The Count of Monte Cristo | Study Guide

Alexandre Dumas

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The Count of Monte Cristo | Chapters 84–85 | Summary

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Summary

Chapter 84

Villefort investigates the murder of Caderousse, and the police search for Benedetto. Three weeks pass with no result. Meanwhile, plans are progressing for the marriage of Andrea Cavalcanti and Eugénie Danglars. Danglars ignores the repulsion Eugénie displays toward marriage in general and Andrea in particular.

Meanwhile, the three weeks Albert gave Beauchamp until their duel are nearly up, Beauchamp has been to Janina to discover the facts about Albert's father for himself, and the news is bad. Beauchamp shows Albert documents that prove his father betrayed Janina for profit. Albert is devastated, and for the sake of their friendship, Beauchamp destroys the documents and promises never to speak of them. But he warns Albert that the person responsible for the original newspaper article might have an agenda, and may be intent on revealing the whole story. Albert is grief-stricken over his loss of respect for his father. Beauchamp suggests that they visit the Count of Monte Cristo as a diversion.

Chapter 85

Monte Cristo is completing paperwork related to Andrea Cavalcanti's marriage to Eugénie Danglers. He assures Albert and Beauchamp that he has not in any way sponsored Andrea, either in society or in the marriage, because he really knows very little about the young man. Noticing Albert's glum mood, the count suggests that they both come with him on a trip to the sea. Beauchamp says he's just returned from the sea and must stay in Paris, but Albert agrees to go. Beauchamp takes his leave, and the conversation turns to Albert's mother. The count wonders how she feels about him, and Albert replies that she's captivated by him and talks of little else. Albert goes home to prepare for the trip, and the count tells Bertuccio to inform the relays along the road to Normandy to be ready for the two travelers.

After an eight-hour journey, Albert and the count arrive at the count's house in Normandy. They spend the next few days hunting and fishing. On the third evening, Albert's valet arrives on horseback. He shows Albert a newspaper article that reveals his father's treachery at Janina. Shaken, Albert immediately sets out for Paris on horseback.

Analysis

In Chapter 84, the kindness and consideration Beauchamp shows to Albert in the matter of his father's crimes show him to be a loyal friend—a rarity in the corrupt world depicted by Dumas. As someone who takes his commitment to journalism seriously, it must be very difficult for him to destroy the documents and refrain from publishing the story, which is certain to cause a major scandal and make a name for the journalist who publishes it.

In Chapter 85, the count's order to have the relays along the road to Normandy ready for travelers explains why he had previously arranged to have horses stationed all along the road. He didn't do it because he expected to have to make a quick escape, as readers might have surmised; instead, he did it just as a matter of convenience. The count can easily afford to indulge in such extravagance to shorten the amount of time spent on the road.

His offer to take Albert out of the city seems a gesture of kindness, an effort to give the young man some relief from the stress he is experiencing. Is that the count's motivation? Or is he trying to get Albert out of the way to block him from doing anything to prevent his plans from unfolding? The mystery surrounding the count extends to his motives toward some of the characters. While his ultimate aim for the conspirators has been clear for a considerable time, his attitude toward others is murkier.

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