Chapter 55 Summary
The following morning, Mr. Felton finds Milady standing on a chair holding a rope she has made of old cloth. She hops down, sits in the chair, and hides the rope beneath her. She insists that nothing untoward is going on, but she also makes sure that he sees just enough to think exactly what she wants him to think—that she was on the point of hanging herself. He begs her not to commit the sin of suicide, but she says that death is the only way she can avoid a worse fate.
As Mr. Felton listens in concern, Milady says that if she does not die now, Lord de Winter will give her to Buckingham. Mr. Felton begs her to be clear about what will happen after that, but she pretends to be too embarrassed to say any more. He says innocently that he is her brother, by which he means that he is her brother in Christian faith. She says that she is prepared to reveal the the truth, but then they hear Lord de Winter's footsteps in the halls.
When Lord de Winter enters, Mr. Felton backs away from Milady. Lord de Winter asks what is going on, and Mr. Felton admits that Milady wants a knife. Lord de Winter laughs and says callously that if she wants to kill herself, she could make a rope. This does nothing to reassure Mr. Felton, who just now saw Milady with a rope she had made.
Lord de Winter tells Mr. Felton to come away with him, and the officer obeys. An hour later, he returns to Milady's room looking upset. He says that Lord de Winter has told him the whole terrible truth about Milady's past. Now Mr. Felton does not know what to think. “Either you are a demon...or Lord de Winter...is a monster,” he says.
By now Mr. Felton is in a state of deep confusion. For years, Lord de Winter has been like a father to him, but Milady seems sincere. He offers her a chance to tell her side of the story tonight at midnight. He promises to give her the knife she wants when she is finished. Milady is thrilled, and when he leaves, she says to herself:
Oh, God, what an insane fanatic! Did I say God? I am my own God, vengeance is mine, I will repay. And that young Puritan fool will help me do so.