"Pour le cas où il m’arriverait quelque chose,” Jean-Claude Méry explained
in his sudden confession that day in May 1996. The fallen fundraiser, ailing
and embittered, was consigning to videotape rich recollections, professional
secrets so generally embarrassing that their revelation could only assure
his own peace of mind. Or was he plotting posthumous revenge on the Hôtel
de Ville occupants who had disowned him? For last fall, there they emerged on
the television screen, their most questionable sources of revenue divulged in
the mummified spite of a dead financier.