A young destitute fellow has sat down upon a bench in the grounds of the Palais-Royal, not far from the ornamental lake. And so begins his daily ritual. He has dug a hole in the ground with a piece of pointed wood, and then filled the hollow of his hand with earth. He has run about - then - rushing headlong towards the bench, thrust his legs into the air. But as this funambulistic posture is beyond the laws of weight that govern the centre of gravity, he has fallen back heavily on to the planks, legs flailing.

Over by the median, northern entrance our hero's arm rests against the railing, and he perceives - in the middle of the park grounds - a man doing lurching gymnastics at a bench on which he struggles to steady himself. He has headed towards the madman, has kindly helped him replace his dignity in a normal position, has proffered his hand and sat down beside him. He observes that the madness is only intermittent - the fit has passed. His interlocutor replies logically to all the questions. And the sincerity of his statements blends wonderfully with the viewer's credulity...... The listener inwardly approves of this new example brought to support his disgusting theories. As if, because of one man once the worse for wine, you had the right to blame all humanity. He comforts the madman with feigned compassion and takes him to a restaurant where they eat at the same table.

They go to a fashionable tailor, and the protege is dressed like a prince. They knock for the concierge at a great mansion, and the madman is installed in a sumptuous third floor suite. At your slightest summons I shall come running, your highness. Draw lavishly on my resources; body and soul I belong to you. The three Marguerites shall live again in me, not to mention that I'll be your mother. Gratitude like a poison had entered the crowned madman's heart! He wanted to speak and his tongue faltered to a halt. The man with lips of bronze withdraws. What was his purpose? To gain a foolproof friend, naive enough to obey his least command. He whom he found lying on the bench no longer knows, since a boyhood incident, how to tell good from evil. Aghone is the very one he needs.