Sunday, August 06, 2006

Perfume # 4

People suspected the gypsies. Gyspies were capable of anything. Gypsies were know to weave carpets out of old clothes and to stuff their pillows with human hair and to make dolls out of the skin and teeth of the hanged. Only gypsies could be involved in such a perverse crime. There were, however, no gypsies around at the time, not a one near or far; gypsies had last come through the area in December.

For lack of gypsies, people decided to suspect the Italian migrant workers. But there weren't any Italian around either, it was too early in the year for them; they would first arrive in the region in June, at the time of the jasmine harvest, so it could not have been the Italians either. Finally the wigmakers came under suspicion, and they were searched for the hair of the murdered girl. To no avail. Then it was the Jews who were suspect, then the monks of the Benedictine cloister, reputedly a lecherous lot -although all of them were well over seventy - then the Cistercians, then the Freemasons, the the lunatics from the charité, then the charcoal-burners, then the beggars, and last but not least the nobility, in particular the Marquis de Cabris, for he had already been married three times and organized - so it was said - orgiastic black masses in his cellars, where he drank the blood of virgins to increase his potency. Of course nothing definitive could be proved. No one had witnessed the murder, the clothes and hair of the dead woman were not found. After several weeks the police lieutenant halted his investigation.

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