### John Stanley- 24th September 1355

Next morning, early, they rode up to St Ferriol and called on Estavan. Ximene explained that they were investigating aspects of her inheritance and that they had been guided to Brenac church. She gave gave a brief summary of what they had found there.

Estavan smiled broadly. ‘That is just what I am looking for, a chance to do something different. Give me a little time to organize my affairs and we will go to visit this church.’

Whilst they waited they explored the village of St Feriole.

It was late in the year but on this day by lunchtime it was very warm. Far from the warning Maurice had given them there was not a soul to be seen.

There was little shade on the way to Brenac but when they entered the church it was comfortably cool. John showed Estavan the paintings either side of the altar drawing his attention to the strange animals and the tablets, depicted on the paintings. Estavan nodded but then spent half an hour gazing at all the other paintings, studying each one in turn.

John broke into his reverie. ‘It is actually the two larger paintings which I showed you first, the ones either side of the altar, which we wanted some help with.’

Estavan put his hand on John’s shoulder. ‘Just give a little time John, I am as intrigued with the all these strange illustrations as you were when you first saw them yesterday. I want to get a feel for this mysterious place. What I am trying to establish is if there are any links to the other paintings in the church.’

Ximene pulled at John’s arm. ‘John I am sure Estavan knows what he is doing.’

Estavan eventually did turn to the task of interpreting the ‘tablet” paintings. He spent another half hour crossing and re-crossing the church to make comparisons. During all of these considerations he remained silent.

John became impatient. ‘Have you got anything to tell us Estavan?’

Again Ximene tugged at his arm. ‘John!’

Estavan grinned. ‘No, that is good. I am ready now. Just a liittle bit of explanation. I am intending to use the science of numerology to penetrate this mystery.’

He glanced at both John and Ximene through lowered eyes. ‘Science? Possibly!’

He took a deep breath. ‘So one way numerology is used is as an accomanyment to astrology, the linking of human potential to the movements of planets. It is in my opinion, just a party trick but many people like to think that their potential and future is linked to events beyond their control.

They reject the concept that their progrss through life is actually determined by their own energy, initiative or determination to succeed.

Numerology contibutes to this by assigning to every letter in the alphbet a numeric value. Consequently for any name it is possible to calculate a value and from that value to make an assesment of the character and potential of the person carrying the name.

So shall I give some examples?

‘John, J O H N.

J=1, O=7. H=5, N=5

Total for name=(1+7+5+5)=18=(1+8) =9.’

Estevan reached inside his satchel and pulled out a small book.

‘John… number 9. Hmm. If you focus your attention on someone it will be impossible for them to escape. However you are a seeker. When you see injustice or suffering, you will not hesitate to devote yourself to rectifying it. More importantly, you will not then dedicate any energy towards receiving credit for your actions.

You will not force herself upon others.

When circumstances require, you can be a powerful force, strong enough to take over and bend others to your will. Yet your leadership qualities are in the higher realms of philosophy and justice. You change peoples minds!’

Estevan raised his head. ‘Do you recognise yourself John?’

John shook his head, Ximene giggled and nodded.

Estevan turned his gaze to Ximene

X, I, M, E, N, E

X=5, I=1, M=4, E=5, N=5, E=5

Total for name ( 5+1+4+5+5+5) = 25= 2+5=7

Ximene number 7.

You are also a seeker, but more deeply a thinker, a searcher for the truth. You don’t take anything at face value you are always trying to understand the underlying, hidden truths. You know that nothing is exactly as it seems and that reality is often hidden behind illusions.

If you are a woman you will most likely be beautiful. You won’t like to fuss in front of the mirror, but you can be very seductive, deliberately seductive.

If necessary you will take on a room full of men in any discussion, totally unaffected by the fact that many of them have something completely different in mind than the quality of your argument.’

Estevan grinned. ‘Again I must ask do you recognise yourself?’

Ximene sighed. John chuckled

I will give you one other piece of information. The characterisation of both 9 and 7 are the ones above all others which can equally applied to both males and females. If you are, as I suspect, in a close relationship, then the characteristics of both identities may become totally merged so that that you act as one to achieve the same ends.

John pursed his lips. ‘And do you believe in this?’

‘No, as I think I told you, I don’t. I think of it only as a party game…but it can give some very interesting results.

He sighed ‘But that is not why we are here, I only mentioned it to give you some idea of how numerology works. There are many other uses for numerology.’ Traditionally they are used to conceal important information, making it only available to those with the knowledge and patience to work through multiple strings of information which will be generated.

Ximene frowned. ‘Multiple strings?’

‘Yes. each string starts with a calculated number, this the leads to the discovery of derived numbers and then the final single digit number which ends the string. I think the best way to explain that is to start to unravel the puzzle presented to us. The two illustrations one each side of the altar are a classical numerogical display. All the floral work, scrolls, and and quasi heraldry should be ignored. The animals, which look like horses emerging from flowers, should also be ignored.’

He pressed lips tightly together, ‘What we are then left with is four tablets. It is the numbers which matter. The same puzzle could have been presented in a simple table but it would not have been as dramatic. These puzzles always rely on the combination and recombination of the numbers. The two illustrations are in fact a single numerology problem.’

He waved his arm. ‘We must start somewhere. So, the tablet on the right of the illustration on the southern side of the altar. Let’s call it tablet one.

He beckoned them into a position where they could see the illustration clearly. ‘It depicts a triangle followed by a Roman numeral V , this followed by a VI, then a VII.

The triangle is most important. It tells us that the purpose of this particular example of numerology is associated with a figure of some kind, probably a triangle. the angles of a triangle always add up to 180 degrees, an equal sided triangle has thee angles of 60 degrees and for the vast majority of triangles, typically the angles are between 30 and 90 degrees, so we should be looking for numbers in this order of magnitude

Therefore in this particular puzzle we are not necessecarily concerned with establishing a final single digit result but reviewing all the numbers which emerge as we progress.

The total on the first tablet is V+VI+VII. Numerology just does not work with roman numerals therefore… thus the total is XVIII, or 18 in Arab numbering. In numerology 18 could also be the sum of 1+8 = 9 or alternatively 1 and 8 . Remember those numbers. 18,9,8 and 1. add all these numbers together gives us 36, remember that also. 3+6=9.

So from this preliminary examination the number indicated to us in two different ways is 9. At the moment we have no idea what that means.

Estavan cleared his throat

Still on the illustration on the southern side of the altar the second tablet on the left of the illustration, call that tablet two, has the roman numeral I followed by II and finally III.

The total is I + II + III = VI = 6. That’s it. Just a single number.

The end number from the first tablet is 9 and the end number from the second tablet is 6

If we now add them together 9+6=15, 1+5=6

Both 9 and 6 are obviously important

He cleared his throat again. His voice climed an octave. “Now if we look at the northerly picture, There are no numbers on the left hand tablet, Tablet 3 just undeciperable scribble, which I take it to mean that we are being given a message, however this is a numerology problem there are four lines of text with nothing below. Add another 4 to our list of end numbers.’

The second tablet on the northerly picture certainly is unusual. The display uses exclusively Roman Numerals but on this tablet there is a number VV which does not exist in roman numerals. I have decided it should be ignore it.

Ignoring the VV the total is IV + XVI= XXX= 30 or 3+0=3

Adding the end numbers together gives 4+3=7

If however we look for a different solution therefore the total for the northerly picture is 30+4 = 34 , 3+4=7

Seventy Seven is a very powerful number.

It is the sum of the first eight prime numbers, and a multiple of both 7 and 11 which are Gaussian integers. This means that the multiple of these numbers is a blum integer.’

John and Ximene looked at each other. John blinked and Ximene ran her hand through her hair.

Estevan shook his head and laughed. ‘Sorry, mathematician talking. These terms mean that 77 is a really special number. It would take pages and pages to explain why but it is a very special number.

In numerology one rendering of Jesus Christ is the number 77!

Yes, that is right Ximene,the same numger as you!

He grinned and gave an exagurated bow.