Twenty Years After

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Author: "Alexandre Dumas, père"  | Date: 1845

CONCLUSION

ON RETURNING to their hotel the two friends found a letter from Athos, appointing a meeting at the Charlemagne Hotel for the morning of the next day.

Both went to bed early, but neither could sleep. They had not gained the object of their wishes without the effect being to drive away sleep at least for the first night.

Accordingly, the next morning at the hour named they called on Athos. They found him and Aramis in travelling dress.

"Well," said Porthos, "we are all then about to part. I have also made my preparations this morning."

"Oh, yes," said Aramis, "there is nothing more to be done in Paris now that there is no Fronde. Madame de Longueville has invited me to go and spend a few days in Normandy, and has commissioned me, while her child’s baptism takes place, to go and secure lodgings for her in Rouen. I am going for this purpose; then, if there is nothing new, I shall return and bury myself in my convent at Noisy-le-Sec."

"I," said Athos, "shall return to Bragelonne. You know, my dear d’Artagnan, that I am nothing more than a simple country gentleman. Raoul has no other fortune than mine, poor child, and I must watch over it, since I am in some sort only a life trustee."

"And what shall you do with Raoul?"

"I shall leave him with you, my friend. There is going to be a campaign in Flanders; you will take him with you; I am afraid that his stay at Blois is only dangerous to him. Take him with you, and teach him to be brave and upright like yourself."

"And I," said d’Artagnan, "though I shall no longer have you, shall at least have him, the dear fair face; and although he is but a youth, as your soul lives entirely again in him, dear Athos, I shall always believe you to be near me, accompanying and sustaining me."

The four friends embraced with tears in their eyes. Then they separated, without knowing whether they should ever meet again.

D’Artagnan returned to Rue Tiquetonne with Porthos, who was continually pondering and trying to discover who the man was whom he had killed.

On reaching the Hotel de la Chevrette they found the baron’s equipage ready, and Mousqueton in the saddle.

"I say, d’Artagnan," said Porthos, "leave the sword and come with me to Pierrefonds, or Bracieux, or Le Vallon; we will grow old together in talking of our companions."

"No, no," said d’Artagnan. "Hang it! the campaign is beginning, and I want to be in it; I hope to win something."

"And what do you hope to become then?"

"Marshal of France, by Jove!"

"Ah, ah!" said Porthos, looking at d’Artagnan, whose Gasconnades he had never been able to understand entirely.

"Come with me, Porthos; I will make you a duke."

"No," said Porthos. "Mouston has no longer a liking for war. Besides, they have arranged a triumphal entry at my place, which will make all my neighbors die of envy."

"To that I have nothing to answer," said d’Artagnan, who knew the vanity of the new baron. "Au revoir, then, my friend."

"Au revoir, dear captain," said Porthos. "You know that when you would like to come and see me you will always be welcome in my barony."

"Yes," said d’Artagnan, "on my return from the campaign I will come."

"The equipage of Monsieur the Baron awaits him," said Mousqueton, and the two friends separated after shaking hands.

D’Artagnan stood on the doorstep, following Porthos with melancholy look as he went away. But at the end of a few yards Porthos stopped short, hit his forehead, and returned.

"I recollect," said he.

"What?" asked d’Artagnan.

"Who that mendicant was that I killed."

"Ah, really! who is it?"

"Why, that rascal Bonacieux"; and Porthos, delighted with thus relieving his mind, rejoined Mousqueton, and soon disappeared round the corner of the street.

D’Artagnan remained for a moment immovable and pensive; then turning round, he saw the fair Madeleine, who, perplexed at the new grandeur of d’Artagnan, was standing at the door.

"Madeleine," said the Gascon, "give me the apartment on the first floor; I am obliged to keep up my dignity now that I am captain of the Musketeers. But always keep my room on the fifth floor; one never knows what may happen."

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Chicago: Alexandre Dumas père, "Conclusion," Twenty Years After Original Sources, accessed August 11, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3W1LFH9RJ7H6N3F.

MLA: Dumas, Alexandre, père. "Conclusion." Twenty Years After, Original Sources. 11 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3W1LFH9RJ7H6N3F.

Harvard: Dumas, A, 'Conclusion' in Twenty Years After. Original Sources, retrieved 11 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=3W1LFH9RJ7H6N3F.