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Ancient Man Pt. 2

   Meanwhile,  Peggie and Miranda wee having an adventure themselves.  
Miranda happened to be walking past Declan's office, when she noticed that 
the door was ajar.  Thinking that he had come to his senses and returned from 
his foolish trip,  she went in intent upon chewing him out.
     "Oh my. . ."
     She turned on the light  and saw that Declan's office had been ransacked.
     "Peggie, I think Declan's in trouble."
     Peggie shared her  concerns.
     "When did you last hear from Declan?"
     "He was on his way to the University of Pennsylvania.  They went to see 
Leo Gooman."
     "Let's go."

     "The Mayan were obsessed with the past and curious about the future.  
They thought that events in heaven were related to events on earth.  They 
believe that history repeats itself and certain cycles of movements of stars 
and planets occurred at the same time as changes in their realm.  For 
example,  earthquakes.  They also say that  the world will end in 2013."
    He was rambling on so that she could scarcely keep up.  She decided to 
just show him her pendant.  He seemed quite interested.
     "There is a glyph symbol on here that we found elsewhere that we thought 
meant 'earthquake'.  It is the earth symbol that is also one that represents 
names of the days of the week.  In some texts, this symbol was a split and 
it's not the day sign in those texts.  We were checking to see if Mayan 
prophecies had any basis in fact.  We followed the prophecies that included 
the cracked earth symbol and we worked out the date to be February of 1976."

     "There was an earthquake in Guatemala in February of 1976."  Tamika said 
quietly.  Declan looked at her with great surprise.
     "How could you possibly know that?"
     "That's how my parents met.  My father was there when the earthquake 
occurred.  He helped with the clean-up.  That's how he met my mom. Professor 
Goodman, how did you and my father come to start working together?"
     "Michael was looking for a lost city.  He wanted me to write a computer 
program that took into account all of his clues and come up with a list of 
alignments that we could plot on satellite photographs to try to locate the 
lost city.  Michael said that it would save a lot of money knowing exactly 
where the city was."  Leo Goodman looked as if he didn't want to share the 
next bit of information.
     "Go ahead, Professor Goodman.  I want to hear everything."
     Goodman continued reluctantly.
     "A lot of other researchers resented your father's findings.  They felt 
that research money could be put to better use.  He and I ended up fighting.  
The satellite pictures won't be released for three years because they are a 
part of military intelligence.  Michael was impatient because he was 
concerned about looters."
     "So, you were urging him to wait?"  Declan asked.
     "Yes, but he decided not to wait for the final calculations, and when 
Joshua Watkins offered to finance his expedition,  he went for it."  Declan 
noticed the look of distaste on Goodman's face at the mention of Watkins' 
     "Do you know if my father had anymore notes that we could look at?"  
Tamika asked desperately.
     "They are on loan to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

     They had been given the name of Curtis White.  When they arrived at the 
Smithsonian,  they headed to where Michael Patton's pictures were on display.
     As they were standing there looking at the pictures, Tamika lamented, 
"Why did the Smithsonian abandon my father?"  She wasn't asking anyone in 
particular,  but she was answered.
     "The Smithsonian didn't really abandon your father.  His permit expired. 
 If he had stayed at Tikal, we would have continued support."
     "Basically, you didn't condone him running off looking for the lost 
city."  Declan added.  Curtis White didn't catch Declan's biting sarcasm.
     "Professor Goodman called me.  We do have your father's last diary."  
They followed him to his office and he gave them the battered leather-bound 

     They were sitting in Tamika's hotel room on her bed.  Declan was highly 
aware of where they were sitting and he tried hard to keep his mind on what 
they were doing.
     "So, what does you father's last entry say?"  he asked.  Tamika began 

      "I am surviving as best as I can in this dense jungle.  The pendant 
that I am sending to Tamika is a magnificent piece.  It is too bad that I 
don't know where it was found, but had we known, the Guatemalan government 
wouldn't have released it to me.  I feel that it is somehow important in my 
search in the rainforest.  
     The pendant is 3 3/4" wide, 2 5/8" high and barely 1/2" thick.  The 
front is carved into a jaguar profile with a plant attached.  The back 
includes glyphs.  Now the latest discovery:  We have searched the immediate 
vicinity of Temple IV.  We don't know why the Stela fragment was not seen 
before!  Maybe because no one was looking for it.  This new fragment bears 
the Maya calendar date: 6 kan 17 chen -  Nothing else could 
possibly work.
     Funds are running out, but I am reluctant to leave.  The looters are 
getting more numerous.  I feel that I must move quickly before they loot the 

     There was a kind of silence when she finished reading as the words from 
her father sunk in.
     "Well, where do you think we go from here?"  She was so wide-eyed and 
innocent.  He had to keep telling himself that she didn't want to move any 
further in their relationship,  but his mind kept straying.
     "Uh - well - um - I think we need to check out that guy Watkins.  You 
know, the one whose name keeps popping up.  Goodman didn't seem to care for 
him too much."  Tamika agreed.  They would see Watkins first thing in the 
     "Right now,  I'm starving!" Declan exclaimed.

     "I can't believe we're running all over the country looking for Declan.  
We should have stayed home and waited for him to call us."  Miranda didn't 
know what it was,  but she had a bad feeling about everything.
     "Look,  the man at the university said that they were headed to 
Washington.  While we're here on the east coast,  we might as well check it 
out."  Peggie was not convinced.

     When Declan walked Tamika back to her room,  he knew immediately that 
something was wrong.  Tamika's door was slightly ajar.  
     "Wait a minute."  Declan whispered.  Declan gently moved Tamika back 
behind him as he slowly opened the door.  He listened carefully.  He wanted 
to make sure that they weren't walking in on anyone.  There was no sound as 
he moved silently into the darkness.  Whoever was there, was gone now.  
Declan turned on the light.  The room had been trashed.  Thankfully,  the 
diary was still there.
     "What were they looking for?"  Tamika asked.  She was still whispering 
even though the danger had passed.  Declan didn't seem to know what they were 
looking for.
     Declan, can I stay with you tonight?"  Any other time, he would have 
been turned on by that statement.  He didn't think that when they started 
this adventure that they would actually be in any danger.
     When they went to his room,  they noticed that it had been searched as 
well,  but it didn't look nearly as bad as her room.
     "They must have figured that I didn't have whatever they're looking 
for."  Declan said lightheartedly.
     He looked at her.  She was really scared now.
     "I'll sleep in the chair.  You can have the bed."  Normally she would 
refused his gallant offer,  but she was so tired all she could do was smile 
at him weakly.
     He sat in the chair, in the dark, and listened to her breath.  He 
thought about how vulnerable she had looked and how much she wanted to swoop 
her up into his arms and kiss her.  
     He knew what she was thinking.  She was starting to doubt whether her 
father was really alive and if he was,  were these people after him?
     Suddenly Tamika began to thrash around in her sleep.  She was having 
another nightmare.  He got up and moved to the bed.  He slid in and held her 
and tried to calm her as best as he could.  She was crying now - sobbing 
quietly - and he held her tighter.  Tamika instinctlivey put her arms around him 
and held on to him.  It was in this way,  that Declan drifted off to sleep.

Ancient Man Pt. 3