La nuit du carrefour - 1
LA NUIT DU CARREFOUR - Maigret at the crossroads - The crossroad murders - Georges Simenon - 1931. (La Ferté-Alais)
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La nuit du carrefour - 2
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Visit: September 2003 - Revision: March 2004
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Arpajon / Avrainville
The story - a summary 1
Carl Andersen and his sister Else, Michonnet and his wife, Oscar and his wife, are the couples who occupy the three houses on the crossroads of the Three-Widows.
One Sunday, in his garage, Andersen discovers Michonnet's car with the dead body of Goldberg in it. Goldberg is a diamond trader from Antwerp. Michonnet, to his surprise, finds Andersen's car in his garage.
After being questioned for seventeen hours, Andersen, who is a suspect, denies any involvement and is given his freedom.

Maigret travels to the crossroads to inquire the case.
Mrs. Goldberg, the victim's wife, has hardly arrived, when she is killed in front of a nearby tavern on Monday evening. On Tuesday morning, Andersen leaves for Paris; although he is supposed to return immediately, he doesn't show up anymore.
On this Tuesday, Maigret tries to get better acquainted with Michonnet, an insurance agent, and Oscar, the owner of the filling station on the crossroads, and a vulgar mocker. Maigret also hangs out in the neighborhood of Else, Andersen's sister, attracted by her mysterious behavior, her charm and the disturbing atmosphere around her.
La nuit du
carrefour - 1
La nuit du
carrefour - 2
La guinguette
à deux sous
L' inspecteur
Les larmes
de bougie
Vente à la
La maison
du juge
With sunset an insane night starts. Carl returns seriously wounded: someone tried to kill him, stole his car and he was shot trying to escape.
Maigret pays a visit to Oscar's filling station where he finds a mechanic whose suspicious attitude makes him discover that the garage is a cloak dissimulating a center of illegal traffic of drugs and stolen jewels. .
From a passing car someone draws on Maigret, he recognizes Oscar inside the car. He orders a pursuit.
Michonnet, disappeared from his residence, is found. Oscar and his killers are brought back to the crossroads. Maigret gathers the whole company to interrogate them and under his pressure the truth bursts.
Mon ami
Maigret à
l'Auberge aux
Le notaire de
M.Gallet, décédé Else is not Andersen's sister but his wife; she has left the slums of Hamburg; the Dane "collected" her after she was wounded in an armed attack. He tried everything to make a normal woman out of her, married her and came to live in France to pull her out of her usual surroundings.
However, Else did not appreciate this monotonous life. She quickly saw trough Oscar's activities, associated with him and assured herself of the complicity of Michonnet. It was she who attracted Goldberg a trafficker himself. A hit man paid by Oscar removed the diamond trader and his wife and tried to dispose of Andersen.
All had been combined in such a way that the police force believed in the guilt of the Dane.
However, Andersen will return to see Else in prison: despite everything he still goes on loving her.(1)
Le charretier de
"La Providence"
Chez les
Analysis of the locality
The main action in this novel is set around a crossing about 3km from Arpajon, a town in the department of Essonne.
When Maigret arrives at the crossing in a taxicab, he has already passed by Arpajon and is going in the direction of Etampes. The close by village is called Avrainville (image) and is situated on the left hand side of the road, coming from Paris / Arpajon.
Avrainville is a real village. It lies in fact 3 km to the South of Arpajon, about 800 meters from the main road and the crossing (Image left).
Three houses
The probable position of the different buildings that are important to the story, around the crossroads, can be determined by analyzing the text.

A crossing. A filling station with in front of it 5 petrol pumps, painted red. On the left hand side the road to Avrainville, indicated by a fingerpost....
There where only three houses. First of all the filling post owner's house.....
Opposite a small country house.....
A brass signboard: Emile Michonnet, Insurances. The other house stood 200 meters away." (2)
Go to La nuit du carrefour - 2
From top to bottom:
- Carrefour N20 - D26 At Avrainville. Photos: G. De Croock
- Cover of Georges Simenon, "La nuit du carrefour", Edition of 1952 by Librairie Artheme Fayard, Paris.
- Composition of a drawing of Maigret's silhouette from the cover of: Georges Simenon, "Maigret hesite", Presses de la Cite, Paris and map on Design G. de Croock.
- Map by:Route 66, Route Europa 2000, Copyright Route 66 Geographic Information Systems B.V., Ede (NL). Adaptation by G. De Croock .
- Sketch of situation: G. de Croock.
(1) Translation and compilation from: Maurice Piron, "L'Univers de Simenon", Presses de la Cite, Paris, 1983, p.267. Excerpt translation by G. de Croock.

(2) All quotations from: Georges Simenon, "La Nuit du Carrefour", 1931. Excerpt translated in English by G. de Croock out of the Dutch edition, A.W. Bruna & Zoon, 1978, Vert. K.H.Romijn.
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La nuit du carrefour - 1, - 2
La guinguette à deux sous - 1, - 2
L' inspecteur Cadavre - 1, - 2, - 3
Les larmes de bougie - 1, - 2
Vente à la bougie - 1, - 2
La maison du juge - 1, - 2, - 3
Mon ami Maigret - 1, - 2, - 3
Maigret à Vichy - 1, - 2
l'Affaire Saint-Fiacre - 1, - 2
l'Auberge aux Noyés - 1, - 2
Le notaire de Chéteauneuf - 1, - 2
M.Gallet, décédé - 1, - 2, - 3
Le charretier de "La Providence" - 1, - 2
Chez les Flamands - 1, - 2