Dancing Suite, part 2: The Consequences of Flight, 15/17.
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Fandom: Murdoch Mysteries
Rating: Not Rated
Warnings: Creator Chose Not To Use Archive Warnings
Relationships: William Murdoch/James Pendrick
Characters: William Murdoch, James Pendrick, Julia Ogden, Inspector Brackenreid, Georges Crabtree, James Gillies, Dr. Roberts (Murdoch Mysteries), Thomas Edison, Auguste Lumière, Gustave Eiffel, Marcel Guillaume, Antoine Lumière, Alphonse Bertillon, Louis Lumière
Additional Tags: A host of OCs - Freeform, A host of historical figures, Diary/Journal, Fake Academic Essay, Historically Accurate, Bycicles
Series: Part 2 of The Dancing Suite
The following is taken from a recently defended Master’s cognate in History entitled « The Consequences of Flight : The Rediscovered Diary of a Canadian Homosexual in the Late-Victorian Era. »
The Murdoch Diary, part 2:
17 June 1900
17 June, Sunday.
Marcel Guillaume is a filthy liar. Certifiably. He possesses excellent detecting skills, but he is entirely made of gall. I wonder at his cunning, as much as I rage at his deviousness. Unbelievable! Outrageous!
He finally knocked at our door today, minutes after I returned from church. He must have been waiting for me. We have been waiting for his visit for 21 days. An anxious wait, to say the least. Yet he knows more about us than is comfortable. I could have escaped Paris, as we did Canada, but James did not wish it. To tell the truth, I am tired of running too.
And there he was, prancing in to reveal his host of lies, with smiles and not a hint or remorse. When Guillaume was in Canada last year, he was not a police detective at all. He was still a bachelor last year. He pranced around Toronto for the better part of two weeks, insulting my officers, throwing jabs at my accent, sleeping his way through a throng of well-to-do ladies, all the while telling me he was married to one of them, the one he called Angélique. ^1^
In March of last year, Marcel Guillaume presented himself to me as an Inspecteur of the Sûreté de Paris away for an international police conference in Montreal. There was no such conference. What he was then, in fact, was a lowly gendarme on leave. He had taken it upon himself to investigate the disappearance of Monique Poirier ^2^ to impress his soon-to-be father-in-law, Commissaire Duponnois, by bringing back her killer. Indeed, he fully admits the ruse! Un petit mensonge, he says! ^3^ No remorse! Not for lying to he. Not for cheating on his betrothed, whom he married in April last year! ^4^
He is not even an Inspector today! He is but a lowly provisional investigator, attached to this very neighbourhood. Investigating petty thefts and battery. His father-in-law is merely allowing him to observe the investigation at the bank.
I marvel at the coincidences. That I would have met Guillaume already. That he would be stationed in La Chapelle where we settled ourselves. That he would participate, however minimally, in an investigation at my place of employment. I rage and yet there is nothing to be done about it. Because for all his lies and gall, he is the police officer and we are the fugitives. His mirth at our situation is not welcome, frankly insulting, but we held our tongue.
It took so long for him to visit us because he took the time to investigate us fully. He worked to deflect all suspicions away from me. He informs me that as soon as the investigating team realized I was not who I claimed to be, I was first put under suspicion. I would have done the same under similar circumstances. Guillaume revealed my true identity to them. He proved my innocence. From then on, it was presumed I was undercover at the bank in the course of an investigation, and I barely escaped arrest for investigating outside my jurisdiction without having declared myself at the Sûreté. Guillaume managed to convince his father-in-law to leave me alone, but only after I shared my own information. After this, he gathered all he could about our lives and our assumed identities, quickly realizing the true reason for our presence in Paris. He spoke to our neighbours. He spoke to Mme M. He spoke to R. And here we are now: Marcel Guillaume mockingly pleased to find us in Paris, in his backyard, the fact that we are "Pédérastes" ^5^ is the hight of humour to him, making light of our flight from the Law.
He left us with two pieces our information in which we must take heed. Firstly, the neighbourhood has deduced we are lovers. Most of our neighbours are comfortable with this fact, ans so long as we remain "those nice Canadians" we should not be bothered. He assures us the police officers at La Chapelle station will leave us alone so long as this remains. However, James must stop tutoring children. No police officer of any rank in Paris will not tolerate a confirmed homosexual in a position such as this, even if all agree that James would never touch a child in an inappropriate manner. Guillaume recognizes the money James brings in as a tutor is essential to us, but he will not budge.
Secondly, he warns that it will most likely be revealed to the bank officers that I am not who I claim to be when the culprits will be indicted. They have been identified and arrested, and the monies found. Once the Board knows about me, I will be let go from the bank. Guillaume claims he sympathizes with our situation, but with the grating levity that he never suspected my nature. He left us insisting we should not despair and that he would return with more information.
There is no record of Guillaume's specific activities in Toronto in March 1899, though one must admit this behaviour is contradictory to the man's public personality, including his self presentation in his two published memoirs.
See 21 May, notes 1 and 3.
"A small lie".
Marcel Guillaume married Élise Émilie Duponnois on 25 April 1899, in the 15 ^th^ arrondissement, where he resided. His own memoirs as well as his biographers recognize that this marriage and his good relations with Victor Duponnois greatly facilitated his early advancement in the Parisian judiciary police.
"Pédéraste", literally pedophile and most often shortened to "pédé," was the official designation for men engaging in homosexual activities in France until well into the 20 ^th^ century. From 1791 to 1981, Parisian police kept a central file identifying all homosexuals, cross-dressers and male prostitutes in the city, known as the "R egistres des pédérastes." Authorities worried about the potential social disruptions caused by those whose activities were not illegal in France, but which were nevertheless considered unnatural and perverted, as the association with pedophilia attests. As such, those homosexuals that were in close contact with children, cross-dressers, or those who were publicly open about their orientation were regularly harassed by police. In the early years of the 20 ^th^ century, homosexual groups were also commonly suspected of anarchism. The word "pédé" or "PD" remains common in today's vernacular in France, though it is generally acknowledged to be both gravely inaccurate and derogatory.