Schotto was a cardinal from Mainz, Germany, that was in attendance at the election of Pope Sporus VI, and who broke his pen during the balloting and "could not secure another from the proctors, whom he accused (loudly) of being in the pay of the Italians." Following a scuffle with other prelates, in which he used his crosier as a weapon, he ultimately never got a pen (Saint Fidgeta and Other Parodies, 53).


While you wouldn't lose much if you bet Bellairs simply made up a funny sounding word, the surname Schott may be tied to the occupational name for a gravel digger, although a more likely explanation is a dairyman or cheesemaker[1].

During the scuffle between Schotto and a Greek (or Greekish) signor, someone called the other "brushe-face" (54). This almost sounds like an insult of Mrs. Zimmermann’s upon Jonathan Barnavelt.


  1. Schott: Internet Surname Database.

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