Les Amis de l'ABC

Chapter 14

After his class finished at three o’clock, Courfeyrac went to check on Grantaire. The concierge let him up.

“The pale one said you’d be comin’,” she told him. “Third floor, second on the left.”

Courfeyrac climbed the stairs slowly. When he reached the third floor, he thought he should have heard Grantaire’s snore, but there was relative silence. Courfeyrac started to get a bit worried. Then, just as he was about to open the door, Grantaire let out a long, very loud snore. He must have rolled over, Courfeyrac thought. He went on in and found Grantaire on the bed, very much asleep and snoring very loudly.Courfeyrac went over and shook him. “Come on, Grantaire, get up.” Grantaire just kept snoring. Courfeyrac shook him again. “Grantaire.” Still no reaction. Finally, Courfeyrac smacked him across the face. “Capital R, wake up!”

That did it. Grantaire struggled to consciousness and asked, angrily, “What’d you do that for?”

“Joly told me to.”

“Joly is here?”

“No, Joly told me I had to come and wake you up.”

“I’m awake now. You didn’t have to hit me.”

Courfeyrac wasn’t in the mood to argue. “Well, you’re awake. Joly thinks you need to eat.”

“I think I need a drink.”

“You got the money for a drink?” Courfeyrac asked. Grantaire nodded. “Why don’t you give it to me, and I’ll go get something while you get dressed.” Grantaire complied, knowing that Courfeyrac had good taste in wine, and Courfeyrac returned a few mintues later with a couple rolls from the bakery and a new bottle of red wine.

“Goddammit, my head is killing me! You got something for a headache?” Grantaire asked on Courfeyrac’s return.

“Here,” Courfeyrac said, handing him the bread. “This should help.”

“Bread won’t do anything. Gimme the bottle.”

“Eat first. It helps kill the hangover more than just a new bottle will.” Grantaire wanted to protest, but Courfeyrac held up his hand. “No arguments.”

Grantaire snatched a roll from Courfeyrac’s hand. “Fine.” He ate it quickly. “The wine?”

“One more. Doctor’s orders.”

“So our little hypochondriac is behind this torture? Give it me,” he grudgingly relented. He ate the other roll. “The wine now?”

Courfeyrac produced the bottle. “Your reward,” he smiled.Grantaire grabbed the bottle and took a long swig. “Now that helps.” He smiled a little and went back to his bottle.

“Take it easy,” Courfeyrac admonished. “ You’ve got all night.”

“What time is it?” Grantaire asked, surprised at the mention of of evening.

“Three-thirty, quarter to four. You’ve been here about five hours, Joly tells me.”

“I’ve still got lots of time. What day is today?”

“Monday. Why do you ask?”

“Monday,” Grantaire repeated thoughtfully. “Dice at the Musain. Come with me.”

“I don’t think gambling is such a good idea.”

“It’s only a bad idea if Bossuet comes. I think the man’s luck is contagious.”

“Maybe it is. I’m broke.”

“Come on, it’ll be fun.”

“Seriously, I have no money. I’m living off Joly right now.”

“Well, if you’re going to be that way about it, you’re not invited. They’re mostly workingmen anyway. No one important.”

“Wait a minute,” Courfeyrac broke in excitedly. “Did you say workingmen? I’m bringing Joly and Lesgle. Perhaps Combeferre and anyone else I can find.”

“You’re gonna kill the dice game,” Grantaire protested.

“Fine. I’ll only bring Joly.”

“He’ll complain the whole time.”

“I have to bring him,” Courfeyrac explained, “otherwise I have no money.” Grantaire still did not look thrilled. “He’ll be fine once we get him drinking. Do you want me there or not?” Courfeyrac asked. Grantaire nodded. “Then Joly comes too.”

“Alright,” Grantaire angrily relented. “But no Lesgle. I’m on a winning streak.”

“Fine. Joly and I will meet you there at seven?”

“Just tell them you know me and they’ll let you back if I’m not in the main room.”

Courfeyrac checked his watch. “I was afraid of this. I’ve got to be going. Are you going to be OK?”

“I’m awake and I’ve got my wine. I’ll see you tonight.”


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