Saturday, December 31, 2011

Troubled journey (16): A disputed estate

Versailles, 20th September 1713

At the meeting start, the Duke of Orleans held a studied position of indifference towards his interlocutor, but as the Legate of that rebel Catalonian province developed his story in full detail, shock and astonishment slowly emerged to his face, until at a certain time he could no longer refrain himself: --So, are you telling me the Duke of Vendôme was deliberately murdered?

--Yes I am, Your Highness --Marquis of Vilana quckly responded-- He officially died at Vinaròs town from an excessive intake of seafood. Actually, he was poisoned.

Duke of Orleans was really shocked, but managed to keep a composture: --...due to those wills I have in my hands?

The Marquis of Vilana carefully observed his interlocutor, allowing him some time to recover before assenting: --Bien sûr. Coincidentally with a disease of the Order of Montesa Lieutenant General, the Administrator of that institution erroneously sold the Ferrer Palace in Vinaròs to the Duke of Vendôme, ignoring that this was the building were the Order secretly kept its own Treasure. That terrible mistake was unveiled too late: the transaction had already met all due legal steps, and the Duke of Vendôme point blank refused to give back the property. Not even for twice its value.

--Perhaps that much of an insistence made him suspect...

--It's pretty likely --Vilana assented-- It was a determining factor that the Lieutenant General of Montesa had previously committed delivering the Treasure to Philip d'Anjou, with the aim of ingratiating the Order to him and avoiding eventual reprisals for their support to Archduke Charles... "Someone" decided the treasure should not fall into the wrong hands... The murder itself wasn't enough though, it was essential to remove all transaction traces. This is why those wills were falsified by omitting any reference to Ferrer Palace from it.

--"Someone?"

--According to Fra Arenós, orders came to him by the conduct commonly used to communicate with the agents of Philip of Anjou, and these appealed to "the highest instance" will...

Although far from an ultimate proof, evidences were overwhelmingly pointing in one single direction, and so understood the Duke of Orleans: --All this you have acknowledged me from is a remarkable gravity, dear Marquis. Obviously, the confidence of my August Brother King Louis towards his grandson will... how would I say? ...become deeply disappointed by such a deplorable procedure. Of course, if such atrocity against someone of our own blood was confirmed, nothing would justify keeping our current attitude toward young Philip.

To his interior, Vilana silently cheered: "Eureka!". Of course, the Catalan Legate cunningly omitted any comment about the disputed Palace inheritor. In his wills, Duke of Vendôme had bequeathed that estate to a mysterious Monsieur Rossignol. Vilana was persuaded the Duke of Orleans had already realized about it after reading the wills; but Vilana chose to keep silence, just as his interlocutor was doing. "Let him believe I haven't noticed", he thought. Nevertheless, Vilana was perfectly aware of who was behind that coded name. It might become a nice joker card in a future negotiation.

2 comments:

Salvador said...

Rossinyol, que vas a França, Rossinyol...
Bon any!

abdul666 said...

Salvador beat me on both account!

For the Marquis, the result is worth the dangers of the journey.

Bonne Année !