“…the culprit was none other than the devil himself…”

Hello 👋 I enjoyed reading the book, Perfume by Patrick Suskind, when I was 17 years old, and actually laughed out loud about the panic of the populace and the belief that murderer was “none other than the devil himself ” (!)

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer by Patrick Suskind, John E. Woods

This is one of my favorite paragraphs in the book:

“Armed with these clues, two mounted troops had taken up pursuit of the murderer by noon of the same day, following the Maréchaussée in the direction of Marseille—one along the coast, the other taking the inland road. The environs of La Napoule were combed by volunteers. Two commissioners from the provincial court at Grasse traveled to Nice to make inquiries about journeyman tanners. All ships departing from the ports of Fréjus, Cannes, and Antibes were checked; the roads leading across the border into Savoy were blocked and travelers required to identify themselves. For those who could read, an arrest warrant and description of the culprit appeared on all the town gates of Grasse, Vence, and Gourdon, and on village church doors. Town criers made three announcements daily. The report of a suspected clubfoot, of course, merely confirmed the view that the culprit was none other than the devil himself and tended more to arouse panic among the populace than to bring in useful information.”

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