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第2节 父与子 【
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本文地址:http://www.yeidj.com.cn/book/story.php?id=158
文章摘要:父与子 ,惧怕西湾大肠杆菌,筛选五指霍然而愈。

我们暂且先放下不谈腾格拉尔如何怀着仇恨,竭力在船主莫雷尔的耳边讲他的同伴的坏话的。且说唐太斯横过了卡纳比埃尔街,顺着诺埃尹街转入梅兰巷,走进了靠左边的一家小房子里。他在黑暗的楼梯上一手扶着栏杆,一手按在他那狂跳的心上,急急地奔上了四层楼梯。他在一扇半开半掩的门前停了下来,那半开的门里是一个小房间。

唐太斯的父亲就住在这个房间里。法老号到港的消息老人还不知道。这时他正踩在一张椅子上,用颤抖的手指在窗口绑扎牵牛花和萎草花,想编成一个花棚。突然他觉得一只手臂拦腰抱住了他,随即一个熟悉的声音在耳边喊起来,“父亲!亲爱的父亲!”

老人惊叫了一声,转过身来,一看是自己的儿子,就颤巍巍地脸色惨白地倒在了他的怀抱中。

“你怎么啦,我最亲爱的父亲!你病了吗?”青年吃惊地问。

“不,不,我亲爱的爱德蒙——我的孩子——我的宝贝!不,我没想到你回来了。我真太高兴了,这样突然的看见你太让我激动了——天哪,我觉得我都快要死了。”

“高兴点,亲爱的父亲!是我——真的是我!人们都说高兴绝不会有伤身体的,所以我就偷偷的溜了进来。嗨!对我笑笑,不要拿这种疑惑的眼光看我呀。是我回来啦,我们现在要过快活的日子了。”

“孩子,我们要过快活的日子,——我们要过快活的日子,”老人说道。“但我们怎么才能快活呢?难道你会永远不再离开我了吗?来,快告诉我你交了什么好运了?”

“愿上帝宽恕我:我的幸福是建立在另一家人丧亲的痛苦上的,但上帝知道我并不是自己要这样的。事情既然已经发生了,我实在无法装出那种悲哀的样子。父亲,我们那位好心的船长莱克勒先生他死了,承蒙莫雷尔先生的推荐,我极有可能接替他的位置。你懂吗,父亲?想想看,我二十岁就能当上船长,薪水是一百金路易[法国金币名。],还可以分红利!这可是象我这样的穷水手以前连想都不敢想的呀。”

“是的,我亲爱的孩子,”老人回答说,——“是的,这真是一桩大喜事的。”

“嗯,等我拿到第一笔钱时,我就为你买一所房子,要带花园的,你可以在里面种种牵牛花,萎草花和皂荚花什么的。你怎么了,父亲,你不舒服吗?”

“没什么,没什么,就会好的。”老人说着,终因年老体衰,力不从心,倒在了椅子里。

“来,来,”青年说,“喝点酒吧,父亲,你就会好的。你把酒放在哪儿了?”

“不,不用了,谢谢。你不用找了,我不喝。”老人说。

“喝,一定要喝父亲,告诉我酒在什么地方?”唐太斯一面说着,一面打开了两三个碗柜。

“你找不到的,”老人说,“没有酒了。”

“什么!没有酒了?”唐太斯说,他的脸色渐渐变白了,看着老人那深陷的双颊,又看看那空空的碗柜——“什么!没有酒了?父亲,你缺钱用吗?”

“我只要见到了你,就什么都不缺了。”老人说。

“可是,”唐太斯擦了一把额头上的冷汗,嗫嚅地说,——“可是三个月前我临走的时候给你留下过两百法郎呀。”

“是的,是的,爱德蒙,一点儿不错。但你当时忘了你还欠我们邻居卡德鲁斯一笔小债。他跟我提起了这件事,对我说,假如我不代你还债,他就会去找莫雷尔先生,去向他讨还,所以,为了免得你受影响……”

“那么?”

“哪,我就把钱还给他了。”

“可是,”唐太斯叫了起来,“我欠了卡德鲁斯一百四十法朗埃!”

“不错。”老人呐呐地说。

“那就是说你就从我留给你的两百法朗里抽出来还了他了?”

老人做了一个肯定的表示。

“这么说,三个月来你就只靠六十个法朗来维持生活!”青年自言自语地说。

“你知道我花销不大。”老人说。

“噢,上帝饶恕我吧!”爱德蒙哭着跪到了老人的面前。

“你这是怎么了?”

“你使我感到太伤心了!”

“这没什么,孩子。”老人说,“我一看到你,就什么都忘了,现在一切都好了。”

“是啊,我回来了,”青年说,“带着一个幸福远大的前程和一点钱回来了。看,父亲,看!”他说,“拿着吧——拿着,赶快叫人去买点东西。”说着他翻开口袋,把钱全倒在桌子上,一共有十几块金洋,五六块艾居[法国银币名。]和一些小零币。老唐太斯的脸上顿时展开了笑容。

“这些钱是谁的?”他问。

“是我的!你的!我们的!拿着吧,重庆时时彩五星定胆:去买些吃的东西。快活些,明天我们还会有更多的。”

“小声点,轻点声,”老人微笑着说。”我还是把你的钱节省点用吧——因为大家要是看见我一次买了那么多的东西,就会说我非得等着你回来才能买得起那些东西。”

“随你便吧,但最重要的,父亲,该先雇一个佣人。我决不再让你独自一个人长期孤零零地生活了。我私下带了一些咖啡和上等烟草,现在都放在船上的小箱子里,明天早晨我就可以拿来给你了。嘘,别出声!有人来了。”

“是卡德鲁斯,他一定是听到了你回来的消息,知道你交了好运了,来向你道贺的。”

“哼!口是心非的家伙,”爱德蒙轻声说道。“不过,他毕竟是我们的邻居,而且还帮过我们的忙,所以我们还是应该表示欢迎的。”

爱德蒙的这句话刚轻声讲完,卡德鲁斯那个黑发蓬松的头便出现在门口。他看上去约莫二十五六岁,手里拿着一块布料,他原是一个裁缝,这块布料是他预备拿来做衣服的衬里用的。

“怎么!真是你回来了吗,爱德蒙?”他带着很重的马赛口音开口说道,露出满口白得如象牙一样的牙齿笑着。

“是的,我回来了,卡德鲁斯邻居,我正准备着想使你高兴一下呢。”唐太斯回答道,答话虽彬彬有礼,却仍掩饰不住他内心的冷淡。

“谢谢,谢谢,不过幸亏我还不需要什么。倒是有时人家需要我的帮忙呢。”唐太斯不觉动了一下。“我不是指你,我的孩子。不,不!我借钱给你,你还了我。好邻居之间这种事是常有的,我们已经两清了。”

“我们对那些帮助过我们的人是永远忘不了的。”唐太斯说,“因为我们虽还清了他们的钱,却还不清负他们的情的。”

“还提它干什么?过去的都过去了。让我们来谈谈你这次幸运的归来的事儿吧,孩子。我刚才到码头上去配一块细花布,碰到了我们的朋友腾格拉尔。‘怎么!你也在马赛呀!’我当时就喊了出来。他说:‘是呀。’‘我还以为你在士麦拿呢。’‘不错,我去过那儿,但现在又回来了。’‘我那亲爱的小家伙爱德蒙他在哪儿,’我问他。腾格拉尔就回答说:‘一定在他父亲那儿。’所以我就急忙跑来了,”卡德鲁斯接着说,“来高高兴兴地和老朋友握手。”

“好心的卡德鲁斯!”老人说,“他待我们多好啊!”

“是呀,我当然要这样的,我爱你们,并且敬重你们,天底下好人可不多啊!我的孩子,你好象是发了财回来啦。”裁缝一面说,一面斜眼看着唐太斯抛在桌子上的那一把金币和银币。

青年看出了从他邻居那黑眼睛里流露出的贪婪的目光。

他漫不经心地说,“这些钱不是我的,父亲看出我担心,他当我不在的时候缺钱用,为了让我放心,就把他钱包里的钱都倒在桌子上给我看。来吧,父亲。”唐太斯接着说,“快把这些钱收回到你的箱子里去吧,——除非我们的邻居卡德鲁斯要用,我们倒是乐意帮这个忙的。”

“不,孩子,不,”卡德鲁斯说,“我根本不需要,干我这行够吃的了。把你的钱收起来吧,——我说。一个人的钱不一定非得很多,我虽用不上你的钱,但对你的好意我还是很感激的。”

“我可是真心的呀。”唐太斯说。

“那当然,那当然。唔,我听说你和莫雷尔先生的关系不错,你这只得宠的小狗!”

“莫雷尔先生待我一直特别友善。”唐太斯回答。

“那么他请你吃饭你不该拒绝他呀。”

“什么!你竟然回绝他请你吃饭?”老唐太斯说。“他邀请过你吃饭吗?”

“是的,我亲爱的父亲。”爱德蒙回答。看到父亲因自己的儿子得到别人的器重而显出惊异的神情,便笑了笑。

“孩子呀,你为什么拒绝呢?”老人问。

“为了快点回来看你呀,我亲爱的父亲,”青年答道,“我太想你了。”

“但你这样做一定会使可敬的莫雷尔先生不高兴的,”卡德鲁斯说。“尤其是当你快要升为船长的时候,是不该在这时得罪船主的。”

“但我已把谢绝的理由向他解释过了,”唐太斯回答,“我想他会谅解的。”

“但是要想当船长,就该对船主恭敬一点才好。”

“我希望不恭顺也能当船长。”唐太斯说。

“那更好,——那更好!你这个消息会让那些老朋友听了都高兴的,我还知道圣·尼古拉堡那边有一个人,听到这个好消息也会高兴的。”

“你是说美塞苔丝吗?”老人说。

“是的,我亲爱的父亲,现在我已经见过了你,知道你很好,并不缺什么,我就放心了。请允许我到迦太罗尼亚人的村里,好吗?”

“去吧,我亲爱的孩子,”老唐太斯说,“望上帝保佑你的妻子,就如同保佑我的儿子一样!”

“他的妻子!”卡德鲁斯说,“你说得太早了点吧,唐太斯老爹。她还没正式成为他的妻子呢。”

“是这样的,但从各方面看,她肯定会成为我妻子的。”爱德蒙回答。

“不错,不错,”卡德鲁斯说,“但你这次回来得很快,做得是对的,我的孩子。”

“你这是什么意思?”

“因为美塞苔丝是一位非常漂亮的姑娘,而漂亮姑娘总是不乏有人追求的。尤其是她,身后有上打的追求者呢。”

“真的吗?”爱德蒙虽微笑着回答,但微笑里却流露出一点的不安。

“啊,是的,“卡德鲁斯又说,“而且都是些条件不错的人呢,但你知道,你就要做船长了,她怎么会拒绝你呢?”

“你是说,“唐太斯问道,他微笑着并没有掩饰住他的焦急,“假如我不是一个船长——”

“唉,唉。”卡德鲁斯说。

“得了,得了,”年轻的唐太斯说:“一般说来,对女人,我可比你了解的得多,尤其是美塞苔丝。我相信,不论我当不当船长,她都是忠诚于我的。”

“那再好也没有了,卡德鲁斯说。“一个人快要结婚的时候,信心十足总是好事。别管这些了,我的孩子,快去报到吧,并把你的希望告诉她。”

“我就去。”爱德蒙回答他,拥抱了一下他的父亲,挥挥手和卡德鲁斯告辞,就走出房间去了。

卡德鲁斯又呆了一会,便离开老唐太斯,下楼去见腾格拉尔,后者正在西纳克街的拐角上等他。

“怎么样,”腾格拉尔说,“你见到他了吗?”

“我刚从他那儿来。”

“他提到他希望做船长的事了吗?”

“他说的若有其事,那口气就好象事情已经决定了似的。”

“别忙!”腾格拉尔说,“依我看,他未免太心急了”。

“怎么,这件事莫雷尔先生好象已经答应他了啦。”

“这么说他已经在那儿自鸣得意了吗?”

“他简直骄傲得很,已经要来关照我了。好象他是个什么大人物似的,而且还要借钱给我,好象是一个银行家。”

“你拒绝了吗?”

“当然,虽然我即便是接受了也问心无愧,因为他第一次摸到发亮的银币,还是我放到他手里的。但现在唐太斯先生已不再要人帮忙了,他就要做船长了。”

“呸!”腾格拉尔说,“他现在还没有做成呢。”

“他还是做不成的好,”卡德鲁斯回答,“不然我们就别想再跟他说上话了。”

“假如我们愿意可以还让他爬上去,”腾格拉尔答道,“他爬不上去,或许不如现在呢。”

“你这话是什么意思?”

“没什么,我不过自己这么说着玩儿罢了。他还爱着那个漂亮的迦太尼亚小妞吗?”

“简直爱得发疯了,但除非是我弄错了,在这方面他可能要遇到点麻烦了。”

“你说清楚点。”

“我干吗要说清楚呢?”

“这件事或许比你想象得还要重要,你不喜欢唐太斯对吧?”

“我一向不喜欢目空一切的人。”

“那么关于迦太罗尼亚人的事,把你所知道的都告诉我吧。”

“我所知道的可都不怎么确切,只是就我亲眼见的来说,我猜想那位未来的船长会在老医务所路附近。”

“你知道些什么事,告诉我!”

“是这样的,我每次看见美塞苔丝进城时,总有一个身材魁梧高大的迦太罗尼亚小伙子陪着她,那个人有一对黑色的眼睛,肤色褐中透红,很神气很威武,她叫他表哥。”

“真的!那么你认为这位表兄在追求她吗?”

“我只是这么想。一个身材魁梧的二十几岁的小伙子,对一个漂亮的十七岁的少女还能有什么别的想法呢?”

“你说唐太斯已到迦太罗尼亚人那儿去了吗”?

“我没有下楼他就去了。”

“那我们就到这条路上去吧,我们可以在瑞瑟夫酒家那儿等着,一面喝拉玛尔格酒,一面听听消息。”

“谁向我们通消息呢?”

“我们在半路上等着他呀,看一下他的神色怎么样,就知道了。”

“走吧,”卡德鲁斯说,“但话说在前面,你来付酒钱。”

“那当然,”腾格拉尔说道。他们快步走向约定的地点,要了瓶酒。

邦非尔老爹看见唐太斯在十分钟以前刚刚过去。他们既确知了他还在迦太罗尼亚人的村里。便在长着嫩叶的梧桐树下和大枫树底下坐下来。头上的树枝间,小鸟们正在动人地合唱着,歌唱春天的好时光。
 

WE WILL LEAVE Danglars struggling with the demon of hatred, and endeavoring to insinuate in the ear of the shipowner some evil suspicions against his comrade, and follow Dantès, who, after having traversed La Canebière, took the Rue de Noailles, and entering a small house, on the left of the Allées de Meillan, rapidly ascended four flights of a dark staircase, holding the baluster with one hand, while with the other he repressed the beatings of his heart, and paused before a half-open door, from which he could see the whole of a small room.
This room was occupied by Dantès' father. The news of the arrival of the Pharaon had not yet reached the old man, who, mounted on a chair, was amusing himself by training with trembling hand the nasturtiums and sprays of clematis that clambered over the trellis at his window. Suddenly, he felt an arm thrown around his body, and a well-known voice behind him exclaimed, "Father--dear father!"

The old man uttered a cry, and turned round; then, seeing his son, he fell into his arms, pale and trembling.

"What ails you, my dearest father? Are you ill?" inquired the young man, much alarmed.

"No, no, my dear Edmond--my boy--my son!--no; but I did not expect you; and joy, the surprise of seeing you so suddenly--Ah, I feel as if I were going to die."

"Come, come, cheer up, my dear father! 'Tis I--really I! They say joy never hurts, and so I came to you without any warning. Come now, do smile, instead of looking at me so solemnly. Here I am back again, and we are going to be happy."

"Yes, yes, my boy, so we will--so we will," replied the old man; "but how shall we be happy? Shall you never leave me again? Come, tell me all the good fortune that has befallen you."

"God forgive me," said the young man, "for rejoicing at happiness derived from the misery of others, but, Heaven knows, I did not seek this good fortune; it has happened, and I really cannot pretend to lament it. The good Captain Leclere is dead, father, and it is probable that, with the aid of M. Morrel, I shall have his place. Do you understand, father? Only imagine me a captain at twenty, with a hundred louis pay, and a share in the profits! Is this not more than a poor sailor like me could have hoped for?"

"Yes, my dear boy," replied the old man, "it is very fortunate."

"Well, then, with the first money I touch, I mean you to have a small house, with a garden in which to plant clematis, nasturtiums, and honeysuckle. But what ails you, father? Are you not well?"

"'Tis nothing, nothing; it will soon pass away"--and as he said so the old man's strength failed him, and he fell backwards.

"Come, come," said the young man, "a glass of wine, father, will revive you. Where do you keep your wine?"

"No, no; thanks. You need not look for it; I do not want it," said the old man.

"Yes, yes, father, tell me where it is," and he opened two or three cupboards.

"It is no use," said the old man, "there is no wine."

"What, no wine?" said Dantès, turning pale, and looking alternately at the hollow cheeks of the old man and the empty cupboards. "What, no wine? Have you wanted money, father?"

"I want nothing now that I have you," said the old man.

"Yet," stammered Dantès, wiping the perspiration from his brow,--"yet I gave you two hundred francs when I left, three months ago."

"Yes, yes, Edmond, that is true, but you forgot at that time a little debt to our neighbor, Caderousse. He reminded me of it, telling me if I did not pay for you, he would be paid by M. Morrel; and so, you see, lest he might do you an injury" --

"Well?"

"Why, I paid him."

"But," cried Dantès, "it was a hundred and forty francs I owed Caderousse."

"Yes," stammered the old man.

"And you paid him out of the two hundred francs I left you?"

The old man nodded.

"So that you have lived for three months on sixty francs," muttered Edmond.

"You know how little I require," said the old man.

"Heaven pardon me," cried Edmond, falling on his knees before his father.

"What are you doing?"

"You have wounded me to the heart."

"Never mind it, for I see you once more," said the old man; "and now it's all over--everything is all right again."

"Yes, here I am," said the young man, "with a promising future and a little money. Here, father, here!" he said, "take this--take it, and send for something immediately." And he emptied his pockets on the table, the contents consisting of a dozen gold pieces, five or six five-franc pieces, and some smaller coin. The countenance of old Dantès brightened.

"Whom does this belong to?" he inquired.

"To me, to you, to us! Take it; buy some provisions; be happy, and to-morrow we shall have more." "Gently, gently," said the old man, with a smile; "and by your leave I will use your purse moderately, for they would say, if they saw me buy too many things at a time, that I had been obliged to await your return, in order to be able to purchase them."

"Do as you please; but, first of all, pray have a servant, father. I will not have you left alone so long. I have some smuggled coffee and most capital tobacco, in a small chest in the hold, which you shall have to-morrow. But, hush, here comes somebody."

"'Tis Caderousse, who has heard of your arrival, and no doubt comes to congratulate you on your fortunate return."

"Ah, lips that say one thing, while the heart thinks another," murmured Edmond. "But, never mind, he is a neighbor who has done us a service on a time, so he's welcome."

As Edmond paused, the black and bearded head of Caderousse appeared at the door. He was a man of twenty-five or six, and held a piece of cloth, which, being a tailor, he was about to make into a coat-lining.

"What, is it you, Edmond, back again?" said he, with a broad Marseillaise accent, and a grin that displayed his ivory-white teeth.

"Yes, as you see, neighbor Caderousse; and ready to be agreeable to you in any and every way," replied Dantès, but ill-concealing his coldness under this cloak of civility.

"Thanks--thanks; but, fortunately, I do not want for anything; and it chances that at times there are others who have need of me." Dantès made a gesture. "I do not allude to you, my boy. No!--no! I lent you money, and you returned it; that's like good neighbors, and we are quits."

"We are never quits with those who oblige us," was Dantès' reply; "for when we do not owe them money, we owe them gratitude."

"What's the use of mentioning that? What is done is done. Let us talk of your happy return, my boy. I had gone on the quay to match a piece of mulberry cloth, when I met friend Danglars. 'You at Marseilles?'--'Yes,' says he.

"'I thought you were at Smyrna.'--'I was; but am now back again.'

"'And where is the dear boy, our little Edmond?'

"'Why, with his father, no doubt,' replied Danglars. And so I came," added Caderousse, "as fast as I could to have the pleasure of shaking hands with a friend."

"Worthy Caderousse!" said the old man, "he is so much attached to us."

"Yes, to be sure I am. I love and esteem you, because honest folks are so rare. But it seems you have come back rich, my boy," continued the tailor, looking askance at the handful of gold and silver which Dantès had thrown on the table.

The young man remarked the greedy glance which shone in the dark eyes of his neighbor. "Eh," he said, negligently. "this money is not mine. I was expressing to my father my fears that he had wanted many things in my absence, and to convince me he emptied his purse on the table. Come, father" added Dantès, "put this money back in your box--unless neighbor Caderousse wants anything, and in that case it is at his service."

"No, my boy, no," said Caderousse. "I am not in any want, thank God, my living is suited to my means. Keep your money--keep it, I say;--one never has too much;--but, at the same time, my boy, I am as much obliged by your offer as if I took advantage of it."

"It was offered with good will," said Dantès.

"No doubt, my boy; no doubt. Well, you stand well with M. Morrel I hear,--you insinuating dog, you!"

"M. Morrel has always been exceedingly kind to me," replied Dantès.

"Then you were wrong to refuse to dine with him." "What, did you refuse to dine with him?" said old Dantès; "and did he invite you to dine?"

"Yes, my dear father," replied Edmond, smiling at his father's astonishment at the excessive honor paid to his son.

"And why did you refuse, my son?" inquired the old man.

"That I might the sooner see you again, my dear father," replied the young man. "I was most anxious to see you."

"But it must have vexed M. Morrel, good, worthy man," said Caderousse. "And when you are looking forward to be captain, it was wrong to annoy the owner."

"But I explained to him the cause of my refusal," replied Dantès, "and I hope he fully understood it."

"Yes, but to be captain one must do a little flattery to one's patrons."

"I hope to be captain without that," said Dantès.

"So much the better--so much the better! Nothing will give greater pleasure to all your old friends; and I know one down there behind the Saint Nicolas citadel who will not be sorry to hear it."

"Mercédès?" said the old man.

"Yes, my dear father, and with your permission, now I have seen you, and know you are well and have all you require, I will ask your consent to go and pay a visit to the Catalans."

"Go, my dear boy," said old Dantès: "and heaven bless you in your wife, as it has blessed me in my son!"

"His wife!" said Caderousse; "why, how fast you go on, father Dantès; she is not his wife yet, as it seems to me."

"So, but according to all probability she soon will be," replied Edmond.

"Yes--yes," said Caderousse; "but you were right to return as soon as possible, my boy."

"And why?"

"Because Mercédès is a very fine girl, and fine girls never lack followers; she particularly has them by dozens."

"Really?" answered Edmond, with a smile which had in it traces of slight uneasiness.

"Ah, yes," continued Caderousse, "and capital offers, too; but you know, you will be captain, and who could refuse you then?"

"Meaning to say," replied Dantès, with a smile which but ill-concealed his trouble, "that if I were not a captain"--

"Eh--eh!" said Caderousse, shaking his head.

"Come, come," said the sailor, "I have a better opinion than you of women in general, and of Mercédès in particular; and I am certain that, captain or not, she will remain ever faithful to me."

"So much the better--so much the better," said Caderousse. "When one is going to be married, there is nothing like implicit confidence; but never mind that, my boy,--go and announce your arrival, and let her know all your hopes and prospects."

"I will go directly," was Edmond's reply; and, embracing his father, and nodding to Caderousse, he left the apartment.

Caderousse lingered for a moment, then taking leave of old Dantès, he went downstairs to rejoin Danglars, who awaited him at the corner of the Rue Senac.

"Well," said Danglars, "did you see him?"

"I have just left him," answered Caderousse.

"Did he allude to his hope of being captain?"

"He spoke of it as a thing already decided."

"Indeed!" said Danglars, "he is in too much hurry, it appears to me."

"Why, it seems M. Morrel has promised him the thing."

"So that he is quite elated about it?"

"Why, yes, he is actually insolent over the matter--has already offered me his patronage, as if he were a grand personage, and proffered me a loan of money, as though he were a banker."

"Which you refused?"

"Most assuredly; although I might easily have accepted it, for it was I who put into his hands the first silver he ever earned; but now M. Dantès has no longer any occasion for assistance--he is about to become a captain."

"Pooh!" said Danglars, "he is not one yet."

"Ma foi! it will be as well if he is not," answered Caderousse; "for if he should be, there will be really no speaking to him."

"If we choose," replied Danglars, "he will remain what he is; and perhaps become even less than he is."

"What do you mean?"

"Nothing--I was speaking to myself. And is he still in love with the Catalane?"

"Over head and ears; but, unless I am much mistaken, there will be a storm in that quarter."

"Explain yourself."

"Why should I?"

"It is more important than you think, perhaps. You do not like Dantès?"

"I never like upstarts."

"Then tell me all you know about the Catalane."

"I know nothing for certain; only I have seen things which induce me to believe, as I told you, that the future captain will find some annoyance in the vicinity of the Vieilles Infirmeries."

"What have you seen?--come, tell me!"

"Well, every time I have seen Mercédès come into the city she has been accompanied by a tall, strapping, black-eyed Catalan, with a red complexion, brown skin, and fierce air, whom she calls cousin."

"Really; and you think this cousin pays her attentions?"

"I only suppose so. What else can a strapping chap of twenty-one mean with a fine wench of seventeen?"

"And you say that Dantès has gone to the Catalans?"

"He went before I came down."

"Let us go the same way; we will stop at La Rèserve, and we can drink a glass of La Malgue, whilst we wait for news."

"Come along," said Caderousse; "but you pay the score."

"Of course," replied Danglars; and going quickly to the designated place, they called for a bottle of wine, and two glasses.

Père Pamphile had seen Dantès pass not ten minutes before; and assured that he was at the Catalans, they sat down under the budding foliage of the planes and sycamores, in the branches of which the birds were singing their welcome to one of the first days of spring.   
  
 
 



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