Douglas and Emile took a trip to Cahors to visit the diocese archives, where they discovered a number of unusual things. Firstly, it was apparent that Abbot Chretien – the last Abbot of the old monastery before the fire destroyed it in the 1500s – was something of a legendary local figure. Legend had it that if one walked into the woods keeping the spire of the village church at your back, the Abbot’s ghost would appear to you and bless you.
Furthermore, the eccentric and mysterious Father Milo seemed to hold the Abbot in high regard, for the Abbot featured heavily in Milo’s redecoration of the village church – not only was the statue above the entrance a representation of the Abbot, but the figure of Satan in the mural of Satan tempting Christ was based on the Abbot. (With Milo standing in for Christ and the woods standing in for the kingdoms of the Earth, this made the implications of the mural downright startling.) The duo also learned that Milo’s architectural activites hadn’t stopped with the church restoration, but had extended to building a folly in the countryside near the village – specifically, a tower offering magnificent views of the local area.
Additionally, the pair were excited to discover a book written by the monks of the Abbey – The Revelations of Saint Sereneus. A meandering treatise combining a hagiography of the saint, an encyclopedia of gardening, and allegorical thoughts on attaining mystical union with God through literal and metaphorical gardening, the copy was marred by having a section from the end cut out with a straight razor. The elderly priest in charge of the archives was heartbroken to hear of the vandalism, for the pages included detailed pictures and illustrations of the Abbey gardens. The damage must have happened at some point after the last individual noted as reserving the book for extended study returned it – that person being none other than Malo, Section N’s quarry.
Lastly, it was discovered that Jacques Martin had changed his name before marrying Helena – and his previous name happened to be that of a man wanted in Paris in connection with a string of pre-War bank robberies.