Louise de la Valliere
How Porthos, Truchen, and Planchet Parted with Each Other on Friendly Terms,
Thanks to D'Artagnan.
There was good living in Planchet's house. Porthos broke a ladder and two
cherry-trees, stripped the raspberry-bushes, and was only unable to succeed in
reaching the strawberry-beds on account, as he said, of his belt. Truchen, who
had become quite sociable with the giant, said that it was not the belt so much as
his corporation; and Porthos, in a state of the highest delight, embraced Truchen,
who gathered him a pailful of the strawberries, and made him eat them out of her
hands. D'Artagnan, who arrived in the midst of these little innocent flirtations,
scolded Porthos for his indolence, and silently pitied Planchet. Porthos
breakfasted with a very good appetite, and when he had finished, he said,
looking at Truchen, "I could make myself very happy here." Truchen smiled at his
remark, and so did Planchet, but not without embarrassment.
D'Artagnan then addressed Porthos: "You must not let the delights of Capua
make you forget the real object of our journey to Fontainebleau."
"My presentation to the king?"
"Certainly. I am going to take a turn in the town to get everything ready for that.
Do not think of leaving the house, I beg."
"Oh, no!" exclaimed Porthos.
Planchet looked at D'Artagnan nervously.
"Will you be away long?" he inquired.
"No, my friend; and this very evening I will release you from two troublesome
"Oh! Monsieur d'Artagnan! can you say - "
"No, no; you are a noble-hearted fellow, but your house is very small. Such a
house, with half a dozen acres of land, would be fit for a king, and make him very
happy, too. But you were not born a great lord."
"No more was M. Porthos," murmured Planchet.
"But he has become so, my good fellow; his income has been a hundred
thousand francs a year for the last twenty years, and for the last fifty years
Porthos has been the owner of a couple of fists and a backbone, which are not to
be matched throughout the whole realm of France. Porthos is a man of the very
greatest consequence compared to you, and... well, I need say no more, for I
know you are an intelligent fellow."
"No, no, monsieur, explain what you mean."
"Look at your orchard, how stripped it is, how empty your larder, your bedstead
broken, your cellar almost exhausted, look too… at Madame Truchen - "
"Oh! my goodness gracious!" said Planchet.
"Madame Truchen is an excellent person," continued D'Artagnan, "but keep her
for yourself, do you understand?" and he slapped him on the shoulder.
Planchet at this moment perceived Porthos and Truchen sitting close together in
an arbor; Truchen, with a grace of manner peculiarly Flemish, was making a pair
of earrings for Porthos out of a double cherry, while Porthos was laughing as