"Well," I said, after considering him, "I do not think that I can help you much immediately. I should be glad to know, however, what plans you have formed for yourself."
"Frankly, sir," he said, "I thought of this as I travelled; and I decided that fortune can be won by three things--by gold, by steel, and by love. The first I have not, and for the last I have a better use. Only the second is left. I shall be Crillon."
I looked at him in astonishment; for the assurance of his manner exceeded that of his words. But I did not betray the feeling. "Crillon was one in a million," I said drily.
I confess that the audacity of this reply silenced me. I reflected that the young man who--brought up in the depths of the country, and without experience, training or fashion--could so speak in the face of Paris was so far out of the common that I hesitated to dash his hopes in the contemptuous way which seemed most natural. I was content to remind him that Crillon had lived in times of continual war, whereas now we were at peace; and, bidding him come to me in a week, I hinted that in Paris his crowns would find more frequent opportunities of leaving his pockets than his sword its sheath.
He parted from me with this, seeming perfectly satisfied with his reception; and marched away with the port of a man who expected adventures at every corner, and was prepared to make the most of them. Apparently he did not take my hint greatly to heart, however; for when I next met him, within the week, he was fashionably dressed, his hair in the mode, and his company as noble as himself. I made him a sign to stop, and he came to speak to me.
"How many crowns are ]eft?" I said jocularly.
"Fifty," he answered, with perfect readiness.
"What!" I said, pointing to his equipment with something of the indignation I felt, "has this cost the balance?
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