Dantès manages to cut himself loose from the shroud and swims in the direction of an uninhabited island he remembers from his sailing days. When he feels that he cannot swim any longer, he washes up on the jagged rocks of the island. A storm erupts, and Dantès watches helplessly as a small boat crashes against the rocks, killing all the men on board. He then sees a Genoese ship in the distance and realizes that this ship is his one chance to finalize his escape. He takes the cap of one of the dead sailors off the point of a rock and makes his way to the ship, using a piece of driftwood from the destroyed boat as a float. Dantès tells the men on the ship that he was the lone survivor among the sailors who crashed on the rocks during the storm. His long hair and beard arouse the men’s suspicion, but Dantès passes his shagginess off as a religious pledge made to God in a time of danger. The men believe his story and offer to take him on as one of their crew.
Dantès quickly realizes that the men on the ship are smugglers, but he makes himself useful to them, and they all grow to love him. He patiently waits for a chance to land on the island of Monte Cristo. This chance finally presents itself when the ship’s captain decides to use the deserted island as the site for an illegal transaction.
While on the island, Dantès pretends to injure himself and claims that he cannot be moved. He urges the men to leave him behind and return for him after a week. Dantès’s best friend among the crew, Jacopo, offers to stay behind, forgoing his share of the profits from the smuggling operation. Dantès is moved by this selfless display, but refuses the offer.
Once the men are gone, Dantès begins searching for Faria’s treasure. He uses his enormous ingenuity to uncover the fortune, which is even greater than he had imagined. Dantès falls on his knees and utters a prayer to God, to whom he attributes this windfall.
Dantès fills his pockets with a few precious stones from his trove and waits for the sailors to return. He then sails with them to Leghorn, where he sells the four smallest diamonds for five thousand francs each. The following day, Dantès buys a small ship and crew for Jacopo in order to reward his friend’s kindness. His one condition for the gift is that Jacopo sail to Marseilles and ask for news of a man named Louis Dantès and a woman named Mercédès.
Dantès takes his leave of the smugglers and buys a yacht with a secret compartment. He sails the yacht back to Monte Cristo and transfers the remainder of the treasure to the secret compartment of the yacht. Jacopo arrives on the island several days later with sad news: Louis Dantès is dead and Mercédès has disappeared. Dantès tries to hide his extreme emotion and sails for Marseilles.