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The Man in the Iron Mask by Alexandre Dumas père
page 2 of 726 (00%)

Baisemeaux bowed, and made way for Aramis, who took the lantern and
entered; and then signed to them to close the door behind him. For an
instant he remained standing, listening whether Baisemeaux and the
turnkey had retired; but as soon as he was assured by the sound of their
descending footsteps that they had left the tower, he put the lantern on
the table and gazed around. On a bed of green serge, similar in all
respect to the other beds in the Bastile, save that it was newer, and
under curtains half-drawn, reposed a young man, to whom we have already
once before introduced Aramis. According to custom, the prisoner was
without a light. At the hour of curfew, he was bound to extinguish his
lamp, and we perceive how much he was favored, in being allowed to keep
it burning even till then. Near the bed a large leathern armchair, with
twisted legs, sustained his clothes. A little table - without pens,
books, paper, or ink - stood neglected in sadness near the window; while
several plates, still unemptied, showed that the prisoner had scarcely
touched his evening meal. Aramis saw that the young man was stretched
upon his bed, his face half concealed by his arms. The arrival of a
visitor did not caused any change of position; either he was waiting in
expectation, or was asleep. Aramis lighted the candle from the lantern,
pushed back the armchair, and approached the bed with an evident mixture
of interest and respect. The young man raised his head. "What is it?"
said he.

"You desired a confessor?" replied Aramis.


"Because you were ill?"