Chapter 4A Chapter by Calvin
After Captain Santonio and his men endured the heart breaking disappointment Luitenant Vasquez insisted on turning back, " Captain sir, it is suicide to go any farther in this desolate wilderness! I insist we turn back sir! " shouted the luitenant disrespectfully. " " He's right captain, we are on a wild goose chase. There is no gold, it's just a native legend. " agreed Seargent Montana. " What point is there in turning back? Are we going to tell King Ferdinand we could not find the courage to explore this new, unknown country? Are we going to tell Spain we could not claim territory for her because we were too afraid? " exclaimed Captain Santonio patrioticly. " I stand with Captain Santonio " shouted one of the conquistadors, Luitenant Iglesias soon followed, " Are we going to let the great ark slip out of our hands? or the gold? " yelled the captain . The men were very excited from the captain's speech about gold, there was nothing Luitenant Vasquez or Seargent Montana could do to stop them now. The conquistadors wanted their gold and they knew it was out there. The jouney pressed on ever north ward to what the templars called the great forest, during the night after the men had gone to sleep Luitenant Vasquez and Seargent Montana attempted to desert. For this they were punished by being assigned to carrying duty, the rest of the conquistadores thought it was very funny seeing their superiors have to do their work. The soldiers started to make fun of the two," Here, carry my helmet seargent. " " What's the matter luitenant, do you not like being the captain's donkey? " For this the two deserters were very angry with the captain and even began to plot against him. Diego was safe from any murder plot, the rest of the men adored Captain Santonio and despised the luitenant and the seargent for their cowardice. These conquistadors were hungry for adventure and gold and now most of their fear was gone. After a full week of travel The journey had reached the templar's great forest, there were pine trees with about 2 feet of space between each, at times it was more difficult to navigate than the swamps and bogs they had experienced before, the spanish were especially weary of this area, they had no idea what sort of ferocious creatures inhabit this world. " What sort of animals inhabit this part of the country? " Captain Santonio asked leaping fawn. " I know nothing of this land, me and my father made a few hunting trips into the hills and meadows but we never came this far. As children my people are told that evil spirits inhabit these lands, we would never dare to enter the great woods. " Leaping Fawn nervously answered. The captain later wrote in his journal, " Twig cracking and the sounds of something rustling in the brush began to make the men nervous and jumpy, it was as if something were watching and following us every step of the way, I could hear the sounds of something taking steps in pace with me, everytime I stopped walking I would hear a second step behind me." The captain began wondering if the evil spirit leaping fawn told him of was stalking him by the hour. It was difficult to make camp that night, the trees were so close together that there was no large enough clearing to bed down for the night, but as always Captain Santonio devised a brilliant and ingenious plan to overcome the difficult circumstances. The captain had a plan to use the supplies and boxes to form a barrier around the spot where they made camp, the men simply slept between each tree inside the fenceline, it was'nt very comfortable but as long as it made them safe the men did'nt care. Captain Santonio ordered centuries posted to keep them safe at night, even the captain was a little shook up from the erie feeling that surrounded this forest of mystery. He could no longer exploit the experiece and knowlege of his native scouts as they had never even been to this part of the world, they were every bit as lost as the spaniards were. The next morning everyone woke up to what was a terrifying day, the lead native scout screaming eagle eagle was missing. Leaping Fawn pleaded with the spaniards to help find him before it's too late. " wild eagle is missing!!! we must find him!!! We must find him before the evil spiits do!!! " pleaded leaping fawn. " We cannot risk our lives for one of these heathen natives captain! exclaimed Seargent Montana. " Seargent! these natives are just as much a part of this expedition as you are and are just as important to me as any conquistadore. " Captain Santonio granted leaping fawn her request, so then the conquistadores began their search for the missing native, they searched all through the forest and could not find him at first, just as they were about to abandon the search they made a gruesome discovery. When the men found the native he was dead, they found him covered with blood and mauled to death, he was covered with tooth and claw marks, the fear that gripped the spaniards earlier in the expedition soon returned as they looked opon this terrible, horrifying scene. After burying the mauled scout and saying a few words over him the captain pressed on with the jouney, he took every precaution he could to make sure they were safe from any monstrous creature, he assigned only ten men to carrying duty, five of them being natives, that way there would be 45 armed conquistadors waiting at the ready with drawn swords while they made there trek through the woods. The expedition was running out of food and water, the men's spirits began to plumit as their supplies ran out, suddenly they stumbled opon a small brook running slowly and peacefully through the forest. Captain Santonio let his men drink first, that was the code of conduct for all spanish officers. " What makes you want this ark so badly? " asked leaping fawn of the captain. " Finding the ark will make me a hero to all of Europe, I would most likely become very wealthy and powerful. It would make me a hosehold name forever, I may perhaps be more famous than christopher columbus. " replied Captain Santonio confidently. " what use will you have for it if you find it? ", the captain gave out a quiet laugh as he began to answer " The ark is priceless! I would'nt sell it for a million pieces of eight, I will give it to Spain as a gift to my King and country. " answered the captain with great patriotism. " Do you have a woman in this place you call spain? " Leaping fawn asked, Diego Santonio was a very attractive man and was the most handsome bachelor in all of Barcelona. Leaping fawn had been entranced by his dashing, good looks ever since the journey began. " No, I've lived alone all my life. No woman woud have me because of my naval career, I would never be around to see a woman if I married her. " The captain began to write in his diary behind an old, rotten cypress stump. " This journey is beginning to take quite a toll on me, my men are living in fear of whatever mauled that poor native earlier today. The seargent is saying we're on a wild goose chase, in my mind I'm beginning to think that he was right. I feel like a crusader searching for the holy grail at times, everytime I think I'm getting close it somehow seems to slip away from me. Oh well, I guess it takes determination to reach the ultimate prize. " As Captain Santonio looked out at the stream he noticed that his men were done drinking, he stooped down to get a drink when suddenly he came closer to death than he had ever came before. While he was dipping his hand into the clear waters he felt claws dig into his skin as some sort of wild predator pounced on him, he fought it the best a spanish sailor knew how. He pulled out his dagger and jabbed at the ferocious beast, but his claws were simply too quick for Captain Santonio. Just as the rougue creature was about to clamp it's teeth over the captain's throat a native arrow shot into viciuos animal's heart, leaping fawn had saw the creature from afar and shot an arrow into the violent animal before it put it's bite of death on Captain Santonio. The beast which attacked the captain was something the conquistadors had never seen, they could'nt determine if it was a maneless lion or a spotless leopard. It most closely resembled the black panthers of southeast asia, but it had sandy blonde fur like the african lion. The beaten and clawed captain needed immediate medical attention, leaping fawn took the golden cup that was given to him and filled it with water to wash off his wounds. As leaping fawn began to pour the water onto him she and the spaniards witnessed a miracle they haunts them to this day, the water that poured from the cup began to wash aways his wounds miraculously. All of the captain's scratches were washed away in an instant, all of the natives and conquistadors were stunned and shocked at this supernatural occurance. " there must be some sort of healing power in the water! " exclaimed Luitenant Vasquez. " Here, I have a cut on my leg. " said Luitenant Iglesias. The men watched in awe once again as leaping fawn poured out the golden cup of water onto the luitenant's cut and watched it completely dissolve. Seargent Montana stepped forward to have some of the miracle water poured on his wrinkled and scared face, as they poured water on it his wrinkles and scars disappeared making him look years younger. " What shall we call it captain? " asked Luitenant Iglesias with excitement. " The Fountain of Youth! " replied the captain with joy. After marking this terrific discovery on their map the journey moved on, now that the spaniards knew what was stalking them in the woods earlier they were'nt near as freightened. Soon the men came to an opening in the woods, it was the first time four days they could see more than ten feet in front of them. In the center of this opening was a hut made of stones, Captain Santonio felt certain that it would be the holy of holys. " Here it is men! We've done it! " shouted the captain ecstaticly. As Captain Santonio walked up to the door he saw an ingraved image of the ark on the the door, at this moment adreanalin rushed though his body and his heart nearly pounded out of his chest thinking he was standing mere feet from the ark of the covenant. While the door fell down as they violently opened it a disappointing sight fell opon their eyes, the same dusty medevil church with five spider web coated benches and blury stained glass windows. In the front was a marked stone just like the first with the old english inscription, " It's hopeless! There is no ark or gold, it's all a bunch of nonsense!!!! " exclaimed Seargent Montana with disgust. " Seargent! We know the crusaders were here, we know they brought the ark with them. This is no native wives tale, if it was there would be no medevil church here! " the captain replied furiously. Luitenant Iglesias heroicly marched his way up to the old engraved stone strutting as if he were a knight in shining armour to translate the mysterious writing, it read " ye have endured much, if ye will obey instructions ye will be rewarded. Continue northwest until ye reach the mountains of fog and thee will fid what thee seeketh. " " It's ridiculous to continue sir! we'll be going from one clue to another until there are no more clues left! " Luitenant Vasquez said spitefully. " Maybe you should ask for the men's opinion before you start playing God Luitenant!! " said the captain authoritively. " The most precious relic that could ever be found is somewhere in this land, and with it is more gold than anyone could imagine. It is your choice to either turn back and let some other lucky expedition find the gold or, Find it ourselves and return to spain as wealthy heroes! ". The captain's fiery speech inspired the travel weary conquistadors, they immediately sided with Captain Santonio and decided to continue the grueling and treacherous journey. As the odessey marched northwest the men could tell the altitude was getting higher and higher, the fauna and native animals did'nt seem to change much. While the soldiers were making camp one night Captain Santonio sat on a stump secluded from the rest of the men, Luitenant Iglesias soon joined him. " Captain, what do you think this place is? " questioned the luitenant respectfully. " I don't know, I'm sure we can now positively say that we are on an unknown continent. Any island as big as this one would have to be. There are probably millions of miles of wilderness out there we are yet to discover." Captain Santonio replied. " When I was studying in England I read a story of a knight named Sir John Helms, he led crusades into Jerusalem. On his deathbed he repeatedly was saying that he found the ark on one of his crusades saying " We saved the ark! We saved the ark! ". When they asked him where it was he replied " In the world to the far west where no white men have ever been ". I never put any stock into the story but now it sort of makes sense " said the luitenant with amazement. " Who knows Hernando, who knows. " the captain answered with an exhausted expression. Luitenant Iglesias soon left the tired old sailor to get some rest, the captain started handling the golden chalice given to him by the native elder. It made him feel renewed just by touching it, he began to think it had something to do with the mysterious glow that surrounded the cup. The entire jouney he had tried to uncover the origins of the chalice, it seemed almost roman from first glance but looking at it more closely one could tell that it had jewish origins from the inscription on the bottom. Captain Santonio started to write in his diary " This jouney has made me to believe things I would have never thought possible, at times I feel sick to my stomach because I did not believe my good friend Esteban. As usual he was right and I was wrong. I still wonder about that wild creature that attacked me, was it it a lion or a panther? The animal was too small to be a lion, it could not be a panther because it's fur is a sandy blonde color. It seemed to resemble a leopard more than any of the others, but it had no spots so it could not be that. This cup has me baffled more than anything, I simply cannot understand it's origins. The cup I believe has some supernatural power I have yet to discover, tonite when I was exhausted from the journey I grabbed the cup to examine it and when I touced it my body was filled with youth-like energy I had only experienced as a boy. Me and my men came across the most startling discovery a week ago, we discovered a spring that heals wounds and reverses aging. After I was attacked by the spotless leopard a beautiful native girl named leaping fawn filled the golden cup from the water in the spring and it dissolved my wounds, I'm sure it will be of great interest to King Charles since he is not getting any younger. Luitenant Iglesias has proven to be the most valuable soldier on this journey, it seems leaping fawn, myself, and Luitenant Iglesias are proving the only sane people here. This trip has been filled with mystery and I'll be glad when it ends, I cannot wait to return to Barcelona and the Armada and tell all my fellow officers the extraordinary things I have seen. " Before the captain went to sleep he thought he would take a hike in the woods while his men were sleeping, he wanted to see what other creatures prowled the thick woods at night. A cold chill ran through his body as he remembered what happened to the poor native scout who had gone on a mere hunting trip and was mauled to death, but this wise old mariner was not going unable to defend himself. Captain Santonio brought with him two swords to ensure extra protection, he was a master of sword fighting. He was left handed and had beaten every officer in the Spanish Armada as well as winning several duels with foreign officers, with two swords he felt he could have taken on ten men and come out victorious. He was still weary knowing that there may be another man-eating predator in these woods that the two swords would be no use against. So with caution, the captain began to make his way quietly through the forest. The thick pine trees made it nearly immpossible to see through the darkness, Captain Santonio shivered in fear from the piercing shreiks and yells echoing through the pines. The captain knew he had a mission to accomplish so he fearlessly persisted, he knew he needed to blaze a trail throught this thick wilderness that his men could follow. Soon the nervous captain felt he was being watched, it was the same feeling he had felt before when he was being stalked by the feroucious beast that attacked him once before. This time Diego felt a bit more secure knowing that he could make short work of any spotless leopard with his two swords, still he had no idea what other suprises this uncharted wilderness had in store for him. He relentlessly walked until he was about four miles from the camp, he fought his way through spider webs, thick branches, and vines with thorns on them. Whatever was stalking him was getting closer and closer, thoughts began to run through his head wondering if he would ever return to spain again. The captain violently pushed his way through the thick foliage as fast as he could to try to lose whatever was following him, he decided to hide behind a bush to lie in wait for the stalker. With his swords at the ready, he nervously anticipated a ferocious beast to pop out of the woods. A tiny squirrel hopped playfully from the bushes, Diego could not help but laugh out loud at his own foolishness. At times he had to use his swords to cut through the thick brush which obstructed his path, undaunted and alone he continued until he miraculously stumbled opon a large clearing. This clearing was different, in it there was a gigantic, colassal freshwater lake. It was beautiful, the night sky illuminated off the shimmering ripples across the surface. The pine trees surrounding it made it resemble the alps in switzerland that the captain had once visited. After taking in the pristine beauty of the freshwater sea for a few minutes he climbed a tall pine tree to get the lay of the land, he could see nothing but forest, forest, and more forest beyond the lake. Patiently waiting he noticed two animals coming down to the water for a drink, they seemed like hooved animals from the distance he was observing. The creatures resembled the african gazelle that Captain Santonio had seen on his trips to the dark continent. Gazing carelessly off into the woods the captain noticed campfires brightly glowing in the darkness, he knew immediately that it must be some native tribe.
© 2010 Calvin
Added on November 3, 2010
Last Updated on December 16, 2010
The Carpenter's Cup
AboutI'm a college student and I love to write, it's the greatest hobby I've ever had. I can't wait to get my first book published! more..