"He was unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I
must ask your leave of absence for some days."
"To get married?"
"Yes, first, and then to go to Paris."
"Very good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take
quite six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you
ready for sea until three months after that; only be back
again in three months, for the Pharaon," added the owner,
patting the young sailor on the back, "cannot sail without
"Without her captain!" cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with
animation; "pray mind what you say, for you are touching on
the most secret wishes of my heart. Is it really your
intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"
"If I were sole owner we'd shake hands on it now, my dear
Dantes, and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you
know the Italian proverb -- Chi ha compagno ha padrone --
`He who has a partner has a master.' But the thing is at
least half done, as you have one out of two votes. Rely on
me to procure you the other; I will do my best."
"Ah, M. Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in
his eyes, and grasping the owner's hand, "M. Morrel, I thank
you in the name of my father and of Mercedes."
"That's all right, Edmond. There's a providence that watches
over the deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercedes,
and afterwards come to me."
"Shall I row you ashore?"
"No, thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts
with Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this
"That is according to the sense you attach to the question,
sir. Do you mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he
never liked me since the day when I was silly enough, after
a little quarrel we had, to propose to him to stop for ten
minutes at the island of Monte Cristo to settle the dispute
-- a proposition which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite
right to refuse. If you mean as responsible agent when you
ask me the question, I believe there is nothing to say
against him, and that you will be content with the way in
which he has performed his duty."
"But tell me, Dantes, if you had command of the Pharaon
should you be glad to see Danglars remain?"
"Captain or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the
greatest respect for those who possess the owners'
"That's right, that's right, Dantes! I see you are a
thoroughly good fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go,
for I see how impatient you are."
"Then I have leave?"
"Go, I tell you."
"May I have the use of your skiff?"
"Then, for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand
"I hope soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to
The young sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the
stern sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La
Canebiere. The two oarsmen bent to their work, and the
little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst
of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which
leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the
harbor to the Quai d'Orleans.
The shipowner, smiling, followed him with his eyes until he
saw him spring out on the quay and disappear in the midst of
the throng, which from five o'clock in the morning until
nine o'clock at night, swarms in the famous street of La
Canebiere, -- a street of which the modern Phocaeans are so
proud that they say with all the gravity in the world, and
with that accent which gives so much character to what is
said, "If Paris had La Canebiere, Paris would be a second
Marseilles." On turning round the owner saw Danglars behind
him, apparently awaiting orders, but in reality also
watching the young sailor, -- but there was a great
difference in the expression of the two men who thus
followed the movements of Edmond Dantes.