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Chapter 60: The Telegraph.
M. and Madame de Villefort found on their return that the Count of Monte Cristo, who had come to visit them in their absence, had been ushered into the drawing-room, and was still awaiting them there. Madame de Villefort, who had not yet sufficiently recovered from her late emotion to allow of her entertaining visitors so immediately, retired to her bedroom, while the procureur, who could better depend upon himself, proceeded at once to the salon. Although M. de Villefort flattered himself that, to all outward view, he had completely masked the feelings which were passing in his mind, he did not know that the cloud was still lowering on his brow, so much so that the count, whose smile was radiant, immediately noticed his sombre and thoughtful air. "Ma foi," said Monte Cristo, after the first compliments were over, "what is the matter with you, M. de Villefort? Have I arrived at the moment when you were drawing up an indictment for a capital crime?" Villefort tried to smile. "No, count," he replied, "I am the only victim in this case. It is I who lose my cause, and it is ill-luck, obstinacy, and folly which have caused it to be decided against me."
"To what do you refer?" said Monte Cristo with well-feigned interest. "Have you really met with some great misfortune?"
"Oh, no, monsieur," said Villefort with a bitter smile; "it is only a loss of money which I have sustained -- nothing worth mentioning, I assure you."
"True," said Monte Cristo, "the loss of a sum of money becomes almost immaterial with a fortune such as you possess, and to one of your philosophic spirit."
"It is not so much the loss of the money that vexes me," said Villefort, "though, after all, 900,000 francs are worth regretting; but I am the more annoyed with this fate, chance, or whatever you please to call the power which has destroyed my hopes and my fortune, and may blast the prospects of my child also, as it is all occasioned by an old man relapsed into second childhood."
"What do you say?" said the count; "900,000 francs? It is indeed a sum which might be regretted even by a philosopher. And who is the cause of all this annoyance?"
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