Thanks to the work of Brian Hedges, villa student in the early ’60s, we continue to learn more about the school’s transformation from a French to American institution.
Brian has uncovered and then translated some letters written to him years ago by a Villa instructor..
Here’s merely an excerpt.
(The full contents are on his Villa site, in both French and English, here.)
As to me, I sued the Villa St-Jean, a suit which was resolved on June 29th, the last day of the academic year, trying to recover the 1,500 francs that I had finally lost according to my contract. Well, I lost. You must find this quite absurd. On the one hand, in Fribourg everything is under the control of the cassock: everything, politics, commerce, and even justice. A priest has never lost a suit. What a brave idealist I was to attack the priests of Fribourg. But there is even better. The “Toad” and his gang helped justice to be blind. A marianist from Paris, whom I had never seen, came to swear before the judges that he had come to me with Anlauer-toad and that I had refused some work.
I couldn’t contain my anger. The next morning, I still had my class of troisieme, from which you were absent: I then brought all of your classmates up to date on the situation, telling them what I just wrote you. Better! I accused the toad at loud and angry voice up and down the halls. Then I confronted the toad in his brand new office, office renovated with the funds stolen with perjured testimony.