Study Guide

The Three Musketeers Chapter Twenty: The Journey

By Alexandre Dumas

Chapter Twenty: The Journey

  • (Advance warning: a map of 17th Century England and France would be useful here if you want to track the path taken by our young adventurers.)
  • They leave at two o’clock in the morning slightly fearful, but by the time morning hits they’re in a great and sunny mood.
  • They reach Chantilly (a city north of Paris) at about eight in the morning ready to eat breakfast. They dismount at an inn and tell the lackeys not to unsaddle the horses in case they need to make a quick getaway.
  • A gentleman is eating at the same table as they are, and insists on making small talk. When Mousqueton (Porthos’s servant) comes in to announce that the horses are ready, the stranger asks Porthos to toast to the health of the Cardinal. Porthos says he will do so only if the stranger drinks to the health of the King.
  • The stranger says he bows only to the Cardinal, and Porthos calls him a drunk, at which point it’s all over and the two draw their swords.
  • Athos yells "Good luck!" as the other three mount their horses, leaving Porthos behind to fight.
  • They stop later in the trip, but Porthos does not rejoin them.
  • Later, they come across "eight or ten men who… appeared to be employed in digging holes and filling up the ruts with mud."
  • Aramis is upset at getting his boots dirty and says so, at which point the workers start insulting them. And then they pull out some guns.
  • Aramis and Mousqueton are both hit. Mousqueton falls from his horse.
  • D’Artagnan yells for them to move forward, and Mousqueton’s horse rejoins them as they continue down the road.
  • They continue on, but their horses are tired. And Aramis is wounded. At Crèvecoeur (another city in France), they leave Aramis and Bazin behind to recuperate.
  • So to recount: we have Athos and D’Artagnan, along with their lackeys Grimaud and Planchet. Athos swears he will not fall into any more verbal traps and the four press forward. They reach Amiens at midnight.
  • The host of their hotel is nice, which is naturally suspicious. Despite being offered rooms at opposite ends of the hotel, D’Artagnan and Athos opt to sleep together in the common room.
  • Planchet and Grimaud show up.
  • It’s decided that Grimaud will stay with the horses to make sure they’re ready to go at five in the morning (that would be five hours from now), and that Planchet will serve as a bodyguard by sleeping outside their door.
  • At four o’clock they find Grimaud beaten unconscious. Planchet goes down to get the horses ready, but none of them are in any fit condition to ride.
  • Athos goes to pay their bill while Planchet notices two nice horses all ready to go.
  • When Athos goes to pay his bill, the innkeeper takes a look at the money and calls Athos and his companions frauds and yells for them to be arrested. Athos yells for D’Artagnan to run while he fights four armed men.
  • D’Artagnan and Planchet grab two horses and leave.
  • The two horses completely give up as they’re about to reach Calais. (Calais is the port city of France from which they can leave for England.)
  • They run to the docks. But wait! There’s someone already there with his servant. This gentleman is also in a huge rush to get across the channel.
  • There’s a ship captain waiting conveniently by the docks, but he informs both D’Artagnan and the stranger that no one can sail without the permission of the Cardinal.
  • The stranger has permission, but needs the governor of the port to countersign it.
  • D’Artagnan picks a fight with the stranger and beats him up. Planchet beats up the stranger’s servant.
  • Our hero then finds the necessary permission slip and notes that the stranger’s identity is "Comte de Wardes." He takes a look at the unconscious young man and has a moment of remorse for the fact that both of them are risking their lives for other people’s messes.
  • They drag Comte de Wardes over to a tree and tie his servant to the tree.
  • They head over to the governor’s house and D’Artagnan announces himself as the Comte de Wardes. While chatting with the governor, D’Artagnan drops the hint that a dastardly man, by the name of D’Artagnan, is trying to cross the Channel. D’Artagnan then gives the governor a description of the Comte de Wardes. Very tricky...
  • D’Artagnan heads back to the wharf and jumps on board the ship to England.
  • They reach the other side of the Channel at ten-thirty in the morning and then arrive in London a few hours later. Although he doesn’t speak English, D’Artagnan is soon directed to the Duke’s residence.
  • It turns out the Duke is out hunting with the King.
  • D’Artagnan manages to convince the Duke’s servant that he needs to talk to the most powerful man in England, and they go track the Duke down.
  • The Duke immediately asks if the Queen is okay, and D’Artagnan hands him the letter. The Duke reads it and tells his servant to make his excuses to the King because he needs to get back to London immediately.