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The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers


by Alexandre Dumas

D’Artagnan Timeline and Summary

  • D’Artagnan travels to Paris from Gascony with fifteen crowns, a horse, and a letter of introduction to M. de Tréville.
  • On the way, he loses his letter to a man who will thereafter be known as the Man from Meung (a.k.a. the Comte de Rochefort, the Chevalier de Rochefort).
  • D’Artagnan meets Tréville without the letter and expresses his desire to become a Musketeer.
  • Before they can conclude their interview, D’Artagnan spots the man from Meung and races after him.
  • On the way, he offends Musketeers named Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. He schedules back-to-back duels with the three Musketeers.
  • Before they can begin dueling, the Cardinal’s Guards arrive on the scene and attempt to arrest them for dueling illegally.
  • Along with the three Musketeers, D’Artagnan kicks their butts and then become friends with this notable cohort of soldiers.
  • As a result of this bravery, D’Artagnan meets the King.
  • Later, he saves his landlord’s wife from kidnappers, and then proceeds to fall head over heels in love with her. The woman’s name is Constance Bonacieux (a.k.a. Madame Bonacieux), and she serves the Queen.
  • Speaking of the Queen, she needs to get her diamond studs back from her lover in England (i.e., the Duke of Buckingham) or risk being ruined by the Cardinal.
  • The Queen confides in Constance, who confides in D’Artagnan, who collects his friends and heads for London.
  • D’Artagnan meets the Duke of Buckingham and retrieves the studs, as his friends were waylaid on the road.
  • As a token of her appreciation, Constance sets a time and place for her and D’Artagnan to meet.
  • When D’Artagnan shows up, Constance has been kidnapped.
  • Tréville suggests that D’Artagnan skip town and find out what happened to his friends. D’Artagnan and his valet Planchet set off that very day. D’Artagnan rejoins his friends and they all triumphantly return to Paris.
  • Their glorious return doesn’t last long—the Musketeers must outfit themselves for war. The key phrase being "outfit themselves." They need money, badly.
  • D’Artagnan tricks a beautiful woman named Milady into sleeping with him, and giving him an expensive ring as a token of her affection. It turns out the ring belonged to Athos in the first place. (Milady was once his wife!) Athos sells the ring and splits the profit with D’Artagnan.
  • D’Artagnan discovers that she has a fleur-de-lis branded on her shoulder, marking her as a criminal.
  • Milady is furious that D’Artagnan discovered her secret, and immediately orders spies and assassins to kill him.
  • D’Artagnan survives two assassination attempts.
  • As a back-up plan, Milady also asks the Cardinal to have D’Artagnan killed. Luckily D’Artagnan’s friends overhear this bit of information. They find D’Artagnan and, while they sit in a bastion under enemy fire at La Rochelle, talk the situation over and decide what to do. The Duke of Buckingham is also in danger of being killed by Milady, who has now sailed for London to convince someone else to assassinate the Duke.
  • The friends decide to send word to the Queen and to Milady’s brother-in-law, (i.e., Lord de Winter), warning of Milady’s plots and the threat on the Duke’s life.
  • Later, D’Artagnan receives word that Constance is in a convent; he vows to save her.
  • Milady shows up at the same convent, however, and exacts her revenge on D’Artagnan by poisoning Constance moments before D’Artagnan rushes into the room.
  • The four friends track Milady down and bring her to a trial, where we hear the full extent of her crimes from D’Artagnan, Athos, Lord de Winter, and a certain executioner from Lille. She is executed.
  • When the friends head back to the war front, the Cardinal requests to see D’Artagnan.
  • D’Artagnan heads to the meeting bravely, convinced he is going to meet a death sentence. He confesses to the Cardinal that Milady is dead, and since the Cardinal was only going to kill D’Artagnan as a favor to Milady, his eminence changes his mind.
  • D’Artagnan is given a commission as a lieutenant in the Musketeers.
  • The young hero is overcome and protests that one of his friends should take it.
  • He offers it to each in turn, but they refuse.
  • D’Artagnan accepts the commission: at the novel’s end he is lieutenant of the Musketeers.