The next morning, Athos apologizes to d’Artagnan for whatever crazy stories he told the night before, implying that whatever he said was false. At first, d’Artagnan pretends not to know what his friend is talking about. However, he then pretends to slowly recall some of the details of the story so that he can study Athos’s reaction. By the look on Athos’s face, d'Artagnan can tell that the story was true, and that Athos’s friend was, in fact, Athos himself.
Athos’s attempts to shield the reality of his past from d’Artagnan are useless. D’Artagnan knows what Athos said is likely true and confirms it by examining his friend’s face. Although he is not as obvious as Porthos, Athos cannot hide his past from d’Artagnan. In fact, d’Artagnan has proved quite successful at digging into the personal lives of all his friends. The passage suggests that keeping secrets not only weighs on a person, but might easily turn out to be pointless.
Athos switches the topic by telling d’Artagnan that he lost two of the horses the duke gave them because of gambling. This enrages d’Artagnan, who loved the horses and now isn’t sure how they will be able to travel. Athos suggests that d’Artagnan win back his horse by gambling with the man who won them. At first, d’Artagnan resists the idea, but quickly realizes he has no other choice. D’Artagnan approaches the man and offers him his terms. If d’Artagnan wins, he gets one horse or 100 pistoles. The man accepts the deal. D’Artagnan gets lucky and wins a game of dice, much to his excitement. Rather than take back the horse, Athos urges him to accept the 100 pistoles instead. He believes they will be more useful. Also, Athos doesn’t want to feel out of place if d’Artagnan has a horse and he doesn’t.
Although Athos is generally the wisest member of the group, his slip into depression appears to have affected his judgement. Additionally, although the man d’Artagnan gambles against appears to be a minor character, he will come back later in the novel with a greater significance.
Although he’s not happy about it, d’Artagnan takes the 100 pistoles. After, he and Athos depart along with their servants. D’Artagnan and Athos ride their servants’ horses, while the servants themselves follow behind. Eventually they make it to Aramis who is also without a horse because he sold it to a dealer. Aramis laughs when he realizes that his friends have also lost their horses. The three friends continue on to Porthos, only to find that he, too, is without his horse. Porthos had to sell his horse to pay for the extensive tab he racked up at the inn. Eventually, all four friends arrive back in Paris where they learn that they will soon be going to war. This is an issue because going to war is expensive and they are now without their horses and much of their equipment.
Once again, the novel falls into a predictable comic pattern as it is slowly revealed that the musketeers lost all four horses given to them by the duke. Additionally, they’ve created a problem for themselves that will serve as an important plot point for the next stage of the novel; that is, they are expected to go to war soon, and they have no equipment with which to do so.