I have decided to present here in the form of anecdotes, some information that I think are important and which are lost in the hundred pages that make this site. There is everything, from irrelevant detail to the identification of new characters...
I found out that the surgeon from Saugues who studied the animal of the Chazes on september 21st 1765 was not the same thn the one who, with the help of his son, studied the beast killed by Chastel. I fact, the one who studied Antoine's beast was named
To be continued...
In his report on the autopsy of the Beast of Chazes, the surgeon Charles Jaladon uses a term that has left many people agape. Here is the original passage and its translation below.
After removing the husks, fat and muscular parts already sephacelused I dried the fleshy parts with the liquor indicated by Buffon, then with the spirit of turpentine, I placed in the muscle gap powders and ointments that are used in embalming, capabilities are filled with fragrant powders and balsamic balms, salt penetrates all external parts padded with the same powder over the ordinary lignement, all covered with his skin..."
All the people I talked about this autopsy made it clear that the body was decomposing, but without being able to understand the word "sephacelused" used in the original document. In fact, this term doesn't seem to even exist in French at all! Yet I'm convinced that Jaladon was no fool, so he must have used a word that meant something from a medical point of view.
I have tried many different spells, based on the fact that the spell of words was not set as it is today (in 1762, it's only the third reform since 1562) and,
as you can still see it nowadays, the spell of words changes according to the accent of each region. It must have been the same 250 years ago, and the only
term I found that could fit is "sphacelus" :
"One gives the name of sphacelus to the gangrene that occupies an entire limb or all tissues of an organ" (Medical French dictionary by Larousse - 1952). Here is what entirely satisfies me. We can easily understand how the "sphacelus" pronounced in the capital has become a "sephacelused part" in the mouth of a county surgeon (and in his report...!).
But it's only my own personnal private thought.
On september 27th 1748, galleys and their share of miseries are abolished.. Instead of going at sea, galleys stay in the port of Marseille or Toulon. If the condamnation is still in use in court and that those sent to the galleys are still marked with a firing iron saying "GAL", convicts don't see the sea anymore and will slowly become the first prisonners of prisons ashore. So it is definitively impossible that a son of Jean Chastel, whose oldest - Pierre - was only 12 in 1748, could have been sent to the galleys and have adventure at sea with pirates or whatever barbarians.
But what does the fur of the Beast look like? A mystery that is not entirely one if you aske the right questions. The phrase that comes up most often to describe the fur of the Beast is "deer color crossed by dark stripes". Some find pleasure in seeing hyena stripes, other spots, others, nothing. In fact, the animal's dress was simply brindle:
"- brindle, adj. Is said of an animal, of its fur, marked by stripes of black hair crossing the - usually reddish - fur of a dog or a cow."
Larousse Dictionnary - 2001
This is gonna be short...
In his report, maître Marin gives the "cinnabar" color for the eyes of the Beast (eyes are black in the letter from Auvergne) but this dark-red colour does not exist among canine. So if the Beast killed by Chastel was indeed a canine, there can only be one explanation for this colour in the eyes, seen by Antoine Boulanger and written by Marin : massive petechiae in the eyes (blood stainss) caused by the wound the animal received. The throat has been ripped off, a lack of oxygen to the brain must have occured very quickly and caused severe lesions, those of the eyes being seen by anyone looking at the beast. No extraordinary colour for a mythical monster, sorry.
Paws of the Beast:
It's a very simple problem: it's about decideing wether the size of the paws is right or not (and, therefore, the rest of the measurement given by maître Marin). Let me explain:
the size of the beast's paws is 12x10 cm. Not extraordinary for a canine, I've seen bigger myself but the problem is with the weight. If neither the report by Marin nor the letter fruvergne give it , Pic is the first author to give one 53,5Kg (107 pounds). But the Beast can not have weight this with paws like those. It is genetically impossible.
The weight the animal should have would be more like 60/65 Kg (120/130 pounds). So the problem is very simple: or you take the size of the paws for good and the weight is wrong and one must think of something heavier, or you take the weight for sure and you have to rethink the entire mesurement we have from that time.
Personnally, I think the first solution is mthe most probable. I hardly see so many people mistaking all the measurements. But I easily see
the abbot Pic, who did not know anything about canine genetics, giving us a wrong weight.
But it's only my own personnal private thought.