Saturday, 1 September 2012

124: The Day the Sun Went In

For almost 65 years they’d been recording his health every day.  There was a big book, bound in red pig’s leather and embossed in gold containing thick pages listing everything the regent had ever suffered from.  The early books spanned years, when he was young and fit.  As he aged and degenerated, the books lasted barely a year each.

But they did provide an unparalled picture of royal health, charting a man’s life by his ailments, what he had endured and survived.

Great care was taken to ensure King Louis never saw the small black book.  The Chief Doctor guarded it as closely as the King’s health journal.  Each member of court was allowed one entry only.  Bid too soon and your gold may be wasted.  Wait too long and the odds may be slashed to almost worthless amidst a rush.

When the Sun King died of gangrene, the Chief Doctor collected 20 bags of gold, cloaked in the name of a minor courtesan from Alsace.

Inspiration: The death of The Sun King

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