Twenty Years After Chapter 82 Page 5

beloved monarch would this day have been among us.”

“But since they served your eminence so well, why are they, my lord cardinal, in prison?”

“In prison?” said Mazarin, “and when has Rueil been a prison?”

“Ever since there were prisoners in it,” answered Comminges.

“These gentlemen, Comminges, are not prisoners,” returned Mazarin, with his ironical smile, “only guests; but guests so precious that I have put a grating before each of their windows and bolts to their doors, that they may not refuse to continue my visitors.

So much do I esteem them that I am going to make the Comte de la Fere a visit, that I may