Bertuccio rides with Monte Cristo to the house at Auteuil, becoming more and more agitated along the way. After speaking to the steward of the house, who still lives there, the Count learns that the house used to be owned by the family of the Saint-Merans. Their only daughter was, at the beginning of the novel, to be married to Villefort. Monte Cristo pretends, in front of the steward, to be only dimly aware of these persons. But when the steward leaves, and he and Bertuccio walk around in the garden, it becomes clear that the place means a great deal to Monte Cristo’s servant.
Bertuccio’s agitation on approaching the house seems like a sign of guilt, as though Bertuccio once did something terrible there. Thus Bertuccio, whom we believe to have committed a crime, is similar to other characters in the novel, like Caderousse, who have done terrible deeds in their past – deeds they wish to conceal from others. Unfortunately for Bertuccio, however, the Count appears unwilling to let Bertuccio slide, and instead seems to want to force from him some kind of confession about whatever happened in Auteuil.
Monte Cristo finally asks what’s wrong, and Bertuccio confesses that he once committed a murder at this very house, in this very garden, as an act of revenge against someone who had wronged him. Bertuccio insists that Villefort, married to the daughter of the Saint-Meran family, is a villain. Bertuccio explains that he was sent to the Count of Monte Cristo by an Abbe Busoni, who had previously heard part of his confession for murder, but who did not (apparently) tell this to the Count. The Count asks now for the entirety of Bertuccio’s tale, of the murder committed in Auteuil, and the vendetta of which it is a part.
Bertuccio makes little effort to conceal from the Count what he has done. In fact, his crime is one of vengeance, one for which Bertuccio felt he was justified—but this does not make the crime, legally speaking, less of a crime. It is therefore important to place Bertuccio’s act of revenge, once it is revealed fully, in conversation with the Count’s revenge. The Count will take pains to make sure that the revenge he exacts does not merely involve committing a crime against those who harmed him. Instead, the Count will seek to insinuate himself into the lives of the plotters and destroy them from within, seemingly without the any violent intervention.