It was on the morning of June 6, 1833 that Marius received a package at his doorstep.
There was no return address, no postage, only the words "To Marius Pontmercy" scrawled on the brown paper. Wary, but curious, and careful not to wake Cosette, Marius broke the string and ripped the paper.
At first, he did not know what to make of the contents inside. There were envelopes, a golden amulet, a journal, a…
Marius' heart stopped. A cravat. He knew that cravat. It was Courfeyrac's favorite, worn often but not at the barricade. At the time, Marius never stopped to wonder why. He had not even noticed. But now, staring upon the slightly worn green silk, he recalled that Courfeyrac had worn a light red one year ago.
Who had sent this? Why had they sent it?
Marius grabbed one of the envelopes to find an answer. Inside, he found a gold coin that depicted an angel with the inscription Republique Françaiseabove him. The slip of paper that fell out with the coin said simply, "My Eagle: For Luck — J".
Marius' face flushed as he realized that this had been a gift from Joly to Bossuet and that their relationship truly had been of the intimate nature. He had heard Courfeyrac say something about it, but Marius thought that he had been joking. Clearly not!
But his face grew hotter and redder when he read the letter in the second envelope. Had someone given this to him by mistake? It was a love letter addressed to Bahorel from one of his mistresses, filled with lustful words and desires that Marius was certain no one but Bahorel was ever meant to see. His heart, however, broke when he read the last paragraph and saw the date at the top: June 5, 1832.
The journal held no clues as to who the sender was. It was instead filled with poems in beautiful script by none other than Jean Prouvaire. They were poems about each of the Friends of the ABC, each one in a verse appropriate to who Prouvaire described within the words. There were even two for Marius, causing him to blush once more. The journal ended with a final poem dedicated to the late General Jean Maximilien Lamarque and the pending revolution.
Nothing else within the package could help Marius determine who the sender was, and Marius found that he could not figure out who must have done it. Who knew the Friends of the ABC, and who knew that Marius knew them? Who knew that Marius had been at the barricades and had been friends and roommates with the center of the group? Did this person think that he had been a member as well? What was the purpose of this package? Who sent it?
Marius took out the small glass case filled with pinned butterflies of exuberant colors, clearly Combeferre's. There was a carefully yet sloppily made fan: perhaps Feuilly's first?
Upon a closer look, Marius realized that the golden amulet was of Saint Juliana Falconieri. He recalled Cosette talking about her; she was a patron saint for illness and sick people. Perhaps Bossuet had given this to Joly? Or, what was her name again, Musichetta?
Then Marius gasped as he pulled out the small canvas. The colors were vibrant, the details amazingly intricate especially on the golden haired man in the center of the painting. Marius had heard that Grantaire once studied art, but he never quite believed it, no matter how drunk the man was. But here was proof. Marius could easily point out everyone: Enjolras, of course, and Combeferre, Courfeyrac, Feuilly, Joly, Bossuet, Bahorel, and Prouvaire. Grantaire had left himself out. Marius wondered why.
Then, finally, the last item in the box. It did not seem as personal nor did it stand out as much as the others, and yet, Marius could not turn his eyes away from it. A cockade, bloodied and torn, and he knew this to be the exact one Enjolras wore at the barricades. Marius carefully traced the outer lining of the material, his breaths shallow, and his eyes watering.
One year ago today.
When Cosette awoke, she found her husband in tears, and she held him until noon when she helped him place each item upon the small table where his ragged sash sat on display. And then together, they walked hand in hand to the cemetery to pay their respects.