D’Artagnan returns to M. de Tréville and tells him about his current predicament. M. de Tréville thinks that the cardinal is likely responsible for what’s happened. He tells d’Artagnan that he will look into it, but that for now d’Artagnan needs to leave the city and go find his friends. D’Artagnan agrees and heads home to prepare for his journey. When d’Artagnan returns home he sees Monsieur Bonacieux and realizes that he was one of the men responsible for his wife’s kidnapping. Monsieur Bonacieux quickly realizes that d’Artagnan is on to him and gets scared.
M. de Tréville’s instincts are correct, which means there is nothing that d’Artagnan can do immediately. Instead, d’Artagnan finally gets around to another pressing question; what happened to the rest of the musketeers? Just before he leaves town, d’Artagnan figures out the truth about Monsieur Bonacieux and loses what little respect he had left for him.
D’Artagnan returns to his apartment where Planchet is waiting for him. Planchet tells d’Artagnan that the captain of the cardinal’s guards came by earlier and gave d’Artagnan an invite to come and speak with the cardinal. Luckily, Planchet lied to the captain and told him that d’Artagnan was on his way to Champagne, a city in the opposite direction of where they’ll soon be traveling.
D'Artagnan doesn’t know what the cardinal wants, but he is sure that it cannot be good. Luckily for him, Planchet has taken on some of his master’s better qualities and tricked the cardinal’s men into searching in the wrong direction.
Planchet and d’Artagnan take off to find Porthos in Chantilly. They take all four horses the duke gave to d’Artagnan with them. When they arrive in Chantilly, they find that Porthos is still at the inn where they last saw him. However, the innkeeper is angry with Porthos because he’s been running up a tab and not paying for anything. D’Artagnan promises the innkeeper that Porthos’s bill will be settled by a wealthy woman named Madame Coquenard, his wealthy mistress. What d’Artagnan doesn’t know is that Madame Coquenard is currently angry with Porthos and doesn’t plan to help him out of his current bind.
This segment of the novel introduces a new character: Madame Coquenard. Although Porthos thinks that he’s kept Madame Coquenard a secret, he's failed miserably, which is why d’Artagnan knows her name. Importantly, Madame Coquenard is not as rich as d’Artagnan thinks. Furthermore, her anger with Porthos ensures that his bill is unlikely to get paid in the manner d’Artagnan promises. Of course, d’Artagnan doesn’t know he is lying, but that doesn’t help Porthos. If anything, it gives the innkeeper high expectations.
D’Artagnan goes and finds Porthos who is still wounded, although he pretends to be fine. Porthos’s room is a mess and full of wine bottles. When d’Artagnan arrives, Porthos is gambling with his servant, Mousqueton. Porthos is glad to see d’Artagnan, who tells him that their mission was ultimately a success. D’Artagnan also tells Porthos about the horse outside, which has been gifted to him by the duke. Now that he knows his friend is alright, d’Artagnan leaves the inn in search of Aramis and Athos.
Evidently, Porthos has been engaging in all of his vices while waiting for d’Artagnan to return. As usual, Porthos acts as the comic relief for the novel. Although the innkeeper is angry with him, his situation is not serious, nor is it a source of dramatic tension in the novel. Porthos is in a predicament, but not one that is likely to place him in much danger.