Le Voyage à Blue Gap by Patrice Robin

By Patrice Robin

Ma fille a épousé un Indien navajo. Elle m'a annoncé l. a. nouvelle un soir d'avril 2006. Elle connaissait Scott depuis neuf mois, l'avait rencontré à l'université et viendrait passer trois semaines avec lui en France durant les vacances d'été. Si je voulais savoir, avant cela, à quoi ressemblait mon gendre, je pouvais regarder Sunchaser de Michael Cimino où il avait joué, une dizaine d'années auparavant, l'un des sept cavaliers accompagnant le troupeau de mustangs croisé par les héros un peu avant los angeles fin du movie, l'Indien qui parle, a-t-elle précisé. Puis elle a raccroché. Il était midi au Colorado, vingt heures à ma montre. J'ai loué le DVD le soir même.

Il faut, avant d'apercevoir les mustangs dans le lointain, suivre pendant quatre-vingt-sept mins les aventures d'un jeune repris de justice en cavale atteint d'un melanoma et du médecin qu'il a pris en otage dans un hôpital de l. a. pour le conduire, au volant d'une Cadillac volée, jusqu'en Arizona, au bord d'un lac sacré dans lequel s'immerger, espère-t-il, lui apportera los angeles guérison.

C'est pour éviter un barrage de police que le conducteur de l. a. Cadillac quitte los angeles direction, prend le sillage, à travers los angeles plaine brûlée de soleil et dans un nuage de poussière, des sept cavaliers et du troupeau de mustangs. L'étrange équipage s'immobilise une minute plus tard au sommet d'un plateau de terre ocre. L'un des cavaliers s'approche de los angeles voiture. Il monte à cru un cheval beige, porte un ensemble en jean, débardeur et pantalon. Ses cheveux sont d'un noir profond, très longs et noués par un catogan. Alors qu'il échange quelques words en navajo avec le passager, on voit pendant quelques secondes son visage en gros plan. Ses features sont fins, son entrance huge, ses yeux en amande et foncés, ses pommettes légèrement saillantes, son cou orné d'un collier de turquoise. Il sourit.

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Whenever it stopped of its own accord at one of those holes bordered with thorns that farmers dig along the edge of their ploughed land, Charles, waking with a start, would quickly remember the broken leg, and try to recall all the fractures that he knew. It was no longer raining; day was breaking, and, on the leafless branches of the apple trees, birds sat motionless, fluffing out their tiny feathers in the cold morning wind. The flat landscape extended as far as the eye could see, the clumps of trees round the farms making widely spaced splashes of dark purple on that vast grey surface which, at the horizon, merged with the dreary tones of the sky.

When he entered Les Bertaux his horse took fright, and shied violently. It was a prosperous-looking farm. Through the open half-doors of the stables you could see huge draught horses placidly feeding from brand-new mangers. A stream of vapour arose from the big manureheap that flanked the buildings, and, standing out among the hens and turkeys, five or six peacocks––that luxury of Pays de Caux farmyards––were pecking for food. The sheep-run was long and the barn tall, with walls as smooth as the back of your hand.

Père Rouault embraced his future son-in-law. They put off any discussion of money matters, there was plenty of time for that, since the marriage could not decently take place before the end of Charles’s mourning, that is to say, not until the following spring. The winter passed in waiting. Mademoiselle Rouault busied herself with her trousseau. Part of it was ordered from Rouen, and she made herself nightgowns and nightcaps with the help of fashionplates which she borrowed. During the visits Charles made to the Madame Bovary  farm they talked about the preparations for the wedding, wondering which room they’d use for the wedding feast, how many courses they’d have, and what particular dishes they’d serve.

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