Monte Cristo visits Danglars to receive a credit of five million francs. Danglars must give him the banknotes, for he has bragged of his immense fortune. Monte Cristo takes the banknotes immediately to the bank depleting Danglars funds so that he cannot hold his word to other banknotes. Danglars decides to go to Italy, to retrieve his money from Monte Cristo's firm. He leaves Paris and his wife.
Monte Cristo uses his credit to extract a vast sum of five million francs from Danglars' bank account. Because Danglars has such greed, and because Monte Cristo's father died of poverty, Monte Cristo's revenge against the banker is to destroy his financial resources. He knows that this bankruptcy will then destroy the man.
Maximilien is bowed over Valentine's grave. The Count spies on him and follows him home. He realizes that Maximilien is about to commit suicide. He coerces Maximilien to put off such a deed. He uses two reasonings. One, that he was the man who had saved his father from dishonor and suicide. Two, he promises that in one month Maximilien shall be happier and if not, then Count will accept Maximilien suicide. Maximilien agrees
In this chapter Monte Cristo decides to reveal his true identity to Maximilien Morrel because he needs to save Maximilien's life. He had vowed never to reveal his true identity to anyone. Monte Cristo has of course saved Valentine and wishes to test Maximilien's love for her by making him wait a month before their reunion. This wait symbolizes the Count's philosophy that one cannot appreciate bliss until one has experienced despair.
Madame Danglars and Debray meet for a secret rendezvous. Madame Danglars shows Debray a farewell letter from her husband. She is hoping for Debray to allay her fears about their relationship. He merely divides their earnings fifty-fifty and advises her to travel.
Albert and the Countess de Morcerf also are staying in the hotel where the secret rendezvous. The two parties recognize one another. Albert reveals his plans to seek his own fame and fortune in the military.
It is apparent that Debray was Madame Danglars' lover merely for her husband's fortune. Now that this fortune has disappeared he will no longer be her lover. Madame Danglars is hoping for a more serious affair now that she is single, however, he recommends she travel instead.
The Countess de Morcerf also realizes that she cannot keep her son by her to comfort her pain. She will end her life in prayer in a convent while he ventures out into the world to make his own fortune. The Countess is thus the true sufferer in the novel. She has little to live for. Monte Cristo, on the other and, has accomplished his revenge, and now can look forward to his new love Haydee.
Andrea Calvacanti (Benedetto) is now back in prison. Monte Cristo's servant, Bertuccio, comes to visit. Bertuccio is interrupted by the guard, however, he plans to return the following day to tell Benedetto who his father is.
Bertuccio will tell Benedetto that his father is Monsieur de Villefort. This story is necessary to ruin Villefort. Villefort is the public prosecutor for Calvacanti's trial. At the trial Villefort's utter disrespect for life shall be revealed when Benedetto tells the courtroom how he was buried alive as a newborn baby.
Villefort works tirelessly at Calvacanti's case. It is a distraction from the misery that exists in his household. Villefort confronts his wife in this chapter. He insists that she commits suicide or else he will arrest her as a murderer.
Villefort's efforts at preparing Calvacanti's case will of course be in vain. He will be ruined at this trial. It is ironic that Villefort, himself guilty of the attempted murder of his newborn baby, insists that his wife commit suicide for the murder of Valentine. She is merely a reflection of his own disrespect for life.
At the trial, Andrea immediately confesses to his thievery and the murder of Caderousse. When he is asked to say his name, he reveals that his father is Monsieur de Villefort. The crowd goes wild, Madame Danglars faints, and de Villefort himself chokes and realizes that he is the victim of God's vengeance. The Court adjourns.
Andrea plays out his role and reveals Villefort's crime to the public. Villefort does not even try to defend himself for he realizes that God (Monte Cristo) has struck him down. This is another reference to Monte Cristo's role as divine justice. Villefort's defeat is another victory for Monte Cristo.
Villefort returns home in a frenzy hoping that his wife has not yet committed suicide. His hopes are in vain, for she dies just as he enters her room. She also has murdered their son for a mother does not perish without her son, she says. The Abbe Busoni is visiting Noirtier at this moment and finally reveals his true identity to Villefort. Villefort then goes crazy. Monte Cristo questions his deeds, seeing that perhaps with the death of Edouard, he went too far.
Monte Cristo's vengeance on Villefort is complete. Though he does not kill Villefort, the man is ruined. It is only for a brief time that Monte Cristo believes that he may have gone too far with his revenge. Fundamentally he believes that he is justified to play the part of divine justice.
Monte Cristo brings Maximilien to Marseilles. Maximilien visits his father's grave. Monte Cristo visits his father's old home where he finds Mercedes. The two meet for what is in all probability the last time. She will accept his wealth only at her son's permission. Her son has of course gone to the military. Monte Cristo agrees with his endeavors and believes his to be of a noble heart. Mercedes watches a boat carry her son away, however, she rocks back and forth whispering "Edmond, Edmond."
Monte Cristo bids farewell to Mercedes, one of his last duties before he sails away. The two are perhaps no longer in love, yet the memory of what they had as youths is still a strong binding emotion. This is evident by Mercedes' whispers, "Edmond, Edmond." Her reason for living is now the love for her son, yet she cannot help thinking of the Dantes she loved as a young girl. She now is losing both of them, as is symbolized by her son's ship that leaves the Marseilles harbor. Dantes also still trembles at the thought and sight of Mercedes. Dantes must reunite Maximilien with Valentine so that they can enjoy the love he never was able to. In this chapter, loose ends are being tied up. The climax of Monte Cristo's revenge has passed and he has succeeded.
The Count returns to the site of his imprisonment, the Chateau D'If. It is now a tourist attraction. The Count remembers vividly being brought to the prison. He is also brought to his old cell, and is recounted the story of his own escape by the prison guide. Monte Cristo is also given the Abbe Faria's treatise that the Abbe had written in prison.
Monte Cristo leaves Marseilles for Italy. Maximilien shall wait for him in Marseilles. Monte Cristo arranges to meet Maximilen on the Isle of Monte Cristo on the fifth of October.
The Count must combat a final emotion. This emotion is guilt. He doubts his role as divine justice because an innocent boy, Edouard, fell as its victim unintentionally. The Count makes a voyage to the Chateau D'If, now a tourist attraction to remind himself of his suffering. When he is told that he was known as prisoner Number 34, he thinks of Villefort. Villefort must have been haunted by that number in his sleep. Monte Cristo consequently feels no pity for the men who incarcerated him. He thus sets off for Italy to finish Danglar's ruin.
When Danglars visits Monte Cristo's firm, Thomson and French, the firm has already been notified of his arrival. Danglars is allowed to retrieve his five million francs; however, Monte Cristo's Italian bandits kidnap him. Danglars had heard the story of Albert's kidnapping, thus Danglars is not overly worried. He is confident that he will be able to extricate himself from his situation
Monte Cristo's trap for Danglars is successful. Danglars is deceived into hoping that he will be successful again because he regains his five million francs. However, this shall prove to not be true. The Italian bandits, who are forever indebted to Monte Cristo, hold Danglars a hostage and will thus ruin his fortune.
Danglars wakes up from his first night of captivity. He thinks Peppino the bandit is joking when he asks for food and is told that each item shall cost him a hundred thousand francs. Danglars is terribly hungry, thus he pays the price demanded for a chicken
Danglars believes that Peppino is joking when he must pay a hundred thousand francs for a food item. For Monte Cristo, however, this is a type of ironic joke. As a result of Danglars, Dantes' father had died of poverty and hunger. Thus, Monte Cristo punishes Danglars by ruining him financially and by starving him.
Danglars continues to be charged for his food by the bandits. He tries to save the food, but realizes that he is also thirsty. The bandits charge him for drinks also. Finally he pays one million francs for a sumptuous dinner. After 12 days and thoughts of death he has fifty thousand francs left. He is brought before Vampa who asks him if he is truly suffering. Danglars admits that there have been others who have suffered but they were martyrs. A deep dark voice (Monte Cristo) asks him if he finally repents. He reveals that he is Edmond Dantes. Danglars falls to the floor. His life is spared, yet in the brief twelve days of his captivity he has aged considerably. His hair has become completely white.
This chapter completes Monte Cristo's revenge. Danglars is reduced to nothing as is symbolized by physical changes that occur. He is allowed to live, but only because he will live in misery. Monte Cristo emphasizes his triumph over Danglars by serving him the most expensive wines and fruits right before thrusting him onto the road into abject poverty.
The final episode of the adventure takes place on the Isle of Monte Cristo. Maximilien is brought to a cavern where Monte Cristo has prepared a table with flowers and perfumes. Maximilien is ready to die. He sheds a tear for he must leave the Count. The Count gives Maximilien a substance that Maximilien believes to be a death potion. Monte Cristo merely gives him a potion to make Maximilien feel heavy. At this moment Valentine rushes forth to kiss Maximilien. The lovers are reunited at last, fully deserving one another. Monte Cristo leaves them his Champs Elysees residence as well as his house in Normandy. He says that it is Dantes' present to the son of M. Morrel. In this final chapter Haydee also refuses to leave Monte Cristo. They thus sail off into the horizon to elope.
Monte Cristo's final act of divine justice is completed in this chapter. He inflicted ultimate despair upon Maximilien, thus Maximilien is now deserving of ultimate bliss. Monte Cristo is also given a second chance at happiness with Haydee. It is significant that this chapter ends on the Isle of Monte Cristo. It symbolizes and marks the end of the Count's journey of vengeance. The journey had begun here when Dantes had dug up the treasure of Monte Cristo. The journey is now over, and Monte Cristo disappears into the horizon.
The book has been divided based on a 73 chapter edition; this may differ from other editions.