One has to follow a narrow path which clings to the slope and leaves behind on the right gutted houses and barns which a group of young people of the sous-prefecture had bought with the aim of rehabilitating them but who quickly renounced before the size of the task ; a path at first obstructed by the nettles which have to be flattened by the iron-shod walking-stick before they give way to the scented box and oneself coming out, without further notice, on a kind of ship’s stem (land parcel 1017) from where the view takes off towards the immensity of the sky. Land parcel 1018, which prolongs it, stretches out like a heath, silent, unique, solitary, with the dimensions of eternity, from where the view, which flees towards the north, discovers hills which extend, like a fleece, as far as the ville Rose whose aura one sees, in clear nights, beyond the steep slopes of Durban and of Montseron and of the rock of Carla-le-Comte (thus named formerly) from where Pierre Bayle contemplated the austere stars before putting the comet back into its true place in the universe. In the distance, down below, is cowering a farm in the midst of an army of pine-trees bought back, it appears, for ten thousand new francs per hectare, by the REFAS. (Towards the west, on the side of the ocean, thin clouds dissolve as the mountains approach.)
The farmer’s wife, brought back from Silesia by a former prisoner of war, speaks to you in the patois d’oc with a language for which she would be envied by all the so-called specialists of an occitanian gibberish learnedly prefabricated and resold at a high price by the merchants of the Temple of the well-meaning theological Institutes. A wild cherry-tree extends a branch laden with red balls to the passer-by who progresses towards the shady corner. Halt, five minutes cherry-stop near a fountain-basin around which the herds have left the mark, in the damp mud, of their iron-shod hooves. The water falls, drop after drop, on the moss, polishes the stones, attracts the birds who cheep and bicker around this leafy tabernacle, a kind of Budha’s tooth which, at Kandhi, one reaches after having lifted piece upon piece of heavy reddish curtaining and over which are watching three enormous bonzes of flesh whose toga moves at the passing of the female blond foreigners.
To the left of the fountain, on a neighbouring land parcel, Mr l’Escoussière points out an entrance to a mine, partly obstructed but exploited at the beginning of the 39 / 45 war : “manganese”, he insists and he knows the music since one of the boundary marks of the mining concession was set right against the wall of his house ... By the way the best batteries (1,5 volts longlife) for the portable japanese miniature tape recorder, according to Mr the Seller, the very latest best ones that have come out of the chemico-human brain for the benefit of Mr the Buyer, are they not precisely the batteries with managanese ? For well-timed coincidence, it coincides well and shame upon the audition of these voices of the past (Pathé Frères records), of the “choirs of Faust” or of the “Fiacre” of Yvette Guilbert which came trotting out of the nasalizing funnel of the phonograph whose handle was turned metronomically by the Parish priest. “Prolong my days, o Jupiter ; multiply the number of my years !”, for under the toga or under the cuirass, one must act quickly. Hannibal had crossed the Alps by dissolving the rocks with vinegar in order to pave the way for his elephants from Ethiopia (the wine had not withstood the hot winds and the altitude) while, in serried phalanx and protected by their shields, his legionaries dared all.
The house of the neighbour - 31 July, Land Parcel 89
The neighbour’s house, a solid lump of red stones, was sold in June to people from La Rochelle for the sum of eleven million five hundred thousand old francs, maritime acquirers who were astounded not to see the telephone duly installed but who, at the very last moment, rang off for they did not succeed in assembling the sum in its immediate totality. The subsequent postulants, Germanic, managed it and installed themselves in the house with their blond plaited hair, gathered together in a sheaf on the head and whose nuptial regime so impressed the Cesar of the Commentaries and also their fat neighbouress of the Oustalot who claims that their toilets consist precisely in the absence of any toilets.