Then there was the final arrest of the Marquecoin
brothers – Hervé
and Jacques – courtesy of Julian McNaney. It seemed while
presided over the kidnapping hearing, Judge Ouimet's
killers were still
at-large. Well, it was murder, and Frollo had
entertained the idea
that the Gypsies might have been responsible. At least
that's what Gervais
Trigèré told Julian before retrieving crime evidence for
the trial. Naturally Julian was decidedly disgusted.
After all the respect he finally built up for the man, Julian could stomach no more. Once again, Frollo allowed his entrenched bigotry to cloud his better judgment; he jumped to conclusions about Ouimet's death and naturally blamed "obvious" people. This is why Julian decided to skip the trial and help Clopin's people move to yet another part of town, this time more close to the city yet obscure enough to elude the sharpest of soldiers. Once the Romani were settled in their new digs, Julian felt it was time to move on but not before he personally nailed the Marquecoin brothers. He also wanted to say goodbye to Jehan.
How did Julian nail Jacques and Hervé? By having Jehan
Le Papillion Doré right after the trial, with
and his men stationed nearby. All Jehan had to do was to
produce that token
the brothers dropped at the old mill then launch into the
"I saw what you
did" routine. It couldn't have panned out any more
perfectly! Jehan Frollo,
a master of deception and with a talent for smarminess,
wormed the truth
out of the brothers. They confessed to everything and made
to tell no one. Of course, Jehan, being a less than
trustworthy sort, gave
Trigèré the "high sign."
At this moment, Hervé and Jacques Marquecoin are also in custody, awaiting execution. That's what took Claude Frollo longer than expected tonight; he had to pass sentence upon these men at the last minute. Since they confessed the moment they were brought in, Frollo simply pronounced sentence then ordered the men locked away.
Jehan didn't linger long after that as he wanted to
hurry to Danisha's
pied-a-terre; he wanted to be there for Orry's homecoming.
But when he
arrived he found a distraught Nisha raging on and on about
bigoted mind rot", and how it influenced a difficult
Imagine Jehan Frollo's shock and bewilderment when Nisha flat-out told him that she was leaving Claude for good. She told Jehan about Nadine's friendship with a Romani girl, a relationship she knew Claude would halt with all deliberate speed. She was livid that both Claude and Philippe, through their narrow, biased assumptions, endangered a child's life. And she didn't cotton to the fact that a Romani child, who also witnessed the crime, couldn't come forth simply because she wouldn't be believed.
Nisha confessed, as responses to Jehan's inquiries about Esmeralda's presence, that she and the dancer finally resolved all differences. "We've become so much more acquainted. I'm learning so much from Esme, and she learns from me. Why oh why did I allow your brother to cloud my mind with such vicious hatred towards these beautiful people. Jehan, all they want is to live their lives and rear their children as they see fit. What's so wrong with that? The Romani have so much to give to the world, but the world keeps pushing them away....Just like some folks back in my country, in my time, do to people like me..."
Well, after Danisha poured her heartfelt frustrations, and after Nadine handed Quasimodo that bracelet, Jehan Frollo came to the conclusion that all was lost for his brother. Deep down, he gloated over Claude's bad fortune. Good! Claude gets just what he deserves! After all these years, the woman to whom he professes his undying love and devotion suddenly and finally gathers the courage to walk out. Not too many of Claude's ladies have done that and survived. Perhaps it was time for Claude Frollo to realize just how far his innate hypocrisy, hard-as-nails authoritarianism, narcissism, and narrow-mindedness can push away the people he supposedly loves.
Danisha has finally said, "Enough is enough!" No more walking on eggshells for this man; no more altering her personal behavior just because Claude thinks it's "inappropriate". And no more putting her own child at risk of absorbing her father's bigotry. Perhaps it was wrong last winter, thought Jehan, to interfere with the whole "Dottie-is-really-Danisha" caper. Perhaps he should've convinced Nisha that she really was Dorothy Ducharme, then she could've married Évrard Ouimet. Perhaps Orry's kidnapping would've never happened because "Dottie" would've insisted Imbert be immediately discharged of his duties.
In a way, Jehan had hoped that he could finally confess his love for Danisha, but he resisted. He resolved himself to remain in the background and silently cheer on his brother's good fortune. Oh, Jehan was aware of the "special" surprise Claude had planned for Danisha once this kidnapping ordeal came to a close, but the tide now turned and Jehan secretly rejoiced the fact that Nisha and Claude were, for the time being, finished.
Jehan motioned to Hugues for more wine as Julian entered the tavern. Not too many patrons here this night being that the whole of Paris is in mourning. Bringing forth a fresh jug of fine Burgundy, Hugues Jouet greeted M. McNaney with, "I'll be closing up in an hour or so, monsieur. Papá has long since retired, and I want to go to Notre Dame for evening vespers...Pray for Minister Ouimet's family, and give thanks for little Orry's safe return home."
Julian, the flickering lantern lights playing against his dark good looks, simply acknowledged Hugues, saying, "Sir, I won't be long. Jehan and I are just wrapping up old business then it's back on the road for me."
After Hugues served and left the two men alone, Julian
and Jehan launched
into a short tense conversation that hovered around a
couple of pressing
topics. Julian gave a woven band to Jehan saying, "Here,
this is map to
the new Court of Miracles. Esmeralda gave it to me and I'm
passing it onto
you. Make sure you won't lose it, or let your brother see
Jehan accepted the map and in turn handed over the listening device. He seemed rather puzzled as to why Julian would trust him with such a treasure.
"Why are you giving this to me, Julian? I'm hardly
"Oh, my friend, you've been more of a help to me during this whole case. Thanks for setting up Fabrisse and the Marquecoin brothers."
Jehan nodded, "You are welcome, Julian, but...I suppose you've heard the latest about Claude and Nisha."
The enigmatic M. McNaney nodded, and then launched into
bitter commentary concerning Claude Frollo.
"You know, Jehan. When I started working for your brother last year, I knew the man had it in for the Roma. Years ago, before Jacki and Tony made their breakthrough...Stop, let me back up..."
"Jehan, the formula for TimeScape once belonged to an old physics professor friend of mine. He was kind of eccentric but brilliant. I, of course, partially underwrote the bulk of his research. This was ten years before the man died, and I passed along the formula to Jacki Darcey and Tony Terrell. Then came Fern and Dwayne Grigsby with their newly acquired wealth, so I simply bowed out and let them fund the project from then on."
Jehan Frollo's grew wide as Julian related what was
already known: Jacki
Darcey-Terrell did initially use the TimeScape to research
her family tree,
stumbling upon her 15th Century French ancestors by
accident. Then Fern
would take an initial time trip to 1481 Paris, where she
met, and ultimately
worked for, Claude Frollo, Governor of Paris.
When Fern mentioned to Julian her involvement with Frollo as a spy and detective, Julian wanted to know more. He was eager to learn more about the man who so mercilessly persecuted his ancestors. So Julian laid low while Fern kept him abreast on all the transtemporal happenings: Danisha's initial to medieval Paris; the conspiracy to overthrown Frollo; the Esmeralda connection.
While Julian wasn't that unsympathetic towards Frollo, he did have his reservations when Fern suggested he help Frollo nab the serial Killer Marcel Rougelot. Of course, Julian accepted the assignment, and gained a new, almost paradoxical respect for the man who hounded the Roma for more than thirty years. Julian admired Claude Frollo's fortitude, methodical dedication to detail, and elegant bearing, despite the man's drawbacks.
Frollo's anti-Roma bias did not set well with Julian; he nearly refused this latest assignment if it wasn't for Jehan's eloquent persuasion.
"And the rest, Jehan, as they say, is history. Don't get
me wrong –
I truly admire your brother, I really do. It's his biased
get under my skin, then again, I suppose he does that to a
lot of people..."
"Including," Jehan commented, "Danisha. I ever wonder if there'll ever be a chance of reconciliation. Oh well, as my brother says, 'No matter.' I suppose Nisha's Tante Nola is giving Claude a resounding dressing-down right now."
Julian grinned, finished his wine, and replied, "I've heard stories about the old gal. If she can't talk sense into him, no one can."
The two men finished their wine and conversation, left Hugues an enormous tip, then exited the tavern. Once outside, Julian took out, and lit, a cigarette. Noting Jehan's puzzled looks, Julian responded with, "I know, I know. It's what's got me in this shape, but I don't care. You know I've told you that I've refused all the usual treatment. No chemo, no radiation. I've been going on one lung for the past six months; the other one's shot full of cancer. My doc told me that the cancer's spread and gives me three months at best. Your brother doesn't know that, so make sure he does...."
Julian took out his TimeScape as the men walked their way to a dark alley behind the tavern. He flipped it open, coded a few messages, then finally said to Jehan, "Well, Jehan, this is it...I probably won't see you again..."
Jehan Frollo was near tears as he embraced the 21st Century man. "I shall never forget you, Julian. I take it you've told Esmeralda, Clopin, Nisha..."
"No, I've told no one, and I'm leaving that to you. Tell everyone that I've gone home to die, but not before I get my affairs straightened out. I have to call my lawyer, update my will, the whole nine yards..."
With that, Julian depressed the red button, and for the
last time, vanished
into a sea of bright light.
To Chapter 20
Copyright©2001 by FrolloFreak® AKA "The Fanfiction Diva"