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The Count of Monte Cristo

The Count of Monte Cristo Summary


Here you will find a The Count of Monte Cristo summary (Alexandre Dumas's book).
We begin with a summary of the entire book, and then you can read each individual chapter's summary by visiting the links on the "Chapters" section.

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Last Updated: Monday 1 Jan, 2024

The Count of Monte Cristo Summary Overview

Nineteen-year-old Edmond Dantès is on the brink of a blissful life — a soon-to-be ship captain, engaged to the lovely Mercédès, and adored by almost everyone in his circle. But his seemingly perfect life stokes the embers of envy among a group of his acquaintances. Danglars, Fernand Mondego, and Caderousse, resentful of Dantès's successes and happiness, conspire against him, accusing him of treason. Although innocent of political involvement, Dantès is arrested on his wedding day due to a favor he had done for his deceased captain — carrying a letter from Napoleon to Bonapartist sympathizers in Paris. Even as the deputy public prosecutor, Villefort, sees through the plot against Dantès and plans to free him, a revelation about the recipient of Napoleon’s letter being Villefort’s father leads to Dantès's life sentence at the notorious Château d’If. In prison, Dantès befriends Abbé Faria, an intellectual priest imprisoned for his political views. Faria becomes Dantès's mentor, educating him in various fields and revealing the location of a vast treasure on Monte Cristo island. Upon Faria's death, Dantès manages to escape, disguises himself as the deceased priest, and is thrown into the sea, from where he swims to freedom. He then locates the treasure and, believing it's a divine gift for vindication, embarks on a mission of retribution against those who wronged him. Under the guise of Abbé Busoni, he learns that his father died of grief, Mercédès married Fernand, and his accusers are living prosperous lives in Paris. He also saves his former employer, Morrel, from financial ruin, and rewards Caderousse, who regrets his part in Dantès’s downfall. A decade passes, and Dantès re-emerges in Rome as the enigmatic Count of Monte Cristo. Leveraging his knowledge gathered over the years, he meticulously sets a revenge plot in motion against Danglars, Mondego, and Villefort. Dantès exposes Mondego's treachery, which leads to his suicide; he manipulates Madame de Villefort's murderous tendencies, resulting in multiple deaths and Villefort's insanity; and he exploits Danglars's greed, leaving him destitute. Meanwhile, Dantès also ensures the happiness of Maximilian Morrel, the son of his kind shipowner, by saving his betrothed, Valentine Villefort, from her murderous stepmother and orchestrating their reunion. Finally, Dantès himself finds love and happiness with the beautiful Haydée.

chapter 1

As the ship Pharaon makes its way to the Marseilles port, an excited crowd observes. The owner, Monsieur Morrel, receives unfortunate news of the captain's death. However, Edmond Dantès, the young first mate, assures Morrel that the voyage was successful, and all cargo arrived intact despite the captain's demise. Morrel appreciates Dantès's handling of the situation as acting captain. Danglars, the ship's financial overseer, tries to spoil Morrel's favourable impression of Dantès. He informs Morrel about Dantès's detour to the Isle of Elba, which caused a delay. When confronted, Dantès clarifies that his visit to the island was to fulfill the deceased captain's last wish: delivering a package to a banished grand-marshal, Maréchal Bertrand. During this visit, he had a conversation with France's ousted emperor, Napoleon. After understanding the situation, Morrel seeks Dantès's thoughts on Danglars. Despite his personal animosity towards Danglars, Dantès admits that he executes his duties proficiently. Morrel compliments Dantès's conduct at Elba, his genuine judgment of Danglars, and his overall character. He further reveals his intention to promote Dantès as the new captain of the Pharaon after discussing it with his partner, leaving Dantès thrilled and Danglars envious.

chapter 2

After leaving the port, Dantès visits his father immediately. He's taken aback by his father's frail and malnourished state. The old man has been struggling with hunger for months. His father was left with 200 francs when Dantès departed, but a debt owed to the tailor Caderousse left the old man with a mere sixty francs to survive. Dantès shares the exciting news of his promotion and gives his father some gold, urging him to purchase necessary supplies. Caderousse drops by to greet Dantès on his homecoming. Despite his previous actions, Dantès treats Caderousse with respect, rationalising that "he is a neighbour who has done us a service . . . so he’s welcome." Caderousse, already aware of Dantès's promotion, offers his congratulations. After his visit, Caderousse meets up with Danglars, who is waiting downstairs. The pair express their shared disdain for Dantès, criticising his perceived arrogance. Caderousse suggests that Dantès might be facing a turn of bad luck as his beloved, Mercédès, has been spotted with another man. Plotting to validate this rumor, Danglars and Caderousse decide to stake out near Mercédès's home, eagerly anticipating Dantès's possible misfortune.

chapter 3

Dantès pays a visit to the stunning Catalonian, Mercédès, only to find her in the presence of her cousin and suitor, Fernand Mondego. Mercédès warmly welcomes Dantès, which incites Fernand's anger causing him to storm off. He encounters Danglars and Caderousse indulging in some wine by the roadside, who invite him to join. As they drink, Danglars and Caderousse incite Fernand's resentment and fury, mirroring their own feelings. Dantès and Mercédès, ignorant of the hostility, inform Fernand, Caderousse, and Danglars of their wedding plans for the next day. Dantès needs to be in Paris due to a final duty for his deceased captain, though the exact reason remains unsaid. Danglars, however, believes Dantès has a letter from Napoleon for his supporters who aim to overthrow the French government. This possibility ignites a wicked scheme in Danglars's mind.

chapter 4

In a scheme to bring down Dantès, Danglars and Fernand devise a malicious plan. Fernand, however, refuses to murder Dantès, in fear that Mercédès might take her own life if Dantès were to perish. The cunning Danglars proposes that they frame him instead, which would result in his imprisonment. He writes a deceitful letter accusing Dantès of carrying a letter from Napoleon to the Bonapartist Committee in Paris. Caderousse, heavily drunk, opposes this unjust act, leading Danglars to pretend to discard the letter as a mere joke. He then takes Caderousse elsewhere. As anticipated, Fernand picks up the discarded letter with thoughts of sending it.

chapter 5

During Dantès and Mercédès's engagement celebration, the party is disrupted by royal soldiers who come to apprehend Dantès. The arrest leaves everyone in shock, particularly Dantès, as he is unaware of any wrongdoing on his part. Seeing the chaos, Danglars steps in and proposes to assume the role of captain of the Pharaon for the time being, an offer that Morrel gratefully accepts.

chapter 6

Elsewhere in the city, a sophisticated engagement celebration is underway. The occasion is the union of the Marquis of Saint-Méran's young daughter and her soon-to-be husband, Gérard de Villefort, Marseilles' deputy public prosecutor. The lunchtime conversation reveals that Villefort is the offspring of a notable Bonapartist. However, following Napoleon's downfall and the reinstallation of King Louis XVIII, Villefort, a driven individual, has chosen to side with the royalists by denouncing his father and his father's political views. He vows to his gathered guests that he will harshly deal with any Bonapartist supporter who crosses his path. The festivities are disrupted when Villefort is summoned to handle a newly discovered Bonapartist scheme.

chapter 7

Villefort brushes off Morrel's pleas for leniency towards his worker and proceeds to meet the suspected conspirator, Edmond Dantès, in his office. He accuses Dantès, who admits to possessing a letter for Paris given to him by Napoleon. Dantès asserts his innocence in political matters, stating he's merely honoring his ship captain's last wish. He claims his only concerns are his affection for his father, his love for Mercédès, and his regard for Monsieur Morrel. Initially, Villefort appreciates Dantès's frank honesty and contemplates releasing him. However, the situation changes when Dantès inadvertently mentions that the letter from the Bonapartist is for Noirtier - Villefort's father. Fearful that his father's traitorous actions could tarnish his family reputation, Villefort resolves to ensure Dantès's permanent exile.

chapter 8

Dantès finds himself incarcerated in Château d'If, a prison infamous for housing the most treacherous political convicts. Insisting on meeting the governor, Dantès resorts to aggressive threats against a guard when his request is denied. As a result, he is punished by being thrown into the dungeon, a place home to the mad inmates. The guard shares with Dantès the tale of a certain prisoner who repeatedly offers the guards millions of francs for his freedom.

chapter 9

Villefort makes his way back to his future wife's residence and proclaims his imminent departure for Paris. He reveals to his future father-in-law his plan for success, which relies on his timely arrival to see the king. As he departs, Villefort happens upon Mercédès, who desires knowledge about Dantès. Confronted with the harsh reality of sacrificing an innocent man's joy for his personal gain, Villefort is overcome with intense remorse.

chapter 10

Villefort hurries off to Paris, intending to alert King Louis XVIII about the machinations embedded in Dantès' letter. He discloses to the king that there's a plot brewing to reinstate Napoleon in control.

chapter 11

Villefort's cautionary advice couldn't avert the inevitable. Napoleon had already set foot in France, making his way towards Paris. Yet, Villefort earns the king’s favor, being the sole individual who foresaw Napoleon's scheme priorly.

chapter 12

Noirtier calls on Villefort and is informed by his son that the authorities are on the hunt for a suspect resembling him, connected to the killing of a royalist general. Under Villefort's gaze, Noirtier proceeds to alter his appearance by removing his beard and swapping his attire. As he departs, he informs Villefort of Napoleon's rapid progression and the public's continued adoration for him, welcoming him once more as emperor.

chapter 13

Napoleon swiftly regains control of France, leading to Bonapartism no longer being illegal. Monsieur Morrel, seeking justice for Dantès, repeatedly seeks the assistance of Villefort, who only provides empty assurances. Danglars, oblivious to Villefort's vested interest in Dantès's continued imprisonment, worries that a liberated Dantès might seek vengeance. Consequently, Danglars leaves his position at Morrel's and relocates to Madrid. In the interim, Dantès's father passes away, heartbroken over his son's incarceration. Morrel covers the costs of his burial and settles his minor debts. Fernand gains Mercédès's appreciation as he comforts her but has to depart for Napoleon's forces. Napoleon's reign, however, ends after a mere hundred days, with Louis XVIII reclaiming the throne.

chapter 14

Dantès implores the inspector-general of prisons, who is visiting the Château d’If, to grant him a just trial. The inspector, touched by Dantès's earnest appeals, commits to reviewing his case. Upon reviewing the official records, he discovers Villefort's account claiming Dantès played a significant role in Napoleon's return from Elba. At this point, the inspector realizes he is incapable of assisting Dantès.

chapter 15

In his initial years of incarceration, Dantès deeply relies on God, often finding solace in prayer. However, his despair gradually transforms into anger as he ponders over his undeserved fate. Unaware that jealousy led to his unjust imprisonment, Dantès falls into a deep depression, contemplating suicide by starving himself. Just as he's on the brink of death, a peculiar scratching sound from the adjacent cell catches his attention. When his meal arrives, Dantès cunningly positions his dish such that the jailer breaks it, leaving Dantès with the entire pot. Using the handle of the pot as a makeshift tool, he begins to scratch at the wall. After persistent effort, he picks up the voice of the inmate next door. Eventually, they manage to carve out a passage through the wall, allowing Dantès' cellmate to enter his cell through the hole.

chapter 16

Dantès learns that the person in the adjacent cell is named Abbé Faria and that he was incarcerated for promoting the idea of a united Italy, which was his political stand. Dantès recognizes him as the insane priest alluded to by the jailer. The presence of a fellow inmate fills Dantès with immense joy. Conversely, Abbé Faria is somewhat disappointed upon encountering Dantès as he had mistook the tunnel he had been digging as a pathway to liberty.

chapter 17

Faria, far from a madman, is indeed ingenious and inventive. His ingenuity has allowed him to create a variety of items including paper, ink, and a lamp while being locked up, and he has utilized these to pen a political piece and carve out a fifty-foot tunnel that leads to Dantès’s cell. Upon hearing Dantès's tale, Faria promptly identifies Danglars and Fernand as the people who orchestrated Dantès's downfall. Knowing the relationship between Villefort and Noirtier, Faria unravels that particular enigma. This revelation prompts Dantès to contemplate vengeance. Over the following two years, the well-versed Abbé imparts his wealth of knowledge to Dantès. Boasting a sharp intellect and excellent memory, Dantès makes swift progress in learning maths, philosophy, history, and multiple languages. Faria comes up with an additional escape scheme, and they carefully prepare. Unfortunately, just before initiating their plan, Faria falls ill and becomes paralyzed on his right side, rendering him incapable of escaping. Dantès vows not to abandon him, promising to stay with Faria as long as he is alive.

chapter 18

Faria, the following day, starts discussing a concealed wealth, causing Dantès to fear that his companion might have lost his sanity. Faria assures Dantès of the treasure's existence by sharing its history. Originally, it was the possession of the Spada family - Italy's richest kin. In the 1400s, Caesar Spada hid it on the deserted Monte Cristo island to protect it from a ruthless, thief-like Pope. An accident, unfortunately, kept the treasure's location a secret, even from its own family. As the private aide to the last surviving Spada, Faria accidentally discovered a coded message about the treasure. He clarifies to Dantès that since Spada bequeathed everything to him, the treasure is rightfully his. He also considers Dantès a beneficiary as he has grown to see him as a spiritual son in the past two years. Faria presents Dantès with the document that discloses the treasure's whereabouts.

chapter 19

Faria insists Dantès to recall the treasure's location from memory. Following several nights, Faria suffers another seizure and passes away.

chapter 20

Dantès is overcome with hopelessness as he's left with the covered body of his deceased friend. However, he suddenly devises a clever plan to escape. He slices open the funeral shroud, displaces Faria's body to his own cell, and sews himself into the burial cloth. That evening, the guards come to collect the body for burial, unaware that it's Dantès they're removing. Dantès anticipates that the dead are buried in a nearby graveyard and intends to break free using a knife. However, shortly after being transported out of his cell, he realizes his assumption was incorrect. The guards attach a cannonball to his legs and throw him into the ocean.

chapter 21

Dantès frees himself from the shroud and heads towards a deserted island he recognizes from his seafaring days. Exhausted, he lands on the island's sharp rocks. A violent storm begins, and he witnesses the death of all aboard a small boat as it smashes against the rocks. Spotting a Genoese vessel in the distance, Dantès sees it as his final chance to complete his getaway. He retrieves the hat of a deceased sailor from a rock and drifts towards the ship using a piece of wreckage as a float. He convinces the ship's crew that he was the sole survivor of the wreck during the storm. His unkempt appearance raises suspicion, but he attributes his look to a vow made to God during a perilous situation. The crew buys his story and offers him a place among them.

chapter 22

Dantès swiftly identifies the crewmen as smugglers, yet ingratiates himself with them through his utility. Resultantly, they grow affectionate towards him. Patiently, he awaits an opportunity to disembark on Monte Cristo Island. His wait ends when the captain elects the uninhabited island as the location for a clandestine deal.

chapter 23

During their stay on the island, Dantès acts out a scene where he injures himself and insists that he is unable to be transported. He encourages the crew to abandon him temporarily and come back after a week. The most loyal friend Dantès has among the crew, Jacopo, is willing to give up his portion of the smuggling earnings and remain behind with him. Dantès is touched by this gesture of self-sacrifice, but he turns down the proposition.

chapter 24

After everyone departs, Dantès starts his hunt for Faria’s hidden wealth. Putting his remarkable intelligence to use, he discovers the vast treasure, surpassing his wildest expectations. Overwhelmed, Dantès kneels down and offers a prayer to God, crediting Him for his sudden prosperity.

chapter 25

Dantès collects a few gems from his stash and anticipates the sailors' return. He then journeys with them to Leghorn, trading the four smallest diamonds for five thousand francs each. Subsequently, Dantès acquires a small ship and crew for Jacopo, as a gesture of gratitude. All he asks in return is that Jacopo voyage to Marseilles to inquire about a man, Louis Dantès, and a woman, Mercédès. Dantès bids farewell to the smugglers and purchases a yacht with a hidden compartment. He navigates the yacht back to Monte Cristo, transferring the remaining treasure into the yacht's secret compartment. A few days later, Jacopo arrives on the island with bad news: Louis Dantès has passed away and Mercédès cannot be found. Dantès manages to mask his profound emotions and sets sail for Marseilles.

chapter 26

Under the guise of Abbé Busoni, an Italian cleric, Dantès visits the tavern run by Caderousse and his ailing spouse, discovering their impoverished circumstances. He poses as the person tasked with executing Dantès's last will and testament. He explains that Dantès came into the ownership of a significant diamond during his imprisonment. He further reveals that Dantès wanted the value of the diamond split among the five individuals he cherished most: his father, Caderousse, Danglars, Fernand, and Mercédès.

chapter 27

Seizing the opportunity to obtain the entire diamond, Caderousse discloses the details of Dantès's imprisonment, confirming Abbé Faria's previous suspicions. He confesses living in remorse since Dantès's imprisonment. Dantès, moved by this display of guilt and repentance, concludes that Caderousse is his only real friend and rewards him with the full diamond. Through Caderousse, Dantès learns the fate of his former acquaintances. Danglars prospered through a Spanish banking job and became a millionaire, now among the wealthiest and influential people in Paris. Fernand, equally rich and influential, mysteriously acquired his wealth after returning from military service in Greece. He married Mercédès a year and a half after Dantès's imprisonment and the two now reside in Paris, under the belief that Dantès is deceased. Caderousse further informs Dantès about his father, Louis, who deprived himself of food and died from grief over his son's loss. Despite numerous offers from both Morrel and Mercédès to shelter and care for him, Louis persistently declined. Morrel tried to financially assist Louis by leaving a red silk purse filled with gold on his mantel before Louis's demise. This purse is now with Caderousse, which Dantès requests for. Caderousse adds that Morrel is nearing financial collapse: all of his ships except the Pharaon have sunk, and the Pharaon is overdue. If the Pharaon has been lost, Morrel wouldn't be able to repay his debts, leading to his downfall. Caderousse laments that the righteous always suffer while the wicked prosper. Dantès, disguised as a priest, assures Caderousse that this is not the truth.

chapter 28

Dantès, under the guise of an English investor from Thomson and French, meets with Marseilles' mayor, a key investor in Morrel’s shipping firm. The mayor suggests he see the prison inspector, who has a larger investment in the firm. Dantès purchases all the inspector’s shares at full value. He then requests to view Abbé Faria's prison records under the pretense of being a former student. Secretly, Dantès inspects his own prison files, stowing away the incriminating letter penned by Danglars and delivered by Fernand. He verifies that Villefort was behind his life imprisonment.

chapter 29

Assuming the identity of a Thomson and French representative, Dantès visits Morrel, who is fretting over his declining shipping enterprise. Only two staff members, including Emmanuel Herbaut, a young clerk who loves Morrel’s daughter, Julie, are left on his payroll. Morrel is facing imminent bankruptcy as he has to pay his investors soon but lacks the funds. His business and reputation will be destroyed if the Pharaon doesn't arrive safely. While Dantès is in Morrel's office, the disastrous news comes in: the Pharaon is lost. Dantès, having bought a significant portion of Morrel's debt, offers the distressed man an extension. He assures Morrel that he has three additional months to gather the needed funds. As he leaves, Dantès urges Julie to obey any commands given by a man identifying himself as “Sinbad the Sailor.”

chapter 30

As the three-month period ends, Morrel finds himself severely cash-strapped. Faced with the prospect of financial dishonour, he contemplates suicide. On the payment deadline day, he discloses his intentions to Maximilian, his son, who reluctantly accepts his choice. Meanwhile, Julie, Morrel's daughter, receives a letter from a stranger named Sinbad the Sailor. The letter leads her to a red silk purse, once given to Louis Dantès by her father. Surprisingly, the purse contains all of Morrel's debt receipts, marked as settled, and a large diamond intended for Julie's dowry, assuring her marriage to Emmanuel. The discovery, nothing short of a miracle, comes right when Morrel is about to pull the trigger. A commotion interrupts them as a vessel, identical to their lost ship Pharaon, docks into the harbour, carrying the same cargo that was aboard when the original was lost. In the midst of the joyous uproar, Dantès slips away from Marseilles on his yacht.

chapter 31

A decade following the Marseilles incident, young nobleman Baron Franz d’Epinay from Paris arrives on Monte Cristo island for goat hunting, at his Italian guides' recommendation. He encounters a group of men there, initially assuming them to be smugglers. He later understands they are the staff of a yacht owned by a mysteriously rich man, known as Sinbad the Sailor, who is known to always be traveling. Franz is introduced to Sinbad in his opulent palace, concealed within the cliffs. He is taken aback by the Eastern lavishness of Sinbad, his residence, and the cuisine. Sinbad, who is in fact Dantès, reveals to Franz about his unusual charitable activities around the globe, like rescuing bandits from penalties. He shares an instance about his meeting with his mute Nubian servant, Ali. Ali was caught too close to the king's harem in Tunis and was condemned to mutilation and decapitation. Sinbad, desiring a mute servant, saved Ali after his tongue had been severed and purchased his liberation. Sinbad further expounds on the marvels of mind-altering drugs, which he and Franz end up using. Franz then navigates through a vibrant drug-fueled dream.

chapter 32

Franz spends hours the following day searching for the entrance to the elusive cave of Sinbad, but to no avail. He then sets off to Rome to join Viscount Albert de Morcerf, Fernand Mondego's son, now referred to as Count de Morcerf. The pair have plans to revel in the citywide festivities leading up to Lent. However, they reach late and find that they are too unprepared to hire a carriage, an essential part of the carnival experience.

chapter 33

The innkeeper cautions Franz and Albert about the potential threat of brigands, particularly the infamous Luigi Vampa. He begins to share the tale of Vampa's ascension to notoriety when he senses doubt in his guests about the real existence of this danger. Vampa, once a fast-learning, art-loving shepherd boy who was smitten with a stunning shepherdess named Teresa, gained fame unexpectedly. One day, the well-known outlaw chief, Cucumetto, came upon the pair while eluding law enforcement. Despite a hefty bounty on Cucumetto's head, Vampa and Teresa opted to shelter him.

chapter 34

The innkeeper proceeds with Vampa's tale: Teresa, attracted by the elegant attire of the hostess at an extravagant event, danced with a noble. Vampa, filled with jealousy and the wish to please Teresa, vowed to acquire the costume. He subsequently torched the host's residence, grabbing the costume amidst the chaos. The next day, while Teresa was getting dressed in her new outfit, Vampa assisted a stranded traveler called Sinbad the Sailor, who gifted him with two tiny jewels in return. Upon his return from guiding Sinbad, Vampa discovered Teresa's abduction. He murdered the perpetrator, only to realize afterward that it was Cucumetto. Vampa then donned Cucumetto's garments, confronted the remaining outlaws, and insisted on becoming their new chief.

chapter 35

Franz, while at the Colosseum in Rome, eavesdrops on a chat between his enigmatic host from Monte Cristo, whose real identity is Dantès, and the head of the bandits, Luigi Vampa. Within their conversation, he learns about the plight of Peppino, an innocent shepherd convicted for aiding bandits, only by supplying them with food. The unfortunate shepherd's public execution is in two days. Dantès pledges to secure Peppino's release, prompting Vampa to swear perpetual allegiance to him. During the following evening, Franz and his friend Albert find themselves at the opera, where Franz spots his enigmatic host once more. Accompanying Monte Cristo is Haydée, arguably the most beautiful woman Franz has laid eyes on, adorned in a Greek outfit. The stunning Countess G—, sharing the company of Franz and Albert, is petrified by the sight of the pale and mysterious Monte Cristo, convinced he is a vampire. The morning after, the two friends are informed by their hotelkeeper that Monte Cristo, their guest, has offered his coach for their use throughout the carnival. When they visit Monte Cristo, Franz is taken aback to realize that the man is identical to his cryptic host back on the island of Monte Cristo.

chapter 36

Monte Cristo beckons the two youths to observe a forthcoming public execution from his exclusive viewpoint before they have their morning meal. He confesses his intrigue with such displays of punishment. An intense conversation about the defects and boundaries of human law ensues among the trio. During the grim spectacle, one of the condemned men, Peppino, receives a last-minute pardon. Monte Cristo, displaying no emotion, attentively observes the savage execution of the other individual. He seemingly relishes the unfolding scenario of retribution.

chapter 37

Throughout the festive carnival days, Albert finds himself captivated by an attractive lady. Filled with youthful enthusiasm to experience multiple romantic relationships during his stay in Rome, he resolves to focus his efforts entirely on this pursuit.

chapter 38

The alluring Teresa, who is Luigi Vampa's lover, isn't flirting but setting a trap. Albert gets kidnapped by the bandit leader and a demand for ransom lands in Franz's hands. As Franz can't afford the ransom, he seeks Monte Cristo's help. Guided by Peppino, who brought the ransom demand, they reach the bandits' hideout, located in the Saint Sebastian Catacombs. Vampa, upon seeing Monte Cristo, warmly welcomes him and releases Albert, apologizing profusely. Albert isn't as shaken as one would expect from his close brush with death, but he is profoundly thankful to Monte Cristo for his rescue.

chapter 39

After Monte Cristo saves his life, he requests Albert to familiarize him with Paris' social circle when he visits in three months. Albert enthusiastically agrees. However, Franz is skeptical, noticing Monte Cristo's unintentional shiver when he shakes hands with Albert. Wanting to caution Albert, Franz reveals his encounter on Monte Cristo's island and the exchange he overheard between Vampa and Monte Cristo at the Colosseum. Contrarily, this only increases Albert's fascination with Monte Cristo who saved him.

chapter 40

Albert plans a breakfast gathering on the day Monte Cristo is expected to visit him. Keenly anticipating Monte Cristo's appearance are Lucien Debray, serving as the assistant to the interior minister, and Beauchamp, who is a news reporter.

chapter 41

Two new guests make their appearance: Baron of Château-Renaud, a diplomat, and Maximilian Morrel, a captain in the French military. The backstory reveals that Maximilian had rescued Château-Renaud in Constantinople on an anniversary that coincides with the miraculous rescue of Maximilian's father from disaster, a day he commemorates with a heroic deed. Soon after, Monte Cristo lands in Paris and heads directly to Albert’s residence. He manages to charm all present, showing particular interest in Maximilian. Regaling the attendees with a tale, Monte Cristo shares how he once seized Luigi Vampa and his gang of bandits, only to release them with the stipulation that they must never threaten him or his associates.

chapter 42

After everyone departs, Albert gives Monte Cristo a tour of his home. Monte Cristo displays vast comprehension across various fields, including science, humanities, and art. Albert shares a certain piece of art with Monte Cristo, it's a portrait of his mother dressed as a Catalan fisherwoman, gazing sorrowfully towards the sea. Albert reveals that he keeps this painting at home because his father despises it. Later, Albert introduces Monte Cristo to his parents. Fernand, now a senator, is oblivious to Monte Cristo's true identity as Dantès and is quickly captivated by him. However, Mercédès recognizes Dantès immediately, triggering fear within her. She subsequently warns Albert subtly about his newfound acquaintance.

chapter 43

Monte Cristo says goodbye to the Morcerf clan and buys a summer home in Auteuil. The former proprietor was the Marquis of Saint-Méran, whose offspring wed Villefort and prematurely passed away.

chapter 44

Monte Cristo ventures to his newly acquired summer residence. As he surveys the property, his housekeeper, Bertuccio, is overwhelmed with anxiety. Upon Monte Cristo's insistence, Bertuccio reluctantly shares a convoluted tale to explain his nervousness.

chapter 45

Bertuccio recounts how his brother, a former soldier in Napoleon's forces, was killed by royalist killers in Nîmes. He looked for justice and approached the city's public prosecutor, Gérard de Villefort, who was also a royalist. Villefort dismissed Bertuccio's pleas and thus, Bertuccio vowed vengeance on him. Fearing for his safety, Villefort relocated to Versailles, but Bertuccio pursued him. Bertuccio soon found out that Villefort frequently visited a summerhouse in Auteuil, where his lover, a widow, lived. One evening, Bertuccio ambushed Villefort in the garden behind the house and attacked him, presuming he was dead. Bertuccio attacked Villefort post burying a box. Bertuccio took the box, hoping for treasure, but discovered a suffocated infant instead, who began breathing after receiving resuscitation. After spending months in a hospital, Bertuccio adopted the child and raised him with his widowed sister-in-law's assistance. They named the child Benedetto, who soon began showing signs of brutality. As he grew older, Benedetto vanished and was never seen or heard from again. During this time, Bertuccio was engaged in smuggling activities into France. Evading the law, he took refuge in a loft at Caderousse’s inn. While hiding there, he became a silent observer to a chilling scene below. Caderousse and his spouse had invited a jeweler to purchase a diamond gifted by the Abbé Busoni. After paying forty-five thousand francs, the jeweler intended to leave but a storm forced him to spend the night at the inn.

chapter 46

Bertuccio progresses with his tale, explaining how Caderousse, in a bid to increase his wealth, murdered a jeweler and his wife, and escaped with the loot. Bertuccio, who happened upon the crime scene, was wrongfully arrested by the authorities. During his arrest, he recalled Caderousse's mention of a man named Abbé Busoni as the diamond's source, leading the police to search for Busoni. When found, Busoni visited Bertuccio in jail and heard his full account. Busoni, in return, advised Bertuccio to seek employment with the Count of Monte Cristo if ever he was freed. Not long after, Caderousse was caught and admitted his guilt, leading to Bertuccio's release and subsequent employment with the Count of Monte Cristo. Meanwhile, Caderousse was condemned to a life of strenuous labor. During one of Bertuccio's work trips, Benedetto, his adopted son, tortured his adoptive mother for money, causing her death.

chapter 47

Monte Cristo constructs an intricate trick to gain favor with the Danglars and Villefort families. He orders Bertuccio to buy Danglars's two finest horses at double their worth, aware that they are actually Madame Danglars's possessions. Armed with these horses on his carriage, Monte Cristo pays a visit to Danglars, aiming to establish a limitless credit account with him, a move that leaves Danglars both stunned and humbled.

chapter 48

During Monte Cristo's visit to the Danglars', Madame Danglars discovers that her horses have been sold and are now owned by Monte Cristo. This triggers her anger towards her husband for the sale. Both Monte Cristo and Madame Danglars's lover, Lucien Debray, discreetly leave the scene. Later, in a noble act, Monte Cristo gifts the horses back to Madame Danglars. Monte Cristo is aware that the horses will be used by Madame de Villefort the following day. Thus, he plans for the horses to go wild as they pass his property. Amidst the chaos, Madame de Villefort and her young son, Edward, are in danger, but Ali, a servant of Monte Cristo, manages to lasso the horses, thereby saving them. Edward faints from the ordeal, but with the help of a potent potion from Monte Cristo, he is successfully revived.

chapter 49

Villefort pays a visit to Monte Cristo to express his gratitude for rescuing his wife and child. During their discussion, they draw a comparison between the justice system of society and the concept of natural justice. Villefort unmasks a family secret that his father, Noirtier, a former influential Jacobin and senator in France, is now incapacitated due to a stroke. As the conversation unfolds, Monte Cristo shares his desire to enact justice himself, stating, "I wish to be Providence myself, for I feel that the most beautiful, noblest, most sublime thing in the world, is to recompense and punish."

chapter 50

Monte Cristo pays a visit to his stunning Greek captive, Haydée, in her lavish, Eastern-inspired quarters. He informs Haydée that she has complete liberty to act as she wishes, even to leave him if she desires. She swears her everlasting fidelity to Monte Cristo, but he points out she's merely twenty, just a young girl, and is free to venture out and lead her own existence whenever she wants. The singular request Monte Cristo makes of Haydée is her discretion regarding the "secret of her birth" to all in Paris.

chapter 51

Monte Cristo drops by to see Maximilian Morrel, who is residing with his sister, Julie, and her husband Emmanuel Herbaut. The latter was a clerk who remained devoted to Julie's father. Their home radiates an atmosphere of joy, affection, and tranquility which stirs deep emotions in Monte Cristo. He remarks on the extraordinary joy in their home, prompting Emmanuel and Julie to mention their mysterious savior who had once rescued them. They show Monte Cristo tangible reminders of their guardian angel, a silk purse and a diamond, expressing regret that they know nothing about this person. Monte Cristo suggests that their savior could be an Englishman he met called Lord Wilmore. This man was known for his generosity, although he didn't believe in gratitude. However, Maximilian reveals that his father has a more mystical belief - he thinks their savior was Edmond Dantès, helping them from the afterlife. This idea takes Monte Cristo aback, causing him to hastily and clumsily say his goodbyes.

chapter 52

Maximilian encounters Valentine, his clandestine sweetheart and the neglected daughter of Villefort, at the Villefort estate gate. She utters her misfortunes: her father's indifference, her stepmother's hatred, and her unwanted engagement. Despite her father's eagerness for her wedding to Franz d’Epinay, Maximilian urges Valentine not to submit. As they ponder their bleak prospects—Maximilian's inadequate wealth and Villefort's disdain for the Morrel clan—Valentine is summoned away upon the arrival of the Count of Monte Cristo at the Villefort residence.

chapter 53

Monte Cristo recalls a past encounter with Madame de Villefort in Italy, where he was recognized as a distinguished physician for saving two individuals. Fascinated by his understanding of chemistry and especially poisons, Madame de Villefort engages him in conversation. He shares with her how he developed immunity to poison and reveals a powerful antispasmodic potion he possesses. This potion, as Madame de Villefort noted during its use on Edward, works well in small doses, but can prove deadly in large quantities, causing the victim to appear as though they died from natural causes. Upon Madame de Villefort's suggestive remarks, Monte Cristo agrees to give her a sample of the potion the following day.

chapter 54

Monte Cristo and Haydée create a sensation when they show up at the opera. Monte Cristo drops by Madame Danglars's box, where Eugénie, Albert, and Fernand are present. As Monte Cristo chats with Fernand over the balcony, Haydée spots the box and almost faints. Monte Cristo says goodbye to the Danglars and Morcerf households and returns to a highly emotional Haydée. She discloses to Monte Cristo that Morcerf is the traitor who turned her father, Ali Pacha, over to the Turks, and subsequently sold her into slavery.

chapter 55

Albert de Morcerf and Lucien Debray pay a visit to Monte Cristo, where they touch upon Albert's upcoming nuptials to Eugénie Danglars. Despite her captivating beauty and substantial wealth, Albert is not eager to tie the knot with Eugénie as she is "too erudite and masculine." His mother, Mercédès, is also critical of the marriage, which further fuels Albert's hesitation. In the course of their conversation, Debray unveils that his secret love, Madame Danglars, has a penchant for risking huge amounts of her spouse's finances in the stock market. Albert humorously proposes a scheme to teach Madame Danglars a lesson by skewing her stocks with a fake news story. Monte Cristo observes that Debray seems perturbed by this thought. It becomes evident that Debray has been misusing his official powers to leak advantageous inside news to Madame Danglars.

chapter 56

Monte Cristo has a scheme in mind, involving two individuals. In exchange for a substantial payment, they are to enact parts he has meticulously crafted for them. The senior participant is to impersonate Marquis Bartolomeo Cavalcanti, an erstwhile Italian military officer of noble lineage, who has spent a decade and a half futilely seeking his abducted son.

chapter 57

Monte Cristo insists that the younger gentleman must impersonate Bartolomeo Cavalcanti’s son, Andrea Cavalcanti, who has been brought back to his father by Monte Cristo. To complete their charade, the count provides them with forged identification papers, new outfits, and additional essentials. He then extends an invitation to them for a dinner event he plans to host the ensuing Saturday.

chapter 58

In the Villefort household's garden, Maximilian and Valentine reconnect. Maximilian discloses that Franz is soon returning to Paris and Valentine confesses that she can't go against her father's orders to wed Franz. Additionally, she discloses her stepmother's wish for her to stay single and join a convent, ensuring her wealth would then be inherited by Edward, who is otherwise set to inherit very little. As their chat continues, it becomes obvious that neither Eugénie nor Albert de Morcerf are keen on their impending union. Eugénie, who dreams of an independent life as an artist, has shared with Valentine that she harbors no desire to marry.

chapter 59

Maximilian and Valentine are meeting covertly as Villefort and his spouse pay a visit to Noirtier's quarters, where he is cared for by his loyal attendant, Barrois. Noirtier is only capable of seeing and hearing after his stroke, and the only people he can interact with are Villefort, Barrois, and Valentine. Valentine is Noirtier's only joy in life. Her affection and loyalty allow her to understand her grandfather's wishes just by looking into his eyes. The news of Valentine’s betrothed is shared by Villefort and his wife, which infuriates Noirtier silently, as the father of Franz was his major political rival. Valentine is asked to soothe her grandfather and shares with him that she is not keen to marry Franz. Noirtier promises to aid Valentine in evading her undesired engagement.

chapter 60

Noirtier calls for a lawyer to make changes to his will. Instead of leaving his estate to Valentine if she marries Franz, he decides to give it all to charity. Villefort, his son, stays indifferent to this drastic measure and does not break off Valentine's impending nuptials.

chapter 61

Upon encountering Monte Cristo on the lower level, the Villeforts are invited to an impending dinner gathering he is hosting. Monte Cristo also expresses his desire to experience a telegraph office. The Villeforts, in response, propose he should try the Spanish line, known for its high activity.

chapter 62

Monte Cristo travels to a secluded telegraph station and persuades the operator to send out a fraudulent message. The subsequent day, Debray rushes to inform Madame Danglars at her residence, advising her husband to unload all his Spanish bonds following a telegraph notice about an imminent Spanish revolution, news he obtained early due to his official duties. Heeding Debray's counsel, Madame Danglars instructs her husband to act. The evening paper validates the Spanish news, leading to a financial windfall for Danglars as the value of Spanish bonds nosedives. However, the next day's paper retracts the prior news of potential turmoil as a misinterpretation of the telegraph transmission. The reversal leads to Danglars incurring a loss of a million francs.

chapter 63

Guests begin to arrive at Monte Cristo's elaborately decorated house in Auteuil for a dinner party. The only sections of the house not revamped are a small bedroom and the back garden. Maximilian Morrel is the first to arrive, and soon after come the Danglars and Lucien Debray. Monte Cristo then presents Major Bartolomeo Cavalcanti and his son, Andrea, who are posing as Italian nobility. This intrigues Danglars, particularly after Monte Cristo hints at Andrea's intention to find a wife in Paris. The last to arrive are Villefort and his wife. Bertuccio, watching the arrivals from behind a partially open door, is taken aback when he spots Madame Danglars. He recognises her as the widow who used to rendezvous with Villefort in this house. Seeing Villefort, whom he believed he had murdered, confounds Bertuccio even further. Monte Cristo clarifies that Villefort had only been wounded, not killed, by Bertuccio's attack. The biggest shock for Bertuccio, however, is the sight of the man pretending to be Andrea Cavalcanti - his estranged son, Benedetto.

chapter 64

Monte Cristo brings his dinner guests to an unaltered room in his home, sharing his belief that a dreadful act occurred there. He paints a vivid picture of a scene involving a mother and a father, revealing an unsettling familiarity with the actual incident. The couple he describes are Madame Danglars, who had just delivered a baby, and Villefort, who accompanies her down the stairs. He guides his guests, including Villefort and Madame Danglars, to the garden. They are shown the location where Monte Cristo claims to have discovered an infant's skeleton while tending to his trees. Satisfied with their discomfort, he steers the gathering back towards the lawn for some coffee. Villefort privately tells Madame Danglars that they need to meet in his office the next day.

chapter 65

Following the gathering, Benedetto is halted by Caderousse, a familiar face from his past, as he boards his coach. Caderousse, having fled from the jail where he was doing time for his crimes of murder, insists that Benedetto provide him with a monthly stipend of 200 francs. Fearful that Caderousse could threaten his newly-acquired status, Benedetto grudgingly concedes.

chapter 66

Following their return from a gathering, Madame Danglars and Debray head to her bedroom, only to be abruptly interrupted by her husband. Astonishing both, Danglars orders Debray out - a clear deviation from his usual submission to his wife's desires. Once left alone with his wife, Danglars accuses her of receiving privileged information from Debray, which she passes on to him. He raises his knowledge of Debray taking his wife's share of the profits from their investments, a setup that he has tolerated as long as it was financially beneficial. However, Danglars' recent substantial losses from Spanish bonds have caused resentment towards Debray who hasn't contributed to these expenses. Furthermore, Danglars uncovers his awareness of all his wife's past lovers, including those from her first marriage. He confronts her about the child she had with Villefort and the subsequent suicide of her first husband.

chapter 67

Danglars seeks Monte Cristo's counsel, eager to know more about Andrea Cavalcanti. He reveals his keen interest in uniting his daughter with Cavalcanti, who is wealthier than Albert de Morcerf. He discloses to Monte Cristo that Morcerf started life as a humble fisherman named Fernand Mondego and amassed a fortune under dubious circumstances. Monte Cristo feigns faint recollection of hearing the name Fernand Mondego in relation to a scandal in Greece involving Ali Pacha. Danglars acknowledges he has also heard rumors about this affiliation. Monte Cristo suggests Danglars use his Yanina contacts, the location of the Ali Pacha incident, to dig deeper into Mondego’s role.

chapter 68

Madame Danglars enters Villefort's workspace, distressed about their history resurfacing. Villefort dismisses luck as a factor. He explains that Monte Cristo couldn't have discovered their child's remains because Bertuccio, the man who attacked Villefort, swiped the box with the body from him. Villefort concludes that their child must have been alive when stolen, as Bertuccio would've taken the dead body to the authorities and implicated Villefort in murder if he knew he survived. Villefort and Madame Danglars deduce that their child might be alive which puts them in grave danger. Monte Cristo, knowing about their past misdeeds, adds to their predicament. Villefort assures Madame Danglars he will identify the Count of Monte Cristo and uncover his knowledge about their shared history.

chapter 69

Albert de Morcerf comes to see Monte Cristo on the same day to extend an invitation to a ball hosted by his family.

chapter 70

Villefort, through his police connections, learns that Monte Cristo is acquainted with two individuals in Paris: Abbé Busoni, an Italian priest, and Lord Wilmore, an English nobleman. The police commissioner is sent to Busoni first. Busoni, in reality Monte Cristo in disguise, tells them that he's known Monte Cristo for many years and shares that he is the offspring of a wealthy Maltese shipbuilder. Busoni adds that Monte Cristo's sole adversary is Lord Wilmore. Villefort personally meets with Wilmore. In another disguise, Monte Cristo as Wilmore describes Monte Cristo as an opportunist who amassed his wealth after uncovering a silver mine in the Middle East. Wilmore reveals Monte Cristo's purchase of an Auteuil house was motivated by his intention to unearth a mineral spring there. Villefort finds this information reassuring.

chapter 71

Throughout the Morcerfs' ball, all eyes are fixed on Monte Cristo. Mercédès observes his peculiar behavior of not consuming any food or beverages throughout the whole night.

chapter 72

Mercédès pulls Monte Cristo aside, urging him to consume garden fruit. His refusal disturbs her, likely because of the Arabian tradition that those who shared a meal under the same roof become lifelong friends. Their conversation dances around their shared history, avoiding any explicit recognition of past identities. Monte Cristo assures her of his friendship. Villefort enters looking for his wife and daughter, bringing the devastating news that his ex-father-in-law, the Marquis de Saint Méran, has passed away.

chapter 73

On the very night, Marquise de Saint-Méran falls ill with a belief that her death is imminent. She recounts an eerie vision of a white apparition near her bedside and the sound of her bedside glass being disturbed. Her dying wish is to see her granddaughter, Valentine, married, so she demands the signing of the marriage contract upon Franz d’Epinay's return to France. Valentine wrestles with her desire to reveal her love for a man of less nobility than she, Maximilian, but recognizes that her grandmother would never sanction such a union.

chapter 74

Maximilian encounters Valentine in the garden, where he reveals that Franz is in Paris and pleads with her to elope with him. Ultimately, she consents. As the night falls, Maximilian anticipates Valentine's arrival, armed with necessary escape essentials, but she fails to show up. Fearful for her safety, he moves towards the house and eavesdrops on a discussion between Villefort and a physician. It turns out the Marquise is dead, poisoned by brucine. The physician conjectures that the Marquis and the Marquise could have mistakenly ingested a concoction meant for Noirtier, who regularly consumes brucine in small quantities for his paralysis. Overwhelmed with concern for Valentine, Maximilian clandestinely enters the house and locates her. Upon her introduction of Maximilian to her grandfather, Noirtier reveals to Maximilian his confidential strategy to deter Valentine's marriage to Franz.

chapter 75

Right after the marquis and marquise are laid to rest, Franz d’Epinay pays a visit to Villefort's residence to ink the marriage agreement. As they are just about to put pen to paper, Barrois interrupts, conveying that Noirtier is seeking an audience with Franz.

chapter 76

Barrois is directed by Noirtier to unlock a hidden drawer in his study desk from where he pulls out a bundle of documents and hands them over to Franz. These documents disclose that it was Noirtier who ended the life of Franz’s father through a duel. After learning this, Villefort departs the scene in utter astonishment.

chapter 77

The Count of Monte Cristo, along with Andrea Cavalcanti, pay a visit to the Danglars' residence. Seeing their arrival, Eugénie seeks refuge in her room, choosing to engage in a musical session with her ever-present friend and music tutor, Louise d'Armilly. Despite Eugénie's clear desire for solitude, Danglars insists that Andrea should partake in their musical activities. Unexpectedly, Albert makes his appearance, only to be met with extreme discourtesy from Danglars.

chapter 78

On the return to Monte Cristo's residence, Albert jests at Danglars' apparent liking for Andrea as a future son-in-law. He then expresses his desire to meet Haydée, which Monte Cristo allows with the caveat that Albert must not bring up his father's name. Haydée recounts her heartbreaking past to Albert. Her father, Ali Pacha, once ruled the Greek state of Yanina until a Frenchman, who was Ali's trusted ally, handed over Ali's stronghold to the Turks and double-crossed him. This led to Ali's savage death at the hands of his adversaries. The same Frenchman later enslaved Haydée and her mother. After her mother's premature death, Haydée found liberation when Monte Cristo bought her freedom. Albert, completely perplexed by the tale, fails to connect the treacherous Frenchman in the story to his own father.

chapter 79

Franz writes a furious letter to Villefort, breaking off the engagement. Noirtier alters his will again, leaving everything to Valentine, provided she always stays with him. Fernand meets with Danglars to secure the engagement of Albert and Eugénie, but Danglars has changed his mind and won't disclose why, despite Fernand's questioning. An article is published in Beauchamp’s newspaper the following day, stating that someone named Fernand betrayed Ali Pacha to the Turks. Although many people share the name Fernand, Albert is certain that the article is defaming his father. Ignoring Monte Cristo’s advice for calmness, Albert demands Beauchamp to either retract the piece or accept a duel. Beauchamp, not the author of the article, requests a three-week period to explore the claims before making a decision.

chapter 80

Barrois is sent to bring Maximilian to Noirtier. During a conversation about the future between Albert, Noirtier, and Valentine, a thirsty Barrois drinks from his master's lemonade. Suddenly, he falls ill and dies. A doctor finds brucine in the lemonade. Although Noirtier also drank the lemonade, he is unharmed due to the tolerance he has built up from the small daily doses of brucine he takes for his paralysis.

chapter 81

It becomes apparent to the physician that the toxin was most likely intended for Noirtier. Consequently, he believes that Valentine must be the culprit, given she is the only one set to inherit from all the victims targeted so far.

chapter 82

Caderousse calls Benedetto to his house, discontent with the meager 200 francs he's been getting each month. Benedetto shares his belief that his real father is Monte Cristo, anticipating a huge legacy from him. So, Caderousse devises a scheme to intrude into Monte Cristo's house in Paris while the latter is absent in Auteuil.

chapter 83

Monte Cristo gets an unnamed letter alerting him to an impending theft. He subsequently instructs all his staff to leave the Paris residence, with only him and Ali remaining, both prepared with weapons. After a while, a man breaks in through the bedroom window with another man keeping watch outside. Monte Cristo observes the first man attempting to crack his desk and recognizes him as Caderousse, which surprises him. Swiftly disguising himself as Abbé Busoni, he confronts the startled Caderousse. Busoni promises Caderousse freedom in exchange for the truth about his escape from prison and his current intentions. Caderousse mentions that Lord Wilmore, an Englishman, sent a file to Benedetto, his prison partner, which they used to set themselves free. He confesses to being in cahoots with Benedetto, benefiting from his associate's new income. Busoni pretends to be shocked upon discovering that Benedetto is Andrea Cavalcanti—Eugénie Danglars' betrothed—and an ex-convict. He affirms his intention to reveal this information immediately. In a desperate attempt to keep the secret, Caderousse attacks Busoni with a knife, only for it to rebound of the chain-mail vest Monte Cristo is wearing underneath. Busoni coerces Caderousse to write a letter to Danglars, revealing that his prospective son-in-law is an ex-convict. Afterward, he allows Caderousse to exit from the same window he infiltrated, stating that if he makes it home safely, God has pardoned him. However, Monte Cristo is aware of Benedetto's plan to murder Caderousse once outside.

chapter 84

Benedetto, as foreseen by Monte Cristo, attacks Caderousse with a knife. Caderousse is carried into Monte Cristo's residence in a critical condition, and he identifies Benedetto as his attacker in a written declaration. On his deathbed, Monte Cristo admonishes Caderousse for his wicked ways and implores him to confess and recognize God. Caderousse maintains his defiance until Monte Cristo confesses his true identity as Edmond Dantès. In shock, Caderousse admits to a higher power, Providence, just before he passes away. Meanwhile, a comprehensive manhunt for Benedetto is initiated by the police.

chapter 85

Beauchamp comes to Albert with distressing information. He's recently back from Yanina, confirming the accusations against Morcerf. Despite the scandalous nature of the news, Beauchamp pledges to keep it under wraps because of his friendship to Albert. Albert is heartbroken by the discovery about his father but appreciates Beauchamp's discretion, offering him forgiveness.

chapter 86

Monte Cristo extends an invitation to Albert to join him on a trip to his residence in Normandy. They enjoy a peaceful three-day sojourn at the seaside before a pressing message from Beauchamp recalls Albert to Paris. Included in the letter is a news article, taken from a different publication than Beauchamp's, which associates Morcerf's name with the scandal involving Ali Pacha. It is now undeniable that Albert's father is the one charged with the treachery against Ali.

chapter 87

Albert storms into Beauchamp's residence seeking answers. Beauchamp reveals that a man from Yanina delivered incriminating evidence to a competing newspaper. Following the article's publication, the government body Morcerf is a part of, the Chamber, agreed to a thorough probe into the accusations. Per Morcerf's request, the inquiry was scheduled for the same evening. Beauchamp discloses to Albert that Haydée testified in the hearing, accusing Morcerf of betraying her father, Ali Pacha. She alleged that Morcerf orchestrated her father's murder, seized his riches, and sold Haydée and her mother into captivity. Haydée produced a document showing Monte Cristo's purchase of her from the dealer who bought her from Fernand Mondego, with Mondego named explicitly. Haydée's accusation was further substantiated by pointing out her father's traitor had a scar on his right hand, a feature Morcerf has. Consequently, the Chamber's judges pronounced Morcerf guilty of the cited offenses.

chapter 88

Albert vows to Beauchamp that he will either destroy the person who tarnished his father's reputation or perish in the attempt. Despite Beauchamp's attempts to dissuade him, he pledges to assist Albert in locating his adversary. He reveals that Danglars has been probing into Morcerf's history in Yanina. Overwhelmed with anger, Albert confronts Danglars and Andrea Cavalcanti at Danglars’s residence and provokes them to a duel. Danglars discloses that Monte Cristo advised him to investigate Yanina. Albert connects the dots and understands that Monte Cristo, being aware of Haydée's history, must have been knowledgeable about his father's past too. He concludes that Monte Cristo is the architect of the scheme to unmask his father and resolves to challenge him.

chapter 89

Albert and Beauchamp hasten to Monte Cristo's residence but find out he's not accepting guests. The doorman informs them that Monte Cristo plans to be at the opera in the evening. Albert messages Franz, Debray, and Maximilian to convene with him at the opera. He visits Mercédès, inquiring if she knows why Monte Cristo would view Fernand as his adversary. Mercédès attempts to persuade Albert that Monte Cristo isn't hostile, pleading with him to not argue with a person he recently regarded as his ally. Once Albert departs, Mercédès tasks a servant with tracking Albert's movements throughout the night and report back. At the opera, Albert barges into Monte Cristo’s box, disparages him and instigates a duel. The duel gets scheduled for eight the next morning, with pistols as the weapons of choice. Monte Cristo invites Maximilian and Emmanuel, his brother-in-law, to serve as seconds, or helpers, during the duel.

chapter 90

Mercédès makes a desperate plea to Monte Cristo, who unveils Fernand's fraudulent accusation that was sent to the public prosecutor years ago. Overwhelmed, Mercédès prostrates herself, confesses her lasting affection for Edmond Dantès and implores Monte Cristo to spare her son and exact punishment only on the culprits. Moved by her plea, Monte Cristo relents and pledges to preserve Albert's life. Despite this, he insists on participating in the duel, putting his own life at risk.

chapter 91

Monte Cristo reveals to Maximilian and Emmanuel his intention to die by getting shot. He displays his extraordinary ability with firearms to erase any suspicion of losing the duel intentionally. Albert shows up at the duel venue, however, instead of reaching for his weapon, he seeks forgiveness from Monte Cristo, acknowledging the justice in avenging the harm Fernand caused to him. Monte Cristo understands that Mercédès has disclosed the whole truth to their son.

chapter 92

Both Albert and Mercédès choose to renounce their earthly wealth and start afresh, far removed from Fernand's misdeeds. However, just as they are about to abandon their home for good, a letter from Monte Cristo appears. He advises Mercédès to journey to Marseilles, to Louis Dantès' former abode. Beneath a tree in front of the house, lies the fortune Dantès had once hoped to use to form a family with Mercédès. Though meager, he states this wealth rightfully belongs to Mercédès and should suffice to ensure her a comfortable existence for the remainder of her days. Mercédès gratefully receives this offering, resolving to utilize it as a dowry for her admission into a nunnery.

chapter 93

Monte Cristo returns to Haydée, who has been eagerly anticipating his arrival, and he begins to acknowledge feelings for her similar to those he had for Mercédès. Their peaceful moment is shattered when Fernand storms in, furious that his son backed out of the planned duel. He then directly challenges Monte Cristo to a duel. When Fernand insists on knowing Monte Cristo's true identity, Monte Cristo briefly leaves, only to reappear dressed as a sailor. Fernand instantly recognizes him as Edmond Dantès and flees the house in fear. Upon his arrival home, he discovers his wife and son are leaving him permanently. Watching their departure, Fernand ends his own life with a gunshot to the head.

chapter 94

After bidding farewell to Monte Cristo, Maximilian visits Valentine and Noirtier. He discovers Valentine unwell, moaning about the bitterness of her beverages. Their conversation is cut short by the unexpected arrival of Madame Danglars and Eugénie who disclose Eugénie's upcoming wedding with Andrea Cavalcanti in seven days. Eugénie voices her resentment towards the idea of marital chains, desiring a life of independent artistry. As Valentine's health deteriorates further, she excuses herself to rejoin Maximilian and Noirtier, where she eventually faints.

chapter 95

Maximilian pleads with Monte Cristo for his assistance. Although initially hesitant, the Count agrees to help after learning of Maximilian's love for Valentine. Meanwhile, at the Villefort residence, Noirtier and the doctor understand the situation. Confirming Valentine's poisoning, Noirtier reveals he has been gradually building her immunity to the poison, brucine, anticipating she might be targeted next. As the physician attends to Valentine, Monte Cristo, undercover as Abbé Busoni, secures the property adjacent to the Villefort's.

chapter 96

Eugénie confronts Danglars earlier in the day, stating she won't be marrying Andrea Cavalcanti. Danglars admits to her his imminent financial downfall and the necessity of the three million francs that Cavalcanti’s marriage to his daughter would provide. The public's awareness that this fund is soon to be his would be sufficient to regain his credit and enable him to invest in American railroads. Eugénie consents to the marriage contract signing on the proviso that her father only uses the news of the three million to revive his credit, without actually utilizing any of Cavalcanti's funds. Eugénie suggests there's a significant reason behind her demand, but once Danglars is reassured she'll sign the marriage contract, ensuring his credit's recovery, he loses interest in her reasoning.

chapter 97

Days after their engagement, a grand celebration is held at the Danglars' home. As the marriage agreement is formalized, Monte Cristo unveils a letter from Caderousse to Danglars, found in Caderousse's coat that very day. The letter is handed over to Villefort, but Monte Cristo keeps its contents a secret. Immediately after, gendarmes arrive to apprehend Cavalcanti, but they discover that Andrea, actually Benedetto in disguise, has vanished.

chapter 98

Eugénie and Louise d’Armilly, hurriedly retreat to their room after the guests depart. Their conversation revolves around their mutual dislike for men and a plan to escape to Italy via Belgium. Their objective in Italy is to earn their livelihood through their musical skills. They resolve to depart that very night with Eugénie disguising as a man to act as Louise’s brother and avoid suspicion. Although Louise shows signs of fear, Eugénie displays sheer fearlessness and certainty. She boldly trims her hair and confidently wears male attire. They load their belongings into a carriage and set off on their journey.

chapter 99

Benedetto, like Eugénie, is also in flight from Paris. He finds rest at a Compiègne inn but awakens late to gendarmes swarming the inn. His escape plan involves climbing through his room's chimney. After reaching the roof, he descends another chimney, selecting the sole one not billowing smoke. Unbeknownst to him, it leads to Eugénie and Louise's room. Once discovered, they alert others and Benedetto is captured.

chapter 100

Madame Danglars pleads with Villefort to drop the investigation against Andrea Cavalcanti to save her family's reputation. Despite her desperate plea, Villefort firmly denies her request. As their conversation concludes, they receive information that Cavalcanti is now in custody.

chapter 101

Valentine has been under the weather for a continuous period of four days. On the evening of the fourth day, she notices a person nearing her bedside. The individual is none other than Monte Cristo. He enlightens Valentine about his consistent surveillance over her from his adjacent residence. He reveals that whenever he notices any toxic substance being added to her drink, he rushes into her room to replace it with a healing solution. This is exactly what he has done this current time. Monte Cristo then suggests Valentine to pretend as if she's in a deep slumber, observe, and patiently wait to identify her potential murderer.

chapter 102

Following Monte Cristo's instructions, Valentine observes her stepmother, Madame de Villefort, enter her room and add poison to her drink. Upon Monte Cristo's return, Valentine shares her confusion about her stepmother's intentions. Monte Cristo reveals that Madame de Villefort aims to inherit Valentine's wealth for her own son, Edward. Valentine feels sympathy for Edward as he becomes the unwitting cause of these terrible deeds. Too distressed to confront her stepmother, Valentine accepts Monte Cristo's alternative plan to unveil the culprit. He hands her a small pill to ingest, ensuring her trust in him regardless of unfolding events.

chapter 103

When daylight arrives, Valentine seems to have died. The first to step into her room is Madame de Villefort. She disposes of the leftover liquid in the cup by throwing it into the flames before cleaning the cup. Inexplicably, when she comes back later after everyone else has been informed of Valentine's demise, the glass is full again. The poison in it is promptly identified by the doctor. Overwhelmed, Madame de Villefort collapses.

chapter 104

Overwhelmed by sorrow, Maximilian intrudes into Valentine's room, disrupting Villefort, who is by her bedside. Confused by Maximilian's presence, Villefort commands him to leave. However, Maximilian reappears, wheeling in Noirtier. Professing his love for Valentine, Maximilian receives Villefort's empathy as they share the same sadness. Maximilian insists on avenging Valentine’s death. Noirtier indicates his knowledge of the culprit and requests a private moment with his son. After everyone is summoned again, Villefort and Noirtier urge them to maintain silence around the crime for now. Abbé Busoni, a neighbouring priest, is summoned to bless the deceased. When left alone with Noirtier, Monte Cristo reveals the actual circumstances.

chapter 105

Monte Cristo pays Danglars a visit and observes him creating five checks of one million francs each. He requests Danglars to hand him the checks. Even though the funds are meant for a hospital, Danglars grudgingly complies, not admitting his insufficient capital for such hefty loans. After Monte Cristo's departure, the Hospital Commissioner shows up, shocked to find the five million francs intended for him have been handed to a single person. Danglars assures him that the hospital funds will be ready by the next day, but he has no real intentions of making the payment and plans to flee that very night to avoid his debtors.

chapter 106

During Valentine's burial, Monte Cristo keeps a close eye on Maximilian and follows him to Julie and Emmanuel’s residence. Here, Maximilian discloses his suicide plan. In an effort to dissuade him, Monte Cristo unveils his true identity - he is Edmond Dantès, the man who once saved Monsieur Morrel from disaster. Shocked, Maximilian calls Julie and Emmanuel to reveal Monte Cristo’s secret, but Monte Cristo silences him before he can expose his real identity. When they're alone, Monte Cristo leverages Maximilian's gratitude to make him promise to stay alive and close to him for a month. If Maximilian is still discontent at the end of this period, Monte Cristo vows to assist him in ending his life.

chapter 107

Following Danglars' departure, a frantic Madame Danglars visits Lucien Debray. She hands him Danglars' message stating his reasons for fleeing, primarily being a series of unusual occurrences resulting in bankruptcy and inability to pay his hospital debt. Madame Danglars anxiously awaits comforting words from her lover, Debray, but he coldly treats her like a business partner, giving her half of their ill-gotten gains from misusing Danglars' wealth. It becomes evident that Debray is uninterested in associating with Madame Danglars further, now that she has lost access to Danglars' limitless funds. Elsewhere in the same hotel, Albert and Mercédès are discussing their future plans. Albert shares his decision of joining the military with his mother and hands over his enlistment paycheck to her, instructing her to use a portion of it for her trip to Marseilles, the location of her modest savings. As they exit the hotel, they cross paths with Debray, who is intrigued by the differing reactions of Mercédès and Madame Danglars to their respective crises. The following day, Monte Cristo observes from a hidden spot as Albert bids his mother goodbye, who is setting off for Marseilles in a carriage. Monte Cristo pledges to bring back joy into the lives of these two innocent people.

chapter 108

Bertuccio pays a visit to Benedetto in jail. Keeping his hopes high, Benedetto anticipates assistance from his influential benefactor, the Count of Monte Cristo. He is under the impression that Monte Cristo is his biological father, an idea which is highly repulsive for Bertuccio. Bertuccio's purpose of the visit is to disclose Benedetto’s real father's identity, however, an interruption prevents him from doing so. He gives his word to return the next day to finish the revelation.

chapter 109

Villefort engrosses himself in preparing Benedetto's case. On the trial day, he confronts Madame Villefort, revealing his knowledge of her being a killer. He assures his spouse that he won't allow her execution, as it would tarnish his and their son's reputation. Instead, Villefort advises her to commit suicide using the same poison she employed for her crimes. He sternly warns her that if she fails to end her life by the time he gets back from the court, he won't hesitate to expose her crime and ensure her lawful execution.

chapter 110

Benedetto's court case becomes a spectacle for the trendy Parisians. At the trial, Benedetto proclaims that Villefort is his father. He recalls his own birth tale — his father entombing him while still alive, a man stabbing Villefort and seizing the box he was buried in, and his adoption and upbringing by new parents. When the court requests evidence, Villefort interferes, confessing his guilt.

chapter 111

Returning home, Villefort feels regret for passing a death sentence on his spouse, recognizing his own guilt. He contemplates sparing her life and escaping France together, but upon reaching home, he discovers she has already obeyed his command. Not only has Madame Villefort taken her life, but also that of their son Edward, refusing to leave him behind. In his grief, Villefort visits his father, Noirtier, where he finds the Abbé Busoni, who discloses his true identity as Edmond Dantès. Villefort drags Dantès to view the lifeless bodies of his wife and son, questioning if he has achieved his revenge. The sight of the deceased child causes Dantès immense pain. He attempts to bring Edward back using a potent elixir, but fails. Dantès tries to console Villefort by revealing Valentine's staged death, but Villefort appears to have succumbed to madness. This incident causes Dantès to question the righteousness of his mission. Later at his residence, he informs Maximilian of their departure from Paris the following day.

chapter 112

After bidding farewell to Julie and Emmanuel, Maximilian is fetched by Monte Cristo, resulting in their joint departure from Paris. On their journey, Monte Cristo gazes upon the city, proclaiming his mission of retribution to be accomplished.

chapter 113

Monte Cristo and Maximilian reach Marseilles just as Albert departs for his African military assignment. Maximilian pays his respects at his father's tomb, while Monte Cristo checks in on Mercédès, who now resides in the modest residence of Louis Dantès. He assures Mercédès of his support for her son. Facing her misfortune with a sense of inevitable acceptance, Mercédès suggests this might be divine will. Monte Cristo counters, emphasizing the gift of free will endowed by God to man. He later encounters Maximilian at the graveyard and instructs him to stay put in Marseilles for a few days as he needs to attend to some affairs in Italy.

chapter 114

Danglars journeys to Italy intending to cash Monte Cristo's five million francs receipt at the Thomas and French firm. He envisions using this wealth to start afresh in Vienna, ignoring his debts. Peppino, a member of Luigi Vampa's gang, learns about Danglars' impending fortune and shadows him to the firm. Following day, Danglars is unexpectedly attacked by Vampa's crew while en route from Rome to Venice. Vampa, engaged in reading Plutarch, meets with Danglars and confines him in a comfortably furnished cell. Danglars feels reassured, thinking if they had wanted to kill him, they would've done so already. He assumes he'll be ransomed off and is confident that the required sum won't near his five million. Happily, he drifts off to sleep, expecting a favourable outcome.

chapter 115

Danglars finds himself in solitude in his cell the following day, overwhelmed by intense hunger. When he pleads for food, the response is that he can purchase any dish he desires, yet at an exorbitantly steep price—each item costs one hundred thousand francs. Though hesitant, his gnawing hunger compels him to spend on a chicken.

chapter 116

Danglars meets Vampa the following day, who explains that he's not in control of the circumstances regarding the prisoner's food. Having spent almost all his money on sustenance in twelve days, Danglars decides to conserve the remaining fifty thousand francs, choosing hunger over spending. In his desperation, he pleads for leniency, unable to bear his starvation. A voice he vaguely recognizes questions about his remorse. It's Monte Cristo, who then steps into view, announcing Danglars’ redemption and his freedom. Upon being left on the roadside, Danglars stumbles towards a stream for a drink and realizes that his hair has turned white from fear.

chapter 117

Maximilian's month-long agreement concludes and he encounters Monte Cristo on the island of Monte Cristo, continuing to desire death. Inside the luxurious rock-carved palace, Monte Cristo attempts to measure Maximilian’s desolation and his absolute dedication to Valentine. Despite offering Maximilian his wealth to opt for life, Maximilian declines, seeking only relief from the heartbreak. Monte Cristo seemingly surrenders to Maximilian’s plea, handing him a green liquid that Maximilian assumes is lethal. He drinks it and falls into a deep sleep. Valentine appears next. Monte Cristo insists she should remain with Maximilian, who was ready to die to join her. As payment for reuniting them, he requests Valentine to take care of Haydée, who will be alone. Haydée arrives, questioning Monte Cristo’s statement. He informs her of his plan to reinstate her as a princess and commands her to forget him and be joyful. Haydée professes she would rather die than leave him. Monte Cristo embraces her fervently, finally accepting the possibility of joy in love. Believing this to be a sign of divine forgiveness, he intended to atone by avoiding Haydée. The pair then retreat, leaving Maximilian to awaken to Valentine’s presence. The following day, Maximilian discovers a letter from Monte Cristo who has already left with Haydée. The letter directs the young couple to sail to Leghorn, where Noirtier will guide Valentine to the altar. Monte Cristo gifts them all his French properties and his Monte Cristo holdings as a wedding gift. The letter also provides an explanation for Monte Cristo’s actions towards Maximilian. Happiness and unhappiness are relative, and to truly appreciate life, one must have desired death, like Maximilian. The letter concludes with Monte Cristo's wisdom: all human understanding lies in two words, wait and hope. "[A]ll human wisdom is contained in these two words,—“Wait and hope.”"

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