Please listen, ma'am. First of all, I apologize. I know it wasn't at all nice of me to intercept your car at that time of night and point a gun at your head, ordering you (or asking, depending on how you look at things) to step out of the car. I believe I asked, though, granted, the act of pointing a gun may suggest that it was an order rather than a request. Anyway, let's not split hairs. I recognize that it wasn't very nice. Nor was stowing the gun in the waistband of my pants a sign of good manners. No, I admit that I didn't do it out of regret, remorse, or any other more delicate sentiment. I just needed both hands free. I couldn't have pressed the handkerchief soaked in chloroform to your face without both hands. I also needed them to accommodate your unconscious body in the trunk. Good thing you don't weigh much. One can see you look after your figure, your physique.
I also know it's not at all polite (gentlemen certainly don't do it), it's not at all polite to tie someone to an armchair like the one you're on, from where you are staring at me as if you don't know where you are, a bit dizzy, trying to examine your surroundings, glancing around, looking for a clue, any reference at all, raising your eyebrows in this room at the end of the world, where we're going to spend a few hours until I've told you my story from start to finish.
I at least hope, given the circumstances, that you're reasonably comfortable. I understand, it must have been traumatic to suddenly find yourself deprived of the company of your husband, your children, your spacious, cozy, clean, plentiful, well-run home. Yes, I understand all that but don't think I'm a thug. I have manners, I'll have you know. Time and certain women have given me refined tastes. I hope you appreciate what I have to tell you. Are you happy with the armchair? I can get some cushions if you want. I want you to feel comfortable and pay attention to what I say. I promise to do my best so we can make the most of the few hours we have together. I can assure you they will be few, don't worry. I'll do everything I can to make my story as pleasant as possible. I'll try to tell you everything that really happened clearly and precisely. This point is of the utmost importance. The truth, I'm going to tell you nothing but the truth, but I want you to know beforehand (I'm sorry but I need to say it up front; I'd rather you didn't find out later; I'll just come out and say it; if it has to be said then out with it), I want you to know that I'm going to tell you strange, perhaps even scary things – for me they're not but for you they might be. At any rate I assure you from the outset, it's all true.
No, ma'am, there's no point screaming. As well as not being a thug, I'm also not stupid. I wouldn't leave you without a gag if there were even the remotest possibility that we might be heard outside. I'm not stupid. This room was prepared beforehand: the walls, the windows, the doors, even the floor and ceiling. No sound gets out of here. We can talk in loud voices, scream if we want – as you just have, naturally. I decided to take away your gag because I'm concerned about your comfort, of course, but also because I'd like to hear you. I'd like you to speak, please. Say something from time to time. It's important. I don't just want you to listen. I need your words from time to time, if possible – is it possible?
Translated by Alison Entrekin