Twenty Years After HTML version
Grimaud Begins His Functions
Grimaud thereupon presented himself with his smooth exterior at the donjon of
Vincennes. Now Monsieur de Chavigny piqued himself on his infallible penetration; for
that which almost proved that he was the son of Richelieu was his everlasting pretension;
he examined attentively the countenance of the applicant for place and fancied that the
contracted eyebrows, thin lips, hooked nose, and prominent cheek-bones of Grimaud
were favorable signs. He addressed about twelve words to him; Grimaud answered in
"Here's a promising fellow and it is I who have found out his merits," said Monsieur de
Chavigny. "Go," he added, "and make yourself agreeable to Monsieur la Ramee, and tell
him that you suit me in all respects."
Grimaud had every quality that could attract a man on duty who wishes to have a deputy.
So, after a thousand questions which met with only a word in reply, La Ramee, fascinated
by this sobriety in speech, rubbed his hands and engaged Grimaud.
"My orders?" asked Grimaud.
"They are these; never to leave the prisoner alone; to keep away from him every pointed
or cutting instrument, and to prevent his conversing any length of time with the keepers."
"Those are all?" asked Grimaud.
"All now," replied La Ramee.
"Good," answered Grimaud; and he went right to the prisoner.
The duke was in the act of combing his beard, which he had allowed to grow, as well as
his hair, in order to reproach Mazarin with his wretched appearance and condition. But
having some days previously seen from the top of the donjon Madame de Montbazon
pass in her carriage, and still cherishing an affection for that beautiful woman, he did not
wish to be to her what he wished to be to Mazarin, and in the hope of seeing her again,
had asked for a leaden comb, which was allowed him. The comb was to be a leaden one,
because his beard, like that of most fair people, was rather red; he therefore dyed it thus
whilst combing it.
As Grimaud entered he saw this comb on the tea-table; he took it up, and as he took it he
made a low bow.
The duke looked at this strange figure with surprise. The figure put the comb in its
"Ho! hey! what's that?" cried the duke. "Who is this creature?"