Silenced: Chapters 13-14: An American Christian in Paris
So, I have a plan!
The next two chapters bounce back and forth between Paul and Jae as he arrives in Paris and she arrives in Washington. So I’m going to do a Paul post and a Jae post, which will leave us at the midpoint of Silenced as we enter that most wonderful and Atheistopic of seasons…
I know, I know, I usually do a poll around this time for the Wintermas fare. But this year, I have discovered a wondrous Wintermas movie of joyfulness. Stay tuned on Black Friday for Part One of this Very Special Wintermas Special.
This will be followed by a Wintermas novel, and since we had so much fun last year when evil Joella Ratchford and her spawn of Satan son worked their dark magic on all-around awesome dude Jordan Scoville, I decided to try another Steeple Hill Christmas romance, just to see if they all provide such wacky fun. Coming up after the movie!
Having accomplished absolutely nothing in Rome as far as the hunt for the terrorist, and nothing for the cause of the underground Christians other than contributing to a man being sent to his death, Paul heads to Paris. Why the international government would even okay this move on from Rome when nothing whatsoever has been done is a question I cannot answer.
In Paris, Paul meets Alonza Marcello’s counterpart, one Karlis Grosvenor.
He was about five-ten, and Paul guessed him at close to two-hundred-fifty pounds.
Good to see Paul’s obsession with other men’s body measurements continuing apace.
Grosvenor is psyched to give Paul a tour of the city and show him the “Arch” de Triomphe, which Paul immediately disparages, like the good guest he is:
…Grosvenor finally turned enthusiastic tour guide and bragged that [the Arc] remained “at nearly fifty meters, the largest arch in the world.”
“Largest triumphal arch maybe,” Paul said, unable to hold his tongue.
“I beg your pardon?”
“Chief, the St. Louis Arch has to be nearly four times the size of this one.”
Grosvenor made a dismissive sound. “That is a mere novelty. This is a magnificent work of art, more than two hundred years old and decorated with the figures in relief.”
Paul couldn’t argue with that.
No shit. Damn, but Paul just cannot let anyone like anything without barging in with how much better his country is, can he?
“Isn’t the Island of the City where Notre Dame stands?” [asked Paul]
Grosvenor nodded. “Of course it’s not called that anymore, and the crosses are long gone. It houses the University of the Self-Movement now.”
(Insert poop joke here.)
(Insert “atheists are selfish” joke here.)
Now known as the University of Getting Enough Fiber in Your Diet
They finally get to the actual attack site, and Grosvenor plays for Paul a surviving security recording of the moments pre-bomb. There’s not much to tell (despite Jenkins’ best efforts), but a truck labeled “Henri Foods” (’cause they’re in Paris, get it???) delivered the bomb along with a bunch of croissants. I wish I was kidding.
I’d go into greater detail, but it’s not like Paul gives a flying crap about solving this case, so why should I?
“Would you care to take a walk-through [of the attack site]?” Grosvenor said. “Not too many will get the privilege, if you can call it that.”
“I’d be honored,” Paul said. “I’d regret it if I didn’t.”
You guys are weirdos, y’know? I’m just putting that out there. You’re both very weird.
Yeah, I’d also regret not seeing the horrific aftermath of a bombing that destroyed a national monument and killed hundreds. I’m sure the mangled corpses wouldn’t haunt my dreams forever!
Then again, it’s not like Paul gives a good gorram about the deaths of nonbelievers—we know that from L.A. Still, there might have been a couple of secret Christians among the horribly murdered. But hey, at least they’re not burning in Hell now, amirite?
Grosvenor then takes Paul to lunch (at a bistro, because they’re in Paris), and eats more than twice as much as Paul, because he’s FAT, haha! Then he takes Paul to his hotel. I don’t know what Grosvenor or the international government expect Paul to do with his time, but Paul just calls Straight, and once again gets complicated instructions on how to meet the local underground dude, the “intense” Chappell Raison.
And off he goes into the French countryside, inwardly whining all the way about the wind and the language and the Celsius temperature. Oh, and he rents the smallest car he can find, because…
Anyone who knew him would not be able to imagine him in an economy car.
Jesus, does Jenkins even realize how Paul sounds when he says stuff like this?
So here is where we will leave our ever-humble and self-denying Christian hero: reduced to an economy car, a stranger in a strange land, never having bothered to learn even the rudiments of a language not his own. Poor guy.
See you next year, Paul.