Chapter 31: Italy: Sinbad the Sailor
Young Paris aristocrats, Albert de Morcerf and Franz d’Epinay decide to meet in Rome for the carnival. While Albert heads to Rome directly, Franz travels toward the Isle of Elba. Franz visits the island of Monte Cristo where he is greeted by smugglers. He is invited to dine with the smuggler’s captain who calls himself Sinbad the Sailor (Dantes in disguise). Franz enters the lavishly decorated underground palace, dines with Sinbad, talks of his travels, and takes hashish which causes him to have enchanted visions.
Chapter 32: The Awakening
Franz wakes up in the grotto. There is no sign of the enchanted palace nor a trace of last night’s events. He sees Sinbad sailing away on his yacht. Franz heads to Rome and finds Albert at the hotel.
Chapter 33: Roman Bandits
As Franz and Albert make preparations for the carnival, they hear a story about the bandit, Luigi Vampa, from hotel owner, Maitre Pastrini. Story: Luigi and Teresa are two sheepherders who have grown up together. Luigi tells Teresa terrible stories about Cucumetto, the captain of the bandits. As an adult, Luigi meets Cucumetto, hides him and does not reveal his whereabouts.
Chapter 34: Vampa
Pastrini’s story continues…Teresa and Luigi go to Rome for the carnival. Teresa dances with a man, Luigi is jealous and takes her away. Later, the man’s villa catches fire but the man’s daughter is saved. Luigi shows Teresa a grotto filled with jewelry and costumes (stolen from the villa). Luigi hides Teresa in the grotto when he hears a stranger approach. The stranger asks for directions and Luigi guides him to the road. The stranger is Sinbad the Sailor. Franz is surprised at hearing the name. As the stranger leaves, Luigi hears Teresa cry out and sees a man carrying her away. Luigi shoots the man who is Cucumetto. Luigi becomes captain of the bandits. Albert does not believe the story, he says Luigi is a myth.
Chapter 35: The Colosseum
Franz and Albert visit the Colosseum at night. Albert goes with a guide while Franz goes to sit alone. He sees a man with a broad brimmed hat and another man talking about tomorrow’s planned executions. They discuss Peppino, a poor shepherd, who they will try to help escape. Franz thinks the man in the hat is Sinbad the Sailor (Dantes). Later, Albert and Franz go to the opera and meet a countess they know from Paris. They ask about a lovely woman and the man behind her in the shadows. When the man comes into the light, Franz knows it is Sinbad the Sailor. Back at the hotel, Franz and Albert receive an invitation from the Count of Monte Cristo for tomorrow’s festivities. The next morning, Franz asks Pastrini about the executions. One man, who murdered a priest, will be bludgeoned and the other man, an accomplice of Luigi Vampa, will be beheaded. Albert and Franz go to meet the Count in his hotel room.
Chapter 36: La Mazzolata
The Count of Monte Cristo (Dantes) welcomes Albert and Franz into his lavish hotel room. They discuss the executions and the carnival over breakfast. The Count offers his carriage and viewing rooms to his visitors. Franz does not want to see the executions but decides to go with Albert. Franz is suspicious of the Count, Albert thinks he is delightful. The men travel to the execution site and take their place in the viewing room. Spectators fill the streets. An executioner enters the crowd followed by the prisoners and priests. At the last second, Peppino is pardoned. The other prisoner tries to escape but is hit in the head by the executioner. Franz almost faints, Albert turns white and closes his eyes, the Count is unfazed.
Chapter 37: The Carnival at Rome
The carnival begins. The men dress up in costumes and masks for the carriage procession. The Count lets Albert and Franz use his carriage as he returns to the hotel. The carnival lasts many days with carriages racing through the streets covered in confetti and flowers. At night, Albert and Franz visit the theatre. Fireworks and candles light the air during the last day of the festivities. Albert meets a girl and leaves. The carnival ends at 8 pm as Lent begins.
Chapter 38: The Catacombs of Saint Sebastian
Franz receives news that a stranger awaits him at the hotel with news of Albert. Franz takes a letter from the messenger then goes into the hotel. In the letter, Albert instructs Franz to obtain money to free him. At the bottom is a message from Luigi Vampa that says if the money isn’t there my morning, Albert will be dead. Franz goes to the Count for help. The Count reads the letter then summons the messenger from the street. The messenger is Peppino, the pardoned prisoner. Peppino explains that Albert thought he was meeting a girl (Teresa) but really met a boy impersonating a girl, who led him out of the city and into the catacombs where Luigi and Teresa were waiting. The Count, Franz and Peppino go to the catacombs and sneak up on Luigi and his bandits. The Count asks Luigi why he has disrespected his friend. Luigi apologizes for not realizing Albert was the Count’s friend. They wake Albert, who is unusually calm for a prisoner, and leave the catacombs.
Chapter 39: The Rendezvous
The next morning, Albert and Franz visit the Count. Albert asks how he can repay the Count’s kindness. The Count says he will visit Paris in three months and asks if Albert will be his guide. Albert happily agrees and gives him his address. The next day, Albert leaves for Paris, the Count goes to Naples and Franz travels to Venice.
Chapter 40: The Guests
It is three months later. Albert receives guests for breakfast at his small apartment. He instructs his servant to let his mother know that he will be bringing a guest to her at 3 p.m. As Albert reads the newspaper, Lucien Debray, the private secretary to the Minister of Interior, and Beauchamp, the newspaper editor, enter.
Chapter 41: The Breakfast
Lucien and Beauchamp ask Albert about his possible marriage arrangement with Danglar’s daughter. Chateau-Renaud, a French nobleman, and officer Maximilian Morrel enter. Chateau-Renaud tells the men how Morrel saved his life. Albert receives Maximilian as a new friend. Albert relates the story of his kidnapping to the party. He also tells of Franz’s experiences with Sinbad the Sailor. The Count of Monte Cristo arrives and is introduced to the men. The Count’s eyes flash with recognition when introduced to Maximilian. At breakfast, the Count shows the group a large, hollow emerald where he keeps his homemade sleeping pills. The Count asks questions about Baron Danglars and talks to Maximilian about his sister. The breakfast party breaks up leaving Albert and the Count alone.
Chapter 42: The Presentation
Albert and the Count go to meet his parents. His father (Fernand) greets them. Fernand explains he was in the armed services but has retired to politics. He is flattered by the Count and does not recognize him. Albert’s mother (Mercedes) enters and thanks the Count for saving her son’s life. The Count says he must leave and tend to his new house. After he leaves, Albert goes to his mother. He asks about her health as she looks pale. Mercedes asks Albert about the Count’s name, home and age. Albert says the Count is a remarkable man. She asks about Fernand’s reaction to the Count then goes to sleep. Albert notes his mother’s reaction to the Count.
Chapter 43: Monsieur Bertuccio
The Count enters his new house on the Champs Elysses where a notary is waiting with papers to buy a country house. The Count sends a card of introduction to Danglars then instructs his servant, Bertuccio, to accompany him to his new country house. Bertuccio pauses when he hears the address of the house.
Chapter 44: The House at Auteuil
During the 20-minute drive to the country house, Bertuccio prays and sweat forms at his brow. At the house, they are greeted by a servant who says the last master rarely visited the house after his daughter died 21 years ago. Bertuccio becomes more anxious as they enter the house and panics when they enter the garden. The Count asks what is wrong and Bertuccio says it is here that he committed murder.
Chapter 21: The Isle of Tiboulen
Dantes cuts himself out of the sack then cuts the cord tied to his feet before he hits the water. He swims to the Isle of Tiboulen, an uninhibited island, where he rests then witnesses a shipwreck during a storm. He goes into the water, pretends to be a sailor from the wreck and is picked up by a smugglers boat, The Young Amelia. He hears the firing alarm from Chateau D’If, signaling a prisoner escape. Dantes asks the date and discovers that he was imprisoned for 14 years.
Chapter 22: The Smugglers
The captain of The Young Amelia asks Dantes to join their crew, Dantes agrees to join for three months. At port, Dantes gets a haircut and shave. He barely recognizes himself in the looking-glass. Once at sea, Dantes befriends Jacopo and teaches him to sail. During one of their journeys, the smugglers decide to land on the island of Monte Cristo.
Chapter 23: The Isle of Monte Cristo
Dantes feels fortune is finally in his favor. When the boat lands on the island, Dantes is the first on shore. He takes a gun, shoots a wild goat and tells Jacopo to bring it back to the crew for a feast. Dantes uses the time alone to search the coast for signs of an old grotto. The crew watches Dantes slip and fall while running on the shoreline rocks. Dantes is unable to move and begs the crew to leave him while he heals. The crew leaves Dantes provisions before departing the island.
Chapter 24: The Search
Dantes waits for the boat to depart then resumes his search for the grotto (He faked his injury). When he believes he has found the spot, he uses his pickaxe to chip away the rock and lights gunpowder to blow the rock apart. He finds stairs descending into the first grotto, then breaks his way into the second grotto. He returns to the surface and creates a torch from a tree branch. He descends again and uncovers a casket bound with iron. The casket contains gold bars and coins, diamonds, rubies and pearls. Dantes is elated.
Chapter 25: At Marseilles Again
Dantes puts some of the gems in his pocket, covers the casket with dirt and blocks the grotto opening with rocks. The smugglers return for him after six days. They land at Leghorn where Dantes sells his gems. Dantes buys Jacopo a boat and gives him money to hire a crew. He tells Jacopo to sail to Marseilles and gather information about Old Dantes and Mercedes. Dantes travels to Genoa where he buys a small yacht, complete with hidden compartments. Dantes sails to Monte Cristo, collects the treasure and hides it on his yacht. Jacopo meets Dantes on Monte Cristo and reports that Old Dantes is dead and Mercedes is gone. Dantes sails to Marseilles. He walks the streets toward his father’s house, his head full of memories. He enters his father’s house to find a young couple now in his rooms. He asks about Caderousse, the tailor who was once their neighbor. Dantes buys the house.
Chapter 26: The Inn of Pont Du Gard
Caderousse owns a small inn on a deserted road with his sickly wife, Madeleine. A priest (Dantes in disguise) visits the inn and says he was with Dantes when he died. The priest reports Dantes died heartbroken for his four faithful friends and his betrothed. Dantes wished to know the cause of his imprisonment before he died. The priest shows Caderousse a large diamond that will be sold, its profits divided among Dantes’ five friends: Caderousse, Danglars, Fernand, Old Dantes and Mercedes. The priest asks for the whereabouts of each. Caderousse’s wife is distrustful of the priest but changes her mind after she sees the diamond.
Chapter 27: The Tale
Caderousse says Old Dantes, miserable and heartbroken, died of starvation. Caderousse describes the actions of Danglars and Fernand to get Dantes arrested. He says Morrel, the ship owner, tried to help Old Dantes, tried to intercede on Edmond Dantes behalf, left his purse which paid for Old Dantes debts and funeral, but is now ruined and unhappy. Danglars became a rich count and married well. Fernand, a high-ranking military commander, now lives in Paris. Mercedes married Fernand and they have a son, Albert. Caderousse knows little about Villefort except that he married and left Marseilles. The priest gives Caderousse the diamond in exchange for Morrel’s purse.
Chapter 28: The Prison Registers
An English clerk (Dantes in disguise) meets Boville, the Inspector of Prisons and says he will pay the debt of Morrel if he is allowed to see the prison record of the Abbe Faria. The Inspector tells the clerk about Dantes escape from prison. The clerk looks at the prison register. He finds Dantes denunciation and examination, Morrel’s petition, and Villefort’s notes. (Here he learns his crime). He takes the denunciation and pays Boville.
Chapter 29: The House of Morrel and Son
The once busy office now employs only two clerks, Emmanuel, a young man in love with Morrel’s daughter, and an old man named Cocles. The English clerk (Dantes) arrives to see Morrel. Morrel explains that his resources are exhausted, he’s sold his wife’s jewels and his only hope of profit is the return of his ship, Pharaon. Morrel’s daughter, Julie, interrupts the meeting with news that the Pharaon sank but the crew was saved. The English clerk tells Morrel he will give him three months to pay his debt in light of the tragedy. As the English clerk leaves, he tells Julie that a letter signed Sinbad the Sailor will arrive and she must do what it says.
Chapter 30: The Fifth of September
Morrel exhausts every resource trying to find money to pay his debt. He even asks Danglars for a loan but is refused. His daughter, Julie, writes to her brother, Maximilian, to come home. On the day the debt is due, Julie receives the letter from Sinbad the Sailor. The letter describes the location of Morrel’s purse. Maximilian finds his father with two pistols heading for the study. Morrel tells his son to take care of his mother and sister and to leave him. As Morrel is about to take his own life, Julie opens the door and says they are saved. She gives him the purse containing a receipt for the debt and a large diamond. Emmanuel and Maximilian enter and report that the Pharaon is coming into port. The whole family goes to the harbor to see the ship. Dantes watches the scene in hiding then goes to his yacht. He has rewarded the good and now will seek revenge on the wicked.
I'm on page 194 and I'm leaving my summary on a cliffhanger this week. Keep reading!
Chapter 10: The Little Room in the Tuileries
King Louis XVIII and the Duke de Blacas talk about possible desperate acts by Napoleon and his followers. Dandre, the minister of police, says that Napoleon is suffering from mental weakness in exile and will soon go insane. Villefort is admitted into the king’s presence and says he has information about Napoleon leaving the Isle of Elba. The King reassures Villefort that all the shores are being watched and protected.
Chapter 11: The Corsican Ogre
Dandre (minister of police) receives a telegram stating that Napoleon left Elba, landed in France and is advancing toward Paris. The King can not believe it. His family spent 25 years in exile, recently regained the throne and now are threatened again. The King asks Villefort if he will see his father. Villefort says he will not. The King presents Villefort with his Legion of Honour cross for his help and loyalty. Villefort goes to his hotel and prepares to leave Paris. A stranger asks to meet with him in his room. The stranger is Villefort’s father, Noirtier.
Chapter 12: Father and Son
Villefort and his father meet in the hotel room where they speak of Villefort’s wedding, the death of General Quesnel, the landing of Napoleon and the letter from Edmond Dantes. Noirtier details Napoleon’s intended route to Paris. Villefort says that the police description of General Quesnel’s murderer matches Noirtier. Noirtier shaves and changes clothes. Villefort watches his father leave then heads for Marseilles.
Chapter 13: The Hundred Days
Napoleon enters Paris and reclaims the throne, but France remains in civil war. During Napoleon's Hundred Days, Villefort holds his position as magistrate. Danglars (the jealous sailor) quits the sea and leaves for Madrid. Fernand joins Napolean’s army with hopes of winning Mercedes on his return. Mercedes remains alone, wandering the village in wonder. Caderousse joins the army. Five months after Edmond is arrested, his father dies. Morrel asks Villefort for help in locating Edmond Dantes. Villefort agrees, but does nothing. Dantes remains a prisoner during Napoleon’s Hundred Days. When King Louis XVIII regains the throne, Villefort marries Renee.
Chapter 14: In the Dungeons
One year after King Louis XVIII is restored to the throne, an inspector visits Dantes in the dungeon. Dantes wishes to know his crime and to be tried for it. The inspector promises to look into the case, restoring hope in Dantes. The inspector also visits the “Mad Abbe” in the cell below Dantes. L’Abbe Faria is a priest who claims to own an enormous treasure. They find him drawing circles on the floor. The inspector looks into Dantes case and finds he is a violent Bonapartists, involved in Napoleon’s return from Elba and is to be carefully watched. Dantes is known as prisoner #34.
Chapter 15: Number 34 and Number 27
Dantes is extremely lonely, the only person he sees is the jailer. He prays to God, he contemplates death, he stops eating and becomes gravely ill. One day he hears scratching sounds in the wall. He uses pieces from a broken jug to scrape plaster from the cell wall. He uses the handle of a saucepan as a lever to remove a stone. He hears the Abbe (prisoner #27) below him. The Abbe works in the tunnel below and soon appears in Dantes cell.
Chapter 16: A Learned Italian
The Abbe is a small man with penetrating eyes and a long beard. He describes the tools he made to dig the 50 feet between the cells. The Abbe looks out the high window in Dantes’ cell, sees a courtyard and gives up on his plan for escape. The Abbe tells Dantes of his devotion to learning while in prison. He invites Dantes to his cell.
Chapter 17: In the Abbe’s Cell
The Abbe shows Dantes his hidden tools, linen, papyrus, homemade pens, penknife, oil lamp, and cord ladder. Dantes tells the Abbe his story. The Abbe helps him realize those who benefitted from his disappearance, Danglars, Fernand and Villefort. Dantes is upset but the Abbe says not to think of vengeance. The Abbe teaches Dantes about math and languages. Eventually, they make an escape plan that will take a year to execute. They are days from escaping when the Abbe becomes ill, his arm and leg become paralyzed.
Chapter 18: The Treasure
The Abbe tells Dantes about the treasure. Caeser Spada, a cardinal, and his nephew were poisoned by the Pope in a plot to gain Spada's inheritance. After the deaths, no wealth was found, only a scrap of paper. The Abbe explains that he was the secretary for the Comte de Spada, a distant relative of the Cardinal, and spent years looking over the Spada archives. After the Comte de Spada died, the Abbe discovered that the piece of paper, when exposed to heat, revealed a secret message. The Abbe shows Dantes the paper revealing the location of the treasure on the island of Monte Cristo.
Chapter 19: The Death of the Abbe
Dantes tells the Abbe that being his friend is his greatest treasure. The Abbe makes Dantes learn the contents of the note by heart. One night, Dantes awakes to hear his friend calling and rushes to his cell. He finds his friend dying. The Abbe comforts Dantes telling him the treasure will be his alone. Dantes watches his friend die. Dantes listens in the passage as his friend's body is examined by prison officials. The Abbe's body is put in a sack in preparation for burial.
Chapter 20: The Cemetery of the Chateau D’If
Dantes removes the body from the sack, takes the body to his cell then returns to the Abbe’s cell to sew himself into the sack. Dantes remains quiet as two grave diggers arrive and take him away on a stretcher. The grave diggers throw Dantes into the icy water with a thirty-six pound weight tied to his feet.
For this One Book, One Community program, we encourage everyone to participate however they wish. The Count of Monte Cristo is available in many formats including book, e-book, audio book, junior edition, abridged versions, and graphic novel. This blog will serve as a summary of the complete book as listed below.
In my opinion, the chapters are manageable but it takes some time to figure out who the characters are. The story is full of history and geographic references, so I've added hyperlinks to other websites if you're interested in reading more.
Thanks for visiting the blog and feel free to comment about your impressions of the book.
The Count of Monte Cristo
Everyman’s Library Edition, 2009
Chapter 1: The Arrival at Marseilles
Our story begins in 1815 aboard the ship Pharaon in the port of Marseilles (France). Shipowner Morrel listens to Edmond Dantes, second in command, tell of the captain’s death at sea. While Dantes steps away, a jealous sailor, Danglers, tells Morrel that after Dantes took command, the ship made a stop at the Isle of Elba (Italy)—the place of Napoleon’s exile. Danglers reports that Dantes received a letter during the stop and that he is delivering the letter to Paris. Morrel tells Dantes it is his wish to name him captain. Dantes happily leaves the ship to see his father and his fiancée, Mercedes.
Chapter 2: Father and Son
Edmond Dantes arrives at his father’s small house to find him in poor health. Old Dantes explains that he had little money left after paying a debt to his neighbor, Caderousse. Caderousse hears of Edmond’s return and comes to visit. Caderousse and Danglers meet outside the house, they see Mercedes with her cousin, Fernand.
Chapter 3: The Catalans
Danglers and Caderousse drink wine at a café near Mercedes house, where Mercedes and Fernand are talking. Fernand has hoped for ten years that Mercedes would be his wife. Mercedes says she is in love with Edmond Dantes. Edmond arrives at the house and is introduced to Fernand. Edmond extends his hand to greet her cousin, but Fernand leaves the house in anger. Caderousse, Danglers and Fernand drink wine together at the café. Caderousse gets drunk, Fernand is overwhelmed with love and Danglers plans revenge on Dantes. Edmond and Mercedes stop to tell the men that they will be married tomorrow.
Chapter 4: The Plotters
Danglers and Fernand talk about their hate for Edmond Dantes. Caderousse listens and continues to drink. Danglers writes a letter accusing Dantes of being an agent of Napoleon. He says that Dantes is carrying a letter from Napoleon to Paris. Danglers throws the letter into a corner and leaves with Caderousse. Fernand picks up the letter after they leave.
Chapter 5: The Betrothal Feast
Friends, family and Pharaon crew gather to celebrate the upcoming wedding of Edmond and Mercedes. The feast includes sausages, lobster, prawns, sea urchins, clams and wine. Edmond reveals that he plans to marry, travel to Paris and back, then hold a marriage feast. Fernand looks uncomfortable and pale as he waits for something. The door opens revealing a magistrate and soldiers with an order of arrest for Dantes. Morrel questions the magistrate, Dantes’ father begs the men to leave his son alone, Caderousse asks Danglers about the letter, and Fernand leaves. Dantes is taken away by carriage, Morrel follows him, while Dantes’ father and Mercedes comfort each other and Fernand reappears. Morrel returns and says that Dantes has been accused of being a Bonapartist agent. Mercedes cries, Caderousse realizes the accusation came from the letter Danglers wrote at the café. Fernand takes Mercedes home. Morrel names Danglers ship captain.
Chapter 6: The Deputy Procureur
As Dantes is being arrested, another betrothal feast, celebrating those of a higher class, takes place for Villefort and Renee. Talk of the fallen Emperor Napoleon on the Isle of Elba and of the reinstated King Louis XVIII dominates the conversation. Villefort, a royalist and magistrate, has disowned his father, Noirtier, because he is a Napoleonist. The party is interrupted as Villefort receives a letter regarding Edmond Dantes, a sailor on the Pharaon, who delivered a letter to the Isle of Elba and received a letter to take to Paris. Villefort leaves the party to deal with the situation as Renee begs him to be merciful on their feast day.
Chapter 7: The Examination
Villefort arrives at his house to find Morrel, who pleads for kindness regarding Dantes. Villefort promises to be impartial. Villefort enters the house where he meets young Dantes for the first time. Dantes is calm, polite and without political opinion. He expresses his love for his father, his respect for his boss, Morrel, and his adoration for Mercedes. Villefort shows Dantes the letter of accusation, then asks what happened on his journey aboard the Pharaon. Dantes says that the captain, upon his death, gave an order to sail to the Isle of Elba, disembark, ask for the grand marshal, give him a letter and do whatever the grand marshal asked. Dantes received a letter from the grand marshal to be delivered to Paris. Villefort believes Dantes followed orders as instructed, asks for the letter and agrees to release Dantes. Villefort is shocked when he sees that the letter is addressed to Monsieur Noirtier, Villefort’s father. Villefort reads the letter then burns it. He tells Dantes not to speak of the letter and says he will be detained briefly. Dantes senses that something is wrong but agrees not to speak of the letter and hopes to be released soon.
Chapter 8: The Chateau d'If
Dantes is put in a cell to wait, then taken by carriage to a boat. Edmond is relieved to breathe the fresh night air and to find he is unrestrained. The boat passes Mercedes house and Edmond can see the light in her room. He begs to know where the men are taking him. They tell him they are heading to Chateau d‘If, a fortress for political prisoners. Dantes tries to throw himself into the water but is restrained. Upon reaching the fortress, Dantes is put into a chamber for the night with bread, water and fresh straw. Dantes repeatedly asks to see the governor but is denied. Dantes cries, barely eats, rages, and tries to bribe then threatens the jailer. The jailer throws Dantes into the dungeon.
Chapter 9: The Evening of the Betrothal
Villefort returns to the feast to tell Renee he has to leave for Paris. Mercedes waits outside to question Villefort about the charges against Dantes and ask where he is. Villefort tells Mercedes that Dantes is a criminal and that he doesn’t know where he is, then heads to Paris. Mercedes grieves for Dantes. Villefort can’t get the image of Dantes out of his mind. Morrel tries to get help from influential friends, but no one will assist an accused Bonapartist. Caderousse drinks wine, Danglers is happy and old Dantes is overwhelmed with anxiety.
January 1, 2019
Happy New Year!
Welcome to the Cook Public Library One Book One Community blog.
From January 3 to March 7, community members are invited to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.
The librarian will be reading The Count of Monte Cristo for the first time. A summary of her book progress and an update about the program will be posted once a week.
The book was one of the 100 books listed on PBS's The Great American Read. The Cook Pubic Library received a grant from PBS and the American Library Association to promote The Great American Read and all of the books on the list. The library held voting contests between books all summer long. After many votes and much competition, The Count of Monte Cristo was chosen as our winner.
Join us at the library on Thursday, January 3 at 5:00 pm to check out a copy of the book or learn how you can download the book to your computer or device.
Light snacks will be served courtesy of The Great American Read grant and The Friends of the Cook Public Library.