38. The happiness


During three days the young woman repeated the words of Tong. Each hour he felt the space changing and becoming lighter.

She did not lose her extreme attention only one fraction of a second.

Tong was deeply moved. He had in front of him a woman who really loved! He did not know before what that meant.

He says it to her.

She smiles to him:

- A woman who loves does not let her man do all the work!

Her laughter was shelled in front of the eyes of Tong bathed of tears.

-To cry in front of the beauty of the woman is not to be a true man, she throws mocking.

-I do not understand he says.

- I start to be accustomed to it, she chuckles.

- Then, can you tell me?

- A true man carries his wife with the glance and fills her. He does not have time to cry.

- Why?

- Because he does not have time to observed himself! She says bursting out with her fresh laughter of the mountains.

Tong scowled. Heidi put the Book « the Child » between his hands.

- Tell the words!




- I go fishing the tench this morning… Perhaps you want to come with me?

- And well my Good Mister, you are lucky, the Albert who invites you fishing!

- Come on, shut up Germaine…

- Of course! … Why you do not want to say to the Mister that you like him… You are too shy my Albert! … Because you see, my Good Mister, so that the Albert he makes this proposal, it is that he likes you because His fishing, it is more sacred than me! I say it well to you, me, because he wanted to take me along only twice in almost forty years of marriage… I have counted!

- Shut up Germaine.

The morning rose with the beauty of springs which dare being so: chilly and wet with fog on the river and the banks. That one was not going to stay; the sun was already dawning through it and announced a good day.

- With pleasure.

The inn-keeper had fears that this young man refuses and was crossed with Germaine to say these things!

- Pay not attention… she is out of her mind… he releases with the lips while turning to the river. Bret finished his breakfast at the table of the angle of the terrace.

- But it is cold in the morning! … That does not do anything… Good, it is as you want, my Good Mister, me, what I say, it is for your health! …

- Thank you…

She had served him asking him three times if he « did not want to change his mind because the weather, this morning… »… He had smiled.

« Ok, it is as you want! ».

- You know, I must acknowledge you that I do not know anything to the fishing in river.

His remark seemed to please the large man whose grumpy face after the remarks of his wife, cleared up with a smile.

- It is for the pleasure…

- Yes… Thank you.

Yesterday, he had already wanted to be in the middle of water, carried by the flat-bottomed boat moored at the angle of the inn, all against a wharf in makeshift boards. He had wondered how this heavy man could not pass through the so wobbly building.

Today a new day rose. It was going to erase the blood which he still kept in front of the eyes because so useless!

- In half an hour on the wharf, that suits you?

They had been for two hours almost motionless, with their back to one another, in the small boat. Their feet paddled about in a few centimeters of water at the bottom because it passed over the boards. The inn-keeper had lent him boots too much broad to him and it had been necessary that he puts two pairs of socks and even to stuff the bottom with newspaper so that he does not lose them at the first movement.

Three beautiful fishes had already ceased to give a convulse jerk in the plastic bucket hanging at the interior edge.

-You returned late… I heard you… Hey, it is a pretty car that you have…

They made casual conversation, a manner of looking for each other. Bret had said that he was called Nocquet and that he was writer on international facts. He, he had said that he understood why he needed so much calm with such a job. He, he also says that he would have liked to travel thus, but that the destiny made the things sometimes curiously… Like this inn. Bret says that he liked a lot these kind of places. He, he says that he liked the change….

- However, you did not make noise… It is not what I wanted to say! … On the contrary, we would like more residents like you! …

- Yes… You did not sleep?

- I turned round and round… It is this discussion of yesterday which remained in me! … And then, this case COLA, I must say that moves me…

Bret did not say anything, observing the stopper of his line which was inserted regularly. The inn-keeper would still have said to him « to strike ». He preferred that he turns the back and does not see.

They had enough fish to eat. If the one which turned around his hook could enjoyed the worms which he had attached large, purposely, the balance would be maintained and everyone will be happy.

He said to him that his remark over the « time which does not arrange anything » was still in his head. Bret advised him to let the things to continue without brutality, because then it would be necessary to know and the pain comes with… That it is not certain that one is done for the pain… at least that the pain is a true training… That one did not have to live instead of the others.

- You want to say that there is a measurement for each one?

- Yes… a little that… Rather « signs of the destiny different ».

It was an expression of « Small Father ». Bret felt well and for a rare once, this kind of discussion does not make him hopping mad. Perhaps because the river deadened a lot, but that also this large man leant seriously on this emotion which he still keeps in him and that he will also soon forget it behind his bar with the light white local wines of the friends…

-… Do not worry. Destiny puts you in front of the feet what it is necessary for you when you need it. It is not that which you must look at… Destiny takes care all alone of itself.

- You want to say that does not have any importance…

- Yes… A little that. But important also is not what one believes…

- Ah! … I believe that I start to understand. Hey?

The inn-keeper hesitated and he asked « if that bites ». Bret answered that no while observing the stopper which was inserted under water.

- I believe that what you say, it would be something like knowing to be at his right place.

- Yes… something like that…

- And the important, then! … To behave correctly?

- Yes… something thus… perhaps… One could call that « to be impeccable »… A manner of not fleeing what destiny puts you in the legs… Destiny can get tired of you, you know…

- Yes… I understand… The inn… perhaps my destiny.

- Perhaps… « not to flee » does not want to say « to submit »!

- That one must look after it!

- Completely… that does not bite, you either?

- that bites elsewhere and I can tell you that for the moment, I find that more important! … Eh! There are people like that which one feels immediately… You, for example… As soon as the taxi brought you, I thought… « Well ! ». I had the impression to know you… and then no; I realized that when you approached… it is stupid, no! … And still, afterwards, I always had the same impression… Even now…

Bret did not answer and went up his fishing rod. Nothing anymore was around the hook. He chooses a large worm in the can between them and attached it to the steel hook by letting it hang a lot. The inn-keeper had turned the head and looked at him doing.

- One cannot say that you intend to take something with such a bait! … Soon the time… One returns quiet, ok?


They raised the end of scrap which was used as anchor. Bret placed it in the front by taking care not to move the boat too much. The inn-keeper took the two oars. They smiled both of them looking at the bank passing in front of them with its noises of dive and the ripples of water.

The woman of the inn-keeper made him roast a tench crammed with sweet herbs with a knob of butter.

-Some rice with, as usual…complete rice, I have purposely bought it for you.

She had made a chocolate cake. The French windows of the room were large open because of the sun and he could hear the conversations which turned around the « kid COLA ». Chity managed well, distilling information drop by drop, always promising of a new development…

- You realize, a kid who must INQUIRE himself because the Police force laughs in his face!

- And the teacher! Hey Mrs Germaine, it is not all beautiful. It seems that she has serious troubles with her superiors.

- And well, so much the better! Must not believe that because one is a teacher, one can thinks one can get away with anything.

- It is quite true, that! Those there, they believe that they are almost GOD!

- Look, it is like my kid. It was necessary to go to the chief administrative officer of Academy to make him move up to the next year. Not able, it appears!

- Yes… You had said to me at the time…

- And two years later this idiot of teacher, he was getting the sack as teacher because one realized odd things in his judgments.

- I believe to remember that he was not getting the sack but that one paid him a spico… something, said the inn-keeper, to stick his oar in.

- A psychoanalysis, Albert! … Not difficult to remember.

- You, you can tell, Germaine! … It is in all the turning points of pages of the books of female that you read. Listen, I will say to you, it is really fashionable! Each one wants it, its pico… something!

- Look! Albert, I would not like to say anything wrong in a so beautiful day. But they should speak about it more often in the « French Hunter »… that would put seed in your head while you are waiting doing nothing that the fish wants to bite.

- Listen! Nothing to do while fishing! Come on, Germaine, here you surprise me… well! Nothing to do while fishing! … And besides, how I will learn to the fish? It cannot read.

-Eh! Yourself, Albert! You play the fool to be nourished. It is not about the fish but about you.

- Come on! Then! … Hey, Germaine, which is at the end of the hook?

Angel rose and descended the steps which led towards water. He followed the path which took upstream.


The waiting


- Yoko? … New thing in the José’s band?

A stretching of the lips was born near the ears, a little sad gesture. Silence at the end of the phone was enough for him. He could have hung up again. She looked for her words.

- But Angel… I point out to you that I have been without news for two days and that I am perfectly entitled to ask me a certain number of questions and not to play an underhand trick on you, I inform you that I have written to the Roshi…

Why recall him that it is him « the chief »; that he has possibility of life and of death on the family members because it is him the « Master of Combat »; that he can with a gesture, with a word… but what’s the matter! She knows but she is jealous woman because feels neglected. He does not look after her; however, she had so much dreamed his return to Paris, their getting together again… And he looks only after this Stéphane! He understands. He had besides already understood but he has preferred to phone… a last gesture to have a certainty. Not true; to try to believe that he is mistaken. Small Father often says to him that he is idiotic to always want a confirmation.

« Times and spirit spent unnecessarily… my son »

She thus has not continue the investigation, being satisfied to watch the computers of the Family while brooding over her sorrows… He knew that; it is for that he went yesterday evening to the bar of Tonio; to find information himself. The death of the woman remains on his heart. José should not have been there but between the hands of Yoko. She was to control him. He should have checked his absence in the back room! But there still he wanted to believe that the young woman did her work.

A woman died unnecessarily! His man will limp along all the remainder of his life without his wife, with his eye in less… Misfortune in bulk!

He hung up again. He felt the anger to go up.

He will have to know differently what José schemes with Tarin. Why the kid died the same evening of his visit to the teacher? The question was in his head permanently, as the remark of Marc Antoine: « not one without the other ». He spoke about José and the teacher.

He had taken the BMW and had joined the motorway. The powerful car brought him quickly to the first motorway café. He phoned from there. He knew how the Computers of the Family are equipped and wanted to preserve his refuge on the Marne.

- Mrs Broussard?

- Yes, my boy, I recognized your voice… How are you?

- Well… Do you have what I have asked you?

- Not completely… We still miss the digital fingerprints… Hey, my boy, not to throw you into a panic, I will not say to you what cost us the paper and the reason for writing! … Be ready to hear the Roshi on your return to the monastery on these expensive tricks.

- I will arrange myself.

- I do not doubt about it my boy… Well, it will still take us a few days… You understand… HE is on a journey!

- I know… I heard that on the radio.

- While you are here, I benefit from it to tell you that your trick around this kid makes an idle rumors! One speaks about it everywhere! Now, it is the Law and the parents in the bag! … I must acknowledge you that I do not see very well what you want to do…

- Ah well?

- I know you! … I saw how you worked about ten month ago! It was difficult for me to get over it, I have already said it to you. A true bastard you are… For the good cause ok… but I would not like to have to you like enemy…

- So?

- So! … my boy, I must say that I do not understand anything at this chaos!

- Ah!

- Yes… Do not play the innocent. With me, that does not take. It is not to old guenons like me that one will learn how to make a face… So? …

- Yes, my soft old woman friend of the Roshi?

- Do not speak to me about him ; he is dumb now since the telex of Yoko. You realize! … For me! He was always there. And now he is on a journey, him also, it seems! …

- Like that you could not question him on the « expensive trick »?

- Exact… And on nothing else…

Bret smiles by wondering whether he was going to send her the joke which came to him before hanging up again. He made up his mind, the voice a little bit laughing but she would not realize because of the crackling on the line.

- If GOD himself does not say anything to you, how his SON can explain it to you.

And he hung up again on her swearword of old woman who could monopolized high the conversation.

He just had to return on the Marne and to sunbathe on a long chair that the woman of the inn-keeper installed near the water. He will sleep, recovering the tiredness and the tension of this last night. He will have to go out this evening. Bloody Yoko. He did not want to think of her not to let coming up the anger.

- What will you eat this evening?

With Mrs Germaine, it’s always the same story three to four times per day. He could answer that he ate everything, with a preference for vegetables and a bit of fish. That really, the meat could stay at the butcher… But she has to ask for then going to scold the chief Albert.

The inn-keeper had come to be installed on a chair near him a couple of hours. They had spoken just a little. Mrs Germaine observed them from the room where she darned tablecloths, wondering what they had to say to each other, these two which had gone to fish together this morning…

They let their glance to wander. « It is beautiful » he has said. Bret answered « Yes ».

- Are you leaving this evening?

- Yes.

- It must be a job which requires instruction.

- Not too much.



« My son, I went on holidays. Do not laugh! I assure you that I really take rest. I barricaded the door of my small garden with large branches that I have found close to the torrent and which are the fruits of the rigorous winter that we underwent here, and of which besides you must remember since right in the middle of evening Zazen you have declared aloud that this position is « extraordinary because it permits to hold the toes warm in the cleft of the buttocks »!!! Do you remember, at least? I have had to make give the kyosaku to a lot of monks who could not cease laughing nervously. Thus, I said to you that the monks have not understood that I do not ask for assistance to carry these large branches still loaded with water. Hey, at least, do you remember that I passed fifty years, which for you is already to be an old core, according to your personal vocabulary that you will notice I retain very well, opposite to you with mine which if so filled with delicacy and subtlety. Well, I do not insist!

You understand, I needed a hard physical effort not to think anymore… I will say to you later « to what ». For the moment, it suffices for our friendly discussion, you really agree with your dear father? to know that I have suffered during two days to barricade the small door through the stone wall, courtyard of the monks side.

Liking the things well done, I added thorns there and I can assure you that the obstacle is impenetrable even for a rat. With stronger reason for a frog, since this dear HIRO, and I do not know why, succeeded in putting in your head that it was the most perfect image of the true monk…

I must acknowledge you that having no masochist tendency, contrary to what you say of me in the discussions of water closet, I have made provision of rice and various vegetables which I prepare on the stone hearth that we have installed together, you remember, against the big rock which was used as principal decoration of the « garden Zen » that my monks had had the claim to install to me in front of the veranda and that you have transformed into public urinal.

Then, I must say to you that I have just taken again the training of archery which I have neglected since a too long time. You had said it to me and you see, I show you that I testify a real attention to you since I remember what you said to me.

However, you will recognize with me that, « as stupidities machine » (to quote you literally), you constitute a cogwheel well oiled of which the daily use favored not easily conceivable performances (before) and completely disconcerting (afterwards).

I thus said to you, and you see how you are! , you would make lose the thread of his ideas to the most hardened cool head, that I took up doing the very Noble art of archery again. The originality of my practice, and you will agree with me that even you, you would not have found better! is the choice of the targets because (like you, moreover, and you recognize it openly), I am a lazy one who does not know he is; I have thus omitted to make a panel of plaited rice straw. Besides, for my defense, tell me where I could have hung it taking into account the exiguity of my pavilion and of the small garden in front of, with the fence of the monastery behind?

All that to say to you, with my great shame that I target the heads which are higher than the surrounding wall with the principal courtyard. HIRO sent me a word by carrier pigeon to announce me that he starts to be fed up with healing kidneys pains all day long with the reason that « my monks » have just taken the very curious habit, you will be agree about it with me, to move on all four.

If I say to you « with my great shame », it is not because of my gesture, you guess it easily. One must well die one day and it is a true honor to penetrate in the divine sleep by the hand of a TRUE MASTER (whether you like it or not!) ; it is because of the fact that when I draw the arc and that I close the eye to aim with care… it is always your head which I imagine at the end of the point.

That is curious, isn't it? I think that you will have to explain me the thing when you will return here with the help of psico… something theories. I always forget the name of this thing!

Well, as I said it to you, I take holidays and I thank you infinitely because it is thanks to you. What do you want that I do! ; with all these faxes and telexes which flood the terminal of our data-processing circuit.

You, you have fun quietly. You circulate in flat boat on a calm river learning the Art of Fishing in river; you, you circulate in luxury jaguar and BMW to receive the admiring glance of the fellows of the street when you cross haughtily a village; you, you have good food cooked up by a radiant inn-keeper who shows in her body grateful testimony that she has for her cooking; you, you dare to give lessons to those who make you the honor to agree to listen to you… And me ? I sweat blood (for once again to employ one of your expressions shock), which once again shows you how I am an attentive father in my approach on your somersaults to find means « to explain », to find « solutions »,… in short! … to spend my whole blessed day to receive complaints on the ashamed manner that you have to behave! My son! In short, without another means that this one, I « have just gone on holidays » Let me know by the usual circuit that you know when you intend to behave again like a serious man and responsible for the noble mission which is entrusted to him: to seek a killer of child!

Good, I leave you. The usual carrier pigeon will carry you these few affectionate words and please do not make mention to my last ticket which seemed to tell you my encouragement to continue on your impetus. I must have written it in a delirious state… Think of my great age! Your grandfather that you adore and who was at the same time your father and mother.

Take care of you and do not eat too much; you know your propensity to put on weight! …





Heidi showed her happiness.

- He is happy, she says… He is not with « them » anymore.

That was enough for her happiness.