Jean de Florette (1986) Script

To Marcel and Jacqueline Pagnol Papet!

It's me Ugolin!

It's me.

It's you, Galinette!

You're back. Yes.

Wait, I'm coming!

Just throw me the key to my house! I'll be right down.

What a surprise!

You're out of the army! At last!

Come in and eat. I'm not hungry.

I was out drinking with friends all night.

Come for supper and tell me all about it.

Okay, I'll see you later!


No, that's enough.

She's asking if you want more.

Thanks.

When I die, you'll live here.

The Soubeyran farm will be yours.

Meanwhile, you should fix up your place up there.

Later, you'll be able to rent it to a farmer or leave it to your kids.

For that, I'd need a wife. So?

There are plenty of girls around here who'd love to marry a Soubeyran.

There's Chabert's daughter. I bet if you wanted to...

ll have no mule, since I'm using yours.

I have no hens or goats, since they're too much trouble.

I don't wear socks, since they itch. So why would I need a wife?

What about love?

When I'm in Aubagne, I drop in on those girls. That clears my mind.

For 15 francs a month, ll can choose any girl.

That's all I need.

You don't want to end up a bachelor like me.

Before I die I want to see a child of yours.

Why didn't you ever get married?

Before I think of marriage, I'd better think of work.

Do you have any plans?

Maybe.

I have an idea for you.

I thought it all out.

I figured out everything, including the costs.

What is your idea? To restore the Soubeyran orchard, the whole Solitaire plateau, to the way it was in my father's time:

200 fig trees, 200 plum trees, 200 almond trees.

A thousand trees, planted in rows, 30 feet apart.

It'll be like a cathedral, and every farmer will make the sign of the cross.

Listen, Papet, we already have too many plums, peaches, apricots.

We end up feeding them to the pigs.

I have another idea.

You're my only relative, Galinette.

You can tell me if you need my help.

What is your idea?

It's a secret.


Well! Is that you, Papet?

You can't keep living like this!

You're holed up like a caveman!

This house is a pig sty!

And it stinks like a dung heap!

What's going on?

Tell me!

Don't get excited. I'll show you something.

This is your big secret?

That's how you spend your time?

What'll you give me for them?

Real beauties.

They're Imperials.

Good stems.

How much?

Well, if this was February, I'd have offered you 50 cents.

But the season's almost over.

Still, they're worth 20 cents.

All right? Yes, all right.

You were right, Galinette. You'll be growing flowers.

Why was it such a secret?

I wanted to try it out first, to see if the soil is right.

Once they bloomed, I knew you'd be impressed.

The flowers didn't impress me. The florist did.

What'll it cost? -15,000.

You've got it. You're too generous!

Not really. It's not for you.

It's for all Soubeyrans, buried ones and future ones.

If its nose was where its tail is, it would die!

Like us!

Something's bothering me. What?

The water. What water?

A carnation plant drinks like a man.

For my 50 plants, ll shredded my hands hauling water.

Install a cistern with a pump.

It'll be empty in four days if we water 500 plants.

That is a problem.

We should dig a big reservoir that would collect all the rain water.

It may not rain one year!

No. We must find a field near a natural water source.

I wonder...

What if we buy Bouffigue's field and his spring up at Romarins?

Does that spring still have water? My father said it dried up.

It's more than half blocked up.

When I was young it was a lovely stream.

Old Camoins grew cartloads of vegetables there.

I bet we could unblock it with a pickaxe.

You think he'd sell his farm?

Not the house. But maybe the field and the spring.

He never uses them. Maybe if we offer him money...

Marius?

How are you? None of your damn business.

Why are you nasty? Are you mad at me?

Neither mad nor glad. I've got no use for you.

Maybe you feel that way, but I don't, since I'm here to see you.

If you climbed all this way, you want something.

Right. But also want to give you something. ll don't need anything. Not even talk. It gets on my nerves.

Just listen to me, Marius.

If you sell me your property, not the house, just the field and the hill... Just name your price.

What nerve! You think I'd sell my property?

Look. Thousand-franc bills.

Go to hell! Goddamn you Soubeyran pigs!

Don't yell like that or you'll choke.

And don't insult the Soubeyrans or you'll regret it!

He's only kidding.

Why is that half-wit getting involved?

I'll get down and show you what I think of the Soubeyrans!

Lousy bastards! Pigs! Thieves!

Come down here!

Lousy bastard! Come down!

He'd better not croak!

Why not?

Someone could die by falling off a tree.

So much for my carnations.

Too bad. It was a perfect spot.

If he doesn't wake up, his heirs will sell the farm.

We could buy it cheap.

Let's finish him off. No. Maybe someone saw us.

You see, Galinette, never lose faith in Providence.

Why don't you shave him in his bed?

I don't shave anyone who is horizontal. Not even a corpse.

What... Where are those two going?

It's over here. See?

The spring was by the fig tree. Don't turn around!

Old man Camoins had dug a ditch that led down to the end of that field there.

That way the water just ran downhill by itself. Understand?

Look.

See the soggy ground around my foot?

The water's blocked, but it's there. It wouldn't be very hard.

To think he threw away this gold mine.

Wait! Wait!

Once, before he went nuts, he said, "My gun is my only friend. ll want it buried with me.” A man's last wishes are sacred.

Did you check if it's loaded?

I never thought of it. You can't tell with a hammerless.

I bet it's loaded with buckshot.

He always kept it loaded on account of the wild boars.

It could be dangerous.

It has a hair trigger. A sudden wind could set it off.

Maybe he set the safety? Not him.

So, you're the heir. No. We were only distant cousins.

But you will get something.

No. It all goes to his sister Florette.

Is she still alive? Why not? She's younger than you.

Her husband died, but she's alive.

Who's this Florette?

Florette de Bérengeére, old Camoins' daughter.

The pretty one.

Your uncle knew her well. Right, Cesar?

Where is she?

In Crespin. She married Lionel, who was the blacksmith there.

Were you at her wedding?

No, I was far away in an African military hospital.

I returned a year later.

I'll write to tell her of her brother's death.

If she's alive, she'll claim the inheritance.

She's the heiress.

Not much to inherit.

I don't agree. The house is still in good shape.

Plus fifty olive trees from before the war.

They're sick! They're dying out!

They just need a tickle with the pickaxe.

Sure. Then they'll die laughing.

It never rains on that land.

You hear the storms, you see the storms, but before the clouds get there, they split up and it pours on the other side.

The valley side only gets a few drops.

Maybe so.

You may not know, but Bouffigue's land has a spring.

It had a tiny spring. No, it was a beauty!

When I was a kid my dad showed it to me.

It seemed like a river to me.

Either you were tiny, or it had just rained, because when I saw it 30 years ago, it was as thin as my finger.

Could a spring like that disappear?

I know all about springs.

They're like pretty girls. Neglect them, and they're gone.

Last year I saw a fig tree there. That proves there's water.

There was water. But there are new shoots!

You know about mixing drinks, but you know nothing about springs.

I say this one is dry!

I say the olive trees are dead and the soil is rotten!

And I say I wouldn't take that land if you gave it to me!

I haven't written for years.

To whom are you writing?

To Grafignette. Who's that?

You don't know her. She left before you were born.

When the boys tried to kiss her, she'd scratch their faces with her pointed fingernails.

That's how she ended up an old maid.

Later she left to work for the priest at Crespin.

She was Florette's best friend.

She'll be able to tell me about her.

I made an important decision. I'll go see Florette in Crespin.

No, you won't. If she knows you want her land, she'll triple the price.

And if she knows it's for us, she'll refuse.

Why? That's the way she is.

What can we do?

Nothing.

Florette won't come back.

As a young woman, she loved money. She's probably worse now.

So she'll sell, but no local farmer will buy.

They own too much land already.

A stranger might buy it. What the hell for?

To grow vegetables or flowers, like me!

Without water? There's the spring.

What if there was no spring? But there is one!

You'll never learn.

Here's my plan.

It's already half stopped up. An accident could shut it completely.

What accident?

Suppose you walk by with a load of cement.

You trip, you fall and... Bang!

Your cement plugs up the opening.


Here it is!

Good God! It's icy!

God, it's cold. Hurry up, you idiot!

Here's the hole! Give me the plug!

No! The little one!

The hammer. There's a root stuck here.

That's enough. I'll have to unplug it later.

I heard something. Where?

In the house.

That's not Bouffigue's ghost. It's only rats.

"Dear Cesar.

"You always amaze me.

"After some 30 Christmases, you write asking me about Florette, "and your letter arrived the day she died.

"1 had just been laying her out.

"That's why I didn't answer sooner.

"1 don't think she left much money. Her husband died six years ago, "and she lived on what he left.

"In any case, her son will inherit.

"His name is Jean Cadoret and he must be about 35.

"He's a tax collector, but I don't know where.

"The notary will surely locate him.

"Tax collectors are never hard to find. He's married, "but unfortunately, by God's will, "he's a hunchback."

What if some villager tells him about the spring?

That's unlikely.

The villagers here don't mix into other people's business.

And the way you wrecked that house would make any farmer sit down and cry.

You're right!

He'll sell it.

A pen makes less blisters than a pickaxe.

A farmer may grow a hump, but a hunchback rarely becomes a farmer.

Who would have thought that Florette would give birth to a hunchback?


Well, what do you think?

Look at these giant thistles, those olive trees, that wild rosemary.

My God, it's beautiful.

What did I tell you?

It's ancient Provence, Zola's Paradise!

It's even lovelier than Paradise!


Try sliding it down.

Hello, folks!

Hello! Would you like some help?

And how! We wondered how to unload this one piece.

You're very kind. Let's give it a try.

Thank you. Are you from Aubagne?

I'm from Bastides, but I live nearby.

You passed my house on the way up. So, we're neighbors.

Almost. I'm Ugolin Soubeyran. Delighted.

We'll need four men for this!

How did you lift it?

We loaded the empty crate, then put the tools in.

And now we'll do it the other way around.

1 have enough tools here for a nice little workshop.


Your wife sings beautifully. It sounds even better than in church.

She has charmed many listeners. She sang operas.

In public? Yes, in concert halls.

That was years ago. Today my voice is half gone.

It must have been fantastic!

Glorious! She triumphed as Manon.

That's why we call our daughter Manon.

It's a great spot.

A tough climb, but it's worth it.

It's heaven on earth.

Is that why you rented this old farm?

Didn't rent it. Did you buy it?

I didn't buy it either, but it's my home.

Are you Jean de Florette?

My name is Jean, and my mother was Florette.

But my name is Jean Cadoret.

If you'd been born here, we'd call you Jean de Florette.

What a lovely title for a song, or even a light opera!

You knew my mother?

No, but I knew her brother Bouffigue. We were good friends.

I'll drink to Mother Nature, to these fragrant hills, to the cicadas, the breeze, to the age-old rocks. I drink to the blue sky.

To your health.

Damn! They always do that to me!

I'll be back tomorrow.

Damn beasts!

I guess you folks are here for a little holiday.

A holiday that will last until I die.

I'll live in the shade of these pines, in peace and bliss, for as long as God grants me life.

That sounds nice, but how will you get water?

We have a cistern here.

It's small. Without rain, you'll be out of water.

I also inherited a spring.

A spring? Where? It's marked on a surveyor's map.

I'll show you. Maybe you can help me.

This little circle is a well, or a spring.

Where's Romarins?

Here. The spring is about a mile away, at the end of that valley.

That's ours, too.

I know the place! It's beyond that hill.

It's a steep climb up to the spring.

The water's good, but the stream is as wide as my thumb.

I hope it's not far. At least an hour's walk.

We'd only need to go once a week.

It'll be our Sunday walk!

A Piedmontese lumberjack and his wife live in the grotto.

The wife is sort of a witch. She knows everything.

They're nice, they're clean.

But if it bothers you, they'll leave.

God forbid! If they're happy there ll won't chase them away.

We'll go there soon. This water problem is serious.

There's no rush. Right now my well is full SO you can come by for a bucket or two a day.

A generous offer that I gratefully accept!

You're wondering why ll decided to settle here.

Yes, I'm wondering.

It's because I've decided that my happiness lies in returning to nature.

I'm here to cultivate the authentic!

The "othentic"?

Yes. I want to eat vegetables from my garden, collect oil from my olive trees and eggs from my hens, and drink wine from my vineyard.

That'll take time. The olive trees have grown wild.

They'll need three years of cultivating.

A vineyard, too, will need three years.

But vegetables can't grow without water.

We'll see!

Thanks to the inheritance my thrifty mother left me, we have enough to live on for three years.

Three years from now...

Meanwhile, we have big plans!

Thanks again. I must start work at once.

I notice the roof leaks in quite a few spots.

Lots of luck!

We have energy to spare.

What type of man is he?

He's a city hunchback type.

A city type? And how!

Watch out. He may be a city chump, but hunchbacks are often smarter than us.

What will he plant?

"Othentics"! He'll plant "othentics” everywhere!

What's an "othentic"?

Probably a plant that grows in books.

"We must be modern,"” he said.

I bet he mentioned routine. Right.

What is that?

It's a city word.

It means that what our fathers taught us is a lot of nonsense, and that we should be modern.

It's pure bullshit.

He spoke of three years. That's a disaster.

Don't always expect the worst.

Still, Anglade or Casimir, who are distant cousins of his, might tell him about the spring.

That would be serious.

No. His mother warned him to avoid folks from Bastides.

He'll buy his bread in Ruissatel, and nobody must know he's from Crespin.

But we will tell everyone.

We'll say a man from Crespin bought the farm, but we won't mention Florette's name.

Meanwhile, act friendly, help him out, lend him my mule.

And play up to his wife.

A bunch of almonds, two thrushes, a basket of figs, so that when he leaves, he'll sell the farm to you, no one else.

1 told him he could have a bucket of my well water every day.

But not for that reason.

Why else?

Plugging up the spring was no crime. It was for my carnations.

But if they drink the cistern water, they'll all three die.

It would always be on my conscience.

You're just like your poor mother.

But you did right.

Even so, I'll try to discourage him. I'll say the soil's rotten, the grasshoppers will eat his crop, it never rains at Romarins!

Stop it!

You'll say that "othentics" are great, that it rains often, and he should start his big projects right away.

Remember, it's much easier to push something downhill than uphill.

So, push him in the direction where he'll fall.


Good morning, neighbor.

As you see, I'm taking you up on your generous offer.

Fine. Just help yourself.

I've been admiring the landscape here.

I know nothing about landscapes.

It's beautiful.

It's big, you can see what the weather will be.

That's true.

Come on, I'll show you.

Do this, or the bucket floats and comes up empty.

Like that it'll sink. See? It fills up!

How is your roof?

I'm short a few tiles. I forgot to order them.

Unfortunately they"ll be new. That'll spoil the total effect.

Nobody will notice on the roof. Still, it's such a pity.

Help yourself. ll have some planting to do.

A thousand thanks!


More furniture?

This load's so heavy, ll don't know if I'll make it!

A thousand pounds of pipes and wire fence.

What kind of pipes? Cement pipes.

Big ones? And how!

How much? About 100 feet.

What for? Usually it's for water.

There's no water!

Maybe he'll pipe rainwater down to his cistern.

He said that?

He said nothing. There's also a pump.

What will he pump?

I don't know, and ll don't give a damn!

What'll he do with that fence?

Ready, Papal!

Hello! Hello!

See these tiles?

What are they for? For you!

I've had them for years!

1 thought, "These will make him happy.” Many thanks. A second favour that I won't forget.

I thought about your water problem.

The cistern's good for some watering, but it's small and will dry up fast.

When it rains, the road is full of water.

If you had pipes, large cements ones, you could set up a pipeline to keep your cistern filled.

What a good idea.

I just happen to have some pipes on hand.

What did you intend them for? And the wire?

That's a big secret.

A new fence?

Yes, but a special kind.

It'll go two feet underground. To keep the rabbits out?

You're close! To keep the rabbits, yes. But not out.

I don't get it.

First I'll plant some leeks, tomatoes, potatoes, chervil.

That's an hour's work every day.

A kitchen garden? Precisely.

Next I'll plant some high-yield crop vital for large-scale rabbit breeding.

Large-scale? You mean big rabbits?

What we mean is hundreds of rabbits a month, if not thousands.

No, Aimée, we'll stay within reasonable limits.

Bring me my manual.

You've raised rabbits, haven't you?

I've got six, and my uncle has 30.

In spite of that, you probably don't realize how prolific these rodents are.

Here, read this.

Il can read, but I don't understand numbers.

Well, I do. it means that with one pair of rabbits, a modern breeder can obtain within three years a monthly yield of 500 rabbits.

But this expert warns that raising over 5,000 head becomes a public health hazard.

With 1,000 males and 5,000 females, a breeder would be overrun with 30,000 rabbits the first month

200,000 by the sixth month and two million by the tenth month!

A province or even a whole country could be wiped out by famine!

Really? Tell him about Australia!

That unfortunate continent, 14 times bigger than France, almost perished from an immigrant's pair of rabbits.

Those rodents stripped entire fields and prairies bare!

They had to build a 1,200-mile electrified fence and they had to slaughter millions of them.

Are you planning to raise that type here?

Certainly not.

I think the Australian climate caused the breed's destructiveness.

Thank God! So, you plan on 500 a month?

No!

I'm all for moderation.

I'll be satisfied with a fourth of that.

I'm counting on 150 a month within two years.

No more than that.

That makes more sense.

But just cleaning out the cages is a big job.

That's no problem! How exactly?

I want to see my rabbits run and hop about!

I'll raise them the modern way, outdoors.

What about the foxes?

You forget the fence, six feet high, galvanized iron!

A six-foot fence won't stop a fox. Never!

But galvanized iron might.

That's why I plan to use underground burrows with cement pipe openings.

The opening will let a rabbit enter, but not a fox.

Good idea!

What will your rabbits eat?

Here's my answer. You'll feed them matches?

Are those watermelon seeds?

Are they "othentics"? Authentic? Of course they are.

These are authentic Cucurbita melanosperma seeds from Asia.

The plant grows as quickly as a snake darts out of its hole.

In the tropics, after the rains, these creeping vines can grow 30 inches a day!

Of course, we're not in the tropics here.

Thank God. And there's no real rainy season.

According to weather statistics of the past 50 years, we should have six days of rain in April, five in May, four in June, two in July, three days in August and six days in September.

That's just an average. It sounds about right.

Since rainfall is often sporadic, we ought not to expect this plant's maximum growth.

I estimate a reasonable growth of about six inches a month.

Good! You'd have a problem if they grew any faster.

You'd be picking up your squash by the edge of the village.

Good point.

I figure each plant will yield about 130 pounds of squash.

Not bad, but you only have four seeds.

They're hard to get. Today I have four.

But in six months I'll be eager to stop their proliferation.

If your rabbits and squash get out of control, what then?

We'll be rich! We must succeed, or we're doomed to return to the hell of city life!


Well? Good news and bad.

He wants to raise rabbits outdoors, inside a fence.

Rabbits? With a manual?

Yes, a book full of numbers. It says you start with two rabbits and get 1,000 in six months.

If they keep breeding, forget it! That's how they ate up Australia.

This isn't Australia.

It's easy to make rabbits multiply on paper.

He wants to limit himself to 150 rabbits per month.

Only 150!

Is that all?

A toast to the losers!

Is that guy renting the farm?

No. He told me he bought it.

He's a farmer? No, he's a hunchback.

Where does he buy his bread?

He buys everything in Ruissatel.

He thinks my bread is poison?

No. He avoids the village. He's from Crespin.

From Crespin?

That's nothing to brag about!

Nonsense! Crespin folks aren't all bad!

Most are.

What did he do? He was a tax collector.

Maybe he'll raise our taxes!

Is he staying long?

I don't know. In any case, he's fixing up his house.

By himself? Yeah, with gloves on.

Some farmer!

A hunchback from Crespin hiding on the hill, sounds fishy.

Leave him alone and he won't bother us.

Maybe he's a spy! What'll he spy on, your chickpeas?

1 tell you, the Good Lord sent us a sure loser.

Within six months he'll be gone.

He claims he must succeed in three years.

Easier said than done.

But it proves he's got money.

Inherited money burns a hole in your pocket.

In six months he'll be broke and we'll buy him out cheaply.

Meanwhile, let's see what he does with his Chinese squash and his giant rabbits!

Mmm. Smells like she roasted some squab!


He'd better not find the spring.

We better keep an eye on him.

Hello, neighbour! Hi, Monsieur Jean! Ma'am!

How's it going?

What is that contraption?

With your pickaxe, you'll knock yourself out for three months, while my plough will help us finish the job in three days.

Aimée.

The heavens have answered our prayer!


It's from his field.

The best soil in the region. It's worth its weight in gold!

Such rich soil! It's killing me!

He's a good man.

I don't like him.

Because he's ugly?

Manon is afraid of him.

Manon, I'm surprised that you don't like that nice man.

He's ugly. He looks like a toad.

It's your thoughts that are ugly.

Ugly exteriors often hide the purest souls.

Look!


Come here, Manon.

I'll give you an important job.

You'll water these plants carefully once a day.


Galinette, he's a real joke.

He planted tomatoes on the north side.

Even if they bear fruit, it won't ever ripen.

He pushed his chickpeas down too deep with a stick.

They won't even yield a salad-bowlful.

He planted the onions right under the olive tree!

And he didn't plant the potatoes deep enough.

He doesn't sow seeds, he throws them!

They'll grow in tufts, like hair on a mangy dog!

If that loony thinks he can feed a family on that...

When I look at him, I have to laugh, but it also breaks my heart.

I feel like showing him how to do it right.

Let him do it his way.

It's not the best way, but it's better for us.

Are you going on a picnic?

We're getting drinking water from the spring.

Our cistern is empty and we mustn't impose on you.

Mine's been getting empty, too.

I've a feeling it'll rain tonight.

Why? You have rheumatism?

No, thank goodness!

But in May we only had three days of rain instead of six.

It hasn't rained in June, so we're owed five days of rain!

The heavens have 48 hours to settle their debt.

What's the shortest way? You'd better go the easiest way.

Follow the valley down, but before you get to the village, turn right and follow the road to the grotto.

Thank you. See you tonight!

Good-bye, little one. Good-bye, Madame.


It's beautiful!

We're the new owners.

But we don't want you to move out.

We just came to fetch water.

Don't worry. They came for some water.

They won't throw us out.


God bless you!


If that spring were near us, we'd have no problem.

Let's put our faith in the statistics and in Providence.


Hello, neighbour!

I'm going to Aubagne. Can I bring you anything?

No, thanks! Are you buying more seeds?

Even better! I'm going to get my breeders!

Come see them tonight.

Sure! I'd love to see your first rabbits!

I'll bring along snails for Madame.

See you tonight!

I chose young females who've had no litters.

That's vital for creating a new breed.

And now the male.

Manon, close the door!

He's terribly strong. He might get away.

Not from me, he won't.

Holy mother! What's that?

He's a cross between a giant rabbit and a ram.

I never saw anything like that!

It's got fur like a dog and ears like a donkey!

Was it expensive? Very expensive!

That's a strange one!

He's a breeder. Not young, but virile.

He looks fierce.

I bet he could eat a steak!

He sure got taken in!

What breed did he call it?

The Romarins breed.

Go, make us some nice baby rabbits, old man!

You're going to start the Romarins breed.

There isn't much inheritance money left.

But I'm sure we'll pull through.

Our bills are paid, and the worst is over.

I want you to manage the 1,123 francs that's left.

It should last us for a year.

In three months, I hope to start selling my rabbits.

If necessary, we could sell my necklace.

I was told it was worth 10,000. Sell your necklace? Never.

I'd sooner go barefoot!

Come quickly!

What is it?

Cesar.


Let's measure it.

There's Ugolin's neighbor.

He thinks he's some big shit!


You should have aimed for his hump.

That's not funny.


Go on! You're too small!

Here's a big one!

What a beauty! A real Romarin!


Shall we take it?

How much?


It won't last.

It's enough for my vineyard, but not for his vegetables.

What do I think?

I think it's a disaster.

Water!


"Rain on Ascension Day washes your crops away."

Stop worrying.

Remember, a wet spring always brings a scorching summer.

In July, his green garden will be yellow like ripe wheat.

His corn husks will crackle like patent leather shoes.

"Showers in June only bring ruin."”

I'm off to sell my vegetables!

This is my gratitude for all your advice.

That rain was a godsend.

You've no potatoes yet? Not for another three weeks.

Really? Look at mine!

How do you do it?


Amandine!

I keep forgetting she's deaf.

That's enough! Where's my dinner?

I'm hungry.

What's worse is that now he gives me advice!

It's all beautiful!

But I'm worried. Summer hasn't started yet.

It's July 20th. In two more weeks we'll get those August storms.

Losing all this would be a shame.

My cistern is overflowing.

It holds 12 cubic meters, and I need three every other day.

I can hold out another week.

But it may not rain in a week.

"One seed yields an ear with 400 to 450 kernels.

"In theory, the yield is 400 times the planted seed.” See, Aimée.

Even with a more reasonable estimate, say, 300, I planted enough to yield three tons of corn. That should do.

Thank you, sweetheart.

We'll also have 20 tons of squash.

Even half would be plenty.

The manual suggests eight tons of feed a year.

We only have 720 francs left.

The money from selling the rabbits? That's included.

Now, more than ever, we need God's help.

Papa!

There's no more water!

There's no more water!

I expected this.

I thought we had a few days' water left.

If it doesn't rain tonight, we'll figure out something.

Luckily we have the spring.

Four trips a day will kill your donkey.

We can stock 850 gallons in a week.

But we need rain within 10 days. -10 days, this time of year?

Well, you never know.

If the heavens let me down, could you rent me your mule?

Sure! Thank you!

Come on! A little bit more!


Galinette, if this beautiful weather keeps up, his corn will be wiped out, along with the rest.


What's wrong?

You gave me a scare.

It was only a dream.


It's the hunchback!

I'm out! I'm not here!

Is Mr. Ugolin here?

Isn't he home?

Ask him if he'll rent me his mule starting tomorrow.

It's urgent!

His mule. Tomorrow! Thank you!


My chickpeas are rotting.

My apricots dried up. They're the size of small peas.

My grapes won't make two casks of wine. What a year!

The weather does as it pleases.

It's bad for us, but worse for him.

He needs 250 gallons a day.

He can't haul all that with a donkey and a woman and a hump.

Another week of sunshine and he's finished.

He wants to rent my mule. It'll be hard to refuse.

Idiot! Your mule would save him!

It can carry 100 gallons a day!

You told me to be friendly, so I drank his white wine and called him Monsieur Jean, and he's become my friend.

Dummy! You want to grow carnations or make friends?

What a dope! You sound just like your poor mother!

If you start to strangle a cat, finish it off!

Believe me, if he makes out this year, he'll continue, and next year he'll start all over again.

And he'll be miserable all his life.

With the money I'll gladly pay him, he can move back to the city.

By not lending him the mule, we're doing him a favour.

You're back at last!

Yes, for the grape harvest! It's our toughest chore.

Is everything all right?

No. I'm almost out of water.

It's a bad year. Everyone is hurting.

Even the grapes are shriveled up like raisins.

Could I use your mule?

My uncle's.

Not right now. It's harvest time.

In two, three days?

After my uncle's harvest, Casimir and the blacksmith use the mule.

We do that every year. It takes ten days.

But, you know, with this heat wave, we may get a thunderstorm tonight.

Your word in God's ear.

Here comes the loony!

He'll kill himself.

He can go back to tax collecting, but his donkey can't!

I pity the donkey.


Are mules expensive?

I think I can find one in Aubagne for about 500 francs.

I'll sell it in the fall for a profit.

But for that, I'm asking you to make a sacrifice.

That is, a temporary separation from your necklace. If you agree.

To sell? No.

No, just to pawn it. There's no risk involved.

They'll lend me 2,000 francs for it. It's worth much more.

The mule will thrive on the mountain air, and in two months I'll resell it.

Then we'll get the necklace back.

That's all right, isn't it, Mama?

Of course.

Time for bed. Tomorrow is a big day.

Do you mind giving it up?

I already have.

What? I've already pawned it.

When? Last month.

I had no more money.

You bought many things, books, tools, bran for the rabbits.

And we drink lots of wine.

How much did you get for it? -100 francs.

100 francs?

The emeralds were fakes.


Please, God, make it rain.

Please, God, make it rain.


In 20 minutes the cistern will be full!

What a beautiful storm!

Manon! I felt the first drop!

Me too, Papa!

I want to feel this blessed water on my face!

Thank you, God!

But it's raining over there!

The rain is over there!

I'm a hunchback! Have you forgotten that?

Do you think it's easy?

Come.

There's nobody up there!

There's nobody up there!

I'm a hunchback!

Do you think that's easy?

There's nobody up there.


What is that?

Aimée, come, look!

Look!

Dear God, what is it?

Awindstorm! I'll run to the spring for water!

I have no time! Meet me at the spring!

Hurry! It's a matter of life and death!

Papa will get sick!

Hurry!

Now I know why God gave me this hump.

She says she'll take the sun out of him.

She says if we don't take the sun out, he'll die.


All that for some lousy squash.

It's awful to see them work like slaves in this heat.

Twenty-six.

He just didn't plan it right. Twenty-seven.

His squash will never make it.

But he's got a spring at Romarins.

It seems to be plugged up.

Maybe it didn't plug up by itself.

Maybe one should ask the Soubeyrans. Maybe...

Never mind that.

The Soubeyrans do as they please and so do we!

It doesn't pay to mind other people's business!

The less talk, the better!

It's time for our move!

His fields are a disaster area.

He doesn't need to die, though.

Offer him six or seven thousand, but haggle with him.

Let me kiss you, Papet!

Stop that! Now hurry over there.

Wait! Bring him this bottle of new wine.

It'll do him good. Hurry!

Your wine is delicious, but ll have to face the facts.

My ventures failed.

It's a disaster.

I could blame it on fate or the unusual weather pattern, but I'd rather blame my own stupidity.

My lack of common sense.

I thought I was clever, but, in fact, I was blind.

Blind to my only problem.

Water.

That's right. Without water it won't work.

That's in the past.

Now, here's what I'm going to do.

When I've regained my strength, I'll dig a well.

Where? I'll use a divining rod.

Are you a dowser?

Not exactly.

But I have a special manual that I'll study carefully.

I'll learn to use the rod and I'm sure I'll find water.

You know how to make a well?

After all, a well is just a hole in the ground.

I'll make it 36 feet deep, and even if I don't hit water, my problem is solved.

What good is a dry well?

I'll use it as a cistern!

A well that size will hold 43 cubic meters of water!

Spring rains will fill it up.

In the summer months, between this well and our cistern, we'll have 55 cubic meters.

That gives us 36 days of worry-free watering.

We've had longer dry spells.

Where does a drought last 36 days?

The Sahara? Maybe!

Or maybe in the Gobi Desert!

But not here!

It's mathematically impossible!

Let's drink!

From what you tell me, the only good news is that now he drinks red wine.

And the divining rod?

That's a nuisance.

Could his book teach him the secret?

Hell, no. It's no secret. It's a special touch.

He might hire a real dowser. You know any?

I knew one in Ombrées.

If he came to Romarins, he'd locate the spring in a flash!

Is he still in Ombrées?

Sure, but luckily he's in the graveyard.

And then, a good dowser is expensive.

Did you talk money?

Not yet. He was drunk.

I think he's got no money left.

When it comes to money, you can never be sure.


Aimeée! I think it moved!


How is it going? It's getting harder to dig.

Tough? It certainly is!

I'm down to the white rock I told you about!

The Quaternary? Exactly!

If there's water under this rock, I'll reach it in two weeks.

But if it's under the Quaternary layer, it'll take six months or more.

Now I know what a ditch-digger's thirst is.

This hits the spot!

Monsieur Jean, I have to be frank with you.

You may think this is none of my business, but the truth is I feel sorry for you.

All the work you've been doing for almost two years...

It's madness. It'll kill you.

An interesting introduction.

You won't finish your well.

Even if you do, it's not enough.

You need a river for all your corn and squash!

This is no life for you, and that's the truth.

Go on. This is all very interesting.

A man like you belongs in the city.

You're educated. You could be a teacher, or even a mailman with a nice neat outfit.

That's what you're meant for.

If you stay here, you'll kill yourself.

You're out of money. That's no crime. But you're skimping.

Eating rabbit and dandelion leaves you too weak for this work.

Then you drink too much wine.

One day you'll just drop dead.

How will your wife and daughter manage then?

They haven't been looking too well lately.

I've noticed.

What's this farm worth?

To rent or sell? To sell.

Papa! Just a minute.

It's hard to say. I hadn't thought about it.

It's no summer residence, and without water, it's no use to a farmer.

The second cistern will add to its value.

Maybe. Maybe.

Seven thousand.

Is that all?

Let's say eight thousand.

You wouldn't sell your mother's house!

The price is perfectly reasonable.

It means I can ask our notary for a 4,000-franc mortgage!

Then you're not selling?

Never!

I'll never sell the house where I hope to live forever, once we're rich!

We can manage quite well on 4,000 francs!

I'll buy a mule and some mining tools and dynamite to blast this damn rock!

In a year I'll pay off the mortgage and we'll be set.

You know what a mortgage is?

It's when a notary lends money to honest people who own property.

What honest people?

He'll have to sign official papers.

And if he doesn't pay on time, they take his farm.

All right, ten minutes. Now leave us alone.

There's something good and something bad.

The bad part is, if he gets 4,000 francs, his venture may succeed next summer.

On the other hand, since he's a born loser, many things can go wrong.

And dynamite and drinking don't mix.

In any case, whoever owns the mortgage wins.

So, I'll finance his mortgage myself.

If he succeeds, he'll pay me interest and repay the loan.

And if he fails, we'll get the farm.

You're smart, Papet, real smart.

I'm smart because I have money.


It's all set!

You do the honours.

Go, get Mama! I want her to see the water shoot up!

Go on!


Jean!


What's wrong?

Did you have an accident?

I ran to see the water shoot up, but some rocks were blown sky-high and landed on my head.

If you can talk, it's not too bad.

Over here, Doctor.

It was a small rock, Doctor.

When he tried to speak before, he ground his teeth.

He didn't suffer before going where we'll all go.

The rock must have fractured a cervical vertebra.

Even if I'd come sooner, it wouldn't have helped.


I just stopped the clock at Monsieur Jean's house.

Is that why you're crying?

It's not me that's crying.

It's my eyes!


What'll they do now?

They must have relatives. And they can sell the farm.

And you might buy it out of kindness?

It depends. What is it worth?

Not much. In any case, it wasn't worth a man's life.


8,000 francs is more than reasonable.

If there were a water source, it would be worth double.

But there's only one cistern, and the house is very old.

Once you pay off your mortgage and we deduct interest and fees, you'll be left with 3,880 francs.

Sign here, please.

And initial these.

I must tell you that the buyer has been very generous.

You can continue to live here.

He's renting it to me. I'll only farm the land.

This is your home. I'll never come in without knocking.

For me, this will always be Monsieur Jean's house.


I've clowned around enough. Anyway, they're leaving.

Let's go.


Hold on, I think I've got it!

There must be plenty of water down there.

Carnations, Galinette!

15,000 francs a year!

It's liquid gold!

What was that?

Nothing!

Just a hare caught by a buzzard.


In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost.

I hereby name you King of Carnations!

End of Part One.