That instant the arm of Porthos fell. His hand of iron grasped, quick as lightning, firm as a pair of blacksmith’s pincers, the soldier’s throat. He raised him, almost stifling him as he drew him through the aperture, at the risk of flaying him in the passage. He then laid him down on the floor, where D’Artagnan, after giving him just time enough to draw his breath, gagged him with his long scarf; and the moment he had done so began to undress him with the promptitude and dexterity of a man who had learned his business on the field of battle.
Then the soldier, gagged and bound, was placed upon the hearth, the fire of which had been previously extinguished by the two friends.
“Here’s a sword and a dress,” said Porthos.