The Three Musketeers HTML version
D'artagnan Shows Himself
As Athos and Porthos had foreseen, at the expiration of a half hour, d'Artagnan returned.
He had again missed his man, who had disappeared as if by enchantment. D'Artagnan
had run, sword in hand, through all the neighboring streets, but had found nobody
resembling the man he sought for. Then he came back to the point where, perhaps, he
ought to have begun, and that was to knock at the door against which the stranger had
leaned; but this proved useless--for though he knocked ten or twelve times in succession,
no one answered, and some of the neighbors, who put their noses out of their windows or
were brought to their doors by the noise, had assured him that that house, all the openings
of which were tightly closed, had not been inhabited for six months.
While d'Artagnan was running through the streets and knocking at doors, Aramis had
joined his companions; so that on returning home d'Artagnan found the reunion complete.
"Well!" cried the three Musketeers all together, on seeing d'Artagnan enter with his brow
covered with perspiration and his countenance upset with anger.
"Well!" cried he, throwing his sword upon the bed, "this man must be the devil in person;
he has disappeared like a phantom, like a shade, like a specter."
"Do you believe in apparitions?" asked Athos of Porthos.
"I never believe in anything I have not seen, and as I never have seen apparitions, I don't
believe in them."
"The Bible," said Aramis, "make our belief in them a law; the ghost of Samuel appeared
to Saul, and it is an article of faith that I should be very sorry to see any doubt thrown
"At all events, man or devil, body or shadow, illusion or reality, this man is born for my
damnation; for his flight has caused us to miss a glorious affair, gentlemen--an affair by
which there were a hundred pistoles, and perhaps more, to be gained."
"How is that?" cried Porthos and Aramis in a breath.
As to Athos, faithful to his system of reticence, he contented himself with interrogating
d'Artagnan by a look.
"Planchet," said d'Artagnan to his domestic, who just then insinuated his head through the
half-open door in order to catch some fragments of the conversation, "go down to my
landlord, Monsieur Bonacieux, and ask him to send me half a dozen bottles of Beaugency
wine; I prefer that."