The villagers whispered that the baron's son (Monsieur did not use the title), was engaged in dark experiments in his tower. A chambermaid had inadvertently wandered into Monsieur's laboratory and claimed she had seen him lost in a sort of  diabolical trance. She had ran off screaming in terror and promptly been sacked the next morning.

 

Rolande de Lautremont had become in their simple peasant minds an unknown, perhaps malign, presence brooding over the chateau, the estate, their lives. Superstitious rubbish of course, aimed at a reclusive seigneur who was eccentric and secretive in his ways.

 

One must admit the Chateau Douceur is a brooding structure. Originally it was a fortress designed to repel the ravaging Norsemen who assaulted Frankish lands in the 9th century. During the tenancy of the late baron, the chateau had fallen into disrepair; he had the east wing entirely sealed off due to leaks and rotten timbers. Meanwhile Monsieur has kept almost exclusively to the tower, which he maintains scrupulously. He sank much of his fortune into his laboratory and his scientific instruments.