Monday, 5 March 2012

"Belle Famille," - by Arthur Dreyfus - Chapter 29

Résumé of chapter 29, with thanks to Frencheuropean

Sometimes, just for a moment, Laurence would find herself believing that Madec had really disappeared and was alive.

Less than two weeks after the Pope's appeal, the donations reach over three million Euros. Stéphane insisted on engaging a professional accountant. Indeed, as "people make mistakes", he doesn't want to be chased by the taxman when he goes back to France.

Forty days have gone by in which Andreotti has devoted all of his time to a child he never knew. One day, he even imagined:

"If she had never existed? This would make great theatre. (à la Pirandello) He suddenly feels weary, thinking about the hundreds of cases that have passed through his hands during his career. And if he had a child with his friend Venezia?"

Then he receives a call from the prison governor: Ron Murdoch wishes to speak to him urgently.

Tony decided to pour almost all of the money in the fund into various private detective agencies "who often have means at their disposal which are better than those of the police". Four are chosen, "one of them being the prestigious Control Risks Group, which had investigated the death of Lady Di."

Tony also wants to use psychics to find Madec. But not a simple psychic, a total service that will pull out all the stops: "crystal ball reading, read the tea leaves, tarot, drawing the cards, dowsing, telekinesis, hypnosis - and even the drawing of blood. It was a serious programme."

Stéphane can't get over the exorbitant amounts demanded. Sure, it is boring to have to
be forever repeating the same things, but at least , "these were obliging people and they wore made-to-measure suits."

Since his violent argument with Laurence, he wakes with a start each night, next to the sleeping Laurence, crying out: "I have killed her!".

He remembers his childhood in a family that was wealthy and cold and of that fatal day when the car driven by his father's personal chauffeur was involved in the accident that caused his scar.

The driver, distracted by a pretty redhead on a pavement in Pigalle, had run a red light.

At the hospital, he looked at himself in the mirror:

"At the sight of his face which had been torn and sewn back together, Stéphane had made two decisions: to never again go to Pigalle; to become a surgeon."

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