The Man in the Iron Mask
by Alexandre Dumas
The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Three: Who M. Jean Percerin Was Summary
- The King's tailor lives on Rue St. Honoré, which today houses a large quantity of luxury stores, like Hermes and Chanel.
- Percerin's ancestors date from the time of Charles IX, several hundred years ago.
- We get three generations worth of Percerin history, which boils down to the idea that the Percerins are expert tailors who became wealthy as they dressed the nobility.
- Percerin worked for the King, but never worked as Colbert's tailor. (Colbert has an important role, Minister of Finance for King Louis XIV.
- Percerin does serve as Fouquet's tailor, however. (Fouquet is another important character – he is the Superintendent of Finances.)
- D'Artagnan takes his friend Porthos over to Percerin's house.
- Before the two men arrive, however, they're stopped by traffic. Carriages upon carriages are waiting, all with the same destination in mind: Percerin.
- Porthos despairs, but D'Artagnan points out that if they get out of the carriage and walk, they can gain entrance.
- When they get to the door, the two friends find a servant politely turning away all the nobleman who are trying to get an appointment.
- Meanwhile, plenty of apprentice tailors are busy sewing and cutting. D'Artagnan barges in with Porthos by using the King's name.
- D'Artagnan spots a guy in his forties who seems to be peacefully surveying the scene. When the guy moves to hide his face under a hat, D'Artagnan's interest is aroused.
- It turns out this guy is kind of a big deal. D'Artagnan recognizes him as a Monsieur Molière, and asks where Percerin may be found. Molière tells D'Artagnan that Percerin is in his rooms, but cannot be disturbed.
- D'Artagnan threatens Molière. He tells the man to fetch Percerin. In exchange, D'Artagnan will introduce Molière to Porthos.
- Molière looks Porthos up and down, and then heads off to find Percerin.
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