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    Chapter 1

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    Chapter 1
    CHAPTER 1
    Marseilles -- The Arrival.

    On the 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de
    la Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from
    Smyrna, Trieste, and Naples.

    As usual, a pilot put off immediately, and rounding the
    Chateau d'If, got on board the vessel between Cape Morgion
    and Rion island.

    Immediately, and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort
    Saint-Jean were covered with spectators; it is always an
    event at Marseilles for a ship to come into port, especially
    when this ship, like the Pharaon, has been built, rigged,
    and laden at the old Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner
    of the city.

    The ship drew on and had safely passed the strait, which
    some volcanic shock has made between the Calasareigne and
    Jaros islands; had doubled Pomegue, and approached the
    harbor under topsails, jib, and spanker, but so slowly and
    sedately that the idlers, with that instinct which is the
    forerunner of evil, asked one another what misfortune could
    have happened on board. However, those experienced in
    navigation saw plainly that if any accident had occurred, it
    was not to the vessel herself, for she bore down with all
    the evidence of being skilfully handled, the anchor
    a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already eased off, and
    standing by the side of the pilot, who was steering the
    Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner port, was a
    young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye, watched
    every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction of the
    pilot.

    The vague disquietude which prevailed among the spectators
    had so much affected one of the crowd that he did not await
    the arrival of the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a
    small skiff, desired to be pulled alongside the Pharaon,
    which he reached as she rounded into La Reserve basin.

    When the young man on board saw this person approach, he
    left his station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over
    the ship's bulwarks.

    He was a fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or
    twenty, with black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing;
    and his whole appearance bespoke that calmness and
    resolution peculiar to men accustomed from their cradle to
    contend with danger.

    "Ah, is it you, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's
    the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness aboard?"

    "A great misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man, --
    "a great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia
    we lost our brave Captain Leclere."

    "And the cargo?" inquired the owner, eagerly.

    "Is all safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will be satisfied
    on that head. But poor Captain Leclere -- "

    "What happened to him?" asked the owner, with an air of
    considerable resignation. "What happened to the worthy
    captain?"

    "He died."

    "Fell into the sea?"

    "No, sir, he died of brain-fever in dreadful agony." Then
    turning to the crew, he said, "Bear a hand there, to take in
    sail!"

    All hands obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who
    composed the crew, sprang to their respective stations at
    the spanker brails and outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards,
    the jib downhaul, and the topsail clewlines and buntlines.
    The young sailor gave a look to see that his orders were
    promptly and accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the
    owner.

    "And how did this misfortune occur?" inquired the latter,
    resuming the interrupted conversation.

    "Alas, sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long talk
    with the harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly
    disturbed in mind. In twenty-four hours he was attacked by a
    fever, and died three days afterwards. We performed the
    usual burial service, and he is at his rest, sewn up in his
    hammock with a thirty-six pound shot at his head and his
    heels, off El Giglio island. We bring to his widow his sword
    and cross of honor. It was worth while, truly," added the
    young man with a melancholy smile, "to make war against the
    English for ten years, and to die in his bed at last, like
    everybody else."

    "Why, you see, Edmond," replied the owner, who appeared more
    comforted at every moment, "we are all mortal, and the old
    must make way for the young. If not, why, there would be no
    promotion; and since you assure me that the cargo -- "

    "Is all safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it; and
    I advise you not to take 25,000 francs for the profits of
    the voyage."

    Then, as they were just passing the Round Tower, the young
    man shouted: "Stand by there to lower the topsails and jib;
    brail up the spanker!"

    The order was executed as promptly as it would have been on
    board a man-of-war.

    "Let go -- and clue up!" At this last command all the sails
    were lowered, and the vessel moved almost imperceptibly
    onwards.

    "Now, if you will come on board, M. Morrel," said Dantes,
    observing the owner's impatience, "here is your supercargo,
    M. Danglars, coming out of his cabin, who will furnish you
    with every particular. As for me, I must look after the
    anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning."

    The owner did not wait for a second invitation. He seized a
    rope which Dantes flung to him, and with an activity that
    would have done credit to a sailor, climbed up the side of
    the ship, while the young man, going to his task, left the
    conversation to Danglars, who now came towards the owner. He
    was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, of
    unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors,
    insolent to his subordinates; and this, in addition to his
    position as responsible agent on board, which is always
    obnoxious to the sailors, made him as much disliked by the
    crew as Edmond Dantes was beloved by them.

    "Well, M. Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the
    misfortune that has befallen us?"

    "Yes -- yes: poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an
    honest man."

    "And a first-rate seaman, one who had seen long and
    honorable service, as became a man charged with the
    interests of a house so important as that of Morrel & Son,"
    replied Danglars.

    "But," replied the owner, glancing after Dantes, who was
    watching the anchoring of his vessel, "it seems to me that a
    sailor needs not be so old as you say, Danglars, to
    understand his business, for our friend Edmond seems to
    understand it thoroughly, and not to require instruction
    from any one."

    "Yes," said Danglars, darting at Edmond a look gleaming with
    hate. "Yes, he is young, and youth is invariably
    self-confident. Scarcely was the captain's breath out of his
    body when he assumed the command without consulting any one,
    and he caused us to lose a day and a half at the Island of
    Elba, instead of making for Marseilles direct."

    "As to taking command of the vessel," replied Morrel, "that
    was his duty as captain's mate; as to losing a day and a
    half off the Island of Elba, he was wrong, unless the vessel
    needed repairs."

    "The vessel was in as good condition as I am, and as, I hope
    you are, M. Morrel, and this day and a half was lost from
    pure whim, for the pleasure of going ashore, and nothing
    else."

    "Dantes," said the shipowner, turning towards the young man,
    "come this way!"

    "In a moment, sir," answered Dantes, "and I'm with you."
    Then calling to the crew, he said -- "Let go!"

    The anchor was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling
    through the port-hole. Dantes continued at his post in spite
    of the presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was
    completed, and then he added, "Half-mast the colors, and
    square the yards!"

    "You see," said Danglars, "he fancies himself captain
    already, upon my word."

    "And so, in fact, he is," said the owner.

    "Except your signature and your partner's, M. Morrel."

    "And why should he not have this?" asked the owner; "he is
    young, it is true, but he seems to me a thorough seaman, and
    of full experience."

    A cloud passed over Danglars' brow. "Your pardon, M.
    Morrel," said Dantes, approaching, "the vessel now rides at
    anchor, and I am at your service. You hailed me, I think?"

    Danglars retreated a step or two. "I wished to inquire why
    you stopped at the Island of Elba?"

    "I do not know, sir; it was to fulfil the last instructions
    of Captain Leclere, who, when dying, gave me a packet for
    Marshal Bertrand."

    "Then did you see him, Edmond?"

    "Who?"

    "The marshal."

    "Yes."

    Morrel looked around him, and then, drawing Dantes on one
    side, he said suddenly -- "And how is the emperor?"

    "Very well, as far as I could judge from the sight of him."

    "You saw the emperor, then?"

    "He entered the marshal's apartment while I was there."

    "And you spoke to him?"

    "Why, it was he who spoke to me, sir," said Dantes, with a
    smile.

    "And what did he say to you?"

    "Asked me questions about the vessel, the time she left
    Marseilles, the course she had taken, and what was her
    cargo. I believe, if she had not been laden, and I had been
    her master, he would have bought her. But I told him I was
    only mate, and that she belonged to the firm of Morrel &
    Son. 'Ah, yes,' he said, 'I know them. The Morrels have been
    shipowners from father to son; and there was a Morrel who
    served in the same regiment with me when I was in garrison
    at Valence.'"

    "Pardieu, and that is true!" cried the owner, greatly
    delighted. "And that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was
    afterwards a captain. Dantes, you must tell my uncle that
    the emperor remembered him, and you will see it will bring
    tears into the old soldier's eyes. Come, come," continued
    he, patting Edmond's shoulder kindly, "you did very right,
    Dantes, to follow Captain Leclere's instructions, and touch
    at Elba, although if it were known that you had conveyed a
    packet to the marshal, and had conversed with the emperor,
    it might bring you into trouble."

    "How could that bring me into trouble, sir?" asked Dantes;
    "for I did not even know of what I was the bearer; and the
    emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of the first
    comer. But, pardon me, here are the health officers and the
    customs inspectors coming alongside." And the young man went
    to the gangway. As he departed, Danglars approached, and
    said, --

    "Well, it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons
    for his landing at Porto-Ferrajo?"

    "Yes, most satisfactory, my dear Danglars."

    "Well, so much the better," said the supercargo; "for it is
    not pleasant to think that a comrade has not done his duty."

    "Dantes has done his," replied the owner, "and that is not
    saying much. It was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this
    delay."

    "Talking of Captain Leclere, has not Dantes given you a
    letter from him?"

    "To me? -- no -- was there one?"

    "I believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere
    confided a letter to his care."

    "Of what packet are you speaking, Danglars?"

    "Why, that which Dantes left at Porto-Ferrajo."

    "How do you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo?"

    Danglars turned very red.

    "I was passing close to the door of the captain's cabin,
    which was half open, and I saw him give the packet and
    letter to Dantes."

    "He did not speak to me of it," replied the shipowner; "but
    if there be any letter he will give it to me."

    Danglars reflected for a moment. "Then, M. Morrel, I beg of
    you," said he, "not to say a word to Dantes on the subject.
    I may have been mistaken."

    At this moment the young man returned; Danglars withdrew.

    "Well, my dear Dantes, are you now free?" inquired the
    owner.

    "Yes, sir."

    "You have not been long detained."

    "No. I gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of
    lading; and as to the other papers, they sent a man off with
    the pilot, to whom I gave them."

    "Then you have nothing more to do here?"

    "No -- everything is all right now."

    "Then you can come and dine with me?"

    "I really must ask you to excuse me, M. Morrel. My first
    visit is due to my father, though I am not the less grateful
    for the honor you have done me."

    "Right, Dantes, quite right. I always knew you were a good
    son."

    "And," inquired Dantes, with some hesitation, "do you know
    how my father is?"

    "Well, I believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him
    lately."

    "Yes, he likes to keep himself shut up in his little room."

    "That proves, at least, that he has wanted for nothing
    during your absence."

    Dantes smiled. "My father is proud, sir, and if he had not a
    meal left, I doubt if he would have asked anything from
    anyone, except from Heaven."

    "Well, then, after this first visit has been made we shall
    count on you."

    "I must again excuse myself, M. Morrel, for after this first
    visit has been paid I have another which I am most anxious
    to pay."

    "True, Dantes, I forgot that there was at the Catalans some
    one who expects you no less impatiently than your father --
    the lovely Mercedes."

    Dantes blushed.

    "Ah, ha," said the shipowner, "I am not in the least
    surprised, for she has been to me three times, inquiring if
    there were any news of the Pharaon. Peste, Edmond, you have
    a very handsome mistress!"

    "She is not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely;
    "she is my betrothed."

    "Sometimes one and the same thing," said Morrel, with a
    smile.

    "Not with us, sir," replied Dantes.

    "Well, well, my dear Edmond," continued the owner, "don't
    let me detain you. You have managed my affairs so well that
    I ought to allow you all the time you require for your own.
    Do you want any money?"

    "No, sir; I have all my pay to take -- nearly three months'
    wages."

    "You are a careful fellow, Edmond."

    "Say I have a poor father, sir."

    "Yes, yes, I know how good a son you are, so now hasten away
    to see your father. I have a son too, and I should be very
    wroth with those who detained him from me after a three
    months' voyage."

    "Then I have your leave, sir?"

    "Yes, if you have nothing more to say to me."

    "Nothing."

    "Captain Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter
    for me?"

    "He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I
    must ask your leave of absence for some days."

    "To get married?"

    "Yes, first, and then to go to Paris."

    "Very good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take
    quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you
    ready for sea until three months after that; only be back
    again in three months, for the Pharaon," added the owner,
    patting the young sailor on the back, "cannot sail without
    her captain."

    "Without her captain!" cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with
    animation; "pray mind what you say, for you are touching on
    the most secret wishes of my heart. Is it really your
    intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"

    "If I were sole owner we'd shake hands on it now, my dear
    Dantes, and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you
    know the Italian proverb -- Chi ha compagno ha padrone --
    'He who has a partner has a master.' But the thing is at
    least half done, as you have one out of two votes. Rely on
    me to procure you the other; I will do my best."

    "Ah, M. Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in
    his eyes, and grasping the owner's hand, "M. Morrel, I thank
    you in the name of my father and of Mercedes."

    "That's all right, Edmond. There's a providence that watches
    over the deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercedes,
    and afterwards come to me."

    "Shall I row you ashore?"

    "No, thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts
    with Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this
    voyage?"

    "That is according to the sense you attach to the question,
    sir. Do you mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he
    never liked me since the day when I was silly enough, after
    a little quarrel we had, to propose to him to stop for ten
    minutes at the island of Monte Cristo to settle the dispute
    -- a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite
    right to refuse. If you mean as responsible agent when you
    ask me the question, I believe there is nothing to say
    against him, and that you will be content with the way in
    which he has performed his duty."

    "But tell me, Dantes, if you had command of the Pharaon
    should you be glad to see Danglars remain?"

    "Captain or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the
    greatest respect for those who possess the owners'
    confidence."

    "That's right, that's right, Dantes! I see you are a
    thoroughly good fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go,
    for I see how impatient you are."

    "Then I have leave?"

    "Go, I tell you."

    "May I have the use of your skiff?"

    "Certainly."

    "Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand
    thanks!"

    "I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to
    you."

    The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the
    stern sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La
    Canebiere. The two oarsmen bent to their work, and the
    little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst
    of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which
    leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the
    harbor to the Quai d'Orleans.

    The shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he
    saw him spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of
    the throng, which from five o'clock in the morning until
    nine o'clock at night, swarms in the famous street of La
    Canebiere, -- a street of which the modern Phocaeans are so
    proud that they say with all the gravity in the world, and
    with that accent which gives so much character to what is
    said, "If Paris had La Canebiere, Paris would be a second
    Marseilles." On turning round the owner saw Danglars behind
    him, apparently awaiting orders, but in reality also
    watching the young sailor, -- but there was a great
    difference in the expression of the two men who thus
    followed the movements of Edmond Dantes.
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    Chapter 1
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