THE DIVINER'S SECRET WINDOW
written research by S. R. Greenfield
"The eye is the window of the soul." ~ Lorenzo de' Medici
Among the persons known to attend Madame Chappieus' "salón" was the famed French architect Philip LeMarchand. The following is an entry from his diary, dated June of 1749:
During the mid 1700's the Parisian salón, a gathering of social and intellectual figures normally held in the home of a wealthy noblewoman, was reaching its height in popularity. The average salón was a forum for discussion and debate, and also the place of most social interaction among the wealthy and elite.
Madame Chappieus, the wife of a French noble, was known to hold a highly popular salón in her husband's home while he was away on diplomatic business. Outwardly, this salón was no different than the others of the Paris scene. However, research has concluded that Madame Chappieus' salón was in fact only a front for celebrations of the most despicable kinds of debauchery. The wicked underground of Paris flocked to her doors to enter a world of decadence, orgy, and demonology.
"...For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret."
Last night I was attending one of Madame Chappieus' gatherings, when my lovely hostess called me aside from the revelry. A small smile was on her blood-red lips...
"Monsieur LeMarchand, I simply must demonstrate for you my newest talent, bestowed upon me several months ago during a most interesting exercise in the conjuring of spirits," she said ecstatically. "I have learned to read the soul."
Intrigued, I kept my silence, knowing she would continue without my bidding.
"The eye, monsieur? The eye
to the soul. Even your soul, my dear LeMarchand, I could read
your very expression if I so chose." Ever so slightly, she shifted her
stance to present herself in the most seductive light. Her wanton affect had already begun
me, but still I wondered at her claims.
"Read on, fair diviner," I replied, gazing directly into her coquettish brown eyes. She met my stare readily.
"Why, Monsieur LeMarchand? You are possessed of a kind and gentle spirit," she replied after a moment. She smiled, brashly, into my face.
Now, it may be that Madame's talents were simply fraudulent; it also may be that she responded to what she actually saw inside me in a way she hoped might save her. Her own eyes' betrayal of a sudden fear leads me to suspect the latter.
It has always been my belief that lying should be among the deadly sins. It is exquisitely dangerous.
It was that night that the idea for my sixth construct came to me, a gift for the lovely "diviner." An eye, a window, a view unto the souls of thousands. A perfect fate for one who wished to truly see.
The construct to which LeMarchand referred in his journal was completed later that summer, and delivered as a gift to Madame Chappieus, immediately preceding her mysterious disappearance from France. With the construct, a small note:
For my dear Madame - a puzzle. Solve the riddle of this eye, and you shall be privy to the souls of all mankind.Sincerely,
It is believed that LeMarchand had murdered 33 people by the completion of The Diviner's Secret Window.