New Hawen, Connecticut

April 3, 1898

         Last night I experienced a vision. I was in my study, preparing a gloss of Wolfram von Eschenbach’s Parsifal for professor Zeiler’s vernacular lit. seminar. I was sipping claret and a half-filled glass sat before me on my desk. I had reached the place in the narrative where Perceval, the holy innocent first beholds

         “a thing called the Grail,

 which passes all earthly perfection”

- when all at once the room seemed to grow brighter. At first I thought it was a surge in the gas line; then I remembered that at Anna’s insistence we were living in a modern building, lit by electricity.

It was my wine glass that was glowing – shining with a light more incandescent than a dozen electric bulbs. And then before my eyes (and I had not drunk to excess), the vessel rose from the table and began to flicker. One moment it shone like the full moon  and seemed to have a row of pearls about its rim; then in the blink of an eye it turned to tarnished metal and in place of the pearls appeared writing; in the next instant it looked to be made of wood. And the room was filled with a voice that roared like a tornado and yet whispered like a lover’s secret; (Grail Vision) and it said “Henry Jones, as knights of old sought this treasure, so shall you!”  and then – the entire incident could not have lasted ten seconds – the room was silent and my glass was a glass once more.

         Now, I am not a religious man nor I am given to belief in “signs and wonders” But I cannot deny what my eyes saw, nor what I heard with my own ears, There is no question in my heart that I have received a calling. I have been sent upon a quest. I, Henry Jones, have been granted an opportunity to find that prize of the centuries, that shining object of man’s spiritual yearning since the time of King Arthur – the Holy Grail.

         From this day I devote my life, my fortune and my scholarly efforts  to the fulfilment of this awesome commission. I shall find the Holy Grail if it takes me a lifetime, and this book shall be the record of my quest

         Would that I prove worthy! (1899 Silvercertificate)



Western, Massachusetts

August 24, 1900

         In a sleeping car aboard the Lakes Flyer, returning home from the conference of the Association of American Medievalists. I am anxious to be home with my wife and my infant son. Never again will I be such a naîf as to believe that a document certifying  one as a doctor of something-or-other represents an automatic conferral of dignity and respect.

         My conference paper was greeted with embarrassment, scepticism and ridicule. My colleagues are unanimous in their belief that the Holy Grail is a fairy tale; that I would better serve scholarship by studying the inventories manorial states or the effects of the Black Death on the development of cities – worthy subjects, I suppose, if one wishes to be an academic drudge, if one possesses no imagination, no inner life, no… vision. But I am heartened by the knowledge that Schliemann was likewise mocked when he set out to find the ruins of Troy. Toujours L’audace!

         What poses me more of an obstacle than the scepticism of colleagues is the sparse and contradictory nature of existing accounts of the Grail. There is no certainty as to what it looks like or even what it is. The primary legend, of course has it as a wine cup – the cup used by Christ at the Last Supper, in which Joseph of Arimathea caught his blood when he was crucified. Yet the word grail or graal could mean “a wide-mouthed shallow vessel” – not a cup but a bowl. In some accounts it is not a vessel at all, but a stone. (Crucifiction mandala) Indeed, Wolfram calls it Lapsit Excellis, by which he may mean Lapis ex coelis (stone from heaven) or perhaps Lapis Exilis, the “philosopher’s stone” of the alchemists, by which all things are possible.

         Chretien de Troyes (late 12th Century) is the earliest author to use the word “grail”. Chretien’s Grail is “of pure gold and richly set with precious stones”. From it streamed such pure light that “the luster of candles was dimmed”.

         Wolfram von Eschenbach, a generation later, describes it as a stone fallen from heaven, carried on a piece of green silk. Wolfram maintains he heard the legend from a minstrel named kyot or Gyot; who found it in Spain in a book by a Jewish astrologer, written in a “heathen tongue” (probably Arabic or Hebrew). Robert the Boron and other 14th century writers offer no specific description but clearly have it as a cup, not a bowl. They tell us that it appeared in a vision to King Arthur and his knights, covered with a cloth of white velvet It seemed to “glow with its own light”. It have off “a pleasing fragrance”. And dispensed food to the company.

         Sir Thomas Malory, a century later, speaks of the vision but the white cloth is described as silk, not velvet. Maddeningly, Sir Thomas offers no description either; but maintains that Sir Galahad found the grail on a silver table, contained in a chest covered with precious stones.

Such a bundle of contradictions!

Such an abundance of confusion!


I have underlined the specific elements of the description that I believe are most pertinent.



Las Mesas, Colorado

November 14, 1905

         The seeds I planted on my European journey this summer are beginning to bear fruit; received today a most interesting letter from Marcus Brody, a young scholar I met at Oxford. He  informs me that the abbey of Cantaney on the coast of Brittany is in possession of some old Irish manuscripts, one of which is said to refer to the Grail, and as a genuine  object, not a legend. I cannot wait to  return next year to confirm!

         At last I feel that my Quest has truly begun. When I think of the single minded dedication of the knights of King Arthur’s court, who seem to have interrupted their own pursuit of the Grail only to slay the occasional dragon or to rescue a castle full of maidens now and then, it is plain that not one among the lot of them was ever troubled with the necessities of supporting a wife and young son.

         To be fair, I have no dragons to contend with on my quest  only the occasional snake. Right now Junior is sulking in his room, to which he has been banished after bringing home a rather large specimen, which somehow found its  way into my desk drawer. He is quite   an intrepid child  when not hunting rodents in the cellar or running with the Indian children from the reservation, he is usually finding some trouble to get into.  Yet he is smart as a whip  already he can count to twenty in Latin and Greek ( and swear resoundingly in Navaho)  and I am confident that I can make a scholar of him.



Auberge d’Ecume

Cantaney, France

July 8,1906



         Brody was right. The abbey here is a treasure trove. Finding the item in question took some digging, but with such results!  The Grail is genuine, and before on this very afternoon was proof; a fragment of verse written by a survivor of the Vikings sack of the monastery of Iona. The Grail was actually in the possession of that holy community for three centuries after the time of King Arthur, brought there by Galahad after Saxon raids and Mordred’s treachery had destroyed Camelot.

         But after then, Where? Could the Vikings have taken it to Norway? Might they have lost or discarded in one of their subsequent raids? They roved as far east as Russia and as far south as Africa.

I dare not believe that it was lost at sea!


Fragment in Old Irish found in abbey of Cantaney, Brittany, 7/8/06, attributed to survivor of the sack of Iona by the Vikings in the ninth century. Obvious Anglo Saxon influence, but parchment, ink and style of illumination seem to indicate authenticity.


 Their ships like sharks, like shades of Satan,

Rumbled like whales that walked on water:

Their thirst axes, slaked on our blood,

Ran with red in the endless night.

And the holy books they set to the torch,

Throwing words and manuscript alike on the flame:

The word and the flesh to perish together..

         …the Cup of Our Lord

Carven of wood from the tree of peace

On slaver of silver, on samite of emerald,

Borne to our house by Galhaut the Pure

In the days of Arthur, when fair Logres fell,

This holiest of relics they ravished away to their land of darkness where the Devil is lord.



 Of identity pf “the Cup of Our Lord,”

There can be no doubt! “tree of peace” would seem to imply  that it is made of    olivewood. The “salver (tray) of silver”   and “samite (silken cloth) of emerald”   are identical with the silver table and   green cloth described by Chretien and others. “Logres” is Britain; while “Galhaut” is none other than Sir Galahad himself!


         Mary just returned to my room with junior, who by now must have our innkeeper, M. Roland de Haie, confirmed in his belief that Americans are savages and quite untameable  at least when armed with a slingshot. We shall have to find new accommodations tomorrow. Fortunately Mme. De Haie’s cat seems none worse for the encounter, and we shall not have to pay damages for our landlord’s priceless thirteenth century vase which by its cross section cleanly proved to be of considerably more recent origin and of no value whatever.



Gasthof Trubselig

Klasen heim, Austria – Hungary

July 16, 1906

         Acting on information from a monk at Cantaney that the castle here contained artefacts relating to the Grail legend, I traveled here to see for myself. There is a painting in the chapel by a Franciscan friar, with an interesting legend connected to it. Local tradition has it that the friar received his account of the Grail from a knight of the first crusade who claimed that his brothers had actually found the holy relic somewhere “in a canyon deep in a range of mountains. (Crucifiction Painting)

         The scholar, the logical man within me, insists that this tale is pure rubbish. The Franciscan order was founded more than a century after the first crusade: and the style of the painting clearly indicates that it could not have been rendered any earlier than the mid-13th century meaning that this knight must have been more than 150 years old. But the dreamer, the spiritual man within me, hears such a tale as a confirmation of its truth  that the Grail does indeed confer eternal life on the one who fulfils its quest! (Franciscan Friar)

         Am now soaking in an ancient cast-iron bathtub in the village inn. What an exhausting trip by mule drawn cart, up the mountain to the castle and back again! I think  of my son, deceptively sleeping the sleep of the innocent in our room down the hall, and pray that he shall never have to undertake so arduous a journey.


(Takt-i-Taqdis at the Center of the World) 


Las Mesas, Colorado

February 22,1912

         Can it really have been six years since my last entry?  Could academic obligations, lack of funds and the responsibilities of fatherhood truly have kept me so long from pursuit of my quest? Worst of all has been Mary’s tragic death, a blow from which neither I nor junior have yet recovered. I fear I an unfit to raise a son alone Junior grows wilder and more undisciplined by the month  Yet my heart will not admit any other woman to take Mary’s cherished place.

         Necessity may have required me to    devote these years to more conventional scholarship and to my teaching duties, but I have not by any means forsaken my sacred affirmation. It seems I am not the only scholar in pursuit of this ‘fable’, There are other ‘crackpots’ who share my passion, and still others who, though sceptical, never the less indulge my unconventional interest and keep me appraised of new discoveries concerning the lore of the Grail. Perhaps there is more romance in their souls than they would care to reveal to their respective institutions. Besides young Brody at Oxford, there is Staubig in Germany, the imminent Byzantine scholar Codirolli at Bologna, even an Arab in Baghdad who has been so kind as to pass along relevant information to this ‘infidel’. Must arrange to meet them all on my next sabbatical.

         Today I received a cable from Codirolli, occasioning this long overdue entry. I am most eager to see the journal of this Paolo of Genoa he is bringing on his lecture tour. He is to sail on the maiden voyage of this new luxury liner Titanic that has been so much in the news this winter. I am envious!


(Venice stained Glass Window)



Las Mesas

May 22, 1912

         Codirolli is a marvel. Not only did he survive the sinking of the ‘Unsinkable’ and the loss of the Paolo manuscript to Mr. Davy Jones; he has descended upon this forsaken patch of sand and presented me with a document he found in Constantinople that may have an even greater bearing on my quest!

Codirolli is lecturing on the west coast and will be taking the parchment with him when he returns this way next month. But in the meantime he left it here for my to make a facsimile copy.

         The parchment was found among other documents in a tin box secreted in a wall of the great basilica of St. Sophia, and would appear to date from the mid- 13th century. The picture seems to represent a stained glass window, but the significance of the Roman numerals quite escapes me. They may have some connection with the writing on the reverse side of the parchment in the Coptic alphabet of the early Egyptian Christian church, but the sense of it is not Coptic, and it appears to be some sort of cipher. What led Codirolli to infer its connection to my quest is the drawing at the top of the enciphered page. Though crudely rendered, it is a drinking vessel of some kind and on it is written in good Aramaic the language of Judea at the time of Christ.

‘father, son, holy ghost.’

         I have little hope of finding intact the stained glass window I have depicted elsewhere. In all likelihood it has long since been destroyed. But the cipher may provide a clue  perhaps to the location of the sacred relic itself.

         Codirolli is an elegant old gentleman, and he seem s to have led  quite an adventurous life, assuming that the stories he told on that vigorous evening last week were more than just the wild exaggerations of a Baron Munchausen. I admit I was almost as wide-eyed as Junior when he was telling his tales. Unfortunately my son tends to be overly excited by stories of high adventure.

Certainly it was Codirolli’s recounting of his escapade in ht e Sultan’s harem and his escape down a rope made of – but I am becoming indiscreet- that inspired Junior to steal that Spanish cross this afternoon. I fear he may too rash ever to make a good scholar- but perhaps it is just his youth.

(Prestor John - Partly) 



August 19,1916

         It has been a bleak year in every respect. First the European war, which again has occasioned the postponement of my long anticipated year of research. Then came my estrangement from Junior, which has caused such grievous injury to my spirit that I can hardly speak of it even in this private journal. And now, here at my conference, ridicule heaped upon scorn.

         God, grant me the strength of will to continue this quest! Sometimes my resolve almost fails me. This week I gave two brilliant papers on mainstream topics in medieval literature: yet everywhere I went it was “Here comes Sir Galahad” and “Heard you were at the North Pole seeking the historical Santa Claus,” and “Have a chair Jones, We’ve saved the Siege Perilous for you!” This last from Carruthers, who is still smarting from that little comedy in San Francisco two years ago when he was boasting about his acquisition of a “genuine 15th – century Inca funeral urn” from some antiquities dealer in Bolivia. I am sure I embarrassed him when I pointed out the tiny inscription just under the lip, the one that said “Made in Japan.”

         And the other day he returned the favour. Blast it to blazes! I should be oblivious to such condescension – God knows I’ve subjected myself to it long enough – but I had to resist the urge to land him one on that smug little grin of his. Right. Henry Jones, the white hope of Las Mesas. Perhaps I am not worthy of finding the Grail after all.


(Galahad, Perceval and Bors)



Aboard the steamer George S Pilkington

The North Atlantic

June 29, 1920

         At last I can resume my research in earnest! Can it really have been fourteen years since I last saw the Old World?

The Great War is over, Europe is unlocked once again, and I have a year to poke around in ruins and libraries before I resume my duties – at Princeton!  My “legitimate” scholarship has gained sufficient    recognition that I have been granted tenure at that distinguished institution, despite what the academic community regards as my fanciful obsession. I am not sorry to leave Four Corners. I have appreciated the solitude of the desert, but it is too far from the mainstream of medieval scholarship and it contains far too many memories of Mary.

         And of Junior. He truly loved Colorado, for all he decided that the state wasn’t big enough for the both of us: and he systematic explorations of the old Anasazi ruins during the year before he left home gave me hope that I had indeed raised a scholar.

         I have no idea where my son is. I pray that he is alive, healthy, and not in prison. It still breaks my heart that he scorned the opportunity for a university education – not to mention his own father – for a life devoted to dissipation and ruin. Wherever he is, I

assume he is at this moment galloping across open country on horseback, tearing about in an automobile, or getting some young girl in trouble. (Just this evening one the promenade deck I was talking to a young lady I met at Dinner with my own thoughts of romance – until I realized that this woman who spoke so frankly of female emancipation, speakeasies, and the scandalous theories of Dr. Sigmund Freud was a girl of the same age as Junior. It made me feel very old)



(Takt-i-Taqdis & SAinte Chapelle)


Oxford, England

July 14, 1920

         I am in my element. I have spent the past ten days combing the Arthurian collections in the British Museum in London and the Bodelian library here.. Marcus Brody has become and antiquarian and has been most useful. He has introduced me to a number of  scholars who are supportive of my work. One is a young German Jesuit, Brother Matthius, who despite the understandable British hostility toward the Hun”, is well regarded in university circles here.

Matthuis is a student of the life and works of Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, the celebrated 12- century religious poet, visionary and musical composer: and he informs me that certain rare manuscript of the abbess’s book of  visions contain Grail references.

         Unfortunately Professor Hawken died in the influenza epidemic last winter, but I have been allowed to see the Abergavenney manuscript. Hawken was not interested in Grail lore and spoke of hermit’s vision only in passing. We are off to Wales tomorrow to make further investigations

(Two Knights)

(Prestor John)



“ The Purple Dragon’

Mochdref, Wales

July 27, 1920

         Eureka! Just when I was beginning to suspect that this Welsh excursion was a wild goose chase, we stumbled upon this village. A local folk legend has it that the past Taliesin, whom the chronicles speak of as a pupil and companion of Merlin, came to this valley after the death of Arthur and the breaking of the fellowship of the Round Table. The natives were most avid informants once I had proved my worthiness by quoting some of Taliesin’s verses to them ( and by matching them drink for drink in the common room of the inn.)

Taliesin’s was reputed to be a shape –changer, and one of the local traditions is that the poet would often take the form of an eagle and observe the knights disporting themselves. On occasion he is said to have gazed upon Sir Perceval in his hermitage (NB: Not Galahad, as in the later accounts.) after he had fulfilled the quest of the Grail:

And of the sacred relic the bard sang a verse that I have translated here:

         To my embarrassment, I woke this morning with and axe-blade in my skull, on a straw cot in the local jail. I will admit to having had a bit too much to drink last night, but only the solemn confirmation of a dozen witnesses convinces me that I indeed ended the evening standing on the bar of “The Purple Dragon,” roaring out a medley of Yale college songs. It did not make matters any easier that it took Brody most of the morning to find his way there to pay my fine. How a man who can smell out a rare manuscript with the instinct of a bloodhound can get lost in a village of twenty houses is a mystery known only to the creator.


Verse fragment in the Welsh language attributed to Taliesin, sung by a shepherd and folklorist at Mochdref, Wales and translated by H.J. 7/31/20:

         …Silver as the foam of the sea,   

         Bright as the mirror of Bronwyn,

         Fragrant as the flesh of  Bladeuwedd,

         Mighty as the sword of Bran:

         Carven with the spells of blessing

         In the shrouded tongue of the  East,

         This vessel, the coracle of God

         Drives out the old before the new.

    NB: A coracle is a round boat such as are still employed by fisher folk in   Wales and western England: and thus  Taliesin’s verse would seem to support the theory that the Grail is a bowl, not a cup.


 The native Welshmen tell me that this word would be more accurately  rendered as “frothy” or “crystalline” or “luminescent.” In many cases it describes a quality of appearance and should not be taken as a reference to the metal silver.

(De Borron Set)



Sankt-Gallen, Switzerland

September 4, 1920

         It is as Brother Matthuis Promised1 The library of this ancient abbey contains a volume by Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, in her own hand, in which she recounts a vision of the cup of Christ!

         The incident is dated 1163. There exists a published Book of the visions of St. Hildegard, compiled by the sisters of her convent: but the last revelation in that volume dated 1155. The Abbess is known to have lived until 1179, and the St. Gallen codex clearly represents visions of the last 24 years of the celebrated mystics life. I perused it carefully but found no other references to the Grail.

         I have excerpted Hildegard’s description of the Grail in this notebook, but I remain puzzled by two features of the manuscript. Across the bottom of the page in which this vision is recounted appears a line of music with the annotation  (The Tunes to open the Tomb)   PER HOS SONOS SEPULCRUM APERIES- “by these tones shall you shall open the tomb.” The Abbess was a noted musician; but this is the only pace in this particular codex where a musical reference appears “ Sepulcrum” probably refers to the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. I have copied the music- ‘Neumes,” – I believe the medieval notes were called – and the master of the chapel here has graciously transcribed them into modern notes. But for now their significance remains a mystery, much like the Coptic cipher in Codirolli's Constantinople parchment. (I look forward to seeing the old reprobate in Bologna, but I first must make and unscheduled Rhine journey to Bingen.)

         The other oddity is a cluster of illuminations that appear on the opposite (reverse) page: Twelve medieval images, in three groups of four each, rendered in an individualized style that is far more characteristic of fifteenth rather than of Twelfth – century art. Upon  close examination, the parchment page on which these drawings appear proved to be of an entirely different quality and provenance – than the rest of the codex – as if the volume had been rebound and the new leaf added at some time after the manuscript was written. I reproduce these drawings here, though their relevance, if any, to the object of my Quest must for now remain obscure.

(The Window)

(The Black Stone Floorplan)


Account of a vision of Abbess Hildegard of Bingen, found in a manuscript in the library of the Benedictine abbey of St. Gallen, apparently in Hildegard’s own hand. (Translated from the Latin and excerpted by H.J. 9/2/20)


“On Good Friday (of the year 1163), I was in chapel at the hour of Matins…And of a sudden it seemed that the chapel was filled with a light brighter than the day, though outside was darkness…   And I was visited by the Holy Ghost and granted a vision of Our Lord on the cross…  And by his side stood Joseph of Arimathea, who held a chalice of brass to catch our Saviour’s blood, and on it was inscribed as it seemed in the Greek language, the words “ Take ye, this is my blood.”…

(Stag & Top of Window)

(Knights of the Quest and Defender of Faith)

(Wilderness of the Wanderings)

(Knight with cup & Malchizadek)



Bologna, Italy

September 29, 1920

         Codirolli continues to amaze me. He is past seventy, but his energy is equal to that of a twenty year- old. Right now he is out carousing somewhere, leaving me to pour over the fruits of his remarkable labours of the war years. Hostile borders have been no barrier to him nor has revolution, as he was able to slip into Constantinople (or as we now must call it, Istanbul!) and Russia (or as we now must call it, the Soviet Union!!) and bring out some of the most amazing items.

         I have before me a parchment, this wonder obtained from the ruin of Kaffa, in the Crimea. It is a testament written in good Byzantine Greek by a Jewish physician who was in attendance at the death of a Franciscan friar in that city the year 1267. As it happens, in one of those happy accidents of scholarship, this was the same Franciscan who painted the Crucifixion I saw so many years ago at Klasen heim – the friar who was said to have met a crusading knight who claimed that he and his brothers had found the Grail!

         The physician relates that the friar was sick at heart and fearful of damnation because he “had known for years of the location of the Holy Grail and failed to restore it to Christendom for fear he was not worthy ‘to feel the breathe of God and live, to tread upon {?} the word of God and be saved, ore to walk the path of God and not tumble into the abyss.”

         I have no clue as to the meaning of all this, but I must believe that to one armed with the proper knowledge it provided directions to the location of the Grail!

         Also before me is a translation of another of Codirolli’s findings, a much older account of a Byzantine merchant which offers yet another confounding description of the item. Its provenance – Russia _ and its date – the mid-10th century imply a connection with the fragment I found at Cantaney that refers to the Vikings having stolen the Grail from Iona From Kiev, with all the trading and raiding that was going on during those centuries it could easily have made its way south to where it could have been found by the knights of the first Crusade.


Excerpt from the journal of Byzantine merchant in Kiev, early 10th century,

Translated by G. Codirolli and shown to me 9/29/20

“…And though the Kingdom of Rus is pagan there are many Christians among its people, and Jews and Saracens as well. And in the market a man, knowing me to be Christian, offered to sell me a chalice, which he said was the holy cup that caught the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. But I have been to Jerusalem, and to Antioch, and many liars and charlatans have tried to sell me bones of saints and pieces of the Cross and fragments of Christ’s garments. And the cup he had was plain, of base metal and with no ornamentation, and surely could not have been the glorious Cup of Our Lord…”

(Dead Sea Map)


         Bingen was a bust. There was nothing in the voluminous manuscripts of Abbess Hildegard that yielded a clue to the musical notes in the St. Galen codex; and seeing the devastation wrought in the Rhineland by the war was dismaying. But what a journey this has been! A few more findings such as these and I may discover the Grail before I must return home!



Aboard the steamer Atalanta

The North Atlantic June 21,1921

         Midsummer day. The Atalanta is steaming westward across a perfectly calm sea, bearing me home from what I must on balance consider a failed voyage. The heady successes of the summer months have been overshadowed by the three subsequent seasons of false trails, blind alleys and near misses – in Italy, Germany, The Balkans, Turkey and the Near East. I will not say that the year was without its joys – the Holy Land was a precious experience, to say nothing of my encounter with Lady E.! – but as regards my quest, everything after Bologna was disappointment and frustration.

         Yet I have Princeton to look forward to, new adventures in scholarship and future opportunities to return to the Old World. I am only forty-five, and I have Codirolli to look at as an example of what can be accomplished at an advanced age. The search for the Grail is a lifetime quest. I was summoned to this mission two decades ago, and I can only believe that I have been chosen by some higher power to fulfil it.


(Grail Mass & Omphalos)

(Map with no Names)

(Gulf of Aqaba Map)

(The Venice Map)



Princeton, New Jersey

June 19,1923

         As Sherlock Holmes might say, I am back on the case. Since receiving Lady E’s letter earlier this week, I have been constructing a map, based on all the accounts I have gathered of the rout of the Grail.

         How fragmentary they are! The Burton tidbit Lady E. recounts to me speaks of traveling “eastward from the city” – but which city? The legends of Klasenheim had to “in a canyon in the midst of a range of mountains? And al-Musafir’s informant placed it near the source of a river which he reached after traveling south from an oasis” – but which river; which oasis? “Oasis” implies desert – but which desert?

         Yes, it seems there is useful research I can do in New Jersey. I must scour every atlas, ancient and modern, until I find a map that matches mine.

         As for lady E. – who would have believed she would remember me so fondly? I am feeling like a schoolboy!




May 29, 1927

         The news out of Egypt has held me in thrall all this spring. I have haunted cable offices and made daily phone calls to the wire services in New York, anxious to receive every tidbit of news about Hawe’s discovery as it becomes available. While everyone else in the world seems to be ecstatic over this Lindberg fellow, it is the papyrus unearthed at Kozra that has claimed my undivided attention. If the scroll is authentically “the gospel according to Joseph of Arimathea,” then its description of the Grail could be the authentic one.

And even if it isn't, it may prove to have some connection with Codirolli’s Coptic cipher.

         Poor Codirolli! My urgent desire to get to Egypt and examine the Hawes papyrus is mitigated by his senseless death last year in Rome, an old man beaten to death in the street for making an obscene gesture at one of il duce’s Fascist bully-boys. I have lost a good friend, an invaluable colleague, and for now, at least, my taste for travel as well.

         Ironically it was the same journal that carried the news of his death that brought me my first news of Junior in more than a decade. At least I assume that the “Dr. Indiana Jones” spoken of in connection with the Ravenwood expedition in Sun kiang is my son! I am gratified to learn that he is alive and has earned his doctorate – but Indian??

It was our dog’s name in Las Mesas.

The boy continues pointedly to wound me. I wrote him a letter in care of Ravenwood at Chicago addressed to Dr. Henry Jones, Jr., but I have yet to receive a reply.



Cambridge, Massachusetts

October 2, 1928

         Have seen the Hawes papyrus at last. I have nothing to add to the controversy over its genuineness, about which only a theologian  would care. It is clearly of great antiquity and of interest of historians whether or not it is really and eyewitness account of Joseph of Arimathea. It is a transcription and a  translation in any case: Joseph would have written in Aramaic or perhaps Greek, certainly not Coptic, which did not exist as a written language until perhaps 200 AD. Only when I find the object of my quest will I be able to attest to the accuracy of the author’s description.

         Do I sound discouraged? Perhaps I am, after all these years of false hopes, flimsy discoveries and disappointments, Perhaps I am. The search fort the Holy Grail is the search for the spark of the divine in all of us. But Just now I feel all too mortal, and I fear I have wasted my life in pursuit of a chimera.

(Jesus and the Grail)

(Rock slide)

(Map of the Moutainroad)

(Lycurgus & Falling Rocks)

(Obstacle & Cruciform Scrap)

(Iron Cross)


Salisbury, England

September 17, 1930

         I am shivering, but neither form cold nor from fear.

         I write this entry in a cell that has graciously been lent to me by one of the canons of the Cathedral, where in a secret alcove high up in the buildings’ stonework a badly damaged copy of a diary of St. Anselm was found this summer by a mason making repairs. Brody advised  me by cable last month of the discovery. How the manuscript came to be here instead of Canterbury, where Anselm was archbishop,  I do not know; but it appears to have been hidden away because of one very un-Anselmlike visionary lacuna that some priest may have adjudged “Satanic.” Thank God this did not destroy the manuscript utterly!

         The passage seems to date from the period of the great theologian’s exile from England. In the midst of a typical philosophical discourse on the nature of God the father, Anselm broke off and wrote the words EQUESTRI SEPULCRUM IN (obscured) REGINA (obscured) DALMATIAE – “the knight’s tomb in (the crypt of?) Queen (her name?) of Dalmatia.”

         Below this sentence is a crude representation of a wine cup surrounded by a nimbus over which are written the words CHRISTI CALIX – cup of Christ. And Below this was written the following passage:

         “The challenges will number three. First, the breath of God; only the penitent man will pass. Second, the word of God; only in the footsteps of God will he proceed. Third, the path of God; only in a leap from the lions’ head will he prove his worth.” In the margin next to these words are two drawings of a mechanical device resembling a pendulum, and a man, seeming to walk on air.

         The breath of God, the word of God, the path of God – the same enigmatic words that were spoken more than a century and a half after St. Anselm’s death by the Franciscan friar who knew the location of the Grail – spoken as if they were tests of some kind that he unworthy to pass.

(The Tree Trials)

(The Trap)

(Leap of Faith)


         Suddenly everything begins to connect;

Both Anselm and the friar refer to these three tests, the Burton fragment refers to “passing the three trials, the lost journal of Paolo of Genoa refers to the Grail as being guarded by “lethal protective devices, the drawing in the Anselm

Manuscript certainly could be some sort of lethal contraption! Abbess Hildegard in her vision of the Grail heard musical notes “by which you shall open the tomb.” St. Anselm here speaks of the Grail in connection with “the knight’s tomb in the queen of Dalmatia” –the Latin name for the Yugoslavian coast.

“The knight” could be the knight of the first crusade who told the friar where the Grail was to be found.

         The knight’s tomb in the queen of Dalmatia! I am of to Paris tomorrow, from whence I take the Orient Express to Belgrade!

(Triangular Floorplan)



October 1, 1932

Letter came from Staubig today. How ironic that the Book of Spells of Merlin should turn up in Dubrovnik! I would be more excited about his discovery were it not for my bitter

Disappointment of two years ago when I failed to find any trace of the Grail in Yugoslavia. The Merlin account of the Grail provides some connection – The Aramaic inscription is identical to the one described in the Kaffa parchment – but it leaves me no closer to finding the item that has now eluded me for thirty-four years. What does it look like? I now have ten descriptions of the Grail, each one unique. Where is it located? I have an almost useless map and a cryptic reference to a knights’ tomb “in the queen of Dalmatia” that may be opened by a musical phrase. Danke Schaon, Herr Staubig, but unfortunately your discovery comes under the heading of too little, too late.

         News of Junior continues to reach me through the popular press, most recently from Indo-China where he is apparently in pursuit of a jade idol – “The demon monkey of Laeng-Tran” – that is said to posses some sort of occult power. I simply can’t understand his obsession with such fanciful nonsense. My God, what will he be after next? The lost cities of Cibola? The ark of the covenant? How could I have raised such a son?

         And why must he insist on going by that ridiculous name?

(The Tree Trials and Knights)


New York  December 9, 1937

         What a fool I have been! I hold the have held the key to the Grail in my hand for more than seen years and have failed to recognize it!

         Not Yugoslavia but Venice. The cryptic reference in the Anselm manuscript should be reconstructed as, EQUESTRI SEPULCRUM IN URBE REGINA MARIS DALMATIAE – “The knights tomb (is) in the queen city of the Sea of Dalmatia”- that is the Adriatic. Venice- the Queen of the Adriatic- is where I will find the knight’s tomb. And within the tomb is to be found a “marker” that locates the Grail!

         How I came by this knowledge is a tale too long the relate in detail in my excitement of the moment. I am in a luxury suite in the Prague Hotel, provided e by one Walter Donovan, a wealthy industrialist and collector of antiquities who has long been a benefactor of scholarly institutions and museums. He is in possession of the friar’s chronicle- the friar, the one who died at Kaffa, the one who learned of the Grail’s location form the 150-year-old-crusader, et cetera, et cetera – and, more astonishingly, of an incomplete stone tablet which the three brothers left as a “marker” to seekers of the Grail. Donovan has allowed me to make a rubbing of the partial inscription on the tablet; but according to the friar’s account, a second “marker” that may lead to the Grail is buried with the knight’s brother.

         The knight’s tomb!

         My insight concerning Venice I have kept to myself! Donovan is as anxious to find this second marker as I am; he has a great deal of money to spend on the project, and tonight he has asked me to lead his research team. As soon as I can extricate myself from my obligations at Princeton, I am to sail, no, fly – to Berlin to meet with Dr. Schneider, who will be working on the project with me. I do not intend to mention Venice until I am ready to depart. Donovan may well have this Schneider begin the investigation without me. (The Sword)  (I’ve never heard of any Schneider, must ask Staubig if he knows him.) Besides, it will be rather embarrassing if I am proven wrong.

         But I am right.  This time I am sure of it.

(Venice Libery)