The Tale of Athos
The wooden mugs banged against each other, beer was spilling over and splashed on the old, dirty floor. Men stood on the pub’s tables and benches, dancing and singing songs about brave warriors and young maidens. Athos, however, sat alone at a table in the corner next to the fireplace. He didn’t know anybody from this area. Not surprising, since Athos was on a constant journey - without wife or child. He earned the money he needed to survive by doing small jobs for knights, tradesmen and the nobility. Most of the time he had to kidnap somebody and deliver the person to clients. Why? Athos didn’t even want to know. “They will for sure have reasons.” - he justified his actions. From time-to-time Athos was instructed to accompany important transports and to secure the content of large, heavy chests on a carriage. He was also not interested in the content of the chests. Athos was muddling through life. In summer, he usually slept outside in the fields under the stars, in winter he would sneak into stables at night and sleep next to the cattle on dry straw. He took a sip from the mug in front of him. The beer stung on his wounded lip – yesterday he had had a fight with a man in the street. The stranger had molested a young girl and was not leaving her alone. Athos had to step in and help her, as he was still, despite everything, living by his former principles: Justice and freedom.
Athos saw guests coming and going, the partying men dancing wildly and staggering. They were craftsmen, carpenters, blacksmiths, weavers and bakers. All simply dressed, their daily hard work had left their marks on them. Athos’ mug was almost empty. He was about to order one last beer from the innkeeper at the counter when he suddenly saw a man dressed in the robes of the royal guards. His appearance did not fit into this place. “A senior officer would not usually enter such a place”, he thought, and sensed an opportunity to earn some money to pay off his bill to the innkeeper. With slightly numb feet but determined, he approached the two men at the counter and heard the guard mention his name at that very moment. “My horse needs water and I need food, Sir. Quickly! I am passing through the country to find my former companions: Aramis, Porthos and Athos. They are supposed to live around here.”
Athos struck the royal bodyguard’s shoulder from behind, snapping him out of his conversation with the innkeeper with a twist. Fearing that the man had come to punish him for one of his unquestioned actions, Athos grabbed the man directly by the throat with his right hand and pushed him against the counter. Mugs and pitchers were falling down to the floor, foaming beer was being spilt over the cape of the royal guard. Before the nobleman even got a chance to speak, Athos let go of his opponent. He had noticed that it was his friend D’Artagnan! Even though it had been a long time since they had last seen each other, the two recognized each other immediately and burst into loud laughter. Athos reached out his hand to D’Artagnan, pulled him up and hugged him.
The innkeeper brought warm soup to the table and D’Artagnan devoured the meal immediately. At the same time, he told Athos about the Queen and her distress - that he could only help her with the help of the Three Musketeers. Athos did not even let his once faithful companion finish the sentence, he immediately agreed to help the Queen and wanted to know where the others were.
Around noon the following day, the Three Musketeers stood at the shore of the Seine - united and determined to the fight for the good after so many years. They put on the old uniforms of the Three Musketeers. Last but definitely not least they put on the socks in the colours of their former coat of arms. Red, blue and green - symbolic for solidarity, bravery and loyalty.
United as the Three Musketeers, they rode off together with D’Artagnan to help the Queen. One for all, all for one.