“Moral wounds have the peculiarity that they are invisible but do not close; always painful, always ready to bleed when touched, they remain tender and open in the heart.”
I had an unexpected day off work on Thursday and spent much of it lazing around, reading The Count Of Monte Cristo and watching costume dramas on Film 4. Afterwards I felt a little guilty for being so unproductive but I’d been in a dreary sort of mood and I was too lazy to do anything but indulge it for an afternoon. So I made some tea, read some Dumas and watched Mr Darcy chase Keira Knightley around in the rain for a while. There are worse ways to cheer yourself up.
Clearly my lazy day yielded positive results as I now find that I have reached Chapter 86 of TCOMC. Without noticing it I appear to have read the best part of fifty chapters in a week. Crikey! The end is almost in sight.
Currently Edmond Dantes, in his guise as the Count, is in Paris and causing quite a stir on his secret path to revenge. I’ve quite enjoyed watching him ingratiate himself into the families of his old enemies, setting cunning traps to turn them against each other. He’s not even doing much of the dirty work himself. Instead he’s very subtly manipulating other people, mainly those who have also been wronged by his enemies, into doing it all for him. I suppose at the end he’ll be able to put his hands up and say, “Who? Me?” in all innocence. He’ll be able to deny any obvious involvement.
Danglars, Mondego and Villefort clearly don’t suspect a thing yet but, in fairness to them, I don’t know what’s going to happen either. The Count is still playing his cards very close to his chest. Will he bring down his enemies one by one or will they all fall at once? Will he reveal his true identity or will someone else reveal it for him? Will innocent bystanders get hurt in the process? (I’m thinking particularly of the Viscount de Morcerf here as I’ve grown quite fond of dear Albert. I’m afraid that the Count seems to think the children of his enemies are fair game when it comes to revenge). And what will happen to Mercedes? And will Edmond Dantes find peace in the end?
There’s still no sign of any immediate answers to my questions although we’re finally starting to see the results of some of the Count’s meddling. I wondered, briefly, whether the worst of his plotting was over now and he’d just sit back and watch his enemies crumble before him…. but then I remembered that I still have another three hundred pages to go. I’m sure the dear man still has a trick or two up his sleeve yet.