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47. THE COUNCIL OF THE MUSKETEERS (continued)
"And now," said d'Artagnan, "as there is no longer any fear of being overheard, I hope you are going to let me into your secret."
"I hope at the same time to procure you amusement and glory, gentlemen," said Athos. "I have induced you to take a charming promenade; here is a delicious breakfast; and yonder are five hundred persons, as you may see through the loopholes, taking us for heroes or madmen--two classes of imbeciles greatly resembling each other."
"But the secret!" said d'Artagnan.
"The secret is," said Athos, "that I saw Milady last night."
D'Artagnan was lifting a glass to his lips; but at the name of Milady, his hand trembled so, that he was obliged to put the glass on the ground again for fear of spilling the contents."
"You saw your wi--"
"Hush!" interrupted Athos. "You forget, my dear, you forget that these gentlemen are not initiated into my family affairs like yourself. I have seen Milady."
"Where?" demanded d'Artagnan.
"Within two leagues of this place, at the inn of the Red Dovecot."
"In that case I am lost," said d'Artagnan.
"Not so bad yet," replied Athos; "for by this time she must have quit the shores of France."
D'Artagnan breathed again.
"But after all," asked Porthos, "who is Milady?"
"A charming woman!" said Athos, sipping a glass of sparkling wine. "Villainous host!" cried he, "he has given us Anjou wine instead of champagne, and fancies we know no better! Yes," continued he, "a charming woman, who entertained kind views toward our friend d'Artagnan, who, on his part, has given her some offense for which she tried to revenge herself a month ago by having him killed by two musket shots, a week ago by trying to poison him, and yesterday by demanding his head of the cardinal."
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