The Ninth Victim – Excerpt 27

It suddenly became all too clear to Valjean, the man behind him was Raoul Dupin, the man who had pleaded that Valjean be assigned to this case. But Valjean , a man who worked the cases depending on the evidence presented to him, had assessed the evidence and found de Peysac not guilty but innocent. And now it seemed they were both to be made to pay for his decision.

Dupin moved from behind Valjean and stood pointing the pistol at him, he started to gloat, ‘You were clever, Valjean, but the one thing you missed was family, that was the missing connection the one that you brooded over. We are all cousin’s and in this area we look after our own, I imagine you might call it a vendetta!’

‘Vendetta against de Peysac, I can almost understand, but why kill eight innocent young woman, why did they have to die? Unless there is something else that you are concealing ?’

‘So, that we had a cast iron case against de Peysac , our mission was to have him imprisoned for life, or commit suicide in remorse, but now the boars can have him.’

‘But you still haven’t explained why? No one goes to these extremes without a perfectly good reason, so tell me, what is yours, try to convince me?’ pleaded Valjean.

‘Is not beating and raping our cousin, not reason enough?’ replied a petulant Dupin.

‘At the time, yes! but not now, you have let hatred consume your thinking so that you, yourselves have become worse than him. And please remember he pleaded guilty and served ten long years for what he did.’

‘ He ruined her life ,he stole her youth!’ responded Dupin angrily.

‘But he turned himself in and served ten years in prison, what of that, he did all that the law required of him and managed to turn his life around. Your cousin is a rich and successful author despite de Peysac, so why?’

Valjean wanted to keep them talking, whilst they were communicating, de Peysac lay on the ground, better that than the boar pen. Valjean was looking for some sign of weakness, so that he could retaliate in some way, but with a gun pointing at his stomach and odds of four too one, that chance seemed unlikely at best.

(C) Damian Grange 2021

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