Catastrophe (part thirty-one)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part thirty-one)                       Around one o’clock, we heard something like salvos of cannon fire issue regularly, that is to say, at equal intervals. This lasted about an hour and a half. That evening, M. Alain, director of the […]

Catastrophe (part thirty)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part thirty)                       “During the night of the 7th to the 8th, the occurrences redoubled in intensity. The women gathered in the salon, praying. We heard the volcano’s noise constantly. We could easily distinguish three sorts: intermittent explosions, […]

Catastrophe Extra

  From the Sheffield [England] Weekly Telegraph of May 4, 1918, is a curiosity worth preserving—a fictionalized and romanticized version of the “miraculous prisoner”, with a love interest added, and the race of the participants obscured. It’s interesting to imagine the closing months of WWI, an editor thinking about what will entertain his readers, possibly […]

Catastrophe (part twenty-nine)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part twenty-nine)                       It is important to say, because it would be odious to allow propagation of this absurd legend, of survivors imploring for help, and receiving none. Dedicated people—doctors, soldiers, police, the simple citizens—climbed through the ruins […]

Catastrophe (twenty-eight)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part twenty-eight)                       And we will linger no longer, discussing the improbable, the screamingly impossible. For me Auguste Sybaris produced, simply, the impression of a pillager surprised by fire, at work on a bit of premature safecracking. He […]

Charles Monselet: Cursed Money (part three)

        Charles Monselet Cursed Money 1863         Chapter One (continued) The Quai des Augustins     “And you are too indulgent. I’ve been watching you for some time, and it pains me to see how your carelessness in matters of trade increases by the day. I don’t speak of […]

Catastrophe (part twenty-seven)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part twenty-seven)                           Two Legends  The miraculous prisoner and the two gunners     Here is an extraordinary story—that of the prisoner, Auguste Sybaris. But I do not suppose M. Clerc believes it true, for M. […]

Catastrophe (part twenty-six)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (twenty-six)                             M. Clerc before the eruption and in the ruins     We return to the volcano. Here is how M. Clerc described to me the eruption of the 8th, which he witnessed from […]

Catastrophe (part twenty-five)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (twenty-five)                       When M. Jalabert received the dispatch, in which M. Landes spoke of the fall of the Morne-Lacroix, and of the possible consequences, he had thought it best before posting this, to communicate it to the governor. […]

Catastrophe (part twenty-four)

Jean Hess La Catastrophe de la Martinique (part twenty-four)                       “Decrais?” “Just so. Mouttet was only an instrument. Mouttet obeyed. You could well say that he died a hero, a victim of professional duty, if, in professional duty for a governor of Martinique, you hear […]