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.