Chapter Fourteen: A Gascon and a Gascon and a Half
D'Artagnan visits Aramis's room after dinner. Porthos is also there, sleeping in a chair.
The two men chat for a while, and D'Artagnan confesses that the party is so great, he could believe Fouquet to be the true king of France, rather than Louis.
Aramis predicts Colbert will become minister within four months, and that Fouquet will be a ruined man.
D'Artagnan wonders out loud what Fouquet is trying to achieve by throwing this fete. Fouquet is ruining himself for the King.
Aramis tells D'Artagnan that it is for the purpose of humoring the King.
Many of the King's advisers are banding together against Monsieur Fouquet. Aramis tells D'Artagnan that the King is not likely to turn against a man who has ruined himself for the royal favor. He tells D'Artagnan that Fouquet is determined to spend as much money as possible.
D'Artagnan tells Aramis he is convinced he has some secret project going on. He begs, in the name of their friendship, to know the secret.
Aramis plays dumb. D'Artagnan points to Porthos sleeping in the corner and says that the three of them make an admirable trio.
D'Artagnan says he suspects Aramis is conspiring against the King. Again, Aramis plays dumb. D'Artagnan promises to save his friend.
Aramis swears on their friendship that he is not conspiring against the King.
D'Artagnan accepts this oath. Aramis feels somewhat remorseful that he just lied to his best friend.
D'Artagnan leaves and takes Porthos (wearing a beautiful new suit) with him.
Once the coast is clear, Philippe creeps out of his hiding place.
Aramis tells Philippe that D'Artagnan is immensely loyal, but also a Gascon. If he later learns of the switch, he will keep his mouth shut because he is incapable of admitting he has been deceived.
Aramis pulls up one of the floorboards and peers into the King's chamber below. Philippe
The King asks Colbert to sit down, which is a great honor.
The King asks Colbert where Fouquet is getting the money to throw such a lavish party.
Colbert produces a letter written by the late Cardinal Mazarin, documenting that Fouquet received thirteen million in government money that he never repaid.
This is a damning piece of evidence. The King tells Colbert he will wait until tomorrow to make a final decision. He dismisses Colbert and calls for his attendants.
Philippe is about to draw away from the peephole when Aramis admonishes him to observe the ritual of preparing the King for bed. He tells Philippe to study the ceremony.