Chapter 21: After the celebration of one day in Rome, Albert is suddenly taken hostage by bandits- Luigi the Bandit and his gang of outlaws. When Franz doesn't have the money to pay his friend's ransom, he seeks out the Count of Monte Cristo. When the count hears of the news, he takes Franz with him into the catacombs and quickly settles the matter. It seems that Luigi is a personal friend of the count. The count, Franz and Albert walk out in peace.
During this meeting, the priest learns that Mercedes has married Fernand, though she never loved him. Danglars has grown very rich as an investment banker. Learning that all of Dantes' other friends have betrayed him, the priest leaves Caderousse the diamond in its entirety. Caderousse and his wife greedily accept the gift.
Chapter 22: The count and his two new friends part company. In exchange for the count's good will, Albert promises to be his host in Paris in a few months. They arrange a time and a place where the count will meet them. When the count (really Dantes of course) does come to Albert's home, he is met by a group of Albert's friends, including Maximilian, Morrel's son. Soon the Count of Monte Cristo learns that Albert is planning to marry Danglars' daughter. This fascinates the count, who plans to stay in Paris and buy a house for himself.
Chapter 23: In this short chapter, Dantes learns that Albert's mother is Mercedes, his lover from the past. When she meets the count, she turns pale, obviously recognizing him. Dantes also seems to know who this woman is, since he too turns white.
Chapter 24: The count goes to the house he is to buy with his servant, Bertuccio. Soon Dantes learns that this house belongs to the father-in-law of Villefort. Bertuccio becomes uneasy when they pass through the garden, recognizing the spot where he killed Villefort. Quickly Bertuccio tells the story of how he avenged the death of his brother by murdering Villefort here in the garden.
Later, also due to one of Bertuccio's stories, Dantes learns that Mr. Caderousse indeed killed his wife and a jeweler in order to steal the diamond and the money the jeweler paid for it. This is all very interesting to the Count of Monte Cristo.
Chapter 25: Danglars and the count meet again after fourteen years. The two talk business and the count impresses Danglars with his money. Debray is introduced to the reader; he is a government official and personal friend of the Danglars family.
Eventually, through a confusing ordeal with Danglars' horses, the count has his servant, Ali, save Villefort's wife in a horse chase. Villefort's wife seems very thankful to the count.