Cases of Circumstantial Evidence
Publication Year: 2013
Published by: Ohio University Press
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Title Page, Copyright
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The three Janet Lewis novels that together make up Cases of Circumstantial Evidence, gathered here in one edition for the first time, were originally published over the course of almost two decades. But together and separately, they explore themes consistent with their author’s long and notable career. ...
The Wife of Martin Guerre
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One morning in January, 1539, a wedding was celebrated in the village of Artigues. That night the two children who had been espoused to one another lay in bed in the house of the groom’s father. They were Bertrande de Rols, aged eleven years, and Martin Guerre, who was no older, both offspring of rich peasant families as ancient, ...
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The accusation had been made at Rieux, since Artigues was too small a place to boast a court, and thither Bertrande went with her uncle, Pierre, and the servants who were to be called as witnesses. She stayed in the house of her mother’s sister, occupying the same room which she had been given on her earlier visit, ...
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It is difficult to relate all that Bertrande de Rols suffered in the days which followed directly upon this decision. She returned to Artigues, to a house in which all peace and contentment had been destroyed. Nor was there anyone in Artigues, except Martin’s uncle, who did not by word or gesture blame her for this destruction. ...
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In 1922 the printer-typographer Monroe Wheeler, who would go on to have a long and distinguished career with MoMA, set off to be a young-man-about-Europe. He was determined to publish poetry and publish it elegantly, to which end he established (first in Germany) an imprint called Manikin, under which he issued three booklets of verse. ...
The Trial of Sören Qvist
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The inn lay in a hollow, the low hill, wooded with leafless beech trees, rising behind it in a gentle round just high enough to break the good draft from the inn chimneys, so that on this chill day the smoke rose a little and then fell downward. The air was clouded with dampness. ...
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The one-armed beggar went on toward the village of Aalsö. After the nearness of warmth and nourishment withheld, the evening seemed increasingly lonely and the cold more penetrating. The twilight faded so slowly that the lessening of the light seemed rather a thickening of the air, ...
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Judge Tryg Thorwaldsen was entertaining guests, but he left his place at the table to greet the pastor from Aalsö. From the door at the head of the stairs, for the dining room was on the first floor, the pastor surveyed the company seated about the long oak table. The room was narrow, paneled with oak. ...
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After Vibeke had seen the pastor cloaked and mounted and upon his way to Vejlby, she brought fresh wood to the fire and then, latching the door against a slight wind that seemed to be rising from the west, returned to her seat behind the fire. The beggar had not stirred from his place on the other side of the hearth. ...
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The man who painted the sign of the Red Horse Inn at Vejlby was a realist rather than a theorist. He painted what he saw, like an artist, rather than what he knew, like a child or a farmer. Therefore the red horse of the sign stood with his forelegs close together, one obscuring the other, ...
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On a morning shortly before Whitsun, Parson Sören Jensen Qvist was seated in his study. This room, like that in which the bride bed stood, was ceiled. It had one small window, unglazed, to be closed with a wooden shutter, and one door which opened on the passage to the kitchen and the garden. ...
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On Whitsunday of the year 1625, Parson Sören Qvist baptized the child of Hans and Ida Möller with water and salt into the community of Christ. Majestic in the authority which he assumed on Sundays, robed in the long black ornat with the white gauffered collar which Anna kept fresh and crisp for him with much patient care, ...
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The linden crowns grew thick about the steep roofs of the parsonage, and in the corners of walls and by the edge of the pond the burdock grew tall. The geese took shelter under the coarse rough leaves, and the children made baskets of the green burrs. Cinquefoil, with small yellow blossom, and ranunculus, ...
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Anna did not know when the dancing stopped and the last guests departed. She woke once and noticed that everything was still, but the pallor which showed through the crack between the shutters was not that of morning. Then she slept again, and woke late. There were voices in the kitchen. ...
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In less than a week Niels returned to the parsonage. He came to the field where Hans and the pastor were cultivating. Hans saw him advance through the young rye and approach the parson with his hat in his hand and his head bent. He expected to see him depart again promptly, but the parson spoke to him at length, and, it seemed, very kindly. ...
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So Niels stayed on. He had become, in a way beyond his comprehension, possessed of an immunity as far as his master was concerned. He noticed, even he, that Sören Qvist, when speaking to him, had developed the habit of standing with his hands behind his back. ...
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On the second night following the parson’s great anger, Kirsten did not sleep very well. She thought that the parson did not rest well either. Lying awake beside Vibeke, she thought she heard him moving about. The weather seemed to be changing. The down quilt felt too warm, and the girl was thirsty. ...
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They took Sören Qvist to the jail at Grenaa, Anna riding with them because she would not leave him. The parsonage was left in a turmoil. Nevertheless, in spite of the excitement and confusion, before nightfall certain things were accomplished. Hans and Lars Sondergaard had made a wooden coffin and had placed therein the rotting body. ...
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Late in the afternoon of that same day when the first hearing of the parson’s case was held, the body disinterred in his garden was committed to holy ground in Vejlby churchyard, under the ministration of Peder Korf of Aalsö. Morten Bruus was there as witness and mourner, and Judge Thorwaldsen as the King’s representative. ...
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Tryg’s conversation with Pastor Korf in the churchyard at Vejlby left him no heart for a visit with Anna Sörensdaughter that evening. All through the grim afternoon he had cherished the thought of speaking with her; the tenderness of his thought for her was a charm against the malice and hatred which he felt drawing ever closer about them all. ...
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There had come a fisher’s boat to Varberg in Skaane with a catch of herring. The young overseer of a manor some miles inland, being in the harbor town on business, came down to the docks to visit with the fishermen. He had made a habit of doing so for many years. ...
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Mist lay on the fields that November morning as the party from Vejlby parsonage took the road to Rosmos. With them rode Peder Sörensen, a solid, fair-haired figure, firm in the saddle, and lending to them all, in his quiet young strength, a new security and hope. ...
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The pastor regained consciousness very slowly. Those who were watching him saw him move his hand a little, then, after an interval, he opened his eyes, but he did not look at any of them. The eyes, focused as if upon some very remote object, might, in their rapt and steady concentration, ...
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That afternoon the wind began to blow a little, shifting the mist that had overhung the countryside. As Anna and her companions left Rosmos, riding on slowly past wooded knolls and gently rolling farmland, lights and shadows began to change above the trees; ...
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The jail wife was seated near the fire with her child in her arms. She looked up briefly as Anna entered the room, but did not greet her. The jailkeeper came from a shadowy corner and went directly to the door to the inner room, which he unlocked and held open. ...
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The motion of the boat was acquiescent to the motion of the wave that sank behind the stern with a prolonged liquid gurgle, both boat and wave running before the light, steady wind. The prow made a soft crushing noise that swelled and faded in a long, slow rhythm. The sail held steady. ...
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The girl slept long, the youthfulness of her body taking mastery over the sorrow of her mind. She slept deeply, below any dreaming remembrance of her grief, and when she woke she was refreshed and strengthened. Before she had opened her eyes she thought that she was in her own room at Vejlby. ...
The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron
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Jean Larcher, bookbinder, was at supper with his wife and son. The day was Easter Sunday, which in that year of Grace, 1694, the fifty-first year of the reign of Louis XIV, fell upon the eleventh of April. They sat about a table spread with white linen in one of the four rooms which he rented in an old building in the rue des Lions, ...
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That same evening a little before sundown Paul Damas came upon the great Place des Victoires. He had not been searching for it; he had, in fact, been lost. But, working his way through a tangle of narrow and evil-smelling little streets, he emerged suddenly upon the clarity and spacious symmetry of the Place, and knew at once where he was. ...
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“Our Father who art at Marly,” went the paternoster of the Ballad Singer. But the King was not at Marly on that Easter night, nor at any of the other châteaux where he sometimes went for relaxation. He was at Versailles. He had returned there at the beginning of Holy Week to perform his part in the ceremonies of the church. ...
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Paul Damas, the morning after Easter, woke to a timeless moment and did not know where he was. The voice which wakened him was familiar, yet he could not place it. He lay so far beneath the surface of consciousness that, although he heard the voice, he could not reply. ...
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Monsieur found his wife writing letters. At her feet was a basket of honey-colored Spaniel puppies. About her shoulders, over her dressing gown, was an old fur pelerine which she had brought with her years ago, at the time of their marriage, from the Palatinate. ...
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That Monday night in Paris, Paul Damas and Nicolas Larcher walked for a long time on the Mail between the river and the Arsenal. The stars came out in pale clusters above the clotted new leaves of the elms; the smell of the river dominated and then obliterated the various scents and odors of the day. ...
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The title of the pamphlet as the King had given it to Monsieur de Pontchartrain had already been sent to the rue St.-Jacques to be added to the list of proscribed publications which Denis Thierry printed for the King. La Reynie, having examined the pamphlet, sent further identifying information, ...
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It was almost noon of the following Monday, April the nineteenth, before La Reynie’s men brought their search to the rue des Lions. Paul and Nicolas were alone in the bindery; it was the first time since Paul’s hiring that such a situation had occurred. ...
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It had been agreed that Nicolas would pay his own way on his adventure. Therefore, on the morning when at last the boy was to take the coach to Rouen, while he was still packing his portmanteau, it came almost as a shock to have his father place in his hand first a roll of coins sewed tightly in a bit of blue silk, ...
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On the day that Nicolas left for Rouen, Monsieur Robert, Procureur du Roi au Châtelet, paid his usual Monday visit to Monsieur de La Reynie. He passed La Reynie’s barber in the antechamber and found La Reynie himself freshly shaven but still in his dressing gown, writing a letter. ...
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Jean Larcher and his wife made their pilgrimage on Tuesday morning with the parish of St.-Paul. They marched under a cloudless sky, leaving the rue St.-Paul at eleven and returning to the rue des Lions late in the afternoon, exhausted. Paul Damas accompanied Jean, considering himself more a parishioner of the quarter where he worked ...
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The rain continued all that night, and all the next day, and all the day after that. The city was purified as it had not been in months. Pentecost dawned fair on a refreshed world, and on Pentecost it was announced in the churches that on the very day and hour of the descent of the shrine to the cathedral ...
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In the weeks that followed, Marianne learned many deceptions. Most of them were simple. She learned to look at Paul in Jean’s presence so that her feeling was not visible in her face. She learned to accept with pride, knowing the reason, Paul’s disregard of her when they were not alone together; ...
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“Since my mother is very infirm because of her advancing age, in order to spare her fatigue, I permit myself the honor of answering your inquiry regarding your son. Unfortunately we were unable to give him employment since our business is small and Monsieur Jean Dumesnil, who is my mother’s partner, is able to handle most of our work alone. ...
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The calm pleasure which he had experienced in the walled garden with the beehives deceived Paul. Tasting the sweetness of the honey, looking at Marianne, he had felt in control of himself and of his passion. He had substituted one sensuous delight for another, and he had flattered his self-love by behaving for an afternoon like a man of honor. ...
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On Monday morning, however, Paul showed up for work at his usual hour. He appeared a little grey and tired, as if he had not slept well the night before. At noon, when he sat down to eat with Marianne and Jean, he was as courteous as ever to his master’s wife, and more than ever interested in what his master had to say. ...
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By the next morning she was recovered physically. The swelling was imperceptible. The hole in her jaw no longer bled. No one would have suspected, to look at her, the ordeal of the day before. The sense of desolation remained, however. ...
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Paul made his preparations. They were simple. He bought a chisel on Wednesday on his way home from work. On Thursday evening he sauntered toward Les Halles, and outside the charnelhouses of the Innocents he found what he wanted, a scribe, to whom he dictated a letter. ...
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The wind which had driven the rain ended by clearing the sky. The gutters ran with water for a while, and water dripped from the eaves. At dusk the streets filled with the usual evening mist. After supper in the rue des Lions, Marianne said to Jean: ...
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The book trade of Lyon and that of Rouen were perpetually under suspicion. Both cities had chalked up against them, since the beginning of the reign, a long list of offenses. Lyon in especial, being so near the frontier, and Rouen, a harbor city and once the home of many Huguenots, were also suspect at all times on general principles. ...
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Marianne stood outside the doors of the Grand Châtelet, dazed, and tried to think which way to turn to regain the Place de Grève. It was broad daylight. She judged the hour to be sometime after noon, but the long wait, the penumbra of the candlelighted room, ...
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Jacques Têtu suffered a severe migraine on the afternoon of September twenty-fifth. He had wished to attend complines at the cathedral; instead he attended vespers at St.-Paul, which was so near his dwelling. Returning from the service, he declined the supper which his housekeeper had prepared for him; ...
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At the end of a week the abbé had not yet written his letter. Neither had he abandoned altogether the thought of writing it. He had given a promise, and although for sufficient reasons he could have absolved himself of the promise, the reasons he mustered were not, to his scrupulous mind, sufficient. ...
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The mild October weather which piled the sunny leaves in the forest of Fontainebleau, did not prevent an increase of illness in the city. Even before the first of October the fear of contagion had become so great that certain ladies requested to be excused from attending Mass in the churches. ...
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On the eighteenth of October, late in the afternoon, a carriage from Rouen drove east upon the rue St.-Antoine and stopped at the narrow entry to the Bastille. The driver showed his papers, the gate was opened for him and his vehicle, and closed behind them. ...
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Allhallows came and went. The churches were hung with black, the candles burned for the dead, and in the white frost of early morning the footsteps of those who approached the churches were printed in black, at first singly, then overlapping each other repeatedly until all individual prints were merged. ...
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At six o’clock the wind descended upon the Place de Grève in gusts that shook the torches at the foot of the gibbet. The mass of the cathedral, seen broadside from the Place, rising above the crowded roofs on the Ile de la Cité, cut a straight dark line against the sky beneath the darkness of the clouds. ...
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The Tour de la Chapelle received the morning sunlight, whenever the day began with sunlight. It stood above the city fosse and the garden of Monsieur de Baismaux on the apron of the fortifications. The roofs and spires of the faubourg St.-Antoine would have been visible for those within the tower ...
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On the twentieth of December there was to be another hanging. A little before six a crowd gathered before the Grand Châtelet. The gallows was set up in the Place de Grève. It was assumed that two men were to die, and both for having been involved in the publication and distribution of libels. ...
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The January day had been dark and overcast. At noon a few flakes of snow had straggled downward from the heavy clouds and been trodden into the muddy slush which filled the streets of London. On the day of Queen Mary’s funeral other such desultory and random flakes had fallen upon the gold and purple of her bier, ...
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It was two long years, almost three years, before Louis and William reached an accord. In May of 1697 the plenipotentiaries of the Allies and of France met in the château of Ryswick, and began their discussions. ...
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The French coast appeared toward evening as the clouds lifted. It appeared with the colors of a pearl, pinkish, white, faintly green and flecked with pale gold, as if all the colors might be the effect of the late sunlight. It was the Norman coast above Le Havre, and the pink, Nicolas knew, was the cliffs. ...
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All that Nicolas was certain of, as he stood once more in the street, was that the head had not denied that Damas lodged there, behind that closed door. A succession of closed doors, a succession of postponements, of disappointments, of being sent from one person to another, acquiring from each person a new hope and a new reason for grief, ...
Publication Year: 2013
Series Title: Cases of Circumstantial Evidence
Series Editor Byline: John Smith, Will Wordsworth