Chicot the Jester
"A strange man," said Bussy.
"Yes, is he not, monsieur? When he was gone I felt sadder and more frightened than
ever. This icy respect, this ironical obedience, this repressed passion, which now and
then showed itself in his voice, frightened me more than a will firmly expressed, and
which I could have opposed, would have done. The next day was Sunday; I had never
in my life missed divine service, so I took a thick veil and went to St. Catherine's,
followed by Gertrude, and no one seemed to remark us.
"The next day the count came to announce to me that the duke had fulfilled his promise,
and had obtained for him the place of chief huntsman, which had been promised to M.
de St. Luc. A week passed thus: the count came twice to see me, and always preserved
the same cold and submissive manner. The next Sunday I went again to the church.
Imprudently, in the midst of my prayers, I raised my veil. I was praying earnestly for my
father, when Gertrude touched me on the arm. I raised my head, and saw with terror M.
le Duc d'Anjou leaning against the column, and looking earnestly at me. A man stood by
"It was Aurilly," said Bussy.
"Yes, that was the name that Gertrude told me afterwards. I drew my veil quickly over
my face, but it was too late: he had seen me, and if he had not recognized me, at least
my resemblance to her whom he believed dead had struck him. Uneasy, I left the
church, but found him standing at the door and he offered to me the holy water as I
passed. I feigned not to see him, and went on. We soon discovered that we were
followed. Had I known anything of Paris, I would have attempted to lead them wrong,
but I knew no more of it than from the church to the house, nor did I know any one of
whom I could ask a quarter of an hour's hospitality; not a friend, and only one protector,
whom I feared more than an enemy."
"Oh! mon Dieu!" cried Bussy, "why did not Heaven, or chance, throw me sooner in your
Diana thanked the young man with a look.
"But pray go on," said Bussy, "I interrupt you, and yet I am dying to hear more."
"That evening M. de Monsoreau came. I did not know whether to tell him of what had
happened, but he began, 'You asked me if you could go to mass, and I told you you
were free, but that it would be better not to do so. You would not believe me: you went