‘What we need now is to get a member of the inquisition inside the Château. This has become essential to the interests of the Holy Church and will be a measure of your devotion.’
Dominic Leclerc – 10th June 1355
In fact, since his original visit to the confessional back in April, he had acquired little extra knowledge.
In the upper Château, he had been isolated from events in Lady Eleanor’s quarters. He had not met with Alyse, Pipa or Ximene. Nevertheless, every time he visited the confessional, his confessor wanted something and warned that if he kept anything to himself, he would be considered to have reverted to the heretic faith. Dominic knew that meant – unspecified torture to save his soul.
When Dominic had been included in the support team for the Comte’s summer hunt, it had been a bonus. It had provided much information which had been of interest. Dominic had found it strangely satisfying to have a personal confessor assigned to talk to him in a remote town like Muret.
Today, on his return to Foix his mind was full of information about the English presence in the Château. To his surprise, his confessor after listening politely did not seem particularly interested. ‘What we need now is to get a member of the Inquisition inside the Château. This has become essential to the interests of the Holy Church and will be a measure of your devotion.’
Dominic desperately searched his mind for anything that might help. ‘I think the best opportunity would be for a clerk. I am personally working on a marriage contract between the Comte’s niece Ximene and Prince Edward of England. The task is taking too long and is interfering with work on the Comte’s next book. The Comte is currently searching for additional clerical effort.’
‘We will find a suitable candidate. Your role is to make sure he is acceptable to the Comte,’ the confessor said.
Dominic’s heart sank. ‘I can certainly introduce him, but he must have a fair hand and he should know something about contracts. The Comte will make him pass a test.’
‘We will find a suitable candidate. Once in the Château, you must find a way of giving him easy access to Ximene Trencavel. He will then do whatever needs doing.’