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.
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.