Moving on to the summer of 1832...
“I never even knew he was that affluent,” Sophia finally said.
“Monsieur Anlié made a lot of money before the Revolution, and kept it hidden so it would seem he was not a member of the aristocracy in wealth, so that any child of his would have a dowry or inheritance.”
That would explain it, Javert thought. He had never seen that amount of francs in one sum and to now own that amount joint with Sophia...
As the couple laid in bed that night, it was Sophia's sigh that finally broke the silence between them.
“I can’t believe it,” she said, looking over at her husband, “he’s finally dead!” Javert had no idea what to say. Anlié and Sophia had been so close until that argument about grandchildren.
“It has not yet sunk in,” he admitted. He and Anlié had never been close, always formal with one another, although he had to thank the old man for marrying Sophia off to him.
It was only out of respect and propriety that the couple went into mourning for Monsieur Anlié, and stayed in mourning for only a month, as soon they would become preoccupied with the coming child. But it was not to be. On a sunny morning, April 21st 1826, Sophia bore a stillborn son.
It was also within this year that Sophia and Javert had Adele-Renee sent to the Petit-Picpus convent school for her education. It was the same convent Sophia had been educated at until she became betrothed, and the same convent Javert had been desperate to search through for Jean Valjean back in 1822, who had, so he claimed, snuck inside with Cosette. Whilst it was a boarding school for girls of the aristocracy, Sophia used her influence as a member of the Anlié ‘clan’ –which was fast dying out- and the promise that the Mother Superior had promised her...
1818, Petit-Picpus Convent School, Paris
“It is a shame of course, that you are leaving, Mademoiselle Anlié, but it is your father’s choice after all,” Mother Superior told the fourteen-year-old Sophia. Sophia smiled.
“I know. If I had it any other way, I would be completing my education.”
“Well, you have been a good student, Mademoiselle. So I give you this promise. If you and your husband produce a daughter, and you are living in Paris, she will have a place here.”
Enjolras and Courfeyrac were just two of the students studying in Paris in the year 1832. But they were also revolutionaries, and Enjolras, a charismatic and passionate young man, put forth his ideas at the ABC café. Courfeyrac too was a member of the ABC friends, but was not as vocal as his companion. Other students there were Grantaire, Joly, Feuilly, Combferre and one Marius Pontmercy. So why I am talking about these students when this story focussed upon Sophia Javert?
One day at the market, Enjolras saw one of the most beautiful women he had seen in his life. She could be no older than thirty, but no younger than five-and-twenty. Richly dressed, he guessed she was one of the aristocracy. He heard her laugh and...oh that laugh! But then his heart sunk, for a tall, darkly dressed, silver-haired man, took her by the arm and kissed her. She was married! What a cruel trick of nature!
“That is Madame Sophia Javert,” Courfeyrac’s voice sounded behind Enjolras, “wife of Inspector Javert.” His voice sounded bitter when he said Inspector Javert. Enjolras looked around to face his friend.
“You know her?”
“All of Paris knows her. She’s famous, Enjolras. She is one of the Anliés and the male population of Paris- as well as some of the female- is in love with her. You were looking at her, weren’t you?”
“Never,” Enjolras denied quickly. He had never allowed girls or women to go to his head, but this woman was different...
As the two students walked back to the ABC headquarters, Éponine Thénardier crossed their paths. Éponine or Ponine was a friend of Marius, and secretly in love with the student.
“Enjolras, Courfeyrac,” she greeted them with a grin. Pretty as a child, now eighteen or nineteen years old, Éponine was in extreme poverty, living with her sister, Azelma and her parents. You may remember that vile Thénardier who tried to attack Sophia in Chapter 12...Éponine was his eldest child.
“Ponine, how are you?” Enjolras said.
“As well as someone in poverty can be,” the girl said bitterly, “so how are the revolution plans going?”
Courfeyrac shushed her, “who told you about that?”
“It was Marius.”
After passing the two students, she sat down on the steps of Notre Dame and sighed. How this life had come about! She had had it all as a child, and now was in poverty. She began singing softly to herself and after a short time, a well-spoken voice interrupted her song. Éponine looked up and saw the same woman Enjolras and Courfeyrac had been watching.
“Are you alright?” Sophia asked, sitting down next to the poverty-stricken girl, carefully arranging the skirts of her gown.
“I’m fine ma’am,” Éponine replied. It took all of her strength not to rob the woman there and then. From the corner of her eye, she could see Azelma; she knew her little sister was following this woman home, so they would know where to post a letter to con an affluent family out of their money.
But when Éponine examined the necklace around the woman’s pretty little throat, her eyes widened and suddenly bolted.
“Mademoiselle?” Sophia asked, standing up, staring after Éponine.
“Azelma!” Éponine shouted breathlessly, “don’t follow the blonde woman home!” Azelma looked at her sister with doubt.
“Why not Pon?” she asked, “you goin’ soft on ‘er?”
“No! You don’t understand..she had the Anlié coat of arms around that pretty little throat of hers!”
“And what’s that meant to mean?”
Exasperated, Éponine grabbed her sister by her scrawny shoulders, “there’s only one blonde Anlié! That’s Sophia...Sophia Javert! ‘Zelma she’s married to a police inspector! Go follow someone else!” She pushed Azelma away and watched the woman walk towards the river Seine.