Twenty Years After
One Of Marie Michon's Adventures
Whilst these projects were being formed by the Duc de Beaufort and Grimaud, the Comte
de la Fere and the Vicomte de Bragelonne were entering Paris by the Rue du Faubourg
They stopped at the sign of the Fox, in the Rue du Vieux Colombier, a tavern known for
many years by Athos, and asked for two bedrooms.
"You must dress yourself, Raoul," said Athos, "I am going to present you to some one."
"To-day, monsieur?" asked the young man.
"In half an hour."
The young man bowed. Perhaps, not being endowed with the endurance of Athos, who
seemed to be made of iron, he would have preferred a bath in the river Seine of which he
had heard so much, and afterward his bed; but the Comte de la Fere had spoken and he
had no thought but to obey.
"By the way," said Athos, "take some pains with your toilet, Raoul; I want you to be
"I hope, sir," replied the youth, smiling, "that there's no idea of a marriage for me; you
know of my engagement to Louise?"
Athos, in his turn, smiled also.
"No, don't be alarmed, although it is to a lady that I am going to present you, and I am
anxious that you should love her ---- "
The young man looked at the count with a certain uneasiness, but at a smile from Athos
he was quickly reassured.
"How old is she?" inquired the Vicomte de Bragelonne.
"My dear Raoul, learn, once for all, that that is a question which is never asked. When
you can find out a woman's age by her face, it is useless to ask it; when you cannot do so,
it is indiscreet."
"Is she beautiful?"
"Sixteen years ago she was deemed not only the prettiest, but the most graceful woman in