Chapter 15.

Drake and Acton.

Drake and Acton had not rested since they were ordered to follow Pierce and Maria. They had been obliged to pass them when the others had a flat tire but then slowed down and stayed at Abancay waiting for the others to arrive. Discreetly they were still following them. It was Drake who had been at the bar asking Pedro about Pierce. He was clumsy in that he aroused the suspicions of Maria as he had been too curious in his line of questioning.

“Well, what do we do now?” asked Acton. “Do we still follow or do we call some more help?

“We don’t need more help,” Drake said to Acton in a contemptible way, “we can do the job ourselves if need be.”

“Yeah but you know, our head guardian might disagree about this now, don’t you think John?” Drake advanced on Acton and put his two hands on Acton‘s shirt, pulling him up and pinning him on the wall with his feet dangling in the air.

“Look, I am telling you that we can be the solution to that problem without help, understood?”

“Yes, yes, of course you’re right John.” stammered Acton. “I wasn’t second guessing you, for sure.”

“You’d better not.” snarled back Drake. The last thing he wanted was someone to steal his thunder, his moment of glory. He wanted to prove himself to the head guardian and for that, he needed no interference from others. John Drake knew that his wife was well liked by the head guardian but as for him, he was taken for granted doing all the grunt work and he was fed up. He wanted recognition for himself and not only for his wife.

He decided that he needed some air and left Acton in his room. On a whim, he went to the bank to retrieve some money and then decided to call his wife to see if any new instructions had arrived from the head guardian. He went to the Avenida El Sol where all the cabins for calling were located as well as the moneychangers. As usual the area was crowded with tourists visiting the site. The path towards the café that he patronized was however devoid of customers and he went in, sat down and called his wife. He knew that he might only get the answering machine. As expected his wife was not there but a message had been left for him. And the message spelt out loud and clear his instructions.

“John, you are to continue what you are doing, but attempt to contact our man inside the group who you know. Find out more about the itinerary of the expedition. That comes straight from Gwen. Susan“.

Drake was in shock; a message from his wife but with instructions from the head guardian. However, one thing puzzled him as he did not know who the contact was in the expedition, only his wife knew and she had not told him. That was normal as few people knew everyone involved in the protection of the secret. Some knew some people but most did not know. Only the head guardian knew everything. He was fuming, having to contact his wife again so she could contact the head guardian who would then in turn contact Eliza, the wife of Pedro Coronado, the contact in the expedition. It was very convoluted but it had to be for security reasons.

He decided to have a drink at a bar to mull things over. He went back to the Plaza de Armas, the main square of the town and went to a pub called Cross Keys, one of the oldest pubs in the town. It was a pub that was popular with the British as the owner of the pub himself led expeditions in the area. He sat down and began to drink and drink. He was not stopping. People were drinking themselves into a stupor when something caught his ear.

“I tell you, there is still gold hidden in and around Cusco and Macchu Pichu.” said one patron.

“Well I don’t think so, “said another. “for if there was gold those damn archaeologists would have found it by now.

“I still think that not everything has been found.” said another patron.

Drake was still drinking but by then and he had a hard time sitting straight on his stool. He was drunk and he knew it. He tried to get up but he stumbled.

“Hey watch were you’re going, idiot!” a man said.

“Yeah watch out!” another man chimed in. At those words Drake became incensed and tried to punch another patron and soon enough the fight began. The police arrived finally and arrested Drake for disturbing the peace.

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