Author: Alexandre Dumas
Publisher: Dar al Bihar (2003)
Pages: 342 Binding: Paperback
Description from the publisher:
Description of Book:
The main character, d'Artagnan, born into an impoverished noble family of Gascony,  leaves home for Paris to fulfill his greatest dream: becoming a Musketeer of the Guard. Fortunately, his father knows the Captain of the Company of Musketeers (also a Gascon) and has written a letter of introduction. Assaulted by the servants of an inn where an argument has taken place, d'Artagnan is left broken and bleeding while a mysterious stranger leaves. When d'Artagnan regains consciousness, he realizes that the gentleman has stolen his letter. The innkeeper manages to get his hands on much of d'Artagnan's money as he recuperates.
In Paris, d'Artagnan goes straight to the hangout of the Musketeers, but no longer having his father's letter. The same day, d'Artagnan is challenged to a duel by three musketeers: Athos, Porthos, and Aramis. The four men meet and d'Artagnan begins to fight Athos (the first challenger). They are interrupted by Cardinal Richelieu's guards, who threaten to arrest them because duels are forbidden by royal decree. The three musketeers and d'Artagnan unite to defeat the Cardinal's guards.D'Artagnan and his friends leave for London to get the diamonds back from Buckingham. They retrieve the jewels and return them to Queen Anne, just in time to save her façade of honour.
The Cardinal's revenge comes swiftly: the next evening, Constance is kidnapped. D'Artagnan brings his friends back to Paris and tries to find her, but fails. Meanwhile, he befriends the Count de Winter, an English nobleman who introduces him to his sister-in-law, Milady de Winter. Despite his love for Constance and his suspicions that Milady is the Cardinal's spy, d'Artagnan finds it very hard to resist her charms. He almost falls into the trap, believing Milady is in love with him, but accidentally finds a letter of hers to the one she really loves, the Count de Wardes. Helped by Milady's chambermaid Kitty, who is infatuated with him, d'Artagnan has his revenge: he spends a night with Milady, pretending to be M. de Wardes in the darkened room, and Milady gives him a sapphire ring as a token of her love. He admits the truth though, and she tries to slay him with a dagger. In the struggle, d'Artagnan discovers that Milady has a fleur-de-lis burned into her shoulder, marking her as a felon. Remembering a story that Athos had once told him, d'Artagnan suddenly realizes with horror that Milady is not—as he had thought—an English noble lady, but in fact Athos' wife, whom everyone thought dead. He now knows that Milady will never forgive him for having insulted her so dearly, and is relieved when all the King's Guards are ordered to La Rochelle where a siege of the Protestant-held town is taking place.
Milady makes several attempts to kill d'Artagnan in and around La Rochelle, but fails. At the same time, d'Artagnan finds out that the Queen has managed to save Constance from the prison where the Cardinal and Milady had thrown her, and that his beloved is now hidden somewhere safe. One of the would-be assassins drops a valuable tip: the name of an inn where Milady was to pay him for his crime.When the four friends are reunited, Athos presents d'Artagnan the pardon issued by the Cardinal to Milady and urges them to keep it. Because of the war between France and England, any attempt by the musketeers to travel to England and warn the Duke of Buckingham would be considered treason.
Imprisoned in England, Milady seduces the hard-hearted Felton and convinces him not only to help her escape, but also to assassinate the Duke of Buckingham. While the naïve Felton knifes the Prime Minister, Milady sails to France. She writes the Cardinal to announce that his orders have been fulfilled and that she will be in a safe place until she receives payment for the crime. As Fate would have it, Milady hides in the same monastery where Constance had been sent by the Queen. Not knowing who this stranger really is, the trusting Constance bares her soul to Milady. The scheming Milady realizes that her enemy d'Artagnan is expected to arrive at the monastery at any moment. She escapes just before his arrival, but not before taking her revenge: she poisons Constance, who dies minutes later in the arms of her beloved d'Artagnan.
The five of them arrange to track down the whereabouts of Milady to exact punishment. Athos leaves to fetch a mysterious man in a red cloak. The party track down the Countess's location: an isolated house on the banks of the Lys river near Flanders. She is trapped. The six noblemen try the Countess on numerous charges: the poisoning of Madame Bonacieux; the assassination attempts on d'Artagnan; accomplice to the assassination of the Duke of Buckingham; the corruption of the Lord de Winter's servant, Felton; and the assassination of her late husband Count de Winter (the brother of the current Lord de Winter). The most damning charge comes when Athos states that Milady, his wife, is a marked criminal with a brand on her shoulder. When the Countess demands that Athos present the one who branded her, the man in the red cloak steps forward. She immediately recognizes him as the executioner of Lille. The executioner then recounts Milady's early history.
She was a beautiful teenage nun who seduced the priest of her church—the executioner's own brother. Desperate for money to flee to another part of the country, the priest stole sacred vessels and sold them, but the two were caught and held in jail. Milady seduced the jailer's son to escape. The priest was condemned to be branded with a Fleur de Lys and to a prison term. The executioner of Lille—the man who had to brand the priest—was the priest's own brother, and decided to track down Milady so as to give her the same punishment. While the executioner did this, his brother escaped from the prison and rejoined Milady. They fled to the province where the Count of la Fère was lord, pretending to be brother and sister. She then abandoned the priest to become Athos' wife. The priest, thus ruined and abandoned, learned that his brother the executioner was being held in prison in lieu of himself. He surrendered to free his brother and then committed suicide.
After Milady is beheaded the musketeers return to La Rochelle. On their way, they encounter the Count of Rochefort, the Cardinal's close advisor and d'Artagnan's old nemesis, who was traveling to Milady to pay her. Rochefort also has an order to arrest d'Artagnan if he happens to find him. As they are near La Rochelle, he decides to postpone his trip to Milady in order to take d'Artagnan directly to the Cardinal. When d'Artagnan is presented before him, the Cardinal tells the young man his charges: mostly trumped-up ones intended to provide an excuse for Milady's desire to see d'Artagnan dead. The young musketeer tells Richelieu the truth and recounts the entire story about Milady—her assassination attempts against him, her poisoning of Madame Bonacieux, etc.. The Cardinal states that if Milady is indeed guilty, the courts will deal harshly with her. D'Artagnan frankly admits that they have already dealt with this evil woman. D'Artagnan then presents him the pardon that Athos forced from Milady, making his actions legitimate in the eyes of the Law.
These special, condensed novels are intended for English speakers to learn Arabic, by reading side by side versions of these simplified famous novels.