Study Guide

The Count of Monte Cristo Chapter 18

By Alexandre Dumas

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Chapter 18

The Treasure

  • The next day, Edmond returns to Faria's cell. He finds the abbé sitting up in bed, clutching a piece of paper.
  • The paper, he tells Edmond, is his treasure, and his treasure is now to be split with Edmond.
  • Edmond is still a little skeptical of Faria's claim – he thinks, maybe, that the sickness has driven him closer to madness.
  • Faria allows Edmond to read the paper, which represents half of a note:

    This treasure which may amount to two
    Roman écus in the furthest cor
    Of the second opening, which
    To him in full benefice as
    April 25, 149

  • Edmond doesn't know what to make of this, and their discussion is interrupted by the arrival of the jailer. Edmond is a little weirded out by the whole thing, so he puts off visiting Faria.
  • Faria apparently can't wait, as he climbs through the tunnel; he has a story to tell Edmond, a story that he learned from his former patron, Cardinal Spada.
  • The particulars of the story aren't so important. Let it suffice to say that, a few centuries earlier, an ancestor of Spada was invited to dine with Cesare Borgia, the son of Pope Alexander VI; Spada died under mysterious circumstances; the Pope and Cesare set about looking for Spada's large inheritance, but could find nothing. From then on the Spada family lived relatively modestly – no sign of their great fortune appeared. After Faria's patron died, Faria got to looking through his papers. Just about a month before he was arrested in 1807, something big happened. While lighting a candle with a stray piece of paper, Faria realized that it contained a very important message written in…wait for it…invisible ink.
  • To make a long story short, he now had his hands on some valuable fragments of paper, which, when put together, read:

    This day, April 25, 1498, hav…ing been invited to dinner by His Holiness
    Alexander VI, and fearing that, not…content with making me pay for my cardinal's hat he might wish to inherit my wealth and…deign for me the fate of Cardinals Crapara and Betivoglio, fatally poisoned,…I declare to my nephew Guido Spada,
    my sole legatee, that I have con…cealed in a place that he knows,
    having visited it with me, that is…in the grottoes of the little
    Isle of Monte Cristo, all that I o…wned in gold bars, gold coin, precious
    stones, diamonds, jewels, that I al…one know of the existence of this treasure which
    may amount to nearly two mill…ion Roman écus, and that he will
    find, on lifting the twentieth…rock starting from the little
    creek eastwards in a straight line. Two…openings have been made in
    these grottoes: the treasure is in the…furthest corner away from the second,
    which treasure I bequeath and endow…to him in full benifice as my
    sole heir.
    April 25, 1498 CES…ARE SPADA

  • Edmond is blown away. He can't believe Faria was able to figure all of this out.
  • Faria explains that he was arrested before he could get the treasure. If we get out of prison, he tells Edmond, half of it is yours, and if I should die, you can take it all.
  • Edmond asks if there's someone else out there who deserves the treasure more. Faria assures him there's not. The only reason I kept the secret from you so long, says Faria, was to test you and to surprise you.
  • Edmond, still incredulous, tries to reject Faria's offer; he's not his son, and so he doesn't feel he should be his heir.
  • Faria tells him that he's wrong, that he is like a son to him. Overcome, Edmond lays his head on Faria's chest and begins to weep.

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