M. de Villefort, notwithstanding his self-control, was visibly affected; and when Monte Cristo touched his hand, he felt it tremble.
‘Certainly women alone know how to dissemble,’ said Monte Cristo to himself glancing at Madame Danglars, who was smiling on the procureur du roi and embracing his wife.
He then took Villefort’s arm, and, at the same time, holding that of Madame Danglars under his own, he dragged the procureur to the plantain-tree, where the shade was thickest. All the other guests followed.
‘Stay,’ said Monte Cristo, ‘here in this very spot’ (and he stamped upon the ground), ‘I had the earth dug up and fresh mould put in, to refresh these old trees; well, my man, digging, found a box, or rather the ironwork of a box, in the midst of which was the skeleton of a newly-born infant.’
Last February you were the first who told me of the Haitian funds. You had dreamt that a ship had entered the harbor at Le Havre, that this ship brought news that a payment we had regarded as lost was going to be made. I know how clear-sighted your dreams are; I therefore purchased immediately as many shares as I could of the Haitian debt, and I made 400,000 francs from it, of which 100,000 have been honestly paid to you. You spent it as you pleased, that was your business.
[O]n retiring from business, you have nothing but your principal of about five or six millions at the most; for third-rate fortunes are never more than the fourth of what they appear to be . . . Well, out for the five or six millions which form your real capital, you have just lost nearly two millions, which must, of course, in the same degree diminish your credit and fictitious fortune; to follow out my simile, your skin has been opened by bleeding, which, repeated three or four times, will cause death—so pay attention to it, M. Danglars.
Oh, as I told you before, I think the good man very tight-fisted . . . I scarcely know him. I think I have seen him only three times in my life; all I know about him is from Busoni and himself. He was telling me this morning that, tired of letting his property lie dormant in Italy which is a dead nation, he wished to find a method, either in France or England, of multiplying his millions; but remember that though I place great confidence in Busoni, I am not responsible for this.