Athos had dropped some words which proved that the conversationshe had with the cardinal had fallen into outside ears; but shecould not suppose that he had dug a countermine so promptly andso boldly. She rather feared that her preceding operations inEngland might have been discovered. Buckingham might haveguessed that it was she who had cut off the two studs, and avengehimself for that little treachery; but Buckingham was incapableof going to any excess against a woman, particularly if thatwoman was supposed to have acted from a feeling of jealousy.This supposition appeared to her most reasonable. It seemed toher that they wanted to revenge the past, and not to anticipatethe future. At all events, she congratulated herself upon havingfallen into the hands of her brother-in-law, with whom shereckoned she could deal very easily, rather than into the handsof an acknowledged and intelligent enemy.