Study Guide

The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Forty-Two: Belle-Isle-en-Mer

By Alexandre Dumas

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Chapter Forty-Two: Belle-Isle-en-Mer

  • We return to Belle-Isle where Aramis and Porthos are walking around the island, and discussing the curious disappearance of all the fishing boats.
  • Much to Aramis's chagrin, Porthos reveals that he sent the only two remaining fishing boats out to look for the others.
  • Porthos confesses that he is unhappy at Belle-Isle and would much rather be in France.
  • Aramis tells Porthos that they could have left had he not sent out the two remaining fishing boats.
  • Porthos then asks about the orders Aramis has been issuing, which are to hold Belle-Isle against the usurper of the throne.
  • Porthos tells Aramis to sit down on a rock and explain the full story to him.
  • Aramis has told Porthos that they are to hold Belle-Isle against a false king who wants to sell the island to the British. Porthos asks why no other reinforcements have arrived
  • Suddenly a whole fleet of boats appears on the horizon, coming from the direction of the Loire. They are clearly flying a royal flag. These are boats from the King.
  • Aramis asks Porthos to sound the alarm preparing the island for battle.
  • Porthos is confused, but does it anyway.
  • Aramis effectively tells Porthos that the fleet belongs to the false king of France. Porthos believes himself to be enlightened.
  • At night a man lands on the island, asking to see Aramis. He is the captain of one of the two fishing vessels that Porthos had earlier sent out in search of its lost companions.
  • The captain tells Porthos and Aramis that all the fishing vessels have been captured by the royal fleet, which has set up a blockade around the island. The fleet is under the command of D'Artagnan, who is sending them a letter through this captain.
  • The letter reads like this: the King ordered me to take Belle-Isle and capture all of its inhabitants.
  • Aramis turns pale. This is clearly not good news.
  • D'Artagnan requests that Porthos and Aramis come over for a visit. Porthos is all set to go, but Aramis warns that it may be a trap. He asks the fishing captain to tell D'Artagnan to come to the island instead.
  • Porthos is confused. Aramis finally relents and promises to explain.

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