The briefcase, he emphasized, had never been opened. He verified this opinion by citing the expert testimony of a certified Beverly Hills locksmith (he could not remember her name). Once she had disengaged the rusty clasp, Father Lustlieb said, he paid her, quietly left the back room of her establishment (secrecy, he emphasized, was extremely important), went back to his uncle’s mansion, stole unobserved into the wine cellar (secrecy again being the motive), opened the briefcase, and found a trove of twelve ancient sheepskin Scrolls, all of them perfectly preserved. Each scroll was secured with a royal blue waxen seal, on which was stamped a single Ur-Hebrew word, aleph $ taw, for which there is no English equivalent. Each seal was also stamped with a tiny Ur-Hebrew number, indicating, he surmised, the order in which the Scrolls were to be translated and positioned within the finished text.
What follows in the main body of this volume are Father Lustlieb’s translations of those twelve sacred Scrolls, including the titles, which were present in the original. As the disciple chosen by the master to edit this volume, I have taken the liberty to write an introduction to each Scroll and to add a few notes to the body of the text.