The Black Wolf's Breed/Appendix
I have included here the full text of the documents contained in the iron box, sent to Placide de Mouret by Colonel D'Ortez, just prior to his death. One of these papers, that showing the male descendants of Henri d'Artin and of Pedro Ortez, which proved that Francois Rene Alois de Pasquier was the father of Placide and which indicated that the wife of the Chevalier de la Mora and her sister were the grandchildren of Colonel D'Ortez, was set out in the body of the narrative and will be found in Chapter XXII. These supplementary documents (which are historically accurate) confirm, not only the story related by Colonel D'Ortez to Placide, but also the strange story told by mad Michel under the shadow of the Castle of Cartillon. While they may add little to the narrative interest of the main story, these documents serve to confirm some of the least credible incidents of the tale, and it was thought worth while to include them here.
DOCUMENT No. 1
Document No. 1, indorsed on back, "Notes chiefly written by the Abbot of Vaux."
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Sanctus Spiritus. Amen.
I, Laurent of Lorraine, Benedictine, by Divine permission Abbot of Vaux, do make these writings and divers memoranda, partly from my own unworthy knowledge, and partly from facts openly notorious and resting on the testimony of witnesses as credible as there be in this world of falsehood and vanity.
All of which latter portion, concerning one Pedro d'Ortez and his descendants, is here set down at the special prayer and persuasion of said d'Ortez, a profane and sacrilegious lord, yet whose past service to the Holy Church should not be forgotten, though his late riotous and ungodly life hath much grieved the faithful brotherhood.
Therefore, I, Laurent, Abbot, as above stated, do make and inscribe this chronicle, beginning this, the 29th day of June, in the year of grace, one thousand five hundred and seventy-six, according to the eccleciastical computation.
Item the first—(Being a copy of entries made by my own hand upon the register of the monastery, now preserved in the archives of the same.) Aug. 26, 1572. Admitted to the sanctuary and protection of the monastery this day a certain suckling babe, aged about two years.
The infirm servitor by whom said babe was tended, dying the same day, despite all efforts and prayers.
August 28th, 1572. Died August 26th, 1572, at Cartillon, Henri Francois Placide d'Artin, Count of Cartillon, Seigneur de Massignac, etc., a heretic and apostate, falling before the wrath of God on occasion of the pious stratagem of the Feast of the Blessed Bartholomew, arranged by Her Most Gentle Majesty, and the dutiful son of Church, Henri, duc de Guise.
Note. The babe aforementioned being the son and heir of above, was admitted to communion of the church and baptized Bartholomew Pasquier.
Further note. Sept. 9th, 1589. Bartholomew Pasquier being designed for orders, but unruly and rebellious in spirit, ran away upon the murder of our good King Henri, third of that name, and joined himself with the armies of the heretic Henri, Prince of Bearne, self-styled King of France and Navarre.
Afterward, when the said Henri, repenting of his errors, reunited with the true Church, said Bartholomew appears again as a major in his guards, holding a firm place, it was said, in the King's favour.
DOCUMENT No 2
(Abbot Laurent's writing)
Statement of Brothers Anselmo and Jehan, touching the rites of exorcism by them administered, contra daemonios, to the temporal and seigneural lord, Pedro d'Ortez, Count of Cartillon—fourteenth of said lordship—a man of profane blood, dying in grievous torment of soul, possessed of foul and wicked fiends—may God protect all true Christians from the same. Amen.
Anselmo Di Napoli.
Jehan De Tours.
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Sanctus Spiritus. Amen.
It was come the early part of the night when there arose at the outer gate such an unseemly clattering of hoofs and rattle of worldly weapons as greatly terrified our humble-minded brethren, engaged at their devotions.
The holy Abbot, being retired at his prayer and pious meditations, Brother Jehan, worthy and devout, in humility of spirit inquired of their errand. Being informed in hot haste that the puissant and mighty Lord of Cartillon lay dying in sin, possessed of frenzies and fiends, and stood in need most urgent of extreme unction, we deliberated thereupon together.
"Hurry, haste, good fathers, ere it be too late; we have here two stout palfreys to bear you to his couch."
The Abbot having in due season come forth from his closet, we were commanded to go forthwith to minister to the needs of the noble Count.
Provided with holy oil, and the ritual for casting out demons, bearing a piece of the true cross, before which no evil being can prevail, we rode away at so rough a pace withal, through constant urging and imprecations of the men at arms, as caused us to be sorely shaken and disturbed, both in mind and body.
Arrived at Cartillon, we made great speed to repair to his bedside, where, of a truth, the man lay flat of his back, weak in flesh, but stout and rebellious of soul, contrary to the doctrines of our most blessed religion.
Before he caught sight of us, he moaned and heaved, pointing his fingers ever out of the window, and uttering strange heathen blasphemies—whereat we crossed ourselves piously.
Following the direction of his gaze we saw naught save the starlit dome of heaven.
The eyes of the demon gave him power to see diabolical and unclean forms.
Sorely distracted thereat, he cried out in direst fear:
"Hence! Hence! Seek my mother in Hell, for it was her doing. I would have spared the women."
The man being clearly possessed of an evil demon, we immediately made ready the sacred offices of the church for the casting out of such.
Believing from the demon voice issuing through the possessed man's lips that it was the woman fiend, Lilith, who in female guise doth walk the earth in darkness, we resorted with much speed to the office specially prepared for that evil and depraved being.
The holy ritual was being devoutly read by Brother Anselmo, when the man, turning in his couch, caught sight of us at our sacred labors. He thereupon, with many profane and blasphemous oaths, bade us cease and begone.
"Out! Out upon you, thou shaveling hypocrites! Thinkest thou I am become a helpless woman to profit of thy mummeries? No, by the body of Jupiter. Get out! get out!"
"Oh, weak and rebellious son of Holy Church, calm thy troubled spirit and take unto thyself the most blessed peace of God. Repent thine errors, and prepare thy mind for the Paradise of the just."
Verily, it was an evil and malignant demon which controlled him, for the words but struck a pagan madness to his heart, and he sprang from his couch.
"Hush! Hush your priestly lies, which sink a new terror in my soul. It can not, can not be, this other world where men receive the reward or punishment drawn upon themselves in this. Thou liest, thou canting monk-faced coward; it is all a lie of priestcraft.
"There is no God, no Hell; no, I will not, will not believe it. Get thee hence before I drive thee to the gibbet and fling thy quarters to hawk and hound."
We crossed ourselves in horror, kissing the piece of the true cross, fearing his presence and terrible blasphemy would draw a bolt from Heaven. But there he stood, for some divine purpose secure in his body from the vengeance of God.
So fierce a fire consumed his strength he sank again in mortal weakness on his couch.
We watched him long. He gazed as one fixed by an evil eye, through the open window straight toward an ancient well across the court-yard.
He mumbled words whereof we could only guess the import. He raised a long, thin finger, knotted at the joints, and pointed to the well:
"Do you hear it? Oh, mother, mother, it was your doing! Listen now. Dost hear their cries in Hell? See, see, the body turns and swings, softly, softly," and he covered his face, uttering the most plaintive cries.
He started up again and went to the window, stretching out his arm as before. We could see nothing but the court and old well, long dry of water.
"See, there she is; see, see; I come, I come."
And regarding not our sacred relics or adjurations, he passed out the door, down the stair of winding stone, through the men who, palsied by craven fears, put not forth their hands to stay; staring before him with wide-open eyes which saw not, d'Ortez strode through them all into the vacant court-yard.
No pause he made, but straightway went toward the well, whither—at some distance be it humbly confessed—we followed.
At first he but peered within and listened; then he stood quiet for a space, as if he waited, for what we could not tell.
None of us being sufficiently near to prevent, and the power of the demon prevailing over weak and mortal flesh, he mounted the curb, and, amid the most horrid shrieks, cursings and revilings proceeding from the foul demon Lilith, he plunged himself bodily in the darkness below, wherefrom came only faint groans for a short space.
Thus died Pedro d'Ortez, Lord of Cartillon.
Leaving the task of getting out his body to those vassals who, greatly perturbed in spirit, gathered at the spot, we hastened away horrified at such abominations of Beelzebub as we had witnessed, being for our fear and little faith made culpable before God, and hoping to repurchase peace by great penitence.
Report made and rendered to the Most Reverend and Illustrious Father in God, Laurent, Abbot of the Monastery of Vaux, this the tenth day of July in the year of grace one thousand five hundred and ninety-six.
(Signed) Anselmo di Napoli,
Jehan de Tours.
DOCUMENT No. 3
(Concerning Raoul d'Ortez)
Indorsed on back, "Further notes by Abbot of Vaux."
In Nomine Patris, et Filii, et Sanctus Spiritus. Amen.
Further facts having come to my knowledge, in this, the year of grace one thousand five hundred and eighty nine, which do most gloriously illustrate the dispensations of a just God, and His visitation of the sins of the father upon the children of them who hate Him, it is deemed meet and proper that they be here set down and perpetuated for that future generations may know the truth; Therefore:
Be it held in everlasting memory, that Pedro d'Ortez, the same who has been by me beforementioned as of a profane, carnal and blood-guilty life, living not with the fear of God before his eyes, but filled with evil at the instigation of the devil:—The said Pedro having at this period two sons, desired that the elder should, according to secular law, inherit his title and lands. He desired also, that the younger, Raoul, might enter the armies of the King. But Raoul, nothing loath, in so far as the fighting there was concerned, lusted yet for the gold and acres which were his father's. Pedro, the elder brother, being of a mild and amiable temper, designed more for the cloister than the camp, Raoul jested and jibed at him alway for his gentle disposition and meekness of spirit.
All of these facts being stated and related to me by Brother Julian, who went betimes to the castle for alms and tithes—which same were frequent denied and withheld, to the great detriment of our just dues.
One day, after a more than usually violent quarrel between Pedro and Raoul, their father came suddenly upon them in a retired portion of the castle grounds. The sight was enough to startle even a man so used to shedding human blood as had been the Lord of Cartillon.
Pedro was slowly sinking to the ground, easing himself down somewhat upon his knees and elbows. His brother stood near watching, and calmly wiping the red drippings from his sword upon the grass. Not a semblance of regret did he show for the deed of blood.
The father gazed transfixed with horror from one son to the other, until the slow comprehension came to him.
"How now, Raoul, what hast thou done?" the older man demanded of Raoul.
"Canst thou not see? He stood between me and the lordship of this fair domain," the younger replied full as sturdily, hot and scornful, with lowering brow and unrepenting glare.
"Thou foul and unnatural murderer, and thinkest thou to profit by thy brother's death? No; I swear—"
"Hold, old man; swear not and taint not thy soul with perjury. Have a care for thine own safety. It is now but the feeble barrier of thy tottering age which prevents all these acres, these fighting men, these towers from being my own. Have a care, I say, that thou dost not lie as low as he, and by my hand."
The old man fell back a pace affrighted, feeling for the first time in his life a fear, fear of his own son. Yet the scornful and defiant face before him was that of his true child. Therein he saw reflected his own turbulent and reckless youth. The wretched old man covered his face from the sight of Pedro, his first born, who had settled down upon his back in the repose of death, and moaned aloud in his agony.
"Nay, sorrow not, my father," Raoul commanded harshly, "it was but a weakling who stood next thy seat of power. Behold! I, too, am thy son; I am stronger, of a stouter heart, abler and more courageous than he, and will make thee a fitter heir. Didst thou not slay thy brother to sit in his hall? Didst not thou hang him to drink his wine, to command his servants? Have I done aught but follow thy example?"
Heedless of his father's sobs Raoul pursued his unrelenting purpose.
"What the sword did for thee it has done for me, all glory to the sword," and he raised the reeking blade to his lips to kiss. The elder man shrank away from him as he approached.
"Nay, as I tell thee, draw not thy hand away, turn not from me, or by the blood of Christ, by thine own gray hairs, I'll lay thee beside thy woman-son, the puny changeling whose face now is scarce paler than his blood was thin. Now, by the God who made ye, swear 'twill be given out as but an accident, and no man will ever know from thee the truth."
"I swear, I swear," the old man repeated piteously after his son.
And so it came to be that Raoul, the second son, succeeded his father as Lord of Cartillon.
And thus is the promise of the Lord God made true.
DOCUMENT No. 4
(Concerning the making of the locket)
Extracts from the statement of Miguel Siliceo, goldsmith, of San Estevan de Gormaz, as given in presence of Brothers Jehan and Hubert, only such portions being here set out as have relation hereto, for the sake of greater brevity and perspicuity.
Said Miguel Siliceo, Spaniard, sojourning in the town of Rouen, having come to the Monastery of Vaux to unburthen his soul of certain diabolical knowledge and happenings which preyed thereon, to his great distress and distraction of mind, having first solemnly sworn upon the name of St. Iago of Compostella, his patron, to speak truth, did say: * * *
I came to Chateau Cartillon in the year of grace one thousand six hundred and forty-two, upon the solicitation of its lord, he having known me upon the banks of the Douro for a master workman, well skilled in rare and curious devices, both of metals and precious stones. For more than two years I rested in and about the castle, seeing much whereof my soul hath need of ease and God's forgiveness. * * *
* * * One day Count Raoul, being vexed and much disturbed, commanded my attendance upon him.
"My good Miguel," he spake in voice much softer than was his wont, "I do require of you a proof of utmost skill."
I bowed my willingness to undertake a commission.
"I require a golden locket, such as man never saw before, of rare and cunning device. Do you forthwith make it for me, showing upon the one side the black wolf's head of d'Artin, and quarterings, in fairest inlaid work. Upon the other and hidden side, let it appear the black wolf's head as before, but surcharged with the bar sinister. You know. And let it be concealed by so secretly a hidden spring, no hand but mine can touch or find," and as he spoke on, his tongue flew the taster, his eyes roved about, he kept tight grip upon his sword as if he feared. He, Raoul of Cartillon, the man whose headlong courage was an army's byword, he feared in his own hall.
Even so, for proceeding further, his speech grew more wild, and I fain would have fled.
"You know my oath to my father." I of course knew naught of the matter, nor do I know it yet, though I have diligent inquired.
"My oath to forego the hall, give up my place with my fighting men. Yea, upon my father's sword I swore, recking light of an oath, and the old man, dying, would have it so. That oath torments me now. The evil demons of the air haunt my bed; fiends leer at me through the day and whisper all the night. I see my father's soul writhing in the fires of Hell, and there he lays and beckons me to him. But no, by the heart of Mars I'll be no craven fool to give up my castle and my name. Perhaps my son may, I'll make him swear to me to do so. Yet I fear; I fear; I like not that pit of scorching flame where my father suffers because he did lay his hand upon his brother."
I could not but look him in the face, and he thought there was wisdom in my glance, for he clutched me at the throat.
"Ah, thou prying hound, what dost thou know? Speak! Speak!"
But speak I could not, though a soul's salvation hung on my glib and nimble tongue.
Count Raoul soon loosed me, seeing my ignorance. Yet some dark story had I heard and repeated not—the crimes of the great are too dangerous morsels for a poor man to mouth.
"Go now to thy shop, and mark ye, sirrah, that no man sees thy work."
I had hardly gotten well to my forge before three stout varlets came in on a pretense of seeing a golden bracelet which I showed them without suspecting aught. When, my back well turned, they slipped gyves upon my wrists, bound me by a great band of iron at the waist, and made all fast to the huge stone pillar.
Thenceforward, all through the days and nights which followed, one of these men stood ever at my window to see I worked with speed, worked on the locket and not upon my chains.
Count Raoul came many times as the work progressed, but the guards were alway at too great a distance to tell in what quaint form my beaten gold was fashioned.
Many, many lockets I made of cunning workmanship and design, of curious chasings and most marvelous wrought intertwinings, yet none suited my lord. One after one they returned to the melting pot and my labors re-commenced.
During the long months I was thus engaged, I saw the Count often, nay, more than daily, for his whole feverish life seemed in-woven with the yellow and white metals I was busy interlacing and rounding and polishing up.
At times an abject fear sat upon his countenance, and he mumbled of strange sights he saw, of communings with the Prince of Darkness, of specters gaunt and hideous that glided through the deserted court-yard, and stood beside his chair even in the noisy banquet chamber.
For that the Count was mad I could not doubt.
Yea, of all these things he spake as he urged me on as a lazy horse under whip and goad, to finish, finish.
I inquired of this at great risk of one of the men who stood guard; he tapped his forehead, and replied:
"He does all things so. It is so in camp, on the field, in the hall. Aye, but he's a very fiend in battle," and the fellow's eye brightened with a fierce pleasure at the thought of his lord's well-known prowess—for Count Raoul had wandered much in foreign lands, and deeds of blood followed in whispers to his door.
It is of these dealings with the evil lord, and close association with one possessed, I seek cleansing. * * * Too often did I pass the names of Rusbel, Ashtaroth, Beelzebub, Satan and others trippingly upon my tongue—may the Saints defend—to keep my lord's temper smooth, for I verily believe he meant to slay me when my task was done.
It was for this I made my work long and tedious, that the acid I was daily using on my chains might have due season to eat them through, and I could be free.
* * * finished at length to his satisfaction, and slipped off through the night.
Stated and subscribed in presence of Brothers Jehan and Hubert, on this the morrow of All Saints', in the year of grace one thousand six hundred and forty-six.