Friday, January 01, 2010

A new year and more on the mystery

It's a new day, new month, new year. Though we know nothing changed at midnight, somehow we all fall for it, don't we? So be it; maybe it's God's way of keeping us sane.

God bless each one of you reading this today. May He grant you good health and wisdom to make the right choices in your life with others. Few things are more critical.

Well, here's the update I promised you regarding all those mystery letters I found last week. I've been doing some reading and it's very interesting — but doesn't help me find out how I came to have them here, in my living room! But let's look at what I've discovered!

(If you missed the previous posts it might be a good idea to read them now. Clicking on these links will open a new window so you can always come back here. The Mystery Book and The Mystery Letters).

1. Although the envelope suggests that only the year 1958 is concerned, in fact it contains letters dated as early as 1956 and as late as 1959.

2. The correspondence is essentially between two men: M. Paul Gerbault, an architect-builder living and working near Tours and in the pay of M. Marcel Martel, a Frenchman living in New York and working as Chef at the New York Athletic Club.

3. Though the two men obviously knew each other well, the correspondence stays at all times on a formal, business-like level — neither one uses Christian names, for example, and the formal vous form is used throughout.

4. The business at the heart of these letters is the fact that Mr Gerbault is building a somptueuse villa for the Marcels in their absence (estimated cost is four million Francs) and all the details of decoration, furniture, floor covering, and so on must be decided upon and paid for. There is much discussion of details and prices and receipts are made by Mr. Gerbault for monies received.

5. Sometime in the summer of 1958 Customs gets wind of this irregular transfer of funds from America to France and Mr Marcel is subjected to a hefty fine of 600,000 Francs which he finds intolerably unfair.

Well, you can see by now how the two mysteries tie together — in a way. But what remains a complete mystery to me is this:

How did I manage to get this book and all these letters and personal papers when, as far as I know, I've never had the slightest contact with either man?

If anyone ever comes across any clues to help us solve this, please get in touch! :-)

1 comment:

  1. When you first came to Courtiron maybe you picked up the mystery book which had been left behind by the previous owner of the house, and, thinking it was one from your Library pit it on a shelf with the rest.

    The letters you found as you were cleaning out recently also belonged to someone who had lived in the house before you arrived.

    Just a thought!

    love from Rosemary