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.