Nov 062011
 

Extract from the fictional Journal of Phillipe de Saint-Claire – translated from the ancient Occitan language into modern English. Phillipe finds the place to hide the bamboo tubes.

 

Raymonde told me he had spent several hours exploring the furthermost extents of the castle and had located a deep store room which he would show me and which he believed would satisfy my requirements. I responded that I would wish to view his proposed hiding place as soon as possible.

Thus we agreed to go to inspect this room straight away and, having carefully locked my chamber to temporarily secure the bamboo tubes and having armed ourselves with tallow candles to enable us to see our way in the depths of the castle, I accompanied him as he directed. He took me through the silent, unoccupied buildings to the far end of the castle from the gatehouse and down a narrow stairway, at the bottom of which was a door into a small room. Raymonde explained that, because the room was so isolated, it was hardly ever used for any purpose. Indeed I was able to see that it was unoccupied at that time by any goods save two opened, empty and unused barrels in one corner. I also noted that the room was dry, which I judged to be important.

I looked carefully around the room. The wall facing the door was extremely solid and Raymonde confirmed that as far as he knew it was the outside wall of the castle which was almost certainly at least ten cubits thick in this area, as was the wall just to the left of the door from the staircase. The wall beside the staircase had been hewn from the bed-rock and was built in large rough stones above the descent of the stairs. The fourth wall was also mainly cut from the living rock as was a part of the floor. The exception was the top corner (about one quarter of the whole wall) which had been constructed from close-jointed random stonework. Being aware of the importance of maintaining the utmost security for the hiding place, I decided that we should see if we could secrete the bamboo tubes in the space behind this wall using suitable tools for the task.

It was a lot of work but the removal of the stones revealed a shallow cave behind the wall which was only about a cubit and a half deep and perhaps four cubits in height and six cubits in width which would have been approximately suitable to shelter a grown man on his knees. The recess was dry and still had the remains of some desiccated vegetation in it. So I judged it to be a satisfactory and secure place for the secreting of the treasure and I communicated such to my colleague.

 

The photo shows all that remains of the castle walls. I will continue the journal next week.

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