Chapter 11 Summary

On his way home, d’Artagnan daydreams about the glorious love affair he is sure he is about to have with the beautiful Madame Bonacieux, who will be constantly gracious but also lead him into adventures. He imagines, too, that she will give him plenty of money. 

Here the narrator pauses to mention that d’Artagnan lives in “times of lax morality” when many men survived on lavish gifts from their mistresses. Although he admits that d’Artagnan ought not to forget that his prospective mistress’s husband is in prison, the narrator seems to want to forgive his hero. “Love is the most selfish of all passions,” he writes, and then he promises that Monsieur Bonacieux will not remain forgotten forever.

D’Artagnan wanders aimlessly through Paris for a while, then decides to stop by Aramis's apartment for a chat. On his way, he spots Madame Bonacieux, who is wearing a cloak and approaching Aramis's window. He slips into the shadows and watches as Madame Bonacieux taps on the shutter and passes a handkerchief through the window to another woman. Aramis is nowhere to be seen, and d’Artagnan is perplexed.

When Madame Bonacieux leaves, d’Artagnan follows her and offers to escort her wherever she is going. She agrees, and as they walk, d’Artagnan professes his love for her. She refuses to say whether or not she loves him back. She also tells him that she cannot reveal what she has been doing, and she claims she does not know Aramis. This last part annoys d’Artagnan, who cannot imagine that someone would knock on a man’s window at midnight if she did not even know his name.

After leaving Madame Bonacieux at a dark, mysterious house, d’Artagnan returns home to find Planchet looking nervous. He explains that Athos has been arrested by soldiers who mistook him for d’Artagnan. Just before being dragged away, Athos whispered to Planchet that d’Artagnan needed to remain free to unravel the mystery involving the Bonacieuxs, the Queen, and the Duke of Buckingham. Athos has promised to remain in jail for three days before revealing that he is not d’Artagnan.

D’Artagnan immediately runs to Monsieur de Tréville to explain that a Musketeer has been arrested. Although d’Artagnan does not find the captain, he does see a man and a woman walking together, both disguised in thick cloaks. He recognizes the woman as Madame Bonacieux, and he thinks the man is Aramis. Without really thinking, d’Artagnan confronts them in a jealous rage—but then he realizes his mistake. The man is not Aramis, but the Duke of Buckingham, on his way to the Louvre to see the Queen. D’Artagnan quickly apologizes to both Buckingham and Madame Bonacieux. Then he offers his services to Buckingham, who asks d’Artagnan to act as his bodyguard for the rest of the walk to the Louvre.