. . . She woke as much as the sound of rustling straw and leaned on her elbows. A second later she put her hand to the hilt of her sword and appeared across the stables. Swallowed deeply a number of instances as she calmed her pounding coronary heart.
There it was once more. That wasn’t a horse. These have been the steps of males attempting to cover their strategy. Relax, Laurel instructed herself as she soundlessly rose to her toes.
Laurel took a number of stealthy steps and peered across the nook to see the shadowy silhouette of three males. One among them turned to look again, pressed herself in opposition to the wall, and bit her lip to stop a loud blast of air from revealing her presence.
When she was positive that the lads have been as soon as once more centered on coming into the inn, she reached into her vest and pulled out the small pistol that had as soon as belonged to her mom. She reached again into her cloak and pulled out a ball and a powder horn. Rigorously she ready the weapon and, silently, gave chase to the three uninvited guests. Her jaw dropped open as she noticed them lean a ladder in opposition to the facet of the constructing and subsequent to the window. That was Athos’ room, wasn’t it?
Laurel clumsily held the gun in her mouth and despatched a fast prayer to the Almighty earlier than testing her capability or lack thereof to climb partitions, particularly with a gun in her mouth. Beads of sweat trickled down her brow and she or he did not dare wipe them away, however needed to have them stung her eyes. Her arms trembled beneath the stress and her mouth twitched. Parbleu, the weapon was heavier and larger than it appeared, and she or he could not afford to lose it and let it go off.
Lastly, she fell by way of the second-story window and snatched the gun from her mouth, gasping for breath. Her palms have been nonetheless shaking as she readied the gun once more and appeared for the servants’ entrance to Athos’ room, hoping he would not have remembered to lock it. She had a nasty feeling about this. Very unhealthy.
As she opened the servants’ entrance, she heard the telltale tense sound of a wheel lock, and she or he compelled herself headlong into the room, shouting “Athos” on the prime of her lungs.
Athos awoke simply in time to see a person aiming a loaded rifle at his head, and he rolled away because the rifle shattered the peace of the night time. He was quick sufficient to avoid wasting his life, however not quick sufficient to dodge the bullet when it hit the flesh of his proper shoulder, narrowly lacking the bone. He howled in ache as he gripped his sword together with his left hand.
Seeing one other assailant who had simply entered the room getting ready to fireplace on the wounded and defenseless man, Laurel took intention, cocked her personal weapon, and pulled the set off.
This was one time when she was grateful that her mom had one of many first flintlocks. The person fell backwards with a cry of ache and grabbed what was left of his face earlier than he died. She tossed apart the empty rifle and drew her sword, swiftly deflecting a second blade from Athos.
Athos stepped again and turned to face his opponent’s cost. He flinched because the impression jolted his ineffective and bleeding shoulder. He wasn’t prepared to satisfy his creator tonight, he informed himself, shoving his opponent away with a strong push. He spun and lunged, parried and dodged as he battled nausea and the excitement in his personal head. Carelessly, he fended off one other blow, cursing the harm that prevented him from preventing together with his regular brute energy.
Nonetheless, he needed to finish it rapidly earlier than the person exhausted and killed him. Desperately gasping for air, he despatched a prayer to God, hoping that, as Aramis had as soon as claimed in an identical state of affairs, “You see there’s a God.”
Athos screamed and charged at his adversary, taking him without warning, and he felt the blade pierce the person who fell to his knees, trembling because the blood gushed from his opened guts. Thankfully, he handed out earlier than blood loss killed him.
It was then that Athos turned and noticed his savior take down the final murderer and clear the sword earlier than sheathing it. Athos made a careless try and extract his personal knife from the useless man’s physique, however he solely staggered.
Laurel’s head shot up on the sound of the musketeer’s stumble, and she or he rushed over to him, tucked her arm beneath his good shoulder, and led him again to the mattress. “Come on, Athos, assist me,” she stated, her phrases coming between gulps of air. “I must get you to this mattress earlier than you collapse. I am not robust sufficient to do it alone. Come on, assist me, man. Aidez-moi! You are too heavy for me to hold alone.” At the least when she was as drained as she is now.
From the hall a loud voice referred to as out, ‘Athos, are you all proper? Reply, are you okay? Open the door.’ The door rattled however barely moved in opposition to the lock.
Laurel appeared over her shoulder as she laid Athos on the mattress, and Porthos charged by way of what was left of the damaged door, Aramis and D’Artagnan shut behind.
The musketeers paused as they took within the three useless our bodies and the younger particular person standing over Athos’ silent physique. “Do not stand there,” Laurel commanded, tearing the fabric from Athos’s shoulder to disclose the nasty gunshot wound. “Assist me save his life, or not less than his arm.”