Chapter 8 Summary
In about a month, d’Artagnan’s money from King Louis XVIII runs out. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis each take a turn supporting the group for a while, drawing on mysterious sources to do it. When these funds run out, Porthos tries gambling and loses their last few coins.
Without any money, the four friends get their meals by attending dinners held by a variety of acquaintances. Whenever one man is invited, he brings along the others, and all four servants as well. Athos, Porthos, and Aramis each know many more people than d’Artagnan, and they each get invited to several impressive dinners. D’Artagnan does not get invited as often as the rest of them, and he feels ashamed of this.
One day, as d’Artagnan is trying to dream up ways to make money, his landlord comes to his door to ask for help. Monsieur Bonacieux is not a brave man, and he speaks hesitantly as he tells his story, but d’Artagnan gradually learns that Madame Bonacieux works for her majesty the Queen of France as a seamstress. Recently, Madame Bonacieux has been acting on the Queen’s behalf to stop a plot involving the Queen’s English lover, the Duke of Buckingham. King Louis XIII, a jealous man, has banished Buckingham from France in order to keep him away from the Queen. Monsieur Bonacieux believes that agents of the Cardinal have written a forged letter in the name of the Queen to request that Buckingham sneak secretly into Paris to see her. If he does what she asks and gets caught, he might be killed—and the resulting scandal will badly embarrass the King and Queen both.
In order to protect her Queen, Madame Bonacieux has bravely been helping to warn Buckingham, but something has gone wrong. Madame Bonacieux has been kidnapped. Monsieur Bonacieux cannot do anything to help her on his own, so he begs d’Artagnan to save her. In return, he promises free rent and a large sum of money. Additionally, Bonacieux points out that helping Madame Bonacieux is, in this case, the same thing as helping the King and Queen. To d’Artagnan, all of these reasons are quite convincing. His interest is clinched when Monsieur Bonacieux describes the person who kidnapped his wife: a dark-haired nobleman with a scar on his temple, most likely the man from Meung.
Near the end of his conversation with Monsieur Bonacieux, d’Artagnan looks out the window and sees that they are being watched by none other than the man from Meung himself. Seizing his sword, d’Artagnan runs out to confront the man. Monsieur Bonacieux, who is not so inclined to fight, sneaks down the back stairs and away.