Lord de Winter sends Felton away, suspecting that Milady has won him over. However, the day before Milady is to be banished, Felton returns to rescue her. He breaks her out of her prison, and they escape. Felton explains that his plan is to kill Buckingham, and then go to France with Milady. Milady is delighted at the success of her manipulation.
Felton and Milady land their ship at Portsmouth, where Buckingham is preparing the British navy to set out for La Rochelle. Felton goes to the Duke's headquarters, and gains admittance by claiming to have an urgent message from Lord de Winter. Felton first tries to convince Buckingham to sign Milady's release; when Buckingham refuses, Felton stabs him, fatally. Before Buckingham dies, a messenger arrives with a letter from the Queen, begging Buckingham to call off his war against France, which the Queen knows he is waging out of love for her. The messenger also has a verbal message from the Queen for Buckingham: she still loves him. The Duke dies a happy man.
At La Rochelle, the Musketeers are extremely anxious to go and get Madame Bonacieux, as they now know that she is being kept at the same convent that Milady is supposed to go to if she returns from England. Sensing their distress, Monsieur de Treville gives them five days of leave to do what they need.
Immediately, the four friends set off to get Madame Bonacieux. Along the way, they have another chance encounter with the Man from Meung, who again escapes from d'Artagnan. He drops a note, however, on which is scrawled the name of a town: Armentieres.
Meanwhile, Milady has beaten the musketeers to the convent. She befriends Madame Bonacieux, under the guise of being a good friend of d'Artagnan's who is also being persecuted by the Cardinal. The innocent Madame Bonacieux trusts Milady wholly, and goes so far as to show Milady a letter from Madame de Chevreuse notifying her that d'Artagnan is coming to get her. Milady considers all of this terrific luck, for now she can use Bonacieux to get to d'Artagnan.
The Man from Meung then comes to visit Milady. He is the Comte de Rochefort, the Cardinal's personal spy. Milady arranges with him to have a carriage come for her and Madame Bonacieux as soon as possible, to take them to Armentieres, which she writes on a note for him. Milady then tells Bonacieux that Cardinalist agents are coming to get her, and the only way she can escape them is to come with her when she escapes the convent shortly. Bonacieux, trusting as ever, prepares to leave with Milady.
In accordance to that fact that Athos is always melancholy, we actually do know the source. During the book, while Athos and d'Artagnan get drunk, we discover Athos had an ex-wife, which turns out to be Milady. Later, we find that Athos did not know that Milady was a criminal when he fell in love with her. When he learns of her past, he believes that he hangs her.
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