The truth was in the last analysis he had had enough, that he was looking for a disaster just as certain people look for a war. . . ."" Before the eminent Professor Chabot, a gynecologist who heads his own clinic, reaches this convergence, he tests and examines the cages he has made for himself. As his sanity unravels he compulsively collects witnesses for an as yet undefined crime. Constricted by responsibilities -- to his patients, his now disinterested family, his mother who hates him, his mistress/secretary, his students and assistants -- Chabot feels used and ill-used. And there was the crushing weight of guilt because of the suicide of a young, pregnant Alsatian girl, his comforting ""Teddy Bear."" When his conditioned professional responses fail, he begins his journey to disaster -- tired, driven, drinking, increasingly led by impulse and an apocalyptic logic. Again Simenon tails an obsessed being's unsteady course through infernal circles without a wasted motion -- polished as an instrument tray but too cold to take to bed.