Français : Insigne notaire, France, Beaune (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
I am most disappointed, Monsieur, and somewhat surprised, that Maitre Plouc could not see me himself.....with a portfolio of interests such as mine I need the most expert advice and I had counted on the personal attentions of Maitre himself now it looks as though the Reds are going to come to power and tax us out of existence.
No one could regret more than Maitre Plouc that he is unavoidably detained, but, my dear lady, one of your character would be the first to understand that some of his more elderly clients are physically unable to come to the office and as the elections loom, time is of the essence.
As his clerk of many years, I am of course, well acquainted with Madame's financial arrangements,but, in any case, Maitre Plouc has left me some notes relating to the management of Madame's portfolio.
What is it? You look as though you had seen a ghost!
Call the gendarmerie! There's an armed man in the garden....they are coming for us already...
Call the gendarmerie, Monsieur! I'm going before they cut off the front door! Sauve qui peut!
Victor! For goodness' sake! What the hell are you doing in Plouc's garden with a shotgun?
Here, I'll open the back door...
Yes, Monsieur Clement? What happened? Mme. d'Enculade came rushing out through the waiting room shouting that the Reds were here and all the other women followed her out....
It's this idiot...come in Victor and put down that gun while I lock the door - the old bag saw him in the garden with his shotgun and thought the Red Brigade was coming for her....pity they're not...
Just in case, Claudine, ring the gendarmerie and tell them she saw the man who'd come to shoot the rooks and took fright...don't want them round here poking their noses everywhere while Plouc is out...anyway, they know what she's like by late morning...
Yes, Monsieur Clement.
Oh, and Claudine...
Yes, Monsieur Clement?
Steer well clear of Plouc in the office from now on. The Constitutional Council has just ruled that sexual harassment is no longer a crime in France.....
He probably won't hear about it for months, knowing him, but just keep out of reach, huh?
Yes, Monsieur Clement.
Now, Victor, what the blazes are you playing at?
Well, I'd been shooting rooks down on that piece by the river and as I had to come by here to get to the car I thought I'd drop in and see whether Plouc had got anywhere with that dispute with the English across the way from me.
I was going in the front way when I saw the waiting room full of old bizzoms - looked like a furriers in there it did - so I thought I'd better nip round the back so as not to frighten them - or get bitten by their blasted pug dogs come to that. Nasty vicious things.
The women or the dogs? No, never mind. No, Plouc hasn't done anything - what did you expect with the elections being on? He's got other fish to fry.
So it's down to you. Why haven't you done anything? They're driving me mad, complaining about the state of the stream running through their garden.
If I've told them once I've told them a thousand times, that's the country...it comes off my land, runs under the road and goes through their garden to the river. Always has done. It's natural.
From what I recall they're upset that there are herbicides and whatnot in the water....
Well of course there are! Where else am I going to clean out my tanks after spraying?
No, Victor, I haven't been able to do anything.
I've been too busy fielding the old bizzoms for the last few weeks - once it looked like Hollande would win they've been panicking about being taxed up to the hilt so they're on my back from morning to night wanting to get their money into cash and back into the mattress.
So what's Plouc been doing then? Sitting on his backside as usual?
Far from it, Victor. Plouc's been busy from morning to night. But not with legal work....he's going into politics.
Well, so you said before...but he'll never get Lepalfrenier to give up.
He doesn't have to. He's got the Deputy to give up.
What! How'd he do that?
I don't know if you remember, but the taxman got his hands on a list of people holding undeclared Swiss bank accounts...about eight thousand of them....but only about three thousand were followed up.
Well, Mme. Plouc's cousin's daughter works in the tax HQ at Bercy and she saw the list, and, more importantly, the names that were taken off it. Including our Deputy.
Well, as Plouc pointed out, if Hollande comes to power, some of the five thousand who thought they were in the clear won't be. There'll be a clear out of civil servants and the new ones in post will want to please...so socialists will still be all right, but people on the right won't be. Especially politicians on the right.
So Plouc wants to be Deputy?
Not just now. He wants Lepalfrenier to stand for Deputy because it looks likely that the socialists will take this seat in the elections for the National assembly in June.
So Lepalfrenier will get the blame, and he'll be past it by the time the next elections come round and there is Plouc - dedicated party man - all ready to take his place.
Bit sure of himself, isn't he?
Oh, he's laid plans...that's why he's never here.
He met up with the big cheese of the Front National months ago and they hammered out an agreement. Plouc helps them and they help Plouc.
Didn't you see the article in the local rag? 'Public spirited notaire helps elderly people to exercise their right to vote'.
Yes, I did. I didn't know it was Plouc, though....
There was supposed to be a photograph of him surrounded by old age pensioners, but it was cut for lack of space. Plouc was furious.
He's been round every old peoples' home in the area signing papers authorising the grannies and grandads to let someone else vote for them - the someone else being their son or grandson in the Front National - and he's collared Doctor Sangsue to go round giving out medical certificates stating that the grannies living at home aren't fit to go to the polling station and then gone round himself with the voting papers.
I reckon he boosted the FN vote in the first round by a good thirty per cent.
But that's working against his own party!
That's what he wants. He's out now doing the second round papers and his agreement with the big cheese is that they'll all vote socialist this time to boost the socialists before the National Assembly elections when they'll knock out Lepalfrenier.
So what happens when Plouc stands?
Same thing. They vote FN the first time and Plouc the second and Deputy Plouc joins the right wing of his party and co operates with the FN in the assembly.
And what happens to his legal practice?
He reckons his son will be qualified by then and can take over....he's a lot brighter than Plouc and a nasty piece of work to boot.
If they don't put sexual harassment back on the statute book Claudine will have to watch out for that one!
Claudine! What is it?
The gendarmerie on the telephone, Monsieur Clement.
Yes, Clement here.
Adjutant LeBoff, bonjour.
Yes, Maitre Plouc is helping pensioners to sign the procurations in the old peoples' home at St. Ragondin today...that's right.
Yes...you'll be calling here, then....
Well, thank you for letting me know....goodbye.
What did they want?
Apparently a bunch of the grandads have got Plouc holed up in the bathrooms over at St. Ragondin.
The warden told the gendarmerie that they've got him on the hoist and they're ducking him in the bath.
Oh ho! There's a lot of old railway workers over there....old communists....still, I suppose the gendarmerie will get him out sharpish...
Not that sharpish, Victor. They're coming here first to interview you.
Me! What for? I haven't done anything...I've been shooting rooks all morning.
What! Nothing illegal about shooting rooks! Get the young ones just as they leave the nest.
No, agreed, Victor....but it's illegal to shoot at the nests. Endangered species of birds of prey might use them.
How in blazes am I supposed to shoot the rooks and not the nests?
Don't know, Victor.....but it's a two hundred euro fine in any case....
It's a scandal! No wonder people vote Front National!