The Man in the Iron Mask
by Alexandre Dumas
The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Twenty-Eight: Preparations for Departure Summary
- For two days, Athos and Grimaud are busy preparing Raoul's equipment.
- Athos and Raoul head for Paris. This is a painful experience for Raoul, who is reminded of his time with La Valliere.
- Father and son head arrive at Monsieur de Guiche's residence, but are informed he is with the King's younger brother, Monsieur. They go to the Luxembourg Palace and Raoul waits in a hallway for de Guiche, clearly upset.
- Soon a young lady comes by flirting with an officer of the household. She doesn't realize anyone is in the room, and when she does, tells her lover to scram. She comes over to beg Raoul not to say anything, but then they recognize each other.
- Her name is Mademoiselle de Montalais, and she is a friend of La Valliere. She tries to talk to Raoul, but he promptly flees.
- She convinces him to talk with her in her apartment where they can have some privacy.
- She sends word to de Guiche that Raoul is waiting to speak with him, then asks if Raoul is angry with her. The two of them talk about what happened. Even though Louise did not love Raoul, Montalais thinks that Raoul should have acted faster.
- Moral of the story: make a move now.
- Anyway, Raoul and Montalais are interrupted when a secret door opens and Madame (sister-in-law of the King) walks into the room. Montalais shrieks and tries to explain away Madame's presence. Raoul begins to feel he should leave immediately.
- Then another secret door opens and de Guiche walks enters. Madame promptly sinks onto a couch.
- Dumas doesn't spell it out for us, but it's clear that Madame and de Guiche are having an affair. Raoul has inadvertently stumbled in on the secret.
- Raoul swears to keep the secret. When it's clear that Madame is still nervous about uncovering the affair, Raoul tells her that he is leaving France soon, and is unlikely to return.
- De Guiche is upset to learn that Raoul is going to Africa, the two friends promptly begin talking as Montalais leads Madame away from the room.
- Raoul tells de Guiche that he is fortunate to be loved. Raoul cannot bring himself to say La Valliere's name, but he makes his friend swear to defend her in the coming years.
- Raoul continues, de Guiche is to say that it is all done per the request of Raoul de Bragelonne, "who you have so deeply injured."
- Raoul tells his friend that he is soon setting out for Toulon, but that, if he is free, they should spend time together
- De Guiche replies that he has time to spare.
- We learn that Raoul and his father are going to pay a visit to Planchet in order to find out D'Artagnan's whereabouts.
- The two friends embrace.
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