Twenty Years After Chapter 63 Page 17

to look across the hedge of guards which surrounded him.

“It is — but you will not look, will you? — it is because they have had the axe, with which criminals are executed, brought and placed there on the table. The sight is hideous.”

“Fools,” said Charles, “do they take me for a coward, like themselves? You have done well to warn me. Thank you, Parry.”

When the moment arrived the king followed his guards out of the hall. As he passed the table on which the axe was laid, he stopped, and turning with a smile, said:

“Ah! the axe, an ingenious device, and well worthy of those who know not what a gentleman is; you frighten me not, executioner’s