Milady was about to cry out, "Immediately," but she reflected that such precipitation would not be very gracious toward d'Artagnan.
Besides, she had a thousand precautions to take, a thousand counsels to give to her defender, in order that he might avoid explanations with the count before witnesses. All this was answered by an expression of d'Artagnan's. "Tomorrow," said he, "you will be avenged, or I shall be dead."
"No," said she, "you will avenge me; but you will not be dead. He is a coward."
"With women, perhaps; but not with men. I know something of him."
"But it seems you had not much reason to complain of your fortune in your contest with him."
"Fortune is a courtesan; favorable yesterday, she may turn her back tomorrow."
"Which means that you now hesitate?"
"No, I do not hesitate; God forbid! But would it be just to allow me to go to a possible death without having given me at least something more than hope?"
Milady answered by a glance which said, "Is that all? — speak, then." And then accompanying the glance with explanatory words, "That is but too just," said she, tenderly.
"Oh, you are an angel!" exclaimed the young man.
"Then all is agreed?" said she.
"Except that which I ask of you, dear love."
"But when I assure you that you may rely on my tenderness?"
"I cannot wait till tomorrow."
"Silence! I hear my brother. It will be useless for him to find you here."
She rang the bell and Kitty appeared.
"Go out this way," said she, opening a small private door, "and come back at eleven o'clock; we will then terminate this conversation. Kitty will conduct you to my chamber."
The poor girl almost fainted at hearing these words.
"Well, mademoiselle, what are you thinking about, standing there like a statue? Do as I bid you: show the chevalier out; and this evening at eleven o'clock — you have heard what I said."
"It appears that these appointments are all made for eleven o'clock," thought d'Artagnan; "that's a settled custom."
Milady held out her hand to him, which he kissed tenderly.
"But," said he, as he retired as quickly as possible from the reproaches of Kitty, "I must not play the fool. This woman is certainly a great liar. I must take care."