Limoux, 7 July 1896
To: Monsieur Saunière, Curé of Rennes-le-Château, Aude
With a view to commencing the building work to be undertaken at your church and to ensure a meeting of minds thereon I am writing to advise you of the cost price for all the works in question.
In accordance with your instructions and the investigations that I have undertaken the sum required to carry out the work with the best results would be two thousand four hundred francs (2400 F), as follows:
1. Dressing the vault and arches almost in their entirety by means of tubular (hollow) bricks with 2 layers of plaster, prising out the old plaster, cleaning out the grooves and cracks, in a word: making the walls and vaults ready for painting.
2. Repairing the altar and creating a step thereon to hold two candelabra, constructing 4 arches between the interior buttresses to form an avant-corps [part of a building that projects from the main mass] in the side-walls.
3. Decorative painting on the walls and vaults of the entire nave and sanctuary in the Romanesque style according to the drawings and samples given to the Curé. It is envisaged that the sanctuary will be finished to a higher standard than the nave. The latter, although finished in a simpler fashion, will still have to harmonize with the sanctuary.
4. All the costs of the necessary scaffolding and materials will be met by myself, as will the costs of transport to Couiza.
5. The Curé undertakes at the end of the work to make a minimum down-payment of two hundred francs and subsequently to pay off the balance by means of regular annual payments of a similar sum.
I believe, Monsieur Curé, that I will be able to speak to you again towards the end of the next week on the subject of the scaffolding and the materials required to start and continue the plastering work before the bad weather sets in.
I look forward to hearing from you,