Chateau-Renaud, Debray, and Beauchamp are in court to see the beginning of the famous Benedetto Affair. They discuss the rumor that the murderer in the house of Villefort is young Edouard, who has become increasingly jealous of his stepsister and her grandparents. But others in the group dismiss this as nonsense and wait for the excitement of the case to begin, with Villefort drawing up evidence against the accused “Prince,” Cavalcanti.
This is another attempt, however outlandish, to shift the blame onto another innocent party in the Villefort home. For whatever reason, other characters in the text have an extremely hard time understanding that Mme de Villefort could in fact be the killer. These rumor-mongers thus think it somehow more plausible that her young son could be to blame.