Episode 28: “MY GREAT UNCLE”

After leaving the coma, I started receiving invitations to attend the most elegant salons in Paris. At last, Parisian high society had admitted me to their ranks. After all, I scarcely differentiated myself from them: I had not worked in my life, I had a natural elegance that the plebs lacked, and my great uncle Jeanot had received a title of nobility from the Emperor Bonaparte for following him everywhere with the exclusive mission of reminding him against which of the seven Coalitions he fought at each moment. My great uncle Jeanot deserves a more extensive comment. He worked as an accountant in Nancy, and Napoleon had a serious problem with accounting. Often the Grande Armée ended a battle with more soldiers than those who had initiated it. For example, in the battle of Austerlitz, 200,000 French soldiers intervened and, at the end of the battle, Napoleon’s accountants counted 340,000 soldiers. How was that possible? Did the soldiers multiply during the contest? This made no sense. And that happened not only in the victories but also in the defeats. For example, in the framework of the Third Coalition against Napoleon, the battle of Maida took place. Before the battle, the French troops amounted to 5,400 soldiers, counting both the living and the dead. Well, despite the defeat inflicted by the British Army on the French troops, Napoleon’s accountants counted 8500 surviving French soldiers. Fed up with these incongruities, when passing through Nancy, Napoleon hired my great uncle Jeanot, who at that time counted chickens on a farm. From then on, the Grand Armée did not have any problems reconciling his accounts. And all thanks to my great uncle. There was no accountant more faithful to Napoleon. The other accountants often lost count of the current number of Coalition they were fighting against and told the Emperor, for example, that he was fighting against the Third Coalition when in fact they were already in the Fourth. Did they do it out of disloyalty or out of ignorance? What difference does it make? The fact is that they made the Emperor look ridiculous when he harangued his troops against the Seventh Coalition while in fact it was the Sixth or the Fifth. That commendable job of my great uncle earned him the title of Samurai, which he carried with honor all his life.

This is a non-profit blog whose purpose is to raise funds for children in need. So if you want to make a donation in exchange for this story, click on this link to UNICEF. I really appreciate it!

My great uncle

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