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BOOK NINTH: Where are They Going
Jean Valjean, Marius and M. Mabeuf are each brought to desperate situations. In his watchful care, Valjean has seen Thenardier prowling in the quartiere and is afraid that the new vigilance of the police during the political unrest, along with the snoopiness of Thenardier, will eventually bring trouble for him. He ponders the possibility of moving to England, but is not sure how he would get the passport and other required documents. One night while watching the house, he finds an address carved into the plaster wall. Suddenly, an unidentified person tosses a paper at his feet. The paper says only “remove.”
Marius wanders the street after the confrontation with his grandfather, finally collapsing in his bed at 3:00 in the morning. The following night he tries to visit Cosette, but she is gone and the house is boarded up. While grieving over his loss, he hears a voice similar to Eponine’s, telling him that his “friends are waiting at the barricade in the Rue de la Chanvrerie.”
M. Mabeuf turned Valjean’s purse into the police as a lost item and has gotten progressively poorer. Unable to pay his rent or buy food, he begins selling his books until he is left with only one, his favorite. Then his housekeeper falls ill, and he sells his last book for medicine for her. With nothing left to lose, he joins the populace who are on the verge of a series of simultaneous “emeutes” (political uprising).