Study Guide

The Count of Monte Cristo Chapter 12

By Alexandre Dumas

Chapter 12

Father and Son

  • Once the valet leaves, M. Noirtier locks all the doors in the room.
  • Villefort asks his father if he knows anything about the Bonapartist club on the Rue Saint-Jacques; of course, he replies, I'm the vice president.
  • Villefort and his father discuss the matter of General Quesnel, spending a lot of time discussing the nature of "murder" in general. Noirtier tells him that the General had been invited to the club under the assumption he was a Bonaparte sympathizer; still, he swore to keep the plan secret. He must, Noirtier continue, have taken a wrong turn somewhere and ended up in the Seine. He assures his son that there's nothing anyone can do to stop Napoleon, then turns to leave.
  • Villefort stops him and tells him that the police have a description of the supposed murderer.
  • With surprising quickness, Noirtier gives himself a shave and dresses himself in his son's clothing.
  • Noirtier thanks Villefort for saving his life – he's serious – and promises to return the favor. He tells his son to give the king the straight dope on what's happening with Napoleon – in the end, his honesty will help him regain the monarchy's favor, should it be restored. He also assures him that he, Villefort, will get to keep his job in Marseille.
  • And then he's gone.
  • Villefort watches from the windows as he runs from the hotel, then gets to work disposing of his father's old clothing. Soon enough he's back in Marseille.

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