In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница

In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница

Levade laughed so hard that he had to put down his glass.

"Did you like Proust?" said Charlotte.

"Yes, I thought it was a funny book. But I was young when I read it. I think there's a copy in the house somewhere."

"Funny?" said Charlotte.

"I suppose it's funny," she lied. She thought it was the most tragic book she had ever read.

"I think of it as sad as well. The loss of any hope of happiness through love, the disillusion ... ' " Perhaps," said Levade.

"Anyway, I don't arrange my life through dreams. I hope In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница for them, I pray for them to help my painting. But I arrange my life through God."

On Wednesday, the day before the parachute drop of arms and stores was due.

Charlotte went into Lavaurette to buy food. Outside Madame Galliot's she remembered that they also needed candles and, as she leaned her bicycle against the shop, she saw the caped, official figure of Bernard attaching a piece of paper to the wall. Walking behind him to go into Madame Galliot's, Charlotte could not resist looking over his shoulder.

The poster showed a man drowning, lifting up his In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница hands for help; in the foreground were shown the figures of de Gaulle and Churchill, with friendly arms round the shoulders of a sinister Jewish figure in a coat with a astrakhan collar.

"Remember Mers el Kebir! Remember Dunkirk!" read the black, smeared letters. 'Don't let's throw it away Now!"

Bernard was staring at the poster in some puzzlement as he smoothed it down with his hands, though Charlotte thought it unlikely it could be the first he had heard of how the British fleet had sunk the French in the Algerian port of Mers el In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница Kebir rather than let it fall into the hands of the Germans.

When he saw her, Bernard shrugged. He uncurled another cartoon poster of a handsome Frenchman with chiselled cheekbones and improbably fair hair, lifting by the collar a wicked, unshaved Israelite with grotesque hooked nose and showing him the door of a building labelled 'France'.

At this moment a small, bald man with a raincoat and wire-rimmed basses climbed out of a black car and came over to inspect Bernard's work. Charlotte had never seen him before in Lavaurette. He had a self-important m and wore polished In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница shoes that seemed to come from a big city.

When he had inspected the poster, he turned to Bernard.

"Who's this?" he said, pointing at Charlotte.

"Madame Guilbert."

Charlotte held out her hand, but the bald man kept his by his side. He looked her slowly up and down, walked round to look at her in profile, then marched off without speaking back to his car.

"Who was that extraordinary man?"

Bernard shrugged.

"He's called Pichon. The Government's sent him down from Paris. He's travelling round."

"Is he a policeman or what?"

"He says he In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница's from something called the Inquiry and Control Section. Don't ask me what that is. Says he's helping the local mayors interpret all the new rules. In fact, he just sticks his nose in."

Charlotte looked back at the posters. The odd thing about Lavaurette, she thought as she went past Bernard into Madame Galliot's shop, was that although on the surface it seemed a tranquil, inward-looking place with its municipal monuments, its empty shops and sleepy squares, it was in fact the site of continuous activity and secret meetings, of numbered postboxes In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница, hidden boys, propaganda and smiling public deceit.

Perhaps the Germans were right to leave a local commandant behind.

When she went back to her room in the Domaine she found that a piece of paper had been slid beneath the door. It was a note from Levade which he must have put there while she was out.

Wednesday.05 .15h. On realising that his love for Gilberte has gone: "Of the state of mind which, in that far-off year, had been tantamount to a long-drawn-out torture for me, nothing survived. For in this world of ours where everything withers In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница, everything perishes, there is a thing that decays, that crumbles into dust even more completely, leaving behind still fewer traces of itself, than beauty: namely grief." Time Regained, page 9.

When Charlotte read it she thought that her teenage reading of Proust had left her with only cliches, and that she had not really understood the book at all. She resolved to think no more of it or of the unstable ecstasies it described.




At midnight Claude Benech felt for the first time the stout and pimply handle of a firearm against the soft skin of his palm. He In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница laid it on a pile of school exercise books he was marking. What he had to do in order to acquire it had, in the end, been simple: a matter of intelligent observation and knowing whom to inform.

Benech felt his loyalty quicken and intensify in proportion to his new responsibilities. The gun on the table made him see the agony of his country in a clear light: it was time for action, it was time for the great majority of decent people like himself to fight for what they believed in. All his life he had patiently endured the triumphs In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница of the undeserving, seen little men preferred to him, and he had stood quietly by because he believed in order. That was his passion, that was a proper and traditional belief; but order was not everlasting, it had no natural rights: from time to time true men must fight for it.

He lifted the gun again and weighed it in his hand. Its presence made him want to use it.


In the big house on the hill in Lavaurette Gerd Lindemann was reading orders delivered that afternoon by motorbike. The terse yet bureaucratic style of the papers In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница was an affront to him. Until the winter of 1939 he had worked as a dramatic critic on a newspaper and had taken pride in the fact that his notices, while short and given little prominence by the editor, were always immaculately written: to be comprehensive in 350 words required a particular eloquence.

Lindemann's views on drama were more definite than his views on anything else. He had allowed himself to be left in this unimportant village, this under-sized town in the middle of nothing, through his inability to get himself posted anywhere more interesting. He was not the In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница gauleiter of Julien Levade's imagining, but a reluctant infantry officer promoted to middle rank by virtue of his education and the losses on the Eastern Front.

And he was aware that many of the men under his command were not the swaggering, blue-eyed youths who so impressed the French by their arrogance and their self-discipline when they took control of the traumatised country in 1940. The half-dozen soldiers billeted in the attic of the house were surly, small and no longer young. None of them would have been in such an inconsequential place as Lavaurette were it not In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница for the rail connections with the main lines that made the village both a useful junction and a possible target of resistance sabotage not that there had been any notable activity in the area, Lindemann had been informed.

He went to the fireplace and rang the bell. He enjoyed this feudal procedure and relished the look of fear in the eyes of the little servant-girl who scuttled into the room a minute later.

"More coffee," he said in his workable French. He had barely been able to finish the first pot of whatever it was she In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница had brought, but something would have to keep him alert as he waded through the sheaf of orders. The military strategy was clear enough: get men in large numbers down to the southern coast to defend against Allied attacks from North Africa. This had meant over-running the Free Zone, but the tactic was to leave as few men as possible to administer it before the arrival of the SS, so the greatest number possible could remain in active units. It was important to encourage the French to do as much work as they could, and Lindemann's orders suggested ways In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница of achieving this. Laval would launch his Milice in January, and in return for offering their help to the Occupier Laval would, as usual, ask for German collaboration in the matter of boundaries, prisoners of war, payments and so on. The request, as usual, would be declined.

Lindemann smiled. This Milice would consist presumably of various thugs and convicts given early parole, of young hooligans worried that they might otherwise be transported to Germany as part of Laval's eight-for-one exchange system for prisoners taken in the brief fight of May, 1940. Lindemann could not In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница imagine that anyone else would want to join, but he might have to use these people, so he had better not prejudge them.

To have power over the lives of people was a seductive feeling to someone whose previous influence had been limited to suggesting whether his readers might or might not enjoy a new production of Faust.

Lindemann was enough of a psychologist to relish assigning tasks to men under his command according to his own ideas of their abilities and limitations. It was irksome to him, however, that, in addition to his straightforward administrative role, he was In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница now also required to participate in non-military projects.

The occupation of the Free Zone gave much easier access to the large number of Jewish refugees the French had obligingly detained in camps there, as well as to the French Jews who already lived there or had fled from the North. Lindemann was required by his orders to supervise the joining of two trains at Lavaurette and to supply a quota of Jews from the region of which he was nominally in charge.

These people were to be transported to Paris and onwards to some unspecified destination in Poland. The official line In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница was that they were going to be working in camps, just like the young gentile Frenchmen whom Laval was swapping for French prisoners of war.

However, it had occurred to Lindemann that if work was the purpose, they would hardly be transporting old people, pregnant women and large numbers of children, and he was rather surprised by the willing acquiescence of the French government and police in the scheme.

Perhaps the ever-optimistic Monsieur Laval was hoping for some concession on sovereignty in return for his help.

Lindemann found this part of his task slightly absurd In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница. The girl came back with the coffee. Was she Jewish?

"Wait." He looked at her. She was small, dark. She could be. But most of the French were like that not as bad as the Poles, but not as fine as the Swedes or Danes.

"All right. You can go."

How was he supposed to find all these people? What if they were only half-Jewish? Apparently Vichy had offered racial definitions which were even stricter than those issued by the Nazi Commission for Jewish Affairs in Paris. A man called Pichon, sent from Vichy on a tour of the region In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница to help the local prefectures, had volunteered to help. Lindemann shook his head.

He couldn't decide about this.


At the same time, Peter Gregory was standing in a doorway in a narrow street just behind the harbour at Marseille. Rain was dripping from the stone lintel above his head. A misunderstanding over trains had brought him into a city which a few weeks earlier might have offered him some hope of escape, but was now the centre of German military operations. He had his eye on a house diagonally across the street, but he could not In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница move for the amount of activity all round.

His back and shoulders were aching from the three hours he had spent concealed beneath a train in the goods' yard, having observed that the Gestapo control at the station exit appeared to be questioning all travellers. The tenuous line of sympathisers that had kept him going from the site of his crash to the Mayor's house and on for four more days towards the Pyrenees had been broken by his mistake with the train.

Having managed to escape from the goods' yard over a brick wall, Gregory walked for a In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница mile until he found himself in an apparently unpopulated area. He spotted a cafe through whose windows he could see only empty tables and went in; a barman was moving a greasy cloth back and forth over the counter. Gregory stuck a cigarette in the corner of his mouth to muffle his voice.

"Telephone," he said in an abrupt way he hoped would discourage conversation, and the man jerked his head towards the back of the room.

In a dark alcove next to a narrow door marked 'we' he dialled a number in Clermont-Ferrand. He had never been happy In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница with the vet's diagnosis of his 'fractured' leg, and the exertions of the last four days, culminating in the walk from the station, had produced an excruciating friction in the shin, as though parts of the bone were rubbing together.

He bit his lower lip as he heard the telephone let out its desperate, single peal in the distant mountains of the Massif Central.

The voice of a garage owner, wakened from a wine-heavy sleep, came on the line. Gregory went through the passwords he had been taught in London and hoped his accent would be comprehensible to In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница "Hercule'. In the long and painful exchange that followed, Gregory found it almost impossible to understand what Monsieur Chollet was saying.

Eventually, he extracted from him an address in Marseille which he repeated and checked as many times as he dared until he heard Chollet's patience become exhausted.

"Thank you, Monsieur," Gregory said.

"Goodbye."

"There was a woman looking for you. In the summer."

"What?"

"An English woman."

"Did she leave a message?"

"No. Goodbye."

Gregory put down the receiver. An English woman. How Charlotte would hate being called that. He leaned for a moment on In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница the top of the telephone, and tears presumably from the pain in his leg blurred his vision.

Now at midnight, one hour later, he was waiting in the doorway. He would get into this house. The English woman. He smiled. Whatever it took, he was going to get in.


It was midnight when Andre Duguay sat up in bed and called out his mother's name. There was nothing soft or tender about the call; it was a sound of primitive panic, the expression of a fear that had been rising and working slowly in his mind for several weeks and In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница had finally found utterance in a response to the pictures shown to him in his dream.

Madame Duguay's face was not clear, but then it was not seen objectively in Andre's mind even when he was awake. Yet in the dream he was with her, and he saw those dark features, the face bent over his cradle, whose outline he had over the years uncritically absorbed, so that it had become the face of love.

He was with her, he saw her, and she was in darkness among crowds of people wailing.

Down the corridor In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница came the running footsteps of Mlle Cariteau. She had had time to throw a flannel dressing gown over her nightdress, and she stumbled into the boys' room, not wishing to turn on the light in case it woke whichever one had not called out. She could not tell from the cry alone which it was, and at first went to Jacob; then she heard a voice from Andre's bed and went to him.

Sylvie Cariteau wrapped the boy in her arms and stroked his hair.

Childless, she felt the torrent of maternal tenderness go out of her to the weeping In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница child, a force that was angry in its desire to protect him.

On the walls of the bare upstairs room there were daguerreotypes of Sylvie's respectable grandparents, uneasy in their Sunday clothes; there were two plaster crucifixes.

For half an hour the granddaughter with no husband rocked the unprotected little boy against her bosom, back and forth, back and forth in the awful night.


Levade had lit a candle at the writing table in his bedroom. An hour earlier he had said goodbye to Julien and his mind was still full of the boy. He wrote In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница: Midnight.

I thank God for Julien. The joy I have in him is simple. Merely to be near his life brings me delight. This makes me think of dying, because I feel my spirit is one with his and that only by death will our separation be dissolved. I believe we will be in paradise together, and I believe we will become one, as God, through the Trinity, is indivisible from His own Son.

Of course I believe this. I believe it since Christ showed himself to me that night on Dead Man's Hill at Verdun, without In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница arms and legs, nailed to a tree trunk. I didn't understand at the time, but later He came to me again, the same body, this time on a cross. It was the night my cousin appeared to me in a vision; his face was illuminated, though we did not know until the morning that he had died. I believe, because God showed me in a dream my dearest mother as a child, her happiness secured, and I was able as a grown man to care for her, as, when death at last folds time away, I shall again.

And hell will In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница be the absence of God, the complete loss of Him. I have lived in this place and I have felt its void. I lived this time without God because I was not worthy of Him. The chances that I was given I ignored or spurned because I was sunk so deep in sensual things, ambitions, self-deceit. Every day I must affirm my faith.

Every day I must be reconvened.

When I write at times like this, the voice I hear does not sound like my own.

But I hope this voice of devotion is the In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница most true of all the different voices I have. My friend Madame Guilbert (she is my friend; I do admire her) has made me think about this. Yet I hope there is some core of goodness in me, and of faith. After all, what else is it that will die?

And when I go, will it be in a hospital for the old, or here in my dreamless bed? When it comes, the doctor will prolong my breathing for a few more useless hours, the priest will lean over me to hear my last and most sincere confession. Some friends will In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница come and be polite.

Some will cry at the recollection of their own lost youth- experiences they must now concede are for ever gone, beyond the redeeming power of the imagination, in the abyss of time closed. And my sinful life will offer them no fine or comforting example.

Somehow they will stick my gaping jaws together, weigh down my staring eyes.

And my head, which has teemed with thoughts for so long, will hold not even the flicker of an idea. My once hot, mobile hands will not be capable even of picking up a paintbrush. Someone will lift In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница up my arm on the bed and it will fall back by my side. They will bundle up the rotting meat and put it in a box. The millions of people who have lived without knowledge of my small life will be ignorant still; the handful who knew me will forget.

But I have faith in God. At moments I have seen with His blessing and through the light of art into a world that transcends this one but lives beside it, like a lost city visible through the now-impenetrable, now-translucent waves.

These things In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница I have believed in, and I believe also in the love of my son.

Death does not separate us from those we love. It is life that keeps us frustratingly apart. I trust in God that on the Day of Judgement He will reunite me with those I have loved, and that our spirits will at last become truly one.


v


It was the day of the drop; but before the evening came, Charlotte had an errand to run in Limoges. She dressed quickly and went down to the scullery, where she found some bread and a tin of what In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница was referred to by the ration ticket as fruit condiment. She swallowed it with a glass of water, tied her headscarf, checked that she had Dominique's papers in her handbag and went outside to get her bicycle. As she pedalled beneath the arch of the pigeonnier she turned back to look at the front of the house, and saw the sun glistening on the tightly closed shutters of Levade's studio. The bicycle juddered over an unseen pothole and water splashed up over Dominique's admirably hard-wearing shoes. All down the avenue of flaking plane trees the birds were singing In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница.

There were only two other passengers waiting for the early train, both elderly women with empty baskets on their arms. Charlotte smiled at them and mouthed a polite greeting, while making it clear she had no wish to talk.

The second-class carriage of the train had seats to spare, and as they nosed into the open landscape, leaving the town of Lavaurette to foment its closed and unsuspected conflicts, she saw the country of her heart reveal itself once more in all its old beguiling colours.

Tonight, unless there was some drastic change in the weather, the In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница drop would go ahead, and in Charlotte's mind it had become an important occasion. She would need warm clothes, and she would wear beneath them whatever she managed to buy in Limoges; she would have a bath, and since the water at the Domaine would not be hot, that would mean braving the public baths at the women's allotted time of six o'clock. There would be dinner with Julien and perhaps with Cesar and some of the other men; then there would be the big plane from home hurling the contents of its hold In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница out into the beleaguered darkness.

The flashing pictures revealed by the train's windows were like the country Charlotte remembered, with its effortless harmony of church and meadow, grey villages and their rooted inhabitants; but the streets of Limoges showed the strains of the present. There was a shoddiness in the way people were dressed and an unhealthy calm caused by the lack of motor vehicles. It did not lower Charlotte's spirits as she walked up past the Jardin d'Orsay, where the flowerbeds were still well tended, though it was only as she came closer that she saw In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница that they had been planted with vegetables.

In her mind she repeated to herself the details of the message Mirabel had given her. Her destination was in the Place des Jacobins; the person she needed was called Georges. She felt no fear as she walked through the streets of the city, though she did not congratulate herself for it.

You were frightened or you weren't: it was not something in your control.

She did glance briefly round her, however, as she rang the doorbell.

There was no reason for alarm: Limoges was sunk in provincial peace.

The door In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница opened and a concierge looked out.

"Good morning, Madame. I'm looking for Georges."

"Who shall I say is calling?"

"A friend of Frederic."

The woman disappeared, leaving the door open. A few moments later, a portly, unshaven man in a cardigan came to the entrance.

"Are you Georges?"

"Yes." He nodded, dislodging some ash from the end of the cigarette stuck in the corner of his mouth.

"I have a message from Frederic." She gave him the time, the date and the map reference.

To her surprise, he took a pencil from the pocket of his cardigan and wrote In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница down the figures on his cigarette packet. Clearly he had not had the benefits of G Section's mnemonic training.

Georges smiled.

"Would you like to come in for a glass of wine?"

"No, thank you," said Charlotte.

He shrugged; they shook hands and she walked swiftly away. The reward that Mirabel had promised her was so great that she did not wish to jeopardise it by staying.

In any case, there was something more pressing than wine. There was a shop just off the Boulevard de la Cite, where she had been told by Pauline Benoit it was possible In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница to buy clothes, provided you were not fussy about the material. The directions Charlotte had received were precise, and the shop itself was unmissable. Its glossy black-painted front contained a window display that would not have disgraced the rue du Faubourg St. Honore ten years earlier. The window on one side contained mannequins in dresses and suits, their plastic wrists cocked and their slender feet dipped into crocodile shoes: one held a long lapis lazuli cigarette holder to her lips, another appeared to be wearing a mink stole. The other window revealed an encyclopaedic array of In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница underwear. Charlotte looked in amazement at the brassieres, slips, foundation garments, drawers, roll-ons, petticoats, corsets and other devices of whalebone and pink flannel.

As she stood staring, the door opened and a man in shirtsleeves with a tape measure round his neck came on to the step.

"Do come in, Madame."

Charlotte followed, with misgivings. This array could not be legal.

"All these things," she said, pointing to the window, 'do you have '

"Alas not, Madame. Do take a seat." The shopkeeper pulled a high stool up to the counter.

"Those are remnants from the days before the war In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница.

We keep them to remind us of what life was like." He was about sixty, with a round face and a small moustache; he was respectable but with a humorous eye, and Charlotte found that she could not distrust him.

He smiled.

"We have a little stock, of course. Is there something in particular Madame was looking for?"

Underpants that would not take two days to dry; shoes that did not make her feet look deformed; something pretty to wear in the evening ...

"Perhaps a blouse?" she said cautiously.

From beneath the counter the proprietor pulled out a In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница long drawer. It contained four white or off-white blouses made from some synthetic material.

"Hmm ... I'm looking for something a little more colourful. If you haven't any blouses, maybe something knitted."

"Ah-ha, a little knit, yes." The man took a step-ladder and walked down the bare boards of the shop to the back.

While he pulled out various boxes from the top shelf, inspected and replaced them with a mutter. Charlotte thought of the wardrobe full of clothes she had in Scotland: the plum-coloured cashmere pullover, the lilac cardigan, the silk and cotton shirts, the In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница kilts, the pleated skirts, the sleeveless summer dresses so seldom worn north of Berwick, the piles of cotton and silk underclothes.

The shopkeeper returned with half a dozen woollen items and laid them on the counter. To Charlotte's eye, most of them appeared to have been knitted by his mother. He read her disappointment and said, "One minute, Madame. There's something I'd like to show you."

From the back of the shop he produced a burgundy-coloured dress, with a discreet pattern of golden curlicues, made in light wool, like a Limousin version of paisley In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница.

"I think it's exactly your size," he said encouragingly.

"If you'd like to try it on."

In the changing room Charlotte slid off Dominique skirt and jumper.

She looked at her reflection and smiled as she pulled on the dress. It was cut high at the neck but rather tight over the bust; she pulled it from the waist to loosen it, and smoothed it over her hips. The hem swung loose below her knees. With Dominique's porridgey stockings it did not exactly look elegant, but it was well made and, while middle-aged in In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница style, it was at least slightly feminine.

Charlotte walked into the shop and turned round a couple of times in front of the mirror.

The shopkeeper told her it fitted perfectly.

"Very, very pretty, Madame."

"How much is it?"

"Aah." He held up both hands and then leaned forwards to put his mouth against Charlotte's ear.

"You are from the country, I think, Madame?"

"Yes."

"Shall we say ... could you manage ..." His voice dropped to a whisper, '... a leg of ham?"

"I beg your pardon," said Charlotte through her laughter.

"A shoulder then."

"Monsieur, I'm sorry In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница, I think there's some misunderstanding. I can give you cash."

The shopkeeper's mouth turned down sadly.

"I have cash, Madame.

That's not a problem. The trouble is, I have nothing to spend it on."

Charlotte smiled.

"What about the clothes in the window? Are they for sale? How much for the dress? A whole pig?"

"At least. Made into ham, into chops and black puddings. One could begin with the belly roasted in sea-salt, or the liver fried with onions in butter and olive oil."

Charlotte eventually persuaded him to accept some of her G In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница Section bank notes in return for two pairs of silk drawers and the woollen dress. He made them all into a parcel and tied it with string, carefully knotting and snipping, as though he knew it might be all the work he had that day.

The winter sun was still bright when Charlotte stepped out of the shop and began walking. She had plenty of time before taking the two o'clock train and intended to look at the cathedral, but was sidetracked by the noise of a crowd. She followed the sound into a square she recognised as the one obliquely In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница visible from her bedroom when she had spent that first night in Limoges. A man with a megaphone was standing on the steps of a monument and addressing about three hundred people, many of whom carried placards and flags.

Charlotte moved to the edge of the crowd, from which she sensed a surprising degree of animation.

The word 'assassins' was used frequently by the speaker and was angrily echoed by the crowd. It took Charlotte some time before she understood that the object of this term and the focus of the crowd's hatred were the In memory of my father Peter Faulks 1917-1998 With love and gratitude 21 страница men of the R.A.F. She was startled at the passion they evoked.

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