The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Forty-Three: The Explanations of Aramis Summary
Aramis admits he deceived Porthos.
Porthos asks if it was for his own good. When Aramis answers in the affirmative, Porthos is grateful.
Aramis explains that, rather than supporting the real king, he has been working for the false king, and that Aramis and Porthos are to be considered rebels against the crown.
Porthos is not pleased.
Aramis accepts full responsibility for the plot and admits he was selfish.
Porthos refuses to blame his friend. Aramis is humbled by his friend's generosity of spirit.
Aramis tells Porthos that they may have to defend themselves against D'Artagnan. Porthos is aghast at the idea.
Meanwhile, D'Artagnan himself comes running up the steps, accompanied by a naval officer who has been ordered to follow D'Artagnan and be privy to all his communications.
Seeking a private meeting with his friends, D'Artagnan commands the officer to step down.
The officer refuses.
D'Artagnan draws his sword.
The officer backs away. (In actuality, this exchange is slightly more complicated.)
The three men embrace and start making plans for getting out of this pickle.
Clearly, they will not find safe haven in D'Artagnan's ship.
Aramis resolves to stay at Belle-Isle and fight. Porthos says nothing.
Aramis suggests that D'Artagnan take Porthos away and explain to the King that he had nothing to do with the crime.
Porthos asks for some time to think.
D'Artagnan comes up with a good idea and whispers it to Aramis, who proclaims it to be infallible.
D'Artagnan heads back to his ship, accompanied by the officer.
Once on board, he assembles the eight officers serving under his command.
D'Artagnan proposes to have the two men in charge of the garrison at Belle-Isle (that would be Porthos and Aramis) to come on board and have a meeting with the staff. This side-steps the prohibition on secret communications.
An officer stands up, however, and hands D'Artagnan an order signed by the King prohibiting any kind of council or deliberation before opening fire on Belle-Isle.