Nicolas Le Floch (2008–2018): Season 1, Episode 1 - L'homme au ventre de plomb - full transcript


Part Two

Monsieur Le Floch. I am sure
I can rely on your loyalty.

Did you know the king
worried about you several times?

The duties of his service
leave me little time for civilities.

I heard you were frank and direct.

Yet you are too discreet.

To the king, you are
the Marquis de Ranreuil...

The Marquis de Ranreuil,
my godfather,

before I knew he was my father,

taught me a man's value
comes not from his birth

but what he does with his life.

The same is true for women.
I was born Poisson.

I say this to show you
that we are assured

of your loyalty.

Take a seat, sir.

Mr de Sartine
had you investigate

the mysterious death
of viscount de Ruissec.

You are well informed.

Indeed I am.

Especially at court.

I seek to protect the king.

Against himself, if need be.

A dangerous intent.

I asked Mr de Saint-Florentin
and the chief of police

to spare His Majesty
the details of these deaths.

You are silent.

This is but the first round.
I await the punch line.

The de Ruissec family,
unfavoured by the king,

I have reason to fear.

They plot with the Church
and those who wish me gone.

"To the king's whore.

"God allowed Philistines
to conquer us

"to punish France
for your sins and slovenliness."

I'm blamed for everything!

I found this paper

at my door.

I will find the dispensary.

Yes. But it is an ever-growing hydra.

I see danger ahead.

I fear for the king's life.


With zeal and application.
We will be grateful.

The king's fate depends on it.

There is talk of plotting
against the king's life.

His mistress fears it.

And your view?

Tends to circumspection.

How went your visit?

I was turned away
before I'd stepped inside.

A chapel of rest was set up.
The funeral is in two days.

That'd be the perfect time.

The viscount's room
holds something.

I must search it once more.

Time seems to be pressing.

We'll go back there tonight.

Still looking for Gilles?

More than ever.

The missing piece of the puzzle.

I asked Dame Rumour.
He's a regular at Paulet's.

You're charming.
Kiss me. Please.

I consent.

You made me hard as a rock at dinner.

I couldn't hold back.

I have to stick it in.

What if your master catches us?

I'm so hot I'd shag you anywhere.

Come along, my fellow...

More passion!
You should be a man possessed.

I know it's only a rehearsal
but we should feel your ardour.

And you, let yourself go,
be more provocative.

We're amongst fans of drama.

The house grants you

a few instants of virtue
while I talk

with Mr Nicolas.
Then we start again!

You haven't abandoned the theatre.

What nerve! What passion!
What refinement!

One makes a living.

I await a few contacts
who are coming

to rekindle their ardour
by watching my actors.

Then my girls will give forth.

How's business?

I'm not complaining.

Always well-patronised.

Here the pleasure is varied
and high quality.

No unpleasant surprises.

I heard you visit elsewhere.

Nice piece, that Bicheliere.

Good looking trollop,
pretty eyes.

She's feathering her nest.

I almost took her on
but she decided to look elsewhere.

You know all about gallantry.

Is her provenance known?

No. We only know
she can dance,

sing, act,
ride a horse like a boy.

She knocked around
with a band of gypsies.

We also know

she bled dry the young viscount,

Lionel de Ruissec.

Is he among your clients too?

La Bicheliere was enough.

But I do have the younger brother.
Vidame Gilles de Ruissec.

A sickly-looking, unlucky gambler.

Everybody avoids him.

Sly, nasty. A cynical libertine.

Always flanked by his henchman,
an unsavoury lot

but well connected.

A certain Truche de la Chaux.

Lesser nobility.
Nothing special.

Always thick as thieves,

dreaming up some nastiness.


I thought I banned you from running
both gallantry and games.

Don't get on your high horse.

Do you know where this jewel is from?

Where did you get it?

The other day, young de Ruissec
had been fleeced.

As security, he left
Truche de la Chaux's ring.

On condition I negotiate
and pay the creditor.

You see how open I am with you?

And I have given you the ring.

A few works
of hard and soft literature,

but more especially

serious scholastic Jesuit texts.

Odd, for a young soldier.

Every cloud...

We've solved the mystery
of the barefoot valet.


Right here
stood that damned Lambert,

young Count de Ruissec's valet.

We must find him.

- Lambert can tell us a lot.
- At dawn.

I fear the fellow
may prove elusive.

See this cover?
It's been hastily re-glued

in a clumsy manner.

I bet it has a surprise in store too!

"To the king's whore.

"God allowed Philistines
to conquer us

"to punish France
for your sins and slovenliness."

The draft!

There seems to be a route indicated.

But which?

Look at the extracts
underlined in pencil.

An identical copy.

No doubt the viscount's hand.

These are calls to regicide.

They seek to harm the king?

This is serious.

It looks very much like a plot.

We must warn Mr de Sartine forthwith.

Not tonight. He's at Versailles.

You carry damning evidence.
The roads are unsafe.

An escort is unwise
if you seek to be discreet.

The best is the enemy of good.

Wait till morning.

I feared it was a night bird
hanging on the lantern!

Instead of which...

The lady in blue glasses

lives in an abbey near Versailles.
You can't miss it.

It's in vast overgrown grounds.

She has a name?

Mlle de la Sauvetet,
according to neighbours.

But none of them knows her.

Take care, sir.

Like Chevalier d'Eon,
she stands up to piss.

My job often takes me
to the other side of the law.

I'd rather you be my debtor
than be indebted.

Announce me
to Mlle de la Sauvetet.

We'll see.

Who are you?

Marquis de Ranreuil.

Can I help you, sir?

I imagined you,


in more finery.

This suits recent mourning.

Get to the point, sir.

I would like to speak to you
in private.

No need.

These people hear nothing
of our language's subtlety.

Why do you wish to see me?

Your engagement to
the viscount de Ruissec.

You insult my pain.

The viscount is dead.

His mother too.

Though I respect it,
your pain seems conventional.

I thought you'd be in tears
at the death of one so dear.

We hardly knew each other.
Our parents arranged the match.

What would you know
about the viscount?

Where you met
the object of your passion.

How the match was sounded out.
You know who I am.

I do know.

And you are wasting my time.

Look at my dress, sir.

I was going to church to pay
my last respects to the viscount

and his mother.

Would you care to come with me?

- I may have to apprehend you.
- Indeed, you could try.

If it wasn't already so.

But you can't put your money
where your mouth is.

Look around you, sir.

You are alone.

My people are many.

Unless you intend
reiterating in public

what usually is kept private.

Show him out.

You mentioned evidence?

Two of the notes are transparent.
The sketch less so.

A plan?

It's a plan of
the Ch?teau de Versailles.

Look, Sartine.

The Cour des Princes,
the All?e des Ministres.

This rectangle,

the Galerie des Glaces.
the Escalier des Ambassadeurs.

This square is where we are now.

The itinerary that of the king
returning to his apartments.

This plan shows intent to penetrate
the palace.

Some of these annotations
you see here

conceal secret indications
to which we do not have the key.

Clear and present danger.

Where did you get this?

The library of the late viscount
Lionel de Ruissec.

I intend to influence this case.

It remains secret,
but I want it untangled quickly.


Two sealed letters.

Two weapons firing blanks
that you have power to activate.

Monsieur Le Floch.

Nobody will question

the means you judge necessary.

Here's the buck!

Let go.
I don't know you.

We bumped into each other at Choisy.

Hurrying out of a box room.

You're a poor actor.
Who are you?

A rogue called de la Chaux.

Truche de la Chaux.

A disreputable animal.

A no-good who seduces
lady's companions,

maids, chambermaids,
sometimes even lackeys.

Deceitful, cunning

and plunderer.

De la Chaux...

His name came up recently
in a case...

I ask for nothing more.
Especially not details.

I just want to warn you.

Truche de la Chaux is known
as the mistress's ears.

It seems the de Ruissec family
look favourably on him.

Both? How can that be?

The lure of gain, quite simply.

Let's leave that aside.

I'm here because I've been given
an extremely important mission.

Mme Ad?laide invites the Marquis
de Ranreuil hunting tomorrow.

- It's not possible.
- You have no choice.

The king dotes on
his eldest daughter.

It gives Madame Ad?laide
considerable weight.

At court, triviality is a virtue.

I must spend the night in Paris.

I'll leave my apartments,
my bodyguard, Gaspar,

and my hunting outfit.

Gaspar will satisfy

your every wish as he does mine.
Goodbye, Nicolas.

- What can I do?
- Saddle my horse, I'll do the rest.

What are you pestering me for?

I pester no man.

Just the mistress.
I know all about you.

But things have changed.

I have power to send you
to the Bastille.

What do you want to know?

You're an unrepentant gambler.

You're a regular at Paulet's.

Why do you speak of Paulet?

I don't play for me.
And I hate cocange.

You go there with vidame de Ruissec.

I don't go with the vidame.

He's a gambler. An unlucky one.

Sometimes I bail him out.

That's all I can say.
I am bound to secrecy.

By whom?

I can only beg you to believe
I was acting on orders.

Don't tell Mme Ad?laide
or I'm a dead man.

The king calls. May I?

I want to speak to you
straight after.

Your Majesty,

the Marquis de Ranreuil.

With us, finally.

I bet only some pressing reason

brought you here

and that mademoiselle
is involved.

You will explain the reason
in the future.

I knew your father,
Mr de Ranreuil.

You are much like him.
They say

you are as wise and discreet as he.

Your humble servant,
your Highness.

Worries in my inner circle.

Misfortune has struck
the poor de Ruissecs.

And other worries too.

Unpleasant thefts from my purse.

It was brought to my attention.

- Jewels, ma'am?
- Indeed.

Jewels like this, for instance?

I couldn't swear, but similar.

I must keep it as evidence.

One question, ma'am.
Was the ring stolen from you?

Yes, sir.

Who drew your attention
to these thefts?

Mme de Pompadour was surprised

I didn't wear certain pieces.

Mme de Pompadour?

There's a certain female jealousy
between us.

Jewels are often a source
of dispute with the king.

Disputes on both sides,

with both to blame.

You will enquire and report back?


do you know
Mr Truche de la Chaux?

The buck has been released.

We must go. Good hunting.


Dash it!


Follow me!

The hat is battered

but the iron shell lining it
saved your life.

My clothes?

Don't worry. Nothing was stolen.

It's all on the table.

You'll live, my fine young man,

but you'll have to be patient
for a few days.

I don't have a few days.
Who saved me?


How could you, handsome blackbird?

I command an invisible army,
which is everywhere.

Come closer.

Now I am doubly in your debt, sir.

What can I do?

Nothing, sir.
At least, not at the moment.

Help me get up.

We must not relax our pursuit.

Would you have a book
on coats-of-arms?

I do, Nicolas.

But I also have a memory.
Give me a description.

Unless I'm mistaken...

azure, fess argent.

Charged with 3 or 4 mullets.

The lower part may have been
in a sorry state.

Was it crowned?


With five flowerets, I believe.

Where did you find that?

On a muddy old carriage,

at Mlle de la Sauvetet's. Why?

You've described the arms

of one of Languedoc's
oldest families.

The de Langremonts.

Is the bird in the nest?

Either he's disappeared
or not emerged.

Our men have been watching
and haven't seen him.

Wait here for me.

Sir, Commissaire Le Floch.

No need.

I saw him arrive with his flatfoots.

What do you want, sir?

To witness the de Ruissecs' fall?

- It is almost over.
- The game nears its finale.

Only you and the vidame are left.
A trade seems wise.

You are mistaken, Marquis.
I never trade.

Not a piece, nor a position
nor an advantage.

The truth

about the reasons for
the viscount's death against...

Against what, sir?

The freedom of vidame Gilles.

I have the power to imprison

anyone who stands in the way
of this inquiry.

Mr de Saint-Florentin
has abandoned me?

It seems so, sir.

They talk of a conspiracy
against the king.

Say nothing.

I beg you.

Forget Mr de Saint-Florentin's

Nothing pushes you to follow.

Could it be, vidame,

you retain a vestige
of the de Ruissecs' ancient virility?

No matter.
Keep silence, sir.

Nothing not said can be proven.

However serious the charge.

Your silence is the only rampart
against dishonour.


Do your duty, sir.

My father and I will not oppose you.

A plot, according to
the vidame de Ruissec.

A terrible plot.

But you need reasons to hatch a plot.

I fear, my friend,

that I have not told all.

Jean de Langremont...

Had he lived,

he'd have been a brilliant marshal.

He had an eye for the ladies.

Until he met his own.

Aude de Langremont.

One of the most beautiful women
I've seen.

Right up to the gallows, he never
stopped proclaiming his innocence.

And she?

Aude de Langremont did not survive
sorrow and dishonour.

- She died soon after.
- The line has died out?

The diocese register
of Saint-Nicaise de Langremont

mentions a baptism,
the same day,

22 years ago,

of two children,
born an hour apart.

Yves and Marie de Langremont.

Marie de Langremont?

Mr Le Floch!

Inspector Bourdeau awaits
with an urgent communication.

We locked him up,
then a woman asked leave to give

wine and food
to vidame de Ruissec.

- You weren't intrigued?
- No.

You authorised him to receive meals

from outside.

He sat down to eat, looking bored,

took a swig of wine
and fell into convulsions.

Then he died.

- A woman?
- Yes.

- Thin with a painted face.
- And blue spectacles?


You as good as killed him.

Don't even try.

You're not up to it,
if you ever were.

I know who you are.


La Pompadour's thing.

You plot against me
with the king's whore.

You attempt to circumvent
Madame Ad?laide.

One question, sir...

to restore your humility.

Do you have an idea of the identity
of Armande de la Sauvetet?

Armande de la Sauvetet?

How can it be

that you consent to such a mismatch?

Money, no doubt.

Ignorance and vanity, perhaps.

The viscount was indeed to marry
Armande de la Sauvetet?

Marry for money, am I right?

For the young man's heart
was set on an actress.

This is neither the time
nor the place

for such a discussion.

The actress hears of the project
and dismisses the dandy.

The dandy wallows
in limitless sorrow,

not knowing that the two lovers
are in fact one.

What are you insinuating?

You were deceived.

La Bicheliere

and Armande de la Sauvetet

are one and the same.

The same?



Don't lose him.

But we know where he's bound.


In truth,

how many are in this conspiracy?

Few of us.
You, me and several more.




The valet Lambert.

In your house.

Watching, day after day.

Every day more humble,

more present, more invisible
than your son's shadow.

You killed him?

I had to. He gave the game away
to the countess.

Soon everybody would have known.

Your son had a taste
for tragedy.

And an appetite for betrayal.

He was punished like a traitor!

What are you waiting for?

The viscount's death
was slow and cruel.

I intend yours to be also.

Who are you, Lambert?

- Who are you?
- A demon!

From your memory.

Son of Jean de Langremont.

You don't recognise me?

But you should!

Langremont! Enough!

That accursed Langremont.

He got me in the end.

However, I'm sorry.

I'm sorry.

Sorry I'm dying...

in the arms of the law.


Get up, sir..

I'm not keen on having
men at my knees.

You are a very resourceful man.

I thought I'd won you over
when I saw you last,

in your boudoir,
rue de Richelieu.

There must be better to do
than kill each other?


You could give yourself up.

Give myself up?

Haven't I given myself up enough?


the prospect of swinging
at the end of a rope

in some lazaret,

or some dark dungeon...

I fear that you have no choice.

Let me go!

So the Count de Ruissec is dead?


Lately, and as a soldier.

As a soldier?

His end was more honest
and dignified

than was his life.

You are right, Commissaire.

These plans of the ch?teau,
more detailed,

these drafts, this satire

warning of the death
of the tyrant Louis XV.

A lot of empty words.

Plans, intentions.

A lot of evidence,
but what of any action?

None of the court informers
has reported any.

Whither the men?

The conspirators?
All is written in one hand,

a woman's hand, it seems.
The tone is unanimous.

It looks like a smokescreen,

set to exploit
the viscount and his father.

But no one got wind
of Damien's attack on the king.


You're right. Remain vigilant.

This must remain a state secret.

The king must be protected
at all costs.

Even against himself.

The case is closed.

Your only task now, Commissaire,

to find a plausible explanation
for the count's passing.

Even if it bears only
a passing resemblance

to reality.

You're irritated?

You're experiencing the rarefied air
of high-level politics.

More so the higher you go.

One day,
justice may be the same for all.

Though, personally, I doubt it.

Yves de Langremont died last night
in his cell.

I let his sister join him.

An honourable gesture.

Yet you seem ill-at-ease.

The lady is here.

I'd like her to appear
in my report.

Mademoiselle la duchesse
Marie de Langremont.

Alias Mlle de la Sauvetet.

Alias La Bicheliere.

Odd multiplicity, mademoiselle.

From pleasant
to much less than pleasant.

A double plot hatched
to get revenge on de Ruissec.

Sister and brother
united in crime.

One making plans,
the other executing them.

Yves de Langremont,

as Lambert, enters the service
of the young viscount.

The plan is to snare the Ruissecs
in a conspiracy

against the king, and she was,

by the way,

the only instigator.

At the same time, the idea
of marrying the viscount,

permanently broke,
with Mlle de la Sauvetet.

Armande de la Sauvetet,

none other than
Marie de Langremont.

A fine example of duplicity.


Triplicity suits it better.

How can it be, Commissaire?

You're forgetting La Bicheliere.

I was coming to her.

Once the marriage was consummated,

the court would hear that
the viscount had married an actress,

a loose woman.

A calculated indiscretion
would then expose the plot.

It'd be curtains
for the de Ruissecs.

Bravo, mademoiselle.

The count was trapped.
You just had to wait.

Why murder the viscount, then?

No doubt the crime
was due to a rare error.

You got carried away.

You held the wretch in your hand.

Everyone says the viscount
was sensitive and wild.

You wanted to humiliate him
as a game.

So you dismissed him.

The simpleton kept falling
at my feet.

You must remember, Commissaire,

that some women demand
a more forthright approach.

Rejected by his love,

the viscount confided in his mother.

He told her everything.

As well as his intention
to fall on the king's mercy

and reveal all about the conspiracy.

So he had to die.

And I assure you he died
in terrible torment.

Why bring his body home?

So the count could see
the horror of his death!

Strange, mademoiselle,

such an extreme course of action...

for one so high-born.

When my father was hanged,

my mother,
Duchess Aude de Langremont,

soon joined him,
and by the same route.

I found her hanging from
a tree in the grounds.

The crows had had time

to pick her eyes out.
She had such gorgeous eyes.

We avoided scandal,
but not ruin.

To survive,

my brother sold his swordsmanship.

I had to sell my body.

Do you have, sir,

any idea what it means
to sell your body?

No, mademoiselle.

I have no idea.

As a magistrate, I cannot approve
of private vengeance.

As an enlightened human being

with good morals,

I understand her.

Come, Nicolas.

Why don't you see
the young lady back?

You're dying to.

As for me,


I still have my wigs.

You hated him that much?


You paid for revenge
with your virtue.

Now it'll cost you
your youth and beauty.

You'll be confined for life
in a lazaret in remotest P?rigord.

No matter.

I had no choice.

You had it repainted?

Thanks to you, my last journey
will retain some glory.

Guard Mlle de la Sauvetet's life
with your own.

However, should some gypsy

break out of the carriage and flee,

your job is not to give chase.

I know I am bound for a hideous fate.

I use the little credit I have
to beg you to come.

Please get to the point.

Deliver a note to La Pompadour.

You are a man of your word.

Yes, sir.

But what do I gain?

I can tell you where
Madame Ad?laide's stolen jewels are.

You have my word.


A pencil,
some light from your candle

and you'll have what you need.

"Madam, I beg you,

"save me.

"To compromise the Ruissecs
and the Church,

"you asked me to steal
Madame Ad?laide's jewels.

"I obeyed.

"With one word,

"you could save me
from a slow and cruel death.

"Your servant,

"Truche de la Chaux."

I don't doubt you read it.

There is no doubt, ma'am.

What do you think, Commissaire?

Any sensible man would beg
to avoid the question

as well as this man's death
by the executioner.

Take this.
My fate is in your hands.

But these crimes were committed
for love of the king.

I love him,
just as you do.

And when you love
with all your heart and soul,

the means do not matter.

you have my entire gratitude.

May I ask you where you found them?

The story is complex.
Its episodes uneventful.

You are too modest, Marquis.

I believe this intrigue
worthy of the classics

and its events very diverting.

You'll have a chance
to tell me in detail

at one of our coming hunts.

I know you are a man
who can be relied upon


You have proved your efficiency

and your discretion

on the dangerous missions
entrusted to you.

Keep well, Mr de Ranreuil.

- He's no fool.
- Never.

Dash it!
You are up and galloping.

Just try to stay in the saddle!

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