Twenty Years After Chapter 52 Page 12

Madame de Motteville, who was on especial duty that evening, followed to aid and undress her. The queen then began to read, and after conversing with her affectionately for a few minutes, dismissed her.

It was at this moment D’Artagnan entered the courtyard of the palace, in the coadjutor’s carriage, and a few seconds later the carriages of the ladies-in-waiting drove out and the gates were shut after them.

A few minutes after twelve o’clock Bernouin knocked at the queen’s bedroom door, having come by the cardinal’s secret corridor. Anne of Austria opened the door to him herself. She was dressed, that is to say, in dishabille, wrapped in a long, warm dressing-gown.

“It is you, Bernouin,” she said.