Study Guide

The Three Musketeers Chapter Forty-Five: A Conjugal Scene

By Alexandre Dumas

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.