Castle To Castle Part 2

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I have heard it suggested that Celine may live on far longer in English than in French-for technical rather than political reasons. The argument goes that Celine's gutter French was so specialized as to time and place that gobs of it are incomprehensible to Frenchmen.

Those who have translated it into English, however, have used more durable crudities, which will be clear enough still in, God willing, one hundred years.

As I say, this is not my idea. I heard it somewhere. I pass iton. If it turns out to be true, it seems that simple literary justice would eventually require that his translators be acknowledged as coauthors of Celine. Translation is that important.

There is at least one significant document by Celine that is out of print in English. And it would be more punctilious of me to say that it was written not by Celine but by Dr. Destouches. It is the doctoral thesis of Destouches, "The Life and Work of Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis," for which he received a bronze medal in 1924. It was written at a time when theses in medicine could still be beautifully literary, since ignorance about diseases and the human body still required that medicine be an art.

And young Destouches, in a spirit of hero-worship, told of the futile and scientifically sound battle fought by an Hungarian physician named Semmelweis (1818-1865) to prevent the spread of childbed fever in Viennese hospital maternity wards. The victims were poor people, since persons with decent sorts of dwellings much preferred to give birth at home.



The mortality rate in some wards was sensational-25 percent or more. Semmelweis reasoned that the mothers were being killed by medical students, who often came into the wards immediately after having dissected corpses riddled with the disease. He was able to prove this by having the students wash their hands in soap and water before touching a woman in labor. The mortality rate dropped.

The jealousy and ignorance of Semmelweis's colleagues, however, caused him to be fired, and the mortality rate went up again.

The lesson Destouches learned from this true story, in my opinion, if he hadn't already learned it from an impoverished childhood and a stretch in the army, is that vanity rather than wisdom determines how the world is run.

-Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Frankly, just between you and me, I'm ending up even worse than I started . . . Yes, my beginnings weren't so hot . . . I was born, I repeat, in Courbevoie, Seine . . . I'm repeating it for the thousandth time . . . after a great many round trips I'm ending very badly . . . old age, you'll say . . . yes, old age, that's a fact . . . at sixty-three and then some, it's hard to break in again . . . to build up a new practice . . . no matter where . . . I forgot to tell you . . . I'm a doctor . . . A medical practice, confidentially, between you and me, isn't just a question of knowing your job and doing it properly . . . what really counts . . . more than anything else . . . is personal charm . . . personal charm after sixty? . . . there might still be a future for you in the wax works, or as an antique vase in a museum . . . a few old fogies in search of enigmas might still take an interest . . . but the ladies? Your dapper graybeard, painted, perfumed, and lacquered? Doctor or not, practice or no practice, the old scarecrow will stick in people's craw . . . If he's loaded? . . . well, maybe . . . hmm, hmm. . . . he'll be barely tolerated . . . but a white-haired pauper? . . . take him away. Just listen to the ladies, on any street corner, in any shop . . . talking about some young colleague . . . "Oh, Madame, oh, Madame, that doctor, what eyes . . . he understood my case at a glance . . . and those drops he prescribed . . . noon and night . . . those miraculous drops . . . why, that young doctor's a wonder . . ." Then wait and see what they have to say about you: "Crabby, toothless, ignorant, hunchbacked, always hawking and spitting . . ." you're cooked . . . the ladies' chit-chat rules the country . . . the men bat out laws, the ladies attend to the serious business: public opinion . . . or a medical practice is made by the ladies. . . you haven't got them behind you? . . . go drown yourself . . . the ladies in your neighborhood are feebleminded, they're blithering idiots? . . . perfect! The stupider, the more bigoted, the more chronically asinine they are, the better they rule! . . . you can put your shingle away, and all the rest . . . The rest? Everything was stolen from me in Montmartre . . . everything . . . on the rue Girardon . . . I repeat . . . I can't repeat it enough . . . people pretend not to hear . . . the exact things they need to hear . . . though I've said it plainly enough . . . the works! . . . Somebody, liberators, avengers, broke into my place and carried everything off to the Flea Market . . . they sold it all . . . I'm not exaggerating, I've got proof, witnesses, names . . . all my books and instruments, my furniture, my manuscripts . . . the whole shebang . . . I didn't find one thing . . . not a handkerchief, not a chair . . . they'd sold even the walls . . . the apartment, everything . . . put it in all their pockets . . . and there you have it . . . Oh, I know what you think . . . it's only natural . . . I can hear you . . . that such things can never happen to you, that you've taken your precautions . . . that you're as good a Communist as any millionaire, as good a Poujadist as Poujade, as Russian as the dressing, more American than Buffalo . . . hand in glove with everything that counts, Lodge, Cell, Sacristy, the Law! . . . the champion new-style Vrenchman . . . the historical trend runs straight through your asshole . . . honorary brother? . . . certainly! . . . executioner's helper? we'll see . . . guillotine licker? . . . Oh, well!

Meanwhile I haven't even got a "Pachon" . . . I borrowed one to get rid of the pests, there's nothing like it . . . you sit them down, you take their blood pressure . . . They eat too much, drink too much, and smoke too much, so it's unusual when they don't run a maximum of 220 . . . or 230 . . . to them life is a tire . . . the only thing that worries them is their maximum . . . a blowout . . . death! . . . 250! . . . all of a sudden they're not so droll and sceptical anymore . . . you tell them about their 230 . . . and you never see them again! That look they give you as they leave . . . what hatred! . . . You're a murderer, a sadist! "Good-bye, good-bye!"

See glossary

Okay . . . at any rate I take care of them with my Pachon . . . they'd come to get a laugh out of my poverty . . . 220! . . . 230! I never see them again . . . all in all, without going into details, I'd be glad not to practice anymore . . . but I've got to survive . . . it's hell . . . until the retirement age! Or maybe . . . but there's no "maybe" about the need to economize! on everything! and right away! first the heat! . . . never more than forty degrees all last winter. Of course we're used to it . . . we've had our training all right . . . Norse training. We stuck it out up there for four winters . . . nearly five . . . at twenty below . . . in a wrecked stable . . . without heat, absolutely without heat, pigs would have died of the cold . . . take it from me! . . . we're trained! . . . the thatch blew away . . . the snow and the wind danced in that place! . . . Five years, five months of ice! . . . Lili sick, she'd been operated . . . and don't take it into your head that that icebox was free . . . not at all! . . . make no mistake . . . I paid for everything . . . I've got the bills, signed by my lawyer . . . certified by the Consulate . . . which explains why I'm so flat . . . it wasn't only the pirates of Montmartre . . . there were the pirates of the Baltic, too . . . the pirates of Montmartre wanted to bleed me till my guts ran down the rue Lepic . . . the Baltic pirates thought they'd get me with scurvy . . . so I'd leave my bones in their "Venstre" prison . . . it was touch and go . . . two years in a pit . . . seven by ten . . . then they thought of the cold . . . the blizzards of the Great Belt . . . we stuck it out! for five years! Paid for, I repeat! my savings, you can imagine . . . all my royalties . . . blown away by the blizzards . . . plus the court seizures . . . some joke! Oh, I'd kind of foreseen it all . . . a faint suspicion! . . . my suit, my one and only, dates from '34. That was my hunch! I'm not the Poujade type, I don't discover catastrophes twenty-five years later, when it's all over, dead and buried! . . . just for a laugh I'll tell you about my premonition of '34 . . . that we were headed for times that would be rough on coquetry . . . I had a tailor on the Avenue de l'Opera . . . "Make me a suit,but take care, something really long-wearing . . . Poincare, supergabardine . . . The Poincare model!"

Poincare had just launched the style, that tunic of his, a really special cut . . . I got my money's worth . . . I still have that suit . . . absolutely indestructible . . . as you can see . . . it survived Germany . . . the Germany of 1944 . . . the bombings, and what bombings! . . . and four years . . . when they were making goulash out of people . . . fires, tanks, bombs, and myriad tons of wreckage! It's faded a little, that's all! and after that all the prisons . . . and the five years on the Baltic . . . and to begin with, I'd forgotten, the clandestine life in Bezons-la-Rochelle . . . and the shipwreck at Gibraltar! I already had it . . . Nowadays they boast about "nylon" suits, "Grevin" outfits, atomic kimonos . . . I want to be shown . . . mine is right here, worn, I admit, worn to the weft . , . fourteen years of hard knocks . . . we're worn to the weft ourselves.

I don't try to look picturesque, it's not my way, I don't dress to attract attention . . . painter style . . . Van Dyck, Rembrandt . . . Vlaminck . . . not for me . . . inconspicuous, undistinguished . . . I'm a doctor . . . white smock, imitation nylon . . . neat and proper . . . indoors I look perfectly all right . . . but outside it's not so good with my Poincare outfit . . . I could buy a new suit . . . of course . . . by scrimping a little more . . . on everything else . . . I hesitate . . . I'm just like my mother . . . thrifty, thrifty! but still I have certain weaknesses . . . My mother died of a heart attack, on a bench, and of hunger too, of privation, I was in prison, in the Vesterfangsel in Denmark . . . I wasn't here when she died, I was in the death house, Section K . . . I was there for eighteen months . . . Nobody's as deaf as the people who refuse to listen . . . don't be afraid of laying it on too thick.

I'll tell you about my mother. In spite of her heart ailment, her exhaustion and hunger and everything else, she died convinced that it was only a bad moment, but that with courage and frugality we'd see the end, that everything would be the same as before, that a sou would be a sou again and a quarterof a pound of butter would be back at twenty-four centimes . . . I'm pre-1914, I admit . . . wild spending horrifies me . . . when I look at the prices, the price of a suit, for instance! . . . I know it's not for me . . . I say, only a President, a "Commissar," a Picasso, a Gallimard can afford to buy clothes! . . . the price of a "Commissar suit" would give me enough calories to subsist, to work, to look at the Seine, to visit two, three museums, to pay the telephone bill, for say at least a year . . . only crazy people buy clothes nowadays . . . potatoes, carrots, sure . . . noodles, carrots . . . I'm not complaining, we've seen worse . . . a lot worse . . . and paid for it . . . don't forget it! . . . all my royalties, the whole Journey Journey! . . . and not only my furniture and my manuscripts . . . everything's been taken from me by main force! . . . not only in Montmartre and Saint-Malo! . . . south . . . north . . . east . . . west . . . pirates everywhere! . . . Cote d'Azur or Scandinavia! . . . the same breed . . . No use trying to tell them apart . . . All they want is to put Article 75 on your ass, the master permit to skin you alive, to steal everything you've got, and sell you for stew meat.

Back to my trifling affairs . . . I was talking about menus . . . As far as I'm concerned, the less I eat, the better off I am . . . okay . . . but with Lili it's different . . . she has to eat . . . it gets me down . . . her line of work on our diet! . . . true, we have certain luxuries: the dogs . . . our dogs . . . they bark! . . . somebody at the gate? . . . some pest or murderer? . . . You loose the pack! Arf! Arf! Grrr! Grrr! He's gone. . . He's gone. . .

"But," you may ask, "where do you live, proud Artaban?"

"In Bellevue, Monsieur . . . half way up the hill, parish of Bellevue . . . You get the lay of the land? . . . the Seine valley . . . just above that factory on the island . . . I was born nearby . . . I'm repeating myself . . . You can never repeat too much for the stubborn . . . Courbevoie, Seine, Rampe du Pont . . . Some people can't stand the idea that there should be people from Courbevoie . . . my age, too, I repeat my age . . . 1894! . . . I'm repetitious? . . . doddering and repetitious? It's my right . . . People who date from the last centuryhave a right to repeat themselves . . . and hell, why not! . . . to complain . . . to think that everything is lousy and screwed-up . . . among other things, I don't mind saying, all that gluttonous, thirsty rabble that never stop talking about the Bastille and the Place du Tertre . . . All those people are from God knows where! . . . from Perigord! The Balkans! Corsica! . . . not from here! . . . You saw the great skedaddle as well as I did . . . and where did they run to, the devil take the hindmost? . . . by the millions they ran back home! And the army with them . . . back to their holes in the ground and their feed bags . . . My foster mother in Puteaux, on the Sentier des Bergeres . . . but maybe I shouldn't talk about her?

. . .Let it go!

Let's get back to Bellevue . . . to our Spartan diet . . . I wouldn't mind for myself . . . my trouble is my head . . . the less I eat, the better . . . true, I teeter . . . people might say: the man's drunk . . . they do . . . My advice to you . . . Get people to think you're a drunken no-good lush . . . slightly cracked . . . with a bit of the jailbird thrown in . . . You're despised? . . . You get used to it . . . Anyway, I'm getting on, the less I eat, the better off I am . . . but Lili isn't old, she has her dancing lessons to give . . . they don't bring in very much! . . . no heat . . . she does the best she can . . . so do I . . . well, let's not burst into tears, but it's no go . . . To be perfectly frank and honest about it . . . we have a much harder life than the poorest workman down below at Dreyfus's . . . "When I think of what they've got . . . social security! Yes, Madame! insurance, vacations . . . a whole month of vacation . . . Maybe I should picket Dreyfus's? . . . tell them I'm mistreated? That I don't even get a sweepers wages? they wouldn't understand . . . a sweeper at Dreyfus's! social security, vacation, insurance! If I were from Dreyfus's rock-pile, I'd be respected . . . but Gaston's rock-pile, they'd only laugh! . . . I've only got one privilege . . . because I crusaded for the Vrench, I'm entitled to posters all over the walls, calling me the king of traitors, accusing me of cutting Jews in little pieces, of selling the Maginot Line, Indochina, and Sicily . . . Oh, I have no illusions . . . they don't believea word of their horror stories, but one thing is sure . . . they'll hound me to my dying day . . . I'll always be the whipping-boy of the left-wing racists! the raw material of propaganda . . .

But let's get back to serious things . . . I was talking about the winter in Bellevue . . . the cold . . . . don't make me laugh . . . I hear people griping . . . I'd like to see them for two minutes under Scandinavian conditions . . . in the Baltic winds, with holes in the roof and the thatch blowing away . . . and twenty below . . . not for a weekend, for five years, Madame! partly in a cell . . . I'd like to see Loukoum cracking the Baltic pack ice . . . Or Achille, for instance, and his gang . . . oh, oh! . . . But first of all, give those birds two years of stir at the Venstre, and Article 75 on their ass . . . I can see the look on their faces . . . it would do them a world of good . . . you could stand to look at them and shake their hands . . . they'd finally get to know something else beside words . . .

I was talking about the island down below . . . there are certain things that need saying . . . things that interest old men . . . they haven't very many seventy-five percent disability cases down there, or men who enlisted in 1912 . . . I'm not finding fault, only saying what's what . . . If I'd been a bit of a drunk from the start, beginning in public school for instance, I'd never have had any trouble, I'd be a sweeper at Dreyfus's now . . . with fringe benefits, security, status . . .

Let's talk about medicine . . . a few patients still come around . . . I won't deny it . . . I can never boast of having no patients at all . . . no! they come around from time to time . . . fine . . . I examine them . . . no worse than other doctors . . . no better . . . I'm friendly, oh, very friendly! and extremely conscientious! . . . never a phony diagnosis . . . never a capricious treatment, in thirty-five years never a risky prescription . . . thirty-five years is a long time when you come to think of it . . . it's not that I don't keep abreast of developments . . . I do, I do . . . I read all the prospectuses from start to finish . . . five, six pounds a week . . . I throw them all in the fire . . . Nobody's going to accuse me of "irresponsible medication" . . . once you stray from the old Pharmacopia . . . suffering catfish! . . . where do you think you'll end up? . . . In the criminal courts . . . the Tenth Chamber? . . . Buchenwald? Siberia? . . . No, thank you . . . nobody's going to put me on trial as a cabalist, as a dangerous alchemist. I've got nothing on my conscience. Except one little thing . . . that I never ask for money! I simply can't hold out my hand . . . not even for the Social Security . . . not even for my war pension . . . and I'll never change . . . idiotic pride! And what about the grocer? . . . for noodles? for a package of zwieback? . . . and the coal? . . . or even tap water? . . . I've hurt my reputation more by never taking a cent from my patients than Petiot did by cooking them in the oven! . . . I'm an aristocrat, that's all . . . an aristocrat from la Rampe du Pont . . . Mr. Schweitzer, Abbe Pierre, Juanovici, Latzareff can afford grand gestures . . . mine just look batty and shady . . . especially in a character that's just out of stir, nobody knows exactly how.

These patients I've been telling you about, the ones that still come around, they tell me all about the state of their health, the ailments that beset them . . . I listen . . . it never stops!

. . . the details, the circumstances . . . compared to what Lili and I have been through in the last twenty years . . . they're amateurs, beginners . . . and the condition it's left us in . . . tender rosebuds . . . give them a third . . . a tenth of it . . . they'd be crawling under the furniture . . . all the furniture . . . bellowing with horror the rest of their lives!

. . . Listening to their jeremiads, I can't help saying to myself, "You numbskull, how did you get yourself into such a mess? What's wrong with you?" I give up. Ask the cat . . . Thomine here that's purring away . . . brrr brrr . . . . . . brrr brrr . . . on my paper . . . she doesn't give a good goddamn about all my headaches! . . . on my paper . . . she doesn't give a good goddamn about all my headaches! brrr! brrr! brrr! brrr! the whole world is indifferent! animals! men! they want a fat man! . . . that's right! . . . as fat as Churchill, Claudel, Picasso, Bulganin all in one! posteri posteras! and the whole world is indifferent! animals! men! they want a fat man! . . . that's right! . . . as fat as Churchill, Claudel, Picasso, Bulganin all in one! posteri posteras! and brrr! brrr! brrr! brrr! you'll make it too! . . . Communist- capitalists! All champion belly builders! Coupon-clipping commissars! ghosts of 1900, but improved . . . try and tell mypatients for their own good! . . . it's always for their own good! . . . that they might try eating a little less meat . . . to go easy on their digestion! you'll see what hatred is . . . You've stepped on the toes of the gods . . . Food and Drink! no political passion can hold a candle . . . devotion, fervor! . . . an atheist of the beef-steak! an enemy of whiskey? Wipe him out. you'll make it too! . . . Communist- capitalists! All champion belly builders! Coupon-clipping commissars! ghosts of 1900, but improved . . . try and tell mypatients for their own good! . . . it's always for their own good! . . . that they might try eating a little less meat . . . to go easy on their digestion! you'll see what hatred is . . . You've stepped on the toes of the gods . . . Food and Drink! no political passion can hold a candle . . . devotion, fervor! . . . an atheist of the beef-steak! an enemy of whiskey? Wipe him out.

For my part, as I was telling you, life . . . even a very ascetic life . . . is very expensive . . . considering that nobody helps us . . . neither the town hall nor the Social Security, nor any political party, nor the police. . . . far from it . . . all the people I see get help . . . they all pimp . . . one way or another . . . more or less . . . a fat envelope . . . free premises . . . like Abbe Pierre . . . like Boileau . . . the Companions of this . . . the Companions of that . . . of the King or the Salvation Army! . . . like Schweitzer, Racine, Loukoum . . . there's always some feed bag . . . the gravy brothers . . . a penny, if you please.

It would only be funny, and no more . . . I wouldn't gripe if I hadn't been bugged so much on the subject of racism! for ten years, I'm telling you . . . ten years! too crummy to believe! they gripe about their Suez Canal? . . . if they'd dug it with their hands . . . they'd have something to complain about! what they stole from me on the rue Girardon was the work of my hands! . . . will they take it with them to Paradise? . . . maybe . . . ten years of misery, two of them in a cell . . . while they, Racine, Loukoum, Tartre, and Schweitzer were passing the hat one place or another, picking up the dough and the Nobel prizes! . . . enormous sums! stuffed, bloated like Goering, Churchill, Buddha! Superstuffed, plethoric commissars! Ten years, I say! it sticks in my craw . . . including two in the clink . . . with Article 75 on my tail! Who gives a damn? writers of my asshole! . . . nobody bats an eyelash, I can talk myself hoarse, it's as if I'd been having a "unit party" up there, as if I'd given everything I owned to the alcoholics of Montmartre on purpose! . . . and they're not fixing to put up a plaque, with the neighborhood band and a reception at the town hall, saying: "This place was robbed." Iknow those customers, what doesn't touch them personally, them and their bowels, doesn't exist! never mind! . . . I haven't forgotten a thing . . . the petty thefts or the big ones . . . or the names either . . . not a thing. Like everybody who's a little soft in the head I make up for it by my memory . . . what a laugh! . . . taking advantage of my absence . . . in the clink with Article 75 on my ass . . . to walk off with everything I owned! I've had news of my looters, I keep informed, they're doing all right! Crime has agreed with them . . . the agent Tartre, for instance! . . . down on his knees to me while the Krauts . . . idol of the Youth, Grand Sar of Blah-Blah . . . flabby chin, flabby ass, glasses, smell and all! crossbreed of Mauriac and crab-louse . . . a little of Claudel Gnome et Rhone! fragile hybrids . . . scavengers of the plague! crime pays! . . .

While we're on the subject of literature, let me tell you about Denoel . . . Denoel, who was assassinated . . . oh, he had his nasty ways . . .! There's no denying it, he sold you down the river when necessary . . . given the right time and circumstances, he tied you hand and foot, and sold you out . . . after which he was perfectly capable of changing his mind and apologizing . . . like . . . like (a hundred names) . . . but he had one saving grace . . . his passion for literature . . . he really recognized good work, he had respect for writers . . . Brottin is a horse of a different color . . . Achille Brottin is your sordid grocer, an implacable idiot . . . the only thing he can think about is his dough! more dough! stillmore! the complete millionaire! More and more flunkeys around him . . . with their tongues hanging out and their pants down . . .

Denoel the assassinated read everything . . . Brottin is like Claudel, all he reads is the financial page . . . his reading is done by the "Pin-brain-Trust": Norbert Loukoum, president . . . ah! . . . their idea of reading is to smoke, wash their feet, and play the trumpet! they decide heads or tails . . . who cares? another author more or less . . . they've got thousands and thousands in the cellar . . . toss the whole mess in the garbage? . . . the garbage collectors won't read it! . . . what do I care? . . . garbage pail! what does that make me looklike? Emptying garbage? Me with two garbage cans waiting for me . . . if I don't, who will? . . . not Brottin . . . it's my lookout . . . chin up, boy! not Loukoum! he'd sooner die . . . I've been taking the "chin up, boy" routine for going on sixty-four years . . . and it's time to do it again . . . the garbage can and "chin up, boy" . . . from my place to the road it's a good two hundred yards . . . downhill, I have to admit . . . I take them down in the dark so as not to be seen . . . I leave them on the road . . . but people walk off with them . . . I've had at least ten garbage cans swiped . . . It's not just the "Purges" . . . but this constant robbery . . . everywhere and always! Besides, toting my own garbage cans doesn't help my reputation any . . . people have stopped calling me "Doctor" . . . just plain "Monsieur" . . . pretty soon they'll be calling me "you old bum!" I'm prepared . . . a doctor without a maid, without a housekeeper, without a car, who hauls his own garbage . . . and to top it off writes books . . . and who's been in prison . . . just think it over . . .

And in the meantime, while you're thinking it over, if you'd buy one or two of my books, it would be a help . . .

Never mind about that . . . what really burns me with hatred . . . especially on this road! is the cars! . . . they never stop! stop! there you can see real madness . . . the rush to Versailles! the charge of the motorcars . . . weekdays! Sundays . . . as if gasoline were free . . . one-seaters . . . three-seaters . . . six-seaters! . . . All jam-packed, so help me! . . . where are they all going? . . . to eat, to drink, and worse! . . . more, more! . . . Businessmen's lunches . . . munch, munch . . . business trips . . . biz, biz . . . business belches, there you can see real madness . . . the rush to Versailles! the charge of the motorcars . . . weekdays! Sundays . . . as if gasoline were free . . . one-seaters . . . three-seaters . . . six-seaters! . . . All jam-packed, so help me! . . . where are they all going? . . . to eat, to drink, and worse! . . . more, more! . . . Businessmen's lunches . . . munch, munch . . . business trips . . . biz, biz . . . business belches, wrp wrp, wrp wrp, it's pitiful . . . and they've stolen three garbage cans from me! millionaires in a fury because their engines won't burst! they splash me . . . and my garbage cans . . . all the while belching canard aux navets! canard aux navets! plutocrats, Poujadists, Communists, belching and farting all over the freeway! the coalition of plutocrats, Poujadists, Communists, belching and farting all over the freeway! the coalition of canard aux navets canard aux navets. Eighty miles an hour! belching and farting harder for the peace of the world than a hundred million pedestrians! Historical duck . . . historical inns! historical menus! . . . you're so drunk when you get up fromtable (Chateau Trompette 1900) it's a pure miracle! . . . a flick of the wheel . . . if you don't demolish the whole embankment, and the maple tree and the poplar with it! not to mention your steering geer! bingo! two thousand poplars! wild expedition! autopunitive! screeching stinking brakes! . . . the whole freeway and the tunnel! . . . roaring drunk . . . passing, double-passing, plunging into the chasm! ah, the delirium, the fervor of it! . . . ah,ChateauTrompette 1900! . . . new life in your veins! . . . into the chasm! . . . new life in your veins! . . . into the chasm! Canard aux navets! Canard aux navets! . . . thirteen hundred cars bumper to bumper! Christ almighty Jesus, flesh bursting with blood, ready to roast! step on the gas! the oven opens! The Mass is ready! Not with holy water . . . with hot blood, the whole tunnel full of blood and guts . . . the rare bird who escapes will never really know whether he's killed the others or not . . . Crusade! Off to the wars! pilgrims of the accelerator! Seize the moment, crush the poplars! farting, belching, furious, drunk as lords! . . . thirteen hundred cars bumper to bumper! Christ almighty Jesus, flesh bursting with blood, ready to roast! step on the gas! the oven opens! The Mass is ready! Not with holy water . . . with hot blood, the whole tunnel full of blood and guts . . . the rare bird who escapes will never really know whether he's killed the others or not . . . Crusade! Off to the wars! pilgrims of the accelerator! Seize the moment, crush the poplars! farting, belching, furious, drunk as lords!ChateauTrompette! duckling maison! The cops look on . . . grumble . . . wave their arms . . . stir up the air! . . . From thirty miles around the faithful have come . . . to see it all! to take it in! both embankments are full of them . . . mamas, papas, aunties, babies! sadistic sheep! the abyss at eighty miles an hour, the fire-balls, the cops in despair . . . stirring the atmosphere! . . . smoking tunnel! duckling maison! The cops look on . . . grumble . . . wave their arms . . . stir up the air! . . . From thirty miles around the faithful have come . . . to see it all! to take it in! both embankments are full of them . . . mamas, papas, aunties, babies! sadistic sheep! the abyss at eighty miles an hour, the fire-balls, the cops in despair . . . stirring the atmosphere! . . . smoking tunnel!ChateauTrompette! . . . burning asphalt! . . . . . . burning asphalt! . . .

Oh, if I were rich, I tell you, or if I even had Social Security, I'd watch all this disorder, all this dilapidation of hydrocarbon, lipides, and rubber, this crusade of gasoline, duck, and super-booze, with Napoleonic calm! mamas, papas, jalopies . . . let them all be swallowed up . . . why not? Three cheers! But the trouble is . . . I haven't the wherewithal . . . can't afford it . . . that's all . . . and you're taken with resentment, bitterness, hatred . . . being splattered by those swine . . . knowing that at every stopover, every Yquem, every spin of their wheels they run through enough for us to live a month on! . . . without even smashing up! uprooting a hedge! . . . Their masochistic rage doesn't impress me! . . . hell no . . . or Loukoum's corset! or Tartre's crummy tricks . . . or Achille's googoo eyes . . . any more than Vaillant!. . . what makeshim valiant, I'd like to know? . . . who tried to murder me . . . that's right . . . he went up there with exactly that in mind! so he runs around telling all and sundry . . . he even writes about it! . . . hell! I'm here! it's not too late! let him come, I'm waiting for him. I'm always here, I never go out, I stay in especially for the latecomers . . . another spring . . . two . . . or three . . . I won't be here any more . . . it'll be too late . . . I'll have died a natural death . . .

Drinking water? . . . sure, sure . . . taste it . . . tastes like chlorine, you say? . . . might go down with plenty of wine in it . . . but straight? . . . it's a joke, but it's not funny . . . this alleged drinking water saturated with chlorine . . . it's undrinkable, I say . . . oh, there are plenty of other things to complain about . . . my situation in general . . . and anyway I bore everybody with my lamentations . . . I have my nerve . . . Achille Brottin said exactly that the other night: "Make them laugh! You used to know how. Can't you do it anymore? . . ." He was surprised. "Everybody has his little troubles! you're not the only one! . . . I've got mine too, don't worry . . . If you'd lost a hundred and thirty million on de Beers . . . forty-seven million on Suez! and listen . . . in two sessions! and fourteen million on the "Croix"-that I had to take to Geneva myself . . . at my age! crosses to the buyer . . . luckily my son helped me . . . fourteen million in 20-Swiss-franc pieces! . . . can you imagine?" I thought it over, I tried to imagine . . . Norbert imagined too . . . he was present . . . Norbert Loukoum, president of his "Pin-brain-Trust" . . . he said it was awful . . . the tears came to his eyes! . . . Achille, the poor dear old man, toting fourteen million crosses . . . conclusion: "Celine, you're washed up! . . . You owe us enormous sums of money, and you've got no more verve! . . . Aren't you ashamed of yourself?" When Loukoum says "verve" . . . his mouth is so thick and blubbery . . . what you hear is pretty funny . . . it's his age! besides, his words come out like marbles of shit . . ."cloaca diction" . . . in feeble spasms . . . Anyway, Norbert Loukoum crows in feeble spasms . . . that nobody reads my books anymore . . . he, president of the "Pin-brain-Trust"! nonentity triumphant!

Okay! . . . I know where I stand . . . they hate me . . . nothing to be surprised at . . . but what about my friends?. . .supposedly heartbroken that I can't manage to make up for it with my medicine . . . as a practitioner . . . that I ought . . . blah! . . . pure devotion . . . balls! with my intuition! my miraculous cures! . . . and blah! . . . the truth of the matter is that my old friends are mostly waiting for me to kick off . . . they all picked up a few manuscripts, papers, dibs and dabs, at the time of the great pillage . . . on stairways . . . in garbage cans . . . in safekeeping foreseeing that once I kicked off it was all bound to be valuable . . . but couldn't I kick off right away, Christ almighty! . . .

I know all that's been taken, I have the inventory in my head . . . "Casse Pipe" . . . "Volonte du Roi Krogold" . . . plus two or three rough drafts . . . not lost at all . . . not for everybody! Certainly not! And I know something else, but I don't let on . . . I listen to my friends . . . sure . . . I'm waiting for them to kick off too! Them first! They all eat a lot more than I do! just let one little arteriole burst! hope! hope! . . . and I'll meet them all in Charon's boat, enemies, friends, all with their guts around their necks! . . . Charon smashing their faces in . . . good! . . . ah, sadistic Norbert! he had it coming to him . . . Brutal! He and Achille . . . they'll be torn open from ear to ear . . . they'll have a kind of loudspeaker for their nasty remarks! each one of them! bingo! bingo! and and wham! wham! atta boy, Charon! . . . it's all set up! ah, Achille won't be thinking of his Suez stock any more! or his de Beers! or his crosses! . . . square in the face! bang! Ah, they'll look sweet in Charon's bark! and the whole "Brain Trust" with them, don't forget! . . . their mugs wide open and their eyes dangling . . . That's how Charon treats his passengers . . . won't it be comical! . . . much funnier than Renault in Fresnes! . . . When my old friends come to take a little look . . . to see if I won't be passing on soon, I get a good laugh, I see them on the Styx, and Charon tickling them! . . . atta boy, Charon! . . . it's all set up! ah, Achille won't be thinking of his Suez stock any more! or his de Beers! or his crosses! . . . square in the face! bang! Ah, they'll look sweet in Charon's bark! and the whole "Brain Trust" with them, don't forget! . . . their mugs wide open and their eyes dangling . . . That's how Charon treats his passengers . . . won't it be comical! . . . much funnier than Renault in Fresnes! . . . When my old friends come to take a little look . . . to see if I won't be passing on soon, I get a good laugh, I see them on the Styx, and Charon tickling them! . . . boom boom . . . . . . bam! bam! that's for their thieving ways! Those little faces! Oh, they're so clever! . . . Loukoum's rosebud mouth is just right for it . . . so blubbery and twisted the only sounds you can make out arevuaaa! waaa! . . . profuse buca! cloaca! . . . hell look lovely split from ear to ear! The whimsical Norbert . . . and Achille! with his lascivious googoo eye hanging behind his ear! . . . I can see it . . . or a charm on his watch chain . . . or around his neck . . . Fetching! . . . that's for their thieving ways! Those little faces! Oh, they're so clever! . . . Loukoum's rosebud mouth is just right for it . . . so blubbery and twisted the only sounds you can make out arevuaaa! waaa! . . . profuse buca! cloaca! . . . hell look lovely split from ear to ear! The whimsical Norbert . . . and Achille! with his lascivious googoo eye hanging behind his ear! . . . I can see it . . . or a charm on his watch chain . . . or around his neck . . . Fetching! . . .

Confidentially, my friends don't know a thing . . . sure! sure! . . . they rub their hands over the Renault business . . . let them! But what about the Charon business? . . . hell . . . they suspect nothing . . . they deny, they smoke, they fart . . . smug . . . sardonic . . . practically sure of living a hundred years thanks to those little pills . . . and. those Mirador super-drops . . . I may be a sap, but never mind . . . one thing I know . . . I know how Charon'll get to them . . . Boy, will they look funny in his boat! . . . Split, that's right! smash smash and and wham wham, from ear to ear . . . meanwhile they give me a pain in the ass . . . they hand me a line, they perorate, they get drunk on hot air . . . and so sure of themselves . . . their fifteen-shelf cabinets full of suppositories and drops . . . not to mention the aperitIt's! what a selection! . . . sweet ones, bitter ones! total optimism! ah! ah! . . . a dab of foie gras, a cigarette, two glasses of Mumm's . . . you wouldn't believe it . . . the roadside restaurant at home! . . . the freeway at home! . . . they think you look pale and worn! depressed, neurasthenic! and they gave you you advice . . . those diets you recommend are no good! in the first place! the living proof! their wives keep telling them to stop seeing you! that you're wrecking their stomachs, their livers, their spleens . . . that you, singlehanded, are capable of darkening all the fireworks in the world . . . with your gloom . . . that you ought to be forbidden to practice . . . because you've been in prison, and why not put you back? . . . in a way they're right . . . but I'm not wrong either . . . drooling and doddering, okay! . . . but plenty of ardor and passion about one thing . . . having them all croak before me . . . the whole lot of them! Let them wallow in steaks . . . etcetera, etcetera! until they burst . . . with all the trimmings! advice . . . those diets you recommend are no good! in the first place! the living proof! their wives keep telling them to stop seeing you! that you're wrecking their stomachs, their livers, their spleens . . . that you, singlehanded, are capable of darkening all the fireworks in the world . . . with your gloom . . . that you ought to be forbidden to practice . . . because you've been in prison, and why not put you back? . . . in a way they're right . . . but I'm not wrong either . . . drooling and doddering, okay! . . . but plenty of ardor and passion about one thing . . . having them all croak before me . . . the whole lot of them! Let them wallow in steaks . . . etcetera, etcetera! until they burst . . . with all the trimmings!

I'm only thinking, anticipating . . . the two of them . . . Achille and Loukoum . . . are still talking . . . I'd stoppedlistening . . . they repeat themselves . . . "How funny you used to be!" I agree that I was rather droll, that maybe I'd be droll again . . . with a bit of a bank account . . . like Achille, for instance . . . that's right, like Achille . . . with his "hundredth" all tucked up in the bank . . . hallelujah! or like Loukoum, his grand castrator . . . punks if there ever were, both of them . . . but situated, glory be, where the manna falls . . . honors, dividends, security! . . . "Family, Work, Country"? Shit! . . . It was a good idea to rub him out . . . Verdun, blah blah . . . I knew him with his sixteen "maps" in Siegmaringen, I know what I'm talking about.

But one fact remains . . . that my books don't sell any more . . . so they say . . . or not much . . . that I'm outmoded, senile! that's hogwash! a put-up job! . . . their idea is to buy it all up from my widow for a song! . . . sure . . . I admit it, I'm getting on! But what about Norbert? Doesn't he ever look at himself? And Achille . . . when you open the door, you've got to hold him . . . or the draft would blow him away . . . and his whole Pin-brain-Trust with him . . . they're all so doddering there's nothing else in the world . . . the only thing they understand is the way they go mmm! pfwdh! plop! mmm! pfwdh! plop! underneath! wet farts! . . . I could go underneath! wet farts! . . . I could go pfwah! plop! pfwah! plop! too! Which reminds me of Christian IV. . . . another big farter Christian IV of Denmark! all his life! . . . all he did was to fart around . . . like Brottin . . . Brottin in publishing, Christian IV in royalty . . . his tricks were the death of him! . . . like Brottin! . . . I went up there to his kingdom . . . to have a look . . . to get the feel of his prisons . . . it wasn't him any more, it was his arch-descendant Christian X, a stupid rotten double-timing Boche . . . after we got out, we lived across the way from him, in a garret: Kronprinzesssgade . . . go see if you've got the nerve to live in a street with a name like that! . . . which shows that we know something about him . . . Rosenborg Castle . . . I'll tell you about it . . . but meanwhile let's get back to my present . . . not so rosy . . . and more hard days to come . . . mostly on account of Brottin! Brottin the frantic spoiler! the stamp collecting slob! Brottin with his cellar full of Prix Goncourts . . . full of worthlessnovels . . . maybe he shits them . . . too! Which reminds me of Christian IV. . . . another big farter Christian IV of Denmark! all his life! . . . all he did was to fart around . . . like Brottin . . . Brottin in publishing, Christian IV in royalty . . . his tricks were the death of him! . . . like Brottin! . . . I went up there to his kingdom . . . to have a look . . . to get the feel of his prisons . . . it wasn't him any more, it was his arch-descendant Christian X, a stupid rotten double-timing Boche . . . after we got out, we lived across the way from him, in a garret: Kronprinzesssgade . . . go see if you've got the nerve to live in a street with a name like that! . . . which shows that we know something about him . . . Rosenborg Castle . . . I'll tell you about it . . . but meanwhile let's get back to my present . . . not so rosy . . . and more hard days to come . . . mostly on account of Brottin! Brottin the frantic spoiler! the stamp collecting slob! Brottin with his cellar full of Prix Goncourts . . . full of worthlessnovels . . . maybe he shits them . . . flop! plop! flop! plop! . . . if you find him quieter, even more googoo-eyed than usual, it means that he's pondering, cogitating, shitting his thousand and thirteenth author. The King of Publishing, so to speak! . . . if you find him quieter, even more googoo-eyed than usual, it means that he's pondering, cogitating, shitting his thousand and thirteenth author. The King of Publishing, so to speak!

Charon will wake him out of his reflections! with an oar, dear lady . . . wham! wham! . . . . . . smash! smash! . . . . . .

I apologize for talking about myself . . . I'm overdoing it . . . troubles? . . . you have your own! . . . these literary men are the limit . . . so afflicted with me-me-ism . . . and what about doctors? Just as bad! . . . and plumbers? . . . and barbers? . . . all the same . . . no modesty . . . and cabinet ministers? . . . and Abbe Pierre, the one-man movie? . . . I keep thinking of Charon . . . the way he'll knock the me-me-ism out of them! the whole crew! with his blessed oar full in the snout! wham! wham! from ear to ear! . . . you get the picture . . . their heads practically off! their eyes dangling! . . . the ferry to the other world . . . that come-on for tourists! from ear to ear! . . . you get the picture . . . their heads practically off! their eyes dangling! . . . the ferry to the other world . . . that come-on for tourists! bingo! zing! bingo! zing! . . . from ear to ear! crowds of the well-heeled rubbing shoulders with the riff-raff . . . extra-small pension holders . . . very languid . . . from ear to ear! crowds of the well-heeled rubbing shoulders with the riff-raff . . . extra-small pension holders . . . very languid dames aux camelias dames aux camelias, bearded magistrates, Olympian sportsmen, all pell-mell, getting their faces split! wham! wham! Why wouldn't I write about the Stygian Guignol instead of my own mawkish troubles? Maybe that would boost my sales? Kramp thinks so . . . Kramp who packs the bundles at Hirsch's . . . When it comes to flair and intelligence, Kramp is a little less of a dunce than Achille . . . not quite so intent on making a mess of everything . . . he has an occupation at least . . . he delivers . . . it's unusual to find a man who does something . . . Why wouldn't I write about the Stygian Guignol instead of my own mawkish troubles? Maybe that would boost my sales? Kramp thinks so . . . Kramp who packs the bundles at Hirsch's . . . When it comes to flair and intelligence, Kramp is a little less of a dunce than Achille . . . not quite so intent on making a mess of everything . . . he has an occupation at least . . . he delivers . . . it's unusual to find a man who does something . . .

No doubt about it . . . if I belonged to a Cell, a Synagogue, a Lodge, a Party, a Church, a Police Force . . . no matter which . . . if I'd come out of the folds of some "Iron Curtain" -I'd do all right! sure as shit! . . . to some Circus . . . that's how Maurois, Mauriac, Thorez, Tartre, Claudel do it . . . and the rest of them! . . . Abbe Pierre . . . Schweitzer . . . Barnum . . . I'd have nothing to be ashamed of . . . and no question of age! Nobel Prize and Grand Cross guaranteed . . . Doddering, decrepit, pissy, no matter, you're an "honorarythis and that," a party standard bearer . . . Juanovicist? okay! anything goes, you can do what you please as long as you're a fully recognized clown! as long as it's perfectly clear that you belong to a Circus . . . you don't? . . . that's bad! No tent? The ax! . . . When I think of the "tent" I had! . . . When I think that Altaian . . . who now calls me a sub-shit, an obscene mercenary monster, the disgrace of France, Montmartre, the Colonies, and the Soviets . . . went sick with ecstasy from reading the Journey Journey . . . and not in . . . and not in petto petto! not at all! but in Barbusse's "Le Monde" . . . in the days when Madame Triolette and her gastritic Larengon translated that excellent work into Russian . . . which gave me an opportunity to take a gander at their Russia! at my expense! at my expense! and not at the expense of the government like Gide and Malraux and all the rest, the deputies and so on . . . you can see I was sitting pretty! I'm putting the dots on the i's! . . . a little better than the agent Tartre! crypto of my balls . . . that blind crab-louse! one look at him is enough to send you to the hospital! I could have unseated Barbusse! . . . Palace hotels, Crimea, Security forever! The U.S.S.R. opened its arms to me . . . I really have something to laugh about . . . What's done is done, I know . . . History doesn't pass the platter twice . . . they settled for what they could get . . . Zola three times diluted . . . leavings of Bourget! unsalable crap! . . . Achille's cellars are full of it! . . . tomorrow Latzareff! . . . Madame! . . . Tintin! . . . tomorrow their servants . . . every last dishwasher . . . will have his little idea! and not at the expense of the government like Gide and Malraux and all the rest, the deputies and so on . . . you can see I was sitting pretty! I'm putting the dots on the i's! . . . a little better than the agent Tartre! crypto of my balls . . . that blind crab-louse! one look at him is enough to send you to the hospital! I could have unseated Barbusse! . . . Palace hotels, Crimea, Security forever! The U.S.S.R. opened its arms to me . . . I really have something to laugh about . . . What's done is done, I know . . . History doesn't pass the platter twice . . . they settled for what they could get . . . Zola three times diluted . . . leavings of Bourget! unsalable crap! . . . Achille's cellars are full of it! . . . tomorrow Latzareff! . . . Madame! . . . Tintin! . . . tomorrow their servants . . . every last dishwasher . . . will have his little idea!

The reception they'll get from Charon? That's the question! That's the question! . . . . . . Wham! Bam! Wham! Bam! Take it from me! Take it from me!

But back to my story . . . now and then, I've got to admit, some stubborn bastard manages to discover me in the sub-basement of some storehouse under a pyramid of returns . . . oh, I could easily get used to the idea of being the scribbler that nobody reads any more . . . rejected by pure, purified Vrance! the doctor more monstrous than Petiot! more criminal than Bougrat . . . oh, I could be perfectly happy about it . . . but there's the question of noodles . . . which defy dialectics . . . the question of cash! Loukoum, Achille, and company are secure on the noodle end . . . which accounts for their philosophical airs . . . take away their noodles, you'll hear them screech all right! With the noodles there's no reprieve. "And what about the other string to your bow?" I can hear you asking. "Medicine?" The patients shun me, that's all. I admit it . . . Out of fashion? . . . Definitely . . . I'm not up on the new drugs? . . . that's a lie . . . I get them all . . . I read all the prospectuses from A to Z . . . do my colleagues know any more? Not a thing. What more do they read? Nothing. Have I got the healer's instinct? I'm saturated with it! traversed by waves and fluids . . . with a quarter of the "new drugs" I get . . . a tenth . . . I could poison all Billancourt, Issy, etc. . . . and Vaugirard! Landru hands me a laugh . . . all the trouble he went to! . . . when it comes to "doing good," nothing escapes me! the most shattering discoveries! . . . I wouldn't be like my colleagues who let penicillin molder and rot for fifty years! a stupidity more magnificent than Suez! While I watch and wake! I can rejuvenate any nonagenarian that comes around in five seconds . . . make him twenty . . . thirty years younger . . . I've got the serum right here on my desk . . . What healer can hold a candle to me? . . . serious, guaranteed, certified, reimbursed by the Social Security! an ampul before each meal . . . make you a super-Romeo! "Relativity" in ampuls! . . . I'll make you a present of it! you drink up Time, so to speak . . . the wrinkles, the melancholia . . . the acid stomach! the hot flashes . . . What can I go into? . . . the Comedie-Francaise, young lady! Arnolphe jumping rope . . . reinvigorated! Madeleine Renaud will be Minou, Achille will go to the Luxembourg! to the puppet show! And what about the Academy? . . . Mauriac at last a choir boy . . . not bothering us any more . . . all his inhibitions exposed . . . an ampul before every meal! guaranteed by the Social Security . . .

If I were a quack, I'd do all right . . . that would be a way . . . and not a bad one . . . I'd turn my office in semi-Bellevue into a refriskyment center! . . . a "new look" Lourdes . . . Lisieux on the Seine . . . see what I mean? . . . but the catch! . . . I'm just a plain little doctor . . . Icould be a faith healer . . . I could get away with it . . . I can't . . . or a chiropracter? . . . no . . . it's no go!

I have time to meditate . . .. to mull over the pros and the cons . . . to wonder what does me the most harm . . . maybe my suit? . . . my shoes? . . . that I'm always wearing slippers? . . . my hair? The worst, I think, is not having a servant . . . and the last straw: "He writes books" . . . they don't read them, but they know . . .

I go out to meet my (rare) patients myself, I bring them in to the gate, I guide them so they won't slip (they'd sue me) in the mud, the slush . . . or the thistles . . . I run errands . . . those are the things that discredit you . . . I take out the garbage . . . myself . . . I tote the garbage can out to the road . . . you can imagine . . . how can anybody take me seriously? "Doctor, Doctor? for the child . . . tell me! Do you know about dried extract of cod heart fiber? . . . they say it's revolutionary . . . You've heard of it? and hibernation? what say? for mama's eyes."

I can say this, I can say that, who cares . . . they won't believe me anyway! Total distrust . . .

All that isn't so bad, you'll say . . . millions have died who weren't any guiltier than you . . . that's a fact! . . . believe me, I thought about it on those excursions through the city . . . escorted, super-escorted excursions . . . not once! twenty, thirty times! the whole of Copenhagen from East to West . . . in a bus with plenty of bars, full of cops with tommy guns . . . not talkative in the least . . . tourists of every kind, "common law," "politicals" . . . all on their best behavior . . . from the prison to their Court House and back, quite a ways . . . oh, I already knew the city very well, but in a bus full of cops you see the crowd with different eyes . . . That's what's lacking in Brottin, in Norbert, too . . . though they certainly have the "common law" look . . . "homo deliquensis" to a T . . . the perfect Lombrosos! . . . sight-seeing in handcuffs would do them a world of good . . . they'd finally see the faces of the cocktail party world . . . their true natures . . . not only the ones in the bus . . . the crowd . . . the street . . . their true faces . . . their horrible complexes . . . parakeets and jackals . . . Politiigaard, their Criminal Court . . . don't knock yourself out: . . . Politii: "Police" . . . gaard gaard: "Court" . . . it's all from the French . . . What they wanted to know? . . . Whether I'd really sold the Maginot Line . . . the forts of Enghien . . . the harbor of Toulon . . . The Danes, who had me in the lockup not for a week, for six years, absolutely wanted to know why, why? the French people, the whole of France wanted to have me drawn and quartered . . . was it for this? or for something else? The Danes had no objectionl hell, no! . . . but they wanted to have some idea . . . they don't torture in the dark, a la Francaise . . . oh no! . . . they reason . . . and while they reason, while they ponder, all you can do is wait, they're slow . . they don't torture with their eyes closed . . . but take care . . . the system has its drawbacks . . . while they investigate . . . sagely, earnestly . . . they don't mind letting you rot in their dungeons . . . they're worth seeing . . . I repeat the address, Vesterfangsel, Pavilion K, Copenhagen . . . death house . . . tourists, how about a little tour? . . . The Hotel d'Angleterre isn't everything. . .. or the "Little Mermaid" . . .

While they meditate about whether to hand you over or not, you do a little thinking yourself . . . your problems . . . you're no bother to them at the bottom of your hole! . . . They're a gang of Tartuffes! ten times worse than ours! . . . Protestant Tartuffes, hats off! you can rot while they're meditating . . . they don't mind . . . they're Puritans! . . . they'd meditate for twenty years . . . until you've no body left . . . nothing but rotten skin . . . scabs . . . lichen . . . pellagra . . . and blind! . . . like all the prisons in the world, you'll say . . . I won't argue . . . the Renault case isn't unique . . . and once they've finished weighing the pros and cons . . . they come and get you in the end . . . crrreek crrreek, crrreek crrreek . . . in the middle of the night . . . the heavy door . . . four bruisers in overalls! Remove the object! . . . in the middle of the night . . . the heavy door . . . four bruisers in overalls! Remove the object! Komm! Komm! You hear the pig-sticking! That " You hear the pig-sticking! That "pip-cell" 11,12! I know what I'm talking about . . . The Tartuffe of the North is somebody! Moliere's Tartuffe is a baby . . . Plenty of times I've heard 11,12! I know what I'm talking about . . . The Tartuffe of the North is somebody! Moliere's Tartuffe is a baby . . . Plenty of times I've heard Hjelp! Hjelp! Hjelp! Hjelp! Next day he's dead . . . you never see him again! Next day he's dead . . . you never see him again!

It happens in Fresnes? . . . naturally . . . everywhere! . . . Renault? Tomorrow Cocteau . . . tomorrow Armide . . . Abbe Fatso isn't, exempt! . . . or Dr. Clyster! . . . even Mauriac in his bikini, the "Express" as he calls himself . . . they'll catch up with him! they catch up with everybody, at midnight in the cage . , .

Hjelp! that means "help" . . . you've caught on! you arrive in Copenhagen . . . "Taxi!" . . . Hotel d'Angleterre? . . . Certainly not! Vesterfangsel! . . . don't back down! insist! that's where you want to go! you want to see it! not the Little Mermaid! You want to hear: that means "help" . . . you've caught on! you arrive in Copenhagen . . . "Taxi!" . . . Hotel d'Angleterre? . . . Certainly not! Vesterfangsel! . . . don't back down! insist! that's where you want to go! you want to see it! not the Little Mermaid! You want to hear: Komm! Hjelp! Komm! Hjelp! . . . that's all! . . . . . . that's all! . . .

When I think of the people I hear talking politics, I can see them in the bus . . . a real bus! with real gratings, jam-packed with criminals like you! . . . not criminals a la Charlie Chaplin! honest to God criminals with handcuffs and straitjackets! guarded by a dozen tommy guns . . . what a show! . . . the passersby weave and waver, cling to the shopfronts . . . for fear this might happen to them . . . their consciences quake! scared shitless! . . . memories . . . it's a rare passerby that hasn't got a little abortion tucked away . . . a little theft . . . nothing to be ashamed of! the only thing to be ashamed of is poverty! the one and only! Take me, for instance, no car, a doctor on foot! what do I look like? . . . The advantage of a doctor, even if he's a prize dope, is that with a telephone call . . . he gets there . . . often there's no ambulance available . . . taxis? . . . you can never find one . . . even the most idiotic of doctors has his car! . . . even with my ghastly reputation . . . the old jailbird . . . if I had a car, people wouldn't think me so crummy, so old . . . cars. and more cars . . . what a laugh! . . . that one up there wasn't mine! nor any of these down here . . . I'm expecting Achille's . . . in case he wants to show me his horrible accounts . . . proving that I owe him enormous sums, so he says! homo deliquensis homo deliquensis, as I've said . . . give him the whole bus to himself! and hell, why not? his whole Trust with him! . . . and Norbert trotting along behind! in handcuffs and corset! that's the way I see it!

When you got to Police Headquarters, you could wait at least five, six hours . . . for somebody to come and get you . . . five, six hours on your feet, each man in a vertical coffin, under lock and key . . . I can safely say that I've stood for hours and hours in the course of my life . . . on guard, cooling my heels,in war as in peace . . . but in those vertical boxes at the Copenhagen Politiigaard Politiigaard . . . I've never felt like such a creep . . . waiting to be questioned . . . by whom? about what? I had plenty of time to think it over . . . here we go! . . . they opened my box . . . they helped me up the stairs . . . they had to! . . . two cops . . . the effects of beriberi and also of waiting at the vertical . . . the office was on the fifth floor . . . the cops helped me ever so gently . . . never any brutality . . . I tried everything to shake off my dizziness . . . to keep from staggering . . . from crumpling . . . no use! . . . I fold up . . . that's my pellagra! . . . You can read in any medical treatise that it's easy to cure the scurvy . . . a few slices of lemon . . . your health, sir! . . . all the same I'm a wreck and always will be . . . they'll bury me this way . . . okay, okay! So I'm on my last legs, but that's no excuse for losing me in transit! I was telling you about the stairs . . . Here we are on the fifth floor . . . an amusing little sidelight on their . . . I've never felt like such a creep . . . waiting to be questioned . . . by whom? about what? I had plenty of time to think it over . . . here we go! . . . they opened my box . . . they helped me up the stairs . . . they had to! . . . two cops . . . the effects of beriberi and also of waiting at the vertical . . . the office was on the fifth floor . . . the cops helped me ever so gently . . . never any brutality . . . I tried everything to shake off my dizziness . . . to keep from staggering . . . from crumpling . . . no use! . . . I fold up . . . that's my pellagra! . . . You can read in any medical treatise that it's easy to cure the scurvy . . . a few slices of lemon . . . your health, sir! . . . all the same I'm a wreck and always will be . . . they'll bury me this way . . . okay, okay! So I'm on my last legs, but that's no excuse for losing me in transit! I was telling you about the stairs . . . Here we are on the fifth floor . . . an amusing little sidelight on their Politiigaard Politiigaard . . . the way it's stacked . . . corridors and corridors so twisty . . . hairpins and corkscrews . . . that supposing you made a break . . . no matter when or where . . . you always end up in a court where the "bruisers" are waiting for you . . . special cops . . . you get a message that sends you to the hospital. . . so don't get any fancy ideas . . . for me it was out of the question . . . not with my hundred years . . . all the "treatises" in the world can't change it . . . what's done . . . is done . . . your Nordic prison is built with that in mind! Those guys who are sticking their necks out now in Budapest and Warsaw . . . some of them are going to end up in the house of numbers . . . it's in the cards . . . ask them in twenty years what they think about all this . . . the tourist, as I said, doesn't see a thing, he follows the guide . . . Hotel d'Angleterre, Nyehavn, the tattooed babies, the Big Tower . . . the Mermaid . . . he's satisfied, he goes back home, he talks a blue streak . . . He's seen . . . two, three horses with the trademark of the Carlsberg brewery, wearing their little summer hats! . . . that's what the tourist sees! . . . the way it's stacked . . . corridors and corridors so twisty . . . hairpins and corkscrews . . . that supposing you made a break . . . no matter when or where . . . you always end up in a court where the "bruisers" are waiting for you . . . special cops . . . you get a message that sends you to the hospital. . . so don't get any fancy ideas . . . for me it was out of the question . . . not with my hundred years . . . all the "treatises" in the world can't change it . . . what's done . . . is done . . . your Nordic prison is built with that in mind! Those guys who are sticking their necks out now in Budapest and Warsaw . . . some of them are going to end up in the house of numbers . . . it's in the cards . . . ask them in twenty years what they think about all this . . . the tourist, as I said, doesn't see a thing, he follows the guide . . . Hotel d'Angleterre, Nyehavn, the tattooed babies, the Big Tower . . . the Mermaid . . . he's satisfied, he goes back home, he talks a blue streak . . . He's seen . . . two, three horses with the trademark of the Carlsberg brewery, wearing their little summer hats! . . . that's what the tourist sees!

Ba

Castle To Castle Part 2

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Castle To Castle Part 2 summary

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