Sick of taking part in the siege, King Louis XIII decides to return to Paris. When he leaves, he brings a group of musketeers with him, including d’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis, and Porthos. During the return to Paris, Aramis gets a letter from his contact that will allow them to get Madame Bonacieux from her convent. This is very exciting for all four of the musketeers, as it is finally a piece of good news.
Finally, the novel’s perspective returns to its protagonists. Although the musketeers failed to protect the duke, they are still in a good mood because d’Artagnan is on the brink of finally being reunited with his love.
After returning to Paris, the musketeers take a leave of absence so they can go and find Madame Bonacieux. Just as d’Artagnan is finally feeling good, he sees Rochefort ride by. This scares d’Artagnan; wherever Rochefort is, bad luck is sure to follow. He tries to chase after Rochefort, but his friends hold him back. Moments later, a man runs out of a nearby inn and begins calling for Rochefort. Evidently, the man has found a note that Rochefort dropped and wants to give it back to him. Knowing that Rochefort is long gone, d'Artagnan pays the man for the note, which reads “Armentières.” D’Artagnan recognizes the handwriting as Milady’s and worries about what it could mean. Not wanting to waste any more time, the musketeers depart for Bethune to find Madame Bonacieux.
As d’Artagnan suggests, Rochefort’s presence is never a good sign. At this point, Rochefort’s note is meaningless. However, in the following chapter, the novel will go back in time and explain its significance. Whatever the note means, d’Artagnan knows it cannot be good because the handwriting signals that Milady is alive and likely looking to get revenge.