Towards the beginning of the year 1838, two young men belonging to the first society of Paris, the Vicomte Albert de Morcerf and the Baron Franz d'Epinay, were at Florence.
One evening he cast off the painter of a sailboat from the iron ring that secured it to the dock at Leghorn, wrapped himself in his coat and lay down, and said to the crew, -- "To the Island of Elba!" The boat shot out of the harbor like a bird and the next morning Franz disembarked at Porto-Ferrajo.
"Who live upon the stones, I suppose," said Franz with an incredulous smile.
As Franz had sufficient time, and his apartments at Rome were not yet available, he accepted the proposition.
Franz waited until all was in order, and when the sail was filled, and the four sailors had taken their places -- three forward, and one at the helm -- he resumed the conversation.
"But," asked Franz, who lay wrapped in his cloak at the bottom of the boat, "why do not those who have been plundered complain to the French, Sardinian, or Tuscan governments?"
It is probable that if Gaetano had related this previous to proposing the expedition, Franz would have hesitated, but now that they had started, he thought it would be cowardly to draw back.
Fortunately, the mariners were used to these latitudes, and knew every rock in the Tuscan Archipelago; for in the midst of this obscurity Franz was not without uneasiness -- Corsica had long since disappeared, and Monte Cristo itself was invisible; but the sailors seemed, like the lynx, to see in the dark, and the pilot who steered did not evince the slightest hesitation.
"Franz, put the prince's things in my bedroom," said he to the servant who was ushering Bolkonski in.
Even I, a poor secretary of the Russian Embassy, do not feel any need in token of my joy to give my Franz a thaler, or let him go with his Liebchen to the Prater...
"Mamma always allows us to do what we like Saturday afternoon, when Franz and Emil come, doesn't she, Mr.
Franz and Emil are jolly little lads, quite after my own heart, for the mixture of German and American spirit in the produces a constant state of effervescence.