He reached out and lifted the edge of one of Bonnaire's papers. Dropping it again, he drew back and thought over the man's plans.
They were quite well thought out, and he seemed to have included everything. It seemed that being required to provide an explanation upon which his life depended made a difference in his personality for the time. But, a man such as he would say anything to save his life.
But these plans-! They couldn't be accepted and couldn't be rejected. Were he to reject the man, he may go to another power - approach another man with his proposition. However, were he to accept it, Louis would be endorsing the slave trade. Even if he was not there to agree, the First Minister's agreement meant the same as the King's.
And, even disregarding his political stance, he also had to bear in mind that he was a Cardinal - a representative of the Pope. Were he to endorse Bonnaire's business, he would - in essence - be causing the Catholic church to endorse slavery. While he may be his country's servant in all matters concerning politics, it was much less cumbersome to attempt to reconcile the two authorities and allegiances in his life.
However, he still could not afford to simply turn the explorer away - there were too many risks involved. Due to his station as a protected guest of the King, he also could not be done away with without causing problems for the Musketeers. Perhaps a trap then, if the Spaniards...
But no. Milady was...occupied. She was due to return soon, but not in time to deal with Bonnaire convincingly. And while he could undoubtedly set up such a situation himself, he had limited people he would trust to carry it out - if they could avoid being recognised by any of the parties. And he obviously could not carry it out himself for the same reason - certainly not without due cause; and Bonnaire's colonisation and tobacco plans were not nearly enough reason to expose himself in such a way. If only he had the sort of leeway the Musketeers seemed to have - able to oppose Crown with no apparent consequences.
He reached out and lifted up a different paper.
"There seems to be quite a bit of promise in this proposition, Bonnaire - congratulations, you have explained yourself well enough to secure your life." He dropped the paper and smirked internally as the explorer came close to collapsing in relief. "Will ten thousand be enough?"
"To charter a ship, to hire a crew, to open your plantations..."
"Oh. OH! Yes, of course." He began rolling up his papers, looking around for the carton he had taken them out of.
The Cardinal nearly sighed, picking the cylinder from the ground and handing it to Bonnaire.
"..But wouldn't the King - I mean, wouldn't it be possible to - or, what if there are unforeseen expenditures?"
"I'm afraid that's all that I may spare you for the moment." He turned away and opened the box, withdrawing the money.
"Of course. That will be enough to begin."
The Cardinal nodded and handed the man the money, ushering him towards the door. "Of course."
He blessed the man as he left, and turned back to his desk with a wry smile.
Porthos had a very low opinion of Bonnaire, and his companions strongly agreed with him - although not as...audibly, perhaps. But while they may not be a visibly opposed to Bonnaire's business, they certainly would not be willing to stand by and let Porthos oppose him alone.
So whatever the outcome of this evening, he would profit. By paying the explorer with his own money - something the man would very likely brag about as having one of the most important men in France as his personal partner - he had kept the Crown and the Pope from being involved, but would still allow France to profit from the business. However, that was simply assuming that Bonnaire made it to the ship.
But the Musketeers had a habit of doing what felt right to them, and in this case he certainly hoped they did.
AN: Hm. So, my introduction to Richelieu (I did say that I hadn't watched the series and that I didn't plan to, but the fanfiction and Doctor Who and withdrawal finally convinced me in it's favour...Or at least that the pros of watching Capaldi were enough to put up with the cons.) rather tinted my view of his role. However, I love those types of characters anyway, and I sincerely doubt that I would have ever seen him as entirely the villain. So...Well, this is basically my opinion of episode 1x03 and Richelieu's dealing with Bonnaire. Because I can't picture him entirely discounting the Musketeer's opininions and likely reactions. 6-24-2015