Chapter 13 Here Comes The Judge

Afonso III heard his name and flew forward with much vigour.

Afonso III King of Portugal from 1249 to 1279 and son of Afonso II and Urraca

“I accept being the judge. I remember when my mother died. It was sudden. But, I will set aside my personal thoughts and make sure of impartial introduction of the evidence,” says Afonso III[1], son of Afonso II and Queen Urraca and younger brother of Sancho II.

“Who will be the lawyer to introduce the evidence?” says Queen Biatrix, flying up to her husband.

She had been listening for awhile. They turned toward me.

“Since you brought us the revelation that someone might have murdered Queen Urraca, do you with your talking machine and special glasses accept to introduce the evidence? After, I will decide if we find who murdered her,” says Afonso III.

“Dad, I may be here for a while,” I say.

“Remember, it’s just after eleven and the Alcobaça Monastery closes in eight hours,” Dad says.

I type, “I accept and I have one condition. We must do it today.”

Everyone nods their heads except Afonso II who re-emerged from his coffin.

“This trial only concerns the murder of my dear wife not the last will and testament of my father. Right?” says Afonso II.

“No, father, I will decide, as judge, the evidence that is part of this trial. If my grandfather’s will is important to the discovery of who murdered my mother, Queen Uracca, then I will admit it,” says Afonso III.

The three Saints look at each other.

“To help me in this trial to figure what evidence is acceptable, I appoint my three aunts: St. Teresa, St. Sancha and St. Mafalda. Do you accept?” says Afonso III.

The three saints nod their heads and Afonso II threw his hands up in the air and shook his head.

“The first item we will go ahead with is the evidence supporting if or if not someone murdered Queen Urraca. Then you may introduce testimony of the witnesses supporting your evidence. Inform me beforehand, and I will seek the help of my aunts to bring to this trial the witnesses. You may not introduce any witnesses who are living. We have only a day. Do you understand?” says Afonso III.

I type, “Yes sir, I understand.”

I’m fumbling through my iPhone looking for notes because I didn’t have time to merge them. Most are in my text editor, more in e-mails and in Notes.

“Yup hum, we’re waiting,” says Afonso III.

I type, “Yes sir.”

My dad can see I’m getting flustered. I’m feeling a tension in my stomach as a drop of sweat falls from my brow, ‘kerplunk’, on my iPhone screen. It blurs the line in the text editor I was going to read. Ok, I take a deep breath. My headache is getting stronger and my cheek under my right eye is also twitching.

I wipe my iPhone and type, “Two monks here in Alcobaça saw King Sebastião open Queen Urraca’s tomb. One of the monks described the event and stored it in the archives.”

St. Teresa asks, “Can you produce the description?”

“Yes, if needed,” I say.

St. Teresa turns toward St. Sancha and St. Mafalda. They speak to each other without me hearing.

St. Teresa turns and says, “We accept your evidence. But you must say what the description shows.”

“King Sebastião said she was alluring with fine skin and long straight blonde hair,” I say.

St. Mafalda says, “That is after how long?”

“That is after 350 years or twelve generations of kings,” I say.

The court moans in unison, “Oh.”

King Afonso II, who has been silent, says, “So she was well preserved that doesn’t mean she was murdered.”


[1] Afonso III – Grandson of Sancho I and Queen Dulce of Aragon. He is the great-grandson of Afonso I also known as Afonso Henrique, the first King of Portugal.

Read Chapter 14 Preservation