"Go to the stable; you will find Mousqueton there; saddle your horses, put your pistols in your saddle-bags, take out the horses and lead them to the street below this, so that there will be nothing to do but mount them; all the rest is my business." Porthos made no remark, but obeyed, with the sublime confidence he had in his friend.
"This dear friend," said D'Artagnan, carefully avoiding to utter either the former name borne by Porthos or his new one, "then he has not forgotten me?" "Forgotten he!" cried Mousqueton; "there's not a day, sir, that we don't expect to hear that you were made marshal either instead of Monsieur de Gassion, or of Monsieur de Bassompierre."
There happened to be a sermon, which made the church very full of people. Porthos took advantage of this circumstance to ogle the women. Thanks to the cares of Mousqueton, the exterior was far from announcing the distress of the interior.
"Oh, Monsieur d'Artagnan!" said Mousqueton, "why can I not embrace your knees? But I have become impotent, as you see." "Dame! my dear Mousqueton, it is age." "No, monsieur, it is not age; it is infirmities troubles." "Troubles! you, Mousqueton?" said D'Artagnan making the tour of the box; "are you out of your mind, my dear friend? Thank God! you are as hearty as a three-hundred-year-old oak."
"Come, come!" said Porthos; "jump in." "But, monsieur," said Mousqueton, "I can't swim; let me stay here." "And me, too, monsieur," said Blaisois. "I assure you, I shall be very much in the way in that little boat," said Mousqueton. "And I know I shall drown before reaching it," continued Blaisois. "Come along!
Porthos was in bed, and was playing a game at LANSQUENET with Mousqueton, to keep his hand in; while a spit loaded with partridges was turning before the fire, and on each side of a large chimneypiece, over two chafing dishes, were boiling two stewpans, from which exhaled a double odor of rabbit and fish stews, rejoicing to the smell.
"Yes, monsieur; we have so many pleasures to take in this delightful country, that we were encumbered by them; so much so, that we have been forced to regulate the distribution of them." "How easily do I recognize Porthos's love of order in that! Now, that idea would never have occurred to me; but then I am not encumbered with pleasures." "We were, though," said Mousqueton.
"Fire!" replied the steward. A gleam, like a flash of lightning, illumined the road, and with the flash was heard the whistling of balls, which were fired wildly in the air. "They fire like grooms," said Porthos. "In the time of the cardinal people fired better than that, do you remember the road to Crevecoeur, Mousqueton?" "Ah, sir! my left side still pains me!"
"Pardieu!" cried D'Artagnan; "why, that's my dear Monsieur Mousqueton!" "Ah!" cried the fat man "ah! what happiness! what joy! There's M. d'Artagnan. Stop, you rascals!" These last words were addressed to the lackeys who pushed and dragged him. The box stopped, and the four lackeys, with a precision quite military, took off their laced hats and ranged themselves behind it.
"Planchet, my friend," said Porthos, in a melancholy voice, "I am very ill; should you meet a doctor you will do me a favor by sending him to me." "Oh! good Heaven," said Planchet, "what a misfortune! and how did it happen?" "I will tell you all about it," replied Mousqueton. Porthos uttered a deep groan.