ByJo Van Holder, writer at

A crash from outside in the yard...

Valjean and Javert hurry out across the factory yard and down the muddy track beyond to discover - A heavily laden cart has toppled onto the cart driver - Fauchelevent, the worker seen before taking a rest on a crate.

The cart driver and the Foreman are trying to lift the cart off the crushed man, but it's too heavy, and the ground is too soft. Fauchelevent screams as the cart slowly sinks in the mud.

Valjean, Javert and Javert's assistant all hurry to help, but they can't get a proper purchase in the spongy ground. All the time the cart is sinking further, pushing Fauchelevent deeper into the mud that will soon bury him.

Then Valjean sees a way. At one end the wheels of the cart have stopped sinking - the ground is harder here. He throws himself under the cart at this higher end, and braces himself to lift it from beneath.


Get back! It may fall!


No, Monsieur le Mayor!


It'll kill you as well!

Javert stands back and looks on. As he looks, we see a memory stirring in him.

Valjean's posture beneath the cart is exactly the same as the convict beneath the fallen mast. The same crouching power. The same almost-suicidal determination.

Valjean sees Javert looking at him, and knows exactly what he's thinking. For a moment he hesitates. Then he hears Fauchelevent's choking scream as the mud gags his mouth. Valjean strains every muscle, and slowly one end of the cart begins to rise. As soon as it clears the crushed and gasping man, the others pull him clear.

Valjean lets the cart down again, and climbs out. As he brushes himself down he finds Javert staring at him.


Can this be true? I don't believe what I see! A man your age To be as strong as you are!

A memory stirs... You make me think of a man. From years ago. A man who broke his parole..

He disappeared.

He shakes his head, realising how absurd his suspicions are.


Forgive me, sir.

I would not dare -


Say what you must.

Don't leave it there.

Valjean holds Javert's gaze, challenging him to say more. Javert is not yet confident enough to continue.

Valjean goes to help Fauchelevent.


Let me help you up.

Fauchelevent groans as he rises.


Monsieur le Mayor, you come from God!

You are a saint!


No more cart driving for you!

LEGO used in this picture: Horse from Scooby Doo Mystery Plane Adventures #75901/ cart from Gold Getaway #70401 / custom minifigures


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