The Count pays a visit to the Danglars home, where he sees Andrea Cavalcanti singing at the piano with Eugenie and her friend Louise. Danglars and his wife have been encouraging the match, as Danglars has heard that Andrea is wealthy and of a good family (this information, of course, having been fictionalized by the Count). Danglars also announces that he has kept losing money of late, and he seems embarrassed at his recent financial setbacks. Mme Danglars tells the Count that Franz has broken off his engagement with Valentine, though Danglars does not give the specific reason why.
Danglars and his wife are proud to have stated that Andrea Cavalcanti is making good progress with Eugenie. The Count is more than happy to hear this as well, as it means that, once his plan is set fully in motion, the Danglars will be exposed in their colossal mistake. For now, however, the Count and the reader must remain content in the knowledge they possess, and that Danglars and his wife do not – that the family’s comeuppance is on its way.
Albert de Morcerf enters, ostensibly to pay court to Eugenie, his fiancée, although the Danglars family is frustrated by Morcerf’s haughtiness—Andrea, at the summer ball, paid far more attention to Eugenie than Albert did. Albert seems not to be jealous or perturbed that Andrea is flirting with his intended, and Danglars whispers to the Count that he has dug up some information on Fernand’s conflict in Greece, about which he’d like to inform the Count. As the chapter concludes, it seems that Andrea has the “inside track” in perhaps marrying Eugenie, as the entire Danglars family is following the Count’s lead and tilting his way, rejecting Albert for his “stuck up” sense of noble entitlement.
This chapter exists mostly to put the Count back in touch with Danglars, who has dispatched an agent to do research on Fernand’s activities abroad while working with the Ali Pasha. Thus the Count has made sure that he’s begun to sunk Danglars reputation, and that he can depend on Danglars to begin the ruin of Fernand’s reputation. It is a special bit of cunning for a man whose vengeful strategies have already formed so much of the plot of the novel.