Section 4 - Saint-Denis and Idyll of the Rue Plumet
Book Thirteen - Marius Enters the Shadow
Overcome by grief at the loss of Cosette and determined to put an end to his life quickly, Marius goes to meet his comrades at the barricade. As he walks toward the center of the city he notices that the streets become less populated and the shops more shut up. He manages to slip through a crowd of soldiers unnoticed. Eventually he reaches a portion of the city that is devoid of all humanity and completely dark. Navigating by instinct he eventually reaches the barricade and owing to the darkness of the streets and the black clothes he wears he manages to slip inside unseen. Before he makes himself knows to his friends he pauses to sit on the curb and ponder the life of his father, the soldier who spilled his blood for France on battlefields across the continent. Marius considers that this same blood flows in his own veins and then ponders the dignity of the civil war into which he is about to throw his life. After some consideration he comes to the conclusion that any war fought in the name of justice and freedom did honor to his father. He also comes to the conclusion that since Cosette knew he would kill himself if she left and she sent no message she must have stopped loving him. He watches the men preparing for battle and determines that his place is there among his friends.
Despondent over not being able to see Cosette, Marius joins his friends at the barricade. Even though he knows that doing so could bring about his death, he rationalizes that he will be participating in a worthwhile cause.