It took until of January in 1833 before Marius could make his way toEngland. He was out of danger by October, but he could not stand for an extended period of time without getting dizzy. It took until December for him to be strong enough to ascend stairs and walk down the street alone, and until January before he was confident enough in his health to be on his own. By the time his ticket was procured and his travel arrangements made, he was panicking.
It had been seven months since he had last seen Cosette- so many things could have happened since then. She could be betrothed to someone else, she could have forgotten him. For goodness' sake, there had been a cholera epidemic and the street riots. Anything could have happened. He had faith, however. He knew he still loved her, but he was also rational and knew that their short time together followed by this long time apart could mean something detrimental.
"Farewell, Grandfather," Marius said, about to board the carriage that would take him to Calais. "I shall write as soon as I reach England."
"I want you to write every day," the old man ordered.
"Every day is surely a bit excessive," Marius said, furrowing his brow.
The old man's stern look was enough to make Marius agree. He embraced his grandfather.
"Thank you, Grandfather. Without you I'd never have the chance to find her again," he said, not wanting to point out that it was the old man's fault that he'd lost her in the first place. "I cannot wait to introduce you. You will love her."
"Yes, yes, all that. But come home soon," Gillenormond said.
"I hope to be home before February is through," Marius said with high hopes. "Perhaps within the next three weeks even."
"Have a safe trip, Marius."
Marius tried to keep his thoughts from all of the horrible ways this trip could end, but the tedious rocking of the ship provided very little distraction. Marius had never been on an extended boat ride before, and quickly found out that he was prone to seasickness. He spent the hours of the crossing bent nauseously over the side of the boat, trying not to be sick and thinking of Cosette rejecting him.
"Why, Monsieur," she'd say distantly. "I gave up on you months ago! When you never came back for me, I just thought you left. I have a new fiance now, Monsieur Snobbish-Dandy..."
For some reason her new fiance always resembled his cousin Theodole in these fantasies.
"No, no," Marius said, shaking off the thought. "She loved you. What you had with her was more than some flirtatious fling. She'll welcome you back with open arms and you'll never be apart again!
When the ship docked inEngland, Marius stayed in a lonely inn for a few nights before he could take a carriage toLondon, all the while praying that that was where she and her father had ended up.
Once he reached London, he went to the immigration offices. He was not planning on becoming a citizen and was only staying as a visitor, but he thought it was a worthwhile place to check. He thought that since Monsieur Fauchelevent had moved there with plans for business, he must have citizenship or at least a work visa. But alas, the name Fauchelevent was nowhere to be found.
Marius went to sleep on his first night in London discouraged. He was staying in a tiny room above a pub; the room retained the smell of smoke and the foul smell of the waste of the streets outside his was dark and disgusting, compared toParis' grandeur and beauty. Marius spoke English, it was true, but not well and he was a Frenchman at heart. He could only just communicate with the crumpled, elderly woman who ran the inn. She seemed kindly enough as she served breakfast in the morning, but he had no desire to make friends here.
"I'll be sure to find her today," Marius said with great trust. "Then I'll be back on a ship to France in a week."
Marius had done a great deal of research before setting off on his journey and knew several neighborhoods that Cosette and her father were most likely to reside in, given their income and foreign situation.
But the first day held no luck for Marius. He walked through the first neighborhood, but did not make it to a dozen apartment buildings by the end of the day. He asked the landlords about Cosette's father, gave a name and a description, but was always met with a puzzled look.
The entire first week was just as fruitless, as was the next. Marius retired each night with aching feet and a heavy heart. He penned a few notes to his grandfather in this time, but did not want to admit his failure. The old man could very quickly rescind his financial support of Marius' expedition, and then where would he be? He needed to make it seem like he was making progress.
Marius went to public parks, hoping to stumble into her as he had in those blesses days in the Luxembourg. He went to as many Christian churches as he could, but there were far too many parishes to keep track of, and anyway, Cosette and her father were Catholic.
He asked the police, but they had no record of a Fauchelevent. Marius began to worry that Cosette and her father were staying here illegally, or under a different name. That could hardly be, but he retreated from the police station without further inquiry, so as not to get them into any trouble if that was the case.
By mid-February, Marius awoke each morning with a sick feeling in his stomach, and nothing that happened during the days could alleviate it. It seemed that Cosette was nowhere to be found.
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