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Ancient Man Pt. 3

 When they arrived in New Orleans, they immediately went to the Hotel 
Monteleone which they had already made reservations for.  Tamika believed 
more than ever now that Watkins had lied and that her father was indeed alive.
     When they arrived at the Institute,  it was still quite early.  So 
early, in fact, that there seemed to be no one around.
     "I think that we need to wait until the Institute opens."  But,  even as 
Declan was saying this, Tamika was headed to the basement.  Little did they 
know, but Joshua Watkins was watching their every move via closed-circuit 
     "Come on."  Tamika whispered from the basement.  Declan felt that he had 
no choice but to follow.
     "We could get into a lot of trouble if we're caught down here."  He 
fussed as he joined her downstairs.
     When he reached her, he saw that she was standing in front of a crate.  
On the crate was stenciled ICARUS - New Orleans Chicle Products for Export 
Procutores Tropicales.
     "What does Icarus have to do with this? Declan asked.
     "ICARUS stands for Institute for Central AMerican Research, United 
States office."  Tamika replied.
     "Oh."  was all Declan could say.  Then, when Declan read the rest of the 
inscription, he said,  "Why does he need this much chicle?  Does he like 
chewing gum or what?"  They heard movement up above and scurried up to the 
first floor.
     Suddenly, Watkins appeared.  Declan and Tamika tried not to look 
surprised, after all, they had come there to see him.  At least they had 
moved back to the upper level, Declan thought.  Watkins had invited them to 
his office,  but he did not look happy to see them.
     "I can't think why I should be seeing you so soon after our last 
meeting.  Watkins said looking somewhat irritated.
     "I'm still searching for more copies of everything my dad wrote.  I 
thought you might see if you had more papers in the crates of stuff you have 
in your basement."  Declan looked horrified that she had actually admitted 
that they were snooping around in the basement.  Watkins didn't look too good 
     "What makes you think that I have crates of stuff in my basement?"
     Tamika smiled at him sweetly.
     "Why you told us in Washington, remember?"  Watkins looked befuddled.
     "Uh - I'm afraid all of those crates have been thoroughly searched.  
There's nothing in them but stone carvings and pieces of pottery."
     "Are there anymore carvings of jaguars?  When my dad sent me the 
pendant,  he said that he was tracking down something."
     Declan looked a little annoyed.  Tamika hadn't told him any of this.
     "What else did your father say?"  Watkins was definitely scared of what 
she might say.
          "Oh, he didn't say anything else.  He did say that he hoped that I 
would have a chance to visit Tikal to see where he worked."  Watkins was 
flustered fearing what she might say next.
    "How would I go about doing that?"  She again smiled sweetly.
     "From Mexico City, you can easily find a guide who will arrange a bus 
through the Mexican state of Chiapas and then a boat ride up the Usumacinta 
River into Guatemala.  You're not thinking of going there on your own, are 
     Tamika smile satisfactorily.

     The next day, Peggie and Miranda were seated in  Joshua Watkins' office 
at ICAR.
     "You say that you haven't seen your friend in over a week?  But, what 
makes you think they are here in New Orleans?"
     Peggie knew that the man was lying.  She had not mentioned that Declan 
was traveling with anyone.
     "My friend here thinks that he was headed here."  Watkins conveniently 
changed his story.
     "Oh yes,  I saw them in Washington.  They seemed to be - very close.  
Maybe they ran off together.  You know how you young people are."
     Miranda and Peggie exchanged glances.  They knew that running off to 
solve a mystery was much more believable than Declan running off for a 
romantic triste.
     Things were getting out of hand.  Too many people knew what was going 
on.  After Peggie and Miranda left, Watkins went to a secret panel in the 
wall and extracted a dusty leather-bound book.  He opened it and began 
     "The clues to the new Jaguar City are coming together now.  The focus is 
on Temple IV where the stela may still be in place.  I am convinced that a 
ruler from the 7th century left Tikal to find a new city before Temple IV was 
built.  The new fragment dates after the construction of Temple IV and marks 
the anniversary of the old event.  I believe that this pyramid is pointing to 
the Jaguar City,  but which way?  I am uneasy about my relationship with 
Joshua Watkins.  I am unhappy about his obsession with Cortez' gold, his 
trips back and forth to New Orleans and his lack of practice with crews. . . "
     The diary suddenly broke off.  Joshua Watkins remembered what happened 
     "Watkins,  I didn't expect you back so soon."  Michael Patton said.  
Watkins went on to talk about the bad weather conditions.  He said that they 
were bringing supplies.
     "You appear to be loading supplies instead of unloading them.  "  Patton 
saw the crates marked 'chicle'.
     "What is going on here?"  Patton asked.  Watkins tried to laugh it off.
     "Everything is in order.  They are marked for delivery to ICAR."
     "What do you mean 'in order'.  We didn't make arrangements to ship 
anything to ICAR or anywhere else.  Nothing is supposed to leave Guatemala 
unless it's been catalogued and okay'ed for temporary loan by the Institute.  
You are a smuggler and a looter!"  he accused Watkins.  Watkins would not 
     "I prefer to call myself an art lover.  The thought of these beautiful 
pieces remaining in this primitive country  is stupid and shortsighted.  They 
could be inadvertently destroyed.  These people don't know what they have 
here.  I am saving them from that."
     "You are robbing them of their artistic heritage and you're using me to 
do it!"
     "I don't have to be using you.  I'm offering you a chance of a 
lifetime.  I am making it possible for you to go on with your work. . .and 
maybe even find the lost Jaguar City which I've been reading about in your 
notes. . ."
     "My notes?  You've been . . ."
     "I must say that you have little choice.  I've been careful to mention 
your name numerous times in my reports.  Your signature had also been forged 
on various documents.  By the time they straighten the whole mess out, we 
will have discovered your lost city.  We're already looking for it."
     "You'll never get away with it."
     "Think it over.  I'll give you until tomorrow."
    Watkins smiled as he remembered that he hadn't given him until the 
morning.  He sent his best chiclero to kill him.  Raul had returned and 
described how he plunged his machete through the tent slicing through 
Patton's abdomen.  They even went to Patton's camp to see the evidence.
     The rumors had started three months later.  The natives had reported 
that there was a white man in the jungle.  He had a sick feeling that this 
man was Patton.
     I had no choice but to eliminate Raul.  He made his assistant help him.  
He had sent Raul down into an abandoned tomb chamber near Temple IV.  A blow 
to the head and then sealing the tomb with a huge stone finished off the deed.
      Watkins ran his fingers over the bloodstained binding of the diary,  
"Animal blood."  he said.
     And now I have snoops asking questions of half the archaeologists on the 
East Coast about jaguars and lost cities.  He was beginning to get very 
nervous indeed.

Ancient Man Pt. 4