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Chapter 77: Haidee.
Scarcely had the count's horses cleared the angle of the boulevard, than Albert, turning towards the count, burst into a loud fit of laughter -- much too loud in fact not to give the idea of its being rather forced and unnatural. "Well," said he, "I will ask you the same question which Charles IX. put to Catherine de Medicis, after the massacre of Saint Bartholomew, `How have I played my little part?'"
"To what do you allude?" asked Monte Cristo.
"To the installation of my rival at M. Danglars'."
"Ma foi, what rival? Why, your protege, M. Andrea Cavalcanti!"
"Ah, no joking, viscount, if you please; I do not patronize M. Andrea -- at least, not as concerns M. Danglars."
"And you would be to blame for not assisting him, if the young man really needed your help in that quarter, but, happily for me, he can dispense with it."
"What, do you think he is paying his addresses?"
"I am certain of it; his languishing looks and modulated tones when addressing Mademoiselle Danglars fully proclaim his intentions. He aspires to the hand of the proud Eugenie."
"What does that signify, so long as they favor your suit?"
"But it is not the case, my dear count: on the contrary. I am repulsed on all sides."
"It is so indeed; Mademoiselle Eugenie scarcely answers me, and Mademoiselle d'Armilly, her confidant, does not speak to me at all."
"But the father has the greatest regard possible for you," said Monte Cristo.
"He? Oh, no, he has plunged a thousand daggers into my heart, tragedy-weapons, I own, which instead of wounding sheathe their points in their own handles, but daggers which he nevertheless believed to be real and deadly."
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