Study Guide

The Man in the Iron Mask Chapter Twelve: The Wine of Melun

By Alexandre Dumas

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Chapter Twelve: The Wine of Melun

  • The King hopes to pass through Melun very quickly and press onwards to Vaux. That way he has time later to see his mistress.
  • Meanwhile, D'Artagnan is racking his brains trying to understand Aramis's suspicious actions. He concludes that it must all be for the purpose of overturning Colbert's power, to which D'Artagnan does not object.
  • D'Artagnan resolves to catch Aramis alone and ask him point blank about his plans.
  • D'Artagnan is very attentive to the king's military entourage, with the result that the king appears to be at the head of a small army.
  • When they arrive at Melun, city officials start fussing over the King and making long speeches.
  • The King is vexed, and asks who is responsible for the delay. D'Artagnan does not hesitate in pointing the finger to Colbert.
  • The King gets angry when he realizes that there will no time left for with La Valliere.
  • D'Artagnan is nervous as it typically requires four hours for the King's entire household to enter Vaux. Etiquette demands that the King arrive in Vaux accompanied by men carrying shiny pointy objects, but D'Artagnan understands that the King is impatient.
  • He decides to throw the problem to Colbert.
  • Colbert throws the problem to the King, who promptly throws it to the Queen, who throws it right back to the King.
  • D'Artagnan cuts in with a clever idea. He suggests that the King enter Vaux with only the captain of the guards (that would be D'Artagnan) as a mark of friendship and esteem for Fouquet.
  • The King is very pleased with this idea.
  • So is D'Artagnan – this way he gains some time to speak with Aramis.
  • At about seven in the evening, the King and D'Artagnan enter Vaux and are received by Fouquet, who has been waiting for the last half hour.

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