"I admit," continued Fontrailles, "that your Highness ordered nothing, but you permitted me to tell you that I foresaw that this night would be a troubled one about two o'clock, and I hoped that your astonishment would not have been too great."
"Gentlemen," said Cinq-Mars, who had not ceased to observe the walls, "there is a very decided part which we could take, an important share in this we might enter this ill-guarded bastion." "An excellent idea, Monsieur," said Fontrailles; "but we are but five against at least thirty, and are in plain sight and easily counted."
But take care of yourselves, Messieurs; some one comes from the Rue Saint-Honore." "Who goes there?" cried the foremost of the troop to some men who were advancing. "Royalists or Cardinalists?" "Gaston and Le Grand," replied the newcomers, in low tones. "It is Montresor and Monsieur's people," said Fontrailles. "We may soon begin."
Perish the State! perish twenty kingdoms, if necessary! No ordinary calamities suffice when the King betrays the subject. Listen to me." And he took Fontrailles a few steps aside. "I only charged you to prepare our retreat and succors, in case of abandonment on the part of the King.
Fontrailles, who knew the man with whom he had to deal, said nothing, but entered with his friend, that Monsieur might have time to discharge his first fury; and when all was said, and the door carefully shut, he began to speak: "Monseigneur," said he, "we come to ask you a thousand pardons for the impertinence of these people, who will persist in crying out that they desire the death of your enemy, and that they would even wish to make you regent should we have the misfortune to lose his Majesty.
Among the numerous men who had entreated her, who were anxiously waiting for that wonderful moment when her heart would beat, when his mocking companion would grow tired and abandon herself to the pleasure of loving and of being loved, would become intoxicated with the honey of caresses, and would no longer refuse her lips to kisses, like some restive animal that fears the yoke, none had so made up his mind to win the game, and to pursue this deceptive siege, as much as Xavier de Fontrailles.
"Yes, 'par la corbleu'!" said the newcomer, "for the Cardinalists will pass at three o'clock. Some one told us so just now." "Where are they going?" said Fontrailles. "There are more than two hundred of them to escort Monsieur de Chavigny, who is going to see the old cat at Narbonne, they say. They thought it safer to pass by the Louvre." "Well, we will give him a velvet paw!" said the Abbe.
For myself, I am not proud; one must not be proud, whatever one's merit in one's profession. I must not touch the Cardinal; he's a morsel for a king!" "Nor any others," said the grand ecuyer. "Oh, let us have the Capuchin!" said Captain Jacques, urgently. "You are wrong if you refuse this office," said Fontrailles; "such things occur every day. Vitry began with Concini; and he was made a marechal.
In the ardor of the rush, Cinq-Mars and Fontrailles, with the young Locmaria, forced their horses upon the rampart itself; but a brisk fusillade killed the three animals, which rolled over their masters. "Dismount all, gentlemen!" cried old Coislin; "forward with pistol and sword! Abandon your horses!" All obeyed instantly, and threw themselves in a mass upon the breach.
Besides, many courtiers go there, such as the Duc de Bouillon, Monsieur d'Aubijoux, the Comte de Brion, the Cardinal de la Vallette, Messieurs de Montresor, Fontrailles; men illustrious in the sciences, as Mairet, Colletet, Desmarets, author of Araine; Faret, Doujat, Charpentier, who wrote the Cyropedie; Giry, Besons, and Baro, the continuer of Astree all academicians."
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