The chapel lay silent in the night, like one who slumbered in the light of a few torches. The scent of incense and old parchment was its coverlet, the alabaster images of saints its bed-mates. Footsteps, more quiet than a cat upon velvet paws, crossed the tiles to a saint’s niche.

Secreted behind a curtain, St Peter stood enrobed in darkness, but such nimble hands had no need of light to find what they sought. A weighty chain hung about the saint’s shoulders and, heavy though it was, it proved the task of a moment to lift it off. Then the footsteps retreated into the night, leaving St Peter naked of his fine collar of goldsmith’s work.