Nelly & Monsieur Arnaud

The Leeward Islands
are in Polynesia?

When were you there?
My first post, after the war.
It's where they send young judges,
and unfortunate elders

of dubious value.
A sort of tropical exile.
A ''high proficiency judge''...
It means nothing.
It's the story: a young fool,
full of lofty ideals,

thinking himself justice incarnate,
is parachuted into an earthly
paradise where no one gives a damn.

A sort of travel story.
An initiatory one.
In the style
of a violent deflowering.

Shall we begin?
Does the light bother you?
Is there a reflection
on the screen?

I'm fine.
Once it's dark,
the lamp should be strong enough.

You may begin.
You suddenly appear so...studious.
''I had never left France.''Period.
''A wandering father had soured
my taste for travel.'' Period.

''I countered his transitoriness,
my mother's bane,

''by taking the bench as a judge,''
- comma -

''sedentary by nature.''
She'll get it. New paragraph.
''When I learned
of my first posting,'' - comma -

''I looked for the name Ururoa
on an atlas,

''but it wasn't to be found.''
I looked for the name...