This catches you up on what I’ve got written so far and now I’m back to research—which is just as well because I’ve hit a wall anyway.
Once A Cop
While they were finishing up the girls and I waited in the outer office with Miss Jamison. I couldn’t put my finger on it but my Cop instincts kept telling me there was something a little off here.
When Mr Connor came out the secretary was on the phone, he walked over to me and said,
“You may not remember me from the ship Sgt Sarconi but I’ve been hired by your Uncle to do some research and it’s urgent I to speak to him and your family privately; here’s my collegue’s private number at the University. I’ll be there all evening.”
“Oh and by the way, that secretary was speaking in German to someone when I walked out and she seemed anxious to not be overheard. I think she was writing something on that pad by the phone. if I were the curious type I might find that interesting. Nice seeing you again. Sir” he said just as the door to the inner office opened.
I walked up to the desk as Miss Jamison was called inside for a moment and quickly reached for the notepad.
“What was that about?”
“Wait until we get outside.” I answered helping Mother with the complicated clasp on her necklace which she had taken off to show Mr Alexander.
When we got in the car I took the pencil I’d borrowed and started blacking the sheet of paper while I told everyone about the conversation with Mr Connor.
“Call it my Cop’s intuition or whatever but there’s something going on in that office that doesn’t sit right with me and I think our German speaking friend is involved – possibly her boss as well.”
When we reached the Hotel there was a message from the Archdiocese stating that the Monsignor had arrived in Rome and had asked them to assure us everything was alright and drop off the enclosed letter. There was also one from John Connor and a Dr Matthew Keller.
“Thank You.” Mike said taking the messages.
“Can you make anything out from the paper, Tom?” Joe asked pouring everyone a drink,
“No, but maybe our journalist or his doctor friend will be able to decipher it; I’ve sent Antonio and George to watch the offices of our illustrious attorney and just finished speaking to John Connor. They’ll be here in about 20 minutes. In the meanwhile I’ve made arrangements to move our rooms; we’ll have the top floor to ourselves as is befitting a member of The Royal Courts of Dragon Keep, The manager has agreed to keep the move quiet until the remaining guests check out tomorrow and the rooms have been cleaned and searched.” Mike said hanging up the phone.
“Tom, you and Joe will lead the sweep of the top floor and will be aided by Scotland Yard. I have a few people who owe me favors and they have agreed to run indepth background checks on everyone here at the hotel, at the Law Offices, and anyone else involved as well as stake out the Hotel and reinforce our men.” Just then the house phone rang.
“John Connor and Dr Keller are downstairs, Tom will you escort them up but first what are your instincts telling you about our journalist?”
“I trust him.” Tom said going out the door.
The First Coat of Arms
“Mr Divitte thank you for seeing us. May I introduce Dr Matthew Keller of Oxford to everyone. A scholar of the Histories and Geneologies of the Royal Families back to the mid 1500s, he is my mentor and at one time was my professor.”
“If I may see your amulet and the papers I would like to run some tests, I will be careful and promise I will do everything in my power to authenticate it beyond a doubt. We need somewhere quiet and unobstructed to work and whoever you assign to watch us must stay out of the way. If I may begin setting up, John can fill you in on what we’ve found so far.”
“First let me tell you about what Matt came across. There’s an old legend that says there was not 1 Coat of Arms for the Paloma Family but 2. The original Coat of Arms disappeared sometime in the 13th century after a curse was supposedly placed on it. It held a blood red ruby being offered to a woman in the raised claw of a Dragon. The stone was said to have disappeared from the shield on the night the Old Queen fell ill and has never been found.
When the ruby disapeared a series of disasters and misfortune befell the castle and the outlying lands; a winter that seemed to last forever, poisoned wells, people dying of plague, then a drought. Rumers began circulating about some curse a band of wondering gypsies had put on the House of Paloma after the young Princess disappeared from the castle and 2 of their band were accused of the kidnapping and hung.
The story gets kind of sketchy after that. The Old Queen died but supposedly had had her wealth and the proof of blood lines leading back to Mary Magdelene herself buried in the catacombs under the castle before she did. The walls were stormed by the enemy, the castle fell and ransacked for treasure but nothing was found, the castle was left abandoned but the decendants became impoverished trying to retrieve their lost wealth; then one night the ground shakes and opens up and the castle just disappears.
That is the last mention of The House of Paloma until 1787 that we’ve found [so far].
The Second Shield
One of the avenues of search we followed was the name Paloma and Draconia or any derivative there of. We came across some shipping invoices for household items from a Lord Alford Sorreson, Captain of The Paloma Princess to a Ferdinand De Montega, Overseer of The Fortress at Draconia. Listed among the inventory was The Royal Shield of The House of Paloma.
There was a drawing of the shield in with the descriptions of various pieces of furniture and this is the sketch I remembered seeing. As you might notice there are slight differences between the two sketches. With the new evidence we must assume your necklace is a reproduction of the first shield which would make you a true heir and your medallian would be part of the missing Paloma fortune………