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Quatrain

CHAPTER 15. PROPHET
January 20, 2013. 11:00 a.m. Paris time.
Salon-de-Provence, France. Beneath l‟Eglise de St. Michel
Professor John Morse shined his flashlight into the Nostradamus Vault. The only
things in the stone room were two walnut chests. Could these be the famous chests
Nostradamus willed to his eldest daughter Madeleine in his codicil? The wood appeared
very old and was covered in dust. Morse took out a rag and wiped the dust from the top
of both chests. Each had a painted lid which read in black ink ―M. Nostradamus.‖ A key
stuck out from the keyhole on each chest.
―Pops! This is tight! Can I open them?‖ asked Zach.
―No,‖ said Morse. ―Zach, these are artifacts, centuries old. We have to be very
delicate with them. You two kids stay back a little bit. Father du Bois watched on with
the teenagers as Morse gingerly turned the key on the chest on the left and opened the lid.
Inside, wrapped in black velvet, were stacks and stacks of vellum paper. Each page
contained handwriting. Morse inspected the papers. There were ten neat, banded stacks
of paper. It did not take Morse long to figure out what the papers were.
―These are the original Nostradamus ‗Propheties!‘ If these are genuine, this will be
one of the greatest anthropological finds of the century!‖ Careful not to damage the
paper, Morse gently removed some of the bands.
―This is very interesting. I notice that Centuries I through IX have 100 quatrains
each, and the last century, Century X, only has 42 quatrains. But in all the published
versions we have on file, the century with 42 quatrains is Century VII, not X. It is
possible that Nostradamus intended his final 58 quatrains to be the final chapter of his
book, ending his work on a high dramatic note, but when the 58 verses could not be
produced by Nostradamus before his death, the publisher made an editorial decision to
bury the ‗defective‘ century into the middle of the text, so it would be less obvious to the
reader. It makes us wonder more about those missing 58.‖
―This is lame,‖ said Zoey. ―We go through all this and the only treasure is a bunch
of stupid books. I thought there was going to be gold or jewels or something.‖ Zoey
strummed her guitar. ―Lame-o, lame-o,‖ she sang. ―This trip is Lame-o.‖
―What‘s in the other box, Pops?‖ asked Zach.
Morse lifted up the lid of the second chest. There was one small item in the bottom
of the chest. Morse removed the black velvet case. Inside was a rectangular piece of red
wax, about an inch thick. As Morse examined the side of the wax tablet, he could see
there was a piece of metal in between two rectangular slabs of wax. He took out of his
black nylon bag of tools a small chisel and hammer, and making very delicate strikes,
managed to separate the top piece of wax from the metal. Removing the wax, he peered
at the rectangular piece of metal underneath. Buried just beneath the metal was a
handwritten letter, signed ―Michel de Nostradame.‖ The document read:
Aux bonnes gens de la Terre et aux futures générations de croyants:
En écrivant cette lettre, je suis à quelques jours de la morgue. Le temps que vous
lisiez ceci, je serai mort et enterré depuis lontemps. Mais pendant mes derniers jours,
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