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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.
"But how, my God?"
"By a mode of proceeding known to myself, and by which I likewise overheard the more animated conversation which 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?"
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