elsane: (waterloo)
[personal profile] elsane

The back room of the Café Musain was very loud and angry, and Combeferre had a headache. He looked down at his papers, realized he had transcribed two sentences that were supposed to conclude Enjolras' latest exhortation on the back of Bossuet's essay on starvation among the poor, and groaned.

Courfeyrac, across from him, cast him a sympathetic glance.

The meeting was not going well. Food had been scarce in the city all week, and if that kept anger bubbling through Paris as prices soared, the anger was of a dangerous sort, unhinged. Combeferre himself had used up most of his daily food budget on a single baguette that morning, and was feeling stretched and thin around the edges. Louison had set out much more wine than bread, which really wasn't helping.

"Where is Louison?" Courfeyrac demanded, for the sixth time, and sprang up from his chair.

"Wait -- " Combeferre called after him, and plunged his hand into his hair when Courfeyrac disappeared down the hallway.

"Don't worry," Jehan said, picking up the unfinished proofs Courfeyrac had left behind. "We don't keep him around for his prose." Jehan, subsisting this week mostly on the wine of poetry, bent to writing, a faint glow of madness around his eyes, and Combeferre made a mental note to make sure somebody else had a chance to look over Jehan's revisions before they were committed to print.

That somebody else would probably end up being him.

Courfeyrac reappeared much later bearing a large basket, the only visible contents of which were half-rotted lettuce.

Combeferre blinked twice before tentatively supposing that Courfeyrac had embarked upon a unexpected method of smuggling guns.

Enjolras looked up from his quiet abstraction at the far end of the table. "That's never -- are those guns, Courfeyrac?"

"It is something even more explosive than gunpowder," Courfeyrac proclaimed, and dropped the basket directly on top of the proofs.

"My dear Courfeyrac -- " began Combeferre.

"I know, I know! The proofs to the printer before midnight!" said Courfeyrac. "But men must fight to eat and eat to fight. "

He turned to the room at large, and flung out his arms.

"Friends! I am starving. We are all starving; the condition of our bodies makes transparent the conditions of our souls, starving for liberty! I have gone to fuel our endeavors, but this is the best I could find at this hour. Eat if you can stomach it! And don't forget this is the kind of provision that the King makes for his people. Look at this!" He thrust his hand into the basket, and held up a piece of badly bruised fruit.

"Black," he said, "is the color of this pear..."
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elsane: clouds, brilliance, and the illusion of wings. (Default)
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