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Chapter 32 The Waking.

  • When Franz returned to himself, he seemed still to be in a dream. He though_imself in a sepulchre, into which a ray of sunlight in pity scarcel_enetrated. He stretched forth his hand, and touched stone; he rose to hi_eat, and found himself lying on his bournous in a bed of dry heather, ver_oft and odoriferous. The vision had fled; and as if the statues had been bu_hadows from the tomb, they had vanished at his waking. He advanced severa_aces towards the point whence the light came, and to all the excitement o_is dream succeeded the calmness of reality. He found that he was in a grotto,
  • went towards the opening, and through a kind of fanlight saw a blue sea and a_zure sky. The air and water were shining in the beams of the morning sun; o_he shore the sailors were sitting, chatting and laughing; and at ten yard_rom them the boat was at anchor, undulating gracefully on the water. Ther_or some time he enjoyed the fresh breeze which played on his brow, an_istened to the dash of the waves on the beach, that left against the rocks _ace of foam as white as silver. He was for some time without reflection o_hought for the divine charm which is in the things of nature, specially afte_ fantastic dream; then gradually this view of the outer world, so calm, s_ure, so grand, reminded him of the illusiveness of his vision, and once mor_wakened memory. He recalled his arrival on the island, his presentation to _muggler chief, a subterranean palace full of splendor, an excellent supper,
  • and a spoonful of hashish. It seemed, however, even in the very face of ope_ay, that at least a year had elapsed since all these things had passed, s_eep was the impression made in his mind by the dream, and so strong a hol_ad it taken of his imagination. Thus every now and then he saw in fancy ami_he sailors, seated on a rock, or undulating in the vessel, one of the shadow_hich had shared his dream with looks and kisses. Otherwise, his head wa_erfectly clear, and his body refreshed; he was free from the slightes_eadache; on the contrary, he felt a certain degree of lightness, a facult_or absorbing the pure air, and enjoying the bright sunshine more vividly tha_ver.
  • He went gayly up to the sailors, who rose as soon as they perceived him; an_he patron, accosting him, said, "The Signor Sinbad has left his compliment_or your excellency, and desires us to express the regret he feels at no_eing able to take his leave in person; but he trusts you will excuse him, a_ery important business calls him to Malaga."
  • "So, then, Gaetano," said Franz, "this is, then, all reality; there exists _an who has received me in this island, entertained me right royally, and hi_eparted while I was asleep?"
  • "He exists as certainly as that you may see his small yacht with all her sail_pread; and if you will use your glass, you will, in all probability,
  • recognize your host in the midst of his crew." So saying, Gaetano pointed in _irection in which a small vessel was making sail towards the southern poin_f Corsica. Franz adjusted his telescope, and directed it towards the yacht.
  • Gaetano was not mistaken. At the stern the mysterious stranger was standing u_ooking towards the shore, and holding a spy-glass in his hand. He was attire_s he had been on the previous evening, and waved his pocket-handkerchief t_is guest in token of adieu. Franz returned the salute by shaking hi_andkerchief as an exchange of signals. After a second, a slight cloud o_moke was seen at the stern of the vessel, which rose gracefully as i_xpanded in the air, and then Franz heard a slight report. "There, do yo_ear?" observed Gaetano; "he is bidding you adieu." The young man took hi_arbine and fired it in the air, but without any idea that the noise could b_eard at the distance which separated the yacht from the shore.
  • "What are your excellency's orders?" inquired Gaetano.
  • "In the first place, light me a torch."
  • "Ah, yes, I understand," replied the patron, "to find the entrance to th_nchanted apartment. With much pleasure, your excellency, if it would amus_ou; and I will get you the torch you ask for. But I too have had the idea yo_ave, and two or three times the same fancy has come over me; but I hav_lways given it up. Giovanni, light a torch," he added, "and give it to hi_xcellency."
  • Giovanni obeyed. Franz took the lamp, and entered the subterranean grotto,
  • followed by Gaetano. He recognized the place where he had awaked by the bed o_eather that was there; but it was in vain that he carried his torch all roun_he exterior surface of the grotto. He saw nothing, unless that, by traces o_moke, others had before him attempted the same thing, and, like him, in vain.
  • Yet he did not leave a foot of this granite wall, as impenetrable as futurity,
  • without strict scrutiny; he did not see a fissure without introducing th_lade of his hunting sword into it, or a projecting point on which he did no_ean and press in the hopes it would give way. All was vain; and he lost tw_ours in his attempts, which were at last utterly useless. At the end of thi_ime he gave up his search, and Gaetano smiled.
  • When Franz appeared again on the shore, the yacht only seemed like a smal_hite speck on the horizon. He looked again through his glass, but even the_e could not distinguish anything. Gaetano reminded him that he had come fo_he purpose of shooting goats, which he had utterly forgotten. He took hi_owling-piece, and began to hunt over the island with the air of a man who i_ulfilling a duty, rather than enjoying a pleasure; and at the end of _uarter of an hour he had killed a goat and two kids. These animals, thoug_ild and agile as chamois, were too much like domestic goats, and Franz coul_ot consider them as game. Moreover, other ideas, much more enthralling,
  • occupied his mind. Since, the evening before, he had really been the hero o_ne of the tales of the "Thousand and One Nights," and he was irresistibl_ttracted towards the grotto. Then, in spite of the failure of his firs_earch, he began a second, after having told Gaetano to roast one of the tw_ids. The second visit was a long one, and when he returned the kid wa_oasted and the repast ready. Franz was sitting on the spot where he was o_he previous evening when his mysterious host had invited him to supper; an_e saw the little yacht, now like a sea-gull on the wave, continuing he_light towards Corsica. "Why," he remarked to Gaetano, "you told me tha_ignor Sinbad was going to Malaga, while it seems he is in the direction o_orto-Vecchio."
  • "Don't you remember," said the patron, "I told you that among the crew ther_ere two Corsican brigands?"
  • "True; and he is going to land them," added Franz.
  • "Precisely so," replied Gaetano. "Ah, he is one who fears neither God no_atan, they say, and would at any time run fifty leagues out of his course t_o a poor devil a service."
  • "But such services as these might involve him with the authorities of th_ountry in which he practices this kind of philanthropy," said Franz.
  • "And what cares he for that," replied Gaetano with a laugh, "or an_uthorities? He smiles at them. Let them try to pursue him! Why, in the firs_lace, his yacht is not a ship, but a bird, and he would beat any frigat_hree knots in every nine; and if he were to throw himself on the coast, why,
  • is he not certain of finding friends everywhere?"
  • It was perfectly clear that the Signor Sinbad, Franz's host, had the honor o_eing on excellent terms with the smugglers and bandits along the whole coas_f the Mediterranean, and so enjoyed exceptional privileges. As to Franz, h_ad no longer any inducement to remain at Monte Cristo. He had lost all hop_f detecting the secret of the grotto; he consequently despatched hi_reakfast, and, his boat being ready, he hastened on board, and they were soo_nder way. At the moment the boat began her course they lost sight of th_acht, as it disappeared in the gulf of Porto-Vecchio. With it was effaced th_ast trace of the preceding night; and then supper, Sinbad, hashish, statues,
  • — all became a dream for Franz. The boat sailed on all day and all night, an_ext morning, when the sun rose, they had lost sight of Monte Cristo. Whe_ranz had once again set foot on shore, he forgot, for the moment at least,
  • the events which had just passed, while he finished his affairs of pleasure a_lorence, and then thought of nothing but how he should rejoin his companion,
  • who was awaiting him at Rome.
  • He set out, and on the Saturday evening reached the Eternal City by the mail-
  • coach. An apartment, as we have said, had been retained beforehand, and thu_e had but to go to Signor Pastrini's hotel. But this was not so easy _atter, for the streets were thronged with people, and Rome was already a pre_o that low and feverish murmur which precedes all great events; and at Rom_here are four great events in every year, — the Carnival, Holy Week, Corpu_hristi, and the Feast of St. Peter. All the rest of the year the city is i_hat state of dull apathy, between life and death, which renders it similar t_ kind of station between this world and the next — a sublime spot, a resting-
  • place full of poetry and character, and at which Franz had already halted fiv_r six times, and at each time found it more marvellous and striking. At las_e made his way through the mob, which was continually increasing and gettin_ore and more turbulent, and reached the hotel. On his first inquiry he wa_old, with the impertinence peculiar to hired hackney-coachmen and inn-keeper_ith their houses full, that there was no room for him at the Hotel d_ondres. Then he sent his card to Signor Pastrini, and asked for Albert d_orcerf. This plan succeeded; and Signor Pastrini himself ran to him, excusin_imself for having made his excellency wait, scolding the waiters, taking th_andlestick from the porter, who was ready to pounce on the traveller and wa_bout to lead him to Albert, when Morcerf himself appeared.
  • The apartment consisted of two small rooms and a parlor. The two rooms looke_nto the street — a fact which Signor Pastrini commented upon as a_nappreciable advantage. The rest of the floor was hired by a very ric_entleman who was supposed to be a Sicilian or Maltese; but the host wa_nable to decide to which of the two nations the traveller belonged. "Ver_ood, signor Pastrini," said Franz; "but we must have some supper instantly,
  • and a carriage for tomorrow and the following days."
  • "As to supper," replied the landlord, "you shall be served immediately; but a_or the carriage" —
  • "What as to the carriage?" exclaimed Albert. "Come, come, Signor Pastrini, n_oking; we must have a carriage."
  • "Sir," replied the host, "we will do all in our power to procure you one —
  • this is all I can say."
  • "And when shall we know?" inquired Franz.
  • "To-morrow morning," answered the inn-keeper.
  • "Oh, the deuce! then we shall pay the more, that's all, I see plainly enough.
  • At Drake's or Aaron's one pays twenty-five lire for common days, and thirty o_hirty-five lire a day more for Sundays and feast days; add five lire a da_ore for extras, that will make forty, and there's an end of it."
  • "I am afraid if we offer them double that we shall not procure a carriage."
  • "Then they must put horses to mine. It is a little worse for the journey, bu_hat's no matter."
  • "There are no horses." Albert looked at Franz like a man who hears a reply h_oes not understand.
  • "Do you understand that, my dear Franz — no horses?" he said, "but can't w_ave post-horses?"
  • "They have been all hired this fortnight, and there are none left but thos_bsolutely requisite for posting."
  • "What are we to say to this?" asked Franz.
  • "I say, that when a thing completely surpasses my comprehension, I a_ccustomed not to dwell on that thing, but to pass to another. Is suppe_eady, Signor Pastrini?"
  • "Yes, your excellency."
  • "Well, then, let us sup."
  • "But the carriage and horses?" said Franz.
  • "Be easy, my dear boy; they will come in due season; it is only a question o_ow much shall be charged for them." Morcerf then, with that delighte_hilosophy which believes that nothing is impossible to a full purse or well-
  • lined pocketbook, supped, went to bed, slept soundly, and dreamed he wa_acing all over Rome at Carnival time in a coach with six horses.