The Count of Monte Cristo – Day 298 of 400

“Why not? Who formed the plan by which we left the establishment of M——! eh? was it not I? and it was no bad one I believe, since here we are!”

“I do not say,” replied Andrea, “that you never make a good one; but let us see your plan.”

“Well,” pursued Caderousse, “can you without expending one sou, put me in the way of getting fifteen thousand francs? No, fifteen thousand are not enough,—I cannot again become an honest man with less than thirty thousand francs.”

“No,” replied Andrea, dryly, “no, I cannot.”

“I do not think you understand me,” replied Caderousse, calmly; “I said without your laying out a sou.”

“Do you want me to commit a robbery, to spoil all my good fortune—and yours with mine—and both of us to be dragged down there again?”

“It would make very little difference to me,” said Caderousse, “if I were retaken, I am a poor creature to live alone, and sometimes pine for my old comrades; not like you, heartless creature, who would be glad never to see them again.” Andrea did more than tremble this time, he turned pale.

“Come, Caderousse, no nonsense!” said he.

“Don’t alarm yourself, my little Benedetto, but just point out to me some means of gaining those thirty thousand francs without your assistance, and I will contrive it.”

“Well, I’ll see—I’ll try to contrive some way,” said Andrea.

“Meanwhile you will raise my monthly allowance to five hundred francs, my little fellow? I have a fancy, and mean to get a housekeeper.”

“Well, you shall have your five hundred francs,” said Andrea; “but it is very hard for me, my poor Caderousse—you take advantage”—

“Bah,” said Caderousse, “when you have access to countless stores.” One would have said Andrea anticipated his companion’s words, so did his eye flash like lightning, but it was but for a moment. “True,” he replied, “and my protector is very kind.”

“That dear protector,” said Caderousse; “and how much does he give you monthly?”

“Five thousand francs.”

“As many thousands as you give me hundreds! Truly, it is only bastards who are thus fortunate. Five thousand francs per month! What the devil can you do with all that?”

“Oh, it is no trouble to spend that; and I am like you, I want capital.”

“Capital?—yes—I understand—every one would like capital.”

“Well, and I shall get it.”

“Who will give it to you—your prince?”

“Yes, my prince. But unfortunately I must wait.”

“You must wait for what?” asked Caderousse.

“For his death.”

“The death of your prince?”


“How so?”

“Because he has made his will in my favor.”


“On my honor.”

“For how much?”

“For five hundred thousand.”

“Only that? It’s little enough.”

“But so it is.”

“No it cannot be!”

“Are you my friend, Caderousse?”

“Yes, in life or death.”

“Well, I will tell you a secret.”

“What is it?”

“But remember”—

“Ah, pardieu, mute as a carp.”

“Well, I think”—Andrea stopped and looked around.

“You think? Do not fear; pardieu, we are alone.”

“I think I have discovered my father.”

“Your true father?”


“Not old Cavalcanti?”

“No, for he has gone again; the true one, as you say.”

“And that father is”—

“Well, Caderousse, it is Monte Cristo.”


“Yes, you understand, that explains all. He cannot acknowledge me openly, it appears, but he does it through M. Cavalcanti, and gives him fifty thousand francs for it.”

“Fifty thousand francs for being your father? I would have done it for half that, for twenty thousand, for fifteen thousand; why did you not think of me, ungrateful man?”

“Did I know anything about it, when it was all done when I was down there?”

“Ah, truly? And you say that by his will”—

“He leaves me five hundred thousand livres.”

“Are you sure of it?”

“He showed it me; but that is not all—there is a codicil, as I said just now.”


“And in that codicil he acknowledges me.”

“Oh, the good father, the brave father, the very honest father!” said Caderousse, twirling a plate in the air between his two hands.

“Now say if I conceal anything from you?”

“No, and your confidence makes you honorable in my opinion; and your princely father, is he rich, very rich?”

“Yes, he is that; he does not himself know the amount of his fortune.”

“Is it possible?”

“It is evident enough to me, who am always at his house. The other day a banker’s clerk brought him fifty thousand francs in a portfolio about the size of your plate; yesterday his banker brought him a hundred thousand francs in gold.” Caderousse was filled with wonder; the young man’s words sounded to him like metal, and he thought he could hear the rushing of cascades of louis. “And you go into that house?” cried he briskly.

“When I like.”

Caderousse was thoughtful for a moment. It was easy to perceive he was revolving some unfortunate idea in his mind. Then suddenly,—“How I should like to see all that,” cried he; “how beautiful it must be!”

“It is, in fact, magnificent,” said Andrea.

“And does he not live in the Champs-Elysees?”

“Yes, No. 30.”

“Ah,” said Caderousse, “No. 30.”

“Yes, a fine house standing alone, between a court-yard and a garden,—you must know it.”

“Possibly; but it is not the exterior I care for, it is the interior. What beautiful furniture there must be in it!”

“Have you ever seen the Tuileries?”


“Well, it surpasses that.”

“It must be worth one’s while to stoop, Andrea, when that good M. Monte Cristo lets fall his purse.”

“It is not worth while to wait for that,” said Andrea; “money is as plentiful in that house as fruit in an orchard.”

“But you should take me there one day with you.”

“How can I? On what plea?”

“You are right; but you have made my mouth water. I must absolutely see it; I shall find a way.”

“No nonsense, Caderousse!”

“I will offer myself as floor-polisher.”

“The rooms are all carpeted.”

“Well, then, I must be contented to imagine it.”

“That is the best plan, believe me.”

“Try, at least, to give me an idea of what it is.”

“How can I?”

“Nothing is easier. Is it large?”


“How is it arranged?”

“Faith, I should require pen, ink, and paper to make a plan.”

“They are all here,” said Caderousse, briskly. He fetched from an old secretary a sheet of white paper and pen and ink. “Here,” said Caderousse, “draw me all that on the paper, my boy.” Andrea took the pen with an imperceptible smile and began. “The house, as I said, is between the court and the garden; in this way, do you see?” Andrea drew the garden, the court and the house.

“High walls?”

“Not more than eight or ten feet.”

“That is not prudent,” said Caderousse.

“In the court are orange-trees in pots, turf, and clumps of flowers.”

“And no steel-traps?”


“The stables?”

“Are on either side of the gate, which you see there.” And Andrea continued his plan.

“Let us see the ground floor,” said Caderousse.

“On the ground-floor, dining-room, two drawing-rooms, billiard-room, staircase in the hall, and a little back staircase.”


“Magnificent windows, so beautiful, so large, that I believe a man of your size should pass through each frame.”

“Why the devil have they any stairs with such windows?”

“Luxury has everything.”

“But shutters?”

“Yes, but they are never used. That Count of Monte Cristo is an original, who loves to look at the sky even at night.”

“And where do the servants sleep?”

“Oh, they have a house to themselves. Picture to yourself a pretty coach-house at the right-hand side where the ladders are kept. Well, over that coach-house are the servants’ rooms, with bells corresponding with the different apartments.”

“Ah, diable—bells did you say?”

“What do you mean?”

“Oh, nothing! I only say they cost a load of money to hang, and what is the use of them, I should like to know?”

“There used to be a dog let loose in the yard at night, but it has been taken to the house at Auteuil, to that you went to, you know.”


“I was saying to him only yesterday, ‘You are imprudent, Monsieur Count; for when you go to Auteuil and take your servants the house is left unprotected.’ ‘Well,’ said he, ‘what next?’ ‘Well, next, some day you will be robbed.'”

“What did he answer?”

“He quietly said, ‘What do I care if I am?'”

“Andrea, he has some secretary with a spring.”

“How do you know?”

“Yes, which catches the thief in a trap and plays a tune. I was told there were such at the last exhibition.”

“He has simply a mahogany secretary, in which the key is always kept.”

“And he is not robbed?”

“No; his servants are all devoted to him.”

“There ought to be some money in that secretary?”

“There may be. No one knows what there is.”

“And where is it?”

“On the first floor.”

“Sketch me the plan of that floor, as you have done of the ground floor, my boy.”

“That is very simple.” Andrea took the pen. “On the first story, do you see, there is the anteroom and the drawing-room; to the right of the drawing-room, a library and a study; to the left, a bedroom and a dressing-room. The famous secretary is in the dressing-room.”

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. (To tell the truth I don't even really care if you give me your email or not.)