The drug the Count has given to Valentine makes it appear as though she is dead—she is so thoroughly sedated that her arm hangs over the counterpane of the bed and there is “blue at the base of her fingernails.” That evening, Mme de Villefort peeks into Valentine’s room to see that she is dead, and is convinced this is the case. The next day, when a servant cannot wake Valentine, Villefort calls for the doctor, who proclaims that Valentine is dead just as Maximilien arrives, worried about Valentine (although he has been reassured by the Count that she will be safe). The doctor takes away a phial containing some liquid into which, he believes, a new poison—not the typical brucine—has been poured.
The Count must spend the short remainder of the novel convincing Young Morrel that he must hope for the best. But Young Morrel, from his perspective, has watched his beloved die. And like other characters in the novel who have suffered unfathomable setbacks – Fernand, Danglars, even Dantes in prison – Young Morrel wishes to be able to commit suicide, rather than to live with the pain of Valentine’s death. The Count must then find a way to keep Morrel alive long enough to see that Valentine’s death is only a ruse. (The Count seems to be unwilling to make the obvious choice of simply telling Morrel that Valentine’s death is a ruse, however, as that would ruin his dramatic reveal.)