I remember when Mr. Pericault, the maths teacher, first arrived in town. He moved into a small apartment opposite my shop, so I saw him when he was trying to get his giant suitcase into the narrow door. I thought to myself, what a peculiar man, so tiny, yet with such huge luggage. I wanted to help him, but he managed to get inside before I could make the decision to act.
The following evening, he came over to the shop. He looked very tired, pale, and as thin as paper. He smiled and said:
“Butcher, which is your most expensive sausage?”
He bought a little bit of the finest. He came back every weekday, buying a little bit each time.
It was so sad to hear the headmaster passed away. It was about ten years after Mr. Pericault arrived, and he had managed to gain a fair bit of respect in the meantime, so he was offered the position. He celebrated with a little bit more of the finest sausage. From that day forward, he always bought a little more of the finest sausage.
Finally, Mr. Pericault retired. My daughter, who was first a pupil of his, and then became a teacher herself, told me the news with tears in her eyes. Not despair, but a strong sense of attachment. Mr Pericault continued to come every weeknight and buy sausage. He had become quite fat over the years, I do not know whether it was all the sausage, or just age.
“I should not eat sausage, my doctor says,” Mr. Pericault would repeat this every time, “But what is life without a little bit of pleasure.”
Mr. Pericault managed to outlive me. My son kept selling him sausage after I passed.