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47. THE COUNCIL OF THE MUSKETEERS
As Athos had foreseen, the bastion was only occupied by a dozen corpses, French and Rochellais.
"Gentlemen," said Athos, who had assumed the command of the expedition, "while Grimaud spreads the table, let us begin by collecting the guns and cartridges together. We can talk while performing that necessary task. These gentlemen," added he, pointing to the bodies, "cannot hear us."
"But we could throw them into the ditch," said Porthos, "after having assured ourselves they have nothing in their pockets."
"Yes," said Athos, "that's Grimaud's business."
"Well, then," cried d'Artagnan, "pray let Grimaud search them and throw them over the walls."
"Heaven forfend!" said Athos; "they may serve us."
"These bodies serve us?" said Porthos. "You are mad, dear friend."
"Judge not rashly, say the gospel and the cardinal," replied Athos. "How many guns, gentlemen?"
"Twelve," replied Aramis.
"How many shots?"
"That's quite as many as we shall want. Let us load the guns."
The four Musketeers went to work; and as they were loading the last musket Grimaud announced that the breakfast was ready.
Athos replied, always by gestures, that that was well, and indicated to Grimaud, by pointing to a turret that resembled a pepper caster, that he was to stand as sentinel. Only, to alleviate the tediousness of the duty, Athos allowed him to take a loaf, two cutlets, and a bottle of wine.
"And now to table," said Athos.
The four friends seated themselves on the ground with their legs crossed like Turks, or even tailors.
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