Albert returns to the Rue de Helder, where he prepares to leave France behind. His seconds recommend this course because they feel Albert’s name will be linked with cowardice in Paris, for avoiding the duel; but his friends also don’t know the extent to which his father’s name has been publicly damaged. Albert takes stock of some of the items in his apartment he might need, then heads over to his mother’s rooms, avoiding his father, and noting that Mercedes too is packing a few small items to take with her in flight.
Although Albert has been spared the dishonor of avoiding the duel, he still has his father’s dishonor to deal with. The only acceptable method, he fears, is to leave Paris entirely. His mother, of course, feels the same way, and so they will not have to do this fleeing alone. Rather, they can join forces as they leave Fernand with his shame in Paris.
Albert says initially that he cannot bring his mother along with him, that his current course is his alone: but at this a carriage drives up, and Bertuccio hands Albert a letter from the Count, in which the Count asks that Albert look after his mother. For this purpose, the Count offers the money he initially had buried outside his father’s apartment in Marseille, 150 francs from the initial voyage of the Pharaon. In a dramatic gesture, Mercedes accepts this money from the Count, telling Albert she will use it to “pay her dowry” and enter a convent, thus living a life of peace away from Paris.
Although Mercedes never admits it straightaway, she seems to acknowledge that she ought to have entered a convent when she thought Dantes was dead. Mercedes cannot forgive herself for what she believes was her weakness in marrying Fernand, even though this seems unfair to her: she really did believe that Dantes was dead or languishing in prison forever. But now, she feels she can make amends for a “mistake” of her youth.