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    Chapter 47

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    Chapter 47
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    CHAPTER 47
    The Dappled Grays.

    The baron, followed by the count, traversed a long series of
    apartments, in which the prevailing characteristics were
    heavy magnificence and the gaudiness of ostentatious wealth,
    until he reached the boudoir of Madame Danglars -- a small
    octagonal-shaped room, hung with pink satin, covered with
    white Indian muslin. The chairs were of ancient workmanship
    and materials; over the doors were painted sketches of
    shepherds and shepherdesses, after the style and manner of
    Boucher; and at each side pretty medallions in crayons,
    harmonizing well with the furnishings of this charming
    apartment, the only one throughout the great mansion in
    which any distinctive taste prevailed. The truth was, it had
    been entirely overlooked in the plan arranged and followed
    out by M. Danglars and his architect, who had been selected
    to aid the baron in the great work of improvement solely
    because he was the most fashionable and celebrated decorator
    of the day. The decorations of the boudoir had then been
    left entirely to Madame Danglars and Lucien Debray. M.
    Danglars, however, while possessing a great admiration for
    the antique, as it was understood during the time of the
    Directory, entertained the most sovereign contempt for the
    simple elegance of his wife's favorite sitting-room, where,
    by the way, he was never permitted to intrude, unless,
    indeed, he excused his own appearance by ushering in some
    more agreeable visitor than himself; and even then he had
    rather the air and manner of a person who was himself
    introduced, than that of being the presenter of another, his
    reception being cordial or frigid, in proportion as the
    person who accompanied him chanced to please or displease
    the baroness.

    Madame Danglars (who, although past the first bloom of
    youth, was still strikingly handsome) was now seated at the
    piano, a most elaborate piece of cabinet and inlaid work,
    while Lucien Debray, standing before a small work-table, was
    turning over the pages of an album. Lucien had found time,
    preparatory to the count's arrival, to relate many
    particulars respecting him to Madame Danglars. It will be
    remembered that Monte Cristo had made a lively impression on
    the minds of all the party assembled at the breakfast given
    by Albert de Morcerf; and although Debray was not in the
    habit of yielding to such feelings, he had never been able
    to shake off the powerful influence excited in his mind by
    the impressive look and manner of the count, consequently
    the description given by Lucien to the baroness bore the
    highly-colored tinge of his own heated imagination. Already
    excited by the wonderful stories related of the count by De
    Morcerf, it is no wonder that Madame Danglars eagerly
    listened to, and fully credited, all the additional
    circumstances detailed by Debray. This posing at the piano
    and over the album was only a little ruse adopted by way of
    precaution. A most gracious welcome and unusual smile were
    bestowed on M. Danglars; the count, in return for his
    gentlemanly bow, received a formal though graceful courtesy,
    while Lucien exchanged with the count a sort of distant
    recognition, and with Danglars a free and easy nod.

    "Baroness," said Danglars, "give me leave to present to you
    the Count of Monte Cristo, who has been most warmly
    recommended to me by my correspondents at Rome. I need but
    mention one fact to make all the ladies in Paris court his
    notice, and that is, that he has come to take up his abode
    in Paris for a year, during which brief period he proposes
    to spend six millions of money. That means balls, dinners,
    and lawn parties without end, in all of which I trust the
    count will remember us, as he may depend upon it we shall
    him, in our own humble entertainments." In spite of the
    gross flattery and coarseness of this address, Madame
    Danglars could not forbear gazing with considerable interest
    on a man capable of expending six millions in twelve months,
    and who had selected Paris for the scene of his princely
    extravagance. "And when did you arrive here?" inquired she.

    "Yesterday morning, madame."

    "Coming, as usual, I presume, from the extreme end of the
    globe? Pardon me -- at least, such I have heard is your
    custom."

    "Nay, madame. This time I have merely come from Cadiz."

    "You have selected a most unfavorable moment for your first
    visit. Paris is a horrible place in summer. Balls, parties,
    and fetes are over; the Italian opera is in London; the
    French opera everywhere except in Paris. As for the Theatre
    Francais, you know, of course, that it is nowhere. The only
    amusements left us are the indifferent races at the Champ de
    Mars and Satory. Do you propose entering any horses at
    either of these races, count?"

    "I shall do whatever they do at Paris, madame, if I have the
    good fortune to find some one who will initiate me into the
    prevalent ideas of amusement."

    "Are you fond of horses, count?"

    "I have passed a considerable part of my life in the East,
    madame, and you are doubtless aware that the Orientals value
    only two things -- the fine breeding of their horses and the
    beauty of their women."

    "Nay, count," said the baroness, "it would have been
    somewhat more gallant to have placed the ladies first."

    "You see, madame, how rightly I spoke when I said I required
    a preceptor to guide me in all my sayings and doings here."
    At this instant the favorite attendant of Madame Danglars
    entered the boudoir; approaching her mistress, she spoke
    some words in an undertone. Madame Danglars turned very
    pale, then exclaimed, -- "I cannot believe it; the thing is
    impossible."

    "I assure you, madame," replied the woman, "it is as I have
    said." Turning impatiently towards her husband, Madame
    Danglars demanded, "Is this true?"

    "Is what true, madame?" inquired Danglars, visibly agitated.

    "What my maid tells me."

    "But what does she tell you?"

    "That when my coachman was about to harness the horses to my
    carriage, he discovered that they had been removed from the
    stables without his knowledge. I desire to know what is the
    meaning of this?"

    "Be kind enough, madame, to listen to me," said Danglars.

    "Oh, yes; I will listen, monsieur, for I am most curious to
    hear what explanation you will give. These two gentlemen
    shall decide between us; but, first, I will state the case
    to them. Gentlemen," continued the baroness, "among the ten
    horses in the stables of Baron Danglars, are two that belong
    exclusively to me -- a pair of the handsomest and most
    spirited creatures to be found in Paris. But to you, at
    least, M. Debray, I need not give a further description,
    because to you my beautiful pair of dappled grays were well
    known. Well, I had promised Madame de Villefort the loan of
    my carriage to drive to-morrow to the Bois; but when my
    coachman goes to fetch the grays from the stables they are
    gone -- positively gone. No doubt M. Danglars has sacrificed
    them to the selfish consideration of gaining some thousands
    of paltry francs. Oh, what a detestable crew they are, these
    mercenary speculators!"

    "Madame," replied Danglars, "the horses were not
    sufficiently quiet for you; they were scarcely four years
    old, and they made me extremely uneasy on your account."

    "Nonsense," retorted the baroness; "you could not have
    entertained any alarm on the subject, because you are
    perfectly well aware that I have had for a month in my
    service the very best coachman in Paris. But, perhaps, you
    have disposed of the coachman as well as the horses?"

    "My dear love, pray do not say any more about them, and I
    promise you another pair exactly like them in appearance,
    only more quiet and steady." The baroness shrugged her
    shoulders with an air of ineffable contempt, while her
    husband, affecting not to observe this unconjugal gesture,
    turned towards Monte Cristo and said, -- "Upon my word,
    count, I am quite sorry not to have met you sooner. You are
    setting up an establishment, of course?"

    "Why, yes," replied the count.

    "I should have liked to have made you the offer of these
    horses. I have almost given them away, as it is; but, as I
    before said, I was anxious to get rid of them upon any
    terms. They were only fit for a young man."

    "I am much obliged by your kind intentions towards me," said
    Monte Cristo; "but this morning I purchased a very excellent
    pair of carriage-horses, and I do not think they were dear.
    There they are. Come, M. Debray, you are a connoisseur, I
    believe, let me have your opinion upon them." As Debray
    walked towards the window, Danglars approached his wife. "I
    could not tell you before others," said he in a low tone,
    "the reason of my parting with the horses; but a most
    enormous price was offered me this morning for them. Some
    madman or fool, bent upon ruining himself as fast as he can,
    actually sent his steward to me to purchase them at any
    cost; and the fact is, I have gained 16,000 francs by the
    sale of them. Come, don't look so angry, and you shall have
    4,000 francs of the money to do what you like with, and
    Eugenie shall have 2,000. There, what do you think now of
    the affair? Wasn't I right to part with the horses?" Madame
    Danglars surveyed her husband with a look of withering
    contempt.

    "Great heavens?" suddenly exclaimed Debray.

    "What is it?" asked the baroness.

    "I cannot be mistaken; there are your horses! The very
    animals we were speaking of, harnessed to the count's
    carriage!"

    "My dappled grays?" demanded the baroness, springing to the
    window. "'Tis indeed they!" said she. Danglars looked
    absolutely stupefied. "How very singular," cried Monte
    Cristo with well-feigned astonishment.

    "I cannot believe it," murmured the banker. Madame Danglars
    whispered a few words in the ear of Debray, who approached
    Monte Cristo, saying, "The baroness wishes to know what you
    paid her husband for the horses."

    "I scarcely know," replied the count; "it was a little
    surprise prepared for me by my steward, and cost me -- well,
    somewhere about 30,000 francs." Debray conveyed the count's
    reply to the baroness. Poor Danglars looked so crest-fallen
    and discomfited that Monte Cristo assumed a pitying air
    towards him. "See," said the count, "how very ungrateful
    women are. Your kind attention, in providing for the safety
    of the baroness by disposing of the horses, does not seem to
    have made the least impression on her. But so it is; a woman
    will often, from mere wilfulness, prefer that which is
    dangerous to that which is safe. Therefore, in my opinion,
    my dear baron, the best and easiest way is to leave them to
    their fancies, and allow them to act as they please, and
    then, if any mischief follows, why, at least, they have no
    one to blame but themselves." Danglars made no reply; he was
    occupied in anticipations of the coming scene between
    himself and the baroness, whose frowning brow, like that of
    Olympic Jove, predicted a storm. Debray, who perceived the
    gathering clouds, and felt no desire to witness the
    explosion of Madame Danglars' rage, suddenly recollected an
    appointment, which compelled him to take his leave; while
    Monte Cristo, unwilling by prolonging his stay to destroy
    the advantages he hoped to obtain, made a farewell bow and
    departed, leaving Danglars to endure the angry reproaches of
    his wife.

    "Excellent," murmured Monte Cristo to himself, as he came
    away. "All his gone according to my wishes. The domestic
    peace of this family is henceforth in my hands. Now, then,
    to play another master-stroke, by which I shall gain the
    heart of both husband and wife -- delightful! Still," added
    he, "amid all this, I have not yet been presented to
    Mademoiselle Eugenie Danglars, whose acquaintance I should
    have been glad to make. But," he went on with his peculiar
    smile, "I am here in Paris, and have plenty of time before
    me -- by and by will do for that." With these reflections he
    entered his carriage and returned home. Two hours
    afterwards, Madame Danglars received a most flattering
    epistle from the count, in which he entreated her to receive
    back her favorite "dappled grays," protesting that he could
    not endure the idea of making his entry into the Parisian
    world of fashion with the knowledge that his splendid
    equipage had been obtained at the price of a lovely woman's
    regrets. The horses were sent back wearing the same harness
    she had seen on them in the morning; only, by the count's
    orders, in the centre of each rosette that adorned either
    side of their heads, had been fastened a large diamond.

    To Danglars Monte Cristo also wrote, requesting him to
    excuse the whimsical gift of a capricious millionaire, and
    to beg the baroness to pardon the Eastern fashion adopted in
    the return of the horses.

    During the evening, Monte Cristo quitted Paris for Auteuil,
    accompanied by Ali. The following day, about three o'clock,
    a single blow struck on the gong summoned Ali to the
    presence of the count. "Ali," observed his master, as the
    Nubian entered the chamber, "you have frequently explained
    to me how more than commonly skilful you are in throwing the
    lasso, have you not?" Ali drew himself up proudly, and then
    returned a sign in the affirmative. "I thought I did not
    mistake. With your lasso you could stop an ox?" Again Ali
    repeated his affirmative gesture. "Or a tiger?" Ali bowed
    his head in token of assent. "A lion even?" Ali sprung
    forwards, imitating the action of one throwing the lasso,
    then of a strangled lion.

    "I understand," said Monte Cristo; "you wish to tell me you
    have hunted the lion?" Ali smiled with triumphant pride as
    he signified that he had indeed both chased and captured
    many lions. "But do you believe you could arrest the
    progress of two horses rushing forwards with ungovernable
    fury?" The Nubian smiled. "It is well," said Monte Cristo.
    "Then listen to me. Ere long a carriage will dash past here,
    drawn by the pair of dappled gray horses you saw me with
    yesterday; now, at the risk of your own life, you must
    manage to stop those horses before my door."

    Ali descended to the street, and marked a straight line on
    the pavement immediately at the entrance of the house, and
    then pointed out the line he had traced to the count, who
    was watching him. The count patted him gently on the
    shoulder, his usual mode of praising Ali, who, pleased and
    gratified with the commission assigned him, walked calmly
    towards a projecting stone forming the angle of the street
    and house, and, seating himself thereon, began to smoke his
    chibouque, while Monte Cristo re-entered his dwelling,
    perfectly assured of the success of his plan. Still, as five
    o'clock approached, and the carriage was momentarily
    expected by the count, the indication of more than common
    impatience and uneasiness might be observed in his manner.
    He stationed himself in a room commanding a view of the
    street, pacing the chamber with restless steps, stopping
    merely to listen from time to time for the sound of
    approaching wheels, then to cast an anxious glance on Ali;
    but the regularity with which the Nubian puffed forth the
    smoke of his chibouque proved that he at least was wholly
    absorbed in the enjoyment of his favorite occupation.
    Suddenly a distant sound of rapidly advancing wheels was
    heard, and almost immediately a carriage appeared, drawn by
    a pair of wild, ungovernable horses, while the terrified
    coachman strove in vain to restrain their furious speed.

    In the vehicle was a young woman and a child of about seven
    or eight clasped in each other's arms. Terror seemed to have
    deprived them even of the power of uttering a cry. The
    carriage creaked and rattled as it flew over the rough
    stones, and the slightest obstacle under the wheels would
    have caused disaster; but it kept on in the middle of the
    road, and those who saw it pass uttered cries of terror.

    Ali suddenly cast aside his chibouque, drew the lasso from
    his pocket, threw it so skilfully as to catch the forelegs
    of the near horse in its triple fold, and suffered himself
    to be dragged on for a few steps by the violence of the
    shock, then the animal fell over on the pole, which snapped,
    and therefore prevented the other horse from pursuing its
    way. Gladly availing himself of this opportunity, the
    coachman leaped from his box; but Ali had promptly seized
    the nostrils of the second horse, and held them in his iron
    grasp, till the beast, snorting with pain, sunk beside his
    companion. All this was achieved in much less time than is
    occupied in the recital. The brief space had, however, been
    sufficient for a man, followed by a number of servants, to
    rush from the house before which the accident had occurred,
    and, as the coachman opened the door of the carriage, to
    take from it a lady who was convulsively grasping the
    cushions with one hand, while with the other she pressed to
    her bosom the young boy, who had lost consciousness.

    Monte Cristo carried them both to the salon, and deposited
    them on a sofa. "Compose yourself, madame," said he; "all
    danger is over." The woman looked up at these words, and,
    with a glance far more expressive than any entreaties could
    have been, pointed to her child, who still continued
    insensible. "I understand the nature of your alarms,
    madame," said the count, carefully examining the child, "but
    I assure you there is not the slightest occasion for
    uneasiness; your little charge has not received the least
    injury; his insensibility is merely the effects of terror,
    and will soon pass."

    "Are you quite sure you do not say so to tranquillize my
    fears? See how deadly pale he is! My child, my darling
    Edward; speak to your mother -- open your dear eyes and look
    on me once again! Oh, sir, in pity send for a physician; my
    whole fortune shall not be thought too much for the recovery
    of my boy."

    With a calm smile and a gentle wave of the hand, Monte
    Cristo signed to the distracted mother to lay aside her
    apprehensions; then, opening a casket that stood near, he
    drew forth a phial of Bohemian glass incrusted with gold,
    containing a liquid of the color of blood, of which he let
    fall a single drop on the child's lips. Scarcely had it
    reached them, ere the boy, though still pale as marble,
    opened his eyes, and eagerly gazed around him. At this, the
    delight of the mother was almost frantic. "Where am I?"
    exclaimed she; "and to whom am I indebted for so happy a
    termination to my late dreadful alarm?"

    "Madame," answered the count, "you are under the roof of one
    who esteems himself most fortunate in having been able to
    save you from a further continuance of your sufferings."

    "My wretched curiosity has brought all this about," pursued
    the lady. "All Paris rung with the praises of Madame
    Danglars' beautiful horses, and I had the folly to desire to
    know whether they really merited the high praise given to
    them."

    "Is it possible," exclaimed the count with well-feigned
    astonishment, "that these horses belong to the baroness?"

    "They do, indeed. May I inquire if you are acquainted with
    Madame Danglars?"

    "I have that honor; and my happiness at your escape from the
    danger that threatened you is redoubled by the consciousness
    that I have been the unwilling and the unintentional cause
    of all the peril you have incurred. I yesterday purchased
    these horses of the baron; but as the baroness evidently
    regretted parting with them, I ventured to send them back to
    her, with a request that she would gratify me by accepting
    them from my hands."

    "You are, then, doubtless, the Count of Monte Cristo, of
    whom Hermine has talked to me so much?"

    "You have rightly guessed, madame," replied the count.

    "And I am Madame Heloise de Villefort." The count bowed with
    the air of a person who hears a name for the first time.
    "How grateful will M. de Villefort be for all your goodness;
    how thankfully will he acknowledge that to you alone he owes
    the existence of his wife and child! Most certainly, but for
    the prompt assistance of your intrepid servant, this dear
    child and myself must both have perished."

    "Indeed, I still shudder at the fearful danger you were
    placed in."

    "I trust you will allow me to recompense worthily the
    devotion of your man."

    "I beseech you, madame," replied Monte Cristo "not to spoil
    Ali, either by too great praise or rewards. I cannot allow
    him to acquire the habit of expecting to be recompensed for
    every trifling service he may render. Ali is my slave, and
    in saving your life he was but discharging his duty to me."

    "Nay," interposed Madame de Villefort, on whom the
    authoritative style adopted by the count made a deep
    impression, "nay, but consider that to preserve my life he
    has risked his own."

    "His life, madame, belongs not to him; it is mine, in return
    for my having myself saved him from death." Madame de
    Villefort made no further reply; her mind was utterly
    absorbed in the contemplation of the person who, from the
    first instant she saw him, had made so powerful an
    impression on her. During the evident preoccupation of
    Madame de Villefort, Monte Cristo scrutinized the features
    and appearance of the boy she kept folded in her arms,
    lavishing on him the most tender endearments. The child was
    small for his age, and unnaturally pale. A mass of straight
    black hair, defying all attempts to train or curl it, fell
    over his projecting forehead, and hung down to his
    shoulders, giving increased vivacity to eyes already
    sparkling with a youthful love of mischief and fondness for
    every forbidden enjoyment. His mouth was large, and the
    lips, which had not yet regained their color, were
    particularly thin; in fact, the deep and crafty look, giving
    a predominant expression to the child's face, belonged
    rather to a boy of twelve or fourteen than to one so young.
    His first movement was to free himself by a violent push
    from the encircling arms of his mother, and to rush forward
    to the casket from whence the count had taken the phial of
    elixir; then, without asking permission of any one, he
    proceeded, in all the wilfulness of a spoiled child
    unaccustomed to restrain either whims or caprices, to pull
    the corks out of all the bottles.

    "Touch nothing, my little friend," cried the count eagerly;
    "some of those liquids are not only dangerous to taste, but
    even to inhale."

    Madame de Villefort became very pale, and, seizing her son's
    arm, drew him anxiously toward her; but, once satisfied of
    his safety, she also cast a brief but expressive glance on
    the casket, which was not lost upon the count. At this
    moment Ali entered. At sight of him Madame de Villefort
    uttered an expression of pleasure, and, holding the child
    still closer towards her, she said, "Edward, dearest, do you
    see that good man? He has shown very great courage and
    resolution, for he exposed his own life to stop the horses
    that were running away with us, and would certainly have
    dashed the carriage to pieces. Thank him, then, my child, in
    your very best manner; for, had he not come to our aid,
    neither you nor I would have been alive to speak our
    thanks." The child stuck out his lips and turned away his
    head in a disdainful manner, saying, "He's too ugly."

    The count smiled as if the child bade fair to realize his
    hopes, while Madame de Villefort reprimanded her son with a
    gentleness and moderation very far from conveying the least
    idea of a fault having been committed. "This lady," said the
    Count, speaking to Ali in the Arabic language, "is desirous
    that her son should thank you for saving both their lives;
    but the boy refuses, saying you are too ugly." Ali turned
    his intelligent countenance towards the boy, on whom he
    gazed without any apparent emotion; but the spasmodic
    working of the nostrils showed to the practiced eye of Monte
    Cristo that the Arab had been wounded to the heart.

    "Will you permit me to inquire," said Madame de Villefort,
    as she arose to take her leave, "whether you usually reside
    here?"

    "No, I do not," replied Monte Cristo; "it is a small place I
    have purchased quite lately. My place of abode is No. 30,
    Avenue des Champs Elysees; but I see you have quite
    recovered from your fright, and are, no doubt, desirous of
    returning home. Anticipating your wishes, I have desired the
    same horses you came with to be put to one of my carriages,
    and Ali, he whom you think so very ugly," continued he,
    addressing the boy with a smiling air, "will have the honor
    of driving you home, while your coachman remains here to
    attend to the necessary repairs of your calash. As soon as
    that important business is concluded, I will have a pair of
    my own horses harnessed to convey it direct to Madame
    Danglars."

    "I dare not return with those dreadful horses," said Madame
    de Villefort.

    "You will see," replied Monte Cristo, "that they will be as
    different as possible in the hands of Ali. With him they
    will be gentle and docile as lambs." Ali had, indeed, given
    proof of this; for, approaching the animals, who had been
    got upon their legs with considerable difficulty, he rubbed
    their foreheads and nostrils with a sponge soaked in
    aromatic vinegar, and wiped off the sweat and foam that
    covered their mouths. Then, commencing a loud whistling
    noise, he rubbed them well all over their bodies for several
    minutes; then, undisturbed by the noisy crowd collected
    round the broken carriage, Ali quietly harnessed the
    pacified animals to the count's chariot, took the reins in
    his hands, and mounted the box, when to the utter
    astonishment of those who had witnessed the ungovernable
    spirit and maddened speed of the same horses, he was
    actually compelled to apply his whip in no very gentle
    manner before he could induce them to start; and even then
    all that could be obtained from the celebrated "dappled
    grays," now changed into a couple of dull, sluggish, stupid
    brutes, was a slow, pottering pace, kept up with so much
    difficulty that Madame de Villefort was more than two hours
    returning to her residence in the Faubourg St. Honore.

    Scarcely had the first congratulations upon her marvellous
    escape been gone through when she wrote the following letter
    to Madame Danglars: --

    Dear Hermine, -- I have just had a wonderful escape from the
    most imminent danger, and I owe my safety to the very Count
    of Monte Cristo we were talking about yesterday, but whom I
    little expected to see to-day. I remember how unmercifully I
    laughed at what I considered your eulogistic and exaggerated
    praises of him; but I have now ample cause to admit that
    your enthusiastic description of this wonderful man fell far
    short of his merits. Your horses got as far as Ranelagh,
    when they darted forward like mad things, and galloped away
    at so fearful a rate, that there seemed no other prospect
    for myself and my poor Edward but that of being dashed to
    pieces against the first object that impeded their progress,
    when a strange-looking man, -- an Arab, a negro, or a
    Nubian, at least a black of some nation or other -- at a
    signal from the count, whose domestic he is, suddenly seized
    and stopped the infuriated animals, even at the risk of
    being trampled to death himself; and certainly he must have
    had a most wonderful escape. The count then hastened to us,
    and took us into his house, where he speedily recalled my
    poor Edward to life. He sent us home in his own carriage.
    Yours will be returned to you to-morrow. You will find your
    horses in bad condition, from the results of this accident;
    they seem thoroughly stupefied, as if sulky and vexed at
    having been conquered by man. The count, however, his
    commissioned me to assure you that two or three days' rest,
    with plenty of barley for their sole food during that time,
    will bring them back to as fine, that is as terrifying, a
    condition as they were in yesterday. Adieu! I cannot return
    you many thanks for the drive of yesterday; but, after all,
    I ought not to blame you for the misconduct of your horses,
    more especially as it procured me the pleasure of an
    introduction to the Count of Monte Cristo, -- and certainly
    that illustrious personage, apart from the millions he is
    said to be so very anxious to dispose of, seemed to me one
    of those curiously interesting problems I, for one, delight
    in solving at any risk, even if it were to necessitate
    another drive to the Bois behind your horses. Edward endured
    the accident with miraculous courage -- he did not utter a
    single cry, but fell lifeless into my arms; nor did a tear
    fall from his eyes after it was over. I doubt not you will
    consider these praises the result of blind maternal
    affection, but there is a soul of iron in that delicate,
    fragile body. Valentine sends many affectionate remembrances
    to your dear Eugenie. I embrace you with all my heart.

    Heloise de Villefort.

    P.S. -- Do pray contrive some means for me to meet the Count
    of Monte Cristo at your house. I must and will see him
    again. I have just made M. de Villefort promise to call on
    him, and I hope the visit will be returned.

    That night the adventure at Auteuil was talked of
    everywhere. Albert related it to his mother; Chateau-Renaud
    recounted it at the Jockey Club, and Debray detailed it at
    length in the salons of the minister; even Beauchamp
    accorded twenty lines in his journal to the relation of the
    count's courage and gallantry, thereby celebrating him as
    the greatest hero of the day in the eyes of all the feminine
    members of the aristocracy. Vast was the crowd of visitors
    and inquiring friends who left their names at the residence
    of Madame de Villefort, with the design of renewing their
    visit at the right moment, of hearing from her lips all the
    interesting circumstances of this most romantic adventure.
    As for M. de Villefort, he fulfilled the predictions of
    Heloise to the letter, -- donned his dress suit, drew on a
    pair of white gloves, ordered the servants to attend the
    carriage dressed in their full livery, and drove that same
    night to No. 30 in the Avenue des Champs-Elysees.
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