Study Guide

The Three Musketeers Chapter Fifteen: Men of the Robe and Men of the Sword

By Alexandre Dumas

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!