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Missing Emilie

by Michael E. Lloyd

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Book I: Self Above All

Chapter 1: Something in the Air

Baumettes Prison, Marseilles, France
Monday 27 December 1965

Weekly Report on Prisoner Arthur Narone

Arthur Narone is still behaving well, though he continues to avoid almost all contact with other inmates.

He has once again earned no negative conduct points. I suggest that from 1 January 1966 his Library Time allowance could safely be increased by a further one hour per day, and that we should agree to his recent request for the use of one additional library pencil and notepad per week.

Narone persists in his habit of kneeling in the corner of his cell each Sunday evening and writing a new number on a low section of the wall. He still refuses to explain the significance of this increasing series, which yesterday rose to 348. As reported before, we have never pressed him hard on his strange ritual: we assume that it holds some positive, perhaps religious significance for him, and that it is best to allow it to continue.

R.B. (Senior Warder 42284, Team F), 27 Dec 1965

Weekly Report on Prisoner Bertrand Irvoise

The behaviour of Bertrand Irvoise has changed steadily over the past four weeks, as previously reported, and more dramatically during the recent days of Christmas. He has now withdrawn from almost all contact with his usual social circle. Today he asked to be granted a long period of private Chapel meditation each day, and he desires a meeting with the Padre at the earliest opportunity. These latest, thoughtfully made requests are definitely not in character for Irvoise, and this situation now clearly requires the attention of a Senior Warder.

P.F. (Warder 42771, Team D), 27 Dec 1965

* * *


‘Inspector Hardy?’


‘This is Fabius Delacroix.’

‘Ah, good morning, Governor. I trust you had a pleasant Christmas?’

‘Pleasant enough, Inspector.’

‘Good. So, you have some news for me?’

‘I do. Narone is still acting quite normally. And Irvoise appears to have played his part to perfection.’

‘Excellent! So will you now put the wheels in motion?’

‘I will.’

‘Thank you, Governor. And I wish you a very Happy New Year.’

‘And the same to you, Inspector. Au revoir.

Proceed to Chapter 2 ...

Copyright © 2012 by Michael E. Lloyd

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