Being a true account of how the Chevalier D'Eon retrieved the Secret Writings of Nostradamus for the Marquis De Sade.
They met in an obscure roadside inn between Paris and Rouen. It was not a particular noteworthy or auspicious location. That was, of course, deliberate. For all the importance of this exchange, neither of the people involved had any desire to be noticed. It was a calm morning, sunny, with just enough clouds to keep the temperature mild.
Donatien François was waiting at a table when the Chevalier arrived. He rose, bowed, and said, "d'Eon, I presume?"
"I am honored, Marquis." Charlotte d'Eon de Beaumont offered a suitable curtsey, then took a seat at the table.
"Not at all, gracious lady." The Marquis de Sade smiled. "When a... diplomat... of your stature defies her exile to do a favor for me, I must be the one who is honored."
The Chevalier d'Eon inclined her head. "Not exactly a favor, Marquis. I do expect to be paid... though I must confess that your interest coincided with my own curiosity in this case."
"Well, then." The Marquis placed a small bag upon the rough wood of the table. "You have the item we discussed?"
The Chevalier grasped the bag in one calloused hand, lifting it enough to feel its weight. "I do indeed. The secret journal of Nostradamus, taken from the private library of his many-times-great grandson. It was hidden inside another book; I doubt the family even knew it was there."
"You've read it, of course." The Marquis' smile widened as Charlotte d'Eon lifted a small, square satchel and placed it on the table beside the bag.
"Naturally," The Chevalier agreed.
"We were wrong."
The Marquis' face went still. "He could see the future?"
"He described this meeting - us, here - in considerable detail. And told us both about what we could expect from our lives, and how we would be remembered." The Chevalier d'Eon looked away. "It was not pleasant reading."
"But, to know the future! The very shape of things to come... does he speak of the end of the world?"
"Not in our lifetime. He predicts a great rain of fire - something about the sun itself growing larger to devour us."
"I... see." The Marquis de Sade turned his eyes to the book, still wrapped in its satchel. "I do not wish to seem abrupt, but..."
The Chevalier stood. "I understand, and I wish you well of it." She reached down and collected the bag of coin. "As for myself, I will return to my exile... and then I will get very, very drunk; and forget as much of Monsieur Nostradamus' writings as I can. Good day, Marquis."
"...And to you, Chevalier."
Here ends the true account of how the Chevalier d'Eon, diplomat and spy, put the secret writings of Michel de Nostradame into the hands of the Marquis de Sade, libertine and revolutionary, in the years before the French Revolution. You will not find this account in any history book, but it remains true nevertheless. I pass it on to you as Nostradamus himself described it in his secret journal, which my grandfather collected at an auction house in Charleston in 1907; and how it came there, I cannot even imagine.
This is, of course, shameless link bait for the unbelievable number of people doing searches on Nostradamus right now, and anyway you really ought to know better than to trust a writer.