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The bizarre death of the Abbé Prévost

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On the night of 25 November 1763, the surgeon at the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Nicolas-d’Acy, was sleeping peacefully in his bed when there was loud knocking on his door.
‘Monsieur le chirugien!’ a voice urgently shouted. ‘You must come quickly!  It iz a matter of zee former monk zee Abbé Prévost! His body has been found lying at zee foot of zee Cross of Courteuil. We think zat he iz dead, Monsieur!’

The surgeon quickly got dressed, collected his doctor’s bag, and followed the man, a shepherd, to the presbytery of the church of Courteuil where the body of Abbé Prévost had been taken.
‘He iz dead all right’, said the surgeon when he saw the body lying prostrate on the bed. ‘I will need to perform an autopsy on zee corpse to establish zee exact cause of zee death.’
Then, taking his scalpel from his bag, the surgeon sliced open the belly of the Abbé Prévost, and the old monk’s blood and intestines spurted out onto the bed.

But then, suddenly, mirabile dictu, the quondam corpse of the Abb…