home | authors | books | about

Home -> Victor Hugo -> Les MisÚrables -> A Five-Franc Piece Falls on the Ground and Produces a Tumult

Les MisÚrables - A Five-Franc Piece Falls on the Ground and Produces a Tumult

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







Near Saint-Medard's church there was a poor man who was in the habit
of crouching on the brink of a public well which had been condemned,
and on whom Jean Valjean was fond of bestowing charity. He never passed
this man without giving him a few sous. Sometimes he spoke to him.
Those who envied this mendicant said that he belonged to the police.
He was an ex-beadle of seventy-five, who was constantly mumbling
his prayers.

One evening, as Jean Valjean was passing by, when he had not Cosette
with him, he saw the beggar in his usual place, beneath the lantern
which had just been lighted. The man seemed engaged in prayer,
according to his custom, and was much bent over. Jean Valjean
stepped up to him and placed his customary alms in his hand.
The mendicant raised his eyes suddenly, stared intently at
Jean Valjean, then dropped his head quickly. This movement was
like a flash of lightning. Jean Valjean was seized with a shudder.
It seemed to him that he had just caught sight, by the light
of the street lantern, not of the placid and beaming visage
of the old beadle, but of a well-known and startling face.
He experienced the same impression that one would have on finding
one's self, all of a sudden, face to face, in the dark, with a tiger.
He recoiled, terrified, petrified, daring neither to breathe,
to speak, to remain, nor to flee, staring at the beggar who had
dropped his head, which was enveloped in a rag, and no longer appeared
to know that he was there. At this strange moment, an instinct--
possibly the mysterious instinct of self-preservation,--restrained
Jean Valjean from uttering a word. The beggar had the same figure,
the same rags, the same appearance as he had every day. "Bah!" said
Jean Valjean, "I am mad! I am dreaming! Impossible!" And he
returned profoundly troubled.

He hardly dared to confess, even to himself, that the face which he
thought he had seen was the face of Javert.

That night, on thinking the matter over, he regretted not having
questioned the man, in order to force him to raise his head
a second time.

On the following day, at nightfall, he went back. The beggar was at
his post. "Good day, my good man," said Jean Valjean, resolutely,
handing him a sou. The beggar raised his head, and replied in
a whining voice, "Thanks, my good sir." It was unmistakably the ex-beadle.

Jean Valjean felt completely reassured. He began to laugh.
"How the deuce could I have thought that I saw Javert there?"
he thought. "Am I going to lose my eyesight now?" And he thought
no more about it.

A few days afterwards,--it might have been at eight o'clock in
the evening,--he was in his room, and engaged in making Cosette
spell aloud, when he heard the house door open and then shut again.
This struck him as singular. The old woman, who was the only inhabitant
of the house except himself, always went to bed at nightfall,
so that she might not burn out her candles. Jean Valjean made a sign
to Cosette to be quiet. He heard some one ascending the stairs.
It might possibly be the old woman, who might have fallen ill
and have been out to the apothecary's. Jean Valjean listened.

The step was heavy, and sounded like that of a man; but the old woman
wore stout shoes, and there is nothing which so strongly resembles
the step of a man as that of an old woman. Nevertheless, Jean Valjean
blew out his candle.

He had sent Cosette to bed, saying to her in a low voice, "Get into
bed very softly"; and as he kissed her brow, the steps paused.

Jean Valjean remained silent, motionless, with his back towards
the door, seated on the chair from which he had not stirred,
and holding his breath in the dark.

After the expiration of a rather long interval, he turned round,
as he heard nothing more, and, as he raised his eyes towards the door
of his chamber, he saw a light through the keyhole. This light formed
a sort of sinister star in the blackness of the door and the wall.
There was evidently some one there, who was holding a candle in his
hand and listening.

Several minutes elapsed thus, and the light retreated. But he heard
no sound of footsteps, which seemed to indicate that the person
who had been listening at the door had removed his shoes.

Jean Valjean threw himself, all dressed as he was, on his bed,
and could not close his eyes all night.

At daybreak, just as he was falling into a doze through fatigue,
he was awakened by the creaking of a door which opened on some
attic at the end of the corridor, then he heard the same masculine
footstep which had ascended the stairs on the preceding evening.
The step was approaching. He sprang off the bed and applied his eye
to the keyhole, which was tolerably large, hoping to see the person
who had made his way by night into the house and had listened at
his door, as he passed. It was a man, in fact, who passed, this time
without pausing, in front of Jean Valjean's chamber. The corridor
was too dark to allow of the person's face being distinguished;
but when the man reached the staircase, a ray of light from without
made it stand out like a silhouette, and Jean Valjean had a complete
view of his back. The man was of lofty stature, clad in a long
frock-coat, with a cudgel under his arm. The formidable neck and
shoulders belonged to Javert.

Jean Valjean might have attempted to catch another glimpse of him
through his window opening on the boulevard, but he would have been
obliged to open the window: he dared not.

It was evident that this man had entered with a key, and like himself.
Who had given him that key? What was the meaning of this?

When the old woman came to do the work, at seven o'clock
in the morning, Jean Valjean cast a penetrating glance on her,
but he did not question her. The good woman appeared as usual.

As she swept up she remarked to him:--

"Possibly Monsieur may have heard some one come in last night?"

At that age, and on that boulevard, eight o'clock in the evening
was the dead of the night.

"That is true, by the way," he replied, in the most natural
tone possible. "Who was it?"

"It was a new lodger who has come into the house," said the old woman.

"And what is his name?"

"I don't know exactly; Dumont, or Daumont, or some name of that sort."

"And who is this Monsieur Dumont?"

The old woman gazed at him with her little polecat eyes, and answered:--

"A gentleman of property, like yourself."

Perhaps she had no ulterior meaning. Jean Valjean thought he
perceived one.

When the old woman had taken her departure, he did up a hundred francs
which he had in a cupboard, into a roll, and put it in his pocket.
In spite of all the precautions which he took in this operation
so that he might not be heard rattling silver, a hundred-sou piece
escaped from his hands and rolled noisily on the floor.

When darkness came on, he descended and carefully scrutinized both
sides of the boulevard. He saw no one. The boulevard appeared
to be absolutely deserted. It is true that a person can conceal
himself behind trees.

He went up stairs again.

"Come." he said to Cosette.

He took her by the hand, and they both went out.




© Art Branch Inc. | English Dictionary