Les Miserables HTML version

Chapter 7
It is here that a fact falls naturally into place, which we must not omit, because it is one
of the sort which show us best what sort of a man the Bishop of D---- was.
After the destruction of the band of Gaspard Bes, who had infested the gorges of
Ollioules, one of his lieutenants, Cravatte, took refuge in the mountains. He concealed
himself for some time with his bandits, the remnant of Gaspard Bes's troop, in the
county of Nice; then he made his way to Piedmont, and suddenly reappeared in France,
in the vicinity of Barcelonette. He was first seen at Jauziers, then at Tuiles. He hid
himself in the caverns of the Joug-de-l'Aigle, and thence he descended towards the
hamlets and villages through the ravines of Ubaye and Ubayette.
He even pushed as far as Embrun, entered the cathedral one night, and despoiled the
sacristy. His highway robberies laid waste the country-side. The gendarmes were set on
his track, but in vain. He always escaped; sometimes he resisted by main force. He was
a bold wretch. In the midst of all this terror the Bishop arrived. He was making his circuit
to Chastelar. The mayor came to meet him, and urged him to retrace his steps. Cravatte
was in possession of the mountains as far as Arche, and beyond; there was danger
even with an escort; it merely exposed three or four unfortunate gendarmes to no
"Therefore," said the Bishop, "I intend to go without escort."
"You do not really mean that, Monseigneur!" exclaimed the mayor.
"I do mean it so thoroughly that I absolutely refuse any gendarmes, and shall set out in
an hour."
"Set out?"
"Set out."
"Monseigneur, you will not do that!"
"There exists yonder in the mountains," said the Bishop, a tiny community no bigger
than that, which I have not seen for three years. They are my good friends, those gentle
and honest shepherds. They own one goat out of every thirty that they tend. They make