Nicolas Le Floch (2008–2018): Season 5, Episode 2 - Le sang des farines - full transcript

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Ah, Nicolas...

Rabouine and Semacgus await us
at "The Mother Morel",

where they are serving
beef marrow with mashed chard,

with profiteroles
and candied prunes for dessert.

- What do you think?
- That's perfect.

Where did you get this from?

From Versailles,
from where I have returned.

- Do you know anything about it?
- Quite a bit.

I can even tell you
where it comes from.

Rabouine saw them loading
an entire cartful of the stuff.

You'll want him to tell you
the location himself.


Go ahead, I'll catch up to you.

From inside a church, you say?

In the fiefdom of Prince Conti?

Conti's fiefdom, that's right.

Two full cartloads.

A roll of bread dropped out,
his men hid it away in a hurry.

Conti is a nasty fellow
who can only be kept at bay,

as he can't be eliminated.

Come, you're exaggerating!

It is a fact that the Prince,
like many of his peers,

attracts little compassion!

They might be doing it
to supress the people!

The people?

The ones complaining outside,
and rightly so!

That's enough!

Tell him about your finding.

Oh, yes...

Glass, Nicolas.

Small, like Bohemia crystal.

It's some sort of vial,
I found bits in the necrotic wound,

on the baker's right-hand palm.

Remarkable, isn't it?

- A bit green, but still...
- So what is it?

They inoculated Mourut
with some nasty venom.

Inoculated? How did they do that?

Like that.

The Borgia would wear thick gloves
armed with poisoned blades.

The slightest bit of pressure
would have sufficed.

So we're dealing with a murder?

Beyond any doubt, my friend.

Wait, sit down.

Be diligent,
my happiness depends on this.

Your happiness, Nicolas?


If Lady Arranet accepts...

you'll all be my best men!

She'll be
the Marchioness of Ranreuil!


Go, quickly!

No! No! No!


It's no use screaming, Miss.

- Nobody can hear you.
- But why?

Have you lost your mind?

That's enough!

You'll end your days here...

in this storehouse,

where nobody would think
to look for you.

Forgotten by everybody...

your remains
will be devoured by the rats.

That's it, sir.

Off you go.

Go back home.

I do not understand
your reluctance,

and I do not share it.

Oh, it's you, Commissioner!

My Lady will be delighted!

And you too, Inspector.

Oh, no, I'm a married man,
my place remains outside.

You may as well be blind!

I may as well just wait outside.


La Gourdan?
Rue des Deux Ponts Saint Sauveur?

You're asking me if I know her?

That harlot!

That infamous sow!

That snake,
whom I once held so dearly?

That vulture!

That marauder
runs an usury office,

she sells
at 100% loss for the seller.

She poaches married woman
from their husbands

and offers them young stallions

more suited
to sate their appetites!

She traffics virgins and orphans!

You seem to hold her in low esteem.

It gets worse.

There's a girl I trained,
she told me all about her place.

La Gourdan also plays at politics.


Her house is a meeting place.

Gallant encounters?

No, not at all, blockhead!

People come here
for gallant encounters,

within these walls.

Traders, financial clerks,

high-flying merchants,

those people
who we hold to account nowadays,

who sell grain and flour.

Those beggars in new clothes
who monopolise and stockpile goods.

Go on, you're interesting me.

As are you!

Their last meeting
took place two nights ago.

- Saturday evening?
- Yes.

People think they have orgies,
but no.

They discuss their trafficking.

La Gourdan's house
is full of secrets.

They secretly enter the house

through the door
reserved for rowdy priests.

I'm about to take a wife,
my friend.

I've heard better excuses...

What does it matter?
I'm not jealous.

Here's some advice.

Ask for Inspector Marais,

he investigates the whorehouses.

He has a long memory, my friend,

a very long one!

Have you received any information
on this Inspector Marais?

Yes, Nicolas.

When La Gourdan's name turned up,
I met up with some old friends,

one of Rabouine's girls...


We have one of the letters
from Marais to La Gourdan.

"Their goose is cooked",
if you'll pardon the expression.

I do know La Gourdan, yes.

She has people call her "Duchess"
for some reason.

Her house is no better nor worse
than any of the others.

Your grievances against her
seem to be, in my opinion...

greatly exaggerated.

So, to the best of your knowledge,
you deny them?

These are trifling matters.

There's no point
shaking up the daily routine.

And, this...

you wrote this yourself.

It warns her that
you had dirt against her.

It indicates
the time and place of a meeting,

during which
she would pay for your silence

with 25 Louis gold coins.

I know who you are, Commissioner.

I know you work for Sartine...

and that you meet
with the young King,

as you did with the last one.

I want neither
to insult your talents

nor look down upon your manner,


Quite often, at La Gourdan's house,

and not always
via the priest's door,

people of high standing
frequent this place...

among which include
the Dukes of Chartes and Lauzun,

a certain Count of Saint-Florentin,

and his Excellency Prince Conti.

There, they debate
important issues, like resources,

as well as government matters,

and the state of the kingdom.

You can take me in for questioning
or swear me to secrecy,

though the secret, as we know,
shouldn't be taken lightly.

Investigate La Gourdan
as you please,

I strongly doubt
they'll let you snoop for long,

and nor will your petty exploits
protect you from a fate

that is as prompt
as it is disgraceful.

- Marais feels he's protected.
- He is, don't doubt that.

This couldn't be more annoying.

I don't care.

- Arrest him.
- Now?


So, you say
Inspector Marais is in jail?

Don't you want to know the reason?

I'm in no doubt that
there are many reasons.

Doesn't Inspector Marais
live the high life through random?

As do you, for that matter.

Quite right.

You don't run a house like mine

without taking some money.

Money, Commissioner.

Money turns into more money,
and the rest is but an act.

What can you tell me
about a certain Mr Mourut?

A master baker by trade.

He didn't come here regularly.

Saturday night,
he came here dressed like a lord,

in the Sunday best
of a rich bourgeois.

He had a ticket on him,
on it was the name "Eulalie".

There is no Eulalie here.

Saturday was Saint Eulalie's Day.

We wanted to suggest a date,
not a person.

So, with whom
did he have a meeting?

I don't know.

And even if I did know,

I'd prefer jail over the torment
that would befall me

if I obliged you in any way.



Do you hold Marais
in such high regard

that you want to join him
in Ch?telet?

It's well known that at the time
of the notorious Famine Pact,

he had a bone to pick
with one of his companions,

a man named H?n?fiance...

a master baker,
who lived on rue du Poirier.

- Good day.
- Good day.

This is a quiet street.

There's nothing to be gained
from poor rue du Poirier.

Have you been set up here for long?

Since I returned
from the siege of Prague,

with Mr Chevert.

A great man,
and a great soldier.

My father knew him well
in his youth.

The other boot...

I owe him his savings,

with which I was able
to open this shop.

I live, sleep and work here.

Rue Montmartre,
third house after the cul-de-sac.

Ask for Catherine, from Nicolas.

There will always be
soup, bread and meat for you.

It's not every day
old soldiers get to chat!

Would you happen to know
a man named H?n?fiance around here?

He's a grain merchant.

That nasty tale goes back a while.

H?n?fiance Senior
was a very rich man,

who was portrayed
as one of those leeches

who sucks the blood of the people

and traffics grain
with unscrupulous folk.

Do you doubt he was such a leech?

I have no idea, sir.

One day,
proof arrived in large quantities,

and with the judges,
they took all he had.

H?n?fiance Senior died in prison.

They say
he was treated very poorly.

And the son
was sent to the galleys,

and was taken in shackles to Brest.

Son? What son?

Oh, he was a most handsome
and most courteous young man,

who his father cherished dearly,

and whom he also cherished.

Rumour was he got away
on the galleys at Brest.

But nobody gets away
on the galleys at Brest.

Since then,
the bakery has been abandoned.

Nothing stirs within.

Where is this bakery?

Bit further on,
behind the ruins of the old wall.

You can?t miss it.

On the front, you can still read
"The Cer?s Arms".

Is somebody there?

Is somebody there?

Now cabbage grows there, you say?

It's not in season,
so it's an expensive legume.

Chicks and cabbages...

And a panelled room,

fitted with a fireplace,

but a brazier was there,
which was used not long before.

It was empty and seemed abandoned,

and it overlooked two streets.

Chicks and cabbage!

While you were frolicking
in gardens and backyards,

I was consulting
the police archives.

I have two leads
which will greatly surprise you.

First, everything concerning
the H?n?fiance affair

has been removed from the dossiers.

I only found a very tenuous link
in the father's death certificate

and the son's conviction notice.

The effects, without the causes.

This kind of thing, alas,
is not uncommon in state affairs.


Both documents
were signed by the same person,

one Police Lieutenant-General
Antoine de Sartine.


Mr Denis Caminet,

the supposed apprentice baker's boy
at the Mourut bakery,

is in fact
the sole and principal inheritor,

given that he is
Mr Mourut's biological son.

Mourut's son?

What are you saying?

A notarial act proves this.

- You didn't know?
- I did not!

Don't believe me if you want.

That dandy, as you call him,
undoubtedly didn't know either.

Had he known,
would that have stayed his hand?

What do you know
about your husband's death,

that you have neglected to tell me?


There's a high price to pay
for patricide.

That goes for complicity too.

Caminet had, on numerous occasions,
wished for his master's death.

He hasn't been seen since.

I owe you part of the truth,

Is that all?

Mr Mourut didn?t not frequent
La Gourdan at all.

It was I who would go there.

Caminet often took me there
for parties with rich merchants.

On the night in question,
we met him there.

Did you put a price on your charms?

Not at all, sir.

My husband didn't neglect
to give me money.

I did it out of appetite...

because I wanted to feel something.

This, in your eyes,
can't be much better.

What do you know?

What happened?

We were all very thirsty.

Caminet went downstairs
to fetch some refreshments.

He came back upstairs,
trembling, as white as a sheet.

He had just crossed a man
in his Sunday best,

whom he thought was his master.

He feared that upon his return,
he would recognise him.

And then?

We both fled
out of the priest's door.

I returned home immediately,

whereas Caminet went back.

Went back where?

How should I know?
To La Gourdan, undoubtedly.

He wanted to make sure
he wasn't mistaken.

In any event,
he didn't come back.

Now I've told you this
in good faith,

are you likely to let me off,

I don't know, Madam.

I don't know.

The little commissioner
is stirring things up.

He might end up causing us trouble.

He's reputed
to have the flair of a spaniel,

the swiftness of a greyhound
and the stubbornness of a mastiff.

This chap is dangerous.

Well, Chevalier, what say you?

Eliminating him
presents no difficulty.

- But there's no rush.
- No rush?

Is that for you to decide?

You seem to be a poor strategist.

Your last flight of fancy
cost us several men.

Since when did you care
about the men, your Excellency?

They say you're most wasteful,
on the battlefield.

I needed that ambush
for Sartine to trust me fully.

What does Sartine matter?
I need Le Floch to die!

Stop doing that!

What vileness afflicts you?
It would most likely sicken us!

From what whorehouse
did you pick up this chevalier?

You need me
more than I need you, Conti.

As for the Marquis, right now,
he is more useful alive than dead.

I have come to doubt
your loyalty to me.

Doubt away, Prince, as you like.

Don't they say that doubt
often shows a man's intelligence?

For me, all that matters
is Turgot's downfall.

His activism threatens parliament.

But what about you, Mr Lastire?

What designs are you chasing?

- What strange compulsion...
- Please...

your Excellency...


Mourut's wife is most strange.

Do you believe her to be
guilty of anything?

Guilty, I don't know,
but complicit, perhaps.

I did make her drop her guard,

hoping she would lead me
to her dandy.

Well, Nicolas,

our friend Bourdeau told me
you were getting into farming!

Chicks and cabbage!

Yes! The chicks were so tiny!

I found this in the process.

Take a look.

It was on the ground.

Where did you find this?

In an old grain storehouse,
rue du Poirier.

Once home to one H?n?fiance.

H?n?fiance, you say?

Yes, H?n?fiance.

Does the name ring any bells?

That is a chapter of my life
I do not wish to return to.

H?n?fiance was no better
than his companions,

but he was also far from the worst.

Like now,
people spoke of the Famine Pact,

and the masses were stirring.

It was in order, we believed,
to save the former King.

Somebody had to pay for all this.

When he was denounced,

was viewed as a conspirator.

Who denounced him?

Mr Mourut,
who was already out on bail.

I had no reason to doubt him
or his righteousness.

Was this revenge, then?

I thought the little guy
was still sleeping,

since he hadn't touched his food
at all.

Then, I saw the blood.

Your witness is fine, Nicolas.

although very weak.

Did he try to kill himself?


But there is some surprising news.

Your baker's boy,
what was his name?

Friope, Alain Friope.

Well, Alain, your baker's boy,

is not a boy, but a girl,
and a strong one at that.

She's had a miscarriage,
from which I hope she'll recover,

despite the blood loss.

Bring towels and clean water!

Well then,
what else are you hiding?

It was Caminet...

he found out
what Friope really was.

He threatened us.

Either he'd tell on her
and get us kicked out...



she'd have to give herself to him.

Last Saturday...

he gave us a deadline
to make our decision.

So I followed him,

after he had done accompanying
the master's wife.

And what did you see?

The master was leaving a house
when Caminet arrived.

Then a violent dispute broke out.

The master wanted
to take him away...

but during the squabble...

Caminet fell over.

His head hit a bollard.

I didn't see him get up.

And then?

Then, the master stood
with his head in his hands,

and another man
came out of the house.

Would you recognise this man?

It was dark.

If you're lying, boy...

Any guard reports?

The guards found a man
who was as dead as he was naked,

near Pont Sainte Marie.

This man was around 20 years old,

more certainly bourgeois
than a man for hire.

Come now, my boy.

Is this him?

Denis Caminet?

- Are you sure?
- It's him.

your baker's girl will live.

Now, from the cells of Venus,
I'm off to "The Cer?s Arms".

The Lady isn't there.

Who isn't where?

The Countess didn't get to Saumur.

I went back to Versailles,

a man who seemed
to watch the grounds

told me
she hadn't been there either,

not since she was sent there
by your orders

with some chevalier.

- Lastire?
- Lastire, yes.

Find her for me.

Move Heaven and Earth!

Find her for me!


Have you lost your mind,

I will hold you
personally responsible

if anything happens
to the Countess of Arranet!

And how does this concern me?

As a riot was starting up,
I trusted her to your man Lastire!


That wasn't his job!

It doesn't matter! He's gone!

And the Countess
didn't arrive at her destination!

What do you know of him?

He performed admirably
at the siege of Pondich?ry,

and the father of your countess

personally recommended him to me!

Nothing more than that?

Nothing more
than what interests me.

May I consult
your ministry archives?

Would forbidding you
stop you from doing so?

Certainly not, sir.

I'm looking for Chevalier Lastire,

a Navy gunner who took part
in the siege of Pondich?ry.

How strange, not long ago,
another man made the same enquiry.

What was that man's name?

Arnaud Pierre de C?res.

Arnaud Pierre de C?res?

What did he want?

He was looking for his cousin,

I don't know what he found,
but there's a missing page.

However, we do have something.

The crew roster,
archived in another book,

where all changes were noted.

- Pondich?ry, you say?
- Yes, Pondich?ry, Lastire.

Chevalier Lastire...

Chevalier Lastire!

Commander Andr? Blanchard,
commander of the schooner Ulysse,

reports the burial at sea

of the body of Chevalier
Antoine Lucien de Lastire,

officer of the King's Navy.

Died after being suddenly hit

with a violent,
unforeseeable apoplexy.

And one Arnaud Pierre de C?res
was also a crew member.

Would you describe the man
who came here?

A big, handsome man,
tanned with sombre eyes.

He had a stiff tone,
like any officer.

A thousand pardons, sir,

I failed in finding the girl.

Lastire is not Lastire.

H?n?fiance and Lastire
are one and the same.

That's why Lastire remains elusive!

This explains nothing,
especially not that.

You! Keep looking! Go!

Tell me, Nicolas.

H?n?fiance escaped the galleys,

then he joined the Navy

under the name
Arnaud Pierre de Cer?s.


he stole the identity
of one Chevalier Lastire.

The young Lastire, in his youth,
served the Admiral of Arranet.

The fake had no problem
getting close to him...

and his daughter...

To what end?

I don't know.


Mr Le Noir wishes to see you
right away.

Disgraced, my friend.

A large police operation
took place without my knowledge.

A vast operation
which attacked the people,

and not the monopolists.

Men died.

The Monarchy also suffered
its own losses.

Now, I've received a message
from the King,

letting me know that his Majesty
will accept my resignation.

This must
be the vengeful hand of Turgot.

He triumphs, I'm sent packing.

What does it matter?

One disgrace follows another.

My successor hasn't yet been named,

the interim
will be overseen by Sartine.

I tried to carry out my duties
in all fairness,

with firmness, and, dare I say,

with the humanity
that the rays of reason allow,

and the provisions
of a free and moral spirit.

By way of recognition...

here's an important clue

which is lacking
from your current investigation.

The Provost-Marshal of Beaumont.

So widespread was his venom
towards the King and his peers,

they locked him up for it.

This letter will open the doors,
go and question him.

Seven years, sir.

For seven years,
I have been imprisoned, in secret.

Subjected to the worse torments...

This is my kingdom, sir.

Consider, the monstrous abuse
of an arrest without cause.

The reason
must have been compelling, sir.

The Famine Pact.

It revolved around
giving control of grain provisions

to four millionaires.

To them,
methodically setting up shortages,

constant high prices,

and during the years
of poor harvests,

widespread famine
throughout the entire kingdom!

To what end, may I ask?

In order to raise the prices...

by cornering the market

on an exclusive monopoly
of grain and flour!

The King found this
to his advantage,

as did his mistress, Pompadour!

And where, in all this...

does one H?n?fiance fit in?

Although he was in
on the whole thing,

they say
he still had some scruples...

or maybe his cut
just wasn't big enough!

He went and told the whole story

to the Police Lieutenant-General
at the time,

who immediately
had him imprisoned!

What Police Lieutenant-General?

The infamous, the abominable,

Antoine de Sartine!

He continued to hate him!

Him and his progeny!

The monster
who had planned his downfall,

as well as my own!


Because it was him!

Sartine was the Pact!

Sartine was the Pact!




By using fine plaster
and a damp cloth to pick it up,

I recovered this sinuous print
from the chick pen.

Which is found here on the plans
of H?n?fiance's old bakery!

Let's add to that, this skin,

which was lifted from the ground.


And to finish,
thanks to Mr Linn?'s research,

your killer
is a cold-blooded animal.

I couldn't find the animal itself.

Quick! We need to get to Sartine!

- Sorry?
- H?n?fiance is after Sartine!

Protect him whatever he tells you!

I've your killer, Nicolas.

Quite a large mamba,

with a deadly, venomous bite.

Your baker
must have perished in agony.


Just one bite, and you're dead!


My Lady!

You're safe now...

Don't shoot, Bourdeau!

I forbid you to shoot!

Listen to him, Bourdeau.

Let us leave.

Mr Le Floch...

I fear we've come to an impasse.

You have your gun pointed at me,

I have mine pointed at your master.

So that this doesn't drag on,
I suggest you let me leave.

I have a secret weapon
to use against you.

You did have one,
but now you'll pay for it,


The Countess of Arranet is safe.

What do you mean, H?n?fiance?
I don't understand!

I'm H?n?fiance Junior, Mr Sartine.

Revenge, is there
any more ruthless form of justice?

The baker, Mourut, who said
he was good friends with my father,

he was the first to pay.

It's your turn now.

I'm going to send you to hell,

far from here,

far from these gentlemen.

- Drop your weapons.
- Could you not squeeze so hard...

Drop your weapons!

Not so hard, please!

Not on the table!
There! Further away!

Further away!

Kill him.

Kill him!



Nicolas, it's over.

It's over, Nicolas!

You wanted to get me killed,

You're going to die anyway!

I'd like to add that even without
the Minister's unwillingness,

I was going to protect him
without your help, Nicolas.

I could not have overcome Lastire
without you, Bourdeau.

Search him!

Those marks
were caused by shackles!

So that was the cause
of his incessant scratching!

One last thing, sir.

And you owe me an answer!

What is the truth
behind this shameful Famine Pact?

In his generosity,
and for the greater good,

the late King tried
to regulate grain,

prevent speculation,

and build up reserves to safeguard
against shortages and famines.

In short, to act
as a good father to the people!

I see nothing shameful in that.

The shame
did not emanate from him,

but from those whom he delegated
to organise this arrangement.

Without noticing...

he gave,
to those richest in the kingdom,

the very tools
to plan his execution.

It was, to put it one way,

like giving the foxes
the keys to the henhouse.

This was a well-known fact.

Some seized this opportunity
mount a conspiracy against the King

and accuse him
of speculating on grain...

in order to pay off
his mistress' debts.

Though it was all lies...

the insatiable ingenuity
of those gossip-mongers

came up with the devastating name
of the "Famine Pact".

Tempers soon reached fever-pitch.

And what was your role
in the H?n?fiance affair?

The truth, if you please.

The truth?

Which one?

Who should I believe?
You or Marshal Beaumont?

Beaumont is a just man.

His only mistake
was being mistaken.

The country needed defending.

The state need defending!
The King needed defending!

I did that,
and I regret nothing!

The rest...

the truth...

Don't you know, Commissioner...

that the truth
is both flexible and ever-changing?

My love...

Your prose,
though a little stiff...

it warms my heart.

You can really see the influence
of your Jesuit education...

as well as a few flurries of style
favoured by law clerks...

That's a bit harsh!

It's not that
there aren't any good bits

here and there...

it?s this one bit,
which is very moving,

where you ask me to be your wife.

I love you, you love me,
isn't that natural?

It is, Nicolas.

Of course it's natural.

Do you remember what the late Queen
always used to say?

Marriage is all about having sex,
being fat and giving birth!

I owe you my, so-far, short life.

Do you really want
to claim it already?

My lover, as long as you want it,

and for much longer than that,
if needs be.


Let's just wait
until we're very old!


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