Chapter 44.

Stevens in Cusco.
Stevens decided to take the road and meet up again with Jake Pierce and Maria. It was high time that they discussed a plan of action so he arrived early in the morning at the hotel that Pierce and Maria were residing. He went in and directly marched to room 98 and knocked.

“Who is it?” a female voice uttered plaintively.

“It’s me, Stevens.” He was impatient. Maria opened the door and let him in. Pierce was in the kitchen eating his breakfast.

“Glad to see that you still have an appetite Mr. Pierce,” exclaimed Stevens smiling.

“Glad to see you here finally,” Pierce said extending his hand to Stevens. “Maybe things will be moving in our direction now.”

Stevens smiled but under that smile he was livid. Opportunities were missed and the gold was still missing. And now he had to get involved to save the day.

“Now, I want to know exactly where the gold is.” Stevens was impatient to get the gold and get out as quickly as possible from such a sticky situation.

“Well as I said, we were duped by that woman named Gwen. We had a wrong map that sent us chasing in the wrong direction. She had the right map and once we had it, she snatched it away from us at gunpoint. She even killed for that map. We were framed for that, as I told you.” Pierce looked imploringly at Stevens, as if saying there was nothing he could have done without risking his life. He was confessing and wanted an absolution but he only received the cold shoulder from Stevens. Stevens looked at him closely. He was not happy about what he heard. “So this Gwen has the map, and probably the gold as well by now, wouldn’t you say?”

“That is correct in my view. We should go after Gwen but Maria has told me that she is not alone, that she has friends in high places and thugs as well.”

“Well yes, she is powerful that is sure. We must be careful. But being careful does not mean that we should be inactive. First, let me see if I have any messages. “ Stevens called his office to retrieve his messages and one got his attention, from the chief of police; all charges were being dropped against Pierce and Maria.

“Good news for you both, the police will not trouble you again. This matter has been sorted out to my satisfaction.”

“Oh, that’s great,” exclaimed Maria. “I was so worried about being thrown into a jail cell again.”

“Yes, I have to say that I’m relieved. That jail cell was brutal. Glad I won’t see these jailors again.” Pierce was happy about the intervention of Stevens and he was hoping that his magic could continue.

“Now that this matter is settled, we must find this woman. She must have people below her that do her evil deeds. But why did she involve herself so visibly now? You told me that she killed a woman in cold blood in front of you?

“Absolutely,” said Maria. “In cold blood she knifed that woman in the back and mortally wounded her and then took the map. We were unarmed at that point.” Maria was still scared at the events that she was remembering.

“But tell me, did any of you see the details of the map?” Stevens hoped that one of them had seen the details and could perhaps draw them.

“I am afraid that no, we didn’t see the details. It was in her hands when she was knifed in the back just as she was about to give me the map.” Pierce was angry at the thought that this gold that was rightly his was in the possession of a woman who had killed. His plan of action was clear; find the woman and the map will be with her or the gold.



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