I first saw her in April……when her parents moved from Arrame
on the other side of the pass.Her name was Eliane but everyone
called her Elle or “that girl”.Her father, old Devigne, was paralysed
after a fall from a ladder.Her mother was German. Devigne
met her while doing forced labour.They call her Eva Braun. Back to work. You don’t even know
who Eva Braun was.I first saw her at the cinema while on
fire duty. She was playing the star.She’d won a beauty contest…as “Miss Camping-Caravanning”…and acted like a star ever since.I thought she was good looking…but no more than that.She said she sat close to the screen
to get some peace.The truth was she wouldn’t wear
glasses…and couldn’t see from further back.Get a move on! What’s the hurry? Can’t hang about. ‘Bye.Small towns are all alike.The film ends and thirty seconds later
everyone has vanished.With M. Loubet’s wife there wasn’t much
time for words. We used the aisle…to have a carpet under us.The place needs a coat of paint.I usually drove my brother’s van home.
His driving sent me crazy.We’d load up the back with kids.They’d fall fast asleep on the way.Everyone’s asleep here. I’ve stopped. A fireman needs
all his puff. Before, I smoked like a chimney. Find yourself a girl? Eva Braun’s daughter. You done it with her? Not tonight. Her mother was with us. What about other nights? Twice. Last Saturday and the one before. Where? In the van on a tarpaulin. How was it? What an arse! Really something. It was too cold to undress. I just
pulled up her skirt. What an arse! You get nought for conversation. You’re a fine bunch. Don’t call me Pin-Pon. What is it? What’s going on? I’ll catch pneumonia! I thought you were in a hurry. If I die, I’ll take you with me.My brother, Mickey, is a haulier
and amateur cyclist.He’s as daft as a brush…but we get on well. We don’t need
to talk much.You ass. Now there’s no more water! Mother!My other brother, 13 years younger
than me, was born when father died.He’s the intellectual of the family.Father would call him “Doctor”
if he were still alive.Our father walked here, all the way
from Southern Italy.Like all Italians, he was set on going
to America…but he never had enough money
for the ticket.He ended up marrying my mother
who came from Digne.They took in her sister who’s been
stone deaf since Marseilles was bombed.She’s called Cognata by everyone
but my mother.What vegetables do you want? What’s that? She wants peas as usual
on Sundays. Ace, two and three, as usual. My aunt’s choice never varies. “Don’t
confuse Fate,” she says. And it works. She’s won twice. Hey, look! – Hello.
– Thank you. – Thank you, that’s it, 100 Francs, please.
– OK. Felix, pour it again! Readily. I’d go for her. What with, may one ask? It’s not that difficult. The town chemist and a visiting friend
of my nephew’s had her. And even one of those Portuguese
workers. Wake up. A fellow needs a break. If your eyes were that blowtorch,
she’d not sit down for a week.We all can my boss Henry IV. He’s
the best boules player I know.I went to school with his wife,
Josette.Can I fetch your mother anything? Some steaks. Five normal and a big
one for Bou-Bou. Say they’re for us. – Why?
– You know steak like he knows limos.I’ve a Delahaye with leather seats.I swapped her for an old van.She takes up all my spare time
but she still won’t go.Three hundred metres. Sixty metres.
Better than last time. – It’s the gaskets.
– You saw me change them. She’s allergic to gaskets. No, it’s the oil intake. If you ask me, she’s allergic
to everything. We’d better push her back. – Poor Pin-Pon!
– Don’t call me that! Mrs Nosey Parker. What’s to stop us making a complaint
about the pollution? – Do you know the Braun girl?
– Just about. If you want my advice, you’ll keep
well away from her. I didn’t ask your advice. You can meet her any Sunday at
the Bing Bang dance. That place makes me feel old. Come along and I’ll do the rest. I don’t need your help I can chat
her up as easily as you. You’re wrong there. I’m not smitten!The Bing Bang came to one village or
another each Sunday.The kids followed it around.For a bit, I danced with Mickey’s girl
who works In the post office.– Where’s Mickey?
– Gone to play boules. Come on, I’ll be the man. Shall we dance? What’s the alternative? Climbing trees?That knocked me back a bit.What’s more, I hate people with
clammy hands.But hers were different. They were
damp…but they reminded me of babies
or children.Don’t you feel thirsty? I’m not a goldfish! Is your hair natural? No, it costs me a fortune. There’s a good restaurant near
Cavaillon. Care to go some time? Candles on the table, silver cutlery… Okay, take it easy. You won’t get me in bed that way. That’s a fact. Look, we can’t stand here all night.
I can only dance on Sundays. I’ve got to go. – Who are you playing against?
– Locals. We’re leading by three points.
Massigne is hopeless. To hell with Massigne! There’s a fair at Thorame. Let’s make
a foursome with Georgette and Moune. Moune isn’t that bad, is she? Let’s play rummy with Cognata tonight. And invite Henry IV when we return
the car. We’ll drown our sorrows. I’ll just lose this game and come.I told myself there were other fish
in the sea…that she wasn’t worth the trouble.Anyone at home? I’ve a flat tyre. Move back a bit. As you repaircars,I thought
you’d do bikes. What fun! You’ll get dirty! What’s she doing here? – Her bike needs repairing.
– Tell her to take herself off. Your tyre has a huge rip in it.
How did that happen? Come back tomorrow. I’ve some spare
tyres at home. When do you stop work? Not for another hour. Maybe longer. I’ll wait outside.She sat motionless.Like a doll thrown in a corner.Mother detests anything in a skirt.She’d even hate a Scotsman.I’ve a bike to mend. Your brother cornered me last night. – Mickey?
– No, Bou-Bou. He asked me what I’d done to you. When I said, “nothing” he got all
hoity-toity and said… “So why was he upset?” So silly. What made you go? Misgivings – because of
Georges Massigne. I’d have you know I belong to nobody. And we’re not together any more. Do you really have a barrel organ
in your barn? Who told you? Bou-Bou did, when we made it up. That’s all our father left us when
he died. Four walls… and the organ. Does it still work? Yes, on its own sometimes, if a mouse
gets in. But it has only one tune. You did it on purpose? To see me? With secateurs. Pin-Pon isn’t a real name. What were
you christened? My real name is Florimondo. But the Italians were against us
in the war… so it didn’t go down well
in the village. – Could we go to your restaurant?
– Anytime. Why not now? At once. Tell you what. If you go round the back, you can choose
which dress I wear. All right?That’s why I couldn’t do without her
She lived life in top gear.It was wonderful.For that moment, I’d start all over
again.Hurry UP! Bou-Bou’s belt. Where is he going’? Nobody tells me anything. – He’s meeting a client.
– What’s her name? I don’t know. If the fire station wants me, call
the restaurant. All right, but hurry up. – I’ll do?
– Fantastic. Mother, I may be back late. Don’t worry. Will I do? You look like Zorro! Go fast or I’ll have to sit and wave
to the village. He drives well. The car won’t suffer. Maybe, but it’s the last time I lend it. Not feeling sick? You’re joking. I’d spend my life in a car
if my stupid father could afford one. What was he before? A watchman and road man. He had a stroke? I don’t want to talk about it. I’ve a Delahaye. Know what that is? No – except that it doesn’t work. I’ll make it work when I find the parts.
And then I’ll take you on holiday. Oh, yes? Where? Wherever you like. All right. To Nice? To a crummy room where you’ll screw me? It’s incredible. What did I say? You bite your nails? – Don’t look.
– They’re false? Say anything and I’ll tell everyone
you sleep with Mme Loubet. Who told you that? It’s common knowledge. There’s no point in telling, then. I promise I won’t tell a soul. And I’ll take you back if you prefer. No, don’t. It’s like Hollywood. You come often? I came once to fix a customer’s car. You can laugh but I promised myself
I’d come back… with a glamorous girl like the ones
I saw that day. When I was little, they took me to
the eye doctor and we ate out. But there were oiled tablecloths and
fly papers It was squalid. Squalid. You’ve bad sight? I can’t see my own feet. Why not wear glasses? Who cares about feet? The band leader! Has Mademoiselle chosen? A melon without port and strawberries,
if you have them. Perch with fennel and asparagus
to start with. What wine would you like? Not for me. – It makes me cry and cry.
– But tonight is special. – Which champagne?
– The one you always serve us. It was the Piper Heidsieck, wasn’t it? Is there gold on the label? Gold? Yes, I think so. Then that will do. At school, I never listened. I repeated
the same year three times. In the end, they gave in and I left. You’re not eating. But I was by far the prettiest. Everyone said so. At thirteen or fourteen I was fully
grown. Don’t you believe me? My teacher, Mlle Dieu, was mad about
me. She’d have done anything for me. And I’m not stupid. Take arithmetic.
No one can count faster than me. I beat the supermarket till. Choose two numbers. Anything from
one to ten thousand. Hurry! Thirty-four hundred and forty-seven,
and eighty-seven hundred and sixty-eight. Twelve thousand three hundred and
fifteen. Check it! You’re right, dammit. Another. No, I believe you. When I was small, I played that
with my father. He used to say “You can beat anyone
else on earth, no matter who”. “No matter who”. I mustn’t drink any more. – What’s got into you?
– Nothing. You were like it in the car. Don’t take any notice. Generally, boys don’t take so much
trouble to make me see… You know what I mean? Who are you talking about?
The chemist? Or that man on holiday,
or the Portuguese? It’s not true. – You weren’t there.
– Okay, so they lied. Did Massigne tell you that? – I said “then”.
– They are stupid. I only meant that if you like me… you don’t have to do all this. You can have me here
among the plates… in front of everybody! Would you like anything else? Leave us alone! Cheer up. 9,322 and… 7,825. 17,147.Well, two things she said were true.
About the counting and the crying.I told you, I’m tipsy. We’ll go home. I want to stay with you. No need to wake the Holy Family. We can sleep in the barn.Seeing her look at me like that…I made my biggest mistake ever.Where are you?What an idiot you look, Elle. If it
weren’t so funny, I’d kill myself.He wants to get his pants down
and Elle just wants it over with…without her zip jamming.Let Elle forget for a moment…he’s the son of his beastly father.I’llsay, what are they doing
to you, Little Eliane?Let her enjoy it this once.A bit of patience and I’ll find
them all.They’ll pay dearly, and their families.You could at least say where you’ve been. You know where I’ve been. For Christ’s sake, don’t just
stand there. What must I do to make you take
a swipe at me just once? Don’t you understand? I want you to hit me. I’d prefer it
that way. Can’t you see?But she can’t see, any more than
she ever has.She’ll go on thinking about who I am
and what happened to us.I mustn’t mention the barrel organ.I must do it all myself. She’d stop me.Come on. To please me. Mother. Haven’t you finished yet? You’re disturbing the whole village. Wait till I get my hands on you. Why must they be so stupid? They’re just having a joke. Yes, what does it matter? Sit down there. Something to say? What about you? What has she pinched? Nothing. These are my knickers. I hate wearing yesterday’s clothes. This is my house. – Leave her alone.
– Is she going to stay? She’s staying. I’m going to live with the Montecciaris. She’s leaving? Good riddance. I love you best of all. No, you don’t. I’m only down the village street.
It’s not far.Our trip back was a real joke. You’d
have thought we were April fools.It must be deadly indoors to bring them
out like this.Brochard and his wife were
the stupidest of all.You’re moving? What’s it got to do with you?You don’t have to turn on the TV
to hear idiots talk.– It’s not very nice.
– But it’s clean. I must go to work. – Can I put up my posters?
– It’s your home. – Mind if I say something?
– No need, I’m not stupid. I didn’t have time to put on pants.
I’ll do it now.His smile made me want to give up.Not much room here. I had this bath when I was a baby. It’s a good thing our water’s free. She’s going to bathe right here! The sauce of it! What? – I’ve my own upstairs.
– Either way, I’ll be doing the washing. Your mother didn’t teach you much
to go by your hands. My mother wouldn’t like you speaking
to me like that. She’d say your son… shouldn’t have fetched me. It won’t last long. Hey, Broken Hi-fi! Listen to this. Before he’s rid of me, your sister will
have bought me a wedding dress. I’m sorry, I’m hard of hearing.Smothered in lace. And I’ll see she
cries all over it.I’m taking eggs to your mother
any message?In the Ice Mother’s bedroom was
a bed that could kill.And his photograph.How did I stop myself spitting on it?You look like a monkey when you eat. Fancy being so old, greedy,
and ugly too. I’d rather die at thirty, or maybe forty. Your turn, stupid! – You counted my winnings?
– No bloody fear! You’re a good girl. We’re already good friends. I’ve a
soft spot for old people. Two and twenty, Our Sorrowful Lady. You left these behind. I wondered why you stuck your nose
in things. I’m going up to change.She said nothing about her visit
but it doesn’t matter.My mother would never talk to
strangers.You can dry the salad. I don’t know how. Has that barrel organ always belonged
to you? My husband brought it here when he
was young. On foot, if you must know. On foot! It was his living. Why do you ask? I thought I’d seen it when I was small
in Arrame. It’s never gone that far. The last time it left here
you weren’t even born. What’s the matter? Nothing. It’s all right. Turn that thing off! It’s nothing. I’ll soon be better. Don’t say anything. Promise? Who did that? Your aunt with the cheese grater. What made you do that? What’s he saying? Tell him it’s not true, you hussy! – Stop that. She never insulted you.
– Steady on. You agree? No, I don’t. – What’s going on?
– Hang on. I was joking. It’s hardly your aunt’s style, is it? What did she say? Nothing. Aren’t you ashamed? Fancy imagining that of your aunt. It’s always the same. I felt faint and fell. Faint? How do you mean? I was in the barn. Bou-Bou found me. Has this happened often?‘Never. You spend all day reading stupid
magazines. No wonder you feel ill. No it’s not that.I let a few weeks pass and am as sweet
as pie with everyone.Can’t you rest a bit? Anyone would
think you were the maid here.In the afternoons while I wait for
Pin-Pon I play patience.I change dresses, fix my false nails,
varnish them…or lose myself in thoughts of that
other old fool.You’ve won again, my pet.After an hour or so dreaming
like that…Pm so fed up I have to go out.On Sunday mornings, Mickey sets off
for a race saying…I’ll win, dammit!And returns, saying:I lost, dammit! Hardly surprising. It’s your fault too. You service
the bike. However well I ride, the bike’s so heavy
I always beat it past the post. – Where’s Mother?
– Outside. Then listen to me. Your bike doesn’t drink or smoke. Or spend every night with Georgette How can you hope to win? Is this large? – Read the ticket.
– I cant read. Ninety-seven francs fifty. – You counted that fast.
– My looks apart, that’s all God gave me. What are you knitting? What do you think? How do you know? I went to the doctor. He said
I cant know yet but I’m sure. I’m sure she is. She’s tricked you,
my poor boy. Be quiet. No one’s tricked anyone.
It’s one of those things. Anyway I hate people whispering about
her. We’ll deal with this fast.End of chapter. A little perseverance
and I’ll sign my name Montecciari.Look, I’ve some work for you. Josette, Henry lV’s wife, gave it to me. You’re really going to be married? I knew it. I prayed in church. It’s beautiful. Worth a lot of money. Make it tight, with lots of lace
and trimmings, like a Marilyn dress. He looks such a kind boy. So serious and such a good worker. And so handsome too. Yes, Italians aren’t bad. Describe yours. – I don’t know what you mean.
– Yes you do. Tall. Dark. With a black moustache. What else? Come on, tell me.What more can I say than I’ve said
hundred times before…when you’ve badgered me
with your questions?It was November, 1955.A Saturday, in the middle of
the day.There were three of them. One was
Italian.There was a fork before Arrame and
sometimes motorists missed the road.Otherwise no-one came our way.We’ve lost our way. Is Arrame far? Go back to the fork. Take the road along by the river. That’s a fine rabbit. It’s nice and quiet here.I was alone.Every other Saturday, Gabriel visited
his sister.But she refused to see me.I was shy then. More so than now,
but not easily scared.I’d had that knocked out of me
in the war.But I was on edge all day…as if something inside me knew
they’d be back.When they come, I thought
“No, it’s not true”.But I knew it was true. That was my life!Here are your clean clothes. Shall I cook carrots or courgettes?My sister is a nitwit. A good woman
but a nitwit.She shouts though she knows
I can’t hear.The child doesn’t shout. She speaks
slowly so I understand.What was your brother-in-law like? Poor Lello? Irritable. But kind hearted. A real Italian.She gets on well with Mickey and
especially Bou-Bou.I’m sure she bought him that sweater
he wore last Sunday.She said nothing to the others but
I don’t miss much.I’ll win, dammit!Only my sister dislikes her. She
thinks her insincere and giddy.She’s a bad lot. The child is unhappy. Life can’t have been easy. But she’d rather show her bottom
than her true feelings. You were so stuck up as a girl. And guess what she calls you. I know “Broken Hi-fi”
She told me. Did she ask you who brought the barrel
organ back after Lello pawned it? I can’t hear. She asked who brought
the barrel organ back. I cant hear.I remember who it was.Lebalech and his brother-in-law.You weren’t there when they came. It was the day the tractor crushed
Massigne. You’d gone to the wake. So there!Leballech and his brother-in-law.
That was fifty-five or fifty-six.No, fifty-five. In November.The men had a drink together,
here in the kitchen.Florimond was just a boy then,
always at his father’s side.I knew Leballech by sight. He drove
for Ferrold’s like Mickey does now.I didn’t know the brother-in-law.
He said he was from Digne.I was worried that the boy wasn’t
in bed. It was past midnight.Strange how clearly I remember
that time…but not those marvellous days
with my husband before the war.In the summer we rented a cottage
at Susset-les-Pins.The garden was full of oleanders.I remember the gramophone and my
favourite record ”The Barge Sails On…“Thinking of nothing the current
runs on…making wanderers of us all”I don’t remember the singer.Yes, I do Lys Gauy.I don’t remember the gramophone.But there was a dog on the label.It’s on the tip of my tongue.Oh God, I can’t remember the make.His Master’s Voice. The dog is His Master’s Voice. Everyone
knows that. You’re going daft. You’re wicked! Yes, you’re very wicked. I love you best in this house but
you’re losing your memory. Don’t let them know. Ask me. I’m not wicked. I’m going daft too. You understand?That afternoon she went to town to get
her birth certificate for the wedding.When she came back, she’d changed.Her eyes weren’t made up any more.
She was sad.Worse than that.Can I see your birth certificate? Mind your own bloody business! Coming for a swim? Let me see it. Be a good girl.She was born on the tenth of July,
nineteen fifty-six.She’d be twenty in few days.Her name was Eliane Manuela Herta
Wieck.Her mother, Paula Manuela Wieck
was a naturalised French citizen.Her father was unknown.You’ve your mother’s name. Do you mind? Just explain. There’s nothing to explain. Don’t go away. I’m on your side.I had to wait two or three days to
be alone with her again.Curiosity gets worse with age.I want to speak to you. Come here She was off to see her old teacher,
Mlle Dieu on the bus.I know she’ll tell me to leave
her hair alone.I won’t mess up your hair. All right, you won’t mess it up. What did you want to say? Want to know about that organ? Delivered eight months before
you were born. I’m not as stupid as you imagine.
I’ve plenty of time to think. Go on, ask me. Ask what? Who brought the organ back?
I couldn’t care less. No use asking my sister. She wasn’t
there. But I was. Nobody else but me
can tell you. I don’t want to know. I want to marry Pin-Pon. That’s all! Silly ass. I know you’re there. His name is Leballech. He was with his brother-in-law.
Do you hear me? He drove a lorry for Ferraldo,
Mickey’s boss When you see Pin-Pon, tell him I’m
having supper with my teacher. I’ll tell him. Leballech left to go and work for
himself. He has a sawmill on the Coustelet
road. – And his brother-in-law?
– Name of Touret. Works in Carpentras. Your father sent you? He can’t move. He knew Leballech? It’s odd. The Holy Family – I mean my
future mother-in-law – knew him. He brought back their barrel organ once. You remember? November fifty-five. There we are Saturday the nineteenth
Leballech. Timber for Bonnet, fencing for Poncet,
Arrame. Barrel organ, Montecciari. And below… lorry out all night. Leballech warned.There were so many cars in Carpentras
and I’d such a headache.Can I help? M. Touret? He’s out with a client but he shouldn’t
be long. I’ve been transferred from Nice I’m
a teacher. I need a furnished flat. Nothing too
dean This is just the thing Rue de L’Hubac,
fourth floor. – This young lady wants a flat.
– Thank you, Suzy.I wish he were dead and rotting
already.It’s fine. Just what I want. But eight hundred francs a month is
an awful lot.If this were the cinema not an eye
would be dry.I’m sorry but I can’t make up my mind.
Tonight I’ll think it over. But of course. Ring when you’ve decided. Then we can meet again. – Dad’s in his office
– ThanksLaugh while you’ve still the chance.Sorry to bother you, but I may rent
a flat from your brother-in-law. I’m a teacher. How much would you charge for
a bookcase? Just shelves for my books. I’m not a carpenter. I could maybe let
you have some wood but that’s all. I’ll give you a name. Say I sent you and they won’t rook you. I may not take the flat after all.
It’s really too dear for me. Do you know how much a teacher
earns? Less than nothing. Try bargaining with him. I know where that would get me.
I’m not stupid. He undresses you with a glance. Have I offended you? The less I hear of my brother-in-law,
the better pleased I am. – How old are you?
– Twenty. My name is Jeanne. And you’re a teacher? Make my shelves and you’ll see. – See you.
– I hope so.If he’s still standing there when
I turn round, he’s had it.As sure as I’m alive I’ll have
his soul.My teacher had been waiting an age.A budgie-fancier would have
put her in a cage.Well, we are all dressed up! Why did you keep me hanging about? Did you dress up for me?
It’s quite amazing. Let’s go I’m hungry. How much does a teacher earn? Enough to buy you a present. That’s not why I asked. Do I look like a teacher? You look like no one else. Do you remember I once had tests
done in Nice? A bloody counsellor typed a report… saying I was unfeeling, antisocial
and perverse. Do you think that’s true? No, I wrote and said so. I am not unfeeling. And you’ve done
worse than that. On my certificate last week, you wrote
‘father unknown… You’re the village clerk, you could
easily… have written Gabriel Devigne,
couldn’t you? For me! You know what you are? An idiot. Calm down. What about your napkin? But I never smoke. Except to annoy. But it’s very pretty. There’s a card in the box. Leave it. ‘Let me be your flame… Terribly trite but I found it touching
too. I’ll give you a better kiss in the car
later. I love seeing her blush. – What are you thinking about?
– You. What’s so funny about me? You put a bra on under your blouse. I’d see you didn’t at home. Give me a birthday treat. Go and take it off in the toilet. Don’t be crazy. People will see. Please. I warn you I’m going to do it. I did it. Next time, show your behind. I always repay what I owe, for good
or ill. Then I’m quits. She kissed amazingly well. Are you angry? I rang Mlle Dieu at seven.
She wasn’t in. She took me out for my birthday. She gave me a lighter. She did you proud. – Is that yours?
– My father’s. Are you a good shot? He was better. Would you use it if someone hurt me? Who’d want to do that? I don’t know.He’s very quiet up there.
Maybe he seeps all day.Or he’s not shouting at me
because I’m twenty.Mother, I want to ask you something.
Don’t be cross. Am I generally cross? How was he when you knew him
in Germany? He was lost. He was hungry,
like we all were. We were fleeing. What do you want
me to say? I don’t know just what he was like. You saw at once he was French. He looked as if he’d been punished
for something he hadn’t done. Lower, so the best man can take it off. That’ll amuse Mickey. And later? November fifty-five. When he came back from visiting
his beastly sister. What did he do? I knew you’d get back to that. I warn you I’ll break everything.
Windows, crockery the lot. – I’ve told you a hundred times.
– Make it a hundred and one. Why didn’t he go to the police? I stopped him. You didn’t recognise any of them? No, they weren’t from round here. Do nothing. Don’t tell anyone. I’m a foreigner. They’ll laugh at you. I’ll find them myself. Kill them with my own hands. But I knew he wouldn’t. He was a mouse of a man.
And miserly with it. He was always good to me. Yes, that’s true. He was different
with you. Leave the dress alone. The truth is you didn’t love him.
So he didn’t care. If it turns out you were having it off
behind his back… I’ve never looked at another man. Ask him, if you don’t believe me. But you’re right. I didn’t love him
enough. Not to sacrifice everything. We’ll have to find a midwife who’ll
do it. I’ll ask my sister. I agree with the doctor. Whoever
made it, the child is mine. If you want, I’ll go away. Listen, Gabriel even the man himself
doesn’t know. For us, it’s as if he’s dead. Dead! Would I be taking like this
if he were dead? But all three are alive and kicking. And all I seem to be good for is
cleaning up the mess they made. Do as you like, but I’ll never accept
the child as mine. You should have left me where I was. I didn’t ask to be born. And he’d still be walking. Sure you’re not too hot like that? What would you suggest? Armour?As usual, I got over it. I had a bit
of a headache, that’s all.Climb on my back. I know where to find some trout. As Cognata said, they were good times.
I didn’t know they were ‘before’. How I wish it was now. What do you say to some glasses? Won’t that be nice? That’s rubbish, just for the Social
Security. I’ll explain. It’s because of the war. Mummy was German. But that it makes no difference to us. You understand?When We done it, I’M go and say…“Dad, they’re dead. We’ll both get
better now”.I mustn’t stay here.These shoe’s are hopeless. Damn!He was always my dad.He didn’t touch me. It was me that
saw evil everywhere.Be careful, you’ll have your hand off! That was a big one. Come down, that’s enough now. What a girl. I could eat you. What is it? Don’t touch me…His silence proves he thought of me
as his daughter.“He’d fallen from a tree”. Full stop.The doctor might not have believed it
but no one could budge him.It took me three bends to catch up
with you. I’m racing at Manosque tomorrow.
I’ll come in last. Unless I add a motor. How many kilometres today? I’ll tell Pin-Pon a hundred. But really it was fifty. And I drank three cans of beer. Got any cigarettes? Pin-Pon says I’m a daft brush. You’re allasbad as each other. A first-class brush. What are you thinking about? There’s one race I can win. It’s in Carpentras in July. The week after your wedding. At Carpentras? Three tours of the town with a bonus
each time. What’s the prize? A medal and a bike Pin-Pon will flog
for fifty francs. Oh, I’d like you to win. There we were notsaying aword…and for no reason I began glooming
about Pin-Pon, Bou-Bou and Cognata.Sunsets are such sad things. Look who’s coming!Three little notes of music.Locked in the attic…in the house of souvenirs.But they never cease to play,
turn the page though you may.Then one day without warning…you find they are calling.You’d prefer to forget…their notes of regret…from that summer you met.But you will never forget…the notes that you heard…and the girl that you met.Where’s the best man? Who’d have thought it? That wasn’t very manly. It’s a wonderful day.The sun, the music, everyone laughing,
it was all wonderful.I started laughing to myself. To think
it was my wedding. I was married.Nothing around me seemed real.Not even the home I’d always known.I’ll get you another.It was then I started looking for Elle.But nobody knew where she was.Have you seen Elle? She was in the house just now. I’ve already lost my wife. – Mickey, are you there?
– No, go away.There was Mickey with Georgette
losing his next raceHave you seen your daughter? She’s not with you? Is something wrong? – Are you looking for Eliane?
– Have you seen her?I disliked Eliane’s teacher on sight
don’t ask me why.There’s no point explaining now.What happened was as much my fault
as hers.This is a wedding, not a funeral. Plenty of time later for regrets. Where’s the bride? Gone in to rest.I danced and forced myself
to join in the fun.At seven, she still wasn’t back.Mickey and I went to look for her
in the village.Brochard, have you seen Elle? I last saw her coming out of church
on your arm. And very nice you looked. Let’s try her mother’s. It costs nothing
to look.A nurse was looking after M. Devigne.I’ve a good reputation. What happened? She wanted to see her father. But he didn’t want to see her.
He was shouting like a madman. But she went up all the same. Don’t look at me! Please, please. I did nothing. I meant no harm. Let go of me, you old whore!They stayed like that a long time.Go along, Eliane, and find your mother. I want your mother. You’ll see. For both of us it’ll be like before. I’m sure it will. You shouldn’t believe everything women
say. They always exaggerate. He must be crazy. Shut up in his room all day. She moved in with you, so he decided
never to see her again. Imagine how you’d feel. Is that all you can say? Don’t you want to win at Carpentras? She’s hiding somewhere. You know what
she’s like, she’s only a kid. Maybe she’s back. Don’t be angry with her.
It’s not her fault.I had a lump in my throat, like I had
as a boy when I wanted to howl.We still have to eat. I hoped to find you alone. I thought they’d have left. We’ll call you Hope in future. Damn you all! What did you say to her? That I was looking forward to my wedding
night but the rest was a farce.She was too free too wild.The more I asked her questions,
the more annoying I was.A stupid husband.Your turnIn one way I was right.From the 17th to the 26th.That’s how long our marriage lasted
but nothing else turned out…as I thought.On Wednesday when I came home for
lunch she was missing.No idea where she went? You asked her? What did she say? The girl must go out sometimes. I expect
she’s sunbathing. No, she was wearing her red dress
and had a handbag. Do you know anything? We aren’t going to steal your plate.
You’ll choke one of these days. You’re going back to the garage? What will they think? Let them think what they like. You aren’t a teacher, are you? What do you do? Nothing. Why did you come to Carpentras? It was just chance really. But I’m glad I came.This time he made up his mind.He put his tongue in my mouth and I’d
have vomited…but for the vow I’d made to kill
them both.He wasn’t interested in my state
of mind, the bastard.Not here. Will you take my brother in law’s flat? I’d forgotten about it.If you like, I’ll take it.There’s no need. It’s just a little something. Right, I’ll go to the agent’s. I’ll meet you tonight. I can’t manage tonight. I’ve things to do in Nice. But I’ll ring
directly I’m back. I promise. Be nice. I’m dying for it too. Call me a taxi.Off I went for the keys.I scoured the shops for the right togs.Come in quick. You mustn’t be seen. What are you doing in a place like this? If you were found here, it’d be
a catastrophe. But you asked me. Don’t speak so loud. Listen. Some things I can only tell to you. I can’t tell my mother or even Pin-Pon. Promise you won’t tell anyone.
Swear it. I swear, but what is it? Listen. Last summer when we lived in Arrame. I used to go up into the hills
to sunbathe. One day, I was on my own when
two men… well, they grabbed hold of me. I was too scared to tell anyone. Later, they came to the house and
I was even more scared. So I went with them to the woods. Of your own accord? You don’t know what they were like. They threatened to beat me up,
and my mother too. I hoped, once I’d married, they’d stop. But no. They came to the village
on my wedding day. They made me. So you see why they rented me this flat? To receive men, to be a prostitute.She cried so much…we nearly drowned.If anything happens, see Pin-Pon gets
this. It gives their names and addresses. The flat keys will always be
in the letter box. It’s not for you. Only Pin-Pon must know.
Remember that. If one day you have to tell him. Say what hurt me the most… was what they did to me on
our wedding day. Don’t torture yourself. – What are you saying?
– There’s no need to shout. Where’s her knitting now? Hit me and I’ll leave. Tell me. Where have you been? Go ahead, hit me. I’ve lost a heel. I went to town to look at the shops
and I missed the last bus. Where’s your shopping then? I didn’t need anything. I was just
looking. Between your mother and aunt,
life’s not much fun. Button your dress. Must you show
yourself to everyone? Come on. I’m fed up with the dress too. I Won’t
wear it any more. Is it my cooking you dislike? How did you guess? I prefer my mother’s. When you’re expecting, you have to eat. You don’t knit much these days. Have you lost your tongue? I’ve put on two kilos since I came here. Then I’m scolded for not eating.What annoyed me most was that she
took me for a fool – and I was.Catch. Your mother can use it
for polishing. So this baby was pure invention? I’m speaking to you. Yes, you were saying? Pure invention. Admit it!I don’t know what I said…
that I wanted an answer…that we could have married anyway.There, there, my dear, it’s all over.
Calm down. You were always the calm one.
I didn’t recognise you. You even hit her on the breast. – He wasn’t in control.
– Exactly.That night I was called to
a forest fire near Grasse.For the first time that summer
I was good to leave home.It was two days before I got back.I won’t be much good for a bit. Careful! It hurts. How was it? It’s still burning on a wide front. We saw it on TV. It’s too bad. I’ll have a shower and go to bed. I don’t mind if you have a baby now
or later. But I can’t bear you lying. I’ve the feeling you’re hiding something
from me and it makes me furious. If I am, it’s not what you think. I love you. Go to your fires till the cows come
home, I’ll still be faithful. It’s true. So what’s the secret? If I ever tell it, it will be to you. I swear.Arabedian, Tarrazzi and Montecciari
are in the lead at the sprint.Mickey was winning all the sprints.He kept just behind Tarrazzi till
the last moment.Then shot past him.He’s going to win!Then Mickey dropped back.And I lost Elle in the crowd.Explain yourself. What do you want? I saw my old boss. You’re the Devigne girl from Arrame. You’ve married a Montecciari. So what? I’ll tell you one thing about that night
at your parents’. My brother-in law and I weren’t involved. You didn’t deliver the piano to
the Montecciari? Let me out of here. You’re going to listen. It won’t take
long.That November…I bought my sawmill. You can check.I visited Touret to sign the papers
but I had to keep it quiet.So I found two mates to do my
deliveries.It was after eleven when they came back.Do you know what time it is? We got stuck.The one, Pamier, got a job in Avignon.Fiero, the Italian, became manager
of a bar in Marseilles.I only knew the other one by sight.
A hooligan called Rostolan.Get the hell out of here. Piss off! And they didn’t even deliver the organ. It’ll only take half an hour. So that’s what we did. Don’t believe me? My head’s not just something to put
a hat on. – Why would I lie?
– Yes, why? If you weren’t there, how did you know
the van stopped at my parents’? Because I’ve had trouble before. Ten years ago, your father came… and I told him the same thing. Who? Your father. Gabriel Devigne. Ask him yourself. I don’t believe you, you bastard.When I finally saw Elle, she seemed
to be sleepwalking.That was my very first thought.What’s the matter? Just be quiet. Don’t move.I didn’t even dare speak to her.
She was passive and remote.I didn’t even hear who won.It must be sunstroke or
something she ate at midday. What’s the matter? Paula, come up here! Shut up, you up there. Let’s leave them. Speak to me. Please speak to me. Your brother is right.
Leave her here tonight.That’s roughly what happened.Who can say what really happens?
None of us sees it all.Still bad? I’ll be back at midday. Drink up
your chocolate. I don’t feel like it. What’s this? It’s not like you to bite
your nails. Off you go now. I won’t open the door. Please let me in. I must speak to you. Are you ill? Let me come in. To tell me what? Did you know Leballech? You can’t get in. Come on now. Go away. Stop that. Leballech had nothing to do with it. You saw him?I’ll get the axe.Yes, I saw Leballech. And Touret too. When? You were nine… when I found the organ. They lied to you too. No. I already knew Leballech. Before they attacked your mother. She would have recognised him. But what do you want? To find out
which of the bastards.. Was your father? No. You’re my father. Why did you say that? You knew where they were and
who they were! Why didn’t you say? And have my head cut off? Come closer. Do you remember the day I went to see
my sister in Puget?I didn’t go to my sister’s.I’ll be back on the seven o’clock bus.Fiero was in July in Marseilles.– Sorry, we’re closing.
– Just a brandy. No, it’s late.Pamier was three weeks later
in Avignon.ls someone there?Rostollan was in September,
again in Marseilles.Did you call for a cab? You’ve brought me to an odd spot. Where’s it to? You can tell the police. I don’t care any more. I’m finished. I did it for you. For you, I’d have done anything. In the cellar in the lining of
my jacket. Go and look.If they were dead…I thought it would be like before.But they’ve been dead a long time
And nothing has come right.I hear you were ill yesterday. Feeling better? Won’t you come in for a moment? Where are you going?What was I doing just now?And this morning?And yesterday?It just be another of those bad dreams.I know when I’m myself and that’s now.I’m not crazy.Pin-Pon looking for his wife again. You’ve not seen her? Not on the bus? I suppose you think this is funny. Of course not, Pin-Pon. Don’t call me that. Do you boast about her? You’re wrong. Idiot! He’s knocked his teeth out.
Call the police! No, he can’t help it. She’s been found. In a hospital in Carpentras. Her teacher
is on the telephone. He’s knocked out two of Massigne’s
teeth. Teach him to keep his mouth shut. I can’t speak on the ‘phone.
They’ve done terrible things to her. Who have? Explain. They won’t let you see her today. What’s wrong with her? She doesn’t know who she is.
She says she’s Eliane Devigne.She lives in Arrame and
she’s nine years old.I’ll be rightover. Go and change first. What for? I’ll take the car. What are you going to do? A visitor for you, Eliane. He knows you. This gentleman knows your father. He’s brought you some lovely flowers. Is there anything I can bring you? I’d like my gold heart and my glasses. And I’d like… Yes. What would you like? The gentleman is going to bring
your father here. By car. Very soon. I’d love that. That’ll be lovely. It’s time we left. Come along, I warned you.
Be sensible. She won’t be like that for ever. She can’t be. She’s only twenty. There’s still hope. I must explain. Your wife has been mentally unbalanced
for a long time. A neurosis has built up over the years. And, following some terrible emotional