Twenty Years After Chapter 65 Page 15

A parliamentary officer, clothed in black and with a gravity that augured ill, entered, bowed to the king, and unfolding a parchment, read the sentence, as is usually done to criminals before their execution.

“What is this?” said Aramis to Juxon.

Juxon replied with a sign which meant that he knew no more than Aramis about it.

“Then it is for to-day?” asked the king.

“Was not your majesty warned that it was to take place this morning?”

“Then I must die like a common criminal by the hand of the London executioner?”

“The London executioner has disappeared, your majesty, but a man has offered his services instead.