St Andrews Answers


Dominic Francis (Monk)


The Dagger



CASE DE-BRIEF (Full Story):

William Lawrence and Dominic Francis were the best of enemies, their fates entwined in life as they were in death. Living side-by-side in monastic quarters and serving together in St Andrews Cathedral, they were well acquainted for many years. However, despite their common occupation, their personalities could hardly have been more different, and their fractured relationship would often descend into petty squabbles and, occasionally, fierce argument. Francis, the pious and long-serving monk, was quiet and reserved, while the boisterous Lawrence was characterised by his self-assured flamboyance and love of luxury.

In the weeks leading up to his murder, the tension between them reached breaking point. The resident Bishop of St Andrews fell ill and, with his condition worsening by the day, the debate on who would succeed him became more and more heated. With the Bishop debilitated by disease and the monastery lacking any strict regulation or authority, Lawrence showed an increasing disregard for Church convention, instead attempting to convince local figureheads to support his quest for power by wooing them with a series of extravagant banquets.

Francis, so long the unheralded servant of his beloved Bishop, was resentful of Lawrence's popularity and political influence, fearing that his own chances of succeeding the Bishop were being jeopardised by Lawrence's flirtation with the authorities. And so, consumed by jealousy and stricken by fear that his unbending piety would remain unrecognised, Dominic Francis decided to take matters into his own hands. Lurking in the shadowy cloisters of St Andrews Cathedral, Francis lay in wait for Lawrence to return to his quarters after another indulgent feast with court officials. As Lawrence staggered along the gloomy, moonlit passage, swaying from side to side and swigging the last of his gourd of mead, Francis sprung from his hiding place and plunged a dagger into the heart of his victim, muffling Lawrence's scream as his knees buckled beneath him. Francis then dragged the limp, lifeless body out of the cathedral grounds to the rugged coastal cliff and cast William Lawrence to his watery grave. Come morning, local fishermen had found the corpse washed up on East Sands, and the town was rife with rumour and suspicion of a murderer in their midst...

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