It is the evening of the dinner at the lawyer’s house and Porthos is looking forward to this meal. He dreams of being welcomed as a member of the family and eating a delicious home-cooked meal.
As he approaches the house, however, his dreams bear no resemblance to reality. The house is dingy and the kitchen lacks the hustle and bustle indicating that a good meal is being prepared.
He meets the old lawyer, who is so old his legs no longer function. The man glances frequently at a large chest, which presumably contains all his money.
Dinner is disgusting and stingy, although the lawyer remarks over and over again that it’s a magnificent repast and his wife is really spoiling her cousin. (The lawyer and Porthos are actually distant cousins.)
After dinner, Madame Coquenard and Porthos step into another room for a chat.
She invites him to dinner three times a week, which he respectfully declines.
He brings up the issue of getting outfitted for war.
They enter into negotiations: she wants to know his exact requirements because she may be able to get him a better deal on a horse, for instance. Porthos would prefer, for obvious reasons, to get a lump sum of money. They finally agree that she will give him eight hundred livres and then obtain a horse and mule. (The mule would be for Mousqueton.)