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The Count of Monte Cristo
Alexandre Dumas
Project Gutenberg
66
280
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In 1815 Edmond Dantès, a young and successful merchant sailor recently granted his own command by his dying captain Leclère, returns to Marseille to marry his fiancée Mercédès. Leclère, a supporter of the exiled Napoléon I, has charged Dantès to deliver two objects: a package to Maréchal Bertrand (exiled with Napoleon Bonaparte on Elba), and a letter from Elba to an unknown man in Paris. On the eve of his wedding to Mercedes, Fernand (Mercedes' cousin and a rival for her affections) and Danglars (who is jealous of Dantes' rapid rise to captain) send an anonymous note accusing Dantès of being a Bonapartist traitor. Villefort, the deputy crown prosecutor in Marseille, normally a just man, destroys the letter from Elba because it is addressed to his father who is a Bonapartist and he fears that it will harm his career. In order to silence Dantès, he condemns him without trial to life imprisonment.