Study Guide

The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Fourteen: A Gascon and a Gascon and a Half

By Alexandre Dumas

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.