Les Amis de l'ABC

Chapter 9

In the meantime, Joly and Lesgle were having quite a conversation.

“Why are we so interested in her anyway? Courfeyrac said, rightly, that she is just another revolutionary. We must be horny as hell or something,” Lesgle said.

“But she’s not like us. She has so much more involved. I saw her family, Bossuet. They are why she wants to fight. She also wants to die. Not suicide, but either as a casualty of war or execution as a traitor.”

“You must be joking.”

“No. She told me, quite seriously, that she plans to die in a revolution before she reaches the age of fifty.”


“She’s giving everything to this revolution. I just hope she doesn’t get caught before we fight.”

“Well, I hope we don’t get caught, either. This young monarchy is going to want to stamp out dissent.”

“Yeah, but our families have lawyers and anyway, we’re just reckless kids. Marie is a member of the working class. She’ll either be blacklisted and end up on the streets, or she’ll be sent to prison. I don’t think she’ll be hanged, since she is a woman.”

“You really care a lot about this girl, don’t you?”

“I barely know her, yet I feel like I’ve known her all my life. Bossuet, I think I might be more than a little in love with her.” They sat a minute in silence, not really knowing what to say. Then Joly started laughing. “Bossuet, I just realised something: if I’m in love with Marie, then I’m also in love with you. Don’t look at me like that! I mean I’m not really in love with her. It’s like when I first met you. We became friends immediately, right? Because we knew each other before we knew each other. It’s like that with Marie. Am I making any sense?”

“The scary thing is yes, you are. And it’s a good thing, too, because now Courfeyrac can have her all to himself. I wasn’t looking forward to having to referee a shouting match over a girl who rejected me.”

Joly checked his watch. “We better get back to my flat. Courfeyrac could be back soon.”

“Good idea.”

“Don’t forget to lock up.”

“Stop acting like my mother!”

“Fine. I’m not the one who had a violent street gang help him move.”

“I didn’t know until it was too late! And of course I’m locking my door. I just resent you bossing me around.”

“You’re pretty testy today, Lesgle. Perhaps you should see a doctor.”

“Not every problem is medical, Joly. I’m having woman troubles. Nicolette is sleeping with Bahorel.”

“Not again!”

“What do you mean, not again? She’s done this before?” Lesgle did not blame Bahorel. He blamed himself.

“No, no, no,” Joly said, trying to calm him. “I mean, yet another of your mistresses has left you in favour of one of your friends. It happens to you so often.”

“Too often. It’s always me, not them.”

“Come on, we’ll be late. When you get drunk, you’ll feel better. It works for Grantaire.”

“Well, that’s Grantaire. But I’m coming. For once, your diagnosis makes sense, monsieur le docteur.” Lesgle locked up and they walked back to Joly’s flat.

Courfeyrac was already there. “Where have you guys been?”

“Talking,” Joly replied.

“Well, let me in so I can dump my stuff.”

“Just let me find the key, first. You don’t have to be so pushy. Ah! here it is!” Joly unlocked the door. Courfeyrac threw his armload of clothes on the bed and came right back out.

“So, where are we going for dinner?” asked Lesgle.

“Well, I guess it depends on what you want,” said Courfeyrac.

“And what I’m willing to pay for,” added Joly.

“I refuse to eat at Corinth,” said Courfeyrac.

“Do I look like I would eat anything other than breakfast at that place?” put in Lesgle.

“What is that place that Grantaire likes?” asked Joly.

“Which place? He frequents Paris, you know,” replied Courfeyrac.

“The one with the really good chicken,” Joly answered.

“Oh, I know the place you’re talking about. I liked that place. What is the name of that place?” Lesgle cut in.

“I remember. Mother Saguet’s,” answered Courfeyrac.

“Yes, that’s it. Let’s go there,” Joly suggested.

“D’accord. Sounds fine,” said Courfeyrac.

“You won’t get any resistance from me on that front,” proffered Lesgle.

Joly locked up and they trooped down to Mother Saguet’s for what was in Grantaire’s opinion the best broiled chickens in the city. They talked and drank until midnight, when Ma’am Saguet kicked them out so she could go to bed.


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