Tuesday, 1 December 2015

More Letters from the Cévennes

Jacques Forêt, a local gendarme and the hero in my forthcoming novel, Messandrierre, writes to his father in Paris regularly.  Here are some more extracts from letters he may have written...
1 Grande-rue
September 2008
Fishing Lac Charpal
  How's maman?  You didn't say much in your last letter papa and I'm worried.  I can come home for a few days at the end of the month if you need me to.
  It was good to see Thérèse and the boys last month.  I see Francis' attitude has changed little.  I know work is hard to find but he doesn't seem to me to be making much of an effort.  I took the boys camping in the woods for a couple of nights whilst they were here.  We did a bit of fishing too.  They really enjoyed roughing it!  Me, not so much.  Family time like this makes me miss Beth even more.

October 2008
Out on a shoot
…I'm having a few days off work, papa.  Nothing serious, so tell maman not to worry.  Gaston - the manager at the restaurant and campsite here - took me boar hunting at the weekend.  I didn't prepare myself for the first rifle shot and as it rang out I crashed to the ground and rolled and crushed my shoulder.  I'm in a bit of pain and there is some bruising and stiffness, but otherwise I'm OK.  I don't think I will be taking Gaston up on his offer for a stag hunt.  I haven't the stomach for it and perhaps, I'm not mentally prepared for it yet.
November 2008
…yes I'm still in touch with Beth, it's just by message.  But I can't stop thinking about her.
  You say maman wants to know about Christmas.  I am trying to organise some time off so that I can come home, but there are a lot of other married men here who want to be at home with their families too and my boss, Fournier, is giving them priority.  I will try to be there on Christmas Eve if I can, papa, don't worry…
Your only son, Jacques

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