Jacques Forêt, a local gendarme and the hero in my forthcoming novel, Messandrierre, writes to his father in Paris regularly. Here are some more extracts from letters he may have written…
|Fishing Lac Charpal
How’s maman? You didn’t say much in your last letter papa and I’m worried. I can come home for a few days at the end of the month if you need me to.
It was good to see Thérèse and the boys last month. I see Francis’ attitude has changed little. I know work is hard to find but he doesn’t seem to me to be making much of an effort. I took the boys camping in the woods for a couple of nights whilst they were here. We did a bit of fishing too. They really enjoyed roughing it! Me, not so much. Family time like this makes me miss Beth even more.
|Out on a shoot
…I’m having a few days off work, papa. Nothing serious, so tell maman not to worry. Gaston – the manager at the restaurant and campsite here – took me boar hunting at the weekend. I didn’t prepare myself for the first rifle shot and as it rang out I crashed to the ground and rolled and crushed my shoulder. I’m in a bit of pain and there is some bruising and stiffness, but otherwise I’m OK. I don’t think I will be taking Gaston up on his offer for a stag hunt. I haven’t the stomach for it and perhaps, I’m not mentally prepared for it yet.
…yes I’m still in touch with Beth, it’s just by message. But I can’t stop thinking about her.
You say maman wants to know about Christmas. I am trying to organise some time off so that I can come home, but there are a lot of other married men here who want to be at home with their families too and my boss, Fournier, is giving them priority. I will try to be there on Christmas Eve if I can, papa, don’t worry…
Your only son, Jacques
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