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= ROOT|Alexandre_Dumas|The_Count_of_Monte_Cristo-99.txt =

page 9 of 618



prospects."

"I will go directly," was Edmond's reply; and, embracing his
father, and nodding to Caderousse, he left the apartment.

Caderousse lingered for a moment, then taking leave of old
Dantes, he went downstairs to rejoin Danglars, who awaited
him at the corner of the Rue Senac.

"Well," said Danglars, "did you see him?"

"I have just left him," answered Caderousse.

"Did he allude to his hope of being captain?"

"He spoke of it as a thing already decided."

"Indeed!" said Danglars, "he is in too much hurry, it
appears to me."

"Why, it seems M. Morrel has promised him the thing."

"So that he is quite elated about it?"

"Why, yes, he is actually insolent over the matter -- has
already offered me his patronage, as if he were a grand
personage, and proffered me a loan of money, as though he
were a banker."

"Which you refused?"

"Most assuredly; although I might easily have accepted it,
for it was I who put into his hands the first silver he ever
earned; but now M. Dantes has no longer any occasion for
assistance -- he is about to become a captain."

"Pooh!" said Danglars, "he is not one yet."

"Ma foi, it will be as well if he is not," answered
Caderousse; "for if he should be, there will be really no
speaking to him."

"If we choose," replied Danglars, "he will remain what he
is; and perhaps become even less than he is."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing -- I was speaking to myself. And is he still in
love with the Catalane?"

"Over head and ears; but, unless I am much mistaken, there
will be a storm in that quarter."

"Explain yourself."

"Why should I?"

"It is more important than you think, perhaps. You do not
like Dantes?"

"I never like upstarts."

"Then tell me all you know about the Catalane."

"I know nothing for certain; only I have seen things which
induce me to believe, as I told you, that the future captain
will find some annoyance in the vicinity of the Vieilles
Infirmeries."

"What have you seen? -- come, tell me!"

"Well, every time I have seen Mercedes come into the city
she has been accompanied by a tall, strapping, black-eyed
Catalan, with a red complexion, brown skin, and fierce air,
whom she calls cousin."

"Really; and you think this cousin pays her attentions?"

"I only suppose so. What else can a strapping chap of
twenty-one mean with a fine wench of seventeen?"

"And you say that Dantes has gone to the Catalans?"

"He went before I came down."

"Let us go the same way; we will stop at La Reserve, and we
can drink a glass of La Malgue, whilst we wait for news."

"Come along," said Caderousse; "but you pay the score."

"Of course," replied Danglars; and going quickly to the
designated place, they called for a bottle of wine, and two
glasses.

Pere Pamphile had seen Dantes pass not ten minutes before;
and assured that he was at the Catalans, they sat down under
the budding foliage of the planes and sycamores, in the
branches of which the birds were singing their welcome to
one of the first days of spring.

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