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Banco the Further Adventures of Papillon. Home · Banco the Further Adventures of Papillon Author: Henri Charriere. 87 downloads Views KB Size. BANCO the Further Adventures of Papillonby Henri Charriere translated from the French by Patrick O'Brien1 Flyleaf. Banco: The Further Adventures of Papillon, Banco continues the adventures of Henri Charrière - nicknamed 'Papillon' - in Venezuela, where he has finally won.

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Banco (Le livre de poche) (French Edition) () Henri Charriere, ISBN , ISBN ,, tutorials, pdf, ebook. Banco is a autobiography by Henri Charrière, it is a sequel to his previous novel Papillon. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version. the further adventures of papillon do you really need this pdf banco the further papillon henri charriere pdf - download now for free pdf ebook banco the further.

Henri Charriere. A story packed with hair-raising adventure, it is also a heart-warming account of readjustment to life on the outside and the sesolution of a conflict of motives within himself: Running through the story is the theme of the banco--of the chance taken, the stakes risked, when the simple exhilaration of the game inspired Papillon to say to every kind of challenge: Banco lost? Well, then, banco again!

The five of us are the same as one, because our hearts beat all together. How you must have suffered. Do you have a trade? What do you do? They were poor, sure enough; yet they were quite well dressed. Wait and see, I said to myself. I let them take my little bundle. Maria got up and the other girls followed her. She had been lying: In the room there was no bed, but something better, something you often see in the tropics--two fine wool hammocks.

A big window with just shutters--no glass-- opened onto a garden full of banana palms. As I swung there in the hammock I could hardly believe what had happened to me. How easy this first day of freedom had been! Too easy. I had a free room and four 12 sweet girls to look after Picolino. Why was I letting myself be led by the hand like a child? It has to learn all over again. I went to sleep without thinking about the past, exactly as the humble man of El Dorado had advised me.

I had just breakfasted off two fried eggs, two fried bananas covered with margarine, and black bread. Maria was in the bedroom, washing Picolino. A man appeared in the doorway; he was wearing a machete in his belt.

Call them by their names. What are their names? I am a policeman, sent by the chief. Wait while I dress. As soon as we were in the street she took my arm. I looked at her, surprised, and she smiled at me.

When we reached the little administrative building, there were more police, all in plain clothes except for two in uniform with machetes hanging from their belts. A black man with a gold-braided cap presided over a roomful of rifles. I went into the next room.

I am the chief administrator. Sit down. She was not an Indian, but because of that little drop of Indian blood she had, the race came out. We took another way back to the house and walked through the whole village, her arm in mine. He told me I could count on him to help me find a job or in case I was in a hole. Nor does your friend. I took her over and picked out the best necklace with matching earrings, and three other, smaller sets for her sisters.

I gave thirty boilvars for these tinselly little things, paying with a hundred note. Maria put the necklace and the earrings on right away. Her big black eyes sparkled and she thanked me as though the jewels were really valuable. When we got back to the house, the three girls shrieked with delight over their presents.

I went to my room, leaving them. I had to be alone to think. This family had 14 offered me their hospitality with a splendid generosity; but should I accept it? I had some money, after all, not to mention the diamonds. Reckoning it all together, I could live four months and more without worrying, and I could have Picolino looked after.

All these girls were lovely, and like tropical flowers they were surely all warm, sexy, ready to give themselves only too easily, almost without thinking. I had seen Maria looking at me today almost as if she were in love. Could I resist so much temptation? It would be better for me to leave this too welcoming house before my weakness brought trouble and suffering. I was thirtynine, although I looked younger, and Maria was not quite eighteen, her sisters younger still. I ought to go, I thought.

The best thing would be to leave Picolino in their care, paying for his board, of course. Her father burst out laughing. I can pay. You join up as easily as you leave one another.

They mature early. But what can you do about it? The good Lord says you must love one another and have children. So although I see you are surrounded by temptation all the time, I ask you again to stay with us. A dozen men were sitting around. We drank a 15 few rum-and-Cokes. We had a good many drinks. Still, I finally managed to persuade the bartender to take my money instead.

Someone touched me on the shoulder. It was Maria. Be good, Enrique, and come along. And she put her lips to my cheek, too near my mouth.

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The youngest sister helped Picolino eat, giving him his food little by little. He was high, so he spoke without thinking. I told him that in my opinion he could stay, and that my girls were old enough to know what they were doing. She looked astonished, perhaps disappointed. If you like one of us, and she likes you, why should you run away?

They would look after Picolino and I would be more free to work. She even said I could pay a little, as if I were a boarder, to ease my mind. Did I agree? I had no time to think properly. It was all so new and so quick after my years as a convict.

I agreed. We could go at five, when the sun is lower. My staying was chiefly on account of him. I had a long road in front of me, and any stops must be short. Just long enough to catch my breath. Because there was a reason why I had been fighting for my liberty these fourteen years and there was a reason why I had won the fight; and that reason was revenge. The prosecuting counsel, the false witness, the cop: I had a score to settle with them. And that was something I was never to forget. I wandered out to the village square.

Indeed, the little shop did belong to the descendant of a Corsican. He kindly suggested writing a letter for me to the manager of La Mocupia, the French company that worked the Caratal gold mine. This splendid man even offered to help me with money. I thanked him for everything and went out.

Where the hell have you come from, man? From the moon? Dropped by parachute? Come and let me kiss you! We embraced like two brothers. Tears came into our eyes, we were so moved. We gazed at one another. But where the hell have you come from?

Christ above! I knew there were some hard cases in El Dorado, but I never for a moment imagined you were there, you, a buddy! The whole of Venezuelan Guiana is stuffed with convicts making a break. Where are you staying? He has four daughters. Leaving these kind people was very painful. It was only when we promised to come and see them, and said they could come and see us at Caratal, that they calmed down a little.

A big, light, roomy house on a headland looking out over the whole of the valley running down from the hamlet of Caratal almost to El Callao. On the right of this virgin forest was the Mocupia gold mine. All the vegetables we had at home were growing there, and growing well. Besides a chicken run with more than five hundred hens, there were rabbits, guinea pigs, two goats and a pig.

All this was the fortune and the present happiness of Charlot, the former crook and safecracker, specialist in very delicate operations worked out to the second. What do you say, pal? It sets me back a little, seeing you quiet and happy here at the back of beyond. Eighteen bolIvars a day means a modest life, but one not without its pleasures.

A hen that hatches me a good brood of chicks, a rabbit that brings off a big litter, a kid being born, tomatoes doing well Here are some friends of mine.

When he first got to the penal colony he was kept at Saint-Laurent-du-Maroni, and after six months he escaped from there with another Corsican called Simon and a detainee.

These open-handed people helped us make a new life for ourselves. I had two years of compulsory residence at El Callao, and I stayed on. Little by little, I took to liking this simple life, you know? I lost one wife when she was having a baby, and the daughter, too.

But what about you, Papi?

You must have had a cruelly hard time of it; fourteen years is a hell of a stretch. Tell me about it. It was wonderful for us both to be able to talk about our memories.

But, oddly, there was not a single word about Montmartre, not a word about the underworld, no reminders of jobs that were pulled off or misfired, nothing about crooks still at large. He suggested going down to the village for a drink. I turned the knob. Now it was Caribbean music that came through: Caracas in song. Not this evening, anyway. I switched off quickly and began to think over the last few hours.

Had we purposely avoided talking about the years when we both lived in Paris? Had we purposely not mentioned the men of our world who had been lucky enough not to be picked up?

No again. So did what had happened before the trial no longer matter? I tossed and turned in the big bed. I sat down on a big stone, from where I could look Out over the valley and the gold mine. Everything was lit up down there. I could see trucks, empty or loaded, coming and going.

A lot of it, either in bars or turned into bills, would give you anything on earth. This prime mover of the world, which cost so little to mine, since the workers had such miserable wages, was the one thing you had to have to live well. These days his happiness was his black girl, his house, his animals and his garden. He had never even referred to money. He had become a philosopher. I was puzzled. And as for me--Christ!

I should have talked about them! That was something to chew over. Charlot was forty-five, not an old man. Very tail, very strong, built like a Corsican peasant fed on plenty of good, healthy food all his young days. He was deeply burned by the sun of this country, and with his huge straw hat on his head, its brim turned up at the sides, he looked terrific. He was a perfect example of the pioneer in these virgin lands, and he was so much one of the people and the country he did not stand out at all.

Far from it: He must certainly have worked more than two years to clear this stretch of plateau and build his house. He had to go out into the bush, choose the trees, cut them down, bring them back, fit them together. Every beam in his house was made of the hardest and heaviest timber in the world, the kind they call ironwood. I was sure all he earned at the mine had gone into it, because he must have had help and must have paid for the labor, the cement the house was concreted , the well, and the windmill for pumping the water up to the tank.

That well-rounded young Negrita with her big loving eyes: She must make those little dresses that suited her so well. I congratulate you. And I also congratulate the people who changed your way of seeing what a life can or ought to be. But still these Venezuelans are dangerous, with their generous hospitality. Kindness and goodwill turn you into a prisoner if you let yourself be caught. Above all, no setting up house with a girl.

A man needs adventure to feel alive, alive all through! And that was why I was where I was today. The girls were pretty, full-blooded and charming, and I certainly could not live without love.

It was up to me to avoid complications. I must promise myself to stay there a year, since I was forced to do so anyway. I was an adventurer, but an adventurer with a shift of gear--I must get my money honestly, or at least without hurting anyone.

Paris, that was my aim: Paris one day, to present my bill to the people who put me through so much suffering. I was calmer now, and my eyes took in the setting moon as it dipped toward the virgin forest, a sea of black treetops with waves of different heights--but waves that never stirred. I went back to my room and stretched out on the bed. There I was, looking after the working of the pumps that sucked up the water from the shafts.

The mine looked like a coal pit, with its underground galleries. There were no veins of gold and very few nuggets. The gold was found in very hard rock; they blasted this rock with dynamite and then broke the oversized lumps with a sledgehammer. The pieces were put into trucks, and the trucks brought to the surface in elevators; then crushers reduced the rock to a powder finer than sand. This was mixed with water, making a liquid mud that was pumped up into tanks as big as the reservoirs in an oil refinery.

These tanks had cyanide in them. The gold dissolved into a liquid heavier than the rest and sank to the bottom. Under heat, the cyanide evaporated, carrying off the particles of gold; they solidified and were caught by filters very like combs as they went past. Then the gold was collected, melted into bars, carefully checked for 24carat purity and put into a strictly guarded store. But who did the guarding? Simon, no less, the crook who had made his break from the penal colony with Big Charlot.

When my work was over, I went to gaze at the sight. I went to the store and stared at the huge pile of gold ingots neatly lined up by Simon, the ex-convict. Not even a strongroom, just a concrete storehouse with walls no thicker than usual, and a wooden door.

And what about you, Papi? Are you happy here? I built it myself. And two little girls.

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Come and see me whenever you like--my house is yours. He, too, was thoroughly happy. He, too, never spoke of France, of Montmartre, though he had lived there. Just like Charlot.

The only thing that mattered was the present--wife, children, the house. He told me he earned twenty bolIvars a day. A door that two heaves on a jimmy would open without a sound. This heap of gold, at three boilvars fifty a gram or thirty-five dollars an ounce, would easily add up to three million five hundred thousand boilvars, or almost a million dollars.

Eh, Papillon? Christ, what a fortune! Only from six at night to six in the morning. Say hello to your family for me. It was unbelievable! Anyone would say they were yearning to be robbed, the guys in charge of this mine.

A store that could hardly hold itself upright, and two onetime highranking crooks taking care of all that treasure! Slowly I walked up the winding path to the village. I dawdled; the eight-hour day had been tough. In the second gallery there had been precious little air, and even that was hot and wet, in spite of the ventilators. My pumps had stopped sucking three or four times and I had had to set them right again. It was half past eight now, and I had gone down the mine at noon. Meat was 2.

You could live cheaply, that was true. But did I have the sense to put up with this kind of life? And then the whole thing was in the bag, because they carried their fecklessness to the point of leaving him the key to the store so he could take shelter if it rained.

Criminal irresponsibility! A cart? There were plenty in the village square. The horse? That would be harder to find, but not impossible. A night of very heavy rain would give me all the time I needed for the job, and it might even let me get back to the house and go to bed meek as a monk.

Good night, hombres. Have an iced beer. These generous, spontaneous offers brought me back to earth. God be with you. Yes, it would be easy enough to turn into a humble, honest man among all these people who lived on so little, who were happy with almost nothing, and who adopted a man without worrying where he came from or what he had been. Conchita welcomed me back. She was alone. Conchita was full of fun and kindness; she gave me a pair of slippers so I could rest my feet after the heavy boots.

This welcome, so homely, simple and happy, made me relax; it gave me the peace of mind I needed after the temptation of that ton of gold. The door opened. Her grandfather was a German, which explained her fair skin and very fine blond hair. Lali and her sister Zoralma: It was now, and twelve years had gone by, but in spite of all those years I felt a pain in my heart when I remembered those two lovely creatures. Since those days they must have made themselves a fresh life with men of their own race, and honestly I had no right to disturb their new existence.

Thank you very much for introducing me to them. In such good company the evening went by in a flash. Conchita and I walked them back to the edge of the village, and it seemed to me they leaned very heavily on my arms. You think you can live without eating and drinking? They are only sixteen and seventeen, so just think what it must be for them. They gave themselves to the man they liked spontaneously, wholly, without asking anything in exchange except the thrill.

Charlot, Simon, Alexandre and no doubt a good many others had been positively bewitched. I saw why they were so thoroughly happy among these cheerful people, so different from ours. I went to bed. He held out his hand. A dead man was found in a cupboard in his consulting room. Bougrat pleaded professional error in the amount of an injection. The court said it was murder. Except for one or two exceptions, all our old companions have gone straight. They are almost all married, with children, and they live honestly, accepted by the community.

I have a pretty long bill to present to the people who sent me down against all justice To see the bill is paid, I have to go back to France; and for that I need a lot of money. Just you listen to the story of a boy I know.

George Dubois is his name. He started by knocking off fruit outside shops--did it several times. He was a puny kid, so there was only one way of defending himself--a knife. One of these perverted little thugs got a stab in the belly, and the authorities sent Jojo to Esse, the toughest reformatory of the lot, the one for hopeless cases.

Until the age of twenty-one. They handed him the few francs he had earned and farewell, adieu! The trouble was that this boy had a heart. Maybe it had hardened, but it still had some sensitive corners. At the station he saw a train destined for Paris. It was as if a switch had been triggered inside him. He jumped in double quick, and there he was in Paris.

It was raining when he walked out of the station. He stood under a shelter, figuring out how he would get to La Villette. Under this same shelter there was a girl who was also keeping out of the rain. She gave him a pleasant sort of look. No one had ever looked at him like this girl. They began to talk. Discovering love was a fantastic, shattering experience for him.

The girl was young and very amorous. I escaped. He was afraid to understand. They were completely overwhelmed and they both began to cry with shame and wretchedness. Then each described the road they had traveled. Ginette and her other sisters had had the same kind of life as Jojo--homes and reformatories. Their mother had just come out of a sanatorium.

The eldest sister was working in a brothel for North Africans in La Villette--hard labor. They decided to go and see her. After everything that had just happened, he no longer really knew what he was doing. He was reprieved by the President of the Republic and sent to the penal settlement. Indeed, one of the eider children has been at the university this last year. Yet believe you me, he, too, had a long bill to present to society. Plenty of us have reasons for revenge.

But as far as I know, not one of us has left this country to take it. I trust you, Papilion. My ideas were in a turmoil afterward. Why had he made such an impression on me? Easy to see why. It was a prudent, very modest kind of life. Their position was lowly--they were workmen or peasants. Bougrat was different. For the first time I had seen an ex-con who was now a monsieur, a gentleman. That was what had made my heart thump. Would I be a monsieur, too?

Could I become one? For him, as a doctor, it had been comparatively easy. Sitting on my bench at the bottom of the second gallery the next day, I watched my pumps; they had run without a hitch. The thoughts ran pell-mell through my head. After all, there were plenty of other ways of getting enough money honestly.

I could carry on as an adventurer--I could prospect for gold or diamonds, vanish into the bush and come out some day with enough to set me up in the kind of position I was after. I took the long way around so as not to go by the storehouse.

The less I saw of it, the better. I passed quickly through the village, greeting people and saying sorry to the ones who wanted me to stop-- I was in a hurry, and I climbed fast to the house.

Conchita was waiting for me, as black and cheerful as ever. Charlot told me to pour you out a stiff anisette before dinner. He said you looked as though you had problems. And he told me to 30 hold on before I put a girl in your bed--perhaps it was something else. I promise. Come on, Conchita, tell me the lot. As for my future--no problem at all. You guessed it: Before she had time to come back there was a knock at the door.

The door opened and there was Maria, looking a trifle confused. What a marvelous surprise! Sit down by me on the divan and tell me everything. As a lover she was shy, but she reacted to the slightest caress. I was her first man. Now she was sleeping. The two candles I had lit instead of the raw electric light were guttering. Their faint glow showed the beauty of her young body even better, and her breasts still marked by our embrace.

Gently I got up to make myself some coffee and to see what time it was. I knocked over a saucepan and woke Conchita. She came out of her room, wearing a dressing gown.

You must have noticed it tonight. Maria has one touch of Negro, two touches of Indian and the rest Spanish. The splendid sun was high in the sky when it saw Maria wake up. I brought her coffee in bed. There was a question already on my lips. If you can stay without any trouble, stay as long as you like. Maria decided to hitch a lift home in a truck and come back in the evening.

He was standing in the door of his room, wearing pajamas; and he spoke to me in French. A luscious one, too: And you come back whenever you like-- the house is yours.

Have a good day, Papi; watch out for the number three pump. The pumps ran sweetly, even number three. But neither the hot, wet air nor the beat of the motor kept me from thinking about Charlot.

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He had grasped why I was so thoughtful, all right. Nor for Simon either; and Simon must certainly have told him about our conversation. They were hoping that this black-haired godsend would make me forget the blazing heap of loot. I turned all this over and over in my head, and in time I began to see the position more clearly. These good guys were now as straight as so many rulers; they were leading blameless lives. But in spite of living like squares they had kept the underworld outlook and they were utterly incapable of tipping off the police about anyone whatsoever, even if they guessed what he was up to and knew for sure it would mean bad trouble for them.

The two who would be taken in right away if the thing came off were Simon and Alexandre, the men who guarded the treasure. And then farewell peace and quiet, farewell house, vegetable garden, wife, kids, hens, goats and pigs.

So I began to see how these former crooks must have quaked not for themselves but for their homes, when they thought how my caper was going to ruin everything. I could see them holding a council of war. I had made up my mind.

I must make them all think that having a girl like Maria was all I could ever want. The hoist brought me up to the open air. More than ever. And Alexandre, too, if he can come. I went around by the store and found Simon. Simon and his fine family were there, and Aiexandre, too, since he had found someone to fill in for him guarding the treasure. He had a charming wife, and a well-dressed little boy and girl came with them.

The rabbits were delicious, and the huge cake, shaped like a heart, lasted no time at all. We even danced to the radio and the Victrola, and an old convict played the accordion.

After a good many liqueurs I laid into my old crooks, in French. Did you really believe I was going to pull something off? Give the straight answer, Papillon. Multiply fourteen years by three hundred and sixty. So when I saw that heap of gold in such a place, why true enough, I did think of working out a job.

I was running the risk of destroying the happiness of you all. I came to see that this happiness of yours--a happiness I hope to have myself one day--was worth much more than being rich. So the temptation of knocking off the gold quite disappeared. You can take my word for it: Long live Papillon! Long live Maria! Long live love and freedom! And long live decency! Hard guys we were, hard guys we are still, but only toward the pigs. Charlot was right. On the day of the party I had won the first battle against my longing to pull something off.

I had given up the idea of grabbing that million dollars. One thing was sure: I had to make my money some other way than stealing it, fair enough; but still I had to 34 get enough to go to Paris and hand in my bill.

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And that was going to cost me a pretty penny. Boom-bom, boom-bom, boom-bom: It was hotter than ever. Every day I spent eight hours down there in the bowels of the mine. At this time I was on duty from four in the morning until noon. Picolino had been there for a month, because in El Cailao the doctor could see him every day.

He was being given therapy, and Maria and her sisters looked after him wonderfully. So I was going to see him and to make love to Maria: I found a truck that gave me a lift. They were all sitting around the table, apart from Maria, who seemed to be waiting near the door. Come and change right away. And there we made love, not caring about the others who were waiting for us on the other side of the door. We dropped off to sleep, and it was Esmeralda, the green-eyed sister, who gently woke us late that afternoon, when night was already coming on.

Your confinamiento is over. The 35 truck driver who brought me said he was going on to Ciudad Bolivar tomorrow. As he already had one passenger, P icolino would travel in the cab and myself on the empty iron barrels behind. I hurried to the chief administrator; he handed over my papers and, like the good man he was, gave me some advice and wished me good luck. Then I went around seeing everybody who had given me friendship and help. First to Caratal, where I picked up the few things I possessed.

Charlot and I embraced one another, deeply moved. His black girl wept. I thanked them both for their wonderful hospitality.

You would have done the same for me. Good luck. And if you go to Paris, say hello to Montmartre from me. I hurried back to El Callao and said good-bye to all the miners and the gold and diamond prospectors and my fellow workers.

All of them, men and women, said something from the heart to wish me good luck. It touched me a great deal and I saw even more clearly that if I had set up with Maria I should have been like Charlot and the others--I should never have been able to tear myself away from this paradise. The hardest of all my farewells was to Maria. Our last night, a mixture of love and tears, was more violent than anything we had ever known. Even our caresses broke our hearts.

The horrible thing was that I had to make her understand there would be no hope of my coming back. Who could tell what my fate would be when I carried out my plans? A shaft of sunlight woke me. Picolino was sitting in a chair, tears running down his face.

Esmeralda had washed and dressed him. He grasped me in the Venezuelan abrazo one hand holds yours and the other is round your shoulders , as moved as I was myself. God go with you. I led him away. A splendid exit from the town, all right: We had to wait for a new carburetor. You can imagine the shrieks when they saw us coming back. Leave Picolino here and walk around the village while I get the meal ready. It worried me. I did not know Caracas, a big city, but people had talked about it and I could imagine what it was like.

The idea certainly attracted me; but once I was there, what should I do, and how could I do it? I walked slowly across the square of El Callao with my hands behind my back. The sun was blazing down. I went over to an almendro, a huge, very leafy tree, to take shelter from the furious heat.

Under the shade there stood two mules, and a little old man was loading them. As I gazed at these things--they were still new to me--I went on pondering. In front of me there was this biblical picture of a quiet, peaceful life with no sounds apart from those of nature and the patriarchal way of living; and I thought of what it must be like at that very moment in Caracas, the busy, teeming capital that drew me on.

All the descriptions I had heard turned into exact images. After all, it was fourteen years since I had seen a big town! Since I could now do as I liked, there was no doubt about it--I was going to get there, and as quick as I could. And it was the little old prospector singing. I listened. One of them chews an arm like an apple, Another eats his trunk and tra-la-la The quickest gets it, the rest have none.

Convict farewell; long live the law! I was thunderstruck. He sang it slowly, like a requiem. But to feel the full irony of it you had to have been there. I looked closely at the man: One of the most picturesque exconvicts I had ever come across. Snowy white hair with long, gray whiskers cut on the slant.

Blue jeans; a big, broad leather belt; on the right, a long sheath with a curved handle coming out of it at the height of his groin. I walked over to him. His eyebrows were so long and thick he surely had to comb them. Beneath them, steely gray-green eyes like gimlets bored through me. Come to my place over the way, the white house. We can talk there in peace. She was young, very young; perhaps twenty-five. He--God knows-- sixty at least. She was called Lola, a dusky Venezuelan. Yet I was a big shot in the clink.

No one came within miles of me for throwing the seven and eleven with dice just touched with a file--not loaded, of course. And even then, a con who was not a diabolically clever face reader might get it wrong.

You had it easy, right? All it lacks is a casino. I know all about it. I felt my temper rising fast. Well, mate, I have. A hundred men, every one of them with diseased guts. Some standing, some lying down, some groaning like dogs. Kilometer Twenty-four is not a working camp. For you, prison meant a holiday in the sun. I wondered how our meeting was going to end.

Poor old Papillon: No point in getting worked up: I might need him. What are you doing now? Eighteen boilvars a day. A fourteen-year stretch for a crime I never committed: Innocent, really innocent, cross your heart, or are you still pleading before the judge?

I swear by my dead mother. Well, I see that must lie heavy on your chest. Here the government is generous: All they let you use is shovel, pickax and sieve. A good way off in the bush. A good many days on a mule and then in a canoe and then on foot, carrying your gear. You find just one bomb and there you are, a wealthy man--a man who has women that smoke and fart in silk.

Or, if you like it that way, a man who can afford to go and present his bill. A dozen, then a hundred, then a thousand. They smelled the gold or the diamonds the way a starving dog smells a bone or an old bit of meat. They came flooding in from every point of the compass. They got sick of it, and then they heard the call of the jungle.

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The guy that finds a bomb never goes back to mining. Even that means ten or fifteen times what he gets in the town. Then again, he lives as hard as possible, right down to bedrock; because Out there you pay for everything in gold or diamonds. But if he lives hard, he can still keep his family better than before. Brazilians, guys from British Guiana and Trinidad: There was nothing he had forgotten: Yes, you go off by yourself.

Do you want to know what I really think? Right or wrong? Remains to be seen. So come along into the bush with me. Not for me. Or has it turned you into a lemon, knowing that you can go where you like since yesterday?

Parts of the book talk in more detail about the crime he committed in France, his arrest, his trial and his views on French justice in the matter. Toward the end of the book, he returns to France as a free man. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article has multiple issues. Please help improve it or discuss these issues on the talk page.

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