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    Chapter 22

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    Chapter 22
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    CHAPTER 22
    The Smugglers.

    Dantes had not been a day on board before he had a very
    clear idea of the men with whom his lot had been cast.
    Without having been in the school of the Abbe Faria, the
    worthy master of The Young Amelia (the name of the Genoese
    tartan) knew a smattering of all the tongues spoken on the
    shores of that large lake called the Mediterranean, from the
    Arabic to the Provencal, and this, while it spared him
    interpreters, persons always troublesome and frequently
    indiscreet, gave him great facilities of communication,
    either with the vessels he met at sea, with the small boats
    sailing along the coast, or with the people without name,
    country, or occupation, who are always seen on the quays of
    seaports, and who live by hidden and mysterious means which
    we must suppose to be a direct gift of providence, as they
    have no visible means of support. It is fair to assume that
    Dantes was on board a smuggler.

    At first the captain had received Dantes on board with a
    certain degree of distrust. He was very well known to the
    customs officers of the coast; and as there was between
    these worthies and himself a perpetual battle of wits, he
    had at first thought that Dantes might be an emissary of
    these industrious guardians of rights and duties, who
    perhaps employed this ingenious means of learning some of
    the secrets of his trade. But the skilful manner in which
    Dantes had handled the lugger had entirely reassured him;
    and then, when he saw the light plume of smoke floating
    above the bastion of the Chateau d'If, and heard the distant
    report, he was instantly struck with the idea that he had on
    board his vessel one whose coming and going, like that of
    kings, was accompanied with salutes of artillery. This made
    him less uneasy, it must be owned, than if the new-comer had
    proved to be a customs officer; but this supposition also
    disappeared like the first, when he beheld the perfect
    tranquillity of his recruit.

    Edmond thus had the advantage of knowing what the owner was,
    without the owner knowing who he was; and however the old
    sailor and his crew tried to "pump" him, they extracted
    nothing more from him; he gave accurate descriptions of
    Naples and Malta, which he knew as well as Marseilles, and
    held stoutly to his first story. Thus the Genoese, subtle as
    he was, was duped by Edmond, in whose favor his mild
    demeanor, his nautical skill, and his admirable
    dissimulation, pleaded. Moreover, it is possible that the
    Genoese was one of those shrewd persons who know nothing but
    what they should know, and believe nothing but what they
    should believe.

    In this state of mutual understanding, they reached Leghorn.
    Here Edmond was to undergo another trial; he was to find out
    whether he could recognize himself, as he had not seen his
    own face for fourteen years. He had preserved a tolerably
    good remembrance of what the youth had been, and was now to
    find out what the man had become. His comrades believed that
    his vow was fulfilled. As he had twenty times touched at
    Leghorn, he remembered a barber in St. Ferdinand Street; he
    went there to have his beard and hair cut. The barber gazed
    in amazement at this man with the long, thick and black hair
    and beard, which gave his head the appearance of one of
    Titian's portraits. At this period it was not the fashion to
    wear so large a beard and hair so long; now a barber would
    only be surprised if a man gifted with such advantages
    should consent voluntarily to deprive himself of them. The
    Leghorn barber said nothing and went to work.

    When the operation was concluded, and Edmond felt that his
    chin was completely smooth, and his hair reduced to its
    usual length, he asked for a hand-glass. He was now, as we
    have said, three-and-thirty years of age, and his fourteen
    years' imprisonment had produced a great transformation in
    his appearance. Dantes had entered the Chateau d'If with the
    round, open, smiling face of a young and happy man, with
    whom the early paths of life have been smooth. and who
    anticipates a future corresponding with his past. This was
    now all changed. The oval face was lengthened, his smiling
    mouth had assumed the firm and marked lines which betoken
    resolution; his eyebrows were arched beneath a brow furrowed
    with thought; his eyes were full of melancholy, and from
    their depths occasionally sparkled gloomy fires of
    misanthropy and hatred; his complexion, so long kept from
    the sun, had now that pale color which produces, when the
    features are encircled with black hair, the aristocratic
    beauty of the man of the north; the profound learning he had
    acquired had besides diffused over his features a refined
    intellectual expression; and he had also acquired, being
    naturally of a goodly stature, that vigor which a frame
    possesses which has so long concentrated all its force
    within itself.

    To the elegance of a nervous and slight form had succeeded
    the solidity of a rounded and muscular figure. As to his
    voice, prayers, sobs, and imprecations had changed it so
    that at times it was of a singularly penetrating sweetness,
    and at others rough and almost hoarse. Moreover, from being
    so long in twilight or darkness, his eyes had acquired the
    faculty of distinguishing objects in the night, common to
    the hyena and the wolf. Edmond smiled when he beheld
    himself: it was impossible that his best friend -- if,
    indeed, he had any friend left -- could recognize him; he
    could not recognize himself.

    The master of The Young Amelia, who was very desirous of
    retaining amongst his crew a man of Edmond's value, had
    offered to advance him funds out of his future profits,
    which Edmond had accepted. His next care on leaving the
    barber's who had achieved his first metamorphosis was to
    enter a shop and buy a complete sailor's suit -- a garb, as
    we all know, very simple, and consisting of white trousers,
    a striped shirt, and a cap. It was in this costume, and
    bringing back to Jacopo the shirt and trousers he had lent
    him, that Edmond reappeared before the captain of the
    lugger, who had made him tell his story over and over again
    before he could believe him, or recognize in the neat and
    trim sailor the man with thick and matted beard, hair
    tangled with seaweed, and body soaking in seabrine, whom he
    had picked up naked and nearly drowned. Attracted by his
    prepossessing appearance, he renewed his offers of an
    engagement to Dantes; but Dantes, who had his own projects,
    would not agree for a longer time than three months.

    The Young Amelia had a very active crew, very obedient to
    their captain, who lost as little time as possible. He had
    scarcely been a week at Leghorn before the hold of his
    vessel was filled with printed muslins, contraband cottons,
    English powder, and tobacco on which the excise had
    forgotten to put its mark. The master was to get all this
    out of Leghorn free of duties, and land it on the shores of
    Corsica, where certain speculators undertook to forward the
    cargo to France. They sailed; Edmond was again cleaving the
    azure sea which had been the first horizon of his youth, and
    which he had so often dreamed of in prison. He left Gorgone
    on his right and La Pianosa on his left, and went towards
    the country of Paoli and Napoleon. The next morning going on
    deck, as he always did at an early hour, the patron found
    Dantes leaning against the bulwarks gazing with intense
    earnestness at a pile of granite rocks, which the rising sun
    tinged with rosy light. It was the Island of Monte Cristo.
    The Young Amelia left it three-quarters of a league to the
    larboard, and kept on for Corsica.

    Dantes thought, as they passed so closely to the island
    whose name was so interesting to him, that he had only to
    leap into the sea and in half an hour be at the promised
    land. But then what could he do without instruments to
    discover his treasure, without arms to defend himself?
    Besides, what would the sailors say? What would the patron
    think? He must wait.

    Fortunately, Dantes had learned how to wait; he had waited
    fourteen years for his liberty, and now he was free he could
    wait at least six months or a year for wealth. Would he not
    have accepted liberty without riches if it had been offered
    to him? Besides, were not those riches chimerical? --
    offspring of the brain of the poor Abbe Faria, had they not
    died with him? It is true, the letter of the Cardinal Spada
    was singularly circumstantial, and Dantes repeated it to
    himself, from one end to the other, for he had not forgotten
    a word.

    Evening came, and Edmond saw the island tinged with the
    shades of twilight, and then disappear in the darkness from
    all eyes but his own, for he, with vision accustomed to the
    gloom of a prison, continued to behold it last of all, for
    he remained alone upon deck. The next morn broke off the
    coast of Aleria; all day they coasted, and in the evening
    saw fires lighted on land; the position of these was no
    doubt a signal for landing, for a ship's lantern was hung up
    at the mast-head instead of the streamer, and they came to
    within a gunshot of the shore. Dantes noticed that the
    captain of The Young Amelia had, as he neared the land,
    mounted two small culverins, which, without making much
    noise, can throw a four ounce ball a thousand paces or so.

    But on this occasion the precaution was superfluous, and
    everything proceeded with the utmost smoothness and
    politeness. Four shallops came off with very little noise
    alongside the lugger, which, no doubt, in acknowledgement of
    the compliment, lowered her own shallop into the sea, and
    the five boats worked so well that by two o'clock in the
    morning all the cargo was out of The Young Amelia and on
    terra firma. The same night, such a man of regularity was
    the patron of The Young Amelia, the profits were divided,
    and each man had a hundred Tuscan livres, or about eighty
    francs. But the voyage was not ended. They turned the
    bowsprit towards Sardinia, where they intended to take in a
    cargo, which was to replace what had been discharged. The
    second operation was as successful as the first, The Young
    Amelia was in luck. This new cargo was destined for the
    coast of the Duchy of Lucca, and consisted almost entirely
    of Havana cigars, sherry, and Malaga wines.

    There they had a bit of a skirmish in getting rid of the
    duties; the excise was, in truth, the everlasting enemy of
    the patron of The Young Amelia. A customs officer was laid
    low, and two sailors wounded; Dantes was one of the latter,
    a ball having touched him in the left shoulder. Dantes was
    almost glad of this affray, and almost pleased at being
    wounded, for they were rude lessons which taught him with
    what eye he could view danger, and with what endurance he
    could bear suffering. He had contemplated danger with a
    smile, and when wounded had exclaimed with the great
    philosopher, "Pain, thou art not an evil." He had, moreover.
    looked upon the customs officer wounded to death, and,
    whether from heat of blood produced by the encounter, or the
    chill of human sentiment, this sight had made but slight
    impression upon him. Dantes was on the way he desired to
    follow, and was moving towards the end he wished to achieve;
    his heart was in a fair way of petrifying in his bosom.
    Jacopo, seeing him fall, had believed him killed, and
    rushing towards him raised him up, and then attended to him
    with all the kindness of a devoted comrade.

    This world was not then so good as Doctor Pangloss believed
    it, neither was it so wicked as Dantes thought it, since
    this man, who had nothing to expect from his comrade but the
    inheritance of his share of the prize-money, manifested so
    much sorrow when he saw him fall. Fortunately, as we have
    said, Edmond was only wounded, and with certain herbs
    gathered at certain seasons, and sold to the smugglers by
    the old Sardinian women, the wound soon closed. Edmond then
    resolved to try Jacopo, and offered him in return for his
    attention a share of his prize-money, but Jacopo refused it
    indignantly.

    As a result of the sympathetic devotion which Jacopo had
    from the first bestowed on Edmond, the latter was moved to a
    certain degree of affection. But this sufficed for Jacopo,
    who instinctively felt that Edmond had a right to
    superiority of position -- a superiority which Edmond had
    concealed from all others. And from this time the kindness
    which Edmond showed him was enough for the brave seaman.

    Then in the long days on board ship, when the vessel,
    gliding on with security over the azure sea, required no
    care but the hand of the helmsman, thanks to the favorable
    winds that swelled her sails, Edmond, with a chart in his
    hand, became the instructor of Jacopo, as the poor Abbe
    Faria had been his tutor. He pointed out to him the bearings
    of the coast, explained to him the variations of the
    compass, and taught him to read in that vast book opened
    over our heads which they call heaven, and where God writes
    in azure with letters of diamonds. And when Jacopo inquired
    of him, "What is the use of teaching all these things to a
    poor sailor like me?" Edmond replied, "Who knows? You may
    one day be the captain of a vessel. Your fellow-countryman,
    Bonaparte, became emperor." We had forgotten to say that
    Jacopo was a Corsican.

    Two months and a half elapsed in these trips, and Edmond had
    become as skilful a coaster as he had been a hardy seaman;
    he had formed an acquaintance with all the smugglers on the
    coast, and learned all the Masonic signs by which these half
    pirates recognize each other. He had passed and re-passed
    his Island of Monte Cristo twenty times, but not once had he
    found an opportunity of landing there. He then formed a
    resolution. As soon as his engagement with the patron of The
    Young Amelia ended, he would hire a small vessel on his own
    account -- for in his several voyages he had amassed a
    hundred piastres -- and under some pretext land at the
    Island of Monte Cristo. Then he would be free to make his
    researches, not perhaps entirely at liberty, for he would be
    doubtless watched by those who accompanied him. But in this
    world we must risk something. Prison had made Edmond
    prudent, and he was desirous of running no risk whatever.
    But in vain did he rack his imagination; fertile as it was,
    he could not devise any plan for reaching the island without
    companionship.

    Dantes was tossed about on these doubts and wishes, when the
    patron, who had great confidence in him, and was very
    desirous of retaining him in his service, took him by the
    arm one evening and led him to a tavern on the Via del'
    Oglio, where the leading smugglers of Leghorn used to
    congregate and discuss affairs connected with their trade.
    Already Dantes had visited this maritime Bourse two or three
    times, and seeing all these hardy free-traders, who supplied
    the whole coast for nearly two hundred leagues in extent, he
    had asked himself what power might not that man attain who
    should give the impulse of his will to all these contrary
    and diverging minds. This time it was a great matter that
    was under discussion, connected with a vessel laden with
    Turkey carpets, stuffs of the Levant, and cashmeres. It was
    necessary to find some neutral ground on which an exchange
    could be made, and then to try and land these goods on the
    coast of France. If the venture was successful the profit
    would be enormous, there would be a gain of fifty or sixty
    piastres each for the crew.

    The patron of The Young Amelia proposed as a place of
    landing the Island of Monte Cristo, which being completely
    deserted, and having neither soldiers nor revenue officers,
    seemed to have been placed in the midst of the ocean since
    the time of the heathen Olympus by Mercury, the god of
    merchants and robbers, classes of mankind which we in modern
    times have separated if not made distinct, but which
    antiquity appears to have included in the same category. At
    the mention of Monte Cristo Dantes started with joy; he rose
    to conceal his emotion, and took a turn around the smoky
    tavern, where all the languages of the known world were
    jumbled in a lingua franca. When he again joined the two
    persons who had been discussing the matter, it had been
    decided that they should touch at Monte Cristo and set out
    on the following night. Edmond, being consulted, was of
    opinion that the island afforded every possible security,
    and that great enterprises to be well done should be done
    quickly. Nothing then was altered in the plan, and orders
    were given to get under weigh next night, and, wind and
    weather permitting, to make the neutral island by the
    following day.
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