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Home -> Alexandre Dumas -> The Count of Monte Cristo -> The Unknown.

The Count of Monte Cristo - The Unknown.

1. Marseilles -- The Arrival.

2. Father and Son.

3. The Catalans.

4. Conspiracy.

5. The Marriage-Feast.

6. The Deputy Procureur du Roi.

7. The Examination.

8. The Chateau D'If.

9. The Evening of the Betrothal.

10. The King's Closet at the Tuileries.

11. The Corsican Ogre.

12. Father and Son.

13. The Hundred Days.

14. The Two Prisoners.

15. Number 34 and Number 27.

16. A Learned Italian.

17. The Abbe's Chamber.

18. The Treasure.

19. The Third Attack.

20. The Cemetery of the Chateau D'If.

21. The Island of Tiboulen.

22. The Smugglers.

23. The Island of Monte Cristo.

24. The Secret Cave.

25. The Unknown.

26. The Pont du Gard Inn.

27. The Story.

28. The Prison Register.

29. The House of Morrel & Son.

30. The Fifth of September.

31. Italy: Sinbad the Sailor.

32. The Waking.

33. Roman Bandits.

34. The Colosseum.

35. La Mazzolata.

36. The Carnival at Rome.

37. The Catacombs of Saint Sebastian.

38. The Compact.

39. The Guests.

40. The Breakfast.

41. The Presentation.

42. Monsieur Bertuccio.

43. The House at Auteuil.

44. The Vendetta.

45. The Rain of Blood.

46. Unlimited Credit.

47. The Dappled Grays.

48. Ideology.

49. Haidee.

50. The Morrel Family.

51. Pyramus and Thisbe.

52. Toxicology.

53. Robert le Diable.

54. A Flurry in Stocks.

55. Major Cavalcanti.

56. Andrea Cavalcanti.

57. In the Lucerne Patch.

58. M. Noirtier de Villefort.

59. The Will.

60. The Telegraph.

61. How a Gardener may get rid of the Dormice that eat His Peaches

62. Ghosts.

63. The Dinner.

64. The Beggar.

65. A Conjugal Scene.

66. Matrimonial Projects.

67. At the Office of the King's Attorney.

68. A Summer Ball.

69. The Inquiry.

70. The Ball.

71. Bread and Salt.

72. Madame de Saint-Meran.

73. The Promise.

74. The Villefort Family Vault.

75. A Signed Statement.

76. Progress of Cavalcanti the Younger.

77. Haidee.

78. We hear From Yanina.

79. The Lemonade.

80. The Accusation.

81. The Room of the Retired Baker.

82. The Burglary.

83. The Hand of God.

84. Beauchamp.

85. The Journey.

86. The Trial.

87. The Challenge.

88. The Insult.

89. A Nocturnal Interview.

90. The Meeting.

91. Mother and Son.

92. The Suicide.

93. Valentine.

94. Maximilian's Avowal.

95. Father and Daughter.

96. The Contract.

97. The Departure for Belgium.

98. The Bell and Bottle Tavern.

99. The Law.

100. The Apparition.

101. Locusta.

102. Valentine.

103. Maximilian.

104. Danglars Signature.

105. The Cemetery of Pere-la-Chaise.

106. Dividing the Proceeds.

107. The Lions' Den.

108. The Judge.

109. The Assizes.

110. The Indictment.

111. Expiation.

112. The Departure.

113. The Past.

114. Peppino.

115. Luigi Vampa's Bill of Fare.

116. The Pardon.

117. The Fifth of October.

Day, for which Dantes had so eagerly and impatiently waited
with open eyes, again dawned. With the first light Dantes
resumed his search. Again he climbed the rocky height he had
ascended the previous evening, and strained his view to
catch every peculiarity of the landscape; but it wore the
same wild, barren aspect when seen by the rays of the
morning sun which it had done when surveyed by the fading
glimmer of eve. Descending into the grotto, he lifted the
stone, filled his pockets with gems, put the box together as
well and securely as he could, sprinkled fresh sand over the
spot from which it had been taken, and then carefully trod
down the earth to give it everywhere a uniform appearance;
then, quitting the grotto, he replaced the stone, heaping on
it broken masses of rocks and rough fragments of crumbling
granite, filling the interstices with earth, into which he
deftly inserted rapidly growing plants, such as the wild
myrtle and flowering thorn, then carefully watering these
new plantations, he scrupulously effaced every trace of
footsteps, leaving the approach to the cavern as
savage-looking and untrodden as he had found it. This done,
he impatiently awaited the return of his companions. To wait
at Monte Cristo for the purpose of watching like a dragon
over the almost incalculable riches that had thus fallen into
his possession satisfied not the cravings of his heart,
which yearned to return to dwell among mankind, and to
assume the rank, power, and influence which are always
accorded to wealth -- that first and greatest of all the
forces within the grasp of man.

On the sixth day, the smugglers returned. From a distance
Dantes recognized the rig and handling of The Young Amelia,
and dragging himself with affected difficulty towards the
landing-place, he met his companions with an assurance that,
although considerably better than when they quitted him, he
still suffered acutely from his late accident. He then
inquired how they had fared in their trip. To this question
the smugglers replied that, although successful in landing
their cargo in safety, they had scarcely done so when they
received intelligence that a guard-ship had just quitted the
port of Toulon and was crowding all sail towards them. This
obliged them to make all the speed they could to evade the
enemy, when they could but lament the absence of Dantes,
whose superior skill in the management of a vessel would
have availed them so materially. In fact, the pursuing
vessel had almost overtaken them when, fortunately, night
came on, and enabled them to double the Cape of Corsica, and
so elude all further pursuit. Upon the whole, however, the
trip had been sufficiently successful to satisfy all
concerned; while the crew, and particularly Jacopo,
expressed great regrets that Dantes had not been an equal
sharer with themselves in the profits, which amounted to no
less a sum than fifty piastres each.

Edmond preserved the most admirable self-command, not
suffering the faintest indication of a smile to escape him
at the enumeration of all the benefits he would have reaped
had he been able to quit the island; but as The Young Amelia
had merely come to Monte Cristo to fetch him away, he
embarked that same evening, and proceeded with the captain
to Leghorn. Arrived at Leghorn, he repaired to the house of
a Jew, a dealer in precious stones, to whom he disposed of
four of his smallest diamonds for five thousand francs each.
Dantes half feared that such valuable jewels in the hands of
a poor sailor like himself might excite suspicion; but the
cunning purchaser asked no troublesome questions concerning
a bargain by which he gained a round profit of at least
eighty per cent.

The following day Dantes presented Jacopo with an entirely
new vessel, accompanying the gift by a donation of one
hundred piastres, that he might provide himself with a
suitable crew and other requisites for his outfit, upon
condition that he would go at once to Marseilles for the
purpose of inquiring after an old man named Louis Dantes,
residing in the Allees de Meillan, and also a young woman
called Mercedes, an inhabitant of the Catalan village.
Jacopo could scarcely believe his senses at receiving this
magnificent present, which Dantes hastened to account for by
saying that he had merely been a sailor from whim and a
desire to spite his family, who did not allow him as much
money as he liked to spend; but that on his arrival at
Leghorn he had come into possession of a large fortune, left
him by an uncle, whose sole heir he was. The superior
education of Dantes gave an air of such extreme probability
to this statement that it never once occurred to Jacopo to
doubt its accuracy. The term for which Edmond had engaged to
serve on board The Young Amelia having expired, Dantes took
leave of the captain, who at first tried all his powers of
persuasion to induce him to remain as one of the crew, but
having been told the history of the legacy, he ceased to
importune him further. The following morning Jacopo set sail
for Marseilles, with directions from Dantes to join him at
the Island of Monte Cristo.

Having seen Jacopo fairly out of the harbor, Dantes
proceeded to make his final adieus on board The Young
Amelia, distributing so liberal a gratuity among her crew as
to secure for him the good wishes of all, and expressions of
cordial interest in all that concerned him. To the captain
he promised to write when he had made up his mind as to his
future plans. Then Dantes departed for Genoa. At the moment
of his arrival a small yacht was under trial in the bay;
this yacht had been built by order of an Englishman, who,
having heard that the Genoese excelled all other builders
along the shores of the Mediterranean in the construction of
fast-sailing vessels, was desirous of possessing a specimen
of their skill; the price agreed upon between the Englishman
and the Genoese builder was forty thousand francs. Dantes,
struck with the beauty and capability of the little vessel,
applied to its owner to transfer it to him, offering sixty
thousand francs, upon condition that he should be allowed to
take immediate possession. The proposal was too advantageous
to be refused, the more so as the person for whom the yacht
was intended had gone upon a tour through Switzerland, and
was not expected back in less than three weeks or a month,
by which time the builder reckoned upon being able to
complete another. A bargain was therefore struck. Dantes led
the owner of the yacht to the dwelling of a Jew; retired
with the latter for a few minutes to a small back parlor,
and upon their return the Jew counted out to the shipbuilder
the sum of sixty thousand francs in bright gold pieces.

The delighted builder then offered his services in providing
a suitable crew for the little vessel, but this Dantes
declined with many thanks, saying he was accustomed to
cruise about quite alone, and his principal pleasure
consisted in managing his yacht himself; the only thing the
builder could oblige him in would be to contrive a sort of
secret closet in the cabin at his bed's head, the closet to
contain three divisions, so constructed as to be concealed
from all but himself. The builder cheerfully undertook the
commission, and promised to have these secret places
completed by the next day, Dantes furnishing the dimensions
and plan in accordance with which they were to be

The following day Dantes sailed with his yacht from Genoa,
under the inspection of an immense crowd drawn together by
curiosity to see the rich Spanish nobleman who preferred
managing his own yacht. But their wonder was soon changed to
admiration at seeing the perfect skill with which Dantes
handled the helm. The boat, indeed, seemed to be animated
with almost human intelligence, so promptly did it obey the
slightest touch; and Dantes required but a short trial of
his beautiful craft to acknowledge that the Genoese had not
without reason attained their high reputation in the art of
shipbuilding. The spectators followed the little vessel with
their eyes as long as it remained visible; they then turned
their conjectures upon her probable destination. Some
insisted she was making for Corsica, others the Island of
Elba; bets were offered to any amount that she was bound for
Spain; while Africa was positively reported by many persons
as her intended course; but no one thought of Monte Cristo.
Yet thither it was that Dantes guided his vessel, and at
Monte Cristo he arrived at the close of the second day; his
boat had proved herself a first-class sailer, and had come
the distance from Genoa in thirty-five hours. Dantes had
carefully noted the general appearance of the shore, and,
instead of landing at the usual place, he dropped anchor in
the little creek. The island was utterly deserted, and bore
no evidence of having been visited since he went away; his
treasure was just as he had left it. Early on the following
morning he commenced the removal of his riches, and ere
nightfall the whole of his immense wealth was safely
deposited in the compartments of the secret locker.

A week passed by. Dantes employed it in manoeuvring his
yacht round the island, studying it as a skilful horseman
would the animal he destined for some important service,
till at the end of that time he was perfectly conversant
with its good and bad qualities. The former Dantes proposed
to augment, the latter to remedy.

Upon the eighth day he discerned a small vessel under full
sail approaching Monte Cristo. As it drew near, he
recognized it as the boat he had given to Jacopo. He
immediately signalled it. His signal was returned, and in
two hours afterwards the newcomer lay at anchor beside the
yacht. A mournful answer awaited each of Edmond's eager
inquiries as to the information Jacopo had obtained. Old
Dantes was dead, and Mercedes had disappeared. Dantes
listened to these melancholy tidings with outward calmness;
but, leaping lightly ashore, he signified his desire to be
quite alone. In a couple of hours he returned. Two of the
men from Jacopo's boat came on board the yacht to assist in
navigating it, and he gave orders that she should be steered
direct to Marseilles. For his father's death he was in some
manner prepared; but he knew not how to account for the
mysterious disappearance of Mercedes.

Without divulging his secret, Dantes could not give
sufficiently clear instructions to an agent. There were,
besides, other particulars he was desirous of ascertaining,
and those were of a nature he alone could investigate in a
manner satisfactory to himself. His looking-glass had
assured him, during his stay at Leghorn, that he ran no risk
of recognition; moreover, he had now the means of adopting
any disguise he thought proper. One fine morning, then, his
yacht, followed by the little fishing-boat, boldly entered
the port of Marseilles, and anchored exactly opposite the
spot from whence, on the never-to-be-forgotten night of his
departure for the Chateau d'If, he had been put on board the
boat destined to convey him thither. Still Dantes could not
view without a shudder the approach of a gendarme who
accompanied the officers deputed to demand his bill of
health ere the yacht was permitted to hold communication
with the shore; but with that perfect self-possession he had
acquired during his acquaintance with Faria, Dantes coolly
presented an English passport he had obtained from Leghorn,
and as this gave him a standing which a French passport
would not have afforded, he was informed that there existed
no obstacle to his immediate debarkation.

The first person to attract the attention of Dantes, as he
landed on the Canebiere, was one of the crew belonging to
the Pharaon. Edmond welcomed the meeting with this fellow --
who had been one of his own sailors -- as a sure means of
testing the extent of the change which time had worked in
his own appearance. Going straight towards him, he
propounded a variety of questions on different subjects,
carefully watching the man's countenance as he did so; but
not a word or look implied that he had the slightest idea of
ever having seen before the person with whom he was then
conversing. Giving the sailor a piece of money in return for
his civility, Dantes proceeded onwards; but ere he had gone
many steps he heard the man loudly calling him to stop.
Dantes instantly turned to meet him. "I beg your pardon,
sir," said the honest fellow, in almost breathless haste,
"but I believe you made a mistake; you intended to give me a
two-franc piece, and see, you gave me a double Napoleon."

"Thank you, my good friend. I see that I have made a
trifling mistake, as you say; but by way of rewarding your
honesty I give you another double Napoleon, that you may
drink to my health, and be able to ask your messmates to
join you."

So extreme was the surprise of the sailor, that he was
unable even to thank Edmond, whose receding figure he
continued to gaze after in speechless astonishment. "Some
nabob from India," was his comment.

Dantes, meanwhile, went on his way. Each step he trod
oppressed his heart with fresh emotion; his first and most
indelible recollections were there; not a tree, not a
street, that he passed but seemed filled with dear and
cherished memories. And thus he proceeded onwards till he
arrived at the end of the Rue de Noailles, from whence a
full view of the Allees de Meillan was obtained. At this
spot, so pregnant with fond and filial remembrances, his
heart beat almost to bursting, his knees tottered under him,
a mist floated over his sight, and had he not clung for
support to one of the trees, he would inevitably have fallen
to the ground and been crushed beneath the many vehicles
continually passing there. Recovering himself, however, he
wiped the perspiration from his brows, and stopped not again
till he found himself at the door of the house in which his
father had lived.

The nasturtiums and other plants, which his father had
delighted to train before his window, had all disappeared
from the upper part of the house. Leaning against the tree,
he gazed thoughtfully for a time at the upper stories of the
shabby little house. Then he advanced to the door, and asked
whether there were any rooms to be let. Though answered in
the negative, he begged so earnestly to be permitted to
visit those on the fifth floor, that, in despite of the
oft-repeated assurance of the concierge that they were
occupied, Dantes succeeded in inducing the man to go up to
the tenants, and ask permission for a gentleman to be
allowed to look at them.

The tenants of the humble lodging were a young couple who
had been scarcely married a week; and seeing them, Dantes
sighed heavily. Nothing in the two small chambers forming
the apartments remained as it had been in the time of the
elder Dantes; the very paper was different, while the
articles of antiquated furniture with which the rooms had
been filled in Edmond's time had all disappeared; the four
walls alone remained as he had left them. The bed belonging
to the present occupants was placed as the former owner of
the chamber had been accustomed to have his; and, in spite
of his efforts to prevent it, the eyes of Edmond were
suffused in tears as he reflected that on that spot the old
man had breathed his last, vainly calling for his son. The
young couple gazed with astonishment at the sight of their
visitor's emotion, and wondered to see the large tears
silently chasing each other down his otherwise stern and
immovable features; but they felt the sacredness of his
grief, and kindly refrained from questioning him as to its
cause, while, with instinctive delicacy, they left him to
indulge his sorrow alone. When he withdrew from the scene of
his painful recollections, they both accompanied him
downstairs, reiterating their hope that he would come again
whenever he pleased, and assuring him that their poor
dwelling would ever be open to him. As Edmond passed the
door on the fourth floor, he paused to inquire whether
Caderousse the tailor still dwelt there; but he received,
for reply, that the person in question had got into
difficulties, and at the present time kept a small inn on
the route from Bellegarde to Beaucaire.

Having obtained the address of the person to whom the house
in the Allees de Meillan belonged, Dantes next proceeded
thither, and, under the name of Lord Wilmore (the name and
title inscribed on his passport), purchased the small
dwelling for the sum of twenty-five thousand francs, at
least ten thousand more than it was worth; but had its owner
asked half a million, it would unhesitatingly have been
given. The very same day the occupants of the apartments on
the fifth floor of the house, now become the property of
Dantes, were duly informed by the notary who had arranged
the necessary transfer of deeds, etc., that the new landlord
gave them their choice of any of the rooms in the house,
without the least augmentation of rent, upon condition of
their giving instant possession of the two small chambers
they at present inhabited.

This strange event aroused great wonder and curiosity in the
neighborhood of the Allees de Meillan, and a multitude of
theories were afloat, none of which was anywhere near the
truth. But what raised public astonishment to a climax, and
set all conjecture at defiance, was the knowledge that the
same stranger who had in the morning visited the Allees de
Meillan had been seen in the evening walking in the little
village of the Catalans, and afterwards observed to enter a
poor fisherman's hut, and to pass more than an hour in
inquiring after persons who had either been dead or gone
away for more than fifteen or sixteen years. But on the
following day the family from whom all these particulars had
been asked received a handsome present, consisting of an
entirely new fishing-boat, with two seines and a tender. The
delighted recipients of these munificent gifts would gladly
have poured out their thanks to their generous benefactor,
but they had seen him, upon quitting the hut, merely give
some orders to a sailor, and then springing lightly on
horseback, leave Marseilles by the Porte d'Aix.

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