The Count of Monte Cristo: Novel Summary: Chapter 41-45

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Chapter 41-45

Chapter 41:This chapter begins with an old woman, the mother of Villefort's first wife, entering his office in tears.  Soon it is learned that her husband is dead.  She also thinks that she will die soon as well.  Her final wish is to see Valentine marry Franz.  She, like Noirtier at one time, wants to will all her money to Valentine. 
Meanwhile, Valentine meets Maximilien in the garden again.  When Maximilien swears to kill himself if Valentine marries Franz, Valentine promises to delay the signing of the contract. 
Later, Maximilien overhears Villefort and the doctor talking about Valentine's grandmother's death.  It seems she was poisoned.  This is a shock to Villefort who refuses to believe it.
Soon the two lovers go before Noirtier, who advises Maximilien to wait for Valentine for a few more days.
Chapter 42: Villefort meets with Franz after the funeral.  Franz prepares to sign the marriage contract when Noirtier sends an urgent letter interrupting them.  When Franz goes to Noirtier's room, the old man instructs him to read a long letter.    In this letter, Franz reads the details of his father's death, including the dramatic sword duel.  When Franz demands to know who killed his father, Noirtier indicates that he himself is the killer.  This undoubtedly cripples beyond repair any chance that the two familes will become related through marriage.

Chapter 43: In this chapter Franz formally breaks his engagement with Villefort's daughter.  Danglars breaks the news to Fernand that the marriage between their children cannot occur either.
Chapter 44:

Noirtier and Valentine plan the marriage with Maximilien.  Barrois, the servant of Noirtier, drinks some lemonade and soon grows ill, collapsing onto the floor.  This lemonade was intended for Noirtier.  After doing an investigation, the doctor thinks that foul play is involved: he believes Valentine is the murderer.
Chapter 45: Andrea goes to his hotel room where he discovers a letter from Caderousse.  Soon it's revealed that Caderousse plans to steal money from the count.

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