Study Guide

The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers Summary

We begin the novel in France, where a young man from Gascony (a city in France) named D’Artagnan sets out for Paris with three gifts from his father: fifteen crowns, a horse, and a letter of introduction to M. de Tréville, who is a Very Important Person since he commands the King’s Musketeers.

D’Artagnan hopes to become a Musketeer one day, but he doesn’t have much going for him except for his training as a gentleman, which means, effectively, that he can handle a sword and be polite about it. His pluck, determination, and good manners lead him to become BFF with three Musketeers named Porthos, Athos, and Aramis, and also lead him to fall in love with the beautiful Constance Bonacieux.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Buckingham (i.e., only the biggest deal in England) is wooing Queen Anne of France. Since they can’t exactly be public about their feelings for each other (she’s married to the King of France, after all), Anne gives him some diamond studs as a consolation prize during his trip back to England.

Enter the nefarious Cardinal, who is the biggest deal in France—yes, even bigger than the King. The Cardinal, who’s still angry that Anne burned his declarations of love some time back, wants her to get in trouble with her husband. He knows, through his spies, that Anne gave the diamonds to Buckingham. He suggests that the King throw a fête (party) and require Anne to wear the diamonds (which were originally a gift from the King, which means that Anne re-gifted a gift from her husband to her lover—classy). As soon as Anne finds out about this fête and this requirement, she bursts into tears.

Enter Madame Bonacieux, who promises that she will find someone to help the Queen regain the diamond studs in time for the ball. This someone turns out to be D’Artagnan, who’s just tripping all over himself to get in her good graces. He takes his buddies Athos, Porthos, and Aramis to England to retrieve the studs, but one by one each of them is detained on the road. D’Artagnan makes it to London alone and meets with the Duke. He finds the studs, but two are missing.

To solve the problem, the Duke has two new ones whipped up and blocks any ship from leaving England to ensure that the missing studs don’t make it to Paris. This, of course, means that he’s declared war on France, but obviously the honor of his beloved is much more important. D’Artagnan makes it back to Paris in time to save the Queen.

Now Madame Bonacieux is ready to get busy with D’Artagnan—she makes a date with him for ten o’clock at a little pavilion. When he shows up, however, D’Artagnan waits to no avail. It turns out Madame Bonacieux was kidnapped. The plot thickens.

D’Artagnan next skips town with Planchet (his trusty lackey) to find out what happened to his friends. They find Porthos and Aramis at two inns along the way, but both are still too wounded for travel and so D’Artagnan leaves them both horses and presses on to find Athos. D’Artagnan finds Athos at another inn down the road, and the two friends reunite over several bottles of wine. While intoxicated, Athos tells D’Artagnan how a woman once ruined a "friend" of his. This friend was a nobleman who, many years ago, married a beautiful woman against the wishes of his family, only to discover she was a branded criminal. His heart has been broken ever since (foreshadowing!).

After a few bumps in the road (Athos gambles away two of the horses, and Porthos and Aramis lose theirs as well), the four return to Paris and D’Artagnan finds out that the King is recommending him to become a Musketeer. This joy is short-lived, however, as all the men must somehow gain enough money to outfit themselves properly for war. Porthos and Aramis appeal to their mistresses, and D’Artagnan sleeps with a noblewoman in return for a valuable ring (that, we find out, once belonged to Athos) and the two sell it to split the money. The friends find themselves well-funded and ready for war—all is well in the world, right?

Wrong. Trouble is, D’Artagnan didn’t just sleep with any old woman—he slept with Milady, who is an agent of the Cardinal. Not only did he sleep with her, he uncovered her secret: she has a fleur-de-lis branded into her shoulder, marking her a criminal. As a result, Milady sends two assassins after him and then follows that up with some poisoned wine. Our young hero barely escapes both times.

Meanwhile, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis eavesdrop on a conversation between the Cardinal and Milady. She is charged with going to England and persuading someone to assassinate the Duke of Buckingham. In return, she wants D’Artagnan dead. Needless to say, D’Artagnan doesn’t take this bit of information well.

The friends decide to send a lackey to Tours (a city in France) with a letter warning the Queen of the plot against Buckingham, and to send another lackey to England to warn Milady’s brother-in-law about her arrival. When Milady arrives in England, therefore, she is escorted to a snug room in a castle above a cliff. The room has lots of bars on it. However, Milady soon manages to corrupt her jailer and convince him that she is a pure and innocent woman ruined by the Duke of Buckingham. Her jailer (John Felton) sets her free, puts her on a ship, and then he stabs the Duke to death. Milady sets sail for France, destined for a convent where Constance Bonacieux is hiding.

D’Artagnan is overjoyed when word comes from the Queen that he can meet Constance and take her away from the convent. He arrives moments too late, however, as Milady exacts her revenge on D’Artagnan by fatally poisoning Constance. She dies in D’Artagnan’s arms. The four friends track Milady down and bring her to a trial, where we hear the full extent of her crimes. The sentence pronounced upon her is death. She is executed.

As the friends head back to war, the Cardinal requests to see D’Artagnan. Even though D’Artagnan is afraid he’ll be sentenced to death, he bravely heads to the meeting. He confesses to the Cardinal that Milady is dead, but since the Cardinal was only going to kill D’Artagnan as a favor to Milady, he changes his mind and gives D’Artagnan a commission as a lieutenant in the Musketeers.

D’Artagnan is overcome and protests that one of his friends should take it. He offers it to them each in turn, but they refuse. Athos doesn’t want it, Aramis is going to become a priest, and Porthos is going to marry a rich woman. Monsieur Bonacieux disappears under mysterious circumstances, and there the novel ends.

  • Author’s Preface

    • The author tells us that even though the heroes of the story have names that end in “os” and “is,” which sound mythological, we’re not supposed to go down that analytic road. He also tells us that this preface will make that clear.
    • Great. Onwards!
    • The author was doing research in the library one day when he found the memoirs of a certain Monsieur D’Artagnan (also referred to as just D’Artagnan). The author took them home, read them, and was particularly struck by the passage in which D’Artagnan goes to meet with the captain of the Musketeers (that would be Monsieur de Tréville), and while there he meets three young men by the names of Aramis, Athos, and Porthos. The author is intrigued by these names, deciding that they must be pseudonyms, and traces the archival record for other mentions of these young men.
    • The author then discovers the memoirs of the Comte de la Fère, and within them, the names of Porthos, Athos, and Aramis. He begs permission to publish these memoirs, and receives it.
    • The story that follows, says the author, is the Comte de la Fère’s account of history.
  • Chapter One: The Three Presents of D’Artagnan the Elder

    • We start our tale with a historical info-dump.
    • It’s the first Monday of April, 1625, and we’re in a small town experiencing a lot of pandemonium.
    • This kind of activity is apparently quite usual, and we get a quick overview of the types of conflict common at this point in history: nobles vs. nobles, King vs. Cardinal, Spain vs. King, lots of bad people vs. citizens.
    • This story is also taking place in France.
    • The cause of all the chaos is a young man the narrator describes as a "Don Quixote of eighteen." If you’re not up on your Spanish literature, Don Quixote is this ordinary guy who starts believing he’s a gallant knight, so in other words, the young man in our story looks like an idealistic (though intelligent) fool. It’s also clear, from his massive jawbone that he’s from Gascony. According to our annotated edition, that means he’s likely to have a quick temper and lots of courage.
    • The narrator tells us that the young man would likely be taken for a farmer’s son if it wasn’t for the sword he (inexpertly) carries.
    • The young man rides an old yellow horse with no hair in its tail; the old horse also walks funny.
    • In short, the young man (who we finally learn is named D’Artagnan) is riding the 17th century equivalent of a Ford Edsel.
    • It turns out the horse is a gift from his father (also known as D’Artagnan the elder).
    • We get a flashback to the day dad gave away the horse. He tells D’Artagnan the younger to never sell the horse and to take care of it like an old servant.
    • He then launches into a long lecture which can be summed up like this: honor; courage; obey the Cardinal and the King; go out and have lots of adventures and pick a lot of fights even though they’re illegal; here are fifteen crowns, a horse, and my advice; your mother is including some balsam which will take care of all the injuries you’re going to have.
    • D’Artagnan the elder adds that he’s buddy-buddy with a really important guy at court named Monsieur de Tréville, (also referred to as M. de Tréville or just Tréville), whom he’s recommending as the role model for his son. He gives his D’Artagnan the younger a letter of introduction, which reads something like: hello old friend, the guy who just handed you this letter is my son, please treat him well.
    • D’Artagnan the elder outfits his son with a sword and wishes him luck.
    • Then D’Artagnan (the younger) goes to say good-bye to his mom. They both cry. This doesn’t indicate that D’Artagnan is weak, just that he really loves his mom. Aww.
    • And then our hero’s off! He has fifteen crowns, a horse, and a letter of introduction (the three presents mentioned in the title of this chapter).
    • During his journey, D’Artagnan is always raring for a fight (because everyone keeps laughing at his ridiculous horse), but he manages to make it to Meung (another city in France) in one piece.
    • He gets to an inn called the Jolly Miller, and as he’s getting down from the horse he spies an authoritative man telling jokes to two other men.
    • D’Artagnan’s horse is the joke.
    • Uh-oh.
    • D’Artagnan stares at the guy in charge for a good long while memorizing the his looks: he’s about forty, with black eyes and fair skin.
    • D’Artagnan walks over to the man with his hand on his sword. He’s ready for a big, eloquent speech but instead blurts out: "What you laughing at?" Or something like that.
    • The stranger replies, "Did I look like I was talking to you?"
    • D’Artagnan comes back with, "But I’m talking to you!"
    • The stranger ignores him.
    • D’Artagnan pulls out his sword.
    • The stranger continues making fun of D’Artagnan’s horse. D’Artagnan continues to threaten him, and the stranger continues to be polite and scornful at the same time. D’Artagnan continues to demand a fight.
    • The stranger sighs and says D’Artagnan should really be a Musketeer if he wants to be so brave.
    • D’Artagnan nearly skewers the stranger.
    • Finally, the stranger draws his sword.
    • Before we get to see a swordfight, the innkeeper and the two men start beating on D’Artagnan with "sticks, shovels, and tongs."
    • The stranger says that they should just shove D’Artagnan back on the funny horse and send him on his way.
    • As three men beat him with sticks, shovels, and tongs, D’Artagnan says to the stranger, "I’m not leaving until you’re dead."
    • The stranger tells the three men to continue beating D’Artagnan, figuring that the fight will end soon enough.
    • D’Artagnan continues to stand there and take the beating. His sword breaks in two. Finally, someone cracks him on the head and he falls over.
    • The innkeeper takes him to the kitchen for some first aid.
    • The innkeeper goes back to ask the stranger (who’s apparently kind of a big deal) if he’s okay. Because the stranger was totally involved in the "fighting."
    • The stranger says that he’s fine, and asks how D’Artagnan is doing.
    • The innkeeper says that the young man has fainted again, but not before swearing to kill the stranger. Again.
    • The stranger exclaims that D’Artagnan must be the devil.
    • No, says the innkeeper, we went through his stuff and found a shirt and some money. (Which means D’Artagnan is definitely not the devil…?)
    • The innkeeper tells the stranger that D’Artagnan stuck his hand into his pocket and mentioned the name of M. de Tréville. The innkeeper saw that D’Artagnan has a letter addressed to Tréville.
    • The stranger gets all excited, then goes to the window and mutters under his breath, "Could M. de Tréville have sent this crazy young man here to kill me?" He stares out the window contemplating the possibilities before finally turning back to the innkeeper and asking him to get rid of D’Artagnan.
    • The stranger orders his horses ready for his departure.
    • We learn that D’Artagnan has been taken to another room to have his wounds treated.
    • The stranger continues to mutter to himself, so we get to hear his dastardly plans: he doesn’t want Milady to be seen by D’Artagnan, and he is interested in seeing this letter addressed to Tréville.
    • The innkeeper blames D’Artagnan for the departure of the noble stranger; he goes straight to D’Artagnan and insists that he leave the inn immediately.
    • D’Artagnan, still wounded, struggles to his feet and steps out of the room.
    • The first thing he sees is the stranger talking to someone sitting in a carriage.
    • This someone happens to be a beautiful young woman: blonde haired, blue-eyed, and with skin like alabaster. The stranger is relaying a set of orders to her. When she asks him if he’s going to punish the "insolent boy" (meaning D’Artagnan), D’Artagnan has to pipe up, "Are you talking about me?"
    • D’Artagnan is convinced that the stranger would not dare to flee from a fight in front of a lady.
    • The stranger does just that—he gallops away on his horse as the innkeeper screams out, "What about your bill?!?!"
    • The stranger yells for one of his servants to pay the innkeeper. D’Artagnan chases after the stranger yelling "Base Coward! False Gentleman!"
    • Then his head injuries get the best of him and he collapses.
    • The innkeeper tries to make nice with D’Artagnan since the other guy turned out to be a jerk.
    • D’Artagnan regains consciousness long enough to talk about the beautiful woman, then faints again.
    • The innkeeper feels better when he anticipates that D’Artagnan must stay at the inn and recuperate for quite some time.
    • Wrong!
    • D’Artagnan gets together the ingredients for his mother’s balsam, and is essentially cured within two days.
    • When he goes to pay for his lodging and meals, D’Artagnan discovers that his letter of introduction to M. de Tréville is missing.
    • He flies into a rage and demands that it be found. He does this over and over again until everyone grabs the sticks, shovels, and tongs they used earlier. They don’t beat him quite yet, but they’re close.
    • D’Artagnan pulls out his sword, forgetting that two inches of metal does not constitute a sword. (It was broken in the earlier fight, remember?)
    • The narrator points out that this would probably not prevent D’Artagnan from continuing to threaten the inn employees. Luckily, something penetrates the innkeeper’s brain. He lowers his stick and asks rhetorically, "But where is your letter?"
    • After putting their heads together, the innkeeper finally has an "Aha!" moment and tells D’Artagnan that the stranger from earlier must have taken it.
    • D’Artagnan pays the innkeeper and sets off for Paris so he can complain to M. de Tréville.
    • Once in Paris, D’Artagnan sells off his horse (so much for listening to his old man!), rents a tiny garret, and falls asleep perfectly happy with his previous conduct.
    • The next day he plans to see M. de Tréville.
  • Chapter Two: The Antechamber of M. de Tréville

    • We start this chapter with some background on M. de Tréville.
    • He embodies the classic story of a self-made man: he was once a small town boy with big dreams who showed up in the big city with barely a nickel in his pocket... and worked his way up to being one of the country’s head honchos.
    • Not only is Tréville good with a sword, he is also capable of immense loyalty. Both qualities endear him to the King (that would be King Louis XIII).
    • When the King sets up his own private army of Musketeers, he picks Tréville as the commander.
    • As soon as the Cardinal sees that the King has got an army of soldiers carrying fancy swords, he gets jealous and wants one too. The King and the Cardinal settle down to a competition to determine France’s best swordsmen. (It went along the lines of, "No, I want him! I saw him first!" "Yes, but I’m the King. I always get to win.") Not being able to actually fight each other, the Cardinal and the King also have polite conversations meant for the sole purpose of bragging about their fighting men.
    • The King’s Musketeers are a loud, rowdy, and drunken bunch; they listen only to Tréville, whom they adore.
    • Basically, Tréville is the man.
    • If you were a man in 17th century France, you’d want to meet (be received by) either the Cardinal or the King. If that fails, however, you would want to meet Tréville. His hotel is crammed non-stop with men trying to meet him, and fifty to sixty Musketeers that do nothing but hang out and look imposing.
    • Into this melée, D’Artagnan shows up. He’s a small-town boy, remember, so he’s intimidated (but tries really hard to look calm), and ends up just feeling ridiculous.
    • Making his way through Tréville’s hotel the way a new kid makes his way through a cafeteria at lunchtime, D’Artagnan finally makes it to a stairwell.
    • He stops. A man on the top step is dueling three men on a lower step.
    • D’Artagnan believes for a moment that the swords are blunt, but then realizes that the Musketeers are using real equipment.
    • Inside one of the rooms (more specifically, the room before the room where you get to talk to the Man), men are gossiping about all the latest happenings at court. (You know, who’s sleeping with whom, who’s being corrupt—the usual gossip.)
    • Finally a servant notices D’Artagnan and asks him what’s up. D’Artagnan tells him that he would like to speak with M. de Tréville. The servant goes off and D’Artagnan finally takes his time to actually look around.
    • He spies a group of Musketeers with a really tall, arrogant guy at the center. He’s dressed uncommonly well in a blue shirt, a gold baldric (read: fancy belt, kind of the 17th century equivalent of a shoulder holster, except, for a sword instead of a gun), and a red velvet cloak. The man looks good, but he’s complaining about having a cold, (which is the real reason he’s twirling his cloak around).
    • Then the man talks about how his cloak is ridiculous, but a) it’s fashionable and b) he needs some way of spending his inheritance.
    • One of the other Musketeers says: "No way, Porthos—you got that from your sugar mama."
    • Porthos defends himself as the other Musketeers start questioning him. Finally, Porthos turns to some other guy, calls him "Aramis," and asks him to back him up.
    • Aramis is short and stout (like a teapot!), with an honest face and slow manner of speaking. He backs Porthos up, which dispels all the naysayers.
    • Conversation turns to the latest court scandal. Basically, the Cardinal is a terrible man who kills people on trumped-up charges.
    • In the course of the conversation, Porthos tells Aramis that it’s a pity he (Aramis) never followed his first calling to become a priest.
    • Aramis replies that he will become a priest someday; he is continuing his theological studies. He also tells Porthos that he (Porthos) is vain.
    • The two of them start fighting, but are interrupted when a servant flings open a door and tells D’Artagnan that Tréville is ready to see him.
    • Everyone shuts up as D’Artagnan walks over, pleased to have avoided seeing the fight.
  • Chapter Three: The Audience

    • D’Artagnan shows up to talk to M. de Tréville, who smiles upon seeing the young Gascon.
    • Before they start talking, however, Tréville calls for Athos, Porthos, and Aramis.
    • Porthos and Aramis immediately hustle over and everyone outside the room starts gossiping about the summons.
    • Tréville chews them out. It turns out that on the day before yesterday, the Musketeers were rioting in the streets and had to be arrested by the Cardinal’s Guards. Said Musketeers included—you guessed it—Aramis, Porthos, and Athos.
    • Tréville starts swearing at his men, cursing himself for picking them, and then realizes that Athos isn’t present.
    • Aramis and Porthos tell Tréville that Athos is sick with smallpox. (A total lie.)
    • Tréville points out that Athos is too old to have smallpox, and speculates that Athos is likely wounded.
    • Tréville tells them that all the misbehaving needs to stop, ASAP. It is horribly embarrassing to have the Cardinal’s men (the Musketeers’ biggest rivals) arrest the Musketeers for indecent behavior.
    • Porthos and Aramis shuffle uncomfortably. Outside the door, all the rest of the Musketeers listen intently. Soon the entire hotel knows what’s going on.
    • Tréville continues to rant, threatening to resign. It took only six of the Cardinal’s guards to arrest six Musketeers.
    • Everyone outside the room starts yelling and cursing. D’Artagnan feels awkward.
    • Porthos is angry; he confesses that two Musketeers were killed before anyone could draw their swords, and Athos was badly wounded. All the Musketeers continued to fight, but the Cardinal’s guards dragged them away. Porthos and Aramis managed to escape, and Athos was left for dead.
    • Not to be outdone, Aramis tells his boss that he (Aramis) killed one of the guards with the guard’s own sword.
    • Tréville is happy to hear that. Obviously the Cardinal kept that on the down-low.
    • Aramis then asks Tréville not to tell anyone that Athos is wounded.
    • Right on time, Athos shows up. He’s pale and obviously in a great deal of pain. He’s hiding it well though.
    • Tréville is excited to see him. He tells Athos that the Musketeers shouldn’t risk their lives needlessly. He then grips Athos’s hand.
    • Athos cringes in pain and grows even paler.
    • Everyone listening outside the door gets excited and a few people poke their heads in.
    • Tréville is about to yell at them when Athos faints.
    • Tréville immediately starts freaking out and calling for the doctor in charge of the King.
    • Luckily, the King’s doctor happens to be in the building. He rushes over to Athos and demands that the Musketeer be carried into another room.
    • Porthos and Aramis carry their friend into another room and the surgeon follows.
    • Meanwhile, all the men left in Tréville’s room start yelling and cursing the Cardinal and his guards.
    • Porthos and Aramis return, along with Tréville. The surgeon declares that Athos fainted due to loss of blood but that he’s okay now.
    • Tréville orders everyone out so only D’Artagnan is left.
    • For a moment, Tréville has to be reminded of why D’Artagnan is there. Based on his respect for D’Artagnan’s father, he asks what he can do for D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan says his dearest wish is to become a Musketeer, but that he realizes the enormity of the request.
    • Tréville says yes, it’s hard. You need the King’s approval and you need to be an awesome fighter. The easy way in is to serve with a lesser regiment for two years.
    • Tréville offers to get D’Artagnan into the Royal Academy, where he can learn to be a proper gentleman: horsemanship, swordsmanship, dancing. He then tells D’Artagnan to drop by sometime and say hi.
    • D’Artagnan realizes that Tréville is being a bit cold, and laments the loss of his letter out loud.
    • Tréville expresses his surprise that D’Artagnan has no such letter. D’Artagnan says: well, I lost it. He proceeds to tell Tréville all about what happened at Meung.
    • Tréville recognizes the description of the man who got D’Artagnan beaten up.
    • Tréville asks about the stranger’s interaction with the beautiful woman. It’s clear that Tréville knows the man’s identity.
    • D’Artagnan begs to be told the man’s identity so he can go avenge himself.
    • Tréville warns him away from this course of action, and then starts getting suspicious of D’Artagnan’s true intentions. Maybe D’Artagnan is really the Cardinal’s spy! Who knows in these uncertain times?! He resolves to test D’Artagnan’s loyalties.
    • Tréville assures D’Artagnan that despite all their quarreling, the King and the Cardinal are actually BFFs, and that he is perfectly devoted to both. If D’Artagnan is going to do anything against the Cardinal, Tréville wants nothing to do with him.
    • Tréville assumes that if D’Artagnan is truly a spy from the Cardinal, he will overcompensate and start ranting about the Cardinal’s flaws.
    • To Tréville’s surprise, D’Artagnan agrees. He says that his father told him to respect only the Cardinal, the King, and Tréville.
    • Tréville says that he’ll wait and see how D’Artagnan conducts himself. D’Artagnan tells the elder man that he will not have to wait long.
    • Tréville goes to write the letter of recommendation to the director of the Royal Academy. D’Artagnan paces around the room and gazes out the window. Right before he’s about to receive the letter of recommendation, he spots the Man from Meung and runs away.
    • Tréville suspects this may be another ploy.
  • Chapter Four: The Shoulder of Athos, the Baldric of Porthos, and the Handkerchief of Aramis

    • D’Artagnan speeds out of Tréville’s room and heads for the staircase. In his hurry, he shoves past a Musketeer, apologizes quickly, and continues running.
    • The Musketeer gets all huffy and says that the apology is insufficient.
    • D’Artagnan takes a good look at the man and recognizes Athos.
    • The two argue a bit. Both being hot-blooded young men, they arrange to settle it the only way that matters—with a fight. They decide on noon.
    • D’Artagnan continues running after his quarry.
    • Unfortunately, Porthos is at the street gate talking with a soldier. D’Artagnan tries to squeeze past, and in the process, gets swept into Porthos’s cloak. When he opens his eyes, he’s behind Porthos. Under the cloak, he can see that the magnificent gold of the baldric does not extend to the back.
    • D’Artagnan attempts to make his apologies; Porthos demands to know if D’Artagnan always forgets his eyes when in a hurry.
    • The young Gascon quips that he has eyes to see what others can’t.
    • Porthos gets mad. He obviously wants to protect the secret of his one-sided baldric.
    • They decide to fight at one o’clock.
    • D’Artagnan continues running around but can’t find his man.
    • He slows to a walk and his head begins to cool. It’s only eleven o’clock and he’s already looked like a mess in front of Tréville, and arranged to fight two different Musketeers. Excellent start.
    • He reflects dismally on his prospects of surviving a duel with Athos, then starts laughing about Porthos’s deception.
    • He resolves to start modeling his conduct on that of Aramis, who is always mild-mannered.
    • Then he spots Aramis. (Shameless plot device alert!) Aramis is talking with three Guards outside the hotel d'Arguillon.
    • Aramis ignores D’Artagnan. Why should he acknowledge the guy who saw him get chewed out by Tréville earlier that morning?
    • D’Artagnan, all happy to see his new role model, bows and smiles to Aramis.
    • The group stops talking and just stares at D’Artagnan. Awkward.
    • D’Artagnan desperately tries to think of a way to get out of the situation when he spies a handkerchief under Aramis’s foot. He picks it up and offers it to the Musketeer.
    • Aramis blushes.
    • One of the Guards points out that the monogram marks the handkerchief as belonging to a certain Madame de Bois-Tracy. We smell an affair!
    • Aramis shoots D’Artagnan a look that would freeze ice and then tells the Guards that he has absolutely no idea where the handkerchief came from.
    • Right. The Guards are unconvinced. One of them offers to return the handkerchief to the lady in question, since he’s on great terms with the lady’s husband.
    • D’Artagnan interrupts the conversation to say that the handkerchief may not belong to Aramis after all.
    • Aramis proposes splitting the handkerchief in two. The Guardsmen part with Aramis on good terms.
    • D’Artagnan apologizes for his behavior once the Guardsmen are safely out of earshot. Aramis chews D’Artagnan out for being an idiot.
    • Aramis tries to avoid fighting, but he points out to D’Artagnan that his actions compromised a lady.
    • The two quarrel. It goes along these lines: "Why did you give me that handkerchief?" "Why did you let it fall from your pocket?" "I didn’t!" "Dude, I saw it fall."
    • The two decide to settle the issue at two o’clock.
    • Having successfully made three dueling dates, D’Artagnan goes off to keep the first one. He reflects that at least he’ll be killed by a Musketeer.
  • Chapter Five: The King’s Musketeers and the Cardinal’s Guards

    • Historical Context Lesson: When dueling, you always bring along a "second." This person is someone you trust enough to witness the fight, ensure that it’s fair, and call for a doctor in case you start bleeding.
    • Being a newbie in town, D’Artagnan has no one he can ask to serve as his second. On his way to meet Athos, he comes up with a game plan for his upcoming fights. He decides to befriend Athos, frighten Porthos, and, as for Aramis, he figures he’ll probably be dead by two o’clock so he doesn’t have to come up with a plan of action. But if he is alive, he decides to just slap Aramis in the face.
    • He takes heart when he thinks of his father and runs to meet Athos.
    • Athos is already waiting. He tells D’Artagnan that his two seconds are late.
    • D’Artagnan confesses that he has no seconds, and that he doesn’t even know anyone in Paris except for Tréville.
    • Athos, talking out loud, says that if he kills D’Artagnan, he’s going to be known as a "boy-slayer." That’s definitely some bad press.
    • D’Artagnan disagrees. After all, Athos is still wounded.
    • Athos warns D’Artagnan that he can swordfight with either hand.
    • D’Artagnan thanks Athos for the information.
    • Athos complains about his shoulder and D’Artagnan offers his mother’s remedy, convinced that it will cure Athos’s wound.
    • There’s more dialogue, and it basically boils down to this: D’Artagnan impresses Athos.
    • Finally, Porthos appears.
    • D’Artagnan is surprised.
    • Then Aramis appears.
    • D’Artagnan is even more surprised.
    • Athos asks if D’Artagnan has been living in a hole. The three are famous for being absolutely inseparable, cradle-to-grave-BFFs.
    • Porthos comes up and asks what’s going on.
    • Athos points to D’Artagnan as his adversary.
    • Porthos rightfully says, "But I’m fighting him!"
    • D’Artagnan says, "Not until one o’clock!"
    • Aramis comes up and says, "But I’m also fighting him!"
    • D’Artagnan says, "But not until two o’clock!"
    • Aramis asks Athos for the cause of the fight.
    • Athos says that he can’t even remember, something about his shoulder getting hurt. He then asks Porthos for his reasons for fighting D’Artagnan.
    • Not wanting to confess the real reason, Porthos evades the question.
    • Athos sees D’Artagnan smile as he (Athos) says they disagreed about fashion.
    • Aramis says that their disagreement was about God, and signals D’Artagnan to stay silent.
    • Athos again observes that D’Artagnan is hiding something, even as the Gascon says he and Aramis disagreed about a passage of St. Augustine.
    • Athos grows more impressed by the second with D’Artagnan.
    • Now that everyone is present, D’Artagnan apologizes to all three men. They don’t take it well. Rapidly, D’Artagnan tells them they’re misinterpreting him. He is apologizing just in case he doesn’t make it to the one o’clock and two o’clock fights. Then he draws his sword.
    • The two barely start fighting when the Cardinal’s Guards show up, commanded by a man named Jussac.
    • Aramis and Porthos yell for the combatants to sheath their swords, but it’s too late. There’s clearly a duel going on, and Jussac calls them on it. (Remember, it’s illegal to duel. Not that that stops anyone.)
    • Jussac attempts to arrest them. Aramis "regretfully" declines. Jussac threatens a fight.
    • The Musketeers take a knee so they can map out a game plan. Athos points out that it’s three against five, and that the three of them are probably going to die, since he really, really doesn’t want to lose again.
    • D’Artagnan pipes up and says, "Heyo! What about me? There’s four of us!"
    • Porthos points out that D’Artagnan hardly counts as a Musketeer. Or a friend.
    • D’Artagnan offers ye olde underdog excuse: that he has heart. Even though he isn’t a Musketeer, he says, he has the proper spirit.
    • Jussac tells D’Artagnan to beat it; the Guards will let him go.
    • Meanwhile, the three Musketeers feel kind of upset because D’Artagnan is still a boy.
    • Athos points out that when they lose, the story will be told as if it was four of them, instead of two men, a wounded man, and a boy.
    • D’Artagnan asks again if he can fight.
    • Athos asks for his name. D’Artagnan gives it, and the four of them press forward to fight the Cardinal’s guards.
    • (Mind you, this all takes place in the most polite ways.)
    • Finally, we get a swordfight!
    • Being the hot-headed young man he is, D’Artagnan charges straight for Jussac. Aramis fights two at once, and the other two Musketeers have one adversary each.
    • D’Artagnan fights like "a furious tiger" and his street-fighting style gives him an edge over Jussac, who is a great swordsman in his own right.
    • Frustrated, Jussac finally begins making mistakes. He thrusts at D’Artagnan, who blocks the blow and then spears Jussac, who falls "like a dead mass."
    • D’Artagnan then looks around to see how the Musketeers are doing.
    • Aramis has killed one of his opponents and is engaged with the other one. Porthos and his adversary each have minor wounds and are still going at it.
    • Athos is wounded once more by his opponent (named Cahusac) and is now fighting with his left hand. He looks over at D’Artagnan in a clear "I’m a man so I’m not actually asking for help but I would seriously appreciate it" kind of way.
    • D’Artagnan runs over to engage Cahusac. Athos sinks down to the ground for a much-needed rest, then tells D’Artagnan to only disarm Cahusac because he wants the honor of actually killing the Guard.
    • Momentarily, D’Artagnan succeeds in disarming Cahusac. The man runs to retrieve his sword, but D’Artagnan beats him to it.
    • Cahusac runs to the dead Guard (the one killed by Aramis) and grabs his sword. On his way back to D’Artagnan, he runs into Athos, who is now ready to fight again.
    • Athos and D’Artagnan together fight Cahusac, who soon dies.
    • At the same moment, Aramis forces his opponent to yield.
    • Porthos continues to fight his adversary (with a lot of trash talk thrown in for good measure). The man’s name is Bicarat.
    • (The men really need to wrap it up, however. Remember, dueling is illegal. Everyone is in danger of getting arrested!)
    • Athos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan surround Bicarat and tell him to quit.
    • Bicarat wants to keep fighting, even as Jussac yells at him to stop. Finally, Jussac commands him to stop.
    • Magic words! Bicarat immediately stops and then breaks his sword over his knee so that he won’t have to surrender it.
    • The Musketeers and D’Artagnan salute Bicarat for his bravery, and then take the wounded to the convent. They leave the dead guy.
    • The Musketeers and D’Artagnan then go visit Tréville, but it turns into a bit of a parade as they relate the story to every Musketeer they pass.
    • D’Artagnan is overjoyed to be hanging out with three such awesome men. He’s hopeful that he can one day be a Musketeer just like them.
  • Chapter Six: His Majesty King Louis XIII

    • Tréville pretends to be very ashamed of his Musketeers in public, but he congratulates them in private. It’s important that he tell the King his version of events, so that evening he heads to the Louvre. (Today the Louvre is a museum, but it was once a royal palace.)
    • That evening, the King is gambling. And winning, so he’s happy. He spies Tréville and tells him to start controlling his crazy Musketeers.
    • Tréville pretends to be surprised, and claims that his Musketeers are gentle creatures devoted to the King. He claims that the Cardinal’s guards are the ones at fault.
    • Further conversation between the two is delayed until the King starts losing.
    • He tells someone to sub in for him and then goes off to chat with Tréville.
    • The King asks Tréville for his version of the day’s events. Tréville tells the King that three of his Musketeers were going to hang out with a young Gascon when they were interrupted by five Guardsmen who were clearly in the area to fight some duels. He doesn’t outright accuse the guards of being there to fight duels, but the implication is clear, and the King, bright man that he is, seizes upon it.
    • Periodically, Tréville flatters the King.
    • Since the Musketeers and D’Artagnan won, Tréville is perfectly at liberty to point out that one of the men was wounded and that D’Artagnan is basically a boy.
    • The King is pumped to have scored such a decisive victory over the Cardinal’s men. Tréville takes the opportunity to recommend D’Artagnan to the King.
    • The King asks for the full story behind D’Artagnan and is impressed to learn that the Gascon was able to injure Jussac, who is considered to be one of France’s finest swordsmen.
    • The King consents to meeting D’Artagnan tomorrow at noon, and instructs Tréville to bring all four together. He also tells them to come by the back stairs so the Cardinal doesn’t know.
    • That night, the Musketeers aren’t too impressed about the summons because they’ve met the King a few times, but D’Artagnan is excited.
    • At eight the next morning, D’Artagnan shows up at Athos’s house. Athos had agreed to meet Porthos and Aramis for tennis. D’Artagnan, having nothing else to do, tags along.
    • Athos tries to play but he’s still too wounded. D’Artagnan doesn’t know how to play tennis, but makes himself useful as a ball boy.
    • When one of the balls almost smacks him in the face, D’Artagnan decides that it’s too risky to involve himself in the game since he wants his to look good for the King. He extricates himself from the courts.
    • Unfortunately, one of the Guardsmen is watching, and he makes a snarky comment to D’Artagnan along the lines of, "You’re afraid of tennis balls."
    • Bad move.
    • D’Artagnan demands a retraction, which the Guardsman does not give.
    • They decide to fight.
    • The man’s name is Bernajoux. The two exit the court. (Side note: Bernajoux is shocked that D’Artagnan isn’t scared of his name.)
    • Bernajoux wants to find a more private place in which to duel (remember, dueling is illegal!) but D’Artagnan says that he’s in a hurry so they need to just fight in the street.
    • The two start fighting. D’Artagnan scores a hit on Bernajoux’s shoulder and immediately gives him the chance to stop fighting. Bernajoux cries out that the wound doesn’t matter and rushes forward… right onto D’Artagnan’s sword.
    • Rather than surrender, however, he rushes over to the hotel of M. de la Trémouille. D’Artagnan, unaware of the severity of his opponent’s injuries, rushes after him, but is stopped by two of Bernajoux’s friends, who rush out from the tennis court.
    • Porthos, Aramis, and Athos also then show up, making the fight two against four. The Guardsmen call on the hotel de la Trémouille for help. All the servants of the hotel rush out to aid the Guardsmen. On their end, the Musketeers start shouting for help, and various soldiers of other companies run to their aid.
    • Pandemonium and lots of great sword fights ensue.
    • The Musketeers are in a better position, and so the Cardinal’s supporters quickly withdraw into the hotel. Bernajoux is already inside receiving medical attention for his critical wounds.
    • Everyone left outside debates setting fire to the hotel to punish the servants for daring to fight Musketeers.
    • D’Artagnan and his buddies remember, however, that they have an important appointment. They calm everyone down and head out to Tréville’s hotel, where the man himself is already waiting for them. He’s heard the latest news and wants to get to the King as soon as possible before the Cardinal tells his version of events. Tréville plans to pass off yesterday and today’s events with one simple story.
    • When they reach the palace, a servant tells Tréville that the King is out hunting.
    • Tréville finds out that the King and the Cardinal have already interacted, and then advises his men to simply go home and wait for news.
    • After getting back to his hotel, Tréville sends a servant to M. de la Trémouille with a message requesting that he kick out all the Cardinal’s Guardsmen. The message also says something to the effect of, how dare your men try to mess with the King’s Musketeers?
    • Trémouille sends a message back saying that the Musketeers started the fight. He’s prejudiced because one of his men is related to Bernajoux.
    • Tréville realizes that the servants are going to get very tired if they have to keep running back and forth between Tréville and Trémouille, and decides to end this foolishness by confronting Trémouille face-to-face.
    • When Tréville shows up, Trémouille continues to maintain that the whole fight was the fault of the Musketeers.
    • Tréville proposes that they let Bernajoux tell the full story. He’s badly wounded, but the man can still talk.
    • Since this proposal is so fair and just, Trémouille agrees.
    • Tréville lets Trémouille do the questioning. Bernajoux tells the whole truth. Tréville, happy to hear it, takes off and sends for Athos, Aramis, Porthos, and D’Artagnan to join him at lunch.
    • D’Artagnan turns out to be the guest of honor as everyone congratulates him on his mad fighting skills.
    • Finally, Tréville announces that it’s time for them to pay a visit to the King. They wait in the King’s antechamber with other nobles who are eager to say hi and ask for a favor.
    • After some time, the King finally returns from his hunting trip.
    • He’s not happy. He didn’t catch anything.
    • All the nobles still press forward and try to be seen by the King. The three Musketeers do the same, but D’Artagnan is too intimidated by his first real, actual brush with royalty.
    • (It doesn’t matter anyway since the King ignores them all on his way to his bedroom.)
    • Athos has a dismal outlook on the situation. Tréville tells him to be patient. If Tréville doesn’t come out in ten minutes, his men are to return to the hotel.
    • The four men wait twenty minutes before leaving.
    • When Tréville enters the King’s room, the King complains of boredom and disappointment with the day’s hunt.
    • The King starts chastising Tréville again for the behavior of the Musketeers.
    • His Majesty finds it hard to believe that the Musketeers weren’t being reckless earlier. He tells Tréville to prove that Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan did not unfairly ambush Bernajoux and then try to burn Trémouille’s hotel.
    • Tréville asks the King where he’s getting this information. The King then talks about some guy who watches over him when he sleeps and handles all his affairs.
    • He’s clearly talking about the Cardinal, but Tréville asks if the King is possibly referring to God, because He’s the only guy who could possibly be higher than the King.
    • The King gently corrects Tréville and explicitly refers to the Cardinal as the source of information.
    • Tréville retorts by pointing out that Cardinals are not immune from error.
    • The King tells Tréville that the real source of information is the Duke, Monsieur de la Trémouille.
    • Tréville requests that the King question the Duke alone with no witnesses, and that he (Tréville) get to see the King right after the interview.
    • Tréville agrees to stand by Trémouille’s testimony.
    • The King sends a servant to find Monsieur de la Trémouille.
    • The two men say their good-byes; Tréville has a sleepless night. He meets up with the Musketeers and D’Artagnan at six-thirty in the morning and the five of them go anxiously to see the King.
    • Soon they see Trémouille coming out of the King’s room. Trémouille goes straight up to Tréville and apologizes. He has told the King the truth of what happened—that it was all the fault of his men. Tréville replies in a very kind, gentleman-like way.
    • The King overhears the whole conversation and compliments the two of them.
    • More compliments.
    • Finally, the King asks to see the Musketeers (and D’Artagnan).
    • The King begins to scold them. They have, after all, incapacitated seven of the Cardinal’s guards in two days. In the King’s opinion, that’s way too much fighting.
    • The King then asks D’Artagnan to come closer, proclaiming him a mere boy and not quite a man. The King is astonished D’Artagnan was the one to have debilitated Jussac and Bernajoux.
    • Athos notes that D’Artagnan saved his life.
    • The King, very impressed, says that a lot of equipment must have been damaged in the course of all this sword fighting. He then asks if Gascons are always poor.
    • Tréville says no, but points out that the King owes his position to the loyalty of Gascons.
    • The King dispatches his servant to get forty pistoles. We have no idea how much money that is, but we’ll probably find out soon.
    • While the servant goes hunting for some spare money, the King asks D’Artagnan for his life story.
    • D’Artagnan tells everything, and it all jives with Trémouille’s testimony.
    • The King asks the men to stop with all the fighting, because they’ve done quite enough. Then he hands over the gold.
    • Dumas then tells his readers that there was no shame in accepting money those days. The money is split evenly between the four adventurers.
    • The King then dismisses the men.
    • As everyone clears out, the King suggests to Tréville that he place D’Artagnan with the Guards of Monsieur Dessessart (who happens to be Tréville’s brother-in-law). It would be bad form for D’Artagnan to be accepted straight away into the Musketeers.
    • The King is really pleased that he can be fake and snarky around the Cardinal now. For example, he asks the Cardinal constantly how Jussac and Bernajoux are doing.
    • Yes, this is kind of like two guys playing a "mine is bigger than yours" contest, except it’s more along the lines of "my soldiers can beat up your soldiers."
  • Chapter Seven: The Interior of "The Musketeers"

    • D’Artagnan asks his friends what he should do with the money. Athos suggests a good meal, Porthos suggests a good servant, and Aramis suggests getting a girlfriend.
    • The friends have a good meal and they’re waited on by a good servant named Planchet, who works for Porthos. Since Porthos already has got a lackey named Mousqueton, he tells Planchet to begin working for D’Artagnan. When Planchet sees D’Artagnan throwing around gold like water, he becomes very happy.
    • Next we have Athos’s servant Grimaud who must adjust to his master’s quiet ways. The man doesn’t laugh and barely talks, preferring instead to communicate via body language.
    • Although Athos is handsome and smart, he doesn’t appear to "hang out" with the ladies very often. Based on his comments when other men are talking about the fairer sex, it seems that Athos doesn’t like women very much. (We later learn that a woman broke his heart.)
    • Since he really hates talking, Athos has trained Grimaud to obey movements. Athos almost never actually talks to his servant. When Grimaud misinterprets the order, Athos beats him. No, do not try this at home.
    • Porthos has the reverse personality—he loves to talk and he loves to exaggerate.
    • It makes sense then that his servant, Mousqueton, loves to dress well.
    • Aramis has a servant named Bazin, who likes to pretend his master is actually a churchman. Bazin is quite devout.
    • Next, the narrator begins describing each of the Musketeers’ dwellings.
    • Athos lives in an apartment of two small rooms, sparsely furnished, where a beautiful and expensive sword, a casket, and a portrait are the only marks of incredible wealth. (Porthos is particularly envious of the sword.)
    • Porthos lives in a large, extravagant, and very fashionable apartment, which no one is allowed to see.
    • Aramis lives in a small apartment on the ground floor with a lovely little garden.
    • D’Artagnan tries to pierce the real identities of each of the Musketeers, but no luck. The real names of Porthos, Aramis, and Athos remain hidden.
    • Time passes, and soon the forty pistoles run out. Planchet (D’Artagnan’s new servant) starts to complain that he didn’t sign up for this lifestyle.
    • Athos recommends firing Planchet; Porthos recommends beating him; Aramis recommends ignoring him.
    • D’Artagnan is unsure how to take this—he wonders how to "inspire either the affection, the terror, or the respect in Planchet."
    • Then the three friends compare the master-servant relationship to the husband-wife relationship.
    • D’Artagnan then beats Planchet and forbids him from quitting the job. He tells Planchet that their circumstances are sure to eventually improve.
    • It works! Planchet stays.
    • The four men are now BFFs and spend all their time together. This includes guard duty—D’Artagnan joins whoever of his friends is patrolling as a Musketeer, and quickly becomes accepted into the group at large. Tréville remains impressed with the young man and continues praising him to the King.
    • The four are thus known as the Inseparables. Get four for the price of one!
    • D’Artagnan is finally admitted as a cadet into M. de Chevalier Dessessart’s company of guards, which he reluctantly accepts. (Remember, his dream is to become a Musketeer!)
    • Even though he’s serving in a different company, Porthos, Aramis, and Athos still faithfully stick by his side. M. de Chevalier Dessessart’s company thus gets four for the price for one.
  • Chapter Eight: Concerning a Court Intrigue

    • The King’s forty pistoles come to an end, and Athos supports everyone for a while. Then Porthos supports the four friends, then Aramis.
    • Then Porthos, Aramis, and Athos hit up Tréville for some advances on their pay. D’Artagnan, being a lowly Guard, doesn’t get paid at all.
    • When they start starving, they scrape together some money that they give to Porthos to gamble with. He loses the money.
    • Finally, they start hitting up all their friends. Porthos, Aramis, Athos, and D’Artagnan—along with their servants—visit various friends for dinner.
    • This mooching method can only last for so long, however. D’Artagnan is convinced that four "young, brave, enterprising, and active men" should be able to do better than this.
    • D’Artagnan is concocting plans for the four of them when someone knocks at the door. D’Artagnan wakes Planchet up and tells him to answer it. The narrator tells us that it’s long past morning. Planchet was sleeping because there was no food to eat.
    • A man with the "appearance of a tradesman" walks in and requests a private conversation with D’Artagnan.
    • They stare awkwardly at each other before the man asks if he can share a secret.
    • D’Artagnan crosses his heart, hopes to die before repeating the secret.
    • Turns out the man’s wife works as the Queen’s seamstress. The Queen’s cloak bearer happens to be the man’s wife’s godfather.
    • It’s okay to be confused at this point. The main thing to get out of the conversation is that the man’s wife has been kidnapped—and he has a suspect.
    • The man is moreover convinced that the issue is politics, not sex.
    • We learn that the delicate issue at hand is the Queen’s illicit relationship with the Duke of Buckingham.
    • The Cardinal is angry about this, not because of any real moral reasons that you might attribute to a churchman, but because he’s been hot for the Queen himself. He was so hot for her, in fact, that he once dressed up as a clown and danced the saraband for her. (We looked up "saraband", and thanks to dictionary.com, and found this: 1.) A fast, erotic dance of the 16th century of Mexico and Spain. 2.) A stately court dance of the 17th and 18th centuries, in slow triple time. 3.) The music for either of these dances.)
    • The book doesn’t tell us which kind of saraband the Cardinal used to woo the Queen, but we’re guessing neither was very effective.
    • Although we give the Cardinal props for trying, the truth remains that he is out for some revenge.
    • The Queen is convinced that someone has written to the Duke of Buckingham using her name.
    • The bad guys have kidnapped the man’s wife in order to use the woman against the Queen.
    • Although the man knows who abducted his wife, he doesn’t know the abductor’s name. All he knows is that the man is an agent of the Cardinal.
    • After getting a description of the abductor, D’Artagnan identifies the abductor as the Man from Meung.
    • Finally we learn the visitor’s name—Monsieur Bonacieux. (The visitor also happens to be D’Artagnan’s landlord, and politely reminds the young Gascon that he’s three months behind on rent!)
    • But Monsieur Bonacieux strikes a deal with D’Artagnan—if D’Artagnan agrees to save Madame Bonacieux, he gets fifty pistoles and never has to pay rent again.
    • Their conversation is cut short when they both spot the Man from Meung standing across the street.
    • D’Artagnan immediately draws his sword and runs outside, on the way bumping into Athos and Porthos, (who want to live up to that Inseparables title).
    • They stay out of D’Artagnan’s way and go into his apartment to wait for his return.
    • When they get there, Bonacieux is gone.
  • Chapter Nine: D’Artagnan Shows Himself

    • The Man from Meung disappeared, as usual. Finally, D’Artagnan gives up the search and goes home.
    • He finds Porthos, Aramis, and Athos waiting for him.
    • They debate whether this mystery man from Meung is real or a ghost.
    • Before he gives his friends the details, D’Artagnan asks Planchet to get some fine wine from Bonacieux. Then he tells them the whole story while they sip the wine. D’Artagnan is all excited that a woman is involved.
    • The friends talk about the Queen and the Duke for a little bit, and decide that although he is English, the Duke of Buckingham is still a fine man and they too would be interested in the Queen, given the chance.
    • Porthos in particular admires the Duke’s fashion sense.
    • The friends decide that angering the Cardinal is always the best course of action, even if it means helping the Queen cheat on the King.
    • Aramis then has a story to tell. It starts off perfectly innocent—he was visiting a learned man. Then we learn that the man has a niece.
    • Aramis escorted the niece to her carriage, when the man from Meung, along with a couple other men, accosted the two of them and addressed Aramis as the Duke.
    • Clearly the man from Meung mistook Aramis for the Duke of Buckingham, and the niece for the Queen.
    • Porthos expresses astonishment at the story, pointing out that a Musketeer’s clothes are rather visible.
    • Aramis confesses that he was wearing a giant coat. And a giant hat.
    • Porthos teases Aramis about all these precautions. Clearly some hanky-panky was going on.
    • At this point, Bonacieux bursts into the room asking for help. He’s about to be arrested.
    • Four Guards follow Bonacieux inside the room. D’Artagnan invites them inside, saying that everyone is a loyal servant of the King and Cardinal.
    • The Guards look skeptical.
    • They arrest Bonacieux. D’Artagnan lets them. (It seems that D’Artagnan has a plan, but we’re not sure yet what it is!)
    • Before the Guards leave, D’Artagnan engages their leader in a toast. He then toasts to the health of the King and the Cardinal. The quality of the wine convinces the Guard that D’Artagnan is sincere.
    • Athos and Aramis congratulate D’Artagnan on appeasing the Guard.
    • Then we get the famous "All for one, one for all!" line and lots of nice brotherly feelings.
    • D’Artagnan takes command—he orders everyone home and declares that of this moment, they are enemies of the Cardinal.
  • Chapter Ten: A Mousetrap in the Seventeenth Century

    • The narrator gives the definition of a mousetrap. When someone is arrested, the Guards keep it a secret and lie in wait. When unsuspecting people visit the man who was arrested, they’re grabbed and held for interrogation.
    • After two or three days, the Guards have everyone who associates with the prisoner.
    • Bonacieux’s apartment becomes a mousetrap and all the visitors are held for questioning.
    • Since D’Artagnan lives above Bonacieux’s apartment and has his own entrance, his visitors avoid the trap.
    • No one visits D’Artagnan anyway except for the three Musketeers, who are busy trying to obtain information on Madame Bonacieux’s abduction.
    • Athos even asked Tréville for information, but Tréville has nothing to report except that the Cardinal has been looking thoughtful, the King uncomfortable, and the Queen sad. Apparently the Queen’s sadness is old news—she is unhappy in her marriage.
    • D’Artagnan stays in his apartment all day, observing all the visitors being caught and listening to all the interrogations being held in Bonacieux’s apartment.
    • The guards always ask the same questions, trying to determine if Madame Bonacieux has asked anyone to deliver packages.
    • D’Artagnan, being the clever hero of the story that he is, determines that the Guards currently have no information, but that they want to know if the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris and whether or not he’s going to meet up with the Queen
    • The mousetrap continues.
    • Shortly thereafter, another person is taken into the mousetrap. D’Artagnan gets in position to listen to the subsequent conversation.
    • There is no questioning, only a lot of struggling.
    • D’Artagnan determines that the Guards have caught a woman and are using bodily force to restrain her.
    • Being a gentleman, D’Artagnan can barely contain himself from flying downstairs to fight the assailants.
    • The woman turns out to be Madame Bonacieux and the Guards prepare to drag her away. D’Artagnan grabs his sword and yells for Planchet. He instructs his servant to find Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. They are to bring their swords to D’Artagnan’s apartment.
    • Planchet asks where D’Artagnan is going, and worries that his master will be killed running after the guards.
    • D’Artagnan sneaks down to the ground floor and knocks on Bonacieux’s door. He is caught in the mousetrap.
    • The neighbors hear variations on "POW" and "CLANG".
    • Four men fly out of the house. D’Artagnan remains as the clear victor. Yeah, D’Artagnan!
    • (This sounds cooler than it is, since only one of the men had a sword.)
    • Still, the beautiful Madame Bonacieux is très grateful.
    • The narrator notes that Madame Bonacieux’s hands and feet betray her as a member of the lower ranks, but D’Artagnan isn’t up on these standards. He’s rapidly falling for her.
    • He fills her in on the latest—the Cardinal’s men are after her, her husband is in the Bastille, etc. He also manages to throw in a compliment to her looks.
    • It turns out Madame Bonacieux had escaped her captors and ran home in order to tell her husband a secret.
    • Naturally D’Artagnan asks to be told this secret. Madame Bonacieux says, no, it’s my secret.
    • D’Artagnan then suggests that they get out of there since the Bonacieux home is quite popular with the Cardinal’s guards.
    • Madame Bonacieux agrees and the two of them flee.
    • D’Artagnan asks Madame Bonacieux what she had planned to do. She says she wanted to contact her godfather Monsieur Laporte to find out what’s been going down in the palace.
    • D’Artagnan points out that he can go to inform Monsieur Laporte.
    • Madame Bonacieux argues that D’Artagnan is unknown at the palace and would be unable to enter. D’Artagnan pushes the issue, arguing that Madame Bonacieux probably knows someone who knows someone.
    • Madame Bonaceiux agrees after D’Artagnan agrees to forget the passwords that she will give him.
    • D’Artagnan then leaves Madame Bonacieux at Athos’s house for safekeeping. They arrange to signal when D’Artagnan returns.
    • Madame Bonacieux then gives D’Artagnan instructions for his trip to the palace.
    • Everything happens as Madame Bonacieux says. Monsieur Laporte then takes off to meet up with Madame Bonacieux. Before he leaves, however, he suggests that D’Artagnan figure out a suitable alibi.
    • D’Artagnan heads to Tréville’s house. He goes straight to Tréville’s office, asks to see the commander. While he waits for Tréville to show, D’Artagnan changes the clock back by three-quarters of an hour, and then conveniently points out the time—five minutes before 9:30.
    • Then he babbles on to Tréville about the Queen, and leaves when the clock strikes ten.
    • Before he goes home, he runs back to the room and changes the clock back to the correct time.
  • Chapter Eleven: In Which the Plot Thickens

    • D’Artagnan takes the scenic route home and dreams the whole time of the pretty Madame Bonacieux.
    • He draws closer to Aramis’s house when he spots the figure of a woman, heavily cloaked.
    • The two of them are going in the same direction. The woman heads to Aramis’s house, but instead of going inside, she taps on the window.
    • The shutter opens and the woman shows someone inside the corner of a handkerchief. The two figures then exchange handkerchiefs. The woman walks past D’Artagnan briefly and, shocker!, it’s Madame Bonacieux.
    • D’Artagnan decides to follow Madame Bonacieux. She realizes that she has a follower. She runs. D’Artagnan runs after her and easily catches up.
    • She freaks. Understandable.
    • D’Artagnan soothes her quickly, and they have a rapid conversation. It goes like this:
    • D’Artagnan: Why were you at my friend Aramis’s house?
    • Madame Bonacieux: I don’t know anyone by that name.
    • D’Artagnan: You’re pretty.
    • Madame Bonacieux: Do you promise not to meddle?
    • D’Artagnan: Fine. But I love you!
    • Madame Bonacieux returns to Aramis’s house, and D’Artagnan continues on his way. When he gets home, Planchet has terrible news. Athos has been arrested. He purposely didn’t tell the Guards his true identity in order to give D’Artagnan a three days head start on cracking the case of the Bonacieux abduction.
    • As for Porthos and Aramis, Planchet was unable to find the two men, although he did leave them messages to go to D’Artagnan’s house.
    • D’Artagnan issues Planchet a new set of directions—Porthos and Aramis are now to meet him at the Pomme-de-Pin since the house may be watched.
    • D’Artagnan then leaves to find Tréville and give him the update.
    • Tréville is not at home; he is at the palace. Why? The narrator says Tréville’s company is on guard at the Louvre (the palace), but we suspect a neat plot device.
    • We offer as proof the fact that D’Artagnan then bumps into none but Madame Bonacieux.
    • With a guy who looks suspiciously like Aramis.
    • Although the two have obviously taken pains to disguise their appearances, D’Artagnan becomes convinced that it really is Aramis and Madame Bonacieux walking arm in arm.
    • Cue feelings of angry jealousy.
    • The man and woman realize they are being followed, and start running.
    • D’Artagnan stops in front of them, and then realizes that the man is, in fact, not Aramis.
    • The man wants to continue on his way, but D’Artagnan holds his ground. He then addresses Madame Bonacieux, who chides him for breaking his promise to her.
    • The man tries to leave with Madame Bonacieux, which only angers D’Artagnan more. He draws his sword. The man draws his sword.
    • Madame Bonacieux throws herself between them and "accidentally" reveals that the man is the Duke of Buckingham.
    • D’Artagnan apologizes, citing his love for Madame Bonacieux as influencing his actions. Then he slyly points out that the Duke knows what it’s like to love.
    • D’Artagnan offers his services to the Duke, who asks him to kill anybody who follows them.
    • Madame Bonacieux and the Duke of Buckingham make it to the palace with no problems.
    • He meets up with Porthos and Aramis and tells them nothing of what happened, only that all issues have been resolved.
    • The narrator then signals that the story will shift to the adventures of Madame Bonacieux and the Duke.
  • Chapter Twelve: George Villiers, Duke of Buckingham

    • Madame Bonacieux leads the Duke down various passages, finally ending up in a room where she leaves him, and locks the door behind her.
    • Still, the Duke of Buckingham is fearless. He is rash and loves adventure, so even after discovering that the letter from Queen Anne was a hoax to lure him (remember, from Chapter Eight?), he insists on seeing her anyway.
    • Madame Bonacieux was to make all the arrangements, but she was briefly abducted.
    • We get a brief description of the Duke—thirty-five, insanely good-looking, really powerful, and seducing powerful women. The man has some serious bravado to seduce the Queen of France. The married Queen of France.
    • The Queen walks in. She looks absolutely beautiful.
    • The Duke is dazzled. The Queen is dressed very plainly, but it only enhances her beauty. He falls to her feet and kisses the hem of her dress.
    • Then Anne (that’s the Queen’s first name) points out that the two of them don’t have very much going for their relationship.
    • First, there’s the long-distance thing. He lives in England, she lives in France, and neither phones nor airplanes have been invented yet.
    • Second, there’s the whole your-country-hates-my-country issue.
    • And lastly, there’s the marriage part: Anne is a married woman.
    • This is a bad combination, and Anne knows it. She says they can never see each other again.
    • The Duke says he was too distracted by the beauty of her voice to pay attention to what she was saying. None of that means anything, he says, because the two of them are meant to be together forever.
    • The Queen points out that she’s never said that little phrase that begins with "I" and ends in "you."
    • But, replies the Duke replies, she never said that she didn’t love him. He praises her beauty some more.
    • The Duke takes a couple trips down Memory Lane, asking her if she remembers all their encounters—encounters, which quickly became the scandal of the court.
    • We learn that the Duke wanted to be the ambassador to France, but that the King nixed that whole idea on the grounds of, well, he didn’t want his wife’s lover hanging around.
    • The Duke retaliated by waging war. He tells Anne that even though they’re not allowed to see each other, she will hear about him every day. And when the war finally concludes and they send in the people who figure out the terms of peace, the Duke is planning to be one of those people. Yes, thousands of men may die, says the Duke, but he’ll be able to see Anne again.
    • He is one intense lover; Anne points out that all his proofs of love are practically criminal.
    • They continue bantering back and forth. It becomes clear that despite her protestations, Anne is really into the Duke. She tells him that she has a recurring dream in which he is lying and bleeding.
    • The Duke asks if the wound is on the left side and caused by a knife.
    • Anne is shocked that he knows the dream. She has told no one about it. The Duke thinks that having the same dream is further proof of that the two are meant to be.
    • Anne tells him to get the heck out—she will be unable to forgive herself if he is killed because he wants to see her. She tells him to come back openly one day and she will be happy to see him.
    • The Duke agrees, but asks for a token of her love.
    • She gives him a golden casket (small trinket marked with her initials in gold) and tells him to leave.
    • Madame Bonacieux meets him again and escorts him out of the palace.
  • Chapter Thirteen: Monsieur Bonacieux

    • After he is arrested, Monsieur Bonacieux is taken straight to the Bastille (the most feared jail in all of Paris). He’s taken into a scary interrogation room.
    • The commissary (a glorified police officer) is a highly unattractive man, but he looks intelligent.
    • He asks for Bonacieux’s information. Bonacieux is fifty-one (that makes him twice his wife’s age!), a retired mercer (guy who sells things), and lived at Rue des Fossoyeurs, No. 14.
    • The commissary launches into a speech about respecting government officials.
    • He then instructs Bonacieux to reflect upon his behavior, and being the sniveling, selfish, cowardly guy he is, Bonacieux starts praising the Cardinal.
    • The commissary tells Bonacieux that he is being accused of high treason. Bonacieux is terrified.
    • The commissary begins to question Bonacieux on the abduction of his wife. Bonacieux tells him everything he knows. The commissary takes a hard, aggressive stance during the questioning and eventually has Bonacieux thrown into the dungeon.
    • Bonacieux, being sniveling, selfish, and cowardly, gets upset and scared.
    • The guards are not amused. They shove him into the nearest cell, where he spends the night.
    • In the morning Bonacieux learns that his wife has escaped. The commissary blames Bonacieux, then questions him about D’Artagnan. Bonacieux tells the truth, and the commissary instructs his guards to bring D’Artagnan into the room.
    • D’Artagnan shows up, only… it’s Athos. Bonacieux claims never to have seen him before. Athos does not deny this.
    • The commissary has a difficult time believing either of them. He remains convinced that Athos really is D’Artagnan until Bonacieux points out that Athos is wearing a Musketeer’s uniform. (Remember, D’Artagnan isn’t a Musketeer.)
    • Bonacieux renounces his wife and her actions over and over again as the commissary is given fresh information about Madame Bonacieux’s whereabouts and actions.
    • Athos goes back to his dungeon cell and Bonacieux continues complaining about his situation.
    • Later that evening, Bonacieux is bundled into a carriage where he spends a terrified ride convinced that he’s about to be executed. One by one, the carriage passes all the prime execution sites, where they kill the really famous and notorious bad guys.
    • Finally, there’s only one execution site left, for the more common and less-important bad guys. The carriage stops.
    • Bonacieux faints.
  • Chapter Fourteen: The Man of Meung

    • It turns out the carriage had stopped only because a bunch of people were rubbernecking a corpse. Monsieur Bonacieux is still alive.
    • Two guards grab Bonacieux out of the carriage and drag him into a building and upstairs. He quiets down after a time and has a look around—since the furnishings are really quite beautiful, he starts to feel more comfortable.
    • A nice-looking officer walks in and Bonacieux goes into another, less pleasant, room. There is a map of La Rochelle (a city in France) on the table and a man standing next to the table.
    • This man is the Cardinal de Richelieu that we’ve been hearing so much about. The narrator notes that this is one of the most extraordinary men in Europe, renowned for his genius and moral power.
    • The Cardinal asks for notes from the interrogations at the Bastille, and then dismisses his men. After reading the notes, he accuses Bonacieux of conspiracy.
    • Bonacieux says his wife said that the Cardinal had lured the Duke of Buckingham to Paris in order to ruin the Queen.
    • The Cardinal reacts violently to this bit of information and calls Bonacieux stupid.
    • The rest of the conversation goes something like this:
    • Cardinal: Do you know where your wife is?
    • Bonacieux: No, but I assume she went to the palace.
    • Cardinal: Wrong! She has disappeared. But because I am Cardinal Awesome, no one can hide from me. *cue manic laughter*
    • The Cardinal then questions Bonacieux about his wife’s activities. We learn that Madame Bonacieux frequently did business with linen drapers, (she’s in charge of the Queen’s linen).
    • Boancieux gives the addresses of the two linen drapers his wife frequents, and the Cardinal calls for his servants to send Count Rochefort into the room. The man walks in and Bonacieux recognizes him as the man who stole his wife. This would make Count Rochefort also D’Artagnan’s man from Meung.
    • The Cardinal promptly calls for an officer to have Rochefort locked up. Immediately Bonacieux takes back what he said. The Cardinal orders the guards to get rid of Bonacieux.
    • One of the guards stays behind and tells the Cardinal that the Queen and the Duke have met up at the palace. The source of the information is a Madame de Lannoy, an agent of the Cardinal.
    • The Cardinal learns all the details of the encounter from the perspective of one of the Queen’s ladies—the Queen ordered her women to wait for her, then returned to grab the golden casket.
    • The new piece of information we learn is that the casket is full of diamond studs (a gift from the King to the Queen).
    • Clearly the Queen gave the casket to the Duke. We knew that already, but the Cardinal wants to make sure, so he continues questioning the officer.
    • Apparently Madame de Lannoy expressed fake concern that the casket was missing. When confronted, the Queen said she was having the studs repaired. The officer checked with the goldsmith, who definitely had no such casket.
    • The Cardinal is pleased. There is still time to embarrass the Queen. He then orders his officers to check the two addresses provided by Bonacieux.
    • After the officer leaves, the Cardinal calls for Bonacieux to enter again. He chastises Bonacieux for being so dense as to think that his wife was actually going to visit linen drapers.
    • Bonacieux falls at the Cardinal’s feet and showers compliments on him.
    • The Cardinal smiles and enjoys the compliments.
    • Bonacieux engages in a little more brown-nosing before the Cardinal forgives him.
    • Then the Cardinal gives him a hundred pistoles in apology.
    • Bonacieux leaves singing the Cardinal’s praises at the top of his lungs.
    • The Cardinal is amused, but is also pleased. Clearly Bonacieux’s loyalties now belong to the Cardinal.
    • The Cardinal examines the map of La Rochelle as Rochefort re-enters the room.
    • Rochefort reports that a man and a woman (the Duke of Buckingham and Madame de Chevreuse—we learn who she is later) had indeed been staying at one of the two houses, but they are no longer there.
    • The Cardinal orders that the Queen be kept unaware that secret is out.
    • When Rochefort asks what went down with Bonacieux, the Cardinal answers that Bonacieux is now a spy upon his wife, Madame Bonacieux.
    • Later, the Cardinal calls for a man named Vitray to travel to London and deliver a letter to Milady, one of the Cardinal’s conspirators. He also gives him two hundred pistoles and promises the same amount upon the man’s return.
    • The messenger leaves.
    • The last paragraph of the chapter reveals the message’s contents: Milady is instructed to find the Duke of Buckingham and, since he will obviously be wearing the diamond studs, to get close and cut off two of the studs.
    • We’re left with a cliffhanger!
  • Chapter Fifteen: Men of the Robe and Men of the Sword

    • Several days pass and Athos is still missing. D’Artagnan and Porthos fill Tréville in on what’s happened. (Aramis is out of town on family business.)
    • Tréville instantly tries to find out where Athos is being held. That would be the Fort l’Eveque.
    • He’s been subjected to all the same interrogations as Bonacieux. He handles himself well in these interrogations, however, and succeeds in confusing his commissary so much that he gets sent to the Louvre to be questioned by the Cardinal.
    • The Cardinal is busy, but this is the precise moment that Tréville arrives in the palace.
    • Now we have some background.
    • The King is very suspicious of his wife, and it doesn’t help that the Cardinal fans the flames of jealousy. Anne’s friendship with Madame de Chevreuse doesn’t help matters either.
    • Side bar: Although we’ve heard the name "Madame de Chevreuse" before, and even know she’s a duchess, we didn’t know much else. Now, however, we learn that she’s the Queen’s best friend.
    • Now, even though France is at war with Spain, on the brink of war with England, and practically broke, the Cardinal’s biggest worry is this friendship between the Queen and Madame de Chevreuse.
    • The Cardinal tells the King that Madame de Chevreuse had been in Paris, that the Queen has continued some mysterious letter-writing, and that he was in the process of arresting the go-between linking the Queen to her exiled friend (that would be Madame Bonacieux), when he was interrupted by a Musketeer.
    • Whew. Once more, just for clarity’s sake: the King hates his wife’s friend, who is in exile. Madame Bonacieux has been the go-between linking the two friends. The Cardinal was about to arrest her when a Musketeer intervened.
    • So at this point the King is raging mad at his Musketeers and at his wife. (Notice that the Cardinal hasn’t even said anything about the Duke of Buckingham!)
    • Tréville arrives just as the King is getting angry about the actions of the Musketeers.
    • Tréville, however, is unfazed and says that he wants to talk about the behavior of the Cardinal’s guard. He points out that Athos was arrested in a very unseemly fashion. He also points out that Athos has served the King multiple times.
    • Tréville and the Cardinal continue to battle for the King’s good opinion, and Tréville finally wins after he swears up and down that D’Artagnan was with him at 9:30pm. The Cardinal believes Tréville is a man of such integrity that he wouldn’t lie about this. (Of course, neither man knows that the hero of the story altered the clock!)
    • Tréville demands that Athos be released from prison or else put on trial. He also threatens to resign if his Musketeers are suspected of wrongdoing.
    • The Cardinal insists on a trial, and Tréville says he plans on pleading on Athos’s behalf. The King, fed up, asks Tréville to swear that Athos was with him that night. Tréville does so.
    • The Cardinal tells the King that if they release Athos, they will never know the true story. Tréville points out that Athos can always be found for further questioning.
    • The King signs an order for Athos’s release, and although Tréville looks happy, he’s concerned that the Cardinal has more tricks up his sleeve.
    • Still, Tréville releases Athos from prison. When Athos sees D’Artagnan he warns him (D’Artagnan) that the Cardinal will still try to retaliate.
    • Back at the palace, as soon as Tréville left the Cardinal turned to the King and asked if he knew that the Duke of Buckingham was recently in town.
    • That Cardinal sure knows how to push the King’s buttons!
  • Chapter Sixteen: In Which M. Seguier, Keeper of the Seals, Looks More Than Once For the Bell, In Order to Ring It, as He Did Before

    • Who is M. Seguier? Let’s find out…
    • The King reacts immediately and unfavorably to the news that Buckingham has been in town.
    • The Cardinal lies through his teeth and tells the King that he believes a) Buckingham was probably in town for political reasons, and b) that the Queen loves the King and would never in a million years cheat on him with, say, the Duke of Buckingham.
    • The King argues the exact opposite.
    • The Cardinal then drops the bombshell—his agent Madame de Lannoy (one of the Queen’s ladies who spies for the Cardinal) has informed him that the Queen has been writing a lot recently.
    • Fire alarms go off in the King’s head and he absolutely demands that he get his hands on the Queen’s papers.
    • The problem is that the King’s wife happens to be a very famous and exalted queen. He can’t exactly just run over and snoop through her stuff.
    • The King insists that his wife does not love him, but that she loves Buckingham instead. He asks the Cardinal why the Duke wasn’t arrested while in Paris.
    • The King points out that arresting the prime minister of England isn’t exactly a great strategy move.
    • The King then asks if the Cardinal is certain that Buckingham did not meet up with the Queen. Being the clever fellow he is, the Cardinal says he believes the Queen is far too honorable to do such a deed.
    • The King insists on seeing his wife’s letters.
    • The Cardinal says the only way to do it is to ask Monsieur de Seguier. (Aha! The mystery man of our title.) The Cardinal warns the King that the Queen may refuse to obey the orders unless they are clearly from the King. The King says he will tell her himself, and is deeply impressed with the ways in which the Cardinal has strived for marital harmony between the two royals.
    • The King visits his wife, who is with her ladies. More correctly, one of the ladies is reading out loud from a book while Anne is daydreaming. She is contemplating her life—her husband distrusts her, the Cardinal hates her, and she has no friends. Her last confidant, Monsieur Laporte (Madame Bonacieux’s godfather), is on the verge of being arrested.
    • As she’s thinking all these cheery thoughts, the King walks in. He tells her to prepare herself for a visit from the chancellor. Since she is constantly "threatened with divorce, exile, and trial," this latest command freaks her out. She asks for an explanation, but the King refuses to ease her mind.
    • The chancellor walks in.
    • The narrator warns us that this guy will come back in the story, so it’s best if we learn a little bit about him. When the chancellor was younger, he was wild and crazy. When he got older, he went to a convent and tried to repent of all his evil sins. Temptation still bothered him all the time, however, and he confessed this vulnerability. It was recommended that the Chancellor (also know as Seguier) ring a bell every time he felt tempted, and all the monks would run to the chapel and pray for his soul.
    • Seguier was tempted an awful lot, however, so day in and day out the bell was ringing and the monks were running to chapel to pray.
    • It is unclear whether the monks finally succeeded in curing him, or whether he was too addicted to his earthly pleasures.
    • Still, six months later he was back in the real world with a reputation for being the most possessed guy ever (as in possessed by the devil).
    • The chancellor eventually served the Cardinal, which brings us back to our story.
    • Seguier enters into the Queen’s room and demands to see all her documents.
    • She protests, then tells one of her ladies to open all the drawers and desks.
    • The chancellor realizes that was a little too easy, but for form’s sake goes through all the drawers. He states that it’s becomes necessary to frisk the Queen.
    • Anna of Austria is angry at this point. Subject herself to a humiliating strip search? No way!
    • The chancellor explains that the King knows his wife has been writing a letter, and he wants to see it.
    • Anna asks if he would dare frisk her. The chancellor says he obeys the King. (Read: Yes!)
    • After a little more back and forth, she gives up the letter.
    • It’s addressed to the King of Spain.
    • (We learn from narrator that the letter contains a plan of attack against the Cardinal. The Queen asks her brother and the Emperor of Austria to declare war against France and request the dismissal of the Cardinal.)
    • But there’s no mention of her affection for the Duke of Buckingham.
    • The King is happy to read this letter. He goes straight to the Cardinal and acknowledges that the Cardinal was correct in saying the Queen was up to politics, not sex.
    • The King also points out that the letter makes it clear that the Queen pretty severely dislikes the Cardinal, and asks his eminence (i.e., the Cardinal) what he wants to do.
    • The Cardinal continues playing it cool and says that he’s getting old and would love to retire.
    • The King responds by saying he will punish everyone in the letter, including the Queen.
    • The Cardinal says, no, don’t do that, why don’t you throw a ball and ask her to wear those diamonds you gave her. You two should make up your differences!
    • Anne is excited and happy when the King tells her about the ball, but she has to wait for the Cardinal to name the day of the event.
    • The Cardinal, of course, is waiting for word from Milady that the diamonds have been stolen.
    • Finally, he decides upon a date (after Milady will be back in Paris with the diamonds) and again mentions to the King that the Queen should really wear those magnificent diamonds.
  • Chapter Seventeen: Bonacieux at Home

    • The King realizes that this is the second time the Cardinal has mentioned the diamonds and is intrigued by the mystery.
    • No matter how much they pretend to be BFFs, the King and the Cardinal are also rivals. The King has been humiliated multiple times because the Cardinal has better spies than the King. He hopes to figure out the "Mystery of the Diamond Studs" and impress the Cardinal.
    • He then goes to his wife and requests for her to wear the diamonds.
    • She freaks out.
    • The King notices and enjoys her reaction.
    • Anne finds out that the Cardinal is behind both the date of the ball and the request for her to wear diamonds.
    • The Queen begins to pray, believing that her reputation has been completely ruined. She has no friends and nowhere to go.
    • Wrong! Madame Bonacieux is there, asking if there is anything she can do.
    • Madame Bonacieux pledges her eternal loyalty to the Queen, and then proposes that a messenger be sent to the Duke. The Queen gives her a letter and seals it with her private seal.
    • She then points out that Madame Bonacieux will likely need money. She gives the woman an expensive ring.
    • Madame Bonacieux goes home, unaware that her husband is now loyal to the Cardinal. She thinks of D’Artagnan on her way home.
    • At home, her husband is preoccupied with being friends with the Cardinal.
    • Once she gets home, she embraces her husband and says she has an important mission for him.
    • Her husband wants to talk about his day and night in the Bastille.
    • Finally, it becomes clear to Madame Bonacieux that her husband will be of no help to her—he’s too closely allied to the Cardinal.
    • Monsieur Bonacieux shows his wife all his newfound money from the Cardinal and Monsieur de Rochefort. His wife points out that Monsieur de Rochefort was the one who abducted her.
    • His wife promises him that if he fulfills the mission, she will forgive him everything and love him again.
    • Her husband is conflicted. She is young and pretty. He’s old and not very handsome!
    • But he refuses. London is so far away and his memories of the Bastille are still too fresh.
    • Madame Bonacieux realizes she may already have said too much, so she gives up.
    • Her husband remembers that he was supposed to spy on her, but it’s already too late.
    • Madame Bonacieux has to go back to the Louvre (she lives there while she serves the Queen), but her husband leaves first.
    • Her husband’s departure gives her time to bemoan her situation and for D’Artagnan to arrive and offer himself as a messenger.
  • Chapter Eighteen: Lover and Husband

    • The first thing D’Artagnan says when he walks into Madame Bonacieux’s apartment is that her husband is a bad guy. He overheard the entire conversation, and he’s ready to do anything for her.
    • Madame Bonacieux says, "Really?"
    • D’Artagnan claims that he’s a trustworthy guy. He ends with "I love you. I’m an honorable man. I am gallant. I am brave."
    • Madame Bonacieux looks at his eager puppy-dog face and decides to share the Queen’s secret. She also, the narrator says, is kind of falling for him. She tells him the whole story—the narrator calls it "their mutual declaration of love."
    • Before he leaves, Madame Bonacieux points out that he can’t just take off. He needs to ask Tréville boss for a leave of absence. She also points out that he needs money. She gives him her husband’s money. (The money from the Cardinal!)
    • D’Artagnan remarks that it will be amusing to save the Queen with the Cardinal’s money.
    • There are more declarations of love.
    • Then Madame Bonacieux notices that her husband is talking to someone in the street. The two of them need to do the sensible thing, which is to hide in D’Artagnan’s apartment.
    • Once in D’Artagnan’s apartment (which is right upstairs from Bonacieux’s, remember?) the two lovebirds look out the window and see Monsieur Bonacieux chit-chatting with D’Artagnan’s worst enemy, the Man from Meung!
    • D’Artagnan wants to run off and slay him right then and there, but Madame Bonacieux orders him not to.
    • Because he’s madly in love with Madame Bonacieux, D’Artagnan stops puts his sword away.
    • The two of them eavesdrop on the conversation downstairs. The stranger asks Monsieur Bonacieux if his wife suspects anything. Bonacieux says no.
    • The stranger asks Bonacieux to make sure that D’Artagnan isn’t home. Bonacieux does so as the two lovers sit quietly.
    • The conversation continues—Bonacieux is certain that his wife is at the Louvre, and Bonacieux did not hear his wife mention any names.
    • The stranger then scolds Bonacieux for not pretending to accept the mission so they could have the letter.
    • Bonacieux responds, "my wife adores me, and I’ll just run over to the Louvre and tell her I changed my mind about the mission!"
    • Madame Bonacieux curses both her husband and the stranger under her breath.
    • The stranger leaves and Bonacieux discovers the missing money. He runs screaming out of his house.
    • D’Artagnan asks if he would win Madame Bonacieux’s affection with a successful mission. She blushes, which means "yes," and shortly thereafter, D’Artagnan departs.
    • Madame Bonacieux prays to God for protection.
  • Chapter Nineteen: Plan of Campaign

    • D’Artagnan shows up at Tréville’s house all excited. He’s about to embark on a mission for glory, money, and love. What more could you want?
    • As soon as Tréville sees D’Artagnan, he can tell that something’s up.
    • D’Artagnan is ready to tell Tréville everything since he’s such a good friend, but as soon as D’Artagnan tells Tréville that the issue deals with the honor and the life of the Queen, Tréville tells him not to say a word, and then asks if he can do anything for D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan asks for a fifteen-day leave of absence, to be enacted immediately.
    • Tréville tells D’Artagnan that if he leaves alone, he will be assassinated.
    • Porthos, Aramis, and Athos are going to accompany D’Artagnan. Tréville signs the orders under the pretense that the three Musketeers are going to the waters of Forges so that Athos can heal his wound.
    • Tréville tells D’Artagnan that the leaves of absence will be completed and signed by two in the morning. D’Artagnan heads for Aramis’s place. Aramis has been looking gloomy lately, and especially so tonight, but he says he’s been writing an important religious piece. After the two chat for a few minutes, a servant shows up with a leave of absence for Aramis, who is properly shocked because he doesn’t recall asking for one.
    • D’Artagnan realizes that Aramis is still pining for the woman with the embroidered handkerchief who helped the Duke of Buckingham meet up with the Queen (remember the woman in Tours?).
    • It turns out Aramis has been feeling rejected, but D’Artagnan tells him that, a) the woman went back to Tours because she didn’t want to be arrested, and b) she didn’t write to Aramis because she didn’t want him to get arrested. Glad that’s all sorted out; Aramis is perfectly happy to go to England with D’Artagnan.
    • Along with Aramis’s servant Bazin, they head to Athos’s house.
    • On their way D’Artagnan assures Aramis that no one else knows about the lady.
    • When they arrive at Athos’s house, they find him holding his leave of absence and looking confused.
    • D’Artagnan explains that Athos is to follow him in service of the King and Queen.
    • Porthos shows up, also confused about his leave of absence.
    • D’Artagnan explains that the whole gang is going to London. And then he pulls out the three hundred pistoles and says that everyone gets seventy-five each. He then also points out that not all of them are going to make it, which sounds vaguely ominous.
    • Athos, Porthos, and Aramis say that they still don’t know what this cause worth dying for is, exactly.
    • D’Artagnan asks if the King ever needs to give a reason.
    • And then they say, good point!
    • The four men call for their servants and tell them to prepare for the journey.
    • They talk about how to proceed, and settle on traveling together. If D’Artagnan is killed, someone else will carry the letter. If that person is killed, then someone else will carry the letter and so on until they’re all dead or the letter has reached Buckingham.
    • Everyone agrees to the plan and they set off.
  • Chapter Twenty: The Journey

    • (Advance warning: a map of 17th Century England and France would be useful here if you want to track the path taken by our young adventurers.)
    • They leave at two o’clock in the morning slightly fearful, but by the time morning hits they’re in a great and sunny mood.
    • They reach Chantilly (a city north of Paris) at about eight in the morning ready to eat breakfast. They dismount at an inn and tell the lackeys not to unsaddle the horses in case they need to make a quick getaway.
    • A gentleman is eating at the same table as they are, and insists on making small talk. When Mousqueton (Porthos’s servant) comes in to announce that the horses are ready, the stranger asks Porthos to toast to the health of the Cardinal. Porthos says he will do so only if the stranger drinks to the health of the King.
    • The stranger says he bows only to the Cardinal, and Porthos calls him a drunk, at which point it’s all over and the two draw their swords.
    • Athos yells "Good luck!" as the other three mount their horses, leaving Porthos behind to fight.
    • They stop later in the trip, but Porthos does not rejoin them.
    • Later, they come across "eight or ten men who… appeared to be employed in digging holes and filling up the ruts with mud."
    • Aramis is upset at getting his boots dirty and says so, at which point the workers start insulting them. And then they pull out some guns.
    • Aramis and Mousqueton are both hit. Mousqueton falls from his horse.
    • D’Artagnan yells for them to move forward, and Mousqueton’s horse rejoins them as they continue down the road.
    • They continue on, but their horses are tired. And Aramis is wounded. At Crèvecoeur (another city in France), they leave Aramis and Bazin behind to recuperate.
    • So to recount: we have Athos and D’Artagnan, along with their lackeys Grimaud and Planchet. Athos swears he will not fall into any more verbal traps and the four press forward. They reach Amiens at midnight.
    • The host of their hotel is nice, which is naturally suspicious. Despite being offered rooms at opposite ends of the hotel, D’Artagnan and Athos opt to sleep together in the common room.
    • Planchet and Grimaud show up.
    • It’s decided that Grimaud will stay with the horses to make sure they’re ready to go at five in the morning (that would be five hours from now), and that Planchet will serve as a bodyguard by sleeping outside their door.
    • At four o’clock they find Grimaud beaten unconscious. Planchet goes down to get the horses ready, but none of them are in any fit condition to ride.
    • Athos goes to pay their bill while Planchet notices two nice horses all ready to go.
    • When Athos goes to pay his bill, the innkeeper takes a look at the money and calls Athos and his companions frauds and yells for them to be arrested. Athos yells for D’Artagnan to run while he fights four armed men.
    • D’Artagnan and Planchet grab two horses and leave.
    • The two horses completely give up as they’re about to reach Calais. (Calais is the port city of France from which they can leave for England.)
    • They run to the docks. But wait! There’s someone already there with his servant. This gentleman is also in a huge rush to get across the channel.
    • There’s a ship captain waiting conveniently by the docks, but he informs both D’Artagnan and the stranger that no one can sail without the permission of the Cardinal.
    • The stranger has permission, but needs the governor of the port to countersign it.
    • D’Artagnan picks a fight with the stranger and beats him up. Planchet beats up the stranger’s servant.
    • Our hero then finds the necessary permission slip and notes that the stranger’s identity is "Comte de Wardes." He takes a look at the unconscious young man and has a moment of remorse for the fact that both of them are risking their lives for other people’s messes.
    • They drag Comte de Wardes over to a tree and tie his servant to the tree.
    • They head over to the governor’s house and D’Artagnan announces himself as the Comte de Wardes. While chatting with the governor, D’Artagnan drops the hint that a dastardly man, by the name of D’Artagnan, is trying to cross the Channel. D’Artagnan then gives the governor a description of the Comte de Wardes. Very tricky...
    • D’Artagnan heads back to the wharf and jumps on board the ship to England.
    • They reach the other side of the Channel at ten-thirty in the morning and then arrive in London a few hours later. Although he doesn’t speak English, D’Artagnan is soon directed to the Duke’s residence.
    • It turns out the Duke is out hunting with the King.
    • D’Artagnan manages to convince the Duke’s servant that he needs to talk to the most powerful man in England, and they go track the Duke down.
    • The Duke immediately asks if the Queen is okay, and D’Artagnan hands him the letter. The Duke reads it and tells his servant to make his excuses to the King because he needs to get back to London immediately.
  • Chapter Twenty-One: The Countess de Winter

    • The Duke pieces together the full story of the situation, and expresses his astonishment that the Cardinal’s agents didn’t stop D’Artagnan. D’Artagnan points out that he had three brave friends with him. Still, the Duke is impressed.
    • The two of them reach London and head for the Duke’s house.
    • The Duke takes D’Artagnan to the shrine he has dedicated to Queen Anne. This shrine contains a life-size portrait, an altar, and the casket with the diamond studs.
    • The Duke kneels in front of the portrait and retrieves the studs. He begins kissing each of them when he notices that two are missing.
    • The Duke is convinced that the Cardinal had them stolen. He remembers that he wore the studs recently to a ball where he spoke with the Comtess de Winter (otherwise known as Milady), an agent of the Cardinal.
    • But there are still five days before Queen Anne has to wear the diamonds. The Duke calls for his servant, Patrick, and asks for his jeweler and secretary.
    • He orders his secretary to put through a law that no ships are to leave the port. This amounts to a declaration of war against France, but hey: a woman’s honor is at stake. If the two missing diamonds are still in the country, they will arrive in Paris only after D’Artagnan does.
    • D’Artagnan pauses for a moment to mention the fact that the Duke is abusing power in order to pursue the Queen. The Duke says, yes, that’s right, I would do anything for her. Then he lists all the things he would do.
    • The jeweler shows up and the Duke asks him to create two diamond studs identical to those missing. He give the jeweler two days and double the usual price.
    • And then the Duke "asks" the jeweler to stay in the castle while he works, (which means that the jeweler is effectively a prisoner until the diamond studs are finished). The Duke throws in some more money for good measure.
    • The two men then go to bed—D’Artagnan sleeps in an adjoining room so that the Duke can rave to him about the Queen.
    • Soon the two diamond studs are finished, and D’Artagnan is ready to go back to Paris. The Duke then asks what he can do for D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan is very uncomfortable with the idea of being paid with English money. He tells the Duke, a) that he serves in a military company loyal to the King and Queen of France, b) that the only reason he agreed to this mission was to serve the Queen, and c) that his (D’Artagnan’s) actions help him woo a very nice young lady.
    • D’Artagnan also points out England and France are now at war, and that the two of them are enemies.
    • The Duke responds by saying that D’Artagnan is very proud. He then gives D’Artagnan detailed instructions for getting back to Paris that involve lots of passwords.
    • D’Artagnan gets back in no time, and checks in with Tréville, who tells him that he should join Dessessart’s company on duty at the Louvre.
  • Chapter Twenty-Two: The Ballet of La Merlaison

    • At the ball, the King and Queen are slated to perform the King’s favorite dance. It’s called La Merlaison and everyone in the city is excited
    • Preparations are made throughout the day for the fête, and at midnight the King finally arrives, looking "dull and weary."
    • All the notables at the ball have their own dressing rooms; before entering into his, the King asks to be informed when the Cardinal arrives.
    • Half an hour later, the Queen arrives and is subject to the same adulation as the King. She too looks "dull and weary."
    • The Cardinal shows up and looks straight at the Queen. He’s overjoyed when he sees that she’s not wearing any studs. He goes straight to inform the King, who immediately runs to the Queen and asks why she’s not wearing the studs.
    • The Queen gives an excuse and the King tells her that it’s not good enough and that she needs to put on the studs. She replies that she will have someone fetch them from the palace.
    • Everyone at the fête is confused: they saw the King and Queen talking, but they didn’t hear what they said.
    • The King comes out looking dashing in a hunting costume.
    • The Cardinal approaches and gives the King a small casket containing two diamond studs. He explains that if—laying emphasis on the if—the Queen has the studs, she will be missing two of them. In that eventuality, the Cardinal tells the King to ask the Queen who could have stolen the missing two.
    • The King is about to reply to the Cardinal when the crowd erupts in admiration for the Queen. The Queen was dressed as a huntress and emerged wearing "a beaver hat with blue feathers, a surtout of gray-pearl velvet, fastened with diamond clasps, and a petticoat of blue satin, embroidered with silver. On her left shoulder sparkled the diamond studs, on a bow of the same color as the plumes and the petticoat."
    • The King is happy and the Cardinal is angry at the sight of the diamond studs! The Queen is still too far away to count the number of studs on her shoulder.
    • And the ballet begins! As they dance, the King keeps trying to count the diamonds, but to no avail.
    • Finally, the King goes over to the Queen and is all, I think you lost these.
    • The Queen looks surprised and says she now has fourteen. Twelve diamonds in total sparkle on her shoulder.
    • The King calls the Cardinal over and demands an explanation.
    • The Cardinal gives a made-up explanation. Queen: 1, Cardinal: 0.
    • D’Artagnan stands in the crowd watching the scene play out; he alone understands what is really going on. He’s about to leave when a mysterious woman clothed in black gestures for him to follow her.
    • She leads him down all sorts of passageways and finally leaves him alone in a room. He hears ladies chatting, the Queen included. He waits.
    • Finally "a hand and an arm, surpassingly beautiful in their form and whiteness, glided through the tapestry." D’Artagnan falls to his knees and kisses her hand. The hand withdraws and leaves behind it a diamond ring.
    • Madame Bonacieux returns and tells D’Artagnan to go home. He protests. She tells him that a note awaits him at his apartment, and he obeys her unthinkingly. (According to the narrator, this means that he’s in love.)
  • Chapter Twenty-Three: The Rendezvous

    • D’Artagnan runs home. It is now three o’clock in the morning.
    • D’Artagnan runs back to his apartment (where Planchet has returned from London), and asks if anyone has brought a letter.
    • Planchet says no, but that a letter has mysteriously appeared. He found a letter in D’Artagnan’s bedroom and left it untouched. He thinks it’s unnatural and warns D’Artagnan that it is evil.
    • D’Artagnan rushes over and opens the letter.
    • It tells D’Artagnan to go to a pavilion in St. Cloud at ten o’clock.
    • D’Artagnan is overcome with joy, but Planchet gets worried.
    • D’Artagnan gives Planchet some money. It doesn’t appease Planchet, however, because he still wants to know where the letter came from and what it said.
    • D’Artagnan says it came from heaven.
    • D’Artagnan goes to bed snuggling his letter.
    • At seven in the morning, D’Artagnan leaves the house and tells Planchet that he will return at seven in the evening and he expects two horses to be ready.
    • Planchet is not happy; he is convinced they’re about to go off on another dangerous adventure.
    • The two argue some more, and D’Artagnan wins by questioning Planchet’s manliness.
    • D’Artagnan leaves, but on his way out bumps into Monsieur Bonacieux.
    • They start talking about Bonacieux’s brief stint in jail. Bonacieux then asks where D’Artagnan has been the past few days, and D’Artagnan replies that he has been on a journey with his friends. D’Artagnan tells his landlord not to worry if he stays out all night. Bonacieux turns pale and tries to excuse his violent reaction. He then tells D’Artagnan that his wife is spending the night at the palace.
    • The two finally part, D’Artagnan having failed to notice during their conversation that Bonacieux may have been up to something.
    • D’Artagnan visits Tréville and discusses the previous night. The Cardinal had been really angry and had left early, but the King and Queen had danced until six in the morning.
    • Tréville then inquires into D’Artagnan’s well being. He warns D’Artagnan that the Cardinal is angry and wants to know who thwarted his plan of embarrassing the Queen.
    • Tréville notices D’Artagnan’s diamond ring; D’Artagnan explains that the ring is from the Queen.
    • Tréville advises him to sell it. He warns D’Artagnan that the ring will give him away—he has to be on his guard.
    • D’Artagnan asks if he should look out for anything in particular, but Tréville says that the Cardinal has all sorts of tricks up his sleeve. He tells D’Artagnan that the least he can expect is arrest. Finally Tréville tells D’Artagnan to trust no one—especially his mistress.
    • D’Artagnan blushes.
    • Tréville says that the Cardinal’s favorite means of bringing down a man is through a beautiful woman. D’Artagnan thinks of Madame Bonacieux but does not suspect her at all.
    • Tréville changes the subject and asks how D’Artagnan’s three friends are doing. D’Artagnan has no idea. (To recap: Porthos was last seen fighting a duel at Chantilly, Aramis was left recuperating at Crèvecoeur, and Athos had to fight accusations of forgery at Amiens.)
    • D’Artagnan himself only barely escaped by fighting the Comte de Wardes. Tréville notes that De Wardes is Rochefort’s cousin and one of the Cardinal’s men.
    • Tréville suggests that D’Artagnan seek out his three friends.
    • D’Artagnan says he will leave tomorrow, which immediately rouses Tréville’s suspicion, and he again cautions D’Artagnan to be wary of women.
    • D’Artagnan leaves Tréville feeling touched by the man’s concern.
    • He visits each of his friends’ homes, but there is no new information. D’Artagnan then finds Planchet grooming the horses. Planchet asks his master if he trusts Monsieur Bonacieux, and notes that D’Artagnan changed color several times throughout the course of their conversation. Planchet says that Bonacieux left right after D’Artagnan, only heading in the opposite direction.
    • D’Artagnan refuses to Planchet’s warnings seriously, and is determined to keep his ten o’clock appointment.
    • He instructs Planchet to be ready by nine o’clock.
    • D’Artagnan, being cautious, visits a Gascon priest for dinner instead of returning home.
  • Chapter Twenty-Four: The Pavilion

    • D’Artagnan meets Planchet at nine; Planchet is armed and D’Artagnan has his sword and two pistols. The two head out; at first Planchet rides behind D’Artagnan but he gradually moves his horse forward.
    • As the two are riding through the woods, Planchet’s mind again turns to Bonacieux. D’Artagnan again makes light of his servant’s fears.
    • Shortly, they come to a point where D’Artagnan plans to leave Planchet behind. Planchet isn’t too keen on this idea and points out that the night is cold. D’Artagnan tells Planchet to go to one of the inns and to be ready to meet him at six in the morning.
    • So our hero continues to the pavilion and waits for his beloved. He passes the time dreaming pleasant thoughts. The time strikes as he stares at a building where a light shines through the trees. He waits another half-hour. Finally, he begins to get scared. Eleven o’clock rings out and he gets more scared. He worries and then decides to climb into the window that’s lit.
    • When D’Artagnan reaches the first floor window (a "first floor" window really means second-floor to us Americans), he sees a chaotic scene and evidence of a struggle. He searches the room and finds a woman’s torn and scented glove that he keeps.
    • The more he searches, the more he worries.
    • He runs along a path and finds a ferryman whom he interrogates. At about seven in the evening, the man took over a young woman, who must have been Madame Bonacieux.
    • D’Artagnan reads and rereads his letter from Madame Bonacieux (otherwise known as Constance) to make sure that he was unmistaken about the time and place.
    • D’Artagnan spots a nearby cottage and decides that its inhabitant must have seen the episode.
    • He knocks and a fearful old man pokes out his head.
    • D’Artagnan begs to learn what happened, and tells the old man his own circumstances.
    • The old man tells D’Artagnan that at nine o’clock three strange men with horses and a carriage wanted a ladder. They took his ladder, gave him some money, and warned him not to tell anyone of what he might see and hear that night.
    • The old man pretends to go inside but house but really stands outside to watch everything unfold.
    • The old man tells D’Artagnan that a little man came out of the carriage, ascended the ladder, and peeked into the first floor window of the pavilion, reporting back "it is she!"
    • One of the men takes a key and goes into the pavilion while the other two men go up to the window.
    • Then he heard a woman screaming and crying. The men throw her into the carriage and drive off.
    • D’Artagnan is clearly upset. The old man points out that at least she’s not dead.
    • D’Artagnan asks for a description of the leader, who turns out to be the Man from Meung. D’Artagnan then asks about the short man, whom, the old man says, was not a gentleman.
    • D’Artagnan promises that he won’t reveal the old man as his source of information, and heads for the ferry, his mind "torn by doubt, grief, and despair." And he misses his friends.
    • At this point it’s past midnight and D’Artagnan goes to find Planchet. No luck. D’Artagnan realizes he’s better off waiting for the appointed hour of six o’clock, and he stops in a cabaret for some wine and rest.
    • There he finds Planchet.
  • Chapter Twenty-Five: Porthos

    • Rather than go home, D’Artagnan goes to visit Tréville. He tells his mentor the full and honest truth, hoping for some advice.
    • Tréville is convinced that the Cardinal is behind it all.
    • Tréville promises to tell the Queen that Constance has been kidnapped, and recommends that D’Artagnan leave Paris immediately.
    • D’Artagnan heads home in order to pack for his journey, and spots Monsieur Bonacieux. He is suspicious, and the narrator tells us that "all falsehood is a mask… with a little attention we may always succeed in distinguishing it from the true face."
    • D’Artagnan is determined that Bonacieux wears such a mask of falsehood and tries to brush past him, but Bonacieux starts chatting. He makes fun of D’Artagnan for coming home when everyone else is going out.
    • D’Artagnan says something about Bonacieux’s pretty wife, and the man pales.
    • Then Bonacieux says that D’Artagnan must’ve really been somewhere unusual, because there’s mud all over his boots. D’Artagnan looks down, and sees the same mud splotches on Bonacieux’s boots.
    • D’Artagnan determines that the small, "not-a-gentleman-man" from last night must have been Bonacieux. He aided in the kidnapping of his wife!
    • D’Artagnan is ready to kill Bonacieux then and there, but he restrains himself. Still, D’Artagnan looks so fearsome that Bonacieux is scared.
    • D’Artagnan opts for pointing out that Bonacieux’s boots look just as dirty as his own. Bonacieux says that he went to St. Mande to ask after a servant.
    • D’Artagnan, switching to interrogator mode, is now certain that Bonacieux was at St. Cloud last night, because St. Mande is in the opposite direction. He realizes that Bonacieux likely knows where his wife is being held, and resolves to get that information from him.
    • D’Artagnan asks for some water, and before Bonacieux can reply, D’Artagnan ducks into Bonacieux’s house. Bonacieux’s bed has not been used.
    • After drinking some water, D’Artagnan leaves for his own apartment.
    • When he walks in, Planchet is happy to see him.
    • Apparently a certain Monsieur de Cavois, the captain of the Cardinal’s Guards, paid the apartment a visit while D’Artagnan was consulting with Tréville.
    • The man did not come to arrest D’Artagnan; on the contrary he bore well wishes from the Cardinal and asked D’Artagnan to follow him to the Palais-Royal. Since D’Artagnan wasn’t home, the captain asked for D’Artagnan to call upon him at some point that day.
    • Planchet tells the captain that D’Artagnan has set off for Champagne.
    • D’Artagnan congratulates Planchet on his quick thinking; Planchet says he knew D’Artagnan would have time to correct the lie if he wanted, and that since he (Planchet) is not a gentleman, he’s allowed to lie.
    • The two of them get ready to leave Paris—in the opposite direction of Champagne. D’Artagnan tells Planchet that he was right about Bonacieux.
    • Before leaving, D’Artagnan visits his friends’ houses one more time to make sure that no new information has come. At Aramis’s house, there is a pretty and perfumed letter waiting.
    • The two of them travel with four horses in order to bring back their friends. (These are the horses, incidentally, which D’Artagnan used to ride back from Calais. They are English horses, a present from the Duke.)
    • They reach Chantilly with no problem and arrive at the inn where they left Porthos. D’Artagnan’s got four horses, so he’s looking like a VIP to the innkeeper, who comes over personally to serve him some wine.
    • D’Artagnan begins to ask about Porthos, and learns that Porthos is still at the inn, hasn’t paid his bill, and threatens to kill anyone who asks for money.
    • (Apparently Porthos gambled away the seventy-five pistoles, along with his horse.)
    • Porthos continues to hang out at this inn, occupying the best room, refusing to leave, and refusing to pay his bill. Mousqueton has also rejoined his master.
    • D’Artagnan tries to allay the innkeeper’s fears, pointing out that Porthos is favored by a wealthy woman who will pay the bill. The innkeeper’s expresses doubt, saying that he has knows all about this great lady
    • To make a long story short, Porthos’s mistress is the wife of an attorney. (Now, while attorneys make are well respected today, back in the 17th century they were distinctly part of the middle-class, and leagues away from the upper-class of dukes and duchesses.)
    • The mistress’s name is Madame Coquenard, and she is not exactly beautiful. In fact, she’s fifty years old and is very jealous of Porthos. (When she receives a letter from him about his wound and financial distress, she is convinced it is because of another woman!)
    • D’Artagnan asks if Porthos is really wounded, and the innkeeper confesses that Porthos forbids anyone to admit it. He was beaten up badly by his adversary, but refuses to admit it to anyone except his mistress.
    • D’Artagnan goes to visit Porthos. Before D’Artagnan leaves, he assures the innkeeper that if Porthos’s mistress will pay the bill. If she doesn’t, however, D’Artagnan promises that he will take care of the account, which is already upwards of twenty pistoles.
    • D’Artagnan enters Pothos’s room to find him gambling with Mousqueton while food cooks over a fire. Empty wine bottles line the mantles.
    • Porthos says hello, and soon entertains his company with highly embroidered stories. For instance, he says he beat up his adversary, but got a tiny little sprain in the process, which has confined him to his bed.
    • D’Artagnan fills Porthos in on his end of the story.
    • It transpires that the faithful Mousqueton has been poaching animals and stealing wine to keep the two well fed.
    • We learn a bit about Mousqueton’s background here.
    • During the war between Catholics and the Huguenots in France, Mousqueton’s father opted for a mixed religious system. When he saw a Catholic, all his Protestant beliefs would rise up and he would pull out his gun and talk religion until the Catholic handed over his money. When he saw a Huguenot, the reverse would happen.
    • In keeping with his mixed religious beliefs, Mousqueton’s father raised Mousqueton as a Catholic, and his older brother as a Protestant.
    • Mousqueton’s father was killed one day when a Catholic and a Huguenot both recognized him. Being a devoted son, Mousqueton later killed the Huguenot, and his brother took care of the Catholic.
    • Mousqueton’s father was also a poacher in his spare time, and he taught Mousqueton the basics.
    • The next story concerns the procuring of wine.
    • In Spain Mousqueton learned a number of lassoing techniques that enable him to use the ventilation window in the wine cellar to steal bottles of wine without the innkeeper noticing.
    • D’Artagnan tells Porthos that a horse will be left in the stables for him, and that he (D’Artagnan) must find Aramis and Athos.
    • Planchet comes in to report the horses are ready, and they bid Porthos farewell.
  • Chapter Twenty-Six: Aramis and His Thesis

    • D’Artagnan daydreams of Madame Bonacieux on his way to Crèvecoeur and quickly reaches his destination.
    • At the inn where he left Aramis, D’Artagnan is informed that Aramis is with some men from the church, and is planning to join the priesthood.
    • D’Artagnan heads to Aramis’s door, which is blocked by Bazin, who wants his master to become a churchman.
    • D’Artagnan shoves the servant aside and goes into Aramis’s room. It’s filled with theological iconography and two men dressed in black. Aramis says hi, but that his mind is elsewhere.
    • Aramis asks D’Artagnan if he thinks his thesis should be dogmatic and didactic or ideal.
    • D’Artagnan is confused: his talents lie with sword fighting, and not with academics!
    • Aramis and his visitors have a theological discussion peppered with lots of Latin phrases.
    • Finally, the two men leave, promising to return the next day to ordain Aramis into the church.
    • The two friends are left alone. D’Artagnan lets Aramis talk first. The man defends his life choice, telling D’Artagnan that joining the priesthood has long been a wish.
    • Aramis invites his friend to share a spartan meal of vegetables.
    • We then learn about Aramis’s background.
    • He was in a seminary from the time he was nine until he was twenty. When he was at a "house, which I frequented with much pleasure," a man insulted him for reading some verses to a lady.
    • Aramis was supposed to respond and fight, but he did not know how. The incident continued to gnaw at him until he received permission to delay his formal entrance into the priesthood. Aramis went to Paris, learned how to fence, and then killed the man who had insulted him.
    • Needless to say, this caused some controversy, so it was necessary for Aramis to lay low for a while.
    • D’Artagnan asks for the reasons behind re-entering the church now.
    • Aramis explains that the wound he sustained has turned his thoughts to higher concerns, but D’Artagnan calls him out, asking if perhaps a woman had made a deeper wound.
    • Aramis scoffs at this claim, asking what woman could possibly have that effect.
    • Aramis complains about life, calling it dull and coffin-like.
    • D’Artagnan produces the pretty, perfumed letter. Aramis reads it and undergoes a complete change of heart—the world is suddenly beautiful, he no longer wants to join the church, and he tells Bazin to fetch them a proper dinner with lots of meat.
    • The chapter ends with the two enjoying four bottles of wine.
  • Chapter Twenty-Seven: The Wife of Athos

    • Their next step is to find Athos.
    • It’s clear, however, that Aramis is in no state to ride his horse. D’Artagnan tells him to stay, recuperate, and make up with Bazin, who has been depressed since Athos changed his mind about taking orders.
    • D’Artagnan sets off alone.
    • Soon he’s immersed deep in thought about Athos. It’s clear from his thoughts that he thinks highly of the older Musketeer. Athos is the textbook definition of an aristocrat: he has the handsome looks, the perfect etiquette, the great sword fighting skills, and a complete understanding of Latin, aristocratic history, and falconry.
    • Yet it’s clear that something is missing. Deep down inside, Athos is sad. D’Artagnan is mystified by this, and hasn’t been able to figure out why.
    • So those are D’Artagnan’s thoughts as he rides to meet Athos. He also feels guilty at the thought of Athos being dead. Planchet points out that they also owe their lives to Athos.
    • They reach the inn and D’Artagnan’s first act is to menace the innkeeper, who promptly begs for mercy and apologizes for his earlier actions.
    • It turns out the innkeeper had been tipped off that a group of men disguised in the uniforms of Musketeers would try to use fake money at his establishment. Authorities had even sent reinforcements for arresting these known criminals.
    • D’Artagnan demands to know what’s become of Athos. The innkeeper explains that, after killing one adversary and seriously wounding two others, Athos barricaded himself in the cellar and refuses to leave. Grimaud arrived and joined Athos in the cellar, and together the two of them threatened everyone who wanted to enter with death.
    • The innkeeper complains that his business has suffered since all his provisions of food and wine are in the cellar.
    • D’Artagnan points out that this is a quite just turn of events.
    • Two Englishmen arrive at the inn and are very angry at the lack of food and drink. After the situation is explained, they want to break down the cellar door. As they descend to the cellar, D’Artagnan and Planchet follow after them with their muskets drawn. They kick in the door as D’Artagnan warns them that they will be attacked by Athos inside the cellar and from D’Artagnan, outside. At the last minute, the two sides succeed in making peace. D’Artagnan sends the Englishmen to their rooms and promises to supply them with food and wine soon.
    • Athos comes out "moist." So does Grimaud, (who is soaked in the innkeeper’s best olive oil to help his wounds). It turns out the two of them have been drinking in the cellar. Athos reckons he alone drank about one hundred and fifty bottles.
    • The host of the inn, as might be expected, is not happy. He and his wife go down to survey the damage.
    • Athos, Grimaud, D’Artagnan, and Planchet install themselves in the inn’s nicest room. Athos calls for some wine, which just makes the innkeeper more irate.
    • Athos and D’Artagnan tell the innkeeper that they should talk the issue over. It’s decided that Athos will give the innkeeper his horse to settle the score—after all, D’Artagnan has brought him a better one.
    • Athos calls for six bottles of wine and D’Artagnan calls for four bottles to be sent to the two English gentlemen.
    • Athos and D’Artagnan catch up on what’s happened since they last saw each other. D’Artagnan tells Athos the story of Madame Bonacieux’s abduction. Athos doesn’t think it’s a big deal; D’Artagnan tells him he (Athos) has never been in love.
    • Athos says, I’ll tell you a real love story.
    • It happened to a "friend."
    • So this friend of Athos was a young nobleman who fell in love with a beautiful sixteen- year-old girl. She and her brother, who was a curate, had come to the province only recently, and no one knew who they were, but they seemed like good people. Athos’s friend, being an honorable sort of man, married her.
    • The two of them were out hunting one day when the lady fell from her horse. She needed air, so her husband ripped open her clothes, to find a fleur-de-lis brand on her shoulder. (The fleur-de-lis is a royal symbol in most cases, but when tattooed on flesh, it is a standard mark for criminals, and prostitutes.) It turned out the girl had stolen sacred vessels from a church.
    • The count proceeded to hang his wife on a tree.
    • At this point Athos took a bottle of wine and downed it at once.
    • As for the woman’s supposed brother, Athos said, he was doubtless her first lover and was just pretending to be a curate.
    • D’Artagnan is so overcome by this story that he pretends to pass out from the wine.
    • Athos looks at him with some pity, saying that young men no longer know how to hold their drink.
  • Chapter Twenty-Eight: The Return

    • The next morning, Athos tells D’Artagnan that he was drunk last night and probably told lots of ridiculous tall tales.
    • D’Artagnan says that he doesn’t recall anything particularly crazy.
    • Eventually, however, D’Artagnan tells Athos last night they were talking about the hanging of a beautiful woman. Athos resolves not to get drunk again.
    • The conversation turns to Athos’s new horse, which Athos lost to an Englishman earlier that morning in a game of dice. D’Artagnan is not pleased.
    • It turns out Athos also gambled away D’Artagnan’s horse too.
    • Athos then staked D’Artagnan’s diamond ring, in an effort to regain everything he had lost.
    • He lost the ring.
    • D’Artagnan listens to the story and gets increasingly upset.
    • Having no more possessions to gamble, Athos then used Grimaud as a wager. Finally, Athos regained the diamond ring. Using that, he won back the horses’ harnesses. In total, he lost two horses during a morning bout of gambling.
    • Athos suggests that D’Artagnan try his hand at gambling in order to get back his horse. He can stake two harnesses against one horse. D’Artagnan finally agrees to just one throw of the dice. (This appears to be a simple dice game: each person throws two dice and whoever throws a higher number wins—diamonds, horses, servants, whatever is staked.)
    • D’Artagnan and the Englishman play with the harnesses staked against one horse or one hundred pistoles.
    • D’Artagnan wins and Athos counsels him to take the one hundred pistoles instead of the horse.
    • The two of them will ride their servants’ horses instead while the servants walk and carry the harnesses.
    • They leave and soon make it to Crèvecoeur, where they spy Aramis meditating at a window. He was meditating on the loss of his horse, which he sold to a horse dealer.
    • It’s soon clear to Aramis that Athos and D’Artagnan also lack horses.
    • They all continue down the road for Porthos and arrive just in time to join him for a superb dinner.
    • It turns out their food was paid for by the sale of Porthos’s horse. He needed the money to pay his bill since his mistress didn’t come through.
    • He too, however, still has the saddle. It also turns out that Porthos sold his horse for the best deal out of anyone. Although in theory the four friends should at least all have cash, it turns out that they only have forty-seven pistoles between the four of them.
    • They arrive back in Paris and D’Artagnan finds out the King has granted him permission to become a Musketeer.
    • He runs to go tell his friends the good news, but finds them completely depressed. They are going to war on the first of May and are responsible for their own equipment and rations. This is problematic because none of them has any money! They need about eight thousand livres total to purchase their requirements, not counting the saddles.
  • Chapter Twenty-Nine: Hunting for the Equipments

    • There is still no information on the whereabouts of Madame Bonacieux.
    • Athos refuses to leave his house to find money. There are fifteen days before the campaign starts, and Athos tells his friends that if he still doesn’t have any money when the time comes, he will pick a fight with the Cardinal’s Guards or some Englishmen in order to die with honor.
    • Porthos is concocting some plan.
    • Aramis says nothing.
    • Three of them (minus Athos) take to the streets in long, mournful walks, hoping to find a wallet full of money on the sidewalk.
    • No luck.
    • Porthos, however, gets ready to execute his plan.
    • D’Artagnan spies him heading to the church of St. Leu and follows him.
    • Mass is going on, and Porthos looks magnificently handsome. There are two women in the church of importance. The first is "a sort of ripe beauty, rather yellow and rather dry, but erect and haughty under her black hood."
    • The lady in the black hood is obviously keenly aware of Porthos’s presence, but he ignores her. He’s busy spying on a beautiful lady sitting on a red cushion near the choir.
    • The lady with the red cushion is absolutely gorgeous, and D’Artagnan can tell that the woman in the black hood is jealous. D’Artagnan also recognizes the lady with the red cushion as the one from Meung, called Milady.
    • D’Artagnan guesses the lady in the black hood to be the attorney’s wife, and that Porthos is taking his revenge for her stingy attitude during his time in Chantilly.
    • With mass over, Porthos goes to the font of holy water ahead of the lady in the black hood. She thinks he’s going to offer it to her, but instead he offers it to the beautiful woman.
    • Really angry now, the cloaked woman asks Porthos if he’s going to offer any holy water to her. Porthos smiles to himself. The plan is working!
    • To make a long story short, Porthos drops all sorts of not-so-subtle hints about all the rich, wealthy, beautiful women in his life that are willing to lend him money. Madame Coquenard gets increasingly jealous. Finally, she tells him to pretend to be her cousin, who is dealing with several lawsuits.
    • She warns him to be careful of her husband, who is seventy-six years old. (And, side note, when he dies she gets everything.)
    • The two part on good terms.
  • Chapter Thirty: D’Artagnan and the Englishman

    • D’Artagnan follows Milady out of the church. She gets in her carriage and drives to St. Germain.
    • He then tracks down Planchet and orders him to fetch two horses from Tréville’s stable and meet him at Athos’s house.
    • When D’Artagnan arrives, Athos is drinking some Spanish wine.
    • D’Artagnan tells him about Porthos’s method of getting equipped.
    • Athos resolves that women with have nothing to do with his equipment.
    • Planchet arrives; the horses are ready to go.
    • D’Artagnan explains to Athos where he (D’Artagnan) is going.
    • Athos assumes that D’Artagnan is in love with the mysterious and beautiful Milady.
    • D’Artagnan protests that he still loves Madame Bonacieux dearly; the only reason he does not save her is because he does not know where she is.
    • Athos opens another bottle of wine as D’Artagnan and Planchet head for St. Germain.
    • D’Artagnan convinces himself that since Milady probably has information regarding Constance, going in search of Milady means possibly saving his true love.
    • On their way, Planchet and D’Artagnan spy Comte de Wardes’s lackey, Lubin. Figuring that Lubin probably doesn’t remember Planchet, D’Artagnan tells Planchet to go talk to him and find out if the Comte de Wardes is alive or dead.
    • Planchet strikes up a conversation while D’Artagnan hides behind a hedge.
    • Milady’s carriage stops in front of the house (where Planchet and Lubin are talking) and she gives orders to her maid. The maid heads over to Planchet and Lubin, but right at that moment Lubin is called back into his own house, leaving Planchet alone on the sidewalk.
    • Mistaking Planchet for Lubin, the maid walks straight up to Planchet and hands him a note for "his master." Planchet is confused, but, being accustomed to obedience, he runs over to D’Artagnan and gives him the note.
    • Milady requests a "walk in the forest" with the gentleman. The letter was intended for the Comte de Wardes, however, and not for D’Artagnan.
    • Planchet reports that the Comte de Wardes is still recovering from his earlier sword fight with D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan congratulates Planchet on a job well done and the two of them jump back on their horses to continue tailing Milady.
    • They find her in her carriage having a heated exchange with a gentleman on horseback. They are speaking English, but D’Artagnan understands the tone of the conversation well enough. He offers Milady his services in dealing with the man’s lack of respect.
    • The man is Milady’s brother (the Lord de Winter), and she appears to be fine with the quarrel.
    • Meanwhile, Milady’s maid is checking out D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan recognizes the Milady’s interlocutor as the Englishman from Amiens. (He’s the one who won D’Artagnan’s horse in a game of dice.)
    • They definitely have a reason to fight. The Englishman is going to bring three friends, and D’Artagnan will do likewise.
    • Of course, our hero will bring Porthos, Aramis, and Athos: his friends are excited for the duel.
  • Chapter Thirty-One: English and French

    • All parties show up at the designated meeting place: a little spot behind the Luxembourg. (Usually this is where the goats are fed, but Athos throws the goat-keeper some money and the lackeys are stationed as lookouts.)
    • The Englishmen tell the Frenchmen their names and rank.
    • D’Artagnan, Athos, Porthos, and Aramis give their (fake) names, much to the annoyance of the Englishmen, who think those names belong to shepherds and not to gentlemen.
    • (Historical Context: It was very important that you fight with people you considered worth your time. If a peasant insulted a duke, for example, they wouldn’t have a duel. The Duke would just order the peasant hanged. Duels were for noblemen, and noblemen at this time just didn’t go by "Porthos.")
    • The Englishmen point out that they’re not going to risk their blood by fighting a bunch of unknowns.
    • Athos, Porthos, and Aramis take their adversaries aside and whisper their true names and ranks.
    • Athos tells his opponent that now he has to die.
    • Finally, the duel starts: Athos kills his opponent; Porthos wounds his in the thigh; Aramis’s opponent turns and runs away.
    • D’Artagnan fights defensively and disarms his opponent. He puts his sword point at the man’s throat and tells him that he spares the man’s life only because of the man’s sister.
    • The Englishman is impressed with all of them.
    • Porthos and Aramis turn their attention to the dead man, whom they undress in order to ascertain the extent of the wound.
    • As they do so, a giant bag of money falls out. D’Artagnan gives it to the Lord de Winter (his opponent) so that he may give it to the dead man’s family.
    • Lord de Winter tells him not to be ridiculous and suggests they give the purse to the Frenchmen’s lackeys. He offers to introduce D’Artagnan to his sister that very evening.
    • Athos asks D’Artagnan what he plans to do with the money.
    • D’Artagnan replies that he was going to give it to Athos, who rightfully owns it since he killed the previous owner.
    • Athos says they should give it to the lackeys—the Englishmen’s lackeys. Athos executes his own opinion, much to Porthos’s sadness.
    • Lord de Winter gives his sister’s address to D’Artagnan and tells him to show up at eight that evening.
    • D’Artagnan feels inexplicably drawn to Milady, even though he knows she’s an agent of the Cardinal.
    • He gets ready for his big night at Athos’s place, who continues to warn him against this woman.
    • Lord de Winter picks up D’Artagnan, and the two head over to Milady’s place.
    • Milady has a beautiful new home, proving her lack of concern over the war between England and France. (Remember, she’s an Englishwoman.)
    • Milady appears to be upset when she learns that Lord de Winter owes his life to D’Artagnan, but she hides it well and her brother fails to notice.
    • The maid comes in with a message for Lord de Winter that obliges him to leave.
    • D’Artagnan and Milady continue to hang out. He learns that she is technically Lord de Winter’s sister-in-law; she had married his younger brother and bore a child. (He is also convinced that she’s really a Frenchwoman, because her French is really impeccable.)
    • D’Artagnan flirts incessantly with her.
    • On his way out, he brushes past the maid, who gives him come-hither glances.
    • D’Artagnan continues to visit Milady every night, and every night the maid finds an excuse to brush past him on his way out and give him come-hither glances. D’Artagnan is falling so much in love with Milady that he does not notice her maid falling in love with him.
  • Chapter Thirty-Two: A Procurator’s Dinner

    • It is the evening of the dinner at the lawyer’s house and Porthos is looking forward to this meal. He dreams of being welcomed as a member of the family and eating a delicious home-cooked meal.
    • As he approaches the house, however, his dreams bear no resemblance to reality. The house is dingy and the kitchen lacks the hustle and bustle indicating that a good meal is being prepared.
    • He meets the old lawyer, who is so old his legs no longer function. The man glances frequently at a large chest, which presumably contains all his money.
    • Dinner is disgusting and stingy, although the lawyer remarks over and over again that it’s a magnificent repast and his wife is really spoiling her cousin. (The lawyer and Porthos are actually distant cousins.)
    • After dinner, Madame Coquenard and Porthos step into another room for a chat.
    • She invites him to dinner three times a week, which he respectfully declines.
    • He brings up the issue of getting outfitted for war.
    • They enter into negotiations: she wants to know his exact requirements because she may be able to get him a better deal on a horse, for instance. Porthos would prefer, for obvious reasons, to get a lump sum of money. They finally agree that she will give him eight hundred livres and then obtain a horse and mule. (The mule would be for Mousqueton.)
    • The two part amicably.
    • Porthos returns home hungry.
  • Chapter Thirty-Three: Soubrette and Mistress

    • "Soubrette" refers to a young and pretty lady’s maid—that would be Milady’s maid.
    • D’Artagnan continues to visit Milady every night and grows more deeply in love with her. Milady’s maid, Kitty, continues to brush past him after every visit. Finally, one night on his way in to see Milady Kitty accosts him and tells him that they need to talk.
    • They go to her room.
    • Kitty tells D’Artagnan that Milady doesn’t really love him.
    • D’Artagnan demands proof.
    • Kitty hands him a note addressed to the Comte de Wardes. He tears it open: in no uncertain terms, Milady is telling the Comte to court her.
    • D’Artagnan immediately wants revenge. He asks Kitty if she knows what it’s like to be in love, and whether she will help him.
    • Kitty points out that a) Milady will never love him, and b) she (Kitty) loves him. (She doesn’t say that last bit out loud, but it’s very definitely implied.)
    • D’Artagnan kisses her. He realizes that he has a lot to gain by her love. He can intercept Milady’s letters, for instance.
    • He tells Kitty that he loves her, and, as proof, he’s going to spend the evening with her instead of Milady.
    • Finally, midnight strikes and Milady calls for Kitty to help her get ready for bed.
    • Kitty tells D’Artagnan to leave, but he decides to hide in the closet. D’Artagnan stays there to listen to Milady and Kitty talking. First, Milady scolds Kitty. Then, she brags about how she has complete control over D’Artagnan. She complains that she hates him for making her look bad to the Cardinal and for sparing Lord de Winter’s life. Had Lord de Winter died, Milady would have been very rich indeed.
    • D’Artagnan listens and realizes that Milady is truly a monster.
    • Milady tells Kitty to try and get a response from Comte de Wardes this time.
    • Kitty returns and D’Artagnan comes out of the closet.
    • He kisses Kitty. (The narrator writes: "With a little more heart, he might have been contented with this new conquest; but the principal features of his character were ambition and pride.")
    • He wants to avenge himself of Milady.
    • D’Artagnan continues to visit Milady nightly, but he soon develops a plan.
    • Milady gives Kitty a third note for the Comte de Wardes. D’Artagnan makes Kitty promise to give him the letter. She does so. This time the letter is much more explicit. Milady declares her love for the Comte and says this is his absolute last chance to do anything about it.
    • Kitty worries that D’Artagnan is still in love with Milady, but he tries to allay those fears. He tells her that he wants revenge, that’s all. He forges a reply to Milady apologizing for not having written sooner and requesting a meeting at eleven in the evening. He signs it as the Comte de Wardes.
    • Although D’Artagnan understands that Milady is a monster, he still feels an incredible passion for her. He hands Kitty the note, who suspects that D’Artagnan doesn’t love her.
    • He promises Kitty that he will cut his visit short tomorrow in order to spend time with her.
  • Chapter Thirty-Four: In Which the Equipment of Aramis and Porthos is Treated Of

    • Since the four have been searching for a means to equip themselves, they haven’t been spending much time together. They’ve been meeting only about once a week.
    • When they meet this week, Porthos looks tranquil, D’Artagnan looks hopeful, Aramis looks uneasy, and Athos looks careless.
    • Mousqueton interrupts their meeting and asks Porthos to come check the equipment.
    • Soon after, Bazin arrives for Aramis, saying that a beggar is at Aramis’s house asking to see him. Aramis is reluctant until he learns the beggar is from Tours. (Remember that the woman Aramis loves is also from Tours!)
    • Athos and D’Artagnan are left alone. Athos kids D’Artagnan about his method of rescuing Madame Bonacieux.
    • The narrator then turns our attention to Aramis, who finds the beggar waiting. The beggar asks to be shown a certain handkerchief. Aramis produces it, and in turn, the beggar gives him a letter and one hundred and fifty Spanish double pistoles. The letter is from Aramis’s mistress, who asks Aramis to take the money and tells him that the beggar is really a Spanish count in disguise.
    • Aramis is overcome with joy and kisses the letter over and over again.
    • D’Artagnan shows up at the door; Aramis tells him that the money is from a publisher who has bought one of his poems.
    • The two friends go over to Athos’s for dinner.
    • Afterwards, they find Porthos with a mule and a horse. The horse is none other than the ridiculous yellow horse that D’Artagnan used to ride into Paris.
    • Mousqueton believes that a trick is being played on them by the husband of the lawyer.
    • He and Porthos return the animals.
    • Madame Coquenard is confused, but Porthos soon visits and explains that the animals are not suitable. The Musketeer says he will find more generous friends, and the woman’s jealousy is inflamed. She promises that the two of them can talk about money later that evening.
  • Chapter Thirty-Five: A Gascon A Match for Cupid

    • It is the morning after the key evening for both Porthos and D’Artagnan. Athos, who is now with D’Artagnan, listens eagerly as the Gascon recounts the previous evening’s events.
    • D’Artagnan shows up at Milady’s, where he is warmly received. As Kitty serves them sorbet, D’Artagnan can’t help but reflect that the maid has a better personality than the noblewoman.
    • Kitty remains worried that D’Artagnan loves Milady.
    • Milady kicks D’Artagnan out at about ten o’clock, and he consoles Kitty.
    • Milady orders that all the lights in the house be extinguished.
    • D’Artagnan visits Kitty early and where he finds the maid weeping. He explains that what he is about to do is motivated solely by revenge.
    • At the appointed hour, D’Artagnan, disguised as the Comte de Wardes, enters Milady’s room.
    • Believing her lover to be the Comte de Wardes, Milady tells him that she’s still upset that D’Artagnan wounded him. She’s plotting her revenge.
    • D’Artagnan plays along. He marvels at his simultaneous extreme love and hate for her. She gives him a beautiful sapphire ring as a token of her love.
    • They plan to get together again in another week.
    • D’Artagnan shows Athos the sapphire ring, which reminds Athos of a family jewel. Athos expresses his surprise at recognizing the ring. He remembers that his family ring had one of the faces scratched; D’Artagnan’s ring also has a face scratched.
    • Athos advises D’Artagnan to stop seeing this woman because there’s something dangerous about her.
    • D’Artagnan agrees.
    • The two friends say good-bye. D’Artagnan arrives home to find Kitty waiting for him with a note for the fake Comte de Wardes.
    • He gathers up his courage and writes Milady the following note:
    • There are just so many women for me to see; I’ll let you know when it’s your turn again.
    • Kitty reads the letter and practically dances for joy. She runs home to hand it to Milady.
    • Milady is flaming mad.
    • Kitty, thinking that her mistress has fainted or is ill, goes to help her.
    • Milady then delivers one of the ultimate power lines: "I faint? I? I? Do you take me for half a woman? When I am insulted I do not faint; I avenge myself!"
    • It looks like our hero is headed for trouble!
  • Chapter Thirty-Six: Dream of Vengeance

    • Milady continues to wait for a visit from D’Artagnan, but none is forthcoming. Finally, she sends him a note asking him to come visit.
    • D’Artagnan notes that the worse the Comte’s behavior is, the more he (D’Artagnan) rises in Milady’s estimation.
    • He convinces himself it would be rude to refuse the invitation. Kitty gets worried again and D’Artagnan tells her that he will not, under any circumstance, fall in love with Milady.
    • At nine o’clock, he shows up at Milady’s. She looks like she’s been crying.
    • Soon, however, D’Artagnan is lured by her beauty and he’s back to being in love.
    • He declares his love for her. He hopes she will love him back. He declares he would do anything for her, and Milady requests that he kill the Comte de Wardes.
    • He again swears that he would kill his own brother for her love. He kisses her passionately. He promises to fight de Wardes tomorrow. But before he does so, is there anything Milady wants to give him?
    • Milady tells him to come back at eleven.
    • He resolves to be careful.
  • Chapter Thirty-Seven: Milady’s Secret

    • D’Artagnan goes home to reflect on his situation. Clearly, he’s head over heels in love with Milady and she does not seem to care. Yet he also wants Milady to suffer, and he wants revenge in his own name.
    • At eleven o’clock D’Artagnan goes straight to her bedroom. She boldly invites him in, right in front of Kitty, whose heart is breaking.
    • D’Artagnan is pleased that he can now return her affections as himself and not disguised as the Comte de Wardes.
    • They make passionate love. Right afterwards, Milady asks him if he’s ready for the duel.
    • D’Artagnan tries to dodge the issue, but Milady is insistent.
    • Such a duel is impossible—how could he fight himself? He begins to question Milady’s supposed love for him. Isn’t she afraid that he might die in the duel?
    • Finally, driven by love for her and blindly believing that she would forgive him if she really loved him, D’Artagnan decides to tell her the truth.
    • He tells her that he was really the Comte de Wardes from last Thursday.
    • Wrong move! Milady goes nuts. She hits D’Artagnan and jumps out of bed. He grabs her nightdress in an effort to stop her escape, but the dress tears, and D’Artagnan sees a fleur-de-lis on her shoulder. (That symbol means that she’s a convicted criminal!)
    • Milady grabs a small dagger and tries to stab him. The young man is momentarily scared, but quickly grabs his sword. Soon he has the sword pointed at her throat and makes his way into Kitty’s room. He and Kitty quickly secure the locks. Milady continues to try stabbing her way through the door.
    • D’Artagnan tells Kitty he needs to get out of the building.
    • Kitty points out that D’Artagnan is naked.
    • He asks for some clothes and she outfits him in "a flowered robe, a large hood, and a cloak."
    • Milady is screaming for all the servants as he makes his escape.
  • Chapter Thirty-Eight: How, Without Incommoding Himself, Athos Procured His Equipment

    • D’Artagnan runs straight to Athos’s house. (Grimaud doesn’t recognize D’Artagnan, and thinks that the man is some kind of prostitute.) Athos, luckily, recognizes his friend.
    • D’Artagnan relates the past events to his friend. D’Artagnan asks if Athos is sure that the other lady with a fleur-de-lis brand on her shoulder is dead.
    • Athos asks for a full description of Milady. It now seems highly likely that Milady is indeed Athos’s wife.
    • Athos points out that they are all leaving for La Rochelle soon.
    • Grimaud goes off to fetch D’Artagnan some actual clothes.
    • D’Artagnan gives the sapphire ring to Athos, saying that he can raise the needed money with it.
    • Athos accepts on the condition that D’Artagnan split the money with him.
    • Grimaud returns with Planchet, who is anxious to see how his master is doing.
    • Everyone heads over to D’Artagnan’s place. Monsieur Bonacieux sees them go inside, and tells D’Artagnan that a young girl is waiting for him.
    • It’s Kitty.
    • He asks what happened after he left. Kitty says she’s not sure, since she made her escape as quickly as possible. She asks if he can help her find employment somewhere outside of Paris.
    • D’Artagnan orders Planchet to find Aramis. On his own, D’Artagnan has no connections for getting a maid employed, but his friends might be able to help.
    • D’Artagnan then lies to Kitty about his being in love with Madame Bonacieux; he says that it is Athos who is in love with her.
    • They are reminded that the Cardinal has spies everywhere, and a propos, Athos goes down to check if Bonacieux is still around. He’s not. They make a decision to leave as soon as possible.
    • Aramis shows up. D’Artagnan asks if he can find Kitty some work. Aramis sends her to Tours.
    • Before leaving, Kitty makes protestations of love to D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan, Aramis, and Athos part ways, agreeing to meet at four o’clock at Athos’s house. Planchet is left behind to guard the apartment.
    • D’Artagnan and Athos sell the sapphire ring and uses the proceeds to buy some horses.
    • Athos is now properly equipped for war!
  • Chapter Thirty-Nine: A Vision

    • All four friends meet up at four o’clock. Planchet enters with two letters for his master. The first is clearly from a lady, and the second is from the Cardinal. The first is unsigned, but requests D’Artagnan’s presence on a certain road at a certain time. He is to look into the carriages that pass, but must give no indication that he recognizes any of the passengers.
    • His friends warn him it may be a trap, and determine to accompany him.
    • The second is an invitation from the Cardinal, the kind that can’t be refused.
    • This too seems dangerous, but D’Artagnan doesn’t have a choice.
    • The Musketeers determine that they will bring reinforcements. After all, it’s been a while since they fought with cardinalists. Porthos, Aramis, and Athos are looking forward to displaying all their new equipment and horses.
    • Shortly after five o’clock, the men are decked out and ready to ride. They look fantastic.
    • Finally, D’Artagnan arrives at the appointed place. After some time a carriage drives by that contains Madame Bonacieux. He attempts to follow but stops after remembering the note expressly told him not to. He worries about her, convinced that she is being transported from one prison to another.
    • Still, they can’t remain for much longer because D’Artagnan has his appointment with the Cardinal.
    • The Musketeers collect about twelve other Musketeers, and together the fifteen of them form D’Artagnan’s escort.
    • At the Palais-Cardinal, D’Artagnan is shown into a library where a poet sits writing his manuscript. The man finishes and then looks up at D’Artagnan.
    • Our hero recognizes the Cardinal.
  • Chapter Forty: The Cardinal

    • The Cardinal stares at D’Artagnan for a bit, then questions him about his family and his past. He says that D’Artagnan had an interesting incident at Meung, demonstrating that he knows exactly what happened.
    • The Cardinal knows that D’Artagnan lost his letter of introduction to Tréville, but that Tréville put him in Dessessart’s company anyway.
    • The Cardinal is one well-informed man. He continues to explicate D’Artagnan’s past adventures, including his recent trip to England and his meeting with the Queen.
    • The Cardinal then chastises D’Artagnan for not visiting him after Cavois extended an invitation.
    • D’Artagnan apologizes, saying he feared the Cardinal’s displeasure.
    • The Cardinal points out that D’Artagnan is both intelligent and courageous, and that he admires those traits. He only punishes those who disobey—he points out that when D’Artagnan ignored his first invitation, Constance Bonacieux was abducted.
    • The Cardinal then shifts gears to a discussion of D’Artagnan’s future. The Cardinal offers D’Artagnan the rank of ensign in the Cardinal’s Guards, and a separate company to command after the campaign at La Rochelle.
    • D’Artagnan refuses, saying that he has no reason to leave the Majesty’s Guards. The Cardinal is astonished, pointing out that both Guards serve the King and France.
    • Finally D’Artagnan says simply that his friends are Musketeers and Guards, and all his enemies work for the Cardinal. There is simply no way he can accept the Cardinal’s offer.
    • Shocked, the Cardinal ends their interview with a warning—D’Artagnan better watch out for his life. If anything happens to D’Artagnan later, remember that the Cardinal’s protection was once offered to him.
    • With these ominous sayings, the meeting is over.
    • D’Artagnan almost turns back but thinks of Athos’s principles and continues on. When D’Artagnan tells his three friends that he refused the post of ensign in the Cardinal’s service, Aramis and Porthos immediately congratulate him, but Athos "fell into a profound reverie and said nothing." Later he tells D’Artagnan that it was perhaps the wrong move.
    • As you can imagine, there is a big celebration that night.
    • The next day, they prepare for war.
    • Everyone goes to the palace so the King can review the troops. As they’re traveling, the lawyer’s wife spots Porthos and is excited because he looks so good.
    • (She and Porthos said their real good-bye the previous night.)
    • Aramis wrote a long letter, probably destined for Tours.
    • Athos drank a bottle of wine.
    • D’Artagnan is spotted by Milady, who points him out to two "ill-looking men."
    • The two men join D’Artagnan’s company.
  • Chapter Forty-One: The Siege of La Rochelle

    • The narrator of The Three Musketeers also provides a historical overview in this chapter.
    • Remember the Huguenots and the Catholics from Mousqueton’s story earlier? To recap, the Huguenots are French Protestants who saw Catholicism as far too invested in pompous ritual and overly materialistic. Since most of France, including all the powerful people, such as the King, were Catholic, the Huguenots were not in a good position. Several holy wars ensued, which were halted temporarily when King Henry IV of France issued the Edict of Nantes, (a proclamation that granted the Huguenots religious and political freedom within their own areas.)
    • One of those areas was La Rochelle.
    • La Rochelle became a hotbed of civic unrest, and foreign influence. The city revolted, and the Musketeers are on their way to put down this revolt.
    • Although it’s not historically accurate, the narrator frames the issue entirely around Queen Anne.
    • The English are a natural ally of the Huguenots, (they are also Protestant and have the added benefit of not liking France).
    • Still, in the world of The Three Musketeers, the Duke of Buckingham uses the war as a pretext for seeing Anne. The Cardinal uses the war as a pretext to get some revenge on the guy whom Anne currently favors. The narrator points out that the "real stake in the game… was simply a kind look from Anne of Austria."
    • Since he is not a Musketeer, D’Artagnan is member of a company apart from his friends. The narrator says this might have troubled him had he known the dangers he was about to face.
    • D’Artagnan is going for a walk to reflect on life when he spots two muskets being aimed at him. He drops to the ground. Bullets fire at him. He runs back to camp as fast as possible while bullets continue coming at him. One of them hits his hat.
    • He keeps running.
    • Later, he considers who these enemies could be: the Rochellais, the Cardinal, or Milady.
    • He decides it must be Milady.
    • The next day, Dessessart signals out D’Artagnan for a dangerous mission. He asks him to pick a couple men to go with him. The assignment is to evaluate the protection of a recently recaptured bastion.
    • Four men volunteer to accompany D’Artagnan.
    • Before they reach the bastion, two of the men disappear.
    • The rest of them go to check out the bastion and then commence a retreat. One of the men gets hit by a musket ball.
    • D’Artagnan is trying to help the wounded man when more shots ring out. He soon realizes that these shots are not coming from the enemy.
    • Quickly, he falls to the ground and pretends to be hurt.
    • The two would-be assassins—the same soldiers who disappeared earlier—come forward to make sure D’Artagnan is really dead.
    • He’s not at all dead—he gets up with his sword in hand!
    • One of the men runs away straight into enemy fire. He falls.
    • The other man begs for mercy, and tells D’Artagnan that a woman named Milady put them up to this task. The man tells D’Artagnan that the instructions are with his comrade. D’Artagnan tells him to fetch it, but the man is too afraid to venture into enemy fire. D’Artagnan winds up going himself. He finds a letter chastising the two would-be assassins for their neglect of keeping an eye on one particular woman; Milady hopes her assassins will do better getting rid of D’Artagnan.
    • He keeps the letter as future evidence.
    • D’Artagnan now fully comprehends what Milady will do to exact revenge on him. At the same time, he realizes that the Queen must have discovered where Milady was hiding Constance, and extricated the poor Madame Bonacieux.
    • D’Artagnan spares the life of the wounded man; the two of them go back to camp.
    • Strangely enough, D’Artagnan feels much more at ease regarding his life. The narrator points out that this means he still underestimates Milady.
  • Chapter Forty-Two: The Anjou Wine

    • The King isn’t in the best of health, but he’s eager to join the siege as soon as he can.
    • D’Artagnan is much more relaxed after his near brush with death; his only worry is that he has not heard from his friends.
    • He gets a letter, however, written by the supplier of the Musketeers. It obliges him to accept twelve bottles of wine from his friends, who wish for him to toast them with it.
    • D’Artagnan is pleased, and he invites a couple of his Guardsmen friends over for dinner that night.
    • Due to conflicting schedules, they decide to have dinner together the day after that.
    • Planchet gets help from another lackey named Fourreau, along with the would-be assassin. This man’s name is Brisemont.
    • The men prepare dinner. When Brisemont pours out the wine, the first bottle is a little thick at the bottom. D’Artagnan instructs him to pour the lees (dead yeast cells) into a glass and drink it, as Brisemont is still weak from his wound.
    • At the dinner, everyone is about to pick up their wine glasses when a canon sounds and they are obliged to rush out.
    • It turns out that the King has arrived with ten thousand troops!
    • The Musketeers proceed in before the King, and D’Artagnan spots his friends and Tréville.
    • Greetings are exchanged all around, and D’Artagnan introduces his new friends, explaining that they were about to drink the wine sent by the Musketeers.
    • Athos, Porthos, and Aramis deny having sent wine.
    • Moreover, Athos looks at the letter from the supplier, and declares that it’s not the man’s handwriting.
    • D’Artagnan wonders out loud if Milady can be behind this.
    • When they return to the dining room, Brisemont is dying. He castigates D’Artagnan, saying that he was spared only to be poisoned later.
    • D’Artagnan denies this.
    • No one really wants to celebrate after this. D’Artagnan’s Guardsmen friends leave, and the four friends retreat into another room to discuss the situation.
    • Athos says that D’Artagnan cannot live in constant fear that Milady will kill him.
    • D’Artagnan accepts the situation, since he is a man, but mourns over Constance’s fate.
    • Aramis points out that the letter D’Artagnan discovered indicates that Constance was moved from a prison to a convent by the Queen.
    • They ask Porthos if his mistress can help them discover which convent it is. Porthos says no.
    • Aramis then says he will do it.
    • When questioned, he says he knows one of the Queen’s servants, but it is clear that he will write to a certain noblewoman in Tours.
  • Chapter Forty-Three: The Inn of the Red Dovecot

    • We’re given some more history: the two generals of the war are Bassompierre and Schomberg, but they argue so much that they have to be given separate commands. In particular, the Cardinal fears that Bassompierre, a Huguenot at heart, may not fight his best.
    • The narrator says that without getting into the minutiae of military history, all that we need to know is that the French beat the English at the Isle of Loie—a great military victory.
    • The siege of La Rochelle can therefore continue in peace without fear of English intervention.
    • Word comes that Germany, Spain, England, and the Lorraine have allied together against France.
    • The Cardinal is blamed. He spends his time working night and day on a strategy. Couriers and spies are constantly going to and from his residence, and it is whispered that attempts have been made on his life.
    • Regardless of these attempts, the Cardinal still goes out and about alone, even at night.
    • On one night, Porthos, Athos, and Aramis are on their way home from the Inn of the Red Dovecot when they hear horses approaching. Fearful of an ambush, they stop and listen. Two men on horseback are at the other end of the road.
    • Athos shouts out for the identification of the other riders.
    • A clear and commanding voice demands the Musketeer’s identifications.
    • Athos decides that it’s a superior officer and replies that they’re Musketeers of Tréville’s company. The companions ride up for further questioning by this unknown superior.
    • When Athos finally demands to know the man’s identity, he is stunned to learn it is the Cardinal.
    • The Cardinal requests that the Musketeers guard his envoy. They are honored to do so. Before they leave, they tell the Cardinal that they fought some men at the inn who were going to attack a young woman staying at the inn. It is discovered that this is the very same woman the Cardinal was going to visit!
    • Together, they all ride back to the Inn of the Red Dovecot.
    • It is deserted, the owner having sent everyone away in preparation for his illustrious visitor.
    • The Musketeers are given a room on the ground floor where they can wait while the Cardinal conducts his business.
    • The Cardinal goes upstairs.
  • Chapter Forty-Four: The Utility of Stovepipes

    • The three men don’t know the identity of the woman they protected that night, but it’s clear that she is an ally of the Cardinal.
    • Porthos calls for some dice.
    • Aramis and Porthos begin to play as Athos paces around the room thinking.
    • Several times, he passes a stovepipe and hears voices.
    • Athos gestures for his friends to be quiet, and the three of them crowd around the pipe to listen.
    • The Cardinal is talking to Milady: he orders to find Buckingham in England and instruct him to cease and desist. Buckingham must stop his war preparations or else the Cardinal will ruin the Queen.
    • The Cardinal outlines everything he knows about the Duke’s movements that could compromise the Queen’s honor.
    • Milady memorizes the list of accusations, and then asks what should happen if the Duke persists in continuing his war.
    • The Cardinal says that is highly unlikely, but if the Duke does persist, he would hope "for one of those events which change the destinies of states."
    • (This means that he hopes for an assassination.) He suggests that Milady find one of the Duke’s enemies to stab the Duke to death.
    • Milady, worried that she would be named as an accomplice, asks the Cardinal for a carte blanche, that is, an order deeming that all her actions are beneficial to France.
    • She recites all the evidence that the Cardinal has against the Queen and Buckingham. Satisfied that she will carry out the Cardinal’s instructions, Milady then has a list of requests for the Cardinal. She points out that she made a number of enemies while serving him, the first being Madame Bonacieux.
    • Milady wants to know which where Madame Boancieux is located. The Cardinal promises to find out.
    • Next, Milady vents about D’Artagnan. The Cardinal demands proof of his connection with Buckingham before arresting him. Milady promises to deliver that proof.
    • While the Cardinal signs the carte blanche, Athos draws his friends to the other side of the room and tells them he has to leave. Porthos and Aramis are to tell the Cardinal that the roads are unsafe and that Athos has gone on the lookout.
    • Athos instructs the esquire to tell the Cardinal the same story, and then departs on the road back to camp.
  • Chapter Forty-Five: A Conjugal Scene

    • The Cardinal comes back into the room to find Porthos and Aramis playing dice. He asks where Athos has gone, and is told that he has gone to secure the roads. The Cardinal, Porthos, and Aramis saddle their horses and prepare to return to camp.
    • Meanwhile, Athos doubles back, hides behind a hedge, and waits until the Cardinal, Porthos, and Aramis have passed by. He goes back to the inn and tells the innkeeper that the Cardinal has forgotten to give the lady some important papers.
    • Athos walks into Milady’s room and recognizes her as his wife. Milady is shocked to see him. She calls him by his real name, the Comte de la Fère.
    • Milady is terrified as Athos castigates her for her evil behavior. He further reveals that he knows what she’s been up to: cutting off the diamond studs, sleeping with the supposed Comte de Wardes, being rejected by de Wardes, sleeping with D’Artagnan, convincing D’Artagnan to slay de Wardes, sending assassins after D’Artagnan, sending poisoned wine, and then planning to assassinate Buckingham.
    • Milady is infuriated that he knows her secrets.
    • Athos has no interest in protecting the Duke, but she better not touch D’Artagnan.
    • Milady fumes that D’Artagnan insulted her.
    • Athos stops her rant by pulling out a pistol.
    • Milady pales with fear.
    • Athos points the pistol at her forehead and tells her to hand over the order signed by the Cardinal. Milady gives him the paper.
    • He leaves the room and finds Milady’s escorts to England, asking them to leave immediately. This is in accord with what the Cardinal told them, so they set off.
    • Athos leaps onto his horse and rejoins the Cardinal, who is thankful for the Musketeer’s faithful guardianship.
    • They arrive back at camp; Athos pulls out the carte blanche from Milady. The three friends ask Planchet to bring D’Artagnan to their quarters so they can update him.
    • Milady wants to run to the Cardinal and tell him what happened, but thinks it better to maintain silence. After all, Athos knows that she has been branded and could reveal her past to the Cardinal. She must succeed in her mission before asking the Cardinal for additional favors.
  • Chapter Forty-Six: the Bastion Saint-Gervais

    • D’Artagnan arrives at his friends’ lodging, grumbling that his friends better have a good reason for taking him from his much-needed rest.
    • Athos asks Aramis if the Parpaillot inn was crowded the other day. Aramis replies that it was rather empty. Athos says they should go there since their current room has very thin walls.
    • On their way, they encounter Grimaud, whom Athos commands to accompany them.
    • Unfortunately the Parpaillot is packed to the brim with people.
    • Athos asks D’Artagnan how his night was, but before D’Artagnan can answer, some guy sipping brandy says that he heard the Guards did not fare too well against the Rochellais.
    • A Swiss guy asks if they took control of a bastion.
    • D’Artagnan replies to them both, saying that they took the bastion St. Gervais last night with a loss of five men.
    • The first guy points out that the Rochellais will likely send people to repair the bastion today.
    • Athos calls for a wager—he bets the first man that he, Porthos, Aramis, and D’Artagnan will go and have breakfast in the bastion and stay there for an hour, no matter what the enemy might do to chase them away.
    • The innkeeper announces that their breakfast is ready, and Athos calls for Grimaud to pack it up.
    • The friends and Grimaud head for the bastion.
    • D’Artagnan is confused; Athos tells him that they can talk privately in the bastion.
    • D’Artagnan points out that there are other private places that might be less dangerous.
    • Athos replies that the Cardinal’s spies would have reported the four of them holding a council. By getting together this way, their actions are out in the open. Athos also says that if they are attacked, they can always fight and talk at the same time.
    • Porthos points out that they only have one musket.
    • Athos notes that since the bodies from last night’s battle are still at the bastion, they’ll have plenty of ammo.
    • The friends arrive at the bastion and turn around to find that they have an audience of over three hundred soldiers watching them. The two groups salute each other.
  • Chapter Forty-Seven: The Council of the Musketeers

    • At the bastion the four friends find twelve guns among the dead soldiers. They set to work loading the guns while Grimaud lays out the breakfast.
    • They sit down and begin filling D’Artagnan in on the events of the previous night.
    • D’Artagnan is terrified when he learns that Milady asked the Cardinal to have him killed.
    • Grimaud tells the group that twenty men are approaching.
    • The friends take a look at the approaching men and discount them as civilians. They feel bad that they may have to fire upon them—clearly, these are not proper soldiers and this will not be a fair fight.
    • Athos calls out to the troops that the Musketeers are eating breakfast, and asks them not to advance any further. He even invites them to join in the breakfast.
    • D’Artagnan points out that that the civilians are aiming muskets at Athos. The Musketeer is unconcerned, though, saying that citizens have bad aim. Four shots ring out, but Athos remains unscathed.
    • The four friends have better aim—three opponents are killed and one civilian is wounded.
    • They fire again, more bodies fall, and the rest of the civilian troops run away.
    • The Musketeers rush out of the fort and grab the victims’ firepower.
    • Grimaud is instructed to reload the muskets and fly a white napkin from the top of the building as their flag of victory.
    • All the spectators cheer.
    • D’Artagnan is upset to hear that the Duke is to be assassinated.
    • Athos shows D’Artagnan the carte blanche, which D’Artagnan wants to tear up. Athos instructs him to kept the letter, saying that it will prove to be useful.
    • Porthos argues that it would be much better to kill Milady than to kill the French Huguenots, whose only crime is to practice a slightly different religion.
    • D’Artagnan says he has an idea, but unfortunately there are more Rochellais soldiers advancing.
    • This time there are twenty to twenty-five soldiers approaching. Porthos wants to retreat, but Athos refuses.
    • Aramis proposes that they shoot at the soldiers repeatedly, and then topple a wall onto the soldiers’ heads.
    • They execute the plan. Not all the soldiers die: three or four manage to run away.
    • The hour is up—the four have won their bet. But they’re not done with their conversation!
    • D’Artagnan proposes that he go to England to warn Buckingham.
    • Athos tells him that would amount to treason.
    • Next, Porthos has an idea. He wants to hunt down Milady and strangle her.
    • Aramis says that they shouldn’t kill a woman, but suggests that they inform the Queen.
    • This idea is applauded by D’Artagnan and Porthos.
    • Aramis says he will write to a certain person at Tours who is known to be in touch with Her Majesty.
    • Athos likes the idea, but argues that they cannot trust such a letter to anyone but themselves, and all of them have war duties.
    • Porthos points out that Buckingham trusts the Queen and will heed her warning.
    • Their conversation is interrupted again as an entire regiment begins advancing. Athos lets them advance and comes up with the perfect plan. He orders Grimaud to prop the dead bodies up against the wall with their muskets.
    • This buys the friends some time to perfect their strategy of warning the Duke. Athos asks D’Artagnan for information about the Lord de Winter, and when he finds that de Winter isn’t exactly Milady’s biggest fan, he proposes asking the man to keep careful watch of Milady.
    • Aramis says it would be best to inform both Lord de Winter and the Queen.
    • So they need two couriers—one to carry a letter to Tours and one to London. They decide two of their lackeys need to do it.
    • Meanwhile, the Rochellais continue to advance.
    • If the friends don’t leave the bastion immediately, they’ll get blown to bits. They realize they left their makeshift flag; Athos goes to grab it as the Rochellais open fire.
    • The napkin is hit with gunfire. Behind the friends, everyone from the camp is yelling at Athos to come down.
    • The four friends proceed back to camp as the Rochellais open fire on the corpses. As the friends walk back, they remember that D’Artagnan wears a fortune on his finger—the Queen’s diamond! If they sell the ring they can finance their operation!
    • The four friends walk into camp to great acclaim—over two thousand people are there to congratulate them on their amazing feat.
    • Even the Cardinal hears about it, and is even more intent on having them loyal to him.
    • When the Cardinal next sees Tréville, he asks for the napkin in order to have three fleur-de-lis embroidered upon it. (Remember that the fleur-de-lis is a symbol of the French monarchy and denotes honor—it’s only when that symbol is branded on you that it becomes a bad thing!) Tréville says that would be doing D’Artagnan a disservice since he isn’t a Musketeer.
    • The Cardinal says that Tréville should take D’Artagnan into the Musketeers.
    • D’Artagnan is thrilled to hear this news.
    • Dessessart is proud to hear it as well, and asks if there’s anything he can do for D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan asks for his diamond ring to be sold at a fair price.
    • The next day a messenger shows up with a bag containing seven thousand livres.
  • Chapter Forty-Eight: A Family Affair

    • That evening the four have three things to decide: what to say to de Winter, what to say to the lady in Tours, and which lackeys should perform which task.
    • Athos boasts of Grimaud’s discretion, Porthos of Mousqueton’s strength, Aramis claims that Bazin is a true gentleman, and D’Artagnan talks of Planchet’s bravery.
    • Athos points out that whomever they send ought to have all four qualities.
    • The matter is tabled for the moment as the friends turn to composing their letters. The first letter is to the Lord de Winter, and after several false starts its composition is turned over to Aramis. In the course of writing the letter, Aramis and Porthos learn that Milady is branded with a fleur-de-lis and that Athos and D’Artagnan have seen the brand. They learn that her first husband is still alive, but Athos keeps quiet that the husband is none other than him!
    • The letter to Lord de Winter informs him, in guarded terms, that Milady has tried to have him killed twice, that her marriage in England was her second time getting hitched, and that she will soon be arriving in England. The letter also says that her left shoulder contains some evidence of her past history.
    • The letter is written so that it will not compromise the four friends.
    • It is decided that the lackeys will receive money both before and after their trips.
    • The second letter is written to Aramis’s dear cousin, and recounts a dream in which the Duke was killed. Aramis addresses the letter to a seamstress named Mademoiselle Michon. His friends laugh at him.
    • Aramis argues that only Bazin can carry the letter, since Bazin is the only one his "cousin" knows.
    • D’Artagnan consents, as long as Planchet gets to go to England.
    • The friends send for Planchet, and D’Artagnan outlines the plan. Planchet is told he has eight days to get there and talk to de Winter, and eight days to return. He will be expected at eight o’clock exactly. Porthos, Aramis, and Athos threaten Planchet will a terrible death if he should somehow cause D’Artagnan to come to harm.
    • Planchet leaves the next morning; before he leaves, D’Artagnan asks him verbally to tell de Winter to watch over the Duke in case of assassination. D’Artagnan says this is so important he cannot write it down. Planchet promises to complete his mission.
    • Bazin leaves for Tours the next day and is given eight days to complete his mission.
    • Meanwhile, the friends have nothing to do but wait.
    • Bazin returns on the eighth day and reports an answer from Aramis’s cousin. "Marie Michon" writes that everything will be okay.
    • Bazin rests on some hay and dreams that Aramis will become a pope.
    • D’Artagnan, Porthos, and Aramis now have nothing to do but wait nervously for Planchet’s return. Athos alone remains calm.
    • Planchet shows up right at eight o’clock. (Athos is impressed and tells Planchet that he will hire him if he ever wants to leave D’Artagnan!)
    • Planchet swears that he would never want to leave his current master.
    • Planchet slips a note into his master’s hand.
    • The friends go home; the note says "Thank you; be easy."
    • Athos burns the paper.
    • The friends go to bed, everyone confessing that it will be the first good night’s rest they will have had in sixteen days.
  • Chapter Forty-Nine: Fatality

    • Milady is so roaring mad to have been insulted by D’Artagnan and Athos that she doesn’t want to leave France. The weather is pretty bad, however, that there is no way her ship could land.
    • Milady calculates that it would be better for her to go straight to England.
    • As she arrives, she compares herself to Judith, a woman from the Bible who entered alone into an enemy camp to slay the leader.
    • An officer boards Milady’s ship, converses with the captain, and surveys all the passengers. As he checks out Milady, she does the same to him. Yet she cannot figure out his character. He seems completely nondescript and a bit stubborn.
    • The ship enters the port and the officer tells her he is in charge of escorting her. They go into a carriage and soon Milady understands that she is a prisoner. The carriage barrels out into the countryside. Milady wants to open the door and jump out, but the carriage is going too fast.
    • Milady tries to interrogate the officer, but to no avail. They arrive at a castle on top of a giant cliff.
    • She is taken to a room with bars on the windows and doors.
    • Milady drops into an armchair, overcome with fear.
    • She continues asking why she is a prisoner. Soon Lord de Winter walks in.
    • He admits to having arranged everything, then turns and dismisses the young officer, who goes by the name of Felton. He and Milady are going to have a chat.
  • Chapter Fifty: Chat Between Brother and Sister

    • Milady is confused about what happened. She is stunned that the Lord de Winter discovered her arrival and was prepared to take her prisoner. She assumes, however, that her imprisonment is for a past crime and not in anticipation of a future one.
    • Lord de Winter asks for her reasons for coming to England. She tells her brother-in-law that she wanted to see him.
    • The two of them talk for a while, each getting nowhere. Lord de Winter tells Milady that since she wanted to see him, he ensured that she would get that wish. He lies through his teeth about how he knew she was arriving.
    • Milady gets increasingly alarmed.
    • Her brother-in-law tells her that she can have anything she wants except freedom. He then remarks that he can arrange for her to have a household similar to that of her first husband’s.
    • Milady is terrified at those words, saying that he is insulting her. She runs to strike him; he grabs her and traces her left shoulder saying that other men’s hands have touched her.
    • Milady shrieks and runs into the corner. He tells her that she has no means of escape, and that he will soon have an executioner create a similar brand on her right shoulder.
    • Lord de Winter tells her he plans for her to be sent to colonies in the south. Meanwhile, it is impossible to escape from the castle. He knows what she’s thinking—that she has enough time to plan an escape. She can try to get out, he says, but escaping is impossible.
    • Lord de Winter then talks about the young officer who escorted her to the castle. He tells her that this man will serve as her jailer, and that he is incorruptible. He calls for John Felton and introduces him to Milady.
    • He tells John to look at Milady, warning that this woman will try to seduce him, and will try everything in her power to ruin him. Lord de Winter recalls that he once saved John’s life and serves as his mentor. He is trusting John to guard Milady well.
    • The two men leave after Lord de Winter gives John instructions.
    • Milady sinks into an armchair to reflect on her situation.
  • Chapter Fifty-One: Officer

    • The siege of La Rochelle continues. Nothing comes in or out of the city.
    • The Rochellais place all of their hope in Buckingham, believing he will liberate them.
    • The Cardinal waits anxiously for news that Buckingham is incapacitated and will not be sending La Rochelle any help.
    • There was always the question of simply storming La Rochelle and taking it by force, but the city is basically impregnable except to famine.
    • The Cardinal worries that Milady is up to no good since he hasn’t heard from her. He is relying on her to commit the most important actions of the war!
    • Meanwhile, the Cardinal orders little notes to be thrown over the city walls telling the Rochellais that they should surrender, especially since the mayors of the city are hoarding lots of food for themselves.
    • Many Rochellais begin entering into private negotiations with the army, but a spy manages to make it inside the city walls and tells the inhabitants that Buckingham will soon be there to save them.
    • Negotiations cease and the Cardinal’s anxiety redoubles.
    • One day the Cardinal walks along the beach and comes across the (now four!) Musketeers. He wants to hear what they’re talking about, so he creeps closer and closer until Grimaud cries out.
    • The Musketeers stand up to salute the Cardinal, who is really angry about being detected. He asks why the Musketeers have stationed a sentinel.
    • The Cardinal remains convinced that the four are up to no good: they look like conspirators!
    • Athos says they only conspire against the Rochellais.
    • The Cardinal points out that they hid a letter as soon as they saw him coming; he asks what they were reading.
    • Someone says that it is from a woman.
    • The Cardinal asks for details, saying that he is a confessor and can keep secrets.
    • Athos says, calmly, that the letter is from neither of the Cardinal’s mistresses. The Cardinal makes a rapid calculation and sees that in a fight, it would be three against seven (counting the Musketeers’ lackeys). He retreats.
    • The four men look at each other in fear: the Cardinal is clearly angry.
    • Athos asks Aramis if he was going to give up the letter. Aramis said yes, but then he would have run through the Cardinal with a sword afterwards!
    • Athos suspected as much.
    • The men resume looking at the letter, which is from the seamstress of Tours. In guarded terms it says that Constance is at a convent in Bethune. The men want to burn the letter, but out of fear that the Cardinal has a secret method of reading ashes, they give it to Grimaud to eat! They give him a glass of wine afterwards to get rid of the after-taste.
    • As the Cardinal rides away from the beach, he resolves again that the four men should work for him.
  • Chapter Fifty-Two: Captivity: The First Day

    • Milady remains contemplative and angry. She blames D’Artagnan for everything. Finally, she stops meditating and gets up to fix her hair. She looks in the mirror and reminds herself that she is beautiful.
    • She hears footsteps and realizes that her dinner is being served. Quickly, she throws herself down into an armchair with "her head thrown back, her beautiful hair unbound and disheveled, her bosom half bare… one hand on her heart."
    • A table is brought in for her by soldiers. Felton believes her to be asleep, but one of the other soldiers corrects him, saying that Milady has fainted. Felton, not knowing what to do in this situation, orders for Lord de Winter to be brought to the room.
    • He waits stoically with his back to Milady while de Winter is on his way. After ten minutes, Milady pretends to wake up. In her charming voice she bemoans her situation.
    • Lord de Winter comes in with smelling salts in his hand. He sees that Milady has woken up and starts teasing Felton for being taken in by her playacting.
    • Felton replies that he thought it only honorable for him to behave as a gentleman.
    • Lord de Winter asks if Felton is attracted to Milady. Felton replies in the negative, saying it requires more than that to corrupt him.
    • The two men leave to have supper. On their way out, Lord de Winter tells Milady that her dinner looks quite good and she should eat. Milady goes nuts; she grabs a knife off her table and is disappointed to see that the edges are round instead of sharp.
    • On the other side of the door, Lord de Winter laughs at her and tells Felton that Milady would have killed him if the knife were real.
    • Felton apologizes for having advocated giving her a real knife.
    • Milady despairs.
    • She eats and reflects some more. She seizes upon the fact that Felton had spoken in favor of giving her a real knife. She believes he has a "spark of pity in his soul," and that "of that spark [she] will make a flame that shall devour him."
    • She goes to bed happy.
  • Chapter Fifty-Three: Captivity: The Second Day

    • Milady dreams that D’Artagnan is being executed.
    • In the morning, she stays in bed when Felton walks into the corridor outside her room. A serving woman walks in to attend to Milady, who looks pale and complains of a fever.
    • The woman asks if Milady wants a physician. Milady replies that it would be pointless.
    • Milady continues to complain, and Felton threatens to fetch Lord de Winter.
    • Felton brings a book containing a Catholic mass for Milady.
    • She detects that Felton is not a Catholic, and that this can be used to her advantage. She rapidly pretends to be a Puritan without actually telling Felton this fact straight out.
    • Lord de Winter later visits her and makes fun of her religious conversion.
    • Felton overhears the entire conversation. Later that evening, Milady prays aloud. An old servant of hers was a Puritan; Milady co-opts the prayers for her own ends. She pretends to be in a religious ecstasy as Felton orders the dinner table brought in. She finishes her prayers and eats only a little.
    • The table is cleared out and Milady notes with joy that Felton does not accompany them—clearly he is afraid of seeing her too often.
    • She begins to sing pure Puritan verses. Her voice is incredible and is heard throughout the castle.
    • It is clear Felton has been moved. He goes to visit her room and believes he sees an angel. Incoherently, he stammers out that she should not sing so loud next time.
  • Chapter Fifty-Four: Captivity: The Third Day

    • Milady knows that she has to get Felton alone, and that she has to talk to him. After all, her voice is her best asset.
    • With Lord de Winter, she will play it cool and calm, letting his disdain for her work in her favor against Felton.
    • Lord de Winter comes in the next day and expresses surprise that Milady has now switched to acting melancholic. He tells her that she has only four more days of captivity before being shipped off to the colonies.
    • Milady addresses herself to God, begging forgiveness for de Winter’s actions.
    • As soon as de Winter leaves, Milady kneels on the ground and begins praying in earnest. She pretends to be surprised when Felton comes in. He apologizes for interrupting her prayers, implying that those with guilty minds really do need to pray.
    • Milady says that only God will judge whether she is guilty. She protests that she is truly innocent.
    • She expresses surprise that Felton does not know of de Winter’s plans. She says that de Winter plans something terrible against her, without saying exactly what it is.
    • Felton’s mind immediately jumps to rape, and he protests that de Winter is incapable of that.
    • Milady is pleased. She begins an indictment of the Duke of Buckingham, but stops to beg for a knife from Felton.
    • He asks if she is planning to kill herself, and she wails that he has guessed her secret.
    • Lord de Winter approaches the room, and Milady entreats Felton not to say a word of their conversation.
    • Lord de Winter does not come in.
    • She knows that if Felton tells the lord that Milady plans to kill herself, she will be exposed as a fraud. That evening, Lord de Winter comes into the room along with Milady’s supper. He shows her the orders he has drawn up for her restrictions to the colonies. He offers her the choice of going to America or going to Tyburn, a village notorious for its public executions of criminals.
    • She is nervous, but realizes that the order has not yet been signed. (It needs to be signed by the Duke of Buckingham.)
    • Milady still has four days to corrupt Felton.
    • After eating her dinner, she again prays out loud in her beautiful voice. Felton does not come in, but Milady notices that he watches her from behind the door.
  • Chapter Fifty-Five: Captivity: The Fourth Day

    • When Felton enters the room, he finds Milady about to hang herself.
    • He tells her not to commit suicide. Milady questions his motives and his adherence to his faith. Her beauty, her grief, and her threats of suicide—it’s all too much for Felton and he’s overcome. She continues to speak in enigmas until, too curious, he begs her to tell him her story.
    • At this point Lord de Winter enters the room, casting an inquiring glance at Felton.
    • Milady asks de Winter to ask Felton what favor she was asking.
    • Felton tells his employer that Milady was asking for a knife.
    • Lord de Winter perceives that Felton has succumbed to Milady’s charms; he tells him to hold strong for three more days.
    • Milady reflects that she has made some great headway.
    • Felton comes back later and tells her that he wants to be convinced. He will return after twelve to hear her story.
    • Milady insists that she wants to die; Felton persuades her to wait until after he has heard her story.
    • Milady is thrilled. Felton is completely within her grasp.
  • Chapter Fifty-Six: Captivity: The Fifth Day

    • Milady realizes that Felton, being a deeply religious man, is immune to ordinary seductions. She really has to bring her A-game tonight!
    • She furthermore realizes that she has only two days left to successfully escape, and although she knows she can likely work her way back from the colonies, she can’t bear the idea of being out of the loop for the years it would take.
    • At nine o’clock Lord de Winter enters the room to make sure everything is secure. He reassures himself that it is impossible for Milady to escape.
    • After midnight Felton enters Milady’s room.
    • She asks for the knife. Felton puts it on the table.
    • She spins a long tale for Felton, who is hooked. The story goes something like this:
    • A young and beautiful Milady is captured, drugged, and raped by an evil man.
    • She is held captive and drugged repeatedly. Her captor demands her love, asking her to marry him.
    • One night she conceals a knife and attempts to murder her captor. Unfortunately, he was wearing a coat of chain mail.
    • Her captor tells her that he will release her; Milady threatens to tell everyone what has happened. In that case, he says, he will have to keep her captive. Milady goes on hunger strike.
    • (Throughout the story, she throws in a lot of references to her being a Puritan.)
    • Felton is overcome.
  • Chapter Fifty-Seven: Means for Classical Tragedy

    • Milady milks the moment before continuing her story. She says that her captor entered the room with an executioner who branded her with the fleur-de-lis. She ignores Felton’s demands to know the identity of her captor as she bares the brand on her shoulder.
    • Felton is completely enthralled. He falls to her feet, begging her pardon for having been her jailer. He kisses her feet.
    • Felton asks again for the identity of her persecutor. Without saying the name aloud, Milady implicates the Duke of Buckingham. Felton swears to kill him.
    • Milady explains Lord de Winter’s was furious that his brother had married a penniless girl. She says that her husband knew her story and had sworn to kill Buckingham, but had died before he could do so.
    • Milady again pretends to despair and demands the knife.
    • Felton refuses; he swears she will live with honor. He swears the two of them will live and die together, and kisses her.
    • The guard knocks on the door. Felton opens it, only to hear that his desperate cries on behalf of Milady had summoned both guard and sergeant.
    • Milady runs over with the knife, demanding to know why Felton has a right to prevent her suicide.
    • Lord de Winter overhears and begins laughing. He tells Felton there’s no way Milady will go through with it.
    • (Well, that was as basically a triple-dog-dare-you to the woman!) Milady, understanding that she has to give Felton proof of her intention, stabs herself.
    • Except she stabs herself in such a way that it hits the underwire on her bra.
    • Felton is upset and grabs the knife. Lord de Winter orders him to go, and then send for a physician.
    • Felton leaves with Milady’s knife in hand.
  • Chapter Fifty-Eight: Escape

    • Milady’s wound is not dangerous, but she pretends to be weak.
    • She waits patiently for Felton to come to her, but is disappointed when she learns that he has been sent away.
    • Milady notices that a piece of wood has been nailed over the grating to her room. No one can spy on her anymore, which is great news for her, because she no longer has to hide her emotions.
    • Lord de Winter enters and tells her that Felton has been sent away and that she should prepare for her departure the next day.
    • A storm breaks that evening.
    • She hers tapping at her window. It’s Felton!
    • He files through the bars on her window. She climbs out into Felton’s waiting arms. He begins climbing down a ladder.
    • A patrol passes underneath them, but they remain undetected.
    • She thanks Felton as the two board a nearby ship. The ship will take her wherever she wants to go, but Felton asks to be put ashore at Portsmouth. He is going to murder Buckingham.
    • Milady promises that if he dies, she will die with him.
    • During their trip to Portsmouth, Felton tells her about all his preparations.
    • Milady, for her part, tries to encourage Felton in his assassination attempt, but soon realizes that encouragement is the last thing he needs: he is already more than eager to kill the Duke!
    • The two decide that Milady will wait for Felton until ten o’clock. If he does not make it, she will set sail and meet him at a convent in Bethune.
  • Chapter Fifty-Nine: What Took Place at Portsmouth, August 23, 1628

    • Felton arrives in Portsmouth, recalling all the terrors Buckingham has perpetrated against the Puritans. To these crimes he adds the story of Milady, and works himself up into a complete fanaticism.
    • When he gets to the palace, he uses Lord de Winter’s name to pass all the guards. Another man reaches the palace at the same time, also out of breath. The two men find the Duke’s valet at the same time, and both demand to be seen immediately.
    • Since the valet knows that the Lord de Winter is friends with the Duke he gives Felton preference.
    • Felton gives Buckingham an order to sign, but uses it as an excuse to interrogate the man about Milady. The Duke protests that he knows exactly what he’s doing by signing this order.
    • Felton is enraged. He calls Milady an angel and becomes increasingly enraged. The Duke calls for his servants, and prepares to draw his sword when Felton draws his knife and stabs Buckingham in the side.
    • Buckingham’s valet comes rushing in with a letter from France.
    • The Duke cries out that Felton has killed him.
    • The other messenger comes in. It is Laporte, coming from the Queen.
    • Several other men, including Lord de Winter, come rushing into the room.
    • A canon sounds, indicating that an unusual event has occurred at the palace.
    • When de Winter learned that Milady had escaped, he remembered D’Artagnan’s warning about the Duke’s life being in danger. He went to the palace as fast as possible, but was still too late.
    • The Duke is not yet dead. He wants to hear Laporte’s message from the Queen and sends everyone out except for his servant and Laporte.
    • Buckingham asks Laporte to read Anne’s letter. She begs him to put an end to the war, and tells him to be careful of his life.
    • Laporte adds that he was also told to tell the Duke that the Queen loves him still.
    • Buckingham orders that the casket, a scent bag, and two letters—his only gifts from Anne, be returned to her. He orders that the death weapon also be sent to her.
    • He dies.
    • The palace erupts in tumult. Lord de Winter chastises Felton as the jailer argues that he has avenged himself.
    • Felton waits in vain for Milady to announce herself an accomplice and die in his arms.
    • Then he realizes that her ship is sailing away. She left an hour and a half before the appointed time.
    • Lord de Winter sees where Felton is looking and guesses his thoughts. De Winter swears that Milady will be brought to justice.
  • Chapter Sixty: In France

    • King Charles I of England tries to conceal the death of the Duke of Buckingham from the Rochellais for as long as possible. He orders the ports closed as soon as the death was announced, but two ships manages to leave before then—the first, bearing Milady’s flag. (We’ll hear more about the second ship later.)
    • (She had set sail as soon as she heard the canon sound!)
    • Meanwhile, at camp in La Rochelle, King Louis XIII of France is getting bored of the siege and wants to go back to Paris. He takes twenty Musketeers with him; among them are Porthos, Aramis, Athos, and D’Artagnan.
    • Aramis receives a letter from his seamstress friend that contains an authorization from the Queen for the bearer to remove Constance Bonacieux from the convent.
    • The men are overjoyed that they can finally rescue Constance!
    • Upon reaching Paris, the King thanks Tréville and gives permission to grant leaves of absences. The first of these goes to our young heroes, who promptly take off for Béthune.
    • Just as the men are dismounting to stop at an inn, a horseman rides past whom D’Artagnan recognizes as the man from Meung! The Musketeer wants to chase after his mystery man, but is held back by his friends. Athos also points out that the man is traveling in the opposite direction.
    • Suddenly, a servant comes running out of the inn after the man from Meung, calling that he had dropped a slip of paper. D’Artagnan pays the servant for the note, which has the word, "Armentières" written on it in Milady’s handwriting.
    • The four friends fly off to Bethune.
  • Chapter Sixty-One: The Carmelite Convent at Béthune

    • Milady reaches the convent, stopping only to send Cardinal Richelieu a note informing him that the Duke will not be sending reinforcements to La Rochelle.
    • The abbess in charge of the convent meets Milady and the two women a lovely chat. Milady entertains her host with anecdotes from court life, and tries to determine if the abbess is a cardinalist or royalist.
    • Once Milady establishes that the abbess is a royalist, she immediately begins playing the part of one of the Cardinal’s persecuted victims.
    • The abbess reveals that there is another one of the Cardinal’s persecuted victims staying at the convent! What a coincidence!
    • Milady asks to meet this other victim. The abbess says Milady ought to rest first; they will rouse her later.
    • Shortly afterwards, Constance and Milady encounter each other for the first time. They survey each other carefully, noting that they are each beautiful, but in different ways.
    • Constance says she has been at the convent for six months, but that she expects to be leaving soon.
    • Being the sweet woman that she is, Constance then offers to put in a good word with the higher-ups in order for Milady to leave the convent. Milady bemoans that even the Queen cannot do much for her.
    • Not so, Constance protests, and then in the next breath asks if Milady is acquainted with the Queen.
    • Milady says no, but indicates that they have mutual friends. She lists them, baiting Constance carefully, until she admits to being friends with D’Artagnan.
    • Constance immediately suspects that Milady was once D’Artagnan’s mistress! She’s right on the mark, but Milady denies it, saying that the two of them were only ever "just friends."
    • Milady is so happy to have found Constance, the woman whom D’Artagnan loves.
    • Constance is overcome and the friendship is sealed. The two women hug each other.
    • She confesses to Milady that she is expecting D’Artagnan himself any day now.
    • Milady does not believe it; D’Artagnan and his friends are supposed to still be at the siege of La Rochelle.
    • Constance thrusts a note at Milady. She recognizes the handwriting as Madame de Chevreuse’s, and scans the note quickly. It tells Constance, effectively, that D’Artagnan will soon be arriving.
    • At that moment, hoof beats are heard. Constance flies to the window in hope, and Milady is petrified. Luckily for Milady, it is not D’Artagnan—it’s the Comte de Rochefort. (Otherwise known as the man from Meung.)
    • Milady is thrilled.
  • Chapter Sixty-Two: Two Varieties of Demons

    • The two catch up briefly: Rochefort comes with a message from the Cardinal; Milady recounts her experience at the convent.
    • She reveals that Constance is in the convent, and that D’Artagnan and his friends are soon expected! She wants these men locked up in the Bastille, and can’t understand why the Cardinal has such an attachment to these Musketeers.
    • Milady wants to leave, but Rochefort insists that she to remain in the convent.
    • Rochefort asks if Constance will be killed; Milady tells him to rest easy on that score.
    • The two then plot their next moves. Milady asks for Rochefort’s carriage and a servant to collect her the following day.
    • She then instructs Rochefort to meet her at a little village called Armentières. He writes the name of the village down in order to remember it. She then asks for all his money, which he hands over.
    • The two conspirators are ready to execute their plan.
    • (The narrator reminds readers that the four friends encountered Rochefort after visiting Milady; the friends recovered the slip of paper with the word "Armentières" on it.)
  • Chapter Sixty-Three: The Drop of Water

    • Constance comes into the room right after Rochefort leaves. Milady smiles happily, telling Constance that the man who just left played his part admirably.
    • Milady spins an intricate lie, telling Constance that this man who was really her (Milady’s) brother, who had overpowered the real emissary of the Cardinal.
    • Milady then explains that the original letter announcing the arrival of D’Artagnan was a forgery, designed to trick Constance.
    • Milady’s lie works and Constance is overcome with terror. She asks Milady for advice.
    • Since it will be a race between D’Artagnan and the Cardinal’s emissaries, Milady suggests that Constance leave with her while a servant is posted to ascertain which group arrives first.
    • Milady proposes that the two of them dine together; Constance goes down to secure permission from the abbess while Milady takes a walk in the garden.
    • After the women begin their meal, a carriage comes into the convent. Milady tricks Constance into believing that this carriage is from the Cardinal and suggests they leave.
    • Failing to see that Milady might be pure evil, Constance follows the plan. Before leaving, the two women sit down to eat.
    • They soon hear hoof beats.
    • Milady stands up to look out the window. She recognizes D’Artagnan with a sinking feeling, and tells Constance that the Cardinal’s guards have arrived. Constance is so paralyzed with terror that she cannot move, despite Milady’s insistence that she get to the carriage.
    • Finally, Milady runs over to the dinner table, dumps poison into Constance’s glass, and brings it back for the woman to drink. As soon as Constance drinks the poison, Milady flees, confident that her job at the convent is done.
    • Constance can hear D’Artagnan’s voice calling to her, and is overjoyed when D’Artagnan bursts into the room and cradles her in his arms.
    • The two are so happy; Constance begins talking of a certain she, which makes the Musketeers nervous. D’Artagnan implores her to remember the woman’s name, and it soon becomes clear that Milady has successfully poisoned Constance.
    • Constance dies. D’Artagnan is stricken with grief.
    • Lord de Winter enters the room, to the surprise of all present. They accept him as one of their own, and the five men pledge vengeance. Although D’Artagnan wants to pursue Milady immediately, Athos cautions patience, saying that certain measures need to be taken.
    • The others are perplexed about this proposed delay, but Athos wins the debate, and instructs the men to go to sleep.
  • Chapter Sixty-Four: The Man in the Red Cloak

    • Athos studies a map of the area and sees that there are four roads leading from Béthune to Armentières. He calls for the four lackeys. Each is to take a different route to the village: Planchet is given the honor of following the road Milady’s carriage was seen to take.
    • The four lackeys are to begin their mission the next morning.
    • Athos then gets up, puts on his sword, and goes in search of a particular house. It is very curious, however, that when he asks how to get to this house, passers-by are terrified and refuse to accompany him.
    • The Musketeer enters the house and explains to the owner exactly what he wants.
    • The owner is at first reluctant to accept this mission, but Athos threatens the man’s life until he assents.
    • Athos returns to find Planchet waiting for him.
    • Planchet reports that Milady is in Armentières at an inn called the Post, currently being guarded by the other three lackeys.
    • Everyone gets ready to leave for Armentières when Athos says that one person is still missing. He leaves and then returns with a man in a large red cloak. Once he arrives, the friends set off.
  • Chapter Sixty-Five: Trial

    • We get a classic Gothic novel opening: "It was a dark and stormy night."
    • Athos has to restrain D’Artagnan from going too fast.
    • The friends try to strike up conversation with the man in the red cloak, but he remains reticent.
    • The storm gets worse.
    • The men are approaching the inn where Milady was spotted, when Grimaud appears out of nowhere and tells them that she has left!
    • Athos questions Grimaud, and concludes that Milady has gone half a league in the direction of the river. Alone.
    • Grimaud guides them through the night. Near the ferry across the river, the men discern a small house with a light inside. A man jumps out of a ditch to join them. It is Mousqueton. Bazin is watching the door.
    • Athos looks through the window of the house to see Milady. She looks up and sees the face of Athos at her window.
    • She screams.
    • Athos breaks the window and enters the room. Milady screams and turns to the door. D’Artagnan stands on the threshold with a pistol.
    • Athos tells him to put the weapon away.
    • Porthos, Aramis, Lord de Winter, and the man in the red cloak all enter the room.
    • Milady screams. She asks what they want. The lackeys guard the room.
    • Athos verifies her identity—she has gone by the names of Comatose de la Fère, and Milady de Winter.
    • She asks again what they want.
    • Athos replies that they are there to judge her for her crimes.
    • D’Artagnan steps forward as the first accuser. He accuses Milady of poisoning Constance Bonacieux, and then of trying to poison him with wine. A man named Brisemont died in his place, bringing her total body count up to two. Athos and Porthos bear witness to these crimes.
    • D’Artagnan then accuses her of asking him to murder the Comte de Wardes. There were no witnesses, so he attests to it himself.
    • The Lord de Winter steps forward. He accuses her of causing the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham. This is the first time those present have heard that news.
    • Lord de Winter explains how Milady corrupted John Felton and made him kill the Duke; Felton will be killed for this.
    • De Winter then says that his brother (her second husband) died a mysterious death.
    • Total body count: 5.
    • Athos steps forward. He explains that he married Milady when she was a young girl, and gave her money and a title before finding the brand on her shoulder.
    • Milady defies him to find the tribunal that sentenced her and the man that executed the sentence.
    • The man in the red cloak comes forward.
    • Milady is terrified.
    • The man in the red cloak takes off his mask; Milady’s terror intensifies. She calls him the executioner of Lille.
    • The man explains his story.
    • Milady was once a nun who seduced a priest. She convinced him that they need money to flee, and the priest stole sacred objects of the church and sold them. Both were arrested.
    • Within a week, Milady seduced the son of her jailer and escaped. The priest was sentenced to prison for year and was branded with the mark of a criminal his shoulder.
    • The brother of the priest happened to be the executioner, who swore up and down that he would one day also brand Milady. He caught her, branded her, and then returned to Lille. The priest escaped shortly thereafter, and the executioner was condemned to take the man’s place. The priest rejoined Milady and the two of them fled. They found a small church on an estate, where he pretended to be a curate and she, his sister.
    • The lord of the estate (that would be Athos), soon fell in love with Milady and made her his wife and the Comtesse de la Fère. The priest returned to Lille and was horrified to find his brother in jail. He surrendered himself to take his brother’s place, and then hanged himself that night.
    • Body Count: 6.
    • Each of the accusers demands the penalty of death. Porthos and Aramis serve as judges and pronounce the death sentence.
    • The men condemn her and Milady realizes there is no hope. She does not resist when someone drags her out of the cottage.
  • Chapter Sixty-Six: Execution

    • This chapter beings with a description of the setting, which can be summed up in one word: sinister. There is a river in front, woods to the right, a broken mill on the left, and along the road are trees like "deformed dwarfs."
    • Mousqueton and Grimaud drag Milady along the road. She offers the two lackeys a thousand pistoles each to let her free, and warns that there are men nearby who would avenge her death.
    • Athos and de Winter realize what Milady is doing, and instruct Planchet and Bazin to take over.
    • On the banks of the river, the executioner binds her hands and feet. Milady chastises him: she is so strong-willed it takes ten men to tie this one woman down! (Athos, however, asserts that she’s a devil and doesn’t count as being a woman.)
    • Milady argues passionately that whoever kills her is an assassin. The man in the red cloak responds that an executioner may kill without being an assassin.
    • Milady shrieks that they are not judges.
    • De Winter says that he offered her Tyburn, (a village where criminals were executed), which she rejected.
    • Milady offers to become a nun. The executioner says she once was a nun, and then ruined his brother.
    • The executioner grabs her and carries her to the boat.
    • She cries out, asking if they are going to drown her.
    • Her cries affect D’Artagnan. He sits and hangs his head, then protests that he cannot bear it. Milady hears him and cries out that she once loved him.
    • D’Artagnan begins walking towards her, but Athos steps in front of him and warns him that if he continues, the two will have to fight.
    • D’Artagnan begins to pray.
    • Athos steps forward and pardons Milady.
    • De Winter pardons her.
    • D’Artagnan pardons her.
    • Athos hands the executioner some silver. The executioner throws it into the river to demonstrate that he isn’t doing it for the money.
    • The boat glides along the river and stops on the opposite bank.
    • Everyone is on their knees praying.
    • Milady manages to untie the cord fastening her feet. She gets out of the boat and runs.
    • She slips and falls to her knees, then stays there. The executioner raises his sword and finally does the deed.
    • He puts the body and the head into his cloak, gets back into the boat, and then throws the remains into the middle of the river.
    • Three days later the Musketeers arrive back in Paris. Tréville asks if they enjoyed their leave.
    • Athos says that they did.
  • Chapter Sixty-Seven: Conclusion

    • The King is finally obliged to return to La Rochelle. His vacation in Paris is over. He sets off still astonished over the death of Buckingham, and he gloats about it to his wife.
    • As the four friends escort the King, they just look sad. All the time.
    • One day the four friends have stopped for drinks at an inn when a man walks in and spots D’Artagnan.
    • D’Artagnan grabs his sword: it’s the Man from Meung!
    • The man explains he is there to arrest D’Artagnan. He announces himself as the Chevalier de Rochefort, under orders to take D’Artagnan to the Cardinal.
    • Athos points out that they are on their way to La Rochelle, and D’Artagnan promises to go straight to the Cardinal when he arrives.
    • Rochefort says that isn’t good enough.
    • Athos pledges that he, Porthos, and Aramis will act as guards and make sure that D’Artagnan never leaves their side.
    • Rochefort understands that it would come down to a fight with him against four men, and acquiesces to this plan, providing D’Artagnan surrender his sword.
    • Rochefort says this works well since he can now continue his journey. Athos says if Rochefort is journeying in search of Milady, it’s a useless journey.
    • Rochefort asks what happened; Athos tells him to return to camp and find out.
    • The King meets up with the Cardinal at Surgères. The Cardinal finds D’Artagnan with his three (well-armed) friends, and beckons D’Artagnan to go with him.
    • Athos calls out that they (Porthos, Aramis, Athos) will wait for him.
    • D’Artagnan is convinced he is going to receive a death sentence.
    • The Cardinal says D’Artagnan has been arrested. D’Artagnan argues that he’s only guilty of one thing, and there’s no way the Cardinal could have known about it.
    • The Cardinal lists D’Artagnan’s crimes, and D’Artagnan wants to know who accuses him. D’Artagnan then lists the crimes of his accuser (Milady). The Cardinal says that if the crimes are true, she will be punished.
    • Too late, D’Artagnan says. She’s already dead.
    • D’Artagnan fills the Cardinal in on all the murdering and executing that’s been going on.
    • The Cardinal eventually relaxes. He asks if D’Artagnan and his friends realize that, by judging without a license to do so, they are considered assassins.
    • D’Artagnan says he is willing to accept any punishment the Cardinal wants to dole out.
    • D’Artagnan mentions that he has the Cardinal’s pardon in his pocket, but that he’s nevertheless ready to be sentenced however the Cardinal sees fit.
    • The Cardinal asks to see the pardon. He then reflects.
    • D’Artagnan is positive he is going to die.
    • Cardinal Richelieu continues thinking. He weighs D’Artagnan’s youth, devotion, and bravery against Milady’s admittedly terrifying exploits.
    • He hands D’Artagnan a piece of paper: it is a lieutenant’s commission in the Musketeers! D’Artagnan falls at the Cardinal’s feet and says he cannot accept it—his friends, he says, are more worthy.
    • The Cardinal points out that the name on the commission is blank. D’Artagnan can give it to any one of his friends if he so desires. The Cardinal wants D’Artagnan to remember, however, that the commission was given to him.
    • The Cardinal calls for Rochefort and has him and D’Artagnan put their differences behind them.
    • The two men leave and make arrangements to have a duel, at some point in the future.
    • Later that night, D’Artagnan goes straight to Athos and offers him the commission. Athos responds that D’Artagnan ought to keep it; for the Comte de la Fère it is too little, for Athos it is too much.
    • D’Artagnan next goes to visit Porthos, who refuses the commission. He’s getting married to his recently widowed mistress.
    • D’Artagnan then goes in search of Aramis, who also refuses. He is determined to become a priest.
    • Our young hero then returns to Athos, who writes in D’Artagnan’s name, saying that none is more worthy.
    • D’Artagnan is not happy—he no longer has friends!
    • Athos tells him that feeling isolated is a product of youth. Over time, D’Artagnan will feel better.
  • Epilogue

    • La Rochelle surrenders after a year.
    • D’Artagnan has a command position. Porthos marries Madame Coquenard the following year.
    • Aramis retires into an unknown convent.
    • Athos remains a Musketeer under D’Artagnan’s command until he inherits property.
    • D’Artagnan and Rochefort fight three times. D’Artagnan wins each time. On the third time, D’Artagnan points out that he will likely beat Rochefort if they fight a fourth time. The two of them embrace as friends.
    • Monsieur Bonacieux continues to live quietly without a wife. One day he has the impudence to assert himself as a friend of the Cardinal, who tells him that he will be provided for the rest of his life. Monsieur Bonacieux was never seen again; his neighbors believe that he’s probably in a royal castle living on the Cardinal’s dime.