Friday, 14th September Sighisoara, Romania 1 followed Abdul’s tip and travelled to Sighisoara. 1n the cobbled streets, 1 found an old shop selling bric-a-brac and second-hand clothes. On the wall in the back of the shop as Abdul had suggested, 1 was astonished to find a tapestry. But even more astonishing was the fact that it was an exact copy of one of the manuscripts. So the story of the ‘Disgraced Templar’ is true. Our friend’s mystery is proven real once again in the town where Vlad Tepes was born. After twenty minutes haggling 1 managed to convince the shopkeeper to sell the tapestry for a not inconsiderable sum of money. 90
1 cannot help myself. Since a schoolboy 1 have loved the story of Vlad Tepes or Vlad the 1mpaler depending on your preference. 1 spent a couple of days as a tourist immersing myself in his dark world.
The shop is located in a back street near the clock tower. 1 forgot to ask the shopkeeper how he came into possession of the tapestry. Must go back some day.
Vlad 111 attending a mass impalement
A cruel but effective leader. A ke en intell ec t an d su pe rb mi lit ar y str at eg ist who held back a Turkish army five times big ge r th an his ow n. Sa vin g Eu ro pe whilst the rest of the leaders looked the other way.
0-1-3+4+1-4+3-2+2 Eleanor Canterbury Contender Scotland ENGLAND Excommunicate Londinium Richelau Angevin
Richard and his retainers are captured shortly before Christmas 1192 travelling in disguise as low-ranking pilgrims 93
Monday, 17th September Vienna Vienna and a few wonderful days with you. What a pleasure it was to see you again and stay in your impressive apartment in the old part of Vienna. 1 know 1 was insistent on visiting the Schatzkammer and seeing the Reichskleinodien which includes the curious object which the Habsburgs commandeered after the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire in 1806.
The 1mperial Treasury Schatzkammer in Vienna - Charlemagneâ€™s royal regalia was passed down through the line of the Holy Roman Emperors until the fall of the Habsburg Dynasty.
Tuesday, 18th September Vienna You then told me about the intimidating phone calls. You asked what 1 had been researching on this journey. You can probably now see why 1 was so coy. You told me that you had received three threatening phone calls about me and my current research. 1â€™m glad you told them that you rarely talked to me about my work as we studied very different areas of history. 1 was relieved that you hadnâ€™t had a call since.
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Thursday, 20th September Aachen, Germany 1 came to Aachen to see Abdulâ€™s lecture and learn more about Charlemagne. Whilst there 1 did some investigating around Charlemagne and became intrigued by the significance of his sword which he called Joyeuse. Joyeuse is on show in the Louvre, Paris. Charlemagne also venerated a piece of the Holy Sponge in Aachen Cathedral, very peculiar. After the lecture, Abdul and 1 had dinner. During the conversation he told me how his house had been burgled after 1 left and that strangely the only thing missing was a plastic wallet containing the faxes & emails 1 had sent him during my tour of Europe and the Middle East, along with some notes Abdul had 98
made whilst doing the research 1 had requested.
Charlemagneâ€™s throne in Aachen - used as the template for the Gondorian Throne Room in Peter Jacksonâ€™s Lord of the Rings. Abdul was convinced about the compartment under the flagstone, but we found nothing. 99
Abdul managed to convince the Chancellor to let us look around the university archive. 1 managed to find a 15th century reference to the legend of the disgraced knight and made a sketch of this drawing in the book. 1 canâ€™t work out who the lady is or her significance! 100
Saturday, 22nd September Paris looking for Byzantine relics 1n Paris 1 went in search of Louis 1X’s Byzantine relics and Charlemagne’s sword, Joyeuse. 1 followed some interesting leads visiting Saint Chapelle, the Bibliotheque Nationale, the Louvre and Notre Dame. 1 found Charlemagne’s sword, Joyeuse, in the Louvre but 1 could find no trace of the relics which Prince Louis bought from Baldwin 11, the Byzantine Emperor. Whilst in Paris, 1 know this sounds paranoid, but 1 have a right to be cautious... after the hotel being burgled in 1stanbul, the calls you received and the burglary of Abdul’s home; anyway 1 sensed 1 was being followed on several occasions! 102
of Louis 1Xâ€™s byzanti
Words of T?
Lâ€™Eternal Retour (1943) Fires and Sword (1981) La Femme dâ€™a Cote (1981) 1n the Shadow of the Raven (1988) Pardes (1997) Sir Thomas Malory Thomas of Britain Brother Robert Travalo Ritonda Arcipreste de Hita
Monday, 24th September Fordebridge University My conclusion at the end of my tour around Europe and the Middle East. 1 have made much progress yet 1 am still so far away from solving this confounded mystery. 1 am sure now that 1 know the identity of the objects 1 need to find but… to uncover the first object 1 must destroy Richard 1’s tomb in Rouen cathedral… the second is rumoured to be in at least five different places across the planet… the third was lost with William 111, the last Norman king of Sicily… and the fourth is somewhere back in England. How 1 am supposed to find any of these is a mystery in itself. At least 1 know that the mystery is real and Our Friend was behind it because his seal is on both the hidden letter and the manuscripts. Helen was 106
on Our Friend’s trail because she believed he was connected to the loss of King John’s treasure. 1 also have the manuscripts, which 1 believe were created by Our Friend, the parchment, which 1 found hidden in the knight’s statue in Acre, and the tapestry, which 1 found in Sighisoara and which is an exact copy of one of the manuscripts. Now 1 must put this research aside and prepare for my US book tour. Mike Bradley assures me that the tour will be critical to the success of my book and Ben Graham wants to meet me to discuss my entry in the US Book Awards.
Wednesday, 10th October New York City on my book tour This tour has been a great success. 1t gives me great confidence that the book will be well received once it is published. 1 now know what it must feel like to be a celebrity and while 1 wouldnâ€™t want to do it for a living it has its bonuses. The chairman of the American Bar Association kindly extended an invite to speak at their conference on Magna Carta and its place in the history of the American Constitution.
San Francisco at Stanford University Boston at Harvard University
New York at University of Columbia
New Haven at Yale University
New Jersey at Princeton University
A Professor on tour, 2007! 109
Thursday, 11th October New York City 1 met with Ben Graham and we talked about the US Book Awards and how confident Graham was that my book will stand a good chance of winning when it is published. 1t seemed a bit odd for the chairman of the judging panel to show such bias so early on. Graham is also interested to know what 1 made of the manuscripts. 1 have to admit 1 was a little suspicious about his interest. And then my hotel room was burgled while 1 was out at dinner with Graham.
Friday, 12th October New York City Strangely, 1 was interviewed by a C1A officer when 1 reported the burglary. He explained that my forthcoming book will be viewed as controversial in the US. 1 was also asked if 1 or my family and friends had received any threats. 1t was somewhat bizarre that the C1A admitted to watching my progress with interest - was it the C1A who had been following me - surely not! Surely my book isnâ€™t that controversial for a country where freedom of speech is enshrined in its constitution?