Chapter 14 Summary

Monsieur Bonacieux’s carriage soon restarts, passes Traitor’s Cross, and stops at a large building. Soldiers carry him inside and dump him on a bench. Just as he realizes that he is not going to be executed, he is called into an office to speak to a haughty, noble-looking man. This man is Cardinal Richelieu, but Monsieur Bonacieux does not recognize him.

The Cardinal interrogates Monsieur Bonacieux, demanding to know all about Madame Bonacieux’s recent movements. Monsieur Bonacieux answers all of the questions honestly, not caring that he is betraying his own wife. He admits that he often escorts Madame Bonacieux on mysterious errands around Paris. He reveals the addresses of the houses she visits, but he has no idea what she does inside.

Just then, a dark-haired man with a scar on his temple—the man d’Artagnan knows as the Man from Meung—enters the room. Monsieur Bonacieux recognizes him at once as the man who kidnapped Madame Bonacieux. The dark man, Count Rochefort, does not deny this accusation; he simply ignores it. He tells the Cardinal that the Queen has seen the Duke of Buckingham, and that the Duke has since left Paris. Rochefort heard that he left the Louvre holding a little box, most likely the box that contained the diamonds the King gave the Queen for her birthday. 

Monsieur Bonacieux listens to this conversation, and in the process, he figures out that he is in the presence of the great Cardinal Richelieu. After Rochefort leaves, the Cardinal explains to Monsieur Bonacieux that he has been unwittingly helping his wife carry messages to the Queen’s allies and lover. The Cardinal could punish Monsieur Bonacieux for this but blesses him and gives him money instead. Monsieur Bonacieux exits proclaiming the Cardinal’s justice and generosity.

When Monsieur Bonacieux is gone, Rochefort returns and asks what happened. Cardinal Richelieu said that he turned Monsieur Bonacieux into a spy against his own wife, and Rochefort is impressed. The two of them admit to each other that the Queen outwitted them, but they both feel they have plenty of ammunition for revenge.

As Rochefort stands by, Cardinal Richelieu writes to his ally in England, the beautiful woman he calls Milady. He informs her that the Duke of Buckingham will soon appear in public wearing the Queen’s diamond studs. The Cardinal instructs Milady to steal two of these studs and return to Paris as quickly as possible. He is planning to use them to prove that the Queen has a lover—a revelation that will shame Queen Anne in the eyes of her husband and the world.