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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 75 - A Signed Statement

Summary

When Franz, Valentine and her father enter Noirtierís room, Noirtier asks Valentine to retrieve a hidden bundle of secret papers. He asks Franz to read them aloud, and the papers are a report of a specific meeting of the Bonapartiste club, held the night Franzí father was murdered. The report, signed by a lieutenant-colonel of artillery, a general of brigade, and a keeper of woods and forests, details the murder of Franzí father, the General de Quesnel, in a duel following the meeting. Franz is stunned and Villefort is horrified by the revelation.

Notes

The relationship between Noirtier and Franzí father is exposed in this chapter, and despite Noirtierís apparent kindness, it is clear that at one time he was as brutally ruthless and ambitious as his son became. However, Noirtier is willing to admit his actions and errors in the hopes of saving his granddaughter. Villefort will not do the same until his history is forcibly revealed.

CHAPTER 76 - Progress of Cavalcanti the Younger

Summary

The elder "Cavalcanti" has left Paris, and Andrea is visiting Madame and Eugénie Danglars when the Count pays Danglars a visit. Danglars tries to force Andrea and Eugénie together; Eugénie seems disinterested. The Count learns from Madame Danglars that the Baron has lost more money recently, and the Count inwardly notes that Danglars is now hiding his losses despite having boasted of them a few weeks ago. Madame Danglars tells the Count of the Villefortsí misfortunes.

Albert de Morcerf arrives, and it is clear by Danglarsí rudeness that he prefers Andrea to Albert for Eugénie. Speaking privately to the Count, Danglars requests that the Count speak to the Count of Morcerf on his behalf to determine whether the marriage between Albert and Eugénie is still absolutely desired or whether it can perhaps be canceled. The Count agrees. Danglars receives some important news from his courier from Greece regarding Fernandís history, and tells the Count that he would like to speak to him when Albert is not around, as he can no longer endure Albertís presence.


Notes

Feigning ignorance as to Andrea Cavalcantiís background, the Count is advancing his project of seeing Andrea marry Eugénie. And, despite his conviction that the sins of the father are passed to his sons, we catch a glimpse of the Countís pity for Albert, suggesting that he may actually be becoming fond of Albert, and perhaps considers him less guilty than Fernand despite being his son.

CHAPTER 77 - Haidee

Summary

The Count and Albert go to the Countís and discuss both the Countís plans to see Albertís father regarding the Danglars- Morcerf wedding as well as the quarrel between Danglars and Debray. Upon arriving at the Countís, the Count tells Albert that Haidee is the daughter of Ali Tepelini, the pasha of Yanina who died in 1822. Albert knows that his father served under Ali Tepelini and made his fortune in the pashaís service, but the Count will only introduce him to Haidee if he promises not to tell her that his father served hers. The Count introduces them, but does not tell Haidee Albertís full name, and asks Haidee to tell Albert the fate of her father without revealing either the name of the man who betrayed her father or exactly how he was betrayed.

Haidee tells Albert that when she was four, she and her family were forced to sneak away from their palace with all their jewels and belongings because a man had been sent by the Turkish sultan to capture her father. Her father sent a trusted French officer to broker a peace deal. Haideeís father instructed a guard to blow up the entire house and everything in it on his signal if the peace deal was refused. The guard watching over Haidee and her mother was to be delivered a poniard if the news was bad (in which case he was to set the explosion) and a ring if the news was good. The guard was delivered a ring, but was then immediately killed by four soldiers. Haidee and her mother escaped the soldiers but overheard Haideeís fatherís murder, who had been betrayed by his own French officer. The officer then sold Haidee and her mother to slave merchants and her mother died soon thereafter. Haidee was sold to a rich Armenian and then to the Sultan Mahmood at age 13, and it was from the Sultan that the Count bought Haidee.

Notes

A reference to Byron is again made in this chapter, when Morcerf asks whether, "are there, then, really women who bear the name of Haidee anywhere but in Byronís poems?" Haidee recounts the story of her fatherís betrayal according to the Countís wishes, purposely revealing damning details that the Count will use to harm Albert and his father later. When she appears nervous, the Count says, "Calm yourself, my dear child, and take courage in remembering that there is a God who will punish traitors." Although the Count is fond of Haidee, it is implied by Haideeís pivotal role in the eventual downfall of Fernand that her existence and presence in the Countís home has been planned far in advance for her exact role in Fernandís punishment.

CHAPTER 78 - We Hear from Yanina

Summary

Villefort receives a letter from Franz díEpinay stating that he is no longer prepared to marry Valentine, particularly as it appears that Villefort was aware of the events surrounding Franzí fatherís death. Valentine tells Morrel the good news without telling him the reason for the cancellation, and Madame de Villefort has Noirtier agree to restore Valentine as his heir. After the Countís visit to the Count of Morcerf, Morcerf visits Danglars to discuss the marriage of Eugénie and Albert, which he is still intending to see through. Morcerf is shocked by Danglars cold demeanor, and Danglars tells him that he has decided to hold off on the marriage, but refuses to say why.

After Morcerf leaves, Andrea Cavalcanti arrives at the Danglarsí and stays very late. The following day, there is an article in Beauchampís paper (which had been expected by Danglars) about Fernandís actions at Yanina. Albert goes to see the Count while he is in a shooting gallery and asks him to be his second in a duel with Beauchamp over the article, which names Albertís father Fernand as Ali Tepeliniís traitor. Albert is convinced that the article is untrue and plans to ask Beauchamp to retract the article. The Count expresses his hesitation and asks him to first confirm with Haidee whether or not it might be true, but Albert refuses. When Albert confronts Beauchamp, Beauchamp is honestly unaware that the "Fernand" in the story might refer to Albertís father, but refuses to retract the article until he investigates the matter further. Unsatisfied, Albert challenges Beauchamp to a duel. Beauchamp insists upon a delay of three weeks to confirm or contradict the story, consenting to the duel should he be unable to contradict the story.

Notes

Madame de Villefort obviously has some sort of agenda in asking Noirtier to restore his fortune to Valentine now that the marriage has been cancelled - it becomes more clear that she is an extremely ambitious woman in her own right - and thus very similar to Villefort. Interestingly, and perhaps as further proof that the Count has grown somewhat fond and protective of Albert, he recommends to Albert that he ask Haidee whether his father could have anything to do with the betrayal of Ali Tepelini, likely in an attempt to stop him from embarrassing himself when he demands a retraction of the story and challenges Beauchamp to a duel. When Albert refuses to ask her, the Count further suggests he go to see Beauchamp alone - again likely an attempt to save Albert from the embarrassment the Count knows he will face when he learns that his father truly was responsible for the betrayal. Again in keeping with Eastern principles, the Count, despite his fondness for Albert, refuses to serve as his second in a duel or aid him in his training.

CHAPTER 79 - The Lemonade

Summary

Noirtier has sent for Morrel, and via Valentine he explains that he intends to leave the Villefort home and that Valentine will accompany him. Once they have found a new house, Morrel may visit and he and Valentine can be married. If her father objects, Valentine will wait ten months until she is of age with an independent fortune. Noirtierís servant Barrois drinks some of his masterís lemonade, and as the doctor arrives to see Noirtier, Barrois collapses and dies. Morrel sneaks out and the doctor ascertains by Barroisí symptoms before dying that the lemonade is responsible. Privately, the doctor shows Villefort with a chemical test that the lemonade has been poisoned, and seems to suspect Valentine as it was she who brought the lemonade to Noirtier.

Notes

It becomes more clear in this chapter that there is a murderer at work in the Villefort home, and that it is likely Madame de Villefort.

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