Dumas Alexandre (1803-1870)

Count of Monte Cristo (cap. 55)


"What would you have?" said Monte Cristo; "we are all mortal. Now, you understand, my dear Monsieur Cavalcanti, that it is useless for you to tell people in France that you have been separated from your son for fifteen years. Stories of gypsies, who steal children, are not at all in vogue in this part of the world, and would not be believed. You sent him for his education to a college in one of the provinces, and now you wish him to complete his education in the Parisian world. That is the reason which has induced you to leave Via Reggio, where you have lived since the death of your wife. That will be sufficient."
"You think so?"
"Very well, then."
"If they should hear of the separation" --
"Ah, yes; what could I say?"
"That an unfaithful tutor, bought over by the enemies of your family" --
"By the Corsinari?"
"Precisely. Had stolen away this child, in order that your name might become extinct."
"That is reasonable, since he is an only son."
"Well, now that all is arranged, do not let these newly awakened remembrances be forgotten. You have, doubtless, already guessed that I was preparing a surprise for you?"
"An agreeable one?" asked the Italian.
"Ah, I see the eye of a father is no more to be deceived than his heart."
"Hum!" said the major.
"Some one has told you the secret; or, perhaps, you guessed that he was here."
"That who was here?"
"Your child -- your son -- your Andrea!"
"I did guess it," replied the major with the greatest possible coolness. "Then he is here?"
"He is," said Monte Cristo; "when the valet de chambre came in just now, he told me of his arrival."
"Ah, very well, very well," said the major, clutching the buttons of his coat at each exclamation.
"My dear sir," said Monte Cristo, "I understand your emotion; you must have time to recover yourself. I will, in the meantime, go and prepare the young man for this much-desired interview, for I presume that he is not less impatient for it than yourself."
"I should quite imagine that to be the case," said Cavalcanti.
"Well, in a quarter of an hour he shall be with you."