"And where did they live?"
"One in Rue de Vaugirard, the other Rue de la Harpe."
"Did you go into these houses with her?"
"Never, monseigneur; I waited at the door."
"And what excuse did she give you for entering all alone?"
"She gave me none; she told me to wait, and I waited."
"You are a very complacent husband, my dear Monsieur Bonacieux," said the cardinal.
"He calls me his dear Monsieur," said the mercer to himself. "PESTE! Matters are going all right."
"Should you know those doors again?"
"Do you know the numbers?"
"What are they?"
"No. 25 in the Rue de Vaugirard; 75 in the Rue de la Harpe."
"That's well," said the cardinal.
At these words he took up a silver bell, and rang it; the officer entered.
"Go," said he, in a subdued voice, "and find Rochefort. Tell him to come to me immediately, if he has returned."
"The count is here," said the officer, "and requests to speak with your Eminence instantly."
"Let him come in, then!" said the cardinal, quickly.
The officer sprang out of the apartment with that alacrity which all the servants of the cardinal displayed in obeying him.
"To your Eminence!" murmured Bonacieux, rolling his eyes round in astonishment.
Five seconds has scarcely elapsed after the disappearance of the officer, when the door opened, and a new personage entered.
"It is he!" cried Bonacieux.
"He! What he?" asked the cardinal.
"The man who abducted my wife."
The cardinal rang a second time. The officer reappeared.
"Place this man in the care of his guards again, and let him wait till I send for him."
"No, monseigneur, no, it is not he!" cried Bonacieux; "no, I was deceived. This is quite another man, and does not resemble him at all. Monsieur is, I am sure, an honest man."
"Take away that fool!" said the cardinal.
The officer took Bonacieux by the arm, and led him into the antechamber, where he found his two guards.
The newly introduced personage followed Bonacieux impatiently with his eyes till he had gone out; and the moment the door closed, "They have seen each other;" said he, approaching the cardinal eagerly.
"Who?" asked his Eminence.
"He and she."
"The queen and the duke?" cried Richelieu.
"At the Louvre."
"Are you sure of it?"
"Who told you of it?"
"Madame de Lannoy, who is devoted to your Eminence, as you know."
"Why did she not let me know sooner?"
"Whether by chance or mistrust, the queen made Madame de Surgis sleep in her chamber, and detained her all day."
"Well, we are beaten! Now let us try to take our revenge."
"I will assist you with all my heart, monseigneur; be assured of that."
"How did it come about?"
"At half past twelve the queen was with her women — "
"In her bedchamber — "
"When someone came and brought her a handkerchief from her laundress."
"The queen immediately exhibited strong emotion; and despite the rouge with which her face was covered evidently turned pale — "
"And then, and then?"
"She then arose, and with altered voice, 'Ladies,' said she, 'wait for me ten minutes, I shall soon return.' She then opened the door of her alcove, and went out."
"Why did not Madame de Lannoy come and inform you instantly?"
"Nothing was certain; besides, her Majesty had said, 'Ladies, wait for me,' and she did not dare to disobey the queen."
"How long did the queen remain out of the chamber?"
"Three-quarters of an hour."
"None of her women accompanied her?"
"Only Donna Estafania."
"Did she afterward return?"
"Yes; but only to take a little rosewood casket, with her cipher upon it, and went out again immediately."
"And when she finally returned, did she bring that casket with her?"
"Does Madame de Lannoy know what was in that casket?"
"Yes; the diamond studs which his Majesty gave the queen."
"And she came back without this casket?"
"Madame de Lannoy, then, is of opinion that she gave them to Buckingham?"
"She is sure of it."
"How can she be so?"
"In the course of the day Madame de Lannoy, in her quality of tire-woman of the queen, looked for this casket, appeared uneasy at not finding it, and at length asked information of the queen."
"And then the queen?"
"The queen became exceedingly red, and replied that having in the evening broken one of those studs, she had sent it to her goldsmith to be repaired."
"He must be called upon, and so ascertain if the thing be true or not."
"I have just been with him."
"And the goldsmith?"
"The goldsmith has heard nothing of it."
"Well, well! Rochefort, all is not lost; and perhaps — perhaps everything is for the best."