Hearts on a Windy Street

Fantine pulled away, mortified at the secret she had just confided. She was not pleased when Favourite burst out laughing.

“That's all! silly girl! Get rid of it.”


“Pennyroyal is expensive, yes, but a child will ruin you. Get rid of it.”

Fantine stiffened in horror. “How can you suggest such a thing?”

“Innocent little girl. You protest now, but do you think your Tholomyès will touch you when you're eight months pregnant?”

“Call me innocent,” said Fantine, “but I cannot do such a thing, and even if it ruins me I will love my child until I die.”


She hadn't bled for five months. Starvation could produce that effect, but the protrusion of her stomach was undeniable. Even so, when she realized it, Fantine could not wring any horror out of her used-up soul.

Pregnancy was a common enough risk in her sordid profession. But to divide her time between work and baby--to feed another mouth--to raise a child in these conditions--was impossible. She saw the facts, and had no room left in her heart for grief. It was unfortunate, that was all.

Pennyroyal was cheap in Montreuil; in that alone she was lucky.