page 1 of 2
The next morning, Valentine appears to be dead. Madame de Villefort is the first one to enter Valentine’s room. She throws the remaining liquid from the cup into the fire, then cleans out the cup. Yet when she returns later, once the rest of the household has been notified of Valentine’s death, the glass is mysteriously filled again. The doctor immediately detects the poison in it. Madame de Villefort faints.
Maximilian, unable to control himself in his grief, enters Valentine’s room, disturbing Villefort as he kneels by his daughter’s bed. Villefort, not knowing who Maximilian is, orders him to leave. Maximilian leaves, but then returns, carrying Noirtier in his wheelchair. Maximilian declares his love for Valentine, and Villefort extends his sympathy to him, bound by their common grief. Maximilian demands that Valentine’s murder be avenged. Noirtier signals that he knows who the murderer is and asks to be left alone with his son. When the others are called back in, Villefort and Noirtier ask them to keep the crime secret for the time being. The priest from next door, Abbé Busoni, is then called in to pray over the body. Alone with Noirtier, Monte Cristo explains what is really taking place.
Monte Cristo visits Danglars and sees that Danglars is making out five checks, each worth one million francs. Monte Cristo asks to have the checks. Though the money is intended for the hospital, Danglars reluctantly agrees, refusing to admit that he no longer has enough capital to make such large loans. As Monte Cristo leaves, the Commissioner of Hospitals arrives. He is astounded to learn that his five million francs have just been given to a single individual. Danglars promises that he will have the money for the hospital tomorrow. He has no real intention of paying, however, and plans to run away that very night in an attempt to escape his creditors.
At Valentine’s funeral, Monte Cristo keeps careful watch over Maximilian. He follows Maximilian back to Julie and Emmanuel’s house. There, Maximilian confesses that he is planning to kill himself. In an attempt to stop him, Monte Cristo reveals that he is really Edmond Dantès, the man who saved Monsieur Morrel from ruin. Overcome, Maximilian calls out to Julie and Emmanuel and tells them Monte Cristo’s role in their lives. Monte Cristo stops Maximilian, however, before he can reveal Monte Cristo’s true identity. Alone with Maximilian again, Monte Cristo plays upon his gratitude to extract a promise: for one month Maximilian will remain alive and never stray from Monte Cristo’s side. If Maximilian is still unhappy at the end of this month, Monte Cristo will help him to commit suicide.
The day after Danglars leaves, Madame Danglars rushes to Lucien Debray in a panic. She shows him the letter Danglars has left explaining his reason for running away. He has written that a series of strange events has left him bankrupt and unable to repay the debt to the hospital. Madame Danglars waits expectantly for some kind word from her lover, but he speaks to her merely as a business partner, handing over half the profits that they have made together using their illegal tricks to speculate with Danglars’s fortune. It is clear that Debray wants no more to do with Madame Danglars now that she cannot provide him with access to Danglars’s unlimited capital.
In another room in the same hotel where this scene is taking place, Albert and Mercédès plan out their future. Albert tells his mother that he has enlisted in the army. He gives her the check he has received upon joining and tells her to use part of it to travel to Marseilles, where the rest of her small savings is located. On their way out of the hotel they encounter Lucien Debray, who is struck by the contrast between Mercédès’s and Madame Danglars’s reactions to misfortune. Later the next day, Monte Cristo secretly watches as Albert puts his mother into a coach bound for Marseilles. He swears that he will restore these two innocent people to happiness.
Take a Study Break!