Friday, 27 January 2012

"Belle Famille," - by Arthur Dreyfus - Chapter 15

Résumé of chapter 15 - from original French by Frencheuropean.

Two days have gone by. Searches have turned up nothing: no one saw anything.

German Shepherd dogs were deployed on the ground, to the great consternation of Laurence, but since it had rained, they found no traces. They couldn't search the chalet, which Laurence had surreptitiously locked from the inside. She had scrubbed the floor and the skirting boards in the kitchen with bleach again.

The Josserands were only told the day after the disappearance. Sylviane and Laurence agree, with some regret, that a holiday is now out of the question. Sylviane suggests taking the boys back. Laurence reckons that the boys are a handicap for her. When they are around, she has to be strong, but when she is strong, she cannot cry. For the media, she has to be able to cry: "truth shines through the tears." And then, with their departure, the Josserands are also one less burden.

The site manager, who is worried about the upheaval caused by the disappearance and the consequences for the customers, is curtly sent packing by Laurence. Laurence then discovers, within herself, an unknown strength: "that which mothers gain during their pregnancy."

A regional newspaper, "France West," tries to contact them by telephone. Stéphane is quite flattered but he is brought into line by Laurence who tells him that it's enough with the police, that "it's a case of abduction," and that they are not going to recount their life for the tabloids.

To herself, however, she imagines the front page of the newspaper, the photos. She hears herself saying: "I insist that the faces of my other two children are blurred," The small world of Granville seemed suddenly quite shabby to her.

"For Madec, Laurence was seeing bigger things."

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