[journal has been kept chaotically – full of stains, blots and incomprehensible scribblings and the entries are not dated]
Every day I regret what I said then. How could I have been so foolish?! Why did I not agree to become her assistant...? Fie upon you, base ambition... O, Isabelle, forgive me.
Enough inaction. I'm off to Beauclair. If I find you alive, Isabelle, I will fall to my knees and plead forgiveness. And if... if you're gone... Enough of this wallowing in self-pity! Time to get to work!
I have chosen the most talented and hardworking of my students and for my assistant I have named my most clever adjunct, Philipp Borutt. The Academy Chancellery has accepted the plan for our expedition.
We need but collect our equipment – then hit the road!
Unbelievable. Philipp had the audacity to point out to me that eating egg salad sandwiches while traveling in a closed carriage is poor manners... What arrogance! And to think I prized him above all my adjuncts. I could not have imagined a worse start to our eight-week journey!
[a few pages are stuck together by some sticky substance – mayonnaise?]
We have arrived. I fear entering these ruins. I fear what I shall find there... I think I lack the strength to face the truth.
That impertinent upstart Philipp Borutt is driving me completely mad! He's accused ME of idleness and indecision! How dare he hurl such insults in the presence of the other members of our expedition?! He does not understand who my beloved Isabelle was, who she IS to me! I... I do not wish to – I cannot face the truth.
I'm off. Alone, at the moment, for I do not wish them to see me when I find... I will begin by searching the ruins of the temple abutting the river.