The Three Musketeers
Publisher: The Copyright Group Ltd.
Date: May 2017
Duration: 2 hours 23 minutes
The Three Musketeers is a swashbuckling story of derring-do. From d'Artagnan's first meeting with Athos, Portos and Aramis, the Musketeers he so admires, Alexandre Dumas never lets up the pace of his story. His four heroes gallop through the land, trying to foil the murderous plots of the Cardinal and Milady without a thought for their own safety. Dumas depicts the characters with a vivid colour and an energy that brings to life all the fury of their conflicting passions. He also lightens the tension of the melodrama with some entertaining touches of humour. 1. TO PARIS. Travelling through Meung on his way to Paris, d'Artagnan overhears a man laughing at his horse. He challenges the stranger to duel, but is knocked down by the man's followers. He sees the stranger talking to a beautiful woman in a coach before the two set off in different directions. In Paris, d'Artagnan presents himself to M. De Treville, Captain of the Musketeers, and asks to join his crack regiment. Seeing the man from Meung, he rushes after him, and in the process he angers Athos, Porthos and Aramis, who each demand satisfaction in a duel. 2. DUELS AND ABDUCTIONS. At the appointed time, d'Artagnan meets all three musketeers but, before they can fight, the Cardinal's guard appear. D'Artagnan joins forces with the three Musketeers, kills the leading Cardinalist and so becomes firm friends with his former opponents. Bonacieux, his landlord, then tells him that his wife, Constance, has been kidnapped. The following evening Constance, who has escaped, returns home and is again set upon by abductors - but this time d'Artagnan is there to save her. 3. THE QUEEN'S HONOUR. D'Artagnan reluctantly leaves Constance but later spots her walking with an unknown man, whom he challenges. Her companion is the Duke of Buckingham, the Queen's amour, and d'Artagnan escorts them to the Louvre. There, the Queen gives Buckingham twelve diamond studs - originally a present to her from the king. The Cardinal, planning to dishonour the Queen, orders Milady to steal two of the Duke's diamond studs. He then persuades the Kings to order the Queen to wear them at a ball. Loyal to the Queen, Constance asks d'Artagnan to go to England to reclaim the diamonds. 4. A PERILOUS JOURNEY. Despite setting out for London with the Three Musketeers, d'Artagnan reaches Calais alone; the others are wounded by the Cardinal's agents on the way. D'Artagnan steals a travel permit and sails just before the port is closed. He finally reaches London and warns the Duke of Buckingham of the Queen's danger. The Duke has two more diamonds made to replace those he finds have been stolen by Milady. D'Artagnan then returns the jewel safely to the Queen who wears all twelve at the ball. The Cardinal's plans confounded, he takes his revenge by kidnapping Constance as she waits for d'Artagnan at their love-nest. 5. ENSNARED BY BEAUTY. Recognising the lady of Meung (Milady/Lady de Winter) in a coach, d'Artagnan follows her and finds her arguing with a cavalier. Believing her to be threatened, he challenges the man, Lord de Winter, to a duel. When he defeats but spares de Winter, the Baron introduces him to Milady, his sister-in-law, who bewitches him with her beauty. Hearing of this, Athos tells d'Artagnan about his marriage to a beautiful girl who was really a common thief. Despite this warning, d'Artagnan schemes to win over Milady while seducing her maid, Kitty. 6. A DEADLY FOE. D 'Artagnan spends the night with Milady, pretending to be the Comte de Wardes, her lover, then writes to her in de Wardes' name insulting her. Enraged, Milady asks d'Artagnan to avenge her and, in return, lets him sleep with her. Rashly, he tells her the truth. She attacks and in the struggle the fleur-de-lys on her shoulder is revealed. D'Artagnan flees and tells Athos that Milady is his former wife. D'Artagnan and the Musketeers are then sent to the siege of La Rochelle, where they encounter the Cardinal on the road at night and escort him to an inn. There Athos overhears the Cardinal plotting with Milady against the Queen and d'Artagnan. After the Cardinal's departure, Athos confronts Milady and forces her to hand over the note of indemnity she was given by the Cardinal. 7. PATHS CONVERGE. The four heroes set out for Bethune, where Constance is hiding in a convent. On the way, d'Artagnan spots his old enemy from Meung but is dissuaded from following him. Milady also arrives at the convent and wins Constance's trust by claiming to the persecuted by the Cardinal. When Rochefort, the 'stranger from Meung', visits her, Milady arranges to meet him at Armentieres, writing the town's name down on a scrap of paper. Rochefort latter accidentally drops it by the Musketeer's feet - thus they know where to find Milady. 8. CRIME AND PUNSHMENT. Seeing the Musketeers approaching, Milady kills Constance with a glass of poisoned wine and flees. Moments later, the Musketeers arrive. Constance tells them that it was Lady de Winter who gave her the wine to drink and dies in D'Artagnan arms. The four swear vengeance and track Milady down to a cottage by a river. Bursting in, they accuse her of many crimes. Despite her last plea to d'Artagnan, she is beheaded and her body is thrown into the river.