A SMALL TOWN, HERE OR ELSEWHERE...
- The mother's saved. - And the baby?
My God, Doctor, you didn't.
I did. In all good conscience.
If you want a grandson,
in 6 or 8 months, your son-in-law can try again.
- He had enough trouble this time. - A neighbor can help.
Don't cry. You have your daughter. That's what matters.
- Hurry. It's visiting hours. - I'm done.
- Stop your moaning. - I can't get up.
Then lie back down.
Don't get yourself worked up.
- She's a mean woman. - She's my sister.
Sorry. She's a mean sister, then.
She's just unhappy. She's always been unhappy.
Read this tonight.
Aren't you Dr. Vorzet's wife?
He works here, right?
He runs the psychiatric ward.
- Can he get my bed switched? - Your bed?
The bed number is bad luck.
If I stay here, I know something bad will happen.
Don't be silly.
You have a visitor.
I brought your razor.
Why so mean to patients?
- Why so nice to Dr. Germain? - What?
You come here too often. I'll tell Michel when he gets back.
- My husband approves. - Well, your sister doesn't!
I'm a social worker.
You're a little tart.
I saved the mother.
- Again? - Why ''again''?
It's the third in six weeks.
If you distrust me, don't call on me.
I won't impose on you again.
Judge for yourself...
Spare me! I have enough trouble with my wife.
Madame Delorme again?
She's a cow!
Fortunately, I still have my pipe. And liquor, of course.
Come see a gangrene case that's quite a sight.
The tibia's sticking out. It's almost a joke.
Sorry, I never was one for jokes.
Then it's for Dr. Bertrand's eyes only.
You'll regret it. - No doubt I will.
You'll see, my good man. It's priceless!
Some nerve! Give me that.
You leave letters in your coat. You want them sterilized?
You don't have to read them, though.
You write to my sister.
You're not her keeper.
Laura's a real viper.
Hospital talk: Bed 13 can't sleep.
The liver cancer patient? He won't last two weeks.
- He's not on morphine? - He had some the first day.
- Keep him on it. - He doesn't notice the difference.
The pharmacy is out of morphine.
I don't know if you use or sell it, but I want it back!
- Listen, Doctor... - By tomorrow morning!
- Didn't you eat lunch? - Sure, I did, sir.
- Then what's that? - A snack.
Excuse me, Doctor.
I have someone sick.
- Rolande? - No, my sister.
Could you stop by her room on your way up?
- Would you mind? - I'm a doctor.
Say, you! Want your ears boxed?
Can't you be careful, Fernand?
Don't like children? - Not much.
- And you room at a schoolmaster's? - It's my bad luck.
So, Rolande, playing the concierge?
I just happened to be near the door and I saw you coming.
Your aunt's ill?
You got a letter this morning.
I left it on your desk.
Don't. The air does me good.
It's not for you. It's for me.
Their shrieking gets on my nerves.
You wearing perfume? - You don't like it?
I should've left the window open.
Where does it hurt? - All over.
I have a cough and fever, and I feel tired and stiff.
I have a pain in the back. Upper left side.
In between, maybe?
- Maybe. - Undress. I'll examine you.
Just your sweater.
Not so loud.
Got a hankie?
Isn't my nightgown enough?
I'll use mine.
- Excuse me. - Come in.
I brought fashion magazines.
You can stay.
Leave me alone a moment with Miss Saillens.
Of course. I'm sorry.
Thirty seconds will do.
Do you know what I have?
Not a thing.
I'm not sick?
You wanted to be examined.
For this kind of examination, you don't need a doctor.
Not my kind, anyway.
My name is Rémy.
You can go in now.
Won't I tire her?
No risk of that.
There's no need to put on an act.
The magazines were an excuse to see you.
You need no excuse.
You think so?
Maybe it was true before, but not now.
And you're to blame. - I don't understand.
You're a very discreet friend, Doctor,
but you must have been saying things about me.
Like our arranging to meet in secret.
I'm accused of being your mistress.
I received a poison-pen letter.
You realize I have to avoid you now.
''You lecher: Stop fooling around with Vorzet's wife Laura-the-Whore.
Beware! I see all and will tell all.
Take the bags.
Have Monsieur's trunk put in the yard.
I know of nothing more absurd than a doctors' convention
except a psychiatrists' convention.
No one listens to the speaker, thank heavens.
If they did, there would be a storm of belly laughs.
An audience of patients might listen,
but then again, no!
The only useful purpose for these gatherings
is to give provincial doctors the chance to cheat on their wives
with Parisian women.
As I'm too old for that, I came home.
What is it, Laura? You look worried.
- I told you about yesterday's letter. - Yes. What of it?
There's one for you today.
Three sheets of stamps.
Three sheets of stamps.
What do you do, eat them?
They're for a charity organization.
Each sheet means a Chinese soul saved from paganism.
Faith, Miss Rolande! Faith shall redeem the world!
Hello, Rolande. Two stamps, please.
In the blink of an eye.
I didn't know you were back.
An elderly husband mustn't leave his young wife alone too long.
- Was that meant for me? - Why you?
I meant it for her and for me.
Don't be angry. Here are your letters.
May I? I'm something of a graphologist.
Not a prankster?
Graphologist and prankster.
They're not mutually exclusive.
A peculiar personality.
Smart. Very smart, in fact.
A bit too much.
Much too much sensuality.
But also a lack of flexibility and freedom.
You're not very tolerant, my friend.
You're a rock.
A finely chiseled rock, but a rock, nonetheless.
It can't make you many friends.
I have neither friends nor enemies.
Can you name one friend I have? - Well, I can name an enemy.
- Who? - Do you mind, Doctor?
Excuse me, but you're blocking the letter box.
Have a good trip, Michel? - Fine, thank you.
See you at the hospital.
You were saying, an enemy?
My wife received an anonymous letter.
She told you?
She hides nothing from me. My age, you know.
I received one myself this morning.
- On the same subject? - Yes, with further details.
It seems your relations with Laura left an embarrassing trace -
Take it easy.
Which, in my absence, you supposedly removed by surgical means.
Care for one?
And Delorme, as chief physician, received a similar missive.
You're accused of relieving vulnerable women of unwelcome burdens.
There. You've been warned.
- If I find the bastard! - Fighting words.
I have some experience in the matter.
I've been an expert witness in poison-pen cases.
What we're dealing with here is not a slanderer, but a sick man.
- I'll cure him. - When you find him.
It could be the deputy prosecutor, who's picking up a letter.
Or Mr. Fayolles, who's cashing a money order.
Isn't that so, Mr. Fayolles?
Couldn't it be you?
- Me what? - It's a secret.
Anything for a laugh.
And if it's neither of them,
it might be Dr. Germain himself.
You suspect the victim?
A sick man can accuse himself.
It's common among such letter writers.
That takes the cake.
Mind you, I'm not suspecting you for the moment.
How kind of you.
But you must be on your guard. Keep an eye open.
You can't tell how far this filth will go.
The whole town may be infected.
- And to think... - What?
No, nothing. Good-bye.
Say, the Raven might even be you.
And why not?
Oh, it's you, sir. Sorry, sir.
No need to get up.
Bonnevi, I'm in a fix.
Nothing serious, I hope, sir.
- I got another poison-pen letter. - Again?
This one doesn't only involve Germain.
Let me read it to you.
Please do, sir. I'd be most honored.
''You old sot''...
It's a standard phrase. - Of course.
''Alcohol has clouded your vision.
You can't see how Germain is discrediting your hospital,
or how the books are rigged by your bursar,
Ask him how he helped his friend Griot
win the tender on January 15th.
Signed: The Raven.''
What do you say to that?
And you, sir?
To be honest, I'm in a fix.
A real fix.
Obviously, between the two of us,
on January 15th, there was something a bit...
It presents a real moral dilemma.
Yes, all the more so as I'm faced with a similar moral dilemma.
I received a letter, too.
Kindly allow me to read it to you.
But of course.
''You old crook''...
It's a standard phrase.
''You're on good terms with Germain the abortionist. Keep it up.
You may require his services if your daughterJeannette
keeps spending time in the chief physician's office.
Signed: The Raven.''
What do you say to that?
These letters are nothing but a web of slander and lies.
That's clear in my mind.
In mine, too, sir.
- Get a grip on yourself! - Let me sleep.
- Enough of this! - But I'm sick!
You, sick? I know your tricks.
You had to have all the lodgers,
except the boy scout. And maybe him, too.
Now it's Dr. Germain's turn.
You can pick them!
He's a stuffed shirt. I bet he's a lousy lover.
- Then why act sick? - I'm not acting. I am sick.
I have bronchitis. And strep throat.
True, you do look ill. Do you have a fever?
Let's see your throat.
Ice water? You're not acting sick. You're making yourself sick.
Luckily, I got that letter.
- What letter? - This one!
Hello, Mr. Mayor.
- Not playing? - These gentlemen are talking.
- Fayolles got a letter. - What's worse, so did I.
Because I'm a public figure!
He doesn't even respect public office.
Listen to this!
I refuted that hogwash during my election campaign.
''You administer a city
polluted by Germain the angel-maker.
Here's my indictment in three points:
Point 1: Germain sowed his wild oats with -''
Here he names a lady of honorable standing.
It's unnecessary to lend it any importance.
''Point 2: Germain is trafficking morphine
and framing an innocent victim, Marie Corbin,
to whom I respectfully bow.''
What do you say? - And Point 3?
Of no importance.
- Point 3: You're a cuckold. - How would you know?
I got an anonymous letter, too.
All lies, but how unpleasant!
- I don't agree. - You find them pleasant?
I meant the lies. There's some truth to them.
So I sell adulterated drugs!
I meant the accused person whose name appears in each letter.
I wouldn't dare speak ill of a colleague,
but this morning we had a talk which left me feeling uneasy.
In my three years as deputy prosecutor, this is my first real opportunity.
You can't just arrest Germain.
I mean investigating the hospital.
Not on your life! I won't allow it! Enough already!
A physician can't fight the public prosecutor.
But your father can box your ears if you get on his nerves!
- If that's the case - - Indeed, it is!
All right, Papa. But I know where my duty lies.
You have only one duty, young man: Discretion.
Our city has a fever.
Take a look. I had some fun plotting its temperature curve.
Amusing, isn't it?
In two days we've reached 101°
and still rising.
You don't operate until a patient's fever subsides.
- What are you doing here? - I was waiting for you.
We can't talk at the hospital due to the rumors.
I wanted to apologize. - Apologize?
I was hard on you the other day.
I thought you'd been reckless. Now I know you're the victim.
Can you forgive me?
- Don't be silly. - Someone might see us.
What's the harm?
There is none, but we have to be careful.
I was thinking, since we can no longer meet in public,
we might meet in a place that's more secret.
The whole town's against you. I could help you fight back.
I can manage alone.
It's kind of you, but I'm used to being alone.
What did you write in your letter to me?
- What letter? - The one you tore up.
Things that concern me.
And me, since it was addressed to me.
There are letters you write without meaning to send.
What is it? - Be quiet! I'm sure she's watching us.
Have you figured out who wrote the Raven's letters?
Watch out for her.
The lodger's getting a bad name.
His ears must've been burning today.
That'll teach him.
You think it's true?
Those things... people are saying.
It's not a subject for little girls.
Have you forgotten when you were my age?
See who it is.
If it isn't the doctor! Hello, Doctor.
We were just talking about you... Doctor.
- Denise is ill? - Yes, and this time for real.
You know about cupping? - Of course.
Then take over for me. She just loves that.
- So, finally ill! - What if I am?
I enjoy getting sick to be treated.
- Funny girl. - Who's funnier, you or me?
Me, surely. Because I don't respond to the first woman's advances.
The first woman thanks you!
You know what I mean.
You mean you need to be in love with a capital L.
No, if I was sure I loved a woman, I'd flee even faster.
Then what keeps you from having a good time?
Or rather, two ghosts.
Does that hurt?
All I want from life is to find peace.
- You're wanted! - Me?
I'll be right back.
Oh, it's you!
Excuse me, but when you hear what it's about...
Come with me.
- Charming study. - You like fine furniture?
I appreciate it from a distance.
But with the fees our fellow citizens pay us,
we can't collect pieces like these.
You must have a large personal fortune.
- Adequate. - Just what I was telling them.
People who questioned me a short time ago.
About my fortune?
About your fortune, yes.
About your past.
What with this sorry business, people have become nosy.
Next time, send the busybodies to me. I'll fill them in personally.
By the way, before coming here,
didn't you tell me you practiced in Grenoble?
Yes, I probably did.
Some fool had the idea of consulting the medical directory.
He found no Dr. Germain in Grenoble.
Tell the fool that inclusion in the directory isn't mandatory.
Unfortunately, the only Germain in Grenoble
moved away 15 years ago
and became Germain Monatte,
the brain surgeon.
I've met him.
Well, that's something.
It might be useful if it comes to an inquiry.
Those knickknacks are fragile.
Today, they only asked me to get some information.
Some other fools. There's no shortage of them.
I'll be off. It's late.
Anything about the Raven?
They tend to suspect my sister-in-law, Marie Corbin.
Of course, she holds a grudge against you.
But I don't think it's her.
I was engaged to her before I married Laura.
I knew her well.
She would have to have changed a lot.
Did you mind my visit?
On the contrary.
Thank you for coming.
Don't overdo it.
I wish you a long life, Germain,
but never to become a senior physician in the medical profession.
It comes along with some unpleasant duties.
I thought you were in bed.
- I was just coming to see you. - In my room?
Vorzet doesn't pay visits for nothing. It's serious, isn't it?
- What's it to you? - Always so friendly.
Back to bed. You'll catch cold.
What's it to you?
Yes, I limp.
My brother and I had a car accident.
He lost an arm and I developed a hip ailment.
Does it stop me from being beautiful?
Does it stop men from wanting me?
Does it stop you from wanting me?
Good night, Denise.
You know you won't sleep.
You're too anxious.
Does it show that much?
You said you wanted peace.
Yes. Total oblivion.
I can't give you that much.
But a few hours of oblivion counts.
- There goes Therese Marty. - She wrote to her Emile.
You never know. Better safe than sorry.
Put her down. - Here he comes.!
How's your niece?
You needn't have bothered. She's gone out.
But she had 103//*... - +yesterday!
Young people... She was fine today and went for a walk.
Come in. I'll be right with you.
- Isn't this Dr. Bertrand's bag? - If you know, why ask?
- So she's out with my colleague. - She does as she likes.
I presume you've changed doctors.
To be honest, I wasn't happy about it.
The child is very fond of you.
But with all these rumors, it doesn't matter if they're all lies.
- I understand now. - My niece is a good girl.
Good-bye, Doctor, and don't forget to send me your bill.
I bet that crook will have the nerve to send it!
''Germain is a clown. Germain is a thief.
Germain is a liar. Germain is an abortionist. - The Raven''
- Back already? - As you see.
What are you doing?
Watching the children play.
I thought you disliked kids.
I don't know what I like anymore.
After all this muck, I find them comforting.
You're not very tender today.
- Listen, Miss Denise. - Why the formality?
I'm afraid we misunderstand each other.
Yesterday, you appealed to me.
But I was depressed.
I stayed as much out of discouragement as desire.
- I'd be stupid not to. - No, you don't understand.
But it doesn't matter. I've decided to leave town.
That'd be like a confession.
- Only once this affair is over. - And in the meantime?
- We can be friends. - Friends?
A woman like me and a man like you? After last night?
You underestimate me.
- Think it over. - I already have.
You're a coward. You're weak.
You're a bigger tramp than me.
But I won't give in.
You saw me limp, but with my shoes on, I walk like anybody else.
It took me five years to get where I am, but every man I wanted, I got.
Me, the cripple!
Each time it's my revenge on life.
Do as you like, but know who you're dealing with.
- What are you doing here? - I'm being punished.
- Did you see a piece of paper? - No, sir.
But you had your face to the tree.
I peeked, sir.
Did you put this here?
Do you recognize this fowl?
What are you doing here?
It's like this, Doctor.
I have a big favor to ask. Can you lend me 100 francs?
- My honor is at stake. - Oh, my!
Don't laugh. It's very serious!
On my way to work today, I passed a shop window
with a collar in real English embroidery.
I borrowed 100 francs from my cash box at the post office,
thinking I'd replace it from my savings, but...
- But my grammar book's empty. - Grammar book?
I keep my money in it.
Then return the collar.
I can't. I stained it.
Thank you, Doctor.
You can have this, too.
You're here, finally.
Come kneel beside me so no one notices us.
I couldn't come sooner. Your sister was watching the square.
See what a fix you've put me in.
I should have shown your letter to my husband.
I sent none. I came because of your note.
So, do you know who the Raven is or not?
This is a forgery. Here's the one I got from you.
And you came anyway!
I was deeply hurt. But still I forgave you.
A woman is always prepared to excuse a love like this.
Do I disappoint you?
And I thought you were way above all this.
We're much the same.
- But I'm not free. - You love another woman?
I'm haunted by... Maybe I'll tell you some day.
No one's asking you to. I don't throw myself at others.
What worries me is why this meeting was arranged.
I don't know, but I certainly won't draw it out.
Good-bye, Laura. Don't be angry with me.
If ever you need me, I'll be here.
- You weren't expecting me. - Why are you here?
Your scruples about me don't stop you from running after a married woman.
A prudish, spiteful hypocrite!
This meeting is a trap, and you've fallen into it with us.
Who told you to come?
Someone who knows all about you!
I just got a letter. - From the Raven?
Why not? I forbid you to talk to me.
You stole my lover! Everyone will hear about it!
- Shut up! - I'll help the Raven!
I won't shut up! Everyone will know! You bastard!
Lower your voices. This is God's house.
You're needed, Doctor.
- You knew I was here? - I saw you come in.
The patient in Bed 13 just committed suicide.
He received an anonymous letter telling him how ill he was.
He cut his throat with his razor.
What do you think?
I think Marie Corbin wrote that filth. She couldn't stand Bed 13.
That's the general feeling.
As if I hadn't enough troubles. What to do?
Give him a fine funeral.
Today's Friday. Make it Sunday, so the town can attend.
- It's the town festival. - Call it off.
The priest won't give a suicide a church funeral.
Dr. Vorzet will certify him disturbed.
Bed 13 was mad, wasn't he?
Certainly. As mad as anyone. Like you and me.
Don't joke, please!
We'll all be in the cortege. - Not me.
I don't like funerals.
You didn't listen to me.
The wreath should be behind.
One moment, Miss Corbin.
Hold this a second.
- You'd be wise to go home. - Why wise?
Everyone here suspects you. They'll call it a provocation.
Don't insist. I'll see this through.
TO THE TOWNSFOLK
''Bed 13 did not take his life.
He was done in by Germain-the-Lecher,
the lover of Laura, Denise, and next, Rolande, the postal thief.
The Raven is following the funeral.''
Shattered lives didn't suffice.
Broken homes didn't suffice.
The anonymous murderer had to have blood as well.
These little pieces of white paper rained on the city.
They made some of you laugh.
Would you have laughed knowing they would make a mother weep?
But our whole town shares her grief.
Were it not out of place to invoke human justice before this grave
that draws us closer to divine justice,
I would say the whole town shares her desire for vengeance.
Just as, in olden times, the owl would be nailed to the barn door,
you shall be nailed to the cemetery gates,
fowl of blood.
Fowl of darkness.
In the name of the overwrought citizens here
and in the name of the power invested in me,
Unhappy victim of a nameless murderer,
you shall be avenged!
- She's the Raven! - It's not true!
The letter was in your wreath!
- Others held it! - Are you accusing me?
You put the letter in the wreath!
THE I NKTHAT MADE BLOOD FLOW
THE I NKTHAT MADE BLOOD FLOW
- They'll break down the gates! - Afraid so, sir.
- And you sit there reading! - I don't mind the noise.
- Gentlemen! - No ladies?
- Ladies! - How about us?
- Shut up, you clod! - Let me speak!
Give us Marie Corbin first!
She came to work this morning. We dismissed her.
Dead calm. Marie was arrested two days ago.
The temperature is back to normal and even below normal.
No more letters in St. Robin. It's reassuring.
Nobody believes your sister is guilty.
Everybody does. That's what reassures me.
I can prove she's innocent.
You're starting to worry me.
You know something?
Rolande confessed something terrible.
She hasn't stopped crying for two days. - The postal theft charge is vile.
Sadly, the Raven was right.
But only one person knew about it.
And it wasn't Marie Corbin. - Who then?
- Dr. Germain. - Just a minute.
Didn't Dr. Germain lend her the money to put back?
How did you know?
If that's your only proof,
you can suspect me as well.
I lent her 200 francs last month,
and Laura lent her 50 two weeks ago, for the same reason.
It's a trick of hers.
The little rascal will pay for this!
Be patient with restless young girls.
How old is Rolande? - 141/2.
Too early to marry her off, but don't wait too long.
- Leaving? - No, getting the hell out.
- Why? - After this welcome...
But now that Marie's in prison, they're ready to build you a statue.
I won't stay, even in effigy. Pass me the sleeve on the mantle.
- Sleeve? - The folder!
- You must find me stupid. - No, you're sweet.
But you're still leaving.
Your mind's made up? - Made up.
Nothing can change your mind?
I love you.
You don't believe me?
You think I'm a liar?
Boor. - So be it.
I spoke that name an entire night. Let me use it now.
No, darling, not like that.
Stuff them with your socks. It saves space and holds their shape.
people think you're insensitive and inflexible.
But I know you can be weak and tender as a child.
I held that child in my arms one night.
I've loved you since that moment.
It's as stupid as that:
I love you.
You don't even know what love is! You're just playing a farewell scene.
- I love you, Rémy. - The others, too?
No, I didn't love them.
Naturally, you changed overnight.
People don't change.
A decent man remains a decent man and -
A girl remains a slut? Maybe you're right, Doctor.
Then I pity you.
You'll always represent what's most dismal and most alien in life.
Don't worry. He's not gone yet.
- Read this when I'm gone. - What is it?
A copy of the letter I tore up two weeks ago.
Why give it to me now?
Because I'm leaving,
and because I doubt I could write it now.
So, you're leaving with no regrets, and you won't miss a soul.
Not a soul.
Not even her?
Denise. You were her lover.
Perhaps... for a day.
If you hadn't been, could you still have written me this letter?
What a shame.
We'll be late for mass.
I knew my wife had a caller. I didn't know it was you.
I came to say good-bye.
So you're not coming to mass with us.
I'm not religious.
I should have known. You have the atheist's self-assurance.
Are you religious?
When in doubt, I take out insurance. It's cheap enough.
St. Michael the Archangel...
Pray for us.
Lamb of God who taketh away the sins of the world...
Have mercy upon us.
Lord, deliver us from sinners
and evil men.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.
Dear brothers, the spirit of evil descended on your town
because of your sins.
The son threatened the father
and discord overcame the city.
But God, in His infinite mercy, turned away the scourge.
Let your hearts, delivered from fear, rise up toward Jesus
to thank Him for His special grace.
Here's what it says: ''To the congregation:
The wicked have rejoiced too quickly. Marie Corbin is not the Raven.
So I am resuming my cleansing campaign.
The sins of this baneful city will be exposed
so long as you haven't expelled Germain the corrupter.
Your brother in Jesus Christ, The Raven.''
No respect for religion!
I may add that the handwriting is exactly the same as in the previous letters.
This clears Marie Corbin entirely. Doesn't it, Doctor?
- Absolutely. - So we start over.
But this time with one sure fact.
The envelope fell from the gallery.
In the gallery there were 18 people, whom I've asked in here.
- How dare you accuse us! - Why not arrest us all?
Germain's too proud to leave now.
We protest, sir. We protest most strongly!
Silence! The mass isn't over.
- Another one. - Here's one.
- That makes 17. - A postcard.
- One for general delivery. - Everyone's at it.
The concierge wrote one to my wife. I slapped her one!
- The concierge? - No, my wife!
- Do we keep delivering them? - Unless we have orders not to.
You seem to be unaware of our mission.
Whatever the circumstances, a letter entrusted to us
must be delivered to its addressee.
Grandeur and duty of the postal service.
One for me.
- For the boss? - It's for his wife. She'll never see it.
Grandeur and decadence of the postal service!
The situation's become tragic. This is no laughing matter.
You're a funny one! What now?
We must give the impression we're taking action, or I fear the worst.
I'll lose my seat on the Town Council.
That would be a pity for you,
but that's a narrow viewpoint.
We have an epidemic on our hands, and it's spreading daily.
Doctor, you're an expert.
What do you think?
I have no opinion, sir.
As I have no desire for titles or decorations,
why should I have one?
- Well, I have an idea. - That's youth for you.
Germain is the Raven's main target.
Since we can't get rid of the Raven, let's get rid of Germain.
That might put an end to the letters.
So long, young man.
Sit down, madam.
So what brings you?
my husband is consumptive.
The slightest emotional shock might make him worse.
I must spare him any needless emotion.
Shouldn't I? - That seems wise, but...
I haven't seen him for a year and...
I said no, madam!
You may have heard that I can erase a memory, good or bad,
but it's not true.
It's you. It's really you.
You don't remember me?
You saved my life five years ago.
A skull fracture in a car accident.
- You're mistaken. - No, I'm not.
What's a surgeon like you doing in a town like this?
Don't worry. I won't betray you now.
So this was a little trap?
I have to make a living. I was offered 10,000 francs.
Had you fallen for it, they'd have you by the throat.
Who's behind this charming scheme?
Sorry, Doctor. I'm not an informer.
The Paris papers, sir.
Let me read you the headlines. That should amuse you.
We're in for it again.
The press should be banned.
- Nothing new. - May I?
I've been transferred.
And I learn it from the papers!
All this to appease public opinion!
If it restores calm, your sacrifice will not have been in vain.
General interest first.
- Get off my back, you! - We're all sorry for you.
In fact, I'm delighted. Good riddance to St. Robin.
I've enough to live on. What was I doing in this hole, anyway?
- A hole in a piece of cake. - Meaning?
The Raven enlightened me on your methods.
Repeat what you just said!
Fifteen to one on the subprefect!
Don't you start!
Let's get back to our discussion.
Talk to my successor.
It seems I'm not worthy of taking part in your deliberations.
I hope I'm not disturbing.
This will only take a moment.
Instead of finding the poison pen, you spy on his victim. How clever!
Lock up robbery victims, no more complaints of theft!
- I don't like your tone. - I'm here with a rope around my neck.
Here's my confession: I'm not a gynecologist.
I'd never delivered a baby. Happy?
I am not Dr. Germain. Satisfied?
I'm ready to leave here.
- You won't get off that easy... - Furthermore...!
Three years ago I ran a hospital unit in Paris as a brain surgeon.
- Brain surgeon? - You're Germain Monatte?
Half my name was real. So I'm only half guilty.
Dr. Germain Monatte had a wife, gentlemen.
Not a shrew like yours, Delorme,
nor a righteous biddy like Mrs. Maquet,
but a woman.
A real woman.
She was expecting.
I entrusted her to a famous surgeon. The most famous.
It didn't look good,
but the idiot made it a point of honor to give me a son.
A man of duty!
He killed both mother and child.
He killed Dr. Monatte in the bargain.
Dr. Germain withdrew to the provinces
to provide his services to mothers.
With a clear conscience he acts on difficult cases!
That changes everything.
You suspected Dr. Germain
but Dr. Monatte accuses you of stupidity!
So, you've won, you little fool!
If you were my kid, I'd give you a good spanking.
Let me die. I want to die!
- What is it? - A child nearly drowned.
- Accident? - I'm afraid not.
This is unthinkable. We must do something.
Is that you, Annette?
- Let me die! - Why should you die?
- Because Daddy isn't my daddy. - Who said so?
Daddy got a letter and Mommy left.
Go home like a good little girl.
It's not true.
Tomorrow I'll explain it all to your Daddy.
The letter writer will be punished.
Take her home.
So, Germain, going on the warpath?
If I had a chance, I wouldn't hesitate.
But if the police failed... - They couldn't succeed.
They're looking for someone with logical motives.
A poison pen acts on much more mysterious motives
that are incomprehensible to the average man,
and even more so to the average policeman.
In all the cases I've studied,
the culprits suffered from the same complex:
All were more or less sexual perverts.
- Old maids. - Yes, people like my sister-in-law.
Or widows, impotent men,
ugly old men, cripples.
A disability, even when hidden,
often leaves a secret wound that can fester.
Hello, Mr. Vorzet.
- So, my dear fellow... - Sorry.
So you think the Raven...
The case of the Raven is more complicated.
In two months, he composed 850 letters in capital letters.
I'm wondering if a single person,
even with a good deal of leisure, could have done all that.
Then there are strange cases of domestic contagion,
where you have a husband and wife,
or a brother and sister,
bent over nightly in the lamplight, writing poison-pen letters.
What are you thinking?
I know. It occurred to me, too.
But we mustn't jump to conclusions.
But I may have a way for us to settle this once and for all.
As I told you in church that day,
and as I've repeated many times since the inquiry began,
it's obvious that the Raven is one of you.
That's your opinion!
- It's crazy! - He's right!
I've therefore decided to have you submit to a test
which Dr. Vorzet, as an expert, will explain to you.
Just a minute.
Let me remind you that I objected to your conclusions a month ago,
that I object to them today,
and that I will object to them tomorrow.
If that's your pleasure.
But that's a lot of objections for so very little.
It's nothing more than a little group dictation.
Let me explain.
No poison pen can print out a thousand messages in capitals
without acquiring a derivative handwriting style
that becomes second nature.
He may be able to conceal his handwriting for an hour, two hours,
maybe even longer,
but as fatigue sets in,
he will revert to his real handwriting.
So I'm sorry to inform you
that this dictation will be very, very long.
There are honest people here who don't deserve such cheap police methods.
honest people should do their part to stop the guilty.
Pick up your pens. I'm starting.
Letter No. 1.
Stop fooling around...
with Vorzet's wife...
Put a ''W'' then dot, dot, dot.
''Beware! I see all...
and will tell all.''
- No school today? - It's been requisitioned.
- For the morning? - And the afternoon.
- Will it be settled? - The Raven's too clever.
Letter No. 53...
''You old cadaver...
you have liver cancer.
It's a real beauty.
It's only a matter of days...
before you're pushing up daisies.''
''Germain is leading you
straight up the graveyard path.
Give my regards to our Heavenly Father.
Did you faint from exhaustion?
You know why?
Then tell us.
I won't tell you. You're too hard on me.
You suspect me.
I hate you.
Leave her. She's tired.
Has she regained consciousness?
Yes, but she won't talk.
Think it's her?
While you were upstairs, I had another look at her handwriting.
There are disturbing similarities,
but nothing conclusive.
And her passing out?
That doesn't amount to proof.
Be honest with me. Do you love Denise?
I don't think so.
I desired her, and I still do on certain nights,
when I toss and turn.
But if she were guilty, I'd turn her in.
The conflict of love and duty!
You're like a French tragic hero, minus the beard.
But you virtually have a beard. That's even handsomer.
But still, when you see an evil creature -
I see one every morning in my mirror,
alongside an angel.
You think people are all good or all bad.
That Good is light
and Evil is dark.
But where does each begin?
Where does evil end?
Are you on the good side or the bad side?
What rhetoric! You just stop the lamp.
Then stop it.
You burned yourself. You see, the experiment proves it.
I'm fond of you.
I'll let you in on a secret.
I take drugs. I shoot up.
It was for me that Marie Corbin spirited away morphine from the pharmacy.
Out of love for her ex-fiancé.
But I don't consider myself a monster.
Ponder that, young man, and examine your conscience.
The results may surprise you.
I know myself.
You proud man!
Since this tempest of hate and calumny hit our town,
all moral values have been corrupted.
You're infected like the others. You'll meet your downfall.
I'm not saying you'll strangle your mistress,
but you'll rifle my papers if I leave them here,
and you'll sleep with Rolande if she loves you.
The choice is ours.
Right. You do treat lunatics.
At your service.
Sleep well, all the same.
What do you want?
What are you doing here?
I have to dust.
Since my son's death, I went back to being a cleaning woman.
Didn't you know?
I'm sorry. You gave me a fright.
I've had an atrocious night.
I know how you feel. I haven't slept in two months.
When my son is avenged, I'll sleep again, and soon.
You know who was behind his death?
I think I do, but I have to be absolutely sure.
- Who do you suspect? - You'll find out soon enough.
It was only used once. But it will be used again.
You have no right.
- Oh, no? - Absolutely not.
I'll take the right.
here's an opportunity to operate.
Denise is carrying your child. Did you know? ''
18 Town Hall Street.
Give me that and save a stamp!
You were there! Spying on me now?
- Give me that! - Never!
It's addressed to me.
I don't want to now.
''Darling surgeon, here's an opportunity to operate.
Denise is carrying your child. Did you know? ''
You read it?
So it's you.
The pervert who's been poisoning our lives for months.
No, it's not me.
And I'm to have a child with this madwoman!
I don't want a degenerate child.
The Raven was right.
He won't see the light of day.
Still, it's a strange feeling.
I suspected you, but to catch you red-handed...
I'm not the Raven.
I swear on the head of my child.
No, Denise, not that! Have some decency.
I saw you writing.
It's the first time.
I didn't dare tell you to your face.
So I thought of sending a letter.
While writing, I had the idea of imitating the Raven.
That's the truth.
I knew you'd find an excuse. Poison pens never confess.
A clever excuse.
But your obstinacy in denying it proves your guilt.
So if I confess, would you believe me innocent?
You think too much, Rémy. You can't feel anymore.
If you want to know the truth,
look me in the eyes.
No need to. I know.
Just look at me.
I don't know.
I don't know anymore. - You see?
I'm not as smart as you, but I sense things.
I'm frightened. Things are going so fast.
Go and see Laura right away.
She received a letter this morning.
It contained a threat. A death threat.
You've seen Laura today?
She just phoned me.
Please go to her.
You're out early this morning. What's wrong?
I told you I'd be here if you were in danger.
- Didn't you get a death threat? - Me?
- You didn't phone anyone? - No one. What's the meaning of this?
I've been taken in.
Good-bye, Laura. How stupid of me.
You're not leaving without an explanation!
Later. I have to get back.
Admit it: You pay some strange visits.
I admit I do.
- May I? - Please do.
If you don't stop carrying on with Germain, beware!
Here's the twin of the bullet meant for you.''
Everything is clear now. If she sent me here...
she must've known about this,
in which case, she must have written it.
Who sent you?
That can't be.
It's a mistake, a horrible misunderstanding.
There's no misunderstanding possible.
Denise couldn't have.
You have a better explanation?
You poor fellow!
It was nicely planned.
Had the letter arrived in time, it would have worked.
What can I say?
Yes, it's pretty frightening.
- You write in bed? - What?
You have ink on your fingers.
From yesterday's dictation.
You'll hate me for this, but the ink's still fresh.
And you wash your hands before doing your nails.
Laura, if you've done this...
Germain, my boy, what's got into you?
If you wrote that letter and put it in the box yourself,
if you really made that call...
then Denise would be done for.
I pity you, Rémy.
You're the one who needs pitying.
Very much so!
What is it?
''Last warning: If you don't stop carrying on... ''
I don't understand! It's a plot!
No more playacting! I have the proof now.
Don't go! I understand now.
Denise was here to write some letters!
What are you doing here?
Take a look! This is your wife's blotter.
I knew it. Laura is mad.
I caught her red-handed last night but lacked the nerve to report it.
A very young wife, a very old husband.
There's the tragedy.
In fact, it's all my fault. I should never have married Laura.
When we were first married,
her youth rekindled me.
This last surge of passion consumed what remained of my desire and love.
Then, little by little...
I became my wife's friend.
I wasn't enough for her.
But she'd had a virtuous upbringing, so she stayed faithful to me.
Then you arrived.
She liked you.
To attract your attention, she wrote the first letter.
As that had no effect, it enraged her.
She attacked you for not giving in,
and Denise, who was your lover.
She compromised her sister, who was watching her.
Her rage turned into frenzy,
her frenzy into madness.
And now, be so good as to take this blotter to the police.
I don't have the strength.
Nor do I.
A trial wouldn't help. She's sick. Care for her.
Is that you talking? You, the man of principles?
I've learned a good deal since this morning.
This kind of crisis has a purpose.
Like a convalescent after an illness, you come out stronger, more aware.
It's horrible to admit, but Evil is a necessity.
Look after Laura. - It's too late!
You're a practicing psychiatrist.
But I can't sign an order committing my own wife.
- Give me some paper. - You'll do it?
I'll send him right over.
Call an ambulance.
Thank you, for her and for me.
Now you have to go.
Denise fainted again coming down the stairs.
She had a bad fall. - Did it cause -
Go now. Right this minute.
That would be too easy! Think I'll take this lying down?
He's the Raven. He's the madman to lock up.
You hear me, Rémy?
True, I did write that first letter.
But he thought up all the others.
He dictated them.
Look! He's gloating.
Germain, you must go.
Go on! They're waiting for you!
Listen to me, please!
Calm down, darling.
- Liar! - Shut up!
Get me the hospital.
You'll be all right, but I was terribly afraid.
For both of you.
- Do you want this child? - I need it.
We nearly lost it. I threw myself down the stairs.
I figured as much.
I kept thinking of you.
I realized the doctor that killed my wife wasn't all that guilty.
We can't sacrifice the future to the present.
So to have a son, you'd kill me?
But I was forgetting Laura.
Laura is the Raven. - Are you crazy?
What can you be thinking?
Laura knew the Raven. I guessed as much, but it's not her.
She's afraid of him. - She took you for a ride.
I'm not that stupid. Laura really was afraid.
Then it must be...
No, leave me alone! It's not me!
''The culprit, Laura, is punished. The curse is lifted. - The Rav... ''
So it was Vorzet!
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