and rain will make the flowers—
at the fall of the barricades, the bodies of students and working-men are claimed, gathered, and buried by their families. and montparnasse knows, the moment the words fall, that no one will be claiming eponine, and she’ll be buried in the dirt, grave unmarked. so he goes. he goes and picks her out and takes her away. he has her buried, has her grave named. it’s small and it’s ugly but it suits its purpose, and he doesn’t stop staring once it’s all said and done.
the man who approaches him is a doctor, one who helped gather and check corpses at the barricades. though a servant of the state his personal politics align with the republic. so he did what he could for those he might. assuming montparnasse to be the husband of the girl he found, he offers a lock of her hair, a little piece he took - just in case, he always says. at the mistake of being titled husband, montparnasse does not correct him. he says nothing.
but he takes the token anyway.
“M O N T P A R N A S S E was a child; less than twenty years of age, with a handsome face, lips like cherries, charming black hair, the brilliant light of springtime in his eyes; he had all vices and aspired to all crimes. The digestion of evil aroused in him an appetite for worse… Few prowlers were so dreaded as Montparnasse.”
victor hugo, les misérables
book vii, chapter iii