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The Vulgate Manuscripts

I have decided to put aside my animating of Episode Two of “The Santa Stone” for the moment, and continue with the third novel in my “One Man’s Fault” supernatural series, “The Vulgate Manuscripts”, the second book of the series being “The Beholden”…

I am already quite a way into the new book which is entitled “The Vulgate Manuscripts”, and features Wilson Small and his companion Barachiel in their desperate efforts to stop Humanity and its entire history from being erased from the Planet. They also have to contend with another alternative, that of Earth going to Hell, literally, being ruled by the Devil…

Wilson and Barachiel are the only defence Humanity have to ensure their continuing existence, and with the discovery of the Vulgate Manuscripts, the duo face their greatest threat.

Here are the opening paragraphs to set the scene…

The Vulgate Manuscripts

Rain was falling on the medieval street of Via Borgo San Lorenzo in Florence, the rain splashing on the awnings overhanging the tables of the Restaurant Giannino. The awnings of the café were designed primarily to shade customers from the Italian sun as they ate their meals or drank coffee. Today, the awning doubled as an umbrella to save diners from getting wet as the rain battered down.

Passers-by were in no hurry, despite the rain, as they made their way to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, the library designed by Michelangelo, just one of the many tourist hotspots in Florence the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany.

One of the diners sitting observing the tourists was Hector Chavez a slim athletic man in his early thirties. He finished his cup of coffee, placed the cup in the saucer and stood up, he was in no hurry. Taking a wallet from the inside pocket of his lightweight Armani jacket he put a twenty Euro note on the table, placing a saucer on top to hold it down. He smiled to himself as he saw the waiter’s eyes light up at the size of tip he was leaving, and put his hat on, tilting it first to acknowledge the waiter, then lifted his briefcase.

“Thank you Signore, have a nice day!”

“Thank you, I will.”

Chavez walked into the street and joined the crowd making their way to the library, looking at his watch as he made his way onto the Piazza San Lorenzo. He entered the library and made his way to the reception desk, asking politely.

“Do you speak English?”

“Si, Signore.”

“Ah good, I am researching the Codex Amiatinus, the Vulgate Bible, and need to examine it, do I need to sign anything?” The receptionist frowned.

Non è possibile, it is not possible sir, you need special permission to view the Codex.”

“Special permission?”

“Si Signore!” Chavez leaned forward.

“I need special permission? Do you know who I am?”

The receptionist sighed and looked at the man, then gasped, he was looking at Dario Nardella, the Mayor of Florence.

He blinked several times to cover his confusion.

“Mio Dio, mi dispiace Signore. I’m sorry sir, I didn’t recognise you.” Chavez smiled.

“Nessun problema, il permesso?”

“Sì Signore, da questa parte, this way sir…”

Chavez followed the librarian.

***

Chief Inspector Cosimo Albini of the Florence Carabinieri, a small obese man with a shock of black hair looked at the television monitor. Also watching was the Chief of Security at the Laurentian Library, Alberto Spinetti.

Standing in the background staring at the monitor in disbelief was the librarian receptionist, Benito Argoni.

The Information Technology technician at the Laurentian had put together a sequential clip from all the cameras in the library. The sequence followed Chavez’ entrance to the library and followed Chavez and the librarian as they made their way to the sealed vault which contained a collection of the rarest books in the world. They even had a close-up, thanks to some technical wizardry by the technician, of Chavez taking pages of manuscript from between the leaves of the Codex Amiatinus and placing them in his briefcase.

Benito Argoni, the receptionist looked about to faint, pale and trembling, sweat running down his face.

“I swear Inspector, that was not the man I took to the vault! It was the Mayor, Dario Nardella, somebody must have tampered with the tape…”

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