Claude gets thrown out.

Let me make this clear. I am NOT talking about Claude (female) of Blogging in Paris but of Claude (male) our one time gardener and (usually inebriated) purveyor of eggs, vegetables, farm meat, champagne etc.

Some time ago I left him and his mate drinking beer while I went to the garage to look for some glue that he had asked to borrow.

The next time I went to my purse i found it empty. Now I know at times I can be a bit forgetful but I was certain sure than there were 40 euros in that purse. Yet I couldn’t believe that Claude would steal from me.

Neighbours had warned me that he wasn’t totally honest but I prefer to trust people unless they give me reason not to.

Well, today, I had that reason.

Since the 40 euros went missing I had taken the precaution of keeping an eye on Claude. He turned up yesterday evening (smelling of pastis) with a couple of dozen eggs and I put in an order for some strawberries and six bottles of champagne for when my sister comes next month.

But today he turned up with another dozen eggs.

“No, I don’t want any more thank you. You brought me 24 yesterday.”

He sat down expectantly and I found him a beer. While we were talking the phone rang. It was one of Bear’s daughters but he was outside. I was about to take the phone into the garden when I remembered my policy of not leaving Claude and handbag unguarded. I turned back just in time to catch a fleeting glimpse of him returning to his chair from the direction of my bag, CLUTCHING MY PURSE!

Of course I told M her dad would call her back and then I went over to Claude.

“Is that my purse?”

He looked sheepish and handed it over.

“Leave my house at once,” I said, “and don’t come back.”

You won’t believe his response:

“Can’t I finish my beer first?”  !!!!!!

“No you can’t” I shouted.

He tried to babble what may have been an apology but I was really mad by now.

“It was you who stole that 40 euros wasn’t it?”

His eyes widened and he burbled something incomprehensible.

“GET OUT AT ONCE!”

He still seemed reluctant to move so I yelled and pushed and threatened to call the police if he didn’t leave.

At the front door he went down on his knees but I was still shouting angrily.

When I eventually got him outside there were several neighbours looking on. They must have heard me screaming at him. I rarely lose my temper and become that angry (and it’s usually with Bear) but when I do let fly I can make quite a din.

Claude left with his tail between his legs and me shouting a final “Voleur” in his direction as neighbours watched open mouthed.

I rang his mate, whose wife is the champagne producer (she’s part owner of a vineyard run by her brother) and explained that  I would still like the champagne  I had ordered but because of what had happened I did not want Claude to deliver it.

Both Bear and Whale thought I should ring the police but he didn’t actually get away with anything this time and I have no concrete evidence of past thefts. However, I’m pretty certain he has been helping himself for some time and I’ve just been wondering why money seemed to go so quickly.

Suffice to say, Claude is absolutely persona non grata from now on.

UPDATE  Monday evening:

The “champagne couple” came to see me this morning to find out exactly what happened. Later I heard that the wife had telephoned Claude’s cousin and together they had confronted him. He confessed to taking the 40 euros and they are going to make sure he pays it back. It’s too much to expect him to own up to any previous pilfering but, even so, I’ll be very pleased to have some money returned. All the same, he will still not be allowed in my house ever again.

 

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12 Responses to “Claude gets thrown out.”

  1. Claude Says:

    Phew! I thought I had misbehaved 😉
    What a story! You sure had a lousy start today! On the other hand, it’s good that you got rid of him!

    Exactly, Claude, he’s not a visitor I could afford to entertain any longer!

  2. lilalia Says:

    Thank heavens you caught him red handed. Now you know your suspicions were correct. Now that your neighbours saw you yelling at him, they will mention it if he happens to come around again. Good for you for throwing him out.

    Thanks for coming by, Lilalia. Welcome to the madhouse!

  3. Z Says:

    Catching him in the act was the best thing that should have happened. A fortuitous phone call – but apart from the nasty dishonesty (to do that to someone who not only employed him but was hospitable to him), what a stupid man. If he’d pinched 10 euros, you might have thought you’d make a mistake, but you’d certainly miss the whole 40. A good job he was so complacently sure you wouldn’t suspect him.

    He probably has pinched 10 euros here and there, but, as you say, that’s not as noticeable as 40. And to think, I almost went out into the garden today . . . .

  4. Pat Says:

    Oh I’m sorry you had to contend with that Sandy. What a wretch. I would have been livid also – to have one’s trust betrayed like that. I suppose the drink dulls his conscience but that’s no excuse.

    Yes, maybe he needs to steal money to buy more alcohol but when I think how he pretended to be a ‘friend.’ Yuk – it makes me shudder.

  5. Richard Says:

    Well done for catching the rogue! You certainly put him in his place. The cheek of the man!

    Exactly – what a nerve!

  6. BearNaked Says:

    Oh what a terrible thing to have happened to you.
    I think you were very brave to have dealt with it the way you did.
    I probably would have started crying and shaking if that had happened to me.
    Bravo

    I felt a bit wobbly afterwards but at the time I was so furious I just let rip.

  7. tillylil Says:

    How sad that he has no morals or scruples.
    It is not as if he didn’t know you which makes it worse and you have lost your odd job man.
    I hope you make it known to all who know him what has happened.

    Have to admit I’ve told my neighbour and she’s told quite alot of other people.

  8. guyana gyal Says:

    What a wretch! I know how you feel, angry, betrayed. I remember the last time I got stolen from a couple of years ago, a woman who worked here. She even stole things I’d sewn. I was broken-hearted. I still think about it.

    But Sab, I had to laugh at Claude asking, couldn’t he finish his beer first? That was some nerve, cheek and bare-facedness [as we would say].

    I know – that makes me laugh when I think about it as well. People who know him in the village say thats ‘just like Claude’ and NOW they tell me that they always hide their money if he’s around and some people won’t even let him into their house. I wish they had been more specific in their warnings but, on the other hand, I would have found it difficult to believe as I prefer to trust people.

  9. Susie Vereker Says:

    As others have said, I think you dealt with this amazingly well. Pretty upsetting all the same, along with everything else you have to contend with.

    Yes, Susie, I was a bit shaken after shouting like that but now it has definitely ‘cleared the air’ and we’re well rid of him.

  10. johng. Says:

    What a rogue! You did well Sandy! xx

    Exactly, John, a nasty piece of work.

  11. Sophie Says:

    Oh my God!!! I am so ashamed of the behaviour of my fellow citizens sometimes. How could he do that to you after all your kindness towards him?! I am so sorry he did that to you Sandy and hope the other Français in the village are nice to you.

    Don’t worry, Sophie, I think he is the exception. Sadly, though, I now feel I have to keep my front door locked.

  12. I love Sundays « Says:

    […] I feel I can have a bit of a lie-in, especially now that we’re not likely to be disturbed by Claude at some unearthly hour – we usually have a roast dinner, a bit later than usual, and everyone sits […]

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