Maigret voit rouge
Pozzo of the Manhattan Bar, an American, Luigi Pozzo.
A Chicago-style killing on the street, with his car, by some Americans (another car picks up the body).
Americans speak “américain”, FBI is pronounced à l’américaine, the target isn’t dead.
Maigret’s man is beaten up for information. All there is to go on is a pair of sunglasses. not even French.
Americans talk through their noses, among other things (Gabin apes their palaver).
Maigret sees red not all at once, he taps the bar phone and goes there for a chat with Pozzo (born in Palermo). He may be used to artists and amateurs, but most Americans are professionals, he’s told. In that case, he replies, it’s war. He prefers confessions to advice, but “you’re never too old to learn.”
Guerre totale, he says. The cash register coughs up the Americans’ phone number, “secret code”.
Maigret fills his pipe. The department goes to work.
“Hélas, chère madame, l’amour et la justice c’est pas la même chose.” The Belgian girl’s apartment is a mine of clues, Maigret sizes them up rather fast, Grangier takes notice of everything (he has put it all there).
Great director, Grangier. Steady, learned, devoted, brilliant (he achieves an éclat in that apartment from within, as it were), entirely unknown to Yankee critics. “The perfect crime does not exist,” Maigret says in American, “there are only incompetent policemen.”
No witnesses, they’re eliminated before the Walter Douglas gang in St. Louis can be brought to trial, any of it. They shoot sheriffs, too, “the famous Commissioner Maigret” is told by a friend no longer with the FBI but in the diplomatic service (President Kennedy’s photograph is displayed at the embassy).
“THE CURSE OF THE DRINKING CLASSES” at the Manhattan Bar where Maigret, a bull who misses nothing, grazes placidly.
The boss is big on algine tablets. A traitor in the gang’s a golfer, “such a tiny ball,” it’s not a hoodlum’s game, Maigret remarks.
Another murder and it’s open war, the victim’s wife at the Hotel des Flandres by the covered market where he was shot and picked up.
Lightning director, Grangier. If he can say it in a few words, better it should be compressed into the scene and speak for itself en passant as the natural rhythm takes it in stride, faster that way.
The hideout is L’enclos, Dr. Fezin’s estate, by a golf course. “L’univers de Kafka c’est pas du tout mon style,” says he. Congenital coxalgia, that’s the boss’s trouble, Tony Cicero by name, “he’s maladjusted, neurotic, and a hypochondriac...”
“Assez de littérature,” says Divisionnaire Maigret, “répondez-moi.” The doctor is a considerable study, kindly, hospitable, anti-authoritarian, “always wanted to be in big trouble, a dream, like going to China.”
Grangier is not without his admirers, the capture of Tony Cicero goes very effectively into Michael Winner’s Death Wish II.
“A mechanical and barbarous age,” the doctor complains. Simply a protected witness, the wounded man, wanted back in America to testify at the murder trial of Walter Douglas.
The phone rings, Maigret ignores it, home to sleep.