TWO ANGELS' HEADS
A LONG journey was the matter in hand; but d'Artagnan felt no anxiety on that point. He knew that his horses had been well baited* from the plentiful stable-racks of the Lord de Bracieux. He therefore started off with confidence on the four or five days' march which he had to make, accompanied by the faithful Planchet.
As we said, they were travelling side by side and talking together to while away the time. D'Artagnan had little by little laid aside the master, and Planchet had quite left the character of servant. He was a shrewd fellow, who, since his extemporized civic life had often regretted the free quarters of the high-road as well as the brilliant conversation and company of gentlemen, and conscious of some personal valour, was distressed at being worn down by perpetual contact with people of low ideas.
He rose therefore to the rank of confidant with him whom he still called his master. D'Artagnan for long years had not opened his heart. It happened that these two men on coming together agreed admirably. Besides, Planchet was not by any means a vulgar companion in adventures. He was a man of good sense; without seeking danger, he did not retreat from hard knocks, as d'Artagnan had on several occasions observed. In short, he had been a soldier, and arms were ennobling; and then, more than that, if Planchet had need of him, Planchet was none the less useful to him. It was then almost on the footing of two good friends that they reached the Blois country.
While going on, d'Artagnan said, shaking his head and returning to the idea which unceasingly possessed him, 'I know well enough that my present journey is useless and absurd; but I owe this proceeding to my old friend--a man who had in him the stuff of the noblest and most generous of all men.'
'Oh, M. Athos was a bold gentleman!' said Planchet.
'Was he not?' replied d'Artagnan.
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Publication information: Book title: Twenty Years After. Contributors: Alexandre Dumas - Author, David Coward - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: Oxford. Publication year: 1998. Page number: 126.
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