their horses' flanks, who thus vigorously stimulated recovered their energies. They arrived at Amiens at midnight, and alighted at the AUBERGE of the Golden Lily.

The host had the appearance of as honest a man as any on earth. He received the travelers with his candlestick in one hand and his cotton nightcap in the other. He wished to lodge the two travelers each in a charming chamber; but unfortunately these charming chambers were at the opposite extremities of the hotel. d'Artagnan and Athos refused them. The host replied that he had no other worthy of their Excellencies; but the travelers declared they would sleep in the common chamber, each on a mattress which might be thrown upon the ground. The host insisted; but the travelers were firm, and he was obliged to do as they wished.

They had just prepared their beds and barricaded their door within, when someone knocked at the yard shutter; they demanded who was there, and recognizing the voices of their lackeys, opened the shutter. It was indeed Planchet and Grimaud.

"Grimaud can take care of the horses," said Planchet. "If you are willing, gentlemen, I will sleep across your doorway, and you will then be certain that nobody can reach you."

"And on what will you sleep?" said d'Artagnan.

"Here is my bed," replied Planchet, producing a bundle of straw.

"Come, then," said d'Artagnan, "you are right. Mine host's face does not please me at all; it is too gracious."

"Nor me either," said Athos.

Planchet mounted by the window and installed himself across the doorway, while Grimaud went and shut himself up in the stable, undertaking that by five o'clock in the morning he and the four horses should be ready.

The night was quiet enough. Toward two o'clock in the morning somebody endeavored to open the door; but as Planchet awoke in an instant and cried, "Who goes there?" somebody replied that he was mistaken, and went away.

At four o'clock in the morning they heard a terrible riot in the stables. Grimaud had tried to waken the stable boys, and the stable boys had beaten him. When they opened the window, they saw the poor lad lying senseless, with his head split by a blow with a pitchfork.

Planchet went down into the yard, and wished to saddle the horses; but the horses were all used up. Mousqueton's horse which had traveled for five or six hours without a rider the day before, might have been able to pursue the journey; but by an inconceivable error the veterinary surgeon, who had been sent for, as it appeared, to bleed one of the host's horses, had bled Mousqueton's.

This began to be annoying. All these successive accidents were perhaps the result of chance; but they might be the fruits of a plot. Athos and d'Artagnan went out, while Planchet was sent to inquire if there were not three horses for sale in the neighborhood. At the door stood two horses, fresh, strong, and fully equipped. These would just have suited them. He asked where their masters were, and was informed that they had passed the night in the inn, and were then settling their bill with the host.

Athos went down to pay the reckoning, while d'Artagnan and Planchet stood at the street door. The host was in a lower and back room, to which Athos was requested to go.

Athos entered without the least mistrust, and took out two pistoles to pay the bill. The host was alone, seated before his desk, one of the drawers of which was partly open. He took the money which Athos offered to him, and after turning and turning it over and over in his hands, suddenly cried out that it was bad, and that he would have him and his companions arrested as forgers.

"You blackguard!" cried Athos, going toward him, "I'll cut your ears off!"

At the same instant, four men, armed to the teeth, entered by side doors, and rushed upon Athos.

"I am taken!" shouted Athos, with all the power of his lungs. "Go on, d'Artagnan! Spur, spur!" and he fired two pistols.

D'Artagnan and Planchet did not require twice bidding; they unfastened the two horses that were waiting at the door, leaped upon them, buried their spurs in their sides, and set off at full gallop.

"Do you know what has become of Athos?" asked d'Artagnan of Planchet, as they galloped on.

"Ah, monsieur," said Planchet, "I saw one fall at each of his two shots, and he appeared to me, through the glass door, to be fighting with his sword with the others."

"Brave Athos!" murmured d'Artagnan, "and to think that we are compelled to leave him; maybe the same fate awaits us two paces hence. Forward, Planchet, forward! You are a brave fellow."

"As I told you, monsieur," replied Planchet, "Picards are found out by being used. Besides, I am here in my own country, and that excites me."

And both, with free use of the spur, arrived at St. Omer without drawing bit. At St. Omer they breathed their horses with the bridles passed under their arms for fear of accident, and ate a morsel from their hands on the stones of the street, after they departed again.

At a hundred paces from the gates of Calais, d'Artagnan's horse gave out, and could not by any means be made to get up again, the blood flowing from his eyes and his nose. There still remained Planchet's horse; but he stopped short, and could not be made to move a step.

Fortunately, as we have said, they were within a hundred paces of the city; they left their two nags upon the high road, and ran toward the quay. Planchet called his master's attention to a gentleman who had just arrived with his lackey, and only preceded them by about fifty paces. They made all speed to come up to this gentleman, who appeared to be in great haste. His boots were covered with dust, and he inquired if he could not instantly cross over to England.

"Nothing would be more easy," said the captain of a vessel ready to set sail, "but this morning came an order to let no one leave without express permission from the cardinal."

"I have that permission," said the gentleman, drawing the paper from his pocket; "here it is."

"Have it examined by the governor of the port," said the shipmaster, "and give me the preference."

"Where shall I find the governor?"

"At his country house."

"And that is situated?"

"At a quarter of a league from the city. Look, you may see it from here--at the foot of that little hill, that slated roof."

"Very well," said the gentleman. And, with his lackey, he took the road to the governor's country house.

D'Artagnan and Planchet followed the gentleman at a distance of five hundred paces. Once outside the city, d'Artagnan overtook the gentleman as he was entering a little wood.

"Monsieur, you appear to be in great haste?"

"No one can be more so, monsieur."

"I am sorry for that," said d'Artagnan; "for as I am in great haste likewise, I wish to beg you to render me a service."

"What?"

"To let me sail first."

"That's impossible," said the gentleman; "I have traveled sixty leagues in forty hours, and by tomorrow at midday I must be in London."

"I have performed that same distance in forty hours, and by ten o'clock in the morning I must be in London."

"Very sorry, monsieur; but I was here first, and will not sail second."

"I am sorry, too, monsieur; but I arrived second, and must sail first."

"The king's service!" said the gentleman.

"My own service!" said d'Artagnan.

"But this is a needless quarrel you seek with me, as it seems to me."

"PARBLEU! What do you desire it to be?"

"What do you want?"

"Would you like to know?"

"Certainly."

"Well, then, I wish that order of which you are bearer, seeing that I have not one of my own and must have one."

"You jest, I presume."

"I never jest."

"Let me pass!"

"You shall not pass."

"My brave young man, I will blow out your brains. HOLA, Lubin, my pistols!"

"Planchet," called out d'Artagnan, "take care of the lackey; I will manage the master."

Planchet, emboldened by the first exploit, sprang upon Lubin; and being strong and vigorous, he soon got him on the broad of his back, and placed his knee upon his breast.

"Go on with your affair, monsieur," cried Planchet; "I have finished mine."

Seeing this, the gentleman drew his sword, and sprang upon d'Artagnan; but he had too strong an adversary. In three seconds d'Artagnan had wounded him three times, exclaiming at each thrust, "One for Athos, one for Porthos; and one for Aramis!"

At the third hit the gentleman fell like a log. D'Artagnan believed him to be dead, or at least insensible, and went toward him for the purpose of taking the order; but the moment he extended his hand to search for it, the wounded man, who had not dropped his sword, plunged the point into d'Artagnan's breast, crying, "One for you!"

"And one for me--the best for last!" cried d'Artagnan, furious, nailing him to the earth with a fourth thrust through his body.

This time the gentleman closed his eyes and fainted. D'Artagnan searched his pockets, and took from one of them the order for the passage. It was in the name of Comte de Wardes.

Then, casting a glance on the handsome young man, who was scarcely twenty-five years of age, and whom he was leaving in his gore, deprived of sense and perhaps dead, he gave a sigh for that unaccountable destiny which leads men to destroy each other for the interests of people who are strangers to them and who often do not even know that they exist. But he was soon aroused from these reflections by Lubin, who uttered loud cries and screamed for help with all his might.

Planchet grasped him by the throat, and pressed as hard as he could. "Monsieur," said he, "as long as I hold him in this manner, he can't cry, I'll be bound; but as soon as I let go he will howl again. I know him for a Norman, and Normans are obstinate."

In fact, tightly held as he was, Lubin endeavored still to cry out.

"Stay!" said d'Artagnan; and taking out his handkerchief, he gagged him.

"Now," said Planchet, "let us bind him to a tree."

This being properly done, they drew the Comte de Wardes close to his servant; and as night was approaching, and as the wounded man and the bound man were at some little distance within the wood, it was evident they were likely to remain there till the next day.

"And now," said d'Artagnan, "to the Governor's."

"But you are wounded, it seems," said Planchet.

"Oh, that's nothing! Let us attend to what is more pressing first, and then we will attend to my wound; besides, it does not seem very dangerous."

And they both set forward as fast as they could toward the country house of the worthy functionary.

The Comte de Wardes was announced, and d'Artagnan was introduced.

"You have an order signed by the cardinal?" said the governor.

"Yes, monsieur," replied d'Artagnan; "here it is."

"Ah, ah! It is quite regular and explicit," said the governor.

"Most likely," said d'Artagnan; "I am one of his most faithful servants."

"It appears that his Eminence is anxious to prevent someone from crossing to England?"

"Yes; a certain d'Artagnan, a Bearnese gentleman who left Paris in company with three of his friends, with the intention of going to London."

"Do you know him personally?" asked the governor.

"Whom?"

"This d'Artagnan."

"Perfectly well."

"Describe him to me, then."

"Nothing more easy."

And d'Artagnan gave, feature for feature, a description of the Comte de Wardes.

"Is he accompanied?"

"Yes; by a lackey named Lubin."

"We will keep a sharp lookout for them; and if we lay hands on them his Eminence may be assured they will be reconducted to Paris under a good escort."

"And by doing so, Monsieur the Governor," said d'Artagnan, "you will deserve well of the cardinal."

"Shall you see him on your return, Monsieur Count?"

"Without a doubt."

"Tell him, I beg you, that I am his humble servant."

"I will not fail."

Delighted with this assurance the governor countersigned the passport and delivered it to d'Artagnan. D'Artagnan lost no time in useless compliments. He thanked the governor, bowed, and departed. Once outside, he and Planchet set off as fast as they could; and by making a long detour avoided the wood and reentered the city by another gate.

The vessel was quite ready to sail, and the captain was waiting on the wharf. "Well?" said he, on perceiving d'Artagnan.

"Here is my pass countersigned," said the latter.

"And that other gentleman?

"He will not go today," said d'Artagnan; "but here, I'll pay you for us two."

"In that case let us go," said the shipmaster.

"Let us go," repeated d'Artagnan.

He leaped with Planchet into the boat, and five minutes after they were on board. It was time; for they had scarcely sailed half a league, when d'Artagnan saw a flash and heard a detonation. It was the cannon which announced the closing of the port.

He had now leisure to look to his wound. Fortunately, as d'Artagnan had thought, it was not dangerous. The point of the sword had touched a rib, and glanced along the bone. Still further, his shirt had stuck to the wound, and he had lost only a few drops of blood.

D'Artagnan was worn out with fatigue. A mattress was laid upon the deck for him. He threw himself upon it, and fell asleep.

On the morrow, at break of day, they were still three or four leagues from the coast of England. The breeze had been so light all night, they had made but little progress. At ten o'clock the vessel cast anchor in the harbor of Dover, and at half past ten d'Artagnan placed his foot on English land, crying, "Here I am at last!"

But that was not all; they must get to London. In England the post was well served. D'Artagnan and Planchet took each a post horse, and a postillion rode before them. In a few hours they were in the capital.

D'Artagnan did not know London; he did not know a word of English; but he wrote the name of Buckingham on a piece of paper, and everyone pointed out to him the way to the duke's hotel.

The duke was at Windsor hunting with the king. D'Artagnan inquired for the confidential valet of the duke, who, having accompanied him in all his voyages, spoke French perfectly well; he told him that he came from Paris on an affair of life and death, and that he must speak with his master instantly.

The confidence with which d'Artagnan spoke convinced Patrick, which was the name of this minister of the minister. He ordered two horses to be saddled, and himself went as guide to the young Guardsman. As for Planchet, he had been lifted from his horse as stiff as a rush; the poor lad's strength was almost exhausted. d'Artagnan seemed iron.

On their arrival at the castle they learned that Buckingham and the king were hawking in the marshes two or three leagues away. In twenty minutes they were on the spot named. Patrick soon caught the sound of his master's voice calling his falcon.

"Whom must I announce to my Lord Duke?" asked Patrick.

"The young man who one evening sought a quarrel with him on the Pont Neuf, opposite the Samaritaine."

"A singular introduction!"

"You will find that it is as good as another."

Patrick galloped off, reached the duke, and announced to him in the terms directed that a messenger awaited him.

Buckingham at once remembered the circumstance, and suspecting that something was going on in France of which it was necessary he should be informed, he only took the time to inquire where the messenger was, and recognizing from afar the uniform of the Guards, he put his horse into a gallop, and rode straight up to d'Artagnan. Patrick discreetly kept in the background.

"No misfortune has happened to the queen?" cried Buckingham, the instant he came up, throwing all his fear and love into the question.

"I believe not; nevertheless I believe she runs some great peril from which your Grace alone can extricate her."

"I!" cried Buckingham. "What is it? I should be too happy to be of any service to her. Speak, speak!"

"Take this letter," said d'Artagnan.

"This letter! From whom comes this letter?"

"From her Majesty, as I think."

"From her Majesty!" said Buckingham, becoming so pale that d'Artagnan feared he would faint as he broke the seal.

"What is this rent?" said he, showing d'Artagnan a place where it had been pierced through.

"Ah," said d'Artagnan, "I did not see that; it was the sword of the Comte de Wardes which made that hole, when he gave me a good thrust in the breast."

"You are wounded?" asked Buckingham, as he opened the letter.

"Oh, nothing but a scratch," said d'Artagnan.

"Just heaven, what have I read?" cried the duke. "Patrick, remain here, or rather join the king, wherever he may be, and tell his Majesty that I humbly beg him to excuse me, but an affair of the greatest importance recalls me to London. Come, monsieur, come!" and both set off towards the capital at full gallop.

 

第二十章 旅途

早晨两点钟,我们的四位冒险家从圣德尼门出了巴黎。四下里漆黑得伸手不见五指,他们默默地走着,都不自觉地受到黑暗的影响,觉得仿佛到处都有伏兵。

直到曙光初露,他们才开始讲话;随着朝阳升起,快乐也回来了:就像战斗的前夕,一颗颗心怦怦直跳,眼睛里含着笑,他们觉得就像对永诀的人生,真是值得留恋。

然而,这队旅行者的外貌,十分令人生畏:火枪手们的黑马,他们的军人气派,以及这些高贵的战友们行进中队列整齐的骑兵习惯,无不暴露了他们严加掩饰的身份。

跟在后面的四个跟班也都全副武装。

早晨八点钟光景,他们顺利地抵达了尚蒂利。该吃早饭了。他们看见一家客店的招牌上,画着圣徒马丹将自己的斗篷的一半给一个穷人遮身,便走到这家客店前下马,吩咐跟班们不要卸下马鞍子,以备随时出发。

他们进到客堂里,围着餐桌坐下。

一位从达马丹那条路来的绅士,与他们同坐在一桌用早餐。他同这几位旅伴寒暄,这几位也同他寒暄;他举杯祝这几位身体健康,这几位也向他举杯还礼。

但是,当穆斯克东跑来说马已经备好了,四位旅伴站起准备离开餐桌时,陌生人却向波托斯建议为红衣主教的健康干杯。波托斯回答说,他很乐意,如果对方愿意为国王的健康干杯的话。陌生人大声说,除了红衣主教阁下,他不知道还有谁是国王。波托斯骂他醉鬼,那人就拔出了剑。

"你做了件蠢事。"阿托斯说,"现在无论如何不能退让啦。

杀掉这家伙,然后尽快赶上我们。"

其他三个人跃身上马,疾驰而去。波托斯对他的敌人说,他要使出他最拿手的剑术,把他全身刺满窟窿。

"少了一个!"走出五百步,阿托斯说道。

"为什么那个人偏偏找上波托斯,而没找上别人呢?"阿拉米斯问道。

"因为波托斯说话的声音比我们都高,那人把他当成头儿了。"达达尼昂说。

"我就说这个加斯科尼小青年是个智囊嘛。"

几个旅伴继续赶路。

他们在博韦停了两小时,一是让马喘喘气,二是等待波托斯。两个钟头过去了,既没见波托斯赶来,也没有他的一点音讯,他们只好继续赶路。

离博韦一法里的一个地方,道路夹在两个陡坡之间,路面的石板被掀掉了。他们看见十来个人在那里挖坑,清除车辙里的泥泞。

阿拉米斯怕那些人挖得四溅的泥巴弄脏马靴,便没好气地斥责他们。阿托斯想阻止他,但已经太迟了。那些工人开始嘲笑几个旅伴。他们的放肆无礼甚至使阿托斯也头脑变得不冷静,催动坐骑向他们之中的一个冲过去。

于是,那些人全都退到沟边,每人拿起一支火枪。结果我们这七位旅行者成了名副其实的枪靶子。阿拉米斯的肩膀被一颗子弹打穿;穆斯克东也中了一颗,嵌进了腰下部的肌肉里。不过,只有穆斯克东从马背上摔了下去,倒不是他伤得很严重,而是因为他见不得伤口,大概他觉得自己的伤比实际上要危险。

"中埋伏啦。"达达尼昂说,"别还击,快走吧。"

阿拉米斯尽管受了伤,还是拼命抓住马鬃,让马驮着同其他人一块跑。穆斯克东的马也跟了上来,背上没有驮人,跟着队伍奔跑。

"这样我们倒是有一匹替换的马了。"阿托斯说。

"我更希望有顶帽子,"达达尼昂说,"我的帽子被一颗子弹打飞了。天哪,还算幸运,我带的信没藏在帽子里。"

"这倒是。"阿拉米斯说,"不过等会儿可怜的波托斯经过那里时,一定会被他们打死的。"

"波托斯如果还活着,现该赶上我们了。"阿托斯说道,"我认为那个醉鬼一到决斗场地,酒就醒了的。"

虽然马都很疲劳,再坚持不了多久它们恐怕都跑不动了,但他们还是奔驰了两个钟头。

几个旅行者抄了一条近便的小路,希望这样可以减少麻烦。可是,走到伤心镇,阿拉米斯说他再也不能朝前走了。的确,阿拉米斯这个人,别看他那样风度翩翩,彬彬有礼,也真够勇敢顽强的,否则根本跑不到这里。他的脸色越来越苍白,必须有人扶着,他在马背上才能坐稳。到了一家小酒店前面,两个伙伴把他扶下马,并且给他留下了巴赞。路上发生遭遇战,这个跟班除了碍手碍脚,一点用处也没有。其他人重新上路,希望赶到亚眠去过夜。

他们再上路的时候,只剩下两个主人加上格里默和普朗歇两个仆人了。阿托斯说道:

"他妈的!老子再也不上他们的当了。从这里到加莱,我绝不再开口,也不拔剑了。我发誓……"

"别发誓啦,"达达尼昂说,"还是快跑吧,只要马还跑得动。"

他用刺马锥刺马肚子,马儿受到狠狠的刺激,又来劲儿了。他们半夜到亚眠,在金百合花客店前面下了马。

店主看上去是天底下最老实的人。他一手端着蜡烛,一手摘下棉布小帽,迎接几位旅客。他想把两位旅客分别安置在两个舒适的房间里,可惜那两个房间位于客店的两头,达达尼昂和阿托斯拒绝了。店主说,那可就没有适合两位大人住的房间了。两位旅客说他们可以合住一个房间,只要在地板上给他们扔两床垫子就成。店主说这不成,但他们非坚持这样住不可,于是只好尊重他们的意愿。

他们刚把床铺好,从里面将门顶严,突然听见有人敲朝院子的护窗板。他们问是谁,听出是两个跟班的声音,才打开窗户。

果然是普朗歇和格里默。

"马由格里默一个人照看就够了。"普朗歇说,"如果两位先生同意,我打横睡在你们的门口。这样,你们就放心谁也靠不到你们身边了。"

"那么,你睡在什么东西上呢?"达达尼昂问道。

"这就是我的床。"普朗歇说。

他指指一捆麦秸。

"你来吧。"达达尼昂说,"你说得对。这个店主那副模样我觉得不对头,显得太殷勤了。"

"我也觉得不对劲。"阿托斯说。

普朗歇打窗户里爬进房间,横躺在门口,格里默则跑进马厩关起门来睡,保证早晨五点钟他和四匹马全都作好上路的准备。

这一夜相当平静。早晨两点钟,有人试图开门,但普朗歇被惊醒了,叫道:"什么人?"门外的人回答说走错了门,就离开了。

早晨四点钟,马厩里传出一阵吵闹声,原来是格里默想叫醒几位马夫,他们就揍他。两位旅客打开窗户,只见那位可怜的跟班失去了知觉,脑袋被叉子柄豁开了一条口子。

普朗歇下到院子里准备给马套鞍子,发现马脚都跛了。只有穆斯克东那一匹脚没有跛。这匹马昨晚五、六个小时没有驮人,本来还可以继续赶路的,可是请来为店主的马放血的兽医,却不可思议地弄错了,给它放了血。

情况变得令人不安。这接二连三的事故,也许是偶然的巧合,但也很可能是某种阴谋的结果。阿托斯和达达尼昂出了房间。普朗歇打算去附近打听能否买到三匹马,一出客店,就看见门外拴着鞍具齐备,矫健雄壮的两匹骏马。这正是他们所需要的。他打听马的主人哪儿去了,人家告诉他,马的主人昨晚在店里过夜,现在正同店主在结账。

阿托斯下楼以后也去付账,达达尼昂和普朗歇站在临街的大门口等他。店主在后面的一间矮屋子里,有人请阿托斯去那里。

阿托斯毫无戒心进了那个房间,掏出两个比斯托尔付账。店主一个人坐在办公桌前,桌子的一个抽屉是开着的。他接过阿托斯递给他的钱,放在手里翻来覆去地看,突然嚷嚷说钱是假的,扬言要把阿托斯连同他的伙伴,作为伪币制造犯抓起来。

"真是怪事!"阿托斯进逼上前说道,"老子要割掉你的耳杂。"

这时,从旁门进来四个全副武装的人,扑向阿托斯。

"我上当啦!"阿托斯尽力扯开嗓门喊道,"快跑,达达尼昂!

刺呀,刺马快跑!"接着他连放两响手枪,

达达尼昂和普朗歇不等喊第二遍,解开门口的两匹马,跃上马背,用马刺狠刺马肚皮,像离弦的箭一般跑了。

"你看见阿托斯怎样了吗?"达达尼昂一边奔驰一边问普朗歇。

"啊!先生,"普朗歇答道,"我看见他两枪就撂倒了两个。

透过玻璃门,我好像看见他跟另外两个斗上剑了。"

"阿托斯真是一条好汉!"达达尼昂喃喃道,"一想到要抛下他,真叫人难过!不过,前面几步远,也许有人埋伏好了在等我们呢。前进,普朗歇,前进!你是好样儿的。"

"我对您说过,先生,"普朗歇说,"庇卡底人嘛,要在实践中才能看出他们的本色。再说,这一带是我的故乡,这激励了我。"

主仆二人更狠地刺马,一口气就跑到了圣奥梅尔。他们怕出意外,将缰绳挽在手臂上,让马喘喘气,自己就站在街边吃了点东西,吃完之后又立即上路。

走到距加莱城门还有百十来步的地方,达达尼昂的马倒在地上,再也没有办法让它起来了,它的鼻子和眼睛直流血。

只剩下普朗歇的马了,但也没有办法让它再前进。

幸好,正如刚才所说,他们距加莱城门只有百十来步远了,便将两匹马留在大路边,朝港口跑去。普朗歇叫主人注意,在他们前头五十来步远,有一位带着跟班的绅士。

他们迅速赶上那位绅士。那位绅士看上去有急事,马靴上全是尘土,询问是否马上可以渡海去英国。

"本来再容易不过了。"一艘正准备张帆的船上的船家说,"可是今天早上来了一道命令,没有红衣主教的特别许可证明,不准放行一人。"

"我有许可证明,"绅士说着掏出一纸公文,"您看。"

"请去找港务监督签字,"船家说,"然后请赏光来乘我这条船。"

"港务监督在哪儿?"

"在他的别墅里。"

"他的别墅在什么地方?"

"离城四分之一法里。瞧,在这里就望得见,那座山丘脚下那栋石板盖的房子就是。"

"很好!"绅士说道。

他带着跟班,向港务监督的别墅走去。

达达尼昂和普朗歇与他拉开五百步的距离跟在后面。

一出了城,达达尼昂便加快了脚步,在绅士要进入一片小树林子的时候赶上了他。

"先生,"达达尼昂对绅士说,"您好像有急事。"

"急得不得了,先生。"

"这真叫我失望,"达达尼昂说,"因为我也有急事,想请您帮个忙。"

"帮什么忙?"

"让我头一个去办。"

"办不到,"绅士说,"我四十四小时走了六十法里,必须在明天中午赶到伦敦。"

"我四十小时赶了同样多路,而且必须在明天早上十点钟赶到伦敦。"

"很抱歉,先生,不过我是头一个到的,岂能第二个去办。"

"很抱歉,先生,不过我是第二个到的,非头一个去办不可。"

"我是为国王效劳。"绅士说。

"我是为自己办事。"达达尼昂说。

"看来您是故意找茬儿。"

"那还用说,就是要找您的茬儿。"

"您要怎样?"

"您可想知道?"

"当然。"

"好吧,我要您身上所带的那张许可证,因为我没有,而又必须有。"

"我想您是开玩笑吧。"

"我从来不开玩笑。"

"让我过去。"

"您过不去。"

"胆大包天的年轻人,我会敲掉您的脑袋。喂!吕班!拿我的手枪来。"

"普朗歇,"达达尼昂叫道,"你收拾跟班,我来对付主人。"

普朗歇前面立了一功,胆子大了,向吕班猛扑过去。他强壮有力,一下子把吕班摔倒在地上,用膝盖顶住他的胸膛。

"干您的活儿吧,先生,"普朗歇说,"我的已经干好啦。"

绅士见此情景,拔出剑,向达达尼昂劈过来,可是他遇到了厉害的对手。

三秒钟之内,达达尼昂就刺中了他三剑,每刺一剑说一声:

"一剑为阿托斯报仇!一剑为波托斯报仇!一剑为阿拉米斯报仇!"

绅士挨了第三剑,像一堆东西倒了下去。

达达尼昂以为他死了,或者至少失去了知觉,便走近去取许可证,正要伸手去搜他身,受伤的绅士抬起他没有扔掉的剑,给达达尼昂当胸刺了一剑,说:

"一剑为你自己报仇!"

"一剑为我自己报仇!最厉害的留在最后!"达达尼昂愤怒地吼道,朝绅士的肚子刺了第四剑,把他钉在了地上。

这回绅士闭上了眼睛,失去了知觉。

达达尼昂刚才看见绅士把许可证放回了一个口袋,现在伸手进去一摸就摸到了。证明上写的是瓦尔德伯爵。

伯爵是一位二十五岁光景的英俊小伙子。达达尼昂最后看他一眼,只见他直挺挺躺在地上,不省人事,或许已经死了。他叹息一声,深感天命不可思议,它使人相互杀戮,而为的却是与自己毫不相干,甚至不知道自己存在这世间的那些人的利益。

但是,达达尼昂立刻从沉思中被惊醒了,因为吕班正在嚎叫,拼命喊救命。

普朗歇用手扼住他的咽喉,使劲掐住不放。

"先生,我这样掐住他,他就不喊叫,这可以肯定,可是只要我一松手,他就会又喊起来。凭这一点我就知道他是诺曼底人,诺曼底人都是挺顽固的。"

果然,吕班虽然被掐住了脖子,还是试图叫喊。

"等一下!"达达尼昂说。

他掏出手绢,堵住吕班的嘴。

"现在咱们把他捆在一颗树上。"普朗歇说。

他们把吕班结结实实捆在树上,又把瓦尔德伯爵拖到他的跟班旁边。天开始黑了,这主仆二人一个被捆缚,一个受了伤,又处在这片树林子里,离外边有一段距离,所以他们显然要在这里待到第二天了。

"现在去港务监督家里。"达达尼昂说。

"可是,您好像受了伤?"普朗歇问道。

"没关系,先办最紧迫的事吧,然后再来看我的伤口。再说,我觉得伤得并不怎么严重。"

两个人大步朝那位尊贵的官员别墅走去。

门房通报瓦尔德先生来访。

达达尼昂被带到里边。

"您有红衣主教的特许证明吗?"港务监督问。

"有,先生,"达达尼昂回答,"这就是。"

"哦!哦!这证明手续完备,清清楚楚。"

"这很自然,"达达尼昂回答,"我是红衣主教最忠实的部下之一。"

"主教大人似乎要阻止什么人去英国。"

"是的,一个名叫达达尼昂的人,一位贝亚恩绅士,他与三个朋友一同从巴黎出发,想去伦敦。"

"您认识他吗?"港务监督问。

"认识谁?"

"认识达达尼昂吗?"

"非常熟。"

"那么请把他的相貌特征告诉我。"

"这太容易了。"

于是,达达尼昂详细介绍了瓦尔德伯爵的相貌特征。

"他有人同行吗?"港务监督问道。

"有,一个叫吕班的跟班。"

"我们会严密注意他们的。只要捉住了他们,红衣主教大人可以放心,我们将严加防范,把他们押送到巴黎。"

"这样一来,监督先生,"达达尼昂说,"您们会得到红衣主教嘉奖的。"

"您回来后能见到主教大人吗,伯爵先生?"

"肯定能见到。"

"请您告诉他,在下忠心为他效劳。"

"一定办到。"

听到这肯定的回答,港务监督很高兴,签署了通行证,交给达达尼昂。

达达尼昂怕耽误时间,没有说更多的恭维话,只向港务监督施个礼,说声谢谢,就退了出来。

一到外面,他与普朗歇拔腿就跑,绕了一个大弯子,避开那片树林,从另一个门进了城。

那艘船待在那儿准备起航,船家站在码头上等候。

"怎么样?"一见到达达尼昂他就问道。

"这是签了字的通行证。"达达尼昂说。

"另一位绅士呢?"

"他今天走不成啦。"达达尼昂答道,"不过您放心,我出两个人的钱。"

"那我们就动身吧。"船家说。

"动身吧!"达达尼昂答道。

他和普朗歇跳到一条舢板上,五分钟之后,就登上了船。

他们走得真及时,因为船航行了半法里之后,达达尼昂看见一片火光一闪,随即传来一声炮响。

这是通知封锁港口的号炮。

现在该看看伤口了。幸好不出达达尼昂所料,伤得并不特别严重:剑尖碰到一根肋骨,从旁边滑了过去,而且衬衣立刻粘住了伤口,流血不多。

达达尼昂已经筋疲力尽,船家在甲板上给他扔了床垫子,他往上面一倒就睡着了。

第二天拂晓,距英国海岸只有三四法里了。夜里风小,船航行得不快。

十点钟,船在杜弗尔港抛了锚。

十点半钟,达达尼昂踏上了英国的土地,大声嚷道:

"终于到岸啦!"

不过事情还没成功,还得赶到伦敦。英国的驿站服务相当周到。达达尼昂和普朗歇各租了一匹矮马,一个驿夫在前面引路,他们走了四个钟头,就到了英国京城的城门下。

达达尼昂从没到过伦敦,又一句英语也不会说,但是他把白金汉的名字写在一张纸上,逢人就问,问到的人都告诉他去公爵的府邸怎么走。

公爵正与国王在温莎打猎。

达达尼昂要求见公爵的亲信跟班。这个跟班一直陪公爵到处旅行,能说一口地道的法语。达达尼昂对他说,他从巴黎赶来,是为了一件生死攸关的事情,必须立刻告诉他的主人。

那个跟班名叫帕特里克,他是英国首相的首相。达达尼昂说话的信任态度说服了他。他叫人备了两匹马,答应带这位年轻的禁军去见白金汉。普朗歇呢,被人从马背上扶下来时,都像根木头一样不能动弹了,这可怜的小伙子累坏了,而达达尼昂却像铁打的金刚。

他们赶到国王的行宫,到了那里一打听,国王和白金汉带着鹰,正在两、三法里外的沼泽地里打猎。

他们用了二十分钟赶到那地方。帕特里克立刻听见了主人呼唤鹰的声音。

"我该向公爵大人通报谁来了呢?"帕特里克问道。

"就说是有天晚上在萨马丽丹对面新桥上找公爵吵架的一个青年人。"

"好古怪的介绍!"

"你会看到,它比其他介绍更管用。"

帕特里克策马奔跑到公爵身边,用我们上面提到的说法,通知公爵有一位信使在等他。

白金汉立刻明白来人是达达尼昂,估计法国发生了什么事,是来给他送消息的。他立刻问送消息来的人在哪里,但他老远就认出了禁军的服装,所以打马径直奔到达达尼昂身边。

帕特里克出于谨慎待在一旁。

"王后没有发生不幸吧?"白金汉急切地问道,把自己的全部思想和全部爱情倾注在这句问话里。

"我相信没有,不过她正面临着某种巨大的危险,只有大人能帮助她化险为夷。"

"我?"白金汉大声说,"什么事?能为她效点劳,我十分幸福。说吧,请说!"

"请把这封信拿去。"达达尼昂说。

"这封信!这封信是谁写的?"

"我想是王后陛下写的。"

"王后陛下写的!"白金汉说,脸刷的变得惨白,达达尼昂都怀疑是不是他感到不舒服。

白金汉弄掉封信的火漆。

"这里怎么撕破了?"他指着一个被戳破了的可以透过光亮的地方问道。

"噢!噢!"达达尼昂说,"我没有注意到。那是瓦尔德伯爵的剑刺的,那一剑差点穿透我的胸膛。"

"您负伤了?"白金汉公爵一边拆信一边问道。

"啊!没什么,"达达尼昂说,"划破一点儿皮。"

"天哪!我在信里看到了什么!"公爵叫起来,"帕特里克,你呆在这里别走开,或者不如去找国王陛下,不管他在什么地方,您都得找到他,对他说我恳求他原谅,因为有一件极其重要的事情要我赶回伦敦。走吧,先生,走吧。"

两个人打马向京城疾驰而去。




Chapter 21 THE COUNTESS DE WINTER

As they rode along, the duke endeavored to draw from d'Artagnan, not all that had happened, but what d'Artagnan himself knew. By adding all that he heard from the mouth of the young man to his own remembrances, he was enabled to form a pretty exact idea of a position of the seriousness of which, for the rest, the queen's letter, short but explicit, gave him the clue. But that which astonished him most was that the cardinal, so deeply interested in preventing this young man from setting his foot in England, had not succeeded in arresting him on the road. It was then, upon the manifestation of this astonishment, that d'Artagnan related to him the precaution taken, and how, thanks to the devotion of his three friends, whom he had left scattered and bleeding on the road, he had succeeded in coming off with a single sword thrust, which had pierced the queen's letter and for which he had repaid M. de Wardes with such terrible coin. While he was listening to this recital, delivered with the greatest simplicity, the duke looked from time to time at the young man with astonishment, as if he could not comprehend how so much prudence, courage, and devotedness could be allied with a countenance which indicated not more than twenty years.

The horses went like the wind, and in a few minutes they were at the gates of London. D'Artagnan imagined that on arriving in town the duke would slacken his pace, but it was not so. He kept on his way at the same rate, heedless about upsetting those whom he met on the road. In fact, in crossing the city two or three accidents of this kind happened; but Buckingham did not even turn his head to see what became of those he had knocked down. d'Artagnan followed him amid cries which strongly resembled curses.

On entering the court of his hotel, Buckingham sprang from his horse, and without thinking what became of the animal, threw the bridle on his neck, and sprang toward the vestibule. D'Artagnan did the same, with a little more concern, however, for the noble creatures, whose merits he fully appreciated; but he had the satisfaction of seeing three or four grooms run from the kitchens and the stables, and busy themselves with the steeds.

The duke walked so fast that d'Artagnan had some trouble in keeping up with him. He passed through several apartments, of an elegance of which even the greatest nobles of France had not even an idea, and arrived at length in a bedchamber which was at once a miracle of taste and of richness. In the alcove of this chamber was a door concealed in the tapestry which the duke opened with a little gold key which he wore suspended from his neck by a chain of the same metal. With discretion d'Artagnan remained behind; but at the moment when Buckingham crossed the threshold, he turned round, and seeing the hesitation of the young man, "Come in!" cried he, "and if you have the good fortune to be admitted to her Majesty's presence, tell her what you have seen."

Encouraged by this invitation, d'Artagnan followed the duke, who closed the door after them. The two found themselves in a small chapel covered with a tapestry of Persian silk worked with gold, and brilliantly lighted with a vast number of candles. Over a species of altar, and beneath a canopy of blue velvet, surmounted by white and red plumes, was a full-length portrait of Anne of Austria, so perfect in its resemblance that d'Artagnan uttered a cry of surprise on beholding it. One might believe the queen was about to speak. On the altar, and beneath the portrait, was the casket containing the diamond studs.

The duke approached the altar, knelt as a priest might have done before a crucifix, and opened the casket. "There," said he, drawing from the casket a large bow of blue ribbon all sparkling with diamonds, "there are the precious studs which I have taken an oath should be buried with me. The queen gave them to me, the queen requires them again. Her will be done, like that of God, in all things."

Then, he began to kiss, one after the other, those dear studs with which he was about to part. All at once he uttered a terrible cry.

"What is the matter?" exclaimed d'Artagnan, anxiously; "what has happened to you, my Lord?"

"All is lost!" cried Buckingham, becoming as pale as a corpse; "two of the studs are wanting, there are only ten."

"Can you have lost them, my Lord, or do you think they have been stolen?"

"They have been stolen," replied the duke, "and it is the cardinal who has dealt this blow. Hold; see! The ribbons which held them have been cut with scissors."

"If my Lord suspects they have been stolen, perhaps the person who stole them still has them in his hands."

"Wait, wait!" said the duke. "The only time I have worn these studs was at a ball given by the king eight days ago at Windsor. The Comtesse de Winter, with whom I had quarreled, became reconciled to me at that ball. That reconciliation was nothing but the vengeance of a jealous woman. I have never seen her from that day. The woman is an agent of the cardinal."

"He has agents, then, throughout the world?" cried d'Artagnan.

"Oh, yes," said Buckingham, grating his teeth with rage. "Yes, he is a terrible antagonist. But when is this ball to take place?"

"Monday next."

"Monday next! Still five days before us. That's more time than we want. Patrick!" cried the duke, opening the door of the chapel, "Patrick!" His confidential valet appeared.

"My jeweler and my secretary."

The valet went out with a mute promptitude which showed him accustomed to obey blindly and without reply.

But although the jeweler had been mentioned first, it was the secretary who first made his appearance. This was simply because he lived in the hotel. He found Buckingham seated at a table in his bedchamber, writing orders with his own hand.

"Mr. Jackson," said he, "go instantly to the Lord Chancellor, and tell him that I charge him with the execution of these orders. I wish them to be promulgated immediately."

"But, my Lord, if the Lord Chancellor interrogates me upon the motives which may have led your Grace to adopt such an extraordinary measure, what shall I reply?"

"That such is my pleasure, and that I answer for my will to no man."

"Will that be the answer," replied the secretary, smiling, "which he must transmit to his Majesty if, by chance, his Majesty should have the curiosity to know why no vessel is to leave any of the ports of Great Britain?"

"You are right, Mr. Jackson," replied Buckingham. "He will say, in that case, to the king that I am determined on war, and that this measure is my first act of hostility against France."

The secretary bowed and retired.

"We are safe on that side," said Buckingham, turning toward d'Artagnan. "If the studs are not yet gone to Paris, they will not arrive till after you."

"How so?"

"I have just placed an embargo on all vessels at present in his Majesty's ports, and without particular permission, not one dare lift an anchor."

D'Artagnan looked with stupefaction at a man who thus employed the unlimited power with which he was clothed by the confidence of a king in the prosecution of his intrigues. Buckingham saw by the expression of the young man's face what was passing in his mind, and he smiled.

"Yes," said he, "yes, Anne of Austria is my true queen. Upon a word from her, I would betray my country, I would betray my king, I would betray my God. She asked me not to send the Protestants of La Rochelle the assistance I promised them; I have not done so. I broke my word, it is true; but what signifies that? I obeyed my love; and have I not been richly paid for that obedience? It was to that obedience I owe her portrait."

D'Artagnan was amazed to note by what fragile and unknown threads the destinies of nations and the lives of men are suspended. He was lost in these reflections when the goldsmith entered. He was an Irishman--one of the most skillful of his craft, and who himself confessed that he gained a hundred thousand livres a year by the Duke of Buckingham.

"Mr. O'Reilly," said the duke, leading him into the chapel, "look at these diamond studs, and tell me what they are worth apiece."

The goldsmith cast a glance at the elegant manner in which they were set, calculated, one with another, what the diamonds were worth, and without hesitation said, "Fifteen hundred pistoles each, my Lord."

"How many days would it require to make two studs exactly like them? You see there are two wanting."

"Eight days, my Lord."

"I will give you three thousand pistoles apiece if I can have them by the day after tomorrow."

"My Lord, they shall be yours."

"You are a jewel of a man, Mr. O'Reilly; but that is not all. These studs cannot be trusted to anybody; it must be done in the palace."

"Impossible, my Lord! There is no one but myself can so execute them that one cannot tell the new from the old."

"Therefore, my dear Mr. O'Reilly, you are my prisoner. And if you wish ever to leave my palace, you cannot; so make the best of it. Name to me such of your workmen as you need, and point out the tools they must bring."

The goldsmith knew the duke. He knew all objection would be useless, and instantly determined how to act.

"May I be permitted to inform my wife?" said he.

"Oh, you may even see her if you like, my dear Mr. O'Reilly. Your captivity shall be mild, be assured; and as every inconvenience deserves its indemnification, here is, in addition to the price of the studs, an order for a thousand pistoles, to make you forget the annoyance I cause you."

D'Artagnan could not get over the surprise created in him by this minister, who thus open-handed, sported with men and millions.

As to the goldsmith, he wrote to his wife, sending her the order for the thousand pistoles, and charging her to send him, in exchange, his most skillful apprentice, an assortment of diamonds, of which he gave the names and the weight, and the necessary tools.

Buckingham conducted the goldsmith to the chamber destined for him, and which, at the end of half an hour, was transformed into a workshop. Then he placed a sentinel at each door, with an order to admit nobody upon any pretense but his VALET DE CHAMBRE, Patrick. We need not add that the goldsmith, O'Reilly, and his assistant, were prohibited from going out under any pretext. This point, settled, the duke turned to d'Artagnan. "Now, my young friend," said he, "England is all our own. What do you wish for? What do you desire?"

"A bed, my Lord," replied d'Artagnan. "At present, I confess, that is the thing I stand most in need of."

Buckingham gave d'Artagnan a chamber adjoining his own. He wished to have the young man at hand--not that he at all mistrusted him, but for the sake of having someone to whom he could constantly talk of the queen.

In one hour after, the ordinance was published in London that no vessel bound for France should leave port, not even the packet boat with letters. In the eyes of everybody this was a declaration of war between the two kingdoms.

On the day after the morrow, by eleven o'clock, the two diamond studs were finished, and they were so completely imitated, so perfectly alike, that Buckingham could not tell the new ones from the old ones, and experts in such matters would have been deceived as he was. He immediately called d'Artagnan. "Here," said he to him, "are the diamond studs that you came to bring; and be my witness that I have done all that human power could do."

"Be satisfied, my Lord, I will tell all that I have seen. But does your Grace mean to give me the studs without the casket?"

"The casket would encumber you. Besides, the casket is the more precious from being all that is left to me. You will say that I keep it."

"I will perform your commission, word for word, my Lord."

"And now," resumed Buckingham, looking earnestly at the young man, "how shall I ever acquit myself of the debt I owe you?"

D'Artagnan blushed up to the whites of his eyes. He saw that the duke was searching for a means of making him accept something and the idea that the blood of his friends and himself was about to be paid for with English gold was strangely repugnant to him.

"Let us understand each other, my Lord," replied d'Artagnan, "and let us make things clear beforehand in order that there may be no mistake. I am in the service of the King and Queen of France, and form part of the company of Monsieur Dessessart, who, as well as his brother-in-law, Monsieur de Treville, is particularly attached to their Majesties. What I have done, then, has been for the queen, and not at all for your Grace. And still further, it is very probable I should not have done anything of this, if it had not been to make myself agreeable to someone who is my lady, as the queen is yours."

"Yes," said the duke, smiling, "and I even believe that I know that other person; it is--"

"My Lord, I have not named her!" interrupted the young man, warmly.

"That is true," said the duke; "and it is to this person I am bound to discharge my debt of gratitude."

"You have said, my Lord; for truly, at this moment when there is question of war, I confess to you that I see nothing in your Grace but an Englishman, and consequently an enemy whom I should have much greater pleasure in meeting on the field of battle than in the park at Windsor or the corridors of the Louvre--all which, however, will not prevent me from executing to the very point my commission or from laying down my life, if there be need of it, to accomplish it; but I repeat it to your Grace, without your having personally on that account more to thank me for in this second interview than for what I did for you in the first."

"We say, 'Proud as a Scotsman,'" murmured the Duke of Buckingham.

"And we say, 'Proud as a Gascon,'" replied d'Artagnan. "The Gascons are the Scots of France."

D'Artagnan bowed to the duke, and was retiring.

"Well, are you going away in that manner? Where, and how?"

"That's true!"

"Fore Gad, these Frenchmen have no consideration!"

"I had forgotten that England was an island, and that you were the king of it."

"Go to the riverside, ask for the brig SUND, and give this letter to the captain; he will convey you to a little port, where certainly you are not expected, and which is ordinarily only frequented by fishermen."

"The name of that port?"

"St. Valery; but listen. When you have arrived there you will go to a mean tavern, without a name and without a sign--a mere fisherman's hut. You cannot be mistaken; there is but one."

"Afterward?"

"You will ask for the host, and will repeat to him the word 'Forward!'"

"Which means?"

"In French, EN AVANT. It is the password. He will give you a horse all saddled, and will point out to you the road you ought to take. You will find, in the same way, four relays on your route. If you will give at each of these relays your address in Paris, the four horses will follow you thither. You already know two of them, and you appeared to appreciate them like a judge. They were those we rode on; and you may rely upon me for the others not being inferior to them. These horses are equipped for the field. However proud you may be, you will not refuse to accept one of them, and to request your three companions to accept the others--that is, in order to make war against us. Besides, the end justified the means, as you Frenchmen say, does it not?"

"Yes, my Lord, I accept them," said d'Artagnan; "and if it please God, we will make a good use of your presents."

"Well, now, your hand, young man. Perhaps we shall soon meet on the field of battle; but in the meantime we shall part good friends, I hope."

"Yes, my Lord; but with the hope of soon becoming enemies."

"Be satisfied; I promise you that."

"I depend upon your word, my Lord."

D'Artagnan bowed to the duke, and made his way as quickly as possible to the riverside. Opposite the Tower of London he found the vessel that had been named to him, delivered his letter to the captain, who after having it examined by the governor of the port made immediate preparations to sail.

Fifty vessels were waiting to set out. Passing alongside one of them, d'Artagnan fancied he perceived on board it the woman of Meung--the same whom the unknown gentleman had called Milady, and whom d'Artagnan had thought so handsome; but thanks to the current of the stream and a fair wind, his vessel passed so quickly that he had little more than a glimpse of her.

The next day about nine o'clock in the morning, he landed at St. Valery. D'Artagnan went instantly in search of the inn, and easily discovered it by the riotous noise which resounded from it. War between England and France was talked of as near and certain, and the jolly sailors were having a carousal.

D'Artagnan made his way through the crowd, advanced toward the host, and pronounced the word "Forward!" The host instantly made him a sign to follow, went out with him by a door which opened into a yard, led him to the stable, where a saddled horse awaited him, and asked him if he stood in need of anything else.

"I want to know the route I am to follow," said d'Artagnan.

"Go from hence to Blangy, and from Blangy to Neufchatel. At Neufchatel, go to the tavern of the Golden Harrow, give the password to the landlord, and you will find, as you have here, a horse ready saddled."

"Have I anything to pay?" demanded d'Artagnan.

"Everything is paid," replied the host, "and liberally. Begone, and may God guide you!"

"Amen!" cried the young man, and set off at full gallop.

Four hours later he was in Neufchatel. He strictly followed the instructions he had received. At Neufchatel, as at St. Valery, he found a horse quite ready and awaiting him. He was about to remove the pistols from the saddle he had quit to the one he was about to fill, but he found the holsters furnished with similar pistols.

"Your address at Paris?"

"Hotel of the Guards, company of Dessessart."

"Enough," replied the questioner.

"Which route must I take?" demanded d'Artagnan, in his turn.

"That of Rouen; but you will leave the city on your right. You must stop at the little village of Eccuis, in which there is but one tavern--the Shield of France. Don't condemn it from appearances; you will find a horse in the stables quite as good as this."

"The same password?"

"Exactly."

"Adieu, master!"

"A good journey, gentlemen! Do you want anything?"

D'Artagnan shook his head, and set off at full speed. At Eccuis, the same scene was repeated. He found as provident a host and a fresh horse. He left his address as he had done before, and set off again at the same pace for Pontoise. At Pontoise he changed his horse for the last time, and at nine o'clock galloped into the yard of Treville's hotel. He had made nearly sixty leagues in little more than twelve hours.

M de Treville received him as if he had seen him that same morning; only, when pressing his hand a little more warmly than usual, he informed him that the company of Dessessart was on duty at the Louvre, and that he might repair at once to his post.

 

第二十一章 温特伯爵夫人

一路上,公爵通过达达尼昂了解到的,不是所发生的情况,而是达达尼昂所知道的情况。他比较了从这个年轻人嘴里听到的话和自己所记得的情形,从而相当清楚地意识到王后的处境的严重程度,尽管王后的信是那样简短,那样不清楚。他感到奇怪的主要是,红衣主教是绝不想让这个年轻人踏上英国的国土的,却居然没有在路上抓住他。达达尼昂注意到了公爵惊诧的表情,这才向他讲述了他所采取的种种预防措施,他的三位朋友的赤胆忠心,以及他们怎样负伤流血,他怎样陆续把他们留在路上,正是多亏了他们,他最后才有可能躲过瓦尔德先生那刺穿了王后的信笺的一剑,而且狠狠地还了他一剑。他叙述得非常朴素自然,公爵一边听着,一边露出惊讶的神色,不时打量一眼这个小伙子,仿佛觉得,这个小伙子,从这张脸看上去还不到二十岁,却表现得如此谨慎,如此勇敢,如此忠诚,真是不可思议。

两匹马疾驰如风,不消几分钟就到了伦敦城门前。达达尼昂原以为,一进了城,公爵就会放慢速度,但事实并非如此。公爵仍然全速前进,并不怎么担心会撞倒路上的行人。事实上,在穿过伦敦旧城的时候,确发生了两三次这种事故,可是白金汉根本不管人家被撞得怎样,甚至都没有回头看一眼。达达尼昂在一片像是诅咒的叫喊声中,紧紧跟在公爵后面。

一进到官邸的院子里,白金汉翻身下马,也不管马会怎样,将缰绳往它脖子上一扔,就朝台阶跑去。达达尼昂照他的样子行动,但不免有点为他所赞赏的两匹骏马担心。不过,他立刻放心了,因为他看见三四个仆人已经从厨房里和马厩里跑出,迅速地将马牵走了。

公爵走得飞快,达达尼昂好不容易才跟得上。他连续穿过好几间客厅,每间客厅布置之雅致,在法国就是最大的贵族也想象不到。最后,他进到一间卧室里。卧室既高雅又富丽,令人叹为观止。卧室放床的凹室里,有一扇掩盖在壁毯后面的门,公爵用挂在脖子上的金链拴住的小金钥匙,将门打开。达达尼昂出于谨慎,往后退了退。白金汉公爵在跨进那扇门时,发现小伙子犹豫不决,便回过头来对他说:

"进来呀,如果您有幸被允许去见王后陛下,就请您把在这里看见的东西告诉她。"

听到公爵请他进去,达达尼昂便大胆跟在他后面,公爵关上了他们身后的门。

两个人到了一间小圣堂里,四壁都装饰着锈金的波斯丝绸,被无数蜡烛照耀得灿烂辉煌。在一个祭坛样的台子上,在上面点缀着红白两色羽毛的蓝色天鹅绒天幕底下,挂着安娜•奥地利的肖像,尺寸与她本人的高矮相同,模样与她完全一样。达达尼昂情不自禁地惊叫一声,还以为王后就要说话了呢。

祭坛上的肖像下面,搁着那个放钻石坠子的匣子。

公爵走到祭坛旁边,像一位神甫在基督的圣像前一样跪下,打开那个匣子。

"您看,"他对达达尼昂说着,从匣子里取去一个挺大的蓝丝带结,那上面缀满璀璨夺目的钻石,"您看,这就是那些珍贵的坠子。我发过誓,要带着它们下葬的。这是王后送给我的,现在王后又要收回去。王后的意志就如同上帝的意志,必须不折不扣地遵从。"

说罢,他开始一颗一颗吻那些就要与他分别的坠子。突然,他可怕地叫了一声;

"怎么回事?"达达尼昂不安地问道,"大人,发生了什么事?"

"这一下可完啦,"白金汉叫道,脸色变得像死人一样苍白,"这些坠子少了两颗,只有十颗了。"

"大人自己丢了呢,还是认为被别人偷去了?"

"是有人偷去了,"公爵说道,"这是红衣主教搞的鬼。您瞧,固定坠子的丝带被剪刀剪断了。"

"大人揣测得到是什么人偷的吗,说不定那两颗坠子还在偷的人手里呢。"

"等一等,等一等!"公爵大声说,"我唯一的一次佩戴过这些坠子,是一周前国王在温泽举行的舞会上。曾经与我闹翻了的温特夫人,在舞会上和我套近乎。这种言归于好,现在看来其实是一位妒妇的报复手段。自那天之后我就没见过她。这个女人是红衣主教的密探。"

"看来全世界都有红衣主教的密探!"达达尼昂忿然说道。

"啊!对,是的,"白金汉气得咬牙切齿地说道,"是的,他是一个可怕的对手。唔,那次舞会什么时候举行?"

"下星期一。"

"下星期一!还剩下五天,对我们来讲,时间还绰绰有余嘛。帕特里克!"公爵打开小圣堂的门叫道,"帕特里克!"

他的亲信跟班应声进来。

"把我的首饰匠和秘书找来!"

跟班迅速地、默默地退了出去,这说明他早就养成了盲目服从、不说二话的习惯。

虽然头一个传的是首饰匠,先到的却是秘书。原因很简单,秘书就住在官邸里面。他看见公爵坐在卧室里一张桌子前面,正亲笔草拟几项命令。

"杰克逊先生,"公爵对秘书说,"您马上去掌玺大臣那里,对他说我要他执行这几道命令。我希望这几道命令立刻颁布出去。"

"不过,大人,如果掌玺大臣问我大人采取这样一项非常措施的原因,我怎样回答?"

"您就说我高兴这样,我没有必要向任何人报告我要干的事。"

"在国王陛下面前也这样回答吗,"秘书面带笑容又问,"万一陛下出于好奇,询问为什么一艘船也不准驶出大不列颠的各个港口?"

"您的话说得对,先生。"白金汉答道,"遇到这种情况,那就回答国王说我我决定打仗,这项措施是我对法国采取的第一个敌对行动。"

秘书鞠一躬退了出去。

"现在这方面我们可以放心啦,"白金汉转向达达尼昂说道,"如果那两颗坠子还没有带走,它们就比您晚到法国。"

"这怎么可能呢?"

"我刚才下了一道命令,凡现在停泊在英王陛下所有海港里的全部船只,一律禁止驶出港口,除非得到特别允许,否则一艘也不得起锚。"

达达尼昂目瞪口呆地望着这个人,他凭着国王的信任,手里掌握着无限的权力,却居然利用这些权力来为自己的爱情服务。白金汉从年轻人脸上的表情看出了他的想法,便微微一笑说道:

"是的,不错,我真正的女王是安娜•奥地利。只要她一句话,我就会背弃我的国家,背弃我的国王,背弃我的上帝。她要求我不要向拉罗舍尔的新教徒派遣我许诺派遣的援军,我照办了。尽管我违背了诺言,但那有什么关系,我遵从了她的意愿,您说吧,我遵从她的意愿不是得到了很高的报偿吗?是的,我因此得到了她的那幅肖像。"

达达尼昂惊叹不已:维系一个民族的命运和芸芸众生的生命线,是多么脆弱,多么不可知啊!

正当他深深地陷入沉思的时候,首饰匠进来了。这是一位手手艺精湛的爱尔兰人,他坦白承认,每年要从白金汉公爵手里挣十万镑。

"奥瑞利先生,"公爵带他进了小圣堂,对他说道,"您看看这些钻石坠子,告诉我每颗要值多少钱?"

首饰匠只看了一眼那些坠子精工镶嵌的方式,与一般钻石的价值相比较估算了一下,毫不优豫地答道:

"一千五百比斯托尔一颗,大人。"

"制作两颗这样的坠子需要多少天?您看,这上面少了两颗。"

"一星期,大人。"

"我付三千比斯托尔一颗,后天就要。"

"大人将如愿以偿。"

"您是难得的人才,奥瑞利先生,不过条件我还没有说完:

这些坠子不能交给任何人,必须就在我府里制作。"

"这不可能,大人,只有我能做得看不出新旧的差别。"

"正因为如此,亲爱的奥瑞利先生,您成了我的囚犯,现在您要离开我的官邸是办不到啦。请拿定主意吧。请告诉我您所需要的帮手的姓名,还有他们应该带的工具。"

首饰匠了解公爵,知道任何异议都是徒劳的,他当即拿定了主意。

"允许我通知我太太吗?"他问道。

"啊!甚至允许您与她见面,亲爱的奥瑞利先生。对您的监禁绝不会严厉的,放心吧。此外,对别人的任何打搅,都理应给予补偿,所以除了制作这两颗坠子的工钱之外,这里是一张一千比斯托尔的支票,请您忘掉我给您造成的麻烦。"

这位首相随心所欲地支配所有人和成百上千万的金钱,令达达尼昂惊愕不已。

首饰匠给太太写了封信,连同那张一千比斯托尔的支票捎给她,嘱咐她收到信之后,把他那个最心灵手巧的徒弟,一组注明了重量和成色的钻石,以及单子上列出的必需用具,全部带来。

白金汉把首饰匠带进一间专门供他使用的房间。半个小时后,这个房间就改成了作坊。白金汉在每个门口派了一个哨兵,禁止任何人进入这个房间,除了他的心腹跟班帕特里克。更不消说,他也绝对禁止首饰匠和他的帮手以任何借口走出那个房间。

这件事安排妥了之后,公爵对达达尼昂说:

"年轻的朋友,现在英国是我们俩的啦,您需要什么,希望得到什么?"

"一张床,"达达尼昂回答,"说实话,这是我眼下最需要的东西。"

白金汉给了达达尼昂一间卧室,就在他自己的卧室的隔壁。他不让这个年轻人离开他身边,倒不是不信任他,而是为了有个人可以不断与他谈谈王后。

一个小时之后,一项命令在伦敦城里颁布了:禁止任何装载人货准备驶往法国的船只开出港口,甚至包括邮船。在所有人心目中,这意味着两个王国之间宣战了。

第三天上午十一点钟,两颗钻石坠子制作成功,仿造得非常精确,完全一模一样,白金汉根本就看不出新旧之分,就是首饰行业中最有经验的人,也会像他一样区分不出来。

公爵立刻叫来达达尼昂。

"瞧,"他对达达尼昂说,"这就是您来取的那些钻石坠子。请您为我作证,凡是人的能力所能做到的,我都做到啦。"

"放心吧,大人,我会说明我所看到的一切。不过,大人把这些坠子交给我而不放在匣子里吗?"

"匣子您带了碍事。再说,这匣子对我特别珍贵,我只剩下它啦,您就说我留下了。"

"我会把您的话一字不漏地带到的,大人。"

"现在,"白金汉两眼注视着年轻人说,"我怎样才能报偿您呢?"

达达尼昂的脸腾的红到了耳根。他看出来,公爵正在想办法让他接受点什么东西。认为他的同伴们和他自己所流的血,可以用英国金子来报偿的想法,使他特别反感。

"咱们不妨把话讲清楚,大人。"达达尼昂答道,"咱们先得摆一摆事实,以免产生误会。我是为法国的国王和王后效劳,是埃萨尔先生的禁军队的一员,而埃萨尔先生和他的内兄特雷维尔先生,特别忠于国王和王后陛下。所以我所做的一切都是为了王后,而并非为了大人您。再说,如果不是为了讨一位我所钟爱的夫人喜欢,这一切我可能根本不会干;那位夫人之于我,就像王后之于您一样。"

"是啊,"公爵微笑着说,"我想我甚至认识那个人,她是……"

"大人,我可没有说出姓名。"小伙子连忙打断他。

"对。"公爵说,"因此,我应该为那个人,感谢您的忠诚罗。"

"您说着了,大人,现在是两国交战时期,老实讲,在我眼里,大人只不过是一个英国人,因此是我的敌人。我宁愿在战场上遇到,这比在温莎公园或罗浮宫的走廊里遇到您要高兴得多。不过,这并不妨碍我不折不扣地执行我的使命,并且为了完成这一使命,在必要的时候我可抛头颅洒热血。我向大人再说一遍:我与大人已经见过两次面,在第一次见面的时候,我为大人作了点事,这第二次见面我是为我自己作事。因此就个人关系而言,大人您这一次不应当比第一次对我表示更多的感谢。"

"我们有句俗话,叫做'自豪得像个苏格兰人'。"

"我们也有句俗话,叫做'自豪得像个加斯科尼人'。"达达尼昂回答道,"加斯科尼人就是法国的苏格兰人。"

达达尼昂向公爵鞠一躬,准备出发了。

"喂,您就这样走了?往哪儿走?怎么走法?"

"您说的倒也是。"

"天哪!法国人总是这么自信!"

"我忘了英国是个岛国,而您是这岛国之王。"

"您去港口,找一艘名叫桑德的双桅船,把这封信交给船长。他会把您送到法国的一个小港口。那里肯定没有人等您,平常只有渔船在那里靠岸。"

"这个小港口叫什么名字?"

"圣瓦莱里。请别急,到了那里,您进入一家不像样子的客店,那客店既没有名字,也没有招牌,是一家名副其实的水手小酒店。您不会弄错的,那儿只有那么一家。"

"然后呢?"

"您找到客店老板,对他说:'Forward.'"

"这意思是?"

"'前进',是暗号。他会给您一匹鞍具齐备的马,并且告诉您该走的路,路上您会得到四匹这样的驿马。如果您愿意,您不妨把您巴黎的地址告诉每个驿站,那么四匹马就都会跟您去巴黎。四匹马当中,您已经认识两匹,您作为马的爱好者似乎很欣赏它们,这就是我们骑过的那两匹马;请相信我吧,另外两匹一点儿也不比这两匹逊色。这四匹马都配备齐全,准备打仗的。不管您多么骄傲,我想您不至于不接受其中一匹,而让您的三位伙伴接受其他三匹吧。再说,接受它们是为了同我们打仗呀。正如你们法国人所讲的,只要目的正当,可以不择手段嘛,对吗?"

"好,大人,我接受。"达达尼昂说道