Chapter 26 Alexandre Herculano

“In 1853, Alexandre Herculano wrote a history of Portugal. He mentions this name and that you beat him to where his limbs no longer worked,” I say.

His eyes widen, he tilts his head back and then he looks at his feet. I caught him.

“Padre Gonçalo was a priest in Évora representing the Bishop. You forged letters from the Archbishop of Compostela to entice Bishop Soeiro and Padre Gonçalo to Évora,” I say.

I peer at my iPhone. My dad touches me. He meets my eyes and widens his. I nod to him indicating I’m Okay.

“Not only that, when the Bishop replaced you after you mishandled the Sé, you persuaded your nephews to assassinate your replacement. They injured him instead of killing him,” I say.

There’s sweat trickling over the Mestre’s brow and evaporating in a whiff of white vapor.

“Because you served the King as his lawyer in the dispute with his sisters, you returned to your role as the Dean even after Bishop Soeiro had fired you,” I say.

“This is supposition and not related to the issue at hand, the murder of Queen Urraca,” he challenges.

“Why I bring this up to the court is that it shows that you, Mestre Vicente, could violently harm a person, in the case of Padre Gonçalo. And premeditate to kill, in the case of your replacement at the Sé,” I say.

He glances to the side.

“I could never kill someone,” he says.

“Could you have been made Bishop, if Bishop Soeiro had died?” I ask.

“Maybe,” he says as he looks at his feet.

“Do you want to be a Bishop?”

“I wanted to be a Bishop. Wouldn’t you?”

He opens his eyes wide at me.

“Did you aspire to be the King’s chancellor?”

He shifts his eyes around the chamber. I caught him in something.

“Sure, I guess so.”

“The Queen was to be the regent queen, as stipulated in first and second wills of Afonso II.”

“If you say so.”

He fidgets, picking at his left cuff and his left hand is shaking.

I glance at my notes on my iPhone.

“Archbishop of Braga, Estavão Soares described you, Mestre Vincent, as the most odious of Afonso’s advisers,” I continue.

“That guy is an idiot,” sneers Mestre Vicente.

“Show decorum in the court,” bellows Judge Afonso III.

“In the earlier part of our trial, we showed that someone poisoned Queen Urraca to death,” I say to Mestre Vicente.

To decide who murdered the Queen, we must prove a person had:

One, the temperament to do the act;

Two, the capability to do the act; and

Three, the motive to do the act.

Temperament, capability and motive,” I say to the Court.

Mestre Vicente looks at his feet and then up with defiance.

“We showed that you had the temperament when you attempted to assassinate your replacement and you savagely beat Padre Gonçalo. Next we will show you had the capability and the motive,” I say as I look right at him.

“We are ready to hear more,” says Afonso III.

“Mestre Vicente, you were a member of the royal court and you saw the Queen often,” I say.

“That is true,” say Queen Urraca and King Afonso II in unison.

“As a Dean, you had a network of subordinates, including the Queen’s confessor,” I say.

“You went to university at Bologna. Bologna is where Albertus Magnus discovered the chemical element of Arsenic. The Moors knew for centuries that White Arsenic was a poison. White Arsenic is a bi-product of the smelting of gold or copper. There were gold mines near Coimbra, and so, White Arsenic was in ready supply to you. Or you obtained White Arsenic when the army captured many Moors at Alcáçer do Sal, Moorish alchemists had access to White Arsenic. Or in your travels between Lisboa and Coimbra, you could have stopped in Torres Verdras, where they smelt copper, and purchased White Arsenic,” I say.

“You’re using conjecture!” the Mestre blurts out.

I can feel a headache coming on.

Read Chapter 27 Advogado