Twenty Years After Chapter 64 Page 15

you will save a king; no, in presence of the scaffold as I am, royalty, I assure you, is a very small affair; but you will save a husband to his wife, a father to his children. Chevalier, take my hand; it is that of a friend who will love you to his last sigh.”

Aramis stooped to kiss the king’s hand, but Charles clasped his and pressed it to his heart.

At this moment a man entered, without even knocking at the door. Aramis tried to withdraw his hand, but the king still held it. The man was one of those Puritans, half preacher and half soldier, who swarmed around Cromwell.

“What do you want, sir?” said the king.

“I desire to know if the confession of Charles Stuart is at an end?” said the stranger.