Sunday, 22 January 2012

"Belle Famille," - by Arthur Dreyfus - Chapter 13

Résumé of chapter 13 from the original French by Frencheuropean.

Her friends ask her if the cucumbers calmed Madec. Without thinking, she answers, "Yes," and then corrects herself immediately: "He was sleeping when I went in." She thinks that Madec is somewhat like an unreal death at the cinema. When they get back to the chalet, the door is half-open and the light is on. Not finding Madec, the father says he is going to have a look around outside because he wouldn't be surprised if the child was wandering in the middle of the night. He asks his wife to drive round in the car while he goes to the swimming pool and the beach. He goes out, double locking the door.

Laurence drives mechanically towards the place where the body is hidden. She feels ill when she realises that it's really Madec's body. She takes it in the boot of her car. She drives along the cliff road, overhanging the sea, and pulls onto the verge, where a rough path, forbidden to the public, opens into the void. She drops the body, which falls into the crashing waves.

She starts to sneeze and is relieved to find a handkerchief in her pocket. It's creased, "but still clean."

Ron Murdoch, who has been out for a walk to relax, recognises her at the wheel of the car as she returns.

Meanwhile, the father and the security guard have contacted the police.

Laurence goes to the kitchen and she see the scorpion on the floor. And suddenly, she realises that it wasn't a simple accident, but that "she had killed her son," She collapses onto to the floor in a violent fit of hysteria, the suddenness of which, her husband does not understand.

She hears the police arriving, questioning her husband. She is going to be interrogated.

She thought about Antonin and Vladimir, How much she loved them.

For them, she makes a decision.

That decision is comprised of three words, which she speaks in a low voice, for the very first time.

"Madec has disappeared."