“The greater the amount, the more flattering it is to you; it gives you an idea of your value.”

“Thank you. One word more, sir; do you promise me to make what use you can of the report of the fortune M. Cavalcanti will bring without touching the money? This is no act of selfishness, but of delicacy. I am willing to help rebuild your fortune, but I will not be an accomplice in the ruin of others.”

“But since I tell you,” cried Danglars, “that with these three million——”

“Do you expect to recover your position, sir, without touching those three million?”

“I hope so, if the marriage should take place and confirm my credit.”

“Shall you be able to pay M. Cavalcanti the five hundred thousand francs you promise for my dowry?”

“He shall receive them on returning from the mayor’s20.”

“Very well!”

“What next? what more do you want?”

“I wish to know if, in demanding my signature, you leave me entirely free in my person?”


“Then, as I said before, sir,—very well; I am ready to marry M. Cavalcanti.”

“But what are you up to?”

“Ah, that is my affair. What advantage should I have over you, if knowing your secret I were to tell you mine?”

Danglars bit his lips. “Then,” said he, “you are ready to pay the official visits, which are absolutely indispensable?”

“Yes,” replied Eugénie.

“And to sign the contract in three days?”


“Then, in my turn, I also say, very well!”

Danglars pressed his daughter’s hand in his. But, extraordinary to relate, the father did not say, “Thank you, my child,” nor did the daughter smile at her father.

“Is the conference ended?” asked Eugénie, rising.

Danglars motioned that he had nothing more to say. Five minutes afterwards the piano resounded to the touch of Mademoiselle d’Armilly’s fingers, and Mademoiselle Danglars was singing Brabantio’s malediction on Desdemona. At the end of the piece Étienne entered, and announced to Eugénie that the horses were to the carriage, and that the baroness was waiting for her to pay her visits. We have seen them at Villefort’s; they proceeded then on their course.


Chapter 96. The Contract

Three days after the scene we have just described, namely towards five o’clock in the afternoon of the day fixed for the signature of the contract between Mademoiselle Eugénie Danglars and Andrea Cavalcanti, whom the banker persisted in calling prince, a fresh breeze was stirring the leaves in the little garden in front of the Count of Monte Cristo’s house, and the count was preparing to go out. While his horses were impatiently pawing the ground, held in by the coachman, who had been seated a quarter of an hour on his box, the elegant phaeton with which we are familiar rapidly turned the angle of the entrance-gate, and cast out on the doorsteps M. Andrea Cavalcanti, as decked up and gay as if he were going to marry a princess.

Page 732 of The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas (84%)

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