The Man in the Iron Mask
by Alexandre Dumas
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.
- D'Artagnan has no choice but to smile and say OK.
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