Louise Enjolras has not heard from her brother in three years. He has been arguing with their father almost constantly since he started studying in Paris, but it wasn't until he finally passed the bar that they had their final falling-out. After that his letters have been infrequent, distant, and always addressed to her alone. Eventually the letters stopped. He refuses any money Papa tries to send him and does not reply to their letters; last year Papa went to Paris himself to talk sense into his son, only to find he had changed addresses. A stranger greeted him at the door.

Papa seems never to tire of calling him an ungrateful anarchist wretch, but when all the portraits with her brother in them disappeared from the house, Louise found them in the back of her father's closet. There are small tearstains blurring some that weren't there before.

She keeps his last letter and reads it over and over. It is dated 8 Prairial, Year 40. It is cold and distracted-sounding; he says in it that there will be no more letters, and there haven't been.

Sometimes she wonders what he is doing with himself, and if he is happy, but any time she says that to Papa he tells her not to ask stupid questions. He says her brother will regain his common sense one of these days and return, begging to be taken back into the family fold. Louise nods and says, "Yes, Papa."

Privately, though, she admires her brother's integrity.