As the party made their way down the side of the
temple with Manuel in
front, the first shock wave hit. It was very high on the Richter
Immediately, the trail below Manuel disappeared with a crash.
desperately clung to a small tree, but could not hold on. He fell
into the void left by the missing trail. They watched in horror as
debris fell on top of him - crushing him.
"Lie flat!" screamed Patton.
"We're safer here than on the ground."
Watkins, who only thought that Emiliano had set off the
of time, continued on by a different path until he reached solid ground.
didn't know where the others were, but he had what he had come for; Patton
would never remember the crucial figures. Now only he, Joshua Watkins,
plot the location of the Jaguar City. He patted his pocket to make sure
still contained the precious map and Patton's notes. He then headed
camp. He tried to avoid being seen by the helicopter hovering above.
From the helicopter, Peggie and Miranda watched the
"What do you think's going on?" Miranda
yelled over the noise.
"I don't know." Peggie screamed back,
"but, they're still on the
Miranda was pointing excitedly now.
"Look, they're lying flat! There's Declan
and that must be Tamika and .
. .and. . ." Miranda broke off mid-sentence.
""Who's that with them? Do you think
that's Tamika's father?" Peggie
asked. Miranda didn't know, but they did know that they were very
see their friend alive.
Suddenly, part of the pyramid slid away!
"Oh, no!" they both cried
simultaneously. After a few moments of
suspense, the dust and debris cleared and they could see.
"It's all right! They're getting up,
look. See! They're all right!"
They had grabbed each other's hands and would have done
a little jig had
they not been in the helicopter.
As the pilot went in to land, it dawned on all three of
them what was
Watkins was horrified at the sight of the ruined
camp. A tall ramon
tree had fallen on the tents. He was, however, glad that no damage
to the Suzuki jeep that he had rented in Flores. It was full of gasoline
ready to go.
He was still unsure about the arrival of the
helicopter. Even if it was
full of Federales, they would be excited about finding the long-missing
archaeologist, as well as news of the earthquake, to be worried about
Thus, giving him time to escape.
Getting out of Tikal had gone fairly well. Only
two of the hotel guests
had noticed the Suzuki. Now, he was on his way to Flores and then on
Watkins' Suzuki pulled into Sayaxche' in late
afternoon. One of the
things that Watkins noticed was that everyone was talking about the
"Amigo." he began in Spanish.
"I need two men to help me for an hour. I
will pay ten quetzales to
each. Anyone interested?"
"Si, why not?"
"Very well, hombres," Watkins said,
"I want one of you to go over to
town and fetch Eduardo Guzman. I am a friend of his father Emiliano."
Watkins peeled off the bills and gave it to the man.
"Please tell Eduardo that Senor Watkins needs him
to bring the motor for
the boat and a can of gasoline." The man acknowledged his
To the other man, Watkins said, "Come with
The tiny airstrip at Tikal was not the only means
Watkins had out of the area. Because of the nature of his business, he
devised several ways out, in case something went wrong. Thus, the dugout
Because of the attention that had been drawn to him, he
decided to move
his smuggling operation to another part of the world. The Jaguar City
have to wait for now, which would also help to take the heat off things.
The man that Watkins had hired, found Eduardo and was
now bringing the
motor and gasoline as he was instructed.
"Is my father not with you, Senor
Watkins?" Eduardo asked.
"No, he is back at Tikal. He will be here
shortly." Watkins lied.
The stones are still here, Watkins
thought. Excellent. The stones were
wrapped in banana leaf and tied with heavy rope.
"These are much too heavy, Senor. We will
need more men to help carry
them." Watkins didn't know if Eduardo was trying to stall for time,
but Watkins was losing patience.
"You dumb bastard," Watkins
shouted. "I'll help you. We load the boat
Eduardo stood quietly and gazed at Watkins' face.
"Muy bien." he said shortly.
Watkins and Eduardo began the slow task of moving the
stones. When that
was done, Watkins gingerly climbed aboard. Next, Eduardo climbed aboard
Then, it happened.
The reeds near the boat began to shake gently.
The man on shore that
Watkins had hired began waving his arms and shouting. There was only
word that Watkins could make out - temblor. Another earthquake.
Watkins felt as if the water was sliding out from under
him like water
being poured out of a bowl. He fought hard to try to keep control of
boat. What happened next was very frightening. The river seemed to
half and a great geyser of water broke through the surface and shot a
feet in the air. This forced the boat into the air and closer to
the roar, a huge ceiba tree lurched forward and the handle of the tiller
knocked from Watkins' hand. He tried not to panic, which proved
I can out swim this, Watkins thought. He moved toward the bow to be
from the propeller.
He hesitated for the right moment, but it never
came. The ceiba tree
caught the boat near the bow pinning Watkins' leg. The combination of
trapped leg and the weighted down boat, took Watkins swiftly to the bottom
Eduardo had survived. When the boat was
catapulted skyward, the boy was
thrown out near the shore. He watched in satisfaction as Watkins sunk
the surface of the water.
Ancient Man Pt. 8