Script in English

by Pascale Letellier and Monika Koehler

 


- We will make it, we will make it

- Vive la Revolution!

- Ah, let’s go, let’s go, string up the aristocracy. We will make it, we will make it, let’s hang the aristocrats.

 

- Monsieur, time is up. You have to leave, I adjure you, you have to stop.

- Bring me candles. I will work late this evening.

- But, Monsieur …

- And a glass of wine, as usual.

It was time that the world changes, but the revolution has become terror, and in my case, I will be taken away. The certitude makes people blind and crazy, it can devour their heart and change them to an animal.

In 1764 the beast appeared on our land and made it its. One year later, its fame crossed the borders of our province, and we started to believe that no mortal would ever survive the beast. Under its attacks, the country of Gévaudan drove bit by bit into the darkness.

Who comes there?
Fronsac What did he do? What did he do?
That’s a thief.
Fronsac And she?
His daughter. A bloody witch!
Jean Chastel I am a healer. I treated their horses, they refused to pay me!
Don’t listen to him, Monsieur. People from here have no word.
Fronsac Are the horses cured?
Jean Chastel Ja.
Fronsac Clear off!
Welcome to the country of the beast, Messeigneurs. And pay attention to the traps for the wolfs.

 

The Chevalier Grégoire de Fronsac, and the man who was called Mani, were neither hunters nor soldiers. As Naturalist in the garden of the king, the chevalier had a well-known reputation as libertine with good spirit. Concerning the one who was following him like his shadow, he was a foreigner and nothing was known about him.

When the night fell the two travellers went to the castle of Marquis d’Apcher who would offer them refuge in the Gévaudan as long as their mission would take.

Marquis d’Apcher Our people would not be afraid of a simple wolf. The beast is different. It flees from man like it knows it has to fear them, but does not spare any woman or child.
Fronsac Have you ever seen it?
Marquis d’Apcher No
Fronsac Well, excuse me, but how do you know it’s about a wolf?
Thomas All of those who survived it made an identical portrait. The beast is much bigger than a wolf. And it is said that it does not fear the bullets of the hunters
Marquis d’Apcher I understand your scepticism, Fronsac. Like you, I don’t believe in dragons. But I made a memorandum for you about the crimes of the beast. You judge yourself!
Thomas Grandfather told me that you fought the English in "The New France"?
Fronsac Yes. I went there to study the animals and the nature and I came back with some injuries and a captaincy in the army of the king.
Marquis d’Apcher I opened a hospital for the victims of the beast in a former monastery.
Thomas That’s a woman from Lorcières. She came back from the trade fair when the beast attacked her on the road. Two farmers came to help her, the beast absconded, but it had time to tear off half of her face.
Marquis d’Apcher Tell me Chevalier, how is Monsieur Buffon doing? And how is Paris?

 

Thomas And "L’Ingénu", have you read "L’Ingénu"?
Fronsac Marquis, it is a little bit late to talk about philosophy.
Thomas You are right. Let’s talk about theatre. You know any actresses? What do they show in the theatre this winter? (You can put it here.) It’s often said that they are flirtatious. I don’t know if it is the truth, but I have read that some offer their charms! Tell me!
Fronsac Here, something to satisfy your curiosity.
Thomas Le "Mercure de France"? Here we only have le "Courrier d’Avignon"! I will show you the ward.
Fronsac Don't bother! He will sleep here.
Thomas Very well. Good night Chevalier.
Fronsac It’s not Versailles, but his win is good.

 

Jacques La bestia, es grosa como una vaca.
Père Georges As big as a cow.
Jacques Ei visti plan de lops. La bestia es pas un lop. Avia la gola enorme alongada, e las dens coma de cotels
Père Georges Jacques has seen many wolves. But he says that the animal that attacked him is not one. Its muzzle is elongated; its teeth are like knifes.
Fronsac And if it was not a wolf, what was it?
Jacques Un diable !
Thomas Chevalier, the beast attacked a woman near Saint-Alban.

 

 

Mani There !
Thomas Keep cool, Chevalier, There is nobody
Duhamel Who goes there? What the heck are they doing here! Stupid son of a bitch !
Thomas Good afternoon captain.
Duhamel Marquis ? Good day to you. Be careful, there are traps everywhere.
Thomas Duhamel, here is Chevalier Grégoire de Fronsac, from the King's Garden. He would like to have a close look at this poor soul's body. With your permission, of course.
Duhamel So you're the one, Sir, who handled my men roughly?
Fronsac I did not know, captain, that they acted by your orders.
Duhamel This is not the case. You did well. I apologize. These guys are not from the area. They are good for the war but not for the hunt. Be careful, we had her entrails out and stuck them with poison. What kind of gardener are you?
Fronsac Once your men have killed the beast, captain, his Majesty insists that it should be brought back, studied and kept in Paris. I was given the responsibility to draw a portrait of it and to stuff it straight after the hunt. For the time being, I try to know it. For Christ's sake, with such a jaw, this beast must weight 500 pounds!
Duhamel This time, I'll get it Marquis. Before the first snow, I'll get it. If everybody comes at the battue, it won't manage to escape.
Fronsac Have you ever seen it?
Duhamel Once, sir. Once in 13 months, I had it in front of my gun. I hit it, my word, Sir. I saw it collapse and coming back to life right after. We lost it south of Mount Mouchet. It vanished in the woods, as you might say.
Fronsac Did it look like this?
Duhamel It has also some kind of black stripe on the back, with something like spines, you see…

  

Marquis d’Apcher My friends, may I introduce the person who drew these sketches, Chevalier Grégoire de Fronsac. Providential man, as he comes from Paris to…
Jean François Sketch the beast?
Marquis d’Apcher His Eminence, the bishop of Mende ; his grace the Duke of Moncan ; his grace the count of Morangias, and Madam the Countess ; their son Jean-François. He travelled too.
Jean-Francois Great talent, Sir.
Fronsac Thank you Sir.
Marquis d’Apcher Mr Laffont, our intendant ; father Henri Sardis, parish priest of Saint Alban.
Jean-Francois So, tell us, Sir. Do you talk a lot about the beast in Paris?
Fronsac We even make songs!
Comtesse de Morangias The court should say prayers
Do you think that Captain Duhamel will need God's help so much?
Sardis Who could do without it?
Comte de Morangias Duhamel is barely good to dress his soldiers as girls to lure the beast! What a strategy!
Duhamel does what he can!
Jean François I think you are rather indulgent! Duhamel is an incompetent. His battues exhaust our people, his roughneck soldiers destroy our lands, but the beast still runs.
Certainly.
If the tax I pay to those people in Paris is used to pay Duhamel, I would rather give it to my servants, really.
What do you think about it, Sir?
Sardis Do not think you have to answer, Chevalier. His grace enjoys bickering, but he is a good Christian
Comte de Morangias When you came in, all this nice gathering was keeping harping on about God and all his clobber. It even seems that the pope sent a spy to determine if the beast was or was not a manifestation of the devil.
Fronsac Excuse me!

 

 

Thomas Marianne de Morangias. Hard, Chevalier, very hard. She gave all the good matches of the surroundings a tough time.
Fronsac And who is the next one to fail?
Thomas Maxime des Forêts. Theater writer.
Fronsac So it will be easy.
Thomas Be careful. She is a Morangias !

 

Fronsac Miss.
Maxime Good afternoon, Sir. We were conversing, the lady and I.
Fronsac You are Maxime Des Forêts ?
Maxime Maxime is in front of you.
Fronsac What a pleasure to meet you ! Skilled authors are very rare nowadays. The Marquis d'Apcher just talked to me about you.
Maxime The Marquis?
Fronsac Listen, he tries to have his memoirs written on his family, and he thinks of you.
Maxime Do you think so?
Fronsac Between you and me, he is in a good mood, it's now or never. But be careful, do it cleverly, just behave naturally, and above all, above all, wait that he talks to you about it first.
Maxime Miss, will you excuse me.
Marianne Don't you feel ashamed?
Fronsac Of course not!
Marianne So, Mr naturalist, is our country to your taste?
Fronsac For now, I could catch sight of its beauties only, or at least, one!
Marianne Is this the way people talk to the ladies at the court? No, this is a tirade you have saved for the innocents of the province.
Fronsac Maybe I would frequent the court if one could meet young ladies like you.
Marianne They start to serve, Chevalier. Let's have dinner.
Fronsac I won't leave you for a second!!!!

 

Fronsac We were sailing back stream the Saint-Laurent for 12 days when we caught in our nets the strangest animal I had ever seen. The Indians had already talked to me about their sacred fish, but I was quite sure it was a legend. I had in front of me a fish with the shape and the size of a trout, but whose body was completely covered with a jet black fur
Jean-Francois A hairy trout? Sir, you're joking!
Fronsac No, Sir. Salmo truta dermopila, from Canada.
That's rather strange!
Comtesse de Morangias It is as soft as ermine.
Comte de Morangias Oh, nature is extraordinary
Comtesse de Morangias Water must be quite cold!
That proves that the impossible is sometimes possible.
Maxime Well said!
That's a discovery that must have brought you the honors at the King's garden.
Jean-Francois But I doubt that Monsieur de Fronsac deserves them. On the other hand, I must recognize, Chevalier, you have some talent for comedy. If I had two hands, I would applause.
Comte de Morangias Jean-François ! Please, will you excuse him, Sir.
Fronsac Your son is right, comte. This animal does not exist. My embalmer master at the King's gardens is a skilful person. Forgive me for having played to you this student joke
Marianne Do you mean that the moral of this story is that there is no beast in Gévaudan, and that we from this region, are stupid people?
Fronsac Mademoiselle, the moral of my fable is that no one has ever seen a dragon or a unicorn somewhere else than in books or the poems. And our dreams sometimes appear as the truth when one dresses them up in Latin.
Please, be careful, Sir. It could happen that we do not know anymore what you are talking about.
Jean-Francois And besides, who are you? Naturalist or philosopher?
Or worse, actor?
Sardis I think that the Chevalier is Parisian above all.
Comte de Morangias So, we have talked enough about this darned beast. After all, it only devours the villains.
What if we made riddles, impromptus?
Maxime Oh I just wrote a short love compliment. Comtesse, if you don't mind?
Comtesse de Morangias Only if it is not licentious!
Maxime Licentious? Oh no, no, no. It is a chaste compliment, very, very pure. It is without study. It just came up to my mind. It is called "Wolf!". "Wolf!" !!

"I was not careful, and while, without evil intentions, I look at you, your eye, furtively, strikes in my heart a blow. Wolf!, wolf!, wolf!…"

 

Fronsac Will I see you soon again?
Marianne Do you have other fabulous animals to show?
Fronsac It seems that you have a preconceived idea of my person! Allow me to change your opinion.
Marianne Try it!
Fronsac Are you coming to the big battue of Duhamel?
Marianne Certainly!
Comtesse de Morangias I forbid it. My daughter, that’s too dangerous!
Fronsac The obedience is the first virtue of a young girl of noble birth.
Comtesse de Morangias This young man is right.

 

That day, the biggest battle ever organized in the French kingdom took place in Gévaudan. The king offered a bonus of 6000 pounds to who would kill the beast. Thousands of farmers, requisitioned as fencers and as soldiers, every hunter and adventurer the region had arrived. Several hours we forgot that the beast was tracking us down.

- Everybody will get a card and an assembly point. The moves will start at 7.

- Very good.

- You can captain, you can. My people have other things to do!

- Your generosity, Monsieur Le Duc, is at the measure of your courage.

- That's enough Duhamel.

- I hope for us that we will get it this time.

- That’s a fact Monsieur le Duc.

- What kind of racket is that?

Jean-Francois It’s a beautiful weapon, isn’t it? I had it made by a gunsmith of Mende when I came back from campaign. You definitely understand, that I needed something made for me.

Take it, have a look! Even in Paris you won’t find a bullet like this! I make them myself.

Fronsac Out of Silver? Are you afraid of werewolves?
Jean-Francois No, but I like to sign my shot. I am a hunter, Fronsac, that’s a passion that cost me so much!
Fronsac What happened to you?
Jean-Francois Let’s say I learnt to my cost, that certain wild animals need more than one bullet to be finished off and that, whatever Sardis would say, well, we need more than prayers to treat with gangrene.
Fronsac Did a bear injure you?
Jean-Francois A lion!
Fronsac A lion?
Jean-Francois Yes, 2 years in the royal navy let me travel a lot. You don’t know Africa Fronsac?

 

Jean Chastel Messieurs, my daughter caused all that, I bring her to you. Punish her how you think!
crowd Witch!
crowd Have a look, that’s the devil.
Jean Chastel She is sick, she is sick. She is not possessed! She is not possessed!
crowd That’s the sign of the devil. Burn her!
Fronsac Always prevent her to swallow her tongue, she could suffocate.
Jean Chasel She is not possessed. She is not possessed.
Fronsac I know
Jean-Francois Naturalist, philosopher and even physiotherapist. Bravo!

 

Thomas She has not come Fronsac, you owe me one louis!
Fronsac Marquis!

 

Fronsac And the natives?
Jean-Francois Superstitious beasts, like everywhere. Like here?
Fronsac Among the Indians, the hunters eat the heart of their victims, to acquire their strength. Are they beasts as well?
Jean-Francois In Africa the warriors devour the heart of their enemies.

 

Thomas Monsieur le Comte, Jean-Francois! Ask your people to head to the east.
Marianne Ah here you are!
Fronsac Madame your mother must worry about you.
Marianne My mother always worries. If I listened to her, I would already be in a convent.

 

Marianne I know that you don’t believe me. You are a libertine …
Fronsac But you are not a libertine when you are in love.
Marianne You are in love? But that’s ridiculous, we even don’t know each other!
Fronsac Ah, because you think I talk about you? Marianne!!!!

 

Jean-Francois Father, it would rather be necessary to teach her how to ride like a lady!
Comte de Morangias It doesn’t matter if she is doing some exercises at her age!
Jean-Francois My father doesn’t see the bad anywhere.
Comte de Morangias My son sees the bad everywhere!

 

Mani People died here!
Marianne How do you know?
Mani I hear their cries.
Fronsac Mani, stop that.
Marianne He is right. There had been a commando of templars. When it was set on fire 25 heretics were burned alive in the chapel. Is he a seer?
Fronsac You don’t have to be a seer. You just have to observe.
Marianne As a little girl I came here to play with my brother.
Fronsac You were not afraid?
Marianne He said, he would protect me from the phantoms.

 

Marianne You don’t like the hunt?
Fronsac Is that a crime in this country? The Indians say that when you paint someone, you steal his soul.
Marianne You are interested in my soul?

 

Jean-Francois What are you doing on your feet during a hunt? Do you want to get crippled?
Fronsac It’s my fault.
Jean-Francois I didn’t ask you, Chevalier.
Marianne What's the matter with you?
Fronsac It’s only a wolf.
Marianne And if that has been the beast.
Fronsac I don’t think so, Marianne.
Mani Thank you.

 

I hope for you Captain, that the beast is one of these wolfs!
Anyway, those won’t eat anybody anymore.
What a strange person! So where did you find him?
Fronsac In The New France.
Jean François Ah, that’s a, how do you say, an Acadian?
Fronsac He's an Indian. An Iroquois of the tribe of the Mohawks.
An Indian? A real one? He does not look like an Indian, not at all.
Spend this evening with us at Saint Alban. We will amuse ourselves with your valet.
Fronsac He is not my valet.
What the heck is he?
Fronsac He is my brother.

 

So how could you have mixed your blood with the one of a savage?
Fronsac You don’t look at the man who shares your disaster as a savage. Thanks to Mani I could escape the English after the battle at three Rivers.
Comte de Morangias I thought these animals were cannibals.
Fronsac And as you can see Monsieur L’Intendant, Mani is not an animal.
Comte de Morangias Could you reproduce yourself with a woman of our race?
Mani All women have the same colour when the candle goes out.
And well, father, they even have spirit!
Fronsac The Indians slept with the whites. And they even had children. That proves that we are the same species.
Comte de Morangias Life tells it. Finally that’s a little bit like the Negros.
What do you think about it, Sardis?
Sardis Beyond doubt, your bloodbrother is, like us, a creature of God. Did you have him baptised?
Fronsac He never asked for it.
Comtesse de Morangias A good reason. You move well with your time.
Fronsac Mani has his own believes. At him he is a kind of parish priest, so to speak.
Comte de Morangias If the Indians have parish priests, they are lost so.
Sardis What are their beliefs exactly?
Fronsac The Mohawks believe that to every person an animal spirit corresponds what is called "totem".
Comte de Morangias It is funny, but I do not understand.
Fronsac Mani? Would you? Do not be afraid, it is not painful.
Mani You, Oskénoundé
Fronsac Caribou. It's some kind of stag.
Comte de Morangias Oh yes, a stag. What do you think about it, wife? Am I a stag because of the antlers, or because of something else?
Marquis d’Apcher And my dear Thomas, what is his totem?
Thomas Worm. Bookworm probably.
Mani Snake.
Thomas Snake?
Fronsac For the Indians, the snake personifies wisdom.
Mani Wise Snake.
And you, intendant?
Mani Kouès, toes
Fronsac A boar
Comte de Morangias Ha, ha, ha; brighten up, Laffont. For these barbarians, pigs may symbolize nobility!
Well, whose turn is it? Sardis!
Jean-Francois No, no. And I, what am I? Half a lion, half an eagle? Come on, change me into a lizard, Indian, so my arm grows again.
Comte de Morangias Jean-François, that's enough.
Jean-Francois But what's the matter? Am I of bad taste? Leave me, leave me, leave me.
Fronsac Miss, would you?
Marianne Excuse me, Sir, but I am tired of your tricks. And I prefer to withdraw before you begin to juggle, or to dance on a balloon. Good night.

 

Thomas This will take your mind off things, Fronsac. Of course, this is not Paris, but this is the best house in Mende. And you sleep there better than in the Inn.
Mme Tessier They are all yours, Sirs. And we have a new girl, very, very…
My dear Marquis ! Come.

 

Sylvia I cost a lot, Grégoire de Fronsac.
Fronsac We already met?
Sylvia From here, Gévaudan is very small.
Fronsac Italian ?
Sylvia Yes. In this beautiful country at the moment.
Fronsac I have money.
Sylvia It is not only a matter of money.
Fronsac So?
Sylvia Veni con mi!

 

Sylvia Who did this to you?
Fronsac An, an Iroquoian arrow.
Sylvia Your heart was not far.
Fronsac . I must be a lucky man
Sylvia And that?
Fronsac A bear. It did not like me.
Sylvia You haven’t seen anything yet. I have a dangerous job, and all men do not have your manners. That gives you a souvenir from me.

 

Mme Tessier It's a scandal! In my house! Oh! Valentine, what's that?
Valentine Mrs Tessier, I do not sleep with sorcerers.
Mme Tessier But what's all this? ?
Valentine He has snakes on his body, I saw them moving.
Mme Tessier And our reputation ! Come on!

 

Thomas That's nothing, our friend is an Indian, not a sorcerer.
I do not sleep with Indians.
Fronsac Your girls are quite fussy.
Mme Tessier Come on, girls, who want to go with Monsieur Red Skin ? Come on, I double the bonus.
I like his drawings.
Mme Tessier So, here it is, everything works out.
So, you are a sorcerer?

 

Sylvia You will make my portrait?
Fronsac If you are not good.

 

Weeks passed on without Duhamel' soldiers managed to find the beast. It was the 3. winter which we spend under his reign. And we knew that the snow and the cold would not stop it better than our guns and our dogs.

Sardis Remember the threats that God made through the mouth of Moses:"I will come to you like a she-bear which you have stolen her children. I will eat your children like a lion and I will snatch their entrails and you will see how the wild beast will use you and your herd and will make our of our path deserts. For how long will the lord still be in rage.
Thomas A victim per candle. Do you really think we are in the days of the reason?
Farmer Mercy! I ask for forgiveness. Mercy. Bless-me!
Sardis What happened my son?
Farmer God punished me for my sins. My children vanished at Mont Mouchet. I am damned. We are all damned.
Fronsac Get your people together, Marquis, we will go at once. Warn Mani, I will meet you on the way.

 

Fronsac Marianne!
Marianne Good evening Mister Friend of the wolfs.
Fronsac I have something for you. I would like to see you, Marianne, alone.
Marianne In 10 days, my mother will retire for a while and my father will be in Longueuil for treatments.
Fronsac 10 days?
Marianne I don’t have so much free time like you.

 

Fronsac Bring the torch! Bring the torch!
Thomas The storm rises! People are tired. It would be better to return.
Fronsac No, we will search for the girl
Mani I have found the child!

 

Captain, the traps you infested in the region killed more farmers then wolfs. Your men gave exhortations to the population. And since your battle, the wolf has killed ….. 12 times.
Duhamel I don’t understand. It should never have been able to escape us!
How?
Duhamel It should never have been able to escape us!
And you chevalier, do you know with which kind of beast we are dealing?
Fronsac Messieurs, the only thing I am certain concerning the beast is, that it is not a wolf. In the contrary to what we think, wolfs don’t attack people, or very seldom. I could observe that in The New France.
Comte de Morangias Wolfs in that country are probably not of the same kind. A wolf with rabbis will attack anybody.
Fronsac When the rabbis takes it, an animal will die within 2 weeks. And here the beast let our country bleed for 2 years. Besides, I have seen on the injuries of the dead bodies that no wolf could have committed them. And I have found this piece of metal in the body of a victim.
And?
Fronsac Well, no animal has metal fangs.
Jean-Francois Therefore the beast is not an animal? Agreed. But Chevalier, tell us how to capture it?
While you speculate it kills our people
Sardis I think we have to listen to Monsieur de Fronsac with high attention. Well then Chevalier, according to you the beast isn’t a normal animal. But we think all the same. And for me, I am happy that you admit its supernatural character.
Fronsac But I don’t admit anything, Father, I only have doubts.
Chevalier, do you have anything else to say?
Fronsac No, monsieur.
Messieurs, I got this from Paris. Captain Duhamel, his majesty has been informed about the inefficiency of your attempts. He asked me to remove you from your functions. You and your men will rejoin your regiment of Langogne without delay. The Monsieur Beauterne, harquebuse-bearer of the king is already on the way. His majesty charged him to kill this ferocious wolf for us. And only he has the right to shoot in this diocese. Messieurs.

 

Fronsac You have finally forgiven me?
Marianne Let’s say I’m curious to know my totem. That’s how you say it?
Fronsac I would say – a sirene
Marianne You are never serious. I will ask your red-skin. And the beast, you have finally seen it?

 

Fronsac No.
Marianne You do not want to talk about it?
Fronsac Oh, I have nothing to say about it except absurd suppositions that would make me out to be a madman at the garden of the King. If I told you that the beast is constituted both by flesh and by iron, that it is endowed with reason, and that it has the talent to disappear on demand! What would you think?
Marianne That the air of our lands makes you believe in impossible dreams.
Fronsac And you would think it avoids me.
Marianne You have been here for three months only and you already would like to be finished with it. Did you think that the beast would withdraw as soon as it sees you? Maybe you're the one who scares it!
Fronsac Am I so frightening?
Marianne You savour all the more a victory when you fight hard for it Jean François told me you wanted to leave for Africa.
Fronsac For now, it is only the dream of a naturalist who is fed up with winter. And you, have you ever felt like discovering new horizons?
Marianne The ladies from here have more duties than desires. Have you seen Sardis, on the ramparts?
Fronsac He watches you?
Marianne Oh no, he watches over me. Alone with you, in this park, God only knows what could happen to me. Let's go in, or our parish priest will catch a cold.

 

- Good evening, Chevalier.

Sylvia Are you in love?
Fronsac I do not know.
Sylvia I know.
Fronsac Cards?
Sylvia For you, I never needed them, my friend. So, let's have a drink. To Miss de Morangias.
Fronsac Why?
Sylvia Her brother was here the other night.
Fronsac Did you sleep with him?
Sylvia Sleeping, with him? He does not stand that someone touches him. He watches, he drinks. And after he drank enough, he talks while he is sleeping, as all men.
Fronsac I talk when I sleep ?
Sylvia Mmm
Fronsac And what do I say?
Sylvia Again, again! Do you know how Florentines keep their husband home?
Fronsac No.
Sylvia They give them a slow poison every morning, and its antidote, every evening. So that the husband who stays out all night spends a rather bad time.
Fronsac A woman like you does not need that?
Sylvia No. And we are not married.

 

Aide- camp de Beauterne Out of the way for Antoine de Beauterne, His Majesty's harquebus-bearer, coming to free the country from the beast.
Fronsac Sir ! I am Grégoire de Fronsac
Beauterne Ah yes! Buffon's messenger! The naturalist-embalmer!
Aide- camp de Beauterne Monsieur de Beauterne lives at the Intendant. He is waiting for you at 2 o'clock sharp.

 

Beauterne Her Majesty asked me for my opinion on your report. A quite complicated tale the whole story. I do believe, that the beast is a wolf. I will run a campaign tomorrow, and I do not want that you come with me.
Fronsac Why that?
Beauterne It pleases the King to put me in charge of this matter, young man, and to let me take care of it, alone. I have no need of you to put an end to this story. Well, you will find on the table a letter signed by the count of Buffon and by our beloved King.
Fronsac I am at his service, Sir. And believe me, it is not a wolf.
Beauterne I already read your report. Please, do not get yourself into any trouble for this beast anymore my friend. I take care of it. You may leave now.

 

That’s a woman from Lorcières. She came back from the trade fair when the beast attacked her on the road.

We lost it south of Mount Mouchet. It vanished in the woods, as you might say.

Chevalier, the beast attacked a woman near Saint-Alban.

God punished me for my sins. My children vanished at Mont Mouchet.

Like you, I don't believe in dragons either.

Its muzzle is elongated, its teeth are like knifes

Once in 13 months I had it in front of my gun.

Do you talk a lot about the beast in Paris?

I saw it collapse and coming back to life right after.

The only thing I am certain, concerning the beast, is that it is not a wolf.

Therefore the beast is not an animal?

A wolf with rabbis will attack anybody.

But Chevalier, tell us how to capture it?

I am happy that you admit its supernatural character.

No animal has metal fangs.

 

Thomas Chevalier, you have to come immediately.
Père Georges I have seen him. He gave her a poison while speaking satanic spells. Only God knows how long it already lasted!
(Mani says something in Mohawk)
Fronsac Let him go.

It is about an Indian medicine, Father.

Père Georges Only our prayers can free her. But she wasn’t ….. A miracle!!
Fronsac Tell me, what happened to your brother?
Thomas A man with the beast?
Marquis d’Apcher Come on, the child doesn’t know what she says.

 

Soldier Yes Monsieur, the beast is dead. 10 bullets in the skin. It could not get up again.

I have your utensils brought for you. Start working without delay.

Fronsac That’s not the beast
Soldier Start working, Monsieur de Beauterne will come.
Fronsac That’s ridiculous. This animal is not the beast.
Soldier You have to wait for Monsieur de Beauterne.
Fronsac I don’t like your attitude, loudmouth.
Beauterne Good day Chevalier. Let us alone. Well, Fronsac, you don’t like the look of my beast?
Fronsac What does that all mean, Beauterne? This animal is not the beast, you know that very well. Damn, its jaw is 2 times bigger than that one.
Beauterne And you have everything you need to arrange that!
Fronsac How?
Beauterne As you know it, I have to bring a beast to Paris and I only have this wolf. Therefore you will build me a beast.
Fronsac You try to make the king believe ….
Beauterne No, Fronsac, I execute his wish. You have to do the same, that would be wise.
Fronsac You threaten me?
Beauterne In my age, really. You know who I am. You are much too intelligent so that there is no need to threaten you. If you do your work, the king will show his thankfulness, otherwise he will be very annoyed. You have everything you need, I count on you my friend. Till later.

 

On this historical day I first of all would like to thank Chevalier Grégoire de Fronsac from the garden of the King. The beast of Gévaudan is not anymore and that’s a bit thanks to him. But above all, thanks to our majesty.

Everybody knows that only your persona has the sovereign. Only an animal could ignore that. This animal is not anymore. It was only a little bit my merit in reality. Investing your power I only could appear into the Gévaudan so that the beast lays down its arms.

Fronsac Monsieur de Buffon, what does this masquerade mean?
Buffon Beauterne executes the orders he got. We all have to do the same, haven’t we?
Fronsac Which orders?
Mercier Mine!

 

Buffon I introduce Monsieur Mercier to you, he is special counsellor of his majesty in charge of inner affairs. He had the idea to send Antoine de Beauterne into the Gévaudan.
Fronsac So it’s due to you, that we had this quick victory over the beast?
Buffon?? Your scruples honor you, Fronsac, but it was about state affairs.
Mercier Have you read that? You won’t find it in the libraries anymore. But take it as souvenir.
Fronsac You had it forbidden?
Mercier Behind a mask the authority of the king is mocked. If we had waited too long this story would have gotten huge. People are so credulous.
Fronsac If I understand that right, it’s better to lie than to let them say lies.
Mercier Truth, truth is very complicated. To govern, you have to go straightforward. This beast was posing a problem. No beast anymore, no problem anymore.
Fronsac It will still kill.
Mercier Nobody will hear about it anymore. That's what matters. Ah, Fronsac, I was forgetting! Her majesty wants to thank you for everything. He thinks you want to explore Africa. In six months, a schooner will leave Nantes for our trading posts of Senegal. If you wish, you'll leave with them. Of course, we won't talk of the Gévaudan again, shall we? Well, Fronsac ?

 

Officially, the beast died. What happened in reality is not in the history books. People were very careful not to spread what happened.

 

Fronsac He welcomes us?
Mani He wants to help us.
Fronsac Take this to the castle. I'll join you later.

 

Fronsac left it to Mani to prepare the hunt. The beast was not the only reason why he came back into the Gévaudan.

Villager What's this?
Fronsac Do you know Jeanne and Pierre Boulier's house?
Villager It's straight on. It's the last house of the village.

 

Marianne May I introduce Jeanne, my nurse. Grégoire de Fronsac.
Jeanne Pierre, go and bring some wine.
Marianne My mother had me watched. They may probably already know you are back.
Fronsac The devil takes your family, I'll tear you away from them.
Marianne I cannot stand my mother anymore, Jean-François either. I want to leave far away from here.
Fronsac In one week, I'll take you to Paris.
Marianne Why waiting?
Fronsac I go back hunting. I promised to the Marquis.
Marianne I thought you came back for me!
Fronsac No! Attention! Marianne, run away! Slowly, don't run. Come on! Come to me, come to me, come! Run away. Marianne! No!
Villager What happens here? Pierre, Pierre!

 

Thomas Tell me Chevalier. Do you really think we're going to find this beast? I would have guessed that we would be more.
Fronsac Mani knows what he is doing. I am hunting a man.
Thomas A man ?
Fronsac The beast is only an instrument, a weapon used by a mad mind.
Thomas A murderer would act more secretly!
Fronsac You're right Marquis, the first mystery of this beast is its fame. His master wants people to talk about it. The point is to have people afraid, talk about it.
Thomas How so ?
Fronsac This book was sold in the whole realm. The author upholds that the beast came to punish the king from his indulgency towards the philosophers.
Thomas Twaddles! Who wrote it?
Fronsac I do not know! But the beast has a master, and I want him.
Fronsac Finally your weapon may be useful! Provided you bear it.
Thomas And you Mani, which one will you take?
Fronsac Mani does not like guns.
Mani Too much noise, too much smoke, bad smell..

 

Thomas : It will be fine grand father. Do not worry. We prepared everything.

  

Thomas Tell me about America, Chevalier!
Fronsac America ?
Thomas Won't you go back there?
Fronsac I do not have only good memories from there.
Thomas And Mani ? Doesn’t he miss his tribe?

 

Fronsac His tribe doesn’t exist anymore. When we attacked his village the pox had already decimated them. We got the order to shoot the survivors, the women and the children as well. Only Mani escaped.
Thomas How?
Fronsac My captain wanted a Mohawk translator. I got instructed to teach him our language, and 3 weeks later I found him cutting the throat of the captain.
Thomas Why didn’t you denunciate him?
Fronsac You know how that man fought there?

He gave his scouts dirty sheets and clothes taken from the hospitals in Quebec. The Iroquois bought them and 3 weeks later we would finish the work.

Thomas That’s how you make war?
Fronsac Anyways, that’s how we lost it.

 

Thomas Where did he go?
Fronsac He went to speak to the trees.
Thomas To the trees?
Mani The trees speak! People don’t know how to listen, how to see!
Thomas See what, Mani?
Mani You want to learn?
Thomas What’s that?
Fronsac That’s an Indian host. That’s on your own risk and peril, Marquis.
Thomas What does it do?
Fronsac That depends on the person. The Indians pretend that you can see what cannot be seen. So, Mani?
Mani The beast is in the forest, the wolfs will help us.
Thomas I don’t see more!
Mani This night we will dance the dance of the blood and the beast will come to us with the sun.
Thomas That doesn’t do anything to me, that doesn’t do…..

 

During that night Mani invoked the spirits of the forest in a language even le Chevalier de Fronsac, himself, didn’t understand and the wolfs brought them the beast.

Fronsac: Don't worry, don't, I will arrange that.

Jean Chastel That will be ok my beauty, I will treat you. I will treat you, I will take care of you. I will take care of you.

Marquis d’Apcher Thomas fell asleep. This came very close. I am so sorry for the Indian.
Fronsac What’s there? Tell me. Whose residence is this? I need to know it.
Marquis d’Apcher That’s an area. A hunting area. Chevalier you have to rest.

 

- Get the horses out. Take them!!!

- Hurry, it’s burning!!

Le Chevalier returned next to the corps of Mani. His vengeance was far from being satisfied. But according to the Indian traditions at the light of the first daybreak he had to help his soul to rejoin his ancestors.

Fronsac What do you want?
Sardis Enough blood has flown on this soil. You risk the worst if you don’t leave the country fast.
Fronsac I have no intention to go, I have a score to settle.
Sardis Do you want to loose your life for it?
Fronsac Since when did you know?
Sardis I don’t know what you are talking about.
Fronsac Come on Sardis, how? How did we get here?
Sardis Nobody will believe you.
Fronsac Go away Sardis.
Sardis May God look after you.
Fronsac May the devil takes you!

 

Soldier You are under arrest. By virtue of my office which was bestowed me by Monsieur L’Intendant, I ask you to follow us with out resistance.
Fronsac That’s ridiculous!

 

Prisonner Please! Mercy! Madam!
Chief, a woman is there who wants to see you.
Machemort Later tonight
Machemort Hey, come on, get up, you have a visit, here!
Fronsac I'm not in solitary anymore?
Machemort Who do you think we are?
Fronsac Marianne ?
Sylvia Sorry ! Bring some supper to your guest.
Fronsac How ?
Sylvia A lot of people are under an obligation to me.
Fronsac You have to help me, I have to write to the King, you have no idea.
Sylvia Even if I helped you, you would be hung before your letter reaches him.
Fronsac It can't be, I have not been judged yet.
Sylvia What do you know about the beast?
Fronsac It's a tamed animal, covered with an armour. I hurt it. Since when are you interested in all this?
Sylvia Two years ago, a confidential letter from Sardis was given to the pope. It told about the settling of a secret society whose goal was, well, to have the word of Church listened, and to stand up for it, by all means. The pact.
Fronsac Sardis ! He would make use of the beast?
Sylvia The beast is a warning sent out to the King: take the power of God into consideration or Apocalypse may happen. The conspirators called themselves "the wolves of God".
Fronsac The pact works for the Church?
Sylvia Sardis only works for himself. The Lights made him mad. And Rome has no control over his organization.
Fronsac And you, who are you working for?
Sylvia The ones who hire me also pay me so that nobody knows they hire me. And you, you rather know enough.

 

Laffont Mademoiselle de Morangias ! To what do I owe the honour of your visit? How is the countess doing ? Please, have a seat. And your father, still doing a cure at a spa? This man loves eating well too much!
Marianne Monsieur L'Intendant, you had Chevalier de Fronsac arrested.
Laffont Yes. Who would have thought that such a man would sink so low?
Marianne He is not a brigand, or a murderer either
Laffont Isn’t he ?
Marianne Listen! The Chevalier de Fronsac probably had his reasons. These men may have killed this Indian who came with him.
Laffont Mademoiselle, that’s nothing to do. Even though so. You do not avenge a savage with the blood of a Christian.
Marianne I want to visit him.
Laffont That's impossible!
Marianne Very well, we'll see what people think of all that in Paris!
Marianne ! You do not understand, Chevalier de Fronsac died. During the night. Anyway, he would have been hung. If we think about it, he has been lucky.
Marianne This man was under your responsibility!
He may have died of suffocation. Unless he caught some kind of plague from his straw mattress?
Marianne You lie! You all lie!
Sardis Be courageous, my child. This is God will.
Marianne Father!
Jean- François Marianne ! Come, I'm going to take you back to the castle.
Miss de Morangias must have some rest.
Jean- Francois Come !
Marianne No. No, leave me!
That's enough, you can do nothing more for him.
He already smells bad. Let's bury him quickly, and let's forget to write a name on his grave.
This girl threatened to warn the King. She is dangerous.

 

 

 

Grégoire de Fronsac was buried the very evening, long before the news of his death reached Paris. None really knew what secrets the Chevalier was carrying into the grave. For several days, the beast has not killed, but the sudden death of the more relentless of its adversary was aminous.

Sylvia - Chut ! Andiamo ! Hurry up!

Jean François Father, I have sinned. Forgive me. Marianne, night and day, I think of her. I hear her heart beating in my chest at every single moment. I want her to be with us, Sardis.
Sardis Our lord tests you.

 

Jean-Francois But you don’t know what I endure. All these images, all these damned images that come to me continuously.

Free me Father, free me, I beg you.

Sardis For the evil which is gnawing at you, there is only one medicine.

 

Jean-Francois No, no, don’t drink little sister. They want to kill you. But I will prevent it.
Marianne But who, Jean-Francois? Who?
Jean-Francois Let’s go, Marianne. Only you and me. What do you think about America?
Marianne Jean-Francois!
Jean-Francois You made me suffer, you know, but I forgive you. I beg you, what do you do? What do you do? Stay! You think I want to harm you?
Marianne Don’t come closer, please!
Jean-Francois Marianne, Marianne, I need you. You saved me when I was sick, nobody else. It was your face that I saw when I woke up from my nightmares, it was your hand on my forehead, who shot the devils. You cannot imagine, Marianne, what I did to see you close to me. Well, I beg you, don’t turn me away.

Why? Eh? I disgust you?

Marianne You don't scare me. Go out.
Jean-Francois That’s because of that? Don’t be worried, from now on. I take care of you. Look, nobody knows only Sardis and myself.
Marianne Go away, leave from here!
Jean-Francois Why? Why?
Marianne You are not my brother. Someone else came back from Africa.
Jean-Francois Yes, that’s right. I left because of you, Marianne, without you, all that would not have happened.
Marianne It was your smell, your dirty smell that this beast smelled on me.
Jean-Francois Yes. We are of the same blood, Marianne, of the same blood.
Marianne When father will return, he will kill you.
Jean-Francois And what if I kill him? He bothered us for too long. Come here, come here, do it, come here, come here, come here, come here! Why haven’t you done that? That’s not so difficult, yet. Look!
Marianne Stop!
Jean-.Francois So, you love me? Marianne, I love you.

 

Sardis Brothers, the lord told me, the beast will return, announcing the return of our values in our decadent kingdom and from the New France, that will be reborn, we will be the invisible princes because God is with us.

People have not seen the rage of God, the just censor of the kind will come up against the terror of the rabble. And when it will be on its summit, we'll be able to deal with the king.

If he could subject a single one, imagine, brothers, what he could do, if in all provinces of the kingdom other beasts would suddenly appear ….

Time comes closer and we will harvest what we sowed. Let’s read the book of Malachi. The lips of the priest will be the agent of science. And out of his mouth you will approach the knowledge of the law because he is the angel of the lord’s army.

Fronsac If someone adores the beast or its image, this one will drink the wine of God’s rage. Will be tormented in the fire and sulphur it in front of the angels, the smoke of these torments will rise from the centuries to the centuries. I came back in front of God to call: Pierre Jean Laffont, Geneviève de Morangias, Maxime des Forests, Gontrand de Moncan, Henri Sardis, Jean-Francois de Morangias.
Jean-Francois Amen!

 

- Fire!

- Bastards! You are under arrest.

Jean-Francois You whole phantom that you are. I will cut you in half. You see, you don’t need to hold your blows anymore.
Fronsac I didn’t have the intention.
Jean-Francois Too late Fronsac, the beast is immortal now.
Fronsac It perhaps, not you.

 

Fronsac Sardis trained you like you trained the beast!
Jean-Francois And how did you know?
Fronsac You sign your crimes with a silver bullet.

 

Jean-Francois Marianne, look!
Fronsac Marianne is not here, poor idiot.
Jean-Francois You have united us forever, Chevalier.

 

Duhamel Guys, line those rose-hips up to form one.
But who do you think you are.
Stand there!
What an injustice!
Look at yourself now! Ah! You are less aloof now. Where are you going?
Come on, hurry up!
Ah, you stop showing off!

 

Fronsac He's dead.
Sylvia Now, that's certain!
Fronsac And Sardis ?
Sylvia Wherever he will go, we'll find him again! Or the mountain will take car of him. And what if we justly celebrate our success?
Fronsac You already killed me once!
Sylvia It was to make you coming back to life better. I could introduce you in Rome; you would come with me. Too late, I like you, Fronsac, you make me forget all my duties. Go now, before I change my mind.

 

 

Fronsac Marquis ! What happens?
Thomas It's Marianne, I had her taken at home, she is dying.
Fronsac No !!!. Get out, leave me, all of you. Marianne, Marianne, wake up! Marianne, Marianne, forgive me. I love you.

 

Old Thomas Many years have passed but Grégoire de Fronsac and Marianne de Morangias never left my memory. The world that created the beast is dying, and I have to hurry, as my story arrives to its end as well. I can still see myself going to Jean-François de Morangias’ secret den with the Chevalier, where the beast was waiting for its last hour.
Old Thomas The old healer told us what he knew. Jean-François had brought a strange beast back from Africa that had children. He had kept only one young, the strongest. With patience and cruelty, he had tamed it to be the most nasty.

And so died the beast of Gévaudan. And I, Thomas d'Apcher, am probably the last one to know the whole truth.

crowd You're going to die!
Old Thomas The Chevalier offered I should follow him to Africa. But the country had to be built up again. I had to devote myself to my people, to my lands
Crowd You're going to die!
Old Thomas I often thought of Grégoire and Marianne during all those quiet years that slowly brought me to the old age. I never saw them again. And I like to think that they lived happy, far away from here.