Chapter 58: At the Gate
Maximilian Morrel meets Valentine at the garden gate of Villefort’s home. Maximilian has heard that Franz is on his way home and worries about their relationship. He suggests asking the Count for help. Valentine feels the Count is Madame Villefort’s friend, not hers. Maximilian promises not to reveal their relationship to the Count.
Chapter 59: M. Noirtier de Villefort
Villefort and his wife enter Noirtier’s room. Sight and hearing are the only senses Noirtier has left, so he communicates through a system of eye blinks. Valentine, Villefort and Noirtier’s servant, Barrois, are the only people who can communicate with Noirtier. Villefort tells his father that Valentine will marry Franz in three months. Noirtier is agitated by the news. After Villefort leaves, Noirtier summons Valentine and tells her what her father said. She says she doesn’t love Franz. He tells her to get a notary.
Chapter 60: The Will
Villefort tries to dismiss the notary, claiming his father is unable to communicate. Both Valentine and Barrois say they will interpret for Noirtier. Noirtier says that if Valentine marries Franz, he will disinherit her and leave his money to charity. Villefort says he will choose who she marries and leaves. The will, written as Noirtier stated, is sealed and approved.
Chapter 61: The Telegraph
The Count visits Villefort and notices his somber mood. Villefort tells the Count about his daughter’s marriage and his father’s will. The Count comments on the opposing politics of Noitier and Franz’s father. The Count reminds him of the party at Auteuil. Villefort discovers that the house once belonged to Renee’s (his first wife) parents. Villefort says he dislikes the house but will attend the party. The Count leaves to visit a telegraph tower.
Chapter 62: The Bribe
The Count reaches the tower of Montlhery and finds the telegraph operator tending his garden. The operator leads the Count to the tower which contains garden tools, sleeping quarters and the telegraph. The operator says he doesn’t understand most of the signals that come through. The Count offers the operator money to send a signal he has drawn on paper. The operator sends the signal to the Minister of Interior. The message said that Don Carlos had escaped and returned to Spain. Debray hears the news and tells Danglars to sell his Spanish bonds. The next day, Danglars finds out the telegraph message was a mistake and loses millions from his sold stock.
Chapter 63: Shadows
Maximilian, Chateau-Renaud, Debray, Danglars and his wife, Major Cavalcanti, Andrea, Villefort and his wife arrive at the house in Auteuil. As Bertuccio counts the guests, he recognizes Madame Danglars as the young pregnant woman in the garden. He is shocked to see that Villefort is alive and that Andrea is really Benedetto.
Chapter 64: The Dinner
As dinner, the Count talks about purchasing and transforming the house. Villefort and Madame Danglars look uneasy as the Count leads a tour of the house. One room, containing a bed hung with red damask, looks dark and sinister. The Count says this room was left unchanged and reveals a hidden staircase. The Count tells parts of Bertuccio’s story until Madame Danglars faints. She is revived with Madame Villefort’s vial of red liquid. The Count leads the party to the garden where his men unearthed a box and skeleton while digging in the garden. The Count asks Villefort about the punishment for infant killers, Villefort says beheading. As the others go back to the lawn for coffee, Villefort and Madame Danglars agree to meet the next day.
Chapter 65: The Beggar
The party guests leave Auteuil. On his way home, Andrea is stopped by a beggar who asks for a ride to Paris. The beggar is Caderousse. He calls the man by his real name, Benedetto. As the two ride back to Paris, Caderousse wonders at Andrea’s fine carriage, new clothes and friends. Andrea says he found his father with the Count’s help. He gives Caderousse money.
Chapter 66: A Conjugal Scene
Lucien Debray visits Madame Danglars but is asked to leave by Danglars. After Debray leaves, the husband and wife argue over recent money issues. Danglars thinks both his wife and Debray should pay him back for their poor instincts and information.
Chapter 67: Matrimonial Plans
Danglars visits the Count. He talks about his money problems then asks about Cavalcanti and his son. Danglars says he’d prefer his daughter marry Andrea instead of Albert. Danglars says he’s known Count Morcerf (Fernand) for 30 years. The Count tells him to inquire about Fernand’s involvement with Ali Tebelen.
Chapter 68: The Office of the Procureur du Roi
Madame Danglars visits Villefort’s office. Villefort recalls the night at the house in Auteuil, watching her in labor in the red damask room, thinking the voiceless child dead, carrying the box to the garden, crawling to the house after being stabbed. Villefort recuperated in Versailles while she went back to Paris and married Danglars. Villefort visited the house in Auteuil nine years after the incident and found no baby. Madame Danglars is upset to find out the child lived. Villefort says he tried in vain to find the child. Villefort thinks the Count knows the story. He vows to find out who the Count really is.
Chapter 69: A Summer Ball
Albert visits the Count. The Count talks about the dinner, Albert talks about marrying Eugenie Danglars. Albert says Eugenie will never be as beautiful and witty as his mother (Mercedes). Albert says his father, Fernand, is giving a ball and his mother wishes the Count to attend. The Count asks Albert to bring Franz to his house when he arrives in Paris.
Chapter 70: The Inquiry
Villefort starts searching for clues about the Count. He receives the names of Lord Wilmore and Abbe Busoni. Villefort disguises himself as an inspector and visits Abbe Busoni (Dantes) in his dark room, lit by a lamp. Busconi says the Count’s real name is Zaccone and that Monte Cristo is a not a family name but a rock. Busconi says Zaccone is the son of a rich shipbuilder from Malta, his one enemy is Lord Wilmore, he is very charitable, this is his first time in Paris and he bought the house at Auteuil to establish a mental asylum. The inspector (Villefort) leaves and goes to Lord Wilmore’s house. He has to wait. Lord Wilmore (Dantes) greets the inspector but does not speak French. Wilmore says he met Zaccone in India. Zaccone was taken prisoner, sent to England, escaped to Greece, discovered a silver mine and is currently in France speculating in railways. Wilmore says Zaccone is going to use the mineral springs in Auteuil to open a bath house. Wilmore says he dislikes Zaccone and that they have dueled three times. The inspector leaves. The Count pulls off the costume and facial mask of Lord Wilmore.
Chapter 71: The Ball
At Fernand’s ball, Madame Villefort tells Albert all the “inspector” learned from Lord Wilmore. Maximilian and Valentine look at each other across the room. The Count enters and greets Mercedes, Albert, and Danglars. Mercedes watches the Count and notices he’s not eating. She invites him to walk with her in the garden.
Chapter 72: Bread and Salt
Mercedes tries to get the Count to eat but he refuses. She asks about the Greek girl, he says she is a former slave. He says he once loved a girl but war carried him away and she didn’t wait for him. He is alone in the world. Villefort arrives to take Madame Villefort and Valentine home. Saint-Meran (Valentine’s grandfather) has died.
Chapter 73: Madame de Saint-Meran
Villefort stayed home from the ball to look at his enemy list. He believes Bertuccio told Abbe Busconi his story and the Abbe told the Count. Madame de Saint-Meran arrives at the house in grief, her husband has died of an apparent stroke. She wishes to see Valentine. Villefort goes to get his wife and daughter from the party. Back at home, Valentine stays with her grandmother until she falls asleep then she goes to see Noirtier for support. The next morning, Madame de Saint-Meran tells Villefort that Valentine must be married soon. Madame has seen a white figure in her sleep and thinks she will die. She calls for a notary. Valentine talks to Doctor d’Avigny about her grandmother’s symptoms. Valentine goes to the garden to meet Maximilian at the gate.