V. in Love

I. The time is 1913. Fifteen-year-old Melanie l'Heuremaudit arrives in Paris and takes a cab to a cabaret located in the rue Germaine Pilon. She is greeted by M. Itague. She is taken inside and meets Satin. The company is going to perform Rape of the Chinese Virgins (L'Enlevement des Vierges Chinoises). Melaine, whose stage name is La Jarretiere, is to play Su Feng, who is tortured to death by Monglians while defending her virginity.

Later, Melanie is alone in her room. "The sight of her nude body repelled her" (pg. 397). She dresses up in a costume from Rape of the Chinese Virgins. Then she takes a "lay figure" to bed with her.

Outside the L'Ouganda, Satin and Intague discuss Melanie, a woman who owns a clothing shop joins them (Veronica Manganese). "It was her clothes, her accessories, which determined her, fixed her among the mobs of tourist ladies and putains that filled the street" (pg. 400). She wants to meet Melanie.

Melanie in bed dreams about her father.

Itague, Porcepic, and Gerfaut attend the Black Mass. They see Veronica burning holes in a girl's dress. She is writing "ma fetiche" in cigarette holes.

II. At a rehersal, Satin points out Melanie to Veronica. Melanie goes to change her costume, and Veronica approaches her, telling her that she (Melanie ) isn't real. Melanie runs out of the room.

After rehersal, Veronica takes Melanie to her apartment, which is decorated in African and oriental style. We are told that this is not only V., but V. in love. Veronica begins dressing Melanie as a boy, shaves her head. She attends every rehearsal and watches Melanie intently.

Porcepic develops a chart with 64 possible roles that Veronica and Melanie might be playing. He presents it at L'Ouganda.

We learn that Stencil has learned about this story from Porcepic, since Veronica confided in him, afraid that Melanie would leave her.

Night of the opening performance comes and chaos ensues. The crowd is noisy, fights break out. Melanie does not wear her protective device and is impaled on a pole. Veronica is never seen again (apparently runs off with Sgherraccio, a mad Irredentist).

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