THE JOURNAL ENTRIES BEGIN HERE AND ARE READ IN DESCENDING ORDER.
Saint Ignatius Day, in the eighth year of King Richard II
Greetings. I know not why you have come to this journal. Perhaps you wish to discover my “inner workings”. A futile effort. I know it is often women who seek to know a man in order to bend them to their will. And so. If that is your desire I pity you. Many women have tried, I assure you. At one time–many years ago now–I was protege to the duke of Lancaster and he found me a suitable wife. But… As you surely must know by now, that is now done with. I am no longer protege, I am no longer betrothed, and I am no longer the catch I once was. Although, I can still turn a pretty head. Yet, what woman of property would have me in my state. A single room above a tinker shop on the stinking Shambles. I have given up the dream of wedded life and it is just as well. I cannot raise sons in these surroundings. What would they inherit? The rats and dung of this London street? No. I am better off alone.
This is a pitiful entry, is it not? It was you who came to me, after all. I can not be responsible if you find it wanting. Besides, I am busy. I have been charged with finding a most unusual relic by an even more unusual client. The wife of a murdered merchant wants me to find a mysterious cloth with the face of Christ, something she calls the Mandyllon. Though I need the coin, I am not so certain she did not engineer the death of her husband. And yet. Something about her compels me, makes me act the fool. And I do not like acting the fool. But there have been so few women in my life in the last few years. She is…intriguing. More of this at a later time.