Study Guide

The Da Vinci Code Prologue

By Dan Brown

Prologue

  • It's late at night in the Louvre Museum.
  • (No, it's not a cheesy Ben Stiller movie. That's a different museum, and a different night.)
  • The curator Jacques Saunière grabs the nearest painting he can see and tears it off the wall, triggering the automated security system to drop iron gates around the suite.
  • (This is not typical behavior for a museum curator, we don't think.)
  • Aaaah. Saunière trashed the Caravaggio because he's under attack, and he knew if he could activate the security system he'd be barred from his pursuer.
  • Creepy: the guy attacking Saunière is a huge albino with a gun.
  • The albino demands that Saunière tell him where something is.
  • Saunière resists, but eventually gives in at gunpoint… kind of. He tells the albino a lie that he'd rehearsed many times but hoped to never have to say.
  • The albino is happy that what Saunière told him was the same as what the other three sénéchaux told him.
  • Oh, and by the way, those guys are dead now.
  • Saunière is shocked and dismayed to learn that the other three guys are dead. If he dies, the truth will be lost forever.
  • The albino shoots Saunière in the gut, and leaves him to die a slow painful death.
  • Saunière knows he's a dead man, so he desperately seeks out a way to pass on the secret he's carried for so long.
  • This secret is a big deal. A really big deal.