“Yar!” Lucas screamed.
I caught his gist.
“Is that wher da gol’ doobloons lie!”
Graham was surprisingly nonplussed given his recent raving.
“Well, the city this leads to was reputed to have been built from gold.”
“The old Eldorado gag…” Chuck snorted derisively.
“Fact and fiction often intermingle, especially in very old matters,” Graham replied matter of factly.
“Let me see the map.” Doctor Pierce chimed in.
Graham handed him the map, “Be careful, even though it’s a copy, it is a hundred and thirty years old.”
“Hmm…” Pierce exhaled examining the document.
“It’s a very localized map. Obviously showing some tributary of the Amazon. If I had to guess this is somewhere in the south-west, probably near Bolivia.”
“Aha, that’s exactly where it is.”
“Mmmhmm…I guess you were right about fact and fiction often mixing. The reason I’m able to offer that up is boyhood reading. There was a series of adventure magazines that my father had delivered to Boston in order to encourage literacy. That area was the setting of a serial fictionalization in ‘Intrepid’ of Colonel Fawcett’s quest.”
Boston, so he must be some offshoot of the last of the Brahmin. His nearly British intonations were nothing like the folksy brogue typical of the region. This fresh factoid accounted spectacularly for much of his demeanor.
I noticed that my eyelids were very heavy.
“We may very well find Fawcett or his bones there,” Graham replied.
“Well that would be very interesting indeed, many have tried, what makes you so sure of this map. Did it belong to Fawcett?”
“Hardly. It predates the man by some three hundred years.”
“Oh, and whose map was this then, was it Friar Carvajal’s?”
“You have a good memory doctor, but no, this is the map my uncle nicked from the museum. The cartographer was far less public then that clergyman.”
“I honestly don’t know, but my uncle was in such a great deal of trouble over what most had thought was a college prank, a man of his station and promise would usually get a lot of leeway at the time. This was not the case. Very nearly ruined the family and was a large part of the reason why my father immigrated to America.”
“Hm, so I’m guessing this thing was not on display. It was in an archive right?”
“That’s correct. He only knew of it because of his studies of ethnography. I don’t know why he actually wanted to steal it though. I am here repeating my father. He could just as easily have copied it. Or perhaps not. Very strange. Because even after posting bail my father recalls that the family home was subject to many rummagings and very grim folk would come knocking by to grill ‘mad Henry.’”
All this talk of lost cities and stolen maps was like something out of a storybook and I realized that I was dozing off. Whatever more we could gather wouldn’t be much good. None of us were in a state to pay attention much less to make any sort of decision.
I held up my hand. “Look. This is all very fascinating but I for one am tired and judging by the fact that three of you are asleep, I say we turn in and re-examine this come morning…or afternoon.”
Graham seemed annoyed momentarily but there was a confidence to him now. I think he felt he’d won our interest.
“Agreed,” Lucas said.
I got about the business of finding bunks for our guests.
1.1 (Intro) The Sketch of Sam Monroe
1.2 The Cajun Prayer