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Les MisÚrables - A Successful Interrogatory

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







CHAPTER VIII

A SUCCESSFUL INTERROGATORY


An hour later, in the darkness of night, two men and a child
presented themselves at No. 62 Rue Petit-Picpus. The elder
of the men lifted the knocker and rapped.

They were Fauchelevent, Jean Valjean, and Cosette.

The two old men had gone to fetch Cosette from the fruiterer's
in the Rue du Chemin-Vert, where Fauchelevent had deposited
her on the preceding day. Cosette had passed these twenty-four
hours trembling silently and understanding nothing. She trembled
to such a degree that she wept. She had neither eaten nor slept.
The worthy fruit-seller had plied her with a hundred questions,
without obtaining any other reply than a melancholy and unvarying gaze.
Cosette had betrayed nothing of what she had seen and heard during the
last two days. She divined that they were passing through a crisis.
She was deeply conscious that it was necessary to "be good."
Who has not experienced the sovereign power of those two words,
pronounced with a certain accent in the ear of a terrified little being:
Say nothing! Fear is mute. Moreover, no one guards a secret like
a child.

But when, at the expiration of these lugubrious twenty-four hours,
she beheld Jean Valjean again, she gave vent to such a cry of joy,
that any thoughtful person who had chanced to hear that cry,
would have guessed that it issued from an abyss.

Fauchelevent belonged to the convent and knew the pass-words. All
the doors opened.

Thus was solved the double and alarming problem of how to get
out and how to get in.

The porter, who had received his instructions, opened the little
servant's door which connected the courtyard with the garden,
and which could still be seen from the street twenty years ago,
in the wall at the bottom of the court, which faced the carriage entrance.

The porter admitted all three of them through this door, and from
that point they reached the inner, reserved parlor where Fauchelevent,
on the preceding day, had received his orders from the prioress.

The prioress, rosary in hand, was waiting for them. A vocal mother,
with her veil lowered, stood beside her.

A discreet candle lighted, one might almost say, made a show
of lighting the parlor.

The prioress passed Jean Valjean in review. There is nothing
which examines like a downcast eye.

Then she questioned him:--

"You are the brother?"

"Yes, reverend Mother," replied Fauchelevent.

"What is your name?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Ultime Fauchelevent."

He really had had a brother named Ultime, who was dead.

"Where do you come from?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"From Picquigny, near Amiens."

"What is your age?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Fifty."

"What is your profession?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Gardener."

"Are you a good Christian?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Every one is in the family."

"Is this your little girl?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Yes, reverend Mother."

"You are her father?"

Fauchelevent replied:--

"Her grandfather."

The vocal mother said to the prioress in a low voice

"He answers well."

Jean Valjean had not uttered a single word.

The prioress looked attentively at Cosette, and said half aloud
to the vocal mother:--

"She will grow up ugly."

The two mothers consulted for a few moments in very low tones in
the corner of the parlor, then the prioress turned round and said:--

"Father Fauvent, you will get another knee-cap with a bell.
Two will be required now."

On the following day, therefore, two bells were audible in the garden,
and the nuns could not resist the temptation to raise the corner
of their veils. At the extreme end of the garden, under the trees,
two men, Fauvent and another man, were visible as they dug side
by side. An enormous event. Their silence was broken to the extent
of saying to each other: "He is an assistant gardener."

The vocal mothers added: "He is a brother of Father Fauvent."

Jean Valjean was, in fact, regularly installed; he had his belled
knee-cap; henceforth he was official. His name was Ultime Fauchelevent.

The most powerful determining cause of his admission had been
the prioress's observation upon Cosette: "She will grow up ugly."

The prioress, that pronounced prognosticator, immediately took a fancy
to Cosette and gave her a place in the school as a charity pupil.

There is nothing that is not strictly logical about this.

It is in vain that mirrors are banished from the convent, women are
conscious of their faces; now, girls who are conscious of their
beauty do not easily become nuns; the vocation being voluntary
in inverse proportion to their good looks, more is to be hoped from
the ugly than from the pretty. Hence a lively taste for plain girls.

The whole of this adventure increased the importance of good,
old Fauchelevent; he won a triple success; in the eyes of Jean Valjean,
whom he had saved and sheltered; in those of grave-digger Gribier,
who said to himself: "He spared me that fine"; with the convent,
which, being enabled, thanks to him, to retain the coffin of Mother
Crucifixion under the altar, eluded Caesar and satisfied God.
There was a coffin containing a body in the Petit-Picpus, and a coffin
without a body in the Vaugirard cemetery, public order had no doubt
been deeply disturbed thereby, but no one was aware of it.

As for the convent, its gratitude to Fauchelevent was very great.
Fauchelevent became the best of servitors and the most precious
of gardeners. Upon the occasion of the archbishop's next visit,
the prioress recounted the affair to his Grace, making something
of a confession at the same time, and yet boasting of her deed.
On leaving the convent, the archbishop mentioned it with approval,
and in a whisper to M. de Latil, Monsieur's confessor,
afterwards Archbishop of Reims and Cardinal. This admiration
for Fauchelevent became widespread, for it made its way to Rome.
We have seen a note addressed by the then reigning Pope, Leo XII.,
to one of his relatives, a Monsignor in the Nuncio's establishment
in Paris, and bearing, like himself, the name of Della Genga;
it contained these lines: "It appears that there is in a convent in
Paris an excellent gardener, who is also a holy man, named Fauvent."
Nothing of this triumph reached Fauchelevent in his hut;
he went on grafting, weeding, and covering up his melon beds,
without in the least suspecting his excellences and his sanctity.
Neither did he suspect his glory, any more than a Durham or Surrey
bull whose portrait is published in the London Illustrated News,
with this inscription: "Bull which carried off the prize at the
Cattle Show."




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