2996. All of that happened twenty years before Faldoni was brought to trial for the theft of the blue pigment, and the old Cantaloupe Man was still active and, although ninety years old, was still making his obscure comments. The superiors of the institution had to bow to the pressure of public opinion and acknowledge the veneration the old man received.
They could not do anything to prevent it, and the visitors who now came
from all over the world to see him brought so much money to the
monastery that it would have been foolish to stop it.
The reason his observations were so cogent, and so useful to the
pilgrims that came to see him is because the comments were made up of
absolute gibberish. His observations consisted of unrelated phrases
strung together with no rhyme of reason. It is not had to see why such
talk would solve the most intractable problems. The pilgrims heard what
they wanted to hear, and saw in his words what they unwittingly wanted
2999. The friar, after giving a lot of careful thought to his problem, decided to defend Faldoni with arguments that ran no risk of implicating himself in Faldoni’s guilt. He did not use what would later be Victor Hugo’s defense of Jean Valjean. The Hugo defense would consist of excusing the thief on the basis of the responsibility of the church to care for the poor. By this argument, the pigment Faldoni stole should have been given to him in the first place.