Clementine also said that she spoke with the Marquis about her brother's death, remembering that I had said he was present at the event itself. He told her it was a malignant fever, but she was much-confused because her mother told her he had smallpox, and that is why they have not returned to Rodez from Paris, except to inter him within the grounds. She looked to me for an answer, but I simply said that as I was not present I could not verify either account.
This does, however, give me the very excuse I have been searching for to broach the subject of R-'s death with their mother. I need to find out from her what she believes happened, and if F- was alone with him for a while beforehand, and how long he was out of the room before they re-entered and found R- with his wrists cut. One detail of F-'s account has long bothered me, but until recently I dismissed it. He claimed that R- threw off any attempt by others to bandage him once they discovered him bleeding, but even I am aware that a significant loss of blood leads to weakness rather than the strength required to repel three people at once. My suspicions grow ever more sinister.