November 11th, 2019

Autumn Anxiety

Colm Quigley

Morin, blushing in the most unbecoming way, put the fiddle, né violin, up to his chin once again. Paused. Then drew the bow across the strings.

What came out surprised them all. A Celtic lament left the bow, left the violin, left the agent. It filled the cabin, filled the rafters. Almost into the corners. The simple tune swirled around them like colors and delicious meals and conversation. And it  lodged in their chests. Not their ears, not their heads. But their hearts. Slow, dignified, but buoyant. It was played with confidence. With poise.

Agent Morin had changed. His loose-limbed awkward body contorted perfectly for the violin, as though created and designed for this purpose. To play. To produce this music. His eyes were closed and he looked the way Gamache felt. Filled with joy. Rapture even. Such was the power of this music. This instrument.

And watching his agent the Chief Inspector suddenly realized what Morin reminded him of. A musical note. The large head and the thin body. He was a walking note, awaiting an instrument. And this was it. The violin might be a masterpiece, but Agent Paul Morin certainly was.

After a minute he stopped and the music faded, absorbed by the logs, the books, the tapestries. The people.
“That was beautiful,” said Superintendent Brunel.
He handed the violin to her. “It’s called ‘Colm Quigley.’ My favorite.”
As soon as the violin left his hand he went back to being the gangly, awkward young man. Though never again totally that for the people who had heard him play.

Louise Penny. The Brutal Telling.