Scum of the Earth

By Arthur Koestler

A brand new variation of Arthur Koestler's gripping story of arrest, imprisonment, and next get away to London from Nazi-occupied France.

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Lambert used to be very affable. ‘Mais c’est ridicule ce qu’on vous embête chez nous! ’ he exclaimed while I had informed him my tale. ‘It should have been a few idiotic mistake of a subaltern to regard a guy of your advantage during this approach. I’ll see to that instantly. ’ He went to the adjacent room and spoke into the phone. Then he got here again. ‘I have spoken to Monsieur Louit, the chef du département des renseignements généraux,’1 he stated. ‘Louit might be more than happy to work out you in twenty mins. He simply desires to look at your file. In part an hour from now all of your concerns can be over. Au revoir, cher monsieur. extremely joyful to have met you. ’ G. used to be expecting me within the bistro on the nook. I ran down the staircase, leaping 3 steps at a time and virtually breaking my neck to inform her the marvellous information. We had a Pernod after which I went to work out M. Louit. ‘Monsieur Louit is busy—he can't see anybody,’ acknowledged the huissier in M. Louit’s ante-room. ‘But he's watching for me. Monsieur Lambert has simply spoken to him at the cell. ’ The attendant went in, grumbling. He got here again after a minute. ‘Monsieur Louit is busy. Wait in the event you like, yet you have to attend very lengthy. ’ I waited for an hour and a part. Then a slimy little secretary got here out and requested me what i needed. I defined to him. He went again to the room. He got here out of the room. ‘Monsieur Louit is especially busy. can't see anyone. yet he promised to examine your file. ’ in order that used to be that. 5 days later my flat was once raided and the Éloignement gave me back forty-eight hours. i attempted numerous occasions to determine M. Louit; he was once regularly busy. i attempted to determine M. Lambert once—his secretary advised me that he was once now not within the workplace, yet I heard his voice from the subsequent room. Then I gave it up. I met Mrs. Vandervelde, the widow of Emil Vandervelde, the Belgian ex-Premier, whom I had recognized in Brussels. ‘Mais c’est grotesque,’ she acknowledged, ‘the French have all long gone mad. Why don’t you move and spot Léon Blum approximately it? ’ I had by no means met Blum, and, despite his disastrous Spanish coverage, I had an outstanding admiration for his own integrity. i'd by no means have dreamt of pestering him with my deepest affairs, yet now the water was once as much as my neck, and Mrs. Vandervelde persuaded me that it'd be a question of precept for Blum to intrude in one of these revolting case of political persecution. So I went around to Blum’s apartment at the Île Saint-Louis. there has been a bodyguard of younger participants of the Socialist celebration published on the staircase—the rowdies of the motion Française had tried one or attacks on him. The critical censorship which lower out Kerillis’s assaults at the Nazi 5th Column in France had no objection to Gringoire’s pogrom crusade opposed to the Socialist chief. Blum couldn't obtain me—he was once in mattress and conferring with participants of the get together Executive—but whilst his secretary had defined my case to him, he without delay rang up M. Combe, the executive of the extraterrestrial beings division within the Sûreté Nationale. The door was once left ajar, and that i heard him conversing at the cell. He gave a brief and concise account of my case, expressed his thank you for what should have been a promise from the opposite finish, after which the secretary got here again and advised me to take a taxi to the Sûreté Nationale.

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