We’d already been around the château and grounds once by daytime, and it was then that we had seen the advertisement for son et lumière.
The château was transformed by night. Long shadows replaced grand vistas; dark woods replaced fine grounds; lurking strangers replaced noisy tourist groups.
A hooded figure was laughing––to himself? It was hard to tell. We first spotted him close to the Chancellerie. We could still hear him laughing across the landscaped expanse of Diane’s Garden. Was he following us? It was difficult to judge. We hurried back to the relative light of the château’s forecourt. He remained behind, his head still cloaked, his face hidden. The dark avenue of trees, the maze and the caryatides, which separated us from the exit had lost the romance with which we had suffused them only half an hour earlier.
There was another unnerving laugh, not near but not far. Was he laughing at us? It was impossible to know.