“She is hearing and seeing,” says Arthur. “Profound to a young person. Would it not be profound to anyone who
experiences such? In many ways Jehanne has discernment,
some would say far beyond her years. The voices no doubt
“But if the voices bring knowledge, who is to question
the voices? The questioning has to extend beyond them,
to God itself? She would have to question God? Not obey
as she has been taught all her life. Jehanne was a juvenile,
youthful in all aspects we consider the advantage of youth.
Sagaciousness is not one of those aspects. One can not
expect a young person to question all the values they have
been taught through childhood. How many adults do that?
“Isn’t there something about Paris University declaring
these are three demons masquerading?”
“True, Conny. Captured by the British in 1420, Paris
and Paris University are under Plantagenet rule. Wise
adults know if they are to have bread, and butter also,
to follow the order. John of Lancaster, senior regent of
the realm for the infant son of a dead Henry the fifth, has
been appointed to oversee Paris with the specific mandate
to place all of France under British yoke. Has a ‘body’ of
supposed learned men ever spoken against those who rule?
Politics, universities understand.”
Constance laughs: “And as you say, those who fund the
“In this instance one has to ask could they have come up
with a more incredulous tale: Behemoth, found in Job, in
Enoch, is that which is appearing to Jehanne. This is their
learned opinion on the subject. Ferocious, cruel, Behemoth,
brutal, not anything that Jehanne has ever described in her
visions. Some say the learned men submitted Behemoth as
a foil. That I am not gracious enough to accept. Jehanne’s
voices being Behemoth is singular accomplishment for the
British at Jehanne’s trial. They needed Paris University.
They needed these professors.”
Constance: “So Jehanne follows the guidance of Michael,
Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret of Antioch, with one
should say a simple heart. Brought into Roman teaching,
as her parents, taught by Père Fronte, she is a simple child.”
“Aren’t we all.”
“Are the three spiritual beings, Michael, Catherine and Margaret, playing inside The
“I believe they are inside.”
“Playing on the right side?”
“Yes! The ‘Holy’ side!”
“And the families,” says Constance.
“And the dragon creatures, if you wish to extend the
families,” responds Arthur. “All inside The Game
. It is
written in manuscripts of that time that she is warned by
her voices that she will be captured. This would be ‘Game’
rules, that she be warned. Some time after a Saints day, I
cannot remember the day, is the period the voices give her
for her capture.
“In this she is given a choice. She need not continue
her fight. Very likely she could return to her village. She
wishes, she states, to return to the peace of Domremy.
These warnings came after Paris, after the Dauphin releases
most of his army back to their farms.”
“She would not be the figure we look to today had she
returned to Domremy,” says Constance. “Burgundians are
still fighting. The British hold Paris.”
“Ah well, Paris. Georges du Trémoille,” answers Arthur. “Why does she continue? She does not realise, I believe, that the now crowned king Charles VII is fully under the
influence of Trémoille. She should if she has any perception
of courts and politics. But she hasn’t. She is a village girl.
A girl who is visited and encouraged by great beings, until
suddenly she is told by them that she will be captured.
“Her mission as the voices have always told her, is to
have the Dauphin crowned, to take land from the British.
All this accomplished! Paris is not taken, why? Charles
withdraws his troops under the command of Jehanne from
the outskirts of Paris. He dismisses all his army convinced
by Trémoille the French forces cannot take Paris. That a
political settlement will succeed with the Burgundians and
the British. Trémoille they say has a velvet tongue.”
“I do not believe she accepts that she will be captured,”
says Constance. “Through her trial she states that the
voices remain with her. They do not leave her.”
“I do not think she believes she will be burnt when
captured,” responds Arthur. “The custom at the time is for
noblemen, those who lead armies, if caught, to have ransom
paid. That is the problem for me. One has to believe that
these voices, these ethereal beings, Michael the Archangel,
Catherine of Alexandria, Margaret of Antioch, would know
all that the British are planning. That the British would
never allow her to be ransomed.
“That they consider her a far too powerful a person, with
the French people, and the French army, to be allowed to
live. A trial and her burning is the only outcome for the
British. The voices would have known this but they allow
her to be caught, they allow her to be imprisoned, they
allow her to be burnt. So we have to ask, where does the
play of The Game
come into this. The play of The Game
leaves it to the individual. That is The Game
, to see how
‘we’ as one or many will respond, will take action.”
“I would not want to know my end,” says Constance. “Especially if I were fated to be burnt.”
“But was Jehanne fated to be burnt?” asks Arthur. “Did she make this decision she would allow herself to be
burnt when she decided to keep fighting? I do not believe
she believes the voices will allow her to be burnt.”
“Ah! She recants. She is shown the faggots and she
recants. She is taken back from the place set for her to be
burnt, placed back in a prison room inside iron bars. And
well, there is deception here. The British do not want her
to recant. She must be burnt. Cauchon her prosecutor is
told she must be burnt.
“Always deception when those who hold power are about
to be foiled in their wishes. Jehanne agrees to wear woman’s clothing.
Part of her recantation. She does wear them. Morning she
is found in men’s clothes. She is in a cage. Why are her
male clothing left in the cage? Why have her female clothes
“She admonishes Pierre Cauchon, the Bishop who has
been her condemner. At this point she understands. From this moment never before she dies does she allow the French Bishop who has
acted as servant of the English all through the proceeding
of the trial to not know that she condemns him, for his
deceit, his malfeasance, as cause of her death.
“But does she admonish Michael, Catherine, Margaret?
Does she even recognise any deception in them? Certainly
they warned her, but they did not tell her she would be
burnt. Is this not deception? Has it not been the plan all
along, the play to have Jehanne perform in this final act of
“Does her burning have a deeper meaning in The Game
At the last she decides she will be burnt. She will not
recant. She will not be a traitor to her voices.
Is her sacrifice, her burning accepted upon an inner level
of The Game
as a play such that the British have to accept
their ultimate defeat, retreat from French land? All of this
one can conjecture is within the drama of The Game
. . .
After Ronald’s death, Enid Coulter endures a period of
private hysteria. Not even Edward knows her torment. His
interest upon Annabell, she feels completely alone. She has
no one. No one she can rely upon. No one she can talk to.
No one she can be with.
But then...she does not know how it happens. She has
slept late. She has reached the abysmal state where she no
longer wishes to get up.
There is a knock on her door. Then nothing. She gets
up, places her gown around her, goes to see who it is.
The young footman Seth is standing there. She sees
the letter in his hand. Why she doesn’t take it she doesn’t know. She tells him to come in, walks back to her bed, lies down upon it.
Seth walks across to her, holds out the large size letter.
‘URGENT’ it has written upon it.
She takes the letter, reads it. Estate business, from the
estate’s solicitors. Nothing she can do. Edward will have
to attend to the matter.
“How are you liking it here, Seth,” Edith makes believe
she still is examining the letter.
“Very well, Mrs. Coulter.”
The boy always has that cocky expression behind those
freckles. There’s something that pours from him.
Stepping out of the coach, his helping her, his hand
touching hers, she has more than once brushed her cheek
“Is everyone treating you well, Seth?”
“Excellent, Mrs. Coulter, thank you! Couldn’t be better!”
Placing the notice back into the envelope, she does not
let it go. “An answer should be given by telephone. They
can wait. Have the butler inform Mr. Edward an urgent
dispatch is in his work study.”
Dressed in her night clothes, now propped up on pillows,
she notices the boy is somewhat perplexed.
“Mr. Watton had to rest due to headache, Mrs. Coulter.
Hæmma has the day off today. I am taking his place.”
It is this unfortunate moment that she has to glance at
his trousers. For the life of her that is a large bulge.
“Take the letter to Mr. Edward’s study. Mr. Edward
will not likely be back until late. Inform Hæmma first thing
tomorrow. He will speak to Mr. Edward.”
“Yes! Mrs. Coulter.”
The boy leans over the bed to retrieve the envelope from
her hand, a hand that Edith makes no attempt to extend.
From that moment all is, let us say elevated.
The hand that doesn’t hold the envelope accidentally
presses against the trousers.
“Yes, Mrs. Coulter?”
“I wonder if you would do me a service, Seth. I have a
The boy looks at her, smiles. “I am good with my hands,
“I am sure you are. A twinge.” She points to the back
of her neck. “Would you be a dear boy.”
To do the thing proper, he has to kneel upon the bed,
pressing his legs around her as his hands make pressing
strokes, first at the back then at the side.
Seth suprisingly experienced starts tapping his fingers
along her neck. “Is this enough pressure.”
“Mmmmmmm!” The bulge he has, so prominent it
presses into her stomach.
“Can you feel that?”
“Oh! Oh! Yes! You are very good.”
Slowly her hand raises itself.
Her hand has rested upon the bedclothes, but now, as
if with its very own intention, it moves towards his so very
firm, very fine leg, moves slowly upwards to where the bulge
is so exquisitely placed.
He doesn’t jump. He doesn’t do anything. He just
keeps gently kneading and tapping delicate points around
“You are sixteen, Seth, is that right.”
His voice is somewhat husky as he replies. “Yes, Mrs.
“I am an old woman,” she begins, but she never finishes
The boy stops with his massaging, leans his body into
her breasts, bends his delightful young face, kisses her.
His hands are now undoing her dressing garment and...
there the story would seem, if not to begin, certainly to
As he is leaving: “Seth!”
“Yes, Mrs. Coulter?”
“Would you care to do this again!”
Again the huskiness in his young voice. “Come to your
“If you wish.”
“If you wish, I would like to come to your room, again.”
His freckles all seem to be on fire now.
“I do wish!”
At the door, the boyish smile, that cocky expression.
Just a hint of shyness.
. . .