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Les MisÚrables - Authority reasserts its Rights

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

Fantine had not seen Javert since the day on which the mayor had torn
her from the man. Her ailing brain comprehended nothing, but the
only thing which she did not doubt was that he had come to get her.
She could not endure that terrible face; she felt her life quitting her;
she hid her face in both hands, and shrieked in her anguish:--

"Monsieur Madeleine, save me!"

Jean Valjean--we shall henceforth not speak of him otherwise--
had risen. He said to Fantine in the gentlest and calmest of voices:--

"Be at ease; it is not for you that he is come."

Then he addressed Javert, and said:--

"I know what you want."

Javert replied:--

"Be quick about it!"

There lay in the inflection of voice which accompanied these words
something indescribably fierce and frenzied. Javert did not say,
"Be quick about it!" he said "Bequiabouit."

No orthography can do justice to the accent with which it was uttered:
it was no longer a human word: it was a roar.

He did not proceed according to his custom, he did not enter
into the matter, he exhibited no warrant of arrest. In his eyes,
Jean Valjean was a sort of mysterious combatant, who was not to be
laid hands upon, a wrestler in the dark whom he had had in his
grasp for the last five years, without being able to throw him.
This arrest was not a beginning, but an end. He confined himself
to saying, "Be quick about it!"

As he spoke thus, he did not advance a single step; he hurled at
Jean Valjean a glance which he threw out like a grappling-hook,
and with which he was accustomed to draw wretches violently to him.

It was this glance which Fantine had felt penetrating to the very
marrow of her bones two months previously.

At Javert's exclamation, Fantine opened her eyes once more.
But the mayor was there; what had she to fear?

Javert advanced to the middle of the room, and cried:--

"See here now! Art thou coming?"

The unhappy woman glanced about her. No one was present excepting
the nun and the mayor. To whom could that abject use of "thou"
be addressed? To her only. She shuddered.

Then she beheld a most unprecedented thing, a thing so unprecedented
that nothing equal to it had appeared to her even in the blackest
deliriums of fever.

She beheld Javert, the police spy, seize the mayor by the collar;
she saw the mayor bow his head. It seemed to her that the world was
coming to an end.

Javert had, in fact, grasped Jean Valjean by the collar.

"Monsieur le Maire!" shrieked Fantine.

Javert burst out laughing with that frightful laugh which displayed
all his gums.

"There is no longer any Monsieur le Maire here!"

Jean Valjean made no attempt to disengage the hand which grasped
the collar of his coat. He said:--


Javert interrupted him: "Call me Mr. Inspector."

"Monsieur," said Jean Valjean, "I should like to say a word to you
in private."

"Aloud! Say it aloud!" replied Javert; "people are in the habit
of talking aloud to me."

Jean Valjean went on in a lower tone:--

"I have a request to make of you--"

"I tell you to speak loud."

"But you alone should hear it--"

"What difference does that make to me? I shall not listen."

Jean Valjean turned towards him and said very rapidly
and in a very low voice:--

"Grant me three days' grace! three days in which to go and fetch
the child of this unhappy woman. I will pay whatever is necessary.
You shall accompany me if you choose."

"You are making sport of me!" cried Javert. "Come now, I did
not think you such a fool! You ask me to give you three days in
which to run away! You say that it is for the purpose of fetching
that creature's child! Ah! Ah! That's good! That's really capital!"

Fantine was seized with a fit of trembling.

"My child!" she cried, "to go and fetch my child! She is not here,
then! Answer me, sister; where is Cosette? I want my child!
Monsieur Madeleine! Monsieur le Maire!"

Javert stamped his foot.

"And now there's the other one! Will you hold your tongue, you hussy?
It's a pretty sort of a place where convicts are magistrates,
and where women of the town are cared for like countesses! Ah! But we
are going to change all that; it is high time!"

He stared intently at Fantine, and added, once more taking into
his grasp Jean Valjean's cravat, shirt and collar:--

"I tell you that there is no Monsieur Madeleine and that there is
no Monsieur le Maire. There is a thief, a brigand, a convict named
Jean Valjean! And I have him in my grasp! That's what there is!"

Fantine raised herself in bed with a bound, supporting herself on
her stiffened arms and on both hands: she gazed at Jean Valjean,
she gazed at Javert, she gazed at the nun, she opened her mouth
as though to speak; a rattle proceeded from the depths of her throat,
her teeth chattered; she stretched out her arms in her agony,
opening her hands convulsively, and fumbling about her like a
drowning person; then suddenly fell back on her pillow.

Her head struck the head-board of the bed and fell forwards
on her breast, with gaping mouth and staring, sightless eyes.

She was dead.

Jean Valjean laid his hand upon the detaining hand of Javert,
and opened it as he would have opened the hand of a baby; then he
said to Javert:--

"You have murdered that woman."

"Let's have an end of this!" shouted Javert, in a fury; "I am not
here to listen to argument. Let us economize all that; the guard
is below; march on instantly, or you'll get the thumb-screws!"

In the corner of the room stood an old iron bedstead, which was in a
decidedly decrepit state, and which served the sisters as a camp-bed
when they were watching with the sick. Jean Valjean stepped up
to this bed, in a twinkling wrenched off the head-piece, which was
already in a dilapidated condition, an easy matter to muscles like his,
grasped the principal rod like a bludgeon, and glanced at Javert.
Javert retreated towards the door. Jean Valjean, armed with his bar
of iron, walked slowly up to Fantine's couch. When he arrived there
he turned and said to Javert, in a voice that was barely audible:--

"I advise you not to disturb me at this moment."

One thing is certain, and that is, that Javert trembled.

It did occur to him to summon the guard, but Jean Valjean might
avail himself of that moment to effect his escape; so he remained,
grasped his cane by the small end, and leaned against the door-post,
without removing his eyes from Jean Valjean.

Jean Valjean rested his elbow on the knob at the head of the bed,
and his brow on his hand, and began to contemplate the motionless
body of Fantine, which lay extended there. He remained thus,
mute, absorbed, evidently with no further thought of anything
connected with this life. Upon his face and in his attitude there
was nothing but inexpressible pity. After a few moments of this
meditation he bent towards Fantine, and spoke to her in a low voice.

What did he say to her? What could this man, who was reproved,
say to that woman, who was dead? What words were those? No one
on earth heard them. Did the dead woman hear them? There are
some touching illusions which are, perhaps, sublime realities.
The point as to which there exists no doubt is, that Sister Simplice,
the sole witness of the incident, often said that at the moment
that Jean Valjean whispered in Fantine's ear, she distinctly beheld
an ineffable smile dawn on those pale lips, and in those dim eyes,
filled with the amazement of the tomb.

Jean Valjean took Fantine's head in both his hands, and arranged it
on the pillow as a mother might have done for her child; then he tied
the string of her chemise, and smoothed her hair back under her cap.
That done, he closed her eyes.

Fantine's face seemed strangely illuminated at that moment.

Death, that signifies entrance into the great light.

Fantine's hand was hanging over the side of the bed. Jean Valjean
knelt down before that hand, lifted it gently, and kissed it.

Then he rose, and turned to Javert.

"Now," said he, "I am at your disposal."

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