Short summary - Mathias Sandorf
Jules Gabriel Verne
Three noble Hungarians lead a plot to restore Hungary's independence. On the eve of the uprising, they are arrested and executed. Fifteen years later, a mysterious rich man appears who owns secret technologies and the power of suggestion. He knows the names of traitors. He wants revenge.
Events unfold within the Austro-Hungarian state in the second half of the 19th century. In Trieste, two fellow adventurers, Sarkani and Zirone, accidentally intercept a carrier pigeon with an encrypted note and, following its further path, figure out the addressee of the message. This is Count Matthias Sandor, who lives in Trieste in the house of his friend, Ladislav Zatmar. Sarkani guesses that the recipients of the encrypted letters are engaged in anti-state activities.
Indeed, together with Professor Istvan Bathory, they are the organizers of the uprising, which aims to restore the independence of Hungary. With the help of the banker Silas Thorontal, who is interested that Matthias Sandor does not take a large cash deposit from his bank, Sarkani enters Zatmar's house as a hired accountant, gains confidence in the owners and, after a methodical search, finds an indisputable piece of evidence in the house - the key to the cipher.
As a result of a denunciation made to the governor of Sarkany, Zirone and Torontal, the police arrest the conspirators, and the court sentences them to death. By chance, the condemned, awaiting execution in the fortress, manage to overhear the conversation, from which they learn the identity of the scammers.
On the night before the execution, all three try to escape, but Zatmar is detained by the jailers, and Bathory and Sandor become the victim of another denunciation: they are betrayed to the police by someone Karpen, who saw that the fugitives had taken refuge with the fisherman Andrea Ferrato. The wounded Bathory ends up in the hands of the police, and Matthias Sandor tries to swim under fire and, apparently, perishes at sea.
Bathory and Zatmar are shot, while the scammers receive half of the fortune of Matthias Shandor as a reward; the other half is to go to the count's daughter when she comes of age, but shortly after the events, the girl disappears without a trace.
Fifteen years pass. The yacht of Dr. Antekirt, about whom the most controversial rumors have been circulating for several years, arrives in one of the European ports. Everyone agrees on only one thing: the doctor is fabulously rich, and his life is shrouded in mystery. In reality, he is Matthias Sandor, who miraculously escaped death at sea. Having reached land, the count left Europe and went to the East, where he made himself a huge fortune. In the Mediterranean Sea, on the small island of Antekirt, he founded a settlement for his like-minded people, which became the base for further actions.
Now the count has returned to avenge himself and his comrades, and is hunting down his enemies. Along the way, the count learns about the fate of his daughter, whom he considered dead: it turns out that the one and a half year old girl was kidnapped from the servants who took care of her on the orders of Silas Thorontal. The banker took Sava into his family under the guise of his own daughter, so that later, when she reaches adulthood, she could present evidence of her origin, restore her rights so that the girl could inherit the second half of her father's fortune, and then take possession of this money.
Despite a number of failures, Shandor manages to achieve his goal: Zirone, who returned to the robber's craft, is killed during a skirmish, and Silas Thorontal, Sarkani and Karpena fall into the hands of Matthias Shandor and his associates. Scammers are sentenced to death. Due to the absence of a prison on the island of Antekirt, convicts awaiting execution are placed on a small island, previously mined for defense against pirates. The next night, the island explodes. It remains unknown whether the explosive charge was set off by the prisoners on purpose or by accident.