Nicolas Le Floch (2008–2018): Season 4, Episode 2 - Le crime de la rue des Francs-Bourgeois - full transcript

Do you sometimes go
to the Italiens theater, sir?

Rarely, I must admit.
In other words, never.

That's too bad.

You'd have recognized
in this text

a quote of Mr. de Boissy's
cited in full.


"Shiver, unfortunate,

"you betrayed me by aligning
your colleagues against me,

"and I now declare
a war to the death."

Thank you.

"You and yours
will perish in succession

"as my hate is so strong

Part Two

"your death alone
will not suffice."

What can you tell me
about the handwriting?

Yes, the writing,

it attracted my attention
right away as it's familiar.

It's from a public scribe who,
for a small fee,

will write for those
who don't know how.

Or don't want to.

What's the writer's name,

He's known as Vilard.

Allow me...

"I won't sign, seek... my name
among your numerous victims."

You don't seem very hungry?

Maybe you fear a new poisoning?

This feast comes from
the kitchen of Mr. Noblecourt.

and was sent here without
your knowledge upon my orders.

The food was guarded
and then served on your plates.

You can eat.

The food and drink
is guaranteed safe.

Please, drink up.

Moreover, if you allow me, sir,

there's no such thing
as a mansion without rats.

Have some caught and caged.

Since the killer
seems to be fond of poison,

you can have the food
and drink tested by them.

Please eat, Madam.


Eat, you're hungry.

I noticed that the footman,

St-Jean wished
to speak with you earlier.

It seemed urgent
and you agreed to his request.

What did he wish to speak
to you about, Monsignor?

Ordinary things about
the running of the household.

But why did you take your stole?

It's a confession garment, no?

Please be more lively
and unrelenting, sir.

More lively and unrelenting
in what, Madam?

In your investigation.

You're supposed to be
a policeman of the first order.

Can you imagine a mother's
distress and sorrow?

The torment of a mother stripped
of the fruit of her entrails.

Not from your entrails, Madam.

Father, I will retire.

Did your hear the footman
St-Jean's confession, Monsignor?

I have a letter authorizing me
to imprison you.

Henri de Montault,
Bishop of Tarbes,

in the name of the King,
I order you to follow me.

Sir? Monsignor!

Bravo, the family's decimated,

a child kidnapped under your
nose, a bishop sent to heaven.

Only fitting for a bishop.

The situation's serious.

Though you know
his Majesty's interest,

you're not getting anywhere.

You're watching
the music and the train pass.

Soon you'll
find yourself lost and alone,

-with nothing left to see!
-Not quite.

The adversary strikes quickly.

Though unpredictable,
his blows seem unstoppable.

However, I believe
I've found conclusive evidence.

-The child.

For a reason
I've yet to elucidate,

it seems to be
the key to this case.

Am I to understand, Nicolas,

that the kidnapping
of the child is your doing?

But to serve you.

You needn't have improvised.

Wouldn't it have been better

to arrest and roundly question
the footman, St-Jean?

That shifty servant, instead
of running after shadows?

They both disappeared,
with their belongings,

shortly before
the bishop's demise.

Once again, bravo!


-Where are you going?

To determine
the Monsignor's cause of death.

His demise
is not the least natural.

The heart is not vigorous,
it's too large and fatty.

The arteries are hard,
to be sure...

...however that's
not the cause of death.

I found this
under the middle finger.

A lanthanum thorn.

Common in Palestine, the plant
doesn't grow in our climate.

Certain traces
on the glove drew my attention

and I soaked it
to extract the sap.

Look here.

That rodent will soon expire if
my speculation proves founded.

See for yourself.

Well, Nicolas,
what do you think of that?

Father, what terrible torture...

What awful punishment...

What terrible retribution...

My faults
must be grave indeed...

For the Lord to decide to
crucify me to such a degree...

What fault could you
have committed, Hortense?

To deserve such punishment?

I don't know.

Like I don't know
my baby's fate.

I know nothing of his fate.

One can accept death,
but not knowing...

I hear your plea.

Maybe there's a way I could
help relieve such a torture?

You could?

You could.


My father...

The writing
drew his attention immediately.

It's from a fellow named
Vilard, the public scribe.

His office
is near Les Innocents.

I sent two examples
to confirm it's his.

Very good.

The text is that of
Mr. de Boissy, a playwright.

It was a dramatic monologue.


Shiver, unfortunate...

I won't sign,

seek my name among
your numerous victims.

I will be
very difficult to detect.

Yes, gentlemen,
I'm a public scribe.

My aborted law studies prevented
a professional career.

Do you recall
who requested this note?

Without any doubt, sir.
His name was St-Jean.

-Mr. de Montault's footman?

How can you be sure?

People confide in writers.

My lowly job makes me
privy to many secrets.

What else do you know?

Nothing, except his name
is Fauvelle, formerly Lalouette,

and he's currently known
as St-Jean.

there's a letter for you.

We absolutely need
to find the footman St-Jean.

And the servant, C?lestine.

Make the necessary inquiries
about St-Jean, Lalouette...

I've been summoned.

I want my grandson returned
immediately, Commissioner.

We didn't agree on that.
What's your motive?

My right to ensure
his state of health,

as well as
the state of his existence.

Both are perfect, sir,

I believe you should
take me on my word.

Get in, sir,
or I'll reveal your ruse to all.

My grandson is heir
to the Montault name,

fortune, and I hope, office.

I want to personally
ensure his security.

I well understand why
you personally want to ensure

your grandson's security.

However, I'd bet
you're acting upon orders.

Young impertinent,
upon whose orders, I ask you?

Those of the tender, lovely
Hortense de Vartelle, sir.

Sir, if not
for your functions and mine,

I'd challenge
your insult immediately.

You seem very taken with her.

Thank you for letting
reason prevail, sir.

Now, listen carefully.

You will amend your will.

Considering the baleful events
that have happened in my home,

considering that the disposal
of my worldly goods

is fully mine to determine,
I, Charles ?douard de Montault,

Minister Counselor
to the Paris parliament,

in criminal matters,
have sought the assistance

of Mr. Gr?goire Lefrasque,
parliamentary notary,

as well as
the Marquis de Ranreuil,

acting for
the Ch?telet commission,

under the patronymic, Le Floch.

My sister, H?loise de Montault,
widow of Louis-Charles ?vrard,

by the attached document

that she agrees
and awaits my conclusions.

Fearing a violent death and not
wanting to be caught unawares,

I agree to share
my property and wealth

in equal parts
between the orphan Exupere,

and young Ambroise,
Madam de Vartelle's first son.

In the event one child
precedes the other in death,

the other will inherit.
In the event of my demise,

this will's execution

will fall to the virtuous
and lovely Madam de Vartelle,

who will be their tutor
in all regards

until the age of majority.


I acknowledge and approve
of your generosity.

But why weigh me
with that heavy burden?

Because duty dictates it, Madam.

Did you expect such
a quick reaction, Nicolas?

The adversary
is strangely impatient.

What if things slowed down?

They won't.

Thank you for placing
my son Ambroise on equal footing

with young Exupere.

Not everyone
would have been so magnanimous,

and shown such leniency.

Thank you.

Thank you for keeping
my mistake quiet.

Wait here,
someone just went out.

Did you run into trouble?

-Did the woman return?
-Yes, I was going to tell you.

-Can you describe her?
-Unfortunately not.


-You didn't notice anything?

After you left, Mr. de Montault
went to his office,

and hasn't left it since.

Yes, a woman appeared
at the window several times.

Come with me!




Call the doctor!

There's no point, sir.
I'll take care of her.


The poor soul is dead.

I was coming
to see you for consolation.

As I opened the door,

it flung back in my face.

I'm so glad you're safe.

Who's behind the mortal
deceit of these blows?

Do you have any idea?


-Does Commissioner le Floch?
-I fear he has none either.


Are you hiding
something from me?

Nothing you don't already know.

Are you cold?

It's a cluster grenade,
known as a bunch of grapes.

It decimated the English troops
in the battle of Fontenoy,

slowly repelling them.

I didn't know
you knew weapons and history?

Do you see those lead balls,

like a bunch of grapes?

When the powder detonates,
they are propelled

and destroy everything
in their path.

Bourdeau, that's enough.

It's lucky
the second bomb didn't go off.

Lucky or opportune?

Mr. de Montault...

Does the name Fauvelle
mean anything to you?

A nasty business
with a coachman,

which we thought a certain
Fauvelle orchestrated.

I was a young magistrate
at the time, and very impetuous.

Fauvelle was brought to trial.

And though he continued
to maintain his innocence,

he was condemned.

His death was one of the most
awful I ever witnessed.

And the nickname Lalouette?


Lalouette was his young son
who witnessed the punishment.


Fauvelle, known as Lalouette
is none other than St-Jean.


That's impossible.

Sir, could you be trying to hide
certain facts from justice?

-Nothing, sir.
-...About Madam de Vartelle.

I trust Madam Hortense
de Vartelle as much as myself.

How far does that trust go?

As far as revealing
the odious ruse you devised,

as well as the place
where baby Exupere is held.

I order the baby given
to his adoptive mother.

You don't order anything, sir.

As for the baby's return,

pray your blunder doesn't
make it forever impossible.

Return to Mr. de Montault's

and make sure
Madam de Vartelle is there.

-What if she wants to go out?
-You must stop her.

Look out!

Do what you want with him.

But make sure
you take her alive,

so we can amuse ourselves.

Get the baby.

Don't make me
jump to conclusions.

Your sword, please.

Before I blow your brains out.

My master is the bastard son
of the Count of Toulouse,

who is himself the bastard son
of King Louis XIV,

which makes Chevalier d'Arcq
the direct cousin of the King.

I'm sure when Louis knows
of my presence here

he will be very displeased.

Then you'd have to be imprisoned
under your true identity.

Let's imagine
I don't know your name.

That's strange, Mr. Policeman.

Are you so arrogant you don't
fear the wrath of your rulers?

Come now, my friend.

Be realistic.
Inform the Chevalier.

How can you be so pretentious?

Is that due
to your nice stolen uniform?

Imprison the fellow.

Tell the executioner Sanson
to await the sentence.

-What sentence?
-Take him away.

He's our top priority.

Le Floch!

Le Floch...

What do you want to know?

You wanted to kill the child
for Madam de Vartelle,

under orders
from Chevalier d'Arcq,

so why bow to her wishes
unless you had to?

Would you
be open to an exchange?

The woman for the trooper.

My confession for a conviction.

Miss de Vartelle
was young and appealing

when she fell for the Chevalier.

He had his way.

the novelty soon wore off.

The Chevalier
moved on to other lovers.

The hussy remained very keen.

However, when we noticed
she was with child,

to avoid scandal
he had to hastily marry her off.

Was the Chevalier the father?

I was usually tasked

with trying out the wench
to make sure she's randy.

Don't be put off, it's common.

To the extent that we could not
determine whose child it is.

Only that it's not
the husband's.

Quick, give us a hand!

Come, St-Jean.

Up you get.

Here we go, St-Jean...

Help him.

A rich widow,

free of any attachment...

We'll need to make
a record of your declaration.

We didn't agree to a record.

To hell with agreements.

-Where's Commissioner Le Floch?

-Open up.
-He ordered me not to.

Open that door!

Move aside!


We found St-Jean.
The poor wretch is dying.

He was poisoned
in Montault's house too.

How's he?

Captain Richter got
a good knock, sir. Come.

St-Jean wants to spill secrets,
sir. He's waiting for you.

Take care of the captain.

Out of the way!

I entered the gentleman's
employ with vengeance in mind.

But time passed

and the master's rectitude,

the futility of vengeance,

led to abandoning
the regrettable plan,

but she saw through it.

Under threat, she made me
her miserable accessory,

her awful accomplice.

It's Hortense de Vartelle.

I can tell you where
she hides her poisons,

the apothecary who made them,

the plants he used...

I can tell you everything, sir.

That's all lies, sir.

It's a vile conspiracy
to sully my name and reputation.

The fact is...

And to prevent me
from my motherly duty.

The fact is that
the allegations were made

by an officer of the dragoons
and the footman, St-Jean,

both unseemly characters
who could be the guilty parties.

There's this evidence, sir.

Which was planted
in my rooms to destroy me.

The argument stands, Nicolas.

Do you think me so stupid
as to poison myself

along with poor Geoffroy
de Montault and his family?

Precisely, Madam.

That raised
my suspicions from the start.

Your lucky resurrection.

That rescue would be miraculous
if it wasn't the doing

of the most brilliant
miracle worker imaginable.

The greatest conjurer too.

I used this threat
to convince the Count

that you'd like his advice
on some private matters.

You what?

This matter
will soon be cleared up.


I don't know where to begin.

A silly joke, a few pranks,

but in a spirit
of fun and teasing...

A man of quality
honored to be my friend

asked me on behalf
of a woman he regarded highly

to make for her

a few poisons
and their antidotes.

In a way, to provide
the dose and the antidote.

Which you then found?

It was presented to me
as a joke on a wayward husband.

It sounded like fun.


All that's just lies.

I admire you, Madam.

You show as much sudden
sincerity in anger as in agony.

Madam, I accuse you
of pretending to be a victim

of the crime committed
in Mr. de Montault's office.

I'm sure you show
no signs of shock, no bruises,

and no marks
due to the explosion.

Would you like me
to check, Madam?

Sir, your position in the police
gives you no authority.

What a pity innocence isn't
measured by force of denial.

-You want to frame me.
-Who wants to frame you?

That doesn't matter.

I agree,
despite your protestations,

too many presumptions
point to guilt.

Commissioner, ensure that
Madam Hortense de Vartelle

is temporarily detained
on our premises.

You want to frame me!

In order not
to prejudice the investigation,

ensure she is detained
in complete secrecy.

Take Madam away.

don't imagine the case is won.

I don't imagine
anything I can't prove.

That's what I refer to.
I'll give you two days.

After that, Madam Hortense
de Vartelle should be

either charged or freed.

I'd like, Madam,
before you leave us,

to try a simple experiment. Sir?

Make it quick, Commissioner.

Gentlemen, excuse us please.

would you please put this on?

And if I refuse, sir?

Why would you refuse, Madam?

Did you hurt yourself?

You were pricked.

With a nettle thorn.

Common in Palestine, the plant
doesn't grow in our climate.

I found some in your rooms.

On this crucifix.

You fell in the trap that took
the life of your brother-in-law,

the Bishop of Tarbes.

You'll die
by your own hand, Madam.

Go to hell, sir!

Why such hate?


Do you know, sir,

what it is to love?
And not be loved in return?

I'm dying.

Don't expect a confession.

I don't have one.

I'll soon be in hell.
I'll see you all there.

You'll be first!

And you too...

Don't hope for a demise
to deliver you, Madam,

the thorn that pricked you
was free of poison.

What's waiting for you Madam,
is the leper colony,

condemned to rot for
the rest of your miserable life,


waiting to die.


Take her away.

-Could she be guilty?
-She is. Don't doubt it.

You know how Madam
de Vartelle's son was conceived.

Indeed, I know everything.

Including the shame
that made her

exile her son Ambroise
in the country.

Thus, Exupere is your sole heir.

Your henchman is dead,

Aren't we all mortal,
we soldiers first?

Life or death,
what's the difference?

As long as
your life's not too eventful.

It seems you were very close
to Madam de Vartelle.

Very close? No...

I knew her
at the beginning of her career.

My brother, Count St-Germain,
told me what he confided in you.

I've nothing to add.

Except, more in a spirit
of playfulness than calculation,

being rather short
on funds at the time,

I promised to marry the woman
if she became immensely wealthy.

Marrying down has a price,
and mine was costly.

I'd wager that the crime
would have paid.

Tell me, did she almost succeed?

Just a needle away.

Would you
have married her if...?


In the meantime,
I got used to being penniless.

Why didn't you say anything,

Or ask me anything?

You know I love you.

I'd have given you everything.

You love me?

You'd have given me everything?

Your fortune?

Your name?

Yes, Madam.

Your daughter,

would you have given her up too?

If I'd had to...

Yes, Madam.

You knew?

By instinct, yes.

I think so.

Although I wanted with all my
heart to believe you innocent.

I can spare you
your terrible fate.

I can use my influence
with the King.

Don't do anything, sir.


Because in neither life
nor death do I want to owe you.

Why, Hortense? Why?


For the simplest of reasons,

because I don't love you.

Because I love another
who doesn't love me.

Because this is the destiny
the Lord chose for me,



maybe it's you, my father,

who owed me something,

for awakening passion in your
guts and your loveless heart.

For prettying up
your house and life.

Without me,

do you think you would've ever
experienced desire, Counselor?

You owe me, Montault...

That can be done, Madam.

You love me?

More than anything in the world.

Then prove it.

Prove it.

Prove it.

I'll see you in hell, dear.

Bad news?

Madam de Vartelle is dead.

My God.

By the hand of Mr. de Montault.

I liked her.

Though she didn't seem
to like me.

Which should lessen my sadness.

Still, I cry for her.

Even you seem troubled.

I can't help but see criminals
as their own victims.

Translation: ?pilogue