Monthly Archives: April 2014

Chapter 38.

The puppet-master.

 

 

John P.Stevens was an impatient man that liked two things in life; money and power, and of course using them in his own advantage. He liked to control and influence people as if they were puppets. As a lawyer, he had to be good in influencing people and those who are good at that have an easier life, especially if it is done in a subtle way and is not too noticeable. At times sheer bullying will do the trick and at other times charisma will open the doors and he was one of those people who knew which buttons to push.

As the lawyer for the uncle of Jake Pierce he knew Pierce quite well as the uncle sometimes spoke about the nephew. Both the nephew and the uncle were cut of the same cloth; irresponsible losers. In the case of the uncle, a drunk most of the time and a gambler. The nephew was simply lazy to the bone, half expecting the world to owe him a living. Naturally when Stevens talked to Pierce about gold that his uncle had left to discover, well that was music to Pierce‘s ears. Easy money he must have thought. What he did not know was that Stevens was behind the whole operations, calling people here and there to do certain things. He had influence everywhere, and everywhere his influence could be felt. He inflamed people’s hearts when needed and cooled them down when it suited him.

He knew well the head guardian, Gwen. She was an old adversary of his. He did not know about the secret, but he knew that something was hidden in the area of the Sacred Valley. His main goal was finding the cache of gold hidden by Pierce‘s uncle. He was using Pierce and Maria as if they were pieces in chess game. His pieces had been set and had played their moves and now was the time for him to arrive on the scene and win, checkmate. Unfortunatley he knew things were not going as well as they should as Pierce and Maria had bungled the case. The gold was not in their possession. His other secret contact was Eliza, the mole inside the organization of Gwen. He thought that now was the time to go to Peru, contact Eliza and see for himself what was going on. To wait any longer could jeopardize everything with the real risk of losing the gold forever. And that he wouldn’t permit.

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Chapter 37.

The cell.

 

 

Jake Pierce laid on the floor for some time before consciousness returned to him. The other prisoners had stayed in their corners oblivious to his condition. He was in a sad state with a bloody face and his nose was hurting, with the rest of his body in no better shape. He sat up slowly, got up and went to the door of the cell to see if the guards were there. He knew that Maria’s cell was not far from his.

“Maria, are you there?” he cautiously asked. “Can you hear me?”

“Yes I can. How are you? I called for you for several hours. I thought that they had killed you.”

“No they haven’t but these thugs seriously beat me up. Where are they now, can you see them from where you are?”

“No, not really. I can see only someone sitting at the far end so I think that there is only one guard at the end of the hallway.”

“Good now listen. You are going to scream hard for the guard so that he approaches my cell. I will be on the side so he won’t see me. When he comes near me I will take him by the neck while you fish out the keys. Let’s take a chance here to escape, okay?”

“But what about Steven’s? Isn’t it better just to wait so we can have a chance to get out of here legally?

“After the beating they gave me I’m not willing to wait and see if I will have the chance to speak with him. Better escape now and let Stevens deal with the escape later on, Okay?”

“I guess that you’re right. I’ll call the guards then. Guard, come quickly, please,” Maria said in an urgent way. The guard arrived in a sour mood.

“What is it now woman. Can’t you keep quiet while I watch television.”

“Please, I dropped a diamond earring on the floor, there to the left.” Of course, to the left of her cell was the cell of Pierce. He was ready. The guards attention was immediate as the idea of keeping a diamond all for himself was very attractive.

“Where on the left?” As he moved to the side he brushed up to the cell of Pierce. Pierce suddenly put his arm through the cell bars and around the guards neck so rapidly that this was done noiselessly, holding him tightly in a deadly embrace. As he was held by Pierce, Maria on the side of her cell rummaged through the guards pockets, found the keys and opened slowly her cell. By then the guard had noiselessly slumped unconscious on the floor. She found the key that opened the door to Pierce’s cell and let him out. The other prisoners began to holler and hoot, wanting to get out of prison themselves but Pierce and Maria ignored their pleas.

They walked down the hallway cautiously, half expecting to meet the other officer but as this was a small station it seemed that only one police officer was on duty and he was on the floor. They walked out of the station encountering no resistance and quickly left. They did not know how much time would elapse before the officers would be alerted of their escape but they knew that they had to find Gwen and the map.

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Chapter 36.

The gold at Ollantaytambo.

 

 

Ollantaytambo is a town located at the northwestern end of the Sacred Valley and above the town ruins can be found that date back to the Inca chiefs who fought the Spanish. It was at the Sun Temple that the gold was located, precisely at the wall of the Six Monoliths. The whole Temple sector is made out of cut and fitted stones contrary to the other sectors that are made out of field-stones. It was an unfinished building built for religious purposes but it is clear that the area was still under construction when building on it was stopped. No one knows why, but war between chiefs, the conquest of Peru by Spain or the retreat of an Inca chief to another city are the likeliest candidates to explain the abandonment of construction. The gold had been put under the last massive door at some depth to escape discovery either from robbers or archaeologists.

The small group decided to go in the middle of the night but unfortunately for them it was a full moon and it’s light bathed the ruins. Pedro led the way with Drake and Acton tagging along with Gwen closing the march. Slowly they went up the hill using a series of stairways that climbed to the top of the terrace complex. Once there the complex was divided into three sectors, one of which was the Temple sector. To access the Temple one had to use another stairway and there the stairway ends on another terrace. They had with them a couple of shovels and a several bags as the gold would be divided among all of them. Gwen finally decided to show where the gold was.

“Here, the gold is under the sixth door, directly underneath. Now quickly, start digging.” She looked at the others as they began taking their shovels and began digging. Suddenly after a few minutes of digging a dull thud was heard when a shovel hit metal and it was Pedro who hit pay dirt.

“I think that I found it,” Pedro said.

“Alright, help him dig it out,” Gwen said. The other two men started digging in the area where Pedro was and soon enough the gold started to come out. It consisted of ceremonial masks made of gold, chains, medallion and some gold sticks, enough to fill the four bags easily.

Pedro looked at all that gold and was amazed. Only some of it was necessary to assure someone of an easy life. He still had his gun with him brought only as a precaution. He did not know the others and prudence dictated his decision in bringing the gun. But at the sight of all that gold he decided that 5% was not enough and that he preferred 100%. Once the bags were filled Pedro made his move quickly and pulled his gun from his vest. “Okay, no one moves and no one gets hurt. Put the bags down and get on your knees, all of you. Now!”

At those words Drake, Acton and Gwen obeyed. Gwen was unarmed but Drake and Acton were and Pedro naturally assumed so.

“Now all of you on the ground, spread your arms out and don’t move.” Pedro then went from one to the other taking the guns away. He took their own shoelaces and used that to tie up their hands. This would give him some time to escape with the gold. He also took the car keys as this was his only means of escape.

“You won’t get away with this, you know that don’t you!” said Gwen, incensed at being double-crossed.

“I already have.” responded Pedro with a smile.

He quickly went down the hill carrying the four bags with him, lumbering mightily as the weight of the bags slowed him down. As soon as he was out of sight Drake and Acton began the task of untying themselves. This was done quickly with Gwen being the last to be untied. They ran as quickly as they could down the hill to where the car was but as they arrived they could see Pedro in the car speeding away in a cloud of dust.

“You fools! You had guns why didn’t you shoot him when you had the chance?” said Gwen.

“He was too quick and I was surprised.” said Drake.

 

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Chapter 35.

Gwen and Pedro.

 

 

Eliza had told Pedro to meet this woman at the Liberator hotel in Cusco where he was. She had told him to be careful with Gwen, to obey her orders and not to ask too many stupid questions. She never told him that he was about to meet the head of the organization of which he was only a pawn. He arrived promptly at 09:00 am and went straight to the lobby, asking the clerk for room 292. He told her to ring the room so that the head guardian would know of his coming. He took the elevator and arrived there promptly.

“Pedro? Come in.” A petite woman answered him, with long dark hair and looking very sensual. She looked quite fit to him, and of course, she was. Fit and dangerous. “Please take a seat.” He then noticed that he was not alone. Two other men were there and both looked similar; tall and strong and dressed in a suit and tie. He on the other hand looked quite shabby as compared to them. He was a peasant and he knew from their stares that they were looking down on him.

“Gentlemen let me introduce you to Pedro who knows his way in the area. He will be your guide and your helper. Pedro, this is Drake and this is Acton. Your three have a mission to accomplish for me. Do it well, and you will be finely rewarded. Fail me and you will surely be on the receiving end of my wrath. Here is the mission. “ At these words Gwen produced the map that showed exactly where the gold was situated. Except that the map was not the original map, it was a copy that she had crudely done. Only the important features were present and the sacred stream was not located.

“As you see, the gold is located in that area mainly between this area and this other area. Pedro, do you know where it is?” Gwen was testing him, wanting to know if he really knew his way around. Pedro looked at the crudely drawn map with his hand cupping his chin.

“Why yes, I think I know where it is. It is close to the town called Ollantaytambo which is in the sacred valley. The cache of gold must be situated under or around the old fortress. The map is a bit unclear.”

Gwen was pleased with what Pedro had told her. Yes, it was true that it was in Ollantaytambo and also true that the cache of gold was hidden near the old fortress. Only she knew exactly where but she was in no hurry to tell all of them where exactly to look.

“ Pedro you’re right. Now let us make sure that everyone understands what is involved . There must be absolute secrecy for this to work. Mr. Drake will be in charge of the operation, with Mr. Acton acting as second. Pedro, you will do what is required by them, understood?”

“Yes Miss. But I would like to know about the reward. You know that there are guards roaming the area and tourists abound there. There is plenty of chances for things to go wrong.”

“I know, and this is why the whole operation shall be done more securely at night, when there are no tourists and fewer guards. As for the reward, you will get some gold, perhaps shall we say 5%? Will that be enough for you?” Gwen looked at Pedro and smiled in an easy way. Pedro was tongue-tied at that number but finally was able to speak. But of course 5% of how much was never discussed by Gwen.

“Yes, of course it is enough, and I will do as you command.”

Drake and Acton would also be rewarded, and that they knew quite well having been briefed by Gwen before the arrival of Pedro. Gwen intended to go with them but she would arrive at the final moment and then show them exactly where to dig. The secret cache of gold had to be hidden until the last moment, for security’s sake.

 

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