We, gamekeeper of the Monceau Plain, have the honour to report the inexplicable and malignant presence in the neighbourhood of the oriental gate of the Park, property of his Royal Highness Monsieur Philippe, the invested Duke of Orleans, this sixteenth day of May one thousand seven hundred and eighty three, of a felt hat of an unwonted shape and encircled by a sort of plaited cord. We subsequently observed the sudden apparition under the said hat of a man who was young, endowed with a neck of an extraordinary length, and dressed how they dress, doubtless, in China. The appalling aspect of this individual froze our blood and prevented our flight. This individual remained immobile for several instants, and then began to make agitated movements, muttering the while, as if pushing aside other individuals in his vicinity who were invisible but perceptible to him. Suddenly he transferred his attention to his cloak and we heard him murmuring as follows: "A button is missing, a button is missing." Then he started to move and took the direction of the Nursery Garden. Attracted in spite of ourself by the strangeness of the phenomenon, we followed him out of the confines attributed to our jurisdiction and we all three, we, the individual and the hat, reached a deserted little garden, which was planted with cabbages. A blue sign of unknown but certainly diabolical origin bore the inscription "Cour de Rome." The individual continued to move about for some moments, murmuring: "He tried to tread on my toes." The he disappeared, first himself, and, some time after, his hat. Having drawn up a report of this liquidation, I went to have a drink at the Little Poland.

Lauren RichardsComment