3008. The judges so far, made no objection, sitting immobile in their ornate chairs, behind a massive carved oak desk, a desk that seemed to be muttering “guilty, guilty, guilty,” as did the ornate walls of the judgment chamber. The judgment chamber had an unusually high chamfered ceiling and the ceiling also seemed to concur with the opinion of the oaken desk, that Faldoni, and anyone else sitting in the dock, was quite obviously guilty.
The friar continued with his argument. “Now it is true that we monks
and friars try to make things easier for the Good Lord by tonsuring out
heads, thereby making it simpler for him to count, and those among us
who are completely bald, I would suppose, are especially appreciated by
At this point the friar looked at the three judges to see if his
attempt at humor had any effect, but he may as well have been looking at
those dour stone portraits that adorn cathedrals in rural districts.
3011. But the friar, warming to his argument, went on and even ventured into dangerous territory. “Yes,” he said with new conviction, “the Roman Catholic Church owns the monastery, and also owns Faldoni and his ultramarine pigment. But more important is the question of who is it that owns the Church itself?”