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There is no question that Fernand Mondego wishes ill upon Edmond Dantes. From their first encounter in the home of Fernand’s cousin, Mercedes, who loves Edmond but who is persistently wooed by Fernand, it is clear that Fernand harbors dreams of eliminating Edmond and having Mercedes for himself. In exchange between the cousins that turns increasingly heated, the depth of Fernand’s resentment of Edmond becomes clearer, and thoughts of murder enter his mind. Mercedes responds by informing Fernand that Edmond’s death would quickly be followed by her own, as she could not go on living without her future husband, Edmond Dantes.
The stage has now been set in the early chapters of Alexandre Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo for an act of vengeance by Fernand against Edmond. Unsure how to eliminate Edmond without killing him and, in turn, effectively killing Mercedes, Fernand turns to another enemy of Edmond’s, Danglers. It is Danglers who coaches Fernand on the optimal way of removing Edmond from the scene without killing him. The key section of Dumas’ novel in which this is discussed, and in which a plan to orchestrate Edmond’s demise is hatched, is Chapter 4, appropriately titled “Conspiracy.” This chapter provides the quotes in which Fernand attests to his role in the plan to have Edmond imprisoned on false charges of colluding with the exiled Napolean Bonaparte against the current government. In the conversation between Fernand, Danglers and the inebriated Caderousse, Danglers suggests an alternative to killing Edmond that will effectively leave Mercedes for Fernand:
“Absence severs as well as death, and if the walls of a prison were between Edmond and Mercedes they would be as effectually separated as if he lay under a tombstone.”
That Fernand, a young, brawny man lacking in Dangler’s intellect, is a willing participant in the older conspirator’s plan is evident in the following exchange:
Danglers: “Well, you understand there is no need to kill him.”
Fernand: “Certainly not, if, as you said just now, you have the means of having Dantes arrested. Have you the means?”
Further quotations confirming Fernand’s willing participation in the scheme to have Edmond imprisoned is this:
“I hate him! I confess it openly. Do you find the means, I will execute it, provided it is not to kill the man, for Mercedes has declared she will kill herself if Dantes is killed.”
Finally, in response to Dangler's suggestion that someone, namely, Fernand, submit to the authorities a letter implicating Edmond in a plot against the government and denouncing him to the authorities, Fernand announces:
“’I will denounce him’ exclaimed the young man hastily.”
Fernand, it is clear, is an active conspirator against Edmond Dantes.
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