As faithful readers of this blog are aware, Susie and I own a tiny ground floor studio apartment in the heart of old Paris, on rue Maitre Albert, half a block from the Seine, catty-corner from Notre Dame. We stay there when we can, and rent it out when we are not there. Our apartment opens onto an interior courtyard, and according to the rules of the coop [reglements du copropriete] of which our apartment is 2.7%, we have exclusive usage of one half of the interior courtyard. The entire copropriete consists of three buildings, two of which [including ours] date back to the 17th century.
Recently, the company that manages the property [the "syndic"] has been doing some extensive work to shore up our building's foundations [cracks had started to appear not only in the interior wall of the courtyard but also in our apartment -- very alarming.] The work began without my being aware of it, and I have returned the rent of two couples who have stayed in the apartment because of the inconvenience of having a ten foot deep hole ["three meters," my neighbor tells me] in the courtyard around which they had to tiptoe and climb.
Today, a letter arrived from the syndic informing me [if my inadequate French has deciphered it correctly] that an underground vaulted chamber [une cave voutee] has been discovered in the course of the work, necessitating a reconsideration of the project [this, after I had already paid almost a thousand Euros as my share of the costs.] It seems that no one had the slightest idea that this chamber was down there. Presumably, it dates back four or five hundred years!
If there is any treasure buried in it, I think my rights to the courtyard under which it sits gives me dibs on it. On the other hand, if, as the rather unimaginative construction engineer supposes, it is an old septic tank, then I know nothing about it!