By Alexandre Dumas père

The younger Gascon d'Artagnan and the mythical musketeers Athos, Porthos and Aramis are able to sacrifice every thing for romance, glory and the typical stable. The depraved machinations of Cardinal Richelieu and his partner, the magnetic Milady de iciness, propel the committed acquaintances throughout seas and battlefields from masked balls to a distant convent, with a purpose to safeguard the distinction of the Queen and the lifetime of Constance Bonacieux, d'Artagnan's real love.

Dashing, knockabout, romantic, violent, chilling and tragic, this buoyant new translation of The 3 Musketeers brings Dumas' masterpiece to cheerful life.

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In short, all Tréville needed in time was an opportunity, but he watched for it and promised himself he would grab it by its three hairs if it ever came within reach. And so Louis XIII made Tréville captain of his musketeers4, which in their devotion, or rather their fanaticism, were Louis XIII’s equivalent of Henri III’s regulars or Louis XI’s Scots Guard5. The cardinal, for his part, did not lag behind the king in this respect. When he saw the formidable elite with which Louis XIII was surrounding himself, this second, or rather this first, king of France wanted a guard of his own.

He’s better,’ said the landlord. ’ said the gentleman. ’ ‘My God, this strapping lad is the devil himself,’ cried the stranger. ‘Oh no, Your Excellency, the devil he is not,’ replied the landlord with a grimace of contempt. ‘We searched him when he was out cold and all he has is a shirt in his bundle and twelve écus9 in his purse. ’ ‘Then he must be some prince of the blood in disguise,’ the stranger said coldly. ’ ‘He did. ’ said the stranger, pricking up his ears. ‘He slapped his pocket and uttered Monsieur de Tréville’s name?

But since he bothers you, this young lunatic …’ ‘Most certainly. He’s caused a scandal in your hostelry that no decent person could tolerate. ’ ‘You know that perfectly well since I’ve given you orders to have my horse saddled. ’ ‘All right. ’ Oh my word, the landlord thought, could he be afraid of this little lad? But an imperious glance from the stranger stopped him in his tracks. He bowed humbly and left the room. ‘Milady10 mustn’t be seen by that joker,’ continued the stranger. ‘It can’t be long before she gets here; she’s already late in fact … I should mount up and go to meet her, that would be best … If only I could find out the contents of this letter to Tréville …’ Still muttering to himself, the stranger headed towards the kitchen.

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