"You are right; only let me know where to find you that I may not run needlessly about the neighborhood."
"That's correct; wait!"
"Do you want a map?"
"Oh, I know this country marvelously!"
"You? When were you here?"
"I was brought up here."
"It is worth something, you see, to have been brought up somewhere."
"You will wait for me, then?"
"Let me reflect a little! Ay, that will do — at Armentieres."
"Where is that Armentieres?"
"A little town on the Lys; I shall only have to cross the river, and I shall be in a foreign country."
"Capital! but it is understood you will only cross the river in case of danger."
"That is well understood."
"And in that case, how shall I know where you are?"
"You do not want your lackey?"
"Is he a sure man?"
"To the proof."
"Give him to me. Nobody knows him. I will leave him at the place I quit, and he will conduct you to me."
"And you say you will wait for me at Armentieres?"
"Write that name on a bit of paper, lest I should forget it. There is nothing compromising in the name of a town. Is it not so?"
"Eh, who knows? Never mind," said Milady, writing the name on half a sheet of paper; "I will compromise myself."
"Well," said Rochefort, taking the paper from Milady, folding it, and placing it in the lining of his hat, "you may be easy. I will do as children do, for fear of losing the paper — repeat the name along the route. Now, is that all?"
"I believe so."
"Let us see: Buckingham dead or grievously wounded; your conversation with the cardinal overheard by the four Musketeers; Lord de Winter warned of your arrival at Portsmouth; d'Artagnan and Athos to the Bastille; Aramis the lover of Madame de Chevreuse; Porthos an ass; Madame Bonacieux found again; to send you the chaise as soon as possible; to place my lackey at your disposal; to make you out a victim of the cardinal in order that the abbess may entertain no suspicion; Armentieres, on the banks of the Lys. Is that all, then?"
"In truth, my dear Chevalier, you are a miracle of memory. A PROPOS, add one thing — "
"I saw some very pretty woods which almost touch the convent garden. Say that I am permitted to walk in those woods. Who knows? Perhaps I shall stand in need of a back door for retreat."
"You think of everything."
"And you forget one thing."
"To ask me if I want money."
"That's true. How much do you want?"
"All you have in gold."
"I have five hundred pistoles, or thereabouts."
"I have as much. With a thousand pistoles one may face everything. Empty your pockets."
"Right. And you go — "
"In an hour — time to eat a morsel, during which I shall send for a post horse."
"Capital! Adieu, Chevalier."
"Commend me to the cardinal."
"Commend me to Satan."
Milady and Rochefort exchanged a smile and separated. An hour afterward Rochefort set out at a grand gallop; five hours after that he passed through Arras.
Our readers already know how he was recognized by d'Artagnan, and how that recognition by inspiring fear in the four Musketeers had given fresh activity to their journey.