The Count invites Albert to come over and speak with him, and Albert reveals that he does not wish to marry Eugenie Danglars because, for a reason he cannot figure out, his mother does not want him to do so. The Count wonders if Mercedes Morcerf believes that the Danglars family is “low-born,” but Albert wonders if it isn’t something stronger, and more mysterious, than that. The Count says that he is planning on having the Villeforts and the Danglars out to his country home in Auteuil, since they seem so keen on making his acquaintance in Paris.
The Count’s plans for vengeance are moving more swiftly. Now that the Count has gotten to know the families of Fernand, Danglars, and Villefort, he can begin the long-term chess-match that will result in the revelation of their crimes. The house in Auteuil is an important setting for these revelations, since the Count now owns it, and Villefort and his mistress, as-yet unnamed, committed their crimes there.
Albert also reports that Franz, who is to marry Valentine de Villefort, is bored in Italy and will soon be returning to Paris. The Count’s servant Baptistin arrives in the room to announce that a man named Cavalcanti, the descendent of an old and wealthy Italian family and a friend of the Count’s from Italy, will soon be visiting Paris. Albert leaves, but not before asking the Count if he will dine with him and his mother. The Count does not agree, saying that he is busy with other matters, and Albert asks himself why the Count is so hesitant to make his mother’s acquaintance more thoroughly.
This introduces another small but nagging feature of the text that will not be explained for many chapters. The Count refuses to eat in front of Mercedes, Albert, and Fernand. This refusal to eat seems another feature of his Dracula-like persona, as the Countess G describes it, and adds to the legend of the Count. But, as the reader will learn, the Count has a more principled reason, having to do with his revenge, for refusing to eat in Mercedes’s presence.