Chapter 30.


Eliza was in Cusco for the meeting of the Nine when she received the call from her husband.

“Eliza, it’s me, Pedro. I’m in prison.”

“What! What happened. I thought you were in the expedition along with the others.”

“Yes I was. But then I decided to snoop around the area in the Reserve on my own when we were caught by the natives.” Pedro said.

“You should have been more careful, I told you that the area was under surveillance. You should have contacted me before you tried something foolish like that!.” Eliza was fuming. She knew that Gwen would want an explanation for that.

“You got to get me out of there, I could be months inside, you know that.”

Eliza knew how the justice system worked in Peru but with some grease the wheels of justice could turn much quicker. “Don’t worry, I will get you out and then you will explain everything to me.” She knew what to do and who to call. The man worked in the higher echelons of the police and the security department. He was associated with the Nine, but in an indirect way as he was the husband of one of the guardians. It was useful to them to have someone inside the police department so that they could intervene in such cases. One phone call was all that was needed and Pedro was freed from jail, but not Jorge.

“Alright , you can leave.” said the police officer when he opened the door to Pedro.

“Hey, what about me, I’m with him!” exclaimed Jorge. But Pedro passed by him and smiled, following the officer to his desk. He signed the necessary papers for his release just as Eliza entered the station. She waited to exit the station before asking him some pointed questions.

“All right, what happened and I want to know everything.” Eliza was still angry at the embarrassment caused by the arrest of Pedro.

“Well, at one point I thought that around the lake it was possible that other caches of gold were located so I decided…”

“Since when do you decide? Since when? I told you to obey orders given to you and nothing else!” Eliza was angry that her orders had not been respected and she knew that she would have to pay for that. “Now because of you I will have to offer an explanation for what went wrong. What am I supposed to say, that you got lost?”

Pedro looked at Eliza with a sheepish grin on his face. She knew that he was after the gold and nothing else.

“I told you to keep tabs on them, not strike out on your own to find the gold!. When will you learn that I make the rules and that you follow them, especially with such surveillance jobs as these. I had confidence in you and your ability to keep a low profile and collect information about Pierce.”

“Don’t worry, nothing is lost. I can still go back into the expedition. I will say that I got lost along with the others that‘s all.”

“And what about the other guy with you? He saw you leave, what do you think that he will be thinking? And what would he say to Maria and Pierce if he goes back to the expedition?”

“Who cares what he will say! We were lost that’s all! And in any case, before he gets out of jail everything will be finished.”

Eliza reflected that perhaps Pedro was right. Perhaps the “we were lost” excuse could work. And perhaps not. After all, Pedro knew the area and he had told Maria so. Maybe she would not bite on that and she might become suspicious. But it was the best explanation and it was worth a try. “Alright, we will go along with that excuse. Contact Maria and get back in the group. Forget the other guy and let’s see what will happen. But no more going solo on your part, alright?”

“No problem. I will contact them again. I assume that they will still be in Cusco.”

Pedro was relieved that all went well with his wife. He did not intend to mend his ways, he was still going for the gold, all for himself of course. But for now, he had to lay low for a while and follow instructions to the letter.


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