Ten Years Later
The Portrait of Madame.
The discussion was becoming full of bitterness. De Guiche perfectly understood the
whole matter, for there was in Bragelonne's face a look instinctively hostile, while in that
of De Wardes there was something like a determination to offend. Without inquiring into
the different feelings which actuated his two friends, De Guiche resolved to ward off the
blow which he felt was on the point of being dealt by one of them, and perhaps by both.
"Gentlemen," he said, "we must take our leave of each other, I must pay a visit to
Monsieur. You, De Wardes, will accompany me to the Louvre, and you, Raoul, will
remain here master of the house; and as all that is done here is under your advice, you
will bestow the last glance upon my preparations for departure."
Raoul, with the air of one who neither seeks nor fears a quarrel, bowed his head in
token of assent, and seated himself upon a bench in the sun. "That is well," said De
Guiche, "remain where you are, Raoul, and tell them to show you the two horses I have
just purchased; you will give me your opinion, for I only bought them on condition that
you ratified the purchase. By the by, I have to beg your pardon for having omitted to
inquire after the Comte de la Fere." While pronouncing these latter words, he closely
observed De Wardes, in order to perceive what effect the name of Raoul's father would
produce upon him. "I thank you," answered the young man, "the count is very well." A
gleam of deep hatred passed into De Wardes's eyes. De Guiche, who appeared not to
notice the foreboding expression, went up to Raoul, and grasping him by the hand, said,
- "It is agreed, then, Bragelonne, is it not, that you will rejoin us in the courtyard of the
Palais Royal?" He then signed to De Wardes to follow him, who had been engaged in
balancing himself first on one foot, then on the other. "We are going," said he, "come,
M. Malicorne." This name made Raoul start; for it seemed that he had already heard it
pronounced before, but he could not remember on what occasion. While trying to recall
it half-dreamily, yet half-irritated at his conversation with De Wardes, the three young
men set out on their way towards the Palais Royal, where Monsieur was residing.
Malicorne learned two things; the first, that the young men had something to say to
each other; and the second, that he ought not to walk in the same line with them; and
therefore he walked behind. "Are you mad?" said De Guiche to his companion, as soon
as they had left the Hotel de Grammont; "you attack M. d'Artagnan, and that, too, before
"Well," said De Wardes, "what then?"
"What do you mean by 'what then?'"
"Certainly, is there any prohibition against attacking M. d'Artagnan?"