Louise de la Valliere
The king signified with an imperious gesture, first to the musketeer, then to Saint-
Aignan, "On your lives, not a word." D'Artagnan withdrew, like a sentinel, to a
corner of the room; Saint-Aignan, in his character of a favorite, leaned over the
back of the king's chair. Manicamp, with his right foot properly advanced, a smile
upon his lips, and his white and well-formed hands gracefully disposed,
advanced to make his reverence to the king, who returned the salutation by a
bow. "Good evening, M. de Manicamp," he said.
"Your majesty did me the honor to send for me," said Manicamp.
"Yes, in order to learn from you all the details of the unfortunate accident which
has befallen the Comte de Guiche."
"Oh! sire, it is grievous indeed."
"You were there?"
"Not precisely, sire."
"But you arrived on the scene of the accident, a few minutes after it took place?"
"Sire, about half an hour afterwards."
"And where did the accident happen?"
"I believe, sire, the place is called the Rond-point du Bois-Rochin."
"Oh! the rendezvous of the hunt."
"The very spot, sire."
"Good; give me all the details you are acquainted with, respecting this unhappy
affair, Monsieur de Manicamp."
"Perhaps your majesty has already been informed of them, and I fear to fatigue
you with useless repetition."
"No, do not be afraid of that."
Manicamp looked round him; he saw only D'Artagnan leaning with his back
against the wainscot - D'Artagnan, calm, kind, and good-natured as usual - and
Saint-Aignan whom he had accompanied, and who still leaned over the king's
armchair with an expression of countenance equally full of good feeling. He
determined, therefore, to speak out. "Your majesty is perfectly aware," he said,
"that accidents are very frequent in hunting."
"In hunting, do you say?"
"I mean, sire, when an animal is brought to bay."
"Ah, ah!" said the king, "it was when the animal was brought to bay, then, that the
"Alas! sire, unhappily it was."
The king paused for a moment before he said: "What animal was being hunted?"
"A wild boar, sire."
"And what could possibly have possessed De Guiche to go to a wild boar- hunt
by himself; that is but a clownish idea of sport, only fit for that class of people
who, unlike the Marechal de Gramont, have no dogs and huntsmen, to hunt as
gentlemen should do."
Manicamp shrugged his shoulders. "Youth is very rash," he said, sententiously.