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63. THE DROP OF WATER (continued)
"Listen. This is what has happened: My brother, who was coming to my assistance to take me away by force if it were necessary, met with the emissary of the cardinal, who was coming in search of me. He followed him. At a solitary and retired part of the road he drew his sword, and required the messenger to deliver up to him the papers of which he was the bearer. The messenger resisted; my brother killed him."
"Oh!" said Mme. Bonacieux, shuddering.
"Remember, that was the only means. Then my brother determined to substitute cunning for force. He took the papers, and presented himself here as the emissary of the cardinal, and in an hour or two a carriage will come to take me away by the orders of his Eminence."
"I understand. It is your brother who sends this carriage."
"Exactly; but that is not all. That letter you have received, and which you believe to be from Madame de Chevreuse--"
"It is a forgery."
"How can that be?"
"Yes, a forgery; it is a snare to prevent your making any resistance when they come to fetch you."
"But it is d'Artagnan that will come."
"Do not deceive yourself. D'Artagnan and his friends are detained at the siege of La Rochelle."
"How do you know that?"
"My brother met some emissaries of the cardinal in the uniform of Musketeers. You would have been summoned to the gate; you would have believed yourself about to meet friends; you would have been abducted, and conducted back to Paris."
"Oh, my God! My senses fail me amid such a chaos of iniquities. I feel, if this continues," said Mme. Bonacieux, raising her hands to her forehead, "I shall go mad!"
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