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The four friends decide that the money the King gave d'Artagnan should be spent on a dinner for all of them, and on getting d'Artagnan a servant. Porthos finds the servant, a man from Picardy (another province) named Planchet, and the friends enjoy a fine meal. A lengthy description of the servants and houses of the three musketeers ensues. Athos lives in a finely appointed apartment with his servant Grimaud, whom he has trained to be totally silent. Porthos lives in a house with a magnificent exterior with his servant Mousequeton, but no one has ever been inside his home. Aramis lives in a simple but elegant apartment with his servant Bazin, a religious man whose only wish is for his master to enter the Church.
Life continues normally for awhile. The friends spend all their time together, and eventually end up having to scrounge together free meals when their money runs out. Then, one day, d'Artagnan arrives home to find a stranger in his house, begging him for help. The man explains that he has come to d'Artagnan because his wife has been kidnapped, and he fears that it is part of some political plot involving the Queen. He explains that his wife is one of the Queen's ladies-in-waiting, and that her kidnapping might have something to do with her knowledge of the Queen's affair with the Duke of Buckingham. As it turns out, the little man is Monsieur Bonacieux, d'Artagnan's landlord, so d'Artagnan is all too happy to help him in return for rent. When D'Artagnan asks for a description of Madame Bonacieux's captor, it sounds as though she has been kidnapped by D'Artagnan's own nemesis, the Man from Meung. Just at this point in the conversation, D'Artagnan spots that very man, and goes racing after him.
Once again, D'Artagnan loses sight of his quarry. He returns to his apartment, and summons his three friends to discuss the news he's heard. He tells them all of Madame Bonacieux's fate, and asks what they believe they should do. Involvement is risky, because it means taking the Queen's part in what is surely a Cardinalist action against her, since the Cardinal and the Queen are great enemies. The four men decide, however, that they should aid Madame Bonacieux and therefore the Queen, for this means foiling the Cardinal, and as Royalists the Cardinal is their primary enemy.
Just then, Monsieur Bonacieux returns, and implores d'Artagnan to rescue him from a group of the Cardinal's guards who've come to arrest him. To everyone's surprise, d'Artagnan instead allows the guards to arrest the draper--with their new plans, the Musketeers cannot afford to be arrested, whereas Monsieur Bonacieux's arrest is fairly inconsequential. Athos and Aramis quickly understand this, although Porthos is bewildered.
The police set up a "mousetrap" in Bonacieux's apartment, where they capture anyone coming to visit and question them about Madame Bonacieux and her husband. D'Artagnan listens to all of the interrogations from his room, through the floor. Finally, Madame Bonacieux herself returns to the house. The guards are trying to gag and restrain her when d'Artagnan bursts in, fights them off, and rescues her. He takes her to Athos's house, where she will be safe, and explains the situation with her husband. She in turn explains to d'Artagnan that she was in fact kidnapped by the Cardinal's forces, but that she escaped and now has very important services to render to the Queen. She says that she must return to the Louvre, where the Queen is; D'Artagnan escorts Madame Bonacieux back to the palace.
Over the course of the afternoon's events, d'Artagnan has fallen quite in love with Madame Bonacieux, and he makes sure that he will see her again before leaving her. He goes to M. de Treville's to get an alibi for his actions that evening, aware that he is now in direct conflict with the Cardinal. He changes de Treville's clock, so the great man will think that d'Artagnan was with him at the exact moment when he was fighting off the guards, and his alibi will be airtight.
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