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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
CHAPTER 24 - The Secret Cave
Using gunpowder to move the large rock, Dantès uncovers a passage with steps leading down into an underground cave. Once inside, Dantès remembers that the treasure is in a "second opening". Dantès identifies a section in the wall, which sounds hollow and removes some stacked stones. Entering the second cave, he digs in the corner where the letter had said the treasure would be. Discovering a large chest with the arms of the Spada family on it, there are three compartments inside: the first filled with gold coins, the second with 1,000 bars of gold and the third with "ten double handfuls" of diamonds, pearls, rubies, etc. Overcome by the treasure and its significance, Dantès counts it, runs madly over the island in glee, and then sleeps.
Again in this chapter, we note that Edmond feels "guided by the hand of God." Everything he is doing and plans to do, he believes, is his destiny.
CHAPTER 25 - The Unknown
Filling his pockets with gems and hiding the caveís entrance, Dantès joins his ship again five days later. When the ship returns to Leghorn, Dantès sells four of his diamonds and then presents a brand new ship to Jacopo, his loyal friend on board the smugglerís ship, on the condition that Jacopo enquire after a man named Louis Dantès and a young woman named Mercédès in Marseilles. Dantès tells both Jacopo and his shipís captain that he has recently become sole heir to his uncleís huge fortune, and leaves the ship giving Jacopo instructions to meet him at the Island of Monte Cristo when he returns from Marseilles.
Dantès leaves for Genoa, where he purchases a small yacht with secret compartments to hide his treasure. Dantès meets Jacopo on the Island of Monte Cristo about a week later, and learns that his father died long ago and Mercédès has long since disappeared. The two men leave for Marseilles where Dantès uses an English passport that he has purchased in Leghorn, deciding with all he has learned from the Abbé, (including languages) he can assume any disguise. Seeing a former shipmate from the Pharaon, Dantès becomes convinced in a conversation with him that he is not recognizable. Dantès asks the current tenants if he may see his fatherís old room, and learns that Caderousse now keeps a small inn on the road from Bellegarde to Beaucaire. Dantès purchases the house in which his father once lived under his English passport name "Lord Wilmore" for far more than it is worth and pays the current tenants to give him his fatherís old apartment, offering them any other in the house. He asks a poor fisherman for information relating to a number of people, and pays him with a new fishing boat in thanks. Dantès then leaves Marseilles, leaving the entire city curious about his identity.
Before Dantès begins his reign of vengeance, he feels it necessary to reward those who are and were his true friends. He is extremely generous to fellow sailor Jacopo and returns for the first time to Marseilles, where he is overwhelmed by his memories and has a chance to gain closure by visiting his fatherís old house.
CHAPTER 26 - The Pont du Gard Inn
The Inn is run down and dingy and obviously not very profitable, run by Caderousse and his wife, La Carconte. His wife is very ill and they are quite poor. An Italian Abbé arrives at the Inn and asks to see Caderousse. He buys a bottle of Caderousseís best wine, impressing him. Caderousse describes his wifeís illness, noting that although he is not rich, he is honest, a remark, which interests the Abbé. The Abbé asks Caderousse if he ever knew a sailor named Dantès, to which Caderousse replies that he did, and cries when told by the Abbé that Edmond died a wretched, heartbroken prisoner. The Abbé explains that he was called to see Edmond on his deathbed, and that Dantès asked the Abbé to clear his memory after his death by clearing up the mystery of his arrest. The Abbé has a large diamond worth 50,000 francs given to him by Dantès (ostensibly acquired by Dantès from an English prisoner that he had nursed back to health) to be divided among his four remaining friends (Caderousse, Danglars, Fernand, Mercédès) considering a fifth, Dantèsí father, is dead. Caderousse tells the Abbé that Dantès father died of starvation, a fact that affects the Abbé visibly. In an effort to keep the entire jewel for himself, Caderousse tells the Abbé that he has a story to tell him about Dantèsí "friends".
Dantès begins his inquiries for the purpose of vengeance by visiting Caderousse, disguised as an Abbé, one of the two primary disguises he will adopt ever after, obviously a tribute to Faria, but also because the disguise will provide him with several opportunities. Caderousse is still greedy, but professes to be honest, to which Edmond replies "I am firmly persuaded that, sooner or later, the good will be rewarded, and the wicked punished." Dantès is persuaded by Caderousseís story that although he was and is greedy, he did not play such a large part in his own misfortunes. This proof is borne out by Caderousseís violent and guilty reaction to learning that "Edmond" died in prison.
The fact that the "Abbé" chose to report Dantès as dead suggests that in fact, to his own mind, "Dantès" as Caderousse once knew him, is indeed dead - killed by his imprisonment. It is important to note that whereas Dantès had been manipulated and betrayed by Caderousse in the past due to his naiveté, Dantès is now completely in control of his conversation with Caderousse, and is now manipulating Caderousse to get what he wants. It is a spectacular example of the change, which has come over Dantès, and the manner in which he will assume full control of the people and events around him from this point on.
It is from Caderousse that Dantès learns how he was betrayed, and will use the details of the betrayal to avenge himself. For example, he learns from Caderousse that his father died of starvation - he will eventually use this same punishment against Danglars.