The Girl Who Ran Away is the 27th episode of the series. In it, Cosette and The Friends of the ABC [separately] attempt to reunite a young girl with her mother, who happens to share a very similar backstory to Cosette and Fantine.
The episode starts with Cosette, Jean Valjean, and Toussaint passing by the Saint-Jacques church. The priest soon appears and asks to discuss plans regarding the school with Valjean. As the group begin to make their way inside, the two women overhear two wealthy locals scoffing at the idea of building a school for the poor children. This upsets Cosette, but Toussaint advises her that what Valjean is doing is important, and to just allow busybodies such as the duo to say what they want. As the women make their way down the pews of the church, a young woman is seen praying and soon faints from exhaustion, only to be caught by Cosette.The scene shifts to the Rue Plumet, where the woman is seen waking up in a bed as Cosette enters the room. The woman is in a rush to search for her daughter, Paulette, when Valjean enters and urges her to stay in bed and rest. The woman, named Rosalie, tells her story: she left Paulette in the care of an acquaintace's shop while leaving for work far away, and after a year, when Rosalie returned to pick up Paulette, she was told that her daughter had run away, with no idea as to her whereabouts. Valjean and Cosette volunteer to help search for Paulette. When Rosalie asks why they would aid a stranger they just met, Valjean replies that it is simply because she is in need of help. Downstairs, Cosette shows a drawing of Paulette to Toussaint, who is as of now six-years-old. Afterwards, Valjean and Cosette set off.
Later at sunset at the Café Musain, the Friends of the ABC notice that Marius still hasn't recovered from his love-enduced behavior. Courfeyac then brings up "the only way" to forget about [Marius's] love, and requests help from Laigle, Prouvaire, Combeferre, and Enjolras to put his plan into motion. Meanwhile, Cosette and Valjean find the shop where Paulette once lived. When they ask the manager for the girl's whereabouts, the owner replies that he knows nothing other than what he already told Rosalie, and that Paulette left ten days ago. When Cosette desperately presses further, the manager, angered, repeats that he knows nothing more, and that Paulette ran away without saying anything. The duo leave after Valjean informs the owner and his wife to contact the Saint-Jacques church if they remember anything. Later that night, at the church, the priest agrees to help out in the search.
Back at the Rue Plumet, Cosette is taking care of Rosalie when Rosalie informs Cosette that Paulette's disappearance may be because her daughter is angry at her, since she promised she would return for Paulette after three months, eventually having to push it back until a year had passed. As she was illiterate, she was unable to write to Paulette while under the care of the shop manager. Cosette disclaims Rosalie's assumption, and tells her about her backstory, leaving Rosalie in shock, but Cosette reassures her that Paulette is yearning for Rosalie, just as Cosette had (and still does) yearn for her own mother.The next day, Enjolras, Combeferre, Courfeyac, Prouvaire, Laigle, and Grantaire are waiting at the Rue du Petit-Banquer when a group of five women appear. Courfeyac introduces them—which includes his girlfriend, Mireille—to the men, who immediately take a liking to Enjolras. A flustered Enjolras, wanting an explanation, is told by Courfeyac that in order for Marius to "recover", he need to find a new love interest, thus he asked Mireille to ask her friends out. After a moment, Marius arrives, and the group plan to set off and have a picnic, much a confused Marius. Before they can set off, however, a young boy grabs the baguette out of the picnic basket and runs off, the men in hot pursuit. Enjolras manages to grab the child, and the men split the bread and give a portion to the child, along with an apple. When asked about parents, the child denies having either, but is particularly harsh when asked about a mother, and runs off. Laigle observes that something must have occurred between the mother and child to account for the observed harsh behavior. The men decide to investigate further and rush off to search for the boy, leaving the women in stunned silence.
Meanwhile, at the Saint-Jacques church, Valjean and Cosette are outside meeting with the priest. Paulette has yet to be found, and the priest plans on expanding the search radius. As the priest departs back inside the church, the wealthy local from earlier scoffs at their efforts for locating a missing child. Valjean then approaches the man and reiterates the value of helping those in need. Nervous, the man brushes Valjean off, and departs. Then, the wife of the store manager appears to the duo and states that the day before Paulette ran away, her husband stated that Rosalie likely abandoned Paulette, since she had not been in contact with the manager for a while; thus it was likely that Paulette overheard this and ran off to look for her. She also notes that Paulette is wearing the attire of a boy, since she was only able to wear the old clothing of the couple's young son, as well as cutting her hair short.
In an alleyway, Gavroche and Chou Chou come upon the young boy and note that if he is hungry, the church is handing out free bread. The boy bluntly denies wanting any, and runs off, Gavroche and Chou Chou in pursuit. Suddenly, someone grabs Gavroche on the arm from behind, and is revealed to be Thénardier, alongside the Patron-Minette. Gavroche boldly stands up against the group, and remarks how surprised he is that his own father remembers his name. Thénardier asks Gavroche if he would like to join them in a big plan, but Gavroche rejects and walks off, not looking back.Meanwhile, the Friends of the ABC and Mireille are searching for the child they encountered earlier, with no success. As Prouvaire and Laigle make their way towards the Saint-Jacques church, they find Cosette holding the old picture of Paulette and asking a group of locals if they have seen her. When the two men recognize the child in the photo, they call out to Cosette, who takes notice. Meanwhile, on another street, the child stands as others walk by. Eventually, Marius comes upon the child and upon closer inspection, realizes she is a girl. At this, the child begins to rush off again, but not before being grabbed by the arm by Marius and asked about her relationship with her mother. The child swipes her arm out of Marius's grasp and states that her mother abandoned her. Marius, shocked, states that the girl's mother is horrible, but then, the child faces Marius and defensively states that her mother is kind, and that she will take the duty of abandoning her mother, rather than the other way around. As Marius listened, further stunned, the girl begins to cry, and Marius consoles her, vowing to reunite her with her mother. Then, Prouvaire and Laigle come upon the duo, exclaiming the Marius has found Paulette. When Paulette asks how the two men know her name, they state that her mother is looking for her, much to a surprised and overjoyed Paulette. Marius respectfully declines to accompany the two to the reunion, stating that he needs to get his materials for his translation job; also, originally, he wanted to leave the Friends of the ABC during the gathering. Laigle notes that a girl with golden hair, similar to Ursule would be accompanying them from the church. Marius appreciates the offer, but he states that his heart is meant only for Ursule, leaving Laigle and Prouvaire in shock.
At sunset in the Rue Plumet, Rosalie and Paulette share a happy and tearful reunion. Valjean tells Toussaint that there are many mothers and daughters like Cosette and Fantine, as well as Paulette and Rosalie, who are separated, and that he wants to minimize the misery between these pairings as much as he can. Cosette tearfully watches the happy reunion, placing her fingetips over her pendant.
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"No! She isn't bad! She is kind. Very kind! But why did Mother abandon me? To be abandoned by Mother... I don't want it!" *tears begin to well up and fall* "So I... I will take the duty to abandon Mother instead. But... But... Don't... Mother, don't abandon me... I will be a good girl!" *crying follows*- Paulette revealing her feelings regarding her mother to Marius
- "In any case, I originally wanted to leave the Friends of the ABC during the gathering."
- Is that so? But a gorgeous lady from the church would be coming. She has the same golden hair as your Ursule."
- "I appreciate your kindness, but for me, my heart will always have Ursule only."- Marius and Laigle about accompanying a beautiful, Ursule-resembling woman to the reunion of Paulette and her mother
"In this world, there are many people like Cosette and Fantine, and Paulette and Rosalie. Toussaint, to me, I want to reduce the misery suffered by those mothers and daughters."- Valjean to Toussaint about wanting to work to reunite separated mothers and daughters
Chance Encounters in Paris
|Les Misérables: Shoujo Cosette|
The Found Letter