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Windswept House Malachi Martin Pdf

This Rome was antipapal. Indeed, B E S T - L A I D P L A N S 3 7 tion of women and the relaxation of the Windswept House - Malachi Martin. Windswept house: a Vatican novel. byMartin, Malachi. Publication date Borrow this book to access EPUB and PDF files. In The Fatima Crusader article, Malachi Martin, a scholar, Vatican insider, . Dr. Martin's new book, Windswept House, which was published in.

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A conservative and passionate young priest who descends from the all-powerful Roman Catholic family of the American southwest, the Gladstones. Becomes a pawn in the advancement of the destruction of his beloved Church.

Father Aldo Carnesecca. A simple and unassuming priest who has lived through four popes, Father Carnesecca is valued by his Vatican superiours as "a man of confidences. An expert in the rise and fall of the greats, he acts as a valued and intimate advisor to the embattled Slavic Pope, and becomes a valued and intimate friend to Christion Gladstone. Ultimately, his knowledge of hidden things leads not only to a maniacal scheme against his life, but to the unraveling of the darkest mystery lying at the heart of papal Rome.

Master General Damien Slattery. Father-General of the Dominican Order, the Irish giant, Father Damien Duncan Slattery is a man of extraordinary appetite, and the dimensions to go with it. Slattery is Irish to the core, and the staunchest of the staunch among the small band of supporters dedicated to the papacy and to the Slavic Pope.

Archenemy of Cardinal Maestroianni. Cardinal Silvio Aureatini. A quick-witted man who is a young Cardinal of international accomplishment and huge ambition. The Council would have its Orthodox prelates from the Soviet Union. But the question still to be Or, to frame the issue in geopolitical terms, the question was whether the Holy See had harnessed itself to "the new Europe of the diplomats and politicians," as the good Pope's predecessor had foretold.

One way or the other, it would only be a matter of time. As the principal agents of this Ceremonial well knew, Satanist tradition had long predicted that the Time of the Prince would be ushered in at the moment when a Pope would take the name of the Apostle Paul.

That requirement—the signal that the Availing Time had begun—had been accomplished just eight days before with the election of the latest Peter-in-the-Line. There had barely been time since the papal Conclave had ended for the complex arrangements to be readied; but the Supreme Tribunal had de cided there could be no more perfect date for the Enthronement of the Prince than this feast day of the twin princes of the Citadel, SS.

Peter and Paul. And there could be no more perfect place than the Chapel of St. Paul itself, situated as it was so near to the Apostolic Palace.

The complexity of the arrangements were dictated mainly by the nature of the Ceremonial Event to be enacted. Security was so tight in the group ing of Vatican buildings within which this gem of a Chapel lay that the full panoply of the Ceremonial could not possibly escape detection here. The sacred must be profaned. The profane must be adored. Guilt must be accepted as inno cence.

Pain must give joy. Grace, repentance, pardon must all be drowned in an orgy of opposites. And it must all be done without mistakes. The whole delicate affair was placed in the experienced hands of the A master of the elaborate Ceremonial of the Roman Church, so much more was this granite-faced, acid-tongued prelate a Master of the Prince's Ceremonial of Darkness and Fire. The immediate aim of every Ceremonial, he knew, is to venerate "the abomi nation of desolation.

The Guardian tackled the problem of security head-on. Such unobtru sive elements as the Pentagram and the black candles and the appropriate draperies could be part of the Ceremonial in Rome. There would have to be a Parallel Enthronement. A Concelebration could be accomplished with the same effect by the Brethren in an Authorized Targeting Chapel.

It would all be a matter of unanimity of hearts, identity of intention and perfect synchronization of words and actions between the Targeting Chapel and the Target Chapel. For a man as experienced as the Guardian, the choice of the Targeting Chapel was easy.

As simple as a phone call to the United States. Over the years, the Prince's adherents in Rome had developed a faultless unanimity of heart and a seamless identity of intention with the Guardian's friend, Leo, Bishop of the Chapel in South Carolina.

Leo was not the man's name. It was his description. The silvery-white mane of hair on his large head looked for all the world like a scraggly lion's mane.

In the forty years or so since His Excellency had established his Chapel, the number and the social importance of the Participants he had attracted, the punctilious blasphemy of his Ceremonies and his fre quent and ready cooperation with those who shared his point of view and ultimate goals, had so established the superiority of his operation that by now it was widely admired among initiates as the Mother Chapel of the United States.

The news that his Chapel had been Authorized as the Targeting Chapel for such a great Event as the Enthronement of the Prince within the heart of the Roman Citadel itself was supremely gratifying. More to the point, Leo's vast Ceremonial knowledge and experience saved a lot of time. There was no need, for example, to test his appreciation of the contradic tory principles upon which all worship of the Archangel is structured.

No need to doubt his desire to encompass the ultimate strategy in that bat- There was no need even to explain that the ultimate aim wasn't exactly to liquidate the Roman Catholic organization. Leo understood how unin telligent that would be, how wasteful. Far better to make that organiza tion into something truly useful, to homogenize and assimilate it into a grand worldwide order of human affairs.

Like-minded experts that they were, the Guardian and the American Bishop reduced their arrangements for the twin Ceremonial Events to a roster of names and an inventory of Rubrics. The Guardian's list of names—the Participants in the Roman Chapel— turned out to be men of the highest caliber.

High-ranking churchmen, and laymen of substance. Genuine Servitors of the Prince within the Citadel. Some had been selected, co-opted, trained and promoted in the Roman Phalanx over the decades, while others represented the new generation dedicated to carrying the Prince's agenda forward for the next several decades.

The checklist of Rubrics required for the Parallel Ceremonial centered mainly on the elements that had to be ruled out in Rome. It must have the Bowl of Bones. The Red and Black Pil lars. The Shield. The animals. Down the list they went. The matter of synchronizing the Ceremonies in the two Chapels was familiar for Leo. A telephone link would be monitored by a Ceremonial Messenger at each end, so that the Partici pants would always be able to take up their parts in perfect harmony with their Cooperating Brethren.

During the Event, the pulse of every Participant's heart must be per fectly attuned to make Hate, not love. The Authorization, the Instructions and the Evi dence—the final and culminating elements peculiar to this occasion— would be an honor for the Guardian himself to orchestrate in the Vatican.

Finally, if everyone did the needful exactly according to the Rule, the Prince would at long last Consummate his Most Ancient Revenge upon Leo could imagine the rest.

Enthroned in Darkness, the Prince would be able to foment that same Darkness as never before. Friend and foe would be affected alike. In time and at last, the Goat would expel the Lamb and enter into Possession of the Citadel. The Prince would usher himself into possession of a house— The House—that was not his.

This will be the capstone of my career. The capstone Event of the twentieth century! It was night. The Guardian and a few Acolytes worked in silence to put everything in readiness in the Target Chapel of St. A semicircle of kneeler chairs was set up to face the Altar. A silver Pentagram was placed on the Tabernacle and covered with a blood-red veil. A Throne, symbol of the Prince Regnant, was placed to the left of the Altar. The walls, with their lovely frescoes and paintings depicting events in the life of Christ and of the Apostle, were draped in black cloth suitably embroi dered in gold with symbols of the Prince's history.

The Roman Phalanx. Among them, some of the most illustrious men currently to be found in the collegium, hierarchy and bureaucracy of the Roman Catholic Church. Among them, too, secular representatives of the Phalanx as outstanding in their way as the members of the hierarchy. Take that Prussian fellow just striding in the door, for example.

A prime specimen of the new lay breed if ever there was one. Not yet forty, he was already a man of importance in certain critical transnational affairs.

Even the light from the black tapers glinted off his steel-rimmed glasses and his balding head as if to single him out. Chosen as International Delegate and Plenipotentiary Extraordinary to the Enthronement, the Prussian carried the leather pouch containing the Letters of Authorization and Instructions to the Altar before he took his place in the semicircle. Some thirty minutes before midnight, all of the kneeler chairs were occupied by the current harvest of a Prince Tradition that had been planted, nurtured and cultivated within the ancient Citadel over a period of some eighty years.

Though restricted in numbers for a time, the group Such were the men gathered in the Vatican for the Enthronement; and such was the Tradition they fostered throughout the worldwide adminis tration headquartered in this Citadel.

Peter and Paul, the quintessential holy day of Rome. The Targeting Chapel—a large assembly hall in the basement of a paro chial school—had been furnished in strict observance of the Rules. Bishop Leo had directed it all personally. Above, a red Sanctuary Lamp gleaming with the Ritual Flame. At the east end of the Altar, a cage; and in the cage, Flinnie, a seven-week-old puppy, mildly sedated against the brief moment of his usefulness to the Prince.

Behind the Altar, ebony tapers awaiting the touch of Ritual Flame to their wicks. A quick turn to the south wall. Resting on a credenza, the Thurible and the container holding the squares of charcoal and incense. A turn to the east wall. Vials containing Earth, Air, Fire and Water surrounding a second cage.

In the cage, a dove, oblivious of its fate as a parody not only of the Nameless Weakling but of the full Trinity. Lectern and Book in readiness at the west wall. The semicircle of kneeler chairs facing north toward the Altar. Flanking the kneeler chairs, the Emblems of Entry: On each chair, a copy of the Missal to be used by the Participants. Finally, Leo glanced toward the entrance to the Chapel itself. Special vestments for the Enthronement, identical to those he and his busy Aco lytes had already donned, hung on the rack just inside the door.

The Archpriest and Frater Medico Barely thirty minutes more, and his Ceremonial Messenger would open the telephone link to the Target Chapel in the Vatican. It would be The Hour. Just as there were different requirements for the physical setup in the two Chapels, so too for the Participants. Those in St.

Paul's Chapel, all men, wore robes and sashes of ecclesiastical rank or faultlessly tailored black suits of secular rank. Concentrated and purposeful, their eyes trained upon Altar and empty Throne, they appeared to be the pious Roman clergy and lay worshippers they were commonly believed to be.

As distinguished in rank as the Roman Phalanx, the American Partici pants in the Targeting Chapel nevertheless presented a jarring contrast to their fellows in the Vatican.

Men and women entered here.

Disrobing and enrobing were accomplished in si lence, with no hurry or excitement. Just concentrated, ritual calm. Cease lessly rattling the Bones, each Participant began talking—to himself, to others, to the Prince, to no one. More Participants arrived. More Bones were taken. The mumbling cadence swelled from a softly cacophonous sus- surro. The steadily mounting gibberish of prayer and pleading and Bone rattling developed a kind of controlled heat.

The sound became angry, as if verging on violence. Became a controlled concert of chaos.

Windswept house : a Vatican novel (eBook, ) [medical-site.info]

A mind- gripping howl of Hate and Revolt. A concentrated prelude to the celebra tion of the Enthronement of the Prince of This World within the Citadel of the Weakling. For a moment, it seemed to him that everything was in perfect readiness. Already vested, his co-Celebrant, the balding, bespectacled Archpriest, had lit a single black taper in preparation for the Procession.

He had placed an outsized white wafer of unleavened bread atop the paten. A third man, Frater Medico, was seated on a bench. Vested like the other two, he held a child across his lap. His daughter.

Leo ob served with satisfaction that Agnes seemed quiet and compliant for a change. Indeed, she seemed ready for the occasion this time.

She had been And, like her puppy on the Altar, she had been mildly sedated against the time of her usefulness in the Mysteries. Her voice was weak but audible.

In fact, his mouth became a cannon shooting a barrage of rebuke at Medico. Physician or no, the man was a bumbler! The child should have been suitably prepared! There had been ample time to see to it! Under Bishop Leo's attack, Medico turned ashen. But not so his daugh ter. She struggled to turn those unforgettable eyes of hers; struggled to meet Leo's wild glare of anger; struggled to repeat her challenge.

I've been your daddy always. And, yes, your mummy too, ever since she went away. You let Flinnie be taken.

Mustn't hurt Flin- nie. Only a little puppy. Little puppies are made by God. Listen to me. I am your daddy. It's time. God is my daddy. God is my mummy. Daddies don't do things God doesn't like. Not my. Doing his priestly duty, the Archpriest sat down beside Frater Medico and shifted Agnes' drug-weakened form onto his own lap. I'm your daddy, too. Remember the special love between us? Daddies don't do bad things to me.

Her memory of this night, when it came, would be one with her memory of her entire childhood. One with her memory of prolonged as sault by Summary Evil.

One with her memory—her never failing sense— In some way she knew but did not yet understand, that inner tabernacle was where Agnes truly lived.

That center of her being was an untouchable refuge of indwelling Strength and Love and Trust; the place where the Suffering Victim, the true target of the assault on Agnes, had come to sanctify her agony forever with His own. It was from within that refuge that Agnes heard every word spoken in the vestry on the night of the Enthronement. It was from that refuge that she met the hard eyes of Bishop Leo glaring down at her, and the stare of the Archpriest.

She knew the price of resistance.

Felt her body being shifted from her father's lap. Saw the light glinting on the spectacles of the Archpriest. Saw her father draw close again. Saw the needle in his hand. Felt the puncture. Felt the shock of the drug again. Felt herself lifted in someone's arms. But still she struggled. Struggled to see. Struggled against the blasphemy; against the effects of the violation; against the chanting; against the horror she knew was still to come.

Don't hurt Jesus. Don't hurt me. Missals in hand, the con stant clickety-clack of the Bones as grisly accompaniment, they chanted their full-throated processional, a triumphant profanation of the hymn of the Apostle Paul. Come, O Prince. Next according to rank, eyes blinking behind his spectacles, the Archpriest bore the single black candle from the vestry and took his place at the left of the Altar. Last, Bishop Leo strode forward bearing chalice and Host, adding his voice to the processional hymn.

Their hearts and wills as one with the Targeting Participants in America, the Roman Phalanx took up the Mys teries Refrain set out for them in their Latin Missals, beginning with the Then, to the resumed mumbling-humming chorus of the Participants and the rattling of Bones, Acolytes placed three incense squares on the glowing charcoal in the Thurible.

In the daze of Agnes' mind, the smoke and the smell and the drugs and the cold and the Din all merged into a hideous cadenza. Though no signal was given, the well-rehearsed Ceremonial Messenger informed his Vatican counterpart that the Invocations were about to be gin. Sudden silence enveloped the American Chapel. The Participants in both Chapels chanted a response. Then, and only in America's Targeting Chapel, each Response was followed by a Convenient Action—a ritually determined acting-out of the spirit and the meaning of the words.

Perfect cadence of words and will between the two Chapels was the responsibility of the Ceremonial Messengers tending the telephone link. From that per fect cadence would be woven a suitable fabric of human intention in which the drama of the Prince's Enthronement would be clothed. The Convenient Ac tion followed in the Targeting Chapel. Two Acolytes incensed the Altar. Two more retrieved the Vials of Earth, Air, Fire and Water, placed them on the Altar, bowed to the Bishop and returned to their places.

Leo's Aco lytes lighted the Pentagram Candles and incensed the Pentagram. The third Invocation: The puppy was almost alert now, coming to its feet in response to the chanting and clicking and clacking. Clickety-clack, came the chanting of the Bones. Expert that he was, the Attendant prolonged both the puppy's agony and the Participants' frenzied joy at the Ritual of Pain-Giving. But not every sound was drowned by the Din of dreadful celebration.

Faint though it was, there was the sound of Agnes' mortal struggle. There was the sound of Agnes' silent scream at the agony of her puppy. The sound of slurred and whispered words. The sou? Holy God!

My little puppy! Don't hurt Flinnie! God is my daddy!

Holy God Even in her near-unconscious state, still she struggled. Still she protested. Still she felt pain. Still she prayed with that unyielding resistance of hers. Leo was delighted. What a perfect little Victim.

So pleasing to the Prince. Pitilessly and without pause, Leo and the Guardian led their congregations on through the rest of the fourteen Invocations, while the Convenient Actions that followed each Response became a raucous theater of perversity. It was time for the Archpriest to lift the chalice in his right hand and the large Host in his left. Pierced with cold, nausea rising in her, Agnes felt herself being lifted from the Altar, but she was no longer able to focus her eyes.

She absorbed isolated words that carried a dread she could not voice. Rahab Jericho Chalice and Host still raised aloft, he gave the Ritual Offertory Response. Assured that the granite-faced Guardian and his Roman Phalanx were in perfect tandem, he and his celebrants intoned the Prayer of Supplication. At the eleva tion of the Host: At Leo's signal—the inverted blessing of the Sign again—the Ritual Din slipped into somewhat more orderly chaos as the Participants obediently formed into rough lines.

Passing by the Altar to receive Communion—a Agnes tried with all her might to free herself as the weight of the Bishop came upon her. Even then, she twisted her head as if to look for help in that unmerciful place. But there was no glimpse of help.

There was the Archpriest waiting his turn at this most ravenous sacrilege. There was her father waiting. Inside all those eyes. Fire that would burn long after the candles died. Burn forever. The agony that enveloped Agnes that night in body and soul was so profound that it might have enveloped the whole world.

But not for a moment was it her agony alone. Of that much she always remained cer tain. Just as He had transformed her weakness with His courage, so also did He sanctify her desecration with the outrages of His scourging, and her long-suffering with His Passion.

It was to Him—to that Lord Who was her only father and her only mother and her only defender—that Agnes screamed her terror, her horror, her pain.

'Windswept House: A Vatican Novel' by Fr. Malachi Martin (scanned PDF)

A nod to the Ceremonial Messenger by the phone. A moment's wait. An answering nod. Rome was ready. As culmina tion of everything he waited for, his Latin recitation was a model of con trolled emotion: The Ritual passed to the Target Chapel in Rome.

It was very nearly complete now, this Enthronement of the Prince in the Weakling's Citadel. Only the Authorization, the Bill of Instructions and the Evidence remained.

The Guardian looked up from the Altar and turned cheerless eyes toward the Prussian International Delegate who had brought the leather pouch containing the Letters of Authorization and Instructions. All watched as he left his place and strode to the Altar, took the pouch in hand, removed the papers it contained and read out the Bill of Authorization in a heavy accent: So shall the New Age of Man be modeled. The next order of Ritual, the Bill of Instructions, was in reality a solemn oath of betrayal by which every cleric present in St.

Paul's Chapel—Cardi nal, bishop and monsignore alike—would intentionally and deliberately desecrate the Sacrament of Holy Orders by which he had once received the grace and power to sanctify others.

'Windswept House: A Vatican Novel' by Fr. Malachi Martin (scanned PDF)

The International Delegate lifted his left hand in the Sign. The Evidence. With the two documents positioned on the Altar, the Delegate held out his left hand to the Guardian.

With a golden pin, the granite-faced Roman pricked the tip of the Delegate's left thumb and pressed a bloody print beside the Delegate's name on the Bill of Authorization. Quickly then, the Vatican Participants followed suit. An especially nice touch, Leo thought, as both congregations took up the recessional chant: Frater Medico, with Agnes limp and frighteningly pale in his arms.

Finally, the Archpriest and Bishop Leo kept up the chant as they retraced their steps to the vestry. The members of the Roman Phalanx emerged into the Court of St. Damasus in the small hours of the feast day of SS. Some of the Cardinals and a few of the bishops acknowledged the salutes of the respectful security guards with an absentminded cross of priestly blessing traced in the air, as they entered their limousines.

Within moments, the walls of St. Paul's Chapel glowed, as always they had, with their lovely paintings and frescoes of Christ, and of the Apostle Paul whose name the latest Peter-in-the-Line had taken.

During sede vacante—when Peter's chair is vacant—the practical affairs of the Church Universal are entrusted to a Cardinal Camerlengo. A Cham berlain. His moods, which ran the gamut from acerbic to patronizing, regulated the atmosphere for peers and subordinates alike. The sharp lines of his face were the very badge of his unquestionably supreme status in the Vatican bureaucracy. Understandably, the Chamberlain's responsibilities are many during sede vacante, and the time to carry them out is short.

Not least among those tasks is to sort the dead Pope's personal papers and documents in a thorough triage. Ordinarily, His Eminence would have conducted the triage of the old Pope's documents before the Conclave had met to elect his successor.

But preparations for the August Conclave had absorbed all of his energies and attention. On the outcome of that Conclave—more precisely, on the type of man to emerge from that Conclave as the new Pope—depended the fate of elaborate plans prepared over the previous twenty years by Cardinal Vincennes and his like-minded colleagues in the Vatican and around the world.

They were men who promoted a new idea of the papacy and of the Roman Catholic Church. For them, no longer would Pope and Church stand apart and beckon humanity to approach and enter the fold of Ca tholicism. It was time now for both papacy and Church as an institution to collaborate closely with the efforts of mankind to build a better world for everyone.

Time for the papacy to cease its reliance on dogmatic au thority and its insistence on absolute and exclusive claim to ultimate truth. Of course, such plans were not elaborated within the isolated vacuum of in-house Vatican politics. But neither had the Cardinal Secretary shared these ideas merely from afar.

He and his like-minded Vatican associates Together, by that compact, all had undertaken to do their part in effecting at last the desired and fundamental transformation in Church and papacy.

Now, with the Pope's death, it was agreed that this Conclave was well timed to effect the election of a complaisant successor to Peter's chair. With Cardinal Vincennes running the show, no one doubted that just the type of man required would emerge as victor—as Pope—from the Con clave of August With such a load riding on his success, it was not surprising that His Eminence had put everything else aside, including the personal documents of the old Pope.

The thick envelope with its papal emboss had rested unattended in a special pigeonhole in the Cardinal's desk. But the Cardinal had made a gross miscalculation. Once shut in under lock and key as is the practice for Conclaves, the Cardinal Electors had chosen a man for the papacy who was totally unsuitable. A man utterly uncongenial for those plans laid by the Camerlengo and his associates. Few in the Vatican would forget the day that new Pope had been elected.

Vincennes had literally bolted out of the Conclave the instant the heavily locked doors were opened. Ignoring the customary announcement of "a blessed Conclave," he strode off toward his quarters like vengeance incar nate. Those had been weeks of continual frustration for him. Weeks of contin ual argument with the new Pope and of fevered discussions with his own colleagues.

The triage of papal documents had been all but forgotten in the sense of danger that pervaded his days. He simply had no way of predicting for his associates how this new occupant of Peter's Throne would act and react. His Eminence had lost control. Uncertainty and fear had exploded when the totally unexpected came to pass.

Within thirty-three days of his election, the new Pope died, and the air in Rome and abroad was full of ugly rumors.

In the organization of a second Conclave to be held in October, all of his efforts were trained on correcting the mistakes made in August.

Windswept House

His Eminence had been granted a reprieve. He had no doubt that his life depended on his making the most of it. This time he must see to the choice of a suitably complaisant Pope. The unthinkable had pursued him, however. For all of his gargantuan efforts, the October Conclave had turned out as disastrously for him as the one in August. Stubbornly, the Electors had again chosen a man who was not complaisant in any sense of the word. Had circumstances permit ted, His Eminence would surely have taken time to unravel the puzzle of what had gone wrong during the two elections.

But time he did not have. E N D S I G N S 2 3 With the third Pope on the Throne of Peter in as many months, the triage of papers contained in the two envelopes, each bearing the papal emboss, had at last taken on its own urgency. Even at the heel of the hunt, His Eminence would not allow those two packets to slip from his hands without a careful screening. As custom required, the Cardinal had called two men as witnesses and aides. The first, Archbishop Silvio Aureatini—a relatively young man of some note and huge ambition—was a watchful, quick-witted northern Italian who looked out on the world from a face that seemed to gather toward the end of his prominent nose the way a pencil gathers at the tip.

Such men as Aldo Carnesecca may come to the Vatican with great ambi tions. But with no stomach for partisan jealousy and hate—too conscious of their own mortality to step over dead bodies on the upward ladder, yet too grateful to bite the hand that originally fed them—such men hold on to their basic, lifelong ambition that brought them here. The desire to be Roman. Rather than compromise their principles on the one hand or cross the threshold of disillusionment and bitterness on the other, the Carneseccas of the Vatican make the most of their lowly state.

They stay at their posts through successive papal administrations. They become experts in the rise and fall of the greats. They develop an instinct for the wood as distinct from the trees. But most of its contents proved to be copies of Vincennes did not keep all of his thoughts to him self as he tossed page after page over to his two companions. He peppered them with commentary on the men whose names inevitably cropped up.

That Swiss archbishop who thought he could cow Rome. That Brazilian bishop who had refused to go along with the changes in the Mass cere mony. Those traditionalist Vatican Cardinals whose power he had broken. Those traditionalist European theologians whom he had retired into ob scurity. The date of the papal inscription, July 3, , registered in the Cardinal's mind as a particularly volatile time in his always strained relations with His Holiness.

Unbelievably, the envelope had been slit at the top and opened. Obviously, therefore, its contents had been read. A new papal seal and signature had been added by the old man's successor; by the Pope who had died so suddenly and whose own papers still awaited triage. But there was more. A second inscription in the less familiar hand of the second Pope: His whole world suddenly shrank to the tiny dimensions of the envelope in his hands.

In the horror and confusion that paralyzed his mind at the sight of that date on a papally sealed enve lope, it took a moment for the date of the second papal inscription itself to register: September 28, One day shy of the death date of that second Pope. All but ignoring the presence of Father Carnesecca—an easy thing to do—he shoved the envelope across the table to Aureatini. It was as if those two men were not staring at one another, but at a common memory they had been certain was secret.

The memory of victory's opening mo ment. The memory of St. Paul's Chapel. The memory of gathering with so many others of the Phalanx to chant ancient invocations. The memory of that Prussian Delegate reading out the Bill of Instructions; of thumbs pricked with a golden pin; of bloody prints pressed onto the Bill of Au thorization. Perempto rily, he took the envelope back and pounded it onto the table in front of him. He cared not one whit for the thoughts of either of his companions.

Confronted with so many unknowns, he needed to deal with questions that were doubling back on themselves in his mind. How had the thirty-three-day Pope got his hands on his predecessor's papers?