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The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers


by Alexandre Dumas

The Three Musketeers Chapter Ten: A Mousetrap in the Seventeenth Century Summary

  • The narrator gives the definition of a mousetrap. When someone is arrested, the Guards keep it a secret and lie in wait. When unsuspecting people visit the man who was arrested, they’re grabbed and held for interrogation.
  • After two or three days, the Guards have everyone who associates with the prisoner.
  • Bonacieux’s apartment becomes a mousetrap and all the visitors are held for questioning.
  • Since D’Artagnan lives above Bonacieux’s apartment and has his own entrance, his visitors avoid the trap.
  • No one visits D’Artagnan anyway except for the three Musketeers, who are busy trying to obtain information on Madame Bonacieux’s abduction.
  • Athos even asked Tréville for information, but Tréville has nothing to report except that the Cardinal has been looking thoughtful, the King uncomfortable, and the Queen sad. Apparently the Queen’s sadness is old news—she is unhappy in her marriage.
  • D’Artagnan stays in his apartment all day, observing all the visitors being caught and listening to all the interrogations being held in Bonacieux’s apartment.
  • The guards always ask the same questions, trying to determine if Madame Bonacieux has asked anyone to deliver packages.
  • D’Artagnan, being the clever hero of the story that he is, determines that the Guards currently have no information, but that they want to know if the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris and whether or not he’s going to meet up with the Queen
  • The mousetrap continues.
  • Shortly thereafter, another person is taken into the mousetrap. D’Artagnan gets in position to listen to the subsequent conversation.
  • There is no questioning, only a lot of struggling.
  • D’Artagnan determines that the Guards have caught a woman and are using bodily force to restrain her.
  • Being a gentleman, D’Artagnan can barely contain himself from flying downstairs to fight the assailants.
  • The woman turns out to be Madame Bonacieux and the Guards prepare to drag her away. D’Artagnan grabs his sword and yells for Planchet. He instructs his servant to find Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. They are to bring their swords to D’Artagnan’s apartment.
  • Planchet asks where D’Artagnan is going, and worries that his master will be killed running after the guards.
  • D’Artagnan sneaks down to the ground floor and knocks on Bonacieux’s door. He is caught in the mousetrap.
  • The neighbors hear variations on "POW" and "CLANG".
  • Four men fly out of the house. D’Artagnan remains as the clear victor. Yeah, D’Artagnan!
  • (This sounds cooler than it is, since only one of the men had a sword.)
  • Still, the beautiful Madame Bonacieux is très grateful.
  • The narrator notes that Madame Bonacieux’s hands and feet betray her as a member of the lower ranks, but D’Artagnan isn’t up on these standards. He’s rapidly falling for her.
  • He fills her in on the latest—the Cardinal’s men are after her, her husband is in the Bastille, etc. He also manages to throw in a compliment to her looks.
  • It turns out Madame Bonacieux had escaped her captors and ran home in order to tell her husband a secret.
  • Naturally D’Artagnan asks to be told this secret. Madame Bonacieux says, no, it’s my secret.
  • D’Artagnan then suggests that they get out of there since the Bonacieux home is quite popular with the Cardinal’s guards.
  • Madame Bonacieux agrees and the two of them flee.
  • D’Artagnan asks Madame Bonacieux what she had planned to do. She says she wanted to contact her godfather Monsieur Laporte to find out what’s been going down in the palace.
  • D’Artagnan points out that he can go to inform Monsieur Laporte.
  • Madame Bonacieux argues that D’Artagnan is unknown at the palace and would be unable to enter. D’Artagnan pushes the issue, arguing that Madame Bonacieux probably knows someone who knows someone.
  • Madame Bonaceiux agrees after D’Artagnan agrees to forget the passwords that she will give him.
  • D’Artagnan then leaves Madame Bonacieux at Athos’s house for safekeeping. They arrange to signal when D’Artagnan returns.
  • Madame Bonacieux then gives D’Artagnan instructions for his trip to the palace.
  • Everything happens as Madame Bonacieux says. Monsieur Laporte then takes off to meet up with Madame Bonacieux. Before he leaves, however, he suggests that D’Artagnan figure out a suitable alibi.
  • D’Artagnan heads to Tréville’s house. He goes straight to Tréville’s office, asks to see the commander. While he waits for Tréville to show, D’Artagnan changes the clock back by three-quarters of an hour, and then conveniently points out the time—five minutes before 9:30.
  • Then he babbles on to Tréville about the Queen, and leaves when the clock strikes ten.
  • Before he goes home, he runs back to the room and changes the clock back to the correct time.

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