Danglars travels to Italy and presents Monte Cristo’s receipt for five million francs to the firm of Thomas and French. He plans to use this money to resettle in Vienna rather than reimburse any of his creditors. Peppino, now one of Luigi Vampa’s bandits, has been tipped off about the huge sum that Danglars is about to withdraw and follows Danglars to Thomson and French.
The next day, Vampa’s bandits ambush Danglars as he rides from Rome to Venice. Danglars is presented to Vampa, who is busy reading Plutarch. Vampa places Danglars in a cell, comfortably made up with a bed. Danglars decides that the bandits would have killed him already if that had been their intent, so he concludes that he will most likely be held for ransom. As Danglars cannot imagine that the bandits would hold him for a sum anywhere near five million francs, he feels sure that all will work out well and goes to sleep contented.
The next day, Danglars is left alone in his cell and becomes extremely hungry. In response to his request for food, he is told that he can order any meal he wants, but that he must pay a ridiculously high price for it—one hundred thousand francs for any item. Reluctant but half-starved, he buys a chicken.
The next day Danglars asks to see Vampa. Vampa tells Danglars that he is keeping him captive under someone else’s orders and, therefore, can do nothing to alter the food situation. After twelve days, Danglars has used up all but fifty thousand of his francs buying food and drinks. He decides that he will save this last bit of money at any cost, and for days he eats nothing.
Finally, Danglars cries out for mercy, feeling he can take the hunger no more. A strangely familiar voice asks him if he repents his evil ways, and he swears that he does. Monte Cristo steps into the light and tells Danglars that he is forgiven. He reveals his true identity and then tells Danglars that he is free to go. Dumped by the side of the road, Danglars draws himself to a brook in order to drink and notices that his hair has gone white from terror.
There is neither happiness nor misery in the world; there is only the comparison of one state with another.
On the day that Maximilian’s one month expires, he meets Monte Cristo on the island of Monte Cristo and proves himself still eager to die. Monte Cristo leads Maximilian into the exquisite palace carved into the rocks, which is filled with every earthly delight. Monte Cristo tests Maximilian’s resolve, attempting to determine whether his unhappiness is absolute and his devotion to Valentine limitless. Monte Cristo even offers Maximilian his entire fortune if he chooses life instead of death. Maximilian refuses the offer, wanting only release from the pain of lost love. Pretending to relent to Maximilian’s wishes, Monte Cristo hands the young man a green liquid, which Maximilian assumes is poison. Maximilian drinks it down and falls into a deep sleep.