Simenon has crafted a thoughtful, interesting short novel about a former French Premier, who, in his prime, had been a master political operator and adroit manipulator of people. Now, in his early 80s, retired from politics, quasi infirm, and living on a small estate in Normandy with a small staff attentive to his needs and whims, he reflects upon his life and career. He comes to realize that for all his secretive, circumspect ways, he is being spied upon. But by whom? What's more: his former protege is now poised to assume a position of supreme influence in forming a new government in Paris. The old man, remembering his former protege's treachery, possesses a damnable piece of evidence that could destroy his political career. Will he float this disclosure or not? This is a gripping story showing the vagaries of the mind and heart of people consumed with the acquisition and use of political power. It is also a subtle, psychological study of the first degree loosely based on the life of Georges Clemenceau, former Premier of France (1917-1920).