This chapter marks the beginning of the Count’s grand dinner at Auteuil. Bertuccio has decked out the home in preparation, save for one room, which the Count will show his guests after the food has been served. The Count sees that Lucien Debray, Chateau-Renaud, the Baron Danglars (angry from his losses on the market), Hermine Danglars, Villefort and Heloise, and Major and Andrea Cavalcanti arrive.
As in the previous scene in the theater, the narrator (and the Count) have arranged things so that all the most important characters are present in the same place. Of course, the Count has also made sure that this is not just any location, but the house in which Villefort and the Baroness Danglars had their illicit tryst many years ago.
As he calls for Bertuccio, the Count reveals how these characters intertwine with the servant’s story of a Corsican vendetta. Bertuccio, shocked, sees that Hermine Danglars, the Baron’s wife, is in fact the woman with whom Villefort was having an affair, and who bore a child out of wedlock. Furthermore, Villefort is in fact still alive, which means that Bertuccio did not murder him when he stabbed him in the garden, and Andrea Cavalcanti is really Benedetto himself, Bertuccio’s adopted son who caused so much mayhem in his home life. At this, however, the Count demands that Bertuccio silently serve the dinner, betraying nothing of what he’s learned.
All these revelations are filtered through the consciousness of Bertuccio, who is one of the characters most directly affected by the Count’s purchase of the house in Auteuil. Bertuccio realizes in one fell swoop that he could not have killed Villefort, who is still alive, and that the man called Andrea Cavalcanti is really Benedetto, Bertuccio’s adopted son. The Count has therefore arranged his meal with maximum dramatic effect, hoping to prompt extreme responses from many of the guests assembled, including his own servant.