Chapter 26: The Inn of Pont Du Gard
Disguised as an Italian priest and going by the name of Abbé Busoni, Dantès travels to the inn owned by Caderousse and his sickly wife. He finds the couple poverty-stricken. Pretending to be the executor of Dantès’s will, he explains that Dantès came into the possession of a large diamond while in prison. He adds that, as his dying wish, Dantès wanted the diamond’s worth divided among the only five people he ever loved: his father, Caderousse, Danglars, Fernand, and Mercédès.
Chapter 27: The Tale
Seeing his chance to secure the whole diamond for himself, Caderousse reveals the events behinds Dantès’s incarceration, confirming what Abbé Faria had already deduced. Caderousse states that he has lived in a torment of regret ever since Dantès was incarcerated. Dantès finds this display of repentance and guilt convincing, and he declares that Caderousse is Dantès’s only true friend. He gives Caderousse the entire diamond.
Dantès learns from Caderousse what has become of the others. Danglars went to work for a Spanish banking house and ended up a millionaire; he is now one of the richest and most powerful men in Paris. Fernand has also become rich and powerful, though the circumstances of how he acquired his fortune are mysterious. Fernand returned wealthy from his tour of duty as a soldier in Greece and married Mercédès eighteen months after Dantès’s imprisonment began. Fernand and Mercédès now live together in Paris, believing Dantès to be dead.
Caderousse also explains that Dantès’s father, Louis, starved himself to death out of grief over the loss of his son. Both Morrel and Mercédès offered many times to take the old man into their homes and care for him, but he refused every time. Morrel tried to give Louis money, and before the old man’s death, he left a red silk purse filled with gold on his mantel. Caderousse now has this red silk purse in his possession, and Dantès asks to have it. Caderousse explains that Morrel is now on the verge of financial ruin: all his ships except the Pharaon have sunk, and the Pharaon is late coming into port. If the Pharaon has sunk, Morrel will be unable to pay his creditors and will be a ruined man. Caderousse reflects that the good are always punished and the wicked rewarded. Dantès, in the guise of the priest, promises Caderousse that this is not the case.
Chapter 28: The Prison Registers
Next, disguised as an English representative of the investment firm Thomson and French, Dantès goes to visit the mayor of Marseilles, who has a large investment in Morrel’s shipping business. The mayor redirects Dantès to the inspector of prisons, who has an even larger stake in Morrel’s firm. Dantès buys all of the prison inspector’s stakes for their full price. He then asks to see the prison records for Abbé Faria, claiming to have once been his pupil. While looking at the records, Dantès secretly turns to his own prison documents. He pockets the letter of accusation written by Danglars and delivered by Fernand, and confirms the fact that Villefort ordered him locked away for life.
Chapter 29: The House of Morrel and Son
Still disguised as the representative of Thomson and French, Dantès next pays a visit to Morrel. Morrel is in a state of extreme anxiety over the fact that his once bustling shipping firm is now crumbling into ruin. Only two employees remain on his payroll, including a twenty-three-year-old clerk, Emmanuel Herbaut, who is in love with Morrel’s daughter, Julie. Morrel’s payments to investors are due within days, but he has no money to cover them. If the Pharaon does not arrive safely, he will be unable to honor his debts for the first time in his life, and his business and his honor will be permanently ruined.