Leaving Mercedes, the Count takes his vessel and sails out into the harbor to the Chateau D’If, which no longer has prisoners, but is kept by some guards who protect the history of the place. Speaking with one of the former guards, the Count is shown to his old dungeon and to the Abbe Faria’s, and the guard gives the Count a copy of the manuscript on with the Abbe had been working for so many years, found tucked into one of the walls.
The nostalgia of these scenes is powerful. The Count feels that he has in fact lived many lives since his escape from prison, and this is true: he’s taken on a number of identities, and has exacted the revenge that has guided his life for years. What he realizes now, however, is that he must find a new principle around which to structure his life going forward.
The Count sails back to Marseille, wondering all along the way if he hasn’t lost sight of the person he was, Edmond, the man imprisoned without cause. Finding Maxmilien, he cautions him to maintain hope and to be patient, and to meet the Count on Monte Cristo on October the Fifth. On that day, the Count promises, if Morrel is still so anguished by the death of Valentine that he wishes to die, the Count will help him. But the Count also promises good things for Morrel before setting sail for Italy for the intervening month. He bids Morrel a temporary farewell.
Once again, the Count has made a long-term plan to meet up with another character, as he once did with Albert in Paris. But in this case, the Count is no longer planning revenge, but is instead hoping to demonstrate to Young Morrel just how happy and full of hope life can be. He only hopes that Morrel will live long enough to see the fruits of his own patience. The Count hopes, in other words, that Morrel will believe him enough to trust him.