|La guinguette à deux sous - 1|
GUINGUETTE A DEUX SOUS - Guinguette by the Seine - Maigret to the
rescue - A spot by the Seine - Maigret and the tavern by the
Seine - Georges Simenon - 1931 (Ouistreham)
|The story - a summary|
his death penalty is carried out, the condemned Jean Lenoir entrusts to
Maigret that he was an eyewitness of an old crime six
years ago. Together with his friend Victor Gaillard, he blackmailed a
killer for two years. Then the killer disappeared. He ran across him
again, three months before, in the Guinguette à deux sous.
Maigret discovers this Guinguette à deux sous, a small inn at the edge of the Seine, near the village Morsang-sur-Seine.
Every weekend, a group of Parisians gather in Morsang. Spending their free time together. Maigret travels to Morsang and joins in with the group.
He is particularly well received by a man called James, who becomes a friend.
Cheerfulness reigns in this small world, until a murder occurs: Feinstein, a member of the group and slipped down shopkeeper in Paris, is killed by Basso. Maigret already knows that Basso is the lover of Mado Feinstein, the victim's wife.
Arrested, Basso succeeds in fleeing. Maigret passes to Paris one week in which he meets his new friend James several times. He realizes that James knows where Basso hides, but he keeps silent and the investigation comes to a standstill.
|La nuit du
à deux sous - 1
à deux sous - 2
the next Sunday, the police chief finds Victor Gaillard, the companion
of the executed Lenoir, in Morsang. By having him shadowed
he discovers the identity of the victim about whom Lenoir had spoken to
him: the usurer Ulrich.
However the enigma will not be unraveled before the escaped Basso is found again and is confronted with James and Gaillard.
Six years before, James was the lover of Mado Feinstein. Making use of the services of Ulrich, whom he cannot refund, the usurer threatens to tell Marcel Feinstein all about James's relationship with Feinstein's wife.
|Vente à la
|Helped by Basso, James kills Ulrich, but is then found with the catches of Gaillard's and Lenoir's blackmail. Basso helps him to
provide the sums required by the blackmailers.
As for Basso, he became in his turn Mado Feinstein's lover. The husband, being in a difficult financial position, was prepared to ignore his wife's connection with Basso. In exchange for financial compensation.
The day when Feinstein was killed, Basso had refused further payment. A fight opposed the two men and Feinstein was killed accidentally by a shot from his own revolver. (1)
|Le notaire de
|Le charretier de
|Analysis of the locality|
|The story is set in the neighborhood of Morsang-sur-Seine (Essonne) and Seine-Port (Seine-et-Marne). Until today two small villages on the border of the two departments, about 45km from Paris, on the right bank of the river Seine. La guinguette à deux sous however, the inn that lends its name t the novel, and that appears in the story on two major occasions, is situated on the left bank (2) . There is no direct connection between the villages of Morsang, Seine-Port and the Basso country house, on one side of the Seine, and the inn at the other side. A faked wedding party, set up by the group of Morsang, has to take the route over Seine-Port and the bridge South of this village, which is a detour of about 6km although the inn is merely 100 meters away from the Basso's country house, just across the river (Image).|
|The data in the novel are not sufficiently accurate to locate exactly the inn and the country house. Being the primary
Simenon is known not to be very accurate in his descriptions of sites and places in view of dimensions and distances. His main interests are atmosphere and ambiance. Therefore it is difficult to pin down precisely the location of the two main sites. However there are some inkling indications, so that the sites can be located accurate to within 500 meters.
|Go to La guinguette à deux sous - 2|
|From top to bottom:
- Cover of: Georges Simenon, "La guinguette à deux sous", 1954 Edition by Librairie Artheme Fayard, Paris.
- Composition of a drawing of Maigret's silhouette from the cover of: Georges Simenon, "Maigret hesite", Presses de la Cite, Paris and map on http://www.1bis.com/1bis/. Design G. de Croock.
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock .
Translation and compilation from: Maurice Piron, L'Univers de Simenon,
Presses de la Cité, Paris, 1983, p.275. Excerpt translation
G. de Croock.
(2) Morsang-sur-Seine is in the Essonne department. The inn and the house of Basso seem to be situated in the department of Seine-et-Marne.
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