The narrator moves to Valentine, who has been recuperating in her room at the Villefort home. One night, when Valentine is lying between sleep and wakefulness, the Count (who, as the Abbe, has recently purchased the land next door) comes out of the shadows in her room. He tells her not to fear, that he has been protecting her in the home for the sake of Maximilien Morrel.
In the case of Valentine, the Count has turned from an avenging angel to a protector. He sees Valentine as a part of Young Morrel’s family, and so the Count has committed himself to making sure that she will suffer no more harm at the hands of the phantom poisoner.
At this Valentine is confused and afraid, for she believes she was naturally sickened by some disease and not poisoned. But the Count convinces her that she has fallen ill of the same ailment that killed her grandparents, and he reminds her that Noirtier had asked her to drink the same drink he himself had been prescribed by the doctor. The Count reveals he has been providing her with another draught of this red potion, designed to counteract any possible poison that might be put into her food or drink. When Valentine asks who in the house could be doing this harm, the Count retreats into the shadows and tells Valentine to pay attention, for the criminal is about to attempt once more act of violence against Valentine.
This is another instance of poison as a substance used to protect, rather than to harm. It is striking to think that Valentine really believes she is merely sick, and not that she has been poisoned as the other members of her family have. This points either to Valentine’s goodness or to her naivete, for she is unwilling to accept that someone in her family actually wants to harm her. The Count allows Valentine to see that she is indeed the victim of a crime, and that the Count must therefore do all he can to whisk her away from the family home.