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M. NOIRTIER was a true prophet, and things progressed rapidly, as he had predicted. Every one knows the history of the famous return from Elba, a return which was unprecedented in the past, and will probably remain without a counterpart in the future.

Louis XVIII made but a faint attempt to parry this unexpected blow; the monarchy he had scarcely reconstructed tottered on its precarious foundation, and at a sign from the emperor the incongruous structure of ancient prejudices and new ideas fell to the ground. Villefort, therefore, gained nothing save the king's gratitude (which was rather likely to injure him at the present time) and the cross of the Legion of Honor, which he had the prudence not to wear, although M. de Blacas had duly forwarded the brevet.

Napoleon would, doubtless, have deprived Villefort of his office had it not been for Noirtier, who was all powerful at court, and thus the Girondin of '93 and the Senator of 1806 protected him who so lately had been his protector. All Villefort's influence barely enabled him to stifle the secret Dantès had so nearly divulged. The king's procureur alone was deprived of his office, being suspected of royalism.

However, scarcely was the imperial power established--that is, scarcely had the emperor re-entered the Tuileries and begun to issue orders from the closet into which we have introduced our readers,--he found on the table there Louis XVIII.'s half-filled snuff-box,--scarcely had this occurred when Marseilles began, in spite of the authorities, to rekindle the flames of civil war, always smouldering in the south, and it required but little to excite the populace to acts of far greater violence than the shouts and insults with which they assailed the royalists whenever they ventured abroad.

Owing to this change, the worthy shipowner became at that moment--we will not say all powerful, because Morrel was a prudent and rather a timid man, so much so, that many of the most zealous partisans of Bonaparte accused him of "moderation"--but sufficiently influential to make a demand in favor of Dantès.

Villefort retained his place, but his marriage was put off until a more favorable opportunity. If the emperor remained on the throne, Gérard required a different alliance to aid his career; if Louis XVIII returned, the influence of M. de Saint-Méran, like his own, could be vastly increased, and the marriage be still more suitable. The deputy-procureur was, therefore, the first magistrate of Marseilles, when one morning his door opened, and M. Morrel was announced.

Any one else would have hastened to receive him; but Villefort was a man of ability, and he knew this would be a sign of weakness. He made Morrel wait in the ante-chamber, although he had no one with him, for the simple reason that the king's procureur always makes every one wait, and after passing a quarter of an hour in reading the papers, he ordered M. Morrel to be admitted.

Morrel expected Villefort would be dejected; he found him as he had found him six weeks before, calm, firm, and full of that glacial politeness, that most insurmountable barrier which separates the well-bred from the vulgar man.

He had entered Villefort's office expecting that the magistrate would tremble at the sight of him; on the contrary, he felt a cold shudder all over him when he saw Villefort sitting there with his elbow on his desk, and his head leaning on his hand. He stopped at the door; Villefort gazed at him as if he had some difficulty in recognizing him; then, after a brief interval, during which the honest shipowner turned his hat in his hands,--

"M. Morrel, I believe?" said Villefort.

"Yes, sir."

"Come nearer," said the magistrate, with a patronizing wave of the hand, "and tell me to what circumstance I owe the honor of this visit."

"Do you not guess, monsieur?" asked Morrel.

"Not in the least; but if I can serve you in any way I shall be delighted."

"Everything depends on you."

"Explain yourself, pray."

"Monsieur," said Morrel, recovering his assurance as he proceeded, "do you recollect that a few days before the landing of his majesty the emperor, I came to intercede for a young man, the mate of my ship, who was accused of being concerned in correspondence with the Island of Elba? What was the other day a crime is to-day a title to favor. You then served Louis XVIII., and you did not show any favor--it was your duty; to-day you serve Napoleon, and you ought to protect him--it is equally your duty; I come, therefore, to ask what has become of him?"

Villefort by a strong effort sought to control himself. "What is his name?" said he. "Tell me his name."

"Edmond Dantès."

Villefort would probably have rather stood opposite the muzzle of a pistol at five-and-twenty paces than have heard this name spoken; but he did not blanch.

"Dantès," repeated he, "Edmond Dantès."

"Yes, monsieur." Villefort opened a large register, then went to a table, from the table turned to his registers, and then, turning to Morrel,--

"Are you quite sure you are not mistaken, monsieur?" said he, in the most natural tone in the world.

Had Morrel been a more quick-sighted man, or better versed in these matters, he would have been surprised at the king's procureur answering him on such a subject, instead of referring him to the governors of the prison or the prefect of the department. But Morrel, disappointed in his expectations of exciting fear, was conscious only of the other's condescension. Villefort had calculated rightly.

"No," said Morrel; "I am not mistaken. I have known him for ten years, the last four of which he was in my service. Do not you recollect, I came about six weeks ago to plead for clemency, as I come to-day to plead for justice. You received me very coldly. Oh, the royalists were very severe with the Bonapartists in those days."

"Monsieur," returned Villefort, "I was then a royalist, because I believed the Bourbons not only the heirs to the throne, but the chosen of the nation. The miraculous return of Napoleon has conquered me, the legitimate monarch is he who is loved by his people."

"That's right!" cried Morrel. "I like to hear you speak thus, and I augur well for Edmond from it."

"Wait a moment," said Villefort, turning over the leaves of a register; "I have it--a sailor, who was about to marry a young Catalan girl. I recollect now; it was a very serious charge."

"How so?"

"You know that when he left here he was taken to the Palais de Justice."

"Well?"

"I made my report to the authorities at Paris, and a week after he was carried off."

"Carried off!" said Morrel. "What can they have done with him?"

"Oh, he has been taken to Fenestrelles, to Pignerol, or to the Sainte-Marguerite islands. Some fine morning he will return to take command of your vessel."

"Come when he will, it shall be kept for him. But how is it he is not already returned? It seems to me the first care of government should be to set at liberty those who have suffered for their adherence to it."

"Do not be too hasty, M. Morrel," replied Villefort. "The order of imprisonment came from high authority, and the order for his liberation must proceed from the same source; and, as Napoleon has scarcely been reinstated a fortnight, the letters have not yet been forwarded."

"But," said Morrel, "is there no way of expediting all these formalities--of releasing him from arrest?"

"There has been no arrest."

"How?"

"It is sometimes essential to government to cause a man's disappearance without leaving any traces, so that no written forms or documents may defeat their wishes."

"It might be so under the Bourbons, but at present"--

"It has always been so, my dear Morrel, since the reign of Louis XIV. The emperor is more strict in prison discipline than even Louis himself, and the number of prisoners whose names are not on the register is incalculable." Had Morrel even any suspicions, so much kindness would have dispelled them.

"Well, M. de Villefort, how would you advise me to act?" asked he.

"Petition the minister."

"Oh, I know what that is; the minister receives two hundred petitions every day, and does not read three."

"That is true; but he will read a petition countersigned and presented by me."

"And will you undertake to deliver it?"

"With the greatest pleasure. Dantès was then guilty, and now he is innocent, and it is as much my duty to free him as it was to condemn him." Villefort thus forestalled any danger of an inquiry, which, however improbable it might be, if it did take place would leave him defenceless.

"But how shall I address the minister?"

"Sit down there," said Villefort, giving up his place to Morrel, "and write what I dictate."

"Will you be so good?"

"Certainly. But lose no time; we have lost too much already."

"That is true. Only think what the poor fellow may even now be suffering." Villefort shuddered at the suggestion; but he had gone too far to draw back. Dantès must be crushed to gratify Villefort's ambition.

Villefort dictated a petition, in which, from an excellent intention, no doubt, Dantès' patriotic services were exaggerated, and he was made out one of the most active agents of Napoleon's return. It was evident that at the sight of this document the minister would instantly release him. The petition finished, Villefort read it aloud.

"That will do," said he; "leave the rest to me."

"Will the petition go soon?"

"To-day."

"Countersigned by you?"

"The best thing I can do will be to certify the truth of the contents of your petition." And, sitting down, Villefort wrote the certificate at the bottom.

"What more is to be done?"

"I will do whatever is necessary." This assurance delighted Morrel, who took leave of Villefort, and hastened to announce to old Dantès that he would soon see his son.

As for Villefort, instead of sending to Paris, he carefully preserved the petition that so fearfully compromised Dantès, in the hopes of an event that seemed not unlikely,--that is, a second restoration. Dantès remained a prisoner, and heard not the noise of the fall of Louis XVIII.'s throne, or the still more tragic destruction of the empire.

Twice during the Hundred Days had Morrel renewed his demand, and twice had Villefort soothed him with promises. At last there was Waterloo, and Morrel came no more; he had done all that was in his power, and any fresh attempt would only compromise himself uselessly.

Louis XVIII. remounted the throne; Villefort, to whom Marseilles had become filled with remorseful memories, sought and obtained the situation of king's procureur at Toulouse, and a fortnight afterwards he married Mademoiselle de Saint-Méran, whose father now stood higher at court than ever.

And so Dantès, after the Hundred Days and after Waterloo, remained in his dungeon, forgotten of earth and heaven. Danglars comprehended the full extent of the wretched fate that overwhelmed Dantès; and, when Napoleon returned to France, he, after the manner of mediocre minds, termed the coincidence, a decree of Providence. But when Napoleon returned to Paris, Danglars' heart failed him, and he lived in constant fear of Dantès' return on a mission of vengeance. He therefore informed M. Morrel of his wish to quit the sea, and obtained a recommendation from him to a Spanish merchant, into whose service he entered at the end of March, that is, ten or twelve days after Napoleon's return. He then left for Madrid, and was no more heard of.

Fernand understood nothing except that Dantès was absent. What had become of him he cared not to inquire. Only, during the respite the absence of his rival afforded him, he reflected, partly on the means of deceiving Mercédès as to the cause of his absence, partly on plans of emigration and abduction, as from time to time he sat sad and motionless on the summit of Cape Pharo, at the spot from whence Marseilles and the Catalans are visible, watching for the apparition of a young and handsome man, who was for him also the messenger of vengeance. Fernand's mind was made up; he would shoot Dantès, and then kill himself. But Fernand was mistaken; a man of his disposition never kills himself, for he constantly hopes.

During this time the empire made its last conscription, and every man in France capable of bearing arms rushed to obey the summons of the emperor. Fernand departed with the rest, bearing with him the terrible thought that while he was away, his rival would perhaps return and marry Mercédès. Had Fernand really meant to kill himself, he would have done so when he parted from Mercédès. His devotion, and the compassion he showed for her misfortunes, produced the effect they always produce on noble minds--Mercédès had always had a sincere regard for Fernand, and this was now strengthened by gratitude.

"My brother," said she as she placed his knapsack on his shoulders, "be careful of yourself, for if you are killed, I shall be alone in the world." These words carried a ray of hope into Fernand's heart. Should Dantès not return, Mercédès might one day be his.

Mercédès was left alone face to face with the vast plain that had never seemed so barren, and the sea that had never seemed so vast. Bathed in tears she wandered about the Catalan village. Sometimes she stood mute and motionless as a statue, looking towards Marseilles, at other times gazing on the sea, and debating as to whether it were not better to cast herself into the abyss of the ocean, and thus end her woes. It was not want of courage that prevented her putting this resolution into execution; but her religious feelings came to her aid and saved her. Caderousse was, like Fernand, enrolled in the army, but, being married and eight years older, he was merely sent to the frontier. Old Dantès, who was only sustained by hope, lost all hope at Napoleon's downfall. Five months after he had been separated from his son, and almost at the hour of his arrest, he breathed his last in Mercédès' arms. M. Morrel paid the expenses of his funeral, and a few small debts the poor old man had contracted.

There was more than benevolence in this action; there was courage; the south was aflame, and to assist, even on his death-bed, the father of so dangerous a Bonapartist as Dantès, was stigmatized as a crime.

诺瓦蒂埃先生真是一个预言家,事态的发展正如他所说的那样。谁都知道从爱尔巴岛卷土重来的这次著名的历史事件,——那次奇妙的复归,不仅是史无前例,而且大概也会后无来者。

路易十八对这一猛烈的打击只是软弱无力地抵抗了一下。他这个还没有坐稳的王朝,本来基础就不稳固,一向是摇摇欲坠,只要拿破仑一挥手,这座由旧偏见和新观念不好调和而构成的上层建筑便坍了下来。所以维尔福从国王那里只得了一些感激(这在目前反而可说是对他有害的)和荣誉十字勋章,但对这个勋章,他倒多了个心眼,并没有佩挂它,尽管勃拉卡斯公爵按时把荣誉勋位证书送了来。

诺瓦蒂埃当时成了显赫一时的人物,要不是为了他,拿破仑无疑早就把维尔福免职了。这个一七九三年的吉伦特党人和一八○六年的上议员保护了这个不久前保护过他的人。

帝国正在复活期间,但已不难预见它的二次倾覆了。维尔福的全部力量都用在封住那几乎被唐太斯所泄漏的秘密上了。只有检察官被免了职,因为他有效忠于王室的嫌疑。

帝国的权力刚刚建立,也就是说,皇帝刚刚住进杜伊勒里宫,从我们已经向读者们介绍过的那间小书房里发出了无数命令,在桌子上路易十八留下的那半空的鼻烟盒还敞开在那里。在马赛,不管官员们的态度如何,老百姓已知道:南北始终未被扑灭的内战的余烬又重新燃起来了;保党人如果敢冒险外出,必定会遭到斥骂和侮辱,这时如果要想挑起人民来报复他们,是不费吹灰之力的。

由于时势的变化,那位可敬的船主在当时虽还说不上势倾全市,因为他毕竟是个谨慎而胆小的人,以致许多最狂热的拿破仑党分子竟斥他为“温和派”,但却已有足够的势力可使他所提出的要求闻达于当局,而他的那个要求,我们不难猜到,是与唐太斯有关的。

维尔福的上司虽已倒台,他本人却依旧保留了原职,只是他的婚事已暂时搁在了一边,以期等待一个更有利的时机。假如皇帝能保住王位,那么杰拉尔就需要一个不同的联姻来帮助他的事业,他的父亲已负责再给他另找一个了。假如路易十八重登王位,则圣·梅朗侯爵以及他本人的势力就会大增,那桩婚事也就比以前更实惠了。

代理检察官暂时当上了马赛的首席法官,一天早晨,仆人推门进来,说莫雷尔先生来访。换了别人很可能就会赶忙去接见船主了。但维尔福是一个很能干的人,他知道这样做等于是在显其软弱。所以尽管他并没有别的客人,但仍让莫雷尔在外客厅里等候,理由只是代理检察官总是要叫每个人都等候一下的,读了一刻钟的报纸以后,他才吩咐请莫雷尔先生进来。

莫雷尔原以为维尔福会显出一副垂头丧气的样子。没想到见到他的时候,发觉他仍象六个星期以前见到他的时候一样,镇定,稳重,冷漠而彬彬有礼,这是教养有素的上等人和平民之间最难逾越的鸿沟。他走进维尔福的书房。满以为那法官见他就会发抖,但正相反,他看到的是维尔福坐在那儿,手肘支在办公桌上,用手托着头,于是他自己感到浑身打了个寒颤。他在门口停了下来。维尔福凝视了他一会儿,象是有点不认识他了似的。在这短短的一瞬间,那诚实的船主只是困惑地把他的帽子在两手中转动着,然后——“我想您是莫雷尔先生吧?”维尔福说。

“是的,先生。”

“请进来先生,”法官象赐恩似地摆一摆手说,“请告诉我是什么原因使我能有幸看到你的来访。”

“您猜不到吗,先生?”莫雷尔问。

“猜不到,但假如我可以做出什么为您效劳的话,我是很高兴的。”

“先生,”莫雷尔说,他渐渐恢复了自信心,“您还记得吧,在皇帝陛下登陆的前几天,我曾来为一个青年人求过情,他是我船上的大副,被控与厄尔巴岛有联系。那样的联系,在当时是一种罪名,尽管在今天却已是一种荣耀了。您当时是为路易十八效劳,不能庇护他,那是您的职责。但今天您定是为拿破仑效劳,您就应该保护他了,——这同样也是您的职责。所以我就是来问问那个青年人现在怎么样了。”

维尔福竭力控制住自己。“他叫什么名字?”他问道。“把他的姓名告诉我。”

“爱德蒙·唐太斯。”

虽然,维尔福宁愿面对一支二十五步外的枪口也不愿听人提到这个名字,但他依旧面不改色。

“唐太斯?”他重复了一遍,“爱德蒙·唐太斯?”

“是的,先生。”

维尔福翻开一大卷档案,放到桌子上,又从桌子上那儿走去翻另外那些档案,然后转向莫雷尔:“您肯定没弄错吗,先生?”他以世界上最自然的口吻说道。

假若莫雷尔再心细一点,或对这种事较有经验的话,那他说应该觉得奇怪,为什么对代理检察官不打发他去问监狱长,去问档案官,而是这样亲自答复他。但此时莫雷尔在维尔福身上没发现半点恐惧,只觉得对方很谦恭。维尔福的作法果然不错。

“没有,”莫雷尔说,“我没弄错。我认识他已经十年了,在他被捕的那一小时里,他还在为我服务呢。您也许还记得,六个星期以前,我曾来请求您对他从宽办理。正象我今天来请求您对他公道一些一样。您当时接待我的态度非常冷淡,啊,在那个年头里,保皇党人对拿破仑党当时是非常严厉的。”

“先生,”维尔福答道,“我当时是一个保皇党人,因为当时我以为波旁家族不仅是王伯的嫡系继承者,而且是国人所拥戴的君主。但皇帝这次奇迹般地复位证明我是错了,只有万民所爱戴的人才是合法的君主。”

“这就对了。”莫雷尔大声说道。“我很高兴听到您这样说,我相信可以从您这番话上得到爱德蒙的喜讯。”

“等一等,”维尔福一边说,一边翻阅一宗档案,“有了,他是一个水手,而且快要娶一个年轻的迦太兰姑娘了。我现在想起来了,这是一件非常严重的案子。”

“怎么回事?”

“您知道,他离开这儿以后,就被关到法院的监狱里去了。”

“那么后来呢?”

“我向巴黎打了个报告,把从他身上找到的文件附送去了。你该明白,这是我的职责。过了一个星期,他就被带走了。”

“带走了!”莫雷尔说。“他们把那个可怜的孩子怎样了呢?”

“哦,他大概被送到费尼斯德里,壁尼罗尔,或圣·玛加里岛去了。你一定会在某一天看到他回来再给您当船长的。”

“无论他什么时候回来,那个位置都给他保留着。但他怎么还不回来呢?依我看,依拿破仑党法院最关切的事,就该是释放那些被保皇党法院关进监狱里去的人。”

“别太心急,莫雷尔先生,”维尔福说道,“凡事我们都得按法律手续进行。禁闭令是上面签发的,他的释放令也得在老地方办理。拿破仑复位还不到两个星期,那些信还没送出去呢。”

“但是,”莫雷尔说,“现在我们已经赢了,除了等待办理这些正式手续之外,难道就没有别的办法了吗?我有几个朋友,他们有点势力,我可以弄到一张撤消逮捕的命令的。”

“根本就没什么逮捕令。”

“那么,在入狱登记簿上勾消他的名字。”

政治犯是不登记的。有时,政府就是用这种办法来使一个人失踪而不留任何痕迹的。入了册就有据可查了。”

“波旁王执政时,或许是那样,但现在——”

“任何时代都是这样的,我亲爱的莫雷尔,从路易十四那个时代就开始这样了。皇帝对于狱规的管理比路易更加严格,监狱里不登记姓名的犯人多得不计其数。”

即使莫雷尔再有什么怀疑,这番苦口婆心的辩解也足以使之完全消除了。“那么,维尔福先生,您能否给我个什么忠告以便使可怜的唐太斯快点回来?”他问道。

“去求一下警务大臣吧。”

“噢,我知道那意味着什么。大臣每天都要收到两百封请愿书,但他还看不了三封。”

“那倒是真的,不过由我签署的,并由我呈上去的请愿书他一定会看的。”

“您愿意负责送去吗?”

“非常愿意。唐太斯当时有罪,但现在他已无罪了。当时把他判罪和现在使他重获自由都同样是我的职责。”

这样,维尔福就避免了一次调查的危险,一经查究,他可就完了,这虽然并不一定会成为事实,但却是很有可能的。

“可是我怎么去对大臣说明?”

“到这儿来,”维尔福一边说,一边把他的座位让给了莫雷尔,“我说,您写。”

“真的由您费心来办吗?”

“当然罗。别浪费时间了,我们已经浪费得太多啦。”

“是的。想想那个可怜的青年人还在那儿等待着,在那儿受苦,或许在那儿绝望了呢。”

维尔福一想到那个犯人在那黑暗寂静的牢房里咒骂他,就不禁打了个寒颤。但他仍不肯让步,在维尔福的野心的重压之下,唐太斯是必须被摧毁的。

维尔福口述了一封措辞美妙的请愿书,他在里面夸大了唐太斯的爱国心和对拿破仑党的功劳。以致唐太斯简直成了使拿破仑卷土重来最出力的一名活跃分子。据推测,一看到这份函件,大臣会立刻释放他的。请愿书写好了,维尔福把它朗诵了一遍。

“成了,”他说,“其余的事交给我来办好了。”

“请愿书很快就送去吗?”

“今天就送出去。”

“由您批署?”

“证明您的请愿书内容属实,这是我很乐意做的事。”维尔福说着便坐了下来,在信的末端签上了字。

“还要做什么别的吗?”莫雷尔问。

“去等着吧,”维尔福回答,“一切由我来负责好了。”

这个保证使莫雷尔充满了希望,于是他告别了维尔福,赶快去告诉老唐太斯,说不久就可以看见他的儿子了。

维尔福却并没有履行诺言把信送到巴黎去,而是小心地把那封现在看来可以救唐太斯但未来却极易危害他的请愿书保存了起来,以等待那件似乎并非不可能的事情的发生,好二次复辟。

“这样唐太斯仍然还是犯人,被埋没在黑牢的深处,他根本听不到路易十八垮台的消息,以及帝国倾覆时那更可怕的骚动。

但维尔福却用警觉的目光注视着一切,用警觉的耳朵倾听着一切。在拿破仑复位的“百日”期间,莫雷尔曾先后两次提出他的请求,但都被维尔福甜言蜜语地把他哄骗走了。最后发生了滑铁卢之战,莫雷尔就不再来了。他已尽了他力所能及的一切,这时任何新的尝试不仅徒劳无益而且很可能会有害他自己。

路易十八又重新登上了王位。在马赛能引起维尔福内心愧疚的记忆太多了,所以他请求并获准了调任图卢兹检察官一职,两星期后,他就和蕾妮结婚了,岳父在宫廷里比以前更显赫了。这就说明了在“百日”期间和滑铁卢战役以后,唐太斯为什么会依旧被关在牢里,好象上帝已把他忘了似的,但实际上人们并没有忘记他。

腾格拉尔很清楚他给了唐太斯那一击是多么厉害,他象所有做贼心虚但又要小聪明的人一样,诿称这是天意。当拿破仑回到巴黎以后,腾格拉尔害怕极了,唯恐唐太斯会随时来复仇,于是他便把自己希望出海的想法告诉了莫雷尔先生,得到了一封介绍信,把他介绍给了一个西班牙商人,三月底就到那儿去供职,那是在拿破仑回来后的第十一二天。他当时离开马赛后去了马德里,此后就没有听到他的消息了。

弗尔南多只知道唐太斯已从眼前消失了,其他的事他则一概不知。到底唐太斯怎么样了,他也懒得去问。只是,在他情敌不在的这一期间,他时时苦思冥想,有时想到编个离开的理由来欺骗美茜蒂丝,有时想迁移或强行把她带走。于是他常常忧郁地,一动不动地坐在弗罗湾的顶端,从那儿可以同时望到马赛和迦太罗尼亚人村,他是在守望着一个英俊的年轻人出现在他眼前,那个人就是他的复仇使者。弗尔南多已下定决心:他要一枪打死唐太斯,然后自杀。但他错了,他这个人是不会自杀的,因为他还抱有某种希望。

在这个时候,帝国作了最后一次呼吁,法国境内所有能拿起武器的男子都赶去听从他们皇帝的号召了,弗尔南多和其他的人一同离开了马赛,但心里却怀着一个可怕的念头,深恐他的敌人会在他不在的时候回来,而同美茜蒂丝结了婚。假若弗尔南多真的想自杀,则在他离开美茜蒂丝的时候就该这样做的了。他对她的关心,以及他对她的不幸所表示的同情,都产生了效果。美茜蒂丝一向象兄妹般地深爱着弗尔南多,现在这份情谊上又加上了一份感激之情。

“哥哥,”她把行囊挂上他肩头的时候说,“你要自己当心一点,因为如果你再永远离开了我,那我在这个世界上就只有孤零零的一个人了。”这些话在弗尔南多心中注入了一线希望。如果唐太斯不回来的话,总有一天,美茜蒂丝也许就是他的了。

现在只剩下美茜蒂丝一个人孤零零地来面对这从未如此荒凉的大平原,和从未如此一望无际的大海了。她天天以泪洗面,人们看见她有时不断地在迦太罗尼亚人住的这个小村子周围徘徊,有时看见她一动不动地象一尊石像似的站着,呆望着马赛;又有时看见她坐在海边,倾听那如同自己的哀愁那样永恒的海的呻吟,她常常自问,是否应该让自己投入海洋那无底的深渊里,也许这样可以比忍受如此焦灼的等待更好一些。

她并非缺乏这样做的勇气,而是她的宗教观念帮了她的忙,救了她的命。

卡德鲁斯也象弗尔南多一样应征入伍了,但由于他已经结婚,且比弗尔南多大八岁,所以仅被派去驻守边疆。老唐太斯一直是靠希望支撑着的,拿破仑一倒,全部希望都成了泡影。在和他的儿子分离五个月以后,几乎也可以说就在他儿子被捕的那一刻,他就在美茜蒂丝的怀里咽下了最后一口气。莫雷尔先生不仅负担了他的全部丧葬费,还把那可怜的老人生前所借的几笔小债也还清了。

这样做不仅需要出于慈悲心,而且也需要勇气,——因为象唐太斯这样危险的一个拿破仑分子,即使你去帮助他临终的父亲,也会被人当作一个罪名来污蔑的。


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