Chapter 9A Chapter by Calvin
A strong wind ripped violently through the boughs of the rugged pine trees as a dark, gloomy overcast covered the sky. The air suddenly became frigid and chilled everyone to the bone as they marched ever westward, the spaniards had no idea what they were in for. Captain Santonio had not counted on this unknown land harbouring some of the harshest weather in the world, in his mind he imagined more mild winters in this dark continent. After several days of travel the conquistadors departed from the inpenatrible pine forests of Cheif War Cloud's tribe and entered a land of oak forests, there were many more clearings to make camp and no sign of the spotless leopords which the soldiers had become very much afraid of in the mountainous terrain which they had earlier left behind them. Every day that went by the leaves began changing colors, and the air became more and more frigid. Luitenant Iglesias marching in front of the conquistadors noticed something quite obscure in the bushes ahead, it resembled a large pile of smooth stones hidden engeniously withing the trees. Hernando immediately drew Captain Santonio's attention to it. " Captain sir, I've spotted something ahead! " " What is it Luitenant ? " the captain replied. " It looks like a small stone hut sir. " " That must be the Holy of Holies!!!!! " exclaimed the captain with overwhelming excitement flooding his body. Captain Santonio and several other conquistadors rushed towards like men possessed with the notion that the small hut held the treasures of a lifetime, greed consumed their hearts with every step they took. After hacking away at the bushes which concealed the stone hut the spaniards stood in awe for a few moments as their commanding officer twisted the knob of the rotting oak door with his battle scared hands, opening the door the inside of the stone structure revealed four sained glass windows and five benches with an alter in the front. Something was very different about this medevil hut, on top of the alter was a small box with an enscription engraved on the lid which was not written in the english language. Captain Santonio whisked the box up quickly in his arms and carried it to his fellow officers, not a single one of them could make anything out of the engraving carved on the bronze lid. The writing resembled that of chinese somewhat, then without a moment's notice Seargent Montana jerked the box from the Captain's arms. " Seargent! What is the meaning of this ? " The Captain exclaimed. Without even giving any thought to the confusion he had caused Seargent Montana recited every word engraved on the lid of the bronze box as if memorized. " Contained in this bronze box are the few minor possesions of the deceased, Sir Henry Lindisfarne. We have gone a week without food and our will to survive is diminishing, our only hope for survival is for spring to come. This blizzard we are enduring has lasted four weeks now and the freezing weather has penatrated our bones, I'm afraid if the intense winter weather does'nt end soon I'm afraid we will eventually freeze to death. The weather is so cold that a wing attached to one of the angels sitting atop the ark has fallen off, we stored it in a safer place. If we do not survive this frigid winter here in vinland I pray that whoever discovers our bodies will immediately notify our families in England, and please tell my wife Elizabeth and my son Richard that I love them and hope to meet them someday in heaven. Only through God' mercy can we survive. Sir John Helms " Everyone felt sadness in their heart and were touched by the words engraved on the small bronze box, the words of a dying man saying his final farewells to the world. The Captain's mouth dropped after hearing Seargent Montana translate a medevil cypher as if he already memorized it beforehand, this alone made him very suspicious. All of the conquistadors were anxious to see the contents of the box, slowly and carefully Seagent Montana lifted the lid that had not been opened in almost three hundred years. The box contained only a few minor objects which belonged to Sir Henry Lindisfarne, a golden chain with a medalion hanging from it among other things. The medalion displayed some sort of family crest or symbol, a golden chalice with two swords crossed behind it. Captain Santonio immediately realized that the chalice on the medalion beared an uncanny resembance to the chalice Fighting Wolf had given him, this golden cup must have been of great importance to the knights. " Seargent Montana, would you mind telling me where you learned to translate medevil cyphers ? " the captain asked the seargent. " You see sir, my grandfather migrated to Spain from England. He used to teach me cyphers as a boy, I know much of the secret writings and codes of the crusaders. " " You should let us know of your other hidden talents seargent, they just might prove very valuable on this little venture for the spanish crown. " After searching through the remnants of the knight's possessions Captain Santonio noticed something very peculiar, the inside of the box was approxamitely four inches in depth while the box itself was eight inches high. Diego violently slapped his hand on the bottom of the box, a rattling sound filled the air. This could only mean that the small bronze box concealed a false bottom, the captain ripped it out immediately. The false bottom revealed a note brown with age and crumbling as Captain Santonio picked it up with his hands, Luitenant Iglesias was summuned to translate. The note read " Today I give the glory to God that I am alive to write this note, nine months ago when the blizzard came opon us I was nearer to death than I shall ever be. We have returned from our mission and I am leaving this note for whoever wishes to discover what we found beneath the synagouge in Jerusalem a year and a half ago. We discovered gold of unimaginable proportions hidden in tunnels beneath the city, and very holy objects of our faith of which I will not reveal to you in this note. Continue your current course west across the great river, cross the golden plains until you reach the high alps of vinland. Change your course and travel southward as soon as your quest reaches the alps, cross the burning deserts until you reach the oasis mountains and beneath the fountain of life ye shall find the Holy of Holys. If there is any doubt in your mind of the truth in what I tell you I have stored a few trifles inside this box to verify what I have said to you in this note Sir John Helms. " The captain's gaze floated to the bottom of the small box, his hazel eyes hurt because of the bright reflection from all the jewels stored beneath the false bottom. Emeralds, sapphires, rubies, pearls and one flawless diamond glistened brightly as the sunlight penatrated the dark overcast. A bright shimmer of gold was slightly buried under the precious stones, Captain Santonio brushed his hand across them to reveal a wing made of pure gold. The jagged edge of the wing suggested it had been broken off of some sort of larger artifact, just as the angel's wing had been broken off the ark. " It's ancient. " remarked the captain silently. As he reached into the box to touch it an overwhelming force swept through his body like a bolt of lightening and brought the spanish captain to his knees, he threw the box into the air and the jewels were scattered all over the ground. The golden wing layed in the grass and went ablaze with some sort of supernatural fire, the fire shined as bright as the sun and frieghtened the conquistadors. The fire was not like a natural fire, it was blue and nearly blinded everyone who looked upon it, Leaping Fawn ran to Captain Santonio in hopes that he was still alive. The blue flames subsided and the golden wing lying on the ground without a single scortch, the blaze had burned a hole in the earth ten inches deep. The conquistadors stared in shock at the events of the past few minutes, they were in total awe at the supernatural power that the small golden wing had just displayed. " Diego! Diego! Please open your eyes!!! " Leaping Fawn cried. The captain did nothing but groan in pain and shiver on the ground for a few moments, to everyone else he looked demon possessed. At last his body relaxed and his eyes opened to Leaping Fawn's relief. " Where am I ? What happened ? " the captain asked. " An evil spirit must have attacked you! The golden wing is full of them! " remarked Leaping Fawn. " We don't know what happened sir, when you reached for the golden wing in the box it lit up in flames and you fell on the ground in terrible pain. " said Luitenant Iglesias. " The inscription on the box noted that one of the angel's wings on the ark had broken off during the frigid temperatures, the golden wing could only be from the ark! " exclaimed Captain Santonio still a little shaken up from the electricution he had just received. The conquistadors had never seen the captain in a better mood, his excitement was that of a young boy. Enthusiasm surged through Diego's veins now that before his very eyes was a fragment of the ark, none of the spaniards would even go near it. There was a larger issue at hand now, large flakes of snow floated gracefully to the ground. A winter was coming and if it was anything like the knight described in the engraving the conquistadors were in a very comprimising position. Soft white flakes of snow floated gracefully to the earth, the wind howled and whistled through the trees with the haunting sound of winter serving nature's warning to take cover. " We must find shelter for the winter captain, if we don't we may all freeze to death. " said Seargent Montana " You are right seargent, I propose we make shelter here until the winter passes. " replied Captain Santonio " Excellent idea sir. " Diego was stunned at the lack of resistance from Seargent Montana, Diego over time built a sense of trust in him. If there was one thing the captain admired it was a veteran conquistador, their loyalty and experience proved more than valuable in bad situations. Captain Santonio knew that his decision to wait out the winter would meet with much dissapproval among his men, but he knew to turn back would mean failure and failing the Spanish empire was not an option. When Seargent Montana announced the captain's decision to wait out the winter and make camp at the current location the conquistadors were infuriated, they mumbled to themselves and had looks of contempt on their faces. Luitenant Vasquez was so angered he lost his head for a few moments in careless rage. " You cannot do this to us!!!!!!! You will not keep me in this land of demons!!!!!!!! I will kill you first!!!!!!!!! " he shouted hysterically. Luitenant Vasquez drew his sword and charged the captain sreaming the most terrible noise, it took ten men to restrain the luitenant in his moment of madness. A conquistador knocked the young officer unconcious to stop him from struggling, Francisco Vasquez fell to the ground cold. The entire situation was so awkward that the captain needed a few moments to recooperate, the luitenant was a young man and evidently out of his mind. Perhaps the young officer had been in the sun too long, or perhaps he is a rebellious troublemaker. The more important issue at hand was the closing winter, what could the spaniards do for shelter in this untamed land ? " I do not think it's the best idea to stay here through the winter sir, from what the knight engraved on the box lid we could freeze to death in a matter of weeks. " Luitenant Iglesias remarked. " Hernando, when will you learn to put your trust in our Saviour. Has he not protected us this far ? " the captain replied. " Yes sir but there have been some very close calls, we have been tempting death at every turn. " " There is no turning back now, we simply must wait out this dreadful winter here. " " What will we use for shelter sir ? " " Well I intend to use that stone hut yonder as my headquarters. " " But how will the rest of the men keep out of the wind ? " " Seargent, come over here. " " Did you ask for me sir ? " Seargent Montana replied. " Yes seargent I need to know how long you think it would take to construct a stone hut like the one over there ? " " Well sir, there are a lot of stones from the nearby stream we could use. I should think about two weeks with the working crew we have. " " Exellent seargent, we will start immediately. " " Right sir. " Captain Santonio spent the next two weeks thinking of what lies ahead on the journey before him, he had already gone places no white man had ever gone before with the exception of the crusaders of course. According to the note left by the knight Sir John Helms the next thing the conquistadors would encounter would be the great river, but there were many rivers in this untouched wilderness. How would Diego know which river was the great river ? Would the river be large or deep? What form of identification would characterize that one particular river ? Luitenant Vasquez spent the next few days sitting on a stump and pouting like a small child that did'nt get his way, all of the spaniards were convinced that he had lost his mind. The young officer's hand were in chains now, some of the men even thought he might be demon-possessed. Seargent Montana occupied his time by playing foreman of the work crew constructing the the stone huts for the winter, he even came up with what the captain thought was an excellent idea. The seargent decided to put some of the men to work constructing stone fire places for the huts, it would definitely serve to keep everyone warm during the frigid winter months. Leaping Fawn vanished for a few days and had the captain worried sick, but she returned with animal skins she had trapped in the forest nearby to make fur coats for the conquistadors. They brought no warm clothing with them, the spaniards thought that the new world was a place of warm tropical islands and sunny paradises.
© 2010 Calvin
Added on November 28, 2010
Last Updated on December 10, 2010
The Carpenter's Cup
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