‘Edmond Dantès died in prison of sorrow and a broken heart . . . But the strangest part of the story is,’ resumed the abbé, ‘that Dantès, even in his dying moments, swore by his crucified Redeemer, that he was utterly ignorant of the cause of his imprisonment . . . And for that reason he begged me to try and solve a mystery he had never been able to penetrate, and to clear his memory should any foul spot or stain have fallen on it.’
Two men jealous of him, sir; one from love, and the other ambition,— Fernand and Danglars . . . They denounced Edmond as a Bonapartist agent . . . It was Danglars who wrote the denunciation with his left hand, that his writing might not be recognized, and Fernand who put it in the post . . . [T]hey had made me drink to such an excess that I nearly lost consciousness. I had only an indistinct understanding of what was happening around me . . . They both assured me that it was a joke they were playing, and perfectly harmless.
What would have brought Fernand to a court-martial if Napoleon had remained on the throne, served for his recommendation to the Bourbons. He returned to France with the epaulette of sub-lieutenant, and as the protection of the general, who is in the highest favor, was accorded to him, he was made a captain in 1823 . . . Fernand sought and obtained leave to go and serve in Greece . . . Some time after, it was stated that the Comte de Morcerf, this was the name he bore, had entered the service of Ali Pasha, with the rank of instructor-general.
[S]ince the end of the previous month, M. Morrel had passed many an anxious hour. In order to meet the end of the new month, he had collected all his resources . . .
Such was the state of things when . . . the confidential clerk of the house of Thomson and French, of Rome, presented himself at M. Morrel’s. Emmanuel received him. Every fresh face alarmed the young man, for every fresh face meant a fresh creditor coming to discuss his concerns with the head of the firm.
‘Mademoiselle,’ said the stranger, ‘one day you will receive a letter signed “Sinbad the Sailor”; do exactly what the letter bids you, however strange it may appear . . . Do you promise? . . . It is well. Adieu, mademoiselle! — remain as pure and virtuous as you are at present, and I have great hopes that Heaven will reward you by giving you Emmanuel for a husband.’
Julie uttered a faint cry, blushed like a rose, and leaned against the baluster.