Les Misérables, the unabridged condensed. If that makes sense.
Originally by Victor Hugo; this abridgement by Molly Ringle.
VICTOR HUGO: *sixty pages on how the Bishop of Digne is a really good guy* Then the real story begins...
TOWN OF DIGNE, 1815
JEAN VALJEAN: I'm a convict! No one'll take me in for the night! Grawr!
BISHOP: Sleep here, sir. In this room with lots of pretty silver that we don't lock up.
POLICE: (next day) Monsigneur, we caught this guy with your silver candlesticks.
JEAN VALJEAN: Which I was, uh, borrowing.
BISHOP: Yes, keep them! And the forks and the spoons and the shirt off my back. There. I have now purchased your soul and stuffed my near-supernatural goodness into it. You have to carry said goodness around for the rest of your life and be forced to act in accordance with it. Haha. Deal with that.
THOLOMYES: Even though Hugo's description of me is repulsive, don't you love being my mistress, and hanging out with my band of sleazy friends?
FANTINE: Oh yes, darling!
THOLOMYES: Glad you had fun. So, bye. (leaves town permanently with no forwarding address)
FANTINE: That's okay, I'll just...manage...with our illegitimate child...and no job...alone.
THE THENARDIERS' INN, MONTFERMEIL, 1818
MADAME THENARDIER: Here, my darling daughters Eponine and Azelma, play with a giant, sharp rusty chain.
FANTINE: What a lovely family! Please take my sweet daughter while I look for a job. I'll pay you.
THENARDIER: Deal. Hand 'er over.
FANTINE leaves adorable 3-year-old COSETTE with total strangers, and walks off sobbing.
MADAME THENARDIER: Seriously, we needed another brat around?
THENARDIER: Yeah! Check this out...
M.-SUR-M. (HUGO EVIDENTLY DOES NOT DARE NAME THIS TOWN TOO PRECISELY), a few months later...
THENARDIER: (by letter) Dear Fantine: Uh-oh, we need more money for Cosette! Hurry!
FANTINE: I'm barely getting by in my factory job, but okay, here are all my funds.
THENARDIER: (year after that, new letter) Dear Fantine: She'll totally die if you don't send more money. Not my fault; plague, you know.
FANTINE: Angst! Okay, um...I'll sell my hair. Then my two front teeth.
READERS: There's a market for those??
THENARDIER: (next year, new letter) Dear Fantine: You'll never believe it, but bandits robbed the inn and then goats ate all our clothes. Send money quick!
FANTINE: And now I'm selling my body. Yay. Here I am, bald and in a ball gown in the snow, looking for clients, but at least Cosette's happy.
MONTFERMEIL, in the meantime...
COSETTE: I'm so happy today. I found a dustball to play with between the hours I had to spend sweeping the street in my rags, and the time allotted for Madame Thenardier to beat me. Also, I found a piece of cheese in the gutter that no one wanted, so really, great day.
JAVERT: I'm arresting you, unruly prostitute.
FANTINE: I'm trying to support my child! Have compassion.
JAVERT: Negative. Compassion is not written into the penal code.
JEAN VALJEAN: As mayor of M.-sur-M. and the now-millionaire entrepreneur who singlehandedly turned this town around in the past couple of years, I demand you unhand this woman.
VICTOR HUGO: Aw, how'd you guys guess it was Jean Valjean? I've been so sneakily calling him Monsieur Madeleine!
FANTINE: You're going to help me get my daughter back? I worship you!
JEAN VALJEAN: Yes, I'll help... (watches FANTINE collapse coughing and fainting) ...Just as soon as you're done lying in the hospital for a while.
(A few days later...)
JAVERT: Monsieur Mayor, I have been very bad. Punish me. Punish me severely.
JEAN VALJEAN: Um...?
JAVERT: I suspected you of being a convict named Jean Valjean who's still wanted for robbery. But they just caught that guy and are putting him on trial over in Arras. It's totally him. He's going to prison for life. So I was very wrong to suspect you and I demand you fire me.
JEAN VALJEAN: Dude, chill. Go issue parking tickets or something.
As soon as JAVERT leaves...
JEAN VALJEAN: *many pages of angsting over whether to save the innocent guy being mistaken for him, and therefore not be able to save Fantine's child and go on being awesome mayor guy; or let innocent guy go to prison and go get the little girl whose mother is dying*
READERS: There is no way he can do both. Argh, it sucks.
JEAN VALJEAN does both. It goes like this:
AT TRIAL IN ARRAS
JEAN VALJEAN: (bursts into the courtroom) That man isn't Jean Valjean! I am! I know, you're all stunned. Come get me in M.-sur-M. when you're ready. In the meantime I'll go bury some cash in the woods.
FANTINE: (in her hospital bed) Monsieur Mayor, you're back! You fetched Cosette?
JEAN VALJEAN: Um...almost.
JAVERT: Oh HI, dirty lying convict.
FANTINE: Convict?? *gasp* *die*
JEAN VALJEAN: Nice going, scary dude.
VICTOR HUGO: *sixty pages on Waterloo (which was back in 1815)*, at the very end of which we learn that THENARDIER was stealing stuff from dead soldiers, and accidentally saved the life of one named PONTMERCY by hauling him out from under a pile of bodies to rifle through his pockets.
JEAN VALJEAN, having been re-imprisoned but having faked his own death by jumping off a galley into the sea, walks toward town and runs into teensy eight-year-old COSETTE in the forest.
JEAN VALJEAN: Hello. My, you're a bit small to carry eighty gallons of water by yourself. While wearing only a ripped-up washcloth. On Christmas Eve, in the frost. Yikes. Here. I'll carry that.
JEAN VALJEAN: What's your name?
JEAN VALJEAN: Oh good holy hell.
JEAN VALJEAN stomps into the THENARDIERS' inn, flings money in their impudent faces, showers COSETTE with gifts and warm socks, and takes her away with him.
JEAN VALJEAN: You're so cute and sweet! I love you!
COSETTE: You give me food and clothes and you don't beat me! I love you!
JAVERT: Hey! You look familiar. I thought you were dead...?
JEAN VALJEAN: GOD. Does this guy live everywhere? Hey Cosette, let's go for a brisk walk. Late at night, far across the city, without ever coming back to this address.
JEAN VALJEAN, pursued by JAVERT, grabs COSETTE, scales a wall, and drops into what conveniently turns out to be a convent. JAVERT loses the scent--he'd never think of looking in a convent, after all; HOLY WOMENFOLK live there. JEAN VALJEAN borrows yet another name (MONSIEUR FAUCHELEVENT, if you're keeping track) and becomes the nuns' gardener. COSETTE becomes a student at the convent school. Life is calm for a few years.
VICTOR HUGO: Speaking of which...*forty-five pages on convents* Also, *twenty pages on the gamin; a.k.a. the street urchin of Paris*
GAVROCHE: Hi! I'm a gamin. As it happens, I'm also a Thenardier kid. Eponine's my older sister. That's all; carry on. Haha, I stole your purse! (scampers off)
VICTOR HUGO: *twenty-five pages on how Monsieur Gillenormand is a cantankerous, lecherous, old, rich Royalist*
GILLENORMAND: Marius! Go visit your father.
MARIUS: Why, grandfather? I thought he was a rascal, and that this was the reason you've kept me locked up here and have never let me see him in all my tender seventeen years.
GILLENORMAND: Yeah, well, he's dying. Go.
MARIUS arrives a bit late. His father is dead.
MARIUS: Oh. Bummer.
COLONEL PONTMERCY: (by letter) Dearest most darling son, I give you my title of "Baron." Hot, huh? Enjoy! Also, a guy named Thenardier saved me at Waterloo. Go find him and help him. Love, Dad.
MARIUS: Hm. He doesn't seem so rascally.
MONSIEUR MABEUF: He used to go to church and hide behind a pillar just to get a glimpse of you when you were a little boy going to mass with your grandfather. He'd cry and cry. Aren't you feeling ungrateful and clueless now?
MARIUS: ...Actually yes.
MARIUS betakes himself to the library and reads up on the French Revolution, Napoleon, Waterloo, etc.
MARIUS: Vache sacreé! I'm not a Royalist like my stupid grandpa at all! My dad and Napoleon were made of AWESOME!
GILLENORMAND: Excuse me, did you just say your dad and Napoleon were made of awesome?
GILLENORMAND: LEAVE. MY. HOUSE.
WINE SHOP OF REVOLUTIONARY LOUNGING ABOUT
MARIUS finds new buddies to hang with. They're into revolution and stuff. Are you ready? Roll call!
ENJOLRAS: Beautiful, celibate leader, present.
COMBEFERRE: Philosophical leader, present.
JEAN PROUVAIRE: Poet and musician, present.
FEUILLY: Poor generous workingman, present.
COURFEYRAC: Witty, playful friend, present.
BAHOREL: Roguish loafer, present.
L'AIGLE a.k.a. LESGLE a.k.a. BOSSUET: Happy, unlucky guy, present.
JOLY: Medical student, present.
GRANTAIRE: Irreverent skeptic with a boycrush on Enjolras, present.
VICTOR HUGO: Yes, I will be mortally offended if you can't keep all their names straight.
MARIUS: (to his new buddies) OMG you guys, I am such a Napoleon fanboy. Don't you love him?!?!
COMBEFERRE: *sigh* Newbie.
LUXEMBOURG GARDENS, PARIS, 1831
MARIUS: I'm now a handsome but poor twenty-year-old lawyer who doesn't actually practice law, just taking a stroll in the park...
COSETTE: I've become a smoking hot teenage girl who's no longer in the convent, sitting in the park with my aged foster-dad...oh, HELLO, stranger.
MARIUS spots her and trips over his own feet.
COSETTE: *lovey-dovey eyes*
MARIUS: *super-lovey-dovey eyes*
COSETTE: *kissing the air*
MARIUS: *licking lips suggestively*
JEAN VALJEAN: YOU GUYS, I AM RIGHT HERE.
Repeat the above scene daily for several weeks.
MARIUS and COSETTE never speak to each other or exchange names or anything, but are totally obsessed and oblivious to anyone else, including VALJEAN.
JEAN VALJEAN: THAT'S IT, WE ARE MOVING.
MARIUS' HOVEL OF AN APARTMENT, 1832
MARIUS: So depressed. Haven't seen the pretty girl for months. Don't know where she lives. Too bummed to do any work. Almost out of money.
EPONINE: Hi! I'm a girl. I'm your neighbor.
MARIUS: You...could use a bath. And a shirt without quite so many holes in it. Wow, you're even worse off than me.
EPONINE: Here, my dad wrote you a letter.
THENARDIER: (via letter) Dear neighbor, I am a Nigerian prince in exile, needing only your funds to restore the proper dignity to my family. If you can spare anything at all, you shall be repaid most handsomely when I am restored to the throne.
MARIUS: Um. Here, all I have is this coin.
EPONINE: Thanks! (she goes back to the hovel next door)
MARIUS, finally realizing he can hear everything that happens next door through his paper-thin walls, climbs onto his dresser and looks through a hole into the totally disgusting rat's-nest the THENARDIER family lives in. Good timing! A philanthropist and his daughter have just arrived. Yes: JEAN VALJEAN and COSETTE! Have the coincidences bowled you over yet?
MARIUS: OMG. It is SHE. <3 <3 <3
JEAN VALJEAN: Hello sir, I got your letter. You know a rich Spanish prisoner, you say?
THENARDIER: Yes! Just a little money, and we can unlock our fortune, and--well, you see how we suffer. (subtly stomps on his younger daughter's foot to make her cry)
JEAN VALJEAN: Okay, I'll bring you something tonight. See you later. Come on, honey. (he and COSETTE leave)
MARIUS: Do I follow the pretty girl? But her dad would see me. WHAT DO I DO?
EPONINE: (knocking on his door) Hi! Miss me?
MARIUS: You--what's-your-name--go find that girl's address for me! I'll do anything you want.
EPONINE: Anything, huh? Okay, you got it. (takes off)
Meanwhile, next door:
THENARDIER: Quick, wife! Summon our band of thieves! I tell you, it's that same guy, and this time we're going to kill him and rob him!
MARIUS: (overhearing) Eek!
He races to the police station and spills the story to--who else?--JAVERT.
JAVERT: Okey doke. Here, have two pistols--what, the police don't hand out guns to random people in your town? Fire one when you see danger about to happen. We'll come rushing in and catch the brutes.
MARIUS sneaks back into his room and peeks through the hole again, pistols at the ready. JEAN VALJEAN returns to THENARDIER's apartment alone. SINISTER BANDITS also enter and hang around the walls.
JEAN VALJEAN: From the number of sinister bandits in the room, I conjecture you're planning to rob me and perhaps kill me.
THENARDIER: Yes, you fiend! Don't you remember me? It is I, Thenardier, a man who did great things at Waterloo and is now unfairly poor while you're stinking rich!
MARIUS: (still spying through the peephole) Ack! The guy who saved Dad! I can't send HIM to prison, even if he is completely and obviously a ruffian.
THENARDIER: Evil gloating!
JEAN VALJEAN: Stoic resistance.
MARIUS: Agonized indecision! Still not firing pistols!
JAVERT: Busting in anyway. Hello, scoundrels.
POLICE tie up BANDITS. While JAVERT calmly sits down to fill out the arrest paperwork, JEAN VALJEAN sneaks out the window and disappears.
JAVERT: Well, that's odd, the victim sneaking off. I wonder who that guy was?
MARIUS: I am SO moving out of this hellhole.
VICTOR HUGO: Hang on-- *thirty-five pages on French kings and revolutions* --sorry, as you were.
MARIUS: (to COURFEYRAC) (And I quote...) I have come to sleep with you.
DIRTY-MINDED READERS: Teehee.
FIELD OF THE LARK, PARIS
EPONINE: There you are, cutie!
MARIUS: Oh, you. What do you want? I was busy despairing.
EPONINE: I have the girl's address. Remember how you said you'd give me anyth--
MARIUS: GIVE ADDRESS NOW YES YES YES YES.
GARDEN, RUE PLUMET HOUSE
One idyllic star-strewn spring evening, COSETTE is alone in her lushly overgrown garden, and is startled by MARIUS slipping through the gate and standing there awkwardly.
MARIUS: Sorry, I found out your address, so I came, because I love you and I've become kind of a shipwreck over it, and oh man, this probably counts as stalking, doesn't it, sorry, maybe I should go?
COSETTE: (flinging self into his arms) IloveyouIloveyouIloveyou.
They sit and cuddle every night for the next couple of months, assuring one another of their eternal love. JEAN VALJEAN doesn't notice or catch on. Although this is Paris in the spring, and although the lovers are alone on a private bench in an Eden-like garden with nature voluptuously overflowing around them, VICTOR HUGO specifically tells us they only kiss once and that MARIUS even averts his eyes when COSETTE bends down to get something and accidentally flashes some bosom (I am not making this up), so GET YOUR MIND OUT OF THE GUTTER; THESE KIDS ARE ANGELS.
STREETS OF PARIS
GAVROCHE finds two abandoned little boys, who by yet another outlandish Victor-Hugo coincidence are his younger brothers, not that GAVROCHE ever finds that out. He leads them to the giant elephant statue inside which he sleeps.
LITTLE BOYS: You sleep in a giant elephant statue? Super cool! Wait, what's that noise?
GAVROCHE: Oh, just a thousand rats trying to chew their way through the mesh and eat us.
LITTLE BOYS: Taking our chances with the streets again. Bye.
Meanwhile, THENARDIER and most of his fellow BANDITS escape from prison in rather dramatic roof-jumping fashion, leading us all to think it would be interesting to watch THENARDIER and VALJEAN face off in an escape-a-thon.
VICTOR HUGO: *twenty pages on argot, a.k.a. slang*
GARDEN, RUE PLUMET HOUSE
COSETTE: Noooo! My father says we're going away to England!
MARIUS: Nooooo! I can't afford to follow you and I solemnly promise I WILL DIE if you leave.
COSETTE: Who the hell wants to hear a promise like that?
MARIUS: I have one trick up my sleeve, but if it doesn't work, THEN I'll die.
COSETTE: Fair enough.
MONSIEUR GILLENORMAND'S HOUSE
GILLENORMAND: You're back! Sweet lovely darling Marius! I mean--ahem--what is it, you ingrate? Good Lord, boy, you're dressed like a pickpocket. [He really says that; I can't improve on it.]
MARIUS: I need your permission to marry. I'm ever so desperately in love. And broke. And underage.
GILLENORMAND: Aw, that's cute. Here, Grandpa's going to make it all better. You don't want a wife, boy. They're a pain. I'll set you up with some nice gold coins, and you make that hot girlie your mistress.
MARIUS: Mortally offended!! Au revoir, douche. (stomps off)
RUE PLUMET HOUSE
The house is boarded up; she's gone, without leaving so much as a text message about where she went. MARIUS contemplates slitting his wrists on the spot.
EPONINE: Hey honey! Come join your buddies at the barricade. Revolution time!
MARIUS: Oh. Was that today? Right. Guess that's as good a way to die as any.
He wanders off to the barricades, along with EPONINE, GAVROCHE, old MONSIEUR MABEUF, and of course all the FRIENDS OF THE ABC whose names you had better have kept straight, damn it.
VICTOR HUGO: *twenty pages on riots and General Lamarque and stuff*
RUE DE LA CHANVRERIE, torn up and turned into a barricade
GRANTAIRE: Hey guys. (hiccup) Pretty barricade.
ENJOLRAS: You're drunk. Go to sleep.
GRANTAIRE: 'Kay. (snoozes)
JAVERT: Hello. I'm willing to be a spy for you.
GAVROCHE: Hah. He's a cop.
ENJOLRAS: Interesting. Thanks, kid. (ties up JAVERT) We'll make sure you're shot by someone special, all right?
JAVERT: Very thoughtful. Merci.
ENJOLRAS: Meanwhile, I've got to go execute someone for executing someone. It's a grim business, this revolution stuff.
The fighting gets underway. People start getting killed. MARIUS stumbles in, still carrying those pistols JAVERT gave him way back when, and wins a skirmish for the barricade's side, hazily noticing that someone took a bullet for him during the confusion.
EPONINE: That was me. Taking the bullet for you. (cough) (gushing blood)
MARIUS: Oh. Eek. Thank you.
EPONINE: I'm sorry, dearest. I have a letter from your girlfriend that I selfishly didn't give you earlier. But now I'm so happy. You and I are going to die together!
MARIUS: Yeah, that's...creepy. Gimme the letter.
EPONINE: (with dying breath) Kiss me once after I'm dead?
MARIUS: Sure, fine, whatever. (kisses her forehead) (jumps up, eagerly opening the letter, presumably after wiping blood off it)
COSETTE: (by letter) Dad's mean and made us leave tonight. We're still in Paris at this new address, but we're going to England really soon. You're not going to do anything stupid like die, are you? Love you, chastest kisses, -C.
MARIUS: (jots down a letter) Dearest Snookums, my grandpa's even meaner than your dad. Also he's gross. I'm glad you still love me, but I guess I have to die, since we have no hope of marrying. Sorry. Have a good weekend! Love you too, -M.
MARIUS looks around and spots GAVROCHE.
MARIUS: You, kid! Deliver this letter for me tomorrow morning?
GAVROCHE: Sure. (runs off with it) (to self) OR, I'll deliver it tonight and get back here in time to watch all the super-awesome killing! Yeah!
RUE DE L'HOMME-ARMÉ, VALJEAN AND COSETTE'S TEMPORARY LODGINGS
JEAN VALJEAN: (while COSETTE's asleep) Ah, this is good. Feelin' safe. Ready to go to England, getting away from creepy Thenardier who I saw prowling around and who precipitated this whole freakout on my part...ack!
He has just noticed a reflection of COSETTE's blotter--you know, like when you write with a fountain pen and blot up the extra ink with a sheet of paper, and...what do you mean, you don't use a fountain pen and a blotter? Anyway, in the mirror he can read what she wrote to MARIUS.
JEAN VALJEAN: Oh. Mygod.
GAVROCHE: Knock knock. Scuse me, letter for Mademoiselle Cosette?
JEAN VALJEAN: I'll take that. Um--where does she send a response?
GAVROCHE: Barricade of the Rue de la Chanvrerie. Cheerio, gov'nor! (takes off)
JEAN VALJEAN opens MARIUS' letter and reads it.
JEAN VALJEAN: Haha! Awesome. The scumbag's about to die. That'll teach him to go sniffing around my little girl. She'll be so much better off--oh who am I kidding.
JEAN VALJEAN pockets the letter and tromps off to the barricade.
JEAN VALJEAN: Hi. Can I help revolt?
MARIUS: (to self) Eep. Cosette's dad. Don't make eye contact, don't make eye contact.
The fighting continues. FRIENDS OF THE ABC are starting to get killed. GAVROCHE bounces out beyond the barricade to steal ammunition.
GAVROCHE: *happy irreverent song* *shot dead during final verse*
MARIUS: (carrying GAVROCHE's body back behind the barricade) I am NOT having very good luck helping the Thenardier family, am I.
Meanwhile, JEAN VALJEAN wanders around between flying bullets without getting hit. He spots JAVERT tied up.
JEAN VALJEAN: Hey, can I shoot the spy?
ENJOLRAS: Be my guest.
JEAN VALJEAN takes JAVERT to a back street, unties him, and fires the pistol in the air.
JEAN VALJEAN: Go. Shoo.
JAVERT: Wha... thanks? ...(tries to walk away, turns back) Please, kill me. This is messed up.
JEAN VALJEAN: You know the drill. Come arrest me when you like. I just emailed you Google Map directions to my house. Buh-bye. (waves and returns to barricade)
The fighting gets worse. JOLY, COMBEFERRE, COURFEYRAC, BOSSUET--killed, killed, killed. Pretty much everyone but ENJOLRAS and MARIUS--killed. ENJOLRAS gets backed up into the wine shop of revolution, where drunk GRANTAIRE finally wakes up just in time to volunteer to get shot at his side. Dead, everyone dead. Except MARIUS, who gets shot in the shoulder and falls unconscious. Meanwhile, the National Guard is swarming onto the scene, sure to kill anyone they find.
JEAN VALJEAN: (hoisting unconscious MARIUS over his shoulder and looking around) Did I think this through very carefully? No I did not. Any hints, Hugo?
VICTOR HUGO: *twenty pages on the sewer system of Paris*
JEAN VALJEAN: Merci beaucoup!
SEWER SYSTEM OF PARIS
JEAN VALJEAN: *trudge* *gasp* *grunt* This is disgusting. This sucks. I hate you so much, whatever your name is. *drops MARIUS, looks through MARIUS' pockets, finds a note*
MARIUS: (by note) My name is Marius Pontmercy. Kindly chuck my broken body at my nasty grandfather's feet. Here's his address.
JEAN VALJEAN: *picks MARIUS up again* I hate you so much, Marius Stupid Pretty-Boy Pontmercy. I hope you get horribly infected wounds from this, and really, how could you not?
Hours upon freaking hours later, JEAN VALJEAN finds an outlet to the river--with a locked gate.
JEAN VALJEAN: Kill me now.
Just then, THENARDIER wanders in from another tunnel. HUGO would evidently have us believe France is about a mile square with a population of fifty people, the way the main characters keep running into each other in the darnedest places. In any case, VALJEAN recognizes THENARDIER but THENARDIER doesn't recognize VALJEAN (nor unconscious MARIUS, who THENARDIER probably doesn't know very well anyway).
THENARDIER: Here, bud, I'll let you out for a small fee. I've got a key.
JEAN VALJEAN: Oh. Okay.
THENARDIER accepts the coin, unlocks the gate, and lets JEAN VALJEAN out--straight into the waiting arms of JAVERT.
JEAN VALJEAN: Really? Are you serious?
HUGO: The darnedest places! I'm tellin' ya!
JEAN VALJEAN: Look, I said you could arrest me, but let's take this guy home first.
They hire a cab, chuck MARIUS at his grandfather's door, and move on to JEAN VALJEAN's house so he can pick up his jammies before going to prison. But when VALJEAN goes upstairs and looks out the window, JAVERT is gone. JEAN VALJEAN is free!
READERS: Great, but are you going to tell us how Valjean explains to Cosette where he's been all night and day, and why he's covered with sewer slime? And won't you show us the scene where he tells her he knows about Marius?
GILLENORMAND: Agh! Marius! *four-page monologue on how much he loved MARIUS and how cute MARIUS was as a little kid and how heartbroken he (GILLENORMAND) is now that MARIUS is dead*
MARIUS: (opening eyes) Seriously, you talk enough to wake someone up from a coma.
BRIDGE OVER THE RIVER SEINE
JAVERT: Lifelong mortal enemy spared me. Should have arrested him but did not somehow. Strict moral code in meltdown. Mind spazzing irreparably. Does not compute, cannot survive; adieu, Paris. (leaps into the Seine)
GILLENORMAND HOUSE AGAIN, months and months later
After months of fighting the sewer-induced gangrene out of MARIUS' wounds, the DOCTOR pronounces him a solid "gonna live." Also, HUGO assures us there were no wounds upon MARIUS' face, nor anywhere from the waist down (thanks for shielding his loins, barricade!), so we're good to go for a wedding.
MARIUS: I'm still angry about that mistress remark.
GILLENORMAND: I know. Which is why I'm giving you my consent to marry. Go get 'er, tiger!
MARIUS: Oh yay! Thank you! In that case we're cool. Now if only I knew who carried me through the sewers and saved me.
GILLENORMAND: Can't help you there. But look on the bright side--you're finally going to touch a girl between the ankles and the shoulders!
MARIUS: That'll do, Gramps, that'll do.
MARIUS and COSETTE are reunited! And married! And move in with GILLENORMAND! And get a gift of half a million francs from JEAN VALJEAN! Also, we're pleased to note that once the vows have been spoken, MARIUS gives himself permission to stare at COSETTE's bosom at last. (HUGO says so. I'm not making this up.) Turns out he's a real boy after all.
JEAN VALJEAN: Deepest, saddest empty-nest syndrome ever. If anyone cares.
GILLENORMAND HOUSE, morning after the wedding
JEAN VALJEAN: Monsieur Marius, I have a confession: I'm an escaped convict, I'm not Cosette's real dad, and she doesn't know any of this.
MARIUS: Uh. Wow. Way to harsh my afterglow.
JEAN VALJEAN: I figured I ought to tell you before you invite me to move in.
MARIUS: Are there any extenuating circumstances? Like have you saved any lives, or shown mercy on any enemies, or anything?
JEAN VALJEAN: Nah, nothing worth mentioning.
MARIUS: (to self) OhmyGod. He shot that Javert cop guy at the barricade. Probably a personal vendetta. And his half-a-million francs, is that dirty money?...Ew, I am so weirded out.
JEAN VALJEAN: So...I probably can't see Cosette anymore, huh?
MARIUS: Ahem. Well. Sure you can. Occasionally. In the front entry. Without taking your coat off or staying too long. Okay, bye now.
THE GILLENORMAND/PONTMERCY HOUSE OF MARITAL BLISS
JEAN VALJEAN: Hello, Madame. I've come to visit vous for my allotted eighty-five seconds daily.
COSETTE: Why all this "Madame" and "vous" stuff? You used to call me "tu."
JEAN VALJEAN: Madame now has a husband with whom to use the second-person singular.
COSETTE: Ah yes, that's true. *not-so-maidenly giggle* There is a LOT of informal address happening between us lately.
JEAN VALJEAN: With that, I'm going to go die.
MARIUS' LAW OFFICE, IN WHICH HE ACTUALLY DOES PRACTICE LAW THESE DAYS
THENARDIER: My dear generous sir, I have secrets to sell you regarding your father-in-law, if you would be so kind as to purchase them.
MARIUS: Oh, hi, Thenardier, you freak. Yeah, I already know. He's an escaped convict, his money's probably dirty, and he murdered Javert.
THENARDIER: Nope, more like, his money's legit, but he robbed and murdered some young dude the night of the barricades. I saw him dragging a body out of the sewers. See? Here's a scrap of coat I tore off the dead guy.
MARIUS: Mon dieu! That would be no proof at all if you came to anyone but me, but it CHANGES MY WORLD, because look! THAT WAS ME!
MARIUS reaches into a closet and grabs the bloodstained coat he wore that night, fits the scrap of cloth neatly upon the torn spot, and glares at THENARDIER.
THENARDIER: Heh...oops? I should go.
MARIUS flings money at him and kicks him out the door. HUGO informs us that THENARDIER goes to Central America and becomes a slave-trader, which makes us think MARIUS really should have had THENARDIER arrested when he had the chance, but hey.
MARIUS: (racing home, grabbing COSETTE, hauling her to VALJEAN's place) I'm terrible! I'm an idiot! He saved me and gave you to me and how did I thank him? HOW DID I?
COSETTE: Okay, back up, sweetie, you're talking crazy talk.
JEAN VALJEAN'S APARTMENT, RUE DE L'HOMME-ARMÉ
MARIUS: My savior!
JEAN VALJEAN: Children! I was just dying. Come on in.
MARIUS: But you can't die, you saved me and you didn't tell me, you're awesome and why didn't you say something and why did you let me think the worst, oh woe!
JEAN VALJEAN: Hush. It is my turn to babble.
So he does, a little. He tells COSETTE her mother's name was FANTINE, at last, and reminisces about COSETTE's cuteness as a little girl, and assures COSETTE and MARIUS he is very, very happy to be dying with their tears bathing his hands. And JEAN VALJEAN dies.
READERS: What about OUR tears, Hugo? Who's going to appreciate OUR tears all over this huge gray paperback or slim electronic reading device?? I'm rather miserable, now that the story's over and ninety percent of the cast is dead.
VICTOR HUGO: I did warn you. It's right there in the title.