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The Man in the Iron Mask
by Alexandre Dumas
Events / Chapter Twenty-Seven: M. de Beaufort
The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Twenty-Seven: M. de Beaufort Summary
Beaufort is about to speak privately with Athos when he catches sight of Raoul and invites him to join the conversation. Beaufort explains that he is on his way to fight Arabs in Africa, then asks Raoul to fetch some wine. While Raoul is gone, Beaufort asks Athos to detail his plans for Raoul's future. The two men gossip a bit about La Valliere, then Athos admits that he wants to keep Raoul close to home, since Athos cares about him. Raoul enters the room with Grimaud, Athos's servant, who is bearing a bottle of wine. Beaufort takes a sip, then offers his glass to Raoul, saying that his glass bears good luck. He asks Raoul to make a wish. Raoul tells Beaufort that he wishes to accompany him to Africa. Athos is upset, but respects his son's decision. Beaufort says that Raoul will be his aide-de-camp and will be treated like his son. Beaufort mentions that if he is chastised for taking too much time, he will reply that he gained a recruit. Raoul tells Beaufort that if he is planning on having this exchange with the King, it will be untrue, for Raoul will not serve the King. Beaufort points out that these days everyone serves the King. Athos is momentarily optimistic that the prospect of serving the King will deter Raoul from service. But Raoul reveals his plan to become a Knight of Malta and serve God instead of the King. Beaufort prepares to leave, and tells Athos to meet him in Paris. Father and son are left staring at each other. They are not prone to emotional displays. Raoul finally points out that he is going to die soon, and it might as well be far from home. Athos says Raoul is a free man and can make his final decision when they meet Beaufort in Paris .
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