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A Convenient Solution

that privately he opposed them as well. But it was
rumoured that Clement realised that – in reality - there was
little he could do, and that in order to win the war in the
long run he was prepared to lose this battle. Consequently,
any support of those Templars who had managed to escape
the purge was fraught with danger – both from the Church
and the King.
But no one had any moral right to object to the
methods by which Guichard sought to keep his Bishopric
financed – least of all the King. Philippe ”the Fair‘ indeed!
No, he had absolutely no justification for objecting to the
way in which any Bishop or member of the clergy sought to
compensate themselves for his catastrophic policies. And
with that thought he bent and signed the document without
any further hesitation.
Just a couple of miles away, on the plains to the west,
justice in the form of half a dozen riders was approaching
the gates of Troyes. At their head was Guillaume de
Nogaret, one of the most feared men in France. His
mission was a bold one, and would undoubtedly cause
shock and debate throughout the Christian world for years
to come - but this was of no consequence to him. Fulfilling
the commands of his King was all the justification he ever
needed, but the opportunity to inflict harm on the Church
as well definitely offered an added bonus.
By the time the riders had reached the gates of the
city they were attracting considerable attention. They
navigated their way through the narrow streets in the
direction of the Bishop's Palace with no need for secrecy.
Their mission today would be swift and completed before
anyone had a chance to react. Even the Bailli of Troyes
would be unaware of events until they were well away on
the road back to Paris. It would be much later as news
reached the ears of the Pope when matters would come to
a head.
They crossed the expanse of Saint Jean's market as
the stalls were beginning to pack up for the day.