‘…And the horse sir. What colour was the horse?’

‘In your own words sir. Take your time’ said Gendarme Javert, licking his pencil and opening a thumb-eared notebook

‘Well, I stopped off as usual and Mrs von Miggins’ Kartoffel shop, you know to get a couple of kartoffel s for the general’s tea. And when I came out,  it was gone!’ The officer was quite distressed.

‘Gone sir, yes sir, that’s why we are here isn’t it sir’. Replied Javert in a disinterested tone of voice. Horse thefts were the bane of his life. How he yearned for a good manhunt.

‘Yes, sorry. Do you think the Cossacks took it? I mean they have a reputation for doing that don’t they?’ The officer asked, trying to be helpful

‘Cossacks sir? There aren’t Cossacks within a hundred miles of here. They tend to be on the Russian side of the war don’t they sir?’ Javert was tiring of the conversation already

‘So not Cossacks’ said the officer

‘Like I say sir. It’s the distance.’  Jesus Christ! thought Javert, these aides are getting more intelligent by the day

‘You mean it’s an inside job?

Javert head was beginning to hurt. Oh for Jesus Christ’s sake , no wonder we are retreating!

‘Let’s just stick to the facts sir.’ He said with a sigh

‘Can I ask sir, did you leave the stirrups down?’ he continued.

‘…Well yes of course I did’ said the officer, nervous now at the direction the conversation was going

Ahhh, now we are coming to it thought Javert, his policeman’s nouse still working despite needing a drink.

‘Hmmmm, yes sir. And the bridle. Was that draped over the mane?’

‘Well, yes. That’s normal isn’t it, I mean everybody….’ The officer was beginning to realise he was being manoeuvred into a corner

‘… And was the bit engaged with the horse’s mouth?’  interrupted  Javert.  Christ every time every bloody time!

The officer didn’t know what to say.

‘Sir?’ continued Javert. For fuck sake he thought. There was another pause, so Javert decided to clarify the events.

‘So let me get this straight. You left the horse unattended, stirrups down, the bridle over the main, and the bit engaged?’

‘Yes’ murmured the officer

‘Was that a yes, sir?’ asked Javert

The officer coughed.

‘Yes’ he said, clearer this time

‘It seems to me that if it weren’t for people like you, horses wouldn’t get stolen would they, sir’ Javert asked rhetorically.

The officer, started at this direct insult, but Javert held up his hand palm out ward to stop any discussion or incident. He continued.

‘…and the horse sir? What colour was the horse?’

When I first got the Perry Figure I was bemused by the pose. It definitely looked as though he had forgotten something vital. And so when I got the French Policeman from Eureka, it seemed rather serendipitous. I apologise for the literary fantasy that introduced the pics, just couldn’t help it. If you didn’t know – Javert is the Policeman from Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo

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