Shortly after he is arrested, Monsieur Bonacieux is thrown in jail and taken to an interrogation room. He is then questioned by a police officer who gathers some general information. Monsieur Bonacieux tells him that he is a 51-year-old retired merchant and gives his address. The officer then begins to lecture Monsieur Bonacieux about how he should pay more respect to those in power. Eager to please, Monsieur Bonacieux begins complimenting the cardinal. However, this does nothing to appease the officer, who tells him that he is accused of treason. The officer then tells Monsieur Bonacieux to tell him about his wife’s abduction. Monsieur Bonacieux tells him everything he knows, which is not much.
Unlike his wife, Monsieur Bonacieux is quite cowardly. He gives away any and all information as soon as he is asked, without any thought for how it could impact himself or his wife. Although he previously considered the cardinal his enemy, Monsieur Bonacieux immediately flips his position to satisfy his captors. Luckily, Monsieur Bonacieux knows very little of his wife’s activities, so he can’t be much help to the cardinal’s men.
After he is interrogated, Monsieur Bonacieux is thrown into a cell by himself. He is terrified and convinced that he will die. Despite his cries and protests, he ends up spending the night in the cell. The next morning, Monsieur Bonacieux is brought in for more questioning. The police officer tells him that his wife escaped her abductors and that he thinks Monsieur Bonacieux had something to do with it. Scared, Monsieur Bonacieux tells the truth about hiring d’Artagnan.
Monsieur Bonacieux’s terror is understandable, even if he doesn’t conduct himself in the most honorable manner. However, his terror doesn’t bode well for d’Artagnan and Madame Bonacieux. The cardinal’s guards know that they can likely get more information out of Monsieur Bonacieux by holding him overnight; as it turns out, this prediction is correct.
After Monsieur Bonacieux is done confessing, the officer instructs some nearby guards to bring d’Artagnan into the room. The guards do as they are asked, though unbeknownst to them, the man they lead into the room is actually Athos. Monsieur Bonacieux tells the officer that he’s never seen Athos before, which is true. At first the officer is confused, but Athos eventually reveals that he is not, in fact, d’Artagnan. This frustrates the officer, who throws Monsieur Bonacieux and Athos back in their respective cells.
Athos’s plan worked. Because the guards thought they already had d’Artagnan, nobody bothered looking for him; this allowed d’Artagnan to continue aiding Madame Bonacieux. Athos’s actions are the complete opposite of Monsieur Bonacieux’s. He is calm and collected, even in the face of serious charges. In fairness to Monsieur Bonacieux, Athos does have M. de Tréville on his side, whereas Monsieur Bonacieux has no one.
That night, Monsieur Bonacieux is escorted to a carriage by some guards. He begs them for mercy, but no one listens to him. Monsieur Bonacieux assumes that he is to be executed and he gets nervous every time the carriage passes a famous execution site. Eventually, the carriage stops at a spot where executions are commonly performed, and Bonacieux passes out from fright.
Again, Monsieur Bonacieux’s terror is reasonable, but it is over the top. Although the chapter ends on a cliffhanger, there is no reason to assume Monsieur Bonacieux will be killed for his actions. He hasn’t done anything, nor has he had a formal trial. Although the cardinal and his men don’t always act strictly within the bounds of the law, it is unlikely that they would kill someone like Monsieur Bonacieux, who has barely done anything wrong.