Meet us on:
 
Entire Site
    Try our fun game

    Dueling book covers…may the best design win!

    Random Quote
    "It is the final proof of God's omnipotence that he need not exist in order to save us."
     

    Subscribe to Our Newsletter

    Follow us on Twitter

    Never miss a good book again! Follow Read Print on Twitter

    Chapter 27

    • Rate it:
    • Average Rating: 4.8 out of 5 based on 28 ratings
    • 49 Favorites on Read Print
    Launch Reading Mode Next Chapter
    Chapter 27
    Previous Chapter
    CHAPTER 27
    The Story.

    "First, sir," said Caderousse, "you must make me a promise."

    "What is that?" inquired the abbe.

    "Why, if you ever make use of the details I am about to give
    you, that you will never let any one know that it was I who
    supplied them; for the persons of whom I am about to talk
    are rich and powerful, and if they only laid the tips of
    their fingers on me, I should break to pieces like glass."

    "Make yourself easy, my friend," replied the abbe. "I am a
    priest, and confessions die in my breast. Recollect, our
    only desire is to carry out, in a fitting manner, the last
    wishes of our friend. Speak, then, without reserve, as
    without hatred; tell the truth, the whole truth; I do not
    know, never may know, the persons of whom you are about to
    speak; besides, I am an Italian, and not a Frenchman, and
    belong to God, and not to man, and I shall shortly retire to
    my convent, which I have only quitted to fulfil the last
    wishes of a dying man." This positive assurance seemed to
    give Caderousse a little courage.

    "Well, then, under these circumstances," said Caderousse, "I
    will, I even believe I ought to undeceive you as to the
    friendship which poor Edmond thought so sincere and
    unquestionable."

    "Begin with his father, if you please." said the abbe;
    "Edmond talked to me a great deal about the old man for whom
    he had the deepest love."

    "The history is a sad one, sir," said Caderousse, shaking
    his head; "perhaps you know all the earlier part of it?"

    "Yes." answered the abbe; "Edmond related to me everything
    until the moment when he was arrested in a small cabaret
    close to Marseilles."

    "At La Reserve! Oh, yes; I can see it all before me this
    moment."

    "Was it not his betrothal feast?"

    "It was and the feast that began so gayly had a very
    sorrowful ending; a police commissary, followed by four
    soldiers, entered, and Dantes was arrested."

    "Yes, and up to this point I know all," said the priest.
    "Dantes himself only knew that which personally concerned
    him, for he never beheld again the five persons I have named
    to you, or heard mention of any one of them."

    "Well, when Dantes was arrested, Monsieur Morrel hastened to
    obtain the particulars, and they were very sad. The old man
    returned alone to his home, folded up his wedding suit with
    tears in his eyes, and paced up and down his chamber the
    whole day, and would not go to bed at all, for I was
    underneath him and heard him walking the whole night; and
    for myself, I assure you I could not sleep either, for the
    grief of the poor father gave me great uneasiness, and every
    step he took went to my heart as really as if his foot had
    pressed against my breast. The next day Mercedes came to
    implore the protection of M. de Villefort; she did not
    obtain it, however, and went to visit the old man; when she
    saw him so miserable and heart-broken, having passed a
    sleepless night, and not touched food since the previous
    day, she wished him to go with her that she might take care
    of him; but the old man would not consent. 'No,' was the old
    man's reply, 'I will not leave this house, for my poor dear
    boy loves me better than anything in the world; and if he
    gets out of prison he will come and see me the first thing,
    and what would he think if I did not wait here for him?' I
    heard all this from the window, for I was anxious that
    Mercedes should persuade the old man to accompany her, for
    his footsteps over my head night and day did not leave me a
    moment's repose."

    "But did you not go up-stairs and try to console the poor
    old man?" asked the abbe.

    "Ah, sir," replied Caderousse, "we cannot console those who
    will not be consoled, and he was one of these; besides, I
    know not why, but he seemed to dislike seeing me. One night,
    however, I heard his sobs, and I could not resist my desire
    to go up to him, but when I reached his door he was no
    longer weeping but praying. I cannot now repeat to you, sir,
    all the eloquent words and imploring language he made use
    of; it was more than piety, it was more than grief, and I,
    who am no canter, and hate the Jesuits, said then to myself,
    'It is really well, and I am very glad that I have not any
    children; for if I were a father and felt such excessive
    grief as the old man does, and did not find in my memory or
    heart all he is now saying, I should throw myself into the
    sea at once, for I could not bear it.'"

    "Poor father!" murmured the priest.

    "From day to day he lived on alone, and more and more
    solitary. M. Morrel and Mercedes came to see him, but his
    door was closed; and, although I was certain he was at home,
    he would not make any answer. One day, when, contrary to his
    custom, he had admitted Mercedes, and the poor girl, in
    spite of her own grief and despair, endeavored to console
    him, he said to her, -- 'Be assured, my dear daughter, he is
    dead; and instead of expecting him, it is he who is awaiting
    us; I am quite happy, for I am the oldest, and of course
    shall see him first.' However well disposed a person may be,
    why you see we leave off after a time seeing persons who are
    in sorrow, they make one melancholy; and so at last old
    Dantes was left all to himself, and I only saw from time to
    time strangers go up to him and come down again with some
    bundle they tried to hide; but I guessed what these bundles
    were, and that he sold by degrees what he had to pay for his
    subsistence. At length the poor old fellow reached the end
    of all he had; he owed three quarters' rent, and they
    threatened to turn him out; he begged for another week,
    which was granted to him. I know this, because the landlord
    came into my apartment when he left his. For the first three
    days I heard him walking about as usual, but, on the fourth
    I heard nothing. I then resolved to go up to him at all
    risks. The door was closed, but I looked through the
    keyhole, and saw him so pale and haggard, that believing him
    very ill, I went and told M. Morrel and then ran on to
    Mercedes. They both came immediately, M. Morrel bringing a
    doctor, and the doctor said it was inflammation of the
    bowels, and ordered him a limited diet. I was there, too,
    and I never shall forget the old man's smile at this
    prescription. From that time he received all who came; he
    had an excuse for not eating any more; the doctor had put
    him on a diet." The abbe uttered a kind of groan. "The story
    interests you, does it not, sir?" inquired Caderousse.

    "Yes," replied the abbe, "it is very affecting."

    "Mercedes came again, and she found him so altered that she
    was even more anxious than before to have him taken to her
    own home. This was M. Morrel's wish also, who would fain
    have conveyed the old man against his consent; but the old
    man resisted, and cried so that they were actually
    frightened. Mercedes remained, therefore, by his bedside,
    and M. Morrel went away, making a sign to the Catalan that
    he had left his purse on the chimney-piece. But availing
    himself of the doctor's order, the old man would not take
    any sustenance; at length (after nine days of despair and
    fasting), the old man died, cursing those who had caused his
    misery, and saying to Mercedes, 'If you ever see my Edmond
    again, tell him I die blessing him.'" The abbe rose from his
    chair, made two turns round the chamber, and pressed his
    trembling hand against his parched throat. "And you believe
    he died" --

    "Of hunger, sir, of hunger," said Caderousse. "I am as
    certain of it as that we two are Christians."

    The abbe, with a shaking hand, seized a glass of water that
    was standing by him half-full, swallowed it at one gulp, and
    then resumed his seat, with red eyes and pale cheeks. "This
    was, indeed, a horrid event." said he in a hoarse voice.

    "The more so, sir, as it was men's and not God's doing."

    "Tell me of those men," said the abbe, "and remember too,"
    he added in an almost menacing tone, "you have promised to
    tell me everything. Tell me, therefore, who are these men
    who killed the son with despair, and the father with
    famine?"

    "Two men jealous of him, sir; one from love, and the other
    from ambition, -- Fernand and Danglars."

    "How was this jealousy manifested? Speak on."

    "They denounced Edmond as a Bonapartist agent."

    "Which of the two denounced him? Which was the real
    delinquent?"

    "Both, sir; one with a letter, and the other put it in the
    post."

    "And where was this letter written?"

    "At La Reserve, the day before the betrothal feast."

    "'Twas so, then -- 'twas so, then," murmured the abbe. "Oh,
    Faria, Faria, how well did you judge men and things!"

    "What did you please to say, sir?" asked Caderousse.

    "Nothing, nothing," replied the priest; "go on."

    "It was Danglars who wrote the denunciation with his left
    hand, that his writing might not be recognized, and Fernand
    who put it in the post."

    "But," exclaimed the abbe suddenly, "you were there
    yourself."

    "I!" said Caderousse, astonished; "who told you I was
    there?"

    The abbe saw he had overshot the mark, and he added quickly,
    -- "No one; but in order to have known everything so well,
    you must have been an eye-witness."

    "True, true!" said Caderousse in a choking voice, "I was
    there."

    "And did you not remonstrate against such infamy?" asked the
    abbe; "if not, you were an accomplice."

    "Sir," replied Caderousse, "they had made me drink to such
    an excess that I nearly lost all perception. I had only an
    indistinct understanding of what was passing around me. I
    said all that a man in such a state could say; but they both
    assured me that it was a jest they were carrying on, and
    perfectly harmless."

    "Next day -- next day, sir, you must have seen plain enough
    what they had been doing, yet you said nothing, though you
    were present when Dantes was arrested."

    "Yes, sir, I was there, and very anxious to speak; but
    Danglars restrained me. 'If he should really be guilty,'
    said he, 'and did really put in to the Island of Elba; if he
    is really charged with a letter for the Bonapartist
    committee at Paris, and if they find this letter upon him,
    those who have supported him will pass for his accomplices.'
    I confess I had my fears, in the state in which politics
    then were, and I held my tongue. It was cowardly, I confess,
    but it was not criminal."

    "I understand -- you allowed matters to take their course,
    that was all."

    "Yes, sir," answered Caderousse; "and remorse preys on me
    night and day. I often ask pardon of God, I swear to you,
    because this action, the only one with which I have
    seriously to reproach myself in all my life, is no doubt the
    cause of my abject condition. I am expiating a moment of
    selfishness, and so I always say to La Carconte, when she
    complains, 'Hold your tongue, woman; it is the will of
    God.'" And Caderousse bowed his head with every sign of real
    repentance.

    "Well, sir," said the abbe, "you have spoken unreservedly;
    and thus to accuse yourself is to deserve pardon."

    "Unfortunately, Edmond is dead, and has not pardoned me."

    "He did not know," said the abbe.

    "But he knows it all now," interrupted Caderousse; "they say
    the dead know everything." There was a brief silence; the
    abbe rose and paced up and down pensively, and then resumed
    his seat. "You have two or three times mentioned a M.
    Morrel," he said; "who was he?"

    "The owner of the Pharaon and patron of Dantes."

    "And what part did he play in this sad drama?" inquired the
    abbe.

    "The part of an honest man, full of courage and real regard.
    Twenty times he interceded for Edmond. When the emperor
    returned, he wrote, implored, threatened, and so
    energetically, that on the second restoration he was
    persecuted as a Bonapartist. Ten times, as I told you, he
    came to see Dantes' father, and offered to receive him in
    his own house; and the night or two before his death, as I
    have already said, he left his purse on the mantelpiece,
    with which they paid the old man's debts, and buried him
    decently; and so Edmond's father died, as he had lived,
    without doing harm to any one. I have the purse still by me
    -- a large one, made of red silk."

    "And," asked the abbe, "is M. Morrel still alive?"

    "Yes," replied Caderousse.

    "In that case," replied the abbe, "he should be rich,
    happy."

    Caderousse smiled bitterly. "Yes, happy as myself," said he.

    "What! M. Morrel unhappy?" exclaimed the abbe.

    "He is reduced almost to the last extremity -- nay, he is
    almost at the point of dishonor."

    "How?"

    "Yes," continued Caderousse, "so it is; after five and
    twenty years of labor, after having acquired a most
    honorable name in the trade of Marseilles, M. Morrel is
    utterly ruined; he has lost five ships in two years, has
    suffered by the bankruptcy of three large houses, and his
    only hope now is in that very Pharaon which poor Dantes
    commanded, and which is expected from the Indies with a
    cargo of cochineal and indigo. If this ship founders, like
    the others, he is a ruined man."

    "And has the unfortunate man wife or children?" inquired the
    abbe.

    "Yes, he has a wife, who through everything has behaved like
    an angel; he has a daughter, who was about to marry the man
    she loved, but whose family now will not allow him to wed
    the daughter of a ruined man; he has, besides, a son, a
    lieutenant in the army; and, as you may suppose, all this,
    instead of lessening, only augments his sorrows. If he were
    alone in the world he would blow out his brains, and there
    would be an end."

    "Horrible!" ejaculated the priest.

    "And it is thus heaven recompenses virtue, sir," added
    Caderousse. "You see, I, who never did a bad action but that
    I have told you of -- am in destitution, with my poor wife
    dying of fever before my very eyes, and I unable to do
    anything in the world for her; I shall die of hunger, as old
    Dantes did, while Fernand and Danglars are rolling in
    wealth."

    "How is that?"

    "Because their deeds have brought them good fortune, while
    honest men have been reduced to misery."

    "What has become of Danglars, the instigator, and therefore
    the most guilty?"

    "What has become of him? Why, he left Marseilles, and was
    taken, on the recommendation of M. Morrel, who did not know
    his crime, as cashier into a Spanish bank. During the war
    with Spain he was employed in the commissariat of the French
    army, and made a fortune; then with that money he speculated
    in the funds, and trebled or quadrupled his capital; and,
    having first married his banker's daughter, who left him a
    widower, he has married a second time, a widow, a Madame de
    Nargonne, daughter of M. de Servieux, the king's
    chamberlain, who is in high favor at court. He is a
    millionaire, and they have made him a baron, and now he is
    the Baron Danglars, with a fine residence in the Rue de
    Mont-Blanc, with ten horses in his stables, six footmen in
    his ante-chamber, and I know not how many millions in his
    strongbox."

    "Ah!" said the abbe, in a peculiar tone, "he is happy."

    "Happy? Who can answer for that? Happiness or unhappiness is
    the secret known but to one's self and the walls -- walls
    have ears but no tongue; but if a large fortune produces
    happiness, Danglars is happy."

    "And Fernand?"

    "Fernand? Why, much the same story."

    "But how could a poor Catalan fisher-boy, without education
    or resources, make a fortune? I confess this staggers me."

    "And it has staggered everybody. There must have been in his
    life some strange secret that no one knows."

    "But, then, by what visible steps has he attained this high
    fortune or high position?"

    "Both, sir -- he has both fortune and position -- both."

    "This must be impossible!"

    "It would seem so; but listen, and you will understand. Some
    days before the return of the emperor, Fernand was drafted.
    The Bourbons left him quietly enough at the Catalans, but
    Napoleon returned, a special levy was made, and Fernand was
    compelled to join. I went too; but as I was older than
    Fernand, and had just married my poor wife, I was only sent
    to the coast. Fernand was enrolled in the active troop, went
    to the frontier with his regiment, and was at the battle of
    Ligny. The night after that battle he was sentry at the door
    of a general who carried on a secret correspondence with the
    enemy. That same night the general was to go over to the
    English. He proposed to Fernand to accompany him; Fernand
    agreed to do so, deserted his post, and followed the
    general. Fernand would have been court-martialed if Napoleon
    had remained on the throne, but his action was rewarded by
    the Bourbons. He returned to France with the epaulet of
    sub-lieutenant, and as the protection of the general, who is
    in the highest favor, was accorded to him, he was a captain
    in 1823, during the Spanish war -- that is to say, at the
    time when Danglars made his early speculations. Fernand was
    a Spaniard, and being sent to Spain to ascertain the feeling
    of his fellow-countrymen, found Danglars there, got on very
    intimate terms with him, won over the support of the
    royalists at the capital and in the provinces, received
    promises and made pledges on his own part, guided his
    regiment by paths known to himself alone through the
    mountain gorges which were held by the royalists, and, in
    fact, rendered such services in this brief campaign that,
    after the taking of Trocadero, he was made colonel, and
    received the title of count and the cross of an officer of
    the Legion of Honor."

    "Destiny! destiny!" murmured the abbe.

    "Yes, but listen: this was not all. The war with Spain being
    ended, Fernand's career was checked by the long peace which
    seemed likely to endure throughout Europe. Greece only had
    risen against Turkey, and had begun her war of independence;
    all eyes were turned towards Athens -- it was the fashion to
    pity and support the Greeks. The French government, without
    protecting them openly, as you know, gave countenance to
    volunteer assistance. Fernand sought and obtained leave to
    go and serve in Greece, still having his name kept on the
    army roll. Some time after, it was stated that the Comte de
    Morcerf (this was the name he bore) had entered the service
    of Ali Pasha with the rank of instructor-general. Ali Pasha
    was killed, as you know, but before he died he recompensed
    the services of Fernand by leaving him a considerable sum,
    with which he returned to France, when he was gazetted
    lieutenant-general."

    "So that now?" -- inquired the abbe.

    "So that now," continued Caderousse, "he owns a magnificent
    house -- No. 27, Rue du Helder, Paris." The abbe opened his
    mouth, hesitated for a moment, then, making an effort at
    self-control, he said, "And Mercedes -- they tell me that
    she has disappeared?"

    "Disappeared," said Caderousse, "yes, as the sun disappears,
    to rise the next day with still more splendor."

    "Has she made a fortune also?" inquired the abbe, with an
    ironical smile.

    "Mercedes is at this moment one of the greatest ladies in
    Paris," replied Caderousse.

    "Go on," said the abbe; "it seems as if I were listening to
    the story of a dream. But I have seen things so
    extraordinary, that what you tell me seems less astonishing
    than it otherwise might."

    "Mercedes was at first in the deepest despair at the blow
    which deprived her of Edmond. I have told you of her
    attempts to propitiate M. de Villefort, her devotion to the
    elder Dantes. In the midst of her despair, a new affliction
    overtook her. This was the departure of Fernand -- of
    Fernand, whose crime she did not know, and whom she regarded
    as her brother. Fernand went, and Mercedes remained alone.
    Three months passed and still she wept -- no news of Edmond,
    no news of Fernand, no companionship save that of an old man
    who was dying with despair. One evening, after a day of
    accustomed vigil at the angle of two roads leading to
    Marseilles from the Catalans, she returned to her home more
    depressed than ever. Suddenly she heard a step she knew,
    turned anxiously around, the door opened, and Fernand,
    dressed in the uniform of a sub-lieutenant, stood before
    her. It was not the one she wished for most, but it seemed
    as if a part of her past life had returned to her. Mercedes
    seized Fernand's hands with a transport which he took for
    love, but which was only joy at being no longer alone in the
    world, and seeing at last a friend, after long hours of
    solitary sorrow. And then, it must be confessed, Fernand had
    never been hated -- he was only not precisely loved. Another
    possessed all Mercedes' heart; that other was absent, had
    disappeared, perhaps was dead. At this last thought Mercedes
    burst into a flood of tears, and wrung her hands in agony;
    but the thought, which she had always repelled before when
    it was suggested to her by another, came now in full force
    upon her mind; and then, too, old Dantes incessantly said to
    her, 'Our Edmond is dead; if he were not, he would return to
    us.' The old man died, as I have told you; had he lived,
    Mercedes, perchance, had not become the wife of another, for
    he would have been there to reproach her infidelity. Fernand
    saw this, and when he learned of the old man's death he
    returned. He was now a lieutenant. At his first coming he
    had not said a word of love to Mercedes; at the second he
    reminded her that he loved her. Mercedes begged for six
    months more in which to await and mourn for Edmond."

    "So that," said the abbe, with a bitter smile, "that makes
    eighteen months in all. What more could the most devoted
    lover desire?" Then he murmured the words of the English
    poet, "'Frailty, thy name is woman.'"

    "Six months afterwards," continued Caderousse, "the marriage
    took place in the church of Accoules."

    "The very church in which she was to have married Edmond,"
    murmured the priest; "there was only a change of
    bride-grooms."

    "Well, Mercedes was married," proceeded Caderousse; "but
    although in the eyes of the world she appeared calm, she
    nearly fainted as she passed La Reserve, where, eighteen
    months before, the betrothal had been celebrated with him
    whom she might have known she still loved had she looked to
    the bottom of her heart. Fernand, more happy, but not more
    at his ease -- for I saw at this time he was in constant
    dread of Edmond's return -- Fernand was very anxious to get
    his wife away, and to depart himself. There were too many
    unpleasant possibilities associated with the Catalans, and
    eight days after the wedding they left Marseilles."

    "Did you ever see Mercedes again?" inquired the priest.

    "Yes, during the Spanish war, at Perpignan, where Fernand
    had left her; she was attending to the education of her
    son." The abbe started. "Her son?" said he.

    "Yes," replied Caderousse, "little Albert."

    "But, then, to be able to instruct her child," continued the
    abbe, "she must have received an education herself. I
    understood from Edmond that she was the daughter of a simple
    fisherman, beautiful but uneducated."

    "Oh," replied Caderousse, "did he know so little of his
    lovely betrothed? Mercedes might have been a queen, sir, if
    the crown were to be placed on the heads of the loveliest
    and most intelligent. Fernand's fortune was already waxing
    great, and she developed with his growing fortune. She
    learned drawing, music -- everything. Besides, I believe,
    between ourselves, she did this in order to distract her
    mind, that she might forget; and she only filled her head in
    order to alleviate the weight on her heart. But now her
    position in life is assured," continued Caderousse; "no
    doubt fortune and honors have comforted her; she is rich, a
    countess, and yet" -- Caderousse paused.

    "And yet what?" asked the abbe.

    "Yet, I am sure, she is not happy," said Caderousse.

    "What makes you believe this?"

    "Why, when I found myself utterly destitute, I thought my
    old friends would, perhaps, assist me. So I went to
    Danglars, who would not even receive me. I called on
    Fernand, who sent me a hundred francs by his
    valet-de-chambre."

    "Then you did not see either of them?"

    "No, but Madame de Morcerf saw me."

    "How was that?"

    "As I went away a purse fell at my feet -- it contained five
    and twenty louis; I raised my head quickly, and saw
    Mercedes, who at once shut the blind."

    "And M. de Villefort?" asked the abbe.

    "Oh, he never was a friend of mine, I did not know him, and
    I had nothing to ask of him."

    "Do you not know what became of him, and the share he had in
    Edmond's misfortunes?"

    "No; I only know that some time after Edmond's arrest, he
    married Mademoiselle de Saint-Meran, and soon after left
    Marseilles; no doubt he has been as lucky as the rest; no
    doubt he is as rich as Danglars, as high in station as
    Fernand. I only, as you see, have remained poor, wretched,
    and forgotten."

    "You are mistaken, my friend," replied the abbe; "God may
    seem sometimes to forget for a time, while his justice
    reposes, but there always comes a moment when he remembers
    -- and behold -- a proof!" As he spoke, the abbe took the
    diamond from his pocket, and giving it to Caderousse, said,
    -- "Here, my friend, take this diamond, it is yours."

    "What, for me only?" cried Caderousse, "ah, sir, do not jest
    with me!"

    "This diamond was to have been shared among his friends.
    Edmond had one friend only, and thus it cannot be divided.
    Take the diamond, then, and sell it; it is worth fifty
    thousand francs, and I repeat my wish that this sum may
    suffice to release you from your wretchedness."

    "Oh, sir," said Caderousse, putting out one hand timidly,
    and with the other wiping away the perspiration which
    bedewed his brow, -- "Oh, sir, do not make a jest of the
    happiness or despair of a man."

    "I know what happiness and what despair are, and I never
    make a jest of such feelings. Take it, then, but in exchange
    -- "

    Caderousse, who touched the diamond, withdrew his hand. The
    abbe smiled. "In exchange," he continued, "give me the red
    silk purse that M. Morrel left on old Dantes' chimney-piece,
    and which you tell me is still in your hands." Caderousse,
    more and more astonished, went toward a large oaken
    cupboard, opened it, and gave the abbe a long purse of faded
    red silk, round which were two copper runners that had once
    been gilt. The abbe took it, and in return gave Caderousse
    the diamond.

    "Oh, you are a man of God, sir," cried Caderousse; "for no
    one knew that Edmond had given you this diamond, and you
    might have kept it."

    "Which," said the abbe to himself, "you would have done."
    The abbe rose, took his hat and gloves. "Well," he said,
    "all you have told me is perfectly true, then, and I may
    believe it in every particular."

    "See, sir," replied Caderousse, "in this corner is a
    crucifix in holy wood -- here on this shelf is my wife's
    testament; open this book, and I will swear upon it with my
    hand on the crucifix. I will swear to you by my soul's
    salvation, my faith as a Christian, I have told everything
    to you as it occurred, and as the recording angel will tell
    it to the ear of God at the day of the last judgment!"

    "'Tis well," said the abbe, convinced by his manner and tone
    that Caderousse spoke the truth. "'Tis well, and may this
    money profit you! Adieu; I go far from men who thus so
    bitterly injure each other." The abbe with difficulty got
    away from the enthusiastic thanks of Caderousse, opened the
    door himself, got out and mounted his horse, once more
    saluted the innkeeper, who kept uttering his loud farewells,
    and then returned by the road he had travelled in coming.
    When Caderousse turned around, he saw behind him La
    Carconte, paler and trembling more than ever. "Is, then, all
    that I have heard really true?" she inquired.

    "What? That he has given the diamond to us only?" inquired
    Caderousse, half bewildered with joy; "yes, nothing more
    true! See, here it is." The woman gazed at it a moment, and
    then said, in a gloomy voice, "Suppose it's false?"
    Caderousse started and turned pale. "False!" he muttered.
    "False! Why should that man give me a false diamond?"

    "To get your secret without paying for it, you blockhead!"

    Caderousse remained for a moment aghast under the weight of
    such an idea. "Oh!" he said, taking up his hat, which he
    placed on the red handkerchief tied round his head, "we will
    soon find out."

    "In what way?"

    "Why, the fair is on at Beaucaire, there are always
    jewellers from Paris there, and I will show it to them. Look
    after the house, wife, and I shall be back in two hours,"
    and Caderousse left the house in haste, and ran rapidly in
    the direction opposite to that which the priest had taken.
    "Fifty thousand francs!" muttered La Carconte when left
    alone; "it is a large sum of money, but it is not a
    fortune."
    Next Chapter
    Chapter 27
    Previous Chapter
    If you're writing a Alexandre Dumas pere essay and need some advice, post your Alexandre Dumas pere essay question on our Facebook page where fellow bookworms are always glad to help!

    Top 5 Authors

    Top 5 Books

    Book Status
    Finished
    Want to read
    Abandoned

    Are you sure you want to leave this group?