THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE. 161 a language which was not his own, but which, as we have said, he spoke with great facility. The fisherman, on his part, employed sometimes a French word, sometimes an English word, and sometimes a word which appeared not to belong to any language, but was, in truth, pure Gascon. Fortunately, his eyes spoke for him, and that so eloquently that it was possible to lose a word from his mouth, but not a single intention from his eyes. The general appeared more and more satisfied with his examination. "You must have heard that this ex-king, as you call him, was going to the Hague for some purpose?" "Oh, yes," said the fisherman, "I heard that." "And what was his purpose?" "Always the same," said the fisherman. "Must he not always entertain the fixed idea of returning to England?" "That is true," said Monk pensively. "Without reckoning," added the fisherman, "that the stadtholder — you know, my lord, William II. " "Well?" "He will assist him with all his power." "Ah! did you hear that said?" "No, but I think so." "You are quite a politician, apparently," said Monk. "Why, we sailors, my lord, who are accustomed to study the water and the air — that is to say, the two most mobile things in the world — are seldom deceived as to the rest." "Now, then," said Monk, changing the conversation, "I am told you are going to provision us." "I will do my best, my lord." "How much do you ask for your fish, in the first place 9 " "Not such a fool as to name a price, my lord." "Why not?" "Because my fish is yours." "By what right?" "By that of the strongest." "But my intention is to pay you for it." "That is very generous of you, my lord." "Is it worth " "My lord, I fix no price." "What do you ask, then?" "I only ask to be permitted to go away." "Where? — to General Lambert's camp?" "I!" cried the fisherman; "what should I go to New- castle for, now I have no longer any fish?" "At all events, listen to me."
Page:The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2.djvu/173
This page needs to be proofread.
THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE