The Labyrinth and the Scorpion

It was becoming complicated

It was becoming complicated, a labyrinth of mysterious clues that seemed to go nowhere. The death of Richard Bros in London seemed to be linked to death of Mario Bachand in Paris. But how? They had known each other, having spent time in prison. Bachand for participation in FLQ bombings in Montreal, one of which gravely injured an army officer when attempting to defuse the bomb. Bros for  participating in a bombing and an incident of vandalism in the company of Jacques Lanctôt. Canadian authorities had watched Bachand closely since he left prison at the conclusion of a four-year sentence. They had also watched Bros closely, as evidenced by references to him in RCMP files. Now they were both dead. Richard Bros a claimed suicide in a London police cell. Bachand shot to death by a mysterious young couple apparently from Montreal. Bros’death came curiously at a critical moment in the October Crisis, just a short time before Montreal Police, the RCMP and the Sûrité du Québec located James Cross, held in a North Montreal by his captors, the Liberation Cell of the FLQ, led by Bros’ friend Jacques Lanctôt. And now I had another piece of the puzzle: the visit to Sommières by Richard Bros and René Léveque.

The puzzle

Most days I would begin with a peripatetic walk, the bridge over the Vidourle, a short distance from my apartment, built by the Romans in the time of Tiberius

The Roman Bridge over the Vidourle

Then up to the heights overlooking Sommières and the ruins of the castle, destroyed by cannon fire  during the 18th Century Wars of Religion.

The Heights above Sommières

And then, hours of struggle writing. Hours of frustration, not knowing  how the pieces of the puzzle fit together, or if they did. And would anyone care?

The Writer’s Table

A Plan

But I had a plan. London, Paris and Sommières were linked in some fashion. I was pretty sure that each would illuminate the others. Switzerland too, for there were several mentions of Switzerland and references in official documents regarding the FLQ. I would start by asking Pierre Serrano, Richard Bros’uncle, to authorize me to view the coroner’s file on the death of Richard Bros.

A troubling question

It was just a matter of discovering how the pieces fit together. There was one question in particular that troubled me. Richard Bros died in a London police, in the borough of Islington, at a moment closely linked to events of the October Crisis. But evidently, from the evidence provided by his uncle about the visit of René Lévesque, Bros was being manipulated by some occult power in May, 1970, almost six months before the October Crisis began.

The Scorpion

In the shadows, perhaps there was a stinger in the tail.

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