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bottom as witnesses. Roche took custody of the keys to the chest and the newly executed
―Very well, Monsieur Nostradamus,‖ said Roche, preparing to leave, ―Everything is
in order. You can trust me that this matter will be promptly handled.‖
Nostradamus thanked the man and handed him a handful of French crowns.
Eleven days later, on the evening of July 1, 1566, Nostradamus gave one more fond
look to his study, and pulled out the Ephemerides book from the desk where Roche had
left it and wrote on it ―Hic prope mors es,‖ which, in Latin, means ―Death is close at
hand.‖ He then got into his nightclothes and summoned Chavigny to his bedside.
Chavigny quickly came to his master‘s side.
―Chavigny, you have been a dear friend and a good student. I am sorry if I have ever
mistreated you. Make sure you carry on my work because I will not live long.‖
―Do not say that, Master Nostradamus,‖ said Chavigny. ―Surely with the surgery
you can recover.‖
―No, son,‖ said Nostradamus, ―You will not see me alive at sunrise. Summon the
pastor for Last Rites.‖
Chavigny quickly left to summon the local priest. As Nostradamus lay in agony
awaiting the local priest, the door to his bedroom silently opened. A dark shadow
appeared in the doorway. In the dim light, Nostradamus could barely make out the figure
of tall, broad-shouldered man wearing a hooded monk‘s garb. His hard, chiseled face,
narrow eyes, and silent snarl told Nostradamus that this was not the parish priest.
The man whispered. ―Where is the prophecy?‖
Nostradamus replied, ―If you mean my Propheties, they are with my publisher.‖
The monk was agitated. ―Not that drivel, you idiot. The real prophecy. The one
written in Agen.‖
Nostradamus looked terrified, ―I don‘t know what you are talking about.‖
The man sat on the edge of Nostradamus‘ bed and put his face an inch above
Nostradamus‘ mouth.
―Old man, you can either tell me where the prophecy is now, or I will kill every
member of your family.‖
Nostradamus again protested that he did not know anything. The monk then took his
two giant muscular hands and began strangling Nostradamus. Nostradamus stiffened, his
eyes bulging out, gasping to breathe. After thirty seconds, Nostradamus stopped fighting
and his body slumped. Just then, the monk heard a commotion at the front door. It was
the local priest and Chavigny. Several moments later, Chavigny and the parish priest
entered the bed chamber. Chavigny thought it was odd that his master‘s bedroom
window was ajar. That draft would not be good for his master‘s condition. Chavigny
closed the window and looked fondly down at the seer. The priest bent over the bed,
making incantations and blessing Nostradamus with holy water. After the Last Rites
were administered, the parish priest left and Chavigny retired to bed. True to
Nostradamus‘ prediction, when Chavigny visited his master the next morning, he was