When d’Artagnan returns to Paris, he is upset to find that there is still no update on Madame Bonacieux. Meanwhile, it is only 15 days before the musketeers and d’Artagnan must ride off to war and they are still without their equipment. However, Porthos has a plan. Realizing this, d’Artagnan follows him to see what he is up to. Porthos goes to a church where he looks in on a beautiful woman. As he does so, d’Artagnan notices another woman looking in Porthos’s direction, who Porthos pretends not to notice. When church ends, the beautiful lady leaves and d’Artagnan recognizes her as Milady.
Milady’s presence in the church is purely coincidental and has nothing to do with Porthos’s plan. Although he looks at Milady because she is beautiful, he does not know her. However, Porthos realizes that Milady is the perfect person to make Madame Coquenard (the woman looking at Porthos) jealous. Porthos’s plan is somewhat cruel, but effective.
Porthos attempts to offer holy water to Milady as she exits the church, knowing that doing so will enrage the woman who has had her eye on him. As it turns out, the other woman is Madame Coquenard, Porthos’s mistress. When Madame Coquenard starts to chastise Porthos for eyeballing another woman, Porthos shames her for not sending him money in his time of need. Eventually, he gets Madame Coquenard to apologize, and she promises to make it up to him. Madame Coquenard asks Porthos to come by her house the following day. She wants him to pretend to be her cousin so that her husband won’t get jealous. Porthos happily agrees to do so and feels that he is well on his way to getting money for his equipment.
The relationship between Porthos and Madame Coquenard is played mostly for laughs. Both characters like to manipulate and tell half-truths to one another, which often creates unexpected results, none of which have any significant impact on the overarching plot of the novel.