At the Saint-Gervais Bastion d’Artagnan and the musketeers find 12 guns they can use to defend themselves. While Grimaud prepares breakfast, they begin loading the weapons. D’Artagnan is also told that Milady and the cardinal are conspiring to kill him. Before they can get any further in their conversation, Grimaud warns them that some men are approaching. The musketeers take a look and see that most of the men are civilians. Rather than shoot at them, Athos stands up and tells them not to come any further. His request is not granted, as the few soldiers in the group begin firing at the musketeers. In response, d’Artagnan and his friends fire back, killing three of the gunmen and wounding a civilian. Because the enemy soldiers still don’t retreat, the musketeers fire again, killing more people and causing the rest to flee.
Like several other sequences in the novel, this chapter is divided into three distinct parts, each of which contains a conversation between the four friends and a battle. The first wave of enemies that comes near the bastion is surprised by the presence of the musketeers; after all, their presence is absurd. Despite Athos’s attempt to remain peaceful, the four friends eventually have to open fire, marking their first success of the day. Throughout the entire process, they work together and communicate effectively to achieve success.
When the coast is clear, the musketeers leave their fort and grab the weapons dropped by the men they killed. The French soldiers who are watching them from afar cheer them on. As they eat, the four men return to their conversation and discuss Milady’s plan to kill the duke. Athos promises d’Artagnan that it won’t be that easy for Milady to succeed and then gives him the letter that he stole.
Together, the group brainstorms ideas on how to handle their current situation. Porthos thinks that they should kill Milady before she can kill anyone else. D’Artagnan has a different idea, but before he can share it, more enemy soldiers come for the fort. This time, there are around two dozen men, all of whom are armed. Aramis quickly comes up with a plan to dispatch them. They will fire their weapons until the men are up close and then they can drop a barricade on whoever remains. Aramis’s plan works perfectly. No one gets injured except the enemy soldiers and so the friends can return to their meetings.
Here, Aramis demonstrates that he possesses a capable militaristic mind, as his plan is carried out to perfection without any of the musketeers or d’Artagnan getting hurt.
By this time, their hour in the bastion is up, but they decide to stay anyway so they can iron out a plan. Eventually, they decide that Aramis will write a letter to his contact in Tours who can warn the queen about the threat to the duke’s life. Meanwhile, d’Artagnan can send a letter to Lord de Winter explaining that Milady is dangerous to both the duke and Lord de Winter himself.
Even though they’ve already completed the bet, the musketeers decide to stay as long as they can. Although they have a practical reason for doing so, their actions either look incredibly brave or incredibly stupid to their onlookers. Regardless, their plan is effective, as they successfully figure out what to do moving forward.
As the meeting concludes, more enemy soldiers show up. This time there are too many for the musketeers to dispatch on their own. Together, they head back to camp and discuss how they will get the money to carry out their mission. Eventually, they decide to sell d'Artagnan’s diamond ring. When the group returns to camp, everyone treats them like war heroes. The story gets passed around everywhere; even the cardinal and M. de Tréville hear about it. The cardinal tells M. de Tréville that he should make d’Artagnan a musketeer for his performance, and M. de Tréville agrees. M. de Tréville tells d’Artagnan about his promotion the first chance he gets and d’Artagnan is thrilled. Additionally, d’Artagnan manages to sell his diamond rings for 7,000 livres.
The end of this chapter is a major moment for d’Artagnan’s character because he finally achieves the goal he’s been chasing since the first pages of the story. Additionally, now that he’s sold his ring, d’Artagnan has more than enough resources to carry out his plan. D’Artagnan’s decision to sell the ring is another primary example of the fundamental ethos of the group; he sacrifices something he loves for the greater good of everyone.