The Audacious

64 On the first day of the hearing, the parties to the lawsuit were present. Marie Petit took charge and did not let the state-appointed lawyer speak for her. She argued her case and stated her claims, and demanded that Fabre’s debt of 12,200 livres owed to her be paid off. She asserted that Michel gave her a receipt in return for Fabre’s belongings, which had been in her possession. The French authorities were supposed to pay her the amounts owed, but Michel revoked the receipt. When the court judge asked Michel why he revoked the receipt which he had signed, he responded before his lawyer could answer, saying “It was a courtesy signing under compelling circumstances.”