Twenty Years After Chapter 52 Page 28

“Monsieur Laporte, go to them and again recommend silence. Madame, wait at the door, whilst I shall be at the head of the king’s bed, ready to die for him.”

Laporte went out; the queen remained standing near the hangings, whilst D’Artagnan glided behind the curtains.

Then the heavy and collected steps of a multitude of men were heard, and the queen herself raised the tapestry hangings and put her finger on her lips.

On seeing the queen, the men stopped short, respectfully.

“Enter, gentlemen, enter,” said the queen.

There was then amongst that crowd a moment’s hesitation, which looked like shame. They had expected resistance, they had