M. de Tréville publicly denounces the actions of the musketeers and privately congratulates them on a job well done. However, it is not just the public that M. de Tréville needs to appease; he also needs to defend the actions of his men to the king. As such, he heads to the Louvre to meet with Louis XIII and explain his position. When M. de Tréville finds the king, he is playing cards and is in a jolly mood because he is winning. However, when Louis XIII sees Tréville, he berates him because of the trouble his men have been causing.
M. de Tréville is a savvy political figure who knows that he must act one way publicly and another way privately. He knows that the musketeers’ behavior reflects poorly on the king. However, he also despises the cardinal and is happy for any victory over him.
M. de Tréville assures the king that his musketeers were not at fault for the incident. Instead, he insists that the cardinal’s men started the fight. According to M. de Tréville, d’Artagnan and his friends simply went to the Carmes-Deschaux to have a picnic when they were rudely interrupted by Jussac and his men. The king seems as though he believes M. de Tréville’s story and even acts excited when he learns that the musketeers were victorious over the cardinal’s men. Because the king is pleased, M. de Tréville makes sure to slip in d’Artagnan’s name and says that he fought well and wounded Jussac. Impressed, Louis XIII asks M. de Tréville to bring him d’Artagnan and the musketeers the following day.
M. de Tréville’s story probably sounds unlikely to the king, but he acts like he believes it. Perhaps Louis XIII simply trusts M. de Tréville, or perhaps he is showing his own bias against the cardinal. Either way, the result of the conversation is excellent news for d’Artagnan, who has already made a name for himself after only a day in Paris.
When the musketeers learn that they will be received by the king, they are not that excited. They’ve been in the king’s guard for a long time, and this is nothing new for them. However, d’Artagnan is overjoyed and sees this moment as a life-changing event. The morning before they are meant to meet with the king, d'Artagnan and the musketeers decide to kill time by playing tennis. Realizing that he is more likely to hurt himself than anything else, d’Artagnan decides to sit and watch the others play.
The musketeers get to see the king regularly, and their status is unlikely to change as a result of the upcoming audience. Meanwhile, d’Artagnan knows that his meeting with the king could decide his future; perhaps it could even land him on the fast track to becoming a musketeer.
D’Artagnan sits among other tennis spectators, one of which is a guard for the cardinal. Angered by what the musketeers did the day before, the cardinal’s guard begins taunting d’Artagnan. As always, d’Artagnan lets his temper get the best of him and the situation quickly rises to the two men challenging one another to a duel. The guard tells d’Artagnan that his name is Monsieur Bernajoux, and he expects that it will inspire fear in d’Artagnan. However, because d’Artagnan is new to Paris, he has no idea who the man is, and the name doesn’t scare him at all.
D'Artagnan can afford to be brave because he is ignorant of Parisian society. Monsieur Bernajoux is presumably an intimidating figure to most people, but to d’Artagnan, he is just another one of the cardinal’s men. Because fighting has worked out for d’Artagnan thus far, he has no problem with doing it again.
D’Artagnan and Bernajoux leave the tennis courts and begin their duel. Before long, d’Artagnan manages to wound his opponent, who calls out for help, knowing that one of his relatives lives nearby. Hearing the fight, two guards arrive to back up Bernajoux. However, their arrival is met by the sudden appearance of Athos, Porthos, and Aramis who come to d’Artagnan’s aid. Soon, the duel grows into a full brawl as more and more of the musketeers and the cardinal’s guards join in. Eventually, the musketeers are victorious and d’Artagnan realizes it is time for his meeting with the king.
Again, d’Artagnan defeats an impressive swordsman in one-on-one combat, suggesting that he has the skill to back up his talk. However, before long, a small duel becomes a huge brawl, which is unlikely to go over well with the cardinal and the king. After all, this is the second significant public disturbance the cardinals’ men and the musketeers have caused in only two days.
Together with his three friends, d’Artagnan heads for the Louvre to see Louis XIII. However, when they arrive, the king is not in. Apparently, he decided to go on a hunt and is not yet back. M. de Tréville, who is also present, asks if the king has talked to the cardinal lately and is told that he probably has. This darkens M. de Tréville’s mood, and he warns the musketeers to stay away from the king for the time being.
Louis XIII acts according to his whims and does not care about keeping appointments. Because he is the king, everyone, including M. de Tréville, must adapt to his behavior. M. de Tréville knows that it won’t be easy to convince the king that his men are free of blame for the incidents over the past few days, which is why he warns d’Artagnan and the musketeers to stay away from the king.
Disappointed, d’Artagnan and the musketeers go home. Meanwhile, M. de Tréville decides it would be best to get control over the latest situation his musketeers have become embroiled in. He visits Monsieur de La Trémouille, the relative Bernajoux yelled to for help, and asks him about what happened. La Trémouille is not happy and assumes that the fault lies with the musketeers. However, M. de Tréville correctly assumes that the situation is more complicated than that; he tells Trémouille that they should ask Bernajoux. At this point, Bernajoux is close to death, and has no reason to lie. Trémouille agrees to accept whatever Bernajoux says as the truth. As Tréville predicts, Bernajoux admits to starting the fight and Trémouille instantly forgives Tréville and his men.
M. de Tréville immediately jumps into action. He wants to do his best to defend himself and his men to the king. Because M. de Tréville acts honorably, Monsieur de La Trémouille does so in return, allowing M. de Tréville to get the information he needs. He trusts that his men are telling him the truth, and his trust pays off as Bernajoux admits his guilt.
The same evening M. de Tréville tells d’Artagnan and the three musketeers to return to the Louvre. M. de Tréville meets them there and then goes in for a private audience with the king because he wants to make sure that the king is not angry at the musketeers. M. de Tréville finds Louis XIII in a bad mood. Apparently, his hunt didn’t go well, and he claims he is bored. Additionally, he’s spoken to the cardinal and heard about the morning’s events. Like Trémouille, the king assumes that the musketeers are at fault. However, M. de Tréville assures him that his men are innocent and that he only needs to talk to Trémouille for proof. Meanwhile, the musketeers realize that they will not receive their reward that night and decide to go home.
M. de Tréville correctly predicted Louis XIII’s mood. Although the king does not like the cardinal, he is not stupid, and he knows that the musketeers likely share some blame for what’s happened in the past few days. While this assumption is correct, the current incident in question was started by one of the cardinal’s men, and luckily, M. de Tréville has proof. However, that proof won’t arrive until the following day, meaning d’Artagnan’s life-changing meeting will have to wait.
The next day, Trémouille arrives and explains what happened the day before. His report pleases the king, who finally grants d’Artagnan and the three musketeers an audience. He is particularly impressed with d’Artagnan, who managed to dispatch both Bernajoux and Jussac, both of whom are excellent swordsmen. As a reward, the king gives d’Artagnan forty pistoles and thanks him for his service. D’Artagnan is elated and he swears his undying loyalty to the king before departing. Over the next week, the cardinal does his best to avoid the king because he’s angry at him. However, sometimes, he still runs into him in passing, and the king smugly asks about the condition of his injured men.
The king’s reward solves d’Artagnan’s money problems for the time being. Even more importantly, d’Artagnan is on the king’s radar, meaning he is on his way to becoming a musketeer. However, d’Artagnan is also now known to the cardinal, who presumably does not share the king’s high opinion of him.