My brother Jean, a retired doctor, lived in Caen in France, together with his wife Marianne and their married daughters. Jean usually gave me good advice, as did Benoît, his son-in-law, an excellent psychiatrist who was already well established despite his young age. It seemed to be an ideal place to ask for assistance. Also at Caen it would be easier to convince Francesco to undergo the examinations he refused in Rome. The visit to France was organized as a holiday and Francesco, in a lucid moment, was delighted at the idea of the trip.
It was obvious, but I still did not know it, that the change of scene would make things worse. In fact, as soon as we arrived at Caen, he went into a state of uncontrollable excitability and total incoherence. Furthermore, remembering the familiar gestures of his trade, he spent his days moving furniture around in the sitting-room. My relatives were deeply concerned.
The medical examinations, which I pretended had been prescribed for me and to which he submitted 'to keep me company', revealed extended brain atrophy. No doctor had mentioned Alzheimer's but by now, more expert, I recognized the symptoms predicted by the doctor in Alexandria. Among these, what had struck me most was his drastic loss of memory. In fact, all his computer expertise acquired in the months preceding his disappearance had vanished on our