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The Three Musketeers

A Gascon A Match For Cupid
The evening so impatiently waited for by Porthos and by d'Artagnan at last arrived.
As was his custom, d'Artagnan presented himself at Milady's at about nine o'clock. He
found her in a charming humor. Never had he been so well received. Our Gascon knew,
by the first glance of his eye, that his billet had been delivered, and that this billet had had
its effect.
Kitty entered to bring some sherbet. Her mistress put on a charming face, and smiled on
her graciously; but alas! the poor girl was so sad that she did not even notice Milady's
condescension.
D'Artagnan looked at the two women, one after the other, and was forced to acknowledge
that in his opinion Dame Nature had made a mistake in their formation. To the great lady
she had given a heart vile and venal; to the SOUBRETTE she had given the heart of a
duchess.
At ten o'clock Milady began to appear restless. D'Artagnan knew what she wanted. She
looked at the clock, rose, reseated herself, smiled at d'Artagnan with an air which said,
"You are very amiable, no doubt, but you would be charming if you would only depart."
D'Artagnan rose and took his hat; Milady gave him her hand to kiss. The young man felt
her press his hand, and comprehended that this was a sentiment, not of coquetry, but of
gratitude because of his departure.
"She loves him devilishly," he murmured. Then he went out.
This time Kitty was nowhere waiting for him; neither in the antechamber, nor in the
corridor, nor beneath the great door. It was necessary that d'Artagnan should find alone
the staircase and the little chamber. She heard him enter, but she did not raise her head.
The young man went to her and took her hands; then she sobbed aloud.
As d'Artagnan had presumed, on receiving his letter, Milady in a delirium of joy had told
her servant everything; and by way of recompense for the manner in which she had this
time executed the commission, she had given Kitty a purse.
Returning to her own room, Kitty had thrown the purse into a corner, where it lay open,
disgorging three or four gold pieces on the carpet. The poor girl, under the caresses of
d'Artagnan, lifted her head. D'Artagnan himself was frightened by the change in her
countenance. She joined her hands with a suppliant air, but without venturing to speak a
word. As little sensitive as was the heart of d'Artagnan, he was touched by this mute
sorrow; but he held too tenaciously to his projects, above all to this one, to change the
program which he had laid out in advance. He did not therefore allow her any hope that
he would flinch; only he represented his action as one of simple vengeance.
 
 
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