“Sold our house in the country. Michael can’t do stairs anymore. Found home right in the village and we’re loving it! Have remembered a story I heard, about a huge gun hidden in the woods. Off to find it.”
“What is it?” Gamache asked quietly as he got closer.
“Can’t you see it?” Monsieur Béliveau whispered. He moved his hand in a circle, but all Gamache could see was a particularly thick section of forest.
“Holy shit,” Gamache heard someone say behind him. He thought it might be Clara, but he didn’t turn around. Instead Armand Gamache stopped. Then stepped back. And back again.
And tilted his head up.
“Merde,” he heard Jean- Guy whisper.
Then he peered at where Monsieur Béliveau was pointing. It was a small tear in the vines. And beyond that it was black.
“Do you have your flashlight?” he asked Jean-Guy, holding out his hand.
“I do, but I’m going first, patron.”
Beauvoir put on gloves, knelt on the ground, turned on the light, and stuck his head through the hole. Jean-Guy looked, though Gamache would never say it to his face, a bit like Winnie- the-Pooh stuck in the honey jar.
But when he came back out there was nothing childish about his expression.
“What is it?” Gamache asked.
“I’m not sure. You need to see.”
This time Beauvoir crawled all the way through the hole and disappeared. Armand followed, first telling everyone else to stay where they were. It did not seem a hard sell. As he squeezed through the opening, Gamache noticed bits of torn camouflage netting.
And then he was through into a world where there was no sun. It was dark and silent. Not even the scampering of rodents. Nothing. Except the beam from Beauvoir’s flashlight.
He felt the younger man’s strong grip on his arm, helping him to his feet. Neither spoke.
Gamache stepped forward and felt a cobweb cling to his face. He brushed it aside and moved another cautious step forward.
“What is this place?” Jean- Guy asked.
“I don’t know.”
Both men whispered, not wishing to disturb whatever else might be in there. But Gamache’s instincts told him there was nothing else. At least, nothing living.
Jean-Guy moved the flashlight around quickly at first trying to assess their situation. Then the rapid, sweeping movements of the circle of light slowed. It fell here and there. And then it stopped and Beauvoir leapt back, pushing into Gamache and dropping the flashlight.
“What is that?” Armand asked.
Jean-Guy stooped quickly to pick up the light. “I don’t know.”
But he did know there was something else in there with them. Beauvoir tilted the beam up. Up. Straight up. And Armand felt his jaw go slack.
“Oh my God,” he whispered.
What he saw was unbelievable. Inconceivable. The camouflage netting and old vines concealed a vast space. It was hollow. But not empty. Inside it was a gun. A massive artillery piece. Ten times, a hundred times bigger than anything Gamache had ever seen. Or heard
of. Or thought possible.
And stretching up from the base, apparently out of the ground, was a figure.
A winged monster. Writhing.
Gamache stepped forward, then stopped as his boot fell on something.
“Jean-Guy,” he said, and motioned to the ground.
Beauvoir pointed the flashlight and there, in the circle of light, was a stick.
16 replies on “Postcards from Three Pines: Nature of the Beast”
your photo with your beloved is lovely.
I am at that stage of my life now. My husband is hospitalized with breathing and kidney issues. He lives in a memory care facility because he fell and broke his leg. Unfortunately I can’t provide the care and medical assistance that he needs 24/7,
and that is provided by 8 to 10 people. This June we will have been married 62 years, and it has been an adventure of living, loving, family and friends.
I am grateful that he is still with me but he is paying a terrible price.
not very fair.
I have been “binge reading” the Gamache series for about a year and particularly loved The Nature of the Beast, with its leitmotif of people searching in the wrong place for what they want, when they have been already given it in a way that they don’t recognize.
In all of the books, the witty banter between the Three Pines residents infuses humour and lightness to offset a thoughtful exploration of the dark side of human nature.
If you can dream it, you can do it.
Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy
I have loved all of your books and all of your characters (especially Clara.) You have a big circle of fans here in Vermont; please come to Burlington to meet us. My best friend, the one who introduced me to your books, has just lost her husband, so I find the photo of you and Michael especially poignant and meaningful. Our love to you!!
Michael always looks so joy-filled!!
I thought this book was great! I actually cried when I read the last sentence! Never want to leave Armand and Reine! Thanks for your books!
I seem never to tire of the telling of these stories. I feel like I’ve come to know each person.
Been with you from book one. Each one is unique. Thank you for the two times I was thankful to see you in Austin ( but from Boston) MERCI for all the joy You, Michael and Bishop have given me and so many others.
I love the sense of history you include in all of your books.
Another amazing story
What a special moment between you and your Michael. A moment to remember and cherish.
Loved the book. Kept me on edge. Thank you❤️
Whoa this looks scary!
Love all of the books. Thank you!
Michael and you were blessed with your love for each other. His spirit must soar with pride as he watches over you.
Loved the picture of you and Michael. This book was shocking, but also a great read!
Loved this book, as I love all your stories. Looking forward to the new one