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Halcyon, Departing: Chapter Eight

“Please, Mother,” Jehan Prouvaire, well enough now at least to take his meals downstairs, looks across the impressive dining table at Lady Oakham, “I need to go back to school. I shall fall behind if I am away too long, and anyway,” tilting his chin upwards slightly, “I am quite better.”

Lady Oakham regards her son incredulously, her eyes widening almost to comical effect. “Absolutely not. Mr Knowe insisted that you rest.”

“And I have rested. Really, Mother.” In truth, he does not think that he can spend another day at home in the confines of his room. Aside from the welcome visits of Thomas Joly and Joseph Lesgles, he has been, of late, quite alone. With his father still away, how can he forget that he, himself, is the man of the house. He ought not to be abed. Even his books, now, provide only the smallest of consolations. There had been a time when Jehan would scarcely have noticed his isolation, having known little else. Now, knowing what it is to have friends such as Enjolras and Combeferre; Courfeyrac and Grantaire, he finds himself lonely. “It would be good for me to go,” he tries, “I can always come home if I feel unwell.”

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