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Twenty Years After

Touches
Touches Upon The Strange Effects A Half-Pistole May Have Upon A Beadle And A
Chorister.
D'Artagnan, as he crossed the Pont Neuf, congratulated himself on having found Planchet
again, for at that time an intelligent servant was essential to him; nor was he sorry that
through Planchet and the situation which he held in Rue des Lombards, a connection with
the bourgeoisie might be commenced, at that critical period when that class were
preparing to make war with the court party. It was like having a spy in the enemy's camp.
In this frame of mind, grateful for the accidental meeting with Planchet, pleased with
himself, D'Artagnan reached Notre Dame. He ran up the steps, entered the church, and
addressing a verger who was sweeping the chapel, asked him if he knew Monsieur Bazin.
"Monsieur Bazin, the beadle?" said the verger. "Yes. There he is, attending mass, in the
chapel of the Virgin."
D'Artagnan nearly jumped for joy; he had despaired of finding Bazin, but now, he
thought, since he held one end of the thread he would be pretty sure to reach the other
end.
He knelt down just opposite the chapel in order not to lose sight of his man; and as he had
almost forgotten his prayers and had omitted to take a book with him, he made use of his
time in gazing at Bazin.
Bazin wore his dress, it may be observed, with equal dignity and saintly propriety. It was
not difficult to understand that he had gained the crown of his ambition and that the
silver-mounted wand he brandished was in his eyes as honorable a distinction as the
marshal's baton which Conde threw, or did not throw, into the enemy's line of battle at
Fribourg. His person had undergone a change, analogous to the change in his dress; his
figure had grown rotund and, as it were, canonical. The striking points of his face were
effaced; he had still a nose, but his cheeks, fattened out, each took a portion of it unto
themselves; his chin had joined his throat; his eyes were swelled up with the puffiness of
his cheeks; his hair, cut straight in holy guise, covered his forehead as far as his
eyebrows.
The officiating priest was just finishing mass whilst D'Artagnan was looking at Bazin; he
pronounced the words of the holy Sacrament and retired, giving the benediction, which
was received by the kneeling communicants, to the astonishment of D'Artagnan, who
recognized in the priest the coadjutor* himself, the famous Jean Francois Gondy, who at
that time, having a presentiment of the part he was to play, was beginning to court
popularity by almsgiving. It was to this end that he performed from time to time some of
those early masses which the common people, generally, alone attended.
*A sacerdotal officer.
 
 
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