Chapter 10A Chapter by Calvin
Frigid winter winds whipped wildly through tree branches, the brown leaves were fading and falling as a heavy frost covered the ground. The falling leaves crunched softly as a wild cat stalked a tiny field mouse, closer and closer the bob-tailed cat sneaked silently behind it. The prepared itself to pounce by tensing its muscles and fixing its eyes hungrily upon the helpless prey, in a few moments the cat would feast on a small but satisfying meal. As the cat half-way leaped a loud sound of boots crunching the dying leaves startled him, he ran quickly into the bushes to hide. The bob-tailed predator had never seen a human quite like this one, the humans who normally dark-skinned and wear fur pelts and have feathers projecting from their black hair. This human however was pale-skinned wearing a breastplate made of iron with a white shirt with ruffled sleeves underneath, he wore a shining metal helmet covering his golden hair. The man's blue eyes scanned the woods for any sign of movement as he made his daily hike through the forest, erie silence filled his ears in the morning dullness of this cold winter day. Captain Santonio needed something to occupy his idle morning time, there was nothing he enjoyed more than just to find a place to sit and write a few pages in his torn and tattered journal. The silence of the forest was finally broken by crow calling loudly and echoing through the trees, the captain was somewhat delighted to hear the familiar sound ringing softly through his ears. A large boulder near the small stream ahead looked more than adequate for a few moments of peace and solitude, Diego slowly opened his journal and began to recall the events of the past three weeks. " It has been three weeks since I decided to camp here for the winter, None of us have experience what most Europeans would call harsh weather conditions. Just a few frigid winds and the occasional snowstorm have hindered our journey, I am glad that we have finally finished constructing our shelters before the winter unleashes its full wrath upon us. Just last week Seargent Montana and the other conquistadors finished the stone fireplaces for the huts we will be staying in, I am sure they will keep us warm in the coming weeks. The golden wing that I discovered in the small bronze box could only be from the ark itself, as I reached out to touch it a feeling like that of a heart attack swept violently through my body. After the attack I completely blacked out, when I awakened I nearly lost my memory altogether. All I could remember is that beautiful native woman Leaping Fawn gently stroking her hands through my golden locks trying desperately to bring me back to my senses, I can still hear her soft voice crying out to me at times. Leaping Fawn is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, her fawn-like eyes simply melt my heart just looking into them as they gaze helplessly into my soul. Her features are most different than the other natives, as most of them have a sort of raven color to their hair Leaping Fawn's hair displays a brown color with a sort of reddish tint. Leaping Fawn does not have the high cheekbones that so many of these natives have, her skin takes on a somewhat lighter complexion too. Nonetheless I feel that I love her still, I hope that I can control myself when I am near her because of her sheer lovliness. Perhaps I have been away from home too long as they say. My faithful stallion Sebastian is not faring well in this cold weather, when I return to camp I will have Seargent Montana and the men build him a stable to keep him out of the wind until we continue our journey. The note left by the knight in the box said that we would come across a great river, but we have crossed many large rivers on the journey so far. How will I know what river the knight meant, I guess that problem will solve itself in due time. When the winter melts into spring we shall continue our quest for the ark, but in the meantime we are forced to wait it out here. Captain Diego Santonio December 9th, 1511. " Captain Santonio then forced himself to take the long cold walk back to camp, he enjoyed these few moments of solitude every day. Sitting by the stream and observing the animals and nature of this lost and forgotten world, never had Diego once thought that the new world contained a land perhaps as large as Europe itself. The opputunity to be the first white man to set foot upon it was quite an honor, what would all of his friends in Barcelona say after they heard all the wild tales from this unusual adventure. Captain Santonio and his conquistadors had now gone farther than Christopher Columbus had ever dreamed of going, but this was only the beginning. Soon after the long walk home to the winter camp Diego found his conquistadors hard at work making proper preperations for the up and coming winter, not a single man or woman was sitting idle. Leaping Fawn sat inside the main hut sewing and weaving as fast as her fragile fingers would move, the coldness of the winter air caused everyone's appendages to numb. The spaniards were hard at work using the stones from the stream to build huts, wood stoves, and a stall for Sebastian. Seargent Montana proved to be the perfect construction foreman, loudly barking orders and providing veteran leadership to a group of soldiers that lacked experience. Large flakes of snow floated gracefully to the earth, the approaching winter was closing in fast. The conquistadors worked like ants to finish the construction of their winter home. " Is the stall prepared for Sebastian seargent ? " " Almost finished sir, do you think this winter will be as harsh as the knight's description ? " " I hope not seargent, if we ever get out of this horrendous ordeal alive we shall be very prestigeous men when we return to Spain. We have discovered more land than perhaps any explorers in the history of the Spanish empire. " " You are quite right sir, I cannot wait to return home myself. " " Yes I suppose we should all like to see Spain again. Tell me seargent, from what part of Spain do you hail ? " The seargent paused with a look of confusion on his face, he stuttered for a few moments before he answered. " San Sebastian, it is a small fishing village in the north. " " I once knew a man from San Sebastian, his name was Don Orlando Rosales De Montana. Surely you must be at least a distant relative of his. " " No sir, I have heard the name but I'm afraid I do not know the man. " " That seems a bit odd, I was not aware that anyone in San Sebastian did not know Don Rosales De Montana personally. " " Like I said sir, I have heard of him but never had the pleasure of meeting him. " Captain Santonio immediately grew very suspicious of Seargent Montana, how could anyone hail from a small village like San Sebastian and not know the Don personally ? The captain then dissmissed the seargent to return to his duties, Luitenant Iglesias then approached Diego to disscuss the plans for future travel. " Morning Sir. " said the Luitenant in a chipper mood. " Morning Luitenant. " the captain replied. " I was hoping that I could inquire of our plans for after the winter weather passes, surely we will not pursue this mythical loot any further. " " Mythical ? Mythical ? " the captain sounded highly irritated and his anger aroused. " Well sir, the story does sound rather fantastic. " The captain then returned to his calm and answered Luitenant Iglesias with the outmost composure. " Luitenant, what more proof do your eyes require ? Did you not see the knight buried inside the casket as the rest of us ? Did you not hear the natives speaking to us in plain english ? Did you not notice the paintings on the walls of the caves which were showed to us by Cheif War Cloud ? Or perhaps the stone huts we have come across from time to time on our journey ? Tell me, how old are you Luitenant ? " " Twenty seven sir. " " Perhaps you have not sailed the seas long enough to know that there are certain happenings in this life which cannot be explained, in my fifteeen years of sailing the ocean I have seen some rather queer things which I have yet to understand. These eyes of mine have witnessed happenings that all of modern science could not be able to solve, when you see or hear of things of a seemingly supernatural nature simply do your best to understand them. " " But sir, there is no record of the crusaders ever discovering any ancient gold much less something as significant as the ark of the covenant. Why would the crusaders smuggle the ark and the gold to some deserted wilderness when they could have returned to england heroes ? " " As I said Luitenant, there are some things man simply cannot explain. Once I was sailing the Mediterranean near Morrocco, it was an extremely dark night. I was a young Luitenant just as you are, I had heard many sailor's tales of fantastic nature and I believed them to be lies to impress one's friends. I was on the galleon La Busqueda, I noticed she was sailing unusually fast across the water that night so I got up from playing cards with my fellow officers and decided to have a look around. The image that I saw that night has been a scene that will never leave my mind as long as I live upon the earth, when I peered carefully over the edge of the vessel I immediately noticed that the surface of the water was at least fifty feet beneath the ship. I was stunned, I ran swiftly to the stern to make sure that I was not having some queer dream. As soon as I arrived at the stern I looked downward and there before my eyes was the most gigantic creature ever witnessed by man, a fish so large that it carried La Busqueda on its back as a horse carries a rider. When my eyes met the beast's it dove violently beneath waves of the sea, the vessel crashed as it met the surface and waves battered her sides with tremendous force. Needless to say my fellow officer's card game was rudely interrupted, the entire crew of La Busqueda scrambled to the upper deck where I was standing. The sailors were terrified, they asked me what caused the sudden free fall of the galleon. I simply told the men my story and I was dissmissed as either a fool or that I had a little too much wine to drink that night, but I still believe that what I witnessed that night was a real and true phenomena. " " It could have been anything, a sperm whale perhaps. I never cared much for tales of sea monsters, not one of them holds any truth whatsoever. " "Maybe not sea monsters, but land monster stories I am alot more inclined to believe. Come to my hut yonder Luitenant, I have something to show to you. " Reluctantly, Luitenant Iglesias followed Captain Santonio to his newly constructed stone hut. It was certainly quite warmer than standing around outside in the snow dotted winds of the frigid winter. The spaniard construction crew had spent countless hours building the headquaters for their winter camp, even a fireplace designed by Seargent Montana was utilized due to the unbearable temperatures of the night. Diego slowly and carefully walked towards a wooden chest he had been very protective of during the journey, he gently picked it up and sat down on a wooden bench from the hut constructed by the crusaders. " Do you recognize this chest Hernando ? " the captain asked. " I believe so sir, it washed up on the coast along with the rest of the debris from La Fantasia. " the Luitenant replied. " Correct Hernando, correct. " Captain Santonio replied in a rather sinister tone. " Why did you ask me to your quarters sir ? " " Inside this chest contains a memory of every battle that I have engaged in, it is more valuable to me than ten thousand pieces of eight. My Lord Jesus Christ has protected me throughout my life, each of these items inside the chest serve as a reminder of my debt to Him. " The captain used his battle scared hand to open the rugged lid of the mysterious oak chest, Luitenant Iglesias could only wonder what suprise awaited him inside. Not a single moment later and out of the box came the skeletal remains of a human foot, only no human could ever be large enough to match the gargantuan size of the appendage lying before him. It was three feet in length and two feet across, the sheer sight of the unbelievable spectacle caused the young officer to gasp. The captain immediately read the luitenant's mind and calmly explained the origin of the " goliath foot " as he preferred to call it. " It was a cold day in the Pyranees mountains on January 5th, 1499. I was twenty-five years old at the time and was not well skilled in the masculine art of hunting, my lack of stealth had botched many attempts at taking home a deer for dinner. But on January fifth things were quite different, a sudden blizzard seperated me from the camp of my friends and I was completely lost. I had never felt more alone in my life than that day, there I was wandering alone in the wilderness without food nor shelter in the biting cold temperatures of the high mountain air. Bewildered and exhausted beyond all limits I sat down upon a stump secluded behind several bushes, without the strength to hold my head up I looked down at my feet and that's when I made an amazing discovery. The spot where my feet were resting was a footprint that was made before me, it was a human bare foot but if it really were human it must be so large that it dwarfs goliath. The prints were larger than any animal I had ever seen much less a man's, so notwithstanding the frigid temperatures I followed them. Though the cold wind stung my face I persisted in following the mysterious tracks, for two hours I followed the trail until I arrived at the carcass of a male deer that had died a most violent death. It's body torn limb for limb and it's head decapitated, I certainly did not care much for crossing paths with this beast on a dark night. Even after the terrors of this horrific seen I persisted in the hunt, some invisible force compeled me to carry on with what seemed to be nonsense. Only one more hour's tracking and I drew dangerously close to the creature's lair, I carefully and quietly loaded my crossbow as I crept along behind the bushes. In a few minutes I could see the devilish beast in its very home, it was the most terrifying creature I had ever laid my eyes upon. The animal resembled an african gorilla and stood upright at least twelve feet tall, its hair was as white as snow and its eyes a glowing red. The beast growled at the sight of me and I quivered with fear, the crossbow in my hands involuntarily fell to the ground. I was helpless, until I staggered to my feet and realized that my only hope was to fight the terrible creature in spite of my fear. So as the animal charged at me I grabbed my crossbow without hesitation and fired, the arrow pierced the stomach of the animal and caused it to cry out in some terrible tone in pain. However the beast was not done for yet, after a swift recovery it charged towards me a second time. I had no weapon available to defend myself, my life seemed all but lost at that moment. I stood with my back against the cliff behind me and reluctantly prepared myself for the gruesome fate of which I was about to meet, in a moment I felt the creature's hands clenched around my neck and knew that I should soon be without a head. Even in that helpless situation I fought back, with every once of adrenaline in me I fought back. When I thought I could fight back no more the devilish beast passed out, the arrow inside it found its way to some vital organ. As soon as the creature hit the ground I ran for it, I had no desire to return there ever again. When I returned to the camp of my hunting companions I shared with them my story, I was laughed at and ridiculed until our next hunting trip one year later. On this trip I brought them to the place where my life was spared by our Saviour, inside the beast's lair we discovered the skeletal remains. I cut off the left foot of the creature as proof of my story and I have kept it ever since, there are some things man cannot explain and this skeleton foot has always been my proof. " " That is a fantastic story and I must confess that I belive it, but what does this have to do with your search for the ark ? " " Luitenant, this foot represents the proof we have obtained that the crusaders were in fact the first white men ever to set foot in the new world. The foot in this oak chest symbolizes the golden chalice that was given to us by Fighting Wolf back in the swamplands of the southern territory, that aging elder said to me " With this cup you shall surely find it. " and slowly I am beginning to understand the meaning of his words. We must continue our search until we reach the fountain of life, there the ark and unimaginable wealth awaits us. "
© 2011 Calvin
Added on December 13, 2010
Last Updated on January 7, 2011
The Carpenter's Cup
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