Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: Lux Radio Theater
Show: Les Miserables
Date: Dec 22 1952

The Lux Team:
ANNOUNCER, John Milton Kennedy
HOST, Irving Cummings
LIBBY COLLINS, Hollywood reporter
MELINDA MARKEY, intermission guest

Dramatis Personae:
JEAN VALJEAN / RONALD COLMAN
JAVERT / ROBERT NEWTON
COSETTE / DEBRA PAGET
ROBERT
JUDGE
RIMBAUD
BISHOP
MME. MAGLOIRE
CORPORAL
SILVERSMITH
MENTOU
FANTINE, Cosette's mother
PROSECUTOR
MATHIEU, demented
2ND JUDGE
BREVET, criminal
GENFLOU, criminal
COCHESPAILLE, criminal
MARIUS, young revolutionary who loves Cosette
DUPUY, of the police
REVOLUTIONARY
GUSTAVE, a revolutionary
and various CROWDS

ANNOUNCER:

Lux presents Hollywood!

MUSIC:

LUX THEME

ANNOUNCER: Lever Brothers Company, the makers of Lux Toilet Soap, bring you the Lux Radio Theatre, starring Ronald Colman, Debra Paget, and Robert Newton in "Les Miserables." Ladies and gentlemen, your producer, Mr. Irving Cummings.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

UP AND OUT

CUMMINGS:

Greetings from Hollywood, ladies and gentlemen. In many homes, the holiday season is a time for reading aloud from some favorite classic, and so for tonight's play, we have chosen Victor Hugo's "Les Miserables," an unforgettable story of man's inhumanity to man. To star in the role of Jean Valjean, we are honored to have that splendid actor Ronald Colman and, from the original cast of this impressive Twentieth Century-Fox picture, two wonderful stars, Debra Paget and Robert Newton. Now, "Les Miserables," starring Ronald Colman as Jean Valjean, Debra Paget as Cosette, and Robert Newton as Javert.

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) I did not know Valjean during the earlier years of his life, but from what he since has told me, and what I've been able to piece together, it is clear that this narrative had its start on that tragic day when he was brought into court, charged with theft.

SOUND:

COURTROOM CROWD MURMURS

JUDGE:

Before we proceed, will the accused explain the presence of his family in the court?

VALJEAN:

They're the children of a friend, Monsieur. Their mother gave me shelter while I looked for work.

JUDGE:

Go on. Go on.

VALJEAN:

It's just when I saw them standing there, looking at the loaves of bread-- They were starving, Monsieur.

JUDGE:

Oh, then you admit to the theft?

VALJEAN:

I had no money. I - I took the loaf.

JUDGE:

The sentence is ten years at the oars.

VALJEAN:

Ten years? Ten years?! You don't understand, Monsieur--

JUDGE:

Remove the prisoner! Bring in the next case.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Ten years -- for stealing a loaf of bread. Ten years on a prison ship. So did French justice turn a man into something half animal. The endless cruelties dulled his mind, filled it with hate and fear. But the day came when the iron collar was removed from his neck, and the chains were cut from his ankles.

SOUND:

PRISONERS MUTTER

RIMBAUD:

Well, Valjean, it appears we are rid of you. Here's your paper, sign it.

VALJEAN:

Paper?

RIMBAUD:

You've been released. Sign the paper.

JAVERT:

It's regulations, Valjean.

RIMBAUD:

(TO VALJEAN) Surely you've learned much of regulations. Lieutenant Javert is celebrated for his knowledge of regulations, eh, Javert?

JAVERT:

Valjean, you have been assigned to the Orleans district. You're to proceed there immediately and report to police headquarters, and thereafter report once a month.

VALJEAN:

Yes, Lieutenant.

JAVERT:

Failure to do so means you will be taken and sent back for life. Give him his money, Rimbaud.

RIMBAUD:

Here, thirty-three francs.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF MONEY

VALJEAN:

(PROTESTS) No. No, eleven francs more.

RIMBAUD:

(INSISTS) Thirty-three francs.

JAVERT:

Pay him the rest of his money.

RIMBAUD:

What you do on the ship is your business Javert, but here on land I am in charge.

JAVERT:

Pay him!

SOUND:

RATTLE OF MONEY

VALJEAN:

Thank you. Thank you.

JAVERT:

Stand to attention when you address a police officer. Now get out! (TO RIMBAUD) As for you--

RIMBAUD:

(MOCK INNOCENCE) Me, Lieutenant?

JAVERT:

One more offense and I'll report you to your captain.

RIMBAUD:

(MOCKINGLY) Oh, forgive me, Lieutenant. Oh, uh, and allow me to express my grief. I read in your ship's report that an old man died at the oars. The lieutenant's father, was he not?

JAVERT:

(EVENLY) Listen to me. My father was a fool, like every other criminal. He thought the laws were made for someone else. And if, as you say, you knew of him, then you know that I was born across the street, over there, in the women's prison. I was raised by the law, and I know something of it.

RIMBAUD:

No offense, Javert, no offense.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN BEHIND--

JAVERT:

The law is hard, but it's wise and it's just. And there can be no compromise with it. Not for my father, not for Valjean, not for you, and not for me.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR A TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Jean Valjean set out for Orleans -- bearded, ragged, haunted by the nightmare of the prison ship. His meager funds were useless. He was a criminal. He could buy neither food nor lodgings. Driven from town to town, the time came when Valjean could go no farther.

SOUND:

POURING RAIN

VALJEAN:

Please, please, I beg you--

BISHOP:

Won't you shut the door? The rain's beating in.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES, CUTTING OFF RAIN

VALJEAN:

Let me stay a few moments. Then I'll go.

BISHOP:

It's warmer there by the fire, my son.

VALJEAN:

Twelve leagues I've walked today. They set dogs on me. I - I asked for food; they'll not give me any. I say I can pay; they turn me out!

BISHOP:

(CALLS) Madame Magloire?

MME. MAGLOIRE:

(WEARILY) The door. Yes, yes, I know.

BISHOP:

No, no. Just set another place for supper, please.

VALJEAN:

Well, you don't understand. I'm a released convict; the galleys.

BISHOP:

We should be happy if you will join us for supper, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

I can pay! I have money!

BISHOP:

No. No money. I am a priest.

VALJEAN:

A priest? Oh. So you'll - you'll give me food and not take my money? I'll eat in the yard.

BISHOP:

Would you prefer that?

VALJEAN:

But this is your home.

BISHOP:

It is church property, Monsieur. It belongs to the people. Our meal is but a slight one, but you'll make us happy by eating it with us.

VALJEAN:

Thank you. Thank you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

BISHOP:

It's still storming, Valjean. Surely you'll change your mind and stay the night.

VALJEAN:

But you are a fool!

BISHOP:

Am I?

VALJEAN:

I told you before, I spent ten years in the galleys for stealing.

BISHOP:

What did you steal?

VALJEAN:

Bread. A loaf of bread.

BISHOP:

A loaf of bread.

VALJEAN:

You give me food, a bed, and tonight when you sleep, I could-- I could strangle you and be off with your treasures.

BISHOP:

Treasures, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

In the room, where we ate -- candlesticks, silver, heavy silver plates.

BISHOP:

Yes, they're silver. Valuable too, no doubt. They were given to me by the Sisters of the Convent of the Child Mary.

VALJEAN:

I saw where the woman hid them, and I am a thief. (SFX: RATTLE OF PAPER) Here, read this -- the yellow paper. "Released convict," "dangerous man."

BISHOP:

It was only fear that made them do it, Valjean, but do not forget that even in the most evil of men, there is some good. Look for it, my son, and you'll find it. Sleep well, Valjean. God rest you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) In the morning, Jean Valjean was gone. And gone, too, were the bishop's silver plates. It was the housekeeper who discovered the loss.

MME. MAGLOIRE:

I told you! I warned you! Oh, that unspeakable creature! It's a wonder we're alive! And you stand here and tell me that--

BISHOP:

I stand here, Madame, to tell you that someone's at the door.

MME. MAGLOIRE:

(EXASPERATED SIGH)

BISHOP:

Now, please try to calm yourself. (CALLS) Come in!

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

MME. MAGLOIRE:

(STARTLED) Oh! The police! (WITH CONTEMPT) And - and him.

CORPORAL:

Uh, good morning, Your Eminence; Madame.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES

BISHOP:

Is something wrong, Corporal?

CORPORAL:

This, um, man. He had these hidden in his rags, Your Eminence. Your silver plates. I'd recognize them anywhere.

MME. MAGLOIRE:

Oh, praise Heaven! Count them. Count them at once!

BISHOP:

Madame, please! Monsieur Valjean, you are a stupid man. You took the plates, when I told you those candlesticks would bring far more money. You won't go far if you're that forgetful.

CORPORAL:

You can be sure he won't go anywhere.

BISHOP:

But I gave them to him. Didn't he tell you?

CORPORAL:

But, Your Eminence, obviously--

BISHOP:

I am a Bishop of the Church. Do you doubt me?

CORPORAL:

(DISBELIEF) You gave him these plates?

BISHOP:

I most certainly did. And now you have our permission to withdraw.

CORPORAL:

(AWKWARD) Uh, forgive me. I - I didn't know.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS AND CLOSES AS THE CORPORAL EXITS

VALJEAN:

(INCREDULOUS) You're letting me go?

BISHOP:

And, this time, take the plates and the candlesticks. Use them wisely, Valjean, so that you may never have to go to the galleys again.

VALJEAN:

I - I--

BISHOP:

No. No. I should thank you. It is the giver, my son, who receives the benefit of the gift. It is he whose soul is gratified because he's done something generous that sets him above his fellow men. Do you understand that?

VALJEAN:

I - I don't know.

BISHOP:

It doesn't matter. Valjean, I would like you to pray with me.

VALJEAN:

I am not a religious man.

BISHOP:

Few of us are. Come, my son. We will try.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) When he left the bishop's house, Jean Valjean, for the first time in ten years, looked and felt like a human being. His rags and his beard were gone. And he set out again on the road to Orleans. Two days later, he reached the town of Morvin, and there he went to the shop of a silversmith.

SILVERSMITH:

You are right, Monsieur. These are very fine plates. I can offer you four hundred and twenty francs. Satisfactory?

VALJEAN:

Yes, satisfactory.

SILVERSMITH:

And now the candlesticks. If I may weigh them, Monsieur--?

VALJEAN:

No, no. No, I have changed my mind. I've decided not to sell the candlesticks.

SILVERSMITH:

Oh, but I am sure I can give you even more than--

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS EXCITEDLY

SILVERSMITH:

Look! Horses! A runaway, and a child in the carriage!

SOUND:

APPROACH OF GALLOPING HORSE AND CARRIAGE

SILVERSMITH:

Stay out of the street, Monsieur! They'll run you down! Monsieur!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Valjean stopped the runaway, and the child was unharmed. Valjean returned to the shop of the silversmith, and there he was followed by an elderly gentleman, whose gratitude was boundless.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS

MENTOU:

Monsieur, you saved his life, throwing yourself at those horses! That was my grandson, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

Well, you can thank me by leaving me alone, and by telling those people out there to go about their business.

MENTOU:

You must allow me to do something in return.

VALJEAN:

No. No, I have business with this shopkeeper, and then I must leave. I have to be in Orleans tomorrow, and already I--

MENTOU:

Orleans? But I'm returning there myself, within the hour. You are from Orleans, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

No, I was on my way there to - to look for work.

MENTOU:

Then I could ask for nothing better. I am not without influence there. You have a trade, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

A trade? Monsieur, I--

MENTOU:

But if you're looking for work--

SILVERSMITH:

Monsieur Mentou owns a factory here; a pottery factory.

MENTOU:

As a matter of fact, I came here to arrange its sale. It's nothing to the one I own in Orleans. Perhaps pottery would interest you. Come, I'll show you through this little place.

SILVERSMITH:

(MOVING OFF) The money for the plates, Monsieur, I will get it for you.

VALJEAN:

(ABSENTLY) The money, yes.

MENTOU:

If I were not a loyal citizen of Orleans, I would stay away. It is a violent, dirty place, Monsieur. A town like this would suit you far better.

VALJEAN:

Still, I must go to Orleans.

MENTOU:

Well, I'll show you my shop here. You can look around while I settle some matters in the office.

SILVERSMITH:

(APPROACHES) Your money, Monsieur. You have not changed your mind about the candlesticks?

VALJEAN:

No. No, they are not for sale.

MENTOU:

(MOVING OFF) Come, Monsieur. Come.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) I was foreman of the factory. I was both puzzled and annoyed with the stranger who came in and asked so many questions and disturbed the workers.

SOUND:

FACTORY BACKGROUND (WORKERS, MACHINERY, ET CETERA)

ROBERT:

You wish something, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

No, only to look.

ROBERT:

Hm, then perhaps you're interested in buying.

VALJEAN:

No.

ROBERT:

But you've formed an opinion of our little factory.

VALJEAN:

This product is poor.

ROBERT:

Ah! Well, now that you've expressed an opinion, perhaps you'll go on your way.

VALJEAN:

Let go of my arm, Monsieur!

ROBERT:

When you're outside, gladly.

VALJEAN:

Now!

ROBERT:

Either you come peacefully or I-- (GROANS AS VALJEAN TWISTS HIS ARM, EXHALES, AMUSED) I see you, too, have a good right hand, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

Stronger than yours.

ROBERT:

Well, I believe you.

VALJEAN:

Tell me something. These pieces the men are making-- Why is it that one piece is thick and another thin? And one is well-glazed and another not?

ROBERT:

Hm, it is always so.

VALJEAN:

The product has always been this bad?

ROBERT:

Well, it always could be better, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

But why not let each man do what he's best at? The best potter turns, the best glazier glaze?

ROBERT:

No, no, no. Our artisans have always been-- (BEAT, CHUCKLES) Well, perhaps you're right. Now, if you were a man of means, I'd suggest that you buy this place and try your ideas.

MENTOU:

(APPROACHES) Monsieur! If we're to reach Orleans tonight, we must start.

VALJEAN:

Monsieur, not long ago you advised me to remain in this little town.

MENTOU:

But you said you were going to--

VALJEAN:

You also said you wanted to help me. Perhaps you can.

MENTOU:

Well, believe me, I should like nothing better.

VALJEAN:

Then there's a business matter I should like to discuss with you.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Mentou sold the little pottery factory for next to nothing; sold it to the stranger who said his name was "Madeleine." Some weeks later, far away in Marseilles, Lieutenant Javert received a letter from the police of Orleans. The criminal, Jean Valjean, had disappeared.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR CURTAIN

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

We'll continue with Act Two of "Les Miserables" in a few moments. Right now, Libby Collins with the Lux Movie News.

LIBBY:

All the excitement of Paris nightlife in the time of the famous portrait painter Toulouse-Lautrec comes to us in this picture, Ken. It's United Artists' Technicolor film, "Moulin Rouge."

ANNOUNCER:

It was filmed right in Paris, wasn't it, Libby?

LIBBY:

Yes, with José Ferrer portraying the artist and the new French star, Colette Marchand, as the model he loves. And adding plenty of spice is Zsa Zsa Gabor leading a chorus of dancers in a can-can routine.

ANNOUNCER:

(CHORTLES) That should be a sensational number!

LIBBY:

Well, wait till you see it -- the girls in the traditional fluffy petticoats and black stockings; Zsa Zsa Gabor in that red and white costume of Lautrec's poster. Producer John Huston captures the spirit of the Left Bank in "Moulin Rouge."

ANNOUNCER:

Lovely Zsa Zsa Gabor and lovely Colette Marchand -- woo-hoo -- that's the way to say glamour -- in French.

LIBBY:

And how!

ANNOUNCER:

[COMMERCIAL OMITTED] Now our producer, Mr. Cummings.

CUMMINGS:

Act Two of "Les Miserables," starring Ronald Colman as Jean Valjean, Debra Paget as Cosette, and Robert Newton as Javert.

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Six years went by since Lieutenant Javert had ordered Valjean to Orleans, there to report to the police. But Valjean remained in the little town of Morvin. Here, under the name of Monsieur Madeleine, he has prospered greatly as the owner of the pottery works -- and I, too, as his assistant.

VALJEAN:

Stop worrying, Robert. Financially, we're in excellent condition, so forget about the accounts overdue. Now, what else?

ROBERT:

Your signature -- the regular monthly draft to the Convent of the Child Mary.

VALJEAN:

Oh, yes, of course.

ROBERT:

Every month for six years. Why?

VALJEAN:

(CHUCKLES) Someday I may tell you. Now, what's this? Very official-looking paper.

ROBERT:

Well, the town council wants you to sign it. A petition, to incorporate us as a city.

VALJEAN:

A city, eh? (CHUCKLES) Coming up in the world.

ROBERT:

Yes, so it would seem. Well?

VALJEAN:

(BEAT) Why, it's ridiculous! Have you read this?

ROBERT:

I - I, er, helped to write it.

VALJEAN:

But it says they want to make me mayor. It's impossible.

ROBERT:

Oh? Why?

VALJEAN:

Well, because I can't accept. Because I'm-- I'm me, of all people.

ROBERT:

Because of what you've done for us. There aren't fifty people in this town who don't depend on this factory one way or another for their existence. Why, six years ago, this town was a mudhole.

VALJEAN:

Six years. What do they know about me before that?

ROBERT:

What difference does it make? They know who you are now.

VALJEAN:

Makes a difference to me.

ROBERT:

Well, it doesn't to me.

VALJEAN:

How do you know what I was before?

ROBERT:

Why should I care?

VALJEAN:

I'll show you why.

SOUND:

CABINET DOOR OPENS ... RATTLE OF PAPER

VALJEAN:

This is something I've never shown anyone before. A yellow paper, Robert.

ROBERT:

You don't have to show it to me.

VALJEAN:

(SURPRISED) You - you knew about this?

ROBERT:

Do you remember when you first came to the factory? I didn't want you around, did I? I saw the mark of the iron collar still on your neck.

VALJEAN:

And you've known, all these years?

ROBERT:

Yes. I've known and I've forgotten.

VALJEAN:

Yes, but don't you see what this says? Orleans! I never reported! Any day, any night, they can take me and send me back for life.

ROBERT:

Which they haven't done. And who'd recognize you as the man who came here six years ago? I wouldn't even recognize you myself. (BEAT) Now, what about the petition?

VALJEAN:

I don't know. Tell the council that I-- That I'll consider it.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Some weeks later, Monsieur Madeleine became our mayor. We were now a city and new officials were sent to us by the central government, among them an inspector of police. His name-- Javert.

JAVERT:

My papers, Monsieur Madeleine.

VALJEAN:

Thank you.

JAVERT:

You do not wish to examine them, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

Oh, I'm sure they're in perfect order, Inspector Javert.

JAVERT:

I come from Marseilles, Monsieur. I've been in police work there for many years. It is my life. I have pride in little else except in being a good officer.

VALJEAN:

I'm afraid you'll find your assignment here most tedious, Inspector. We're a quiet little place.

JAVERT:

I've heard this, Monsieur, yet there is crime everywhere.

VALJEAN:

And poverty, if one looks hard enough.

JAVERT:

I am sworn only to uphold the laws of France.

VALJEAN:

I merely suggest that you do not look for evil where none exists.

JAVERT:

If I did that, Monsieur, I should be guilty of personal immorality and I would resign.

VALJEAN:

Then we understand each other. I trust we shall work well together.

JAVERT:

I will bother you as little as possible. Thank you, Monsieur.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) No, Javert had not recognized him. Valjean had passed his most trying test. The months went by, and Javert, the model of efficiency, pursued his dull existence without complaint. And then one night he arrested a woman. He took her to his office.

FANTINE:

(AGITATED) Monsieur, I swear to you, I was not to blame. You must believe me.

JAVERT:

You were arguing with a man. You struck him.

FANTINE:

I lost my temper. I'll ask his pardon. He knows I meant no harm. Oh, Monsieur, please, I am ill; I have lung fever. You can see that I'm ill.

JAVERT:

They will care for you in prison.

FANTINE:

No, please, please. I have a child.

JAVERT:

So?

FANTINE:

She's kept for me at Bourges, but I must pay for her. If I don't pay, they'll throw her on the street! If I don't pay, she'll starve!

JAVERT:

(AN ORDER) You, Sergeant, take her away.

FANTINE:

No! No, no! You can't! You can't!

VALJEAN:

(OFF) Inspector, please!

JAVERT:

Monsieur le Mayor. My office is honored.

VALJEAN:

(CLOSER) I don't wish to interfere, Inspector, but this woman should not have been arrested.

JAVERT:

You've been misinformed, Monsieur. She disturbed the peace. She violated the curfew law.

VALJEAN:

And what do you plan to do with her?

JAVERT:

She will serve six months, Monsieur.

FANTINE:

Six months?

VALJEAN:

Inspector, the woman's obviously ill.

JAVERT:

Then I'll see that she's sent to the prison hospital.

VALJEAN:

No, she will not go to prison. The man was drunk. I saw what happened.

JAVERT:

Had she been home, where she belonged, the incident would not have occurred. This is a matter of law, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

It is a matter of justice!

JAVERT:

They're one and the same, are they not?

VALJEAN:

No, not always. I'm asking you to release the woman.

JAVERT:

(COOL) As you wish, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

Come, Madame.

FANTINE:

I - I will not go to prison?

VALJEAN:

No. And I'll see that you're cared for, and if you'll tell me where your child is, I'll try to bring her to you.

FANTINE:

Bring her? To me?

VALJEAN:

As quickly as I can. (A DISMISSAL) Good night, Inspector.

JAVERT:

(UNHAPPY) Good night, Monsieur le Mayor.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) He drove the woman to a hospital and left at once for Bourges. The child, Cosette, was in her early teens. And then there was a heartbreaking reunion. The mother hadn't seen her for years. Now she was dying. There was a caller at the hospital -- Inspector Javert.

JAVERT:

We can speak here in the corridor, Monsieur. I felt it my duty to advise you that I have been ordered to Arras.

VALJEAN:

Not permanently?

JAVERT:

No, just for a few days. A case of theft. A man was caught stealing apples.

VALJEAN:

(DRY) A very serious crime.

JAVERT:

There was a question of identity, Monsieur. The police believe the prisoner was once in my charge in the galleys. If he is the same man, then he's also a parole violator.

VALJEAN:

And you are to establish his identity?

JAVERT:

A trusty has recognized him as a man who once pulled an oar beside him, a thief named Jean Valjean.

VALJEAN:

And you - you think the prisoner is this man?

JAVERT:

I don't know, Monsieur. But we've been looking for Valjean for almost seven years.

VALJEAN:

You think you could recognize him after all this time?

JAVERT:

Hm, names and faces are my profession. If it's the man, I'll know him.

VALJEAN:

Yes. I won't detain you any longer, Inspector.

JAVERT:

Thank you. I'll report as soon as I return.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) That same night, Jean Valjean also journeyed to Arras. When the trial opened, he sat, unnoticed, in back of the courtroom. The prisoner was demented -- a wretched vagabond who seemed almost to enjoy his sudden importance.

PROSECUTOR:

I will ask you once again. Tell the court who you are.

MATHIEU:

But I have told you. I am Jean Mathieu. I eat apples. (CHUCKLES DEMENTEDLY)

SOUND:

COURTROOM CROWD LAUGHS

PROSECUTOR:

You still deny that you are Jean Valjean? That you served ten years in the galleys?

2ND JUDGE: (BEAT) The prisoner will answer the questions. Are you Jean Valjean?

MATHIEU:

No, no. Jean Mathieu. Why do they call me Jean Valjean, when I am Jean Mathieu?

PROSECUTOR:

Monsieur, I should like to call Inspector Javert to the stand.

2ND JUDGE:

Granted.

JAVERT:

Monsieur le President, I am Javert, but I request that my testimony be delayed until the other witnesses have reexamined the accused. This man may spend the rest of his life in the galleys and, as a police officer, I feel I might influence the viewpoint of these other witnesses.

2ND JUDGE:

I commend you, Inspector. Excused.

PROSECUTOR:

Then may I recall the prison trusty -- Jacques Brevet?

2ND JUDGE:

Stand up, Brevet. You'll examine the accused again.

BREVET:

I will, but I waste your time. He is Jean Valjean, who sat beside me in the galleys.

PROSECUTOR:

And the other convicts?

2ND JUDGE:

Genflou and Cochespaille, stand up!

GENFLOU:

I knew him well. His name is Jean Valjean.

COCHESPAILLE:

(AGREES) This one I would know in the dark. Valjean.

MATHIEU:

(CHUCKLES NERVOUSLY) No one believes me. No one. Is it a game? (CHUCKLES)

VALJEAN:

(OFF) If the court please--?!

SOUND:

COURTROOM CROWD MURMURS ("Who is that?")

2ND JUDGE:

By what right do you interrupt? Who are you?

VALJEAN:

(OFF) Inspector Javert will tell you who I am!

2ND JUDGE:

(BEAT) Well?

JAVERT:

Forgive me if I'm startled, Monsieur. That man is the Mayor of Morvin, Monsieur Madeleine.

2ND JUDGE:

The Mayor of Morvin? (TO VALJEAN) Monsieur, I must again ask why you interrupt.

VALJEAN:

(APPROACHES) Because the court must release the accused. He has told the truth. I am Jean Valjean.

SOUND:

COURTROOM CROWD HUBBUB

VALJEAN:

And these men-- (TO THE MEN) Brevet, Genflou, Cochespaille, look at me! Look at me!

GENFLOU:

He is crazy. He is not Valjean!

VALJEAN:

Ask Genflou to bare his right shoulder. There's a burn on the shoulder where he tried to efface his number. And you, Brevet, you used to wear a gold earring; it's no longer there, but the ear is still pierced. And you, Cochespaille-- This poor wretch here could join you in the galleys for life.

COCHESPAILLE:

He's already an idiot. What difference would it make?

VALJEAN:

He's a human being, and he's innocent. Tell the court who I am!

COCHESPAILLE:

If this is what you want. Then you are Jean Valjean.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS

COCHESPAILLE:

All right?

VALJEAN:

(TO JUDGE) Monsieur, I think no further proof is needed. As there is no warrant for me, I shall return to Morvin. I'll await the disposition of the court at my home.

PROSECUTOR:

Monsieur le President, this is fantastic! I demand that Monsieur Madeleine be examined as to his sanity!

VALJEAN:

There is no need. I am not insane. The galleys make the convict, Monsieur, and the name and the position of Monsieur Madeleine had their beginnings in thievery; the theft of some silver from an old man. I cannot rail against fate, when I think what I might have done to this poor wretch, I know that I am to be envied rather than pitied. Does the court excuse me, Monsieur?

2ND JUDGE:

You will hear next from Inspector Javert at your home. Please see that you are there.

SOUND:

CROWD MURMURS

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) This was the terrible news that Valjean brought me the night he returned. And I, too, had news for him. Cosette's mother was dead.

VALJEAN:

I've no time Robert. I can't even say goodbye to Cosette. If I know Javert, he'll be here any moment.

ROBERT:

Well, where will you go?

VALJEAN:

To England, if I'm lucky. Now, listen carefully. I've placed everything in your name. Dispose of the factory and make your way to England. If I can, I'll contact you in London through our agents there.

ROBERT:

And Cosette?

VALJEAN:

Tell her the truth about me, and why I couldn't see her.

ROBERT:

But England! Shall I take her with me?

VALJEAN:

No. No, take her to Paris; the Convent of the Child Mary. The sisters will care for her for the sake of Monsieur Madeleine. Tell her-- Tell her I'll always be close to her. Goodbye, Robert.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) He'd been gone less than an hour when Javert came into the house; behind him, half a dozen soldiers.

JAVERT:

(TO ROBERT) Stay where you are! (TO SOLDIERS) Search every room!

ROBERT:

You've come too late, Inspector.

JAVERT:

Perhaps, Monsieur.

ROBERT:

He's gone.

JAVERT:

For the police, it is never too late. If he's escaped us tonight, then what of tomorrow? Or next week? Or next year? You will find, Monsieur, that the law is armed with an infallible weapon -- patience -- and there is no escape.

MUSIC:

UP, FOR CURTAIN

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

CUMMINGS:

In a moment, we'll continue with Act Three of "Les Miserables," but first, our guest tonight, Melinda Markey, daughter of the famous producer. I hear, Melinda, you're rehearsing a play opening in Hollywood.

MELINDA:

I am, Mr. Cummings, but the big news is an opening here this week, on Christmas Day, Twentieth Century-Fox's "My Cousin Rachel."

CUMMINGS:

That's the picture based on Daphne du Maurier's bestseller.

MELINDA:

Yes, and it stars Olivia de Havilland, back after two years on the stage. Featured with her is Richard Burton in his first American picture.

CUMMINGS:

What a dramatic role Rachel offers for Miss de Havilland's talent. Burton accuses her of poisoning his foster father, her first husband.

MELINDA:

Yes, and he vows revenge, but instead becomes fatally infatuated. As "My Cousin Rachel," Miss de Havilland makes the plot very believable. She's absolutely fascinating.

ANNOUNCER:

A compliment to Miss de Havilland's talent -- and her beauty. She's one of Hollywood's loveliest stars. [COMMERCIAL OMITTED] We pause now for station identification. This is the CBS Radio Network.

MUSIC:

FILLS THE PAUSE ... THEN OUT

CUMMINGS:

The curtain rises on Act Three of "Les Miserables," starring Ronald Colman as Jean Valjean, Debra Paget as Cosette, and Robert Newton as Javert.

MUSIC:

INTRODUCTION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) There wasn't a move now that Valjean could make but that the shadow of Inspector Javert lay across his path. And someday, the shadow would become the man. For more than a year, however, Valjean remained safely in England, and then, on one of my trips to London, he told me his plan.

VALJEAN:

So I'm going back, Robert. I'm going back to France.

ROBERT:

Well, it's useless for me to warn you again.

VALJEAN:

Actually, there's not too much to worry about. Cosette has helped make the arrangements.

ROBERT:

Cosette?

VALJEAN:

Yes, I'm going to the convent. She's found work there for me. The old gardener has died. Well, I'll be the new gardener. The work will do me good and I'll be near the child. She's all I have, Robert.

ROBERT:

Once you're back in France, Javert--

VALJEAN:

Ah, first, he must find me, and the convent walls are high and thick.

ROBERT:

(WORRIED) God be with you, Jean.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) For three years, he labored at the convent, caring for Cosette, giving her the love she had so seldom known. Cosette filled a great void in his life and for the first time, I think, Valjean was truly happy. When Cosette's education was completed, I made arrangements to lease a house for them in Paris. Cosette was delighted, and for a few months everything went well.

COSETTE:

Oh, how can I ever thank you, Father? I've never been so happy, or so spoiled, in all my life.

VALJEAN:

Well, I knew you'd like Paris, Cosette.

COSETTE:

Oh, but the expense, this house -- and the servants!

VALJEAN:

Oh, we can thank Robert for much of this. He's made wise investments. No, dear, we have nothing to worry about.

COSETTE:

If that were only so; nothing to worry about.

VALJEAN:

Well, the police have more important things to concern them these days. There's going to be trouble, Cosette. Soon, I'm afraid.

COSETTE:

The revolutionaries; yes, I know.

VALJEAN:

They're plotting to overthrow the king. And that's why you'd do well, my dear, not to see that young man again.

COSETTE:

But - but, Father, Marius is studying law at the university. Besides, he's a Royalist, a baron!

VALJEAN:

Oh, his title means nothing to him. He told me so himself.

COSETTE:

Oh? And what else did he tell you, Father?

VALJEAN:

He's a revolutionary. He's one of the organizers, Cosette.

COSETTE:

But if he's so open and honest with you, how can you dislike him so?

VALJEAN:

Oh, I didn't say I dislike him. He means nothing to me one way or another. As for his honesty, it's true he's admitted he's a revolutionary. I met him in a café last week. I've had to learn to sense things, Cosette. Perhaps I'm too suspecting, but, in his case, I was right. When I faced him with it, he told me.

COSETTE:

(SLOWLY) And you don't want me to see him again?

VALJEAN:

You - you like him so much?

COSETTE:

(DEEPLY) Yes.

VALJEAN:

Then I'll leave the decision up to you. There's only one thing I ask. Marius must never come here. He must never know where you live.

COSETTE:

Don't worry, Father. He'll never know, until you give me permission to tell him.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Yes, Cosette was in love. She'd been meeting Marius in the bois, the park, and in spite of his determination to declare himself to her guardian, Cosette still refused to tell Marius where she lived. One afternoon, when I came to the house, Valjean was greatly agitated.

VALJEAN:

Our business problems will have to wait, Robert. Do you remember last week? The stranger I noticed across the street?

ROBERT:

Well?

VALJEAN:

He was there again today, pretending to admire the garden.

ROBERT:

You're certain he's from the police?

VALJEAN:

Oh, of course I'm certain. I can smell them. Somehow they found out that Cosette knows Marius, and the boy is a known revolutionary.

ROBERT:

Well, but after all, if they do arrest him--

VALJEAN:

Arrest him? I wish they would. But they won't. They'll watch him. And, sooner or later, he'll lead them here.

ROBERT:

(LOW WARNING) Quietly, Jean; it's Cosette.

VALJEAN:

Ah. (CHEERFUL, TO COSETTE) Well, was it pleasant in the park?

COSETTE:

(APPROACHES) Oh, yes, Father, very.

ROBERT:

Well, it's brought color to your cheeks.

COSETTE:

Father, Robert; there's something I must speak to you about.

VALJEAN:

Now, that's strange; I was about to say the same thing to you. Cosette, I - I find I must go back to England again.

COSETTE:

But - but why?

VALJEAN:

It's no longer safe for me to stay here.

COSETTE:

Oh, that was so long ago. They can't still persecute you.

VALJEAN:

I'm a parole violator. As long as I remain in France, they can return me to the galleys.

ROBERT:

It's true, Cosette.

COSETTE:

Then - then we must leave immediately.

VALJEAN:

No. No, my dear. Much as I desire it, I can't ask you to go with me.

COSETTE:

I'm going with you, Father.

VALJEAN:

But you have friends here, Cosette, and ties.

COSETTE:

I have no friends and no ties.

VALJEAN:

Are you sure?

COSETTE:

Quite sure, Father.

ROBERT:

Wait a minute. Look outside there. The window.

COSETTE:

(SEES MARIUS) Marius!

VALJEAN:

Cosette? You didn't tell him?!

COSETTE:

Oh, no, no.

VALJEAN:

Well, if he's here, you'd better ask him in. Wait in the hall, I'll be there in a moment.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

COSETTE:

You shouldn't-- You shouldn't have come here, Marius! I asked you not to. You promised me!

MARIUS:

I followed you, Cosette. I had to. (SEES VALJEAN) Oh. Good day, Monsieur.

VALJEAN:

Did Cosette invite you here?

MARIUS:

On the contrary, Cosette has always refused to allow--

VALJEAN:

Then you've chosen to ignore her wishes. Why?

MARIUS:

Because for the past month I've been meeting Cosette in the park without your knowledge and it seems to me both dishonorable and unfair to you.

VALJEAN:

And now you want my permission to make a formal call?

MARIUS:

Why, yes. And--

VALJEAN:

I see no reason to object, but Cosette is leaving Paris.

COSETTE:

I'm going to England, Marius.

MARIUS:

England? No! No, you won't. I won't allow it!

COSETTE:

Marius!

VALJEAN:

I think we can consider this little affair closed, Monsieur.

MARIUS:

I assure you this is no little affair. I've come to ask for Cosette's hand in marriage.

VALJEAN:

Marriage?! Why, she's a child! Do you think I'd even consider--?

MARIUS:

(ANGRY) She's not a child!

COSETTE:

Marius! Father! Please! I'd like to speak with Marius, Father. Do you mind?

VALJEAN:

(MOVING OFF) I'll be in the study.

COSETTE:

(BEAT, TO MARIUS) Oh, I begged you not to come here.

MARIUS:

(STILL ANGRY) Why? So you could go to England without any unpleasant explanations?

COSETTE:

You know that's not true. I would have told you, but-- Well, there are things you just don't understand.

MARIUS:

What difference does it make? I love you. You love me. You can't deny it.

COSETTE:

I never said--

MARIUS:

No, not in words perhaps, but-- Cosette, he's dragging you to England just to keep you away from me!

COSETTE:

No, that's not the reason, Marius. He's cared for me since I was a child. I'm all he has.

MARIUS:

That's ridiculous. Does he think he can hold on to you forever?

COSETTE:

All I ask is that you wait, just for a little while. I can talk to him, Marius. You can come to England.

MARIUS:

(SCOFFS) Oh, Cosette, this is child's talk! My place is here and I want you with me. But you must make the decision. Here, now.

COSETTE:

(BEAT) The decision is not mine, Marius. It is yours.

MARIUS:

Very well. A pleasant voyage, Cosette. But I've just one other thing to say to him. (CALLS) Monsieur?!

VALJEAN:

(OFF) Well?

MARIUS:

She's going with you. But I warn you, there'll be other men who'll love her, and if you persist in running away with her, you will do her a terrible harm.

VALJEAN:

I'm grateful for your advice. However, as I said, Cosette is still a child. There is yet--

MARIUS:

(WITH PASSION) Cosette is a woman! She's beautiful! She's desirable! And you're in love with her! You want her for yourself! You won't face that, will you? But it's true! You know it!

VALJEAN:

Get out!

MARIUS:

Be careful of your next rival, Monsieur. (MOVING OFF) You may not dispose of him so easily.

ROBERT:

Jean?

VALJEAN:

You heard what he said?

ROBERT:

It doesn't matter. The man across the street -- he's returned.

VALJEAN:

Make arrangements at once, Robert. We'll leave as soon as we can.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) When Marius left, he was followed by the man across the street. I watched until they disappeared -- not knowing, of course, that an hour later the man would be reporting to his superior, Inspector Javert.

JAVERT:

Never mind the details, Dupuy. Just the pertinent facts.

DUPUY:

I followed the subject to Number Thirty-Four Rue Brissac. He remained there but a short time and returned to the Place Marengo.

JAVERT:

The Place Marengo is barricaded by the rebels?

DUPUY:

Yes, Monsieur, and he was passed through the barricades.

JAVERT:

The Rue Brissac. Who lives in the house?

DUPUY:

The girl, her father, and another man. I suggest they be taken in at once for questioning.

JAVERT:

There is no need.

DUPUY:

Monsieur?

JAVERT:

The king, at last, has seen fit to act. The militia has been ordered out against the barricades. After tonight, there will be no more revolutions and no more revolutionaries.

DUPUY:

Shall I keep watch on the house?

JAVERT:

No. The militia will attack at dusk, tonight. Our task now is to see that any who escape from the barricades are tracked down and brought to justice. I'll need you and all your available men.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Our plans were set. We'd leave Paris in the morning, thence to Le Havre, and across the Channel. But late that night there was a knock at the back door. No one was there, but on the floor was a note.

SOUND:

RATTLE OF PAPER

VALJEAN:

It is for Cosette. Give it to her, Robert. She's upstairs in her room.

ROBERT:

Jean, look what it says on the envelope. "Provisional Government. Saint Denis barricades." It's from Marius.

VALJEAN:

Give it to Cosette.

ROBERT:

I've already opened it, Jean. I want you to read it. Here.

SOUND:

PAPER HANDED OVER

VALJEAN:

(READS) "The revolution has started. While I still have time, I must beg of you not to sacrifice your life to this man's selfishness. He holds you only by your exaggerated sense of gratitude. I cannot deny my heart. If I live, I will follow wherever he takes you." Keep the note, Robert. Give it to Cosette in the morning.

ROBERT:

Why don't you give it to her?

VALJEAN:

Because I may not be back by morning. (MOVING OFF) I'm going out.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

BARRICADES BATTLE BACKGROUND ... GUNSHOTS, MEN SHOUTING, HORSES, ET CETERA

REVOLUTIONARY:

For you, Marius; a stranger. He says he must see you.

MARIUS:

(OFF) Send him over here!

REVOLUTIONARY:

Keep your hands up, Citizen. Start walking.

MARIUS:

(BEAT, TO VALJEAN) So, it's you.

VALJEAN:

Yes.

MARIUS:

Well, Monsieur?

VALJEAN:

I intercepted your letter to Cosette.

MARIUS:

You'd risk your life coming here just to tell me that?

VALJEAN:

I came here to tell you that you're right and you're wrong. I love Cosette, it's true, but not as you seem to think. And I love her too much to stand in the way of her happiness.

MARIUS:

I - I'm sorry. I - I said things in anger--

VALJEAN:

That doesn't matter. You're free to go to her whenever you wish.

MARIUS:

You're a little late, Monsieur. The militia has broken through. By morning, we'll be surrounded.

VALJEAN:

Exactly. If you stay here, you'll be destroyed.

MARIUS:

Perhaps. But what Paris does tonight, France does tomorrow, so I stay. Now leave while you can.

GUSTAVE:

(CALLS, FROM OFF) We've got a prisoner, Marius! Come quickly; the wine shop!

MARIUS:

Prisoner?! (LOW, TO VALJEAN) You came in through the wine shop, didn't you?

VALJEAN:

I did, then across the courtyard.

MARIUS:

Well, then you can leave the same way while I attend to the prisoner. Now hurry.

SOUND:

BACKGROUND UP BRIEFLY FOR A TRANSITION ... WINE SHOP DOOR SHUTS, BUT BATTLE RAGES ON IN BACKGROUND

GUSTAVE:

Here he is, Marius. He refuses to talk.

JAVERT:

I will talk now. You are Baron Pontmercy?

MARIUS:

I am Citizen Pontmercy.

JAVERT:

And I'm Inspector Javert of the police. I was in pursuit of a criminal when your men captured me. The man is a parole violator.

MARIUS:

You're wasting my time. Tie his hands. Gustave, get back to your post.

JAVERT:

Wait! This has nothing to do with your revolt. I demand you allow me to do my duty and arrest him. He can't be far off.

VALJEAN:

Closer than you think, Inspector.

MARIUS:

(STUNNED) Monsieur! (REALIZES) Is - is this why you're going to England?

VALJEAN:

This is an old score between him and me, Marius. Will you let me settle it?

MARIUS:

Here. Take my pistol. You can get out through the cellar.

GUSTAVE:

They're charging the barricades! The militia! Get to your posts! They're charging!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

BATTLE RAGES IN DISTANCE

VALJEAN:

We can stop here, Javert. We're quite alone now.

JAVERT:

My duty is complete. I found you and I arrested you. So, have your revenge.

VALJEAN:

Stand still. I have a knife in my pocket.

JAVERT:

Yes, the knife suits you better than the pistol, Valjean.

VALJEAN:

But the knife is to cut your ropes. Now you're free, Javert.

JAVERT:

Kill me. Kill me now! You think you can bargain my life for your freedom?

VALJEAN:

There is no bargain. I give you your life.

JAVERT:

Don't you know that as long as you live I'll hunt you? You're a convict! A criminal!

VALJEAN:

You're sick, Javert. Your mind is sick. Now go, while there's still a chance.

JAVERT:

You want me to grovel, and thank you. You want me to see the nobility of your soul. I spit on your nobility! You're a criminal and I'm taking you in. Now shoot. Shoot!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

BATTLE STILL RAGES IN DISTANCE, A LITTLE LESS INTENSELY

DUPUY:

Inspector Javert! Monsieur, you're bleeding.

JAVERT:

I'm all right, Dupuy.

DUPUY:

But the man you went after, the convict-- Escaped?

JAVERT:

(BITTERLY) Look at me. I'm a strong man. I had him in these two hands. But the oars, they give them the strength of animals. Yes, he got away.

DUPUY:

The fighting is almost over, Monsieur. Most of the revolutionaries have been taken prisoner.

JAVERT:

There is one prisoner I want to see -- Baron Pontmercy.

DUPUY:

He was badly wounded.

JAVERT:

He's a friend of the convict Valjean. I want to see him.

DUPUY:

Well, unfortunately, Monsieur, Pontmercy has disappeared.

JAVERT:

How can a wounded man disappear? The barricades were surrounded.

DUPUY:

He was unconscious. We left him where he fell. When we returned, he was gone.

JAVERT:

There's only one way he could have disappeared. Through the sewers.

DUPUY:

But I tell you he could not possibly have walked.

JAVERT:

Then he was carried. And I think I know who carried him.

DUPUY:

The convict? Wait, Inspector, I'll bring some men.

JAVERT:

No! No one. I'll find him myself. Alone.

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

SEWER BACKGROUND ... VALJEAN CARRIES MARIUS, SLOSHING THROUGH RUSHING WATER ... AN ECHO ON EVERYTHING

VALJEAN:

(WITH EFFORT, CARRYING MARIUS) Marius, can you hear me?

MARIUS:

(WEAKLY) I can hear you.

VALJEAN:

Then take heart. We'll be out of this soon. I'll bring you to my house.

MARIUS:

Put me down, I beg you. Alone, you could escape, but with me, you--

VALJEAN:

The militia won't look for you there. It's the most likely place -- so they'll suspect it the least. We'll get a--

JAVERT:

(OFF, CALLS) Valjean?! (NO ANSWER) Valjean!

MARIUS:

(LOW, TO VALJEAN) Monsieur!

VALJEAN:

Don't worry. He's far behind us.

JAVERT:

(OFF) I know you're there! Valjean!

MARIUS:

I won't let you do this. You can't carry me and get away.

VALJEAN:

Now, please be silent. There's a way up to the street just ahead of us.

JAVERT:

(OFF) You can't escape, Valjean! Stand where you are and surrender!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION

SOUND:

NOCTURNAL BACKGROUND ... CRICKETS, ET CETERA

VALJEAN:

(WITH EFFORT) Just a few more steps, Marius. I'll get Robert and then we'll--

JAVERT:

Put him down on the ground, Valjean.

VALJEAN:

(SLOWLY) Javert! (EXHALES) There is no escape from you, is there?

JAVERT:

Stand where you are.

VALJEAN:

But this boy is wounded, unconscious. I must get a doctor for him.

JAVERT:

If he lives, he'll be shot.

VALJEAN:

Javert, I spared you at the barricades.

JAVERT:

I told you I'd make no bargains. You're both under arrest.

VALJEAN:

I pledge my word I'll go without protest, only let me get the boy into the house. Surely the law allows--

JAVERT:

The law allows you nothing.

VALJEAN:

This is common humanity. What are you?

JAVERT:

I am an officer of the law, doing his duty. It makes no difference what I think, or feel, or want. It has nothing to do with me, nothing.

MUSIC:

SNEAKS IN BEHIND--

VALJEAN:

(SLOWLY) An old man once told me there was good in even the most despicable of men. Through the years, I've found this to be true. But you-- You're not a man. Are you, Javert?

JAVERT:

(BEAT, STUNG) Take him in the house. (BEAT) Take him in the house!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN BEHIND ROBERT--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) I had heard them coming. And I waited for Javert behind the door.

SOUND:

DOOR CLOSES

ROBERT:

Put up your hands, Javert.

VALJEAN:

No, no. Robert, no. No, let him go. I gave him my word. Now, find the housekeeper and send her for a doctor, quickly.

ROBERT:

She's just inside. She's been helping us pack. We could leave now. Everything is ready.

VALJEAN:

Tell her to bring a doctor. I'll take Marius into the study.

ROBERT:

(CALLS) Marie?! Quickly, run and fetch a doctor!

COSETTE:

(APPROACHES) Father, what is it?

VALJEAN:

It's Marius, Cosette! He's been hurt.

COSETTE:

Marius!

VALJEAN:

(MOVING OFF) We'll need your help. Stay with him, Cosette.

ROBERT:

(SNEERINGLY) Javert? He could escape, you know. There are windows in the study. But he's given his word, hasn't he?

JAVERT:

Be still.

ROBERT:

The word of a convict, given to you, the law. He'll go back with you, back to the galleys, for life. How does success taste after all these years, Inspector?

SOUND:

TRANSITIONAL PAUSE

VALJEAN:

(FADE IN) Wait for the doctor, Cosette. We mustn't touch him.

COSETTE:

But - but that man in there--?

VALJEAN:

His name is Javert, Inspector Javert.

COSETTE:

(TEARFUL) You're going with him. Oh, Father, no, no, you can't!

VALJEAN:

Oh, I must. I'm leaving you with Marius. He loves you even more than I do.

SOUND:

DOOR OPENS

ROBERT:

Jean?

VALJEAN:

Take care of her, Robert. I can do no more.

ROBERT:

Jean-- (BEAT) He's gone.

VALJEAN:

Gone?

ROBERT:

Javert is gone.

VALJEAN:

Gone?!

SOUND:

VALJEAN'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS

VALJEAN:

(CALLS) Javert?! Javert?!

MUSIC:

TRANSITION ... THEN IN BG--

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) He looked at me -- stunned, bewildered -- and then turned and rushed from the house. Far down the street, the dim shadow of Javert was moving toward the river.

VALJEAN:

(OFF, CALLS) Javert!

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Jean called to him, but Javert didn't pause.

VALJEAN:

(OFF, CALLS) Javert!

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) Javert had reached the bridge. He walked to the middle -- mechanically, like a man in a dream -- and he climbed the rail, and plunged to his death.

MUSIC:

FOR JAVERT'S SUICIDE ... THEN FOR A HAPPY ENDING, IN BG

ROBERT:

(NARRATES) They're in England now -- Jean, Cosette, and Marius. Someday I think they'll return to France. And when they do, with them will come some silver candlesticks and Jean will again light the candles and repeat the words of the old man who once helped him.

VALJEAN:

"It is the giver who receives the benefit of the gift. It is he whose soul is gratified, because he has done something that sets him above his fellow men."

MUSIC:

UP, FOR CURTAIN

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

CUMMINGS:

In a moment our stars will return. [COMMERCIAL OMITTED] And what a Christmas present they've given us -- Ronald Colman, Debra Paget, and Robert Newton.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE

CUMMINGS:

Isn't this the first time you've played the part of Jean Valjean, Ronnie?

COLMAN:

Yes, Irving, and I believe it's the first time you've seen it.

PAGET:

Well, now how could that happen, Mr. Cummings, when it's been made five times?

CUMMINGS:

Well, Debra, Mrs. Cummings and I went to see the first version. It starred my old friend William Farnum. And, right in the middle of the picture, Irving Cummings, Jr. announced his arrival. ...

NEWTON:

No wonder you Americans are so successful, you double up on everything.

PAGET:

Oh, yes. For instance, we combine soap and water and - presto! - a Lux facial. Of course, it has to be Lux Toilet Soap. It's such a wonderful complexion care.

COLMAN:

Yes, you must learn more of our customs, Bobby. You English are much too slow, and look who's talking! ...

NEWTON:

Well, I'm looking forward to Christmas, but don't tell me you combine it with the New Year.

COLMAN:

Oh, no, no. No, the holidays here are much the same as in England. We sing carols--

CUMMINGS:

Too bad we can't sing a few now.

PAGET:

Oh, let's! "Stars and Stripes Forever"!

NEWTON:

"Stars and Stripes Forever" for Christmas?

PAGET:

Oh, no, I was only fooling. But some holidays do have parades, and parades mean marches, and marches mean "Stars and Stripes Forever." And besides, it's my latest picture, opening here December 31st, and it stars Clifton Webb in the part of John Philip Sousa.

COLMAN:

What won't Mr. Belvedere think of next? Now he's invented music. ...

NEWTON:

And do you have a holiday treat for next Monday night, Irving?

CUMMINGS:

That we do. It's an inspiring picture, Bobby, that really does show the American way of life. It tells the story of our heroic pioneers and the trails they blazed for us and that could be none other than Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's outstanding production of "Westward the Women." And, as our stars, from the original superb cast, we will present Robert Taylor and Denise Darcel.

COLMAN:

And a fine picture it was, too. Good night.

PAGET:

Good night.

NEWTON:

Good night.

CUMMINGS: Good night and a merry Christmas to all.

SOUND:

APPLAUSE ... [ENDING OMITTED]