Find out the exciting completion and sometimes nefarious ending of the fourth book of MICHAEL ZÈVACO’S THE PARDAILLAN and what is going to be the impossible to imagine climax of the series, in this new edition of
Volume IV: Quietus
Leonor was a typical French provincial woman, very beautiful, in her early twenties with golden hair, ice-blue eyes and lovely pale skin, as white as snow. Her svelte body would soon swing by the neck in the scaffold guaranteed to be a site for the eye of the beholder. Her principal crime was being the daughter of a Protestant and having a Catholic lover who left her. Aside from her intoxicating physical attributes, she loved to travel especially to the big cities and more specifically Paris.
Where the splendor of spring was fitted for enamors during that time of the year. Even so, the stench of death and the bloody stains still perfumed the air and permeated the streets by the tens of thousands of cadavers that were further being cleared. This massacre of historical proportions had been the product of the great Huguenot slaughter during Saint Bartholomew’s holidays. King Charles IX and his more culpable mother Catherine of Medici had thus cannily planned and conceived it. On occasions, new butchered Protestant bodies were found strewn on the side streets.
Like on one morning, as she was strolling near Our Lady Cathedral, one of the sites of the massacre, she spotted a bishop wearing his full official garments going inside the church with the faithful where he was going to officiate mass in Latin; it was Sunday mid morning in May. He was a tall, virile man, of handsome features, with raven-black hair, but his peculiar eyes appeared familiar to Leonor, and not only the eyes, but his masculinity, his gait, in essence, the entire package. That something about him woke up her curiosity, and even though being a Protestant she had never gone to Our Lady or any church, for that matter, she chose to follow him inside. To her dismay, she discovered that the bishop at the altar officiating mass indeed was John, the lover who had abandoned her.
The ringing of the small bells signaling the elevation ritual when John the bishop raised the consecrated elements of bread and wine during the celebration of the Eucharist, allowed her to see the features of his full face. Immediately, she launched in anger toward him, without realizing the importance of the sacredness of the moment, and went up the steps of the altar to expose the bishop’s adulterous behavior in front of the community of Catholics. The faithful people shocked and angry rushed to seize her and hauled her off to the bottom of a wet and dark jail cell at a nearby prison.
The tribunal took six months to find her guilt of heresy, blasphemy, and spreading publicly slanderous calumnies against the reverend bishop, and sentenced her to death by hanging. In the scaffold, the executioner placed the noose around her neck, and the trap door opened. As she fell to the void of her death, she began to spookily shout while swinging in the hangman’s rope. However, those shouts were not of dying but were from labor pains. An innocent and scared creature had dropped, still connected to the umbilical cord of the mother's placenta, fallen on the scaffold’s hardwood, begun crying and extended the arms as begging for the mercy of innocence while seeking the comfort, warmth and love that only a mother could give…
Edited and Translated by