In which the count, who may or may not be Edmond Dantès, arrives at Albert’s home–much to Albert’s relief, because the poor attitude of his guests would make one think that he took a little too much wine while in Italy and imagined the Luigi Vampa Affair (soon to be released sequel to the Thomas Crown Affair, but with a notable lack of Pierce Brosnan, unless he agrees to go all Robinson Crusoe again…). The count confirms Albert’s crazy story and recognizes Monsieur Maximilian Morrel, the son of Dantès’ former boss and owner of the Pharaon.
In which two significant events occur in the life of the Count.
1. He lawyers Albert at all subjects. How’s that for a lowly sailor?
2. Albert introduces him to his parents. Fernand is too stodgy and ignorant to recognize him. Mercédès, on the other hand, knows the Count’s true identity immediately (and Ali, the Count’s mute slave, signs to the Count that he told him to use the mask with the fake nose and mustache…he never listens!). Dantès’ former lover fears what he plans to do…
In which the Count buys another house because, why not? And, of course, it has a mysterious connection to Dantès’ old friend, Villefort.
In which the Count’s groveling servant, Bertuccio, flips out, as the Count makes him tell the shady history of his experiences in the house.
In which Bertuccio tell the tale of how he, after being turned away from his plea for justice by Villefort, vows vengeance.
He goes to Villefort’s summer house–the one the Count just bought–where Villefort sequesters his mistress. He stabs Villefort, leaving him to die, and looks at what the man was just doing. He was burying the unwanted child of his affair. Bertuccio rescues the child from its coffin. He decides to raise the child.
Eventually, the child, Benedetto, runs away, and Bertuccio witnesses Caderousse murder the man he sold his jewel to.
Chapter 46 (Most ominous chapter title: The Rain of Blood)
In which Caderousse decides to murder his wife, as well as the jeweler, because he doesn’t want to share the money he stole from the jeweler.
In which the Count slaps Danglars with his words. Thoroughly. It’s awesome!
Danglars balks at the Count when he requires an unlimited line of credit from his bank. Danglars says there’s no way that the Count would need any more than 1 million francs of credit. The Count literally laughs at Danglars and proceeds to pull out that much in cash and then says he needs 6 million francs in hard currency the next day. One of my favorite chapters!
In which Monte Cristo further puts Danglars to shame buy first buying his wife’s prize horses for an exorbitant price. Then, when she complains about this, he gives them back to her, further demonstrating his wealth and compassion.
The next day, when Madame Villefort just happens to drive by the Count’s house with these same horses, somehow the horses go wild and the woman and her son are saved by the Count’s slave, Ali. The Count, of course, gets all the credit when he revives young Edward Villefort from his shock at the day’s events.
In which the Count meets Villefort, who reveals the identity of his father–an infamous Bonapartist. From this, the Count deduces the reason for Villefort’s betrayal of his promise to acquit Dantès so many years ago. You can hear the wheels of revenge turning in his head.
In which the Count visits Haydée, his Greek slave, who is in reality a princess. The Count makes sure she knows she’s free to do as she pleases, and she vows that she loves him deeply–which he takes to mean that she loves him as a daughter. Obviously, we all know what she really means. The Count is too blinded by his obsession with revenge that he can’t see what he has in front of him.
The count’s plan of vengeance is coming together.
So far, what I’ve learned is that the entirety of Europe revolves around the Count, as there are no coincidences at all. Everybody, in some way, plays into the Count’s hands and in a pawn in his plot.