Hold onto your hats, Shmoopers. This is a super long and twisty chapter.
First up: Montoni and his drinking buddies stay out 'til the break of dawn.
Meet the rest of his friends: besides Cavigni, there's Bertolini, Orsino, and Verezzi. Oh yeah, and Count Morano. Madame Montoni doesn't really like them.
Like everyone who's ever gone to Venice, Emily and the whole gang take a gondola ride.
Count Morano is definitely into Emily. He sings her a song.
When the group lands at St. Mark's, everyone heads into Count Morano's casino.
Morano also figures out that the only way to win Emily is to butter up her auntie.
Being a brown-noser might work on Madame Cheron, but not on Emily. She's still all dreamy-eyed over Valancourt.
A couple of weeks go by, and Montoni gets a letter from Quesnel. Quesnel is humble-bragging about inheriting a villa after the death of his brother's uncle.
Montoni gets a little jealous, because he's also related to Quesnel's brother's uncle. Got that?
Emily picks up on the fact that Montoni is treating her aunt pretty rudely. Actually, it doesn't even seem like he likes the old dame.
Surprise, surprise: Montoni just wanted to marry Madame Cheron for her money, but it turns out she's not that rich. We told you she was a tricky lady.
But everyone's a trickster in this neck of the woods. Montoni's broke, too, which leaves the couple in a sticky situation.
New plan: since money's tight, the group will head to Montoni's other residence, a.k.a. the Castle of Udolpho. Of course Montoni has a castle in his back pocket.
It's good timing for Emily, because Morano is making his move. She wants to get out of there.
While Emily's waiting to hear what's up with going to Udolpho, she notices that Montoni seems to be on the outs with his former buddy Cavigni.
Oh, and he's spending a lot of time in secret with his other buddy, Orsino.
Em gets a letter from Valancourt (oh, joy!) that mentions his visit to her old home. Couple of things: La Vallée has been rented out to random strangers and Quesnel has fired the loyal servant, Theresa.
Emily goes straight to Montoni with fire in her eyes. She needs him to get a message to Quesnel, ASAP.
Cool, Montoni says. Just write a few lines at the end of my letter to Quesnel about the Theresa thing.
He also asks her to write a little bit about how she's learned to conquer her emotions about La Vallée and submit to Quesnel's will.
The next night, out on the boat, Morano takes some liberties with Em. Turns out, Montoni tricked her into consenting to marriage in the letter.
Emily is pretty horrified, but there's nothing she can do to get out of the marriage.