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The Handsome Policeman
Mathieu is the youngest captain in the French Gendarmerie. Like his father before him, he is a member of the Gendarmerie Departmentale, also named 'La Blanche' because of the colour of their insignia. La Blanche constitutes the largest part of the Gendarmerie, in charge of the police in the small towns and rural areas.
Conscientious, intelligent and physically fit, Mathieu is an impressive and popular officer. So it was no accident that he was chosen as the model gendarme for the latest recruiting poster for the gendarmerie.
His picture was published throughout the country. He appeared in his full dress uniform with kepi, dark blue trousers and light blue jacket and he soon became famous throughout the country as 'Le Beau Gendarme.'
Mathieu suffers from heterochromia; his left eye is blue and his right eye is green. This has added to his celebrity. He is a keen sportsman. He has good, quick hand to eye coordination and excels at football, boxing, BMX and fencing as well as video games. His interests also include physics, mathematics, modern technology, philately and Lego.
Mathieu quickly became a target for amorous young women. They sometimes approach him in the street and say, 'Arrest me, please! Handcuff me! Take me into custody. Lock me up! I am guilty.'
But despite all the female attention Mathieu is still a bachelor. His mother has become anxious. She wants him to find a wife - 'a nice girl who will love you and take care of you when I have gone. Don't rush. You will recognise that girl as soon as you see her.'
But his main concern at present is tracking down a mystery figure, France's most celebrated burglar, the Prince of jewel thieves, Clement le Cambrioleur. During the past two years this person has stolen a huge amount of valuable jewellery from hotels and luxury houses in and around Paris without leaving a single fingerprint or any other clue.
And then, on a lovely spring day Mathieu sees the woman of his dreams. A truly beautiful young woman, with long dark hair moves towards him out of the crowd. Their eyes meet as she approaches.
Her eyes are large and absolutely stunning. The iris's are of different colours, the mirror image of his own, left eye green and right eye blue. This meeting is unbelievable. He recalls his mother's words. 'You will know that girl as soon as you see her'. 'Yes Mother, this is that girl. This is the woman who is going to change my life.'
Then, suddenly, a flash of light. He glances down. The sun is reflected from a beautiful precious stone on the girl's left hand. The image of this stone is etched into Mathieu's phenomenal memory. It is unmistakably the fabulous Stone of Shangri-La, which disappeared from a heavily guarded exhibition last week! To be continued ....