2988. And so, in a short time the old mumbler became an oracle, creating new and significant observations. The more obscure the remark the more useful it became. Everyone noticed this new status of the man, it was talked about not only in the monastery, but also in the towns round about. No person, however, was more aware of the significance of this change than the old man himself.
This reaction to the remark about cantaloupe, and the death of the
Archbishop can only be described as a superstitious reaction. The
monastery authorities made strenuous efforts to combat the new status of
the old monk but their efforts were to no avail. How can an institution
which throughout its history, and in all of its pronouncements is
entirely based on superstitious ideas, succeed in combating
It was that impossible situation where one set of superstitions has to
vanquish another set of superstitious ideas and it is easy to determine
which set of ideas is going to prevail; the one with the most recent
demonstration of its power and significance. The church’s miracles were
thousands of years old, and the cantaloupe had only just over-ripened
and killed people the day before, therefore the cantaloupe won out over
the parting of the Red Sea.
2991. The news of the story of the death of the Archbishop of Milan, and how the old Cantaloupe man had sort of predicted the death now spread to the surrounding countryside. Visitors to the monastery began to ask about him. An informal record began to be kept of his sayings, and it became a monastery pastime to subject his remarks to analysis and to try to figure out what some gibberish signified, or what it predicted.