Page:The Vicomte de Bragelonne 2.djvu/343

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THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE

THE VICOMTE DE BRAGELONNE. 331 you have never had to complain of them; why should you doubt of Mademoiselle de la Valliere?" "That is true," said Athos, casting down his eyes; I have never spoken ill to you of women; I have never had to complain of them; Mademoiselle de la Valliere never gave birth to a suspicion; but when we are looking forward, we must go even to exceptions, even to improbabilities. If, I say, Mademoiselle de la Valliere should not wait for you?" "How, monsieur?" "If she turned her eyes another way." "If she looked favorably upon another man, do you mean that, monsieur?" said Eaoul, pale with agony. "Exactly." "Well, monsieur, I would kill that man," said Eaoul simply, "and all the men whom Mademoiselle de la Vallere should choose, until one of them had killed me, or Made- moiselle de la Valliere had restored me her heart." Athos started. "I thought," resumed he, in an agitated voice, "that you called me just now your god, your law in this world." "Oh!" said Kaoul, trembling, "you would forbid me the duel?" "If I forbid it, Eaoul?" "You would forbid me to hope, monsieur; consequently you would not forbid me to die." Athos raised his eyes toward the vicomte. He had pro- nounced these words with the most melancholy inflection, accompanied by the most melancholy look. "Enough," said Athos, after a long silence, "enough of this subject, upon which we both go too far. Live as well as you are able, Eaoul, perform your duties, love Mademoiselle de la Valliere; in a word, act like a man, since you have attained the age of a man; only do not forget that I love you ten- derly, and that you profess to love me." "Ah! Monsieur le Comte," cried Eaoul, pressing the hand of Athos to his heart. "Enough, dear boy; leave me; I want rest. Apropos, Monsieur d'Artagnan has returned from England with me; you owe him a visit." "I will go and pay it him, monsieur, with great pleasure. I love Monsieur d'Artagnan exceedingly." "You are right in doing so; he is a worthy man and a brave cavalier." "Who loves you dearly." "I am sure of that. Do you know his address?"