Synopsis – By the Sword and By The Pasergillum

Synopsis – By the Sword and The Pasergillum

A young Huguenot baron from Gascony, Remy de La Hotte-Motte de Montignac, widower, father of a ten years old son, Gaston, refuses to deliver to a Spanish inquisitor and his men an Arab from Grenada, escaped from Cadiz’s galleys, who briefly stopped at his dilapidated castle, asking for milk for the child he is carrying in his arms, his 3 years old daughter.
The baron’s refusal, during a heated confrontation in the courtyard, will engender the ferocious hatred of the Inquisitor, who will implacably aim at the eradication of this family for 25 years. Meanwhile, the Arab vagrant, called Hadjj, who turns out to be a scientist and a surgeon, accepts to stay for a while at the castle, first as a tutor for the young boy, but rapidly becomes a mentor and part of the family. His presence and his vast knowledge transform their life, and the domain becomes prosperous.
Happy years pass by, sometimes in the company of the young Duke Henri of Bearn, (future Henri IV), childhood friend of the young Gaston. Gaston who, secretly, is an avid caves explorer, abundant in the rugged Basses-Causses hills. (Important detail, as the caves of Lascaux’s “Art Rupestre” – Prehistoric Rock paintings – are a thread uniting past and present in my story) Gaston, now an adolescent of 17, leaves for Toulouse to become a surgeon like Hadjj, their Arab friend. Toulouse will play an important part in his life, and is the title of Part 2. But his desire for a peaceful life is shattered when 100 assassins, sent by the Inquisitor, launch a bloody attack against La Haute-Motte. (Chapter 14: “The Night of the Assassins.”). Revengeful, Gaston decides to punish the dozen of murderers who escaped, trades the scalpel for the sword, and relentlessly hunts the survivors all over Europe, and as far as Tangiers.
In his quest for vengeance, while travelling in a world of poisons and stilettos, but also a world of ardent love and unwavering friendship, he will meet many historical figures: Catherine de Medici, Queen Margot and the love of her life La Mole, Ambroise Paré, surgeon of three kings, the flamboyant Duchess Henriette de Nevers, Henri de Navarre (his childhood friend), King Charles IX, responsible for the Saint-Barthelemy Day Massacre, his brother and next King Henri III and his “Minions”, the Great Elizabeth I, Cervantes, and many other real historical figures, often during real historical happenings, always on the very place where it happened. (Ex: Chapter 44: The City of Merchants, derisive nickname given to London by the Spaniards.). Fictitious women have a strong presence, from Azziza, his little Arab friend, daughter of Hadjj, Gabriella, the sensuous Venetian, Sophia, the Polish patrician, Mariecke, the blond rebel from the Flanders, and others.All descriptions of geographical places (Koln, London, Tangiers, Venice, etc…) are not coming from travel agency agencies brochures, but from personal experiences.