"Yes, yes," said Milady; "the letter is precise. Do you know what that warning was?"
"No, I only suspect he has warned the queen against some fresh machinations of the cardinal."
"Yes, that's it, no doubt!" said Milady, returning the letter to Mme. Bonacieux, and letting her head sink pensively upon her bosom.
At that moment they heard the gallop of a horse.
"Oh!" cried Mme. Bonacieux, darting to the window, "can it be he?"
Milady remained still in bed, petrified by surprise; so many unexpected things happened to her all at once that for the first time she was at a loss.
"He, he!" murmured she; "can it be he?" And she remained in bed with her eyes fixed.
"Alas, no!" said Mme. Bonacieux; "it is a man I don't know, although he seems to be coming here. Yes, he checks his pace; he stops at the gate; he rings."
Milady sprang out of bed.
"You are sure it is not he?" said she.
"Yes, yes, very sure!"
"Perhaps you did not see well."
"Oh, if I were to see the plume of his hat, the end of his cloak, I should know HIM!"
Milady was dressing herself all the time.
"Yes, he has entered."
"It is for you or me!"
"My God, how agitated you seem!"
"Yes, I admit it. I have not your confidence; I fear the cardinal."
"Hush!" said Mme. Bonacieux; "somebody is coming."
Immediately the door opened, and the superior entered.
"Did you come from Boulogne?" demanded she of Milady.
"Yes," replied she, trying to recover her self-possession. "Who wants me?"
"A man who will not tell his name, but who comes from the cardinal."
"And who wishes to speak with me?"
"Who wishes to speak to a lady recently come from Boulogne."
"Then let him come in, if you please."
"Oh, my God, my God!" cried Mme. Bonacieux. "Can it be bad news?"
"I fear it."
"I will leave you with this stranger; but as soon as he is gone, if you will permit me, I will return."
"PERMIT you? I BESEECH you."
The superior and Mme. Bonacieux retired.
Milady remained alone, with her eyes fixed upon the door. An instant later, the jingling of spurs was heard upon the stairs, steps drew near, the door opened, and a man appeared.
Milady uttered a cry of joy; this man was the Comte de Rochefort — the demoniacal tool of his Eminence.