-- the Arrival.
the 24th of February, 1810, the look-out at Notre-Dame de la
Garde signalled the three-master, the Pharaon from Smyrna,
Trieste, and Naples.
As usual, a
pilot put off immediately, and rounding the Chateau d'If, got
on board the vessel between Cape Morgion and Rion island.
and according to custom, the ramparts of Fort Saint-Jean were
covered with spectators; it is always an event at Marseilles
for a ship to come into port, especially when this ship, like
the Pharaon, has been built, rigged, and laden at the old
Phocee docks, and belongs to an owner of the city.
The ship drew
on and had safely passed the strait, which some volcanic shock
has made between the Calasareigne and Jaros islands; had
doubled Pomegue, and approached the harbor under topsails,
jib, and spanker, but so slowly and sedately that the idlers,
with that instinct which is the forerunner of evil, asked one
another what misfortune could have happened on board. However,
those experienced in navigation saw plainly that if any
accident had occurred, it was not to the vessel herself, for
she bore down with all the evidence of being skilfully
handled, the anchor a-cockbill, the jib-boom guys already
eased off, and standing by the side of the pilot, who was
steering the Pharaon towards the narrow entrance of the inner
port, was a young man, who, with activity and vigilant eye,
watched every motion of the ship, and repeated each direction
of the pilot.
disquietude which prevailed among the spectators had so much
affected one of the crowd that he did not await the arrival of
the vessel in harbor, but jumping into a small skiff, desired
to be pulled alongside the Pharaon, which he reached as she
rounded into La Reserve basin.
young man on board saw this person approach, he left his
station by the pilot, and, hat in hand, leaned over the ship's
He was a
fine, tall, slim young fellow of eighteen or twenty, with
black eyes, and hair as dark as a raven's wing; and his whole
appearance bespoke that calmness and resolution peculiar to
men accustomed from their cradle to contend with danger.
it you, Dantes?" cried the man in the skiff. "What's
the matter? and why have you such an air of sadness
misfortune, M. Morrel," replied the young man, -- "a
great misfortune, for me especially! Off Civita Vecchia we
lost our brave Captain Leclere."
cargo?" inquired the owner, eagerly.
safe, M. Morrel; and I think you will be satisfied on that
head. But poor Captain Leclere -- "
happened to him?" asked the owner, with an air of
considerable resignation. "What happened to the worthy
into the sea?"
sir, he died of brain-fever in dreadful agony." Then
turning to the crew, he said, "Bear a hand there, to take
obeyed, and at once the eight or ten seamen who composed the
crew, sprang to their respective stations at the spanker
brails and outhaul, topsail sheets and halyards, the jib
downhaul, and the topsail clewlines and buntlines. The young
sailor gave a look to see that his orders were promptly and
accurately obeyed, and then turned again to the owner.
did this misfortune occur?" inquired the latter, resuming
the interrupted conversation.
sir, in the most unexpected manner. After a long talk with the
harbor-master, Captain Leclere left Naples greatly disturbed
in mind. In twenty-four hours he was attacked by a fever, and
died three days afterwards. We performed the usual burial
service, and he is at his rest, sewn up in his hammock with a
thirty-six pound shot at his head and his heels, off El Giglio
island. We bring to his widow his sword and cross of honor. It
was worth while, truly," added the young man with a
melancholy smile, "to make war against the English for
ten years, and to die in his bed at last, like everybody
you see, Edmond," replied the owner, who appeared more
comforted at every moment, "we are all mortal, and the
old must make way for the young. If not, why, there would be
no promotion; and since you assure me that the cargo -- "
safe and sound, M. Morrel, take my word for it; and I advise
you not to take 25,000 francs for the profits of the
Then, as they
were just passing the Round Tower, the young man shouted:
"Stand by there to lower the topsails and jib; brail up
The order was
executed as promptly as it would have been on board a
-- and clue up!" At this last command all the sails were
lowered, and the vessel moved almost imperceptibly onwards.
you will come on board, M. Morrel," said Dantes,
observing the owner's impatience, "here is your
supercargo, M. Danglars, coming out of his cabin, who will
furnish you with every particular. As for me, I must look
after the anchoring, and dress the ship in mourning."
The owner did
not wait for a second invitation. He seized a rope which
Dantes flung to him, and with an activity that would have done
credit to a sailor, climbed up the side of the ship, while the
young man, going to his task, left the conversation to
Danglars, who now came towards the owner. He was a man of
twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, of unprepossessing
countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his
subordinates; and this, in addition to his position as
responsible agent on board, which is always obnoxious to the
sailors, made him as much disliked by the crew as Edmond
Dantes was beloved by them.
M. Morrel," said Danglars, "you have heard of the
misfortune that has befallen us?"
yes: poor Captain Leclere! He was a brave and an honest
first-rate seaman, one who had seen long and honorable
service, as became a man charged with the interests of a house
so important as that of Morrel & Son," replied
replied the owner, glancing after Dantes, who was watching the
anchoring of his vessel, "it seems to me that a sailor
needs not be so old as you say, Danglars, to understand his
business, for our friend Edmond seems to understand it
thoroughly, and not to require instruction from any one."
said Danglars, darting at Edmond a look gleaming with hate.
"Yes, he is young, and youth is invariably
self-confident. Scarcely was the captain's breath out of his
body when he assumed the command without consulting any one,
and he caused us to lose a day and a half at the Island of
Elba, instead of making for Marseilles direct."
taking command of the vessel," replied Morrel, "that
was his duty as captain's mate; as to losing a day and a half
off the Island of Elba, he was wrong, unless the vessel needed
vessel was in as good condition as I am, and as, I hope you
are, M. Morrel, and this day and a half was lost from pure
whim, for the pleasure of going ashore, and nothing
said the shipowner, turning towards the young man, "come
moment, sir," answered Dantes, "and I'm with
you." Then calling to the crew, he said -- "Let
was instantly dropped, and the chain ran rattling through the
port-hole. Dantes continued at his post in spite of the
presence of the pilot, until this manoeuvre was completed, and
then he added, "Half-mast the colors, and square the
see," said Danglars, "he fancies himself captain
already, upon my word."
in fact, he is," said the owner.
your signature and your partner's, M. Morrel."
should he not have this?" asked the owner; "he is
young, it is true, but he seems to me a thorough seaman, and
of full experience."
passed over Danglars' brow. "Your pardon, M. Morrel,"
said Dantes, approaching, "the vessel now rides at
anchor, and I am at your service. You hailed me, I
retreated a step or two. "I wished to inquire why you
stopped at the Island of Elba?"
not know, sir; it was to fulfil the last instructions of
Captain Leclere, who, when dying, gave me a packet for Marshal
did you see him, Edmond?"
around him, and then, drawing Dantes on one side, he said
suddenly -- "And how is the emperor?"
well, as far as I could judge from the sight of him."
the emperor, then?"
entered the marshal's apartment while I was there."
spoke to him?"
was he who spoke to me, sir," said Dantes, with a smile.
what did he say to you?"
me questions about the vessel, the time she left Marseilles,
the course she had taken, and what was her cargo. I believe,
if she had not been laden, and I had been her master, he would
have bought her. But I told him I was only mate, and that she
belonged to the firm of Morrel & Son. `Ah, yes,' he said,
`I know them. The Morrels have been shipowners from father to
son; and there was a Morrel who served in the same regiment
with me when I was in garrison at Valence.'"
and that is true!" cried the owner, greatly delighted.
"And that was Policar Morrel, my uncle, who was
afterwards a captain. Dantes, you must tell my uncle that the
emperor remembered him, and you will see it will bring tears
into the old soldier's eyes. Come, come," continued he,
patting Edmond's shoulder kindly, "you did very right,
Dantes, to follow Captain Leclere's instructions, and touch at
Elba, although if it were known that you had conveyed a packet
to the marshal, and had conversed with the emperor, it might
bring you into trouble."
could that bring me into trouble, sir?" asked Dantes;
"for I did not even know of what I was the bearer; and
the emperor merely made such inquiries as he would of the
first comer. But, pardon me, here are the health officers and
the customs inspectors coming alongside." And the young
man went to the gangway. As he departed, Danglars approached,
and said, --
it appears that he has given you satisfactory reasons for his
landing at Porto-Ferrajo?"
most satisfactory, my dear Danglars."
so much the better," said the supercargo; "for it is
not pleasant to think that a comrade has not done his
has done his," replied the owner, "and that is not
saying much. It was Captain Leclere who gave orders for this
of Captain Leclere, has not Dantes given you a letter from
-- no -- was there one?"
believe that, besides the packet, Captain Leclere confided a
letter to his care."
packet are you speaking, Danglars?"
that which Dantes left at Porto-Ferrajo."
you know he had a packet to leave at Porto-Ferrajo?"
turned very red.
passing close to the door of the captain's cabin, which was
half open, and I saw him give the packet and letter to Dantes."
not speak to me of it," replied the shipowner; "but
if there be any letter he will give it to me."
reflected for a moment. "Then, M. Morrel, I beg of
you," said he, "not to say a word to Dantes on the
subject. I may have been mistaken."
moment the young man returned; Danglars withdrew.
my dear Dantes, are you now free?" inquired the owner.
have not been long detained."
gave the custom-house officers a copy of our bill of lading;
and as to the other papers, they sent a man off with the
pilot, to whom I gave them."
you have nothing more to do here?"
everything is all right now."
you can come and dine with me?"
really must ask you to excuse me, M. Morrel. My first visit is
due to my father, though I am not the less grateful for the
honor you have done me."
Dantes, quite right. I always knew you were a good son."
inquired Dantes, with some hesitation, "do you know how
my father is?"
believe, my dear Edmond, though I have not seen him
likes to keep himself shut up in his little room."
proves, at least, that he has wanted for nothing during your
smiled. "My father is proud, sir, and if he had not a
meal left, I doubt if he would have asked anything from
anyone, except from Heaven."
then, after this first visit has been made we shall count on
again excuse myself, M. Morrel, for after this first visit has
been paid I have another which I am most anxious to pay."
Dantes, I forgot that there was at the Catalans some one who
expects you no less impatiently than your father -- the lovely
ha," said the shipowner, "I am not in the least
surprised, for she has been to me three times, inquiring if
there were any news of the Pharaon. Peste, Edmond, you have a
very handsome mistress!"
not my mistress," replied the young sailor, gravely;
"she is my betrothed."
one and the same thing," said Morrel, with a smile.
with us, sir," replied Dantes.
well, my dear Edmond," continued the owner, "don't
let me detain you. You have managed my affairs so well that I
ought to allow you all the time you require for your own. Do
you want any money?"
sir; I have all my pay to take -- nearly three months'
a careful fellow, Edmond."
have a poor father, sir."
yes, I know how good a son you are, so now hasten away to see
your father. I have a son too, and I should be very wroth with
those who detained him from me after a three months'
have your leave, sir?"
you have nothing more to say to me."
Leclere did not, before he died, give you a letter for
unable to write, sir. But that reminds me that I must ask your
leave of absence for some days."
first, and then to go to Paris."
good; have what time you require, Dantes. It will take quite
six weeks to unload the cargo, and we cannot get you ready for
sea until three months after that; only be back again in three
months, for the Pharaon," added the owner, patting the
young sailor on the back, "cannot sail without her
her captain!" cried Dantes, his eyes sparkling with
animation; "pray mind what you say, for you are touching
on the most secret wishes of my heart. Is it really your
intention to make me captain of the Pharaon?"
were sole owner we'd shake hands on it now, my dear Dantes,
and call it settled; but I have a partner, and you know the
Italian proverb -- Chi ha compagno ha padrone -- `He who has a
partner has a master.' But the thing is at least half done, as
you have one out of two votes. Rely on me to procure you the
other; I will do my best."
Morrel," exclaimed the young seaman, with tears in his
eyes, and grasping the owner's hand, "M. Morrel, I thank
you in the name of my father and of Mercedes."
all right, Edmond. There's a providence that watches over the
deserving. Go to your father: go and see Mercedes, and
afterwards come to me."
row you ashore?"
thank you; I shall remain and look over the accounts with
Danglars. Have you been satisfied with him this voyage?"
according to the sense you attach to the question, sir. Do you
mean is he a good comrade? No, for I think he never liked me
since the day when I was silly enough, after a little quarrel
we had, to propose to him to stop for ten minutes at the
island of Monte Cristo to settle the dispute -- a proposition
which I was wrong to suggest, and he quite right to refuse. If
you mean as responsible agent when you ask me the question, I
believe there is nothing to say against him, and that you will
be content with the way in which he has performed his
tell me, Dantes, if you had command of the Pharaon should you
be glad to see Danglars remain?"
or mate, M. Morrel, I shall always have the greatest respect
for those who possess the owners' confidence."
right, that's right, Dantes! I see you are a thoroughly good
fellow, and will detain you no longer. Go, for I see how
impatient you are."
have the use of your skiff?"
for the present, M. Morrel, farewell, and a thousand
soon to see you again, my dear Edmond. Good luck to you."
sailor jumped into the skiff, and sat down in the stern
sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La Canebiere.
The two oarsmen bent to their work, and the little boat glided
away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand
vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the
two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbor to the Quai
smiling, followed him with his eyes until he saw him spring
out on the quay and disappear in the midst of the throng,
which from five o'clock in the morning until nine o'clock at
night, swarms in the famous street of La Canebiere, -- a
street of which the modern Phocaeans are so proud that they
say with all the gravity in the world, and with that accent
which gives so much character to what is said, "If Paris
had La Canebiere, Paris would be a second Marseilles." On
turning round the owner saw Danglars behind him, apparently
awaiting orders, but in reality also watching the young
sailor, -- but there was a great difference in the expression
of the two men who thus followed the movements of Edmond