After d’Artagnan sees Milady at the church, he decides to follow her. However, he loses her when she gets in a carriage that is headed to St. Germain. Eager to find out where she is going, d’Artagnan finds Planchet and asks him to secure two horses from M. de Tréville. Next, d’Artagnan goes to Athos’s house. Athos is at home, drinking wine. D’Artagnan tells Athos about Porthos’s plan to get equipment. In response, Athos promises d’Artagnan that he has a plan of his own that has nothing to do with women.
Porthos’s meeting with Madame Coquenard allows d’Artagnan to get his second glimpse at Milady, who he knows is an agent of the cardinal. Hoping he can find out more about Madame Bonacieux, d’Artagnan decides to follow her. Meanwhile, Athos’s plan to get equipment remains a mystery for the next few chapters of the novel.
While Athos and d’Artagnan are talking, Planchet arrives with the horses from M. de Tréville. D’Artagnan tells Athos that he and Planchet are going to take the horses in search of Milady. Athos wonders aloud whether d’Artagnan has fallen in love with Milady and forgotten about Madame Bonacieux. D’Artagnan assures Athos that he is still in love with Madame Bonacieux, he simply doesn’t know where she is. D’Artagnan claims to be going after Milady as a way of finding Madame Bonacieux.
It is unclear whether the reader should believe that d’Artagnan’s interest in Milady is as innocent as he claims. Although he does want to find Madame Bonacieux, he also knows that Milady is a rich and powerful woman who could provide him the funds necessary to secure his equipment for war.
While searching for Milady, d’Artagnan and Planchet comes across Lubin, the servant of Comte de Wardes. D’Artagnan asks Planchet to go and talk to the servant to figure out if the count is still alive. While Planchet talks to Lubin, Milady’s carriage pulls up and stops in front of a nearby house. While still in her carriage, Milady gives orders to a maid who then goes and gives a note to Planchet under the impression that he is Lubin.
Here, d’Artagnan gets lucky on multiple counts. First, he spots Lubin, who he knows will be a source of information. Then, Milady’s maid gives Planchet a note, which d’Artagnan can use to his advantage. This comedy of errors sets up the next stage of d’Artagnan’s narrative.
Planchet gives the note to d’Artagnan. The note is from Milady and is addressed to Comte de Wardes. Apparently, Milady is trying to set up a romantic tryst with the Comte. Additionally, Planchet informs d’Artagnan that the Comte is alive, but is still recovering from his injuries. D’Artagnan realizes that he can use the note and Comte de Wardes’s condition to his advantage and so he compliments Planchet on a job well done.
D’Artagnan seems prepared to play a dangerous game. Because he is privy to more information than Milady, he knows he can use his knowledge against her. However, if he is not careful, he could make himself yet another enemy.
D’Artagnan and Planchet continue to follow Milady. At one point, they witness her having an argument with a man on a horse, though they cannot tell what she is saying because much of the conversation is in English. Always one to seize the moment, d’Artagnan decides to go and defend Milady’s honor against the man who is arguing with her. As it turns out, the man is Milady’s brother-in-law, Lord de Winter. Additionally, it is the same man who took d’Artagnan’s horses because Athos lost them while gambling. As always, the argument escalates to the point of a duel. Lord de Winter tells d’Artagnan that he will bring three of his friends to fight. D’Artagnan promises to do the same.
Yet another coincidence proves fortuitous for d’Artagnan. By challenging Lord de Winter to a duel, d’Artagnan has the opportunity to simultaneously get revenge and get on Milady’s good side. Notably, the relationship between Lord de Winter and Milady is not a happy one. Although this detail seems unimportant for the moment, it will grow in significance as the novel progresses.