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Les MisÚrables - The Zigzags of Strategy

1. M. Myriel

2. M. Myriel becomes M. Welcome

3. A Hard Bishopric for a Good Bishop

4. Works corresponding to Words

5. Monseigneur Bienvenu made his Cassocks last too long

6. Who guarded his House for him

7. Cravatte

8. Philosophy after Drinking

9. The Brother as depicted by the Sister

10. The Bishop in the Presence of an Unknown Light

11. A Restriction

12. The Solitude of Monseigneur Welcome

13. What he believed

14. What he thought

15. The Evening of a Day of Walking

16. Prudence counselled to Wisdom

17. The Heroism of Passive Obedience

18. Details concerning the Cheese-Dairies of Pontarlier

19. Tranquillity

20. Jean Valjean

21. The Interior of Despair

22. Billows and Shadows

23. New Troubles

24. The Man aroused

25. What he does

26. The Bishop works

27. Little Gervais

28. The Year 1817

29. A Double Quartette

30. Four and Four

31. Tholomyes is so Merry that he sings a Spanish Ditty

32. At Bombardas

33. A Chapter in which they adore Each Other

34. The Wisdom of Tholomyes

35. The Death of a Horse

36. A Merry End to Mirth

37. One Mother meets Another Mother

38. First Sketch of Two Unprepossessing Figures

39. The Lark

40. The History of a Progress in Black Glass Trinkets

41. Madeleine

42. Sums deposited with Laffitte

43. M. Madeleine in Mourning

44. Vague Flashes on the Horizon

45. Father Fauchelevent

46. Fauchelevent becomes a Gardener in Paris

47. Madame Victurnien expends Thirty Francs on Morality

48. Madame Victurnien's Success

49. Result of the Success

50. Christus nos Liberavit

51. M. Bamatabois's Inactivity

52. The Solution of Some Questions connected with the Municipal Police

53. The Beginning of Repose

54. How Jean may become Champ

55. Sister Simplice

56. The Perspicacity of Master Scaufflaire

57. A Tempest in a Skull

58. Forms assumed by Suffering during Sleep

59. Hindrances

60. Sister Simplice put to the Proof

61. The Traveller on his Arrival takes Precautions for Departure

62. An Entrance by Favor

63. A Place where Convictions are in Process of Formation

64. The System of Denials

65. Champmathieu more and more Astonished

66. In what Mirror M. Madeleine contemplates his Hair

67. Fantine Happy

68. Javert Satisfied

69. Authority reasserts its Rights

70. A Suitable Tomb

71. What is met with on the Way from Nivelles

72. Hougomont

73. The Eighteenth of June, 1815

74. A

75. The Quid Obscurum of Battles

76. Four o'clock in the Afternoon

77. Napoleon in a Good Humor

78. The Emperor puts a Question to the Guide Lacoste

79. The Unexpected

80. The Plateau of Mont-Saint-Jean

81. A Bad Guide to Napoleon; a Good Guide to Bulow

82. The Guard

83. The Catastrophe

84. The Last Square

85. Cambronne

86. Quot Libras in Duce?

87. Is Waterloo to be considered Good?

88. A Recrudescence of Divine Right

89. The Battle-Field at Night

90. Number 24,601 becomes Number 9,430

91. In which the reader will peruse Two Verses which are of the Devil's Composition possibly

92. The Ankle-Chain must have undergone a Certain Preparatory Manipulation to be thus broken with a Blow from a Hammer

93. The Water Question at Montfermeil

94. Two Complete Portraits

95. Men must have Wine, and Horses must have Water

96. Entrance on the Scene of a Doll

97. The Little One All Alone

98. Which possibly proves Boulatruelle's Intelligence

99. Cosette Side by Side with the Stranger in the Dark

100. The Unpleasantness of receiving into One's House a Poor Man who may be a Rich Man

101. Thenardier at his Manoeuvres

102. He who seeks to better himself may render his Situation Worse

103. Number 9,430 reappears, and Cosette wins it in the Lottery

104. Master Gorbeau

105. A Nest for Owl and a Warbler

106. Two Misfortunes Make One Piece of Good Fortune

107. The Remarks of the Principal Tenant

108. A Five-Franc Piece Falls on the Ground and Produces a Tumult

109. The Zigzags of Strategy

110. It Is Lucky That the Pont D'Austerlitz Bears Carriages

111. To Wit, the Plan of Paris in 1727

112. The Gropings of Flight

113. Which Would be Impossible With Gas Lanterns

114. The Beginning of an Enigma

115. Continuation of the Enigma

116. The Enigma Becomes Doubly Mysterious

117. The Man with the Bell

118. Which Explains How Javert Got on the Scent

119. Number 62 Rue Petit-Picpus

120. The Obedience of Martin Verga

121. Austerities

122. Gayeties

123. Distractions

124. The Little Convent

125. Some Silhouettes of this Darkness

126. Post Corda Lapides

127. A Century under a Guimpe

128. Origin of the Perpetual Adoration

129. End of the Petit-Picpus

130. The Convent as an Abstract Idea

131. The Convent as an Historical Fact

132. On What Conditions One can respect the Past

133. The Convent from the Point of View of Principles

134. Prayer

135. The Absolute Goodness of Prayer

136. Precautions to be observed in Blame

137. Faith, Law

138. Which treats of the Manner of entering a Convent

139. Fauchelevent in the Presence of a Difficulty

140. Mother Innocente

141. In which Jean Valjean has quite the Air of having read Austin Castillejo

142. It is not Necessary to be Drunk in order to be Immortal

143. Between Four Planks

144. In which will be found the Origin of the Saying: Don't lose the Card

145. A Successful Interrogatory

146. Cloistered




An observation here becomes necessary, in view of the pages
which the reader is about to peruse, and of others which will
be met with further on.

The author of this book, who regrets the necessity of mentioning himself,
has been absent from Paris for many years. Paris has been transformed
since he quitted it. A new city has arisen, which is, after a fashion,
unknown to him. There is no need for him to say that he loves Paris:
Paris is his mind's natal city. In consequence of demolitions
and reconstructions, the Paris of his youth, that Paris which he bore
away religiously in his memory, is now a Paris of days gone by.
He must be permitted to speak of that Paris as though it still existed.
It is possible that when the author conducts his readers to a spot
and says, "In such a street there stands such and such a house,"
neither street nor house will any longer exist in that locality.
Readers may verify the facts if they care to take the trouble.
For his own part, he is unacquainted with the new Paris, and he
writes with the old Paris before his eyes in an illusion which is
precious to him. It is a delight to him to dream that there still
lingers behind him something of that which he beheld when he was
in his own country, and that all has not vanished. So long as you
go and come in your native land, you imagine that those streets are
a matter of indifference to you; that those windows, those roofs,
and those doors are nothing to you; that those walls are strangers
to you; that those trees are merely the first encountered haphazard;
that those houses, which you do not enter, are useless to you;
that the pavements which you tread are merely stones. Later on,
when you are no longer there, you perceive that the streets are dear
to you; that you miss those roofs, those doors; and that those
walls are necessary to you, those trees are well beloved by you;
that you entered those houses which you never entered, every day,
and that you have left a part of your heart, of your blood,
of your soul, in those pavements. All those places which you
no longer behold, which you may never behold again, perchance,
and whose memory you have cherished, take on a melancholy charm,
recur to your mind with the melancholy of an apparition, make the holy
land visible to you, and are, so to speak, the very form of France,
and you love them; and you call them up as they are, as they were,
and you persist in this, and you will submit to no change:
for you are attached to the figure of your fatherland as to the face
of your mother.

May we, then, be permitted to speak of the past in the present?
That said, we beg the reader to take note of it, and we continue.

Jean Valjean instantly quitted the boulevard and plunged into
the streets, taking the most intricate lines which he could devise,
returning on his track at times, to make sure that he was not
being followed.

This manoeuvre is peculiar to the hunted stag. On soil where
an imprint of the track may be left, this manoeuvre possesses,
among other advantages, that of deceiving the huntsmen and the dogs,
by throwing them on the wrong scent. In venery this is called
false re-imbushment.

The moon was full that night. Jean Valjean was not sorry for this.
The moon, still very close to the horizon, cast great masses of light
and shadow in the streets. Jean Valjean could glide along close
to the houses on the dark side, and yet keep watch on the light side.
He did not, perhaps, take sufficiently into consideration the fact
that the dark side escaped him. Still, in the deserted lanes which
lie near the Rue Poliveau, he thought he felt certain that no one
was following him.

Cosette walked on without asking any questions. The sufferings
of the first six years of her life had instilled something passive
into her nature. Moreover,--and this is a remark to which we
shall frequently have occasion to recur,--she had grown used,
without being herself aware of it, to the peculiarities of this
good man and to the freaks of destiny. And then she was with him,
and she felt safe.

Jean Valjean knew no more where he was going than did Cosette.
He trusted in God, as she trusted in him. It seemed as though he
also were clinging to the hand of some one greater than himself;
he thought he felt a being leading him, though invisible.
However, he had no settled idea, no plan, no project. He was not
even absolutely sure that it was Javert, and then it might have
been Javert, without Javert knowing that he was Jean Valjean. Was not
he disguised? Was not he believed to be dead? Still, queer things
had been going on for several days. He wanted no more of them.
He was determined not to return to the Gorbeau house. Like the wild
animal chased from its lair, he was seeking a hole in which he
might hide until he could find one where he might dwell.

Jean Valjean described many and varied labyrinths in the Mouffetard
quarter, which was already asleep, as though the discipline
of the Middle Ages and the yoke of the curfew still existed;
he combined in various manners, with cunning strategy, the Rue
Censier and the Rue Copeau, the Rue du Battoir-Saint-Victor and the
Rue du Puits l'Ermite. There are lodging houses in this locality,
but he did not even enter one, finding nothing which suited him.
He had no doubt that if any one had chanced to be upon his track,
they would have lost it.

As eleven o'clock struck from Saint-Etienne-du-Mont, he was
traversing the Rue de Pontoise, in front of the office of the
commissary of police, situated at No. 14. A few moments later,
the instinct of which we have spoken above made him turn round.
At that moment he saw distinctly, thanks to the commissary's lantern,
which betrayed them, three men who were following him closely, pass,
one after the other, under that lantern, on the dark side of the street.
One of the three entered the alley leading to the commissary's house.
The one who marched at their head struck him as decidedly suspicious.

"Come, child," he said to Cosette; and he made haste to quit
the Rue Pontoise.

He took a circuit, turned into the Passage des Patriarches,
which was closed on account of the hour, strode along the Rue de
l'Epee-de-Bois and the Rue de l'Arbalete, and plunged into the Rue
des Postes.

At that time there was a square formed by the intersection
of streets, where the College Rollin stands to-day,
and where the Rue Neuve-Sainte-Genevieve turns off.

It is understood, of course, that the Rue Neuve-Sainte-Genevieve
is an old street, and that a posting-chaise does not pass through
the Rue des Postes once in ten years. In the thirteenth century
this Rue des Postes was inhabited by potters, and its real name
is Rue des Pots.

The moon cast a livid light into this open space. Jean Valjean
went into ambush in a doorway, calculating that if the men were
still following him, he could not fail to get a good look at them,
as they traversed this illuminated space.

In point of fact, three minutes had not elapsed when the men made
their appearance. There were four of them now. All were tall,
dressed in long, brown coats, with round hats, and huge cudgels in
their hands. Their great stature and their vast fists rendered them
no less alarming than did their sinister stride through the darkness.
One would have pronounced them four spectres disguised as bourgeois.

They halted in the middle of the space and formed a group, like men
in consultation. They had an air of indecision. The one who appeared
to be their leader turned round and pointed hastily with his right
hand in the direction which Jean Valjean had taken; another seemed
to indicate the contrary direction with considerable obstinacy.
At the moment when the first man wheeled round, the moon fell full
in his face. Jean Valjean recognized Javert perfectly.

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