a character in the best French tradition

Georges Rème was a notorious and popular French swindler.

“Swindle” epad found here

“His fiction-like feats of escape have earned him the nickname “The Human Eel“. In August 1926, he was taken to a Paris court with ten others but was not handcuffed. When the warder’s attention was distracted, Rème, drawing from his pockets some legal documents which he had picked up, calmly walked out. When challenged by the guard, he waved the papers, replying “Detective Inspector” and passed on. Hailing a taxi, he disappeared.

Moray Eel found here

He was recaptured in 1927 and sentenced to ten years in a Lyonnais prison and ten in exile.

“He said to his advocate, “I doubt if I stay in prison at all. The climate of Lyons does not agree with me. I fancy that my sentence of ten years is an idle theory on the part of the bench.”

Liz Lyons found here

His advocate, in defending him (Rème has already been convicted seventeen times for theft) argued in part that his client was “a character in the best French tradition, on account of his elegance, his imagination and wit. In certain circumstances a man such as Rème has to be invented if he doesn’t exist, because in sad periods he is one of those who help to amuse the masses and distract them from the preoccupations of their mind.”

Preoccupied French citizens found here

Of all the criminals of recent years, only the murderer Landru was more popular at distracting the preoccupied masses, a dozen or more of whom (female) he had previously amused to death in his country retreat.

French murderer Landru found here

The hotel servant girl who found the Condé rose diamond Rème had stolen by biting into its hiding place in an apple belonging to one of the hotel’s guests – was promptly sacked for her dishonesty by the management.

Rose diamonds found here

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44 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I know the picture of preoccupied Frenchman. But he is “occupied” now as the victorious German Army marches into Paris beginning of WW
    2. Long time ago came within 2 feet or moray eel taking my right arm.

    • I’ve never confronted an eel in the flesh. I like the smoked kind though

      • Daisy Fae came face ro face with one during her recent holiday! She didn’t mention missing limbs, just that its eyes were blue.

      • Oops! She’s already said as much here, herself.

  2. Fired for eating an apple concealing a priceless heirloom. I’m amused. But, then it doesn’t take a lot to distract me from my preoccupation. But, I am curious. I’m not familiar with the cases, so, the servant girl got canned, but, did Reme actually do the ten years? Or not?

    God Bless
    paul

    • I can’t find a lot of information about him. The creator of Tin Tin has a very similar name that pops up when I try google searches

  3. Landru amused women to death… Now that is one of the best euphemisms I’ve ever heard!

    As for the diamonds in the apple, that is an amuse-bouche anyone would love to have

    • there’s nothing amusing about Landru’s face, he’s fearsome

  4. I want that on my tombstone. “He existed to make people happy in sad times.”
    And yes, as Carl points out, that crying Frenchman is more POST-occupied than pre-occupied.
    Ain’t grammar a real pain? (I wouldn’t know, both my grammas died before I was born.)

    • Have you mentioned to your wife that you want that inscription? She might have something different in mind….

      • Oh, I know for SURE what she has in mind. I just don’t think any cemetery would allow that kinda language! So I’m gonna be cremated, and I want my ashes spread right over the control tower of O’Hare airport. They dumped crap from the skies on me for almost 40 years, I want PAYBACK!! :D

  5. I might not have been amused by Georges, but I would have been impressed.

    • I think I would have been amused and impressed

  6. In a random way, I saw your site, and was inspired to start blogging. Many thanks for your inspiration.

    • You’d better get a bit more inspired thoffy, looks like a fake site at the moment

      • And I just bin these – brilliant young Nursey.

  7. He also said that he was not the king of swindlers. People were just careless in leaving things out.

  8. i just had a stare-down contest with a green moray eel. he never blinked. i had to back down, as i was almost out of air!

    • You’re back! Fantastic, I missed you

  9. anywhere but up liz’s ass…yikes.

    • Did you notice Liz has very nice ankles?

  10. “Guilty but amusing” should be a valid legal plea.

    • I agree Your Honour

  11. I got a bit lost with this one – does Liz Lyons have a Moray eel up her bottom?

    • Perhaps you need to read it before you start drinking Affer :-)

  12. Going by that Advocate’s logic Bernie Madoff must have been the “Chuckle King” of all time!!!

  13. I guess an apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep jail time away.

    • haha… very funny

  14. Sacked for dishonesty for finding a stolen diamond? Shome mishtake shurely. If she’d found a whole warehouse full of stolen diamonds, presumably she’d have been hung, drawn and quartered.

    • they wanted the apple for a pie

  15. There’s an important lesson here – it never pays to eat an apple.

    • Um…. I don’t think that’s quite the moral of the tale

  16. Reme sounds like quite the character.

    • As does his advocate

  17. If only I had known being a swindler could be so popular. . .

    • I think it only works if you are devastatingly attractive and have a French accent

  18. I wonder how he fit all that into an apple. He must have broken it up into multiple pieces. Did anyone try the cantelope or the honeydew mellon?

    • Well, it was only one diamond in the apple….

  19. Must have been quite a big apple.

    • Or a rather small diamond

  20. how do you hide a necklace in an apple ??? lol.

  21. That “Swindle” is hilarious!


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