16 February 2010

Revenge I

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An old man in France told me this one evening over a goblet of calvados. "During the occupation of France, there was a reasonably successful farmer near a small village in Normandy. This farmer did his best to ignore the Germans, had a wife adn two teenaged daughters and a son away at war. The farmer raised pigs and fed them primarily on beets and beet greens. Scarcely anyone knew that he and his family provided a safe house for members of the Resistance and for Jews trying to esape from the country. There was a envious couple in town and, as an aside, the husband had been thrashed by the farmer for trying to molest one of his daughters when she was a child. The couple, Vichy types, caught wind of the farmers Resistance activities and reported them to the Germans. The Germans raided the farm and found two Jewish children, whom they summarily bayonted. The farmer and his wife were forced to watch while their pigs were killed, their daughters raped and strangled. The Germans then held a barbecue.
"When the son returned from the war, he heard the story but was wise enough to delay his revenge, allowing the couple to think they had gotten away with their betrayal. In 1947, the son and two of his friends bound and kidnapped the couple. They took them to an abandoned quarry where a large cave had been partially filled with a ton or so of beets and a dozen pigs.  The son and his friends returned in a few weeks with a dozen villagers. They all toasted the well-gnawed bones of the couple and had a fine pig roast there in the quarry. I cherish the moment the pigs finished the beets and began chewing on those swine. May they be eaten in hell forever."

From Just Before Dark by Jim Harrison

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