Twenty Years After Chapter 76 Page 5

exchanged some words in a low tone. “Well, sirs!” cried the queen, on perceiving the two friends, “you have come, faithful friends! But the royal couriers have been more expeditious than you, and here are Monsieur de Flamarens and Monsieur de Chatillon, who bring me from Her Majesty the Queen Anne of Austria, the very latest intelligence.”

Aramis and Athos were astounded by the calmness, even the gayety of the queen’s manner.

“Go on with your recital, sirs,” said the queen, turning to the Duc de Chatillon. “You said that His Majesty, King Charles, my august consort, had been condemned to death by a majority of his subjects!”

“Yes, madame,” Chatillon stammered out.