We had a long car ride ahead of us and Nick wanted me to read to him. The only book I had was an adaptation of THE COUNT OF MONTE CRISTO. It was written for young readers and had lovely illustrations but was still a bit complicated for him. I had just bought it thinking that maybe we’d read it together in a few years. He wanted me to read it to him right then.
CHAPTER ONE: Marseilles
ME: “The sails of the Pharon shimmered in the winter sun as the ship came into Marseilles docks…”
NICK: Who’s that?
ME: Edmond Dantes.
NICK: Is he a good guy?
ME: Yes. He’s a good guy.
NICK: HE’S GONNA FIGHT THE BAD GUYS!
CHAPTER TWO: Conspiracy
ME: “Laughing, Edmond twirled Mercedes in his arms. He was so happy, in fact, that he failed to notice the jealous hatred in Fernand’s eyes.”
NICK: Is Fernand a bad guy?
ME: Yes. He wants Mercedes all to himself.
NICK: Edmond should punch him!
ME: Well Edmond doesn’t know Fernand is a bad guy yet. Fernand is going to try to send Edmond to jail.
ME: Yeah. Let’s keep reading…
NICK; But Edmond will tell everyone he’s a good guy and break out of prison and come back and THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER!
CHAPTER FIVE – Escape from Chateau D’If
NICK: Did the old man die?
ME: Yes. The tunnel caved in on him while he and Edmond were breaking out of jail.
NICK: Did a rock fall on his head?
NICK: I SEE BLOOD!
ME: And now Edmond is pretending to be dead so they’ll carry him out of jail.
NICK: AND THEN HE CAN GO BACK AND THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER!
ME: Eventually. But right now, everyone thinks that Edmond is a bad guy.
NICK: So you know what, daddy? He’s gonna wear a disguise so everyone thinks he’s someone else.
ME: How did you know that???
NICK: Yeah. So he has to put on his disguise.
ME: Seriously, how did you know that???
NICK: Read some more, dad.
CHAPTER TEN – The Roman Catacombs
NICK: Is this the other bad guy?
ME: Yes. This is Danglars.
NICK: Does the good guy have on his disguise?
ME: Yes. He’s disguised as the Count of Monte Cristo.
NICK: IS HE GONNA THROW THE BAD GUY IN THE WATER?
ME: No. He’s putting him in jail and making him pay money for his food.
ME: Danglars put Edmond in jail, so now Edmond put Danglars in jail.
NICK: AND HE HAS TO PAY FOR FOOD?
NICK: WHY DOESN’T HE JUST THROW HIM IN THE WATER?
ME: I don’t know.
CHAPTER 12 – Duel in the Park
NICK: What’s a duel?
ME: Well…um…Edmond and Fernand’s son are going to shoot at each other.
NICK: WITH GUNS??
ME: They have pistols, yes.
NICK: Water pistols? That’s not bad, dad. Know what? You can’t kill anyone with a water pistol.
ME: These are real pistols. They’re old fashioned pistols.
NICK: Are they gonna go shoot buffalo?
NICK: In the old days, people used to take pistols and shoot buffalo. And you know what? They would fight the buffalo and eat the buffalo.
ME: That’s not really what these guys are doing.
NICK: In the old days there would be a whole lot of buffalo. And they would shoot at them! And then they would eat them like hamburger!
ME: Well, Edmond has decided that he doesn’t want revenge anymore.
NICK: He’s not gonna throw him in the water???
NICK: Does he take off his disguise?
NICK: Do they ever fight with swords?
ME: Not in this version I guess.
NICK: Do you eat buffalo?
NICK: I’m hungry.
ME: Want me to keep reading?
NICK: Okay, I WANT THEM TO SHOOT EACH OTHER!
ME: Well, they’re not going to. Because Edmond has realized that he doesn’t want revenge anymore and doesn’t want to shoot anyone.
NICK: Are we almost home?