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horizontal lines of black, alternating with their broad lines of stone
“My nephew,” said the Marquis, glancing at the supper
preparation; “they said he was not arrived.” Nor was he; but, he
had been expected with Monseigneur.
“Ah! It is not probable he will arrive to-night; nevertheless, leave
the table as it is. I shall be ready in a quarter of an hour.” In a
quarter of an hour Monseigneur was ready, and sat down alone to
his sumptuous and choice supper. His chair was opposite to the
window, and he had taken his soup, and was raising his glass of
Bordeaux to his lips, when he put it down.
“What is that?” he calmly asked, looking with attention at the
horizontal lines of black and stone colour.
“Monseigneur? That?” “Outside the blinds. Open the blinds.” It
“Well?” “Monseigneur, it is nothing. The trees and the night are all
that are here.” The servant who spoke, had thrown the blinds
wide, had looked out into the vacant darkness, and stood with that
blank behind him, looking round for instructions.
“Good,” said the imperturbable master. “Close them again.” That
was done too, and the Marquis went on with his supper. He was
half way through it, when he again stopped with his glass in his
hand, hearing the sound of wheels. It came on briskly, and came
up to the front of the chateau.
“Ask who is arrived.” It was the nephew of Monseigneur. He had
been some few leagues behind Monseigneur, early in the
afternoon. He had diminished the distance rapidly, but not so
rapidly as to come up with Monseigneur on the road. He had
heard of Monseigneur, at the posting-houses, as being before him.
He was to be told (said Monseigneur) that supper awaited him
then and there, and that he was prayed to come to it. In a little
while he came. He had been known in England as Charles Darnay.
Monseigneur received him in a courtly manner, but they did not
“You left Paris yesterday, sir?” he said to Monseigneur, as he took
his seat at table.
“Yesterday. And you?” “I come direct.” “From London?” “Yes.”
“You have been a long time coming,” said the Marquis, with a
“On the contrary; I come direct.” “Pardon me! I mean, not a long
time on the journey; a long time intending the journey.”
“I have been detained by”- the nephew stopped a moment in his
answer“various business.” “Without doubt,” said the polished