The next day dawned bright and clear. Already my feet were feeling better for the rest. By about eleven o'clock I was led out to the rear of the house and took my place in the cramped back seat of a tiny Simca. My head had been heavily bandaged. If we were stopped, I was to pretend to be deaf and dumb, and had been picked up by the doctor and his wife having been found with my head injuries by the roadside. An unlikely story for anyone to accept I reflected, but of course kept my thoughts to myself. Doctor Fayet was in all probability an excellent small town GP but as the driver of a car, he was a failure. I have had few more breathtaking moments than that in which we shot out of his gate and turned into the main road, with no warning toot of our horn, and balancing on two wheels. A shortish drive brought us to a gravel turning, down which we drove. At the end of the lane, which was about two hundred yards long, we came to a farm entrance to which was gained through a large, high double gate set in a solid brick wall. We passed through after the doctor had opened this gate and found ourselves in the messy farmyard, enclosed on all sides, so that complete privacy was enjoyed. Here I met the farmer - M. Desmoulin and his two sons, Marcel and Julian, aged twenty and fifteen respectively. The doctor, Madame Fayet and I were welcomed and sat down to a glass of rough yellow cider. The farm house was quite small and the room in which we sat was furnished very poorly, with a rickety dining table, whose top was black with the honest dirt of years, a few equally unstable chairs, and a dresser, just as grimy as the table. In one corner was the cream separator and in the opposite corner a kitchen range. Under the small window was a sink, which if the weather was hot sent up a pungent and very disagreeable smell. Next to this sink and between it and the separator, stood the pump. A door in the remaining corner gave ingress to a dark and tortuous staircase. The other rooms downstairs were a larger edition of the room already described, but without the pump or sink, a small pantry-cum-dairy and a dark windowless cavern that served as wine cellar. Upstairs there were four rooms, three of which interconnected and opened up one from the next. In the furthest of these rooms I was to spend about two weeks though I was ignorant of this at the time. My own room was furnished with a massive oaken bedstead with a straw stuffed mattress, one cane seated chair, and a derelict kitchen range covered with a dirty ex-bedspread and always referred to as "the table".
    The doctor and his wife left us and I settled down in my new home. "Pere" as I dubbed M. Desmoulin was a hard working man and since he had lost his wife,(some eight years previously) had done all the housework as well as his share of the farming. His elder son was his right hand man and even young Julian, who was still attending school, though spasmodically, did his share, especially in the milking.
    Life on the farm was very restful if very dull. I was virtually a prisoner in my room most of the day, but toward evening I came down into the farmyard. Perhaps I chopped wood sometimes or helped feed the pigs, or the rabbits of which there were dozens. Before many days had passed I had visitors. A prosperous farmer in the village nearby ­Armentieres sur Ourc, would call probably every other night. Then the young schoolmistress would bring a cake occasionally for butter. The doctor and his wife came to see me more than once. Madame brought cheap French novels, a few periodicals and a box of paints with a scraggy brush. I did a small seascape for Julian with which he was delighted, or said he was, polite boy! Other visitors used to come who were said to be Resistance men. There was a great deal of discussion of the BBC news, as our farm was without a radio and every bulletin was repeated verbatim by callers who were more fortunate.


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