The Puzzle

Saint Juliana of Cumae, the Eighth Year in the Reign of King Richard

With each client trudging tentatively to my door, with each sixpence they dole out, there is a puzzle. Sometimes that puzzle involves a murder. For with puzzles there is always a secret and secrets can lead to mistrust and violence. How little I thought of such things whilst sitting in my safe cocoon when I served at court. Oh I was acquainted with the firvolous games of courtiers and the intrigues of which I found myself ensnared. But these pursuits I thought only belonged to the wealthy. I did not realize in my naivete that it little mattered what level of society one found oneself. Secrets and plots were a part of everyday life. The merchant who does not trust his wife and wishes her spied upon; the apprentice who believes his master is cheating him; the woman who has lost a valuable object. Secrets. Lies. Deceptions. Murder.

And yet, should I complain? It is now my bread and butter, these lies and murder. The sheriffs do not solve as I do. They accuse, they fine. Outcome is all they care about. But I care about the puzzle. The intricate web that traps all the players together. The “why.” For there is nothing done without the “why.” The why can tell you Who. And it is the Who that intrigues, that is the most dangerous.