Chapter 9 Summary
D’Artagnan fails to catch up with the man from Meung once again. When he returns home, he finds all three Musketeers waiting for him. He tells them that he has an opportunity to make some money, and he retells Monsieur Bonacieux's story.
The four friends are eager to help the kidnap victim, Madame Bonacieux, and not only for money. They are loyal to the crown, and the matter of this kidnapping appears to be a result of some plan by the Cardinal to embarrass the King. Moreover, the Queen stands to be harmed, and they all sympathize with her. After all, she is married to a man who does not love her and who considers her people—the Spanish—as his enemies. Moreover, she is cut off from the man she really loves, the Duke of Buckingham, whom the friends respect for his lordly grace and excellent sense of style.
D'Artagnan shares the news that the Duke of Buckingham is in Paris, probably because the Cardinal forged a letter from the Queen that asked him to come. Hearing this, Aramis suddenly grows excited. He says that recently, some of the Cardinal’s men addressed him as “Duke” just when he and a young lady, both of whom just happened to be draped in clothes that concealed their identities, were boarding a carriage together.
Men do not often just happen to be traveling in disguise with women unless they are having an affair, so Athos and Porthos laugh and tease Aramis. In an attempt to maintain his dignity—as well as the privacy of the woman involved—Aramis makes up a lame lie about studying theology with the young lady’s uncle and then offering to escort her home afterward. Nobody believes him.
During this story, only d’Artagnan keeps focused on the real point: the Cardinal’s men mistook Aramis and his mistress for the Duke of Buckingham in disguise. Aramis thinks so too, and he says that he has approximately the same size and build as Buckingham.
At this moment, the door bursts open, and Monsieur Bonacieux runs in. He says that a group of guards has come to arrest him, and he begs d’Artagnan and the Musketeers for help. The three Musketeers are ready to defend the man, but d’Artagnan tells them not to. He whispers to his landlord that he must play along now in order to solve the mystery. Monsieur Bonacieux seems unconvinced. Nevertheless, he is dragged away, and d’Artagnan turns to his three friends to tell them his plan.