Les larmes de bougie - 2
Ingrannes?
During that period Simenon stayed in the Château de la Cour-Dieu and took his meals in the Auberge de la Cour-Dieu, an inn named after the ruins of a local abbey.
So it is obvious that Ingrannes and its surroundings were familiar to Simenon. Knowing his habits he must have strolled around extensively in the surrounding area, gathering impressions about people and places that he would subsequently use as characters and settings for his novels.
At that time Simenon bought a house in Seichebrière, at 6 km. from La Cour-Dieu, with 25.000 acres of hunting ground through intercession of Me Goussard, solicitor at Châteauneuf-sur-Loire (5) . Planning on building a new house there, which he never did, he stayed at La Cour-Dieu.
According to Claude Menguy in his article Simenon: "Sites Classés" (6), Georges Simenon went shopping in Ingrannes in the grocery store of Georges and Madeleine Gallier. Possibly this shop stood model for the shop of the sisters Potru in the short story.

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La nuit du
carrefour
La guinguette
à deux sous
The hung wolf
There remains the question of the "Loup-Pendu", which means literally "the hung wolf".
Today there is a place to be found near Ingrannes with that name, only it is not ten kilometers away from the village but only one kilometer. "La Maison du Loup Pendu" is an old farm that was converted into a holiday cottage. According to the story it ought to be a lake at about ten kilometers from Ingrannes. According to the sollictor's letter in the non-Maigret novel Justice it must be a farm.
In the Dutch translation the cottage where Marcel lives is literally refered to as "een vervallen boerderijtje" (a small decayed farmhouse).
L' inspecteur
Cadavre
Les larmes
de bougie - 1
Les larmes
de bougie - 2
Vente à la
bougie
La maison
du juge
Mon ami
Maigret
Toponyms relating to wolfs came into being in Western Europe during the dark ages and even before. The scarce inhabited forests and countryside were infested with packs of wolfs. These animals were looked upon as dangerous and noxious but they also played a mysterious and even divine role in superstition and rites.
Maigret à
Vichy
l'Affaire
Saint-Fiacre
L'Auberge aux
noyés
Le notaire de
Châteauneuf
The ceremony of the hung wolf was a very common hunting rite in Western Europe. In the era of the Celts and the Germanic cultures it was associated with the worship of certain gods. A wolf was trapped, killed and hung in the fork of a tree at a significant forest crossroads or at the edge of the wood, offering protection for people and livestock and to discourage other wolves.
Therefore the toponym Loup-Pendu is common in France.
M.Gallet, décédé
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Flamands
Which one?
All clues in the story, in the biographic information and in other Simenon novels points out Ingrannes and his surroundings as the place of action. Whether the actual site is Ingrannes itself or the nearby hamlet of La Cour Dieu (7) is unresolved. Some facts points to La Cour Dieu. Because the description in the story mentions a larger village a few kilometers before the actual hamlet, Ingrannes could be that first village.
On the other hand the hamlet should consists of thirty houses which seems a good many for a small place like La Cour Dieu in 1935. Moreover a church is mentioned with a pointed roofed tower. No record of a church in La Cour Dieu can be found except for the ruins of the old abbey church.
Relying on the information that can be gathered from a distance, Ingrannes is the most likely location.
Further exploration on site will be required to further unravel this issue.
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Images
From top to bottom:
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock .
- http://happyhome.vakantiehuisjes.frankrijk.vakantie-huis.nl/, Happy Home, Koningsstraat 4, NL-1811 LV, Alkmaar. "This residence is situated more than 1 km. outside the village on a quiet spot close by the forest's edge".
Notes
(5) M. Goussard will stand model for the character of the lawyer in G.Simenon's short story "Le Notaire du Châteauneuf "("Inspector Maigret and the Missing Miniatures" or "The Three Daughters of the Lawyer").
(6) Claude Menguy (1984), Simenon: "sites classés" in: Traces N° 10, 1998, Université de Liège, Travaux du Centre d'Etudes Georges Simenon, directeur de publication: Michel Lemoine,
(7) La Cour Dieu is part of the municipality of Ingrannes.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2