Chapter 53 Summary

That night, Milady dreams of revenge against d'Artagnan. Because of this, she wakes up feeling happy. She spends the first few hours of her day making sure that she looks pale and beautiful. When Mr. Felton enters with her breakfast, she pretends to be ill. Mr. Felton offers to bring a doctor, but she refuses, saying that a doctor will merely mock her pain the way Lord de Winter did yesterday. Her pretended sincerity seems to render Mr. Felton unsure of himself, which pleases her. She feels she has the advantage as long as he is unsettled.

Later, when Mr. Felton brings Milady a prayer book, he betrays a mild distaste for Catholicism. This intrigues her, so she surreptitiously studies his austere clothing and mannerisms. They lead her to guess, correctly, that he is a Puritan. Immediately she forms a plan to make him trust her: she will pretend to share this faith. She easily adopts the mannerisms and speech patterns of the Puritans she has met, and she is thrilled when Mr. Felton seems to take her seriously. He does not reveal his own faith, so she pretends not to be aware of it. 

When Lord de Winter comes to visit Milady later that afternoon, he mocks her for pretending to be religious. He says that she is atheist and evil, and she smugly replies that he is confusing her with himself. Milady is sure that Felton can hear her through the door, so she is careful not to say anything which would give away her game.

As evening approaches, Milady sings a few hymns she knows to be popular among Puritans. When one of the Catholic guards outside her door shouts at her to stop, Mr. Felton snaps that the guards' job is to keep Milady prisoner, not prevent her from worshipping God. It thrills Milady to hear him defending her, so she goes on singing in a perfect imitation of religious passion. This is too much for Mr. Felton, who flings open her door and stares at her, "dazzled."

Milady, still pretending not to know that Mr. Felton is a Puritan, apologizes for offending his Catholic sensibilities. He stammers that he would never dream of preventing her from worshipping God as she pleases, but he adds that her loud singing is "troubling and exciting." He begs her to be just a little quieter and then slips back outside. As he locks the door, Milady overhears someone say, "The lady prisoner has a lovely voice!"