The old man slipped the deerskin off, then held the book up to examine it under the light from the candelabras. He flicked through the pages, pleased. At length he said to Adair, "It's a lovely book, wouldn't you agree? And a very rare one. Do you know the provenance of this time?"
Adair shook his head.
"If you did, doubtless you would've fought harder to keep it." The old man gave him a cunning smile, pleased with himself. "It was reportedly made by a French monk who was a secret devotee of the occult arts during the Capetian reign, prior to the time of eleanor of Aquitaine. The Church has a very long and intimate relationship with the occult," he said, clearly delighting in his new possession the way a man might extoll the virtues of a superb wine or a good spouse to whoever is within earshot.