The Three Musketeers Chapter Sixty-Six: Execution Summary
This chapter beings with a description of the setting, which can be summed up in one word: sinister. There is a river in front, woods to the right, a broken mill on the left, and along the road are trees like "deformed dwarfs."
Mousqueton and Grimaud drag Milady along the road. She offers the two lackeys a thousand pistoles each to let her free, and warns that there are men nearby who would avenge her death.
Athos and de Winter realize what Milady is doing, and instruct Planchet and Bazin to take over.
On the banks of the river, the executioner binds her hands and feet. Milady chastises him: she is so strong-willed it takes ten men to tie this one woman down! (Athos, however, asserts that she’s a devil and doesn’t count as being a woman.)
Milady argues passionately that whoever kills her is an assassin. The man in the red cloak responds that an executioner may kill without being an assassin.
Milady shrieks that they are not judges.
De Winter says that he offered her Tyburn, (a village where criminals were executed), which she rejected.
Milady offers to become a nun. The executioner says she once was a nun, and then ruined his brother.
The executioner grabs her and carries her to the boat.
She cries out, asking if they are going to drown her.
Her cries affect D’Artagnan. He sits and hangs his head, then protests that he cannot bear it. Milady hears him and cries out that she once loved him.
D’Artagnan begins walking towards her, but Athos steps in front of him and warns him that if he continues, the two will have to fight.
D’Artagnan begins to pray.
Athos steps forward and pardons Milady.
De Winter pardons her.
D’Artagnan pardons her.
Athos hands the executioner some silver. The executioner throws it into the river to demonstrate that he isn’t doing it for the money.
The boat glides along the river and stops on the opposite bank.
Everyone is on their knees praying.
Milady manages to untie the cord fastening her feet. She gets out of the boat and runs.
She slips and falls to her knees, then stays there. The executioner raises his sword and finally does the deed.
He puts the body and the head into his cloak, gets back into the boat, and then throws the remains into the middle of the river.
Three days later the Musketeers arrive back in Paris. Tréville asks if they enjoyed their leave.