Chapter 63 Summary
As soon as Rochefort leaves, Milady speaks privately to Madame Bonacieux, lying and saying that the Cardinal has sent imposters in Musketeer uniforms to recapture her. Terrified, and convinced that Milady is trustworthy, Madame Bonacieux begs for advice. Milady says that they need to create an escape plan in place in case the imposters arrive before d’Artagnan does. Madame Bonacieux is not allowed to leave the convent without permission, but Milady devises a simple escape scheme that should manage to fool the nuns.
In spite of her recent role in the Queen’s love intrigues, Madame Bonacieux is not nearly as experienced an adventurer as Milady. Full of doubt, Madame Bonacieux asks a dizzying series of questions. Milady answers patiently and ultimately convinces Madame Bonacieux to flee now and attempt to connect with d'Artagnan later. Naturally Milady has no real intention of allowing Madame Bonacieux to see d'Artagnan ever again, but at the moment, Milady needs her victim to accompany her willingly.
When Milady’s carriage arrives, Madame Bonacieux grows dizzy from excitement. She collapses onto the floor in fear. Just then, a group of men rides through the gate—and Milady sees d'Artagnan at the front. The half-conscious Madame Bonacieux does not see her rescuers, so Milady claims that they are enemies. This makes Madame Bonacieux even more distraught, and she cannot move at all. Milady is not strong enough to carry the poor woman, nor is she willing to leave her to be rescued. Milady poisons Madame Bonacieux and makes her escape.
Moments after Milady departs, d'Artagnan and his fellow Musketeers enter the room and find Madame Bonacieux gasping and choking. She stammers a few words to make clear who poisoned her, and then she dies. D'Artagnan faints from grief, and his three friends mourn beside him.
Just then, Lord de Winter enters. When sees the dead body on the bed, he comments wryly that Milady must have been here. Then he informs the Musketeers that he is after her too. Athos invites him to join them as they hunt Milady down and take revenge. D'Artagnan is distraught, but he gains control of himself when Athos reminds him that it is a man's duty to avenge his true love's murder.
It is getting late, so the four friends and Lord de Winter make their way to an inn. Before the others retire to their rooms, Athos tells them that he will take charge of the search for Milady. He promises to let them all know when it is time to leave.