Twenty Years After Chapter 48 Page 37

word, D’Artagnan had dragged Porthos into the gallery. Thither Mazarin went in his turn and found the two friends walking up and down.

“Why did you leave the closet, Monsieur d’Artagnan?” asked the cardinal.

“Because,” replied D’Artagnan, “the queen desired every one to leave and I thought that this command was intended for us as well as for the rest.”

“And you have been here since — — ”

“About a quarter of an hour,” said D’Artagnan, motioning to Porthos not to contradict him.

Mazarin saw the sign and remained convinced that D’Artagnan had seen and heard everything; but he was pleased with his falsehood.