Chapter 19 Summary
When Monsieur de Tréville learns that the Queen’s reputation is in danger, he agrees to help without even knowing the details. He asks his brother-in-law, Monsieur des Essarts, to grant d’Artagnan a leave of absence from his position with the guards. He also grants a leave to Athos, Porthos, and Aramis so that they can join d’Artagnan on his journey.
A few minutes later, d’Artagnan goes to visit Aramis, who has been acting depressed. Aramis claims he is upset because he is struggling to translate a certain Latin passage, but d’Artagnan suspects that it is actually because of the sudden disappearance of Madame de Chevreuse, the Queen’s confidante, who helped arrange the meeting with Buckingham. D’Artagnan is pretty sure that Madame de Chevreuse and Aramis are having an affair, and that the lady was forced to flee Paris when Buckingham did. D’Artagnan reassures Aramis that his mistress has not willingly deserted him. Aramis is amazed that d’Artagnan knows anything about the matter, but he grows more cheerful.
During this conversation, a note arrives for Aramis granting him two weeks’ leave from the Musketeers. He is stunned, as are Porthos and Athos when they receive similar notes. D’Artagnan brings them all together and explains that he needs their help. He needs to carry an important letter to London for the Queen, and he may encounter resistance on the way. He refuses to give them any more information, but he asks them to come along and fight by his side if necessary.
Aramis and Porthos are reluctant to risk their lives without knowing more. D’Artagnan points out that they would both gladly go to war for their sovereign rulers without knowing the reason why; to him, this is no different. Athos agrees, saying that they have all agreed to protect the King and Queen no matter what:
So let us go get ourselves killed wherever we are told to. Is life worth the trouble of asking so many questions?
D’Artagnan divides his money between himself and his three friends, and he carries the letter in his breast pocket. Athos suggests that everyone ride close together, including the four lackeys, so that they can fight off anyone who attacks the letter bearer. If anyone dies or gets stopped, the others will make sure they have the letter and go on. All that matters is that the Queen's paper reaches its recipient in England. The friends agree that Athos's plan is wise. They all promise to be ready to leave within half an hour.