Page:The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2.djvu/172

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160 THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE. sell them at the nearest English port, and that was New* castle. We were told the opportunity was good, as there was an increase of population in the camp, an increase of population in the city; both, we were told, were full of gen- tlemen, very rich and very hungry. So we steered our course toward Newcastle." "And your companions, where are they?" "Oh! my companions have remained on board; they are 'sailors without the least instruction." "While you—" said Monk. "Who, I?" said the patron, laughing; "I have sailed about with my father, and I know what is called a sou, a crown, a pistole, a louis, and a double-louis, in all th& languages of Europe; my crew, therefore, listen to me as they would to an oracle and obey me as if I were an admiral." "Then it was you who preferred Monsieur Lambert as the best customer?" "Yes, certainly. And, to be frank, my lord, was I wrong?" "You will see that by and by." "At all events, my lord, if there is a fault, the fault is mine; and my comrades should not be dealt hardly with on that account." "This is decidedly an intelligent, sharp fellow," thought Monk. Then, after a few minutes* silence employed in scrutinizing the fisherman: "You come from Ostend, did you not say?" asked the general. "Yes, my lord, straight as a line." "You have, then, heard speak of the affairs of the day: for I have no doubt that both in France and Holland thsj excite interest. What is he doing who calls himself Kinc of England?" "Oh, my lord!" cried the fisherman, with loud and ex- pansive frankness, "that is a lucky question, and you could not put it to anybody better than to me, for in truth I can make you a famous reply,, , Imagine, my lord, that when putting into Ostend to sell the few mackerel we had caught, I saw the ex-king walking on the dunes, waiting for his horces which were to take him to the Hague. He is a rather tali, pale man, with black hair, and somewhat hard- featured. He looks ill, and I don't think the air of Holland agrees with him." Monk followed with the greatest attention the rapid, heightened, and diffusive conversation of the fisherman* ia