The Man in the Iron Mask
The Man in the Iron Mask
by Alexandre Dumas
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The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Nineteen: The Shadow of M. Fouquet Summary

  • D'Artagnan is uncertain of how to handle the business of arresting Fouquet in a tactful and subtle manner.
  • Fouquet is exhausted when he retires to his bedroom.
  • D'Artagnan shows up at the door. Fouquet asks what he can do for the captain.
  • It's clear Fouquet would like nothing better than to hit the sack, but D'Artagnan continues determinedly to make small talk.
  • Finally, D'Artagnan asks point blank if he can spend the night in Fouquet's room.
  • Fouquet is astonished at first, then understands. He asks D'Artagnan if he has just come from the King.
  • D'Artagnan replies in the affirmative. Fouquet asks if he is forbidden from leaving.
  • D'Artagnan continues trying to be tactful, finally admitting that he will not arrest Fouquet this evening. Fouquet draws the necessary conclusions, and asks if he is to be arrested tomorrow. He asks to speak with Aramis.
  • D'Artagnan tells Fouquet he is forbidden from communicating with others.
  • D'Artagnan asks if Fouquet can be trusted to remain in the room. D'Artagnan tells Fouquet that he will go fetch Aramis; he will be gone from the room for about fifteen minutes.
  • Fouquet assures D'Artagnan that he will not try to escape.
  • D'Artagnan leaves.
  • Fouquet opens up some secret compartments and takes out various papers and throws them into the fire.
  • D'Artagnan returns, and, as expected, determines that Fouquet has made use of his absence to destroy some incriminating papers.
  • The two of them exchange a glance conveying that they understand one another perfectly.
  • D'Artagnan tells Fouquet that Aramis is nowhere to be found.
  • Fouquet talks his home, pointing out that no one in all of France has enough money to buy or even maintain the splendors of Vaux.
  • Fouquet asks that the two of them forget their positions in the King's court and talk freely.
  • Eventually D'Artagnan tells Fouquet that he has done all he can to prepare Fouquet for tomorrow. He tells Fouquet to get some sleep. D'Artagnan himself will sleep in an armchair by the door. He tells Fouquet that he sleeps very deeply, but that if someone places a hand on the door handle, he will wake up right away.
  • Fouquet tells D'Artagnan that he is a wonderful man, and he is sorry to make his acquaintance so late.
  • The two of them spend the night peacefully.

Next Page: Chapter Twenty: The Morning
Previous Page: Chapter Eighteen: A Night at the Bastille

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