IvanChtcheglov

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AKA Gilles Ivain


G.I. and G.D.'s arrival in the bar renders instantly silent about ten Yiddish-speaking men seated at two or three tables and all wearing hats. While the Lettrists drink a few glasses of alcohol at the counter, their backs turned toward the door, a man also wearing a hat runs in and the waitress — who they have never seen before — nods to them that it is to him that they should address themselves. The man grabs a chair, places it at a distance of about one meter, sits down, and starts speaking to them in a very loud voice and for a rather long time in Yiddish, in a tone at times convincing and at times menacing yet without deliberate aggressivity and, above all, without seeming to imagine that they might not be understanding a thing.

The Lettrists remain impassive and look with the greatest possible impertinence at everyone present, all of whom seem to be awaiting their response with some distress. Ultimately, they leave. Once outside, they both agree that they have never seen an atmosphere so frigid, compared to which the gangsters from the previous evening were mere lambs. Wandering [dérivant] still a bit further on they come to the pont Notre-Dame at which point they notice that they are being followed by two men from the bar, in the tradition of the gangster film. It is on this tradtition that they feel they must rely in order to give their pursuers the slip; they cross the bridge casually and then suddenly descend to the right onto the quay of the Ile de la Cité on which they run, passing under the Pont-Neuf, until they reach the square Vert-Galant. There, they scramble back up to the place Pont-Neuf by means of the stairs hidden behind the statue of Henri IV. In front of the statue, two other men in hats come running up — undoubtedly to cut them off at the riverbank of the quai des Orfèvres (which appears to be the only exit if one is unaware of the stairs) — and stop in their tracks upon seeing them come into view.

The two Lettrists approach and then walk right by the men who, in their surprise, do not budge. The Lettrists continue down the sidewalk of the Pont-Neuf towards the Right Bank. Here they notice that the two men have once again begun to follow them and it seems that a car on the Pont-Neuf — with which these men seem to be exchanging signals — has apperently joined in pursuit. G.I. and G.D. then cross the quai du Louvre at the very moment when the traffic (which is very heavy at this location) has the right of way. Then, taking advantage of this lead, they hurriedly traverse the ground floor of the La Samaritaine department store, exiting onto the rue de Rivoli in order to rush down into the Louvre subway station, subsequently changing trains at Chatelet. The few passengers who are wearing hats seem suspicious. G.I. is convinced that a man from the West Indies who happens to be near him gave him a signal that he interprets to means that he is an emissary sent by J. to defend them against the surprising outbreak of antagonistic forces. Getting off at the Monge station, the Lettrists arrive at the Montagne-[Sainte-]Geneviève via the deserted Continent Contrescarpe where night falls amidst an atmosphere of increasing unease.