Having climbed out of the vault, we followed Monsieur Antoine and his daughter out of Notre Dame Collegiate Church, down the sleepy streets of Vernon. At last, we reached the outskirts of the city. There, fields spread out around an old, deserted farmhouse. The land had not been tilled for a long while, except at one edge, where the girl finally stopped.
“Here?” she asked.
“Here,” said her father, cryptically. He fell to his knees and out of the earth he dug bottle after bottle of Champagne.
“Now that’s a strange place to be keeping it,” I noted.
“Indeed,” he said. “A local farmer, a friend of mine, buried the bubbly bottles here, so they do not fall into the hands of the ennemi.”
“They were kept in the dark—
“You mean, the Germans?”
“No, the bottles.”
“Yes, they were kept cool, till we’re ready to celebrate victory, or at least, the coming of it.”
Lenny in Marriage before Death
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