The next day, D’Artagnan goes to Milady’s and finds his hostess in a good mood. As Kitty serves them food, d’Artagnan thinks about how she is a much better person than Milady. Meanwhile, Kitty is worried that d’Artagnan is still in love with Milady, despite what he says to the contrary. At 10 p.m., Milady tells d’Artagnan to leave because she is expecting Comte de Wardes. Instead, d’Artagnan goes and hides in Kitty’s room. Kitty tries to talk d’Artagnan out of his plan, but it is already too late.
Clearly, Milady is in a good mood because she thinks Comte de Wardes is coming; her attitude has nothing to do with d’Artagnan’s presence. Even though d’Artagnan recognizes that Milady doesn’t love him and that she is not a good person, he cannot help but love her anyway. Her beauty overpowers everything else from his point of view.
Milady tells Kitty to shut off all of the lights in the house. Kitty does as she is told. Once all of the lights are off and the time is right, d’Artagnan enters Milady’s room and pretends to be the Comte de Wardes. Apparently, Milady is fooled by his disguise and talks to him as though he is, indeed, the Comte de Wardes. To express her love to the man who she believes is the Comte, Milady gives d’Artagnan a sapphire ring. She also tells him to visit her again in one week’s time.
Here, the novel appropriates a conceit that was popular in Renaissance drama, and which requires some suspension of disbelief. Improbable though it may be, d’Artagnan gets away with his impression of Comte de Wardes and is rewarded handsomely. Although he doesn’t yet know it, Milady’s sapphire ring will be an important item moving forward.
D’Artagnan relates these events to Athos and shows him the ring Milady gave him. When Athos sees the ring, he becomes pale. He tells d’Artagnan that the ring looks exactly like one that was once in his family. It even has a scratch in the same place. Once again, Athos urges d’Artagnan to give up his plan; he is sure that something will go wrong. D’Artagnan thinks Athos is right and agrees to do so.
Here, d’Artagnan gets his first hint at Milady’s true identity. Athos’s reaction to the sapphire ring suggests that Milady might be his former wife, who is somehow back from the dead.
After leaving Athos, d’Artagnan returns home to find Kitty, who gives him a letter for the Comte de Wardes. Milady wants to know when she can see him again. D’Artagnan responds with a nasty letter that says he has many other women to see and that he will come back for her eventually. The letter makes Kitty happy because she thinks it means that d’Artagnan is not really in love with Milady. However, unsurprisingly, Milady is furious when she receives the letter, and she swears revenge.
D'Artagnan’s trick is cruel on multiple fronts. Not only does he manipulate Kitty’s emotions, but he plays with Milady’s feelings as well. D’Artagnan claims to care for both women, but he acts according to his own needs, wants, and desires. In doing so, he seems to have made an enemy out of Milady, although neither one of them knows it yet.