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.