The rustle of chains was quite clear in his mind, in his ears. As he made his way through the streets of Montreuil-sur-Mer, abandoned at this hour, he could feel something shuddering in his chest; with each breath, it rattled, and, strong man that he was, he flinched from pain such as this, for it was foreign to him and therefore distasteful; he had no natural or learnt defense against such discomfort - no, torment, this was far more than any discomfort he had ever felt in his lifetime.
He had kowtowed to a convict, been brought low by a criminal, bared his very soul to a man who broke his parole! He had served under him, obeyed his wishes, sought to please him! And this man, this beast…
…had pardoned him.
Javert’s stone heart shuddered beneath the strain of this new burden. It was like a slap in the face; each breath brought with it another wave of horror, of disgust; for Madeleine - no, Valjean - and for himself. For himself above all, yes.
Amusing, that it had no