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The Three Musketeers

The Three Musketeers Summary


Here you will find a The Three Musketeers summary (Alexandre Dumas's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

The Three Musketeers Summary Overview

The captivating narrative follows the journey of four friends, starting with buoyancy and self-assurance, and concluding in a mood of gloominess and skepticism. The climax throws into confusion the traditional values that were once held dear. Despite the friends' valiant struggle against the Cardinal, d'Artagnan's ascension to the rank of lieutenant is ironically facilitated by the same Cardinal. The tale wraps up with d'Artagnan befriending the Comte de Rochefort, a Cardinalist agent, making us ponder if the previous battles were worthwhile or if the efforts were in vain. This sense of potential futility coupled with the return to normalcy after an epic quest are characteristic features of a Romance. The narrative’s melancholic undertone is further heightened when viewed against the historical backdrop. It appears as if the author, while constructing this romantic escapade that allowed readers an escape from their mundane existence, couldn't ignore the deceptive nature of Romanticism. The conclusion's ambiguous tone is a typical trait of the Romance genre, however, it's hard to ignore the possible denunciation of Romantic values it implies. The story successfully blends elements of Romance within a historical narrative, providing a unique take on history. Instead of positioning his characters as significant contributors to national incidents, the author audaciously assigns personal motives to historical events. This creative approach to history is part of what makes the tale so compelling, as it provides a more gratifying and entertaining explanation of grand events through the lens of personal affairs. This fusion of Romanticism and the historical genre resulted in a story that was not only universally admired, but also provided reassurance and distraction from the nation's woes.

chapter 1

The tale of The Three Musketeers starts with d'Artagnan, a young Gascon, departing his provincial home for Paris in hopes of attaining wealth. His father equips him with an aged yellow horse and a recommendation letter to Monsieur de Treville, the commander of the King's Musketeers, a prestigious squad tasked with protecting the King and Queen. Along with these, his father imparts crucial advice - to let his bravery and intelligence guide him, to stand up to everyone except the King and the Cardinal, and to remember that with valor and persistence, he can conquer all. D'Artagnan's mother also provides him with an herbal remedy recipe to heal his battle wounds swiftly. Equipped with these, d'Artagnan sets off to shape his future. His journey sees its first halt in Meung, where the fiery d'Artagnan ends up in a scuffle with a sophisticated gentleman who mocks his horse. He's knocked unconscious by the gentleman's henchmen. Upon regaining consciousness, he spies the gentleman addressing a stunning, fair woman in a carriage as "Milady," and then sees them ride away. As he readies to leave, he discovers that his recommendation letter to M. de Tréville has been purloined by the gentleman.

chapter 2

After losing the letter, d'Artagnan, still passionate, arrives in Paris to meet M. de Treville. He is intimidated by the large number of Musketeers who spend their time at de Treville's house, sharing tales of love and war, and making fun of the Cardinal, which surprises d'Artagnan. He is allowed into de Treville's personal room, but before they can engage in a conversation, de Treville summons two of his Musketeers, Aramis and Porthos. Aramis, a refined, somewhat superficial man, had been overheard by d'Artagnan discussing his plans to quit the Musketeers for the Church. Porthos, a boisterous, boastful man resembling a Saint Bernard, had just been seen by d'Artagnan bragging about his new sash.

chapter 3

Scolded by M. de Treville for losing a fight against the Cardinal's guards, the two musketeers and their absent comrade Athos, justify themselves by pointing out their success in eliminating some guards. Athos, the oldest and most distinguished of the trio, arrives visibly suffering from his injury. M. de Treville softens his tone, shifting from reprimands to paternal concern, but before he can express his commendation, Athos succumbs to his injuries, inciting chaos as everyone rushes to find a physician. Once the turmoil subsides with Athos receiving medical attention, d'Artagnan resumes his conversation with M. de Treville. He narrates the incident of the lost letter, captivating de Treville due to their shared Gascon roots. However, wary of the likelihood that d'Artagnan could be a spy for the Cardinal, de Treville decides to test him. He does this by lauding the Cardinal, assuming a spy would mock the "Red Duke." Instead, d'Artagnan concurs enthusiastically, expressing his consternation by the musketeers' disrespect towards a political heavyweight. But before the dialogue could progress, d'Artagnan spots the Man from Meung, and in a rush of adrenaline, leaves the residence to confront him.

chapter 4

In his pursuit of the Man from Meung, D'Artagnan inadvertently collides with Athos, freshly treated by the medic. A confrontation ensues, leading to a midday duel being organized. D'Artagnan's flight continues but he unexpectedly bumps into Porthos. He unwisely teases Porthos about his half-gilded sash, resulting in another duel, scheduled for one in the afternoon. While looking for the elusive Man from Meung, he spots Aramis, the third musketeer from Mr. de Treville's office, deep in conversation with two comrades. D'Artagnan's indiscretion of picking up and revealing a concealed handkerchief triggers another dispute. This uncovers Aramis' secret affair with the handkerchief's owner. Offended, Aramis challenges D'Artagnan to a duel, this one set for two o'clock. Finding himself in a predicament, D'Artagnan can't help but find humor in his own foolishness, especially his taunting of Porthos's attire. Resigned to his fate, he believes that perishing during a duel with a Musketeer would be an honorable death. Despite the odds stacked against him, he heads towards his first duel with Athos, full of determination and audacity.

chapter 5

Athos and d'Artagnan reach their destination simultaneously, exchanging polite greetings. Soon after, Aramis and Porthos show up as Athos's assistants for the duel. The trio find themselves in an awkward situation as they've all arranged duels with the same novice, especially since Porthos and Aramis have personal, hidden motives. D'Artagnan behaves respectfully, expressing his regret to Porthos and Aramis since it’s doubtful they'll get their chance to fight him, before getting ready for the duel with Athos. Just as the duel is about to commence, the Cardinal's guards show up. They intend to arrest the Musketeers as dueling is illegal. Recalling de Treville's earlier remarks, the three Musketeers vow to resist, bracing themselves for a fight. Unexpectedly, d'Artagnan sides with the Musketeers against the Cardinal's guards. The battle commences and d'Artagnan shines as the star, overcoming the head of the Cardinal's guards and saving the injured Athos from an attacker.

chapter 6

After finding out about the Cardinal's humiliating loss, Louis XIII expresses a desire to meet the four men, especially young d'Artagnan who has shown exceptional bravery. However, when they reach the King, he's out hunting. They then head to a tennis game as the three musketeers have grown fond of d'Artagnan. During the game, he gets into a fight with one of the Cardinal's top guards and triumphantly wins. Despite the controversy following the duel, d'Artagnan and his companions are absolved. Upon meeting the King the next day, their loyalty is praised, particularly d'Artagnan's. He is rewarded with a generous sum by the King as a token of gratitude.

chapter 7

The quartet agree to use d'Artagnan's royal gift to fund a group dinner and to hire a servant for him. Porthos secures the services of Planchet, a Picardy native, and they all partake in a hearty feast. The narrative then delves into a detailed exploration of the musketeers' residences and their respective help. Athos resides in a sophisticated apartment, served by his well-trained, mute helper, Grimaud. Porthos' dwelling boasts a grand façade, managed by his servant Mousequeton, though the interior remains a mystery to all. In contrast, Aramis maintains a modest yet tasteful residence, where his pious servant Bazin yearns for his master's entry into the Church.

chapter 8

For some time, life proceeds as usual for the companions who spend every moment together. When their funds are exhausted, they resort to seeking unpaid meals. Unexpectedly, d'Artagnan comes home one day to discover a distraught stranger, who pleads for his assistance. The stranger reveals he is Monsieur Bonacieux, d'Artagnan's landlord, whose wife has been abducted. He confides in d'Artagnan, suspecting his wife's abduction is connected to a political conspiracy involving the Queen, as she serves as one of the Queen's attendants. Furthermore, he thinks her knowledge about the Queen's secret affair with the Duke of Buckingham might be the reason behind her abduction. Eager to help his landlord in exchange for rent, d'Artagnan inquires about the person who seized Madame Bonacieux. The description hints towards d'Artagnan's arch-enemy, the Man from Meung. During their discussion, d'Artagnan unexpectedly sees the man and immediately chases after him.

chapter 9

D'Artagnan, having lost his target, retreats to his home and calls in his three comrades to share the news regarding Madame Bonacieux's predicament. Although the situation puts them at risk as they would be opposing a Cardinalist move against the Queen, the Quartet resolve to support Madame Bonacieux, and by extension, the Queen. This aligns with their Royalist loyalties and puts them at odds with their main adversary, the Cardinal. In the midst of this, Monsieur Bonacieux shows up, pleading with d'Artagnan to save him from imminent arrest by the Cardinal's guards. In a shocking turn, d'Artagnan allows the arrest to proceed to avoid jeopardizing their new plans. While Athos and Aramis comprehend this decision, Porthos is left utterly confused.

chapter 10

The law enforcement prepares a trap at Bonacieux's residence, detaining and interrogating any visitor about Madame Bonacieux and her spouse. D'Artagnan, from his room, eavesdrops on these interviews. When Madame Bonacieux comes back, the police attempt to silence and detain her. D'Artagnan intervenes, defeats the guards, and takes her to Athos's home for safety. He gives her an update about her husband. She informs D'Artagnan that she had been abducted by the Cardinal's men, managed to escape, and now has a crucial duty to fulfill for the Queen. She needs to be at the Louvre, where the Queen is, and D'Artagnan accompanies her back. In the course of these events, D'Artagnan falls for Madame Bonacieux and ensures he'll see her again before parting. Sensing he's now at odds with the Cardinal, he visits M. de Treville for an alibi for his evening's actions. He adjusts de Treville's clock to create the illusion he was there at the time he was actually battling the guards, ensuring his alibi is solid.

chapter 11

As D'Artagnan meanders through Paris, he's consumed by romantic feelings for Madame Bonacieux. He opts to pay a visit to Aramis, only to find a young lady rapping at his friend's abode. His astonishment escalates when another female, not Aramis, answers the knock. After a brief exchange of handkerchiefs, the young lady departs. The twist in the tale comes when D'Artagnan realizes the departing visitor is none other than Madame Bonacieux.

chapter 12

D'Artagnan trails Madame Bonacieux, curious about her actions. Initially startled, Bonacieux is eventually persuaded by d'Artagnan's protective intent, permitting him to accompany her to her next clandestine rendezvous. She then secures a promise from him to discontinue his pursuit, a pledge he gives with some reluctance.

chapter 13

D'Artagnan finds out that Athos has been mistakenly arrested in his place. He rushes to the Louvre to inform M. de Treville. On his journey, he again comes across Bonacieux escorted by a man he mistakes for Aramis. Irritated by this apparent deception, he confronts them, discovering the man is actually the Duke of Buckingham, who is en route to a clandestine rendezvous with the Queen. D'Artagnan ensures their safe entry into the Louvre before attempting to unravel the day's puzzling incidents. At the Louvre, the Duke and Queen share an intense exchange. The Duke admits he knew he was lured to France by a trap, not by the Queen's request, yet he couldn't resist seeing her. He declares his everlasting love, and though she clearly reciprocates his feelings, she remains reserved due to her royal obligations. The Duke threatens to instigate a war on France, causing massive casualties, just to be in her vicinity. Ultimately, he persuades her to present him with a birthday gift from Louis XIII - a diamond brooch. With this token, he departs dramatically, leaving the Queen in emotional turmoil.

chapter 14

Monsieur Bonacieux, detained in the Bastille, is filled with terror. Subsequent to questioning from two subordinate judges, he finds himself face-to-face with the formidable Cardinal Richelieu. Overwhelmed by the Cardinal's authority, Monsieur Bonacieux spills the beans about his wife's deeds and commits to monitor her actions henceforth. Cardinal Richelieu has effectively persuaded the timid landlord to surveil his own spouse.

chapter 15

M. de Treville learns of Athos's apprehension the following day and rushes to the King for his release. The Cardinal beats him there and tries to sway the King with his interpretation of events. Still, de Treville manages to persuade the King that detaining a musketeer without justification is absurd. When the Cardinal inquires about d'Artagnan, de Treville truthfully states that he was at his residence during the arrest. This is because d'Artagnan had adjusted the clocks during his previous visit to de Treville, ensuring his excuse was solid. With this, the Cardinal steps down and Athos is freed by the King. De Treville departs, pleased yet distrusting of the Cardinal's abrupt capitulation. In fact, de Treville's suspicion proves valid. As soon as he is out of sight, the Cardinal reveals to the King about the Duke of Buckingham's visit to the Queen.

chapter 16

The Cardinal informs the King about the Duke of Buckingham's visit with the Queen, sparking anger in the King. Cleverly, the Cardinal seems to be upholding the Queen's honor, while secretly trying to tarnish it. He doesn't reveal that the Queen gave Buckingham the diamond brooch. Instead, he highlights the Queen's apparent political scheming with Buckingham, Spain, and Austria. The King, now furious, suspects the Queen both personally and politically. The King orders a search of the Queen. Her living quarters and belongings are inspected, revealing letters that prove her political plot against the Cardinal, but her personal life remains unexposed. The King calms down, not particularly disturbed by a conspiracy against the Cardinal, and, at the Cardinal's urging, decides to hold a grand ball to appease the Queen. The Cardinal cunningly suggests that the King request the Queen to wear the diamond brooch at the ball, unaware that it's no longer in her possession. Simultaneously, the Cardinal has tasked Milady, his operative, to pilfer a fragment of the brooch from Buckingham at a British ball, a mission she successfully accomplishes.

chapter 17

The King subtly tries to discuss his suspicions about the diamond brooch with the Queen. In the process, he inadvertently lets her know that the Cardinal is already aware that she had given it to Buckingham. The Queen loses hope, believing retrieval of the brooch before the ball is impossible. At this point, Madame Bonacieux enters the Queen's chambers and proposes a solution upon hearing the Queen's predicament. She offers to retrieve the brooch from Buckingham in England. Consequently, the Queen pens a letter to Buckingham, detailing her urgent need for the jewellery. Madame Bonacieux then returns to her husband, freshly returned from his interview with the Cardinal, and tries to persuade him to deliver the letter to Buckingham in England. But Monsieur Bonacieux, now loyal to the Cardinal, refuses and they end up in a quarrel. Monsieur Bonacieux storms out to inform the Cardinal about his wife's plans. It is at this moment that d'Artagnan knocks on Madame Bonacieux's door.

chapter 18

After eavesdropping, D'Artagnan earnestly asks Madame Bonacieux to trust him. He offers to travel to England on her behalf and uses his affection for her as assurance of his trustworthiness. After a lot of persuasion, she finally gives in and informs him about the mission. The chance to serve both the Queen and his dear Madame Bonacieux fills D'Artagnan with joy. It's evident that Madame Bonacieux is slowly falling for the young man from Gascony.

chapter 19

D'Artagnan hastily goes to M. de Treville and vaguely describes the current predicament without disclosing any confidential details. Treville consents to arrange for d'Artagnan's permission to leave the guards. He also manages to get Porthos, Aramis, and Athos a break from the Musketeers, under the guise of giving Athos time off to recover from his injuries. Following this, d'Artagnan collects his companions, and they jointly depart from Paris.

chapter 20

Reaching Britain proves to be a challenge for d'Artagnan. His companions encounter difficulties - Porthos becomes entangled in a pub brawl, Aramis is injured in a surprise attack and needs time to recover, while Athos falls into a trap further down the road. Alone, d'Artagnan has to proceed to Britain. To cross the French border, he ends up in a duel, nearly killing a spy of the Cardinal, Comte de Wardes. Despite the hurdles, he manages to deliver the Queen's letter to Buckingham just in the nick of time.

chapter 21

D'Artagnan successfully delivers the Queen's letter to the Duke of Buckingham. He is handed the brooch by the Duke, who notices a missing part that was cut off by Milady, also known as Lady de Winter, at a dance. To stop Lady de Winter from delivering the missing piece to the Cardinal, the Duke orders a complete shutdown of all sea departures from England. This severe action is considered an act of war on France. After fixing the brooch, D'Artagnan swiftly returns to France.

chapter 22

D'Artagnan reaches the French capital on the eve of the grand dance. He encounters Madame Bonacieux and hands over to her the brooch. At the dance the subsequent evening, the Queen is seen wearing the brooch. Despite receiving the piece that Milady had severed and successfully delivered to him, the Cardinal is unable to discern if the brooch is intact or not. He tactfully presents the Queen with the piece thought to be missing from her brooch in the King's presence. The Queen skillfully masks her astonishment at the peculiar present, as Buckingham’s jeweler had exceedingly well mended the brooch. Later, the Queen invites d'Artagnan to her private quarters, discreetly permits him to kiss her hand, and gifts him a stunning ring as a sign of her thanks.

chapter 23

D'Artagnan returns home to find a letter from Madame Bonacieux, proposing a secret meeting the next evening. He then pays a visit to M. de Treville, who has deduced d'Artagnan's involvement in the peculiar incident at the royal ball, although the details elude him. He implores d'Artagnan to tread carefully. He notices the ring, prompting d'Artagnan to share his encounter with the Queen. While impressed, Treville views this as a further threat and suggests that d'Artagnan sell the ring. D'Artagnan disagrees, but assures him of his carefulness. Afterwards, he joins Planchet and they depart the city for the rendezvous.

chapter 24

At the agreed location, d'Artagnan sends Planchet away and anticipates Madame Bonacieux's arrival on his own. When she doesn't show up after an hour, he grows worried and inspects the house where they were supposed to meet. Signs of a struggle are evident, and Madame Bonacieux is nowhere to be found. Distraught, d'Artagnan learns from a local farmer that Madame Bonacieux was abducted by a group of men, one of whom was notably shorter and identified her prior to the kidnapping.

chapter 25

D'Artagnan returns to Paris, sharing his predicaments with M. de Treville. Suspecting a plot by the Cardinalists, Treville advises D'Artagnan to leave the city and visit his comrades, promising to gather more information. Heeding this counsel proves prudent when D'Artagnan finds out from his servant Planchet that the Cardinal's guards have been searching for him under the guise of a meeting with the Cardinal. He retrieves a seemingly feminine letter from Aramis's residence during his final round of visits before leaving Paris. He bumps into Monsieur Bonacieux, whom he identifies as Madame Bonacieux's betrayer. Upon arriving at the hostel where Porthos was left after his fight, D'Artagnan is relieved to find him alive, albeit injured. The proprietor shares two crucial pieces of information: Porthos was hurt by a Cardinalist spy seeking D'Artagnan, and Porthos' beloved, whom he presents as a Duchess, is actually a middle-aged banker's wife. The innkeeper learns this when Porthos solicits her for money to settle his hostel bill, which she denies, suspecting an affair. D'Artagnan visits Porthos, indulging his friend's tall tales. Porthos spins a story of a victorious duel, a knee injury, and an unreachable Duchess on an exciting journey. Assured of Porthos' safety, D'Artagnan proceeds to check on Aramis.

chapter 26

D'Artagnan reaches the inn where the injured Aramis is, finding him and a couple of clergymen contemplating religious matters. Aramis is considering rejoining the Church, spurred by his belief that his secret lover, the one who penned the letter d'Artagnan found, has forsaken him. However, once d'Artagnan shows him the letter, Aramis's perspective shifts drastically—he's no longer keen on leaving secular life but rather appears more eager than ever to embrace it. By now, d'Artagnan has deduced that Madame de Chevreuse, the enigmatic woman who had an earlier encounter with Madame Bonacieux in Aramis's apartment, is indeed Aramis's lover. Aramis requires more healing time, prompting d'Artagnan to depart in pursuit of Athos.

chapter 27

D'Artagnan confronts the innkeeper involved in the ambush against him and Athos. The innkeeper turns out to be a puppet in a plan hatched by the Cardinalists to seize d'Artagnan. Once d'Artagnan departed, Athos defended himself against his assailants and sealed himself and Grimaud in the inn's cellar, consuming the innkeeper's entire stock of food and wine in revenge. This act, while distressing for the innkeeper, is met with laughter by everyone else. Athos and d'Artagnan then settle into a regular room at the inn. In a state of intoxication, Athos reveals a shocking secret to d'Artagnan. He narrates a tale of a "friend" who, against societal norms, married a common woman. This friend later discovered his wife was a criminal, marked with the Fleur-de-Lis symbol on her shoulder. He realized she was only after his wealth and societal status and in a fit of anger, he hanged her. D'Artagnan realizes the story is about Athos himself when he switches to first person. Overwhelmed, d'Artagnan pretends to fall asleep.

chapter 28

On the following day, Athos and d'Artagnan decide to disregard the previous evening's discussion as mere drunken chatter from Athos and not bring it up again. They return to Paris, amassing their companions in the process. Once back in the city, each of the four receives a letter from M. de Treville. The letters state that the operation against Britain has started, and the musketeers need to arm themselves. This news brings about significant unease since they lack the necessary funds for suitable gear. Furthermore, D'Artagnan is immediately curious to find out if there's been any word of Madame Bonacieux during his absence, but to his disappointment, there hasn't been any.

chapter 29

Porthos is the first among his friends to sort out his gear issue. He manages to regain the love of his mistress, Madame Coquenard, the wife of the attorney. She provides the necessary financial support. Coincidentally, D'Artagnan comes across this event, but his attention is quickly drawn to the Woman from Meung. He senses that this woman is having some kind of impact on his life. His intuition proves correct as it turns out that she is Milady, a spy for the Cardinal.

chapter 30

D'Artagnan grows fixated on Milady, her ties to the Man from Meung, and its connection to Madame Bonacieux's vanishing. Coincidentally, he stumbles upon her in a street-side quarrel with a gentleman, and he intervenes. This triggers a skirmish between D'Artagnan and the man, identified as Lord de Winter, Milady's sibling. Consequently, they agree to settle their dispute through a duel the next day.

chapter 31

D'Artagnan, along with Porthos, Aramis and Athos confront Lord de Winter and his three companions for a duel. The Englishmen insist on knowing the Musketeers' real names. They oblige, but in private. Athos asserts that he will have to kill his foe because he doesn't want his real identity revealed. The duel ensues, Athos kills his adversary, Aramis and Porthos overcome theirs, while d'Artagnan disarms Lord de Winter. He spares the Lord because of his love for his sister. Overwhelmed with gratitude, Lord de Winter vows to introduce d'Artagnan to his sister, Lady de Winter. D'Artagnan's actions baffle Athos. The former claims to be in love with Madame Bonacieux, yet he appears infatuated with Lady de Winter. D'Artagnan attributes his interest to his suspicion of her being a spy for the Cardinal. However, this reason is only partly truthful; he is genuinely attracted to the peculiar English lady.

chapter 32

On the following day, Lord de Winter presents d'Artagnan to Lady de Winter, who possesses a captivating charm. However, d'Artagnan is taken aback by her expressions when she believes herself unobserved; seamlessly shifting from the countenance of a lovely, amicable hostess to a dangerous beast, before slipping back into her amiable demeanor the second anyone converses with her. Intrigued by this complexity, d'Artagnan increasingly visits Milady. As his affection for Milady deepens, her servant, Kitty, starts developing feelings for him.

chapter 33

Kitty, in a private conversation with d'Artagnan, confesses her feelings for him and reveals that Milady's affections are for Comte de Wardes, not him. D'Artagnan convinces Kitty to help him eavesdrop on Milady as she admits her dislike for him and her wish to inherit Lord de Winter's fortune had he been murdered. She also clarifies her reluctance to "deal with him" is due to the Cardinal's orders to handle him gently. Additionally, Milady alludes to her part in Madame Bonacieux's abduction.

chapter 34

It's now clear as day that Milady is not only an agent for the Cardinal but also a dangerous adversary. Driven by a desire for vengeance, D'Artagnan strategically uses Kitty to his advantage. He leverages her to intercept messages between Milady and the Comte. In a cunning move, he sends Milady a fraudulent letter under the Comte's name, proposing a meeting at her residence. Kitty willingly aids D'Artagnan because she is in love with him. In return, D'Artagnan feigns mutual affection, even going as far as sleeping with her to strengthen his ruse.

chapter 35

D'Artagnan forms a strategy to trap Milady, intending to unmask his true self to her once she's compromised, thereby forcing her to disclose Madame Bonacieux's location. However, as the designated time of their meeting arrives, d'Artagnan, masquerading as the Comte, visits Milady's residence and unexpectedly succumbs to her charm. They engage in an intimate act, and Milady, under the impression that d'Artagnan is the Comte, gifts him a ring as a symbol of her fondness.

chapter 36

Upon reflecting the following day, d'Artagnan grasps the extent of the predicament he's now part of. He seeks counsel from Athos. Intriguingly, Athos advises him to keep his distance from Milady, and recognises the ring she gifted d'Artagnan as a former possession of his. D'Artagnan, under the guise of the Comte, pens a letter to Milady, expressing that he cannot continue their encounters.

chapter 37

A heartbroken Kitty dutifully hands over the letter, sending Milady into a ferocious tantrum. She craves retribution against the Comte for rejecting her and lures d'Artagnan with a letter, proposing another meeting. He agrees, and she successfully tempts him, offering intimacy in return for his pledge to murder the Comte, who she claims has deeply disrespected her. Following a passionate night, Milady insists on knowing d'Artagnan's murder plan. At this point, d'Artagnan has had enough. He reveals his masquerade as the Comte, backing his claim with the ring. Enraged, Milady lunges at him. In the ensuing chaos, her shirt is ripped, exposing a Fleur-de-Lis brand on her left shoulder. Shocked and terrified, d'Artagnan evades the knife-wielding Milady and darts out into the street.

chapter 38

Post his terrifying experience with Milady, d'Artagnan rushes to Athos's residence, revealing all that transpired. The revelation of the Fleur-de-Lis leads both of them to suspect Milady to be the branded wife of Athos.

chapter 39

Gathering his three musketeer comrades, d'Artagnan finds a shaken Kitty at his home. She seeks his help, recalling his pledge to safeguard her from Milady. Aramis proposes to seek refuge for her through his enigmatic mistress. Before leaving, Kitty identifies Monsieur Bonacieux as a regular at Milady's dwelling, linking Milady to Madame Bonacieux's abduction. Using the funds from the pawned ring of Milady, d'Artagnan and Athos purchase necessary gear. Upon his return, d'Artagnan discovers two missives. The first, from Madame Bonacieux, suggests a clandestine meeting on a desolate Parisian bridge. The other, from the Cardinal's entourage, orders d'Artagnan to appear before the Cardinal that same night. Resolute to attend both, d'Artagnan has his friends' assurance of protection. At the predetermined bridge location, Madame Bonacieux zooms past d'Artagnan in a carriage, sending him a kiss in passing. This leaves him puzzled about her situation: is she free or still captive to the Cardinal? Baffled, the group of friends proceed to their appointment with the Cardinal.

chapter 40

D'Artagnan's interaction with the Cardinal puzzles him. The Cardinal reveals his knowledge of D'Artagnan's secret affairs but surprisingly appears supportive. He presents d'Artagnan a position as an Officer in his personal guard. D'Artagnan, in disbelief, politely rejects it. The Cardinal cautions him that his refusal makes him susceptible to dangers only the Cardinal can shield him from. Nonetheless, D'Artagnan stands firm on his choice and they part ways on strained yet cordial terms. Subsequently, d'Artagnan's guard troop departs Paris for combat. The musketeers' departure is scheduled a few days later, causing d'Artagnan to part from his comrades.

chapter 41

D'Artagnan finds himself in La Rochelle, a city conquered by the English but currently under French siege. While wandering by himself one evening, he suddenly becomes the target of a shooting. Barely escaping with his life, he concludes that Milady orchestrated this assassination attempt out of vengeance.

chapter 42

On the following day, d'Artagnan willingly puts himself forward to oversee a risky scouting venture. Surprisingly, his two assailants also sign up for this mission, with a plan to finish him off beyond the city's boundaries. However, d'Artagnan turns the tables on them - he slays one and takes the other prisoner. This results in him procuring a letter from Milady, which validates his previous doubts. It's now clear that she was behind the assassination attempts, and it also provides reassurance that Madame Bonacieux is safely hidden somewhere in France.

chapter 43

Milady attempts to murder d'Artagnan by gifting him wine laced with poison, presenting it as a present from his companions. However, the Musketeers arrive in the nick of time, preventing their friend from consuming the lethal drink. This incident solidifies their understanding of Milady's determination for vengeance. Consequently, they resolve to save Madame Bonacieux once the siege ends.

chapter 44

Unexpectedly, the musketeers encounter the Cardinal at a local tavern. Since d'Artagnan is on guard duty, he isn't present. The Cardinal asks the musketeers to serve as his bodyguards, leading them to a clandestine gathering. While waiting below, Athos overhears the Cardinal talking through the stove pipes. He also hears Milady's voice. The Cardinal gives Milady a mission to Britain to deliver a message to Buckingham. He threatens to reveal Buckingham's affairs with the Queen if he continues waging war against France. If Buckingham doesn't comply, the Cardinal instructs Milady on how to organize his murder. Milady requests that the Cardinal retaliate against d'Artagnan by imprisoning him in the Bastille and locating Madame Bonacieux. The Cardinal reluctantly concurs, leaving Milady to carry out his directives.

chapter 45

Athos ventures forward before the Cardinal comes back from his encounter with Milady, seemingly to survey the return route. Once the Cardinal is back, he leaves with the remaining pair of Musketeers in the direction of the military encampment.

chapter 46

In hiding within the forest, Athos decides to confront Milady at the Inn where she's lodged. Astonished to see him alive, she listens as Athos expresses his deep-seated loathing for her and threatens her life if harm were to befall d'Artagnan. As a precaution, Athos pilfers Milady's absolution order from the Cardinal, a document that exonerates the holder of any misdeeds committed in the Cardinal's name. With this act, Athos departs.

chapter 47

Upon returning to the camp, Athos, along with Aramis and Porthos, immediately summons d'Artagnan. They head to an inn for breakfast and a private discussion, but find it swarming with soldiers, making quiet conversation impossible. Athos then proposes a daring wager to the gathered soldiers: if he and his comrades can independently defend the Saint Gervais Fort for a continuous hour, the soldiers will owe them an extravagant dinner. The soldiers, intrigued by the audacious bet, agree unanimously.

chapter 48

The companions prepare a take-away breakfast and depart for the Fort. Athos points out that this venture will earn them honor and offer a secluded spot to strategize, far from the prying ears of Cardinal's spies. Arriving at the Fort, they raise a napkin signalling the occupation by His Majesty's troops and start discussing plans to safeguard themselves and Buckingham from Milady and the Cardinal. They decide upon sending two letters, both penned by Aramis. The first one is meant for Lord de Winter, alerting him about Milady's intentions and criminal past, requesting him to detain her upon arrival in Britain. The second letter is destined for Aramis's secret lover (Madame de Chevreuse, a close confidante of the Queen) to inform the Queen about the conspiracy against Buckingham. They choose to pawn d'Artagnan's ring gifted by the Queen, to finance their plans. While contemplating these plans, the quartet successfully repels two waves of Rochellese rebels, holding the fort for ninety minutes. Their triumphant return is greeted with cheers, and their heroic exploits reach the Cardinal. He acknowledges their valor and decides it's high time they were on his team. He, thus, permits Monsieur de Treville to officially induct d'Artagnan into the Musketeers. With Treville's endorsement, d'Artagnan finally becomes a part of their esteemed group.

chapter 49

The comrades dispatch Bazin with the missive for Aramis's lover, and Planchet is tasked with delivering the note to Lord de Winter. D'Artagnan, fond of Buckingham, further instructs Planchet to orally alert de Winter regarding the planned murder of Buckingham. In less than two weeks, the two aides are back bringing appreciative responses, sealing the achievement of their endeavours.

chapter 50

Upon reaching England, Milady is immediately apprehended. She is transported to a rural estate, where she comes to learn that Lord de Winter is responsible for her capture, acting on the counsel of the musketeers. She meets John Felton, her appointed guard, who appears unyielding and distant. With a fortnight until her exile to a remote island by Lord de Winter, Milady begins to scheme an escape.

chapter 51

The Cardinal is restlessly anticipating word from Milady, amidst the ongoing siege. The surrender of the Rochellese appears inevitable, their sole faith resting on the Duke of Buckingham. An air of suspended animation hangs over everyone, as they wait for a shift in the situation.

chapter 52

The Cardinal endeavors to hasten the capitulation of La Rochelle by scattering leaflets over the city, instigating an uprising against the rulers who are causing hunger. A conflict against the city's authorities is on the horizon when Buckingham sends news of his imminent arrival with a substantial naval fleet and Spanish and Austrian troops in a week's time. This announcement bolsters the spirits of the La Rochelle citizens, thwarting the Cardinal's strategies.

chapter 53

As the anticipation stretches on, the Cardinal finds solace in solitary beach rides. During one such outing, he stumbles upon the musketeers in the sand dunes, engrossed in a letter. Attempting a stealthy approach, he is spotted by Grimaud, who alerts the Musketeers. A discussion about the letter ensues between the Cardinal and Athos. It begins politely but concludes with Athos audaciously taunting the Cardinal about his past romantic liaisons and implicitly declining to share the letter. Displeased yet even more determined to recruit the musketeers, the Cardinal retreats.

chapter 54

The letter in question, penned by Madame de Chevreuse, is for Aramis. Its contents reveal that Madame Bonacieux is in a safe location, a Carmelite Convent in the small settlement of Bethune. This information has been obtained from the Queen by Madame de Chevreuse. D'Artagnan's spirits lift considerably upon hearing this. The Musketeers resolve to pay a visit to the Convent post-siege to bring her back.

chapter 55

In Britain, Milady is in a desperate state planning to break free. Her situation seems desperate when Lord de Winter reveals her impending expulsion order, set to happen in three days. Yet, she discovers an escape route through John Felton, Lord de Winter's confidant, who is a Protestant. Pretending to be one herself, she slowly breaks down the young man's guard using her charm and fake religious zeal. Milady pretends to be sick to earn his empathy, then she pleads for her right to end her own life, portraying herself as a martyr.

chapter 56

In her fifth day of imprisonment, she gains Felton's compassion. She shares with him the "real" tale of de Winter's loathing for her. She reveals her ordeal of being seized and violated multiple times by the Duke of Buckingham in his bid to make her his mistress. Despite her devout beliefs, Buckingham marked her with the Fleur-de-Lis, ensuring her story would not be trusted. She later wedded the brother of Lord de Winter, and relayed Buckingham's atrocities to him. Before her husband could seek retribution, Buckingham murdered him, leaving none privy to her story. She escaped to France but was compelled to return to England, only to be seized by Lord de Winter, under Buckingham's influence.

chapter 57

Felton has become completely engrossed in Milady's manipulation. The climax of her plan is reached when Lord de Winter intrudes on their passionate encounter. To confirm her allegiance to Felton, Milady seizes a blade and injures herself, albeit cautiously not to cause serious harm. This strengthens Felton's trust in her dedication to Protestantism and her commitment to uphold her dignity. Felton is now utterly smitten by her.

chapter 58

After observing that Milady may have manipulated Felton, Lord de Winter dismisses him. Despite this, Felton comes back to free Milady just a day prior to her expulsion. They manage to evade their confinement. Felton shares his intentions to assassinate Buckingham and flee to France alongside Milady. Her scheme's accomplishment brings her immense joy.

chapter 59

Having reached Portsmouth with Milady, Felton seeks an audience with the Duke of Buckingham under the pretense of delivering a vital message from Lord de Winter. He attempts to persuade Buckingham to grant Milady's freedom but upon failing, he resorts to fatally wounding the Duke. As Buckingham's life slips away, a courier brings a letter from the Queen, pleading for him to end his war against France, a conflict she acknowledges he's engaging in due to his affection for her. Alongside the letter, the Queen also sends a spoken message affirming her love for the Duke, leading him to draw his last breath on a note of happiness.

chapter 60

In La Rochelle, the Musketeers are eager to rescue Madame Bonacieux. They learn she's held captive at the same convent as Milady, who may return from England. Monsieur de Treville senses their worry and grants them a five-day leave. Without hesitation, the quartet embarks on a mission to save Madame Bonacieux. En route, they cross paths with the Man from Meung yet again, and once more, he eludes d'Artagnan. Nevertheless, he leaves behind a note with the name of a town: Armentieres.

chapter 61

Milady reaches the convent before the musketeers and becomes friendly with Madame Bonacieux. She pretends to be an ally of d'Artagnan who is also being pursued by the Cardinal. Madame Bonacieux, being innocent, completely trusts Milady. She even shares with Milady a letter she received from Madame de Chevreuse that reveals d'Artagnan is on his way to rescue her. Milady sees this as a great opportunity to use Madame Bonacieux as a means to reach d'Artagnan. Subsequently, the Comte de Rochefort, the Cardinal's personal spy known as the Man from Meung, visits Milady. She organises with him to have a carriage ready to transport her and Madame Bonacieux to Armentieres, a detail she notes down for him. Milady then convinces Madame Bonacieux that the Cardinal's agents are after her, and her only chance of escape is to accompany Milady when she flees the convent. Madame Bonacieux, still trustful, agrees to leave with Milady.

chapter 62

Rochefort's vehicle pulls up and the ladies gear up to depart. At the same moment, d'Artagnan and his Musketeers show up. However, Milady convinces Bonacieux that they are Cardinalist agents coming for her, a lie Bonacieux believes without confirming. Milady attempts to hasten Madame Bonacieux's entry into the carriage, but the latter's fear prevents her from moving. Annoyed, Milady hands Madame Bonacieux a poisoned wine glass to "give her strength," and takes off solo.

chapter 63

D'Artagnan makes a sudden entrance at the point Madame Bonacieux's poisoning by Milady begins to work. Bonacieux reveals that her "good friend" Lady de Winter was the last visitor. The men grasp the dreadful reality as Madame Bonacieux dies while held by d'Artagnan. Subsequently, Lord de Winter makes an appearance, having followed Milady from England. Athos discloses to de Winter and his comrades that he was once married to Milady. The group agrees to take a short respite before embarking on a pursuit of the female killer.

chapter 64

Athos dispatches the four attendants to Armentieres, aiming to pinpoint Milady's precise whereabouts. Meanwhile, he, Lord de Winter, and their companions pay respects at Madame Bonacieux's burial. Subsequently, Athos goes on a separate, brief excursion—he finds a solitary, enigmatic individual and persuades him to join their group. The story, however, does not divulge the reason or Athos' words to the man.

chapter 65

Planchet comes back, reporting that Milady has been located by the servants and is being monitored at the Armentieres' inn. Upon hearing this, Athos orders the crew to prepare for travel and leaves to fetch the last member of their group. He comes back with an unknown man wearing a red cloak. Recognizing no one, the man accompanies the group as they pursue Milady.

chapter 66

The Musketeers, including Lord de Winter and an unnamed stranger, apprehend Milady just as she's about to leave France by crossing a river. They put her on trial, with D'Artagnan accusing her of several crimes including instigating him to kill Comte de la Fere, trying to assassinate him twice, and murdering Madame Bonacieux. Lord de Winter accuses her of murdering his sibling and the Duke of Buckingham, the latter accusation surprising the Musketeers who were unaware of the Duke's death. Athos presents his charges until Milady interrupts him, daring them to discover who branded her with the Fleur-de-Lis. It is then when the anonymous stranger interrupts and reveals himself as the Lille Headsman, a figure who fills Milady with fear. He divulges the rest of Milady's past, explaining that she was a nun who lured his priest brother into thievery, leading to their branding for stealing the Communion plate. After this, Milady escaped with the priest into Athos's region. The Headsman also accuses her of causing his brother's death as he committed suicide following her abandonment. With all accusations presented, Porthos and Aramis, acting as the jury, deliver a verdict of death for Milady. Despite her desperate attempts to evade her fate, the Headsman executes her by decapitating her near the river's edge. He then disposes of her remains in the river, referring it to the "God's justice."

chapter 67

The Musketeers are due back in La Rochelle, but before they can depart, Rochefort arrests d'Artagnan under the Cardinal's orders. D'Artagnan goes willingly, with his allies watching his back outside the Cardinal's rooms. Once again, d'Artagnan finds himself alone with the influential Cardinal. As the Cardinal begins listing the accusations against him, d'Artagnan interrupts to reveal that his accuser is a criminal herself, now deceased. He recounts the whole saga, from the beginning of Milady's crimes to her demise, to the Cardinal and presents the Cardinal's letter of absolution, absolving him from guilt over Milady's death. His fate is in the Cardinal's hands who could easily annul the pardon and have him executed. Instead, he promotes d'Artagnan to lieutenant in the Musketeers, leaving the name blank, and d'Artagnan becomes one of the Cardinal's allies. D'Artagnan offers the promotion to his three comrades as the paperwork is nameless. Nonetheless, they all declare he is the best fit for it. Athos has grown tired of worldly affairs, Porthos is set to marry a wealthy attorney's widow, and Aramis plans on entering the Church. Saddened by the thought of his friends moving on, d'Artagnan reluctantly accepts the new rank.


The closing section reveals the fates of our characters. The Rochellese gave up a year-long siege upon Buckingham's demise. D'Artagnan rose to prominence as a lieutenant in the Musketeers, even developing a friendly rapport with Rochefort after clashing thrice. Athos served under d'Artagnan in the Musketeers for several years, then retired to a countryside estate. Porthos wed and retreated into a comfortable life of affluence, and true to his pledge, Aramis entered the clergy.

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