Le Parcellaire

Le Parcellaire Content : La Bastide de Sérou, rue d’Arize - Foix - 14 July
La Tour Lafont - Pamiers -18 July
Giant chestnut trees - Le Temps des Cerises - The wild Boar - Land Parcel 234-235, 21 July
Faydit de Brouzenac - 22 July
Mr de la Bastide
Apple-trees, Notre Dame de Sabart, Land Parcel 20, 8 August
Mr l’Escoussière, Land Parcels 228, 229, 242, 251, 9 August
Mimine at Eychenat
From one mill to another ...
Mélanie of the Goats, 11th August
The Knight of the ferruginous waters, Baron of Alzen
The black bicycle
Land Parcels 169, 172,12 August - The Arize / Mr Fallacy
Land Parcels 229, 234, 228, 13 August – Mr L’Escoussière / Norbert Casteret
Land Parcels 58, 78, 79, 14 August - Pompeia Primilla
Parcels 52, 54 - Carrier Pigeons
Land Parcel 640, 15 August - The Land Parcel of God
The Colonel Bravadida
Honoré d’Urfé - L’Astrée - Bathylle - Leda - Mr L’Escoussière - 26 July, Land Parcel 88
Xanthippe and Socrates - The Pear-trees - Land Parcel 85 bis, 27 July
The Fountain-basin-wash house - Land Parcel 1002, 28 July
The Garum - La Balmo - Land Parcel 998
Pierre Bayle - Toulouse Lautrec - Yvette Guilbert - Wednesday 30 July, Land Parcels 1017/1018
Abbé Breuil - Father Teilhard de Chardin - Prehistory - Elohin, Jahwe, God of Pity - Land Parcel 104, 1 August
A miner’s pick - 2 August
The Wild Boar - 2 August
Mr Fallacy - Land Parcels 87, 88, 89, 3 August
La Madelon - La Der-des-Ders (1914-1918) - Mr Limebrick - Massat - 4 August
The Farrier - Land Parcel 1002, 5 August
The Blacksmith - Mr Irjava-scriptter - Pepi’Stieni- Land Parcel 87, 7 August
The Mill of Malarnaud
Festos de Fouix (Festival of Foix), 8 September

The Mill of Malarnaud


                It is at the height of Ségalas that the Arize chooses the declivities which lead towards the Grotto  of Bourg-l’Asyle. It is to the halt of Ségalas, on the railway line Foix-St Girons, that Marie-Rose N., the sister of  uncle  Etienne,  came every evening, to await, tears suppressed, the eventual arrival of her husband, possibly on leave from the war 14/18 (letters are rare for those who do not know how to write), who, effectively came, once, to see his widow-to-be and his two orphans, the one time where he precisely went to fish by hand, under the bridge of Durban, the forbidden trout, on that unfortunate occasion where two gendarmes on horseback held out to him an obliging stick to “help him” return to the bank for fear that he might drown, an offer which Jean-Baptiste G. accepted so eagerly that, what had to happen happend, it was Pandora who splashed about ...

                It is at the bottom of the Stone path which climbs steeply to the castle of Durban, where the Troubadours sang, that the Arize opens up a meanderous passage in a fresh gorge with grey-blue walls in which, here and there, is the entrance to some gallery of the times before history, the times of the “fourth dimension”, dear to the Synarchy of these “Grotesques of philology”  (ô Montanhagol  !), perfectly ignorant of the language on which they discourse  (ô  Montaillou  !), as evoked in a resounding article by this gentleman-miller,  proprietor of the mill of Malarnaud and local correspondent of the “Gazette du Midi” ; an article which had spread consternation in the offices of the said gazette, barely recovered from the good advice it had paternally lavished on the parents of adolescents who spent boring holidays somewhere in the region (“You who are fathers of a family, you who have sons, what are you waiting for to send them to Pamiers ..., July 1944)  ; an article which, helped by chance, had also earned our Crusher of Good grain a summons before the Préfecture commissariat, with the haggling excuse that he practised contentious matters underhand (the president of the barristers of the département had bitterly complained about it)  by defending the humble people incapable of facing the costs of a justice equitable to all ; the commissary even going as far as abruptly opening, under the nose of the summoned, his desk drawer where an enormous administrative pistol of the most dissuading kind was throning before causing the Peugeot-Trèfle of the applicant, whose gears hiccoughed beyond 35 km/hour, to be followed, ostensibly, on the way back.

                About all these harassments, the Lord of the Millstones did not care, he who appreciated the poet Wordsworth in the original (he had subscribed to the course of the BBC) and laughed at the exploits of these cocks of the walk whom one found quasi regularly incorporated in the ranks of the tiny groups founded by thinkers of rather summary intellect, often sent for training to the schools of the Baden-Baden of Scoutism or regrouped at the bowling centre, busy fighting out their ideological quarrels around a millimetred piglet ...

L'Arize, Durban - Private collection

                When reaching the mill of Maury, mademoiselle Arize becomes a lady, widens, deepens, before gushing down into the whirls of the Grotto and breaking off these pebbles opportunely coloured which, at the initiative of the lay excavators and the ecclesiastics of the present, left by the boxful for the Museums on the Other side of the Atlantic (may it not displease Oparin and his DNA bricks !).

                Lower down in the small valley, beyond the large flour mill and the ample curve of the Bastion, the plane-trees at the bottom of the town give shade to the nimble skittle players of the peaceful summer Sundays, not far from the stone bridge from where the tinsmith The Gipsy, after having cut an alder branch by way of scion, assorted with a piece of horse-hair and a hook, caught, within a few minutes, at his Lady’s request who did not jest and that of his string of always famished little brats, half a dozen trout, watched by the astounded toulousian anglers solidly attached to their wicker baskets in which were still riggling two or three suicidal ablettes ; these “pescofis” disembarked for all that from the first coach from the Ville Rose (in the manner of Vincent-Auriol  not  yet  President  of  the Republic) and who whiled away their impatient wait by salivating in concert at the idea of the full-flavoured meals which awaited them in the hotels of the Borough-centre, dishes so incomparably superior to the off-putting products of the garden restaurants of the “Ramier” or to the “choke the christians” of the greasy spoons of Pinsaguel, where one still fishes “la sofio et le barbel” (the sofie and the barbel), while singing and firmly beating time with the heel, the air of the Soldiers’ Chorus of Gounod’s Faust.

                It is in this neighbourhood, that after having passed over the squat bridge at the bottom of the town, one climbs the slope to Cap del Freyche, just as the racing cyclists of the annual Festival went up it (the day after the retreat with torches which lit up the Grotto), a race for which had registered, by way of training and a few weeks before the Olympic Games, the son of the butcher of Massabrac, a great lover of raw meat, hands nice and flat at the top of the handlebar, before an unleashed pack of poor hip-swaying fellows, in shirts splashed with colour, whose hanging tongues licked up the oil of the clicking chains subject to the good will of derailleurs not always as simple as claimed by the advertisements ; nice chaps  who, there, were contesting the bicycle race of their life and who, immersing themselves yet again in the hairpin bends of the road to Sabarat, did not look once at the little jewel of a vineyard of Marcellin the Moustachoed, famous in the area for his daily summer afternoon siestas, in a night-shirt, feet against the wall, in search of a hypothetical freshness ; Marcellin the Moustachoed, a fanatic of the cornet with pistons whose time he beat to the rythm of the calf against the mud floor and under the admiring eye of Sidonie,  the former maid of his parents  who had initiated him, when his time had come, into the niceties of staccato polka before he saw himself obliged to face the figures of the Quadrille of the Lancers somewhere in the Meuse region, endowed as he had been with the brocaded uniform of the ardent cuirassiers climbing onto the “trouilles” in the “Margis” fashion of squadrons spinning round on the wide esplanades of Rambouillet ...

                And now the Arize,  abandoning the ploughed lands of Radalenque and the meadows of  Bôle, dawdles one last time and disappears into the gorge where road and torrent pass with difficulty side by side, before again taking up space in the plains of Bordes, of Daumazan and of Labastide de Besplas where uncle André established a solid family, at the foot of a church whose stained glass windows were modernized by a former primary school teacher of Château l’Artillac who entered orders and came, ipso facto, to evangelize his flock at meal time, while exchanging, in off-peak hours, correspondence with a pleiad of warblers of charm and with drawing-room penholders in want of prousteries in the mode of yesteryear.

                And there, in the evening of a beautiful autumn day, one leaves, behind one, the last rays of sunset, giving a golden glow in the distance to the crests of Carla-le-Comte, the pink summits showing the first snow, the vine branches laden with grapes which Marcellin has just harvested, the reddened foliages, the woods of chestnut-trees where the first boletus are coming through, and the fields artistically conquered from the sun-drenched chalk of the arid Mesplé by these damned of the soil very close to the galley slaves of the Faith, among them the gentle Philemon and the sweet Baucis, “la poulido de Saboye”, as the young men called her to whom, at the time of her tender youth, she showed a white backside (they did not ask for as much as that !), she who, now, puts up on her head baskets of this earth which glides down into the valley incessantly, and this only a few fathoms from a Dolmen which sheltered (chi  lo  sa ?) the love of Pollione and of Norma ...

Claude d’Esplas (Le Parcellaire)
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Translation : Dagmar Coward Kuschke (Tübingen) 

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