All For One- Chapter Forty-one
41. April 24, 1617
Athos saw his friend Bertrand to the King’s personal surgeon. The wound was not great. It had missed any major arteries or veins, but he doubted Bertrand could walk anytime soon. After he was assured that his friend was in good hands he headed back to find Vitry. He found Vitry in the main gallery. Tréville was with him as well as André and several more guards. He approached Tréville who was holding two matchstick muskets. When Tréville saw him he handed one of the muskets to Athos. Athos did not care for the matchstick as it depended on a smoldering match to ignite the power, but he understood that it was much more cost-effective to arm a great many men with matchlocks as opposed to the expensive wheellocks or even the flintlocks.
“What’s happening?” he asked Tréville.
“Concini has been sent for,” his Gascon friend informed him. “He is under the impression that crisis with England has demanded a late meeting. We are to arrest him before he enters the Louvre and if Vitry orders so, we are to fire upon him if he resists.”
“I don’t think I’ll have a problem with that,” Athos muttered. He was eager to see the Italian punished after kidnapping Anne of Austria and attempting assassinate both de Luynes and the King. He was sure that all the adventures were connected. He was sure that Concini was somehow responsible for the bullet hole in his shoulder. He wouldn’t even be surprised if he were behind the attack on Buckingham.
They matched to the Louvre into the main courtyard. They loaded and lit their matchlocks and got in formation. There were fifteen of them in three rows of five. They waited.
Concino Concini made his way to the Louvre accompanied by five of his men. It was late and he was tired. He was in no mood to travel from his house to the Louvre in order to deal with an issue that could surely wait until morning. The forty-two year-old’s carriage arrived at the Louvre and he made the short trek up the front stairs. Nicholas de l’Hospital, the Baron of Vitry approached him.
“Thank you for arriving so quickly,” he said to Concini. “This way please.” He turned to Concini’s men. “Thank you, you’re dismissed.” The men and the carriage soon disappeared. Vitry watched them go. Once they were out of harm’s way, he smiled.
“So what is this all about?” Concini asked.
“I don’t have any information, but if you would come with me through the courtyard,” Vitry said.
Vitry led Concini through the corridors of the Louvre and into the main courtyard. Concini was surprised to see a small regiment of men. Athos, Tréville and André were in the front row.
“Concino Concini, by the order of his royal majesty King Louis the Thirteen, I hereby place you under arrest,” Vitry said. At this, the front row of men knelt and aimed their weapon. The second row raised their muskets and the third row stepped to the right and aimed their weapons in between their comrades. It took them less than three seconds to assume this standard formation.
Concini looked around in panic. His men were gone and he was in the middle of the plaza with fifteen guns pointed at him.
“To me!” he shouted to his guards who were no longer there.
Vitry smiled and dashed out of the way. “Fire!” He shouted.
The plaza erupted in gunfire as fifteen men opened fire on Concino Concini. Vitry’s men were excellent shots and a dozen small projectiles pierced the body of the Queen Regent’s chief advisor. When the spoke cleared, the despised Italian was lying lifeless in a pool of blood. Vitry shook his head.
“He shouldn’t have resisted.”
Years later some would say that even if Concini had come along peacefully, Vitry would have had him shot anyway. Louis hated the Italian even before the assassination attempt. He felt insulted by Concini’s arrogance for years, but some say it was the sheer number of Concini’s own men that made him a threat to the young King who was finally ready to assume his power, and was quietly watching the events unfold with de Luynes from a window high above. Most of Paris had no idea of the machinations of the Bishop of Luçon and his beautiful agent, and the lengths of which they went to in order to bring about this day.
Concini’s body was secretly buried in the Church of Saint Germain l’Auxerrois. The people of Paris, when they learned of the murder dug up his corpse. They hated him because of his strict tax policies. They desecrated the body and roasted it on a spit on the Pont Neuf.
- All For One- Chapter Forty
The next chapter in the Three Musketeers prequel
- All For One- Chapter Forty-Two
The final chapter in the Three Musketeers prequel