Crouching in the shadows of the choir balcony high above the altar, Sister Sandrine peered silently through the balustrade at the cloaked monk kneeling alone.
The mysterious Opus Dei monk had come to SaintSulpice for another purpose.
The bloody monk was now quietly donning his cloak again, clutching his prize as he moved toward the altar, toward the Bible.
Turning in terror, she saw the massive monk.
"They are dead," the monk said.
A sudden explosion of rage erupted behind the monk’s eyes.
"You know what I have come for," the monk said, his voice hollow.
The monk’s eyes fell immediately to the keystone on Teabing’s lap.
"My Teacher is very wise," the monk replied, inching closer, the gun shifting between Teabing and Sophie.
"You’re bleeding," Teabing noted calmly, nodding to the monk’s right ankle where a trickle of blood had run down his leg.
"As do you," the monk replied, motioning to the metal crutches propped beside Teabing.
The monk closed to within a few feet, keeping the gun aimed directly at Teabing’s head.
Sophie watched, feeling helpless as the monk reached out to take the cylinder.
The massive body of an albino monk lay bound and gagged with duct tape.
From his seat on the divan, Langdon gazed down at the monk and tried to imagine what had happened.
He pointed his crutch at the blood soaking through the monk’s cloak.
Beside her, Teabing glanced over his shoulder at the bound and gagged monk lying in the cramped luggage area behind the back seat.
Teabing had the monk’s gun on his lap and looked like an old photo of a British safari chap posing over his kill.
The monk in back was moaning now, struggling against his trusses.
Sophie argued, "The monk has not yet told us his purpose."
The monk fell silent.
Not surprisingly, the media spotlighted their spiritual commitment only briefly before moving on to the shock value of the sect’s more stringent "numerary" members… members like the monk now lying on the floor before Langdon.
Langdon had once visited the abbey’s famous College Garden—a small fruit orchard and herb garden—left over from the days when monks grew natural pharmacological remedies here.
He looked down at the bound monk at his feet.
The hum of the engines and the gentle rocking of the plane were hypnotic, and his head still throbbed where he’d been hit by the monk.
"Our friend the monk isn’t talking yet," he chimed, "but give him time."
He scowled toward the monk in the rear of the plane.
With the police closing in fast, Langdon and Sophie dragged the monk down the gangway to ground level and out of sight behind the limousine.
He got out of the car, walked toward the rear, and climbed back into the limousine’s main cabin where the monk was.
After some initial struggles in the Range Rover, the monk seemed to have accepted his plight and given over his fate to a higher power.
The monk recoiled, struggling against his bonds.
Three minutes later, with the help of his sidearm, he had a full confession, including a description of the bound albino monk.
As the monk advanced, Langdon stepped back, raising the keystone high, looking fully prepared to hurl it at the floor.
We are trying to find an albino monk.
His dirty work had been carried out unknowingly by a fanatical monk and a desperate bishop.
Now, as the limousine raced toward Kent, Langdon and Sophie clambered toward the rear of the limo’s long interior, leaving the monk bound on the floor.
Although his familiarity with art did not include woodworking or inlaid furniture, he had just recalled the famous tiled ceiling of the Spanish monastery outside of Madrid, where, three centuries after its construction, the ceiling tiles began to fall out, revealing sacred texts scrawled by monks on the plaster beneath.
"This monk is not working alone, Robert," Teabing said, "and until you learn who is behind all this, you both are in danger.
"The monk’s purpose is the Church’s purpose," Teabing replied, "to destroy the documents that reveal the great deception.
Sensing Rémy’s presence, the monk in the back emerged from a prayer-like trance, his red eyes looking more curious than fearful.
Even if Rémy changed clothes, he was partnered with an albino monk.
As Rémy took the phone, he knew this poor, twisted monk had no idea what fate awaited him now that he had served his purpose.
Rémy called to the monk.
The monk’s red eyes filled with anger and frustration, and Rémy tightened with fear that Silas might actually shoot Langdon while he was holding the cryptex.
The dignified surroundings, however, did little to camouflage the less than dignified state of affairs in the rear of the plane where, in a separate seating area near the rest room, Teabing’s manservant Rémy sat with the pistol in hand, begrudgingly carrying out Teabing’s orders to stand guard over the bloody monk who lay trussed at his feet like a piece of luggage.