The Case of the Stolen Keepsake

Chapter 6

by Stacey (SST205 at aol.com)
7/10/02

....and here's the next part of the next story. Sorry they both were short, but I'm not 100% coherent these days. :p

"'The Mayans of Guatemala and the surrounding regions had one of the most advanced civilizations of the ancient world. Their cities flourished across Central America, complete with remarkable pyramids, temples, observatories and libraries, and their scholars produced works of literature, philosophy, art and architecture. Particularly skilled in mathematics and astronomy, Mayan scientists developed a calendar more precise than that used by NASA even today.

"'With the invasion of the Spanish Conquistadors in the early 1500s, the world of the Mayans--'"

"Aw, Data, must you?" Clark groaned, rolling his eyes toward the ceiling of the private shuttle.

Holmes raised an eyebrow. "You have an aversion to knowledge, Mister Devereaux?"

Clark shook his head. "No, sir, but you haven't had to listen to Data--to Rick rattle on like this for fifteen years."

Holmes grinned. "Perhaps not. I have, however a fondness for gathering new information when I need it, and I rather enjoy seeing young people strive to attain it as well."

"So, Mister Holmes, what was it you learned about the gem?" Andrea asked.

Holmes, Watson, and the visiting Oregonians were taking a private shuttle to Guatemala. Holmes had announced they would be at breakfast....

"Guatemala??" nearly everyone had cried except Larry, who had had a fourth of a jam-covered biscuit in his mouth.

"Yes." Mr. Holmes had answered much more calmly. "Last night I was awake thinking, so much so that I finally arose and went to the computer to do a more extensive search on your "One-Eyed-Willy" and his plunderings...."

"I found that 'Willy' had once had the audacity to steal from a Mayan temple --I say 'audacity', not because the stone statues the Mayans called gods really were so, but because such temples were often laden with numerous deadly booby traps."

Clark snickered and glanced at Michael, who rolled his eyes, stuck his tongue out at him and mouthed, 'That's what I said'.

Turning to Holmes he said aloud, "So, then, that's where the jewel came from?"

"A jewel of the same type and dimension was stolen from the temple, yes." Holmes answered, seeming to not have noticed the men's exchange. "It was placed in the area which would have been the 'heart' of one of the idols within the temple."

Rick, who had had his ears tuned to Mister Holmes, and his eyes still on the papers the detective had let him read, again read aloud:

"'The most common sacrifice was the Heart Sacrifice. The priest would stab the victim and take out his beating heart. Other high priests would pass the heart to each other and smear blood all over their bodies...."

Stephanie shuddered, and now it was her turn to stick out her tongue. "Eww...Rick, that's disgusting."

Rick made a face himself. "I didn't write it."

Saying a quick prayer of thanks that the true God didn't require such things, Brandon fixed his attention on Mister Holmes. "So, then, why is it that you think Moriarty wants to take the gem back there, sir?"

Mikey shook his head. "Hold it--Moriarty??"

Holmes grinned. "Yes, Mr. Walsh. Your brother was awake first, and soon after he woke, one of my liaisons from New Scotland Yard came to tell me about the young hoodlums that mugged you. She said that they told her a man matching Moriarty's description came and offered to purchase the gem from them -- or take it by force. I am not positive what Moriarty wants with it, but it must be far more than a 'pretty rock', as your brother put it, if he does."

On to Chapter 7!

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