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CHAPTER SUMMARIES AND NOTES
CHAPTER 44 - The Vendetta
Bertuccio, a Corsican raised by his older brother, one day received a letter from his brother asking him to leave some money for him with an innkeeper at Nimes. Upon arriving at the Inn, he learned that his brother, who had joined Napoleon’s army during the 100 days of Napoleon’s return, had been assassinated the previous night by royalists. Bertuccio had gone to de Villefort, the King’s attorney at Nimes, but Villefort refused to either search for the killer or help to secure a pension for his brother’s widow because they were Corsicans and Bonapartists. Outraged by his attitude, Bertuccio swore a vendetta against Villefort.
Afraid, Villefort left Nimes for Versailles where Bertuccio tracked him to the house in Auteuil, owned but rarely used by his wife’s father. Villefort met a young and pregnant woman at the house, and one night Bertuccio spies Villefort burying something near the garden. Bertuccio stabbed Villefort and, believing him dead, dug up the box that Villefort had buried, finding an almost dead baby inside. Bertuccio had left the baby with an asylum in Paris for some time until he and his sister-in-law had enough money to reclaim it.
The child, named Benedetto, turned out to be very evil and was a notorious thief. During a trip, Bertuccio stopped at the Inn of a friend, Gaspard Caderousse, for shelter. As Caderousse was with someone, Bertuccio hid himself until the stranger left, and then overhears Caderousse tell his wife that the jeweler has pronounced that the diamond left by the Abbé Busoni is worth 45,000 francs. The jeweler paid Caderousse and prepared to leave, but stayed due to poor weather and to avoid robbers. Bertuccio overheard Caderousse and his wife greedily implying they could have even more money if the jeweler stayed the night and some harm came to him.
Bertuccio’s story of his desire for revenge on Villefort is interesting for its similarity to Dantès’ history in that Villefort was, as deputy-procureur, in a position to help Bertuccio, but refused out of consideration for his own career. Bertuccio’s failed attempt at revenge will eventually be completed by the Count. This story told by Bertuccio serves to further condemn Villefort as "evil", and therefore deserving of punishment.
The Count is evidently interested in the baby born to Villefort and the mysterious woman (Madame Danglars) and already knows the baby was a boy. This boy will also play an important part in the story as Benedetto/Andrea. It is particularly interesting to note that Villefort, in an attempt to remain untouched by scandal, buried his own child alive, much in the way he "buried" Dantès’ alive for the sake of his own ambition years before. The Count also learns that Caderousse’s greed has placed him in jail, worsening his opinion of Caderousse.
CHAPTER 45 - The Rain of Blood
The jeweler went to sleep at the inn and Bertuccio witnessed Caderousse flee with all the money, discovering that both the jeweler and Caderousse’s wife have been murdered. When Bertuccio attempted to flee the inn, he was arrested by officers downstairs. In prison, he requested to speak with the Abbé Busoni, who could possibly back up his story regarding the jewel and money. The Abbé came to see Bertuccio and, believing his story, wrote a letter of recommendation to the Count of Monte Cristo on Bertuccio’s behalf.
Caderousse was soon captured and confessed to the theft and murders. Bertuccio returned to find his sister-in-law murdered during a bungled attempt at robbery by Benedetto. With his sister-in-law dead and Benedetto missing, Bertuccio views his bad luck as punishment for his vendetta against Villefort. The Count comforts Bertuccio, assuring him that ill deeds are eventually repaid. The Count returns to his home at Paris and his Greek slave/companion Haidee (who he has already told Albert he purchased in Constantinople) arrives from Italy.
To gain Bertuccio as an aid in his revenge plot, it seems likely that the Count may have arranged Caderousse’s capture to secure Bertuccio’s release from jail. In this way, the Count, posing as the Abbé Busoni, could also ensure that Caderousse was punished for his role in the murder of his wife and of the jeweler. The Count tells Bertuccio that "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."
CHAPTER 46 - Unlimited Credit
The next day, the Baron Danglars arrives at the Count’s house to speak to him regarding his account, but is told that the Count is not seeing anyone at the present time. As the Baron leaves, the Count notices that Danglars’ horses are better than his, and instructs his servant to purchase them at any price. The Count also orders the purchase of another house in Normandy with a spot for his boat, and instructs that his two boats should be in a state of constant readiness for his use.
The following day, the Count goes to see the Baron Danglars with his newly purchased horses. Danglars expresses his doubt regarding the Count’s identity and is amazed that the Count has a letter of unlimited credit from Thomson & French, his bankers in Rome, which allow him to draw funds from Danglars freely. During the meeting, the two engage in a battle of words over titles and positions, and the Count confidently asserts his superiority in intelligence by refusing to be impressed by Danglars.
When challenged by the Count, Danglars insists that he has vast resources and is capable of providing the Count with all the funds he will need while he is in Paris, but is stunned that the Count has so much money and two more letters of unlimited credit with other bankers in Paris. Danglars then introduces the Count to his wife, the Baroness, who is entertaining M. Lucien Debray, whom the Count has already met.
Meeting Danglars again for the first time after many years, the Count is obviously more confident and gains Danglars’ grudging respect considering Danglars’ cockiness. The Count is evidently enjoying his position of superiority over Danglars.