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Chapter 15 Number 34 and Number 27.

  • Dantes passed through all the stages of torture natural to prisoners i_uspense. He was sustained at first by that pride of conscious innocence whic_s the sequence to hope; then he began to doubt his own innocence, whic_ustified in some measure the governor's belief in his mental alienation; an_hen, relaxing his sentiment of pride, he addressed his supplications, not t_od, but to man. God is always the last resource. Unfortunates, who ought t_egin with God, do not have any hope in him till they have exhausted all othe_eans of deliverance.
  • Dantes asked to be removed from his present dungeon into another; for _hange, however disadvantageous, was still a change, and would afford him som_musement. He entreated to be allowed to walk about, to have fresh air, books, and writing materials. His requests were not granted, but he went on askin_ll the same. He accustomed himself to speaking to the new jailer, althoug_he latter was, if possible, more taciturn than the old one; but still, t_peak to a man, even though mute, was something. Dantes spoke for the sake o_earing his own voice; he had tried to speak when alone, but the sound of hi_oice terrified him. Often, before his captivity, Dantes' mind had revolted a_he idea of assemblages of prisoners, made up of thieves, vagabonds, an_urderers. He now wished to be amongst them, in order to see some other fac_esides that of his jailer; he sighed for the galleys, with the infamou_ostume, the chain, and the brand on the shoulder. The galley-slaves breathe_he fresh air of heaven, and saw each other. They were very happy. He besough_he jailer one day to let him have a companion, were it even the mad abbe.
  • The jailer, though rough and hardened by the constant sight of so muc_uffering, was yet a man. At the bottom of his heart he had often had _eeling of pity for this unhappy young man who suffered so; and he laid th_equest of number 34 before the governor; but the latter sapiently imagine_hat Dantes wished to conspire or attempt an escape, and refused his request.
  • Dantes had exhausted all human resources, and he then turned to God.
  • All the pious ideas that had been so long forgotten, returned; he recollecte_he prayers his mother had taught him, and discovered a new meaning in ever_ord; for in prosperity prayers seem but a mere medley of words, unti_isfortune comes and the unhappy sufferer first understands the meaning of th_ublime language in which he invokes the pity of heaven! He prayed, and praye_loud, no longer terrified at the sound of his own voice, for he fell into _ort of ecstasy. He laid every action of his life before the Almighty, proposed tasks to accomplish, and at the end of every prayer introduced th_ntreaty oftener addressed to man than to God: "Forgive us our trespasses a_e forgive them that trespass against us." Yet in spite of his earnes_rayers, Dantes remained a prisoner.
  • Then gloom settled heavily upon him. Dantes was a man of great simplicity o_hought, and without education; he could not, therefore, in the solitude o_is dungeon, traverse in mental vision the history of the ages, bring to lif_he nations that had perished, and rebuild the ancient cities so vast an_tupendous in the light of the imagination, and that pass before the ey_lowing with celestial colors in Martin's Babylonian pictures. He could not d_his, he whose past life was so short, whose present so melancholy, and hi_uture so doubtful. Nineteen years of light to reflect upon in eterna_arkness! No distraction could come to his aid; his energetic spirit, tha_ould have exalted in thus revisiting the past, was imprisoned like an eagl_n a cage. He clung to one idea — that of his happiness, destroyed, withou_pparent cause, by an unheard-of fatality; he considered and reconsidered thi_dea, devoured it (so to speak), as the implacable Ugolino devours the skul_f Archbishop Roger in the Inferno of Dante.
  • Rage supplanted religious fervor. Dantes uttered blasphemies that made hi_ailer recoil with horror, dashed himself furiously against the walls of hi_rison, wreaked his anger upon everything, and chiefly upon himself, so tha_he least thing, — a grain of sand, a straw, or a breath of air that annoye_im, led to paroxysms of fury. Then the letter that Villefort had showed t_im recurred to his mind, and every line gleamed forth in fiery letters on th_all like the mene tekel upharsin of Belshazzar. He told himself that it wa_he enmity of man, and not the vengeance of heaven, that had thus plunged hi_nto the deepest misery. He consigned his unknown persecutors to the mos_orrible tortures he could imagine, and found them all insufficient, becaus_fter torture came death, and after death, if not repose, at least the boon o_nconsciousness.
  • By dint of constantly dwelling on the idea that tranquillity was death, and i_unishment were the end in view other tortures than death must be invented, h_egan to reflect on suicide. Unhappy he, who, on the brink of misfortune, broods over ideas like these!
  • Before him is a dead sea that stretches in azure calm before the eye; but h_ho unwarily ventures within its embrace finds himself struggling with _onster that would drag him down to perdition. Once thus ensnared, unless th_rotecting hand of God snatch him thence, all is over, and his struggles bu_end to hasten his destruction. This state of mental anguish is, however, les_errible than the sufferings that precede or the punishment that possibly wil_ollow. There is a sort of consolation at the contemplation of the yawnin_byss, at the bottom of which lie darkness and obscurity.
  • Edmond found some solace in these ideas. All his sorrows, all his sufferings, with their train of gloomy spectres, fled from his cell when the angel o_eath seemed about to enter. Dantes reviewed his past life with composure, and, looking forward with terror to his future existence, chose that middl_ine that seemed to afford him a refuge.
  • "Sometimes," said he, "in my voyages, when I was a man and commanded othe_en, I have seen the heavens overcast, the sea rage and foam, the storm arise, and, like a monstrous bird, beating the two horizons with its wings. Then _elt that my vessel was a vain refuge, that trembled and shook before th_empest. Soon the fury of the waves and the sight of the sharp rocks announce_he approach of death, and death then terrified me, and I used all my skil_nd intelligence as a man and a sailor to struggle against the wrath of God.
  • But I did so because I was happy, because I had not courted death, because t_e cast upon a bed of rocks and seaweed seemed terrible, because I wa_nwilling that I, a creature made for the service of God, should serve fo_ood to the gulls and ravens. But now it is different; I have lost all tha_ound me to life, death smiles and invites me to repose; I die after my ow_anner, I die exhausted and broken-spirited, as I fall asleep when I hav_aced three thousand times round my cell."
  • No sooner had this idea taken possession of him than he became more composed, arranged his couch to the best of his power, ate little and slept less, an_ound existence almost supportable, because he felt that he could throw it of_t pleasure, like a worn-out garment. Two methods of self-destruction were a_is disposal. He could hang himself with his handkerchief to the window bars, or refuse food and die of starvation. But the first was repugnant to him.
  • Dantes had always entertained the greatest horror of pirates, who are hung u_o the yard-arm; he would not die by what seemed an infamous death. H_esolved to adopt the second, and began that day to carry out his resolve.
  • Nearly four years had passed away; at the end of the second he had ceased t_ark the lapse of time.
  • Dantes said, "I wish to die," and had chosen the manner of his death, an_earful of changing his mind, he had taken an oath to die. "When my mornin_nd evening meals are brought," thought he, "I will cast them out of th_indow, and they will think that I have eaten them."
  • He kept his word; twice a day he cast out, through the barred aperture, th_rovisions his jailer brought him — at first gayly, then with deliberation, and at last with regret. Nothing but the recollection of his oath gave hi_trength to proceed. Hunger made viands once repugnant, now acceptable; h_eld the plate in his hand for an hour at a time, and gazed thoughtfully a_he morsel of bad meat, of tainted fish, of black and mouldy bread. It was th_ast yearning for life contending with the resolution of despair; then hi_ungeon seemed less sombre, his prospects less desperate. He was still young — he was only four or five and twenty — he had nearly fifty years to live. Wha_nforseen events might not open his prison door, and restore him to liberty?
  • Then he raised to his lips the repast that, like a voluntary Tantalus, h_efused himself; but he thought of his oath, and he would not break it. H_ersisted until, at last, he had not sufficient strength to rise and cast hi_upper out of the loophole. The next morning he could not see or hear; th_ailer feared he was dangerously ill. Edmond hoped he was dying.
  • Thus the day passed away. Edmond felt a sort of stupor creeping over him whic_rought with it a feeling almost of content; the gnawing pain at his stomac_ad ceased; his thirst had abated; when he closed his eyes he saw myriads o_ights dancing before them like the will-o'-the-wisps that play about th_arshes. It was the twilight of that mysterious country called Death!
  • Suddenly, about nine o'clock in the evening, Edmond heard a hollow sound i_he wall against which he was lying.
  • So many loathsome animals inhabited the prison, that their noise did not, i_eneral, awake him; but whether abstinence had quickened his faculties, o_hether the noise was really louder than usual, Edmond raised his head an_istened. It was a continual scratching, as if made by a huge claw, a powerfu_ooth, or some iron instrument attacking the stones.
  • Although weakened, the young man's brain instantly responded to the idea tha_aunts all prisoners — liberty! It seemed to him that heaven had at lengt_aken pity on him, and had sent this noise to warn him on the very brink o_he abyss. Perhaps one of those beloved ones he had so often thought of wa_hinking of him, and striving to diminish the distance that separated them.
  • No, no, doubtless he was deceived, and it was but one of those dreams tha_orerun death!
  • Edmond still heard the sound. It lasted nearly three hours; he then heard _oise of something falling, and all was silent.
  • Some hours afterwards it began again, nearer and more distinct. Edmond wa_ntensely interested. Suddenly the jailer entered.
  • For a week since he had resolved to die, and during the four days that he ha_een carrying out his purpose, Edmond had not spoken to the attendant, had no_nswered him when he inquired what was the matter with him, and turned hi_ace to the wall when he looked too curiously at him; but now the jailer migh_ear the noise and put an end to it, and so destroy a ray of something lik_ope that soothed his last moments.
  • The jailer brought him his breakfast. Dantes raised himself up and began t_alk about everything; about the bad quality of the food, about the coldnes_f his dungeon, grumbling and complaining, in order to have an excuse fo_peaking louder, and wearying the patience of his jailer, who out of kindnes_f heart had brought broth and white bread for his prisoner.
  • Fortunately, he fancied that Dantes was delirious; and placing the food on th_ickety table, he withdrew. Edmond listened, and the sound became more an_ore distinct.
  • "There can be no doubt about it," thought he; "it is some prisoner who i_triving to obtain his freedom. Oh, if I were only there to help him!"
  • Suddenly another idea took possession of his mind, so used to misfortune, tha_t was scarcely capable of hope — the idea that the noise was made by workme_he governor had ordered to repair the neighboring dungeon.
  • It was easy to ascertain this; but how could he risk the question? It was eas_o call his jailer's attention to the noise, and watch his countenance as h_istened; but might he not by this means destroy hopes far more important tha_he short-lived satisfaction of his own curiosity? Unfortunately, Edmond'_rain was still so feeble that he could not bend his thoughts to anything i_articular.
  • He saw but one means of restoring lucidity and clearness to his judgment. H_urned his eyes towards the soup which the jailer had brought, rose, staggere_owards it, raised the vessel to his lips, and drank off the contents with _eeling of indescribable pleasure. He had often heard that shipwrecked person_ad died through having eagerly devoured too much food. Edmond replaced on th_able the bread he was about to devour, and returned to his couch — he did no_ish to die. He soon felt that his ideas became again collected — he coul_hink, and strengthen his thoughts by reasoning. Then he said to himself, "_ust put this to the test, but without compromising anybody. If it is _orkman, I need but knock against the wall, and he will cease to work, i_rder to find out who is knocking, and why he does so; but as his occupatio_s sanctioned by the governor, he will soon resume it. If, on the contrary, i_s a prisoner, the noise I make will alarm him, he will cease, and not begi_gain until he thinks every one is asleep."
  • Edmond rose again, but this time his legs did not tremble, and his sight wa_lear; he went to a corner of his dungeon, detached a stone, and with i_nocked against the wall where the sound came. He struck thrice. At the firs_low the sound ceased, as if by magic.
  • Edmond listened intently; an hour passed, two hours passed, and no sound wa_eard from the wall — all was silent there.
  • Full of hope, Edmond swallowed a few mouthfuls of bread and water, and, thank_o the vigor of his constitution, found himself well-nigh recovered.
  • The day passed away in utter silence — night came without recurrence of th_oise.
  • "It is a prisoner," said Edmond joyfully. The night passed in perfect silence.
  • Edmond did not close his eyes.
  • In the morning the jailer brought him fresh provisions — he had alread_evoured those of the previous day; he ate these listening anxiously for th_ound, walking round and round his cell, shaking the iron bars of th_oophole, restoring vigor and agility to his limbs by exercise, and s_reparing himself for his future destiny. At intervals he listened to learn i_he noise had not begun again, and grew impatient at the prudence of th_risoner, who did not guess he had been disturbed by a captive as anxious fo_iberty as himself.
  • Three days passed — seventy-two long tedious hours which he counted off b_inutes!
  • At length one evening, as the jailer was visiting him for the last time tha_ight, Dantes, with his ear for the hundredth time at the wall, fancied h_eard an almost imperceptible movement among the stones. He moved away, walke_p and down his cell to collect his thoughts, and then went back and listened.
  • The matter was no longer doubtful. Something was at work on the other side o_he wall; the prisoner had discovered the danger, and had substituted a leve_or a chisel.
  • Encouraged by this discovery, Edmond determined to assist the indefatigabl_aborer. He began by moving his bed, and looked around for anything with whic_e could pierce the wall, penetrate the moist cement, and displace a stone.
  • He saw nothing, he had no knife or sharp instrument, the window grating was o_ron, but he had too often assured himself of its solidity. All his furnitur_onsisted of a bed, a chair, a table, a pail, and a jug. The bed had iro_lamps, but they were screwed to the wood, and it would have required a screw- driver to take them off. The table and chair had nothing, the pail had onc_ossessed a handle, but that had been removed.
  • Dantes had but one resource, which was to break the jug, and with one of th_harp fragments attack the wall. He let the jug fall on the floor, and i_roke in pieces.
  • Dantes concealed two or three of the sharpest fragments in his bed, leavin_he rest on the floor. The breaking of his jug was too natural an accident t_xcite suspicion. Edmond had all the night to work in, but in the darkness h_ould not do much, and he soon felt that he was working against something ver_ard; he pushed back his bed, and waited for day.
  • All night he heard the subterranean workman, who continued to mine his way.
  • Day came, the jailer entered. Dantes told him that the jug had fallen from hi_ands while he was drinking, and the jailer went grumblingly to fetch another, without giving himself the trouble to remove the fragments of the broken one.
  • He returned speedily, advised the prisoner to be more careful, and departed.
  • Dantes heard joyfully the key grate in the lock; he listened until the soun_f steps died away, and then, hastily displacing his bed, saw by the fain_ight that penetrated into his cell, that he had labored uselessly th_revious evening in attacking the stone instead of removing the plaster tha_urrounded it.
  • The damp had rendered it friable, and Dantes was able to break it off — i_mall morsels, it is true, but at the end of half an hour he had scraped off _andful; a mathematician might have calculated that in two years, supposin_hat the rock was not encountered, a passage twenty feet long and two fee_road, might be formed.
  • The prisoner reproached himself with not having thus employed the hours he ha_assed in vain hopes, prayer, and despondency. During the six years that h_ad been imprisoned, what might he not have accomplished?
  • In three days he had succeeded, with the utmost precaution, in removing th_ement, and exposing the stone-work. The wall was built of rough stones, amon_hich, to give strength to the structure, blocks of hewn stone were a_ntervals imbedded. It was one of these he had uncovered, and which he mus_emove from its socket.
  • Dantes strove to do this with his nails, but they were too weak. The fragment_f the jug broke, and after an hour of useless toil, he paused.
  • Was he to be thus stopped at the beginning, and was he to wait inactive unti_is fellow workman had completed his task? Suddenly an idea occurred to him — he smiled, and the perspiration dried on his forehead.
  • The jailer always brought Dantes' soup in an iron saucepan; this saucepa_ontained soup for both prisoners, for Dantes had noticed that it was eithe_uite full, or half empty, according as the turnkey gave it to him or to hi_ompanion first.
  • The handle of this saucepan was of iron; Dantes would have given ten years o_is life in exchange for it.
  • The jailer was accustomed to pour the contents of the saucepan into Dantes'
  • plate, and Dantes, after eating his soup with a wooden spoon, washed th_late, which thus served for every day. Now when evening came Dantes put hi_late on the ground near the door; the jailer, as he entered, stepped on i_nd broke it.
  • This time he could not blame Dantes. He was wrong to leave it there, but th_ailer was wrong not to have looked before him.
  • The jailer, therefore, only grumbled. Then he looked about for something t_our the soup into; Dantes' entire dinner service consisted of one plate — there was no alternative.
  • "Leave the saucepan," said Dantes; "you can take it away when you bring me m_reakfast." This advice was to the jailer's taste, as it spared him th_ecessity of making another trip. He left the saucepan.
  • Dantes was beside himself with joy. He rapidly devoured his food, and afte_aiting an hour, lest the jailer should change his mind and return, he remove_is bed, took the handle of the saucepan, inserted the point between the hew_tone and rough stones of the wall, and employed it as a lever. A sligh_scillation showed Dantes that all went well. At the end of an hour the ston_as extricated from the wall, leaving a cavity a foot and a half in diameter.
  • Dantes carefully collected the plaster, carried it into the corner of hi_ell, and covered it with earth. Then, wishing to make the best use of hi_ime while he had the means of labor, he continued to work without ceasing. A_he dawn of day he replaced the stone, pushed his bed against the wall, an_ay down. The breakfast consisted of a piece of bread; the jailer entered an_laced the bread on the table.
  • "Well, don't you intend to bring me another plate?" said Dantes.
  • "No," replied the turnkey; "you destroy everything. First you break your jug, then you make me break your plate; if all the prisoners followed your example, the government would be ruined. I shall leave you the saucepan, and pour you_oup into that. So for the future I hope you will not be so destructive."
  • Dantes raised his eyes to heaven and clasped his hands beneath the coverlet.
  • He felt more gratitude for the possession of this piece of iron than he ha_ver felt for anything. He had noticed, however, that the prisoner on th_ther side had ceased to labor; no matter, this was a greater reason fo_roceeding — if his neighbor would not come to him, he would go to hi_eighbor. All day he toiled on untiringly, and by the evening he had succeede_n extracting ten handfuls of plaster and fragments of stone. When the hou_or his jailer's visit arrived, Dantes straightened the handle of the saucepa_s well as he could, and placed it in its accustomed place. The turnkey poure_is ration of soup into it, together with the fish — for thrice a week th_risoners were deprived of meat. This would have been a method of reckonin_ime, had not Dantes long ceased to do so. Having poured out the soup, th_urnkey retired. Dantes wished to ascertain whether his neighbor had reall_eased to work. He listened — all was silent, as it had been for the las_hree days. Dantes sighed; it was evident that his neighbor distrusted him.
  • However, he toiled on all the night without being discouraged; but after tw_r three hours he encountered an obstacle. The iron made no impression, bu_et with a smooth surface; Dantes touched it, and found that it was a beam.
  • This beam crossed, or rather blocked up, the hole Dantes had made; it wa_ecessary, therefore, to dig above or under it. The unhappy young man had no_hought of this. "O my God, my God!" murmured he, "I have so earnestly praye_o you, that I hoped my prayers had been heard. After having deprived me of m_iberty, after having deprived me of death, after having recalled me t_xistence, my God, have pity on me, and do not let me die in despair!"
  • "Who talks of God and despair at the same time?" said a voice that seemed t_ome from beneath the earth, and, deadened by the distance, sounded hollow an_epulchral in the young man's ears. Edmond's hair stood on end, and he rose t_is knees.
  • "Ah," said he, "I hear a human voice." Edmond had not heard any one speak sav_is jailer for four or five years; and a jailer is no man to a prisoner — h_s a living door, a barrier of flesh and blood adding strength to restraint_f oak and iron.
  • "In the name of heaven," cried Dantes, "speak again, though the sound of you_oice terrifies me. Who are you?"
  • "Who are you?" said the voice.
  • "An unhappy prisoner," replied Dantes, who made no hesitation in answering.
  • "Of what country?"
  • "A Frenchman."
  • "Your name?"
  • "Edmond Dantes."
  • "Your profession?"
  • "A sailor."
  • "How long have you been here?"
  • "Since the 28th of February, 1815."
  • "Your crime?"
  • "I am innocent."
  • "But of what are you accused?"
  • "Of having conspired to aid the emperor's return."
  • "What! For the emperor's return? — the emperor is no longer on the throne, then?"
  • "He abdicated at Fontainebleau in 1814, and was sent to the Island of Elba.
  • But how long have you been here that you are ignorant of all this?"
  • "Since 1811."
  • Dantes shuddered; this man had been four years longer than himself in prison.
  • "Do not dig any more," said the voice; "only tell me how high up is you_xcavation?"
  • "On a level with the floor."
  • "How is it concealed?"
  • "Behind my bed."
  • "Has your bed been moved since you have been a prisoner?"
  • "No."
  • "What does your chamber open on?"
  • "A corridor."
  • "And the corridor?"
  • "On a court."
  • "Alas!" murmured the voice.
  • "Oh, what is the matter?" cried Dantes.
  • "I have made a mistake owing to an error in my plans. I took the wrong angle, and have come out fifteen feet from where I intended. I took the wall you ar_ining for the outer wall of the fortress."
  • "But then you would be close to the sea?"
  • "That is what I hoped."
  • "And supposing you had succeeded?"
  • "I should have thrown myself into the sea, gained one of the islands near here — the Isle de Daume or the Isle de Tiboulen — and then I should have bee_afe."
  • "Could you have swum so far?"
  • "Heaven would have given me strength; but now all is lost."
  • "All?"
  • "Yes; stop up your excavation carefully, do not work any more, and wait unti_ou hear from me."
  • "Tell me, at least, who you are?"
  • "I am — I am No. 27."
  • "You mistrust me, then," said Dantes. Edmond fancied he heard a bitter laug_esounding from the depths.
  • "Oh, I am a Christian," cried Dantes, guessing instinctively that this ma_eant to abandon him. "I swear to you by him who died for us that naught shal_nduce me to breathe one syllable to my jailers; but I conjure you do no_bandon me. If you do, I swear to you, for I have got to the end of m_trength, that I will dash my brains out against the wall, and you will hav_y death to reproach yourself with."
  • "How old are you? Your voice is that of a young man."
  • "I do not know my age, for I have not counted the years I have been here. Al_ do know is, that I was just nineteen when I was arrested, the 28th o_ebruary, 1815."
  • "Not quite twenty-six!" murmured the voice; "at that age he cannot be _raitor."
  • "Oh, no, no," cried Dantes. "I swear to you again, rather than betray you, _ould allow myself to be hacked in pieces!"
  • "You have done well to speak to me, and ask for my assistance, for I was abou_o form another plan, and leave you; but your age reassures me. I will no_orget you. Wait."
  • "How long?"
  • "I must calculate our chances; I will give you the signal."
  • "But you will not leave me; you will come to me, or you will let me come t_ou. We will escape, and if we cannot escape we will talk; you of those who_ou love, and I of those whom I love. You must love somebody?"
  • "No, I am alone in the world."
  • "Then you will love me. If you are young, I will be your comrade; if you ar_ld, I will be your son. I have a father who is seventy if he yet lives; _nly love him and a young girl called Mercedes. My father has not ye_orgotten me, I am sure, but God alone knows if she loves me still; I shal_ove you as I loved my father."
  • "It is well," returned the voice; "to-morrow."
  • These few words were uttered with an accent that left no doubt of hi_incerity; Dantes rose, dispersed the fragments with the same precaution a_efore, and pushed his bed back against the wall. He then gave himself up t_is happiness. He would no longer be alone. He was, perhaps, about to regai_is liberty; at the worst, he would have a companion, and captivity that i_hared is but half captivity. Plaints made in common are almost prayers, an_rayers where two or three are gathered together invoke the mercy of heaven.
  • All day Dantes walked up and down his cell. He sat down occasionally on hi_ed, pressing his hand on his heart. At the slightest noise he bounded toward_he door. Once or twice the thought crossed his mind that he might b_eparated from this unknown, whom he loved already; and then his mind was mad_p — when the jailer moved his bed and stooped to examine the opening, h_ould kill him with his water jug. He would be condemned to die, but he wa_bout to die of grief and despair when this miraculous noise recalled him t_ife.
  • The jailer came in the evening. Dantes was on his bed. It seemed to him tha_hus he better guarded the unfinished opening. Doubtless there was a strang_xpression in his eyes, for the jailer said, "Come, are you going mad again?"
  • Dantes did not answer; he feared that the emotion of his voice would betra_im. The jailer went away shaking his head. Night came; Dantes hoped that hi_eighbor would profit by the silence to address him, but he was mistaken. Th_ext morning, however, just as he removed his bed from the wall, he hear_hree knocks; he threw himself on his knees.
  • "Is it you?" said he; "I am here."
  • "Is your jailer gone?"
  • "Yes," said Dantes; "he will not return until the evening; so that we hav_welve hours before us."
  • "I can work, then?" said the voice.
  • "Oh, yes, yes; this instant, I entreat you."
  • In a moment that part of the floor on which Dantes was resting his two hands, as he knelt with his head in the opening, suddenly gave way; he drew bac_martly, while a mass of stones and earth disappeared in a hole that opene_eneath the aperture he himself had formed. Then from the bottom of thi_assage, the depth of which it was impossible to measure, he saw appear, firs_he head, then the shoulders, and lastly the body of a man, who sprang lightl_nto his cell.