It’s daybreak. Time for some long-overdue battle etiquette: “Let the women and fathers and children go from here,” orders Enjolras, when he concludes that the people who were rallying behind him the day before decided they weren’t quite up to singing that rousing marching song in front of a French firing squad.
“Off with the women,” commands Enjolras. “And fathers and children. Eeeh… Not so fast, Gavroche!”
These are the men without an excuse to go forth from here…
…who are pretty determined to defend the cause until the end. Wait! What was the cause again? Never mind. They’re determined to fight on.
But we know there’s trouble brewing when they have to use that spade again…
One dead, (and, fair warning!) a lot more to come…
Enjolras is cleaning his gun again…. Old Faithful keeps giving him more grief than happiness…
Another reason to panic: ammunition is running low!
So this is that time when dauntless men love to play this little game called “Let the Real Hero Stand up”
“I’m the hero,”claims Marius. He volunteers to retrieve the bullets off the dead soldiers, risking his own life, because: hero.
“No, me me me!” says Valjean. Though he looks remarkably spry for his age, he is old, remember? With a daughter who canoodles behind his back. Ugh. What’s he got to live for? “Who cares if I die? Let me get the ammunition.”
“But I’m quicker,” says Gavroche.
He’s a doer, not a reasoner.
Admittedly, those first couple of bullets sting.
Ouch. They sting a lot.
Crawl back, now, please.
“Ah, perfect! .69 caliber for muzzle-loading, smoothbore muskets.”
He manages to toss a couple of bullets to his buddies. And expires. Much to the chagrin of Grantaire…
….and the rest of the Revolutionaries. They gather in a sadness huddle. Except for Marius and Courfeyrac, who are in shock.
Even Javert feels a touch of melancholy he cannot explain and orders a ceasefire, so that Grantaire can retrieve Gavroche’s body and weep. Whoa! The man has a beating heart after all.
He also warns that the students don’t stand a chance and instructs them to consider their options. But everyone knows that students don’t respond well to warnings. Or instructions.
The result is some fierce fighting, during which Marius is hit. That’s him on the right dangling upside down over a cannonball crate, with Valjean in the background thinking,”Sh*t! Now I will be forever stuck at home with a bawling female!”
Though it’s reassuring to see that the French National Guard encouraged women to engage in hand-to-hand combat as far back as 1833 (rah-rah girl power!) please, please, please don’t hurt his poofy shirt, sweetheart!
With a dazed Enjolras surveying the battlefield’s carnage, only one question remains:”DID THE SHIRT SURVIVE?”
Also good to see that Valjean still seems able-bodied, and as for Marius…
….we have to believe he’s breathing…
However, we fear this may be the last time we’ve seen Enjolras standing. That’s some ferocious power coming his way.