The Three Musketeers | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Three Musketeers | Chapters 28–29 | Summary



Chapter 28

D'Artagnan and Athos lose their horses gambling. They ride their servants' horses to collect Aramis. Planchet and Grimaud walk with the saddles on their heads.

When d'Artagnan and Athos reach Aramis, he has just sold his horse. Bazin, carrying his master's saddle, joins the other servants in a cart they acquired. When d'Artagnan, Athos, and Aramis join Porthos for a sumptuous dinner, Athos comments they are eating horse—he correctly guesses Porthos sold his horse to fund the extravagant meal. They all sold or lost their horses, they say, but at least they have money. They tally what they have spent so far and realize they have only a fraction left.

Back in Paris, a letter awaits d'Artagnan, informing him the king has promised he could join the Musketeers. Treville had requested it. D'Artagnan runs to tell his friends the news, but they all look downcast. The war will begin on May 1, and the Musketeers must outfit themselves. They need everything but saddles, and they do not have much horse money left.

Athos says d'Artagnan would not let his friends embarrass themselves on the battlefield while he wears a small fortune on his finger—the diamond ring from the queen that Athos almost lost while gambling. D'Artagnan is somewhat irritated, as it is not Athos's to lose or sell.

Chapter 29

The Musketeers are mulling over their lack of money for war equipment. D'Artagnan, not yet a Musketeer, only needs a guardsman's equipment. Athos will not look for money and, if it does not cross his path, he will provoke a duel and fight to the death. Everyone but Athos walks the streets each day looking for bags of money.

Porthos decides to take action. D'Artagnan follows him secretly into a church. Porthos lets his mistress, Mme. Coquenard, see him admiring Milady. When the sermon ends, Porthos scoops holy water in his hand for Milady to dip her fingers. The mistress had thought it was for her and believes Porthos and Milady are having an "intrigue." Porthos pretends he had not seen Mme. Coquenard and lies, saying Milady is a duchess who came to this church just to see him. Mme. Coquenard's jealousy is piqued by the rank and wealth of "the duchess." Porthos complains Mme. Coquenard left him to die in Chantilly without even responding to his letters.

After the couple argues, Porthos says he will soon go to war and he predicts he will die. He says he must visit his family for money to get his equipment and will travel with "the duchess" who lives nearby. Mme. Coquenard relents and invites Porthos to dinner with her and her husband—Porthos will pretend to be her cousin. She says Monsieur Coquenard is elderly—though shrewd—and will die any day, leaving his entire estate to her. That clinches it—the affair is back on.


Pride and honor dictate the Musketeers must go to battle with good-quality, good-looking equipment: horses, saddles, clothes, and gear. They still have the saddles from the duke, but no horses and not much cash.

D'Artagnan does not need as much money because he is in the regular guard, and they are not required to look fancy.

Athos is not interested in raising the funds himself; he plans to let the money come to him. Athos's comment about d'Artagnan's ring demonstrates the theme of friendship. They all take care of each other.

Porthos is the only one who enacts a plan in the form of provoking Mme. Coquenard's jealousy, then manipulating her with guilt over letting him rot in the hotel when he was injured. Now she will pay, literally and figuratively.

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