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= ROOT|Alexandre_Dumas|The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo-99.txt =

page 15 of 618



Besides, I shall only take the time to go and return."

"Yes, yes, I understand," said Danglars, and then in a low
tone, he added, "To Paris, no doubt to deliver the letter
which the grand marshal gave him. Ah, this letter gives me
an idea -- a capital idea! Ah; Dantes, my friend, you are
not yet registered number one on board the good ship
Pharaon;" then turning towards Edmond, who was walking away,
"A pleasant journey," he cried.

"Thank you," said Edmond with a friendly nod, and the two
lovers continued on their way, as calm and joyous as if they
were the very elect of heaven.



Chapter 4
Conspiracy.

Danglars followed Edmond and Mercedes with his eyes until
the two lovers disappeared behind one of the angles of Fort
Saint Nicolas, then turning round, he perceived Fernand, who
had fallen, pale and trembling, into his chair, while
Caderousse stammered out the words of a drinking-song.

"Well, my dear sir," said Danglars to Fernand, "here is a
marriage which does not appear to make everybody happy."

"It drives me to despair," said Fernand.

"Do you, then, love Mercedes?"

"I adore her!"

"For long?"

"As long as I have known her -- always."

"And you sit there, tearing your hair, instead of seeking to
remedy your condition; I did not think that was the way of
your people."

"What would you have me do?" said Fernand.

"How do I know? Is it my affair? I am not in love with
Mademoiselle Mercedes; but for you -- in the words of the
gospel, seek, and you shall find."

"I have found already."

"What?"

"I would stab the man, but the woman told me that if any
misfortune happened to her betrothed, she would kill
herself."

"Pooh! Women say those things, but never do them."

"You do not know Mercedes; what she threatens she will do."

"Idiot!" muttered Danglars; "whether she kill herself or
not, what matter, provided Dantes is not captain?"

"Before Mercedes should die," replied Fernand, with the
accents of unshaken resolution, "I would die myself!"

"That's what I call love!" said Caderousse with a voice more
tipsy than ever. "That's love, or I don't know what love
is."

"Come," said Danglars, "you appear to me a good sort of
fellow, and hang me, I should like to help you, but" --

"Yes," said Caderousse, "but how?"

"My dear fellow," replied Danglars, "you are three parts
drunk; finish the bottle, and you will be completely so.
Drink then, and do not meddle with what we are discussing,
for that requires all one's wit and cool judgment."

"I -- drunk!" said Caderousse; "well that's a good one! I
could drink four more such bottles; they are no bigger than
cologne flasks. Pere Pamphile, more wine!" and Caderousse
rattled his glass upon the table.

"You were saying, sir" -- said Fernand, awaiting with great
anxiety the end of this interrupted remark.

"What was I saying? I forget. This drunken Caderousse has
made me lose the thread of my sentence."

"Drunk, if you like; so much the worse for those who fear
wine, for it is because they have bad thoughts which they
are afraid the liquor will extract from their hearts;" and
Caderousse began to sing the two last lines of a song very
popular at the time, --

`Tous les mechants sont beuveurs d'eau;
C'est bien prouve par le deluge.'*

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