Louise de la Valliere
Aramis cleverly managed to effect a diversion for the purpose of finding
D'Artagnan and Porthos. He came up to the latter, behind one of the columns,
and, as he pressed his hand, said, "So you have escaped from my prison?"
"Do not scold him," said D'Artagnan; "it was I, dear Aramis, who set him free."
"Ah! my friend," replied Aramis, looking at Porthos, "could you not have waited
with a little more patience?"
D'Artagnan came to the assistance of Porthos, who already began to breathe
hard, in sore perplexity.
"You see, you members of the Church are great politicians; we mere soldiers
come at once to the point. The facts are these: I went to pay Baisemeaux a visit -
Aramis pricked up his ears at this announcement.
"Stay!" said Porthos; "you make me remember that I have a letter from
Baisemeaux for you, Aramis." And Porthos held out the bishop the letter we have
already seen. Aramis begged to be allowed to read it, and read it without
D'Artagnan feeling in the slightest degree embarrassed by the circumstance that
he was so well acquainted with the contents of it. Besides, Aramis's face was so
impenetrable, that D'Artagnan could not but admire him more than ever; after he
had read it, he put the letter into his pocket with the calmest possible air.
"You were saying, captain?" he observed.
"I was saying," continued the musketeer, "that I had gone to pay Baisemeaux a
visit on his majesty's service."
"On his majesty's service?" said Aramis.
"Yes," said D'Artagnan, "and, naturally enough, we talked about you and our
friends. I must say that Baisemeaux received me coldly; so I soon took my leave
of him. As I was returning, a soldier accosted me, and said (no doubt as he
recognized me, notwithstanding I was in private clothes), 'Captain, will you be
good enough to read me the name written on this envelope?' and I read, 'To
Monsieur du Vallon, at M. Fouquet's house, Saint-Mande.' The deuce, I said to
myself, Porthos has not returned, then, as I fancied, to Bell-Isle, or to
Pierrefonds, but is at M. Fouquet's house, at Saint-Mande; and as M. Fouquet is
not at Saint- Mande, Porthos must be quite alone, or, at all events, with Aramis; I
will go and see Porthos, and I accordingly went to see Porthos."
"Very good," said Aramis, thoughtfully.
"You never told me that," said Porthos.
"I had no time, my friend."
"And you brought back Porthos with you to Fontainebleau?"
"Yes, to Planchet's house."
"Does Planchet live at Fontainebleau?" inquired Aramis.
"Yes, near the cemetery," said Porthos, thoughtlessly.
"What do you mean by 'near the cemetery?'" said Aramis, suspiciously.