The Three Musketeers | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Three Musketeers | Chapters 49–50 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 49

Milady sails for England, her fury abating only slightly throughout the journey. When the vessel lands, an English officer comes aboard to inspect all the passengers and takes Milady off the boat, into a carriage, and an hour out of the city to a remote cliffside castle. The officer says it is a precaution; all foreigners arriving are taken to a hotel until their backgrounds are investigated. Milady is not convinced. When they enter the castle chambers through locked doors, she sees bars on the windows and resolves it is a prison of sorts. Unlike prison, though, her bags are brought to her. She is mystified, but the officer does not answer any of her questions, saying it is the right of another to explain. Finally, the person in question arrives at the door of her chamber: Lord de Winter. He dismisses the officer, Felton, and they settle in for a chat.

Chapter 50

Now that Milady knows the identity of her captor, her mind races. Is Athos involved? Did the duke figure out she stole the diamond studs? Overall, she is relieved it is only Lord de Winter holding her captive; she can handle him.

When asked, Milady tells Lord de Winter she has returned to England to see him and for no other reason, not knowing this only increases suspicion of her plot to kill him. Milady is unpleasantly surprised to discover what Lord de Winter knows about her friendship with the cardinal and that her first husband is still alive. Then he gestures toward her shoulder, as if to say he even knows about the fleur-de-lis brand. The anger in her eyes causes him to add, "if you kill me or cause me to be killed ... [n]ot a penny of what I possess will pass into your hands."

Lord de Winter says he will be leaving in 15 days for La Rochelle, but first he will put her on a ship to the southern colonies. Meanwhile, any attempts to escape will be met with instant death. Felton will be in charge and he is immune to persuasion and seduction—all of Milady's usual tactics. Lord de Winter calls in Felton and makes him swear to it. Felton is utterly devoted to Lord de Winter who saved his life in the past. Lord de Winter and Felton leave. A sentinel paces and behind her prison door; a look of "menace and defiance" returns to Milady's face.

Analysis

New obstacles arise for Milady and her mission to kill the duke with the introduction of a new character. The English officer who takes her off the boat is utterly impassive and will not answer her questions. He is not impressed by her usual histrionics or threats to jump out of the carriage to her death. This is a whole new level of challenge for Milady who is accustomed to reading men and manipulating them. She does not know where she is being taken or who is waiting on the other side of this journey, an unwelcome limbo for an evil schemer without a scheme. When she sees the bars on the windows, Milady knows this attractive mansion is actually a prison, at least for her. No ordinary prison, though; she is allowed to have her own clothes and effects. Her mind races, searching for some information to build on: finally, her jailer is Lord de Winter and, at least at the beginning of Chapter 50, she believes he is no match for her, but she is about to learn he has a whole new level of resolve, and Felton to help him.

Friendship is an important theme where Felton is concerned. They are loyal friends with an ironclad bond and mutual trust and respect. A man of few words, Felton is levelheaded and incorruptible. He is the ideal guard for Milady whose usual toolkit involves drama, manipulation—and, foremost—seduction. Milady hungers for power, but in this case, she wants power over Felton, to control him, in order to escape. Milady's mission to kill the duke and her personal plans for revenge are on hold until she escapes—or can she mastermind those purposes with her quest for freedom into one big evil plan?

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