I was preparing lunch around midday and looked out of the kitchen window onto the street. There was an elderly man looking very confused and lost so opened the kitchen window to ask him if I could help. He had a lot of difficulty speaking and could only answer ‘yes’. I popped outside to talk to him properly and asked him where he had come from and his name. He couldn’t remember and could only say ‘yes’. I tried to think of questions that might help him to remember, but he couldn’t. Locking up the house we set off down the road and round the corner. I rang the doorbell at a house where someone was home and the person there didn’t recognize him. She phoned the retirement home the other end of the village, but everyone was present for lunch. We set off in the other direction to see a neighbour who is on the local council and is married to a villager born and bred.
My neighbour didn’t know him either, so we all set off trying to jog his memory walking though the local streets while my neighbor telephoned the gendarmes who said that they were on their way. The post office closes at one In the village so I spoke to the post office lady who was just arriving home for lunch. She didn’t know him either. She fetched a chair and a drink of water for the old man who seemed grateful. The gendarmes seemed to take ages to arrive, their base is only 10 minutes away. We left him in their care.
My neighbour’s wife has just phoned. The gendarmes eventually took the old man to the emergency department at the hospital where he was known. The line was bad so I’m not sure whether he’s been reunited with his family or taken back to the home that he ‘escaped’ from. At least he’s safe and sound now.
Olivier was very worried, he’s home for the weekend and heard me lock the front door. He went into the kitchen to find a half prepared meal...