"There is no harm in trying to buy things cheap, Monsieur Porthos," said the procurator's wife, seeking to excuse herself.
"No, madame; but they who so assiduously try to buy things cheap ought to permit others to seek more generous friends." And Porthos, turning on his heel, made a step to retire.
"Monsieur Porthos! Monsieur Porthos!" cried the procurator's wife. "I have been wrong; I see it. I ought not to have driven a bargain when it was to equip a cavalier like you."
Porthos, without reply, retreated a second step. The procurator's wife fancied she saw him in a brilliant cloud, all surrounded by duchesses and marchionesses, who cast bags of money at his feet.
"Stop, in the name of heaven, Monsieur Porthos!" cried she. "Stop, and let us talk."
"Talking with you brings me misfortune," said Porthos.
"But, tell me, what do you ask?"
"Nothing; for that amounts to the same thing as if I asked you for something."
The procurator's wife hung upon the arm of Porthos, and in the violence of her grief she cried out, "Monsieur Porthos, I am ignorant of all such matters! How should I know what a horse is? How should I know what horse furniture is?"
"You should have left it to me, then, madame, who know what they are; but you wished to be frugal, and consequently to lend at usury."
"It was wrong, Monsieur Porthos; but I will repair that wrong, upon my word of honor."
"How so?" asked the Musketeer.
"Listen. This evening M. Coquenard is going to the house of the Due de Chaulnes, who has sent for him. It is for a consultation, which will last three hours at least. Come! We shall be alone, and can make up our accounts."
"In good time. Now you talk, my dear."
"You pardon me?"
"We shall see," said Porthos, majestically; and the two separated saying, "Till this evening."
"The devil!" thought Porthos, as he walked away, "it appears I am getting nearer to Monsieur Coquenard's strongbox at last."