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    Chapter 45

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    Chapter 45
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    CHAPTER 45
    The Rain of Blood.

    "As the jeweller returned to the apartment, he cast around
    him a scrutinizing glance -- but there was nothing to excite
    suspicion, if it did not exist, or to confirm it, if it were
    already awakened. Caderousse's hands still grasped the gold
    and bank-notes, and La Carconte called up her sweetest
    smiles while welcoming the reappearance of their guest.
    'Well, well,' said the jeweller, 'you seem, my good friends,
    to have had some fears respecting the accuracy of your
    money, by counting it over so carefully directly I was
    gone.' -- 'Oh, no,' answered Caderousse, 'that was not my
    reason, I can assure you; but the circumstances by which we
    have become possessed of this wealth are so unexpected, as
    to make us scarcely credit our good fortune, and it is only
    by placing the actual proof of our riches before our eyes
    that we can persuade ourselves that the whole affair is not
    a dream.' The jeweller smiled. -- 'Have you any other guests
    in your house?' inquired he. -- 'Nobody but ourselves,'
    replied Caderousse; 'the fact is, we do not lodge travellers
    -- indeed, our tavern is so near the town, that nobody would
    think of stopping here. -- 'Then I am afraid I shall very
    much inconvenience you.' -- 'Inconvenience us? Not at all,
    my dear sir,' said La Carconte in her most gracious manner.
    'Not at all, I assure you.' -- 'But where will you manage to
    stow me?' -- 'In the chamber overhead.' -- 'Surely that is
    where you yourselves sleep?' -- 'Never mind that; we have a
    second bed in the adjoining room.' Caderousse stared at his
    wife with much astonishment.

    "The jeweller, meanwhile, was humming a song as he stood
    warming his back at the fire La Carconte had kindled to dry
    the wet garments of her guest; and this done, she next
    occupied herself in arranging his supper, by spreading a
    napkin at the end of the table, and placing on it the
    slender remains of their dinner, to which she added three or
    four fresh-laid eggs. Caderousse had once more parted with
    his treasure -- the banknotes were replaced in the
    pocket-book, the gold put back into the bag, and the whole
    carefully locked in the cupboard. He then began pacing the
    room with a pensive and gloomy air, glancing from time to
    time at the jeweller, who stood reeking with the steam from
    his wet clothes, and merely changing his place on the warm
    hearth, to enable the whole of his garments to be dried.

    "'There,' said La Carconte, as she placed a bottle of wine
    on the table, 'supper is ready whenever you are.' -- 'And
    you?' asked Joannes. -- 'I don't want any supper,' said
    Caderousse. -- 'We dined so very late,' hastily interposed
    La Carconte. -- 'Then it seems I am to eat alone,' remarked
    the jeweller. -- 'Oh, we shall have the pleasure of waiting
    upon you,' answered La Carconte, with an eager attention she
    was not accustomed to manifest even to guests who paid for
    what they took.

    "From time to time Caderousse darted on his wife keen,
    searching glances, but rapid as the lightning flash. The
    storm still continued. 'There, there,' said La Carconte; 'do
    you hear that? upon my word, you did well to come back.' --
    'Nevertheless,' replied the jeweller, 'if by the time I have
    finished my supper the tempest has at all abated, I shall
    make another start.' -- 'It's the mistral,' said Caderousse,
    'and it will be sure to last till to-morrow morning.' He
    sighed heavily. -- 'Well,' said the jeweller, as he placed
    himself at table, 'all I can say is, so much the worse for
    those who are abroad.' -- 'Yes,' chimed in La Carconte,
    'they will have a wretched night of it.'

    "The jeweller began eating his supper, and the woman, who
    was ordinarily so querulous and indifferent to all who
    approached her, was suddenly transformed into the most
    smiling and attentive hostess. Had the unhappy man on whom
    she lavished her assiduities been previously acquainted with
    her, so sudden an alteration might well have excited
    suspicion in his mind, or at least have greatly astonished
    him. Caderousse, meanwhile, continued to pace the room in
    gloomy silence, sedulously avoiding the sight of his guest;
    but as soon as the stranger had completed his repast, the
    agitated inn-keeper went eagerly to the door and opened it.
    'I believe the storm is over,' said he. But as if to
    contradict his statement, at that instant a violent clap of
    thunder seemed to shake the house to its very foundation,
    while a sudden gust of wind, mingled with rain, extinguished
    the lamp he held in his hand. Trembling and awe-struck,
    Caderousse hastily shut the door and returned to his guest,
    while La Carconte lighted a candle by the smouldering ashes
    that glimmered on the hearth. 'You must be tired,' said she
    to the jeweller; 'I have spread a pair of white sheets on
    your bed; go up when you are ready, and sleep well.'

    "Joannes stayed for a while to see whether the storm seemed
    to abate in its fury, but a brief space of time sufficed to
    assure him that, instead of diminishing, the violence of the
    rain and thunder momentarily increased; resigning himself,
    therefore, to what seemed inevitable, he bade his host
    good-night, and mounted the stairs. He passed over my head
    and I heard the flooring creak beneath his footsteps. The
    quick, eager glance of La Carconte followed him as he
    ascended, while Caderousse, on the contrary, turned his
    back, and seemed most anxiously to avoid even glancing at
    him.

    "All these circumstances did not strike me as painfully at
    the time as they have since done; in fact, all that had
    happened (with the exception of the story of the diamond,
    which certainly did wear an air of improbability), appeared
    natural enough, and called for neither apprehension nor
    mistrust; but, worn out as I was with fatigue, and fully
    purposing to proceed onwards directly the tempest abated, I
    determined to obtain a few hours' sleep. Overhead I could
    accurately distinguish every movement of the jeweller, who,
    after making the best arrangements in his power for passing
    a comfortable night, threw himself on his bed, and I could
    hear it creak and groan beneath his weight. Insensibly my
    eyelids grew heavy, deep sleep stole over me, and having no
    suspicion of anything wrong, I sought not to shake it off. I
    looked into the kitchen once more and saw Caderousse sitting
    by the side of a long table upon one of the low wooden
    stools which in country places are frequently used instead
    of chairs; his back was turned towards me, so that I could
    not see the expression of his countenance -- neither should
    I have been able to do so had he been placed differently, as
    his head was buried between his two hands. La Carconte
    continued to gaze on him for some time, then shrugging her
    shoulders, she took her seat immediately opposite to him. At
    this moment the expiring embers threw up a fresh flame from
    the kindling of a piece of wood that lay near, and a bright
    light flashed over the room. La Carconte still kept her eyes
    fixed on her husband, but as he made no sign of changing his
    position, she extended her hard, bony hand, and touched him
    on the forehead.

    "Caderousse shuddered. The woman's lips seemed to move, as
    though she were talking; but because she merely spoke in an
    undertone, or my senses were dulled by sleep, I did not
    catch a word she uttered. Confused sights and sounds seemed
    to float before me, and gradually I fell into a deep, heavy
    slumber. How long I had been in this unconscious state I
    know not, when I was suddenly aroused by the report of a
    pistol, followed by a fearful cry. Weak and tottering
    footsteps resounded across the chamber above me, and the
    next instant a dull, heavy weight seemed to fall powerless
    on the staircase. I had not yet fully recovered
    consciousness, when again I heard groans, mingled with
    half-stifled cries, as if from persons engaged in a deadly
    struggle. A cry more prolonged than the others and ending in
    a series of groans effectually roused me from my drowsy
    lethargy. Hastily raising myself on one arm, I looked
    around, but all was dark; and it seemed to me as if the rain
    must have penetrated through the flooring of the room above,
    for some kind of moisture appeared to fall, drop by drop,
    upon my forehead, and when I passed my hand across my brow,
    I felt that it was wet and clammy.

    "To the fearful noises that had awakened me had succeeded
    the most perfect silence -- unbroken, save by the footsteps
    of a man walking about in the chamber above. The staircase
    creaked, he descended into the room below, approached the
    fire and lit a candle. The man was Caderousse -- he was pale
    and his shirt was all blood. Having obtained the light, he
    hurried up-stairs again, and once more I heard his rapid and
    uneasy footsteps. A moment later he came down again, holding
    in his hand the small shagreen case, which he opened, to
    assure himself it contained the diamond, -- seemed to
    hesitate as to which pocket he should put it in, then, as if
    dissatisfied with the security of either pocket, he
    deposited it in his red handkerchief, which he carefully
    rolled round his head. After this he took from his cupboard
    the bank-notes and gold he had put there, thrust the one
    into the pocket of his trousers, and the other into that of
    his waistcoat, hastily tied up a small bundle of linen, and
    rushing towards the door, disappeared in the darkness of the
    night.

    "Then all became clear and manifest to me, and I reproached
    myself with what had happened, as though I myself had done
    the guilty deed. I fancied that I still heard faint moans,
    and imagining that the unfortunate jeweller might not be
    quite dead, I determined to go to his relief, by way of
    atoning in some slight degree, not for the crime I had
    committed, but for that which I had not endeavored to
    prevent. For this purpose I applied all the strength I
    possessed to force an entrance from the cramped spot in
    which I lay to the adjoining room. The poorly fastened
    boards which alone divided me from it yielded to my efforts,
    and I found myself in the house. Hastily snatching up the
    lighted candle, I hurried to the staircase; about midway a
    body was lying quite across the stairs. It was that of La
    Carconte. The pistol I had heard had doubtless been fired at
    her. The shot had frightfully lacerated her throat, leaving
    two gaping wounds from which, as well as the mouth, the
    blood was pouring in floods. She was stone dead. I strode
    past her, and ascended to the sleeping chamber, which
    presented an appearance of the wildest disorder. The
    furniture had been knocked over in the deadly struggle that
    had taken place there, and the sheets, to which the
    unfortunate jeweller had doubtless clung, were dragged
    across the room. The murdered man lay on the floor, his head
    leaning against the wall, and about him was a pool of blood
    which poured forth from three large wounds in his breast;
    there was a fourth gash, in which a long table knife was
    plunged up to the handle.

    "I stumbled over some object; I stooped to examine -- it was
    the second pistol, which had not gone off, probably from the
    powder being wet. I approached the jeweller, who was not
    quite dead, and at the sound of my footsteps and the
    creaking of the floor, he opened his eyes, fixed them on me
    with an anxious and inquiring gaze, moved his lips as though
    trying to speak, then, overcome by the effort, fell back and
    expired. This appalling sight almost bereft me of my senses,
    and finding that I could no longer be of service to any one
    in the house, my only desire was to fly. I rushed towards
    the staircase, clutching my hair, and uttering a groan of
    horror. Upon reaching the room below, I found five or six
    custom-house officers, and two or three gendarmes -- all
    heavily armed. They threw themselves upon me. I made no
    resistance; I was no longer master of my senses. When I
    strove to speak, a few inarticulate sounds alone escaped my
    lips.

    "As I noticed the significant manner in which the whole
    party pointed to my blood-stained garments, I involuntarily
    surveyed myself, and then I discovered that the thick warm
    drops that had so bedewed me as I lay beneath the staircase
    must have been the blood of La Carconte. I pointed to the
    spot where I had concealed myself. 'What does he mean?'
    asked a gendarme. One of the officers went to the place I
    directed. 'He means,' replied the man upon his return, 'that
    he got in that way;' and he showed the hole I had made when
    I broke through.

    "Then I saw that they took me for the assassin. I recovered
    force and energy enough to free myself from the hands of
    those who held me, while I managed to stammer forth -- 'I
    did not do it! Indeed, indeed I did not!' A couple of
    gendarmes held the muzzles of their carbines against my
    breast. -- 'Stir but a step,' said they, 'and you are a dead
    man.' -- 'Why should you threaten me with death,' cried I,
    'when I have already declared my innocence?' -- 'Tush,
    tush,' cried the men; 'keep your innocent stories to tell to
    the judge at Nimes. Meanwhile, come along with us; and the
    best advice we can give you is to do so unresistingly.'
    Alas, resistance was far from my thoughts. I was utterly
    overpowered by surprise and terror; and without a word I
    suffered myself to be handcuffed and tied to a horse's tail,
    and thus they took me to Nimes.

    "I had been tracked by a customs-officer, who had lost sight
    of me near the tavern; feeling certain that I intended to
    pass the night there, he had returned to summon his
    comrades, who just arrived in time to hear the report of the
    pistol, and to take me in the midst of such circumstantial
    proofs of my guilt as rendered all hopes of proving my
    innocence utterly futile. One only chance was left me, that
    of beseeching the magistrate before whom I was taken to
    cause every inquiry to be made for the Abbe Busoni, who had
    stopped at the inn of the Pont du Gard on that morning. If
    Caderousse had invented the story relative to the diamond,
    and there existed no such person as the Abbe Busoni, then,
    indeed, I was lost past redemption, or, at least, my life
    hung upon the feeble chance of Caderousse himself being
    apprehended and confessing the whole truth. Two months
    passed away in hopeless expectation on my part, while I must
    do the magistrate the justice to say that he used every
    means to obtain information of the person I declared could
    exculpate me if he would. Caderousse still evaded all
    pursuit, and I had resigned myself to what seemed my
    inevitable fate. My trial was to come on at the approaching
    assizes; when, on the 8th of September -- that is to say,
    precisely three months and five days after the events which
    had perilled my life -- the Abbe Busoni, whom I never
    ventured to believe I should see, presented himself at the
    prison doors, saying he understood one of the prisoners
    wished to speak to him; he added, that having learned at
    Marseilles the particulars of my imprisonment, he hastened
    to comply with my desire. You may easily imagine with what
    eagerness I welcomed him, and how minutely I related the
    whole of what I had seen and heard. I felt some degree of
    nervousness as I entered upon the history of the diamond,
    but, to my inexpressible astonishment, he confirmed it in
    every particular, and to my equal surprise, he seemed to
    place entire belief in all I said. And then it was that, won
    by his mild charity, seeing that he was acquainted with all
    the habits and customs of my own country, and considering
    also that pardon for the only crime of which I was really
    guilty might come with a double power from lips so
    benevolent and kind, I besought him to receive my
    confession, under the seal of which I recounted the Auteuil
    affair in all its details, as well as every other
    transaction of my life. That which I had done by the impulse
    of my best feelings produced the same effect as though it
    had been the result of calculation. My voluntary confession
    of the assassination at Auteuil proved to him that I had not
    committed that of which I stood accused. When he quitted me,
    he bade me be of good courage, and to rely upon his doing
    all in his power to convince my judges of my innocence.

    "I had speedy proofs that the excellent abbe was engaged in
    my behalf, for the rigors of my imprisonment were alleviated
    by many trifling though acceptable indulgences, and I was
    told that my trial was to be postponed to the assizes
    following those now being held. In the interim it pleased
    providence to cause the apprehension of Caderousse, who was
    discovered in some distant country, and brought back to
    France, where he made a full confession, refusing to make
    the fact of his wife's having suggested and arranged the
    murder any excuse for his own guilt. The wretched man was
    sentenced to the galleys for life, and I was immediately set
    at liberty."

    "And then it was, I presume," said Monte Cristo "that you
    came to me as the bearer of a letter from the Abbe Busoni?"

    "It was, your excellency; the benevolent abbe took an
    evident interest in all that concerned me.

    "'Your mode of life as a smuggler,' said he to me one day,
    'will be the ruin of you; if you get out, don't take it up
    again.' -- 'But how,' inquired I, 'am I to maintain myself
    and my poor sister?'

    "'A person, whose confessor I am,' replied he, 'and who
    entertains a high regard for me, applied to me a short time
    since to procure him a confidential servant. Would you like
    such a post? If so, I will give you a letter of introduction
    to him.' -- 'Oh, father,' I exclaimed, 'you are very good.'

    "'But you must swear solemnly that I shall never have reason
    to repent my recommendation.' I extended my hand, and was
    about to pledge myself by any promise he would dictate, but
    he stopped me. 'It is unnecessary for you to bind yourself
    by any vow,' said he; 'I know and admire the Corsican nature
    too well to fear you. Here, take this,' continued he, after
    rapidly writing the few lines I brought to your excellency,
    and upon receipt of which you deigned to receive me into
    your service, and proudly I ask whether your excellency has
    ever had cause to repent having done so?"

    "No," replied the count; "I take pleasure in saying that you
    have served me faithfully, Bertuccio; but you might have
    shown more confidence in me."

    "I, your excellency?"

    "Yes; you. How comes it, that having both a sister and an
    adopted son, you have never spoken to me of either?"

    "Alas, I have still to recount the most distressing period
    of my life. Anxious as you may suppose I was to behold and
    comfort my dear sister, I lost no time in hastening to
    Corsica, but when I arrived at Rogliano I found a house of
    mourning, the consequences of a scene so horrible that the
    neighbors remember and speak of it to this day. Acting by my
    advice, my poor sister had refused to comply with the
    unreasonable demands of Benedetto, who was continually
    tormenting her for money, as long as he believed there was a
    sou left in her possession. One morning that he had demanded
    money, threatening her with the severest consequences if she
    did not supply him with what he desired, he disappeared and
    remained away all day, leaving the kind-hearted Assunta, who
    loved him as if he were her own child, to weep over his
    conduct and bewail his absence. Evening came, and still,
    with all the patient solicitude of a mother, she watched for
    his return.

    "As the eleventh hour struck, he entered with a swaggering
    air, attended by two of the most dissolute and reckless of
    his boon companions. She stretched out her arms to him, but
    they seized hold of her, and one of the three -- none other
    than the accursed Benedetto exclaimed, -- 'Put her to
    torture and she'll soon tell us where her money is.'

    "It unfortunately happened that our neighbor, Vasilio, was
    at Bastia, leaving no person in his house but his wife; no
    human creature beside could hear or see anything that took
    place within our dwelling. Two held poor Assunta, who,
    unable to conceive that any harm was intended to her, smiled
    in the face of those who were soon to become her
    executioners. The third proceeded to barricade the doors and
    windows, then returned, and the three united in stifling the
    cries of terror incited by the sight of these preparations,
    and then dragged Assunta feet foremost towards the brazier,
    expecting to wring from her an avowal of where her supposed
    treasure was secreted. In the struggle her clothes caught
    fire, and they were obliged to let go their hold in order to
    preserve themselves from sharing the same fate. Covered with
    flames, Assunta rushed wildly to the door, but it was
    fastened; she flew to the windows, but they were also
    secured; then the neighbors heard frightful shrieks; it was
    Assunta calling for help. The cries died away in groans, and
    next morning, as soon as Vasilio's wife could muster up
    courage to venture abroad, she caused the door of our
    dwelling to be opened by the public authorities, when
    Assunta, although dreadfully burnt, was found still
    breathing; every drawer and closet in the house had been
    forced open, and the money stolen. Benedetto never again
    appeared at Rogliano, neither have I since that day either
    seen or heard anything concerning him.

    "It was subsequently to these dreadful events that I waited
    on your excellency, to whom it would have been folly to have
    mentioned Benedetto, since all trace of him seemed entirely
    lost; or of my sister, since she was dead."

    "And in what light did you view the occurrence?" inquired
    Monte Cristo.

    "As a punishment for the crime I had committed," answered
    Bertuccio. "Oh, those Villeforts are an accursed race!"

    "Truly they are," murmured the count in a lugubrious tone.

    "And now," resumed Bertuccio, "your excellency may, perhaps,
    be able to comprehend that this place, which I revisit for
    the first time -- this garden, the actual scene of my crime
    -- must have given rise to reflections of no very agreeable
    nature, and produced that gloom and depression of spirits
    which excited the notice of your excellency, who was pleased
    to express a desire to know the cause. At this instant a
    shudder passes over me as I reflect that possibly I am now
    standing on the very grave in which lies M. de Villefort, by
    whose hand the ground was dug to receive the corpse of his
    child."

    "Everything is possible," said Monte Cristo, rising from the
    bench on which he had been sitting; "even," he added in an
    inaudible voice, "even that the procureur be not dead. The
    Abbe Busoni did right to send you to me," he went on in his
    ordinary tone, "and you have done well in relating to me the
    whole of your history, as it will prevent my forming any
    erroneous opinions concerning you in future. As for that
    Benedetto, who so grossly belied his name, have you never
    made any effort to trace out whither he has gone, or what
    has become of him?"

    "No; far from wishing to learn whither he has betaken
    himself, I should shun the possibility of meeting him as I
    would a wild beast. Thank God, I have never heard his name
    mentioned by any person, and I hope and believe he is dead."

    "Do not think so, Bertuccio," replied the count; "for the
    wicked are not so easily disposed of, for God seems to have
    them under his special watch-care to make of them
    instruments of his vengeance."

    "So be it," responded Bertuccio, "all I ask of heaven is
    that I may never see him again. And now, your excellency,"
    he added, bowing his head, "you know everything -- you are
    my judge on earth, as the Almighty is in heaven; have you
    for me no words of consolation?"

    "My good friend, I can only repeat the words addressed to
    you by the Abbe Busoni. Villefort merited punishment for
    what he had done to you, and, perhaps, to others. Benedetto,
    if still living, will become the instrument of divine
    retribution in some way or other, and then be duly punished
    in his turn. As far as you yourself are concerned, I see but
    one point in which you are really guilty. Ask yourself,
    wherefore, after rescuing the infant from its living grave,
    you did not restore it to its mother? There was the crime,
    Bertuccio -- that was where you became really culpable."

    "True, excellency, that was the crime, the real crime, for
    in that I acted like a coward. My first duty, directly I had
    succeeded in recalling the babe to life, was to restore it
    to its mother; but, in order to do so, I must have made
    close and careful inquiry, which would, in all probability,
    have led to my own apprehension; and I clung to life, partly
    on my sister's account, and partly from that feeling of
    pride inborn in our hearts of desiring to come off untouched
    and victorious in the execution of our vengeance. Perhaps,
    too, the natural and instinctive love of life made me wish
    to avoid endangering my own. And then, again, I am not as
    brave and courageous as was my poor brother." Bertuccio hid
    his face in his hands as he uttered these words, while Monte
    Cristo fixed on him a look of inscrutable meaning. After a
    brief silence, rendered still more solemn by the time and
    place, the count said, in a tone of melancholy wholly unlike
    his usual manner, "In order to bring this conversation to a
    fitting termination (the last we shall ever hold upon this
    subject), I will repeat to you some words I have heard from
    the lips of the Abbe Busoni. For all evils there are two
    remedies -- time and silence. And now leave me, Monsieur
    Bertuccio, to walk alone here in the garden. The very
    circumstances which inflict on you, as a principal in the
    tragic scene enacted here, such painful emotions, are to me,
    on the contrary, a source of something like contentment, and
    serve but to enhance the value of this dwelling in my
    estimation. The chief beauty of trees consists in the deep
    shadow of their umbrageous boughs, while fancy pictures a
    moving multitude of shapes and forms flitting and passing
    beneath that shade. Here I have a garden laid out in such a
    way as to afford the fullest scope for the imagination, and
    furnished with thickly grown trees, beneath whose leafy
    screen a visionary like myself may conjure up phantoms at
    will. This to me, who expected but to find a blank enclosure
    surrounded by a straight wall, is, I assure you, a most
    agreeable surprise. I have no fear of ghosts, and I have
    never heard it said that so much harm had been done by the
    dead during six thousand years as is wrought by the living
    in a single day. Retire within, Bertuccio, and tranquillize
    your mind. Should your confessor be less indulgent to you in
    your dying moments than you found the Abbe Busoni, send for
    me, if I am still on earth, and I will soothe your ears with
    words that shall effectually calm and soothe your parting
    soul ere it goes forth to traverse the ocean called
    eternity."

    Bertuccio bowed respectfully, and turned away, sighing
    heavily. Monte Cristo, left alone, took three or four steps
    onwards, and murmured, "Here, beneath this plane-tree, must
    have been where the infant's grave was dug. There is the
    little door opening into the garden. At this corner is the
    private staircase communicating with the sleeping apartment.
    There will be no necessity for me to make a note of these
    particulars, for there, before my eyes, beneath my feet, all
    around me, I have the plan sketched with all the living
    reality of truth." After making the tour of the garden a
    second time, the count re-entered his carriage, while
    Bertuccio, who perceived the thoughtful expression of his
    master's features, took his seat beside the driver without
    uttering a word. The carriage proceeded rapidly towards
    Paris.

    That same evening, upon reaching his abode in the Champs
    Elysees, the Count of Monte Cristo went over the whole
    building with the air of one long acquainted with each nook
    or corner. Nor, although preceding the party, did he once
    mistake one door for another, or commit the smallest error
    when choosing any particular corridor or staircase to
    conduct him to a place or suite of rooms he desired to
    visit. Ali was his principal attendant during this nocturnal
    survey. Having given various orders to Bertuccio relative to
    the improvements and alterations he desired to make in the
    house, the Count, drawing out his watch, said to the
    attentive Nubian, "It is half-past eleven o'clock; Haidee
    will soon he here. Have the French attendants been summoned
    to await her coming?" Ali extended his hands towards the
    apartments destined for the fair Greek, which were so
    effectually concealed by means of a tapestried entrance,
    that it would have puzzled the most curious to have divined
    their existence. Ali, having pointed to the apartments, held
    up three fingers of his right hand, and then, placing it
    beneath his head, shut his eyes, and feigned to sleep. "I
    understand," said Monte Cristo, well acquainted with Ali's
    pantomime; "you mean to tell me that three female attendants
    await their new mistress in her sleeping-chamber." Ali, with
    considerable animation, made a sign in the affirmative.

    "Madame will be tired to-night," continued Monte Cristo,
    "and will, no doubt, wish to rest. Desire the French
    attendants not to weary her with questions, but merely to
    pay their respectful duty and retire. You will also see that
    the Greek servants hold no communication with those of this
    country." He bowed. Just at that moment voices were heard
    hailing the concierge. The gate opened, a carriage rolled
    down the avenue, and stopped at the steps. The count hastily
    descended, presented himself at the already opened carriage
    door, and held out his hand to a young woman, completely
    enveloped in a green silk mantle heavily embroidered with
    gold. She raised the hand extended towards her to her lips,
    and kissed it with a mixture of love and respect. Some few
    words passed between them in that sonorous language in which
    Homer makes his gods converse. The young woman spoke with an
    expression of deep tenderness, while the count replied with
    an air of gentle gravity. Preceded by Ali, who carried a
    rose-colored flambeau in his hand, the new-comer, who was no
    other than the lovely Greek who had been Monte Cristo's
    companion in Italy, was conducted to her apartments, while
    the count retired to the pavilion reserved for himself. In
    another hour every light in the house was extinguished, and
    it might have been thought that all its inmates slept.
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