Hope

After today, I will spare you from Les Mis for a while.  (But it's so good.  You really should read it for yourself.)  Tomorrow, I will tell you about something that will make your life easier.

So, here is the end of the story we have been following (and this part always makes me cry).  It's so full of hope.  And isn't that what we need everyday?

At sunrise that morning Monsieur Bienvenu was in his garden.  Mme Magloire came running out to him in great agitation.

"Monseigneur, monseigneur, do you know where the silver-basket is?"

"Yes," said the bishop.

"Thank the Lord! I couldn't think what had happened to it."

The bishop had just retrieved the basket from one of the flower beds.  He handed it to her saying, "Here you are."

"But it's empty!" she exclaimed.  "Where's the silver?"

"So it's the silver you're worrying about?" said the bishop.  "I can't tell you where that is."

"Heaven save us, it's been stolen!  That man who came last night!"

...The bishop after a moment's pause turned his grave eyes on her and said gently: "In the first place, was it really ours?"

Mme Magloire stood dumbfounded.  After further silence the bishop went on:

"I think it was wrong to keep it so long.  It belonged to the poor.  And what was that man if not one of them?"

...A knock sounded on the door and the bishop called, "Come in!"

The door opened to disclose a dramatic group.  Three men were holding a fourth by the arms and neck.  The three were gendarmes (police); the fourth was Jean Valjean.

..."So here you are!" he cried to Valjean. "I'm delighted to see you.  Had you forgotten the candlesticks as well?  They're silver like the rest...Did you forget to take them?"

Jean Valjean's eyes had widened.  He was now staring at the old man with an expression no words can convey.

..."You mean," said the sargeant, "that we can let him go?"

"Certainly...But this time," said the bishop, "you must not forget your candlesticks."

He fetched them from the mantelpiece and handed them to Valjean...Valjean was trembling...

The bishop came up to him and said in a low voice: "Do not forget, do not ever forget, that you have promised me to use the money to make yourself an honest man."

Valjean, who did not recall having made a promise, was silent.  The bishop had spoken the words slowly and deliberately.  He concluded with a solemn emphasis:

"Jean Valjean, my brother, you no longer belong to what is evil but to what is good.  I have bought your soul to save it from black thoughts and the spirit of perdition, and I give it to God."