Friday, May 18, 2012

May 3rd, 1782

We attended the King's hunt yesterday, and true to his word the Marquis de F- partnered Clementine, for whom this was her first hunt ever. I had said to her in advance that I heard a rumor that the Marquis was very much in debt, and wanted, as a friend, to help him if it were true. Afterwards we returned to Sully for dinner before a night at the opera and a late supper and cards with friends afterwards. Clementine said that he did not mention anything about money, but she overheard another gentleman saying that F- had been trying to acquire a charge at court, only he was not willing to pay for it. I had heard this first part, but not that he was unwilling to pay. If it were so easy to be granted a charge then I would have had one for Thierry years ago, but typically one must pay a handsome sum. Money begets money.

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.

Olympe, Comtesse