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Free Study Guide-The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas-Summary
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CHAPTER SUMMARIES WITH NOTES

CHAPTER 62 - Ghosts

Summary

The house at Auteuil has been transformed by Bertuccio, except for the garden, for the dinner on Saturday. Morrel arrives, followed by Château-Renaud, Debray, the Danglars, the Villeforts and the Cavalcantis. When the Cavalcantis arrive, the Count introduces them, describing their history and large fortune. Villefort is visibly agitated in the house, and Bertuccio is stunned to see Villefort there, and recognizes Madame Danglars as the woman gave birth the night he attempted to kill Villefort. Most shocking is Andrea Cavalcanti, who Bertuccio recognizes to be Benedetto, his adopted son and the unknown son of both Villefort and Madame Danglars.

Notes

As part of his intricate plan for revenge, the Count has invited all his enemies (except the Morcerfs) to his home for dinner. He will use the opportunity to frighten Madame Danglars and Villefort, and will use introduce Benedetto/Andrea to Danglars in an effort to further his plan that Benedetto/Andrea marry Eugénie Danglars.


CHAPTER 63 - The Dinner

Summary

The dinner is stunningly luxurious and everyone is impressed with the Countís expensively obtained food and house. Madame de Villefort is surprised to learn the house once belonged to the de Saint Mérans. When the Count offers to give everyone a tour, both Villefort and Madame Danglars are secretly terrified, particularly when the Count alludes to a particular room which seems sinister. Madame Danglars faints when the Count relates his theory of a baby once being carried down the houseís hidden staircase. When she revives, the Count takes them all out to the garden to report what is, in his opinion, a crime. He tells his guests that while digging in the yard, he found a box with the skeleton of a newly-born infant. He asks Villefort whether infanticides have their heads cut off in France, which Villefort grimly confirms. Madame Danglars is extremely upset and Villefort secretly asks her to meet him the following day.

Notes

The Countís reference in this chapter to the Marquise de Ganges in an effort to make Villefort and Madame Danglars nervous serves as an interesting foreshadowing for later events in the novel. As the Marquise de Ganges was forced to take poison by her husbandís brothers, so will Villefort later force his wife to kill herself by ingesting poison. The Count is ruthless in making reference to Villefortís and Madame Danglarsí history with the house, and appears to be playing a game of cat and mouse with them.

CHAPTER 64 - The Beggar

Summary

The Countís guests leave following the dinner, and Danglars in particular has taken a strong liking to the Cavalcantis, believing them very rich. As Andrea leaves, he is intercepted by a beggar who calls him by the name "Benedetto". Nervous, Andrea immediately agrees to speak with the beggar in private, who turns out to be Caderousse. Caderousse sees Andrea suddenly appears to have a lot of money, and blackmails him for 200 francs per month or promises Andrea he will become Ďtroublesomeí to him in his new life. Andrea agrees and Caderousse follows him into Paris.

Notes

We are reintroduced to Caderousse in this chapter, who is now reduced to a state of beggary, although he managed to escape prison at the same time as Benedetto/Andrea. His greed is unchanged, however, as his blackmailing of Andrea/Benedetto proves - and this serves Dumasí purpose by showing that despite a very real opportunity given to him by the Count/Abbé to better himself, Caderousse is unsalvageable as a decent human being.

CHAPTER 65 - A Conjugal Scene

Summary

After leaving the Countís dinner, Debray immediately goes to the private rooms of Madame Danglars in an attempt to find out what made her so upset earlier. She insists that nothing particular has made her upset. Danglars then enters her rooms and to the surprise of both his wife and Debray, he insists Debray leave. Danglars is angry that he recently lost 700,000 francs due to bad advice from his wife, advice that he has always followed with positive results and for which he has always given his wife a quarter of his profits. He then tells her that as a result of his recent lost, she now owes him a quarter of his losses (175,000 francs), but knows she cannot pay because she receives her tips from Debray and then pays him a large portion of the money given to her by her husband from the proceeds. Danglars tells his wife that since she has no money, he will no longer pay for her "diplomacy" lessons from Debray, and Debray must now either provide them free of charge or he will not be tolerated in the house any longer. Madame Danglars is enraged, and her husband accuses her of being responsible for the suicide of her first husband when, after an absence of nine months, her first husband discovered her six months pregnant with Villefortís child, a fact that his wife did not think he knew.

Notes

Here we note that the Countís plans are beginning to work, and that Danglars is becoming increasingly concerned by the loss of his money as a result of poor information being given to him by his wife - arranged of course by the Countís conversation with the gardener/telegraph operator. As Danglars himself states: "My life belongs to my cash."

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