• Sign up or login, and you'll have full access to opportunities of forum.

The Code of Silence

Go to CruxDreams.com

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Keep on searching!
Nimiacum seems to be identified with Maigné in Pays de la Loire. A document of Charles II (The Bald) mentions it: quasdam res nostrae proprietatis, hoc est villam Nimiacum [Miniacum], in pago Caenomannico sitam, secus fluvium Sartam 'a certain property of ours, namely, the estate of Nimiacum [Miniacum], situated in the district of Caenomannicus, on the other side of the river Sarthe' (However, like Castrilocum, it gets confused by Google with the phrase 'nimia cum (audacia, laetitia, etc.)' 'with great (bravery, joy etc.)
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
I thought, "what the heck, I have to give it a try." So I put 'Castrilocum' into Google Maps and it gave me a place called 'Thornhill' just off the A76 in Dumfries and Galloway.
Nimiacum seems to be identified with Maigné in Pays de la Loire. A document of Charles II (The Bald) mentions it: quasdam res nostrae proprietatis, hoc est villam Nimiacum [Miniacum], in pago Caenomannico sitam, secus fluvium Sartam 'a certain property of ours, namely, the estate of Nimiacum [Miniacum], situated in the district of Caenomannicus, on the other side of the river Sarthe' (However, like Castrilocum, it gets confused by Google with the phrase 'nimia cum (audacia, laetitia, etc.)' 'with great (bravery, joy etc.)

Detectives @Eulalia and @Wragg, you are both missing a clue! :sherlock: :)

these two are going to go far ...

Indeed, they are, but seasoned detectives as they are, they have developed a kind of tunnel vision, fcused on 'solving a case' and 'scoring' with a conviction, particularly Sulcus (even worse has their superior, Chief-constable Octavianus, who has also to respect political interferences). I have tried to include this character treat in the story development. Is the confrontation with the broader view of Father Gwenn, an outsider, an eye-opener?
Coming soon!
 

Marcius

Tribune
Province of Gallia, Diocese of Gallia Belgica, Prefectura of Turnacum.
Must be Tournai.

Nimiacum is a small village just north of Castrilocum.

Located where three already ancient Roman roads, coming from the north, join. It is famous for its sanctuary that dates back to before Roman conquest, and where since, the Goddess Vesta is venerated.

Nimiacum is also one of the four assigned crucifixion sites in the Prefecture of Turnacum. Located near the bifurcation of the three highways, near the sanctuary, and within walking distance of Castrilocum, the place handles all the condemned convicted by the assistant prefect of Castrilocum. It is a deliberate policy to carry out the executions in the region where the condemned have lived.
But this leaves me stumped. The sanctuary of a goddess near Tournai...
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Detectives @Eulalia and @Wragg, you are both missing a clue! :sherlock: :)
Or possibly missing a screw! :) I was naturally intrigued how Wragg's search for Castrilocum took him to Nithsdale in my neck of the island, and quite tickled to find out how that came up on Google Maps. Then finding a medieval scribe had copied miniacum as nimiacum (a very easy mistake to make with Carolingian minuscules) took me back to The Name of the Rose. But I realise that's a red herring. Tornacum is real enough, of course, but my philological curiosity is probably blinkering my vision of important clues.
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
Must be Tournai.
Right! :thumbsup:

Or possibly missing a screw! :) I was naturally intrigued how Wragg's search for Castrilocum took him to Nithsdale in my neck of the island, and quite tickled to find out how that came up on Google Maps. Then finding a medieval scribe had copied miniacum as nimiacum (a very easy mistake to make with Carolingian minuscules) took me back to The Name of the Rose. But I realise that's a red herring. Tornacum is real enough, of course, but my philological curiosity is probably blinkering my vision of important clues.
And Castrilocum is an ancient name of Mons.

‘Nimiacum’ is Nimy, a village just north of Mons. The ethymology of Nimy is uncertain. One is ‘Nimiacum’, meaning ‘property of Nimius (or Nemesius)’, the other is a Gaul word ‘nemeton’, meaning ‘sanctuary’. I took the artistic liberty to merge both concepts.

As you can see on the map, Nimy is a real crossroads of Roman roads.

castrilocum.jpg
 

Eulalia

Poet Laureate
Staff member
Right! :thumbsup:


And Castrilocum is an ancient name of Mons.

‘Nimiacum’ is Nimy, a village just north of Mons. The ethymology of Nimy is uncertain. One is ‘Nimiacum’, meaning ‘property of Nimius (or Nemesius)’, the other is a Gaul word ‘nemeton’, meaning ‘sanctuary’. I took the artistic liberty to merge both concepts.

As you can see on the map, Nimy is a real crossroads of Roman roads.

View attachment 1251154
Ha, I didn't know that was Mons, and hadn't heard of Nimy (I've got Dauzat et Rostaing's excellent Larousse Noms de lieu de France, but I don't think there's an equivalent for Belgium?) I wondered whether nemeton might be involved. Vernemeton 'great sanctuary' was at Willoughby on the Wolds in Leicestershire; Medionemeton 'central sanctuary' was somewhere near the Antonine Wall in central Scotland, probably midway along it; Rosneath peninsula on the Clyde was part of a territory called Neveth, apparently the same word.
 

Marcius

Tribune
Right! :thumbsup:


And Castrilocum is an ancient name of Mons.

‘Nimiacum’ is Nimy, a village just north of Mons. The ethymology of Nimy is uncertain. One is ‘Nimiacum’, meaning ‘property of Nimius (or Nemesius)’, the other is a Gaul word ‘nemeton’, meaning ‘sanctuary’. I took the artistic liberty to merge both concepts.

As you can see on the map, Nimy is a real crossroads of Roman roads.

View attachment 1251154
Ah, I went with the sanctuary and pored over the list of Celtic goddesses worshipped in Gallia Belgica, thinking which one could've been later syncretized with Vesta. Incidentally, there's a thick new book on the subject, which I haven't got, but the author has a few papers available to me. No luck there.
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
12

“Stupid!? What are you suggesting, Mister Bulbus?”

“Mister Sulcus! Do what Father Gwenn suggested, and look at Claire! That woman on that cross over there is guilty as hell! But not in the way we always have thought!”

“Another theory, Mister Bulbus? Another suspect?”

“Tell me, Mister Sulcus! Who among these crucified behaves the most accepting?”

“No doubt, Claire and our tax collector Loxuru!”

“Right, Mister Sulcus! And for a reason! Because they ARE guilty of the murder!”

“Explain me, Mister Bulbus!”

“Mister Sulcus, do you think, either Claire or Loxuru would deliberately charge someone with a spade, or a fork!?”

“We have gone through that question almost a hundred times already, Mister Bulbus, and we both agreed, that the possibility would be very low! They are not that kind of people! Have you changed your mind about it,..?”

“No, Mister Sulcus, absolutely not! Claire would not make her hands dirty on it! But she would have paid for it!”

“Do you mean, a contract murder, Mister Bulbus?”

“Indeed, Mister Sulcus! Claire did not commit a murder! My hypothesis is now : she paid for one!”

“But who.. and why..?”

“The first question, Mister Sulcus, I will park for a moment! Contract murder, is, as we know, a business, an international business, and most likely, the contractors are now far away beyond the border of the Empire! Samaria, Ruthenia, Lechia, Borussia, to name a few! I hope, at last, since I would feel very uncomfortable if they would have been locals who still reside in the neighbourhood! The answer on the second question is hidden on the High Plains!”

“Explain yourself, Mister Bulbus!”

“As you recall, Mister Sulcus, I have gone through Claire’s tax file, with Livia Metella. There was that remarkable financial transaction, she had filed as expenses, for restitution! Metella already mentioned it, the day of Claire’s flogging! The suspicious thing about it was, that Loxuru had claimed for himself an allowance of twenty-five percent. That’s a big fee! Tax consultants claim, besides a fix renumeration, either a fixed amount on the retributions, or a percentage, which amounts five, and sometimes ten percent on the restitution, in the latter case, usually with a ‘no cure, no pay’ clause. Twenty-five percent, that’s really high!”

“How did Claire explain it?”

“According to Claire, it was an investment in the farm at the High Plains! The fee for Loxuru was so high, she said, because it was by all means a risky investment! Remember!?”

“Indeed! And..?”

“One, Mister Sulcus, there was no trace of the investment in the accountancy of the farm, - not unusual, the code of silence, you know! But secondly, why would she do a high risk investment in a farm she had intended to withdraw her share?”

“Are you suggesting, Mister Bulbus, that it was the murder contractor’s fee, she tried to deduct from her taxes? Nice try, ordering a hit and have the cost paid back by the tax payer!”

“Sure, Mister Sulcus, and our tax consultant Loxuru must at least have been aware for what the expended money had been intended, so he charged an extra fee, for trying to book it as a legal and deductible expense!”

“And what was in for Claire?”

“Acquiring the whole farm, Mister Sulcus! Of course, the daughter and son in law were still in the way, but she hoped that the dissatisfaction of the parents about their marriage would be a sufficient motive for murder. In Claire’s plan, the daughter and son in law would have been crucified here and now, instead of her!”

“Why moving he bodies, Mister Bulbus?”

“Finding the bodies was essential for more than one reason! Maybe, the murder contractors had hidden them too efficiently, I suppose? We have searched lots of places, but ignored the soil and the dung heap! No corpus delictii, meant that the heritage would be blocked, since he owners were missing, so no benefit for Claire? Who moved them? Well, remember what Father Gwenn just said about ‘an execution’! The victims must have trusted their assassins! Would you, as an assassin, enter a farmstead and search for a spade and a fork? Would you, on the other hand, when people would show up at your door, carrying a spade and a fork, just say : ‘Welcome, come in!’? Very implausible, isn’t it, Mister Sulcus?”

“What are you up to, Mister Bulbus?”

“The other crucial remark Father Gwenn made : where did the murder happen!? We have always assumed that it was on the victim’s farmstead, right? I am now convinced it was not! They have been lured somewhere by their assassins, who had their weapons prepared and ready! The victims have gone there without suspicion, to people they fully trusted! Nearby residents, probably! That explains another need to move the bodies! It would have been risky for the assassins to keep them on their own farmstead, obviously! for instance! And secondly, because they needed to be found, in the financial interest of the person who ordered the execution : Claire Brogilaigh, and obviously, the bodies had to be found on their own farmstead!”

“But who…”

“Don’t know, Mister Sulcus! Another local farmer from the High Plains, perhaps? Code of Silence! Meanwhile, all forensic evidence has likely vanished, to start with the victim’s bodies who have been cremated since.”

“But, Mister Bulbus! Claire should have known that finding the bodies would have meant, our first suspects, - those she had wanted to be blamed for it could have been released!”

“I think, Mister Sulcus, that was the flaw in her plan. Maybe, she expected us to keep pushing on them, or she had expected we would have searched the farmstead more meticulously from the beginning of our inquiry, and that we should have looked immediately under the dung heap! And also, the coming of Livia Metella forced Claire to focus on her tax issues, and she could no longer stick to the murder case.’

“As I understand, Mister Bulbus, if you are right, then Claire did not even lie when she said that the money for the hit, she wanted to deduct from her taxes, was a risky investment!”

“That’s indeed one way to see it Mister Sulcus! But with a twenty-five percent fee, Loxuru could go to dine with Corentus Bhoghall, split the fee in half with him, to accept it as a tax-deductable expense, and everybody would have been happy, had Livia Metella not played spoilsport! ”

“And what now, Mister Bulbus!? Where are you going..!?”

“To Claire!”

“Calm down, Mister Bulbus! The case is considered closed, remember!?”

“I want to know, Mister Sulcus! I said I was convinced for ninety-five percent of her guilt! I want it to be for the full hundred percent! Hey! Guard! Police! Will you please move those onlookers away!?”

“Yes Sir! Come you people! Move back! Police order!”

“But, Mister Bulbus! Octavianus will never allow us to reopen the investigation!”

“Mister Sulcus! Didn’t we recently discuss about becoming too bureaucratical? You are well underway! Like Father Gwenn just remarked : can we feel assured, when a spade-slasher and a fork-stabber live around, and are capable of butchering innocent people, just for pay!? I want to know who did it!”

“In the High Plains!? You will never find your suspect!?”

“Why not, Mister Sulcus?”

“Politics, live and let live, code of silence….”

“Just one minute, Mister Sulcus! I don’t know about you, but I want to come home and watch myself in the mirror without becoming disgusted!”

As the site around Claire’s cross was cleared, Inspector Bulbus got himself an executioner’s ladder and put it against the cross!

“Careful, Mister Bulbus, don’t fall!?”

“I am just climbing a ladder, Mister Sulcus!”

“I am not sure, Mister Bulbus, that our job insurance covers climbing on a cross!”

“Overruled, Mister Sulcus! Bureaucratic thinking!”

Detective Bulbus climbed the ladder, until he was at eye level with Claire.

Claire looked at him with wondering eyes. Bulbus had witnessed many crucifixions, but rarely had he seen a condemned from so close, after nearly two hours of hanging.

Claire looked exhausted. Her head was bent to her right, facing him. Her hair, she had been allowed to tidy, in the morning before her walk to the cross, looked ruined and was stiff of sweat. Her face had apparently aged ten years in two hours’ time, carved as it was with wrinkles. Over all her body stuck sweat and dirt, at many places, particularly on her arms of course, mixed with dried blood. Just a small trickle flew, dripping from under the nails through her wrists. Her body smelled, and insects had found their way to it. She breathed deeply, with a moaning sound.

A shiver went through Claire’s body, when Inspector Bulbus placed his hand inside her tight and softly rubbed it.

“How are you doing, Claire!?”

“Pain..! Tired…! Thirst…!” she said with a soft, heavy voice.

“Shall I bring you something to drink? Remember, it lengthens your suffering!”

“Drink..! Please…!”

“All right, Claire,” Detective Bulbus continued, while still softly rubbing her thighs, “but could you first be a good girl, and help me with something?”

As a reply, Claire started softly nodding her head.

“Listen, Claire! We know what happened in Maurandiacum! You have contracted a murderer, didn’t you? It was the fee for that crime, you tried to deduct from your taxes at a twenty five percent rate for Loxuru, there, right? That was that transaction about, isn’t it? Just tell me who murdered your sister and her husband, and where!?”

Claire kept nodding, without saying a word. Inspector Bulbus could not discern whether she actually confirmed his allegations or not. As, from the corner of his left eye, Bulbus felt a look falling on him, he turned his head briefly to the crucified Loxuru. Bulbus saw him watch he scene, and despite the exhaustion in his face too, it was clear, he looked obviously aware of what his conversation with Claire was about, and that he clearly was trying to extract a confession from her.

(to be continued)
 

thehangingtree

Proconsul
Staff member
Bulbus had witnessed many crucifixions, but rarely had he seen a condemned from so close, after nearly two hours of hanging.

Claire looked exhausted. Her head was bent to her right, facing him.

“Listen, Claire! We know what happened in Maurandiacum! You have contracted a murderer, didn’t you?
Great scene. Even Tree never thought of doing an interview on a crucified woman!!!!
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
13

(Loxuru)

It may sound paradoxically, but Claire is all grace on her cross.

I guess, me, it’s the contrary! Onlookers did have enough to mock on me! I know! Being a tax collector does not make one popular! No better target! My old trick of looking over the heads during a public performance only worked half! It’s easier when you are not an exposed squirming naked piece of meat on a cross, and people would not shout insults all the time! You cannot hide anything : pain, despair, nudity,… nothing! Corentus got his part of mockery either!

The terrible experience of being nailed seems long ago, but is always present, by the continuous discomfort. It feels if I have always been here, and one thing is sure : there will be noting else anymore!

These two police detectives stay around all the time. Probably, enjoying their victory. Case closed with an execution! Another successful inquiry!

Suddenly, one of them wants the site around Claire’s cross cleared. He gets a ladder and climbs to Claire. The bastard starts rubbing with his hands inside her thighs! Is it not enough for him to see her suffer, that he wants to make pleasure with her? I feel an urge to insult him, but I am lacking the power to do so. Keeping myself steady is the least difficult way to fight pain, cramps, exhaustion…

Wait a minute! That detective is inquiring her! Some loose end in the investigation? I can guess what it is about! I just see it! He wants to know about that recent ‘twenty-five percent deduction’! Both that questor and the detectives have interrogated me more than once about it! Claire had come up with it! Some risky investment in the Maurandiacum farm, she had told me! Could I manage to deduct it from her tax declaration? Of course, I would give it a try, but I asked her to be more open about it, so that I would be able to fix it the best I could! After all, a transfer of about ten thousand sesterces, could have drawn the attention of the tax collectors. Claire then insisted to book it as an investment, in the farm in Maurandiacum! She even offered me an unheard commission of twenty-five percent on the return, if I would have succeeded. Still a profit for her!

Soon, I had suspected it could have ‘something’ to do with the disappearance mystery at the same Maurandiacum farm. Claire was a determined woman, but was she capable of putting up a contract hit? Because, that is what, as the rumours and tales went, one could hire a contract murder for.

Before the mystery had begun, Claire had expressed already her concerns about the future of the farm! The marriage of her niece with a farmhand! Both were hard workers, but Claire judged her niece, and even more her niece’s new husband, totally uncapable of running and managing it! She even was seriously considering to retire and cash her share, and she had already had arguments with her sister and brother in law about it, who apparently were unable to raise the sum to buy her out! Cash flow of the farm was very variable. Claire asked too much for her buy out! She overestimated the value of the farm! I had told her more than once, but she had her own motivations to stubbornly stick to her own estimations. I am afraid, on this occasion, her wisdom was lured by her wishful thinking!

It was not my business to inquire her about her possible role in the assassination! Not everything was clarified in the murder mystery, even not for me, and even not for the police, as it looks like. I wonder whether, if, of course the ‘hit’ scenario would be right, if the murderers had killed the wrong targets? Could it be that, again in the hypothesis, Claire had intended to liquidate her niece and husband and dissimilate it as a robbery? Hence the travesty with the hidden bodies? But who had removed them? What will happen now? Will Claire confess something? But why should she? There is nothing in for her! Once nailed, there is no way back. Claire would not be the first to make an ultimate confession from the cross! But a verdict is a verdict and no one who ever made a confession from a cross was ever released.

Wicked Claire! There is the coincidence of the amount of stolen money , around ten thousand sesterces, and the suspicious deduction, also around ten thousand sesterces. Paying a murder contract with money stolen from the victims, and then deducting it from a tax declaration as an investment? She almost had made it succeed! Why make it that difficult, if you can contract someone from the High Plains!? How else would it have been feasible to find someone to move these bodies too.

***


“Claire, please just tell me!? I am right am I? Just tell me, and then talk to your priest about it! He will guide you further to reconcile with Serapis.” Bulbus tried to persuade Claire.

“Se- rapis? Why…?”

“Why what, Claire?”

“Why.. did he forsake… me?”

(to be continued)
 

Loxuru

Graf von Kreuzigung
14.

Epilogue.

Castrilocum : the stationem vigulum, 9 years later.

“Bulbus! In my office!”

First Superintendent-detective Bulbus stood up and entered the Chief-constable’s office.

“Bulbus! What’s that fuzz about those immunity bargains, you are brought up!?

“Well, you remember that double murder on that farm in Maurandiacum?”

“That’s long ago! Didn’t we crucify the assassin, a woman, as far as I recall?”

“Claire Brogilaigh from Sunniacum!”

“You see, Bulbus, my memory is still good! Now, what is about it?”

“That fellow we arrested, for that murderous robbery, in Athum,…!”

“A very violent creature, I’ve heard!”

“Definitely! He has a criminal record from here to Rome! Now listen! One of the other prisoners, also a robber, has told me, that our friend the robber has revealed, that he had committed a contract murder on farmer and his wife, on a farm in Maurandiacum, nine years ago!”

“And?”

“I immediately had a chat with our friend! He told things, likely only the assassin could have known! He claims, he did it on order of a nearby living Resourcer’s family, who had been offended in their honour, because the victims’ daughter had married that farmhand, while negotiations were on with his clients for a marriage with their son! He said he had two accomplices, but he states, those are already dead!”

“And what could only he have known?”

“He said, he stole those ten thousand sesterces, and he could tell where he took them! That is a detail, never publically revealed, only we and a culprit could know!”

“Did he give names of his clients for that contract murder?”

“No! That is the point! He asks immunity for his part in the Maurandiacum assassination in exchange, and bargains he would not be crucified for the crime he is currently accused of, and also for his cellmate!”

“Bulbus! For the same, he has been once in that farm and so he could have known where the owners kept their money! He lived in Maurandiacum too, at the time of the assassination, I heard! He can invent whatever stories he wants, hoping to save his ass!”

“But at last, we have an opportunity to find out the truth of that case!”

“No one is interested in the so-called truth of a ten year old and closed case! And are you going to add it to your workload? On top of coaching the new detective!?”

“Perhaps, I could ask her opinion and she could bring up a fresh view on it?”

“Listen, Bulbus, I understand it still frustrates you, that you could not bring that crucified convict – what was her name again, did you say..?”

“Claire Brogilaigh..”

“That you could not persuade her to a confession in extremis, on that cross!”

“I should have inquired that tax collector Loxuru too!”

“Put it out of your mind, Bulbus! And, forget it, Bulbus, that Maurandiacum case will not be reopened! Even if I would allow it, the Chief-officer in Turnacum would put for sure his veto! And no immunity! For no one! Our policy is clear! We never cheat the crosses! Now, out, Bulbus!”

Bulbus left the office. With a sigh he sat down behind his desk.

“Trouble with the boss, Mister Bulbus!?” his new colleague, Detective Julia Avrila asked.

“Someday, I should remind the boss of a promise he made long ago! On that very forum, down there!”

“What promise, Mister Bulbus?”

“Sulcus once said : in the… theoretical hypothesis that I would ever make a promotion to a Chief-constable, do you think I would become a grumpy bureaucrat, such as our Octavianus? As I replied to him that no Chief-constable can escape that fate, he said : ‘By Jupiter, I’d rather shoot myself, in that case!”


THE END
 
Top Bottom