When he was left alone the cardinal looked at himself in the glass with a feeling of self-satisfaction.
Seeing, however, no one there except a musketeer of his own troop, he fixed his eyes upon the supposed soldier, in whose dress, nevertheless, he recognized at the first glance the cardinal.
The cardinal looked at him with a cunning rather than serious glance, yet he examined his countenance with attention and after a momentary silence said:
"Sir," resumed the cardinal, "you are to come with me, or rather, I am to go with you."
Bonacieux was introduced afresh, and upon a sign from the cardinal, the officer retired.
"You have deceived me!" said the cardinal, sternly.
Ah, monseigneur!" continued Bonacieux, throwing himself at his Eminence's feet, "ah, how truly you are the cardinal, the great cardinal, the man of genius whom all the world reveres!"
The cardinal, however contemptible might be the triumph gained over so vulgar a being as Bonacieux, did not the less enjoy it for an instant; then, almost immediately, as if a fresh thought has occurred, a smile played upon his lips, and he said, offering his hand to the mercer, "Rise, my friend, you are a worthy man."
There was doubtless some magical influence in that word, for, as we have said, the king started at hearing it, and drew Madame towards the middle of the circle, as if he wished to put some confidential question to her, but, in reality, for the sake of getting nearer to the cardinal.
The young girl bowed with so much grace, mingled with the profound timidity inspired by the presence of the king, that the latter lost, while looking at her, a few words of the conversation of Monsieur and the cardinal.
But fortunately, as we have said, Louise, whose ears were buzzing, and her eyes veiled by timidity, -- Louise saw nothing and heard nothing; and the king, who had still his attention directed to the conversation of the cardinal and his uncle, hastened to return to them.
It resulted that they went straight to the heart of Louis XIV., and the cardinal, on turning round at the simple noise of the approaching footsteps of his majesty, saw the immediate effect of them upon the countenance of his pupil, an effect betrayed to the keen eyes of his eminence by a slight increase of color.