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Les Misérables | Study Guide

Victor Hugo

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Les Misérables | Part 4, Book 5 : Saint-Denis and Idyll of the Rue Plumet (An End Unlike the Beginning) | Summary



Jean Valjean has a habit of going on a short trip from time to time, when the household is in need of money. During one of these trip,s Cosette thinks she hears someone prowling around in the garden. When her father comes back he spends a few nights in the garden and determines there is nothing to worry about. Cosette has a habit of sitting on a stone bench in the garden that is next to the iron gate close to the street. One day she finds a stone on the bench with a long and passionate love letter underneath. The next day she goes out at dusk, and Marius has snuck into the garden. He declares his adoration and admits he's been prowling around in the garden, where he heard her sing from above. The two of them embrace and kiss and then sit side by side and begin to talk. They now know each other's names.


Jean Valjean's business trips are no doubt to the forest of Montfermeil to make withdrawals from his personal "bank," since he has buried his stash of money in the forest.

The invasion of the garden by Marius foreshadows a serious breach, because the Patron-Minette gang actually has their eyes on the house. In fact this is how Eponine first learned where Cosette lived; she was sent by the Patron-Minette to reconnoiter the property. Even though she tells them there is no target, members of the gang will return to the Rue Plumet. In the meantime Marius has found a way into the garden and introduces himself to his beloved, and the two innocents take up their chaste courtship.

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