D’Artagnan spends much of his time wondering about the safety of his friends. One day, not too long after he was almost killed, d’Artagnan receives a letter along with 12 bottles of wine. The letter claims that the wine is a gift from d’Artagnan’s musketeer friends. D’Artagnan is overjoyed with the gift. He assumes it means that his friends are okay and wishing him well. D’Artagnan gathers up a few of his new friends, one of whom is the man whose life he spared, and tells them to join him for dinner a few nights later.
Although the narrator suggests that d’Artagnan should be suspicious of the wine, he seems to have let his guard down. Apparently, d’Artagnan assumes that Milady would stop trying to kill him after two failed attempts. However, the sudden arrival of the wine suggests otherwise. Although d'Artagnan is trying to be nice to his men, he is leading them into one of Milady’s traps.
When the night of the dinner arrives, the servants help set things up while the soldiers prepare the food. Just before everyone starts drinking their wine, a cannon shot is heard. Everyone rushes outside to see what is going on. Apparently, the cannon shot was meant to announce the arrival of the king. This puts everyone in good spirits. Along with the king, d’Artagnan finds his musketeer friends and M. de Tréville.
The cannon shot saves d’Artagnan’s life because it gives him a chance to talk to his friends before drinking the mysterious wine. If not for luck, Milady would’ve succeeded in killing d’Artagnan.
As soon as he sees Athos, Porthos, and Aramis, d’Artagnan thanks them for the wine. However, his friends have no idea what he is talking about. Realizing this might be Milady’s second attempt at revenge, d’Artagnan heads back inside to see one of the men who drank the wine on the floor, dying. From this moment on, d’Artagnan accepts that he is in danger at all times.
Finally, d’Artagnan realizes the truth, but not soon enough to save one of his fellow soldiers. It is only at this point that d’Artagnan realizes the extent of Milady’s capabilities.
The next day, d’Artagnan talks to his friends about the letter he found on one of Milady’s assassins. Among other things, the letter implies that Madame Bonacieux was transported to a convent. D’Artagnan asks his friends if they could help him locate which convent she is in. Aramis offers to help by writing to his connection in Tours.
If Madame Bonacieux is in a convent, that suggests that she’s managed to escape the cardinal. Meanwhile, although Aramis does not say so explicitly, his connection in Tours is his mistress. Earlier in the novel, it is stated that Madame de Chevreuse, the queen’s best friend, is also in Tours. Therefore, it is implied that Madame de Chevreuse and Aramis’s mistress are one and the same.