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Another appearance by this Gray Thorne, character. I am beginning to suspect that he is being abetted by the populace in some way. Originally, I had thought these knights would be more useful in the search for this bandit, but it may be that they are too lenient in their method of questioning. My chastisement of them this time was a bit more pointed, and I may even have noted some barely concealed resentment. Still, they are too useful as symbols to discard at this time. The people apparently look to them as examples of such dubious virtues as Honor and Loyalty. So long as they remain obedient, the general population, I believe, will follow suit.

However, random searches by my own men in nearby villages, along with the judicious application of torch to thatch have also proved fruitless. Thankfully, the cursed thief was only able to make off with a small fraction of the taxes that were collected. Yet it seems to me that the very nature of these exploits is more important than the monetary acquisition. There are still a few subjects that remain to be questioned. It may be necessary to attend to the matter personally. Strange, how after a few months of luxury, what used to be a pleasure becomes a drudgery. Ah well, Niccolo, the burden of rulership, yes? Ha! HAH!