I can't help wondering whether that so-called mistake really was a mistake. That 50 000 FF had been awarded to us to get a studio cinema going was more than possible. Indeed, we had been knocking on the door of the regional council for some months now, in hope of obtaining the grant. Add to that the skill French bureaucracy has in covering their tracks, it was also conceivable that I had never been informed about this and that the sum had been booked down without ever actually being transferred. But that all these things should happen at once, was almost too much, even for me. I suspected once again the unseen hand of Mayor Demille behind the scenes. As he must most certainly know, any accusation against a member of the centre's staff, let alone its director, would adversely affect the negotiations to assure the centre's future. And he was still as determined as ever to see us close.
But I had no time to waste on the luxuries of contemplation. There was work to be done. Our wedding was just a few weeks away. And work at the centre had fallen badly behind. I set off for the office at once, determined to make up for lost time. So you can imagine my surprise and my fears on arriving, to see the place in darkness and a sign on the door informing the public that, due to unforeseen circumstances, the centre would be closed that morning. I let myself in fearing what I would find. Had the police raided us yet again? Was Javert Demille pulling out all the stops now?
A glimmer of light shone from under the door of the back office and I made my way step by step towards it. I could here nothing so it was obvious someone had forgotten to turn off the lights the previous evening. But the moment I opened the door, there was the sound of corks popping and the strains of "For he's a jolly good fellow..." struck up. The emergency meeting of the administrative council - the one Morgana had conveniently forgotten to tell me about - had begun. But there wasn't much time for festivities and we soon got down to business. At the meeting, I did try to raise the matter of my false imprisonment and my suspicions about the Mayor. After all, I explained with, for me, unusual gravity, the mistake had been a costly one. It had resulted in four days being stolen from my life. But my attempt to pursue the matter was put down with a firm but sympathetic hand. Any attempt on our part to incriminate people in high positions could only lead to further trouble for the centre and would probably incur further recriminations against me and the other council members. Sympathetic to my plight, they were. But willing to fight a losing battle over nothing, they were not. Up to me to interpret the nuance between these two declarations.